Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Folly Of Mankind:

Part II

Parquet menagerie, liberal dogma-- vast imaginings,
ambivalent gargoyles perched in the clouds, cradling the sun.
Eyes closed, think about the world.
More and more, fire down below!
Down on the floor, with the soot and the dust,
from dawn till dusk, and thus we pray.
But not alone! El-Ron Eldorado, remember the Alamo,
sleight of hand, now you see it, now you don't.

Capture the hearts and minds, but leave the rationality out.
Install lunacy, variable travels to infinity and beyond.
And then, more amazingly, out in the plains of the forgotten
Americas, alone in the woods, with no one else around,
Smith found the truth. Oh did you, oh did you? Tell me piper,
hath you a song? More like Soapy Smith, not Joe.
Play on, play on, bigot of ivory, no ebony allowed.
That knocks me out.
Herr preacher, Herr minister.
Mr. Mengele, the mongrel doctor of the east/west—it's all point of view really.
All in a circle, over and over, to never fail. Aryan devil!

How does it go?
What by chance,
a strange happenstance, I awoke within a room of mirrors.
My stairs had faded and only a room remained, clearly not of my own construction.
What shoddy construction! What abysmal architecture.
All square, floor and wall and ceiling all reflecting me back upon myself.
Sensing need of escape, I ran forward, for no backward existed.
There remained only me, times a million, in this dislocated vessel beyond space and time.
Suddenly, a crack within the mirrors occurred, and there was a portal of nebulous black.

It warped and warped--in and out, my head and consciousness expanding with it.
And as I looked and looked, I saw a vision of the engine of life itself!
There, at the origin, or what I perceived to be
the beginning of all things, I heard a loud sonic boom,
and was suddenly knocked down, permanently deaf, bleeding from
many an unsightly orifice upon the glass floor.
My mind was wrecked with unspeakable pain that would not ease,
and countless hours passed before I dared to look again.

And deep inside the portal, an image formed that could not be mistaken.
A cloudy fog in the shape of men standing around
a wooden table discussing matters of seemingly major importance.
But I could not hear, I could not hear!
The blood from my ears had dried but still no sound returned.
I chanced a tear at the loss of my senses, and chanced many more
as I considered my predicament. I had no knowledge
of my surroundings, and no exit or return could be discovered.
Had I made a mistake in escaping that land so far down below?
Was it even below? All sense of direction and sense of sense itself
had ceased to exist.

Despair now I truly knew. No atheist in a foxhole.
I cried aloud to God and the angels to save me from the horror I saw.
Hours passed, but they could have been days! I no longer knew day from
night or minute from year!
I was lost within a place by itself completely lost. I desired nothing
anymore, and regretted not being down upon the smoggy Earth—to die with others of my ilk.

The flexing nebula moved and moved, and drew me once again to the threshold.
Here now, I let go of my fears, and jumped head first into that black vacuum of empty space.
I could feel space itself warp around me, and my body began to stretch
and contract again within. Oh God make it stop! Unspeakable pain,
yogurt gut, egg-yolk brain, scattered thoughts. Here and there
and everywhere. Down the rabbit hole.
Missing Kansas. Take me home—where is home?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Folly Of Mankind:

Part I

Tidal waves, roll-tide!
Blasphemous revelations, Blasphemous priests!
Judgment of the judged and judgers,
by chance and simple, sterile
feet cloven in misdemeanor sins.
Fast talking, the heightened Jabberwocky!
Ramble on, Michael, Michael,
thy sword swiftly falls, crackling the gate,
and she, bella figura, stricken with catalepsy,
rendered mute by the closing of paradise.
And towering above, clothed and vehement, loud and unwavering, plastic man
adorned with golden flames, golden jewels, littered with emeralds and rubies,
may he be your guide towards the promised land!
For shame! Never!
Little children dancing naked through the wilderness of the id,
and no cop shall catch the robber of their innocence.
But innocence fades, and is without definition,
bordering heresy, but toeing the line of pleasure.
Never feel, only give—sacrifice, Amen, Amen!
Never a drop of rain upon the scorched Earth, and all
is forgotten and gone.

