Monday, August 25, 2003

Whup a Horse's Behind Wid a Belt

What things are different in people who suffer great hardships and abuse, who turn out in the long run to be people of great worth and character and the people who suffer equal amounts of torment or, for that matter, none at all, who eventually become monsters? People are always debating this nature vs. nurture thing, beating it almost to death then turning the hose on it to revive it for yet more abuse.

I don’t think it’s really either of those things.

We learn patterns and from those patterns, form complex matrices that coalesce with matrices that have been created long before us and will survive long after our deaths. A never ending, cyclical process of over and over again. What are we before we learn these patterns? Is this the true source of character? Is it something that somehow exists separate from the cells that trap it within? And is finding this or struggling against it the real challenge of humanity?

I think it is. I think that your character is something that you’re born with. You can learn to be quick to react because those around you were, or perhaps still are, quick to attack. You can learn to place barriers between yourself and others because you know, perhaps in your subconscious, that those others will claw at you as quickly as a jackal left alone with a baby caribou. You can also learn to play nice but have an urge to crack someone’s skull in for no reason whatsoever. Eventually, with the right twists of fate, or perhaps without them, your true character pulls you out of your niche, especially when that niche has been imposed upon you by others. Now, if you look at molecular biology, you'll know that we all contain programming that tells our brains and bodies what to do and when to do it. However, there are people who are programmed to become addicts, yet some people have the ability to fight addiction through sheer force of will. Ask yourself why.

Wesley Willis. Struggling with schizophrenia, perhaps the most terrifying and misunderstood mental illness of all, died from leukemia at age 40.

I’m severely bummed about this. I liked him because he was such a fighter. He had that instinct that all great people have of taking a problem and finding a solution within his own program. He had fortitude and spirit. He wasn’t mean. He was a scrapper. I liked him. He wrote a song about Alanis Morrisette. I would really, really like it if some day, she covered it. Especially the part about her whupping a horse's butt wid a belt. He also wrote a song called, "Casper, the Homosexual Friendly Ghost". Having seen Casper the ghost, I ask you, how can someone that perceptive be all that crazy?

Bummed as I am, I like to think of Wesley going out right now. Lover Mars (Yes he's a lover! He's got a big axe and he's pissed off all of the time! Who wouldn't want to be in the sack with a guy like that?? You can keep Venus. I like my men sweaty and axe wielding, though a chainsaw will do in a pinch)so close his breath is fogging the glasses of all Scorpios, ushers him out of the Matrix while Pluto (the co-ruler of Scorpio, he's the one that gives us an edge) follows behind, scooping up the dead and taking them to the potato cellar. Since it's so close to Winter, Persephone will be kickin' it Hades style. And a good thing, that. Wesley loves the ladies.

Read about Wesley

Sunday, August 24, 2003


Sometimes, people catch on to how angry a person I am. Only once or twice a month, when pesky hormones struggle through my neural network, I let the pleasant facade slip away and bare the sword, daring anyone to challenge me.

What I've noticed more than anything else is how often people are denied a voice in their own lives.

The unfortunate introduction of psychoanalysis into our mainstream culture has yielded a petty return of philosophical relativistic induction. Nothing is really anyone's fault because there’s always a reason for why people do the petty things that they do. The reason might not make sense to me because I don't have the right perspective. From what I've grasped from our American culture, the right perspective seems to be hypnotic ignorance and sitting quietly watching the shadows on the cave walls. Tip your hat to Plato my friends; he's all you've got these days.

We live in a world full of spiritual pornography. The louche Franklin Mint Indian-on-a-Horse-Great-Spirit-Bullshit plates hang on the walls of White people who care more for the idea of tribal people than for the reality of them. Whindians, I call them. We see iconery dripping from their walls and from their persons. The same iconery that we saw in their parents homes, albeit exchanging the faces of Jesus and Abraham for the faces of the Buddha and Kali. Their conviction is as convincing as a televangelist and they're in it for exactly the same reasons. Anyone who must insert that amount of showbiz into their belief system has something to prove and when religion or philosophy becomes a tool, it's usually used to hide something. There is no guilt on the conscience of these folks because guilt is a western ideal. How amusing, eh? One must justify one's actions by simply dismissing the moral standards of one’s upbringing instead of questioning the actions themselves or even exploring the concept of guilt. Am I making judgments based on lifestyle here? You bet I am. These same people (and I know plenty of 'em) speak highly of their own lifestyles but not so that they can lead by example or even to prove that idealism can survive in America, but to buff their turtle shells to such garish brightness, it blinds a seeker from witnessing the festering innards bound tightly within. It is a swindle. It is a dodge. It is certainly the last thing I ever expected to see. They cannot be content to allow any person of color their own cultural standards. If it can't be changed, it must be adopted and assimilated just like those stolen Indian babies of centuries past. Nothing is sacred and everything is for sale.

