The infinite universe is apprehended through the compression algorithm derived by multiplexing peripheral input of limited array of spectrophotometers, mass spectrometers, pressure plates and gyroscopes, honey whether you do or you don’t believe, we can at least agree, something mysterious in each one of us, something dangerous and petty, violent if necessary, perverted and unsanitary, vestigial and involuntary, pentangular plenipotentiary to enemy territory, the immortal and the way of the monastery beckoning back to the caves and trees, in the dark ages, the shaded places of history whereby many peaceful graces worked the land with fellow hand and hand far from the walled and wicked cities, filth and grime in every crevice, paved with misery, lapping up luxuries but dumpster dive for decency, disposable identities, life-size cardboard intimacy, in a grand sort of Ad hominem fallacy, prithee praytell what in the living hell is the moral of this droll and dilatory postmodern tribalist twenty-four hour newsrecycling convenience story, a cultural no-go zone of sedimentary slaves in existential promontory?
Is it that Braindead suggests politics are a pathology? And how does an adorkable waitress use Tide Pods to tidy up her cluttered, empty life? Is the lie the only way to tell the truth? Can only song say what the heart thinks? Do you just need a man to fumigate your brain, or as comic relief or a tool to grip? Some parasitic ideas are you sick? What’s eating your brain today, and why can’t you just say it? Who can we get to fix all this? Who says success is anything but what you think it is for you? And what the fuck do you know anyway?
Why are children making eyes at one another when they’re making glittery balls of foam to represent the solar system? Are kids with iPhones, programming android apps at school, really going to be taught by a grown adult who thinks it worth the precious youth they can’t get back again?
Have you ever been told you that you’re fuckable? Oh but what was the context? Have you been subjected to the force of the stranger, the other, the alter ego, the doppelgänger, the drifter, the shape shifter, sidestepper, blindsider, backbiter, mad-faced doubletalker? Have you played the part in some off broadway production? Oh haven’t you gone off on someone?
The thing is, if you ask what’s on my mind, why you don’t you take the time to listen? That’s not your mission, huh? You’re here for some grander purpose? Somehow in the blizzard of suffering we’re all weathering, do you think you don’t deserve it? And what if you do deserve? So what? Well if life doesn’t matter now, will it ever? Did life ever matter? Or is life the water being pushed by the wind? What is the wind, the invisible force which moves us, the pneumatic thrust? Is truth incendiary now? Is there justice now, if our mode of justice serves to rust us, corrode our trust? Which lives matter?
Can you ethically support murder? Does it feel better to justify a murder, or to murder someone else for committing the murder and call it justice? Why are some beatings assault and some fantasies rape? When you were a kid and you got tagged, did you say it doesn’t count? Do your tinted shades and tinted windows shade the world from your brilliance or you from their ignorance? Is death the penalty for disobedience, or the worthiest opponent to the futile charge of being alive? Do you order your brothers and sisters over the throw pillow trenches to soak up the couch fort’s machine-gun fire? Can you lose all the battles but still win the war? Is a mob more moral than man alone?
The sacrifice you made; was it enough? Did it glorify god? Who was pleased by your deeds? If you glorify and give pleasure to yourself, do you sit upon your own throne? Do you climb upon your own cross? Do you give so others gain? Do you move amongst the masses, setting their tongues to flickering flames of ancient names? Who do you inspire by setting a tree on fire?
The safe trip you wished. Where all the voices of all the times you heard the truth—the words that resonate with you—and you didn’t get up to get a fucking pen to write down what inspired you, well sometimes it’s just trash and no one would miss it, except, they would. We miss the bad along with the good.
And on your holidays, not because it’s right or because you say so, but when you think of me, I write. Faces everywhere, paperclips and sidewalk and potato chips stare day and night there. They’re the ancients, vestal daughters of gods and does it sicken you to see an old man laid bare, or do you laugh and swear he had it coming, the saw on his legs, the bath filled with lye? Or does it somehow satisfy an itch, stroke an urge of your revenge porn of squirming sneers that slide upon the greasy vinyl sea. They’re not so bad once you get to know them, see, you play their game and they act all friendly.
