I’ve been meaning to write about my experience at the Porcupine Freedom Festival (PorcFest) (PF), and I hope this weekend to draft that piece: all of the speakers I saw, the interesting people I met, the Big Gay Dance Party…

…but I’m still suffering from Post PorcFest Depression (PPFD). The act of returning to statist land is also known as Post PorcFest Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPFTSD).

A little bit of denial is taking place, because real life in the USSA is not the same, by a long shot. Here is what it was like to be at PorcFest:

I stepped out of the car onto Roger’s Campground’s private property. The smell of smoking pork wafted in the air. Hundreds of kids were homesteading the pool. Anarchists were everywhere — walking, chumming, hobnobbing, networking, high-fiving, smoking, drinking, open carrying, Vaping, NAPing, and otherwise being awesome liberty-loving individuals. Instantly — IMMEDIATELY — I knew I could talk to any of them and we would be friends. All of the anti-social armor I tend to wear — which many people tend to wear in “public” — fell like scales from my body.

Dylan!

this guy!

I was in the liberty city on the hill. It was no shining beacon; it was muddy and wet and hot and miserable. But I was happier than I’ve ever been. Sure, anarchy might not be perfect, but it is better than the state. Right beyond the Roger’s parking lot was a community known as Agora Valley. This was PorcFest City’s Business District. In case you are wondering, in this stateless society, there were indeed roads. We consumers managed to navigate them safely. I don’t recall any accidents. I did see a lost hat, however. Fortunately, the first site in the entire campground, Fr33 Aid, kept a Lost & Found. Imagine losing your hat on a government road:

I lost my phone on Tuesday night and I found it on Thursday afternoon in one of the Lost & Founds. Only in a free society would I have ever found it…

AGORA VALLEY: from poutine, to hemp socks, to paleotillas, to handmade jewelry, to silver rounds, to PorcFest underwear, to ad space via the green laser guy, to slices of pie at 2 am — ANYTHING was for sale in Agora Valley. Once you stepped into the actual campground, more vendors abounded. One site situated perfectly next to the bathrooms had a full-out diner set-up (MAKIN’ BACON PANCAKES!); another nearby sold bulletproof coffee and massages; I won’t divulge the details of PF’s underbelly (you’ll have to go there, yourself).

From the first talk I attended (Jeff Berwick) to the last (Jeffrey Tucker), I forgot that I had this thing called a “crappy job” and this thing called “citizenship.” We were all our own selves for however many days we were at PorcFest. Before attending, my Liberty.me amies Adam Hoisington, Jessica Lee, and I all wondered how we’d get along and how the entire event would go. Little did we know, we’d all change in little, yet important life-changing ways.

avec la vigilante de le dollar et mon L.moi amies!

avec la vigilante de le dollar et mes L.moi amies!

What do you mean, Rich?

Well, we had to go home at some point.

Riding high from a week of anarchism, of freedom, of liberty, of voluntary exchange with other peaceful human actors on private property, and doing whatever the hell we wanted as long as it was peaceful (well, I can’t speak for anyone else, I did whatever the hell I wanted to) without fear of some blowhards with bullets and a monopoly of force to stop us, it was a bit of a drag to return to the real world for the first time in my life.

I was dropped off by my wonderful friends Sean and Jess. An hour later my body demanded rotisserie chicken, so I limped to the grocery store. I limped because I had contracted a case of Slept-In-A-Puddle-Tent-PorcFest-Trench-Foot (SIAPTPFTF), which is a miserable affliction. Stepping into the grocery store was depressing as hell. I could not talk to these strangers like I already knew them! At PorcFest, I met someone and ten minutes later we were taking pics of ourselves smokin’ cigars and wearin’ loincloths and otherwise doing things no one in statist-land does. At PorcFest, within four days, I met and made real friendships with ten people or so. In real life, I haven’t met ten cool people in ten years.

627

this gal!

Try smiling at some passerby in any statist-land place of business. You will be ignored, or you will get some shy little “uh, ok” lookaway. So depressing. Why is the world like this? The state wants us to be fearful, tense, shy, quiet, standoff, afraid, and most of all, BROKE. When you go grocery shopping of all things, the state wants you to be miserable. “I can’t afford the real brand so I will buy this crappy store brand instead…sigh, I wish my life were better…” I have a habit of checking the headlines on the local papers and the Investor’s Business Daily, but that night, I wanted to spit on those rags. Instantly, I was righteous. I hated the USG. I wanted private property and PorcFest Forever (PFF!).

