If any of you good folks are still stopping by…I just wanted to say, The Freedom Outlaw is about to ride again.
As some of you know, “Taran Jordan” was my chosen nom de plume, which I used as my publicly known name here on The Freedom Outlaw. It was a rush, to write as if I were another, to feel so free and unencumbered, so able to say what I thought without self-censoring.
But — I’m sure you see it too — the world has gone so much crazier in a few short years than I could have imagined. And the things I had to say a few years ago are things that a whole lot of people have come to be thinking themselves. None of it sounds so far-out anymore. And there’s more I can say now, to keep the conversations happening, the understanding growing.
As well, I’ve built a body of writing as my “everyday” self, but I want people (both readers and potential clients) to know that there’s more to my work. So it’s time, past time, to own my work completely. As Uncle Warren always says, “Refuse to be afraid.”
(Holy moly! I just dropped by his blog to copy that link, and found that he did a few months ago what I just today decided to do: he’s “come out” as his real, meatspace, lovable self! That is freaking EERIE! I LOVE it! And I salute you, Warren Bluhm, for your courage.)
I really liked being Taran Jordan…or being thought of as Taran Jordan. I thought it was a very cool-sounding name. And it was pretty easy to spell. Once I even attended a writers’ conference, and later took a fiction writing class, as Taran. (Then I felt I’d done something terribly wrong.)
But…the fact is, I am Beth Homicz. And I, too, refuse to be afraid. No longer will I hide so much of who I am, or how I think, from the people who know me. They’re good people. They can handle it. They deserve the truth. They might even jump on board.
I’m leaving this old TFO site up so that past links will still work. I won’t be posting here any longer. But you are welcome to drop by Keeps Dropping Keys for (hopefully!) a little of the old outlaw fun and style!
I’ve also imported all of the TFO posts (going back to late 2004) into the new KDK blog, attributed to me as Beth, rather than Taran. I do apologize if any of you feel that I’ve deceived you along the way.
Keeps Dropping Keys is going to be about free spirits throwing open the door to all the cages we possibly can. Freeing the spirit, the body, the mind. In a way, it’ll be like the weekly guest-editor selections I used to make over at Strike the Root: a practical, positive approach to a life of greater freedom and joy. I’ll be posting there at least a couple of times a week.
Readers, freedom friends, I warmly invite you to come on by and visit! I would very much enjoy reconnecting and hearing what freedom-fun you have been up to lately.
Yep, it’s been months since I last posted. I’m not going to make excuses, although I am sorry if anyone’s been missing reading posts here. I have had nothing worthwhile to say, and much else to do…you know how that goes, I’m pretty sure.
But I’ve been doing some hanging out over at the Life After the Oil Crash forums, and found this little gem that moved me to post here once again…maybe for one last time, I just don’t know. (Link to the actual post and thread.)
Poster TLR1138 asks: How long before people start writing hymns to outlaws again?
PRETTY BOY FLOYD (Woody Guthrie)
Come gather round me children, a story I will tell
Of Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw, Oklahoma knew him well
Was in the town of Shawnee on a Saturday afternoon
His wife beside him in the wagon as into town they rode
A deputy sheriff approached them in a manner rather rude
Using vulgar words of language and his wife she overheard
Well, Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain, and the deputy grabbed a gun
And in the fight that followed, he laid that deputy down
Then he took to the trees and rivers to lead a life of shame
Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name
Yes he took to the trees and timbers on the Canadian river shore
And the outlaw found a welcome at many a farmer’s door
Yes, there’s many a starving farmer, the same story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage and saved their little home
Others tell about the stranger who came to beg a meal
And underneath the napkin left a thousand dollar bill
It was in Oklahoma City, it was on a Christmas day
Came a whole carload of groceries and a letter that did say
Well, you say that I’m an outlaw, and you say that I’m a thief
Here’s a Christmas dinner for the families on relief
Well, as through the world I’ve rambled, I’ve seen lots of funny men
Some rob you with a sixgun, some with a fountain pen
As through this world you ramble, as through this world you roam
You’ll never see an outlaw drive a family from its home
Here’s wishing all you good Outlaws the best in the world.
It’s an odd thing, but for months now, I have felt very little desire to speak out on issues, or get into debates with sheeple. Even, or maybe especially, about freedom.