Where did it end?
The intersection of familial and enemy,
friends and lovers, sons and daughters,
bloodied and bruised in the name of the father/son/holy ghost. Whatever.
For the trinity is divided by one, yet two for our virgin—the mother,
that dirty little prudish minx, what a tease!
Failure, absentee father, no rent is due but child needs food.
Struggling with divinity, at ease.
Relax but do not sleep, recline but do not lay.
One cannot touch what he cannot see, but he must believe.

I will build, and build,
with osmium as my material,
step by agonizing step into the clouded sky!
I will meet that which cannot be met, leaving the world behind.

And what do I leave? A christian black hole, scientifically devoid of science and reason,
artificially sweetened, artificially intelligent, digital church, at war with the older times,
the future uncertain, balancing on the name of the father.
Tipping back and tipping forth,
what is his name? What is his name?
Accept our savior, or die.
Compassionate little Goddies, goodie two-shoes, the left bigger than the right,
but the right wronger than the wrong.
Perhaps the other? Soon-e mysticism, translucent solids, future backward past forward,
hero gallops in the sky towards the Heavens. Collides with blue sky birds
in coven over forgotten fields, and then, crash lands upon a runway made of
hope, and despondency.

And where is our savior? Divine divinity, misrepresented transactions, broken account ledger, transaction fee—soul. Soulless?
Myriad diamonds dot the crescent hat as children wallow in gloom,
do you hear me mighty YHWH? I cry and yell with only echo as response.
Wavering waivers, philandering philanthropists, gallivanting prudes.
Opposites attract—see magnetism, and hearken to me, lo!
With a great chop of edged hand the world splits in two
and out forth comes only steam,
no guts, no glory.
But I continue to build, escaping the rapture.
Stair upon stair until the clouds are behind me.
Hours pass like minutes, and decades pass like hours.
Time strains and reflexes to survive the bending of reality, and all
rationality absolves itself above the righteous storm below.

God? What of him?
I have yet to pass his house or hall and have yet to hear his thundering holler.
He is but a figment, up here and everywhere.
His name was yelled aloud in many
a language down beneath,
but only a kaboom responded.
And now, only the sulfuric smell
of a human hell, of a scorched field remains,
and the birds seek refuge higher and higher up
away from the smog of the past civilizations.
The buildings of man stand like fossilized skeletons amid a roaring
and unwavering wind. Thousands of years of construction,
purified to rubble in a mere instant—thy will be done.

My legs grow tired but I do not stop.
I climb and climb, building and building,
moving as if the whips of masters were behind me.
Snap crackle and pop. And behold, the bellowing of a million miles down!
I had reached the stars, past became present, and future became now,
tomorrow ceased to be a day but a generation. Centuries had passed.
My hands had yet to age, and the stars were now my neighbors.
Here in the cosmos, I lay survey upon the ball below,
once blue, now shrouded under the mass of an impenetrable shadow.
The ocean was blackened, and the orange of magma tidal rocked
once pristine shores.
Oh man! What folly,
having thus destroyed each other they set upon the Earth.
Who had been the victor?
None, not even the bystanders could stand aside.
All been swept up in the machine of war—turning and turning
with mechanical efficiency.
Using science to fight for God, how ironic.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Color of Money:

Why Greed is NOT good.

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." -- Pericles

It is a fact; there are more people in the middle class than there are people in the upper class. However, the recent issue of taxation has ultimately led to a redefinition of classism, and the dubious phrase, “class warfare” has been thrown around recklessly.

Almost all of the Republican Presidential candidates and many of the more outspoken House Republicans have called Obama's recent tax increases upon the wealthy idea as being symptomatic of
“class warfare.” They boorishly go on and on about how it creates division and a lack of incentive for American “Job Creators” (the lovely conservative way of saying rich person) to create those jobs. Over the last decade, taxes on the wealthy have been lower than they have EVER been—and I do mean EVER. Alarmingly however, Job Creation has either been stagnant or non-existent.

