The Gypsy Traveler – Why I Chose this Title
When I first chose the title of my book it was the first thing that popped in my head. I asked some friends for their opinion of my general concept of trying to publish my work in this way, when my sister quickly commented that I might get into a lot of trouble for the very title. After much discussion I still do not see a problem and we both agree that most objections will probably come from people in the west who are overly concerned about seeming politically correct, but who do not really know what they are talking about. I will therefore spend some time explaining my point of view. After all, I have spent a lot of time with Gypsies, I tend to accept them as my brothers and sisters (because we have the same Bohemian way of thinking), and they seem to quickly accept me into their family. I can therefore speak from experience and not from some wannabe politically correct perspective. Not to mention that I see absolutely no correlation between calling oneself a Gypsy and somehow adding to the suffering this group of people had to endure over the centuries (mind you I have also translated extensive testimonies by Gypsies who have survived the Holocaust – some examples here).
The reason why I like this title is a matter of the heart. But for the purposes of this discussion I will now take a more scientific argument.
From my understanding, studies were performed which show that, linguistically, Gypsies originated from India (here's a good article on their background). Apparently they were thrown out because of their nomadic mentality, and wandered their way to Europe, where they found a goldmine of charitable Christians.
First of all, after having traveled loosely around the world for so many years, I have grown to despise borders, so only in this respect do I greatly sympathise with them. What are borders for anyway? To stop a flooding-in of foreigners who will take away your jobs? There is all this talk of free trade of goods, but why not a borderless world for humanity? This sort of isolationism only breeds xenophobia, nationalism, because of that racism, and a fear of other cultures. This leads to wars and much unnecessary turmoil and suffering on this planet. Just go watch the movie Babel to see how screwed up things can get because of these borders, but once you actually cross them you find that the regular people on the other side are the same people like anywhere else. You have good people and bad people, but generally people are relaxed and welcome you. But at the borders I am always asked in a terribly accusing tone: “What is your business here? How long you want to stay here? How much money do you have in your pocket?” When I finally explain to the authorities that I work through the internet, that I can be anywhere in the world, that my customers are all elsewhere, such that I go to any bank machine, withdraw my foreign earnings and spend it on their local economy… they most often just stare blankly into space and don’t know how to deal with me. They see that I am bringing money to their economy, that I am not threatening to take jobs away from locals or try to steal for survival or bum in the streets, but they are baffled by my freedom and do not know what to say. More often than not they admire me and send me on my way with a smile.
In any case, this growing authoritative global police state is starting to get on my nerves and I can understand why the authorities and xenophobic groups despise Gypsies in every country they have settled. Mankind has lived in harmony with nature for millions of years, but everything started falling apart as soon as the white barbarian European started spreading its colonial expansionist property-owning resource devouring virus mentality around the planet (or, truthfully, as early as Sumeria [modern day Iraq], where this “science” began). After all, how can you possibly say you own some property. This piece of land has been there for billions of years. You think you own the top surface, or a certain amount of metres underneath it, just because some bank hands you a piece of paper in return for a bunch of pieces of paper (money) you hand it? Anyway, I can go on a really long tangent on this and I guess I will one day. The present system is built on a debt-driven consumer society which is criminally devouring the earth’s resources. This consumption the “engine” which keeps our society going and pays for lawyers and politicians and jobs we can almost do without. As opposed to living together as a community, growing our own food, and learning to be content with simple things.
This is how Gypsies think, and so do I. This life is possible, even in this age. I live it myself and I see how many Gypsies do the same. They often find a free place to stay, grow their own food, and live together as a close community. It is a beautiful thing. But everywhere I see them live like this, I also see their white barbarian neighbours look at them with total despise. And why might they fell that way? Because these people have accepted a life within a jail, where they have to get up every morning, work at a job they often detest, brown-nose their boss all day, deal with the aggravating politics of the office, then rush home while squeezed in frustrating traffic, and maybe watch some violence or other stupidity on TV in the evening. This is a horrible life lacking much freedom. So when these people look over a fence and see a poor Gypsy family who is living free and happy, it burns them to their core. Such petty people are willing to make up stories about them. If there is a mob uprising against such free people, they will only tickle with glee, no matter how much suffering that is incurred onto them.
This is the sad state of human thinking. You are all chained to your rat race, forever competing against your neighbour to make yourself look better. It’s almost like trying to compensate for a sense of insecurity. Perhaps you will understand some of the wisdom behind the line, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s property”.
So, like the worm that crawls through the ground from one property to the next, oblivious of any political implications behind their migration, or the bird, bug or any other creature which freely moves across this planet, so are the nomadic hearts of the Gypsies. Like my favourite saying of theirs: “They may take away our houses, and our women, and our belongings, but they will never take away our music.” This is a free expression of their hearts and it is a beautiful thing. I remember I once parked my truck near a pub where many Gypsies were drinking after a hard day of work. Eventually I started bringing out all my musical instruments, it was clear that none of them knew how to play any of them (trumpet, harmonicas, African drum, but some did know how to play the guitar a little bit), but within a half hour it sounded like an amazing orchestra (picture top of this page). They simply have this in their blood, as they do their nomadic and free way of living. It is truly a beautiful thing if you understand it and we should all be like this, but the powers at the top would rather “divide and conquer”. Compartmentalise all of humanity, the media fueling fears against “those people” on the other side of the border, all sorts of documentation and approval required just to travel around a little bit… This system is totally against nature. I am sure many are convinced that 6 billion people could not survive without this present order, but that is not true. There is so much waste in society it is criminal. I’ve been studying permaculture and they have calculated that the world’s population can easily fit into Australia, with one acre of land each, plenty of area from which to survive, using permaculture technology. Which is at least four times as productive as modern agricultural techniques, which require big tractors, lots of fuel to operate, a mono-culture which degrades the soil and requires a constant input of fertilizer, then fuel to deliver it to the warehouse and distribute it to the grocery store, or often to the other side of the world. It is all wasteful, consumer-driven insanity. It is NOT necessary, but the transition to another system will certainly require some time.
But why will there be resistance against such a transition or enlightenment? Simple: because the powers at the top, who own the factories, and profit from the fuel consumption, and fund the campaign contributions, and profit from wars (they have to produce the tanks etc), and who control the media, cannot control us if we are all self-sufficient and living in bliss. If you grow your own vegetables, they lose profits on the fuel consumed, taxes and so forth. If you learn how to knit a sweater and give it to someone who comes to your house and fixes a leaking hole in your roof, you have circumvented currency, taxation, and have not contributed a penny to the system. Without that you have taken the power from the elite to control us, and they do not want that. So they use their media arm (and it is very easy to prove that the super rich exercise their influence in industry, media and government) to promote consumerism, a way of life, and a constant fear of “those people”. Divide and conquer.
So when someone succumbs to this imprisonment and fear, they will naturally despise someone who lives free and is happy with so little. That is why the Gypsies have been persecuted throughout the centuries.
I cross borders and have become a master of weaving my way through bureaucratic bullshit. I slip through all the cracks and make a joke of the system. This is precisely Gypsy and all Gypsies I have met incredibly admire what I am doing.
So, if any of you politically correct anal wannabies wanna take a crack at me, BRING IT ON BABY!
On the following pages I have posted the original discussion with my sister which has inspired the above. If others lambaste me for the choice of my title, as she so warned (and which never occurred to me), I’ll add those as well.
Feel free to contact me. :0)