What Happened To My Country? (this messy slam poem)

What Happened To My Country?

(5/2019)
What happened to my country?
I feel like an alien in my own land
where everything old is new again
old arguments
new context
the earth is flat
we never landed on the moon
the return of nazism returns and
white supremacy, nationalism, dictators
abortion rights
suppression of the press
the end of free speech
power of the gun
more walls fewer bridges
tiki torches over electricity
more bombast less wisdom
voter suppression
denial, deny everything
forcing yes by saying no
lie, lie, lie like there’s no tomorrow
the holocaust never happened
domestic terrorism rules the day
a normality of school shootings
armed teachers
corporate kings keep half of America
addicted to opioids
never once asking if they should
they knew they could earn a ton of dough
from the drug trade
so they would
act now apologize later
Is this the death of America or just democracy?
the all-you-can-eat
brimstone and treacle buffet

Every moral notion I’ve EVER had
is being crushed by
the people who taught me
everyone has their religion but no one believes
religion is politicized, weaponized and bastardized
everyone is talking
no one is listening
technology moves forward
while humanity falls
faster backward

Where are the lovers the haters have killed?
we pray for ourselves by cursing others
we pray for our kind and curse differences
as if only we matter
sameness perpetuates division
diversity has become a word
to bring attention to our differences
not the things that unite us

Everyone wants to be Goliath
the bigger the better
determined to change history
but they forgot David won the war
believing they can turn back the clock
moving forward in the delusion of progress
taking a life synonymous with birth
the rights of the living aborted for
the rights of the unborn, the nonhuman,
the corporate, the government, the powerful
the dog serves its master
the worm serves the fish
and the pigs shit everywhere

America, where is your
o, beautiful for spacious skies?
when did the battle hymn of the republic change?
Now we only trample through the vineyard
where we grow our own grapes of wrath
and prepare to loose the lightning
of our own swift sword
beating the drum to war
unnecessarily we forgot the
beauty of the lilies and
Christ irrelevant born
forget about his glory transfiguration
it’s just you and me

(sung) Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
glory, glory hallelujah
only the lie is marching on

America America
God shed his
onward christian soldiers
white privilege freedom thieves
now crown your good
white brotherhood
from sea to shining sea
and Jesus doesn’t love the children
all the children of the world
red and yellow, black and white
white are precious in his sight
that’s not the way the fucking songs go!

Hopefully artificial intelligence
will be ‘cause actual intelligence
seems to be the victim of extinction
let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with
someone else

FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
God will not intervene!
even God wouldn’t deny the freewill
that humanity denies each other
God knows no borders
yet the rich and powerful use God
to force crisis borne of political expediency,
build walls and wage wars

Protect the money
grow the money
protect the money
grow the money
say it with me
protect the money, grow the money!

there is no happy ending here
man may have been made in the image of God but
God is still an extra-terrestrial alien creator
killed by its own creation
just as humanity will be killed by technology
the thing it creates
there is no rapture
the second coming came and went
it’s hard to imagine heaven
when all we create is hell
God damned humanity and
only humanity can save itself

I’m sorry if you were hoping for
words of encouragement
words of hope
words of inspiration
this vessel has been emptied and
washed clean
ready for a new beginning
let it begin
let the day begin!

On second thought
I think I’ll leave it empty for awhile

… on… my disappearance….

Identity presence existence metaphysic existential reality:
these are the issues.

“Life is an illusion and we trick ourselves into thinking and believing it’s real.”           ~ mobius faith diaries

When I took this photo (below) I was fascinated by the door handles, lock and chain. But as is often the case – after I got home and started processing the image I realized something quite disturbing. I was standing directly in front of these doors but nowhere in the image. No reflection of the photographer. Where had I gone? Where was the photographer? I suddenly began to question my existence for some reason. I began to doubt all that I thought I knew was real. I just could not fathom…. logic told me that when someone is standing in front of an object that is casting a reflection that person should be part of the reflection. But here, the glass doors were reflecting the street behind me but showed no interest in reflecting me – the reflected image was not interested in my narcissistic obsession. Okay so this is the stuff of nightmares. I actually did have a nightmare about this the night I processed this image. There had to be some logical explanation. There was NO “photoshopping” of this image to remove my reflection. I had simply disappeared at some point in time between the time I pressed the button on the shutter and when the shutter closed again. This was during the day so there was no time-lapse – I was shooting at full speed.

