What is this newsletter about?
I coined the phrase the New American Diaspora to describe the growing phenomenon of those people living in homelessness and those people checking out of the so-called American dream and taking up residence in the margins.
A diaspora by definition means the dispersion of people from their homeland. More and more Americans are dispersing from their homeland and its ideals and traditions but remaining on the land, mostly in plain sight but also hidden at the same time. They are leaving a state of mind and body for a different life. This is obvious if you are paying attention and it is going on everywhere.
During the past five years, as I experienced my own form of semi homelessness and marginalization in Oregon, I began to notice more and more homeless and marginalized people, on the move or not moving at all, in rural areas and cities, living on the streets or in the woods, living in tents, trailer, RVs, cars or shanties.
At times I interacted with these people; other times I observed. I could never ignore them.
These observations and interactions form the content of this newsletter. I hope one day these writings cohere into a book about this dispersion, a dispersion brought on by the uniquely brutal destruction wrought by 21st century American capitalism.
What do I envision accomplishing with this project? I have no idea.
The focus of this newsletter is on Oregon where I live. I float around the state. I don't necessarily hold my observations and interactions out as representative of what's happening elsewhere around the country, but perhaps they are.
I approach this project with no editorial or political agenda. I have no special expertise or academic standing nor am I employed by an agency or organization tasked with addressing homelessness. I am neither an advocate nor a journalist covering this beat.
In the course of writing this newsletter, will I offer solutions to the seemingly intractable problems related to the New American Diaspora? I have no idea. I do have a few percolating.
The method I use to write this newsletter is pretty simple: I go out into my world, observe and interact with the aforementioned people, these experiences make me think, and want to write. I plan to explore the story and see where it takes me.
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What you will get with a subscription
You will receive two or three pieces of writing each week. Many of these are original for this platform but I have also repurposed others to support this new literary endeavor.