5cense Boots across America, tromping Drumpf 4 years after the fact, mark our words


9 Nov 2020> Last night we watched Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story, a sad story that we was following at the time cuz we sorta knew him. In 2015 we published him in Sleepingfish under the pseudonym Boots Walking in America, which despite the name was about a guy who sets off walking "barefoot because my boots were still hanging on my shoulder," so seams the US-Xing idea was already kicking around in his cabeza... in fact, the movie doesn't mention it, but he had already walked across Amerika before (or at least had claimed to), tho he wore shoes that time (in 2010). At sum point he sent us a book-length manuscript for Calamari to publish... actually looking thru our emails, this piece we published in Sleepingfish was an excerpt from a longer manuscript that we declined on. In the pitch he said:

"It is inspired by Werner Herzog's "Of Walking in Ice." When I wrote the first draft I would read a chapter of Herzog and then write a chapter of this book. In his book, Herzog pees in a boot. In this book, my journey is to find someone to pee in my boot. The book is also inspired by a trip I did when I walked across America. The title comes from a pseudonym I used to write under. I no longer write under this pseudonym, but I've always liked the name "Boots Walking in America" and didn't want to not use it. Oh, I'm just remembering, the name was inspired by Richard Brautigan's "Trout Fishing in America." This is a little embarrassing to admit now, but back in 2008 when I came up with the name I was what I was. These are just some of many different people inside/outside of me who wrote this book. 

We declined on it in part cuz at the time we were living abroad but also cuz he seamed pretty spread thin... he had self-published sum 50+ books, so just adding 1 to this list seemed insignificant (tho he was willing to credit Boots Walking in America as the author) + even this excerpt we published was similar to other pieces he'd published elsewhere. He was prolific no doubt, Blake Butler mentions in the documentary that not only was Mark walking across Amerika barefoot, he had the presence of mind to document his every move, making videos of hisself (edited on his phone) + posting them on the fly + blogging (in txt + images) on various platforms. Since we ain't on social media we just had to member to go to his blog or YouTube channel, but honestly it was hard to keep up w/ him, just as we imagine it's hard for any 1 to actually read The Daily Noose on a daily basis. Intresting tho, to go back now in retrospect... on Nov 6, 2016 we shaved our head + posted a video on YouTube + Mark gave us a thumbs up + commented "good song" (the song was Minor Threat's Filler). So on top of walking barefoot across Amerika + documenting his every move + thought he was doing stuff like watching dumb videos of us shaving our head! Funny/sad to think of him in Allentown, Pennsylvania (where he woke up on Nov 7, 2016) watching our video before setting off to Kutztown, PA. The timing is odd too, a day before Drumpf got elected, which if we member is partially what prompted us to sheer off our hairs... not sure why, a Buddhist thing perhaps, maybe we had romantic notions of shaving our head + wandering the earth like David Carradine in Kung Fu... in this 6 Nov 2016 post we wrote "like most ∀merikins we freaking out o'er th frightning prospect of Trump b-coming next prez .. wich d'spite waht polls say we got a dread notion will happen .. mark our words" + hear we are x-actly 4 years later + Drumpf was voted out... if only Mark had lived to see this (not that Drumpf will concede or the Republicans will hand over the White House keys... we're guessing this won't happen, mark our words). There's a lot of shoulder-shaking/sense-slapping contradictions about Baumer's Barefoot project, which was sorta the point, at the time it was like watching a trainwreck or Libertines concert. We kept wondering why he chose the path he did, thru northern states at the onset of winter, why he walked on busy roads + not trails or at least less travelled + more scenic backways (again, this wasn't his point, seams he wanted to expose the ugliness of Amerikan kar kulture) + his habit of walking on the white line + videoing himself while he was walking seamed, well, sewersidal, wich again, was perhaps the intent. There's lots of telling things in retrospeck, like on day #100 this is the final image he posted on his "not going to make it" blog:

Semi-sewersidal in the same way as taking drugs or sum of our past rock-climbing exploits. Call us old, but we never was into that selfie-stick video rant style that reminded us of Steve Roggenbuck who was very popular just before this + the projecting of self so much into the work, which is probly even more popular now. And while his heart was in the rite place, he din't always know what he was talking about, like he kept ranting about how eating a "vegan plant-based" diet is the best thing u can do to reduce climate change, when in fact not having kids is by bar the best thing u can do, followed by not having a car...

... seams a missed opportunity to not address the car thing more, he mentions it a few times, but rather than rant to the assholes that stop to yell at him he should have made this more clear, if this was indeed the reason he was walking on busy roads. And the organization he was raising money for, FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas), has a confusing agenda... why not fight against coal, oil, or gasoline? Natural gas burns much cleaner, emits far less global warming emissions than coal or oil. Maybe it's cuz the acronym FANG has a better ring to it than FAG (Fighting Against Gas) + FAO is already taken (who our bedder-½ worked for in Rome). Or maybe cuz natural gas is methane, that cow-belching stuff that gets a bad rap, but it's a natural occuring methane, not something manmade or induced... tho fracking releases it... so if fracking is what FANG is against, why not call yourself FAF? We'd be happy to use something else to cook with but we hate electric stoves + then u got to aks yourself what is being burnt to generate the electricity (tho we do buy green energy, #4 on the above list). Perhaps this is also why Baumer appeared to eat mostly raw foods (+ strangely no carbs... not sure where he got his energy from!). If this is the case tho, did he not realize that canned beans need to be cooked before they're canned? It's also ironic that he ate Goya beans (+ sum 1 even put a can of Goya Garbanzo beans on his grave) when Goya is a big supporter of Drumpf, tho Baumer likely din't know this. But these contradictions are what made him so intresting, he wasn't nessysorrily out to make a sociopolitical statement so much as a performance art piece, sorta like the performance artist Bas Jan Ader's final piece, attemping to cross the Atlantic solo in a 13-foot sailboat (he also din't make it). Baumer's art was the way he lived his life + he mos definitly walked the walk + talked the walk.

804 <(current)> 806> Leaf viewing VW in the pleasant calm before the shit-storm of our discontent
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