Locked Between Two Worlds

I noticed the crack/space where the two door meet. Had I disappeared into the crack of dark space. And if so how come I have no recollection? If we cease to exist do we have no recollection of what came before? If we cease to exist on this plane do we just start some other existence with no remembrance of the existence we had when we were mortal corporeal beings? Had I crossed some astral plane to the other side of the doors and was looking out? At one point I did actually wonder if I was looking out or looking in thru these doors. One can see the windows in the vacant dark space which contrast with the reflection of the street. But again, I began to question – is this a reflection of the windows or reflections of the street?

Your music moment today is provided by Khôra featuring their track ONE IS THE OTHER from their album Silent Your Body Is Endless on my favorite Canadian Label (Constellation Records).

***The truth of the matter – destroy your illusions – reflections have a way of bending.  And that’s exactly what happened in this image.  As you can see in the photo there is a space between the doors which means they were not sealed tightly shut.  They were bowed out slightly reflecting the sides of the entrance and the street behind.  The doors were bowed out enough to allow me to stand in the crack or space between without being in the reflection.   You can figure out exactly how much if you measure the angle in the reflections which seem to close in behind me.  Also logic tells me (and you hopefully) that there is no entranceway like this that narrows then gets wider as you get closer to the door.  Think of a theater – outside on the sidewalk the entrance is wide and then funnels you into the doors not the other way around.

Bottom line.  I no longer have nightmares about getting lost and disappearing.  I CAN understand, appreciate and enjoy when it does happen.  🙂

… on… civil disobedience….

Civil Disobedience Is Sometimes Necessary To Get To A Better Place

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS SOMETIMES NEEDED TO GET TO A BETTER PLACE

We are living in a time where civil disobedience may be needed.

Some favorite quotes from a classic scholarly treatise from someone who might be considered a domestic terrorist in our current time ~ Henry David Thoreau: July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862 – Quotes from CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND OTHER ESSAYS.

“If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth–certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?”

“If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.”

“Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

“A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the State with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated by it as enemies.”

“I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.”

“Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?”

“I believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

*****Do you have a favorite passage from this particular collection of essays that is not in  the list above?  If so feel free to post it in your comment.

Now, a classic hiphop tune for your enjoyment – civil disobedience in the 20th Century and beyond.

 

 

…pulling it together…

Before you can pull yourself together,
you must first fall apart.

Coastal #2

Coastal #2

Buddha Dissolve

Buddha Dissolve

On Hitting The Wall

On Hitting The Wall

It is better to fall apart than to be broken apart.

It’s NUMINOUS

The continuing exploration of over exposure. This adventure began in my previous series “LUMINOUS IMPRESSIONS” [which can be seen here https://www.behance.net/gallery/24471909/Luminous-Impressions ] In some ways I think over exposure is a perfect metaphor for the internet era. When a photograph is over exposed it leads to “white out” situations where details become fuzzy and unrecognizeable. I wonder if that’s what will happen to us on the internet. Will too much exposure lead to a sort of personal and cultural blindness? And, is this a bad thing?

On the other hand – because of over exposure where things are not easily identified we are left to explore other realms of the over exposed image. It can give us new feelings and be an almost spiritual exploration into the non-pictorial and non-representational image. In other words, because we cannot readily identify something we are free to redefine it on our own mental, spiritual and emotional terms. Ten people can look at a photo of a kitten and all agree that it is a kitten they are viewing but when the image is over exposed each individual can come up with their own interpretation of what they are looking at.

Click “play on the video” then click on the first image and you will be able to see it large and then press arrow button to go to next image.

Last Days of a Disco Dancing Jesus – Let the End Times Roll!

We are creeping up on the Easter holiday season, many Christians will be planning their celebrations of death and resurrection. They will be recounting the last days of Jesus Christ on his way to the cross etc. There will be many annoying bath-robe pageants, easter sunrise services and the like. The bigger churches will have glitz and glamour, and high-tech installations. Oh my, I think I just made myself sick.

I want to re-visit one of Jesus last messages. The message not only highlights why he was murdered by politics and religion but talks about something that I’ve heard often repeated since my youth; he talks about what so many Christians have interpolated as the “end times” – as in, “it’s the end of the world, pack your backs for the rapture – we’re goin’ to heaven.”

Text will be from Luke 21 in the Concordant Literal New Testament translation. The context is a number of days before the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest. Jesus is with his disciples at the temple. He notices people caught up in the temple service and they are making a big show of how much they are able to give. Even a poor widow who gives all that she owns. His disciples are caught up in the hoopla and talk about how beautiful and grand the temple is. In other words we are seeing a cultic temple-centric (not God centered) experience complete with hype. Religious practice has become a show (kinda like Christian churches in our own time).

