Plug Out, Babies

It was actually a passionate topic of conversation among the dotcom “intelligentsia” for a year or two before Thomas Friedman began trumpeting about the halls of Western Culture as to the world’s resounding flatness: This Internet? This Information Superhighway? It’s going to change things. And not just economic things, even though all business models are going to change irrevocably and comprehensively. No, this Internet highway thing is going to change . . . us. How we act towards each other . . . how we interact with each other. . . . Nothing’s ever going to be the same again.

The only thing nobody could predict was what would be the first signs of manifestation. And then it became glaringly obvious.

In our kids.

By the middle part of this decade, the world’s flatness became manifest in our children’s addiction to the metaworld created by wireless fidelity technology. This metaworld is also called “social media” and it soon became a matter of concern as to whether our kids were going to be able to handle the planet with an attention divided between our world and the metaworld. I mean, this really is the first generation in the history of man to grow up with this sort of divided consciousness, this rampant and roughshod slipping on and off of identity that is possible when one logs into an avatar or the anonymity endemic to the medium. So, should we be worried? Will they be able to handle it? Won’t they just adapt like, you know, resilient kids? If there was anything to be worried about, wouldn’t someone have told us? Like the FCC? I mean, they wouldn’t sell those things if it was going to poison our kids’ minds, would they? People started having . . . you know . . . questions.

A couple years back, Iggy Azalea became one of the first celebrities to put into the mainstream the logical and really only strategy that a young person straining for a healthy mentality growing up in this time-space locus can employ, really.  She plugged out. She tuned in and plugged out. After being taunted for paparazzi pictures of her at the beach, she announced to her fans that she’d be taking a break from social media.

And it wasn’t the act itself that was revolutionary—young people had for a while been opting for plugging out for a while as an option to totally rejecting the virtual status accrued in metaworld. There were two things that make Iggy Azalea’s statement a landmark event in pop culture: First, she did not just plug out, she publicly announced her plugging out, giving the option a celebrity endorsement. Second, she plugged out in response to the backlash behind the black-identity bait-and-switch that she used to bolster her career.

 

Part Two

Because let’s not have any illusions, here. The root of the public nastiness thrown Iggy’s way by Nikki Minaj is in a particularly sensitive area of black—particularly black female—sexual racialization. Most commonly exemplified by the case of Sarah Baartman, “the Hottentot Venus,” in the early nineteenth century, the white-identified mainstream has historically had a fraught relationship with the totemization of the black behind. European women of Baartman’s time were recorded as displaying outward signs of distaste and displeasure, while being luridly unable to turn away from the carnival-like displays in which her tormenter toured her around London. Scarce years later, Josephine Baker gained international megastardom by being able to commodify and market the savagery of her ass, and at the same time established a paradigm for black-female sexual entrepreneurship in the entertainment world. Nikki Minaj has only ever been a daughter of that paradigm, whether she knew she owed a debt to Baker’s frugality or Baartman’s humiliation. Yeah, she’s a good rapper, but she was very involved in the dozens of hours of footage taken of her butt in music videos. And it worked out well for her. Until Iggy Azalea started getting record sales and award nominations and Google searches that Minaj thought should have been meant for her. Azalea had been wiggling her butt onstage in the same manner as—possibly inspired by—Minaj since the first stages of her career. But Minaj sensed something that was true and no way Iggy Azalea would have been able to see coming unless she was African American—Azalea, like Eminem, like Elvis before him, were white artists who had incorporated black aesthetics and, because they were white and less threatening, this had translated to faster, bigger, more lucrative stardom. Yes, all those artists were talented singers or rappers or whatever, but what made them megafamous was their appropriation of sexualized black aesthetics. For Elvis, it was that he could dance like a black man, which had always been more sensual than European-based dance forms. It was a dance form that young white girls could not have told their dads they found sensual, but they could when they saw Elvis do it. Eminem appropriated the thug aesthetic, which had been setting black girls’ hearts aflutter since the late 1980s. This dangerous bad boy–of–the–streets archetype was not an appropriate image that white girls could admit they found exciting—but they could when Eminem did it.

