scratch-mark

See You in 2012; It’s Gonna Be Brutal

People will be masturbating all year over who’s going to rule them next

Not me. I’m going to make fun of everyone who has even the slightest interest. And you get to make fun of me, if you like. But I’ll always be able to say one thing you can’t: nobody should rule anyone; nobody should be President; Everybody should endeavor—every day—to become the God of a very small minority. . .themselves.

With that in mind, we headed out Thursday with my T@DA retro trailer.

Road
Road

I’m sitting at a Starbucks in Gilroy, CA, having just come down off the mountain where I’m totally out of communication since yesterday afternoon, and until Monday. Small family gathering. It’ll be fun and the weather in the region is already epic but will be epic-er on Saturday and Sunday, in the low 70’s.

. . .2011 has been an interesting year for the blog with what I perceive as a pretty large turnover in readership. For instance, Barbara Hvilivitzky comments today, on my post about The Flinch.

Well, this is quite a message. As a result this is the last time I will be reading Free The Animal. It has been a part of my routine because I’m hooked on low-carb and that wealth of information has been good. However, the message through the potty mouth language and the very anti-faith slant is continually grating – so that’s it. My flinch has always been that I have itchy ears/eyes and idle curiosity – fatal if one wants to grow in spiritual areas. I’ll spend my time much more productively by this year studying the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas – part of my “do something hard” resolution.

This may bring some negative comments and that’s ok, but don’t waste your time as I won’t be reading.

I pushed a ton of boundaries in 2011, far more than I ever have, and managed to keep about the same 100-120K visits per month, double the page views. But the nature of the emails I get and the comments I get has been so pleasantly improved. It’s my sense that over time, I’m getting rid of the kind of readers I don’t want—such as Barbara—and gaining readers and commenters I do want. But most interesting of all is that the readers and commenters I don’t want are boring monoliths, while those I do want are all over the map—but they’re individualists.

They like “anti-faith,” because they recognize it—faith—as distinctly different from inspiration, human spirit, gut feeling, and so on. They recognize “faith” as the robotic regurgitations of domesticates.

I’ll take that ever day.

. . .On the way down the mountain I was listening to spotty NPR coverage about the upcoming Iowa Caucuses and was just shaking my head over how far we have to go, and how virtually hopeless it is that I’ll ever live in a largely rational society not bent on having everyone live at the expense of everyone else, and/or making sure everyone eats the same regurgitated “values.”

See ya.

Camp
Camp

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

64 Comments

  1. blak_labl on December 30, 2011 at 16:13

    That’s so rad (the trailer)! (Sorry if that’s too boring or monolithic for you)

    Happy New Year! Look forward to more righteous knowledge to be spewing forth from FTA in 2012.

    Eric

  2. Jules on December 30, 2011 at 16:26

    That trailer is too friggin cool! 🙂

  3. Gene on December 30, 2011 at 16:28

    I’ll never understand people who write letters and e-mails about discontinuing a service or readership. As if you would be so upset about it: “Oh God, I lost Barbara, FUCK.”

  4. Christo on December 31, 2011 at 07:34

    when people talk of voting this vid comes to mind

  5. b-nasty on December 30, 2011 at 17:03

    “don’t waste your time as I won’t be reading”

    Tag, no tag backs!! Bye, thin-skinned sissies. Apparently she missed the post on not being a super-sensitive baby right before it.

  6. Steve on December 30, 2011 at 17:06

    Man, I wish I was there instead of here (Iowa).

    Re: caucuses: I’ve been getting phone calls hounding me to go a’caucusing. I’m a Dem, so I see no purpose, but I am on the fence about voting or caucusing in future, after your recent post on the subject. I just feel it’s pretend play.

    I wonder if people — left, right, middle, sideways — don’t all feel a sudden sense of disenfranchisement (3 years of a bad economy brings decades of unnoticed trends to the forefront of one’s attention), but, depending on their preconceived political views, disagree on who is the enemy and what is the solution. I predict lots of going nowhere fast. But I plan to embrace my individualism and disenfranchisement; maybe a completely ineffectual government is the best thing. Who knows. I’ll be on the political sidelines, looking out for me and mine. I once was a news/political junkie; I’m much happier now that I’ve cut back on TV, political news, etc.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2011 at 10:23

      Cutting the cable news channels completely out of my life 4 or so years ago was one of the most positive changes I’ve ever done.

      • John on January 1, 2012 at 09:30

        Could not agree with this more. Most news (at least from major media outlets) is negative, pointless, useless, flat out wrong, and even if it’s not, there’s probably nothing that you could do about or with it anyway.