The truth is, the biggest hurdle to job creation is not government regulation, but a very human element—Greed. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason, and, ironically, is the driving motor of the American way of life. No one wants a socialistic government, however, one cannot deny that our current system is built upon an idea that naturally excludes less fortunate people. Capitalism is a wedge that separates the haves from the have nots. Essentially, it is two lions and a gazelle arguing over what they will have for dinner.

The Republican party knows this. However, they must find a way to convince people to vote in favor of their ideology. Because that block of wealthy people is so small, they must convince the rest of the country that they are looking out for them. This is why social issues exist within public policy.

For example: I have an aunt and an uncle who base their election decisions on who is Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. While the sanctity of the voting booth is, indeed, a cornerstone of American Democracy, my aunt and uncle are a glistening example of how both political parties have inverted and ultimately perverted the electoral process. My aunt and uncle are normally reasonable people, but they make a very important decision using skewed information, or by ignoring information that should take much more precedence. Abortion, for better or worse, will never be repealed—it exists as an issue to divide and horrify, to stir up the emotions of people whom can be tricked into voting based on those emotions instead of their mind. In truth, the President of the United States has ZERO power over laws regarding Abortion—since that is already a law, only the Supreme Court can decide that, and they are appointed for life.

My aunt and uncle make a modest living—below 150,000 dollars, if not below 100,000. This would place them in the middle class, where Democrat tax ideas will benefit them. However, I am fairly certain that they vote Republican because of the Abortion issue.

Churches have a long history of being very important around election time. From their pulpits, preachers wield great sway over the fragile minds of their congregation. These people, entranced by the soaring voices of the preacher and the fervor with which he delivers whatever he delivers, mindlessly shuffle towards voting booths and punch the ticket—horribly misinformed and lacking their own individual ideas.

Usually, it is the conservative party that benefits from these division topics. By rallying behind something as ridiculous and divisive as religion and abortion, they can draw attention away from the fact that they will NOT tax millionaires, but will happily raise taxes upon the middle class. When they are caught on this, they explain that they will not tax millionaires because to do so would ruin their ability to create more jobs. Ironically, even with taxes as low as they are because of the Bush Tax Cuts, job and economic growth is deplorable.

But reality is not often a stance taken by the GOP. This is because to be realistic, defies the ideology that the party has truly adopted—religious fanaticism. By pandering to the hyper religious, they have effectively "dumbed" down their stance on science and things that have always been seen as an assault upon religion. Evolution, which, everywhere else outside of the Middle East is seen as a fact, is still considered a “theory” here.

This is because religion has always been scary, has always been the boogie man that keeps people in line. While it worked to civilize an ancient and brutal culture, it now serves to chain us behind the times and remove any chance we have of progressing into the future. Religion is now, more than ever, the tool of the wealthy to dominate the not-wealthy. Napoleon said it best, “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

The rich have bought their politicians on both sides, and have maintained their foothold into the American mind with God as their weapon. I do not hate or fault God for this, I hate the fact that mankind can so easily manipulate the minds of other human beings, and that human beings will so easily allow their minds to be manipulated. Man is a vicious, deceitful creature that has siphoned and destroyed the very planet that it sits upon, cloaking its dagger fall behind a shroud of righteousness.

Sadly, the average human being will never understand this because Fox news will not tell them. Most of the people who read this will not understand, and may even be offended or put off by it. To them I declare that you have already been lost to the void that has been built by your corporate masters, but it is not too late to break free.

To do so though, one must be able to expand their own mind and not have their information dictated to them. The greatest, most powerful weapon they have over us is the media. He who controls the media, controls the minds of the people who consume that media. The nature of reality television and things of its ilk serve only to distract us and make us complacent—to numb and dumb our minds into malleable facsimiles of themselves, so that we will continue buying whatever is being sold during the commercial breaks and keep voting for whomever has the best hair and attack ad.

I love this country, I really do. I have seen the rest of the world, in the best of times and in the worst of times. I still come back and I still call this country home. Let us remember that we stand for the colors on that flag and the fifty stars upon it—not for the colors upon our currency.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Defense Of An Idea:

How the Defense of Marriage Act is actually an assault on it.

