PART ONE: "NOW AND THEN"
The boomers are retiring. The pensions are coming due, and the tight budgeted retirement awaits. A lifetime spent working for the Man, and it’s time for Claude and Maude Workinstiff to don the sweater vest and go watch the sunset over the Walmart parking lot. Maude turns her stiff papery neck to crackle at Claude, "Look, honey! Youngsters!" Two people of the generation that came after them, going from gig to gig, on an eternal first Tinder date with careers. They sleep in the same parking lot.
Remember that time we invaded Afghanistan and flooded the States with heroin? Me too. More denizens of the parking lot. And i’ll be there too, with that big dirty stinkin bassline fuckin up your civil evening. Just cuz yer living the free and easy life of a motorbum, doesn’t mean you gotta suck Tech Money ass for christ sake
Let me tell you something, rube. Elon Musk doesn’t give a flying fuck how many workers pass out on the line in the Tesla factory. The pharoahs didn’t give a shit how many people died building the pyramids. Monocle T. Moneybags didn’t give give a shit how many people died building the railroads, and he wont give a fuck how many workers starve and choke in the asteroid mines. Make all the noise you want about how things used to be, but certain changes are long overdue around here.
But before I go and shatter your primitive conception of the Utopian Future ruled over by loving machines of the infotainment industry, let's take a dancing tour through time, to discover why there's so many fucking RVs and camper vans suddenly taking up every parking space on the west coast.
Most people, little people, the wealth they accumulate in their whole life is caught up in their house. I'm talking about the boojwah here, in the communist sense. The booj are the real people. They count, you don't. The booj got a job with benefits. The booj bought a house. The booj chases that dollar to pay that mortgage for most of the booj adult life, and when they finish up paying for that house, the booj is too caught up to think about anything past Married With Children. Sure, they make noises. Some times they hold signs. But the booj isn’t going the stop the gestapo. The booj doesn’t like talking about their weight, their age, or their dick size. The booj isn’t going to stop whats coming. Too busy payin that mortgage.
Now that the ratfuck landlord is in the whitehouse, lotsa booj gonna default on that mortgage. They know it, you know it, we all know it. So these worried little booj gotta do shit like this:
[ Image: These People Piss In Jars ]
You live in a van down by the river. The booj just bought a 60k superdeluxe, and they WANT that riverside spot. You gonna get neighbors. So here's what. Scope Seattle. Scope Portland. #VANLIFE, motherfucker. It's taking up all the parking spots around every park in Portland. It's under every over pass in Seattle. It's oozing out those tiny fuckin insult houses that trickled down the leg of polite liberal society.
California just legalized weed. Those few sellout ratfucks that went legal did it with the collusion of their cop buddies, and payouts on the county level. All the goons that grew that weed for them? That harvest that weed? That guarded that weed? They don't get benefits. VANLIFE meet TRUCKLIFE. Sitting on a hill waiting for the pigs with an antique AK doesn't pay 15k a year no more. So where they gonna go? Make space by the riverside, buddy. It's gonna get crowded.
Tell you what. We are about to freak the fuck out in this country. Fuck your paper, booj. Fuck your citizenship test, motherfucker. Fuck your driving license. This is #VANLIFE, motherfucker. We need safe harbors, and circled wagons. We need clean water and fresh ammunition, because shit is about to get fucked up.
[Image: That face when some asshole with a salary comes around asking stupid questions.]
Get the fuck out of my face with your tiny home. You want to retire your dumb ass in a shed? I want to see some blood motherfucker. You gonna eat that, motherfucker? Hand it over mother fucker. This is not the future you promised your children. This is bullshit.
You know what? Fuck Instagram phoneys anyway. If we make our own hash, we can make our own hashtags. #VANLIFE, meet #CANLIFE, and tremble!
#CANLIFE is cowboy communism, it is the smelly reality of people forced to insulate themselves from an alien and unpredictable environment. It is a survival strategy. It is beer and tuna and vienna brand chicken dicks. It’s prison and booty and the front lines of natural disaster. Good and bad people and things come in cans.
#CANLIFE is big in America. Ever since the European invasion, the ol’ Home Of The Homeless has been putting wheels under us and bars around us. Road culture in America is a product of the rootlessness of a settler colonial nation. In other words, American towns are just wide places in the road. Covered wagons poured over this country like locusts, and the trains followed, full of bums and speculators. As soon as Americans got their hands on affordable cars, they started decking them out with expanding tents and fold down seats on which you can sleep and fuck. Once the Dust Bowl became a thing, there were shit loads of people on the move, looking for work. The edges of towns all over the USA sprouted communities of wheeled poverty. The trailer followed soon after, probably so you could drive your car into town without having to bring your house.
The booj does not like seeing mobile homes, because it is not attached to a mortgage, and thus depreciates the value of a life spent paying mortgages. In order to maintain the bumbling numbness of the US housing market, property must be respected. By respected, they mean property must be bought, torn down, rebuilt shittier and flipped for more money then you bought it, as fast as possible as often as possible and fuck your feelings. Motor-homes mean less people buying cheaply constructed McMansions. They also mean less people paying rent. Motor homes mean less money flowing to the booj. And thats why you ain't allowed to sleep at rest stops in most states.