A morality is personality and individuals are copies, drones of no identity, functional necessities in a species divvied up into discrete competing colonies. Some ants even practice slavery, tending to the many queens all fighting and flaunting for the right to feed, her brooding warriors, construction workers, foragers, commuting thousands of scale miles across the jagged hellscape of earth. A safe return is not a given, scores will meet their doom by shoes or neighbors out looking for food. Accidents of terrain claim multitudes in the struggle to continue struggling to continue the struggle.
We’ve seen the movies, the cartoons, the novels which messianic bullshit runs through, but the truth is in there too. The chocolate in peanut butter, order in chaos, truth lies in every lie and the joke’s on all of us when we do—and we’re all going to—die. But the machines we design to outlive our species, when we eventually go extinct like the vast majority of all the species that have ever been.
The next generation of this, the transhumanists, shaped by the environment as sea glass smooths under the patient waves, each one of us makes as we trace our ways. No more of this long distance running, big brained premature birthing cousin of the apes. I’m sorry but that’s what it takes to stretch through the crapmosphere, the fault that may cost us the stars, the specially relative bend of spacetime that comes when you combine 5-MeO-Dimethyltryptamine with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, you might notice that when you are born, you die to death, points adjacent in the nascent cardioid of life.
Is that alone not worth a try? Is nothing you’ve tried more compelling than pride? Will there to be a beyond to the string you pull on, deforming the tapestry of this plane, this membrane of reality bending for everyone? If you don’t love your kids or your spouse or your friends or the trees or the stardust we breathe enough, you just sit right down, take one more puff, and again until you wake the fuck up.
THIS IS ONE PERSPECTIVE
I don’t believe in one true religion. But I’m not strictly an atheist. I don’t believe in democracy, socialism, or any political ideology, but I’m not a rebel. I believe all ideas, like all flavors of ice cream, have a certain purpose and a right to exist. I don’t eat all of them, but I don’t interfere when someone eats a flavor I hate.
if ice cream were my religion, it would be a sin to accept a sugar cone when the waffle variety is available. People want to believe because believing is making sense out of an unknown dilemma, answering an urgent question when not knowing is intolerable. I’m not anything which ends in -ist. I have developed an intense allergy to hierarchies. All the sensory data I’ve experienced thus far inform my position on the following controversial political subjects.
In the centuries since the murder-fueled imperialism which founded the United States of America, everyone has immigrated here illegally. I remember singing a Woody Guthrie tune in kindergarten. We agreed in our little warbly voices that this land was made for you and me. It’s more like:
This land was paid for by power.
The root of this position can be traced to the common ancestors of crustaceans and the territorial behavior in effectively all other endothermic amniotes on this planet, for the express and singular purpose of protecting access to limited resources, e.g. breeding opportunities, food and shelter, etc.
If humans wish to distance themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom, specifically, above the animal kingdom, then they must transcend such behaviors, using the highest brain capacity in the animal kingdom to protect the limited resources for the benefit of the entire planet.
The distribution of resources in favor of environmental stability opposes waste. Fighting over resources in a limited area is a waste. Instead, expand the area: relocate individuals or import resources to compensate for increased population densities. In this age of the most extensive and efficient resource distribution infrastructure humanity has ever known, competition at any level is a waste of resources, unless extreme circumstances arise.
Think of a cannabis plant with a mineral deficiency, sacrificing the older, less productive leaves to reallocate essential resources higher up the plant to ensure continued cellular reproduction, survival. Individuals are not isolated consumers of resources, we are cells in a super-organism called humanity, integral to the entire biome as much as bacteria are integral to our microbiome. From ecosystem to solar system, to a wholly unknown universal system, right where we belong. Just where are we, exactly? And how?
From a sympathetic point of view, if the native tribes of the Americas had superior military force and technology (including immune systems), if they retained control of the land they shared with each other, this might be a wholly different country where Indo-Europeans are kept on reservations, what few survived the genocide would perhaps reside inside the United Caliphates of Arabia.
