RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Friday, September 2

Friday Love/Hate

Hurricane Isabel cold rolled through and didn't destroy America like the media thought, although all these earthquakes in un-quaked lands and sudden hurricanes of fury got me wondering if those HAARP beam kooks ain't speaking at least partial truth. But the Outer Banks, a place I grew up visiting and love dearly, and wish I could afford to go to still, even though they've torn down the small cottages and replaced them with pastel-colored monstrosities that are a lot out of my price range (and fuck sharing a house with 19 other families - that ain't vacation at all; that's called gen-pop), got all obliterated again, with Highway 12 straight washed out for like 300 feet north of Rodanthe (plus oft-forgotten Waves and Salvo) and that whole Hatteras Island turned into it's usual newly archipelago after the storm. Of course, the government response is WE WILL REBUILD even though what was a naturally occurring barrier island is now being forced against it's nature to be a stable tourist island, to protect the economic interests that have been built on what is basically a sandbar. Of note in regards to all this is how Stumpy Point, a mainland town across the sound, suffered immense flooding during Isabel as well, and I'm not playing straight up connect the dots here, but when a barrier island is not allowed to float and fluctuate and serve it's natural purpose, then you run the risk of messing up the balance of nature, and you're gonna see more flooding and erosion on the backside of the sound, over on the mainland. This is what I hate today, man's incessant inclination to force his dominion over the earth. This is obvious to most people when they look at agribusiness or 11 mpg luxury SUVs and all, but it should be just as obvious when they rebuild Highway 12 every five years. It's pissing money away to prove we are Kings of Nature. But tons of nature loving people, in their own minds at least, have those 12 stickers on the back of their cars, and feel entitled to continue enjoying the Outer Banks, and it is a beautiful place to be sure. Plus, the cleansing power of the ocean is immense, and I probably need a good week of oceanic baptisms at least, after the year I've had thus far, both physically and in internal demon-angel battles. But you can't force that shit to be so luxurious and accommodating. So I promise you Outer Banks of North Carolina, I will not rent another house down there ever again (though I will squat in them if the situation arises... sorry barrier island bro), but will probably bring my family to camp along you in as unobtrusive a way as possible. If you decide to shift and fuck up everybody's material possessions down there, so be it. I support you in these endeavors, and I will still come and lay across your surface and love upon your beauty. In fact, I think you'd be more beautiful if all those damn beach house crumbled into the ocean or were in piles of rubble along damaged roadways. But I am a strange soul.

I love how our relentlessly corporate capitalist system is caving in on itself before our eyes. The specific example I speak of this week is Netflix, which lost a ton of it's streaming services suddenly this week, at the same time it is instituting higher prices to streaming customers, which could very well cripple the company, which like all online businesses, is basically a losing model that pretends it is making money by counting potential revenue as actual revenue and writing off actual losses against those financial wishes and dreams. It's all smoke and mirrors, like most of our financial blessings of the past twenty years. Meanwhile, as Netflix blew up across everybody's monthly bill list, pretty much every major chain video store went out of business. Gone. Boarded up and replaced by costume stores and Chinese buffets. A lot of independent video stores have toughed it out, however they can, and hopefully with the decline of Netflix, they will enjoy a resurgence, or maybe they won't. I would prefer all our businesses be weird dilapidated independent ones anyways. I don't like cookie cutter chain stores that all look the same whether you're in Idaho or West Virginia. Idaho stores should not look like West Virginia stores. I had to buy a belt for my riding mower (again) and I made the same mistake I made two years ago by buying one from Lowes, which of course stretched out and didn't work in like two weeks. Then I bought one from Tractor Supply, which did the same thing. $75 wasted right there. Then I went to some hole in the wall small engine place whose front door was actually an open garage door, and the place was full of machines and dank oil smell and there was only some guy in the back corner wrestling with a giant zero-turn mower, and I kind of stood there at the painted line in the oil-stained concrete you were not supposed to cross, and hollered "HEY!" but he couldn't hear me. Then some younger dude in a white tank top and grey work shirt with both arms covered in fast and furious tattoo styles, came out and said, "Can I help you?" And he did help me, by selling me an actual well-made deck belt for my riding mower, that cost about $15 more than the chain store ones, probably because actual people made it, not Sri Lankan cyborg children, and they charged me extra because I had to use a bank card, and small businesses hate those Visa percentages they have to give up. I understand. Fuck Visa, and it sucks that has to get passed along to me, but it also sucks it has to get passed along to the small business, so I can only hope they are at least meeting me somewhere in the middle. But I digress, because what I came here to love was how Netflix killed Blockbuster but then Netflix dies too, and somehow through all the soulless corporate giant battles, shitty little video stores that have porn rooms and art flicks from Nigeria will somehow survive.

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