Monday, May 28, 2007

aimless blog

in less than a week, i've become addicted to ryan's blog, which he updates multiple times a day from his mobile phone. (he actually gives out his phone number on his blog, 614-738-3867). talk about mixing low tech (wearing the same underwear everyday) and high tech (blog posting from a phone). here are some notable recent excerpts from his blog:


"You are NOT free if you live in fear of a 160-Lb guy with a backpack, America. Sadly, that's clearly the prevailing trend. Maybe I'm out here to free you."

"That's funny: A car with a WWJD plate just flew by. If you're really that unsure, pal, I can tell you WJWHD: He would've stopped and offered a ride!"

"You don't need to behave as Jesus would. All you need is a "Jesus" license plate. If you have one of those, you're good. No, really. Seriously."

"Being a corporate ass kisser doesn't connect you with the right people. Being a 'BUM' leads you to the right people. I know because I have met some of the most awesome people on the planet by being a bum."

7 comments:

revolutionite said...

Then by his definition I'm not free and probably never will be. As a female in this country that seems so prone to the degradation and abuse of it's women, I will always be wary (at the very least) of any man walking down the side of the road looking for a ride--or not. That's the reality I live in and it was created by the society I live in.

docrivs said...

We create our own 'reality', really. 'Society' and 'culture' are constructed by people, and they are constantly evolving and changing, growing, adopting, rejecting, creating, destroying, and disappearing.

Your statements seem to reflect a sense of constancy and inevitability that does not reflect the 'reality' that I see, especially: "That's the reality I live in and it was created by the society I live in." Also, it seems to me that your statements reflect a very cynical and pessimistic view about the world (one of the many character traits I try to squelch within myself), and maybe that is another reason why you fear a backpacker walking down the side of the road.

I certainly understand your point-of-view, because the fact is that you can only trust a stranger to a certain extent. It's okay to feel a little wary, and it's okay to be a little cautious. It makes good sense, because you really don't know what any given stranger's intentions are. However, how do you expect to form a community and get acquainted with the good people of this world if you don't, from time to time, make an effort to talk with a stranger?

Our global culture, embraced by the people of America and the world over, does have a tendency to encourage behaviors that seem to degrade or abuse women. Patriarchical rule is part of our long cultural history, and although there are other types of social systems that are being tried and have been put into place, the patriarchical rule system is embedded deep. However, change is not only possible, but it is very, very visible. Revolutionary change is thought to be instantaneous, but political, social, and cultural changes can take a long time.

In my rambling way, I am thinking that it is still good to hold an idealistic view and to embrace positivity and to enact change in that way. Ryan is doing that right now. Ryan wants to be an agent of change, and he is doing it. His words can be sharp and black and white sometimes, but he believes it is most important to speak freely. I admire that very much, and I hope that the world that you see as being inevitable will change right before your eyes. Certainly, we all need to take part in enacting this kind of change.

I enjoyed your comment, and I enjoy this blog of Lew's. I also enjoy Ryan's blog very much, and I hope that we can make this into a big conversation, instead of an internet bashing session that is so typical these days.

revolutionite said...

Ok, but I’ve just had a couple of beers, so this isn’t going to be particularly witty or articulate, really. Call me an incredibly optimist realist. I am always optimistic that people can be better, can achieve good. However, I am also female, 5’7” and about 114lbs on a good day. My realistic side won’t allow me to pick up a man on the side of the road. Does this keep me from meeting and getting to know strangers? Not at all. It’s like I have a sign on my forehead flashing neon inviting people to talk to me and talk to me they do. In daily life I am happy to engage strangers, but I won’t get in a car with them on a lonely road. This doesn’t mean I am not free, it means I’m wise and alive to see another day, to touch another soul. Nice to meet you doc.

Ryan M. Powell said...

No, that's not what I meant, Revolutionite. I think it is completely understandable that women almost never offer me a ride, for exactly the reasons you would probably never stop to pick me up. When I wrote about people not being free, I was talking about people in Jacksonville Beach who freaked out and called the cops immediately after they saw me walking through their neighborhood on my way to the beach, assuming I must have been a burglar. It apparently never occurred to them that the 55+ lbs on my back might slow down my getaway.

I was also talking about the countless freaks in affluent Lake Mary who called the cops because I was standing next to an interstate on-ramp, trying to get a ride, occasionally pointing my camcorder at myself to capture what I was thinking at the time. As they drove by, their first thoughts were: He must be a terrorist; I need to call the cops.

It's time to get real, people. That's all I was saying. The world is not as dangerous as most people want to believe, at least not in the ways they think it is so dangerous. I'm not out to get you or bomb your stupid bridge in your stupid affluent town. Nor are homeless guys or black guys or Mexican guys or other guys with long hair. Unless you associate regularly with violent criminals, there is almost a 100 percent likelihood that you will not be the victim of a crime. Even then the chances are still slim. "The News" is full of shit, OK.

All I was saying is that unreasonable fear is the opposite of freedom. You can't have both. If you are fearful, you are not free.

I do not envy those people driving BMWs and Lexuses and whatnot in Lake Mary. They apparently have plenty of money and material riches, but they are not the slightest bit wealthy because they don't live in reality. They think they're inherently more important, more valuable than me and you and all the other real people, and they're just plain wrong. YOU have a legitimate reason for never stopping to pick up someone like myself; THEY, on the other hand, would never do it only because they are soulless and bound by fear.

I just make observations as I travel from place to place. They're usually nothing personal because I really don't care if I get a ride most of the time; I have nowhere to be. No one owes me a ride or a meal or anything, but some towns are full of people who would gladly give me a ride or a meal, while other towns are full of people who would never let riff-raff like myself touch their Lexus.

Does that clear things up a little?

Ryan M. Powell said...

Hey pal, I have seven or eight pairs of underwear with me.

revolutionite said...

It does Ryan. It means you can see the difference between a little woman with what I perceive to be a rational wariness and an obnoxious self obsessed ass and that’s a good thing. There are members of my family who are just like the people you describe. They are governed by money and all of its trappings. They pick and choose to whom they will bestow the bounty of their riches. It makes them feel good about themselves. They will look down their noses at some, bless another with a gift and call themselves good Christians. I have to confess though, sometimes it’s a fight for me not to become lost in that financial trap, to not value financial security above and beyond what is good. But with people, I don’t struggle as much. I know I’m no better than anyone else. I know I don’t deserve anything more than anyone else. Though I see the world and everyone in it on an even playing field, I do have a bit of a reverse snob in me: I’m wary of those in positions of authority and I have a hard time trusting people who seem just a little too straight. Anyway, thanks for taking the time and happy trails out there. Oh and hey, good going with the underwear. ;->

Ryan M. Powell said...

And yes, I consider Lew one of the awesome people I've met by being a bum.

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