what makes us good? did we invent religion to give us a means of feeling ‘good enough?’ and if one stops believing the things he or she counted on for salvation, what then?
you were an echo of my past,
a dark pattern repeated.
i, a girl wanting to be seen & discovered;
you, all too willing to oblige,
though with an agenda all your own:
everything free comes with a price.
you brought me briefly into your world,
just as you let yourself into mine.
a decency of sorts was perpetrated in your act---
you could have taken more;
like the first, you believed you had the right.
and here i am left wanting
more than i had or have
what i’ve lost or given up
or taken in return;
you teach me the limits of my guilt,
my hunger, my shame. but
you will never have what you want of me;
it belongs to me alone.
and i will not let myself become
despite the pull of your dark gravity.
talk about potentially incendiary discussions…but i can’t help it.
if you’re a reader of the new testament, you’ll find plenty of seeming contradictions. personally, i think it’s because jesus was a paradigm shifter & the people who were his contemporaries weren’t quite as progressive as he was. these days, i’m none too sure about the whole son of god thing, although i do believe in allegory, simile, metaphor & parable, which jesus is said to have taught. perhaps jesus, whoever & whatever else he was, came to teach us a new way of thinking: a shift from the literal to the figurative; a place to jump off into the heretofore undescribed. my favorite thing about new testament jesus is his figurative & literal laying down of his own life for the end of blood sacrifice. it’s said that at his death, the curtain in the temple of the israelites tore itself from the top down, symbolizing the end of the sacrifice of animals and humans for the appeasement of an angry god; heaven’s thirst for blood was finally satisfied in the offering of its own son on our behalves.
jesus was known to hang out with undesirables: the debt keepers, the prostitutes, the diseased, the outcast. he said that whoever is perfect should be the one to kill another for the sake of justice. he walked through the halls of the temple in jerusalem and made quite a ruckus, throwing over tables and stalls & kicking out folks whom he felt were misrepresenting his father in his own house.
he said, ‘whosoever will, may come.’
he turned the other cheek, to the point of laying down his own life, which he said was a sign of great love, the greatest love , even.
he warned churchgoers of the time to not be like the political factions that had evolved in the church and were not accurately preaching what the message of the church was about: the sadducees & the pharisees, who cared more about appearances than truth.
he fed the masses, healed the sick, & even went away to be alone, to keep possession of his vision & to keep going against the current tide.
until he decided it was enough, finished; his choice, verified & upheld by his father.
so why is it that most of his present day followers appear more like everything he fought against, or could i say: the antichrist?
it’s hard to find a more judgmental, discriminating (in the negative sense) group of folks than the present day church.
how bad must it suck to die for a cause that gets skewed so sharply?
filling my tank was relatively cheap today…gas is more affordable than it’s been for ages. nothing like an election year to get things done, i s’pose. happy as i am to have a few more dollars in my pocket, i can’t help wondering which policy i don’t agree with is sponsoring this windfall. was it the wars waged in oil filled lands, our compromising relationships with countries that have oil, offshore & protected land drilling here at home, or a group of wealthy & powerful captains of now failing industries paying handsomely to get laws passed to keep gas prices down & people happy with the status quo? it’s disheartening to realize once again that the institutions of this world are corrupt & largely inept, but it’s true.
why is it that change is such a scary spectre for most of us? innovation can &, i believe, WILL save us, but we have to collectively let a few big things fail first. so petroleum is getting somewhat scarce & could potentially be contributing to other problems with our habitat; maybe there’s only as much crude oil as there is because it was intended to be a short term fix, leading us to the next big energy epoch. i doubt many folks would object to the same old scions hanging around to keep making loads of money, as long as they threw their weight into inventing something paradigm shifting that’s profitable as well as positive for us and the planet. change needs to happen, & soon. we are raping & pillaging ourselves & our planet into extinction, or devolvement, at the very least. there has been more than one culling of this planet. it’s happened through ice ages, meteor impacts, plague. i vote that we wise up sooner rather than later & get creative again. it feels really good to create. maybe it’s time to play mad scientist in the backyard and build a vehicle that can use the same resources that all the plants and animals on the planet use to survive. hopefully it will run on sunlight, wind or geothermal power rather than blood, and hopefully we’ll build it before we, the plants and animals cease to exist as we currently know it.
