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.

Thursday, April 27

[2k=0] Begging on the Internet for a Return to Earth

Been trying to raise money to get a down payment on this plot of land next to us that came available due to the old neighbor wizard dude passing on to the next phase of existence, and it’s been difficult. It hasn’t really been complicated, as it breaks down to we (Bird Tribe) have no economic value, have no economic equity, and raw land is not seen as a good investment for banks unless the motherfucker buying it is chopping it up and putting up some houses. The American way of civilization is really frustrating because you work really hard to look in the mirror and not feel shame, you try to untangle the mess of psychological tangles from the years you know plus the ones before that come in with ancestral weights, but then you want to do some seemingly simple shit like add a little sliver of 10 acres of rural wasteland to your already 4.5 acres of rural wasteland cultured into sanctuary against devilish world at large, and the devil mathematicians open up their master spreadsheets which you only have permission to view a limited version of a couple times a year, and they say, “I’m sorry, your columns are not wide enough.”
So we’ve been doing a crowdfunding campaign {link to the Owlcraft/Rojonekku Sanctuary gofundme}, which I have to admit is one of the most demoralizing things you can do, especially when you understand what a fucking struggle it is to maintain nose above water, constantly hustling against rising tide of the last dying gasps of the U.S. Empire. One always hopes in these situations that there are these amazing wealthy benefactors you don’t know about who just happenstance across your tale of wishing (and let’s be honest, digital begging) and throw a mass amount of pittance in their spreadsheet columns which is life-altering to you. But it doesn’t happen that way. You are hitting up, virally, the people you already know, most of whom are in the exact same situations you are in. In this system of haves and have-nots, the majority – although divided and conquered – are actually those who have-not to the extent they can be comfortable. (Queue up one of those New Poor thinkpieces about “How the Majority of Americans Cannot Afford a $400 Car Repair!”) The campaign has had a couple of spikes, and a couple of lengthy ebbs, mostly because it requires me to be proactive and confident and act as salesman for our crowdfunding campaign, which is about as opposite my personality as possible.
But I try. And I hit moments where I convince myself I have to do it, because otherwise we have no ability to purchase the land, and some asshole fake country motherfucker will buy the 10 acre plot and divide it into five 2-acre parcels, and put up a patch of shitty pre-fab houses that are gonna fall apart in two decades time, to manipulate their own spreadsheets to get a few suckers still believing in the American dream to imagine they’ve moved out to the country, by literally fucking up the rural nature already in place. Yesterday when I rode home from work, I could actually feel that energy in the air – I think it was the warmth. The devils cower from the rain and cold, but once spring comes and the plants start to supernaturally grow wild again, they start to have their devil visions about order and gridlock and the ironically worded “freshly mown” grass and neat littles houses that look alike, perfectly unblemished in their manufactured newness, and they start plotting. I could feel their devil maths being applied to the physical spaces yesterday, for some reason.
The problem is, I know the hustle/struggle too well, and when I start to hype up the crowdfunding shit, someone who I know is hustling/struggling just as hard maybe worse than me will drop $15 or $20 or even $50 on it. And that makes me feel guilty as fuck. It’s not like I’m trying to pay for cancer treatments or help feral children escape psychiatric center confinement and be allowed to return to the wolves or something entirely obviously beneficial and necessary like that. We’re trying to buy some land to re-unify it with land we already have, none of which we actually own (because A: you can’t own Earth, and B: even if you pretend Earth can be owned, we will owe banks payments for the land we claim to own as well as taxes and anywhere along the next two decades should we be unable to cover those obligations we’ll be just like the old couple next door, again, all over). I don’t want friends who are in the same demographic of retail lower middle class poverty, sitting at a desk (if we’re lucky) where the American dream has long since died, hoping to I don’t know, none of us know, we’re just continuing to do it because if we don’t keep doing it, we’re fucked. I mean, we’re all sort of fucked to some extent already, because we really are one cataclysmic event away from it all coming undone – one unexpected hospital trip, or car wreck, or horribly placed fallen tree limb from the whole thing we’re barely holding together falling apart entirely, with little to no safety net to catch us. It’s fucking scary. AND THAT IS MOST PEOPLE’S REALITY!
Thus, crowdfunding in that light feels like some stupid shit. Ultimately, I wish the entire system would fall apart (which it is) because it’s unsustainable, and mostly immoral (apply whatever morality you want to – American capitalism as it has come to be in the 21st Century will not be kosher). I justify that by expanding what we’re doing at our Bird Tribe Compound to include the surrounding land (some of which I may or may have not already had some path-making go across), we are working towards fighting that prevailing devil math mentality. And there’s truth to that – that land has certainly helped heal me. (I’m still fucked, for what it’s worth.) But the notion we just buy our way into making shit better simultaneously implies the system in place is wrong, but we can fix it by working within the system in place. I’m not sure I philosophically believe that, which is why ultimately I have a hard time continually pounding the LOOK AT MY GOFUNDME LOOK AT MY GOFUNDME LOOK AT MY GOFUNDME digital drums enough to achieve success before the devils swoop in and fuck everything up for me.
I also feel conflicted because my life is pretty fucking good to be honest. Things have been going well in ways I’m afraid to enumerate because previous life experience has taught me to expect the worst to blindside me just as things start going good. This again is a facet fraud syndrome where as natural born have-not, you are accustomed to have-not struggles. But once you start to have a couple of lucky breaks (believe me, the meritocracy is a myth, so even if you are succeeding in life, it is because you are making the most of some lucky breaks, nothing more than that) going your way, you expect have-not balance to be maintained, and something to come along and crush the sand castle fantasies of finally-done-come-uppance built upon parlaying a couple lucky breaks into a few more lucky breaks. The parlaying metaphor is apt, because The House (the system) always wins. If you come up, somebody else fell down. If you really come up, and got that millionaire money, a whole slew of somebody elses fell down.
Thus, I am left feeling conflicted. The only thing that helps me feel better is getting lost in the woods (where I’m the least lost feeling), modeling language play (poetry) after the crows’ leadership, and just trying to heal.
There is a somewhat common capitalist carney trick of encouraging others to “give back” from where you come from, so that if you do become economically blessed through lucky breaks, you can help others (conceivably) by donating wealth to organizations or groups that work with people fucked by the system in ways you may have originally related to. This act of charity, although certainly not immoral at all (again, apply whatever morality system you use in real life, and charity is generally okay) does not necessarily absolve one of complicity in the entirely fucked system they now benefit from, but it launders our guilt away enough to go on with making that money. (The entire realm of crowdfunding I am speaking about here depends on this psychological aspect to the guilt of having to some level while others have-not to larger, or – to be more descriptively – lesser levels.)
And yet oddly it is not the money that heals broken people, ever. It is the space to heal, the found or built or cultivated or forged communally Sanctuary, that allows the broken to mosaic back together a relatively beautiful existence from the fractured beginnings. For my ol’ lady and me, this has been what we’ve tried to cultivate and culture on this land. We’ve both done it elsewhere as well, and we both believe more than anything that despite hoping to get proper credit for what you’ve created through your work, nobody can own that type of work. It’s a shared effort, ideally, where everyone works to help each other find enough Sanctuary to make their lives less fucked, not more fucked.