Azalea too, has some rapping talent, but she has gained notoriety through the liberation of her butt. Azalea is the postmodernist comment  on Becky’s Friend. You don’t know Becky’s Friend? Here is her one and only contribution to posterity:

Oh my God, Becky, look at her butt.
It is so
big. She looks like
One of those rap guys’ girlfriends.
But, ya know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her, because,
She looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay?
I mean, her butt, is just so
BIG.
I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s, like, out there.
I mean . . .  gross! Look!
She’s just so . . . black.

These immortal words, the introduction to Sir Mix-a-lot’s rap anthem “Baby Got Back,” are a symphony in coded black/white sexual antagonism. The poor bullied girl described by Becky’s Friend of course had no say in how she was created, but she is characterized as a prostitute, a rap moll, and, worst of all, the epitome of blackness because of her big butt. Due to that song’s phenomenal success, Becky’s Friend took a signature place in pop culture. She gave voice to the Western white female id, the same perverted desire that wouldn’t let Victorian women turn away from the Hottentot Venus: Look at that! I don’t have that! My man couldn’t possibly find that attractive, could he? How come he’s not turning away?  It was discourse such as this that helped create that Eurocentric Standard of Beauty that has since become the bane of black and brown fashion models, actresses, and potential sports wives across the Western world. That standard has become thinner and thinner since the Renaissance, further away from the notion of what body image black women could possibly achieve.

But wait! Before we go too far, let’s remember, Becky’s Friend was not an “actual” expression of the white female id: she was the metaworld expression. Sir Mix-a-Lot was Becky’s Friend. He wrote those words. If anything, Becky’s Friend was the expression of the black perception of the white female id. In Iggy’s case, the notion that big butts are unattractive also marginalized quite a number of white-identified girls, an effect of the reality that racial stereotypes, even physical ones, are inexact and uncomprehensive. Of course there are white girls with big butts, as there always have been, but the Standard incentivized them to de-emphasize their butts’ bigness, to go on insane diets or wear corsets or girdles or other such slimming ephemera. These were the women Becky’s Friend would make fun of, calling them overweight or saying they had a “black” butt. But white girls who rapped didn’t have to listen to Becky’s Friend. Having already appropriated the thug aesthetic now ingrained in hip hop, white girls who rapped were coming from Sir Mix-a-Lot’s perspective, and liked big butts, and so would be prone to celebrate them if they had one. That’s where Iggy Azalea was coming from. By shaking her big butt, she was celebrating that black aesthetic, lifting it up into a form of beauty worship that should be interracially admired. She was also reclaiming her own notion of beauty back from a place where she might have at one point felt ashamed about her body, to a place where she could celebrate it.

In all, Minaj should be able to appreciate Azalea’s rise to stardom using her butt. But the racialization of “big-buttness” convinced her it was yet another example of cultural appropriation. The backlash against Azalea’s bikini pics are only another salvo into the culture wars, but one that will not be waged in the metaworld. Azalea’s took the medium in which she has built such a large fan base and in one swift stroke possibly established a paradigm for how the next generation will interact with the Internet’s awesome power: It can make you a megastar but it can also make you a lightning rod for controversy and criticism. Though metaworld may be the All-Knowing God you seek, young generation, it is not necessarily a benevolent god. But when this god breathes fire, he can simply be unplugged.

Published in: on June 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM  Leave a Comment  

There’s No Place Like Home

 

 

This post is a part of Blog March 2017, a movement for Raising Voices for Freedom of Expression, Knowledge, and Information. We will be broadcasting voices throughout the month of May. The previous blog marcher was Jason Wendleton at Defending Axl Rose on May 8, and the next blog marcher will be Rorie Kelly at GoGirlsMusic.com on May 10. I am number 9.

