I vaguely promised that I would provide an explanation for the title of this blog, The Lonely Tribalist. And here is that explanation in a nutshell.
It wasn’t easy for me. I was born a poor black child. 4 years ago, a guy bothered me at a Barnes and Noble discount table, breaking my focus from all the books I wasn’t going to buy. He persisted, despite my taciturn awkwardness, and was able to give me a fluttery impression in my chest by the end of a 45 minute “insta-date.” He slipped me his e-mail, even after ascertaining that it would be useless to get my number.
This man was Moose.
I’ll spare the sappy details for now. But what Moose introduced to me was a radical perspective of viewing people as super social animals. Just as wolves thrive in packs, buffalo in herds, and ravens in murders (you do you, ravens, you do you), the human animal thrives in tribes. And yet, while I’m surrounded by 8 billion people on Earth with the technology to talk to almost every single one of them with the touch of a button, I am still alone.
“The Lonely Tribalist” was a moniker I came up with for my partner Moose, a self-taught student of sustainable anthropology, of Daniel Quinn and Noam Chomsky and countless other authors offering paradigm shifts at the cost of a person’s sanity. There is great knowledge and even some wisdom in those works. But how to apply any of it?
Moose traveled the world, discovering activism in his late teens/early twenties in South America, experiencing homelessness and the subsequent charity in Scandinavia, and living as a lone traveler for years across the United States. He’s had friends and lost friends. He’s loved, been loved, gotten laid, and had his heart tremendously broken.
I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite writing thinkers:
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to be so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus
This blog is not his story nor is it solely mine. I seek to take the daily inspiration I get from him and turn it into our story. Me and him. Him and you. You and us. We’re no longer going to settle for preaching tribalism while still leading solitary, anonymous lives. Escaping to the woods only to live by our lonesome or hiding out in a commune with little hope for personal fulfillment is not for us. The way to win, to die truly happy is to free ourselves from as many of the chains and mercurial confines that our society has facetiously blanketed us with.
The title of this blog is something I hope to make obsolete. No more lonely tribalists – just tribalists. Welcome to the journey of the cutest MoFos you will never meet (see figures 1, 2, and 3 below).
But if we ever do meet, make sure you pick up a complimentary hug before leaving.
Michelle (& Moose, somewhere around here)