I imagine a political system with no parties. No liberal or conservative. No red nor blue. No polarizing thoughts into a linear division of reality where there are only two sides so that competition, pretense, and power reigns over rationality.
Where we don’t group into parties based on ideological issues pretending an imaginery line of consisitency. Where representatives are truly that — representatives of their community and its needs. Where using the modern marvels of technology they can survey their constiuency, and base their votes among a general community consesus instead of their own ideals. Where they open their books and admit their faults and weaknesses and seek experts with humility to help them in the right direction. Government is a fledgling art that we may never master. But we can always try to improve our brush strokes.
I imagine a political system where corporations are made to consider the true cost of their operations from sourcing through disposal, and where we focus our energies and the creativity of the human spirit towards innovation and collaboration in advancing us all, instead of greed and the accumulation of individual wealth. There is enough on this planet to sustain more than our numbers, our distribution and destruction of resources are widening our divide, let’s not repackage this horror as some sort of eugenic over-population fantasy. No, it’s the way we set up our cities and towns, and how we use the spaces that we have. How our buildings our built, and what they are made of. How we get around and how we eat. The energy we expend in getting through our days. Everything we consume…
We were told we could have everything we ever wanted, and then made it happen, blind to the repercussions of this train of thought. If this is true, than why can’t we have something more than what has been. Something that moves us all forward, and sees the value in every living thing. In kindness, and compassion. Not scrambling to own every rock beneath this earth. No. This can’t be civilization if it’s far from civilized for us all. Cause…
Truth, after all, is relative. A family of ideas from different perspectives that follow a direction of order to come to a general consensus. And I’m pretty sure we can almost all agree, that this world, as it is right now, is fucked. That the current system is getting us down…
So I imagine a world where we don’t label our systems into -isms and realize that a smattering of each flavour can really delight the palate. That this ideological rigidity is keeping us static and ensuring we continue to value the very thing we say doesn’t matter. The very thing that will bankrupt us all and wipe our existence from this planet.
You can’t take the things with you when you go… so…
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater,… and imagine the path to change that brings the best of all worlds.
I was going to do a poem about Tina, about Colton, about Cindy,… about the latest drop in a bucket that has long overflowed, red drop after red drop, spilling over the sides, leaving a gooey mess across that floor, that we all feel stuck in.
I wrote the words, but couldn’t bring myself to say them.
This is family, despite our differences in direct lineages, formed together with our backs against the wall pushing against the slow moving genocide that hides itself with talks of budgeting deficits and “policitical correctness”. An ancient grievance that has more than been made up for in all the technology we gained that brought us poisoned waters, broken communities, a dying planet, and the 40 hour work week. We should be thankful for this blessing and swallow it down as the bitter pill necessary to cure us of our “savagery”.
Us backwards folks who were slaughtering our enemies with crude weapons over resources when they stepped upon this land, while, …you know,… they were not creating war and genocide machines the likes the world have never seen and spreading them across the globe. Such a civilized bunch.
So I’m not going to do a poem about Tina, about Colton, about Cindy,… about all the other list of names you likely haven’t even heard of. About the trillions of dollars in trust for our community, that the government squandered and holds away from us while Our People are poisoned by their own taps. Or the billions more in subsidies to the companies that tainted them with impunity. Because we speak, and we cry, and we yell, and no matter the method, it falls on deaf ears. We are just tokens, here for decoration, an illusion of progress that gives a nice shiny screen to cover the continued oppressions. It’s not “diversity” they want, it’s submission. Follow the line, jump through the hoops, and make a palatable version that can be sold to the hierarchy, who will slash its core, and dangle any funds to those who can best express their suffering as trauma porn, but not give them enough to actually alleviate it. Cause clearly, this capitalist paradise is truly the most “civilized” of ideas.
When I look up at the moon at night, I can’t help but see your face,
Before I could drive I could navigate the seven sea by the stars and tell the time by the phase of the moon or Sun’s position in the sky.
I know the call of the loon and how to navigate the rattlers so as to not get bit. Where to find food and water where none seems waiting. How to survive in any situation that came my way and even how to negotiate business deals.
You taught me the knots for each situation, how to break them free, and that a knife in my pocket was a tool for every situation, even buttering my bread at meals.
You taught me to swim by throwing me in and sharpened my waterskiing by ever tightening the circle of the towboat. You showed me that ice cream and coke was a decent option for breakfast.
You taught me that life was worth living to the fullest without regrets and that sometimes there is more to a person than they are willing to show you.
You outlived your wife, your siblings, your friends, and then outlived the next two sets. The drs thought you a demented old fool unaware of his senility as they treated your hip, broken you insisted, when you fell off a chairlift skiing in your 90s.
You were there when I needed you, and there you’ll always be, in the moonlight to guide my voyage, the northstar in my sky.
