Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wolf Quest Part III

Slightly Better Map

I hate to spoil the story but this map kind of implies I never arrived at the destination of Ellesmere Island, I did not save or even see an Arctic wolf in the wild, and furthermore, I was trying to scribble a route across North America to the Arctic and ended up in Central America. So you might ask what went wrong...and that's the main point of my tale which I will begin again now.

A quest like this is only accomplished with allies, surprise help when I least expected it and while I did have a few scenarios like that I have to admit that it was mostly the opposite, mostly at the critical stages obstacles increased and allies all fled for the hills. Instead of picking up speed with the wind at my back it was more like patching a leaky boat from the moment I hit the water. And every leak I patched was replaced by ten more leaks. And instead of meeting allies who united with my quest to save the wolf I met men who wanted to freebase cocaine in dirty basements, crippled diabetic clowns, dying indigents. I found work in an aluminum factory and was fired two days before Christmas. Christmas Eve did not end with me magically meeting a wildlife biologist at a bar and making love in front of a fireplace. No. Instead, I slept on the street in the van in 0 degree weather. The battery died. I got a parking ticket. The tires all wore down to the metal radial and no one magically appeared to replace them. Instead, I went to NTB Tires and put two new tires on. The old tires disintegrated a day later, the rear wheel bearings seized...and the shitty alignment I bought actually destroyed the two new tires...so I was worse off than before. As soon as I reached the point of no return my battery fell apart, the exhaust system fell apart and the transmission broke. I could go on, but you get the idea. A quest of this magnitude requires a perfect alignment of events to assist me in my goal and I actually had a perfect alignment of events to absolutely prevent me from reaching my goal. I received support, but it was in pursuit of a different goal. One of the critical steps is getting into Canada and I was barred entry into Canada by the border police. That's a pretty serious setback and shortly after that I was stranded in a northern Maine snowbank.
Part Wolf - Part Oggy

This epic beard took a few years to grow so I don't want to give the impression that I left Mexico with a huge beard. No.
Oggy in a Mexican DIY garage

I left Mexico and drove north believing that there was no way I would cross the entire continent without either changing my mind or else convincing at least a handful of people of the importance of my quest. Let me remind you, the climate has destabilized and epic changes are in the future that will be catastrophic for everyone. I believe Mankind will get what he deserves and I have no sympathy for him, but the wolf is totally innocent and I felt something had to be done to raise awareness. So, armed with this argument, I suspected I could not drive the entire distance of North America talking about imperiled Arctic Wolves without gathering a team...and I believed a team could reach Ellesmere Island. And if I failed to assemble a team, or even one other person, then the wolf would not be saved by myself alone and I should resign myself to a world without wolves. Or I could be totally wrong about everything and this quest was merely a projection of my fear and self-loathing. One of these latter scenarios proved to be the reality. The plight of the wolves was not gripping enough for anyone I met.

But what are the details. Of course no one reading this is moved by the plight of the wolf so your only interest will be in the human element, the psychology behind the quest, the obstacles, the pain, the depression, the people involved. If I did not meet one person who was interested in joining me then what kinds of people did I meet?

The year was 2009 and the economy had imploded, mostly because it is a global Ponzi scheme, but specifically because the housing market is exactly as corrupt as everyone suspected, built on a cancerous tumor of manufactured promises and baffling chicanery such as mortgages becoming intangible commodities that are traded amongst nations in an effort to launder exploding debt from metastasized military expenditures. It's ludicrous, everyone knows it, but it's the current paradigm so people go along with it. From 2004-2008 I was living in a decaying house near Venice that was valued at $1.25 Million dollars, purchased for $875,000 a few months before I moved in, and worth $275,000 about 5 years earlier. I went to a  seminar in El Segundo, "How to Buy A House With No Money". I'm not joking. In 2006 I was offered a mortgage on a house worth $650,000 in Venice and I was an unemployed screenwriter...with a car I couldn't drive due to expired registration. 

I said, "I don't know if I can afford that kind of mortgage. What are the payments? $6000 a month?"
The seminar speaker oozed evil and he slicked back his greasy hair and his teeth were so artificially white that I was blinded when he spoke, "No, no, we'll make a plan that you can afford. Don't worry Oggy. This is the perfect time to buy a house."

In 2006 this same line of bullshit was being swallowed all over California and Florida and honestly, it's not dumb. California law prohibits banks from suing home owners if they default on their mortgage and the foreclosed house sells for less than they owed. Maybe Florida has the same prohibition. Some states don't have this prohibition so you might want to do some research before abandoning your mortgage. So, at worst you will simply pay rent, trash a house, and move out when it suits you. Treat all the mortgage payments like wasted rent. My rent was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500/month, and I had to collect every penny every month to send to the owner, so I could conceivably "buy" a $650,000 house and SAVE MONEY, which explains why so many people did just that. Do I need to explain further to justify my claim that the whole housing market is diseased?

This backstory is important because I was planning to cross the United States in a 1969 Ford Econoline van during a economic depression in the first year of a new President's term. Banks and investment cartels had been revealed to own everything under the sun. All the dirtbags who expected to die before their scam was exposed ended up being invited to the Washington to sort the mess out. The pirates were in charge of the royal jewels and there was nothing anyone could do because decades of counter-insurgency programs had succeeded in creating a castrated citizenry who would call for the blood of anyone caught cheating in sports but would shrug and change the channel when those responsible for bankrupting entire states are given luxury hotel rooms during their time in Washington. Are they in Washington because of grand jury indictments? No, far from it, they are in charge of the show, they have politicians by the balls. These scumbags got caught but could not be punished, they kept their jobs, kept their salaries and America got fucked. People's priorities aren't messed up, but their self-trust has been completely eroded by government propaganda and corporate lies up the ass. So, the default action is to do nothing.

Oggy in his San Francisco plumage, Probably drunk...recruiting warriors for the wolf quest. Who wouldn't follow this guy to Baffin Island?

That's the political climate I was reentering and it occurred to me that this was a historic journey, like wandering the West during 1933 Dust Bowl. It also occurred to me that I was one of the legions of destitute gypsies since I had no money or job but that has always allowed me to blend in. People on the street don't necessarily like me, but they don't distrust me. They open up to me and I listen. I hear the stories of the men on the ground and whether they believe these stories will be remembered or not I think the human tendency to share oral history is still strong. The computer illiterate generation will soon all be dead and my kind of observation will be less important because digital confessions will replace the campfire story. Perhaps the destitute have chosen a life that satisfies a primal need to smell smoke, to recount families lost and trails walked on. Or maybe the destitute have no other way of being remembered so they tell their story to everyone and hope that one of them will send it to the future.

Thus, early on in the quest I saw a parallel quest concerning the status of Americans. I can't say that my research was exhaustive, but it was honest and the lack of concern Americans had with the wolf was compensated by the concern Americans have for their integrity. In that respect, my quest became America's story so I will respect that.

No mention of wolves.

Here are links to the installments of the Wolf Quest


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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.