Social issues inevitably become a driving force behind any change in policy recently. It seems to me a shame. While it is true that, to some degree, a measure of social change should occur within our society, I feel that to base the very principals of something as important as an election upon such shifting, and often times misguided subjectivity, is gravely dangerous. However, it happens every day within our country. Unlike other liberal minded people of my generation, I will not lay the blame upon any specific group of people, though some of them may actually be to blame. I will however, set upon highlighting why I feel it is ultimately against the interests of the country to base such monumental decisions upon personal prejudices.

Abortion has always been that key issue that people have taken sides upon. This makes sense—abortion, by its very design, is a concept of alarming consequence; the destruction of a potential life. While I do not wish to touch upon this issue here (for it has been covered, ad nauseam) I mention it to merely highlight its inherent connection with the new, modern day social issue—Marriage, and what it means.

This issue, like so many others, has become decorated in various shades of gray. Heavy handed Republican candidates almost unanimously oppose marriage of any kind outside of the traditional idea that it should only exist between a man and a woman. This is to be expected from a party that has, traditionally, always been an advocate for older, more historical times. What is depressing though, is that the other side has yet to gain foothold within an established party; Democratic candidates seem to shy away from support for same-sex marriage in favor of the rather ambiguous “civil-union,” a legally binding contract of sorts that carries with it many of the benefits of marriage. This, in my opinion, is a weak gesture by a party associated with words like “progressive” or “liberal.” Because of their apparent fear of alienating sections of the middle voters, Democrats have assured that the only voice of support for same-sex marriages will come from those whose voices do not have the power to create policy on any chamber floor.

This is indefensible. Whenever a sub-sect of humanity is ignored, it can ultimately be marginalized. This is the greatest fear I have with “The Defense Of Marriage Act.”

This bill establishes marriage as being explicitly between one man, and one woman—nothing else is to be justified as a marriage. To me, not only does this represent a very backward approach to social tolerance, but it also creates a justifiable set of mandates that a government can dictate something as individual and personal as sexual orientation.

The Government has never had any problem with invading people's privacy. In the past, it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person. Though this act may still, to some who harbor prejudice, carry a sort of negative social stigma, no one in the world would ever be justified in denying such a union. To do so, would cause an unrelenting backlash upon the denier.

Yet, to deny a marriage is done every day to same-sex couples. Why? Are they not entitled to a modicum of privacy? To assault the individual liberties and privacy of this group of people, will ultimately establish the precedent that it is acceptable for a government to remove from existence any element of society that it feels is subversive—here, for our purposes, synonymous with different. Essentially, today's same-sex ban could be tomorrow's interracial ban, or something far worse.

Hitler was allowed to rise to power by the people he presided over. Liberty does not fall with weapons of force, for any coup d'├ętat based upon violence ultimately loses the support of the people that are its literal engine. To take down any structure of power, one must have the support to do it. Remember, it was Caesar, the favorite son of the people, and not Crassus the wealthy, that became a tyrant.

I simply ask, if we allow it to become constitutional to ban same-sex marriage, what else will we allow our leaders to do? If the individual is not free within the confines of his own bedroom, how much longer until the confines of his mind are broken down? It takes only one step, no matter how small a tip-toe or how large a leap, to set into motion the collapse of the American ideological bulwark. This nation was built upon a progressive mind set, built to change with the ever changing winds of social evolution and the current of an ever connected and ever global world. To close off such a civil liberty like marriage to anyone, is a disservice to all that is American.

America was once, and perhaps still is, the envy of the entire world. Governments envied the way our economy churned, or how powerful our military might could be when flexed. People, however, did not envy our government. People envied the United States because it was home to all that they could only dream of—home to liberties like free speech, free religion, and the right to love and be loved by whomever.

In the end, it comes down to that issue. It simply is not anyone's business, especially the Government's, what occurs in anyone's bedroom, or at anyone's altar. To allow this, is an indefensible assault on marriage and the idea it represents, not a defense of it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

America, the Beautiful.

There is something quite wrong with this country—that much is obvious and certain. People say that, but no one really defines what that problem is. If you do meet someone who can offer up a definition, what you will hear will typically include various topics ranging from Government, to business, to greed, etc., etc...

