Take off the glasses

Bombard me with images
Promise to make me complete
Shape my eyes
Contour my cheeks
Highlight my lips
Make me over
Make me complete

Paper over my scars
Discard my pain
Replace my thoughts
Invade my brain

It’s all too easy to erase
Wake up thirty years later
Dying by minutes
Past the sell by date

No road forward but out
Take up the razor
As in youth
Faint lines promise relief

Trapped by this stagnant culture
Burn it down
Burn it down
We all fall

Starving in the land of plenty

We act like our world is all one way
Blissful or burned by parallel reality
Same universe, same world

But really, how many lives can you see?
Which journeys will take you down roads that branch and branch until you see no way out?
Or end all too abruptly in a grave?
We want what we want and we want it now.
Blinded by our choice to only see those opinions that echo our own.
Unable to change minds because our own are so mired in our mirrors
Reflecting opinions back until anything outside is a foreign body to be attacked

Our opinions are so often lies of those tied to a news cycle
read an opinion and assimilate it rather than form your own
Learn someone else’s philosophy and wisdom, regurgitate
Look am I not wise
I said the same thing the parrots of my political flavor say

Things change but in cultural drifts
In ebbs and flows
Stutters and starts
In conflict
In choices each time we open our mouths
Open our doors

It’s in the quiet words we tell ourselves and in the reason why we shout
I’m here
I’m alive
I matter
Listen to me
Words fade in the cacophony

But be the rock unwavering
and be beaten to sand
A sacrifice
A choice
A stand

Life ends
In our silence
In our fear

Hope dies
Undiscovered in the discarded dross
Of our willful blindness

Take my eyes
I wish to see

The myth of the individual

I know people say you have to be enough on your own but I think that is western cultural bias. Specifically, USA culture. It says that you must stand on your own to be considered an adult. But the only people who truly do that are narcissists. And even they attempt to have people around, if only to fawn all over them.

We depend on each other and need human companionship. Even if the form that takes is casual comradery or the sharing of fandom. No one can be everything and attempting to do so frays our selves and our actual strengths go undeveloped as we attempt to swim up the tree.

Ultimately, I think, we attempt to stand on our own because we have been hurt by those we trusted. But who we trust is a product of standing on our own. Instead of looking for people who compliment who we are, we look for the similarities and homogeneous cultures and cliques do not thrive, instead infight and stagnate.

Perhaps it’s time to accept that we can’t stand alone and instead find our tribe. And treat it that way. As a group working together for the betterment of its members.

Thoughts on Consent and culture(possible trigger warning)

Any culture that equates sex with success or with intimacy is failing those that comprise it.  It Feeds into youth culture filtering down to the youngest cognizant levels and takes over in those places where straight talk about sex is not present.  e.g.  in most American households. Further, since the origin of the culture originates with men taking and not individuals exhibiting informed consent we receive a nasty side effect of that cultural shift in that it promotes rape culture. In which the criminal who acts and violates the sanctity of another’s body is succored and made out as blameless while the victim is shamed by the larger culture. It is a malignant and horrific manifestation of the cultural shift.  I’m not saying that it is Not a part of the systemic male domination of society, I’m saying that when we allow popular culture the reins to societal value we ultimately give up control over how those values manifest.

I do not advocate abstinence, nor do I advocate free sex.  I advocate informed, enthusiastic,  and continual consent.  That men must be made responsible for not having sex when their partner is not into it,  that coercion of any kind is rape.  If you get into it and it starts hurting or stops being what you want,  then stop. Say no.  And if it continues from there,  it is rape. If you see that your partner is not into it stop and check on them.  Informed means not impaired, meaning not drunk, not high, told up front the actions that will be taken and what is off the table.  It may seem excessive,  but that is the culture talking.  It is what is necessary to keep all parties safe. Enthusiastic means they want to have sex as much as you do.  This is both men and women,  yes sometimes guys are not into it as well,  don’t shame them for it.  That is the culture talking, saying men must be up for it at all times. Culture is a blade that cuts all who hold it. Coercion is not enthusiastic consent, giving in is not enthusiastic consent. Do what you want, is not enthusiastic consent. All of these are rape.

The victim should not be made to feel shame for something that is done to them, against their will. There are no mitigating factors.  If someone was wearing something,  that is not an invitation. Being drunk is not an invitation. Being too tired to say no is not an invitation.  There is always another person involved and that person needs to stop it. Must in fact say no. Otherwise, they are acting as a monster, a criminal that should be ashamed of their actions.  They have violated the body, the mind and the emotions of someone. There is no excuse for that behavior.

I cannot express enough my disgust for anyone that rapes another. Our culture has become sick, we need to change it, otherwise we are risking the growing up of several generations of severely emotionally damaged people. Unfortunately, I think we may already be into the first generation.  We must stop the skid. But how to do that?  Swing back into the more conservative direction?  That culture has a strong record of failure on this issue and that failure reaches back centuries.  The only path forward is to teach informed, enthusiastic consent and to remove those components of congratulatory sexual conquest from male dominated society. I don’t know how to do the latter.  I can only continue to espouse the former and never flinch from the conversation that must occur again and again in order for us to change.