Recently, a Mexican’s husband asked me the following question:
“Why dont you write a book instead? An actual book with what you have learned that you think will be useful to others the most right now? Instead of a few verses every now and then that facebook will on a daily basis separate more and more from everyone.”
Here is my response to that lady’s better half:
The main reason I haven’t written a full-on “book” is because of how my path winded towards literacy, thinking, and all that.
In 1984, at 5-years-old, I attended Mrs. Harper’s kindergarten class at Riverview Elementary school in Lakeside, California. I barely made it through that grade and was in principle Livingston’s office literally every day, for failing to effectively manage “anger,” which was really just an inability to manage disappointment. For example: one day, the Amaya twins—Alex and Danny—wouldn’t let me play basketball with them on the playground—so I ran into the classroom and started throwing things around, including all the little semi-transparent pastel tupperware cups, each filled with a spoonful-or-so of paste that Mrs. Harper had prepared for all the kids to do crafts.
It was the 80’s, and for every hardworking, well-meaning old matron like Mrs. Harper—there was a young, sloppy loser like Ms. Livingston, the unprincipled she-principal, who was sure that 5-year-old Russ’s problem had nothing to do with a lack of proper leadership and modeling: Russ just needed drugs. It was the beginning of the ADHD craze among shit she-leaders like Principalette Livingston and the many bad, lazy parents who pledged allegiance to those shit leaders’ ritualized pharmacological child-abuse. But my mom was an Alabama-raised hippie. And my mom was too crazy to blindly believe that my problem was a lack of prescribed narcotics—so she spent the mid-80’s trying to de-crazy me without the use of legalized mind-poison. Geeze…such a bitch.
(Speaking of hippies: my mom went to Auburn University in the 80’s and got her degree in not-so-practical “Literatura Española Del Siglo XV.” Then she had seven kids. One of those kids was tortured by shit she-leaders, who recommended drugs in place of teaching and leadership. My mom never believed them. Riverview Elementary sits at the base of a hill in Lakeside. Years later, my mom lived at the top of that hill with her second husband. At that time, my mom in her 50’s, she returned to school herself, attending the prestigious University of San Diego, where she completed the Master’s program in Teaching And Learning—which taught her the cutting-edge concept that “kids learn differently—there’s no need to drug a kid into a stupor just because your boring lectures fail to interest the child.” Decades after her battles with Principalette Livingstone, my mom sat alongside her young, mostly-girl classmates—as her classmates marveled at the cutting edge “variations in teaching, not drugs” approach to learning. After getting her Master’s, then her teaching credential, my mom created bilingual programs for homeschooling parents at charter schools in Chula Vista and beyond. There, she had such pleasant experiences as a Muslim mother saying quite offhandedly, of some politician with whom the Muslim disagreed, that someone should cut off his head. And my mom got to try and corral the countless, misled Mexican-American kids who came in thinking they were “bilingual”—when they could speak neither enough English, nor enough Spanish, to be proficient in either. From there, my mom semi-retired to the mountains of Arizona. She’s remarried, teaches Spanish at the local high school, and lives happily on plenty acreage, where—with her garden and horses and such—she can finally live out her dream of being a largely-left-alone, peaceful, peacefilled hippie.)
After Mrs. Harper’s kindergarten was Mrs. Hume’s 1st-grade class at Riverview. Hume had a fun reward-system, where every day that I was good, she added, to my progress, a laminated piece of paper, colored and shaped like part of a hamburger. After a week that I was better than terrible, Mrs. Hume drove 6-year-old me down to get the real-life version of the burger, at the Jack-in-the-Box on Woodside avenue—the street where me and my brother wandered barefoot (in the good way) during many sunny days of our youth (and the same Jack-in-the-Box where, at 31, I sat and ate a Hume-reward, after finishing up at the self-storage across the street, having stored the last of what was in our apartment after my wife stole our kids during visitation and I was evicted after losing about 50 pounds from staying up all hours for a month trying, in absolute vain, to write a legal document to argue to get back my kids, whom I had raised every day of their lives before divorce. But during divorce, my ex-wife convinced an effeminate judge—based on absolutely nothing—that I was “a danger” to my kids. The effeminate judge upheld my ex-wife’s kidnapping of our kids. This year will make it a decade since I’ve seen my kids).