However, the very real problem is not the institutions that have been established—if they are indeed the problem, then these problems we seem to be experiencing just recently would have always existed. I think everyone would agree (falsely as it turns out) that life was better then than it is now. That those who came before were somehow smarter (they probably were) and purer towards God (they weren't) and that we have deviated from their standard and plunged ourselves into darkness.

The reason we cannot compare ourselves to those that founded this country is because of the simple, immutable fact that the world is very different now than it was then. What do I mean different? Aside from the very complex issues of racial equality or inequality, or wealth balance or imbalance, or any of the other very specific things that Americans routinely grip about, the biggest difference is that the world is bigger now than it was three hundred years ago. Not only literally; within fifty years of the revolution we were expanding ever westward and growing own borders, while other countries and ourselves made pilgrimage after pilgrimage abroad as well—but also abstractly.

Each generation is categorized by three things: The tragedies it endures, The industry it pioneers, and the arts and monuments it leaves behind. For us, the tragedy is very obvious and ever lasting; we cannot hide from the shadow of those giant buildings—nor should we. They were testaments to our ingenuity, just as the aftermath of their destruction has been a testament to our resolve to never give up our way of life.

Our generation, depending on where you believe our generation begins, has also been responsible for the next great industrial evolution—not revolution. Our parents generation was all about continuing the trends of the past, working away in factories and building things, such as our cars and our buildings. If not this pursuit, our parents hunted down college educations, which became more common as middle class wealth increased. For us, we have developed or benefited (used loosely) from an information based industry. Instead of smoke spouting factories, we have constructed infinite highways of invisible information, technology that is so advanced that we have yet to ascertain its true capabilities. All of this is exciting, and it is this direction that will drive the spirit of our innovation.

And that innovation will ultimately lead to the art we leave behind. Perhaps the internet will be our calling card, perhaps something some young man or woman reading this will paint will live on forever as a microcosm of all that we were.

But how do we get there? Right now, it is impossible to deny that we are stuck, that we are lacking the fundamental forward progress of our fathers. Why? Are we less intelligent? No. In fact, on average, quite the opposite is true. We know things now that even Jefferson, with all of his intellectual prowess could never have fathomed—the human genome, evolution, penicillin as just a few examples. So why are we unable to achieve the greatness that we are destined to achieve?

I do not have the answer to these questions—no one does. The critics of our generation will call us lazy, they will delude the minds of those older into thinking we have done this to ourselves, that achievement is easy. It is not. For every billionaire is just a queen bee, sustained by the sweat of those less fortunate, creatures who have but one task—work for another.

That takes us back to the true source of the American Flaw—the misconception of the American Dream. What is it? The first thought that pops into every person's head will undoubtably be a white picket fence establishing a perfect square perimeter around a perfectly mowed and perpetually green yard. I bet the house is bricked, and the deck has an American Flag hanging off of it in most people's mental picture.

What is wrong with that image? For some, nothing. Such an idea can be achieved and probably sustained with a simple life—being a teacher, an auto-worker—something that has a set lifespan and a set wage counter. By indoctrinating this idea into our collective cultural subconsciousness, the keepers of our country have stripped away the inherent desire that every human being truly has—the desire for more.

I am not ashamed to admit that I want more. There is no limit to the amount that I desire to take for myself. But I do not wish to thieve it, I wish to earn it. I do not see myself as exceptional, but I do see myself as capable of exceptionality. I, unlike others, do not believe that this is a rare and mysterious gift possessed only by a few; that belief is what has fostered one of the real problems with the people in this country—the willingness to settle.

A simple search and scan amongst those you know will reveal that much to you; we all know a girl who accidently got pregnant and, even without feeling love for him, married the father. Why? Because it was the easy choice, because even though that feeling wasn't there, it was good enough. Instead of casting out and taking a chance, the girl went with the comfortable choice—the choice that required minimal additional sacrifice.

I don't know what I am going to do with myself. Perhaps I don't place enough emphasis on tomorrow, and it's obvious that I definitely didn't used to. Living in the moment is dangerous, but it is within that realm that we are able to truly let go and live. There is a future out there, yes, but let it be in the future.