      • Joy on January 2, 2012 at 14:45

        Heck, most of the “news” on CNN, FOX, etc. is really just the reporting of opinions, whether it’s some host blathering on their feelings about so-and-so’s position, or the supposed voice of “the people” through the continuous presentation of polls, which often can be radically different depending on the organization taking the poll (bias, anyone?)



      • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 14:56

        Joy:

        Yep. It’s “entertainment” couched as “news.” And it applies to all of them.

        Thanks. I’ll take in a film, read a book, do my rounds of blogs, and keep Flying Wild Alaska queued up on my DVR. Besides, Ariel Tweto is cuter and has more personality that the lot of the news channel talking heads put together.



  7. Rhonda on December 30, 2011 at 17:18

    That’s a lovely trailer–that’s my favourite shade of red. Please, take some pics of the inside and post them. Thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 15:37

      Rhonda:

      I didn’t get a chance to take pics of the inside, but here’s a 1-min video tour of the inside, same floor plan we have (there are two). Also, same color of exterior, or which there are a few, all pretty wild. There’s even a yellow one.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSUk7zvQCto

      As you see, there is a sink, gas stove (I never cook inside—that only boils water), and toilet/shower at the entry, then a table for two (that turns into a bed for one adult OR two older teenagers/young 20-somethings who would rather fuck than sleep), and the main bed that for me at 5’10, touches head to foo…so I tend to sleep corner to corner. Then there’s a nice countertop with nice cabinet space below, a DC fridge and small microwave.

      The coolest feature is that the heat pump AC/Heater unit is inside (under the main bed), rather that the big unit on top. his was critical as we originally bought it to store in the parking garage of our loft units where the clearance was just over 8 feet. We purchased an extra space, so we had a tandem parking and a regular spot, so this trailer occupied the back end of the tandem parking and we had 2″ of clearance for the gate to the garage.

      I had measured everything meticulously many times, double checking before I actually bought it back in 2008. But for that first entry into the garage, I had a brother on hand and I was really sweating bullets. But it was just as the measurements dictated.

      SCIENCE!!!

  8. Laurie D. on December 30, 2011 at 17:29

    I guess I am still at the observer stage in politics. I just find it amusing that so many people invest so much time (and money) in the process and yet never realize that all the “candidates” are the SAME and they will all accomplish NOTHING except perhaps to instill more rules and regulations to control the rest of us. I also find it amusing that Ron Paul seems to be leading the pack in most of these vetting elections, yet the right and left wing media ignore this completely. I’m not a Paul (or anyone else) supporter but there does seem to be a slight turn in this country toward someone who is somewhat off the grid. I think what I get annoyed by the most is the gross manipulation of the masses and perhaps at least some of the masses are annoyed as well. Paleo/primal folk seem to mostly fall in this group – we don’t believe the group think or we wouldn’t be eating this way. Oh, and VERY cool trailer!

    • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2011 at 10:27

      The Paul phenomenon is very interesting. I paid a lot of attention in 2008, only bits and pieces now, but it really demonstrates to me that dem or rep, one is expected to have some recognizable stance on all the issues with little variation from everyone else, as if it’s all merely a play for show.

      Which of course it is.

  9. Sarah on December 30, 2011 at 18:27

    I’m pretty new here, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what you’re about, and I’m confused. As I see it, “faith” is believing in something without evidence, like god or the lipid hypothesis. So I just don’t understand why someone who thinks having faith is reasonable or desirable would have been a regular reader here in the first place. As the great philosopher Kelly Bundy once said, the mind wobbles.

    Also, “potty mouth”? Who even says that? Perhaps Babs is a kindergarten teacher. It would explain a lot.

    • Sean on December 31, 2011 at 03:27

      Heh heh, “potty mouth”, the same thought struck me also. The kindergarten teachers I know, though, all curse like sailors, at least outside the classroom.

  10. Jim Arkus on December 30, 2011 at 18:30

    Jeez, is there any reason I can’t read Thomas Aquinas and Free the Animal? It’ll probably piss you off to hear it, but they’re not incompatible.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2011 at 10:29

      Hell, Ayn Rand was an Aquinas admirerer.

    • Jackson on January 1, 2012 at 18:43

      I just don’t get this fixation with Aquinas. His moral compass was so broken he thought masturbation was a greater evil than rape.

      Lots of people are always looking for some sort of a saviour and many look to religious or political figures for one. Learning from others is essential but always looking to another for something you can only find in yourself is a kind of emotional slavery to me.