First grade with Mrs. Hume went well enough, from what I recall (except I got my first exposure to reading aloud in front of people—which I absolutely hated, and was terrible at). But in the middle of the year, a young lady substituted for Hume, for several weeks. According to lore, 6-year-old me drove that young substitute crazy—supposedly “making faces at her” from my desk in the back row of the class. I don’t remember that. In fact, thinking back, I’m pretty sure that the substitute was just an incompetent, insecure bitch who sexistly shit her insecurities onto a 6-year-old child. Riverview Elementary expelled me—for making faces. (Fun fact: Decades later, I was sitting on the curb on a street in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, while a young, effeminate cop ran my information, after pulling over my car in response to a 911 call from some dumb, cowardly bitch who said that she saw someone “making faces” who “seemed like they were on drugs.” That was me in the parking lot of RSM’s Rite Aid—showing pregnant Shaya some neck stretches while dropping her off for work.)
For second grade, I attended Mrs. Newport’s class at Wintergardens Elementary. Mrs. Newport was old, strong, strict, and consistent. Everything went fine. Notable 2nd-grade events:
(1) Some crazy wrestling coach showed up to class with an awesome red-white-and-blue flier, and I joined his wrestling class, becoming obsessed with wrestling for a while;
(2) Trent Greeny, who became my best friend in the class, taught me how to goof off without getting in trouble. (Next year, Trent and I fought, and I legit bodyslammed him, ending our friendship.);
(3) My dad brought my pet tarantula to the class, for show-and-tell. Believe it or not: I was the only kid in the class who had a giant spider as a pet. During the presentation at the front of class, the spider pooped on me. Only my dad noticed. He told me to go wash in the sink that was also at the front of class. As I washed, my dad continued displaying my tarantula, and mentioned to my classmates: “Russ had to go wash—the spider went to the bathroom on him.” Laughter roared throughout the class. There, in front of the class, 6-year-old Russ—the retard who needed drugs to behave but never got them—just laughed too, comfortably supposing that the wall of faces were laughing not at him—but with him.
Second grade was the last schooling I ever really finished. In Mrs. Fisher’s third-grade class at Wintergardens, I learned that being the class-clown was way more fun than listening to boring sexist bitches—and I learned also that it is a hate-crime to provide equality to a girl that hits you (that was Julie Godfrey—and no, we didn’t have “hate crimes” back then: I just got in trouble, from my parents and the school, and was literally told “never hit a girl,” i.e., there is never an excuse to defend yourself against a girl).
In third grade, I went to the 5th-grade classroom for math with Mr. Baurley. In Mrs. Brady’s 4th-grade class, I just roared through the math—doing more than the year’s math in a few months. Then I wanted to take a break, but even though I had done way more than necessary, Mrs. Brady—being an incompetent, sexist bitch (brb)—began punishing me for not continuing to do at least some math during math time. By that time, I was riding a literal short-bus to school, complete with drooling and pissing retards, because I was always fighting on the normal bus (fighting back, then getting in trouble for it). During a fight in Mrs. Brady’s class, a kid attacked me, I fought back—and he ended up crying. In the mind of one of the stupid girls in my class: because the attacker was the one who ended up crying—he was the victim. So she turned to me and said, “You’re so mean! I used to feel sorry for you, because you have to ride that other bus—but now I DON’T.” That would have been all fine, unfair, and ignorable…but the girl was Carrera Alvarez—and I had the biggest crush on her of anyone ever in my life, by far. So that broke a 7-year-old heart. But oh well, at least I made that rat cry after he attacked me.
So 4th-grade came and went. I didn’t go to 5th-grade.
Notable Wintergardens events:
(1) I learned to love work, and pulled a cart to collect all the trash during lunchtime. The janitor—ole Ms. So-and-so—paid me once a week for my work, with an ice cream sandwich. At some point, a business-savvy classmate—probably a Jew—pointed out to me that I was working several hours a week—to get 35 cents every Friday. I suddenly felt cheated and stopped the job—because I didn’t have anyone to tell me that the currency of life is time and energy, and that learning a work-ethic as a child is worth a lot more than whatever spare change you get in the meanwhile.
(2) Mr. Baurley, who was always so helpful to me when I joined his 5th-graders for math, would lead sing-a-longs every week with the whole school, during the last hour on Friday. After being in his class, I had discovered that all Baurley’s students absolutely loved him, that he helped them learn to love learning—and that, every year, he took his class of graduating 5th-graders to the water-slides as a celebration. Only years later did I understand why me and all my classmates had a stated mythology against Mr. Baurley—believing him to be some mean old guy who was strict and unliked. I did not realize it at the time, but that was my first experience learning from—and joining with—the gossip heaped on a good man by various incompetent, jealous bitch women around him. Well, Mr. Baurley would be the second—after my dad (and third, if you count the child version of me).
