It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Drift versus Adrift: In that realm of possibility...

Hobo class
Mental cases
Surrealist walkers
Gutter Punks

It seems clear that what is needed is a description of what I call 'exile'. Well, simply put, it's that we are becoming more and more rootless from a lived-in-common human(e) experience, rushing towards an infinitely abstract sense of existence, an uber-alienation. From ourselves, from each other, from nature. Or, out of poetry and into mere atoms. From a belonging or a home in totality, we have lost both in favour of individual freefall. So, we have been exiled from a previous but tenuous homeland.

That's a lot of belief in paradise eh? But I believe a journey to or return is not impossible, in the same way that common sense prevails everyday as we hold a door open for the next person and don't randomly stab passersby.

But as explained own sense of returning to belonging is slowly being eroded towards a more immediate zone of comtemplative chaos. Neither rant-o-matic nor chill bunny. More a relaxation. Is that possible without feelings of guilt? Of course not. Feel selfish. Of course...

It's a double exile then. Original alienation, then alienation from the realms of the possible - the political-eschewing scene of punk-anarchism and the practical and antagonistic theory of autonomous marxism.

So it seems like a return to the slap in the face of the conundrum Drift or Adrift. I've been drifting for too long...but drifting in a confined space. It seems that the horrifying possibities of being adrift seem romantic and attractive now.

For what is the realm of the adrift. It's to burn ones bridges. To remove oneself, to cut the links, to erase the be mysteriously free then from the chains of exile. By being adrift we chance upon secret passages, underground rivers, stolen moments and lucky companions (comrades?) in wholly new circumstances. But the likelihood of pain and dementia is high. Who can cut themselves off from the certainty of belief or of belonging without swapping discontentment for possible madness. If you can check Ben Reitman's social map of the underclasses, 'Outcast Island', you'll see the separation between those who can step in and out of imagined revolution and those who have genuinely burnt all bridges towards liberation, but not always under the best of circumstances.

My drift towards being adrift happily seems less like a ramble down Skid Row than a tumble into the unknown after a long period of perceived knowing.

to be continued...maybe!

('On 17th November 1910 in the Pacific Hall on West Broadway, New York, Ben Reitman, the infamous hobo, orator, anarchist, doctor and lover of Emma Goldman), orchestrated an event he called 'Outcast Night'. Anarchist intellectuals, including Goldman, witnessed a discussion featuring various types of social outcasts, among them hoboes, prostitutes, 'homosexuals' and criminals. The hall was crowded and the event had attracted the press. The audience was treated to a number of appearences by various outcasts from Hippolyte Havel, the Outcast Psychologist (speaking on why the outcast is the most important member of society), to Arthur Bullard, the Outcast Moralist...and Sadakichi Hartman, the Outcast Poet (reading his unpublishged sex drama 'Mohammed'. At the end of the evening, Reitman took the opportunity to reveal his 'social geography' - a talk based on a large map of an imaginary peninsular and islands painted on a piece of canvas' - The Tramp In America, Tim Tresswell, 2001
Geographically, the beggars, tramps, hobos and whores of Criminal Island are separated by the Sea of Isolation from the freelovers, freethinkers, cranks and anarchists of Radical Island. Elsewhere, in the Ocean of Despair, two islets remain uninhabited: Utopia and Freedom. Know what I mean?


ryder said...

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RUINIST said...