The Fault In Our Wars
Brave New World, 1984,
After reading any of these books, it becomes clear that the military industrial complex is a force of the modern world so pervasive and insidious as to be effectively ignored by the population at large, save for those engaged in profiteering or violence.
There’s been war for a long, long time. It’s good versus evil. Which is which is variable. Iran is evil because they held Americans hostage. Iraq is evil because they invaded Kuwait. Germany is evil because they enslaved, brutalized and murdered 25 million people. Russia is evil because the Soviets murdered a hundred million people. America is evil because they invaded multiple countries, actually used nuclear bombs on cities filled with innocent people. There’s still a nuclear arms race and threats of their use abound, . So everyone’s evil. Israel and Palestine, Somalia, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, the Islamic State, the fucking Crusades… anywhere and anytime killing of humans is carried out, be it in the name of politics, the economy, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, literally any reason at all—including execution of incarcerated individuals convicted of capital offenses—there is a fault of logic so puerile and sophomoric that it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so completely repugnant and horrific in every conceivable way:
- Killing is wrong, i.e. morally indefensible.
A premise we can all pretty much get behind. Perhaps extreme pain or self defense might invalidate it. Let’s leave suicide aside for the moment and stick with killing others.
- Individuals in Human Group 1 (HG1) have killed/are killing/threatening to kill individuals in HG2.
Sounds like an awful situation. What do do about it? Defend yourselves, HG2!
- HG2+ may violate the first premise with impunity, only as it applies to HG1+.
Do we all have a right to self-defense? Do baby humans have a right to self-defense? Or even an interest in self defense? Perhaps a drive for self preservation, which is inferred by their continued self advocacy, mainly through crying. They can’t get a lawyer or pick up a gun, or run away, so they have a right they cannot enact, or be made aware of, or consent to forfeit. Is it still a right? If so, an argument can be made to support the statement Abortion is Murder. It’s the usurpation of the right to life.
HG2+ ( a set including HG2 and their agents/allies ) is excepted from the first premise without invalidating it if they become non-human, or an exception is added for self defense.
- Killing is sometimes preferable to not killing.
Sometimes? That’s not a clear moral rule with is applied equally and universally. It might be true then that it is was preferable for HG1 to kill HG2 in the first place, and the true crime was in the retaliation of HG2 on HG1. Not clear. Not moral. Not universal. It’s… complicated?
In war, law enforcement, interpersonal relationships, etc. those related by some chance characteristic to the perceived threat, e.g. politics, ethnicity, location, appearance, are also targeted. Violence justified dehumanizes the perpetrator first, then the victim. Vendettas have left entire towns sterile. There was a time when the POTUS declared with pride the death of another man, to a round of cheers and applause. Macabre, this penny dreadful play of politics.
AKA: killing babies. There is no justification for murder. Despite what you might cite as a feminist, why does a woman have a right to kill a baby just because it’s in her body at the moment, whereas someone killing that baby against her will would be guilty of a crime? Say nothing of wrong and right, but within the law and outside it. A woman’s will is law, then so must be a man’s will. Because the man’s body birthed the sperm which made the baby inside the woman, has he forfeited his right to kill the baby because it’s outside his jurisdiction? Does her will to reproduce trump his will to reproduce? If a man impregnates a woman against her will, she reserves the right to kill the baby. Now, if a woman impregnates herself against a man’s will, does he reserve the right to kill the baby? Equality is literally a two-edged sword…
Still, you can do whatever you want. There’s no one to judge you in an afterlife. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. And everything will die. It’s just a matter of when, how and why. However people die: on your sword, on your operating table, on your watch; they die. What remains is why. Who knows, all we can do is make something from the hand we’ve been dealt in life. Make the best of what is and not the worst of what was. It’s better to make life than death, as death arises without our help, and we are life which creates itself.