CAM00413

sigh

Then came the Raymond Town Fair (RTF). Police state main street USA…

I live right across from the common, the main stage. When I received the schedule in the mail, I groaned. Fireworks at 10pm on a worknight? Shit. A blues/rock band playing into the late hours? Better be good (groan, they’re no CCR). The “fire truck parade” sounded like a horrible experience (and trust me, it was a horrible sound from my apartment). Groan x3. State parades are terrible experiences for anyone. Like I mentioned on the Fourth of July, I saw folks covering their ears. It was delightful to see subconscious acts of rebellion against the aggression of the state.

I was sitting on my stoop and reading a book as the statist parade crept into town in its chaotic force. I heard a girl ask her friends right in front of me, “What is this? What’s going on?” And I replied loudly, “It’s a racket!” but she ignored me completely.

I noticed every single being of life that passed by, whether human, bird, bee, or spider, while I read my Thoreau biography, but this girl didn’t even hear me yell from three feet away (and the sirens weren’t that loud yet). Befuddled, I looked back into my book:

“Such is beauty ever,” wrote Thoreau, “neither here nor there, now nor then, neither in Rome nor in Athens, but wherever there is a soul to admire it. If I seek her elsewhere because I do not find her at home, my search will be a fruitless one.”

Beautiful girls aside, I felt pretty damned alone when the only person who acknowledged my existence on the stoop was a guy who wanted to know where the bar was. When the sirens got loud, I went up into my apartment to hide, but the sound was worse. I thought a SWAT team was about to kick my door down. Good ol’ Raymond police state set that precedent.

SHUT UPPPPPP!

SHUT UPPPPPP!

Fortunately, it was all over in a few minutes. The sun was setting and the blues/rock band started rocking their generic scales and generic lyrics. I’ll give the “Mississippi saxophone” player some credit for his harmonica riffs, but the lyrics were terrible and the music was basic. Blues and rock are supposed to be edgy and, dare I say it, free. Not beholden to the scales. I get it, though. This band is there to please the family audience. Markets… Everytime I took off my headphones, I heard “baby, baby!” or “get on the dance floor!” Ach, ugh, uhhh, bleeeccch.

It reminds me of a recent FB post by Jeff Berwick:

Finally planning Anarchapulco… headline musical acts. Who would you like to see: Immortal Technique, Lupe Fiasco, Vinnie Paz, Public Enemy, KRS One, MOLOTOV OFICIAL… or others? Total anarchist festival on the beach in the 4th most dangerous city on Earth and the most anarchic city in North America.

Total danger! Right? Vote for your favorite anarcho-artiste. PorcFest South of the Border (PFSOTB)! But not here in statist Raymond…

A quick note about ROADS, since that is the topic that everyone loves to hate on anarchists for. I mentioned above that Roger’s Campground’s private roads worked great. Meanwhile, in the photo above you can see a cop installing a STOP sign on a one-way road that runs down one side of the common. The other road was shut down for the fair. The one-way was turned into a two-way. At one end of the road, a rinky-dink teeny-bopper cadet was “directing” traffic while pedestrians crossed the road (because the crosswalk wasn’t enough, apparently). At this end, the intersection with Main St., there was no one. From my stoop, I could see people all day long making wide turns onto the one way street only to panic and see the traffic cones and STOP sign, then back up and make a tighter turn. Total government failure!

The music and all-around hijinx in the common kept me up too late and so I called out of work for the next day. I had some interesting ideas and I wanted to act on them…

***

That Thoreau quote had me thinking all night. I should seek the beauty at the Raymond Town Fair (RTF!). I should turn it into PorcFest Raymond (PFR!).

There were some cool things about the Town Fair on Friday night. They were all commerce-related. The Agora Valley of Raymond.

At 10 am, I went over to the yard behind the Raymond Historical Society and partook in the voluntary exchange of USD for things sold at what is called Abigail’s Attic Sale. The funds go to the Historical Society. For $15 I snagged 26 books, two weird straw “statues” of a chicken and a rabbit (delightfully creepy), a photo in a frame of some trees in the sunset, and John Madden ’97 for SNES. The books included Little Women, Vidal, Boy Scout manuals and various story books from the early 20th century, a collection of New Yorker drawings, a how-to book on paper airplanes (and spaceships?), and a book by Jane Goodall. I also snagged a drinking glass that has some revolutionary patriots and the expression “spirit of ’76.” I donated five bucks to the Historical Society so they would ring a bell and make me look like a hero.

