Category Archives: Gypsy Cool Philosophy

Observations From a Gypsy Cool Brother

Some Observations on Reality in the World Today

by Skip Rorshach Freedman

 The old saying that you “can’t see the forest for the trees” is the perfect analogy of our world today. The planet has become so fast-paced and complex that the daily activities necessary to survive seem to take up most of our waking time. Additionally, we are all bombarded by some major crisis almost every month; be it some horrendous man-made or (allegedly) natural disaster, a shooting at some business or school, another celebrity in rehab, or something else you never imagined when you were growing up. These incidents are intended to distract us away from other things happening to undermine our health, wealth and liberty. All that is needed to recognize these amateur diversions is the ability to look at the world with a realistic and objective mind.

What you’ll see is that modern corruption in the USA has sunken to new lows, so we might as well start at the top and work down. The office of president hasn’t been the same since JFK was murdered on live television 50 years ago. With voting we have the illusion of choice, but only select persons of certain genealogies will ever occupy the Oval Office. For the last several decades, presidents have been issuing so-called “executive orders” that supposedly supersede both Congress and the Constitution. Your civil rights and liberties have been progressively diminishing, with surveillance and government intrusion in your privacy being vastly broadened and spreading like cancer. Congress enacts laws to benefit business at the expense of the people (that’s called Fascism), and alphabet agencies can run amok in this kind of atmosphere. The NSA spies on every electronic facet of our lives, particularly cellphones and email. There is abundant evidence that the FBI has directed and aided many terrorist incidents within this country. The CIA has been intimately involved with the military in importing narcotics into the USA since the Vietnam war (why else would we be in Afghanistan?), plus it performs rouge operations of murder throughout the entire world and even within the USA (prime example: Michael Hastings). The FDA allows conglomerates like Monsanto to poison our food and water, lets dentists use the toxic substance mercury in fillings for teeth, plus approves hundreds of brands of harmful psychiatric pills from Big Pharma to be prescribed to children and depressed adults to put them in a haze. And, topping it off, Homeland Security acts like the new Gestapo. The banking industry pays almost nothing in interest on a savings account; but takes in billions yearly from loan and credit card interest, plus repossessing people’s homes at a record rate. And don’t forget that your money paid for their phony “bailouts”. The Federal Reserve System is a collection of private banks that has hijacked and manipulated our money system for a century now, deliberately causing monetary panics and stealing your hard-earned money through inflation to make people into wage slaves. Big Business has been gradually moving to mega-corporation monopolies that squeeze out small business competition and keep the prices of goods at maximum. The petroleum industry has maintained an artificial scarcity of oil to justify high gasoline prices, as well as suppressing viable alternative energy sources for over a century. All media is owned by a handful of companies that control the content of television, radio, and magazines. The medical industry, in collusion with the FDA, has suppressed alternative therapies for cancer that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the last century. There is a prison industry (with the highest incarceration rate in the world) designed to ensnare and exploit as many people as possible within its grasp. And, at the bottom of the heap, the police have been receiving military training and equipment, plus acting like surly belligerant bullies while writing tickets to generate capital for decaying bankrupt cities. Unfortunately, the average person is manipulated into paying for all this through ever increasing taxes, while the services and benefits supposedly provided by those taxes dwindle away. And they keep trying to brainwash you into thinking that this is somehow normal. Unfortunately, most people actually fall for this outright fraud.

The bottom line is: do you feel it’s appropriate to help this growing insane police state by assisting it, either morally or financially? Why support a system that is trying to exploit and destroy you? That really doesn’t make any rational sense. Non-compliance with a corrupt system will rob them of their ill-gotten gain, so just gradually ease out of their system. Additionally, you can use their tactics against them for your advantage, convenience, or pure amusement. There are many ways of doing this: by materials diversion and procurement, surreptitious utilization of equipment and supplies, or just good old-fashioned harassment. Don’t make life easy for them – after all, they’re the problem. You don’t always have to be a victim, the tables can occasionally be turned. So if you find the concept of Full Spectrum Dominance to be both pretentious and offensive, consider doing something about it. Just be carefully creative, and always resist tyranny that’s disguised as freedom.

How To Make a Birchbark Canoe

Complete Video of Making Canoe From Scratch

furtradecanoemain150smA great video made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.  Master woodworker Grant Goltz leads the team in the ground up reconstruction of an indigenous birchbark canoe. It helps to be in the northeast when you want to do this, finding a grove of birch in the Los Angeles area might be a little tough.

82 Year Old Barber Removed From Park For Giving Free Haircuts to Homeless

The Class War Against the Poor Continues Across America

Cops and Suits Say No More Free Haircuts for Homeless in Hartford

Good-bye Joe the Barber – God Bless You For Trying

Joe the barber 1HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford officials say they ordered an 82-year-old good Samaritan out of a city park because residents were concerned about the safety and sanitation of his free haircuts to homeless people.