Where we live was traditionally (pre-Columbian) part of Monacan tribal lands. The indigenous civilizations tended towards a more communal bent, and in fact that’s where the American notion of democracy was co-opted from. I’ve been skimming around this book An Anthropology of Marxism by Cedric Robinson, and it’s gotten me thinking on how our definition of Western Civilization is still centered on European origins, which overlooks the differing perspective on what civilization should be which already existed in the western hemisphere. But even defining that as pre-Western Civilization is kinda stupid because there’s no fucking wall in the Pacific Ocean that all of a sudden you’re east again. There is the International Date Line, which has you fall back a day, because when the devils applied their grid to the entire Earth, it had to loop back somewhere, being the Earth is not flat but whole, but that date line is not a real physical thing you see.
The Earth is everything here – all that we regard as nature, including the land, as well as man. I guess I don’t really at my heart level believe in the Man vs. Nature metaphor which seems to be common in what we label “Western Civilization”, and has been used as the basis to claim dominion over nature, whether by religion or science, throughout Western Civilization’s domination over history. My brain is trained to believe this shit (much like the meritocracy myth and the American exceptionalism one too) but my heart knows better.

This is why asking for money to buy some land is so hard – my heart’s not into it. My heart knows struggle and lack of Sanctuary all too fucking well. My brain says I have to do it, to try and combat devil math being applied too close to the little isthmus of not-safety-netted Sanctuary we’ve already put the work into creating. But man, my heart knows this whole system is bullshit. My heart wants something better, not just for me, not just for the 10 acres next to where I owe money to a bank for the next 20 years over, not just for whatever my current tribe happens to be, but for the whole fucking lot of us. I don’t know how that would happen though. Got no idea. I try to do the hard work at untangling myself and those close to me, and that work takes up any time I have, while maintaining position in the exceptional labyrinth of laundered dreams that has me sitting at a desk all day, to keep up payments on what I’ve “achieved” so that those with full access to the master spreadsheets don’t repossess it all because I let my columns lapse too far into red. And that’s everybody I know’s fucking reality – barely holding on.

[2k=0 (two thousand words equals nothing) is/will be 2000 words in 1000 installments (maybe) - all words, no pics, no fucks given, as cultural return to raw internet (and perhaps language) roots; fuiud]

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