Money, Pink Floyd and Dreaming Big: I think I’ll Buy Myself A Campground!

It is one of those days, I didn’t know what I wanted to listen to. I put on Love, but it felt too sweet. I turned onto Television, and put on Marquee Moon, but the sun is up in the sky and it is too bright to fall into the arms of the Venus De Milo. I tried some Kinks, I flirted with Debbie Harry, but her Heart of Glass is playing to the boys. All of a sudden I had it. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon. That perfect prismal collection of sound and fury against The Man, growing old, existential questioning and extended mourning for the greatest lost band member of all time: Syd Barrett and his band that stopped playing his tunes and turned into something slicker and longer lasting. Emily stopped playing, Arnold Layne put down his knicker collection, and the days of candy and a currant bun melted into a psychedelic breakfast and one of the best selling albums of all time. The hippy acid freaks turned into a behemoth but didn’t lose their relevancy. They did, however make an awful lot of money.

I want to make money. I want to make so much money I don’t know how much money I have. I want so much money that it ceases to mean anything. I would like to not know how much I have down to the dollar dime and cent. I don’t want Lear jets, or fendi glasses, or a mansion in the Maldives. I don’t want to own a sports team, or run for office. I don’t need the library of Alexandria in my main home in some fancy east coast community. I don’t want Met gala tickets, I wouldn’t go if I was paid to. Rich and irrelevant people wearing clothes that cost more than most people’s houses, being primped and groomed like a highly strung showpony at a gymkhana. No thank you. I don’t need to see the latest Broadway show. I have no use for nice clothes, though I envy Lou Reed’s teeshirt collection. And possibly his leatherette gloves. The fingerless ones with the studs on. Somewhere deep inside I have the fashion tastes of the average (vegan) punk leather queen in CBGB’s c. 1978. OK….so not so deep. I almost bought a cute little village people hat and to hell with how ridiculous I would look. Heck if the lies of Chrissy Hynde can pull off looking like Keef Richards, I can manage a rock and roll animal aesthetic .

OK, so I am not perfectly ascetic. I like my new pot plants, and my comfortable bed. I like my pretty orange paisley comforter and my Georgia O’Keefe poppies poster. I don’t think having the original hanging on my wall would give me that much more pleasure, to be frank: I am a heathen. I have simple tastes. I admit I love the white tea made in a real tea pot – the one I rescued from the shop in Japantown, that had been broken and repaired. It now sits on my shelf waiting for me to fill it. I love my almost cutesy mug with totoro on the front, and I live in my orange vans that I didn’t know I needed until I wore them and found the comfy ungirly shoe of my dreams. I like having books. I love having electric and hot and cold running water and a toilet which is in my house not down a remote trail and covered in other people’s excrement and inhabited by bottle flies, that gather in garlands and feed on corruption. Bit like American politics, I guess; but I don’t need to run for office, nor have power to create or destroy beyond this page that I belong to and the books that are waiting for me to write them, and this time not get too high and self hating and burn them in the waste paper basket than cry when they are gone.

I don’t need any of this.

I need to soothe my guilty soul.

Once I have bought my house and secured my water and electric and garbage removal and gas supply, I need to go buy a campground.

Somewhere in the bay area that I can run water and electric to, have plenty of foliage and nicely marked out spaces, each with hook ups and access to electric and water. Some with sewage so a van or camper can be parked there, some with room for a tent and a car. A shower block. Bathrooms with sharps bins, vending machines run on tokens only that dispense U100s for the sensible, U50s for the speed freaks that have the patience and the fine veins and those horse needles for the roider’s who muscle their juice, wheel filters, safe thick foil, and clean cookers … and nice bright lights for all. And stalls that close all the way for a bit of privacy. Heck fuck marking them by gender, I’ll mark em ‘Ivy’ and ‘Grass’, so the smokers don’t have to share with the needle freaks, and the needle freeks can have ultra-bright lighting, and the smokers can have some fume extracting fans.

There will be no more rules than those the rest of the population have to live by – the laws of the land will suffice, alongside an edit to be kind and thoughtful. A loop for homeless families, and vulnerable people. A party loop, and one for those that like to live more quietly. OK, maybe one rule: if you have somewhere else to live or can afford a home, then you can’t live in my campground oasis. Spaces for the non-tourists and people who need them only.

No gatekeeping. No barriers. Those trailer parks that have entire books full of extensive rules to keep out the ‘undesirables are forgetting something: the people that society see as undesirable have to live somewhere, and that used to be trailer parksWhen the prices started to rise to outrageous sums of money for just a spot, just lot rent, it was clear that the snobs and the elitists wanted to make the entire world ‘executive’, ‘premium’ and ‘luxury’. Nothing affordable, or just plain adequate, or cheap or good value. They are all grubbing around for money that doesn’t exist. They are all after that 1 percent dollar. There are plenty of mansions on our many hills. There is a desperate need for the rest of us who are sitting outside the gate at dawn, blinking our eyes from the outside looking in at the basic necessities of life and wondering when the spoilt brats are gonna share the plenty there is to go around.

There are just not enough rich to go around all the housing that is provided for them. It sits there empty and unsold, failing to entice those who have, and not providing for those that have not. When I read about yet another luxury apartment block being built on the bay I had a temper tantrum that culminated in me playing metal machine music at full blast for precisely two minutes, before pulling myself together and having mercy on the neighbors. I like being inside. I don’t want to be thrown out over some toxic frequencies and military-grade noise. Lou was such a jerk. I love Lou. I put the headphones in and started to plot and plan, fancying myself a robin hood Machiavelli. Delusions of granduer darling. It is because I have a vase of flowers on my window sill…I almost think I am somebody now, instead of Nothing with my Nobody wondering if we were going to be allowed to breathe and be and stay together.

