The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing, Professor of History and Guest Lecturer at the University of Vestfold, Sandefjord. Dr. Ten Sing has recently appeared before the Society of Libertarian Anarchism, a think tank located in Washington, D.C. and gave the following address before a gathering of fellows.

For the longest time, our republic has existed in a unique space in history. Where other nations have been based on a shared history, a common ethnicity, or other distinguishing characteristics, ours is based on a shared principle. The principle, that of freedom and liberty, is one that has seen our nation through tough times, has enabled us to be an example to other countries, and helped us to become very rich.

Now I know that we have yet to gain that elusive state of freedom and through much of our history we have perverted the notion of liberty as we enslaved one race and annihilated another. We have visited unspeakable cruelty on the weakest among us, time and again. We have hurt and plundered peoples inside our borders and overseas for centuries, up until this very day. The sole redeeming quality of our imperfect quest for freedom is our insistence on improving, and at times we have caught sight of that elusive progress.

Sometime ago, I don’t know when, we stopped trying. Somewhere, we traded the real bedrock concept of liberty and self ownership for ephemeral rhetoric. We ceased moving forward in the cause. We have rejected basic protections, often elucidated in the Bill of Right, but other more ancient ones such as habeus corpus, due process, and even separation of powers. We may be tempted to blame this on recent legislation, but in reality the problems are much deeper.

I find this turn of history to be troubling.

To trade the pursuit of freedom for the deception of security leads to totalitarianism, and indeed we find ourselves entrenched quite hopelessly in the same. Rather than blame voters, or politicians (who possess a fair share of the blame) we should recognize the true cause of the problem: the initiation of the use of force.

Government rests solidly on the gun, the club, and the cage. Its authority derives solely on violence and on a one sided pact of slavery. It claims literal ownership upon our bodies, our properties, and our labor. We cannot control it, except by rejecting it. Once this irrefutable reality is internalized, we see why the quest for freedom has been set back in this country as of late. In a system built upon this use of force, freedom is only useful as a tool, a bait to manipulate the consent of the slaves. Freedom has became a liability to the rulers (who are so tragically ourselves!) and is now fully castrated to platitudes.

Freedom is found through knowledge, through education, through the full embrace of reality. To know you are enslaved is the first step towards liberty. Know that, and share that with all who seek it. Thank you for your time.


Back in the day, I invested many, many boring and backbreaking hours picking things. The times we could not find meat, were the times we needed to pick our food. How boring and tedious! Sure, you may think it’s fun to pick a handful of berries on a summer day, but have you ever picked every berry you could find on the bush, then look for another bush, and then another one after that?

Gathering enough food to support yourself and your family is a LOT of work. You are walking in a silly stoop for miles, getting needles and thorns on your hands and feet. You grab all you can, ripe, unripe, over ripe. By the end of the day your back hurts terribly, your fingers are chafed and sore, and you are exhausted by the thought of having to do it again the next day. Have you noticed that no one wants to pick crops for a living? How about picking a whole field of tomatoes when the plants are scattered among bushes over miles of wild land?

There is a revival of caveman dining. It’s healthier, people say, to stay away from foods that humans have tricked into staying still and tasting better. I can only shake my head! I try to see it their way, though. I know they have never seen how few of us there were in the old days. How common it was to got to sleep near the fire with an empty stomach. How tragic to see your own children wasting away.

We had to eat whatever we could find, no matter the taste. We had to eat bugs, and roots, and bark, and rotting animals that we didn’t kill. We had to face the winter time, without good ways of storing much beyond meat crushed with berries. And for these tiny morsels, we had to work so hard!

But somewhere, someone tricked grasses into growing bigger seeds, more seeds, nutritious seeds. People could stay still and build a proper shelter, to have a little bit of free time to develop art or religion. This modern world is dependent on these seeds and no one knows how fortunate you really are. Well, some people do. The ones who have no grain can feel how lucky you are.

I say get fat on grain, enjoy the mountains of food you have figured out how to make. Do it for those of us who shivered on damp nights hating our jobs.