      Ironically one of my favorite quotes about this is by someone who has had truly epic quantities of woo and idolatrous nonsense piled upon him.

      “Each of you be a light unto yourself; betake yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone beside yourself.” – The Buddha ( believed to be his final teaching.)

      • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 15:44

        For the record, I don’t get it either. Never paid much attention to why Rand thought well of him but assumed that he, even as a religious writer, had a higher degree of intellectual honesty in the context of his time.



      • Jackson on January 2, 2012 at 23:36

        That makes sense. I think most of the significant individuals throughout history have still been restricted by the thinking of their day though their actions transformed those very limitations. Some of the brightest minds have been hindered by some outstanding nonsense. The co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Wallace, held some pretty absurd beliefs but still had tremendous insight in the field of biology.



  11. Dane Miller on December 30, 2011 at 19:50

    Richard, that yuppy trailer is a real pussy way to go camping. Nonetheless, have fun and eat well. Keep up the good shit!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 15:15

      “Richard, that yuppy trailer is a real pussy way to go camping.”

      I’ll just take that sitting down, Dane. 🙂

      But I will tell you that I’ve done everything from peeling ice off the inside of a tent dry camping to full service big trailer, hauling it with a Hummer H2 no less, and this is my personal niche. Minimal and light, but with a few comforts.

      You have yourself a good year, y’hear?

  12. Shane on December 30, 2011 at 23:46

    I need to see more about that trailer too.

    And keep pushing boundaries!

  13. Paul on December 31, 2011 at 02:06

    Beautiful Trailer!

  14. Chase on December 31, 2011 at 04:51

    This is truly one of the foulest and least content based blogs I’ve come across. Dicky Nicky is a masterful example of a simple mind attempting to make a point with vulgar language. His foul mouth and foul fingers leave a dirty taste on each user who stumbles upon his poorly prepared screeds. The only people who don’t leave feeling their intelligence insulted by this disgusting man who seemingly detests beauty and order are those who also have learned to like ugly and see the world in an ugly manner.

    Eating “paleo” (whatever that means) since 1990 – no blogs or internet needed, just ate home prepared meals from whole foods without any junk and I guess I’ve been “paleo” all this time. Hah.

    One piece of advice:
    Cut out the trash sites like this in your life and watch your intelligence, mental composure, and overall sense of well-being begin to be restored. Seriously, you’d be healthier watching 30 minutes of TV (light entertainment, not the news) a day than reading and interacting with the likes of Dicky Nicky’s blog.

    • Sean on December 31, 2011 at 05:55

      C- trolling effort.

    • Steve on December 31, 2011 at 07:52

      “detests beauty and order”? Look at that trailer. And the setting.

      I, for one, have always valued friends who are irreverent and distrusted those who are reverent. Maybe it’s because I trust the irreverent person is more revealing of his or her true self, is more honest and perhaps courageous to buck the status quo. The easily offended is too repressed. And seeing ugliness in the world is different than seeing the world in an ugly manner. Those who don’t see the ugliness are blind. The world has beauty and ugliness, and it is important to see both and distinguish.

      As far as attacks on intelligence, all I see is an attack on style. If the arguments are not intelligent, then attack the argument. Don’t engage in ad hominems.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2011 at 10:44

      Lots of credibility you have there, “Chase,” when you clearly can’t even follow your own advice.

      • Joseph on January 2, 2012 at 05:26

        Don’t be hating on the beauty, Richard!



    • Jackson on January 1, 2012 at 18:59

      “This is truly one of the foulest and least content based blogs I’ve come across.”

      You must be new to the internet.

      “a masterful example of a simple mind”

      And new to the language as well . . . .

      One piece of advice:
      Flinging personal insults over some words you don’t like isn’t a very effective way to lead into a lecture about how people should spend their time.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 16:15

      A couple of examples of foul and ugly:

      https://freetheanimal.com/2010/04/real-results-austin-from-singapore.html

      Other than that, there is of course, this:

      https://freetheanimal.com/2009/11/paleo-pussies.html

      (Since 1990, even)

  15. Joe Mama on December 31, 2011 at 08:33

    “because they recognize it—faith—as distinctly different from inspiration, human spirit, gut feeling, and so on”

    Hitchens (RIP) would be proud…and the trailer is pretty rad…

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 16:28

      RIP Hitch. And we’ll have to forever content ourselves with the Hitchslaps that already exist. All new ones will be but mere imitations.

      Doesn’t mean we can’t try, though.

  16. Thelonious Stravinsky on December 31, 2011 at 08:34

    (Chase is Barb’s “other” personality that comes out sometimes. It’s her wildly assertive side that teeters on the brink of using foul language.)

