"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Sunday, September 14, 2008

8/2 -9/14/08: Santa Fe, NM

What an odd few weeks it has been. I spent the first two doing absolutely nothing, other than reacquainting myself with the internet again, writing, reading, and playing the part of the recluse.

Initially, it was actually nice to be back here. I had grandiose ideas of getting back to work and preparing to pack money away for the Latin American Adventure that is on the way... soon. I had some nagging points of friction in my mind however about trying to save thousands of dollars to do this. Money as it turned out was my major source of irritation this summer, and my primary failure was in the fact that I never really got to the point where I was learning to do with significantly less and how to generate fresh cash while out there; and there WERE opportunities to do that! I just... didn’t.

Chris and I had several lengthy conversations, and after initially thinking that he may decide against it, he has now committed to whatever this turns out to be. It turns out that, not surprisingly, we have come to the same money- page, how it relates to Mexico, then Central & South America. Less is more. Rather than talking in terms with three zeroes, it is now in the hundreds, as a means to force ourselves to be more creative, thrifty, and concentrate on eliminating excess... bullshit. Most people are probably horrified by the thought, but we both have seen the possibilities first- hand, and for me it is a matter of discipline and focus... like everything else. This trip is shaping up to begin, at least when the two of us meet up anyhow, in December or January. Much more on that at another time.

9/11 came and went again and as always, it is a point of scorn for me as we all watch the melodrama presented to us through the media, and wallow in self- pity. No one bothers to stop and reflect on how that event itself is a weapon; an instrument of terror itself. Just remember Rudi Giuliani and his every other word. What has happened since 9/11, in this country AND Iraq, is worse than the event itself. Only American self absorbed arrogance, a spoiled self-pity, and complacency prevents us from seeing the obvious. If you have not yet, check out the audio on the right hand side of the page. 9/11, and the economic events of the past few weeks, remind me of one of the best books I have read: Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Find a copy; read it. You're living it.

The best radio show I ever did was on 9/11 in 2007. That show was the beginning of the end for me. The cheap bastards didn't even have a simple tape recorder for me to archive it, so like Hitler's in "Contact", my voice is simply left floating off toward Vega. I even took my own tape recorder in to let them hook it up. It sat in the same spot for 2 ½ months until I was fired! Ahhh... radio!

Chris rented a car and drove down here on 9/11. We sat up into the wee hours of the morning chatting, and we traded stuff; him bringing the things I had left there, and me returning the bivy, water filter, boca bag, etc. That stuff was a huge help! I also learned that, inspired by my return- spree, he had returned his old shoes to REI and had a brand new spiffy pair. I was immediately jealous!

We spent Friday running around, highlighted by a trip to the grand opening of the Santa Fe REI. Of course the radio station was there trying to be all ‘live n’ local’, so for shits and giggles, I led Chris into a den of awkwardness, for one of them anyhow. I had not seen this particular sales pig since they fired me, and though she would never admit it to my face, she despises me. I had annoyed her by telling her to take her live endorsements for Qwest, McDonald’s, whoever, and shove them…even though they were paid. She is the type who reassures herself with “you gotta serve somebody.” Whenever I heard her say that, I thought, “That would be a good mantra in prison.” I don’t see much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. I would rather be shanked. I guess I was.

I bounded right over to the table and there she was, strapping on the plastic smiling face with a full serving of the generic platitudes I had heard 100-times with her clients. My old PD was there too. I had not seen him since shortly after the owner fired me either. He gave me a big ol’ hug, and while he was, I was asking myself “If we’re such good friends, why were you so quiet when they were axing me…buddy?”

I do not trust people who claim to have hundreds of friends because, well… they don’t. We all have acquaintances, co- workers, and people we use for networking and furthering our interests. That is inescapable. Yet, friends are loyal, and do not sit idly by out of convenience or self-preservation, while you are thrown under a bus. The rest of them will, and that’s fine. However, don’t embarrass yourself by professing your love for me later on! They say that if you want to find out who your friends are, ask them to help you move. I like the redneck method better: go to battle and see who lines up behind you. THESE are your friends. The rest are just memories waiting to happen. Keep your relativism, hippie. I've heard it all before.

God, I love anything authentic!

Friday night, we watched a few movies and he returned to Denver Saturday morning. A quick trip to be sure. We managed to keep busy enough that we did not dwell on the upcoming trip too much, but it was never far beneath the surface.

The longer I was here, the more I began to realize that I miss traveling. I am no longer domesticated. I never have been, but it is worse. I have next to no interest in participating in anything in Santa Fe, and it took me two- weeks to call anyone I knew.

My personal writing has always been a refuge for me, but now that is no haven. I tried, with some success, to gain some clarity and perspective after I returned, but it was a disappointment. I had most of the conclusions before I came back! The writing has since turned into a simple annoyance because I seem to be writing the same things repeatedly; shit I have written a thousand times before. In the end? It's feeling like a bunch of self- absorbed bullshit, because now I have some experience to add perspective. One of my favorite quotes from Thoreau says something to the effect that it is quite vain to sit down and write when you have yet to stand up and live. Alot of writing going on this month. Living? Not so much.

I know this is temporary; everyone knows that. I only wish I were making better use of the time. The answer is not to ‘get a job’. I am quite certain that I would be fired, or walk out within a couple of days, and that does not bother me at all. The answer is to find cash- work with someone that doesn’t annoy me with all the “ladder- climbing” career- bullshit.

After 9/15, I would be more certain of that than ever.