There was a large, bad tempered man in our area simply known as Bear. Shaggy hair framed burning, accusatory eyes that pierced our tender souls from two meters above. Legs like tree trunks supported a tightly muscled core. He could heft and carry any deer after a hunt and was rumored to have spoken with Ksheera(1).

He was something of a legend to us younger men for three reasons.

First, he lived, or staked exclusive hunting claims, on a large mountain in the region. When he moved into the area, his mass and strength convinced the local animals to serve him instead of the ancestors of the area. They (famously reported as the bears and the birds)guarded his mountain paradise, warning him whenever a stranger entered there. The mountain was a rich, almost paradisaical hunting ground, reserved only for Bear.

Second, Bear did not live alone, but had a daughter. Her name translates roughly to Bird with Blue Eyes, or perhaps Blue Bird. She was also tall and strong, but most definitely feminine. So feminine, that young men would stop talking about spears and lions just to watch her walk by. So feminine that I felt very much at odds with sitting still. She left her mountain home often, to hunt, to gather, or to trade obsidian that she found calving from great clefts in the mountain. Her blue eyes, piercing but gentle, always made me lick my lips.

Many, many of us gave her much attention. We would trade away all our skins for obsidian that we didn’t need just to find a way to get a smile from her. Bird with Blue Eyes did not settle on any particular suitors, but seemed friendly. Impatient, we would ask why she would not listen to our lovely pipe music about our hunting prowess, or sit at our fire while we cooked something up for her. Why, we would ask, does she not choose a husband (2)? Sho would only laugh and point towards here mountain, to her father that would make a choice. Which takes us to the next point.

Third, Bear, under no circumstances would allow any man to marry his daughter. He killed the ones who were brave enough to march into his forbidden forest. The stupid animals would either attack the intruder, or Bear himself would pin them to the ground with a spear, crush them under an uprooted tree, or maybe blow on them and scare them to death. He would skin the poor victims, paint warnings on the hides, and hang them to dry on the frontiers of his mountain.

Yet, many tried to best him. They wanted his daughter as a wife, and especially his hunting ground. If a young hunter could kill Bear, the girl and kingdom would be his and he could became the new Bear. Since my young youth, when I newly became a hunter I watched many men try and all of them died. Bear was much too much of a bear to slay. Yet, we saw his daughter often in our villages and our encampments, always getting a new batch of dudes to fall in love and try their luck.

1. Ksheera, mythic messenger of trapped glacial water. Different from Ancestors or their animal messengers in that Ksheera was conceived as more of a force. She could only speak through brute force and those who would speak with her either died in the attempt or overpowered her, not an easy task when one realized she held the combined force of all the glaciers worldwide. Comparable to Nordic World Serpent.

2. It would behoove the reader at this point to consider how ludicrous this question really was for Ej’s people. While the female had final say as to who she would marry, it was here maternal uncle who should have been asked. In the absence of the uncle (krostick), the father would have been asked. If the father were absent, the brother, if the brother is absent, a medicine man would be asked, failing that the mother, the wet nurse, the man who brought meat to her the last Dark Day feast, the largest salmon of the year, any birch tree that was hit by lightning, or perhaps the ashes of a fire used to hollow out a canoe (canoes are quite erotic to Ej’s people). At no time was marriage to be discussed with the bride to be, as this was the usual method of negotiating prostitutes. ~STS

The following is a guest post by an unwitting fan who posted a comment and never dreamed it would became the Latest Entry.

Hello Ej and Dr. Ten Sing,

I wanted to be sure you had some answers, so after scrambling for 2 weeks straight getting a conference paper finished only to realize I made a fundamental flaw and had to scrap it, I researched these queries by drinking a beer.

1. Why do people go to such lengths to park as close to the doors of a mall that they are just going to walk around all day in?

It’s a hierarchy thing. Those who get closer to the door are better looking, smarter, snappier dressers, and have cuter kids. At least in their heads. Usually they are the exact opposite. That’s also why few people go to malls these days. That and bear attacks.

2. Why do some people avoid eating grains even though their widespread use made the entire modern world possible?

Grains have given humans the fuel to do some amazing things: cars, airplanes, remote controls, pizza boxes, and lawn ornaments. They also ferment if you’re not careful and lead to booze, which is also responsible for some amazing things. But overall, I’d say it’s because grains are not meat.

