Is This The Brave New World?

If you have eyes in your head and a brain behind it, I don’t need to tell you that this is one fucked-up world that continues to spins in absolute disagreement and confusion at something like eight miles a second.

So who am I? I’m just another victim of the system. There’s a good chance that you probably are too. The infrastructure has failed and it left us all in the cold. Businesses and economists have destroyed our country, and like idiots we’re standing here looking to businesses and economists as if they will fix it? People just want to keep their shades on and stay wrapped up in a blanket of ignorance. Guess they would get cold way too easily when everyone else can see just how naked they are without it.

But not me. Not anymore. I’ve been looking for job from businesses who have already shipped away all the jobs. I finally realized that we’re all fucked and the people who did this aren’t interested in undoing it. I’m sick of watching my suburb of a suburb as it turns into a ghost town. I’m sick of hearing the cries in the night and the moaning slaves of industry drone on by day. And, if you’re like I am, you’re just as sick of the lies and empty promises from those whom hold the handle on this hand-basket bound for hell. So, what can we do? I have no clue, but not moving is a certain slow death. Non-action’s an early grave, boys and girls… and I have no intentions of surrendering to it.

I was talking with a friend of mine earlier tonight and he suggested I put this madness up for the whole world to read. What madness exactly? Pure, unabridged, and unyielding madness. Much like life itself, its direction is random and its targets are a mere step to the left of uncertainty. But, that’s just like me, really… in a nut’s shell. Just another happy-go-unlucky walking ball of craziness and creativity.

To break that down in bite-sized pieces, let me shoot some bullets by you:

- I am a guerrilla photographer. The other part of that is the simple fact that the only equipment I use is a Canon Rebel XT I got as a birthday present 5 years ago, the kit lens I got with it, and whatever I can scrape up for props. I shoot everything on location (without permits) and work with unpaid models. That’s right, I’m a cheap bastard, no budget photographer who’s had a few run-ins with the law.

- 12 years ago, I got off the streets and went to college. It’s amazing what one can do on student loans, really. Sure, I lived in my car which rarely moved from the campus parking lot – not because I spent all my time in class, but because the damn thing was dead on its axles. I worked 2 full-time jobs just to be able to afford the supplies I needed for my studies – which, in an art college, isn’t easy to do. The lack of sleep was balanced with caffeine and hellbent determination to graduate. (Starting to see the trend yet?)

- Now, 7 years after getting a BFA and two AS degrees, here I am… still lying to myself about all that not being a complete waste of time and hoping that things will pan out. I’m swimming in student loan debt, and the best job I’ve gotten with those degrees paid no more than working in a gas station.

- Oh, I did get one gig that paid decent out in Denver, but it was a scam and I never actually got paid. That led to an evicted. So, back to the Sunburn State we had to return. On the way back to Florida, however, my truck was in a rollover accident and what was left of my life was scattered across Kansas. I lost just about everything, including my truck and it’s shiny new transmission I had put in the morning I wrecked it. Bummer, huh? But, regardless of my luck, I’m still a graphic artist with 12 years of experience… for what it’s worth. (By the way… there’s a whole lot of nothing in Kansas. Miles and miles of flat. I do suggest you see it for yourself one day, if you haven’t already. Folks there would be happy to see signs of life.)

- Ever since my unwanted return to Florida, I’ve been looking for work. I finally got an interview for Monday for a part-time gig doing telemarketing. It’s the only response I’ve received recently, after sending out thousands of resumes. I’m not sure how this company is, but red flags did fly when they gave me a spelling test as part of my application – a spelling test, mind you, with the words “Presbyterian” and “Christian” on it, along with a series of biblical terms. I just find things like that odd.

So, what am I doing for money? Anything I can, honestly. I’ve always wanted to write a book, so in my extensive free time between job hunting and sleep, I have been working on my first novel. I’m up to chapter 16 (about 175 pages deep into the story) and hoping something comes from all the time I’ve put into this. It’s a satirical comedy, a bit bizarre, and written in a style which nearly resembles Gonzo journalism. As crazy as that may sound, I have found hours of entertainment creating it. Call it “therapy for a twisted mind.” Why not?

A lot of hoping, huh? Well, when you got nothing else, “hope” is quite valuable. Oh sure, it won’t get me a bag of groceries or pay the rent, but it beats the hell out of depression. Besides, I can’t afford Prozac.

On the positive side, I went to clown college at the beginning of the year. Now, I perform magic and tell bad jokes all over the place as a volunteer for the Suncoast Hospice and for a few bucks doing shows at birthday parties. This has been a life-saver, really. If it wasn’t for being a clown magician, I might have ended up completely insane by now. The downside, though… it’s addicting. The variety of different expressions on people’s faces when I pull out their card from my hat or when I make pens disappear inside a dollar bill has become my new drug. Of course, making them laugh is just as addicting, but I’ve been a giggle junkie since early childhood. This isn’t anything nothing new. All I’ve done was add make-up.

So, now that you know a little about me, let me tell you why I’m here…

I’m here because I’ve had it. Like I said above, I’m fed up with being a part of a broken system and living like some greasy monkey wrench in a busted machine. Something has got to change in my life, and I suppose that has to start with me. I’ve seen that done before, so I know it’s possible. One man can change history… just look in any history book. Of course, I’m not out to make history. If I do, it will be a mere by-product of everything else I’m doing, which is simply carving out a path to a better future using whatever I can create to do it.

I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, or how it’s going to turn out, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Will people enjoy my book? Who knows? Will I end up selling everything I own and riding around the world on a cruise ship? Eh, maybe. Will I become a vagabond clown, couch-surfing my way around the country? I don’t know, but it would go with my theme. I mean, my clown’s a wayward magician. Bottom line, it’s clear that what I’ve been trying hasn’t worked, so it’s time to consider something new options.

Want to come along for the ride? I have a feeling it’s going to be entertaining, if anything else.

About Mihkael Fournier

Photographer, Graphic Artist, Writer/Novelist, Clown Magician
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