ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living Outside Society: Is It Possible?

Updated on November 2, 2016
Occupy Protesters at the rose parade.
Occupy Protesters at the rose parade. | Source
Eddie Vedder, free on the beaches of the world.
Eddie Vedder, free on the beaches of the world. | Source

Eddie Vedder's Noble Vision

How many people have dreamed to get off the grid: no boss, no professional or cultural costumes, no more pretend and play along to a world that lives in psychological prisons? To have a lifestyle and income, or just enough courage for that matter, to make do with less even if you have more, to trade in the possibility of riches and a future retirement for ownership of your own time? Some in the younger generation are already doing it, more than one could possibly realize. I myself have fantasized about being some sort of immortal super-hero, walking the earth, living free from the constraints of ordinary limitation. But is this realistic? Is Occupy Wallstreet realistic? How could so many occupiers show up to protests day after day, carry iPhones and laptops? People may have yelled, "get a job!" But what they were really saying is, "I'm jealous! How can you get by a not have a job?! How do you have the courage to do this when I've got to answer to real responsibilities?!"

The soundtrack of the movie Into The Wild by Eddie Vedder has the epic mantra for this mission. The fourth track on the album, Rise, talks about this conviction. Here, it is in reference to the Emory University grad who ventured to the Alaska wild after graduation. Written like prose, Vedder's opening verse reads like this: "It's a mystery to me: we have a greed, in which have agreed. When you think you have to want more than you need, until you have it all you won't be free. Society - you are a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely without me." The grid, then, is the chess board of a socio-economic framework that caters to an endless slavery of time and sacrifice, but where does it lead? One is reminded of Albert Camus' The Myth Of Sysyphus, where man rolls the ball up the cliff only to have it roll back down again.

But this isn't a die-hard stubborn romantic talking. It's understandable why most people don't do this. And it's also many times the case that people who take the nomad, wanderlust ethos to the extreme end up getting sicker and weaker and more embittered. I remember a point in one of Charles Buckowski's books, where someone glorified poverty. Bukowski, who had lived as a drunk bum most of his life, often homeless in the skids, later began to earn a decent income through his writings and live better. An admirer of his work said, "I'll bet you miss being on the skids. Poor and barely making it. I'll bet there was something kind of beautiful about it, huh? Come on, admit you miss it." Bukowski, as the narrator, stated that this guy had obviously never been down-and-out before. Because when you have been and then you're not any more, every day with a decent roof over your head seems like a blessing from heaven.

And that's realistic. Often the people that romanticize poverty the most are the people from wealthier backgrounds. Of course, living outside the society, in terms of this song, does not mean wealth or poverty. It has more to do with "not playing the game of the world." During protests against the Vietnam war in California, Ken Kesey was asked to take the stage at a rally. Yet he dressed in military garb and told the folks at the rally, "yep, you're playing their game." Meaning that being against the war was playing the other side of the same coin as being pro-war. "You want to do something meaningful," he asked, "just walk away from this war. Walk away."

So perhaps it's more of a mentality that's important. Some may simply shun the beaten path while others live off their own land, eating only organic food and herbs. Or perhaps it's just more important to challenge the poison by first acknowledging it. Eddie Vedder goes on about this echoing enigma where the verbs "want," "have," "think," and "need," are so scrambled up that we lose the sense of our own humanity:

"When you want more than you have, you think you need

And when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.

I think I need to find a bigger place,

Because when you have more than you think, you need more space."

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)