A Little More (Chapter 1)
By Christopher R Rice
Hello, I've received a lot of comments as of late about trust and maybe I haven't handled them very well. First thing that I should clear up is that, I am not a writer. In other words, I don't belong here and more importantly, I don't even want to be here. When I first received these comments they were pretty straightforward. They said something like, "Chris, I don't know you from the turd that I took this morning and so how am I suppose to trust what you are saying."
So I added a blurb to my blog... "Christopher R Rice, author of the "Anarchist Vegan Cookbook" and producer of the movie "Truth, Justice and the American Way," helped develop boycotts and divestment against S. African Apartheid in the 80's, and again against Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase in 2006/8. He lives in Riverside, Ca. And currently publishes Underground America Inc."
Which in retrospect doesn't really tell you a whole hell of a lot. Except about my failures. Let me tell you about the America I grew up in. Let me tell you what America looks like through my eyes.
As a child my lifetime goal and ambition was to become a shrink. I wanted to sit in a big comfy chair and listen to rich peoples problems while I doodled in my notebook and never tell them what was wrong or even what I was thinking. I'd simply sit there doodling and then say 'times up' at the end of their hour / session and then charge them exorbitant amounts of money for doing nothing. But my parents could not afford college and my childhood dream was shattered.
I started working at age 12 in my families business. I don't talk much about this, but when I was 7 years old my 6 year old brother was shot in the face by the neighbor's boy and died. We were playing toy soldier, with the neighbor's boy, in his apartment, next door to our apartment. Our fathers put on civil war re-enactments. At 6 I was carrying a .22 and knew how to take it apart and clean it. But on the battlefield the guns all fired blanks. My friend who was a year younger than me, maybe didn't understand this. And his idiot father kept a loaded revolver where his 6 year old son could reach it, without the safety lock on.
Both of my friends parents were at work. My mom was home next door doing the dishes. My friends babysitter was next door with his sister at Bell Park. Our apartment building was next door to that park. My friend Shannon took his dads gun out of the dresser drawer and put a bullet under my little brothers left eye, right in front of me. My parents used the settlement money to open a hobby store in Gardena, California that they called "Modelers Mansion".
When my brother was shot and killed, my parents distanced themselves from me emotionally, I assume, because they didn't want to hurt that much again, if something happened to me too. I also developed a stuttering problem after watching my brother get killed.
My parents had my little brother, 'Bill', when I was 12. At age 14 they had my little sister 'Cindy'. And my parents were fighting like cats and dogs. My grades went from straight C's to straight F's. I flunked out of 9th grade and was told that I had to go to 10th grade anyway. I was not allowed to repeat the 9th grade according to the administrators at Peary Jr. High School, in Gardena, California.
By age 14 my parents had split up.
My mom, brother and sister stayed in our apartment in Downey, California. And I went to live with my dad in the back of our store- Modelers Mansion. My dad sold everything and didn't replace any of the merch that we sold. He took the money and spent it on cheap woman and expensive restaurants.
I started drinking, smoking and dating. I started a rock and roll band. I lived in the back of a store and there was no one around for miles to complain about the noise. When all of the merch was sold out of the store, my dad put in pinball machines, video games and a pool table. They were owned by a rental company and the quarters were split. And then he started working security at nights.
I was ditching school during the day and my dad was working nights so we hardly saw each other. Free at last, thank God almighty, I was free at last.
One night with my so called friends and band mates we went to 7-11 and stole some Boones farm wine. On the way back to my dads store I saw someone had left their keys sticking out of their trunk lock. At 14 I still didn't know how to drive, so I gave the keys to my friend 'James' and we took off. Two blocks from where we left he sees the cops down one street and freaks. He makes a sharp right turn in the other direction and drives through a metal fence, someone's front yard and parks the car in this poor guys living room.