Of course some of the booj saw a market in selling shit to the huddled migrants, and stopped pretending the migrants didn’t exist long enough to take advantage. Instead of facing the wrath of traffic cops and vagrancy laws, the option was presented of clean parking lots providing a central shitter, clean drinking water, and relative protection from the raging agents of property. One thing led to another and the RV camp was born. For $40 a night, you can do what people have been doing for centuries, but with the added benefit of paying $40 a night. This is too much money. If I need a place to shit and an electrical hookup, I go to McDonalds, and they don't charge me a dime. Ask me in person where the exterior outlets always are. We can’t let the internet know that we know.
The KOA RV park in Kent Washington wants between $40 and $60 per evening spent in their badly named and racist parking lot. Kampgrounds Of America has some fucking explaining to do. People who spell CAMP with a 'K' should have their balls ripped off and shoved in their mouth. Same goes for people who overcharge the confused Retireds and buy up all the empty lots on the edge of town.
There is nothing recreational about living in a recreational vehicle. The people who recreate homelessness on the weekends are a bunch of losers. I’m not trying to speak against living in a house on wheels, I myself sleep in a BlueBird, and I’m not broke. But when you spread it around that RV life is this super deluxe fuckboi shit like you live here, you are not only lying, you are also in the way. Literally, the weekenders are in the parking spots, taking the resources, and increasing the cost of living for homeless people. This is because while the booj can not handle the idea of people LIVING in motorhomes, the booj LOVES the idea of people wandering the blasted earth in their last senile moments of life, wondering what the fuck happened. In other words, they turned your tragedy into their vacation.
With the advent of the Recreational Vehicle, the infrastructure for mobile homes around the country split into two groups, and met two entirely different responses from the booj. One has an image of luxury, of idle time spent enjoying the company of those close to you. Another image is of human garbage, laziness, inbreeding and waste. Yes, #VANLIFE enthusiast, we are going to_ that _ place, despite all your efforts to avoid the comparision.
The trailer park came into existence to make sure the ammunition factories were running. During WW2, factories were popping up in defensible locations in the middle of nowhere, producing material and equipment for the war effort. Since these factories didn’t occur where people already lived, the people had to move to the factory. Factory workers, dear reader, often can't afford new homes. At least one trailer company took advantage of this. They got a government contract to build a shitload of trailers and park them on a lot with electrical and water hookups. It was the same basic arrangement as the FEMA camps post-Katrina, except these trailers provided long term, stable jobs.
The people who lived in these camps could afford to own their house, but not the land under it. Houses, which usually increase in value, allow the owner to spend decades paying back loans because those loans don’t explode exponentially with massive interest rates. (Except that one time in 2008, which we apparently allow the fascists to blame on avocado toast and black people.) Auto-loans explode. Auto-loans have higher interest rates and allow you to buy things that decrease in value. After the original theft of “America” from Indiana, people who got land cheap* retain advantages over those who didn’t get a continent handed to them on a silver platter by small pox. (*I didn’t say ‘stolen’ in order to not fuck up your gentle sensibilities. You’re welcome.) The class divide is neatly summed up by what type of loan you are paying off: Mortgage, auto loans, or bail bonds. In other words: Owners, Customers, Products.
What does this have to do with cans?
We were talking about America, where some people live in aluminum cans and other people call them garbage.
Owners stack em. Customers eat out of em. What does it mean to live in one?
The tornado is hovering over the world, who does it love?
When the contract demands full bunks in the prison, who gets pulled over?
Where'd all the fucking sturgeon eggs go? The Tuna, and the Dolphin?
#CANLIFE. To each it's own private, common place apocalypse, an oblivion of tin and plastic wrap.
This is down-to-Earth, known shit. The war is over on this planet. Life lost. Property won. The sea levels rise to sweep clean the empty stage.
I was one of the lucky ones. I was in the woods when all the phones turned into facehuggers and ended the world. For a long time I thought I was the one who was crazy. (I'm not crazy. You're the one who's crazy. You're driving me crazy. They lock you up in these institutions and try to say the problem is yourself.) After years of shitty hippie food and AM radio, all I wanted was a fucking pepsi, so I left the god damn woods and came to the Big Loud City where everything smells like shit, and everyone is a gestapo pig man in a smiling mask waiting for a moment of weakness so they can shred your loved ones to pieces in your presence.
And you know what I found there? You.
And eLON muSK launched a car into space. And DonALd DuCKK was elected Pope or something. And nothing makes any fucking sense anymore.
So now I live in a short bus. I made the money for it by landscaping, helping push the median home price in Seattle to over $700,000. Thats double what it was 5 years ago, when humans supposedly still lived there. The police would chase the homeless camps around the city, and the home prices would go up, and the rent would go up, and the homeless herd would grow, and Russian Spies on the radio would say it's because the City of Seattle was too nice to their homeless, and so all the worlds' homeless had come there to roost like crows on a gallows.
But a can must enclose completely, in order to enclose at all. A pinhole of rust could give the whole family botulism. A nailhole could hold a string, and send messages along the line. I once knew a coffeecan full of holes that played an important role in a carburetor. When that can was on the fritz, the whole damn truck was nothing but a roadblock. And it fritzed plenty, let me tell you.
If all the people living in cans went on the fritz today, this world of lords and property would be rolled off the the side of a NorCal mountain road before you got back from the beer run. And then we'd get drunk and shoot the damn thing til the gas tank started leaking. And then we'd nuke the motherfucker and haul ass, whooping and hollering like morons in love.
END PART ONE : "NOW AND THEN"
Tune in next week for PART TWO: "NO, BUDDY. AFTER YOU!"