we humans have devised many methods of separating ourselves from each other in this collective society we all share & make together. we sort by gender, skin color & country of origin, social class & income level, political affiliation, church membership, sexual orientation, degree of education, body type & relative attractiveness, age…and on and on it goes.
it seems a fundamental human wish that we be elevated while others are not, although we seldom admit to such baseness. even our religions, which are in theory meant to unite us all together with god, have a nasty habit of predicting who is in need of hell or is granted heaven, nevermind the grace of purgatory or reincarnation. perhaps it’s due in part to our heritage with our animal ancestors; in the wild, certain distinctions are literally the difference between living and dying. sadly, our ‘civilized’ society has mirrored this principle, rather than replaced it with something better. we just won’t outgrow the fight, or the taste for blood. in the end, we believe, someone must reign supreme.
to be fair, it must be acknowledged that we have attempted a few ideologies in this vein of commonality: communism, socialism, democracy, free love, community & church among them. none of these models has ever been totally successful though, and we have largely chosen to believe that these failures mean that everybody making it will not ever be the natural order of things here.
truth is, it won’t be until we make it that way, & we won’t make it that way until we all learn how to love & heal ourselves. we have all been wounded by being alive here; most of us have a tendency to wound in return. call it the reverse golden rule: do unto others what has been done to you. sometimes, thankfully, that is a beautiful thing, but largely it’s a vicious, toothy cycle.
i was raised to trust in a power outside of myself for goodness, and over time, i came to believe that i was actually incapable of making anything ‘good’ happen: ‘thy will be done, mine cannot be trusted.’ how tired god, or the thing from which goodness arises, must be with most of us capitulating to ‘the way things are.’
i think we all seek redemption or elevation of some kind from our shortcomings, our outright failings, our bloodlettings; but in all honesty, we just need to do better than blindly react to whatever befalls us, & we need to quit looking outside of ourselves for that something bigger, quit hoping to be raised above the crowd by someone or something else. the hard work of being ‘good’ truly boils down to accepting & loving ourselves, without permission or majority, & in believing that we possess value & worth enough to share.
shit, after all, does make great fertilizer. so grow on, you beautiful people, you; all of us, together & good.
there is no legislating morality because legislation can be bought & god & his words are different & valid from each individual’s point of view.
as long as we require policing from outside of ourselves, we are playing against the odds & flirting with extinction.
dark matter will create blind darkness, unless it is harnessed & put to useful work.
adaptation is essential for evolution, & evolution is the freely willed completion of creation.
nothing is good or bad, in & of itself.
it is what we make it.
need, you are a craven creature
who makes thieves and brutes of us all-
while in your thrall
i am utterly weak
yet evilly strong,
selfishly taking to feel full where
i know myself empty,
only to end up more wanting
than when i began.
need, you will take from
me no more-
this image of you fulfilled
is mine alone to own.
what if every horror film was a purging of a now unnecessary though still natural instinct for violence left over from our evolving from animals? what if it’s actually a good thing that more people prefer to watch a theatrical act of violence than to go out and create one?
what if violent video games are not the end of our society as we know it, but are instead therapy for those who feel at ease in that mindset?
what if angry music works like a release valve for those who are prone to blowing their stack?
what if everything negative and threatening also contains avenues for positivity and healing within?
what if nothing is good or bad in and of itself but rather becomes what we make of it?
i have heard more than one person say lately that if we aren’t careful & alert we might just wake up one morning to sharia law ruling in our halls of justice. they usually go on to say something about how our own national morals are going bankrupt and how the country needs to get back to some decent values. they speak of the good old days, when people looked respectable and supposedly acted the same; when your word was your bond and a matter of honor to uphold; when everybody knew what a family was and looked like, and everybody knew their role and played it.
they say the world is no longer safe. they say that if we as a people came back to our founding fathers’ principles and our faith as one nation under god, we would be less vulnerable to another attack. they say that the patriotic thing to do is to give over some personal liberties and privacies to the trustworthy and protective eye of our military special forces and intelligence branches; they will of course be returned to us when we finally triumph over the tyranny of terrorism and zealotry that is fixed against us.
