Monday, March 19, 2007

Keeping it real

I occasionally have to remind myself that I really don't care how much traffic the Aimless web site receives. Although sometimes it may appear as if I want everyone to know about Aimless--that I want everyone to think I'm doing something fabulous--really, I don't care. I have no reason to care because Aimless is a very personal project. In fact, it all grew out of a desire to just disappear, to become invisible.

Aimless has already been a success, even though I don't have much to show for it yet. I mean, I didn't even want to be alive a year ago, but I kind of enjoy living right now. Maybe it's because I am living, instead of just pretending to be alive, like most people do. Maybe it's because I decided for myself what constitutes real living, instead of buying into "conventional wisdom," which is total bullshit.

Still, I do care how much traffic the web site receives. Not because I want people to adore me or because I want people to think I'm important. No, it's because I want to reach the right people. I want to reach people who would like to be a part of Aimless, people who want to benefit from helping me create a professional documentary instead of a glorified home movie. I want to reach people who possess the ability to recognize how much I have to offer the world around me, regardless of whether it's through filmmaking, operating a profitable pizzeria, or just being a good thinker or writer. I want to reach people who understand the economics of life and living.

If I wanted to improve my odds of impressing people in high places, I could censor myself by deleting a lot of blog entries, like the one I wrote recently about getting fucked over by National City Bank. I could stop saying 'fuck' so much. I could subscribe to the myth that Wal-Mart actually saves people money instead of stealing their money. In other words, I could sacrifice my integritah and suck up to people with whom I'd rather not associate. It's the American Way.

Yeah, well maybe that's why American life has become so fucked up for most people.

I love the United States of America. I love the American people--liberals and conservatives alike. I love the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains and Death Valley and New York City. I love rattlesnakes and great hamburgers. I love crazy people and homeless people, too.

I don't love the US government. I don't love illegal wars. I don't love banks or Wal-Mart or McDonald's or Barr Laboratories. I don't love fascism.

A lot of people believe the path to happiness lies in working your way up the corporate ladder, "networking" and impressing rich and powerful people along the way, either through merit or deception. I take a lot of shit from people like that for refusing to play the game. But isn't it funny how very few of those people seem remotely happy?

I think it is. (Not necessarily funny, but ironic.)

When you're a fraud, it doesn't get you anywhere. Not in professional relationships, nor personal relationships, nor romantic relationships. And by pretending to be the person you think the higher-ups want you to be, you also lose out once you finally encounter someone who's looking to team up with the person you would have become if you had only remained true to yourself.

Being a corporate ass kisser doesn't connect you with the right people. Being a "BUM" leads you to the right people. I know because I have met some of the most awesome people on the planet by being a bum. I may not have met the right person or people yet, but I have met good, honest, incredible people. And that was all in the span of about ten days.

You know why I think Dave Chappelle is so great? Not because he's famous or because he's funny or because he'd loaded. No, I admire Dave Chappelle because he is honest with himself and his world. He walked away from $55 million because he believed deep inside that the consequences were not worth the reward. He has taken a lot of shit from fans, "friends," and critics for walking away from Chappelle's Show and disappearing to Africa (because his decisions did not conform to "conventional wisdom"), but I'm positive he did the right thing.

I don't know Dave Chappelle, nor have I ever met him, but I do see him up close on a regular basis, and I see a happy man who can hang out in his hometown every day without being mobbed. I see a man with a beautiful family and a supportive environment. I see a dude who really has his shit together and has survived the temptations that ruined and killed so many other famous actors and comedians. I see a man who does good things for this world.

I most likely will meet Dave Chappelle sooner or later because I know a lot of people who know him. And who knows, maybe Dave will end up helping me with Aimless. One thing I do know, though, is that I'll never ask Dave Chappelle for money or monetary support, nor will I expect it, even if I end up knowing him well. And I take pride in the fact that I don't have selfish intentions.

I'm going to leave this place in about four weeks, to be a bum again for a long time--months or years. Except this time I'm really going to have nothing. No emergency credit card, no ATM card, and probably not even $100. I'll almost certainly be carrying the same crappy camcorder that I had with me in 2006, and it's very unlikely that I'll have a laptop by then. So what! I'll get by. I'll reduce myself to nothing and I'll get by. And I'll be much happier than I am right now, despite the pain, fatigue, hunger, and general discomfort I'll experience almost constantly.

I can't wait to get on the road again.

Thank you Brad Perkins and Luke Swilor for digging Aimless. Thanks also for posting stuff about Aimless on the drum corps forums, Brad. I really appreciate it, and someday I intend to show my appreciation instead of just saying I appreciate it.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer