It was 2003 and the US had just invaded Iraq. I like hundreds of thousands of others had protested against the war and had even been arrested and briefly jailed twice.
By Summer that year I had to move and ended up getting in my car and making a really long journey across the desert Southwest in what was insanely high heat that year. I remember one point when I was driving through Texas and my car – which had no AC because where I had lived previously the thought of needing AC never even remotely crossed my mind – it was so hot that my car was literally like an oven.
I never experienced that extreme level of heat ever. Before reaching Texas I remember going by meteor crater in Arizona – disappointed that it was not a free, national or state park I didn’t spend the money to get in – but that day the temperature was around 120 degrees F.
In Texas the highway just went on and on and on and I was burning up so badly that I had to pull off to seek shade. Except there was no shade anywhere. I was driving and driving and there was not even a tree or anything to temporarily park under. I was on the verge of going insane from the heat when I hunkered down. As a runner I told myself that this was just a physical challenge that I was capable of surmounting. I decided I was going to be stronger than the heat and after that I got my grip together and managed.
In Texas I stayed at a youth hostel for several months and I met a lot of really great people. One of the guys I met was this tall, thin, blond-haired American guy who I worked cleaning with at the hostel for several hours each day in exchange for free room and board.
I remember him telling me some of his stories about being in the service. I think he was in the air force or at least was involved with something related to flying.
This guy was the nicest guy. Just thinking that a person like him was in the service really meant something to me. It made me feel good to know that there were people like him in America. There are so many people who are people who serve in different ways and it seems that they are sometimes underappreciated.
Anyhow, some months later, I was in the deep South where my parents had moved. I stayed there for a while. One weekend night I went into the town that was near them and went out dancing. There I met some people from the town – a totally different culture than what I was coming from – and they were the nicest people. I think some of the guys I met were also in the service or had been.
It was my experiences traveling away from the insular West Coast and meeting people in other parts of America which awakened me to how many great people there are in America, and how insularized the West Coast is.
Many times over the years when I have read about people being killed in the Armed Services I thought about all those people I met and the light in their eyes.
I eventually went back to the West Coast. One time I went to this hot spring resort which was supposed to be like this healing center but I was not impressed with it. Rather than being some kind of world-class healing spa like I would have expected to be in Germany or Japan, it seemed more like a trashy trailer park with a decidedly creepy, somewhat gross vibe.
I was sitting in a hot tub and there was this guy next to me and I was just having small conversation with him when he said something like “This culture is only here and on the East Coast.” I sincerely did not know what he meant by “this culture”. I asked him what did he mean and he just evaded the question.
But I think I understand. It was a kind of arrogance on his part. He thought that the people on the West Coast, or “this culture” of the trailer trashy people at the spa resort, were better than the rest of people in the country.
I just found that really repugnant and shallow. I just could never think that way about other people.
This came up another time as well when I was talking with someone who was supposed to have a lot of spiritual experience. He just kind of put down people who weren’t “cool” or whatever you want to call it. I was actually defending southern culture to him and saying that sometimes it may be the people who seem to be the opposite to what you believe who in a real time of need would be the first ones to be there for you.
I really believe this. For example, “cool” people from the coast might put down people from Christian cultures, but then in a true time of need it might be that the people from the Christian culture are the only one’s there for you because the people from the supposedly more advanced culture don’t actually give a fuck and only care about themselves.
So basically I was learning about nihilism, decadence, and values. But even more deeply, I simply connected with different people and I think connection is the most important thing. When you connect with other people you realize that you have a deep bond that goes beyond whatver programming you’re led to believe about one culture being “better” or “more advanced” or whatever.
I just wanted to write this because, living in relative isolation back in a coastal area again, I still think about the connections to those people. I like the AltRight because I see it as a chance for different people across America to re-connect. Even though people are from different backgrounds, I try to appreciate everyone. When I see people online I think about how we are all from different places in America, and I’m glad that we can connect in our own ways and to me the AltRight is important.
It’s funny, because to me the AltRight is almost the exact opposite of what critics say about it: It’s about love, agape.
To me that is what’s so revolutionary about the AltRight: It is based on love and recognizing the dead end, the nihilism and decadence of mainstream culture that leads to nowhere and being stronger than it. I’m inspired by AltRight people who are standing up against the stream of nihilsm and waste that is afflicting our society. Even though it may not show, I think the attainments they realize are significant and highly important. I think that we are accomplishing something that is truly revolutionary and truly great that goes way beyond mere politics. It’s about reconnecting to a new ground for how we as humans are and that’s so important.