3. Why do people complain about the quality of music, and how it was better when they were young and listening to hair bands?

Because it’s a mathematical FACT that the music was better when you’re young. Except that ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ song. I swear to god…

4. Why do guys give flowers to girls? What are girls going to do with them? They should give them an X box or something.

I agree. I’m sending an 8 pack of toilet paper next time.

5. Who picks up all the ticker from a ticker tape parade? Do they save for the next parade or do they have to buy more from the confetti store?

If you look really carefully, you’ll see it’s not confetti but rather tiny littering tickets. Those who get them on their clothes and in their hair are responsible for paying them.

6. What do we do when balloons fall back down on our heads?

Drink fermented grain drinks (see 2 above).

7. How can we be sure that all the rats we’ve poisoned aren’t just faking it so that they can secretly steal all our crackers?

This is why it’s important to inventory every single cracker, crisp, chip, grain, flake, and crumb before you go to bed. Just in case.

8. What would the governments of the world do if aliens sent a message saying that some tiny country was populated by their spies?

They do. There’s no such thing as Belgium.

9. Has anyone ever used the word “ironic” in the correct way?

Never.

10. If two salesmen who are experts in mirroring looked at each other would we see eternity in their faces?

It’s a well known fact that all salesmen are all a single guy named Fred. He such a good salesman and so good at mirroring you think you’re talking to another person. Even if it’s a woman or two other people helping that old lady by a microwave that she thinks is a TV. He’s THAT good.

11. Has changing a Facebook icon ever changed anything in the world?

Yes. It sank Atlantis.

12. Does Delaware really exist?

No.

13. If the Atlanteans were so smart, why did they all die?

See 11 above. Also they were taken over by make-believe Belgians, alien spies, and rats.

14. If time doesn’t exist at light speed, is some photon is going to be really pissed when it finds out how long it’s been since it left home?

It would be, but it doesn’t own a watch. It doesn’t find out until it turns on the TV for some football and finds out the game just ended after two overtimes and the coolest beer commercial that anyone’s ever seen.

15. Does the god of the modern world ever get really tired of playing himself in chess and always winning both games?

No. And the reason is that in God Chess all the bishops are super awesome and can simultaneously kill every enemy piece on the board. This causes a horrendous rip in space-time which is where babies come from.


Hello friends!

Last week, Dr. Ten Sing flew in for a conference at a nearby large scrum of people (you folks call them cities) and spent several days with me. A he ha been trying to learn to run barefoot I suggested we hit the trails together late one afternoon. He agreed and we left my house (yes, I live in a house, but Dr. Ten Sing usually calls it a “hytte”)and found our way into the forest.

We agreed to follow one another loosely, but we also agreed to split up if the mood struck one of us. I felt the mood as I noticed how insanely slow Dr. Ten Sing ran, tiptoeing as though the rocks were made of snake or something. I hefted my spear and took off. I decided to run ahead to an upcoming meadow and pick some berries while waiting for him to catch up.

A few hundred meters short of the meadows, I smelled some fresh scat and danced into the bushes before the potential prey could see or hear me. I crept through some mildly unhappy looking wild raspberries and caught sight of the beast I was intending to poke. It was a large, very dark black bear, munching on the last berries of the season. Fresh dirt, darkened the forest floor where he had dug out and eaten some unfortunate mammal, no doubt trying to pack on the winter pounds.

I began to turn back away from the large, dangerous animal to head off Dr. Ten Sing before he disturbed the bear, but just then I heard the crinkling and crackling of a modern human running up the trail (so loud you people are!) The black bear and I watched a frantic Dr. Ten Sing running as fast as he could up the trail, his eyes glued to all the rocks and twigs he seemed to fear would bite him. He seemed to be distracted enough by his apparent effort to catch up with me that he did not see the bear at all as he ran directly towards the beast.

The bear had no intention of backing away or fleeing at the sight of a sweating, gray bearded academic and merely turned slightly to face the man running his way. Dr. Ten Sing ran smack into the bear’s massive left shoulder and fell back onto his bum! The bear seemed incredibly shocked that such a small meal would just run up and head butt him, and he stood blinking for several seconds before standing on his hind legs, giving a bit of a woof. Spurven stared up at his death.