    [insert drooling Homer Simpson here:].

    Mmmmm… foul…

  17. Jerry on December 31, 2011 at 10:05

    Tell us more about the trailer: make, model, price, features, weight, etc.

    • Chris G on December 31, 2011 at 10:48

      I second that motion!

    • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2011 at 10:58

      It’s was made by Dutchmen, along with a teardrop version called T@B. Euro construction methods, so super light. This one is about 2,200 pounds. Compare that to my previous rig, a Starcradt pop up that was 3,500 pounds.

      The body is an aluminum fiberglass sandwich with foam between. Construction quality is first rate. Cabinetry is custom kitchen quality. As such, it was expensive as hell, about 22k, so same league as an Airstream in price point.

      If you Google TAB trailer or TADA trailer you can find out a lot more. No longer in production but looks like plenty for sale second hand.

  18. Primal Toad on December 31, 2011 at 15:41

    You lost one reader… maybe more than one. I bet you gained more than you lost over the past year, month, week and perhaps even just today.

    Happy New Year Richard! May this be the best year for you, your family, friends and all of your readers!

  19. James on January 1, 2012 at 07:56

    My guess is many of your readers have “faith” in some sort of higher power, but choose not to engage with you in an argument about it. Instead, it’s easier to comment on the trailer.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 16:38

      James:

      You may be right, unless I have lots of readers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France and Canada, the top non-believer countries in the world (83ish% of Swedes don’t believe in God—it’s about 55% for France). An interesting association is that these are among the top countries in terms of low crime rates.

      So much for “faith” being necessary for plain old vanilla moral fiber and a desire to see and experience human good, and promote it.

      By contrast, the most dogshit, crime ridden, cleptocratic countries have the highest levels of believers.

      American is kind of an outlier. We have the most productive people on Earth, some of the most fervent believers outside Muslim countries, a rapidly declining crime rate, but have a percentage of our population behind bars that rivals and exceeds the most despotic countries in history.

  20. John on January 1, 2012 at 10:02

    I don’t see this blog as anti-faith at all. Anti-religion? Oh, hell yeah. I don’t think we need religion for faith or spirituality any more than we need McDonalds for food. Sure, it can be an easy and convenient source, but true faith should always come from yourself and the ones you love, and be placed in the same. If religion helps you to get there (just like training wheels can help you to learn to ride a bike), great. But ultimately, I don’t think we need it.

  21. Robert on January 1, 2012 at 10:49

    Anti-religion, anti-politics, anti-vegan. You sir are to damn anti! I’m quitting your blog. Go ahead start crying, I know you want to!

    I’m just kidding of course, but you are a bit of an extremist. You know what: I still go voting, I still watch TV and I don’t believe in anarchy or extreme individualism. Even though politics are screwed-up I don’t think standing on the sidelines is the thing to do.

  22. LadySadie on January 1, 2012 at 15:05

    Ok, you lost a Barbara, but you gained a Sadie plus the two or three friends I recommended you to today. You are entertaining and informative, and occasionally thought provoking. The posts I don’t agree with help me to consider whether my own views are reasonable, that’s a good thing! In fact your items about Paleo challenged my (government/public school brainwashing) thoughts on nutrition. Thank you!

    My girls and I are going Paleo and two other neighbor families as well, thanks to a lucky chain of links that led me to your site. Keep up the good work, and don’t worry, your “potty mouth” won’t scare me off, or my friends either!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 16:55

      LadySadie:

      Anyone who thinks I’m about “you need to agree with me” just doesn’t get it.

      Anyone who thinks I’m about “you don’t need to think for yourself” just doesn’t get it.

      I stand ready to learn something every day. I’m pretty sure that most of those who come here and end up leaving are only open to small compartments. I’m about challenging everything, always.

  23. Suzie on January 1, 2012 at 20:49

    I’m with you Richard. Politics is a stupid way to invest your time. Politicians are all the same. In the last election I had TV. I remember Obama promising everyone everything they wanted to hear just so he could get elected. Even I was “hoping” he would somehow be different.
    Whether you supported his policies or not, from what I remember from watching those debates, Obama never tried to accomplish ANY of what he promised (maybe a half-hearted attempt at healthcare). Amazingly, the stupid voters will probably nominate him again – WHY? I’m finished with politics and a long time ago I quit trying to avoid reality by believing in a pretend friend who will help me solve my problems if I just talk to him because he cares about me. Feels very liberating.