The next morning, a mutual friend of my dads says she saw the whole thing and turns me into my dad. My dad loses his mind, puts me on the back of his motorcycle and drives me to the Gardena police station and tries to turn me in, but the Gardena PD informs him that because this took place on Vermont Ave., it's considered LA and not in their jurisdiction. They send him to another police station but they tell him that he's still at the wrong station. But on top of that no one has reported it and so there's nothing that anyone can do. When we walked out to the parking lot it looked like the veins in my dads head were going to pop.
Shortly there after, I moved out and back to my mom, brother and sister. They were living in an apartment in South Gate, California.
When I first got there I was 15. I went straight to South Gate High School, 'cuz I was suppose to be in the 10th grade, going into the 11th grade. I showed them my papers from Gardena High School and they immediately gave me a battery of test to find out where I belonged. They were called placement test, to see if you needed advanced classes, intermediate, or to be put with the slow kids.
After completing their test they seemed very strange. Looking at me weird they asked me, "how did you do that?" I said "what?" 'Cuz I had no idea what they were talking about. Then they said that I had to take the test again but this time they were going to watch me. I was starting to get really freaked out by how they were acting. Not one, but two adults, a teacher and a school administrator stopped what they were doing to watch me take these stupid placement test. As soon as I was done, they ripped the pages from my fingers, this is no exaggeration, I remember it vividly. They took my test into the back room and when they were done grading it they came back and asked me the same nonsensical question "How'd ya' do that?" By this time I was losing my patience and demanded "Do what?" Then the teacher or the administrator, I can't remember which tells me that according to my test scores that I have an 11th grade education. I'm like okay, so what's the problem? I ask, because after all I'm suppose to be going into the 11th grade anyways. And this teacher or administrator looks me right in the eye and says that everyone in the 11th grade has a 5th or 6th grade education. I was dumbfounded, how could this be. They still wanted to know how I did it but I never went back there again. I still can't believe we're paying people to do that horrible of a job.
I wound up back at my dads as I was too much to handle, according to my mom. I decided to knuckle down and started bringing home straight A's. When I returned to Gardena High School, they gave me those same competency / placement test but this time I didn't ace them, I put down wrong answers on purpose so they'd put me in the easy classes, I knew that I could ace, without even trying.
I was still determined that I could get good enough grades to go to the local community college, get an AA and use that to go to UCLA and study to become a shrink. But my dad bailed on me, re-joined the National Guard at age 34 and got shipped off to Texas for boot camp. It didn't take too long before the food ran out, the lights got turned off and the owner was serving me with an eviction notice at 17 years of age.
At 17 I moved in with my girlfriend and her mom. I started working to support my little brother and sister. My dad figured out quickly that back then there was no repercussions to not paying your child support or alimony, so I took on the financial responsibility as well as teaching my brother and sister how to swim, ride a bike, bowl, cook, and everything else. The whole experience drove my mother insane and I eventually had to remove my brother and sister from her residence.
When your parents are dirt poor there is little opportunity to better yourself. Since I could not afford college, I studied to be a monk. I'll never forget it. I had very long hair and had to shave my head for the first time in my life. My teacher didn't think that I could do it. I was working at a pet store. Gardena Pets, it's still there but they call it something else now. One of the regular customers an older black gentlemen asked me after I shaved my head, if I was a Nazi skinhead. Man, I didn't see that one coming.
I started a fast while I was working at that pet store. I didn't really think too much about it. I had never met anyone that fasted but I also hadn't met any vegetarians but still had quit eating meat, successfully. I figured that I would fast until it became uncomfortable.
I was pretty close to being an atheist at this point and studying Buddhism and Zen was not a new religious experience for me, but more like studying a philosophy. I did not anticipate my fast to become a religious experience but that's what it was. And to my surprise I fasted for forty days without getting hungry.
When I say that I fasted I mean that I did not eat. Not in the morning, not in the evening, not in the afternoon. For forty days and forty nights. During my fast I did drink orange juice, which I considered cheating. My boss at the pet store bought lunch for everyone every day and bought a six pack of Lowenbrau beer. I wouldn't eat with them while I was fasting but I did have a Lowenbrau almost every night of my fast. I was working a 10 hour shift 6 days a week. So 6 days a week I had a beer.
