To change the world? Or to just see it through, as unscathed and untraumatized as possible? For Patten, the latter was impossible; the former, a reluctant task.
He claims to have seen the worse in Mankind, this with the endless stream of inmates who return to their concrete hell, time after countless time. It was in prison that he caught the ‘activist bug,’ reading the works of Noam Chomsky and David Icke, and promising to his loved ones that he would continue his writing until the day he died.
This work is an evolution of his journalism, which in turn is a development of political philosophy. Spanning roughly seven years, the subject range is vast: from the prison politics that pervade those corrupt institutions, to his first weeks after his release, rants about not getting published, various commentaries on the news items of the day, to his time with the Occupy movement and his disheartening return to the county jail. They are didactic, energetic, and very personal. Most of them appeared on blogs – many long having been defunct – while others appeared in small print publications. In 2013, he acquired a column at StriketheRoot.com, which still holds some of these essays.
For now, Patten remains in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a place he loathes and wishes to get away from. In the meantime, Patten works on three separate books, including a memoir of his tour of Occupied America, and studies on anarchism and oppression.