The Ecstatic Pessimist
This expansive interview covers many of the essays in the book, including a 420 rally gone wrong, growing up in South Africa under apartheid, issues like police accountability, libertarianism , and more!
7 Reasons why YOU should come to Carla Gericke’s “The Ecstatic Pessimist” book roundtable at 1:10p at the Exhibitor Hall Bookstore and/or the Boomer/Zoomer debate at 3:10p on Stage 2. #ffest21
1. Author, activist, and attorney, Carla Gericke has been successfully cat-herding thousands of libertarians in the Free State of New Hampshire for more than a dozen years.
2. In 2020, despite lockdown orders to the contrary, Carla told the world that “PorcFest is a First and Second Amendment protected assembly,” and proceeded to host the then 17th Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, the ONLY event worldwide to proceed as scheduled. More than one thousand libertarians, including folks like Tom Woods, gathered for a weeklong celebration of liberty, without any negative health consequences.
3. In 2014, Carla, after being arrested in 2010 and charged with felony wiretapping carrying a 7-year sentence for filming a routine traffic stop, fought back and won a landmark First Circuit lawsuit against the federal government that affirmed the First Amendment right to film police officers, and that qualified immunity would no longer apply. That year, Carla was named one of NH Magazine’s “Remarkable Women.” This widely-cited case is part of the reason we are now talking about police accountability and reform because for the first time in human history, ordinary citizens CAN RECORD and PROVE police malfeasance.
4. In 2020, Carla ran for NH Senate (R) on a pro-liberty platform critical of lockdowns and mask mandates. She got 44% against a now 12-term Establishment Elite (D). (Consider contributing to her 2022 race!)
5. Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine said “The Ecstatic Pessimist,” is “a fantastic package of writings that veer from fiction to autobiography and memoir to political polemics…. I highly recommend ‘The Ecstatic Pessimist: Stories of Hope (Mostly)’.”
6. In late 2017, at the age of 45, Carla decided to retool her life for health and longevity. She quit drinking alcohol, adopted an Ancestral lifestyle by following a Keto/Paleo diet and doing intermittent fasting (now up to 7 days), returned to her yoga and meditation practice, and lost 50+ pounds, which she has kept off. The concluding personal essay in The Ecstatic Pessimist deals with this inspirational story, and offers lessons for others seeking to improve their own lives. Live free and thrive!
7. The Ecstatic Pessimist contains award-winning, previously published short stories written while completing her MFA in Creative Writing, as well as 13 essays about the Free State Project and her activism in New Hampshire, including:
* The world’s first pro-TOR protest to save a local NH library from the Department of Homeland Security’s overreach;
* A 420 rally that went horribly wrong when undercover narcs arrested the only Black kid;
* Fighting police militarization and being called a “domestic terrorist” in 2013 in a government grant application for a BEARCAT. Frankly, this 2021 “extremist” stuff seems like a… downgrade?!?
Buy your copy of “The Ecstatic Pessimist: Stories of Hope (Mostly)” at the Bookstore, and then come join Carla at 1:10p for a roundtable discussion, and to get your copy signed! Can’t make it? Read this essay!
There’s an Avett Brothers song, “Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise” that always inspires me:
“When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it.”
Because I’m good at a lot of things, for the longest time, my struggle was “deciding what to be.” I’m a trained lawyer. I’m an author. I do a lot of political activism. I cook. Garden. I lead and mentor. I’ve been told I’m not the world’s worst wife.
In order to be yourself, you have to know yourself.
When I was graduating from high school at sixteen, I was asked during an aptitude test what I wanted to be “when I grow up.” My answer: A writer and a fashionista.
In South Africa in the mid-Eighties, this wasn’t an “acceptable” career choice, so, bowing to societal and family pressure, I ended up practicing law on two continents, including at Logitech and Apple Computer.
Now, more than thirty years later, it’s clear to me that my instincts back then were right. I /still/ want to be a writer and a fashionista. (Really, I just love writing the word “fashionista.” LOL)
We know ourselves. Decide what to be and go be it.
Not sure where to start? Try journaling. Make a promise to yourself to jot down at least a few things daily. “Daily” is important, because it creates a routine, and routines, whether we like it or not, become habits and good habits make life easier. Good habits make it easier to DECIDE WHAT TO BE AND GO BE IT.
In my journal, I make notes about my mood, things I’m grateful about or maybe pissed off about, successes, failures, whether I meditated, did yoga or other exercise, etc. But mostly, with the habit of daily journaling, I was able to “hear” the voices in my head, especially the negative ones who tell you you can’t be who YOU want TO BE. You know the one. Those jerks who usually speak to you in the second person. Who is this person in your head who doesn’t think they’re even part of you? That mofo jerk who holds you back from knowing, deciding, and being your best YOU? Well, I discovered and smothered mine, and YOU can too! (Read more about that here.)