I tensed to spring from the bushes to cast my spear to save my friend, but before I could do so Dr. Ten Sing leaped to his feet and started hollering, shouting the utmost profanities at the confused bear. With shaking left fist, Spurven screamed in the bear’s face, jabbing it with a stiff finger.

“Watch what you’re ——– well doing you ——- ——- son of a diseased —–!!! Get the —— —— out of my ——- —— —- way before I take your furry —– and shove it down to your —- nine ways from Sunday, you —– —— and your——!!! ——- you and the ——–horse you rode in on!!!”

With eyes wide and mouth gaping, the bear and I could only stare as Dr. Ten Sing sniffed once, stepped around the half ton of predator, and continued up the trail.

Wow!

The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University, who has now fully realized that the summer has passed without him having put on a Speedo type swimsuit that is two sizes too small and reading a book on the beach while sipping something with an umbrella sticking out of it.

Hello good people!

Ej has been filling my email box with some questions about life that I thought are odd. Send your answers in!

1. Why do people go to such lengths to park as close to the doors of a mall that they are just going to walk around all day in?

2. Why do some people avoid eating grains even though their widespread use made the entire modern world possible?

3. Why do people complain about the quality of music, and how it was better when they were young and listening to hair bands?

4. Why do guys give flowers to girls? What are girls going to do with them? They should give them an X box or something.

5. Who picks up all the ticker from a ticker tape parade? Do they save for the next parade or do they have to buy more from the confetti store?

6. What do we do when balloons fall back down on our heads?

7. How can we be sure that all the rats we’ve poisoned aren’t just faking it so that they can secretly steal all our crackers?

8. What would the governments of the world do if aliens sent a message saying that some tiny country was populated by their spies?

9. Has anyone ever used the word “ironic” in the correct way?

10. If two salesmen who are experts in mirroring looked at each other would we see eternity in their faces?

11. Has changing a Facebook icon ever changed anything in the world?

12. Does Delaware really exist?

13. If the Atlanteans were so smart, why did they all die?

14. If time doesn’t exist at light speed, is some photon is going to be really pissed when it finds out how long it’s been since it left home?

15. Does the god of the modern world ever get really tired of playing himself in chess and always winning both games?

It really happened this way!

I woke to find that it had rained during the night and I neglected to wrap a waterproof skin around me and my sleeping bundle was soaked.

Then I stepped on a wild rose stick and filled my foot with thorns on the way to the fire.

Then I found that the fire had gone out.

Then I went to go eat something that didn’t need cooking but found that some stupid chipmunks had gnawed into the bag my wife had made me.

Then I tripped on the same rose stick filling my other foot with thorns.

Then I swore really loudly and this scared four deer that had been grazing on the other side of a bush clump, ruining an easy meal.

Then I pulled all the thorns out of my feet and missed three tips under the skin.

Then I wrapped up my kit and ran off into the forest after the deer, stepped into a gopher hole and rolled my ankle.

Then I fell and rolled right off the precipice that I had been avoiding carefully and fell.

Then my pack struck a protruding branch which was then wrenched from my body, hurting my shoulder.

Then I slid into a wild rose hedge before tumbling into some mud.

Then I laid there a while hoping I would die already.

Then I stood, but found I couldn’t walk, I made a cane to hobble on, but my shoulder really hurt so I couldn’t use it.

Then I saw that I was trapped in a crevice so it didn’t matter.

Then it started to rain.

Then I started to cry.

My sob story!


I am told by reliable people in nice tweed suits and reassuring gray beards that all the animals of the world have not always existed. Indeed not, they have changed and grown with the land they lived upon. Animals have struggled with the same sort of problems that plague human things; finding food, catching food, killing or reaching food, and pretty girls (or wide shouldered gutte-boys).

The story goes that not every lion hunts as well as his friend, not every deer runs as fast as his brother, and so some get a little bit more food and then impress more girls and thus have more babies. More babies mean that there will be more lions and deer that are descended from the better individuals and over time all the lions will be descended from them. Having changed a tiny bit, the deer or lion kind can begin changing again and again.