Sometimes I think there is no place for me in the American political spectrum. That is because I am too damn liberal. I am more liberal than every person I have ever met, with the exception of a group of anarchists I met in Toledo a few years back. The American spectrum reads like this from right to left: reactionary–>conservative–>centrist<–liberal<–radical. I am an ultra-radical. I have believed for many years that the U.S. Constitution needs to be re-written due to two factors: the extreme demographic shift and population growth that separates 1787 America from 2017 America and 2) the fact that the Founding Fathers knew far less about the world than most college students do today. No, amendments don’t cut it. The amendment process is long, laborious, and uses the standing Constitution as a barometer upon which to gauge the severity of its changes. Changes too far from the Constitution take much longer to ratify. But the Founders never envisioned the type of America that we have today. In fact, it would have horrified them. So why do we see their words as gospel? Why do we dynamite graven images of them onto the sides of mountains?

I am no longer disappointed with the conservatism in American politics. I’ve become numb to it. I had my first taste of utter shock and disappointment with American conservatism in my 20s. There was a bill in California that was going to get rid of affirmative action, Prop. 209, and I was sure it wasn’t going to pass. I thought it was old school. I thought the 1960s Countercultural Movement had addressed all those issues and that we, as a country, were past it. But we weren’t. The bill passed. That was over 20 years ago. Ever since then, I have come to believe that I am too liberal for this country. I was pissed about all those pledges of allegiance to the flag I had made, and how many times I proclaimed this the land of the free and home of the brave. So what do you do when you feel you’ve been betrayed? I became a teacher, and tried to steer the right-leaning ship of this country using education and history. I succeeded to some degree, but could never reach the number of people I needed to sway election results.

So, I love the liberal-ness (“liberalism” means something else) of today’s 20- and 30-years-olds. However, I have noticed a disturbing trend. Today’s young people seem not only entitled to liberal viewpoints, they are downright hateful towards people who aren’t as liberal as they are. I see this sort of “more-liberal-than-thou” attitude in news feeds, news stories, and pop-culture fora. Young people, you will never change the world through anger and a lack of understanding. Only by understanding conservatism and LOVING CONSERVATIVES will we ever be able to bridge the cultural divide in our nation. Yes, that’s right, I said loving conservatives. Because they’re people. And they’re people who have a right to their opinions, but many have been brainwashed to be afraid of certain segments of our society. Their fear will not be assuaged by us hating them. They already suspect that liberals like to make fun of them using words they can’t understand. You don’t think they get when people are making fun of them? They may not understand the nuances of your intellectual barbs, but they know you’re teasing them, just like they knew it when we were all back on the playground. But liberals fall into the same trap conservatives do: both sides want to “win” rather than come to a place of mutual understanding. “Winning” is the ultimate objective; having the opposing side come to a realization that they’ve been wrong all along.

We have to let go of this obsession with winning. We have to accept that in order for this country to come together, we need to acknowledge that the right might never come to regret their rightish ways, BUT WE HAVE TO LOVE THEM ANYWAY. We have to see the humanity in them, and connect with them there, and try to help them come to informed opinions. Because when we don’t, they get mad and they go out and vote in larger numbers than we do because they outnumber us. Every time. There is only one LA and one NY and there are thousands of little towns in America in between them with tens of thousands of people who are looking to liberals to make good decisions. But when liberals make decisions that ignore these little towns, these people elect extreme candidates to let us know they’re still there. That’s how George W. was elected, and that explains our current surreal trip into the presidential unknown.

But I understand the outrage. A few years back I wrote an open letter to all American citizens urging them to “Get Remote.” It read:

“Wealthy misguided individuals have engineered a social structure (that we’ve been complicit in, I’m afraid) whereby other individuals, warriors and such, have made it an objective to destroy you and your happy family, life, and home. These actions will be undertaken in order to make an impression on the wealthy individuals so that they will begin making more humanitarian decisions. This is an utterly hopeless exercise, and never has accomplished its ends, but none of that will ever matter. Your family and life and home will be extinguished in a sigh of smoke and spark or some such horrendous scenario and that’s all that’s ever mattered.

