Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Masturbation and the Joys of Freelancing

by Skald

[Yes, read with tongue in cheek ;) ]

I find myself, finally, a fulltime freelancing Hobopoet. Seems my toleration for traditional employment (wage slavery) has nearly bottomed out. Just can't do that shit anymore. Bowing and scraping. Ducking from the boss. Filling out forms.

Kerouac summed it up best: "The problem with work is that you are always doing someone else's".

Amen St. Jack!

Not that this situation doesn't contain a large dose of humor. I can't help but laugh when I think of the speed with which I've shifted from disreputable van living Hobopoet, to "respectable" university instructor, to dangerous thought criminal, to, once again, disreputable Hobopoet & freelancer. What a ride!

And the fun continues. Im now locked on starting my own English teaching program... to become, finally, a freelancer and only a freelancer.

Building that will take time,... but I find Im in no mood to chase yet another rat-race job. Instead, Ill do this startup the Hobopoet way... by living in my vehicle and making supplementary income until the English program takes off.

My supplementary income will come from two primary sources. One- I will write freelance. This'll provide a few paltry dollars, but not much.

Which is why Ive decided on part time "job" number two: professional masturbator. Yep, seems you can make a reasonable income from masturbating. I've found a few clinics that are offering $65 a pop for sperm donations... and they want twice a week donations with a one year commitment. I normally dont like contracts, but I think this is a responsibility I can handle. After all, Ive maintained that rate of activity for free for years and years.

This week, Ive been doing research on sperm count... how to increase it. If Im going to be a professional, Ive got to do this right. Ill be laying off the caffeine, exercising regularly, and supplementing my diet with zinc, vitamins, and certain amino acids. I hope to "work" for at least two clinics... thus generating $260 dollars a week. To do that, Ive got to stay in good shape!

The great thing is, I can easily live off that amount of money by become a car dweller once again. I've got a friend who is willing to let me park at his place and use his shower (the two biggest hassles of my last experience). I've got a laptop.... with access to free wifi. Ill get a cell phone as soon as I arrive in town. All the essentials, in other words.

Maybe I should get a business card made... just in case I come across other clinicians that need my services.

Skald Hareksson
Professional Masturbator

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Over & Under Worlds

by Skald

Tim Leary, in typical pithy fashion, wrote that there are always two societies in any country or culture: the "cop outs" and the "drop outs". He also called these two the overworld and the underworld.

The cop outs are the established "game system". They make rules and are always in search of order, control, and stability. The cop outs dont like change. Most upstanding good citizens fall into this category. This group, according to Leary, has always existed in human society and probably always will.

The drop outs are the deviants, the rebels, the malcontents, the "fast mutators", the mystics, the innovators. Drop outs subvert, change, and or break the rules. They search for freedom, chaos, growth, and evolution. They are constantly trying to push the bigger system to another level. According to Leary, this group has likewise existed throughout human history, and probably always will.

Clearly, Leary was a drop out. But what I love is his recognition that both groups are necessary for the wider ecological human system. Im a drop out too... but I can appreciate that a bit of stability is necessary. Most humans simply cannot handle non-stop change. They need a breather. They need some islands in the storm. Even drop outs need this, though considerably less than the cop outs.

On the other hand, the conformist society absolutely needs the drop outs too. Drop outs drive the evolution of the species. The fast mutators keep all of us fit and adaptable. Drop outs push us onward, destroy disfunctioning systems, and make life a lot more fun.

Its good to accept this dynamic. Its easy for deviants to get snared by uncontrolled anger. They rail against the system... and descend into bitterness when change does not happen fast enough (or at all). Ive known a few people like this and they are a sad sight.

I think Leary presents a much healthier model for drop outs. To his death (indeed, including the process of his dying), Leary continued to challenge the system. He was bold, audacious, and irreverant. But he always maintained a sense of humor. When he said, "screw you" to the system,... he always did so with a wink and a grin. Leary radiated happiness, compassion, and humor (The guy even developed a quasi friendship with G. Gordan Liddy for goddsake)!!

As I move on from my own brush with the "cop outs"... I try to remember Leary and hope I can maintain his same sense of optimism and compassion.

Thanks for the Publicity!

by Skald

Thammasat University's BAS program has gone Orwellian on me. My students are emailing me in droves. They tell me the departments administration has forbidden them to read my teaching blog, or email me, or have any contact with me whatsoever. Apparently, they were also told that my blog(s) would be "removed" (presumably access would be blocked on Thammasat U. computers).

In addition, they are now monitoring my students' blogs.

Wow! What started as just another brush with bureaucracy has become some kind of weird censorship campaign... the thought police are on the move!

While I obviously dont condone their actions, I cant help but be bemused. Because the more they do these kind of things, the more they draw attention to the blog, and the more people (including students) are coming to read it.

And these people are writing me (the dept. will have a tough time preventing that, I imagine). My inbox is filling rapidly... emails coming in faster than I can read them.

So here we have it... the classic authoritative, command and control response: attempt to silence those you do not like. If that cannot be done, attempt to intimidate the less bold.

And here, also, we have a lesson in the way the game has changed...

"Command and control", meet the world wide web!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


by Skald

I have this addiction to chaos. I love it when Im a bit anxious. Its a sickness, okay. But it works for me. And the older I get, the more I need what upsets me, shocks me, makes me squirm, or get angry. The older I get, the more I value what forces me to take a second look. The more I respect people who dont automatically respect me.