This is rather different than our own story among my people. The first ancestors, having caused (or rather allowed) humans to be, found they could not talk to them in any way. So they looked for help from those who were not busy. They asked the wind, the earth, the water, but they all had jobs already that needed to be done. There were, however, many shades of human things drifting back and forth with nowhere to go. The ancestors appointed them as messengers between them and the humans and allowed the other elements to form bodies for them so they could speak (not subsequent shades). The problem turned out to be that animals can’t strictly speak, but that’s another tale for another fire.

My problem with the story the people in jackets tell is that if the animals all descended from one another, developing into areas created by the elements, then what of the human things and the first ancestors? How are they then speaking to us? Until this question is answered I must reject this story!

Allison “TJ” Banks of Los Alamos, New Mexico writes,

Dear Ej,

Am I given to believe that you run barefoot? Haven’t you messed up your feet yet?

Allison

Hi Allison,
Nope, I haven’t messed up my feet. I fact in all the years I’ve been running without any real injury at all (except my toes are attracted to tables some days. Where does this idea that bare feet are insufficient to run come from?
Ej Meh

Dear Ej,

The world today is not the world of yester-millenium. We have concrete, asphalt, glass, needles, diseases, chemicals, rusted nails and other bad things on the ground. There are many good reasons to wear engineered shoes while exercising, not the least of which decades of scientific research. I urge you to consider protecting your feet.

Allison.

Dear Allison,
I haven’t actually seen many things that have concerned me much, these days. Concrete doesn’t bother me, asphalt can be a little hot, but I manage. I can see glass pretty well by its sparkling and smaller shards can’t penetrate my skin at any rate. I have never seen a needle, but I can’t imagine how I would step on that unless I ran in the dark for some reason (Dr. Ten Sing bought me a head light thingy on my last birthday). Same deal with the nails, I guess. Easily seen and avoided. I am unaware of any footborne diseases in my part of the world. Thanks, though.
Ej Meh

Dear Ej,

I do not wish to be rude or blunt, but I wish to point out that you are not educated. Podiatrists and other exercise experts have identified the root causes of the majority of running related injuries and they are related to physical defects of the unprotected human foot. Pronation must be corrected, arches must be supported, and the tendons should be aided in their function.

I like many of the things you write about in this blog, from your own personal history to your thoughts on our times, but your alleged barefoot running troubles me. You misinform and mislead many readers and runners into foolhardy attempts to “go paleo”. You need to stop.

Allison

Dear Allison,
I don’t really know what to say. Dr. Ten Sing has urged me to record and share what I see and what I know. I run for a living, I can’t move in boots. My feet just won’t work when they are squished. Maybe humans have changed into broken beasts of movement, but my body just doesn’t work that way. Plus, every animal I ever tried to stalk would hear me from ten kilometers away. I would starve!
Ej Mej

Dear Ej,

Just stop.

Allison

Dear Allison,
One thing I will never do is stop.
Ej Mej


Yesterday, deep in the woods, I thought I had the trees to myself. Such was not the case, as familiar heavy footfalls disturbed the normally smooth silence of the forest. I knew who had come before I turned and saw his immense frame. Black, rough hair covered a wide, powerful body that dwarfed everything around it. Proportional naked feet flattened solid wood as easily as giving blooms.

Krostick Jem (1).

“Finally, I have found you. After many steps on many mountains, here I am. Do you have any idea how long I have been searching for you?” complained Jem in his customary, almost ritualistic way. He always complained about the journey he must take to find someone, yet on parting he always wishes it.

With a stride that covered two meters, Jem moved to a nearby log and lowered his mass onto it, too exhausted to notice the crushing death of his new couch. He exhaled slowly, a long sigh meant to cleanse the body of fatigue. His eyes were closed. I took my place at his size thirty feet, cross legged. I felt like a child, sitting in this fashion, yet truthfully, I had felt a child for a long time already. Krostick Jem was no surprise to me.