If we do look to the future, we have to realize that the future is naturally uncertain. Ironically, this is because we don't take into account the present actions that will ultimately create (notice I did not say influence or any synonym of it) that future. The future is a swirling vortex of gray uncertainty—a nebulous hue without form that shifts, breaks, bends, collapses, and rebuilds itself with whimsical abandon. It is not random, but it is not preordained. The very essence of the future or contemplating it results in a mind numbing paradox that ultimately leads to a point beyond human understanding.

To exemplify, let us examine the girl and her baby. After choosing her babies father out of apparent necessity and comfort, she finds herself struggling with a very common mid-life crisis in her later years. Perhaps she has lived a moderately happy life, perhaps she has not—Such a distinction is not, in the end, particularly important. As her child becomes an adult, the apparent necessity that drove her towards that life will dissolve and no longer be of any relevance. This creates a typical paradigm of a disgruntled housewife. At this juncture, because it is no longer necessary to live for or pretend and feign happiness for the benefit of a child, such weak structures of domestication will collapse. The woman will now seek to live for herself having not been able to do so for the majority of her life.

And that, in my opinion, is simultaneously the greatest beauty, and greatest tragedy of the dilemma of life. At this point, it is very difficult for our subject to live for herself because she has spent so much of her life sacrificing herself for the good of others; this results in very little self to live for, or, worse off, very little self to die for.

For those who do not give in to such situations, or who are able to avoid them all together—one is always living for themselves, but has no barometer to measure the self and the selfless against because they have never lived for another.

Humanity is always in opposition to itself. It feeds off of the paradoxes inherent in its shrewed and shabby system. These simultaneous failures and successes give us the yard stick by which we will ultimately measure our own lives—a measurement that will never, no matter what, be what we wanted it to be.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fire, Walk With Me. (Violet)

In a line with the fire and the flock,
astray in the meadow
with the sheep and the fox.
Fire, walk with me in the attic of contempt
to mock my malaise.

A proud smirk—eyes, steel blue and angry, unblinking,
balancing the culprit of my damnation,
soapy tears that have mixed with my faults and sinew
to form a response, a lesson learned
but not applied.

A fledgling Shepard guides me, holding my hand
underneath a table of wood, our drinks balancing neither empty
nor full upon its top! Our heads, weary and heavy,
our voices no longer make sounds but merely take shape,
and so we tip toe along the dream in the cool evening hours.

Your laugh—the last piece, the most important piece—
sine qua non. And then,
all the pretty horses escape from their stables
and take over the fields,
galloping free in the sunlight.

The sun shall fall out of the sky and give way
to a canopy of stars and moon!
The meadow will creak and moan with insects and life,
fireflies will ignite the air in rhythmic blinks,
and the Shepard shall retire for the night.

A garden snake will slither amidst the weeds,
the fox will skirt the edge of the meadow—blanketed in darkness.
His eyes—little alabaster pools—
will dart from victim to victim,
in line with the moon and the flock.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adelade (Red)

They met in class—not by chance.
She, the little girl with the auburn hair,
the pale white skin, porcelain—without flaw.
He, the plastic little boy, tongue tied and aloof,
manufactured prestige—little man sans briefcase.
His eyes transfixed upon her ruby hair and lips,
watch her as she breathes life into him.
Her soft hands, welcome the man—
destroy the child.

How much the dream has wavered,
inevitable collapse! Such strain,
such time and hope lost. It seems so much like an instant,
an instant that played out over years and years.
Incalculable days and hours, minutes vanishing to never again
exist. Charon, drag me to the other side—
fire burning without heat. Embers flare and fall and resound
amidst the mighty swell!
Release me, release me!

For a child cries and cries and cries. She must answer the call.
He cannot, his ears are muted for him, he wants to reach out
but his arms are not big enough to cross such a distance,
they cannot cross the even bigger chasm of time.
Wicked valley, stretching out from the now to the then,
punishing, as tomorrow becomes yesterday
and yesterday is gone.
Do not cry out little child,
for mother will always be there.