For the past couple of years I’ve really been noticing how much most people only want to talk about themselves – especially on a very mundane level – and heaven forbid they return the favor and give you equal time! The art of conversation is so far deceased that it has rotted into a putrid game of self-important, self-promoting control – harmless in a superficial sense, but deadly boring and wasteful of precious time.
But then too, I don’t care a rat’s patootie about the mundane aspects of most people’s daily existence, nor about revealing my own, when I would really prefer to discuss and debate thoughts and ideas and information about freedom, self-sufficiency, preparing for the trouble I see coming, etc.
So, in large part, I’ve gotten into a habit of assuming (usually with reason, I think) that no one cares to listen to anything I have to say.
Now, too, when I hear of abuses, I don’t get het up with anger or outrage anymore either, the way I used to. (And it was that energy of fed-upness and violated justice that motivated a lot of my writing.) I do often feel for the victims, if true innocent victims they are. But the feeling I now experience toward the perpetrators is a cross between indifference and quiet resistance.
And I think it’s that quiet aspect that has me not talking or writing about my thoughts, concerns or plans.
It’s a struggle within, because one voice in my head says, “But these issues are vital and should get some exposure, and you can give them that!” The other voice, though, counters, “Those who care at this point are already aware. The rest aren’t interested in being preached at by you. Let reality educate them, as it soon will.”
No coincidence, then, that last week, heavy into this mood, I decided to reread Atlas Shrugged.
P.S.: Oh, and speaking of fiction, I was not one of the finalists in the Freedom in Fiction Prize. No reasons or feedback were provided, so that’s all I can tell you. Thanks to all of you who have provided warm support and commentary. Your input has been valuable in every sense.
When Wendy mentioned to me her “motivation #2” for the frugal philosophy — resisting the state — the first thing that popped into my mind was “Galt’s Gulch.” Because what we are doing is very similar to what John Galt and his fellows did when they went “on strike” and withdrew to Galt’s Gulch. We are denying the State and its army of leeches, not the product of our minds as such, but rather our productivity.
And Brad’s conclusion is right on…there are going to be thousands of “Frugalista Gulches.” Perhaps there already are.
(Thanks to Dave Gross at The Picket Line for the link!)
When I was in second grade and we were learning about Hawaii, the teacher told the boys to cut paper surfboards out of big rolls of construction paper and to decorate them, while the girls were told to make paper hula skirts. I remember going ballistic about that. I didn’t want to have to put on some stupid skirt and dance around in front of people just because I was a girl.
So I insisted on making a surfboard instead. At least I wouldn’t have to feel like a simpering idiot. There were other similar instances through my childhood, all centering, in hindsight, around the issues of justice, individualism, and common sense. So, like Lewlew, I think the predilection existed in me already, but I don’t know why.
In high school I was lucky to have The Fountainhead assigned in English class, and the teacher was a rabid individualist who devoted a whole month to discussion of that book. But I didn’t have any leaning toward or interest in politics then. I was a budding philosopher, though – read a lot of Sartre and Camus, I recall.
It was during college that I got to thinking about the sweeping issues of freedom and liberty. I ventured to Washington, DC and fell in love with the brave words inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial…in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress…in the National Archives. I thought I’d found the real thing and it stirred my soul. I even decided to take some poli-sci courses, because I expected they’d go deeper into the wonders of liberty and the history of how it was intentionally protected. D’oh.
During sophomore year, I also read Atlas Shrugged in three wild, wonderful days, gasping and then grinning at the unexpected but perfectly logical plot twists and turns. I read The Passion of Ayn Rand and learned of the utter totalitarianism that woman had fought and escaped – learned a history that had eluded me until then. This, and my disgust with the poli-sci and other courses in school, gave me to understand that the learning I wanted would not be found in expensive classrooms. Philosophy in college, for instance, was sheer senseless misery – Kant and Hegel, Hume and Marx – forced regurgitation of which did nothing to illumine my life.