I recalled his last visit to me, when I was much younger and much smaller. A child, left by his mother and my own Krostick visiting another band of our people. I was left with only my father to care for me, a virtual stranger who I only knew from the times he delivered meat to my mother and took feathers from Krostick. Bored and lonely, Jem met me in the forest that time as well, greeting a child who gathered sweet berries for comfort.

Jem’s eye’s opened. He blinked several times and with a tiny nod addressed me.

“Here is young and small Ej of the band Meh before me, though he is not so young, nor so small. It has been many years since we met and I am glad of it, and may it be many more before we repeat it.” So far, all the words were nearly ritualistic, having been said in same fashion since dust became dust.

“But holy crap of a mammoth! I was nearly run over by a Mack truck crossing the highway over there.” he strayed from the script putting a hand over his black, hairy face at the memory. “What’s happened with the world? Every man rushes as though he would live but a shorter time than before! Those cars and planes and such! If they knew of me, or rather my shape, I would never rest for visiting so many!”

He peeked from his hand at me, remembering me, perhaps feeling what I felt.

“Nevermind about that. You are the last one. When you pass to the ancestors, I will be able to be forgotten and then I can have a vacation for once. Maybe I will get a cabin or something out here, it’s not too bad.” he started. Then he returned to the job at hand.

“Ej Meh, the trees, the bushes, and the grass ask for you. The earth and the trails that cover our mountains wonder at the lack of your feet. The sun and clouds also wonder. Fear not, I have told them you are well.

Ej Meh, the runners, the swimmers, the flyers all wonder why why you no longer hunt them. Why you no longer crave their flesh. Has he passed to the ancestors, they ask. Fear not, I have told them you are well.”

I felt sad. I missed them, the game of my world, the foods and sights of my former life, now thirty millennia removed. To think I will never see a Spear Bearer again! Jem continued.

“Ej Meh, many of those who go upon two feet look for you. The bands not of your nation, the heavy ones, those who also hunt but know naught of you or your footfalls. Whence has he gone, they ask. Fear not, I have told them you are well.

“Ej Meh, your nation weeps at your loss. Gone is the meat you brought to their homes when a kinsman of your cannot hunt. Gone are your stories and gone are your spearheads. They worry for you. Fear not, I have told them you are well.”

My own eyes were closed now. I did not want to hear what Krostick Jem would say next. I bowed my head.

“Ej Meh, your hunting partner and brother has lost you and knows you cannot be replaced. His heart is empty and sees you in the trails and tastes you in the meat of his prey. Worry not, little Ej, I have told him you are well.

“Ej Meh, your Blue Eyed Sparrow, sings no more for she has lost her husband, and I have seen her weep with much pain. I have visited her in her grief for the man she so loved is gone. Worry not, gentle Ej, I have told her you are well.

Tears wrenched themselves from my heart. I did not, really did not want to hear what Krostick Jem would say next.

“Ej Meh, there are three who miss you the most. Three little ones, strong sons who must grow without their Krostick, who must learn to hunt by their other kin. They have cried themselves to senselessness many times. They ask for you, but get no response. They are alone and I have visited them many, many times. Yet, brave Ej, worry not for I have told them you are well.”

Jem stood, his work done, his duty discharged. I remained where I was, weak with grief. I looked at me with sadness. He cradled my head a moment in a skull crushing hand, passing towards the forest again, to his next journey. He finished the ritual comfort as he blended with the green, his voice lingering in the air.

“Ej Meh, the trails you have left will forever connect you with those you have lost, but the trail stretches is both directions. You have new friends and new family before you and soon the two great worlds which you inhabit will touch through your traces and both will be richer for having known you. Fear or worry not, for I have told all that you are well.”

And Jem was gone.

1. A krostick is the maternal uncle in the kinship system of Ej’s people. The krostick acts as the equivalent of the father in our own system. Ej’s father would be closer to a distant uncle in our system. Thus, Ej is bored having to be babysat by his father and misses his mother and his krostick. Krostick Jem is an adopted krostick who belongs to all those who miss something or are lonely. In my interviews with Ej, I cannot tell if Jem is mythical to him, or somehow real. He seems to present him as literal in this article, yet Jem clearly fills several cultural functions that are not affected by time.