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.

Monday, March 8

SONG OF THE DAY: We Can't Make It Here

Went for a long walk down the dirt road I live along yesterday, teases of spring in the early March environment. Some ol’ dude with a beard in overalls (classic style) was hacking away some grapevines that were trying to cobra clutch some apple trees into submission. “How you making it today?” I asked, in my yokel ass ways. The guy stopped, sighed deeply, and said, “Well… slowly but surely, I reckon.” The “surely” was more “shorely”, and this of course unlocked about twenty minutes of shooting the shit. He and his wife lived in the garage apartment of the place up the road, where the big house was owned by some big doctor and his trust fund wife from the nearby university. They owned that place, an old logging chunk across the road with a five-acre lake, and 155 acres across the river too, which had just been logged. They weren’t hurting for money, but they logged it anyways. I guess according to ol’ boy, they had two grown kids who spent like a month there every summer, but lived in San Francisco and Boston. The couple themselves lived only half an hour away, but only stayed there in the summer, sporadically. But ol’ boy I was talking to and his wife were paid servants, to caretake the property. Ol’ boy, of course, told me about his triple bypass he had a couple years back. Got me to thinking about that old phrase “living off the fat of the land,” and how that used to be the rugged individual notions of America that feed our mythologies to this day. Much of the MAGA talk as well as neoliberal dreams are built off that living off the fat of the land. But there ain’t no fat on the land anymore. It’s all bought up. There no new worlds to find, to colonize, to continue the great western civilization ponzi scheme with. It’s just super rich folks, and the rest of us trying to find enough use to them to be on their payroll. We live off the fat of them, sucking sustenance out of the bones and scraps they throw us, after they’ve cherry-picked all the good parts. This is true of wealth, of land, of jobs, of non-profits, of the entirety of American civilization. They pick what they want, and toss us the rest. Some do it begrudgingly, and others do it sugar-coated with progressive mantras, convincing themselves they’re one of the good ones.
I’m luckier than ol’ boy. I bought my house – an old company house on executive’s row of a quarry that’s been mostly unproductive for the past century. But I could afford the house – one of the only ones I could afford in this entire area. But I’m first generation college graduate and affording a low end house (value-wise, not aura-wise… this house is dope as fuck). All I’m gonna have in this life is what I personally earn, no inherited wealth will ever come to me. When my dad died, my mom – whom he was no longer married to – had to take a personal loan out so we could bury him. And we put a collection pickle jar in the small engine repair shop he worked most all his life when he wasn’t too drunk to go in. I don’t say all this to bemoan anything about my life, because like I said, I’m doing good. No triple bypass yet, and hopefully after a few years, I’ll have more life insurance than Earthly debt, and maybe my kids can keep this house briefly after I’m gone. It’s all a gamble. But there is no fat of the land to live off at this point. Our culture has parceled it out, to where obscene factory farms rape our food from the depleted soil, and boutique elite folks create little organic operations to convince themselves they’re doing good in this late capital hellscape. They don’t farm it – others living off their fat do that, college-educated farm managers for the cheap and interns drunk off promises of a better world still being possible. Humanity has triple bypassed that shit though.
We’re not doomed though. We’re never doomed. I mean, because of the unrealistic greed of those who have hoarded all that fat, a lot of us will die, and continue to needlessly suffer. But people will keep scratching out lives upon the Earth for a long ass time. We’re too goddamn stupid and stubborn not to.

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