(Excerpted from The Grateful Unrich: Chapter 11: Sushi, Day Work & Crazy Horse)
Honolulu’s homeless hoards gather at the city’s parks to bed down for another 65 degree night. The nightly parade of shopping carts, garbage bags and tattered sheets keeps watch over seedy Waikiki like a sentinel- as if beckoning to the conscience of the revelers, who prepare for another night of opulence and orgy.
Japanese investors continue to swallow up real estate in the islands, driving prices beyond the reach of locals, evicting delinquent tenants, usurping native Hawaiian land and destroying small businesses. Even this oasis has given much ground regarding its old wise ways, now sold to the highest most ignorant new bidder. The neon tourist glow of Waikiki is like a beacon of darkness and a death knell to homeless and native Hawaiian alike.
Today I decide that taking another job in Honolulu will require a reverse quantum leap in day-to-day consciousness which I am not prepared to take. I wonder if I will end up in a Honolulu park to pay for such dignity. No job exists which does not pay the devil’s currency. Each new job rips a new wound in the fragile umbilical cord which connects the human psyche to the planet.
Each new wound is added to old scars, first opened when man ceased to be nomadic and instead chose a sedentary agricultural existence- or was, as Zechariah Sitchin argues, forced into agriculture by Annunaki space aliens turned international central bankers with lizard genes.
Now – with the constraints of private property ownership a foregone conclusion – the hunting and gathering nomadic life is no longer a survival option. Indeed, what few nomadic peoples remain on this planet are the constant targets of resettlement campaigns and domestication, as they have been for centuries. The wound festers badly, infected with alchemical delusions so profoundly illogical and short-sighted that the organism earth may soon find no other option than to induce these madmen into committing collective suicide.
To work at a job for any length of time is to cast oneself a player in this tragic theater which showcases and enables man’s confusion about who he is.
Your career choices are essentially three: (1 you can help produce unnecessary consumer goods to dumb down minds, while contributing to the pollution of rivers, watersheds and air, all the while perpetuating Third World peasant sweatshop exploitation. (2 you can help cram the needless consumer shit down people’s throats- otherwise known as marketing. (3 you can wipe the asses of the money class as either servant service worker or counter of his money.
Our connectedness to what we eat is via overcrowded corporate feedlots, dingy slaughterhouses, DDT-glazed fields of genetically engineered crops, gas-guzzling trucking firms and polished Dupont-manufactured cellophane grocery store displays. If you have enough money you can shop at Mother Earth’s Gouge-arama Grocery, where you will develop a keen sense that none of these latte-sipping bozos ever ran any buffalo over cliffs. So we flounder in our makeshift material utopia, our realm of possibilities encapsulated within a cardboard box made at Rockefeller Paper Company.
Across Kapiolani Blvd. there is a park next to a pier where you can take a glass-bottomed boat tour to pester the fish for $100. Cars buzz to and fro’. An old man lays down his harmonica in favor of another swig of fermented resignation. The man beneath the torn blanket next to him doesn’t move a muscle. Beside their expropriated bench are two double-parked shopping carts containing all worldly possessions.
Further down the sidewalk lie two more bodies, then a whole fleet of shopping carts ostensibly obtained via a late-night raid at Safeway. Some contain aluminum cans, the currency of choice of these park-dwellers. Others hold plastic coverings for frequent rainy days, old couch cushions, mismatched pairs of dirty socks, glass bottles and mostly empty cigarette cartons. What others throw away, these messiahs survive upon- modern hunter gatherers with dignity intact, recycling the haste and waste of a morally bankrupt system. Throw away people surviving compliments of the throw away society, which they have decided to indeed throw away. I wonder if their lives are not more complete than most.
The old Hawaiian revs up his harp again, as if inspired by my thoughts. His melody is more powerful now. Suddenly he breaks into the old “from the halls of Montezuma” military tune just as an army chopper steals its way through the emerald green valley to the inland side. How strange and surreal that this man of zero means would remain so steadfastly patriotic and loyal to a system which has spit him out onto this Honolulu park bench, sucking his blood like a vampire to feed its material addiction.
The longer I observe these people, the less I pity them. What have they done but traded in their VCRs, their TVs and their appliances for freedom. No more bills, no more deadlines, no more Western subservience to time itself. In a sense they are liberated from the mass confusion created and reinforced daily by those playing by society’s rules.
Yes, Reagan and his Mafia Joes are cruel to them, but they are cruel to all who are not oligarchs. These homeless vagabonds have in one sense subverted the Reagan doctrine by rejecting the minimum wage management by dictatorship guilt-trip which makes most of us slaves. These hobos are the vanguard of the anarchist revolution.
Marxists simply attempt to reverse the flow of materialism from a rich ruling class to a proletariat poor ruling class. They still covet “stuff” and embrace the industrialization which provides the stuff. These dropouts turn the whole accumulation game on its head, rejecting power over others at any level. They revile power itself.
They are the definition of anarchy. They hang out in the park with family and friends- laughing, crying, shitting behind trees in the dark. They consume very little, contributing almost nothing to the industrial beast that pollutes and devours the planet. They are not to be pitied, but rather to be consulted as teachers who can lead us out of this economic cycle of violence which gnaws at our barely conscious souls.
Liberals would tell you that these people are victims with no choices; that they are sentenced to live in this park by racial bigotry, lack of social programs and the high cost of housing. These conditions do indeed exist, but this argument always seems to carry a condescending tone which disregards these people’s wisdom and abilities and the fact that many choose to live this way.
Conservatives, as usual, are just plain stupid regarding the homeless issue- citing alcoholism, mental illness and “the liberal media” to relieve their consciences of moral quagmire.
In the final analysis, no matter what social evil the liberals cite and no matter which psychological deviation the conservatives attempt to conjure up, most of the people in this park have simply come to the realization that the system which creates these political classes is rigged and that their lives are better off if they reject the whole enchilada. Hunting and gathering as they move about, regularly run off of private property, they are the persecuted anarchist nomads of our time.
A drunken old man stumbles onto the bench next to me and stretches out for a snooze. An afternoon shower quickly formulates, swooping down on the park in its typically sideways manner from windward side. As I reach into my bag for cover, the man under the torn blanket rises and goes to wake up the old drunk. “Uncle”, he hollers in a firm affectionate tone familiar to these streets, “lift your head up.” The old man complies. The younger one shoves a bag of old clothes under the old man’s head and covers him with his own blanket and a plastic sheet. “Ain’t nobody gonna’ bother you here. At least they better not.”
I am offered a job selling stereo speakers to unsuspecting bar owners around Oahu at twenty times their value. If I accept I can stay in the warmth of March Hawaii with a roof over my head, cruising the island in the company Astro van. What a life! Will I forsake revolutionary zeal for creature comforts?
Visions of watching Wrestlemania at some surfer bar on the North Shore with its rightful mafia owner make my decision an easy one. I fly to the Big Island instead and burn through my savings peering into volcanoes and enjoying the solitude and lack of tourists.
Back on Oahu, my plane leaves tomorrow morning for Los Angeles.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve & Stickin’ it to the Matrix. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com