Thursday, March 10, 2011

WORLD OF THE WASTELANDS---PART FOUR

PUSHED TO THE WASTELANDS--- Today I will penetrate the deep bushlands to find the camps of individuals living there out of necessity and not choice like yesterday's folks. But first,I show you this reproduction of an Indian hut on the banks of the Colorado.
Out there is where I begin my hunt
A surprisingly neat camp with nobody home---I will try to catch its owner another time.
This camp---some distance away seems abandoned---note the mess he left---so often I find poverty teamed with messiness.
As with this camp--definitely being used.
Zooming in we get a glimpse of his lifestyle. I think he may have been sleeping on the left side of the tent---didn't wake him.
I kept my eyes peeled on the area for some time hoping to engage a "bush" person. Saw this one but failed to intercept him.
But later that day I found him scuffling around in the bushes---PICKING UP TRASH---He agreed to talk to me.
Gentle and soft-spoken---said he likes to keep the area clean---That the neat camp was his---been there for some months--cannot afford to pay rent---Has no job---lives on a subsidy--was cheerful and likable.
five miles away---near the canal --I came to see if an acquaintance was still living here. For three years he claimed a "hole" in this patch of tamerisk trees as home--returning nightly. Can you see the cleverly concealed entrance?
Here is the hole--he would drive his car in here and sleep in it. He carried a kitten around inside his shirt. Guess he's moved on. (that's my coat)
This is off the subject but I wanted to show you the seeming wholesale waste of the lettuce pickers. My companion took a head---perfectly good---we puzzled till someone explained that they were rejected for being too large or too small.
We stopped to investigate this phenomenon. The red flags mean--don't pick here.
Moving in closer we see this sign. Later, we learned that a single footprint---of a human or a dog-- found in a field will quarrantine everything around it---being super careful after the contamination scare of a few years ago.
Now, back to my story--engaged this refugee from Ohio--took him3 months and 3 bikes to make the trip---he asked where he could camp free---I directed him to the bushes near the casino.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES---I think I've differentiated two types of Wasteland dwellers---those DRAWN to it and those PUSHED to it. Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed spent time in the wastelands--- suggesting something----but what??? I've found that I'm happiest in the desert. Studies show that humans are more emotionally attached to Savana environments than any other. Logically because that's where we came from. I think we should allow everyone a place to BE. Even if it be in the bushes or desert. That spiritual seekers and the moderately mentally disturbed be allowed to dwell unmolested on the fringes of society. Its far better than the streets and even better than shelters in my opinion. A nation that phohibits mavericks will inhibit genius.













14 comments:

Rustedgranny said...

Interesting about the lettuce. An article in our local paper (WA) described how prices for produce have risen at a faster rate than ever before. Could waste account for this?

Michael said...

I totally agree with your last statement, "... spiritual seekers and the moderately mentally disturbed be allowed to dwell unmolested on the fringes of society. Its far better than the streets and even better than shelters in my opinion. A nation that phohibits mavericks will inhibit genius."

I've been so bombarded by similar issues with my work on the very worthwhile film GrowthBusters that I accept the predictions in Revelations. Overpopulation is just another form of over-consumption. Our mammalian brain jacks our neo-cortex and tells us how wonderful it is to have a warm cozy family. I have and enjoy this myself. If we want to fix these problems we have to voluntarily reduce population. But we won't. So the modus operandi will simply be, "How loving will we treat each other as everything turns to crap at exponential speed." http://motionista.blogspot.com/2009/11/growthbusters-poster-update.html

Randy said...

Well said Michael: "overpopulation is another form of over consumption" and "how well will we treat each other when the world turns to crap". Thanks for the insight.

Kelly said...

Very interesting....

Kelly

Jim said...

==========
Per "everything turning to crap at exponential speed," the fear mongers and the doom sayers ("the end is nigh") have always been with us. I've seen so many "end-times" scenarios come and go like a thousand days before them, and a thousand days since, that I can no longer muster the energy to worry about such imaginings.
==========
At least if you live in Japan and experience a tsunami, it is REAL -- not energy entirely WASTED on what-if scenarios. As a former survivalist -- now in recovery -- I quickly recognize those who seek to profit from instilling fear in others. (In much the same way religion uses guilt to keep their flocks compliant.) I'll never be stupid enough to play either of their games again.
===========
I say be somewhat prepared for the worst but always hope for the best. Worry is interest paid on debt not yet due. I've no room for it in my life; no hook for guilt to hang its hat on either.
==========
sail4free
==========

The Good Luck Duck said...

Fascinating series.

You're right - I'm drawn to these wastelands, too.

Boonie said...

Forgive me for psychoanalyzing you, but posts like this series make me wonder whether you have an aversion to normal bourgeois people, or whether you have a fear of being normal, or just consider normality boring?

Am I just reading this into the last four posts? Is there an assumption that people on the fringe are better people or more interesting people than normal people.

Randy said...

No offense taken Boonie---I relish the opportunity to pause and look into myself. It is true that I find mavericks more interesting than conventional people---rarely do I bother to engage anyone in an RV park or a 9 to 5 lifestyle ---I'm convinced (perhaps mistakenly) that I already "grok" that story. My passionately held theory---which I am hoping to confirm or refute by experience--is that mainstream living is profoundly misguided--wasteful of our time--a danger to the planet---that outlanders, like myself, have a better shot at the truly good life---which I think is nurtured in the freedom that frugal living and mobility provide.

Boonie said...

That last line sounds like it could be an eloquent and concise mission statement that belongs on your masthead.

OK, so we're agreed that unconventionality has a positive and creative value. But unconventionality could be of two types:

Type 1: unconventionality is ADDED onto a solid, middle-class base of values and habits.

Type 2: unconventionality is SUBTRACTED from that middle class base of values.

The hobos, desert rats, Slabs denizens, and bush people that you typically write about are Type 2. Perhaps I'm not your only reader who likes Type 1 better, and wishes you'd hunt people like that down.

Nomad said...

Randy, Do you think that the fringe lifestyles that you believe to be more full-filling would still be possible and as rewarding if the majority stopped living the current, normal, 9-5 lives?

Randy said...

I see your point Nomad---someone built this cozy trailer I'm in and distilled the fuel I burn etc-----but I'm convinced that simpler, more efficient living is possible even in this modern context---I am a living example--it cost me so little to live that I have not had to work for 35 or so years---living on my savings. I believe that the proper fruits of the industrial revolution should have been more free time to pursue our fascinations----but that the marvelous boon of mechanization was hijacked by greed---but that we can still individually reap its rewards and live the good life.

Rob said...

Randy, you live the life you choose but if all were to live in the style you choose who would repair the roads or build the trailer?

This IS the golden age, enjoy it.

john patrick said...

Thanks, Randy. I always look forward to reading about your adventure. I've been through some of this country, but never able to poke around and see what it's really about.

Linda and Terry said...

"I think we should allow everyone a place to BE. Even if it be in the bushes or desert. That spiritual seekers and the moderately mentally disturbed be allowed to dwell unmolested on the fringes of society. Its far better than the streets and even better than shelters in my opinion. A nation that prohibits mavericks will inhibit genius."
Excellent! I wish I could somehow have everyone read this blog posting. Thanks,

Linda (Diana's cousin)