January 28, 2023

Mind Mapping this Crazy World

Michael Moore talks about growing up in Flint in his new memoir "Here Comes Trouble"

Perhaps both of us were crazy. I carried a camera just for this type of picture. But I couldn’t get close enough to take the picture without crashing in heavy traffic. I was in the right lane ready to make a right turn when out of the corner of my eye I saw a man across the street walking through a field and playing a guitar. This homeless man looked like he had been walking with the guitar for about twenty years. His face was a deep reddish brown from being out in the sun with no shelter. He also had a sad layer of grayish dust on his face and clothing. A famous defense lawyer once said death comes in gray. This homeless man was part of the walking dead increasing in alarming numbers on the streets.  It was the guitar that made him different from all the other homeless. He was strumming an old weather beaten guitar. He was wearing gloves with the fingers cut off and a very faded brown coat even though the temperature was in the eighties.  He was also singing as he walked. A lady turned the corner and her eyes nearly popped out of her head as she stared at this dusty brown apparition coming toward her with a guitar.

I pulled into a parking lot and waited for him to come by but he must have turned and went north. Damn. His mind was mapped to a world becoming crazier by the day.

Depending on your politics, Michael Moore is a populist humanitarian or radical trouble maker (living up to the title of his memoir) one broken guitar string to the left of the homeless musician. He has a memoir coming out in September about growing up in Flint, Michigan called Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life. I know that ignoring Michael Moore’s politics is like ignoring the whale plot in Moby-Dick. My political opinion is that most political opinions are too easy to map. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, tell me the person’s background and how they view the world becomes predictable. A paycheck and a roof over your head demands conformity. Over time the echo chamber of conformity becomes debilitating.

Moore talks about his memoir at the BEA 2011.

Nature News reports that urban living adversely affects the brain. The cement jungle causes too much social stress leading to higher rates of mental illness. The epic battle between nature and man, Jack London’s law of the club and the law of the fang…

As the days went by, other dogs came, in crates and at the end of ropes, some docilely, and some raging and roaring as he had come; and, one and all, he watched them pass under the dominion of the man in the red sweater. Again and again, as he looked at each brutal performance, the lesson was driven home to Buck: a man with a club was a law-giver, a master to be obeyed, though not necessarily conciliated. Of this last Buck was never guilty, though he did see beaten dogs that fawned upon the man, and wagged their tails, and licked his hand. Also he saw one dog, that would neither conciliate nor obey, finally killed in the struggle for mastery.

I turned around and went back to look for the non-conformist homeless musician, feeling like the Ernie Pyle of economic war correspondents.

Across the street was a motel that charged by the hour. He couldn’t have gone in there. He didn’t look like he had the cash for five minutes, never mind an hour or a day. I knew a priest who worked at the front desk of the motel, charging hookers and their customers the hourly rate. The priest needed more income. He stayed with it for more than a year before finding a church up north that paid enough to keep him off the streets. It’s becoming that kind of a world.

A homeless orphan in Korea sings with incredible passion…

A homeless orphan stuns the crowd in Korea with his singing


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