The slow social descent into barbarism

The vast majority of activists are part time. They see an issue in their youth or after a major life change and they go full Don Quixote for a few years(at most). Then they stop. They move to other activities. Put their money and time towards other things.

Because change is hard. You can’t tear out an entrenched establishment by the roots with a few tugs. Its a colossal entity. It takes time and slow erosion.

You have to keep showing up. Keep donating. Keep voting. Keep speaking. It’s, frankly, exhausting. So rather than stop completely, I am asking that you pick two of the things. One has to be to keep voting. As long as they are pretending its a fair system, we keep voting. And for the other, pick one.

It took 50 years for the far right to pack the Supreme Court with politically motivated justices who are completely willing to forego precedent and overturn prior decisions. All while screaming about states rights. States rights being code for racist, homophobic, and misogynistic legislation and rulings.

States don’t need more rights. Broadly speaking, they have all the rights they need. Look at all the red states packing their legislatures and overturning voting rights for the last 50 years.
And look at all states who have legalized marijuana. Despite federal law.

Excluding rights from the citizenry is not a states rights issue. It’s a authoritarian issue.

Conservatives screaming about legislation from the bench are now eerily quiet, now that they are getting their way.

Hypocrisy. On the bench. In our legislatures. In our families.

Keep fighting. As much as you can. Don’t just give up. These are dark times. But eventually there is a light.

Whether that light be the dawn of a new day, or the bonfires of revolution.

Hope is a fragile thing

I sat down to write a poem
Finding its measure wanting
And its rhythm trite
I end up here once again
Pondering this lack of sight

I find my interest waining
Not in writing
So much as life

Never having planned to come this far
I find myself forced
Made to contemplate a future
One I was certain would never come

I have all of the pieces but not the puzzle
All of the dreams but not the hopes
And the world fades out
But nothing yet fades in

On the verge of destruction
Waiting for the groundswell
A last minute effort
To give that last push

The last stage of mourning

With all the awful, dehumanizing, evil fuckery that is happening in this country(USA) and around the world, I take solace in this simple fact.

The current arc of humanity is extinction.

Now that almost all hope that humanity will somehow conquer its base fear and somehow stop internalizing the structures and mechanisms of its own destruction, I can only rejoice in the ultimate end of the species.

May whatever supplants us do better.

The brighter the light, the darker the shadow

I have a theory and to understand this theory you’ll need to understand the context. A prominent figure has 2 seperate pending felony cases. One is assault with sexual intent and the other is straight up rape. This same person an ethical and moralistic business person. Putting employees above self enrichment. Famously, they lowered their salary to 70k a year and raised/lowered everyone else’s in their company to the same level.
Across the board a good thing.
But also something this person hits on again and again in social media.

Now, doing good for others is great. But doing it, then using that good to keep yourself constantly in the news or limelight…it becomes clear that you had secondary motives.

So what’s the theory?

The theory is: The more public good you do publicly, the worse your private secrets are.

I see it over and over again. They think they can justify their actions by doing good elsewhere. All while doing evil in private.

Just one more hour

I’m procrastinating. Procrastinating going to sleep because tomorrow I have to work. If I had the day off, I’d be sound asleep.

Because that’s the trade off. Sleep means less time for myself. Less reading, less me.
Unless I’m relaxed, in which case, it means dreams and other lives.

But I’m not relaxed. Tomorrow I work. I have it better than many. I work from home. My work is remote and its all mind, little physical. I have a good boss, a good team.
But my time, my life is not my own. And that’s hard.

Vacations don’t help. They merely serve as counterpoint to work days. Throwing into stark relief the difference between my own recognizance and work hours.

The truth is I’m burned out. Not by work necessarily, but by life. This endless grind just to exist. I want more than that.

But find myself tied down by responsibility and reality in equal measure.

I feel like screaming, STOP!!!
Hoping the world will just freeze. And for a time, I can just be. So I can heal.

But I don’t think it will ever happen. I’m too burnt out for hope.

If we choose to look, we might see

I have things to say but I don’t want to share. These things feel beautiful and fragile. They are ephemeral and can’t withstand the scrutiny of others. I cannot describe to you what I have experienced. Not adequately.

I can abstract away and say that the ground shook and the sky was threaded by storm and lightning. And the reality shifted and what was absent came into being. Ancient fail-safes manifest and destroy the oldest repository of knowledge.

The lives I’ve lived. The realities all blended together.

You might say it’s a dream. But I lived it. Experienced an entire lifetime in a single night. It’s etched into me and I remember. The same way I remember my past.

I live other lives. Other lifetimes in dreams. Or not dreams. They say that one side constructs and the other observes. But that’s not actually how brains work. Left and right brain are legacy thinking before we knew what we were talking about. When it was all just postulation and philosophy.

There is a even older term, before we collectively decided that any knowledge before the industrial age was nonsense.

A dreamwalker. One who moves between lives, between realities, outside of the linear perception of time.

I think there are more of us than we think. But remembering is a skill. As is being aware in the dream. And we have forgotten. In a quest to forge a way forward, we discarded what was.

Or worse, deal ourselves a deck of absolutes. And in so doing, fail to embrace all we could be.

Happy Birthday

Supposedly we are supposed to seek out 3rd spaces. Places that aren’t home and aren’t work where we can just be. The idea being that these serve as social gatherings where we can just be rather than be something. Rather than the system administrator or the boyfriend, the brother, the sister, or the wife. Somewhere we can throw off the obligations of being and just be.

But our choices…our choices in the USA, all come with price tags. The closest we come. Is the neighborhood bar, but what if you don’t drink? All of these places we might suggest all feel like liminal spaces to me.

