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Name: Loon Dog
Bio: A mental health researcher motivated by self-self-defense; has likely dedicated too much of his life trying to define lunacy. Presently travelling through the USA seeking out mental diversity activists to help trace the threads between brilliance and madness.
Photos: Mad America's photo libraries
Mad America: The Great Alternatives Conference: Intro ( 15th Jan, 2010 )
The Beat Gen, 90s Hip Hop legends and Oriental Zen Lunacy ( 17th Dec, 2009 )
Australian Shame ( 1st Dec, 2009 )
Entering the Great American Fruit and Nut Bowl: War Diaries, Inherited Madness and Other Things ( 16th Nov, 2009 )
Stuff in America you don't see on the TV ( 9th Nov, 2009 )
Sierra Nevadas: Clarity, purity, PBJ's ( 4th Nov, 2009 )
Road to Cedar Valley ( 3rd Nov, 2009 )
California Dreaming ( 3rd Nov, 2009 )
Library of Dust ( 23rd Oct, 2009 )
Consumers, Survivors and Mad-Pride: Burrito's and Bears. ( 23rd Oct, 2009 )
Begginings. ( 19th Oct, 2009 )
Stuff in America you don’t see on the TV
- Micro-packaging and the extent of disposable waste. (I keep being given cutlery in plastic packagin which also contains little paper salt and pepper sachet’s packed into an extra plastic section within the first bag. Plus a complimentary individually plastic wrapped toothpick. Also, teabags are individually wrapped in plastic within the box of teabags - for shame! Even some hippies I hung out with used plastic plates and cutlery and melting cups during a jamboree in a State park. C’mon hippies!).
- A ridiculously large range of vegetarian/ vegan food (mind you I’m in Northern Cali).
- Unattractive gay men.
- Thousands of homeless people with personalities and life stories. OMG!
- Asian Americans
- Worker run co-operative restaurants that sell incredible pizzas (again, I’m in Berkeley while writing this so…). The co-op even franchised to set up other co-ops elsewhere.
- Indigenous People who are alive and in colour. Remarkably, they aren’t always looking into the middle distance either.
- Uncool black people (some are even old and frumpy, others are nerds and stumpy).
- Quiet bearded middle-aged men.
- Politically active communities doing rad things.
- Millions of people living below the poverty line (a little over forty million apparently, with over half of that group white/Caucasian).
- Nervous, gentle middle aged women.
- Regular elders who aren’t holding apple pies invitingly or playing golf.
- Corn products in everything – shampoo, coca cola, bread, viagra, petrol – everything. I'm sure I've eaten my bodyweight in corn products already.
- People reply to 'thankyou' with 'uh huh' or 'yep', instead of 'you're welcome' or 'No problem'.
- Grubby flea markets with awesome fruit, bargains, cheap traditional Chinese therapy and random people.
- Crazy people who are driven mad by the awful things in the USA, not just Crazy fuckers DRIVING this country to do mad and terrible things. It is reassuring to see regular low-level crazies…
Stuff in America you do see on the TV
- Damaged-soul obesity.
- A latent resentment of the British.
- Monster trucks and other beastly cars being driven by children.
- Booty dancing like you wouldn’t believe. (One lady put her foot on my shoulder, twisted around so her hands were touching the ground and did some unfathomable turn to end up with one foot on my shoulder, one foot between my crotch on the ground, and a bump n grind move that resembled the wheel barrow game we used to play as kids. As if that wasn’t incredibly enough, at this point in the evening I turned to see the owner of the bar, a seventy year old Korean woman named Kim, shaking serious arse in front of the jukebox to the chorus of the Peaches song that drums and jibes to “fuck the pain away, fuck the pain away.” She was the epitome of grace. It was totally absurd.)
Stuff in America you just don’t see
- English style Teapots
- Mueseli (Like many foods here they fry it in oil and douse it in sugar. Deep fried sweetened mueseli is called 'Granola’ and it's delicious).