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Jakk Lyman

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Location: Portland, OR
Zipcode: 97201
Country: US

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Where I'm coming from.....

2012-03-02
By: Jakk Lyman
Posted in:

I decided to write this because sometimes its difficult to relate to people, they make so many assumptions. I suppose its something we all do for convenience, but the past few years Ive begun checking myself--somewhere between studying logic, epistemology and personal experience Ive begun leaving the assumptions behind. For all intents and purposes Ive been on the street for the better part of about 20 some odd years. I got used to being treated like a second class citizen a long time ago, and this definitely affected how I saw the world. Even though I squatted and traveled I had to recognize that most of the people in these groups came from nice middle class families and had left home to have an adventure. Im not saying theres anything wrong with that, I think its great, but my experiences and their experiences were radically different. In 1988 when I was 12 and eating out of dumpsters there was nothing cool about it. The local schools would have nothing to do with me, and most kids werent allowed to be around me. I was considered "scummy" by most, and it wasnt until much later that being a dirty kid became a cool thing--and that was only cool in a very limited sense. I crossed the law a bunch and was on a serious habituary offender list at 13, my first arrest was a home invasion. This high school kid was making a 12 year old run away girl 'put out' for shelter while his parents were out of town. I went up in his house with a gun and a couple homeboys and got her out of there as well as robbed him proper. Ive never felt all that bad about it. I was kind of jealous that other kids got to go to school and after sort of re-teaching myself how to read in juvenile (back then I never did more than 90 days-but it was all cell time,no yard or movement) I began reading everything I could get my hands on. I spent about 7 months in the DSHS system, but after calling CPS on a facility that was beating (and later I found out raping) the kids, CPS told me to shut up or they'd shut me up, and then sent me to a boys ranch/work camp run by wherehauser. After i escaped the DSHS system basically let me go and I never had trouble with them again. Later in my life when I was selling dope and living in SF I would get a call from a lawyer to tell me I was the only one to ever say anything about the OK boys ranch in Olympia Wa. and that there was a class action lawsuit going on-thats when I found out the workers were raping the kids. One kid won a million dollars from that place but killed himself about a year after the suit. SF was the first place I ever paid rent, I tried to do it the legal way at first, I was squatting this shit-hole church on 15th and delores and working at a movie theater making 4.25 an hr.-that wasnt getting me anywhere, so I invested. I sold speed (never used it, never liked it) and eventually grew weed as well. Later I would move on to heroin, cocaine (hard and soft) as well as guns. Im sure this all sounds horrible and hypocritical, after all, I was and am an anarchist--and I dont mean I listened to too much punk rock, I learned about real anarchism from a college kid that put me up for awhile when I was 13-14 and began directing my thoughts and research in that direction. In my teens I was organizing demonstrations--all that good stuff. I did get really disillusioned though, where I constantly questioned and searched others seemed to accept whatever as a part of their identity, and if anything was brought up or a position taken that conflicted with those identities....well, Ive seen people basically blacklisted over straight bullshit. As angry as I was, and still am, Ive always had a strong compassionate and empathetic side as well.--anyway, at one point i moved to TX cuz it looked like the dea was about to catch up with me. TX sucked. I got locked up so fast in TX over such minor shit. Dallas was the worst, the neighborhood I was in was right next to a street with a bunch of clubs, several of them were gay clubs and one night I came across a small crowd of people standing over this poor guy who had just taken a brick to the head for being gay. "dont touch him he probably has aids" I heard one of em say, there was blood everywhere and the guy probably thought he was dying--I did. I took off my shirt and used it for a pillow and to try and stop the guys bleeding and held his hand while I tried to make them call an ambulance-which they finally did. I just didnt understand people. Not more than a week after that I come across this Asian guy being beat with bottles being called a communist gook-I used my body to take the bottles so he could get to his car. A couple days later I tried to bum a cigarette on that same strip in a crowd of people outside a club, as I put a cigarette in my mouth I got slapped blindside by this lesbian and people cheered as she cussed me out for being a bum and a mooch. This type of mob hatred for the downtrodden was pretty common, I'd go in a coffee shop to buy a coffee and be told my business wasnt wanted (homeless people not allowed)-cuz at that point I was back to being homeless--I got my apt. raided when I was living in austin for distribution (it was pathetic really I was peddling dime-bags to make rent) While I was in state jail in TX I refused to get with my "race" as your supposed to. I saw this poor white boy sold to the BGF for a bag of coffee cuz he shared his commissary with a black. I stuck to my guns though, I dont get along with nazis, I dont get along with any of that. After several confrontations with various whites the Gangster Disciples brought me into their organization, they liked how I carried myself and that I fight for mine.I was also pretty open and outspoken about my politics and made some good friends with alot of the older gangsters--we'd chop it up about the black panthers and I loved to introduce folks to revolutionary