Deciding what to BE is HARD, and not static, so recently I decided a hack I would try was simply to focus on the “GO BE IT” part. Through my journaling, I’ve analyzed where I spend my time, and what of those activities actually make me happy. Not the “hafta dos” or “kinda must dos” but the, I LOVE TO DO THIS AND WISH I CAN TELL EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.
What are you DOING with your TIME?
Once I realized how much of my time I spent drinking or thinking about drinking, and how little I spent on ACTUALLY writing and finishing my first book, The Ecstatic Pessimist now available on Amazon, I knew something needed to change.
So I changed.
I quit drinking in 2017 after reading This Naked Mind, and I have never, ever regretted this DECISION. Know why? Because it was MY choice. MY decision. I owned it and I made myself proud.
These days, I never think about drinking, except sometimes in a “Man, I’m so glad I quit” way because I am too busy living a complete and fulfilling life. I am too busy deciding what to be and then being it.
I want to help YOU on YOUR journey. Tell me something you’re working on, something you’d like to become and be! Change is possible, you just have to CHOOSE to change! If I can, so can YOU!
Catch me being here:
The Art of Independence: www.CarlaGericke.com
PS: I know the 2020 photo does not look chill, but it was literally the moment I uploaded my manuscript and I was tres excite.
The photo on the left came up in my Facebook memories today–OOOF!–and serves as a reminder of the positive changes I’ve made over the past four years.
The #1 change? Making MYSELF and MY HEALTH a priority.
By switching to Ancestral living, focusing on whole #keto and #paleo foods. <— Catch my Sunday #freedomnomnom posts!
By quitting alcohol, which had become an addiction and crutch.
By processing underlying anxiety stemming from an unmoored childhood through journaling and behavioral modification therapy.
By making exercise a daily habit and restarting my yoga practice.
By meditating and being mindful and aware in my interactions with others, including deepening my relationship with my husband and friends.
By CHOOSING TO. <— This is THE KEY to fulfillment and joy!
DECIDE to prioritize yourself so that you can heal, mend, fix, restart, grow, change and IMPROVE! We get one chance… Get living! Learn more about my journey HERE. Buy my book, The Ecstatic Pessimist HERE.
She previews this year’s PorcFest, planned to be the biggest one yet, coronavirus be damned…get your tickets now! She also discusses a couple of serious topics, namely the targeting of two separate, New Hampshire-based cryptocurrency projects by the government: the longtime owners of some BTM machines who have been targeted by the ATF & FBI for alleged money laundering & wire fraud, and the SEC’s targeting of LBRY and its video streaming service Odyssey that could destroy the service. Plus, Carla chats with Tatiana about police misconduct, COVID restrictions, the vaccine passport, and her new book The Ecstatic Pessimist!
About the Guest
Carla Gericke (JD, MFA) is an advocate of liberty specializing in localized voluntarism, self-determination, and how responsible human action can lead to peace and prosperity. She is president emeritus of the Free State Project, and lives in New Hampshire with thousands of fellow freedom fighters. In 2014, Carla won a landmark court case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters. She has appeared on WMUR, CNN, and Fox News, been featured in GQ and Playboy, been quoted in The Economist, and has discussed libertarianism on the BBC. She has visited more than 40 countries, hiked to the base camp of the 10th highest mountain in the world, lost a shoe in a taxi more than once, had her passport stolen in Goa, got kidnapped in Vietnam, and has noshed on more “mystery meat” street food than she cares to admit. Carla once spent an entire summer while working as in-house counsel at Logitech eating tuna fish sandwiches with Doug Engelbart (the Mother Of All Demos dude), she worked on Apple’s acquisition of Steve Job’s NeXT, and bought her first Bitcoin for $6. Carla co-hosts the Told You So podcast, and co-chairs Manch Talk TV (catch episodes on Odysee). She serves on several non-profit boards, follows a Keto lifestyle (read about her transformation), practices yoga and shooting, and plays a mean game of Scrabble. Carla enjoys cooking, gardening, painting, reading, and watching documentary films. She has twice run for New Hampshire Senate, garnering 42% of the vote in 2018 against an 11-term incumbent, and over 44% in 2020!
Carla’s first book, The Ecstatic Pessimist, a collection of award-winning short stories, flashes, speeches, and essays is available now!
