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.

Wednesday, September 11


I have never understood suburbia, having not experienced it other than as an outsider, and still am confused by it. I’ve always been alien to the Northern Virginia style progressive suburbs, which produced most of the people I met in college, and felt like it was missing something. I used to think of it as fake, but tbh it’s probably more real in our American culture than what I think of as real. But something wasn’t there which made me comfortable, and I always distrusted it as well as products of those environments.
Strangely, even worse is where I’ve lived the past two decades, which is a strange faux-country basic communities suburbia best expressed by radio country music, full of dudes who drive jacked up trucks they’re still making payments on, that are never dirty, and American flags on the front lawn, with mad blue lives matter-esque apparel. I’m even more confused by this fake country suburbia, especially since one of my children seems fascinated with this as the basis for reality, due to public schooling. In fact, we were talking about this on the long ride into school on a week she was with me, and how our views of what “country” was were so different. And again, I guess it goes back to my notion of what is real is likely not as real in the American experience sense as what she thinks real country is, because there’s a fuck ton of dudes driving around in shiny new pick-up trucks who have two-story houses with basements and attached garages, and nobody seems to be struggling with payments because they stay the fuck there. How do they do it?

I’ve come to speculate that lifestyle remains foreign to you if it began as foreign because there’s gotta be some familial wealth built in somehow, even if it’s as simple as down payments or land or I don’t fuckin’ know. But I stay wondering how people have paid for the life they’re living, and act like this is the foundation of the American experience. And these are all the people that voted for Trump or were with her in resisting Trump – those with vested interests in empire because their foundation is one of stability, and a certain level of comfort that comes with that. I ain’t feeling it, because despite being better off than I’ve ever been in my life, it’s all still unstable as fuck, and I’m more likely to be homeless than retire.

But my youngest is always talking about when I get a house, when I buy a house, and how we’ll get a golden retriever or a dachshund, and everybody will have their own bedroom instead of her and her sibling sharing the second room, and if their oldest sibling comes home for a visit, somebody has to sleep on the couch, and that shit eats me up when she’s talking about a house because lolol I’m 46 man, I don’t have enough years of making money left in me to have a mortgage, nor am I even close to having shit together to afford a house in the area I live. It’s stacked against you, and I’ve got it better than so many people I know of too! It’s like this riptide that’s tearing many of us off into oblivion, and you fight constantly sideways, hoping to get closer to the shore where you see these illusions of others just frolicking around, having houses they renovate and shit, going on vacations to actual destinations, two car payments (or more), but you don’t get any closer. You get frustrated and quit fighting for like one month, and you’re ripped further out by the riptide. And even though all you can focus on is the people on shore, enjoying the good life promised in the brochure that you got handed in public school growing up, there’s a ton of people even further out into the sea of oblivion. And that’s our system.

People at work talking leisure life things eating another purchased lunch in the break room, one woman mocking a friend for not having furniture set up in the bottom floor of her renovated house yet, not Air-Bnb’ing that shit right, and how her friend should just go get some furniture at Ikea and get it set up right. Meanwhile, I’m thinking about how people like that further drive up rents, because their maximizing what they own’s output economically, but also the people who started out with access to wealth end up acquiring wealth more easily, so it’s a self-perpetuating system, and between the allegedly progressive faux-urban Air-Bnb gentrifiers, and the allegedly conservative faux-country new F150 drivers flying Blue Lives Matter flags beneath American flags on their manicured front lawn, it fills me with confusion and rage and wanting to smash everything into fucking dust, while also wishing I could hit the lottery and disappear the fuck off to a mountain somewhere in Peru forever. But then I remember I have to call creditors to try and get my minimum payments a little lower because I’ve got too many minimum payments running into conflict with each other because I haven’t hit the maximum out-of-pocket just yet even though hit the deductible again for the fourth year running, and I just concentrate on swimming sideways a little harder. You get too focused on those frolicking on the shore for too long, you’ll get yourself sucked further out into oblivion, so you gotta stay focused on swimming against the current sideways and keep praying you hit land before you drown.


Anonymous said...

"And even though all you can focus on is the people on shore, enjoying the good life promised in the brochure that you got handed in public school growing up, there’s a ton of people even further out into the sea of oblivion. And that’s our system."

Again, some seriously good stuff here Raven Mack, I find myself in a better place (economically) than many (some based on my on doing, some based on what was handed to me), but I too sometimes wonder "How in the **** does (enter name here) pull it off?" all the time...

Raven Mack said...

I'm sure **** does too. That's the nature of the system. Thank you for the kind words.