I went to some 6th-grade at TDS—Tierra Del Sol—in Lakeside (Elliott Jackson was there too, but it would be a few years before I met him). I got into plenty of trouble at TDS (especially with my best friend at the time, Brian Lefler, who is currently a decade or so into a 20+ year sentence for murder). I was the fastest sprinter in 6th grade (faster even than Byron Furrow!). Then got kicked out of TDS. Went to a little of 7th grade—did poorly, but ran a 5:27 mile, sometimes even keeping up with Jake Bishop and Byron Furrow. One day, when I was with Brian, Mr. Curtis (senior), the PE coach, was mentioning how he was prepping Brian to be an Olympic runner, because he was so fast. Real boys never let compliments to other boys go unchallenged—so I said I was faster.
We raced—and I won. The race was down to a line and back to the fence where we started. On the way back, Brian and I were neck-and-neck, then Brian slowed down—like a pussy—as we approached the fence, to avoid crashing into it. Meanwhile, I ran full-speed all the way to the fence, then jumped and double-sidekicked the fence to stop…because I was badass.
Then I got kicked out of 7th, barely went to 8th, and so I didn’t think for a second about attending the TDS graduation for my class, because my grades were so bad. Well, apparently TDS “graduated” me, and later mailed me the diploma—which indicated that I had a cumulative GPA of like 0.8.
Highlights from TDS:
(1) Mrs. Kendrew always believed in me and spoke so highly of me. I was in her class full of mental retards—tucked away there with a couple other kids who were just “bad.” One kid was Richard Watson. He and I slap-boxed. I started winning. He got mad and started punching me—and Mrs. Kendrew intervened and defended me, which was a nice change-of-pace for my life. (Later, Richard’s popular, hot bitch sister Misty cornered me at school, emboldened by a couple eunuch losers she was probably fucking, and shoved me a little for “beating up her brother.” Bitches be crazy, yo.)
(2) Mrs. Healy taught a fun lesson to me, wheelchair-bound (and now dead) Adam Neuhaus, and some others—it was a mnemonic which allowed us to memorize all the U.S. presidents (up to George H.W. Bush at that time).
(3) Me and Alex Mendoza would walk to and from TDS together, almost every day, and, after school, go to his parents’ tiny shack, in the Mexican area of Lakeside, and play Super Dodgeball on Nintendo.
(4) Got to know a guy who, to me, was the coolest, friendliest guy—and he happened to be the one and only black guy at our school: Keekee Crowder. At TDS, whenever Keekee would see me walking up, he would always—always—shout “baaaaadassss Russell…Russell, why you so bad?” And we would both laugh. I literally never thought about the fact that Keekee was black—until one day during his fight with [name omitted] when the two were separated and [name omitted] said, “Man—FUCK THAT NIGGER!” Keekee heard Errol (oops) say that—and Keekee went absolutely ballistic. That was my first ever experience with the mind control that white supremacy has over black people in the U.S.—where the mythology surrounding a word can completely destroy a black person’s peace of mind. Decades later, I was at Lindo Lake park in Lakeside—the park next the the library where I learned to read, and where, as a child, my mom took me and my siblings, almost every day, to feed the ducks and geese. I was with my daughter Athena, then 7, and my son Aiden, then 5. My kids were always comfortable around people—because, despite my many opportunities and reasons to distrust people, I led my kids by example and always encouraged them to be outgoing with others. That day at the park, my daughter noticed a black guy standing by himself. He had a bright yellow jacket on. My daughter looked at the guy a little hesitantly. It was the first black guy she had seen—and he was one of those “really black” guys, who had a bit of an air of anger around him. Refusing to raise my daughter to be a racist weirdo, I told her to tell the guy “hi.” The black guy said “hi” back, and then cheered up a bit. He and I went back and forth about Lakeside and this and that. Turns out it was Keekee. We started laughing and reminiscing about TDS. Apparently, and I never new it: I was as much a breath of fresh air for Kyrrae Crowder in those days as he was for me.