  24. Nathaniel on January 1, 2012 at 22:15

    I think Douglas Adams summed up the nature of politics when he wrote (in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy): “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

  25. Digger on January 2, 2012 at 07:30

    Unfortunately, if you don’t take part in the process, the ones who do may vote in a party (or individual) who could ultimately have a major affect on you. For instance, the talk of the U.S. politicians who want to censor the internet. One day you could wake up and your blog is shut down because you did nothing to oppose them.
    Which is not to say that those politicians who speak against internet censorship aren’t lying and will vote for whomever donates the most money. And we know who that will be.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 13:31

      Hey Digger

      Tell ’em all you can have my vote. I’m not going to be needing it.

      • Digger on January 2, 2012 at 14:57

        Ahh, so you going to live off the land, on your own, with no government interference.
        Good for you!



      • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 15:01

        Nope. Just not going to waste any more years of my life hoping against hope, nor pretending as though I can do anything about any of it.

        What I can do, however, is channel those energies into efforts to improve my life I can actually measure and manage.

        Ever read the old book, “How I found Freedom in an Unfree World,” Harry Browne? He probably should never made those libertarian bids for president in what, ’96 and ’00? Probably shortened his life.



      • Digger on January 2, 2012 at 18:59

        I read a lot of Ayn Rand when I was a kid in the ’70’s. I don’t think we’re any further ahead now than we were then. Times like these make it tempting to follow Timothy Leary.I will check out Harry Browne.
        Keep up the good fight.



      • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 22:39

        Yea, why do you think I try not to embarass myself spouting too much Rand? She’s cool, but she’s not Bastiatesque, yet.

        Hey, chances are we’re only going to influence a few to carry the torch forward. I choose to motivate that by daily calls to reason and ocassional rants.

        Unlike most of the political bloggers and otherwise social commentary bloggers, I have a decent sized audience and I know my limits.

        Which are: I may be totally fucked, but at least, the thing about it: Honesty!

        Can you at LEAST be honest?

        You know what that means, right?



      • Steve on January 3, 2012 at 11:26

        Many of the comments, e.g. about not staying on the sidelines, presuppose that voting is an act of citizen participation. I think you can’t address reality until you dispel delusion. Just like Romans in the first century thought they still lived in a republic, Americans believe they live in a democracy. That ship has sailed. We’re play-acting. We’re just comforting ourselves when we exercise the franchise. The Citizens United case (corporations are persons and cant be required to disclose campaign donations) was the last gasp. Whether you lean right, left, or something else, you’re powerless. I agree with focusing on things we can somewhat control.



  26. russell on January 2, 2012 at 07:43

    Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    — Frédéric Bastiat

    • Richard Nikoley on January 2, 2012 at 15:11

      russell:

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populous alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

      There, two of my favorite quotes in one micro-thread.

    • rob on January 3, 2012 at 05:44

      “Won’t get fooled again”

      – The Who

  27. Christo on January 2, 2012 at 09:19

    presidents are Selected not elected silly rabbits…voting is condoning murderous,criminal activity no matter how you try to justify it. It is a form of mind control,look up the etymology of the word government.
    Hey its a free country you can have Coke or Pepsi,Ford or Chevy,Country or Western,Demoncrap or Replicant.

    It boggles my mind that people can live through cycle after cycle of this outrageously ridiculous charade and still go vote and even have the nerve to tell me I should vote or not complain.

  28. Trish on January 2, 2012 at 11:09

    Wow, Barbara pulled a classic flounce worthy of a 16-year-old girl on her Tumblr blog when she gets an anonymous submission disagreeing with her. Well, except for the whine of “potty mouth” typically used by repressed Christian women of a certain age, but I digress.

  29. […] I published 225 posts in 2011, compared with 307 in 2010, which perhaps emphasizes the increase in readership even more. 27% fewer posts, 48% more unique visitors. Work less, get "paid" more. How can you complain about that? But, I wasn't the only one who worked. In 2010 you commenting readers put up 13,700 comments in those 307 posts. In 2011, you put up 14,300 on 225 posts. That's an average of 45 comments per post in 2010 to 64 comments over the last year, a 42% increase in comment ferocity. Thank you ver much for all your comment hard work. Well, except perhaps for "Chase." […]

  30. Property Analysis on June 5, 2012 at 11:42

    Do you know if it’s possible to download the ebook free even if I don’t have a kindle? Just in a pdf? If yes – can you post a link? Thanks mate

    • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 17:02

      SURE!

      “Property Analysis”

      Now that I’ve edited out your total fucking stupid ass and obvious SPAM link, here ya go…”mate”

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