But city health officials said Thursday they’re trying to work with Anthony Cymerys (sih-MEHR’-is) so he can continue providing the valuable service in a more controlled environment. They also say Cymerys isn’t a licensed barber.

Cymerys is known as “Joe the Barber” and has been giving haircuts in exchange for hugs for 25 years in the city. He’s been a fixture at Bushnell Park every Wednesday, but authorities kicked him out of the park this week.

Cymerys’ friends questioned officials’ actions, saying it was only a year ago that the city honored Cymerys for his charitable deeds.

War on Haircuts.  What’s Next – A War on Nail Clippers?

Joe the barber 2The fact is that in cities across America, many homeless people help each other out, not only with food, but also with personal hygiene like haircuts.  So old Joe the Barber didn’t have a “license”, so what?  He still gives satisfactory haircuts to homeless folks who couldn’t afford it otherwise.  In the L.A. area there are at least 2 nice ladies who occasionally give haircuts to homeless and needy people for free.  Maybe some of the self-involved citizens who own actual barber shops should volunteer some time to help out.  The foreclosures by the banksters have put millions of middle-class Americans on the street;  now they have to face the realities of the life of poor folks, including such mundane things as haircuts.  When you are homeless you aren’t going to go to some fancy salon and plunk down $40 bucks for a trim.

To the people who forced old Joe the Barber out of the park:  May all your hair fall out and your finger and toenails become ingrown. 


Venice Parking News


Following a lawsuit brought by Ryavec and VSA against the CA Coastal Commission (CCC) & City of L.A (COLA) – a settlement proposal has been drawn up for submission to the CCC June hearing.

We need to put the pressure on CCC, who have already denied OPDs in Venice twice, to deny them a third time. Please sign this petition and pass along.

Permit parking in Venice would be in violation of the 1976 Coastal Act which was designed to keep public access to the CA coast free and open to all.





Sign our petition here – each time someone signs and email is sent to City of L.A. and the CCC. You can sign, even if you don’t live in Venice – because coastal access should be for everyone !!!! Thanks, SOV

Couch-Crashing In Los Angeles

Forced Homeless, Teacher Survives in Storage Unit and Friends Couches

by “Elisabeth”

About ten years ago I was living camped out in a back add-on building, called the ‘chapel’, of two story old house in the edge of Hancock Park, actually on the border of Korea Town, when the house was sold and I had no clear vision as to where to go. With my brother’s brainstorming help, I decided to put all of my somewhat gypsy belongings into a storage locker right off a main freeway in downtown LA…but still didn’t know what I was going to do next.

At the time I had my own business teaching, well, actually tutoring, doing educational therapy with kids of all ages with learning differences. My weekdays varied. I worked with my students, after school, at their homes, and in all different areas of the city, On a weekly basis I would drive from Malibu to Silver Lake, from Glendale to near LAX. to tutor academically and emotionally challenged children of mostly above average income parents. Since I had been doing this work for some years I didn’t mind driving and actually grew to feel like a taxi driver, knowing all of the short cuts and shops everywhere. I felt at home in all of the different areas of LA. My varied friends were also scattered throughout the city and the expanded metropolis.

When my friends heard of my new lifestyle they wanted to be supportive and to my surprise offered me the keys to their houses. Since most had a spare bedroom they were happy to have me crash at their houses one night a week. On the weekends I would visit my storage locker in order to get a change of clothes and different educational material that I needed for the week. I had part of the storage locker set up like a bedroom with chest of drawers highly organized into categories of clothes and racks of shirts,sweaters, pants and skirts from which to choose.

When I finished tutoring sometimes the parents would invite me to stay for dinner. In addition I soon discovered how to eat simply out of grocery stores and that McDonalds had the best chicken salad of all the fast food places. At that point I wasn’t fussy in my eating habits. After tutoring I would call my friends who lived in the area in which I was working and ask if I could spend the night at their house. Their answers were always an excited, “Yes, you have your key, just let yourself in and I will be back from ‘wherever’ soon.” Sometime they would welcome my company for a delicious dinner that they had fixed or an impromptu dinner that we co-created.

I was able then to visit my friends at night and in the morning, and quality time too. Invariably they had problems in their lives and they welcomed my counseling expertise. They seemed to at least listen to my input and It felt good for me to be able to help them.

I had known that I liked spontaneous living and that the word ‘plan’ wasn’t really part of my vocabulary, but existing in this ‘free-spirit’ way showed me just how content I was to simply be ok with what was. Actually the whole thing was more liberating and satisfying than I could have imagined. Well really, I did not go into the future enough to imagine anything. I didn’t do any planning, other than my students, and just went from doing one thing to the next. Since I love short trips and people, this life style suited me well. I learned a lot from my constant interaction with people…and that hiding within myself, in my room, wasn’t the most productive for me. I was amazed at how my self confidence and self esteem grew, just realizing that I was flexible enough to fit in anywhere. People seemed to value not only my counseling and people skills but my astrological knowledge as well. Everyone wanted me to look at their charts.