You care about your life more than you do your political party. You care about your friends and neighborhood more than that ridiculous sideshow they pump into our homes with those faceless men who communicate with each other in a language structured in order to maintain their control over our destiny. And we encourage them to do it, trotting into compartments periodically to punch pieces of paper that confirm our compliance in allowing them to control our destinies. It seems like a pretty funny picture show, but I guess it’s the best way we’ve thought to live our lives so far.

Anyway, for the past half century these men have been brokering in technology that they don’t understand and that is massively destructive. These men have engineered a social structure whereby other individuals have made it an objective to use these weapons to sear the skin screaming from your bones, in order to make fanciful impressions on these doddering dilettantes. I recommend you learn a language and get to a location as remote as possible from this global behemoth, this wheezing dynasty; we are a throbbing bull’s-eye.”

I no longer saw the point in living in a country supporting a system of faceless men whose decisions caused other people to want to bomb us. No American politician has been liberal enough for me for years, so why should I die for them? Because I was born in this arbitrarily invented concept called “America?” The Earth doesn’t have national boundaries, and I am an organic child of God. “American” is just my political identity. In the letter, my plan was to “get my graduate degree and then move somewhere to teach – Haiti, maybe; the Netherlands, maybe – but definitely away, to a place I can learn about this huge-ass world that I’ve never set foot in; recruit good people who believe in the promise of the American Dream (the real one, about freedom and bravery); and come back and reinvigorate the dialogue about our American potential.”

Sometimes I think I’m too liberal for this country. During the Darfur crisis, I put on one of those ridiculous statement wristbands that everyone wore in the early 2000s and swore I wouldn’t take it off until the American government decided to intervene and help the thousands of women being raped and children being thrown into bonfires. I wore that fucking wristband for three years. We never intervened. Condoleeza Rice said that Sudan held no “American” interests—meaning no economic interests. I remember thinking at that point that I was fucking done with this country.

But I haven’t gone anywhere. I keep trying to make America into a land MY forefathers would be proud of. I’m still here; trying to right this sinking ship. But if I stay, I have to be sure to love my fellow citizens, no matter how much they frustrate me. Coming together is the only defense we have against the lies. It’s the only way we’ll ever be able to take any of our pledges and anthems seriously. It’s the only way we’ll ever be able to take ourselves seriously.

Published in: on May 8, 2017 at 4:19 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Lie

Go, soul, the body’s guest
Upon a thankless errand
Fear not to touch the best
The truth shall be thy warrant.
Go, since I needs must die
And give the world the lie
          —Sir Walter Raleigh, 1582

About 10,000 years ago, a remarkable story began to be told on the planet earth. It was the story of an amazing species and how they had been designated by God to serve as the next rulers of the planet; a benevolent master race that for the first time in earth’s history would ascend the food chain through labors of the brain, not brawn. And it was a story for the ages, full of daring exploits, passionate romance, and outlandish cunning. This species would be as inventive as the dinosaurs were powerful, as imaginative as the leviathan was dominant, and as ruthless as the algae were profligate.

But very early on, a disturbing trend arose. The story was being repeatedly rewritten by warlords and conquering princes. With each successive generation, the story was being modified, codified, coddled, and reshaped to fit the interests of whatever group was telling it. One need only look at the story of Moses. Hebrew lore is founded upon his heroic imperator out of Egypt, and yet Egyptian historical records show no trace of a mass exodus of Jews from their empire. Two vast cultures of enduring legacy, and yet they differ on a crucial historical event’s objective existence.