Grandfather, because of you, I will always know the direction home.
Tomorrow, I will have ice cream and coke for breakfast.
Don’t talk to strangers. The infamous piece of “wisdom” told to every small child as a precaution against kidnapping, rape, and trauma, but they neglected to tell us that, for the most part, it’s not strangers committing these crimes. It’s the people we already know.
You can be a happy child, in a loving home. Attentive parents who are actively involved in your lives, and still be molested. They prey on the weak, but it’s not exclusionary to the weakest.
You see it’s not always the fearful exchange you hear about on tv, the ones your parents warn you about. They take their time, spending months or years to groom you to be their “best friend”. So that you start to see them as your “best friend”, someone trustworthy and on your side. Not like other adults, but a giant kid you can play with and vent your frustrations about other adults to.
And as that trust grows they begin to ask increasingly boundary pushing requests, but you comply, because you are young and because you don’t understand the risks. You comply because you trust them. Because you have no reason not to. You comply, because maybe your parents even trust them too. You comply, because we are engrained at a young age from multiple sources that adults are to be obeyed and that we do not have full bodily autonomy. You comply because they told you it would hurt them if you don’t. And they are your best friend.
And so you do it. It feels wrong, but you are so desperate to have this “positive” influence in your life, this cool person who cares, who treats you like an adult. Trusts you with secrets. And makes you feel like you are special. Unique. You do it because you think you are just too young to understand and they must know better.
And they teach you how to lie. And they accidentally show up places they know your parents won’t be at to spend alone time with you. Fill your head with valid reasons why we should keep secrets from every body. Because to you, even as a child, this feels like a real relationship.
Not all abuse is what we classically describe as violent. It can take years to even come to the realization that your relationship was sick. That this person has preyed on you. That what happened was wrong, that a 10 year old and an adult shouldn’t be in a partnered sexual relationship. You excuse it to yourself that they were just immature, and you were just mature for you age… and that they truly loved you. You even referred to them as your first boyfriend for more than a decade after your “relationship”. Because you still actually believed that and called them a “good” guy who didn’t mean to do wrong but was just so attracted to you and your body that they couldn’t help themselves. Then you remember that they were attracted to your undeveloped, child body. That they couldn’t resist the charm of a 10 year old. And you start to rethink your position. The trauma is felt. Your entire life is changed by the experience. Your trust for people. Your sex life. Your self-worth.
But remember. Don’t talk to strangers. Because they’re the ones who’ll hurt you.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, people always assume I’m a bleeding heart Liberal. For the record, I’m not. In fact, I hate both philosophies with great passion and cannot align myself to one over the other. I take serious issue with many of their main arguments and question the necessity of their existence at all. I critique literally every politician in existence, because I think we should. Democracy does not begin and end in the voting booth. Critique does not mean they are incapable of good, just that they are an imperfect human, as are we all. It’s how they handle the critique that matters.
Divisions of red and blue. Man vs woman. Liberal vs Conservative. Democrat vs. Republican. Country vs country. Divisions deepened by politician’s rhetoric, sharpened by the media’s tongue, biased by our own ignorance and fear of the unknown, we bleed peace in order to feel like we belong. We divide ourselves into these neat little boxes that are apparently entirely separate entities, when reality is more like a Venn diagram of commonality, with only tiny slivers of difference on each edge.
We all want to have the things we need to survive and thrive, we want a chance at a good life, because not having that, with all the advances and knowledge that currently exists in this world, seems like a system based on pure sadism. We see different ways to get there, and so we should. There is no mould for how to make the world.
Sometimes I wonder if it will take proving the existence of actual aggressive extraterrestrials threatening humanity’s very existence to bridge the global divide. I certainly fucking hope not.
Thing is, representatives were originally so-called because they were to represent the will of their constituents. Instead they follow the party line and deepen the political divides they created to keep themselves in the game. And, oh boy, is it ever a game. They spend more time and money winning elections than writing bills, sitting with lobbyists over constituencies. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Government, in and of itself is not a bad thing. In it’s purest form, it’s people coming together to ensure that those within its reach have a chance to thrive and come together. If it didn’t oppress, but rather uplifted, if it wasn’t stacked as a game of fame and favour, but rather a true privilege and honour to be part of, strongly rooted in a desire to make this planet better for ALL of us, if it was something we all had a true say in, we would see it as humanity’s saviour, and not some cumbersome and heartless entity that’s so embroiled in bureaucracy that it erases the humanity of those it espouses to serve.
Divisions are a political weapon of democracy, deepened by those who don’t want “the people” to actually have a say, and work to keep them in the dark of the true reality. This partied system of democracy is placating the population so that the wizardly oligarchy can do their own bidding behind the screen. I think it’s time to click our heels three times and come back to reality. We’ve spent far too long in Oz.
