Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I Think That

I think that art and music's role in transcending bullshit is one of the greatest gifts we have as human animals.

- Langhorne Slim

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So, after the shitshow of the manbaby in the White House promising to kill 25 million people at the UN yesterday, after the shitshow of the Cassidy-Graham proposal inching closer to law (wherein the rogering of tens of millions of Americans will finally fulfill the fever dream of Republicans everywhere to undo what a black president built), after the shitshow of witnessing the unbridled pusherman bullshit of a thousand dollar phone being met with the glee only addicts can muster, I have to say there is more than just a few lives to unfuck. And the scale of the task is something only for the gods, if there are any anymore. I have the firm feeling it is just us. I think the gods got sick of us a while ago.

It is foolish to be optimistic. It reads like a fairy tale. It is also foolish to despair. That reads like a folk tale. There is no middle way. Everyone has to choose their way forward and if you don't choose, it will be done for you by the amount of debt you accrue and the politicians who are beholden to the monied interests who purchased them, not to you. You are an ATM machine to them. Your life is simply labor to them, something to be extracted and the emptied husk kicked aside. The moment they can't make money off you is the moment you cease to exist. How else to explain the treatment of veterans, the disabled, the sick, the poor? Makers and takers as the neo-nazi Any Rand would say (and Paul Ryan mimic like a cheap bird in a pet store).

And don't forget the hurricanes: the product of man-made warming oceans.

Into this miasma, the godforsaken mess, comes foolishness, the hucksters of the gospel of prosperity, of affirmations, of learning to eat more shit instead of refusing the plate. Most people want to be left alone, to not be disrupted, for life to unfold if not easily, than with a minimum of pain and introspection. We want our lives to be good enough no matter the cost to others. And when the pinch comes, when the bill comes due for our willful slavery to corporate greed and our own complicity in the game, we want someone else to pay, especially if they don't look like us. And all this further tightens the screw.

Fuck.

Nothing will save us. Not politics, not religion and sure as hell not commerce.  We traded faith for money and allowed money to buy our government. We did that. We have earned this moment. We have the president we deserve: a bloviating toddler who wants his way or the bombs start falling.

The world cannot be saved. Our country cannot be saved. This is us.

If you think I will now pivot to some uplift, a silver lining, a hope for the days ahead, you'd be mistaken. There is no pivot. There is no uplift. We're fucked on a colossal scale. The options are to withdraw entirely, become a hermit living on rice and onions and waste time navel-gazing, or comply and go along to get along, to take the bribe and not worry too much about debt and hope the degradation of the planet happens after you're dead (though that would suck for your kids to have to suss out), or to try a third way, to walk away - not to a hermitage, but to cease adding your name to the scroll of desolation. Making some sort of art seems to be part of this. It won't heal the planet and it won't stop corporate monsters from destroying everything for the sake of a dollar, but it will put you on the other side of that line. It will suck and few will notice or care, but you must do it, you must take that step to separate yourself from the whirling madness, to judge that madness for what it is and refuse to participate in its systems as far as is possible.

Shouting banners of #resist keeps you tied to the wheel. The wheel must be rejected entirely by your choices. By all means call your congressman. Piss into the wind if it makes you feel superior. You are voiceless in this system. What matters is to find your voice and use it where it can be heard. That's why making some sort of art seems to be part of this. We are in this ugly place because we placed an unearned trust in two-faced politicians and corporate profits. We will not undo this harm using the same methods that brought us to our knees. The system is corrupt because we are corrupt. We've been bought off for a smartphone.

Unfuck your life? Quit playing by their rules. You have a voice. Use it - no matter the cost. Someone else will hear it and it will save them. This is what we have. This is what we can do: save one life and, if Judaic scholars are correct, so save the world.

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It is Rosh Hashanah tonight at sunset: the start of the new year. It would be a good place to start.

Shanah Tovah.

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