At any rate, the story of man went on harmlessly for years with its various allegations and obfuscations, always linking our destiny to that of our planet, our gods, our benevolence to the world around us. But at some point a big lie began being told in the story, and this lie changed the way we started telling it. Where once our intelligence promised a bright and beautiful future that would lead to unheard-of evolutions, now we started to believe that it was our destiny to burn ourselves out; to flash brightly against a starry night and then fade away, ashes to existence. We started to tell ourselves that we were TOO intelligent to coexist peacefully for very long, and so our best option was to aspire to the heights of our potential now, before we killed ourselves in the exigencies of survival. It was a portentous and rancorous lie borne out of paranoia and fear—but people started buying into the lie for that very reason, because it played right into their nightmares, right into what man most feared would happen if our worser nature ran unchecked into the slipshod future: a bloody conflagration of fire and brimstone, with only a jurisprudent God left to sort out the moral men from the fools. Also, the lie gave the race of man an out—if we did destroy ourselves, it was an imperator of God Himself, who never planned on us making much of a run of it. But mostly the lie was just an excuse we gave ourselves to run rampant over the earth and each other, without a nod to natural instinct or rationale. And eventually the lie became Our Destiny, and our destiny became inescapable. But this interpretation of reality is a stinking filthy lie, friends and neighbors, and I urge you to reject it.

Say to the court it glows
And shines like rotten wood
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good and doth no good.
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie

The lie first probably began being told around 1400 B.C. That’s when an Iranian prophet named Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) first gave a revolutionary message to the people who would soon comprise the Persian Empire. As the story goes, the great prophet Zoroaster was conceived of a virgin by the god Mazda. Zoroaster preached that Mazda alone ruled the universe, and that all other gods were just manifestations of Him. He said that Mazda had created all things, including the forces of good and evil, who were in a perpetual battle for the fate of the world. And as he told it, at the end of time all of mankind would be resurrected, and Mazda would judge all based on what side they fought, the evil being consigned to an eternity of darkness and misery, the good being sent to Mazda’s kingdom free of decay, old age, death. In this fight, man was aided by guardian spirits to help him make the right choices through good words, thoughts, and deeds.

Any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. When Persia swept through the area between the years 547-517 BC, they liberated the Jews from the nasty clutches of the infamous Nebuchanezzar of Babylon. The Persians were the only other religion at the time to be claiming monotheism, and so were forever linked in Jewish favor. Before this time, there were no traditions in Jewish theology regarding the hierarchies of angels, Satan as an independent force of evil, reward and punishment after death, the soul’s immortality, or a day of final judgment. The Jews adopted and converted many of these beliefs, believing that they were getting a fuller picture of the whole story.

But the combination of those cultures created a dangerous coda to the story that might very well cost the world millions of lives. Dig this: With the admixture of those cultures, and their resonant influence on all cultures that have been borne from them, began the idea that “the world was coming to an end.” Unfortunately, narrowness of perspective and dramatic license always play a part in these stories, as they do again here. When ancient cultures said “the world,” they always meant THEIR people and as much of the planet earth AS THEY HAD EXPLORED. When the Iroquois said “the world” they meant from the Atlantic Ocean to the just east of the Mississippi River. When Moses said “the world,” he meant West Asia and North Africa. In fact, the story of the biblical flood said to have “covered the earth” mostly likely referred to an actual flood of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in ancient Sumerian times (also told of, by the way, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, today widely acknowledged as the inspiration for the Noah story). The flood was a “worldwide” catastrophe, killing thousands of Sumerians and Canaanites, but not likely harming any Nubians or Olmecs, budding peoples in other parts of the world. In the bible, the creation of “the world” is actually the creation of the “civilized world in the Near East,” as the tribes there shifted from a hunter-gatherer subsistence to an agricultural subsistence. This shift led to the formation of settlements, which led to the formation of cities.

So when we talk about ancient prophecies of the “end of the world,” we really have to be careful about what we’re talking about. The “end” of what? What “world?” But once humanity encompassed the geography of Earth, we automatically associated “the world” to mean this blue planet we’re spinning on. And, self-absorbed as we are, we also took it to mean that we would make this “ending” come about, probably because of collective guilt at the methods we’ve taken in laying claim to the planet. As a result, CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN ENACTING THIS STORY for nearly 3,000 years, now. We have determined ourselves to be a divine race, and too intelligent to be allowed to exist. We have caught ourselves up in our own grandeur, and given ourselves a death sentence to punish ourselves for all of evils we have practiced on the earth and each other. And what’s more, we’re doing everything in our power to carry this sentence out.

