Monday, May 14, 2012

Getting personal, things that motivate me

Because many of my writings here are very ex cathedra and anonymous. In fact, this site started out anonymously until 2007, roughly five years, so I suppose old habits die hard.

In any case, when I look at things that have shaped my political perspective I have now, three stick out:

First, growing up in the country in Michigan, in roughly the middle of nowhere, in a lower middle class family. I lived north of the Detroit Metro area, and although we moved around some in the area that forms the border between Macomb and Lapeer counties, for the last years I lived there we lived in a small town where it was obvious that the powers that ruled it were the richer conservative Christians. Our family was not particularly well off, it was liberal, and pretty atheist/agnostic (although coming from a Christian background). The conservative forces of the town, with their moralizing, were linked to money.

Second, when I was sixteen we moved to the inner suburbs of the Detroit and I had the privilege of attending a private school in a very wealthy town. Our family had a very unexpected reversal of fortune that allowed us to live around wealthy people whose everyday life I never even imagined existing outside of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". The private school, a very liberal and progressive one, was fine, but the education in inequality by the ostentatious wealth that was around in the area, was provided in your face on a daily basis.

Third, after going away to college (to NYU, a very selective and very expensive school), I contracted a mysterious illness that prevented me from concentrating for long periods of time to the point where I could no longer read or write. I left NYU on good terms, with the counselors helping me out quite a bit, very encouraging, but when I got back home I walked into a wall of health care bureaucracy, that questioned whether I even had an illness and that put enormous obstacles in my way to getting this disease, that had stopped my college career in its tracks, addressed. The dumbth and utter incompetence of the people I encountered was astounding. This was under the same sort of health care plan that most people have, nothing special there.

The consequences of this corporate health care world  disrupted my life to the point where, after trying to go back to college (at another school besides NYU), and facing a hostile school administration, including a counselor who was a near psychopath, I decided to not only drop out of school but to drop out of society in general. I had some connections with relatives in the Florida Keys, and so I left school and moved there, adopting the "Keysie" lifestyle, which is similar to the lifestyle of beach bums in Hawai'i, and on the beaches in Southern California,( a reference for folks on the West Coast who've never been to Florida).

I was totally committed to living an alternatively lifestyle completely separate from the system, and I have no apologies for that.

Anyways, those are the three most important events that shaped my political perspective, with the added bonus of school in New York City showing me even more inequality through the contrast between the lives of my fellow NYU students and the rest of the city playing it's part.

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