(5) My Sensei’s gorgeous daughter [name omitted] was a grade behind me, so I saw her around school sometimes. With only a few people in life did I ever have as big a crush on as I did on her. Fuller story: a few years later, she ended up tossing her pussy to a super-handsome bad-boy friend of mine at the time, a guy who later implicated me in a crime that I did not commit, which earned me my first felony. Then he fucked the hell out of the girl who was my best friend growing up—the one who was always the love of my life and the only person who ever made life make sense. (We were also both each other’s first consensual sex—both having been molested as hell during childhood.) When I whined the whole “how could you”—like a pussy—she said, more or less, “well his side of the story is different.” She later apologized and said, more or less, “you were right”—after he massively fucked her over. Ah women: they certainly know how to learn from experience when they should be learning from the advice and experiences of others.
Then I went to a little 9th-grade at El Capitan High School. It was massively surreal: all my fans from my clowning days at Wintergardens had gone not to TDS but rather LMS (Lakeside Middle School). They hadn’t seen me in years—but they were all at El Cap. And all the people who liked me at TDS, and missed me when I was gone from 8th grade—they were at El Cap too. So, for a while, I couldn’t go anywhere without someone who was happy to see me, if not a little star-struck.
Then I started noticing how, in high school, people who used to be friends were friends no longer. It didn’t really affect me—because everyone from every click was still cool with me. But then I happened into Alex Mendoza. Alex had always been big—but now he was bigger. He had always been a bit angry-looking—but now he was angrier-looking. And he had certainly always been Mexican—but now, somehow, he was Mexicaner: he had a silly little pony tail, wore only white shirts with tan dickies and black shoes—and always had a hat or other accessory that featured a bird killing a snake on a rock. I ran up, super-happy to see the big, angry Mexican. He said, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore, because you’re white.”
Eventually, after feeling sorry for myself—like a pussy—I grew up around much more Mexicans (and blacks). Eventually, I began to gradually understand things from what was likely Alex’s perspective. For example, like I mentioned before, Alex lived in the “Mexican” part of town—and those apartments were tiny and the area was the worst. Also, Alex and I went to TDS with a guy named Jerry Flores (who later, at El Cap, got all Mexicaned-out and began going by the full Gerardo Flores). Jerry and I never really got along but never had too much of a problem. Well, looking back, I remember 7th grade at TDS: Gerardo had been out of school for like a week, and when he returned, his arm was absolutely fucking mangled, and hanging lifeless in a sling. Legend has it that he was out in a field, helping his slave-class family, and, during work, his arm got caught in some graining machine. I never verified that, and this was all waaay pre-internet. But I later came to learn that the children of Mexican slaves on USA’s modern plantation have been routinely used to fit into machinery to unjam the equipment—and more than never, the machinery mangles or kills the children. So far be it from me to resent Alex (or Gerardo) because he learned a healthy resentment towards white devils. I just hope he has sense enough, by now, to know that racial sorting is, to say the least, not an effective way to pick teams.
Then I left El Cap. The clicks and drama were crap.
Then I stayed up with well-meaning losers in the SDSU area and beyond—drinking, LSDing, etc.
Spent about a year in jail in 1995, from age 16 to 17, where I got my GED.
Tried Grossmont that same year. Didn’t have consistent transportation (this was before the 52 freeways, and it was hard to get to Grossmont from Lakeside on the bus).
Then some military stuff.
Then some massage therapy stuff.
Then some personal training stuff.
Then some porn and escorting stuff.
Then some drug-dealing stuff.
Then some almost getting killed a few times stuff.
Along the way, when I was 19, I started reading philosophy—Marilyn Manson’s autobiography (up to where he became “more famous than Ministry”) and beyond. And so most of my real training in how to form arguments came from philosophers who wrote with brevity, like Montaigne (i.e. Essays) and Aurelius (i.e. Meditations); or who wrote in short-essays, like Seneca (e.g. Shortness of Life) and Schopenhauer (Thinking for Oneself); and who wrote in dialogs (Plato, etc.). So I generally just mimic the style of whichever thinker I’m paraphrasing at a given point in time (and most of my main ones never wrote a “book”—at least not one that especially interested me).
Anyhow, now I can—but generally don’t—delve into the details of any given line of inquiry with sufficient depth to fully form a “book.” But meanwhile, a book is often just a compilation of “verses every now and then.” So really I am writing books, here and there—they’re just not in book format.
On a related note, I recently dug way into learning how to craft eBooks—so I’m on it, and will probably get to booking—eveeeentually #JennaVoice. For now, though, I’m mostly focused on law school.