Chaos does this amazing thing that order can't: it engages you. It gets right in your face and with freakish breath issues a challenge. It asks stuff of you, order never will. And it shows you stuff, all the weird shit, that order tries to hide. Chaos is the only thing that honestly wants you to grow. The only friend who really helps you be creative. Demands that you be creative.
-- Dan Wieden

I have the same addiction. After a short "what have I done?" moment... I find that the chaos and uncertainty of my situation is incredibly motivating and inspiring.

Im free. Free! Free with all the euphoria and fear that state brings. Euphoric to be master of my own fate again. Scared shitless because now I actually have to DO something.. not just talk and complain.

This is as it should be. For far too long Ive cast myself in a resistence role... embedded in one lumbering bureaucratic system after another-- raging at the machine. Ive learned plenty from these experiences but its easy to take shots at these organizations. And in the end, it accomplishes little.

While opposition, subversion, destruction, and unlearning may be the first steps- eventually youve got to create something.

Professional critics, after all, are loathesome creatures. They are usually people who are too timid to write their own book, make their own movie, or create their own program (ouch, guilty as charged!).

For a while, Ive been one of them. I copped out... settled into the critics role of "I know better than them". That may be true, but who cares?

The question that matters is, "Can I DO better than them?"

And that remains to be seen.

A Hobopoet Again!

by Skald

Well, Im back on the trail again. Ive been fired/quit from Thammasat-- seems I had considerably less autonomy than I first thought (is anyone surprised by this)! While there were a few issues, the kicker was that the "TU authorities" found my teaching blog... and then presumably found their way to Hobopoet via my profile.

Well, I cant say Im too surprised. Nor can I claim to be upset. Ive known for a long time that a conservative bureaucracy was no place for me... and while the illusion of semi-autonomy was nice for a while.... reality was bound to intrude.

And so......

No job.

No money.

No problem!

Its time to put my money (ie. making an income) where my mouth is... finally. Time to take that scary leap into freelancing... build my own means of making income.... without bosses. I claim to know better than the bureaucrats-- well, at long last its time to put that assertion to the test.

Ive also been fond of telling my students "Do something great!!" (telling, instead of doing... in classic teacher form). Well, its now time to see if I can follow that advice.

In the short term there will be lean days ahead..... ramen noodles, PT jobs for food income... perhaps another stint of van living.

But its preferable to wage slavery and compromising my life.

As Ive warned many times.. once you taste freedom and autonomy- there's no going back.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Too Wired!

by Skald

Im wired.... have been in an unstoppable manic phase for quite a while... with most of the energy channeled into teaching & my teaching blog. With my mind and body buzzing on these topics, Ive found it difficult to write much about travel & other Hobopoet themes (thus the scarce posts).

Ive also been far too wired to machines. I need a break from ringing cell phones and email and blogging and websites. These are great tools, but all things in moderation.

I finally have a break so I have decided to take to the road (or sky) for a few weeks. Head out, by myself, unplugged. Cell phone off. No computers or internet.

Ill be back in a couple of weeks, and will hopefully be inspired to write more for Hobopoet at that time.

Until then........

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


by Skald

I found a very cool web service called Talkr

Talker automatically converts all of your blog posts to audio.... and will add an audiolink at the bottom of all written posts. Very very cool!

Especially for the teaching blog. I now have a way of providing students, simultaneously, with reading and listening material. And I don't have to do any extra work. As my students are "English as a Foreign Language" learners, this is a very useful and supercool service.

Those of you wanting a lazy way to enter the world of podcasting... check out Talkr.

If you'd like a taste of what it does, see the teaching blog at:


Sunday, October 02, 2005


by Anon


I have to agree with what you wrote on your blog. The motivation in dependant employment is much worse than if you are doing something for yourself. Back when I was 16, I wrote a full-blown application to facilitate exploiting certain loopholes in telephone switching systems at the time. (Basically, it was a hacking app you could use to make free phone calls.) Complete with documentation, custom user interface, sound i/o, phone book, snazzy design.. a major major project, tens of thousands of lines of code. I cranked out most of it in a space of weeks, working from 9pm until 6am and sleeping until whenever I would wake up, collaborating with other peeps as needed.

Now, after a few years working in "professional" IT, I can tell you something like this would have taken a bunch of guys who are *employed* to create it at least a year. Five of them too. Why? Because they just do their job, their heart's not in it. They will no enough to not look too lazy to collect their paycheck.

It holds true for a lot of areas, not only teaching english.

An Angle I Forgot

by Anonymous

Hey Skald,

Thinking about it now, that Friday night [see previous post] had a whole angle to it which I didn't mention in my past e-mail but I think you might be interested in.. It was my encounter with a coked-up Scottish DJ.

So, having just re-loaded on K I'm looking for a nice comfy chair to sink into and ride my trip. I find one, next to a sofa, close my eyes and just ride the waves of my psychedelic experience. Ketamine, if taken in the correct dose, gives you a nice birds-eye view of your life and your current situation, a bit like Google Earth for the mind. So I sit there contemplating, eyes closed at times, enjoying myself.

Eventually, I open my eyes again and there is the Scottish DJ on the sofa next to me with his Hoez(tm). He's coked up as hell and proceeds to chew my fucking ear off, along the lines of: "Yeah, I'm so great, I make so much money, I just spend mad dough on coke and champagne, I'm so intense, blah blah blah."

I smile at him politely and think: What a wanker you are. Get the fuck over yourself. In the great scheme of things, you don't amount to shit if you are always looking for people to placate your fragile ego. For a second I consider enlightening him about the concept of voluntary simplicity, about being happy with less instead of ever chasing for more, about dissolving your fucking Ego instead of taking a drug that blows it up to gargantuan proportions.. But I decided not to waste my time, leaned back in my chair smiling, closed my eyes and enjoyed my visuals..

It takes all strokes to move the world..