perspectives that they hadnt been aware of. When I finally left TX and went up north I was having trouble finding work-shit I was having trouble getting an ID, I ran into my Dad, he was living alone and dying of dementia, I wanted to help but I was living in the woods. Sooo, I started doing the only thing that had ever consistently got me on my feet, I was snitched out and did another year. That sentence wasnt that bad, as far as time went. I told the prison I was a buddhist and was vegan for religious purposes. There were alot of swastica tattoos at classification, but since I was GD I just found the G's and did my time with them. The whites hate that. In TX even the guards got in on it, stripping me down on the main line to chow. Washington wasnt as bad though, I did have to go before a security threat board where they asked me about my anarchist politics--they were more concerned with that then my gang affiliation (cuz its all on file) When I got out though I had the stuff i needed to get an ID so I could work. I got a place and moved my Dad in, but after he broke his hip I had to quit my job because he needed round the clock care--thats when I got into school, I figured financial aid could help with the bills and I could do what I enjoy most-- learn stuff. School was alright, a little on the eazy side, but having to take care of my Dad at the same time definitely made things difficult. I watched as he grew more and more frustrated because his mind was turning on him--and the world around him no longer had use for a human that couldnt create profit for somebody. He died last August, and I moved here. Now Im living in a borrowed RV, Im getting the chance to buy it though for 1500, a good price. Never had a drivers license, thats on the list. Since Ive been here in portland its alot of the same old shit, I dont sell drugs anymore, Im sick of going to prison, but if someone with money says "move that thing" its time to move, ive gotten $150.tickets, tow notices....its illegal to sleep in a vehicle, they'd rather have you under a bridge where they dont have to look at you. A few weeks ago a couple homeless guys were shot while they slept. Its ironic, the system that instills these types of relating to one another uses these examples as an excuse for why we need it. We dont though, its a common misconception that how we currently act is "natural" or a result of "human nature"--but these are cultural constructs. As I continue writing articles (Ive already written the education one) I hope that it will become clear that a considerable amount of time and resources are dedicated to upholding these constructs. For something we'd supposedly do "naturally" it sure does take alot of work to keep us on task. Particularly in the U.S. where we are all immigrants, what we lack in traditional culture has been replaced by capitalism. Capitalism is a way of relating to one another. It carrys the ideal of authority throughout every institution, after all, there is always a boss and a hierarchy, and the american dream is to become the boss, to climb the social ladder-stepping on everyone that gets in the way. Competition and greed have become the center pieces of our social, political and economic system. When people say-oh thats human nature, I say thats a cop-out, cuz human nature is very diverse, so much so that there have been cultures and systems that do not work like this. Nothings perfect, but to base our entire system on our worst traits is insane, not only are we glorifying them, we are refining the worst we have to offer. When I say these things I dont say them glibly or easily. This is based not only from a life of experience, but that life has been aware, nearly from day one, of what was being experienced--and Ive also violated statistical probability, statistically I should be barely literate and emotionally disturbed--Im one of the most intelligent, happy, and emotionally healthy people I know ( I couldnt think of a modest way of writing that so I figured fuck it)--but in this sense Im lucky, because things are organized so that those who would normally gain the most insight about our culture are cruelly marginalized and simply cant articulate how, why, or what. This is to say nothing for the fact that information is managed so that on the one hand there is a cacophony of opinions and theories competing, and on the other, a slow repetitive clear voice of official "reason."

Hopefully I'm not just writing this to myself. There is a simple solution. Its taken me 20 years to understand it, and its already here after a fashion, its been emerging though cloaked in alot of useless sophistication.--and no its not love, while yes thats a good thing people have been telling people to love one another for freakin ever and things are still screwed up. Its not Jesus, at least not for me and a good portion of the world, if religion could solve our problems or even get us on the right track we'd be there by now. It isnt some complex system that requires everyone to get on the same page and do things the same way, that will never work-and as the population grows we get further away from that possibility. No, Im convinced we need to work toward anarchism, but thats not it either-cuz we'll never get everyone to go for that, they need to get there themselves. We need something simple that doesnt require alot of explaining, something that allows everyone to do things however it might work best, something that allows failure but not ruin, something where success spreads rather than being horded. A simple principle that has real active applicable results, one that changes perception as it spreads. Something we can actively work with, something we can do that demonstrates what the world could look like. Something that gives results we'll want to defend.------------As soon as I figure out how to present it, I will. Its something Im sure everyones heard of in a way.Ive been mulling it over and the more I think about it the better it seems. Its not perfect mind you, but its a way to start, to get our foot in the door of real change.---Jakk

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