EcoPunk #73

    The GPS reads 31º49.000N/ 114º42.000W. The anchor's holding tight in 8 fathoms of water and the little boat is head to flying nothing but a staysail. The barometer is standing strong at 1014.5 and the night is inky black. With the exception of the thundering surf, there's nothing to keep me company save a few dull, distant stars who just exacerbate the feeling of desolation that clings to me like a wet pair of silk panties.
    The wind is blowing out of the North-northwest and the Posi-Ship Que Será Será (named after that sassy genius who ended her life last year) is pointed right to windward, taking each wave with a boxer's grace. To the North, nothing but open sea 'til you hit the Aleutians. To my South, nothing but open sea 'til you hit Antarctica. To the East, 10 nautical miles away, is the desolate coast of Baja. To my West, the sexy curves of Isla Todos Santos Norte. Ok, sexy is one of those things better left to individual persuasion. But me, I think the low, barren, windswept, godforsaken island with nothing but a crumbling old abandoned lighthouse is sexier than fuck. For the moment, I am glad to be here alone on this little boat.
    So yeah. I bought an old sailboat. Why did I do it? 'Cuz I'm having another fucking mid-life crisis and am scared shitless of outgrowing the youth culture I've become completely and totally attached to in the past dozen years or so. That's why.
     In one concise, shrink accepted phrase, my big problem right now is feeling a lack of place and belonging in my life. It's this feeling of lonely isolation that's driven me into psychotic depressive backswing after psychotic depressive backswing, anxiety attack riddled night after anxiety attack riddled night. I mean shit, sometimes when your heart beats so fast it feels like it's trying out for a part in ASSÜCK and paranoid delusions rise to the ranks of an Art Bell listener, good things can happen. You can write or sing bad hardcore songs or paint or skate well or do any number of other productive crafts that can only arise under some sort of emotional duress. Me? I used to love getting all upset. If you've ever read my zine, you can tell that 99% of it was written in the midst of a panic attack or bout with schizophrenic paranoia. But lately, as I feel increasingly alone in this already overpopulated world, it's gotten to the point that these attacks are no longer creatively inspiring, but damnright debilitating. I can't sleep. I can't eat. My mind can't focus on anything but nasty events or traumas, real or imagined. It gets to the point that my mind is dragging my body in its frothy wake without concern or care for its victim.
    The only way I've found I can get out of these attacks is by doing something that hurts my body and refocuses the scope of my being on more than just my mind's rampages. In the old days I used to cut myself or burn myself or skateboard or go pick up sleazy men from outside a biker bar and let them fuck me 'til I could barely walk. But now, in these recent months, it's gotten to the point that even busting my ass 'til it swells doesn't even touch these episodes.
    Last week I went to a workshop led by dear Sasha and some other rad kids that gave a lot of clarity to my thinking about my own mental/emotional welfare. As a couple dozen of us sat around and dove headfirst into our respective issues, a few things became clear. A) There are way more of us crazy fucks out there than you might think; B) We need to start recognizing and fighting these problems rather than just hiding behind whatever activist concern of the month is available; and C) All of us are affected by patterns that arise in particular, predictable ways.