This experience was so positive I would love to do it again. Unfortunately, I now live in a cottage in Santa Monica that has rent control. and I am afraid to give up this low rent to venture into the unknown. Since I have temporarily abandon my nomadic ways and collected a cottage and a garage full of ‘tools of the trade’ and semi ’emotionally attached to’ precious possessions, I will continue to hope that someone reading this will be able to help me get unstuck. Suggestions and comments are most welcome.




Gallery of Missing “Crusty Punks”

Crusty Punk “Trash Can”

Click on this link to go to the blog that has photos and stories of various New York East Village nomads of the past.  These travellers move across the country, usually by rail. They are called “crusty” because their clothes become stiff or crusty.  Most of the nomads disappeared in 2011, and did not come back to the East Village in the summer as they always have.  Probably because of what they called “asshole cops” harassing them.  Another tourist attraction gone?  Click Here.

Crusty Punk “Dolly”

American Gypsy Woman

American Gypsy Woman

Oksana Marafioti’s parents performed in a traveling Romani ensemble until she was

15, when they moved to America. Growing up, she saw the Mongolian deserts and

the Siberian tundra, watched her father get into bar fights with Nazis, learned about

sex by sneaking into illicit movies, and endured the hostility of school bullies. What

little Oksana and her sister, Roxy, knew of the United States they had learned from

MTV, subcategory George Michael. Not quite prepared for the challenges of

immigration. Marafioti cracks open the secretive world of the Roma and brings the

absurdities, miscommunications, and unpredictable victories of the immigrant

experience to life, one slice of processed cheese at a time.

Oksana spoke at Vroman’s Bookstore August 7, 2012 on her family life as a gypsy woman.

Video of the talk:

Part 1 – Gypsy Woman Oksana Marafioti

Part 2 – Gypsy Woman Oksana Marafioti

Part 3 – Gypsy Woman Oksana Marafioti

How To Disappear In America

Last summer, after writing a story for Wired
magazine about people who fake their own
deaths, journalist Evan Ratliff decided to vanish
and invited the public to try to find him. While
he attempted to stay hidden for 30 days, he
was caught in 25, thanks in part to the digital
breadcrumb trail he left behind.

Join Peter Eleey, curator of The Talent Show
and Ratliff as they discuss data-mining,
surveillance, and other ramifications of a culture
awash in in information.




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3 New Chapters of Gypsy Book Just Posted

Those of you following the great work in progress “Gypsies of the New Millennium” now have 3 new chapters to read:  Chapter 7 – Money, Chapter 8 – Van Living, and the Epilogue, where Skip tells it like it is.  Soon to come is a chapter entitled “Further Reading”.  I suggest that you PRINT THIS book out and put in in a binder for future reference.  If you get a nice fat 3 ring binder you can add information to it as you find it.  Skip’s book, published on this web site exclusively is the only classic modern nomadic living book that delves into the deep shadows of our life-style.  This book tells it like it really is, and Skip is providing it here, right now, free of charge.  This is an invaluable gift of information and I sincerely hope you appreciate it.  The information in his book, and on this site has taken years to accumulate.

–Uncle Paulie

Urban Rooftop Living

Urban Living on a Roof

Aside from living in a vehicle, there are other unusual places to reside, at least on a temporary basis.  (In a future series of posts I will cover squatting situations).  One of the weirdest I have discovered is roof-top living.  You see some of it even in movies.  In cities like New York, the hot summers in those squalid apartments with no air conditioning drives thousands of people to camp out on the roofs.  Hey, it’s cooler up there on a hot, sweltering night!

The first time I noticed this on the West Coast, I was visiting a friend in a small California city.  She had a shop in the downtown area.  One night late, we were sitting in her shop chatting and I heard a noise outside.  I looked out the back window and saw this guy going up the fire escape.  Even though it was dark, I recognized him, a homeless guy who hung around the area.  He was basically harmless, would pan-handle for food, and sit on a bench and talk sports to anyone who would listen.  He avidly read the sports pages of all the newspapers he could find abandoned in trash cans and Starbucks, and he was a sidewalk sports commando first class.

One day I went up on the roof to check out his lair.  He had put his bed roll in the shade of a giant air conditioner, and leaned cardboard over it.  Smart.  Best to be hidden from the searchlights of the ever-present helicopters at night.  He was tucked away from those eyes in the sky, a sleeping bag, a portable radio, a bag with a few personal items, a water bottle.  He would only go up the fire escape late at night, and come down early before people would notice him.  He had the perfect free apartment in the summer time in sunny Southern California.  During the winter months, when it got colder, he disappeared, who knows to where.  As long as he stayed out of sight, he was OK.  I imagine that once in a while an air conditioning repair man would see his stuff, maybe say something to the building owner, maybe not.  Once in a while he might lose his gear, but the local temporary aid would restock him with new stuff.  Go ahead and laugh, the dude was around for years, living free while YOU (and I) were paying thousands of dollars in rent.  Who’s the smarter one?