Guruzilla's /var/log/knowledge-junkie
["the chatter of a missionary sysadmin"]

my belligerent inner hippie

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Once again, I find I have to take a breather from keeping up with, interpreting, sifting, current events and all. As though by comprehending, by examination, by the fullest possible perspective, I can know, and knowing, spelunk for the lost key, a key which makes control, restoration, mastery, possible. As though I myself could surround all sides of a dilemma, and taking them within myself, synthesize right answers by some mental alchemy -- this is what is means to be "knowledge-junkie" -- this is how men drive themselves mad.
Deep feelings I'm seeking, kill rhythm
Shout - this secrets out
Deep, distant and pure
Deep, distant and pure
Trying also to focus on the long view, instead of the momentary flicker; the heart of fuel, air, and heat, instead of the ephemeral dancing tongues. The engines, not the chrome. Staking out my position relative to the world, and what I want to build, the kind of life, the kind of polis, the kind of ekklesia. Been kind of going back to basics, back to where I began ('I am waiting... for Vezzini...').
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

-- Langston Hughes, "Let America Be America Again"
Thanks to my parents, who pretty much embodied anything one could love in post-60's liberalism of their generation, in many ways, I grew up with a rather sharp sense that the world is not what it could be, and that I had a certain duty to strive toward that ideal. (A city on a hill, kind of thing.) By raising me idealistic, and leaving books with much history and poetry at hand, I turned into a political animal while young, in the latter days of the Cold War. Apparently, I never recovered.

And I have no regrets about that fact.

Hughes' poem largely shapes to this day how I feel about my native-born country. Though now a citizen of no mean city, it's always rung true to me that, "Nobody tells you when you get born here / How much you'll come to love it / And how you'll never belong here". So I'm going back to basics, back to the beginning, unemployed in Greenland, waiting, maranatha.

Heck, the Beastie Boys are right now shoutin', "NO Sleep Till Brooklyn", and that takes me back a ways, I can tell you.

So when in doubt, back to first principles, and I've been reading classics lately, and not in excerpts, which I've come abhor, either. Chesterton kicked me off, and he's practically priceless... Kropotkin, The State, and The Conquest of Bread; Ellul's Anarchy and Christianity (an essential text); Bastiat, The Law (short but most sweet); Proudhon, "What Is Property?"; and currently a collection of Paul Goodman pieces, as well as going back and dipping into The Basic Bakunin and Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. Spot a theme yet?

There is a joke (-ish) about this country which is on a .sig in ASR: "The Constitution's not perfect, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now."

One of the ideas which has seized me is the idea of independence, of self-sufficiency as much as one can. My little green interior hippie is going after the 'sustainable' meme, the homesteader ideal. Being a country boy, and having an implacable hostility to middle-managing drones, the correctness of a free man's "conquest of bread" is undeniable. And I'm not sure I'd want to raise my kids beholden to arbitrary whims of corporate life, either. So I want to converge these ideals, to do for myself what I would like everyone to be able to do for themselves and one another. Money/Mouth. Rubber/Road. "I'm tryin' to practice what / I been preachin'"

The nice people at Jesus Radicals are trying to get together a journal to explore some of this stuff, and I'm planning to lend a hand. Add some of my 'granola conservative' flavah to the mix, you know? And while all that goes on, I'm stocking up on tools, nonperishable food, and water filtration, besides trying to figure out how to grow something in this apartment complex.

Certainly, it's better than cursing the "journalism".

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