That family in the elderly RV, that is full of rust and covered in stickers, whose window coverings don’t match and that have a broken ripped awning, they can’t just disappear. They have to go somewhere. Society would rather people like me just dropped down dead, and I hate to comply, but I came very close to it more times than I care to remember. I like to think that I have people who are glad I am alive and kicking.

There are some who would rather I never existed at all. I am a pain in the ass. A problem. A difficulty. Get off the lawn, get out of the parking lot, get off the sidewalk, get out of the shelter. Get get get out of this planet. you are too poor and too different, and too fucked up and too recalcitrant. I don’t co-operate. I can’t abide by the way society runs. I read a tweet from a very antsy but brilliant vegan animal rights activist that said something along the lines of ‘if this worked can’t stop being a capitalist nightmare that insists on money over people and living creatures, if it doesn’t want to stop being so cruel, then could they please tell them, because they will just give up and go shoot dope.” Amun. Ra. I’ll be right there after I have given up too. Meanwhile I need to earn all this money that it will take to buy a nice piece of land, and turn it into a campground.

I want to give people a community, something they want to participate in, a reason to drag themselves up and breathe in the air. I want people to feel needed and wanted, and not looked down on for the dope they do, to the weed they smoke or the fact they cannot abide with society and it’s rules, or get along with others. Society breaks people, and then wants them to die as quickly as possible so they don’t mess up the grass. The lunatics are on the grass indeed. Except people cannot be simple rearranged until they are sane. Give the loud and the shouters, the difficult and the partiers a place to go. Let them do their thing, without terrorizing those that need and want a more peaceful existence. Once people don’t feel alinenated they tend to find ways to contribute. People want to give. The outsiders, after all, ‘are only ordinary men’, just people who need a chance to find their equilibrium. Any color you like as long as it is green as the basis for a society, for dealing with people is no way to help us succeed. Once you do not have, getting to the point of having is an impossible slog, mostly based on luck and the kindness of others.

Gardens. An animal shelter. A team to collect trash. A team to clean the bathrooms. Somewhere to create and make a life. Somewhere that no one has to leave once they are in. Somewhere that camping isn’t seen as something that tourists do, and the livers get thrown out like trash, when they pay all year for a space, but are the first to go when Mavis and Gerald from Stockton want to spend a week under the trees in someone else’s living spot. Enough money to buy a place, set it up, and pay the utilities. A store room full of tents and gear. A food pantry for donations to be distributed. An idyllic little set up for people to live. No more rules and no more laws, and no more demands, and no less privacy than any one else ever has. A place where people are set up to succeed, and never have to pay to stay.

Me and Roger Waters, both dirty little commies from different sides of the tracks, but seeing eye to eye on some of this stuff. His bassline is the best thing about Dark Side of the Moon, rolling along on a wave of funk and anger. Angry at money. Angry at Time, angry at the brain damage that takes away our friends, and trying to breathe breathe in the air that is taxed, on land that is stolen and then horded like a dragon sits over gold, and lives which are bought and sold and defined by the rules that are invented by old rich, straight white men and have no concern for the lives of the little people they destroy and ruin as they chortle and grin and consume and imbibe and destroy and ruin this world all for their cognac and their slippers, and their multiple houses and their children’s showjumping careers. The ancient redwoods aflame? Who cares! That nasty money they make means they are alright, Syd, fuck the rest of ’em.

“And all you that you touch, and all that you see, all that you taste, all you feel, and all that you loved and all that you hate, all you distrust. All you save, And all that ….you buy beg borrow or steal….” sings Gilmour with an insistent rasp in his voice. All of it hoarded. This world cannot let people be. They own it all. All the distrust, all the hate, all the love all the land, all the possibility, all the oil. All of it. I just want a campground that people can live in and not be charged for it, that provides enough to save a few lives and give people some dignity back.

There was a time that I could not have lived inside. A few times actually. I was not capable of abiding by the rules that living inside entails. I needed the very lowest barrier to safety. I was not alone. There are others who are in their lives where I once was. Shelters have barriers to their services, as anyone who has followed me for very long knows. I struggled to comply and found these barriers and extra rules that the housed population don’t have to follow, to be almost impossible to follow. At times these rules made me feel mentally unwell, unable to cope, and caused me great distress. I still cannot laze around and feel safe doing so. I keep thinking I will be required to be present and correct and available for others to inspect. Living rough on the street you never get to undress. If you are living in a parking ot, you had better have yer boots on and yer outside clothes fully buttoned, baby. I struggle to relax.

I wanted to sit today in my pajamas and laze around. It is stupidly hot because global warming caused by the men who make money and who put money and economies which are not sustainable over the Earth and Her needs and cimate change realities. I couldn’t do it. I felt too vulnerable. I threw on my jeans and drew the curtains. I am ready for ’em. Ready for the inspectors, ready for the government gangs who come after people like me who are not documented sufficiently. I am ready for the trouble. I am ready to head off problems at the pass, but I hope and I hope and I hope that I don’t need to be.

Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, `and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!‘ Syd crept under that door…and then grew so big he couldn’t get back in again…I guess we will ‘see him on the dark side of the moon’

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