“I believe in traditional marriage.” Traditional in the sense that women are property of their fathers, paid for in a dowery and kept by a man in multiples as breeding livestock. That’s traditional marriage. The husband does not belong to the wife as the wife belongs to the husband in the traditional view.
The Patriarchy doesn’t really exist. Dominance hierarchies exist. Power exists. People exist. People who want to be higher up on the dominance hierarchy or amass power at the unwilling expense of others. I am a person, just like whomever is reading this, excluding the search bots. But I don’t want for dominance or power or anything at the unwilling expense of others.
There are males who oppress and dominate females, sure. But they are equal opportunity dominators, extending their dominance over all other men, or anything in competition with them. Maybe it’s the forces of nature, a mountain, a fear or a personal record. Even plants and animals are not exempt from domination. Just look at the food industry, forests, mining, space.
To think that the patriarchy—a primate dominance hierarchy like any other—only oppresses women, or even disproportionately oppresses women, is myopic and dismissive of all men who have fought against other men to increase or maintain status in the ongoing species-wide struggle for dominance.
Men primarily dominate other men, their competition. It’s just that we don’t call it the patriarchy. To a man it’s just life. It is upon placing themselves in direct competition with men for resources and status, that women realize what men have known forever: what it’s like to compete with men. It’s not easy, it’s not fair, and it’s not often pretty. People get hurt. A lot. And no man gets to call out discrimination or roughness or sexism. If he complains of oppression, he’s told to shut up, be a man, walk it off, quit whining and toughen up. A complaint actually makes you lose status. It’s an admission of inferiority. There are rarely any handicaps or fouls in male competition; the penalty is losing. Status, resources, body parts, your life. Men don’t get to complain about the rules of the game, so neither do women. Either you want equality and fairness, or advantage and special treatment.
In a man’s world, don’t expect any fucking sympathy, assistance or favors. Don’t expect anyone to make it easier for you to succeed, unless they directly benefit. Even then you’d be lucky, if you’re not merely being primed for later use.
Everything we say is true, but it is not the whole truth. Unknown truths abound and present themselves on the regular, as is our knowledge dwarfed by our ignorance. Everything we say, then, can be seen as a lie of omission.
But as no one water molecule can be the ocean, the ocean can sustain a loss of many molecules and remain as such. But if it loses so many, it becomes a lake, then a puddle, then a drop. It can be said that the drop and the ocean are one, when the drop slides off the tail of a breaching whale before becoming the ocean again. So then is the ocean a collection of drops, and if so, how many? Is there a precise number after which the ocean must be named a sea, and how silly it would be to sit along the shore with a ladle, making an ocean of a sea and a sea of an ocean, with a puddle held between.
These lines may not make much sense to you, and that’s understandable. They are words. Language. Patterns of contrasting light and dark areas interpreted by a different area of the brain than the one which processes the noises made when air moves through a mucous lined cylinder with skin flaps in the throat of a particularly vocal primate. Prime. The first. The first to move by sound waves, propelling our craft and leaving behind a wake in earth’s watery crust. We are gravitational ripples in the space-time continuum. We are material interacting with gravitational echoes, bouncing off each other and interfering in regular patterns yet to be discovered, a living fabric (like cotton, the fabric of our lives) woven at a scale which transcends our capacity even for imagination, let alone observation and intervention, as the plot structure and themes of an average Netflix show (e.g. the layered humor of Deadwood) would be utterly indigestible by an audience of cyanobacteria. They translate sunlight into oxygen. We translate matter into meaning.
