I HAVEN’T BEEN this inspired and excited by a film in a long time. This resonates with me on such a deep level, mirroring thoughts and ideas I’ve been forming over the past few years. The crux of it: the loss of community.

In 2010, brothers Tim and Noah Hussin began a 2-year cycling journey across the US. Over the last several weeks Matador has posted some of the chronicles of their journey. They began the trip the only moral and ethical way they could, by building their own bikes made of recycled parts at the ReCyclery in Asheville, North Carolina.

Throughout the trip they ate from dumpsters and what nature provided (including roadkill). They were helped along the way by generous people who shared their own lives, who proved that there is another way to live besides the “American dream” of career, 2.5 children, and a mortgage.

Tim and Noah Hussin

Tim and Noah Hussin

In Tennessee, at Idyll Dandy Acres — a “queer” community living in the backwoods — they witnessed how community supported the individuals, many of whom were disenfranchised by society. “We create our wealth and our happiness from our interrelations with each other. We’re able to demonstrate you can live comfortably and happily consuming so much fewer resources,” said one of the residents of IDA.

It’s no secret that big business has taken a toll on small towns and communities, turning them into ghost towns. The short-term benefits, like cheaper goods and food, are like the chrome and shiny wax on a new car, just gimmicks, designed to sell but not to generate lasting happiness. Big business reaps rewards from the local economy, then ships those profits elsewhere leaving communities worse off than before. What once looked cheap now reveals its true costs, that of livelihoods.

* * *

The Hussins have a fundraising campaign at USA Projects to produce the film. They’ve won the USA Creative Vision Award, which means that the organization is matching every dollar donated to the project. Your $10 means $20 to them.

I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. If you’d like to help them, click here. Funding deadline is April 7, 2013 at midnight.

I’ll leave you with some great quotes by people they met on the road…

    “Another world is possible. Sounds like a cliche, but why not?”

“I can guarantee you the meat we’re eating off the side of the road is way fresher than the meat people are buying at the grocery store.”

    “Everyone’s obsessed with being safe. How safe do you want to be, before it’s completely boring?”

“This is my family. They don’t have to be my blood.”

    “I’d never heard of dumpster diving before, but then I started to realize how much good food gets thrown away…it almost became a responsibility to take that out of the trash and eat it.”

“Everybody wants to give an excuse as to why they can’t do something. Quit making those excuses and do it. Make your mama proud, man.”