Tell men of high condition
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

There is another version of this story, and it has been manifesting around the world right alongside the lie, though it has never been as popular. This version has always been told by the more pastoral peoples of the earth, peoples whose beliefs center on a reverence for the earth and nature. These cultures also seem to have females as objects of worship, likening the feminine trait of giving birth as a symbol for the Earth, the ultimate lifegiver. But with the entre of Indo-European “barbarians” into the cultural mix of ancient Mesopotamia also came new gods—and the dominant aspect of most of these gods were that they were warlike and patriachical, mirroring the family structures of those tribes. By the way this is also part of the lie. The lie tells you your gods are male. This allows you to assume “masculine” qualities when you are playing the game—i.e. aggressiveness, power, ruthlessness. The Judeo-Christian tradition adopted this bizarre specification, making possible a slew of injustices done to the remaining nature-based religions of the world—derisively labeled “pagans.” This is another extension of the lie. The lies tells you that the sublimation of the female is the natural way for humanity. Accept the truth. Wholeness is the key. The masculine and the feminine, embraced by everybody, is the only key to enlightenment. How ‘bout this? Your God reflects You. And points off for being a burnt witch.

The restorative beliefs of some of these religions were brought back to the fore of the Western world in the middle of the 20th century by the writings of Aldus Huxley. In a panic to experiment with the Native American spritual drug peyote, Huxley’s findings began a stunning reanalysis of the Western world that resulted in the hippie movement of the late ‘60s. That didn’t go over too well because the lie makes you self-satisfied. The lie tells you that your worth as a person corresponds to your accumulation of material goods. So that as you look around at your stuff, and feel the weight of your bankbook, you feel “secure” and “confident.” The lie has given you self-esteem. Again, I implore you to reject this ridiculous resolution.

At any rate, an alternative to the apocalyptic future ahead soon grew in prominence. Western man began exploring the idea of a ”new age,” one in which we transcended the need for conquest and plunder and refocused on values such as enlightenment and inner peace. This version of the story went that, before catastrophe, a growing wave of self-reflection inspired by a few enlightened beings worldwide would lead man to reconsider how he was living his life and change the definition of society. And it was through this evolution of thought that man would go on to the next “world.” This version maintained all the elements of the previous predictions, but obviated the need for a violent end in favor of mass enlightenment.

And to be sure, this story is not new. It has in fact been being told right alongside the lie for all of recorded history. Except civilized man has always found a way to marginalize these beliefs, through plunder and conversion if necessary, and through marginalization and stigma if that fails. Even in the three major world religions, this New Age view has found favor with the Sufi mystics of Islam, the Gnostics of Christanity, and the Kabbahlists of Judaism. And all three have at one time or another been branded heretic or fanatical, and have thereby never been given worldwide exposure. But Huxley’s experiments encouraged exploration of those ancient beliefs, as well as the transcendent faiths of Asia—Hinduism, Buddhism, Krishnaism, Daoism, to name a few—which all espouse New Age ideals in social conduct.

In the mid-1970s a group of British spiritualists claimed to have made contact with a race of other-dimensional teachers who were being sent to guide humans into this new phase of evolution. In 1962, a woman in Scotland began to hear a voice telling her to create a garden in a windy and bleak city called Findhorn in the northeastern part of the country. The voice said that the New Age had already begun, and that the cosmic power released by it had been felt by her and many others. And while Hindu’s 5,000-year-old sacred text the Upanishads predict a “machine age” in which mankind would invent the means of his own destruction, it also foresees three “avatars of love,”—prophets sent to help us make a peaceful transition into the next age. Two of those prophecies—through the births of Muslim saint Shirdi Sai Baba (another Sufi) and love guru Sathya Sai Baba—are widely believed to have been fulfilled. India’s Mother Meera claims that she is another avatar sent to help bring about man’s spiritual transformation.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles,
Herself in overwiseness.
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

