Monday, September 9, 2013

Hand-wringing (because what else can we do?)

These human bodies are precious, impossible things, each one built from scratch using available materials, each one designed to contain one flame, one lick of spirit, caught and held up like a glass jar to be observed and experienced. Each spirit using its exoskeleton to interact with other incarnations and navigate the physical world around it.

Bodies built of cells built of molecules built of atoms built of sub-atomic particles built of energy, designed and assembled by the energy transforming itself over billions of years. To now. To this opportunity for experience. To this chance to be a human, in a body, alive, awake and aware in a word of wonder.

Bodies gassed. Bodies beaten. Bodies raped. Bodies diseased. Bodies starved. Bodies constrained. Bodies in peril. Bodies in fear. Bodies in pain. Bodies discarded in piles.

Bodies jeered at, sneered at, objectified, derided, abused


Everything it's taken to get to here, and we still can't see the value in each one. We stand by. We let the crazy power-distorted half-humans use the power at the disposal of their bodies to decide what happens to all the rest. How is this possible? You would not allow it. I would not allow it. But we allow it. We cannot see what to do, so we do nothing.

Even if we eliminate the crazy power-distorted half-humans perpetrating the atrocities of the world, more will spring up. The human animal is not capable of governing itself in peace. But why not? At this point in our knowledge of how to manipulate our environment not just for survival, but for ease, we should be equally mature in our social development. But we're like Lord of the Flies with bombs, missiles, chemical weapons, guns. Where are the simple checks and balances, and the ongoing cycle of democratic dialogue that allows them to continue serving their purpose? Where is the basic agreement that peace is desirable and every life has rights?

I don't know how to reconcile myself to this without becoming numb or nihilistic.

We are the only known keepers of the consciousness of the entire universe. And we are fucking it up.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time Travel

Try to understand this. We are back in time. You and me. We're back. In 2013. We are at the point where we can still make a difference, where we can stop the death-march of profit-based ill-logic and choose a shared, sustainable life on planet Earth.

Can you comprehend the impossibility of our situation? We scratch the surface of a small rock floating in immensity, a dust particle in the eye of existence, at absolute risk every instant of complete annihilation, just the statistical anomoly to let life replicate at an alarming rate.

In 2083, it will be too late. In 2013, there is still a chance to build the world we all aspire to (except the ones crazy with power - they are too damaged to want anything that involves love).

There is still a chance to keep them from owning everything and everyone to the extent that they no longer need to keep us very comfortable to keep us quiet. They will use force and incarceration and make this a world of fear and judgment - that is the inevitable outcome of power without accountability among the human animals. Don't you see it happening all around us, here?

But we have a chance. We aren't in 2083. We're in 2013. We're in the past, at the cusp, in the moment.

What will I do today?

*Musical accompaniment from They Might be Giants "The World Before Later On" and the Flaming Lips "Do You Realize"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


We are born in a prison that we call a country. We may not leave without permission from the Government, which owns us and provides us with rights and responsibilities. Our space is defined and our movements controlled and monitored. Within this environment, however, we are left to make our own way. There is no official cafeteria for meals, just a hopscotch of soup kitchens and kindness for those without their own. There is no official bed to sleep in, just whatever housing a person can scrounge, beg or afford.

Before you and I got here, everything was already owned. There was no real chance to make our way - no land to tame and farm, no resources to turn into anything, no space to claim through sheer effort, nowhere to try our own way of living. Whatever an individual could accomplish was already done by three corporations the day they thought of it. Only by participating as a cog can most people participate at all.

There is no longer even a pretense that all this activity is for the betterment of everyone's life quality in a spirit of democracy, equality and pursuit of happiness. Equality? Pursuit of Happiness? This is the language of Entitlement.

I am entitled. So are you. We and our ancestors worked hard to make the Owners wealthy, and they should share at least a modicum of the wealth back through wages, benefits and taxes. They should enable a system that gives people the basics of life as a ration, just for being here, just for playing the game we call Life every day. They should because they can, and Every Life Has Value.

We Humans are the only known keepers of the Consciousness of the Universe. Every one of us is a god in a body. Each of us has a special element that only we can bring to the world. How many of us fail to manifest our best in our lifetime because of how we make money? Now that we can, don't we have a responsibility to start building purpose back in as an entitlement of life? Purpose requires leisure.

We are addicted to cheap things. We've subsidized the cost of Stuff for so long, and to such an extent, that we cannot function as a society without that subsidy. We subsidize it by letting corporations pay too little for resources - human, natural, infrastructure. We subsidize it by buying cheap stuff that breaks and buying another one.

If we took away the subsidies and charged what things were worth, that would be like going cold turkey. Painful. But does that mean we shouldn't try to get clean?

What if we had fewer things, fewer choices, and everything cost more? This is the same choice we give drug addicts when we tell them to "get clean". Life is not better until you've gone through withdrawal, let go of old habits, changed your thinking and behaviour, and worked hard to be something else. Until then, life is much worse, much harder than it was with the crutch and escape of drugs. Cheap stuff is just like that.

What can help reduce our jonesing for cheap stuff? Rich relationships. Pursuing what calls our hearts. If we have more time and less dependence on the system, we won't need the quick, cheap fix of cheap stuff to stuff the holes in our wholeness. We will have a better life together on the planet when we stop expecting people to work for their basic sustenance, focus on relationships at the community level, and at the same time, make the rest of the stuff we spend money on more expensive and less varied, so we all actually have to work for it. Housing, food, water - subsidized. To these, we are entitled as citizens of a country that signed on to provide Human Rights. Stuff, no subsidies. Let the Free Market decide.

To recap -
Basics of Life: Subsidized. Stuff: Not Subsidized.

It's a simple about-face. Cold turkey will give us all the shakes. That doesn't mean we shouldn't get clean.