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The Box-Car Elders

Why I Loath Fake Cosmopolitans 


When I was in first grade and learning to love reading, my favorite series of books was “The Box-Car Children” (1924 edition).

I can’t tell you how much I loved reading these stories.

For a kid from a troubled home who chafed against social control and authority – and loved old broken down rusty things and outdoor adventure – they were pure joy. Pure joy.

On reflection after 50 years, this love was was based on how those kids lived independently and creatively in the outdoors, using and repurposing old materials and not abiding by social norms – what we might now call “do it yourself” “back to the land” “radical” “self sufficiency”.

These kids scavenged materials and built and decorated their own home. They planted and scavenged their own food. They were removed from and had no need for society and social norms and social controls.

They loved each other.

They had independence, a sense of aesthetics, and clear ethics.

When I was a kid – the grandson of an IWW “Wobblie” and a prohibition bootlegger – growing up in the early 1960’s in a small working class backwater neighborhood called “Glenville”, in an historic Hudson riverfront town called Tarrytown, whether we knew it or not, we all idealized these kids.

We would explore the woods, stay out till dark, build forts, rafts, and go-carts from scavenged materials, camp out and make fires, walk the railroad tracks, and explore old ramshackle abandoned buildings and ruins.

We didn’t yet know anything about Tom Sawyer’s opposition to “civilizing forces” and Tom and Huck Finn’s adventure’s in “lighting out for the territory”.

No, we just lived our own real lives in the places we called home.

In hindsight, I can see, long before I read about Tom Sawyer, how these Box-Car stories not only strongly shaped my youth, but my current life, and living off the grid in an old school bus.

But now, I’m supposed to believe that I was just duped. That this was all just bullshit.

I’m supposed to believe, based on the rantings of some faux cosmopolitan self anointed twenty something  Neoliberal feminist blogger from the New Yorker, that the meaning of all this Box-Car story stuff was not about radical anarchist self sufficiency, but really about capitalist indoctrination and inculcation of a Puritan work ethic, see:

Well, I say: fuck that shit.

I laid back and said nothing after another one of my heroes, Atticus Finch, was destroyed (by his own creator, no less!).

So, I’m going on offense and personally attacking  the author of this revisionist bullshit.

Does this woman look like she has a clue about genuine self sufficient life that these Box-Car kids lived?

That she ever slept on the ground or scavenged for rusty old shit?

Or has any kind of  genuine life at all?

Or any capacity to understand the situation and life force of our beloved “box-car children”?

Take a close look at her. This is how she chose to portray and promote herself.

Everything is fake – a prop – a facade. A Potemkin life.

The neatly stacked books on the shelf. The clean coffee table. The “world” modernist world map behind the couch. The colors. The neatly arranged pillow. The purportedly open book or magazine text on the sanitized coffee table. Showing a little leg and trying to show non-existent cleavage. And with that dog, no less?

The woman is a total fraud:


Fuck you and the fake blogging faux feminist plastic shit you rode into New York on.

Now, I feel a lot better. Some things really piss me off.

Cruelly and falsely blowing up childhood – and adult – myths is one of them (and for career interest over human reality).

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