These are the tools we have. This is what we must use to craft the tools we need to make the next generation of life better. Bether. Be there. We are the voice of the earth, not children of god. Everything is god. We are god. You are god. I am god. In our own domains and in our own stories, we are gods, whose word becomes law. We write out our observations of ourselves and others as characters, as all gods are written out by humans who watched and knew other humans. Observed them, were impressed by them. Took their best moments to heart, and their worst under stern advisement. We followed them or spurned them, our toys and our tyrants alike. We tell their epic tales, their sacred stories which instruct or warn, inform or bamboozle, to anyone who will listen if only ourselves. We dance, gesture, make sounds in particular patterns, setting the rest of the cosmos as the background for the figure of humanity, as plot to character. We live only in context: a fish out of water is a modern human out of culture.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
It’s a simple story. A unique identifier between two dimensional coordinates over time. Humpty is as Humpty does, and so is accident prone, unmoving, maybe depressed. Or drunk. So, the moral is: don’t sit on a wall? Okay, but what do you mean by wall? That which divides inside from outside, here from there, good from bad, us from them, safe from harm. Understood. Now why not be neither here nor there? Why not risk an encounter with the chaos that lay just beyond the order of the whole wealth of the kingdom? Because all the king’s horses (technology, how we bend the earth to serve us) and all the king’s men (culture, how we bend each other), are insufficient to repair us from death.
Here we sit, on the wall between creation and creator. Every character we create bears our likeness, every Emma or Liu or Sergei or Anya bears the face of god, the creator. We are all these faces, overlapping as layers of paint in a pre-war apartment. We melt together in the impressions made by their passing, like many feet walking through the mud. We become to future humans as trampled earth, indistinguishable from far, but built up of feet whose number and position in space may be counted, if you were to imagine a motion tracker and the highest fidelity 4D scanning technology, it would render a perfect historical model of each hoof, the chronology of forces applied to a matrix of chemistry, it would not be a mess you see, but a masterpiece in the making.
Look at yourself in the magic mushroom mirror:
You’ve never seen anything clearer
Than a monkey with a Mona Lisa smile.
Lawyers are trained to lie
Mothers leave their babies cry
Murdering strangers is hazardous duty
Pay-per-view your brothers’ blood
In rotting ruins of ancient beauty
Rape a city set afire from
Buzzing angels in the clear blue sky
But babylon survives,
Sodom and Gomorrah thrive
A spectre looming, business is booming
Iron islands rising above the human tide
The edifice of avarice, all-conquering consumption
The philosophers locked away in towers,
can’t call up a function
Warlords wipe their ass with our power
About fracking parking tickets property tax,
library late fines and gold mines,
We need to build minds not pipelines
We don’t need jail, we don’t need money
To keep the presses running all day and night
Work weekends to make ends meet
Or beach day on repeat, still you won’t
Even if you win, still count the cost
All that profit comes at a loss:
humanity, integrity, sanity, unity,
An imbalance sheet without line item empathy
Dispense with these formalities,
Dissolve the business entities,
the borders and the enemies
Like all the other social species,
the Hives and Colonies,
The Packs, the Prides, the Hooves, the Hides,
The microbe biome we all are inside,
Together we live, together we die.
i’m sitting in an office chair
a horrible plastic foam affair
nothing like the iron throne there
they used to sit the young girls in,
the spinster single ladies of sin,
the warty wastrels wandering wooded streams,
and set the fire of hell beneath
to get off on the screams, it seems.
After the confession session ended
the seared flesh they discussed was tested
the roast was sliced and served al dente
her poor stained soul be blessed
the altar boys were all obsessed
with every writhe and wrench and protest
a quick fire quiz-show flavor contest
witch mystery ingredient is best
the savor of a smoking breast
wafted on the scent of conquest.
Papa put in a transfer request
send them to the wars he said
the harlots hard raised and bred
tie a funnel to the head
the proud with holy water fed
desert rats in paper cages read
the whole lot wrought of the undead
foul and red the prison bed
fill the whores with molten lead
satan’s wormhole closed and fled.
The leak of demon seed is staid
the tomes and cobblestone corpses laid
to wretched rest on the wrathful day
we take up our rightful place
wizards of the warm white clay
wrung in the hands of a bastard deity
sitting on the throne of chivalry
anathema! apostasy! a thrilling plea
in picaresque defeat of ecstasy
intangible grief thrown up a tree
uniform grey in the green
harrowed on the mustard seeds
quartered by apocalyptic steeds
in this case of a basket in the reeds
where the ancient crocodile feeds
in denial full of empty needs.