When I first heard of crowd-sourcing, I knew that it would be part of my business model. Ultimately, as I’ve sought out alternative means of living through my journey of The Rucksack Letters, endured an alien abduction in How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld, attempted to live for a year without using money, developed a community flex space through The Flow Factory, produced the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path, highlighted stories of Transition, and developed the concept of ABC2 Economics, I’ve just been trying to build a better business model, or at least a better way of doing things. Although I’ve had limited success on two prior occasions for smaller projects, today I have launched my Patreon account to seek patrons for the work I am trying to do.
In the Spring of 2001, I filmed a documentary about myself finding out about Attention Deficit Disorder, of which I had recently been diagnosed at the ripe, old age of twenty-nine. My twenties had been a flurry of various jobs, similar to the three different high schools and four different colleges. I had a complete inability to not get burned out or bored with a job after more than a year (or less), even as a Disney world puppeteer or a Universal Studios stuntman.
Although my neurological condition made it appear as if I was a bit unhinged, and still does, it occurred to me that my society was teetering on the brink of sanity in its own right, and still is. Since it has often seemed to me that attachment to ideas and things has usually been the biggest source of disharmony and madness in the world, and so I guess I’ve felt as if the most rational thing to do in life, in order to not suffer the malaise of mainstream society, was to not attach myself to anything and let go of anything.
Of course, as a human, there are always attachments, and I have certainly had mine, many of which will be fodder for further discussion as this journey unfolds. But I have always felt that if I am able to do something that needs to be done, I should do it. I haven’t always actually done it, but the times that I have, it has always made my life more joyful, even if the “doing” part was hard.
I have become very good at letting go.
Just a few months ago, I moved out of the Novus Community House in Sarasota to live in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts to ride out the pandemic with my new girlfriend. At two years and three months, it was the longest place I have had to call home in the last twenty years of my life as an adult. It took a couple of days to sell two of my four pieces of furniture and a couple of carloads to move my stuff. One of the great thing about developing a knack for letting go of things is that moving day is a breeze.
Unfortunately, although I have stayed out of the mainstream and seemingly skirted its trappings, I’ve also sacrificed a lot of other things, like intimate personal relationships, continuous friendships, consistency, stability, security, and more opportunities than I’m comfortable discussing right now. Nevertheless, they’ve all been life lessons, and even burned bridges still have rivers below that lead to other crossings. But ultimately, Kris Krisofferson may have been right when he wrote that “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
So now I’ve let go of my attachment to the idea that we should have obligatory allegiance to whatever governmental system has seized control of the land we are born on. I mean, as I’ve studied the world I live in, the rampant consumerism, endless growth, and penchant for bombs and violence that the U.S. federal government perpetuates is doing us no favors, and I don’t think it is of my highest service to the world or my Creator for me to continue enabling it through its addiction to money and forcefulness. Even though I thought Obama was probably the best president of my lifetime, it was during his administration, July 4, 2012, that I considered the words of Thomas Jefferson as he had articulated his issues with King George and wrote my own Declaration of Independence, letting go of my allegiance to an organization that had grown just as unwieldy in order to embrace my personal sovereignty as the Autonomous Nation of Stevetopia.
Although it has taken me awhile to feel comfortable coming out publicly with this decision, since pride has seemingly become the highest virtue for the U.S. federal government now, it doesn’t seem so outlandish for me to so brazenly flaunt my ego. But apparently, that’s a pretty mainstream thing now, and to be honest, with all that I’ve let go of as I’ve lived the journey of my life up to this point, my ego is the only constant that I know.
Anyway, I eventually cut the film together and called it Attention Deficit Disorder: Life At A Different Pace. Ultimately, although it does point out the challenges and pitfalls, the film does try to showcase the positive traits of Attention Deficit Disorder. But in it, my younger self said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I may not very good at math, but I can build a better mousetrap.” I’m not sure that the Autonomous Nation of Stevetopia is a better mousetrap than the U.S. federal government, but I do think it has better cheese. It’s much more aromatic, has a smoother flavor, and isn’t as likely to give you gas.
Not that I’m trying to get people to immigrate. The Autonomous Nation of Stevetopia can only have a population of one. However, you are welcome to come visit.
So basically, since I’ve not done a good job of establishing a great career in the traditional American economy, I figured that I’d just create my own, my own country, my own economic system, and my own… reality. Patreon seems to be offer the most opportunity to do that in the most artistic way possible. I’m glad that I have started my campaign with four followers. I look forward to watching it grow.
Please look through the various benefits of supporting me on Patreon and let’s do something different together!