Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Everything

Saturday, October 15, 2011—Long Beach, CA

Finally feeling better. Three weeks almost to the day of pain—which has been moving from my back to my hip to my hamstring in a kind of circle—finally broke a bit yesterday. It got so bad that I had to take three classes off so I could heal a bit. Now, though, I can feel that I’m on the way to being myself again. I can now definitely understand now how people with long-term pain issues can become addicted to painkillers or in extreme situations off themselves—continuous pain just wrecks your life and eventually starts taking away who you are.

Because of my injury there’s really been nothing much going on in my life: I’ve mostly just been trying to get thru what I have to to keep my life functioning. One big thing has happened, though. This weekend I broke ground on the third novel in the Backwaters series. It’s been welling up in my for a while, so I wasn’t surprised, but it’s still a great feeling to have it underway. I’m only a handful of pages into it , but already I like where it’s going. Also, ideas as to what I can do with the book are also flying thru my head, which can’t be anything but a good sign.

On the subject of the Backwaters books, I’ve started the process of finding a publisher/agent for them: I’ll have them off to Canongate, a large independent based in Scotland next week. I’ll also be trying Soft Skull, a smallish U.S. house based out of Berkeley. As usual, I’m not expecting anything, but I’m not pessimistic either: I know I’ve written something special and it’s just a matter of time before these books land in their proper home. I’m beginning to wonder, though, if maybe this “proper home” might be Burning Shore Press. I’m so soured on capitalism at the moment that I just can’t see how any publisher operating in that world will get what I’m trying to do; these novels are so beyond capitalism, so beyond the socio-economic structure of today that I don’t think they can find an audience except thru slow word-of-mouth methods—they need to percolate up thru things, like the cultural equivalent of groundwater becoming a spring. Then again, who know where things are going culturally?

For years—decades really—a lot of us have been wondering when people would finally hit the saturation point and start rising up and take down those who have created this incredibly exploitive world economic infrastructure, which is designed mainly to funnel wealth from those who actually work for it upwards to those who don’t. I think this saturation point has finally been hit. These “Occupy” protests that are now spreading around the world will just get larger and more radical. We want nothing less than to control our own neighborhoods, cities, countries, our own economic systems, our own environmental relationships—we want to control our own lives, in other words. I keep hearing people say how these demonstrations will fizzle out. I doubt it. So many of us have hit the wall—we simply have nowhere else to go: our futures are being taken from us, have been taken from us. When you have no future you fight in the present. The bailout of the banking system (with our money), for its benefit, not ours, combined with the collapse of the housing market and employment opportunities, seems to have been the final straw: it really brought home to the average person how things work. Now that this has happened people will start to really figure out why they work the way they do—the mechanics of how they’ve been getting screwed their whole lives, to put it another way. How things will proceed for this point is hard to say. I do believe, though, that we’re in for nothing less than a complete restructuring of huge aspects of government and economic systems. If these systems don’t exist to benefit the vast majority of us then what do they exist for? Once people get this one the whole house is coming down. I can’t wait until that wrecking ball starts swinging …

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