"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3/31/09: A Weekend with Jack

The next to the last weekend in Santa Fe went as expected. Instant recall from September’s foray with Jack.

Jack is quite a character. He is now in his early 60’s and is an aging old-school hippie with long curly, graying hair. He still wears typically ripped black (always black) denim jeans, and is lucky if he weighs 140. He is from the east coast originally, and still talks with what I define as a New York accent complete with the New York attitude.

He was quite the activist, involved with SDS, before the split forming the Weather Underground, protesting things like Viet Nam until some Pennsylvania rednecks fired guns his way. He was also involved in the Civil Rights movement, and knew Hendrix, among others. Quite a remarkable history Jack has; great stories.

He describes the 60’s in two ways: Pre-'65, and post-’65. The “real 60’s”, he implies, happened before the "Peace, Love, Dope" era. He was involved in consciousness and says that aspect faded when it became a mass-movement; when the hippies became pop culture. Sound familiar, anyone?

Jack reminds me of the stereotypical troubled genius, and of Eric in a few ways, yet he also is NOTHING like him beyond the fact that he lives to talk social issues. And, Jack knows his shit. He knows politics, finance, and sociology with a depth & detail I have not seen since Michael Corbin. And, he can tie it together. I was a bit skeptical of him in September, until I realized that many of the predictions he made have actually since come to fruition. Our chats have also made me realize how hard of a “right turn” I have made ideologically.

His prediction for the future? Cataclysmic. The future is never bright for a docile, compliant, unquestioning population, and history bears that out. It’s quite disturbinging how many of these so-called liberals, who were howling about civil liberties not a year ago, have become “political chickenheads” chanting, “Hope…Change...” in lockstep with their leftist handlers.

People get the government they deserve, and quite honestly I am beginning to believe that it is over for you. When the government is trying to outlaw growing YOUR OWN FOOD complete with the Adam Sutlarian scare tactics, and the hottest topic is American fuckin' Idol? You deserve your cage. So will this new generation of vassals being bred not to think. For the rest of us? Well, we hear a lot from the left about freedom FROM religion; what about freedom from government?

Although I suspect he would prefer another adjective, Jack is also a perfect case study in what has happened to the Baby Boomers and how some of them exist in social limbo; borderline hypocrisy. He told about how he realized that living his ideals was not going to sustain him into old age. As with my sellout ex-landlord, Lawyer Bob, he talks lovingly about some aspects of the '60’s, but that has been co-opted & supplanted by a need & lust for money.

While Lawyer Bob openly flaunts his wealth (living in Christy Brinkley’s old home), Jack loves to try to impress with offhanded comments concerning how much he pays in rent, what he paid for his truck, what a certain collectors piece is worth, etc. He lives simply, but still loves verbally displaying his wealth as much as anyone driving a Lexus does visually. Half the fun of knowing Jack is noticing his contradictions. He is very health conscious about the chemicals he puts into his body, which is very “Santa Fe”, but also still smokes pot while deriding me for drinking Coke and smoking  Pall Malls.

Unfortunately, this move did not end on a positive note, and I share some blame for this. Where Jack lacks people skills, I lack patience. I began to tire of his “interpersonal style” and at the end of Tuesday, after the move was completed, I told him that he “was getting on my fucking nerves” and I did not want to work more than 2-3 hours on Wednesday. This after a few rather loud displays of displeasure over the course of the day in response to his impatience and inability to convey direction.

Just like last year in the two weeks before I left, I have no tolerance for bullshit, real or perceived, and the fact that I was curious as to how Chris was coming getting on the road Tuesday made it  worse. I tried to make it clear that I would still like to get together with him when Chris gets here, but I am not at all convinced that will happen!

Meanwhile, still no word from Chris about his departure since Sunday. We had a long conversation Sunday about the “departure philosophy” and how oftentimes the hardest thing to do on a voyage is...leave.