    In my own life, the last point bears the most relevance. See, I look at my own emotional downbound trains as a rip tide between two reefs. Just as a big swell will push all this excess wave energy into a strong outbound current, so will me feeling lonely and isolated begin to drag my entire existence out with it. And like noting the changes in water color and the directional flow of currents, so should I be paying attention to the changes in my guts. I know damn well that a rip is gonna suck me out to sea, just as I know a bad interaction with people or sudden onset of loneliness will send me headlong into another psychotic episode. I need to be on top of these things, paying attention to what's going on around me and be ready to act in a manner that will get me away from the danger. Sounds easy enough, but me, I crave things that are outside my safe zone. I crave big wild and most recently, the open sea. These are the places I find inspiring and spiritually enlightening, but they're also the loneliest of places on Earth. Occasionally, I'll find a balance of space, beauty and dear people (as in my ex-Land two Springs ago when we had a great scene), but for the most part, this agoraphiliac obsession only hurts. See, if I was a smart man right now, I would have ditched the boat fantasy and moved my ass to San Francisco or New York; somewhere with lots of similar people around. The big problem with this is, aside from the fact these places are spiritually and aesthetically bereft of any beauty, I can no longer look for support in the punktivist scene. After trying vainly for so many years to find people who would be there for me, I've come to recognize the fact that the punk scene does not appreciate, or want, butchy men expressing their emotions. After chatting with Sasha and other men, this has become increasingly more transparent. If we masculine, macho men are less than the strong leader types people submissively expect, we are rejected or labeled "Passive-aggressive." We have people looking to us for strength and motivation when in reality, we're the same as anyone else, albeit with different body types. I saw this happen in breakups with an ex-landmate and a potential lover in the past few months after I failed to live up to their expectations of fortitude and reserve (and was told so to my face).
    Recognizing this has only deepened my feelings of isolation from the scene I have poured my entire post-pubescent life into. Like breaking up with a long-term love, I now see that the majority of the punktivist scene does not fulfill my needs mentally or emotionally. The only place I know I'll be supported and accepted unconditionally is in the leather scene of over masculine men and those who love them. Now, I feel more at home in black painted bars than I ever have in a punk club or activist meeting, but at the same time, the leather scene doesn't fulfill my needs either, 'cuz dammit, I love having a diversity of energies around and well, let's just say the buttless chap scene is less than ummm, shall we say, diverse.
    So where does this leave me, aside from bobbing up and down with a thick North swell off some godforsaken island in Northern Mexico? Well, confused and hurt and scared for three. But also with a positive wind blowing out of the future. I feel strong and good about the possibilities coming down the pipes for us. We can create our own scenes from the ruins of the dysfunctional old. After sitting through that workshop and watching a deep seated intimacy arise between perfect strangers, I know that if enough of us go out of our way to make something wonderful, we can do it. There are enough of us nutballs out there to make a scene that could kick the shit out of the New York Hardcore Scene circa '87 and one that could really start having serious rewards in the near future, as fewer and fewer of our geniuses feel the need to escape the pain and alienation of this world. Maybe it's something as simple as ditching your cool kid insecurity and saying hi to that lonely looking kid at the show or inviting random people to your potluck or party. Maybe it's giving a hug to some random person who looks like they're having a tough time or ditching your preconceived notions about people based on looks, body types or scene status. Maybe it's realizing that mental and emotional issues affect you and your friends far more than whatever transnational globalization meeting is coming up and getting to work making good things happen on the home front rather than getting your ass kicked by cops. Maybe it's smiling more at people you don’t know and going out of your way to make new friends rather than perpetuating the divisiveness and distrust that global capital, industrial civilization and/or patriarchy have set loose on this earth.  Though I feel lonely and isolated from the scene, I do feel that we have a tremendous potential for creating something wonderful and far more revolutionary than any pseudo-militant visions we have seeping out of the ideologist fronts. I really think 90% of the battle for a kinder, gentler scene that meets the needs of its founders is ditching all the bullshit we learned and unlearned and getting to the point where we can be intimate and supportive of people without fronting isms, political parties or other malicious bullshit. If you have thoughts, feelings or premonitions on any of these matters, please contact me via e-mail at: antipathy@morelos.com or phone at 541.554.0922, I'd love to hear from all of you. Afterall, making new connections is the first step in dismantling the walls between us…
mike antipathy
Todos Santos, BCN México

PS- Hey prisoners, I'm not around to answer letters and thanks to so many rejection notices, I can no longer afford to send zines to prisons, so please don’t waste your stamps. I'd still love to hear from you, so try and find someone to do email for you… I promise I'll write back…
PSS- There's still empty bunks on the QUE SERA SERA for a Fall/Winter shot down to Central America. If yer interested, drop a line…