– [Interviewer] Okay, Mark. Tell me your story. How long you been out here, what’s going on, how you survive. – Basically, I’ve been
out here all my life, even though I haven’t, in the sense that my
name is Mark Alexander. I was born to a family
that had eight children, a mother who was raising eight children on $250 a month welfare in Minnesota. We lived in a basement house. Didn’t even have a first floor. Sometimes eating one piece of
white bread with lard and salt on it a day as our meal, and I was designated as the house slave, in that I had to do the cleaning, the ironing, the scrubbing, et
cetera, et cetera, et cetera while everybody else was out playing baseball, basketball, whatever. So I left home when I was 12
years old for the first time. I left home for a year during
the end of the hippie days, because I met two hippies on
the outside of my hometown in Minnesota, and they told
me what hitchhiking was. So I thought I’d give it a try. I came back home, and my mother said I couldn’t
stay with the family, because the welfare would take her off of the welfare system, at that time, because they had already
excluded my portion of the welfare checks. So I left home for good, and I spent about two months in every state
in the United States over a period of 15 years from
north of Fairbanks, Alaska to Presque Isle, Maine
to Key West, Florida. Even flew over to Hawaii
and hitchhiked over there. So I had a great life experience. Then I settled down here in LA, and got into the investment arena. The first project I sold was
investment grade diamonds, when you could put them in your IRA. I went from that into movies, raising money for independent films. I did pre-IPO or private placement stock, FCC licenses when they
came out for pagers. Investors could invest in that. Oil and gas, foreign currencies,
et cetera, et cetera. Well, about a year ago, my
conscience got the best of me, and I was working for
an oil and gas company in Beverly Hills, and I got tired of them saying on film and in writing that they were promising
29% annual rate of return. My clients weren’t even seeing 1%. So I decided not to bring
any more new clients in until they got everything squared away. Well, unfortunately, a lot of
things happened at one time, financially and otherwise, that put me into a downward spiral, where I ended up being evicted
from my apartment last year in December by a family that
owns 28 apartment buildings, the Einsteins in Beverly Hills. And have been with them
for about 15 years, but I was eight days late on my rent, and to be with them for 15 years, I must have paid every
month, but unfortunately, the sons had taken over,
and they were pretty greedy, and they wanted me out to raise
the price of the apartment, and they got me out. So unfortunately, that started
my on-the-street experience. And then, I had paid for my storage, where I put everything in, went up to Rapid City, South Dakota to see three brothers who I
hadn’t seen in 20-some years. The rest of them are in Minnesota yet, and I haven’t seen them
in 20-some years, as well. Thinking that my youngest brother, who has a small construction gig, I could go to work with him,
but this spring they had floods in the Midwest, and
particularly in South Dakota, and we couldn’t get any
work done, whatsoever. So I came back out here, I was
going to go into my storage, and sell a bunch of stuff. I came back out here on 11th
of June this year, 2008, and I thought they locked
the storage on the 15th of the month before they keep you out, because I had paid May,
but I hadn’t paid June yet. And I was going to get in there
and sell a bunch of stuff, get an apartment and everything else, because I have hundreds, I
don’t know how much I had, but a lot of stuff in there,
including all my writings. I had written 10,000 pages or
more over the past few years, including a book to my daughter who I haven’t seen in nine
years in London, England, who is 15 years old in January. And I was doing a
leather-bound beautiful book about my history and her
history and so forth. But anyway, I get out here
and the storage is locked up, and I couldn’t get in. So I end up on the street, and with a lot of promises
but nothing came through. I lost my storage, as well, and it was just auctioned off last month. Everything I’ve ever produced,
created, owned, whatever, I have lost in that storage,
and that was a crushing blow. But the biggest crushing blow
was that I found my daughter on the internet, and there
was a site called Spokeel, and she hadn’t written to
me in many, many months. And a couple years ago, I got pissed off and her mother had stolen all my money, or most of it at the time and most of my things and my daughter. And she claimed that my
daughter wasn’t writing, because she was the top
student in her school, and she was studying all the time, which I thought was a bunch of hogwash. I wrote back and said, “Can you imagine me telling
my mother, at your age?” She was 11, at the time. “That Ma, I can’t talk to
you. I’m too busy studying.” You know, that kind of thing. Of course, I didn’t put it in that nice of a language, but… Anyway, I went onto this site,
and I found out my daughter has been doing drugs since
she was 11 years old. She doesn’t even read,
never has read a book. She is not the top of her class, and I saw 100 friends
on a Friendster of hers, and they’d talk about doing ecstasy and all this other crap together, and having sex together at that age. So it wasn’t a very good year for me, and right now the only way I heal myself was by writing, because I was about to
take a nosedive emotionally through all this stuff. But I wrote and got it out of my system, and now I’m waiting for the election. I am waiting to see what’s going
to happen with the markets, especially the investment markets. Maybe I’ll get back into that business. I don’t know. I don’t think I can. I think we’re in a shit load
of hurt here for the next– Bush says, “Five years,
oh, we’ll be okay.” But it’s gonna take 10 years just to pay off the interest
on the Chinese debt alone, so I don’t think we’re in
a very good disposition in this country. And if we stay in Iraq
any longer, then hell, we might as well just
fold up this country, because it’s costing us so much money that they don’t even
have facilities for me, because I don’t do drugs. I don’t have mental problems, except the normal life emotional problems that you’re not supposed
to have, by the way, because they have
addressed me in the park, and I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t raging or whatever. But they come up to you
and they politely ask, “Do you have any emotional problems?” Well, of course, we all do. But what they want you to do
is to get into their programs, so that they can participate
in the drug company’s pushing of their drugs across
to the American public. And get you hooked on Zoloft or whatever the hell they prescribe, which I have never taken a
drug, since I was 17 years old, because during the hippie days, I studied alternative health. And the only thing I’ve
ever taken is a few Advil every now and then for a headache, but I don’t even think
I’ve been to a doctor, except for a nose operation,
which was never fixed. – [Interviewer] We only
have about a minute left. – Okay, gotcha. – [Interviewer] You said
you’ve been out here for about four months–
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] How do you survive? – Well, I got GR food stamps. They won’t give me the money, because I don’t go to
their BS GROW meetings, because I can’t walk for
hours a day with this trolley. And they won’t let me take it on the bus, so I’ve been working
selling Obama pins here. Not selling, but setting
up the Obama bin stand here on the promenade, and then
occasionally I’ll even sell. Believe it or not, they buy
from me dressed like this. One day, I sold $130 worth, but I make about 10
bucks to 20 bucks a day, which is going to end soon. It’s been going on for a couple months. – [Interviewer] You got 30 seconds. – Okay. – [Interviewer] How
would you like to close? This is your story. – I have very little
faith in my own destiny, based on what’s– if the
world isn’t functioning, the United States is not
functioning, I cannot function. So I will not cause anarchy, but I think we’re headed for
some very terrible times ahead, and I’m just going to
react as best as I can in a healthy, wholesome manner, and if I can’t, hey, I’ve had to protect my
life several times here in the park and in the alleys. So maybe I’ll have to do
that on a constant basis, I don’t know. Thank you very much.

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