Thursday, May 16, 2013

i was working on a couple of new sites, the revival of my pop art gallery, and the siuc pop art gallery, the second a kind of tribute to my eighteen years at siuc, but all in the service, basically, of backing up and putting online numerous lost photos, when i was diverted by the story of kai, who hit the news when authorities began searching for him and arrested him today.

i went back to the original video that had gone viral and made him famous. kai was a young drifter who said he was from west virginia, but wouldn't give his full name. hah, that was easy enough for authorities to find out. he also claimed, on this youtube, that he'd been picked up hitchhiking by this wild guy who claimed he was jesus christ and who intimidated random pedestrians; he also said that he'd taken an axe and whacked this guy because he appeared to be assaulting this random woman. kai also mentioned whacking some guy in an orchard because he displayed too much ownership of a woman and kai had felt that this was just plain wrong. i wondered why he dredged up the orchard incident as if to dare the authorities what orchard, what guy he'd whacked. when it got right down to it, he didn't want to give his name, but he immediately picked up hundreds of followers on an assumed name, and started preaching to his facebook choir.

now that's the first difference between today's kai, and I, who was quite a drifter for many years and saw myself in kai. kai had the opportunity to become famous, and took it. his story was just out there enough, that a lot of people were attracted to it and latched onto him. from the rainbow people he had gotten such ideas as, don't give them your name, call yourself "home-free" rather than "home-less", and wear nice ragged long hair held back only by a bandana. drift intentionally and take rides from total strangers. the problem is, in the modern world, so few people will pick up a drifter, that only the twisted ones remain, and the drifter becomes immediately a victim of those crazies out there, who are the only ones left that will actually give a ride to such a guy.

but back to kai. from the rappers he seemed to have gotten a foul mouth, and somewhere he got a proclivity to violence, which, when somebody is such an innocent-looking kid, you never know what to believe. for example, anything could have happened in the orchard, where there were just some drifters camping and living on apples, presumably. on the street, he was being interviewed by a newsman, who couldn't believe his story or his foul mouth, but nevertheless continued with him until he told the whole story, that being a street incident in fresno where the driver assaulted a pedestrian, then was laid upon by kai, who was a rider in his car. whether kai had actually killed this guy, i have no idea, since he was apparently released only to appear in new jersey some time later.

but this brings us up to the murder charge; apparently he was picked up by a 73-year-old lawyer, who drugged and raped him, or so he says, then he appealed to facebook to decide what to do; he liked one friend's suggestion that he whack the guy, and he whacks the guy. how much of this to believe, i have no idea. but facebook left a pretty clear trail. the lawyer is dead. kai is in jail. where he will probably stay, for some time.

i'm about to reconstruct my drifters' book, which was written during my drifting times, the 1970's. if it so much as encourages anyone to do that kind of drifting, i won't like it. i wrote it to tell my story, to get it out there, after a lifetime of holding up a professional career, raising five kids, trying to keep the boys in a line, nervous that they, like me, might take to the open air, the camping life, the "home-free" life style. gratefully, two boys seem to have better sense than that. they also don't have the anger issues that i had or even that kai clearly shows. somebody somewhere, upset parents i imagine, were giving kai a bad feeling about such concepts as "home". i look back at that time in my life and i'm glad i didn't end up like kai, in jail, feeling like a murderer, abused by someone or other. he got caught up in crossing over, trying to be both a rainbow and a rapper, and, doing it in an era when there's no such thing as privacy, or getting away from it all, or not telling someone your name. it takes them all of five minutes to find you these days, and that's what happened to him, and where was he when it happened, but philadelphia.

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