Trans Amerika Express

Westandother 915

So it has been a week since I boarded my final train back to home, the shifting set of locations I live and in some way splitting my time between city and country in order to enjoy each environment and due to responsibilities to each location too numerous to name in this space provided and I am sure better documented by the FBI, Walmart, and Lowes who I am sure track my every movement but not because I am important but because it seems we all are tracked by some software these days, and increasingly will be as our Nation turns itself into whatever it will be. Apart from bad dreams, a confusion and fatigue, and a constant worry about bills, I have had no pithy revelations yet about this experience. I cannot say to join this or that cause, to drop out of society and grow your own personal vegan burrito, or to return to school and learn STEM skills, compete with the Chinese at their own game by setting up American Laundries in their country, or learn to code and make sweet apps, like an app that wipes our ass.
The travel from Chicago to Albany, New York was enjoyable, which was surprising since I was returned to the range of the commuter and familiar topography. As the other long distance trains, a group of us more chatty folks made sure to enjoy some conversation as we left the platform of Union Station and sped into the night. The morning we awoke for the views of the western part of New York State where spring was returning, the dire city of Buffalo, NY that looks like it was bombed by the Germans, Rochester, NY former Flour Flower City, the Young Lion of the West, former home of Eastman Kodak and a number of industry that brought jobs, labour strife, and created a city the bones of which remain as grand buildings still cluster close to the rail stop. The center of New York State remains a calm landscape dotted by the usual crap we have come to think of as modern life, the KenTacoHuts, the truck stops, the shitty clusterfuckeries of the New American Landscape. Between the usual assault on the eyes, fields are tilled, waters run cleaner than they have in decades, and the locks continue to raise and lower boats, now filled with pleasure seekers and travelers as once it moved containers of dry goods and allowed for the flow of fine Cream Ale. As we enter the Albany area, again a skyline, this one marred by the Rockefeller towers, a symbol of fascism if ever anyone needed one. In the station, the first sign that I had returned to the Northeast, five police swabbed elderly people looking for signs of terror and I wondered just how much this service to humanity cost a state that seems lacking in funds for so many other institutions of Civis and a strange place to stop and search our citizens since, just from my general knowledge of tactics, a great deal more [something] could be loaded at so many other stops on the line, or driven down in a moving van. It was nice to be away in parts of the country that didn’t matter. Districts and Oblasts, Parishes and Provences, counties and townships that seem disconnected from the reality that is promoted twenty-four-seven online and in our media. Perhaps we need remove these wires that we assume connect us to the world. When information becomes septic, connectivity only provides a vector for illness.
Westandother 912This has indeed been an eye-opening trip. A trip that this blogger recommends as many people take as you can for the time that our rail system still exists. There is no security for the continuation of these rail lines since with the current mentality of our corporatist government a rise in rail travel may actually make the car companies, the asphalt makers, the guard rail assemblers, and truck-stop matrons and lot lizards take notice and work together to drive out this system in order to maintain Happy Motoring. There was no one thing that I saw or heard that makes me be able to give any prognosis or claim any authentic ability to see the future or make any accurate predictions, however, the sum total of the experience made me consider that indeed something will break open in the next decade. Break open or become broken, perhaps one is different from the other, but there will be some movement in our strange land as social and economic tectonic shifts occur. The nation is too big to fail, but not so connected as to remain the sort of Union we assumed had been forged at Appomattox. A global regionalism may be the shift as people set up more boundaries, draw more lines, confine movement and at the same time are connected or the liege of Somalian Pirates, South African mining companies, Chinese Communist Commissars. As I predicted in 1999 that the United States and the Soviet Union would change places, our country becoming more Stasi and the Russian Federation becoming more the wild west of early America, it may be that rather than citing every failure or stumble of the European Union, we should consider how we are becoming more of that Old Europe as Old Europe gathers itself together into a cohesive unit. We may see that rails or roads, invisible lines become clear, our drive for diversity actually creating a diverse and Balkan land.
This may not lead to a conflagration as we saw in the Civil War, but perhaps a reverse process of Bismark’s old endevour as our states drop into principalities, and it is no longer a question of Federalism and State’s Rights, but an American Soviet Central government setting up outposts in a number of semi-autonomous regions according to lines that do not exist on our current maps and to which may not appear as those old state divisions but crisscross and cut through the same land, one neighbor enjoying one kind of America while another one experiences a much different existence, perhaps that of the Townships and Favela minus the music and gritty artists. A frightening direction, but I believe that this is possible as we see a quickening erosion of individual rights and a furtherance of corporatist interests, a continued impoverishment of people who now take two or three jobs or have no employment at all in order to buy even the cheapest shit at WalKtargetmart, and more and more people saying “this cannot continue.” So many people seem to be talking about taking small steps to drop out, even if it isn’t completely. This conversation was not relegated to Brooklyn’s hipsters, New Orleans drunks, Portland’s tree-huggers, or that crazy guy on the train who lives on a boat. It seemed that apparently normal people are seeing the cracks in the system and finding a place in order to barter a little space of their own and to avoid as much of the corporate society as one can and still remain (socially) in the middle class, paying for corporate subsidies, allowing cookies to report on our brand preferences, ignoring that the government watches our browsing habits looking for signs of terror, and not joining some Freegan commune camped out in a squat in the Mistake by the Lake or the wastes of Detroit.
A darkness falls and the sun sets over a strange weather. I am safe for the moment, having paid my bills to the mortgage company, bank fees, insurance company, electric and gas monopoly, trash monopoly, water bill to the village, registration fees to the DMV, fishing license, and various other expenses as I drink the beer that I brewed myself. You need not be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. That’s what the drones buzzing outside your window are for.
Westandother 926

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