they say that we are at war with an ideology whose thirst for supremacy would not be slaked by the shed blood of the entire resistant world. this gives our cause a holy impetus; our way of life is endangered and we must defend it. because of the graveness of this threat, they say that for a while torture will not be called torture; unspoken, they believe that those who will endure it at our hands are less human or at least less right than we are so it somehow does not matter that we contradict our policy on the topic. it is only to save lives and we will not abuse it.
some voices have begun to call for the widespread legislation of our morality. they say that abortion should once again be illegal; that women who choose that path at the very least deserve to be penetrated with a device that will make the fetus visible to them before they are allowed to proceed. they say that marriage and therefore family is under attack and that we must preserve them by mandating that marriage be strictly between one man and one woman. they say that abstinence is the best contraception, and that other forms are merely a license to fornicate. they fight to keep the research of stem cells illegal on the grounds of immorality. they say that there is no law higher than the law of god; they believe that what’s good for the church is good also for the state.
and that’s american sharia law, y’all: it’s based on the tenants of christian fundamentalism rather than fundamentalist islam, but it’s every bit as theocratic, totalitarian and non-constitutional; and in keeping with the rich historical tradition of these things, those speaking the loudest of the fear of being taken over from without are zealously about the business of taking over from within.
she realized, as she laid her body backwards in a sort of reverse genuflection, reaching down with her hands to make a circuit with her ankles, precisely what it was about this posture that her muscles were so averse to perform: it was a position of bondage they understood on some guttural level and resisted by instinct. a breath, a softening. a vulnerable underbelly, the loss of the possibility of flight thereby guaranteeing a fight. where did she learn this response, she wonders; a buried past, or a collective consciousness? a breath again, a hint of give. she is aware of her spine lengthening as her abdomen releases its protective hold over her vital organs. she is surprised at how good it can feel to be soft. she seeks further opening by pulling her ankles gently toward her head. now it’s the thighs that are guarded, having been powerfully taught the dangers of openness there. again she breathes, waiting for the release, finally finding herself at ease for this moment, and maybe more. in the belly of her fear and unconsumed; freedom through a position of subjugation, with herself the subjugator.
wow, this is a conundrum…where the rubber meets the road, for me. i am a pacifist, a lover of love…a vegetarian, on account of i don’t want blood to spill for me to continue to exist physically. and yet i absolutely love the character of lisbeth salander, heroine of the millenium trilogy of books and movies. lisbeth is a waif of a woman, weighing in at bantam in a world full of heavies. if i was her size, i would never feel safe on this earth. that’s due in part to christian talk radio shows, which played non-stop in my family home, and informed me, at the age of six, that i had a twenty percent chance of NOT being raped sometime in my life. rape is the thing that makes my blood boil, makes me feel justified in dispensing blood sentences…me, the girl who doesn’t believe in bloodshed. i once read a passage in a brett easton ellis novel called ‘imperial bedrooms’, wherein the disaffected male protagonist absentmindedly fists a woman he has kidnapped with a handful of shit. i saw red after reading…imagined this man’s blood painting the surfaces of the room in an elongated act of justified retribution. if you don’t have a vagina, it’s hard to explain the extent of the feeling of violation that’s attached to the unwilling entry of one. it’s so deep, so visceral, so vulnerable…so powerless. if a man treated lisbeth salander in this manner, and didn’t kill her, she would some day come face to face with him, unman him with a knife, shove a rhythmic handful of shit in the gaping hole, and call it even…and that’s what i love about her. so…i call for a world without bloodshed, and yet this animal desire exists inside of me…we are up against it, collectively. it’s the rare human being who can endure injustice and not require an equally unjust act to feel whole again…mercy…
(i fully acknowledge that men get raped too…can’t be any more fun for mouths and assholes. and yes, women can rape men)
the customs olympics:
send people to other countries and see how well they can adapt to each others’ cultures
fork lift operators go head to head in skills involving their vehicles
students of somatics (i.e. face reading, posture analysis, aura reading, et al) deduce character traits in people they meet for the first time.
(ideas available for licensing)