My boss and coworkers were Thai and that's where I got my addiction to Thai food. I love spicy food and Thai people do too. My boss 'Paul' and his wife called me their 'Little Buddha.'
During that first fast I found a book published in the 1930s called 'Back to Eden' in the middle of the road. It turned out that this book was originally banned by the United States government. They were allowed to sell it but not to advertise it. So it wasn't a total ban, as I understood it. In this book, was a God that I had never met before. It was not the god of the Catholic church who was holding hell over my head if I didn't join his club. This was a God that gave everything under the sun to make man happy. And no matter how bad we screwed up, this God was always right there to make it all better.
The book said that meat was bad for you and proved it. The reason your health was causing you grief was because you were feeding your body the wrong fuel. Once men ate right they were healthy and happy, just as I had read in the book of Daniel which was written over 2,000 years ago. The book 'Back to Eden' promoted herbal remedies that actually worked. The author gave descriptions of all herbs and how to use them to restore health. Wow, what a great God.
That book wasn't the only thing that seemed to fall right out of the sky while I was fasting. I had become a Christian again. God was smiling and I'd never felt healthier or happier in my whole life.
I ended that fast when I finished the 40th night. I didn't plan on it ever lasting that long but I saw no reason to continue. But I began to wonder since I didn't get hungry or sick was it possible that eating three times a day was just another scam to sell us some crap that we really didn't need? Was eating really necessary? It's a question that still plagues my mind. How can we say how much food a body really needs when we've been lied to our whole lives about the need to eat meat / drink milk? Maybe it's all lies.
I know, barely anyone reading this is a vegetarian. And your whole lives you've been force-fed lies. No matter how much scientific proof that I provide you will never be convinced. So why are meat eaters 95% more likely to have heart attacks than vegetarians? Same is true for strokes, diabetes, arthritis and every other disease plaguing this country. But rather than research what I'm saying and find out for yourselves, some people would rather attack me, the messenger. Pretty predictable, aren't they? Instead of thanking me for my research, or any of my hard work, they'd rather call me names like we are on some third grade playground. This is my America.
This is my America. And I'm taking it back. With or without you. Turns out I don't need you at all. You need me, lets get this fact straight. 'Cuz so far ya'll got it twisted somehow that I need you. I can do this without you. You're really not that important. I can quit this and go back to the beach where I belong, if I choose.
Funny thing, as a kid growing up in America I thought that life sucked and was constantly suicidal. Then I met my wife. Before I met her, I vowed that I would never have children because my life sucked and I would never bring another human into this fucked up place to suffer with me.
My wife's mom was paranoid schizophrenic, her and her grand mother both had diabetes. And she didn't want to pass any of these diseases on. And so, I've never had children. My wife's childhood was horrific and made me think that my parents, who were more like pet rocks than parents, actually deserved some kinda award.
Brenda's story: Happy Mothers Day (coming soon)
Since my divorce, I've dated over 50 women who all had horrific childhood stories. My wife's was not the worse. Lynn was raped by her own father from 4 years old to age 14. My wife, Brenda was raped at age 3 by a babysitter. At age 8 by her moms boyfriend and six of his friends. Lynn's story inspired my article called: From Incest to Prostitution.
This is the America that I know. This is the America that I've grown up in and known my whole life. All of their promises are lies. What's the stat last time I checked? 1 in 6 girls raped by age 18, 1 in 8 boys raped by age 18 in America? FUCK America.
"You know why they call it the American dream, right? Because you have to be asleep to believe in the American dream." -George Carlin
"I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."-- Harriet Tubman
"The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." -- Thomas Paine
For two thousand years you have cried: "The End is near." I tell you to Cry No More but to shout for Joy! C.Rice
“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.”
― Edward Abbey
RULZ (What rules you?) “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
Yes, my snake is bigger than yours.
Born: Oahu, Hawaii Octoberfest 1966