I was always a healthy child, rarely ever even the sniffles or the flu, but from the ages of about 12 to the present day, I essentially used my body as a car crash dummy. Lining up all the different walls I could crash through to prove the resilience of my car, and I must say, it’s pretty fucking resilient. Sturdy and quality engineering if I do say so myself.
I abused hard drugs heavily for more than a decade and in the process, gave myself a stroke at the age of 16. A truly functional junky if ever there was one. I have a degree I have zero recollection taking, and stamps in my passport from countries I don’t even ever remember visiting. Travelled to dangerous off-track places. Trusted strangers. Hitch-hiked. Took every new drug that came my way. Every experience. I’ve skydived. Bungee-jumped. Swam with sharks. Had more concussions than sense. Broke the majority of the bones in my body with my stupid risks, more metal than brains now, as my dad always says.
Starved my body. Then in severe depression and withdrawal gorged on all the magnificence the world has to offer. As much pizza and whiskey as a body can handle! Relations with every sexy person I could. Exposed myself to toxic waste and several wars in the pursuit of my journalistic career, and contracted more parasites than I care to recount. Oh. And I also smoke.
I shouldn’t be alive at all I suppose. But I’ve always felt that what’s the point of living a life of safety and caution when our only guarantee is that we go? Each experience and pain and bliss is a story and a lesson. An opportunity and a chance to adapt. Without risks life is boring. Without pain and sadness, you can never truly understand joy.
I came home after years of an hedonistic and at times almost sadistic odyssey of exploration and found myself with heavy metal poisoning and leukemia, C-PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, persistent cyst-making tapeworms, dormant malaria, multiple and compound fractures that left my body full of arthritis, metal plates, pins, and screws; and autoimmune responses to the multiple treatments I required.
Thing is though, even knowing what I know now. Having gone through all that pain. I’d do it all again. I am the person I am today because of that experience.
I often tell the parable of my two grandfathers. The chain-smoking, hard-living hedonist, who drank and ate to excess; and the simple, clean-living, clean-eating, moderate who hiked two miles each day. Which one do you think died of lung cancer and which is alive today, at a ripe old age, looking 20 years his junior? I’ll give ya a hint. It’s not the hedonist who got cancer.
Whether you live or die isn’t always up to you. If you miss out on living just to extend that life, what’s the fucking point? I’ll continue to drive into the wall and face life head-on, cause even if I die tomorrow, at least I know that I truly lived.
Each night is a fresh hell brought forth by memories I can never erase.
Since the war, my life has become a monotony of misery. My sheets soaked in sweat each night from panic, tangled and shredded at my feet from the struggle.
I’ve gone through five sets this year alone. And it’s only April.
Palms sweating. Heart racing. Numbness in every extremity. Unexplained, excruciating and near constant pain. Hot then instantly cold, unable to regulate my own internal thermostat. Racing thoughts of worthlessness and suicide. Rocking in my bed, unable to lift my head or even leave the safety of my sheets some days. The constant invisible agony that no one sees.
Each quick turn of the head gives me glimpses of gore. Hacked bodies lying on city streets, machetes headed in my direction. Flashbacks that can over take my whole reality and leave me in psychosis hell in an instant with terror in every direction. You see to me a trigger is only the small part of the gun staring in my face. It has no relation to the things it “should” and people’s coddled affection for my ailment only leaves me pitied and alone in my misery. There is no amount of shielding that will lessen my fate. You see, the smell of cooked bacon, reminds me of their burning flesh, but I can read about rape until the cows come home. I can explore gore without emotion, but spending joyful times with my nieces and nephews leaves me paralysed with dread for days.
You see, my brain has learned to interpret success and joy as pain and trauma. Permenantly etched as the new reality, each new bliss follows hours or days or even weeks of panic and intense urges to flee, run away, hide, or die. Just stop the pain that follows. I can’t go through it all again. Afraid to be happy, feeling underserving, it has transformed my life into a sad misery where every joy is literally pain. Pure torture.
When people laugh and joke that they have “PTSD” after something minorly annoying happens to them, I feel like they have just punched me in the gut and left me breathless, keeling over from worthlessness. Diminished. Like my struggle is worthy of their laughter, and that I am somehow weak for having this viseral physical reaction to the protracted trauma I experienced. I consider if for just one moment they could reach inside my head and feel this type of terror face to face if they’d ever make that joke again. But then, I wouldn’t wish that horror on anyone. Not even for a moment.
My reality looks bleak. There’s a 70% chance I’ll suffer from this trauma for the rest of my existence. You see, I’m a prisoner of war, trapped forever in the hell my own brain has created to compensate for the horrors it could not explain. It’s no wonder most of us just decide to end it. There are enemies all among us, politely ensuring we survive only to endure more horror and there is no one ever coming to rescue us. We are in this all alone, forever.