After graduation, I floundered. Now I see that I was disillusioned with the world around me versus the world I knew within myself…still am. But one day, wandering through stacks at the library, I happened on a section of DIY books – two in particular, about building one’s own house (one from stone, one from logs). It was like the skies opened and rays of light broke through. “I could do this! And be very happy living this way!” That was the beginning of my journey down the path of gulching, although I wouldn’t call it by any name until many years later. But what a sense of freedom and competence reading those books (and many more) gave me about life, a real life in freedom! It was about this time that I found Claire Wolfe’s early books too – they were a great help to more understanding, and a big challenge to action too.
However, I didn’t have the means then even to follow that simple dream. I’m still striving, in fact. Almost got to that point while I was married, but divorce took away what I’d managed to build. When I was starting over, I figured it would be good to join the LP and meet some likeminded people. But – well, suffice it to say that what I saw in the LP sent me into the anarchist camp. Bigtime.
Only I knew nothing about anarchism – I’d vaguely classified it in my mind with Satan worship and black magic, dark and destructive and dangerous. All I knew was what I’d told myself for years: that I never wanted to be a boss nor to have one. Bingo…things came together as I looked into the subject.
I remain on the cusp now, an anarchist at heart but not always in deed, knowing mostly that the system is rigged against freedom, yet holding out hope for one last change. Not just through Ron Paul, but through the phenomenon of so many individuals coming to understand and passionately to embrace his message. I have no interest in further political action, personally. But I do see that these Paul supporters are at the point I was at a few years ago, and many are beginning to see the man behind the curtain, so all is not lost, yet…even though the election is a longshot.
I’ve been wondering lately whether we’re seeing today the equivalent of maybe 1770 or so, when the Boston Massacre was just beginning to galvanize people of conscience and intelligence. I think of old Sam Adams, for instance, who rabble-roused for years before he got the Sons of Liberty riled up enough to garner serious attention from the powers that were. No, I don’t want to see a war in this country or in any other. What I’m driving at is the mindset, the dawning awareness of insufferable tyranny.
Perhaps, with that awareness growing, a peaceful yet passionate revolution could indeed be in the future. I like to think so, anyway.
Uber Cool Nerd Queen, thank you very much! LOL.
I was so surprised by these results that I just had to post ’em. Me, uber cool? AND a nerd? Geek, maybe, but nerd??? Nerd is a title of honor, my friends! Nerd is a pride thing!
I’m such a non-techie that it’s embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a slide rule in the flesh (or is that in the wood?) And except for TNG, DS9, and the less bloody episodes of Firefly, I am NOT a sci-fi fan.
But you never know, I guess… :D So here’s one more nerd queen joining the sisterhood!
In many ways this new year looks to be a scarifying time. I won’t even bother to enumerate the litany of troubles – if you’re a reader here, you’re plenty well aware. Yet I do have hope as the baby new year sets in.
Say what you will about the validity of participating in the political process – you must speak from where you are. What gives me hope and joy is to see so many thousands of people speaking and acting from where they are – awakening to freedom, both lost and recoverable – and taking principled, richly creative, motivated, joyful individual action to bring it about.
People, so many people come alive as never before, using their resources and talents on behalf of a good and humble man called Ron Paul, simply because they have seen him expounding the ideas at which they themselves have begun to arrive. Simply because being in Washington for twenty years did not “change him.” Simply because he stands for something – something they perhaps had forgotten how much they loved.
The U.S. will not suddenly become a perfect (or perfectly moral) place should Dr. Paul be elected. But over time, it will likely be better than what we know now. Someone is going to be elected (or possibly remain in the office of) president. That someone is going to have an impact on most every human life in this country – and many others around the globe. Whether or not you think voting is an acceptable act, would you complain at the demise of the terroristic IRS? Could you honestly denigrate the ending of American involvement in hostilities around the world, and the beginnings of a foreign policy of peace and freedom?
And if he’s not elected, I kinda doubt that his many riled-up supporters will go quietly or promptly into the night. Perhaps the “movement” will morph into a non-political or semi-political form. Perhaps that would even be something the non-voting anarchists could get behind. (I mean this kindly. After the 2004 election, I too had planned never to vote again.)
The greatest thing about the Ron Paul R3VOLution might simply be the wonderful sense that, as freedom seekers, we’re a lot less alone and alienated than we thought. Maybe human brotherhood – of an individually, freely chosen sort, of course – isn’t such a drippy concept after all.
Hey, it’s 2008. Anything’s possible.