Somehow not one thing or another but just this endless maybe which exists to draw us out.
And once we are there, we are what? Forced into socializing? Why? Because we don’t have time to just sit back and read a book and drink coffee. We have maybe 4 hours before we turn back into a pumpkin.

But, I don’t want that. I don’t want to change back into anything. I just want to be myself without the obligation of being what others need me to be. I want to be free.

But, here, we are never free. We need that money. We mortgage our lives for the possibility of retirement. To enjoy our life at the tail end. When it no longer matters. When what’s mostly possible is done.

I wish I had done things differently.
But I’m just as trapped as anyone. Because that’s what they don’t teach. That if you want to be free, you gave to carve out your own spaces.

Because, America was never meant for that. It has always been the place where money was the only currency. And we spill our blood on the wheel. One more revolution. One more failure. One last glittering lie.

The ideas I have but can’t afford.

I had this idea for if I become, mysteriously, independently wealthy.

Open a library/bookstore in a smallish town. One that’s conservative but with an undercurrent of subversive.

Pack the shelves with all kinds of hidden books and authors people would disapprove of. Alongside national bestsellers and personal favorites.

Have a reading nook with a coffee shop.

Offer free showers and short-term accommodation for anyone who needs it.

Have tv’s showing CNN and PBS. And small signs staff can point to that conservative stations are not allowed. Have places away from the tv’s where people can just read.

Have a antitheft system that tracks the books.
Have an airlock style outer door that can be locked in case of emergency or theft.

If someone does steal something, lock the door and talk with them. Find out why. Make judgements based on need.

Which results in complaints from locals. When Timmy brings home some beautifully illustrated reproduction of a grimoire.

And I’ll calmly explain that it has no rating and Timmy must have stole it.

Having talked to Timmy on a previous day about him trying to steal a different book to impress his friends. I substituted it for this one because this one is so much more ‘wicked’ as he put it. But I also told him that stealing is wrong and if his parents find out I will tell them about the theft. But I won’t involve the police.

So when Timmy’s mom, Karen comes by and demands why I sold her precious angel such evil devil stuff, I’ll reply that he stole it.

When she asks if I keep such filth on display where any 12 year old can steal it, I’ll reply that no. Such expensive pieces are kept under lock and key. Timmy is very bright and must have figured it out.

When she demands I do something about such filthy books, I reply that I already have. Having ordered 3 new ones produced, it’s not a lie.

We provide health services and referrals.

We provide security and sanity in a place that runs rife with neither. Especially for those who are different. And when confronted physically, a third of our staff is former military. The rest of the staff are local teanagers/outcasts or former felons. We provide a living wage and college prep/assistance. Health insurance and paid time off. And day care.

What’s the purpose of being independently wealthy if not to change the world we live in for the better.

If there is an exception, then Never is a lie

Anyone who believes that violence is NEVER the answer is a child. They live in a childs world. Having never faced a problem where the only solutions are violence or your own death. Violence or the pain and death of your loved ones.

They think that anyone who chooses violence as a response is an uncontrollable monster. A slavering beast who is without remorse or control.

In the case of people I know, it’s because violence has only ever been wielded against them for little to no cause. And so they believe that all such action must fall into that category.

Or they believe in ‘civilization’. Without regard that civilization is only ever a thin sheet covering barbarism. And only because their civility is covered by those who will do violence on their behalf.

They would rather be sheep to the slaughter than take responsibility for their own safety.

Or perhaps they core out exceptions. Violence is never the answer, except in self defense. Violence is never the answer, unless you are protecting someone else. Etc, etc.

Which is a obvious hypocritical stance.

I ask this question. Are you actually that much of a radical pacifist? Do you truly have that much conviction that when faced with violence against your person or against others, your staunch choice will be to passively without offer of threat or deed, allow the other to beat and kill you rather than raise your fist to fight for your life?

Because, frankly, I don’t think so. The amount of people with that level of control and moral conviction are vanishingly small.

So why do you all insist on saying violence is Never the answer?

Fear? That society will condemn you if you don’t buy into the myth. That you have been told over and over. That only works when all others act in the exact same level of pure conviction.

That latter, let me tell you, those few I have met that are such Pacifists that they have the control… They know better. No society is free from violence.

Abd training people that violence is never the answer is foolish and detrimental.

If someone is attacking, violence is the answer. If you are defending another, violence can be the answer. Saying something is Never anything is the child’s world. And I invite you all, to be an adult.

My two cents

A man in a position of power, speaking before a large audience, makes a joke about the health problems of someone in the audience.

The audience awkwardly laughs. One in particular looks to their partner. Sees the pain in their face.

Faced with a choice, to allow this to continue. To allow this person on stage to continue. To allow this audience to participate in the humiliation and pain of his partner. Or to act.

And he chose to act.

Now people are second guessing and armchair quarterbacking and its disgusting.

He acted in defense of his partner. He acted when no one else would. He acted when any other response would have been met with derision.

The man on stage is a professional comedian. He should know that punching down is just cruelty not comedy.

But as a professional comedian, do you for a moment, think that there were words that could have been said that would have conveyed the same defense as the slap?

I’ll tell you what would have happened if words alone were used. Derision and comeback. The comedian would have heckled the heckler. Indeed, if he had only used speech, would Chris Rock have backed off? Because he almost didn’t WITH the physical force having been applied.

The slap was justified. And anyone that says that “2 wrongs don’t make a right” or that “violence is never the answer” needs to sit down and shut up.

Circumstances and impact dictate action. Violence is a tool. And it can be the right tool.