The Ecstatic Pessimist – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087XWGSFN/?tag=tatianashow-20
PorcFest – http://porcfest.com/
Free State Project – https://www.fsp.org/
Carla for NH Senate – https://www.carla4nhsenate.com/
TatianaMoroz.com – https://www.tatianamoroz.com/
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Free yourself from the Tyranny of Other People’s Opinions! Once I shifted my focus from what the world thinks about what I do (or what *I think* the world thinks–never assume!) to only what *I* think about what I do, my life has blossomed.
Why? Because when you make your locus of focus internal not external, you free yourself to be your best self. You learn to only measure yourself against yourself, your goals, and what you are personally achieving. YOU are the master or mistress of your destiny!
Know this: You cannot heal the world if YOU are unhealthy, mentally and/or physically. If you think there’s something wrong with the world, you need to consider what might be wrong with YOU and then CHANGE.
The “common good” means you take care of YOURSELF, not that *I* have to take care of YOU. Find balance in YOUR mind, body, and soul: Healthy self = heal thy self.
Happy Porcupine Day! Know what accelerates the growth of a “libertarian safe space”? 😛 Totalitarianism and tyranny. Know what the future holds? Yep: More totalitarianism and tyranny, double-scooped and ice-f*ing-cold.
Five years ago today, a former version of myself stood before our consent-based community at a press conference in downtown Manchester to announce the Free State Project, a movement to attract thousands of libertarians to New Hampshire, had been triggered, and that it was time for people to start their exodus home.
Thousands answered that cry! Thank you!
You can read, “Triggered: Free State Project Reaches Its Goal, Tells Everyone to Move to New Hampshire And Do Something” in my book, The Ecstatic Pessimist: Stories of Hope (Mostly), but here are some highlights from my 2016 speech:
Look, the Free State Project is not everyone’s cup of tea, not everyone wants to LIVE their principles, but a large number of people are dissatisfied with the direction this country is heading—71% according to a recent poll cited on Politico—and 49% of those people expressed dissatisfaction with the federal government, 29% going so far as to say they were “angry.” Some people just want to sit around and complain—or, apparently, vote for Bernie or Trump. Others seek solutions. They want to DO SOMETHING. And that’s ultimately what the Free State Project is about: ACTION. Upping and moving to one area to concentrate principled liberty activists together to affect change. As our slogan says: Liberty in OUR Lifetime…
As more people awaken to the reality of a dystopian present, more people will seek answers and solutions, which is what life in New Hampshire as part of the Free State offers—in the future, we will see the expansion of personal and economic freedom here. People seem wary of the notion that freedom works, but what if New Hampshire can lead the way? Provide the example to show others, it’s not that scary? If autobahns work in Germany, why can’t they work here? If pot legalization works in Amsterdam and Colorado, why can’t it work here? If gambling works in Monaco—or, apparently, as long as the government runs the gambling racket like the Lotto—why can’t it work here? If deregulated markets keep Hong Kong competitive, why can’t we see more of the same here? If unfavorable tax burdens are forcing people and companies to leave certain states, why not welcome them to New Hampshire and build the Silicon Mill Yard right here?
In ten to twenty years, if we continue to embrace the principles of liberty and limited government, I know New Hampshire will stand as a wealthy, prosperous, autonomous example—a beacon of liberty—for the rest of the world to emulate. The future for the Free State Project in New Hampshire looks bright… First New Hampshire, then the world!
Finally, I have always believed, and continue to believe, if we build it, they will come. As we continue to build on our early, impressive successes in the Granite State, the federal government will continue its brazen overreach, whether it is police state tactics like national surveillance, police militarization and lockdowns, or the unconstitutional wars taking a toll on millions of innocent lives across the world, or them trying to get their grubby little paws on OUR internet...
After 2020, who can deny how prescient my words were? It is now abundantly clear to any thinking human being that government thinks we are their property and slaves, that they can dictate our every move, and even tell us if and when to leave the house and what to wear when doing so. If I am not free to decide for myself what steps to take in my own life, am I really free? Who owns me? Who owns YOU?
Can we stave government overreach in New Hampshire? I firmly believe we can (and are). I remain 100% OPTIMISTIC about our prospects in the Free State of New Hampshire… But we need reinforcements… We need YOU!
As the boot of the state smashes down more and more, as they grab more control, as they manipulate more media and minds and spread more fake news, as they call us more and more alarming names, and try to silence and even de-platform us, we will continue to grow…
“Nothing else in the world…not all the armies…is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”–Victor Hugo
Our time has come. We will continue to attract like-minded, well-informed, brave, proud INDIVIDUALS who are willing to bandy together and say, Look, there are 49 other places in America you can go play ‘Socialist and Commie.’ Here in New Hampshire, we’re not playing. We are living. We are living our lives in freedom because Liberty Lives in New Hampshire! Join us!