Later on, once the event got going, I remembered the library was also having its booksale. I showed up and dropped eight bucks on Vidal, Vonnegut, Thoreau (and about Thoreau), as well as the complete works of Frost and Carroll. I made the plan to raid that library later like an an-cap Attila the Hun. Liberate all the books!

Earlier in the evening, from the hateful Scrooge window of my apartment, I saw a kid walking around in a V mask and holding a sign that read SAY NO TO GMOs. I approved, but didn’t think anything of it at the time, as I was being a curmudgeon. As the sun went down, I decided to venture and find this kid. I stepped out and turned left, past the convenience store next to me.

The propietor had a booth out front and I swear I was at PorcFest again. He was selling AirSoft guns. “Wanna buy a gun?” he was asking random passersby.

badass liberty on main st.

badass liberty on main st.

I was so excited, but I told him, “I want a 9mm.” He laughed and told me that was the classic response of the night. I wished them luck, told them why I appreciated their agorism, and off I went.

hey, jack!

hey, jack!

I went around the block and saw a guy in a kilt with a bagpipe, but he was no Jack Quillinan. I snuck through the carnival and saw my Main St./Epping St. neighbors who are forced by Raymond law to deal with this nonsense. I stepped back into the main riff-raff and seeked out anyone whom I thought might know the GMO kid. I saw a group of kids sitting in a circle so I asked them and a few of them knew him! One of the girls texted him for me! I told her to let him know I wanted to interview him for my site. “I live right there,” I said and pointed at the box fan in my window, “and I’d like to meet him.”

I strolled some more, but the cops were everywhere, man.

no comment!

no comment!

When I woke up this morning, I checked the RTF schedule. It promised “Alpacas on the common.” Giddy and exuberant, I went down to pet the furry bastards, but only saw a free-range tortoise and a martial arts demonstration. The kids were wearing padded helmets and whacking each other with sparring gloves. I admire martial arts not only because it is a form of self-defense — a necessary skill in the future wasteland of america (FWA) — but it is also a necessary form of self-discipline. I felt pride for the grasshoppers — the five and under karate kids with mohawks and serious attitudes — as they exhibited perfect form in their routine. “Huh!” he yelled as he showed off his mad skills for everyone, and then he resumed his rest pose — perfect stillness. That little kid could take on Yoda, I think. What a battle that would be!

That tortoise was awesome, by the way (TTWA, BTW). It was eating some grass and schmoozing around like everyone else. I felt a kinship with that monster. It was probably older than everyone in the common.

apologies for the dog butt

apologies for the dog butt

Then I jumped on my literary stallion and pillaged the library’s booksale. For 6 USD I managed to bring home another 30 books: more Vidal, Vonnegut, Dickinson, Thoreau, Melville, Uris, history books, and various novels about homesteading and books about thinking differently than everyone else. (I hope to review some of these this summer here at the wild ride!)

The librarian ladies loved me. For $2 a bag, I went back again later and purchased a dozen books about Emily Dickinson, as well as the novels Outbreak, His Illegal Self, and The Ethical Assassin. A good pillager leaves nothing!

books, seeds, and bier. I broke edge, shh. My apt is a mess! A glorious mess!

My apt is a mess! A glorious mess!

When I returned to my front stoop with three bags of books, I saw some kids knocking on the front door. The girl who knew the GMO kid led them to my anarcho-stoop! I quizzed him on his stance and was pleased to hear that he has a good understanding of his opinion — a rare quality in the younger generation. It was nice to network with some fellow Raymonders that have brains. (I hope to do some more research on GMOs myself and write about them soon, as my opposition to GMO labeling laws are the reason I realized I am an anarchist!)

***

lights in the darkness

lights in the darkness

I’ll be lying low for the rest of the night, dreading the ten pm fireworks and the Lynard Skynard/Molly Hatchet cover band (sickly groan and grumble and perhaps a little throwup). I hope to be asleep before then. However, I am glad I seeked out some beauty, some freedom, some fun at the RTF. I made it a freedom festival, as long as I was able to ignore the cops walking around with their shades on and their tough guy poses as they talked to kids wearing Cheech & Chong t-shirts. (I observed this from my window — not sure what the conversation was about, but at one point the C&C kid put his arms up like “not me!”)

Do I have to pretend I am at PorcFest for the next 350 days to feel free? Delusional grandeur anarchism? If that’s what it takes, man.

Peace, love, communication, and liberty, mon amies! Never forget those virtues. Ever.