How does a story like that keep being told, when it ensures destruction for the storyteller? Well, we start pretty early on. Look at the stories we tell our children about the god-like accomplishments of man, and then the ones about beings who aspire to godhead and are banished to eternal hellfire. We tell them to share and to respect others, and then as a society we flout these ideals in the manic need to continue enacting our story. Look how we praise the winners and pity the losers? Why? Because the lie tells you that the point of the game is to get On Top. And it also tells you that it is acceptable to lie, cheat, and steal to get there. Indeed, it tells you that’s the ONLY way to win. Don’t fall for that crap. One game of dodgeball and you know that a victory means nothing if you don’t play by the rules. But remember, the lie never asked you to do what was acceptable TO YOU, it only told you that to do what was acceptable WITHIN THE LIE.

We set a perfect prototype for not living up to expectations. Look at the fathers “toughening up” the sons. Look at mama critiquing daughter’s posture, or make-up, or hair, or everything. Not that it matters. The lie tells you that you aren’t as smart or attractive as the people around you. This will make it impossible for you to really fall in love, because you will always loathe whomever has either the poor taste or pity to fall in love with you. Also, this makes it difficult for you to get the confidence to demand people to stop giving you the lie. Besides, it would be impossible to get a race of people to kill themselves if they loved themselves and each other. The lie is trying to hurt you. The lie is the enemy. You must fight it.

Kids do. They first question your integrity, then silently protest your injustices, and eventually throw rocks and bricks at your chain stores. And why don’t we listen them as the truth comes spilling out of their mouths? Because the lie makes you seem wise. It tells you that kids “don’t know what they’re talking about.” It repeatedly tells you that your youth was rambunctious and rash, and that you ought to forget all your childish idealism. But do you REMEMBER childhood? Remember when you KNEW the truth? And how from day one people started telling you how the world “really was?” And that you had to sell yourself out to get anywhere in the world? Again, I beseech you to not listen to this fucking nonsense. In truth, we knew the key to happiness most clearly the day we were born, and the lie started giving us excuses to sell out our beliefs. So-called warmongerers and imperialists are not evil, they are only concluding the final acts of the story exactly as they were taught to by their dads in sandboxes: Crush the Enemy; also, You are the Enemy.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming.
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

 So whom to believe? We have throughout history been given the story as told by someone who says the knowledge was a gift from God. We’ve got more prophets than we know what to do with and a whole bunch of interpretations of their word. But I say they’re all right. I say we are all prophets of God because God is always speaking to all of us. The only difference is the listening, and then the doing. It’s not that He only gave His message to a scant few, it’s that they paid attention better, and then tried to pass the message on. The reason religions get so popular is that they basically reflect the same message we always hear in our minds, the “divine voices.” It is up to us, then, to choose which path to take—just like Zorosaster said, just like Jesus said, just like Muhammad said—good or evil. Evil has to do with destruction and grief, the good has to do with enlightenment and peace. Every religion in the world agrees with that. As such, whether or not we continue to enact the lie completely depends on us. The lie began as a story we started telling ourselves, and will continue to be until we play out its inevitable conclusion. Or we could simply not. We could simply choose to enact the more transcendent story, the one of self-affirmation and courage—but it will take an amazing leap in self-esteem. We have to actually believe we are beings of actual light, and that evil is not an inherent force of mankind, but rather an outside influence—like Baba said, like Krishna said—that we can simply will out of existence. And, as you might expect, the ultimate choice is up to us, up to the godhead in us, exactly as the Judeo Christian version has it. In the end, man WILL choose between good and evil, and that choice will result in either heaven or hell.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing—
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing—
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill.

Published in: on June 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM  Leave a Comment