Jesus does NOT get caught up in the hoopla. He steps back from the fray and declares,

“These which you are beholding – there will be coming days in which not a stone will be left here on a stone, which will not be demolished.” [v.6]

Is it any wonder he was murdered? He was talking about the end of the temple religion – a religion that had become the very core of Jewish identity. Today this would be called anti-Semitism. And if someone said the same of Christian churches there would be riots in the streets. How did Christianity get “end times” out of that incident? It makes NO sense. But the next section may give us a clue. Jesus’ disciples start by asking,

“Teacher, when, then, will these things be, and what is the sign whenever these things may be about to be occurring?” [v.7]

So even Jesus disciples can’t believe the words that came out of his mouth. Jesus then talks about what to expect. He describes how nations will war with each other and smaller political entities/governments will war with, and within, each other (think of the war between Republicans and Democrats in the US). In other words great division. he also mentions great quakes, famines and pestilences,… fearful sights and great events in the heavens (i.e. space, the solar system etc). Jesus continues to talk about not only the desolation of the temple but also the desolation of Jerusalem. Again if this kind of talk happened here in America it would be considered traitorous punishable by death penalty – so as I said earlier – is it any wonder that people hated Jesus and begged for his crucifixion? Jesus goes on, in detail, to talk about various signs that the desolation is near and at the time of this desolation he says,

“And then they shall be seeing the son of mankind coming in a cloud with power and much glory. Now at the beginning of these occurrences, unbend and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is drawing near.” [v.27]

Pretty fanciful and this is where Christians have interpolated this notion of rapture and end times because they read this as a literal event not a metaphor for living now. He is describing those who are able to rise above the fray. Again this has nothing to do with the end of life as we know it. Just the end of the temple and desolation of Jerusalem. Continuing, Jesus then tells one of his famous parables – this time the parable of the fig tree. And this is another thing that disturbs me because most of the parables are mis-understood and taken out of the context in which they happen. He illuminates and interprets the parable for his disciples by saying,

“Thus you also, whenever you may be perceiving these things occurring, know that near is the kingdom of God.” [v.31]

This is wonderfully consistent because through-out the period in his life when he was teaching Jesus refers to the kingdom of God/Heaven as near and even here now and “within you”. So in the midst of all this crap that’s happening in the world the kingdom of God and Heaven is near, so near that it’s here now within us. Now most Christians will not want to hear this because they want some great escape from the crap in this world. But it doesn’t happen that way. Of course the next question could be “Why are we stuck here, why can’t we escape?” I think it’s because we’re supposed to make a difference to help others work through the crap in their lives to make this heaven for everyone.

What happens next in the scripture is that Jesus gives us a map, a guideline of behavior and mindset, for surviving this life and it is loosely linked with the golden rule. Jesus tells us to beware for ourselves that we don’t get sucked into all that’s going on around us,

“Now take heed to yourselves, lest at some time your hearts should be burdened with crapulence and drunkenness and the worries of life’s affairs,….” [vs.34]

We need to protect our own mindset because if we don’t we can get bogged down by “crapulence” (literally skull-wrestle or mental distress), drunkenness if we give in and stressed by life’s affairs. He goes on to say that getting bogged down by this stuff is a trap. A hidden trap that will snap shut and victimize us. He does not want us to be trapped or victimized so he is warning us to beware of our own thinking and behavior. This is incredibly difficult to do in our technological environment where we are continuously blasted by news of all that is going on around us – it is easy to get caught up in events and not remain separate and guarded so that we can be of benefit to others. But this is exactly what he is talking about. In verse 36 Jesus comes to the end of this particular teaching and says,

“Now be vigilant, on every occasion beseeching that you may be prevailing to escape all these things which are about to occur, and to stand in front of the son of mankind.” [v.36]

Again he reiterates to beware at all times. And why? Not so that we can escape from this life but that we can escape from the harm of getting sucked into the vortex of all that is happening around thus rendering us ineffective. Is it the end times? Sure, because all the signs are there. Will there be a great escape for Christians? Nah, don’t think so. If Christians truly believed they were chosen then they would want to stick around to be a part of the healing and restoration fulfilling the teaching of Christ. I plan on sticking around. I’d rather be dancing in the mosh pit or some jazzy dive than in some grand disco in the sky.

Believe…you…live…

Believe that you are more than any given circumstances you find yourself in.

Rise up and live the “more” that is you within the circumstances.

The power is in living and realizing that “more” is not only knowing but

Being and acting on that being.