I’ve explored guilt. Because guilt and anger are married or at the very least, living together in sin, I thought it was a good thing to cover. I don’t believe in guilt as it is understood through the eyes of America. But I do believe in responsibility. I think that we only understand the virtue of financial responsibility, which is a good virtue, don’t get me wrong, but keeping that aspect of American existence afloat gives people no inclination whatsoever to regard one another with any real depth, or so it would appear to me. It allows a certain freedom in the characters of the wealthy (whose numbers dwindle) and a lot of restriction in the characters of the poor (whose numbers increase rapidly; can you guess where this is going?). How can you feel good about yourself when you're forced into crime because you can’t eat? And when you get caught, the system encroaches upon you for the rest of your life, braying in your ear that you’re no good. Guilt thrust upon you from every angle, preventing your character from escaping the tiny glass walls in which you’re forced to exist.

When I think of guilt and anger, I always think of Gunter Grass' "The Tin Drum". I love this book. As someone who has not only done wrong but has also been wronged, it offers the concept of responsibility without guilt. Since guilt motivates people, it is used as a tool to move them around. It's the easiest trick in the book. It’s as simple as a Zen parable in its ability to throw people off their game. However, what kind of world would we live in if guilt was not used? If people were expected to behave responsibly and respectfully toward one another and no one had anything to gain except for respect? Oskar, the main character in book, "The Tin Drum" is a fellow who has stunted his own growth by throwing himself down a flight of stairs at the age of three. He’s well aware of the chicanery of the adults around him and wants no part of it. He marches through most of the book speaking not with his voice, but with a Tin Drum, hence the title. The book takes place in Germany, before, during, and after WWII. My take on it is that Grass does not seek blame. He offers no excuse for the German’s behavior, instead, offering the reader the souls of the characters so that we can make our own judgments, if we so choose. Grass (through Oskar) does not seek to point out those dichotomous variables that must be responsible when a wrong is either corrected or committed. No relativistic, see it from my perspective bullshit. He does not vilify anyone, exactly, as much as he points out the foolish blind faith for sale in Nazi Germany and indeed, up for grabs on E-Bay if you know where to look.

We often duel one another with our pistols of sanctimonious righteousness, wielding our index fingers and pointing to the other guy to hide our own guilt. If it's not that, it's hiding behind someone else's philosophy. If not that, keep your bills paid and no one asks too many questions. This is not quite Oskar’s style. He offers no real solution or rationale. He is not ambiguous in his observations as much as he is abstract.

The work, more than any other I have had the honor to read in my life, and reading this book IS an honor, illustrates the plight of the human race. In order for us to have hope for the future, someone else’s future must be in jeopardy. Obviously, this is unnecessary but it seems to be the way in which the human race has evolved.

So, why am I angry? Because I am forced to capitulate to rules I had nothing to do with making. Because no matter how little I have, an opportunistic charlatan lurks behind every corner, jingling and jangling their Tingsha chimes and trying to drown me in their own mediocrity. Because I and many others who have suffered the indignity of poverty must work twice as hard to get half as far while watching privledged children waste everything they've been given and complain because they weren't given more. Because I know too many people who feel too guilty to to admit that they've done wrong. Because people enforce excessive punishment when a person admits to wrong doing. Therefore, why the fuck should anyone admit to anything?

Right now, I don’t hate the world but I hate its wasted potential. The greedy screaming of the masses is deafening and it has been keeping me awake lately. It wants gas, like the Germans in “The Tin Drum". It wants Santa Claus. It wants Faith, Hope, and Love. Everyone wants to be a Star Bellied Sneetch. I’m tired and I want to go to sleep. But I can’t sleep lately. I'm just too angry.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Avoidance Ain't Just A River in Kmet

A shout out to my buddy Rain, who scared me into a good mood this morning. Two snaps up in the Z formation.

The game is afoot in the White Trash Moulin Rouge. My new neighbor is masquerading as a carpenter but in Real Life, I think he’s a drug dealer. Each time I walk past his apartment, the smell of cheap grocery store incense (Strawberry, no doubt though once in a head shop I saw incense labeled “Pussy”. I’m rather intrigued by that. I wonder if people burn it when they’re rubbing one out staring at cheap internet porn? Certainly, this guy is the type: sweaty, vacuous, and lives alone) inches out of the bottom of his door, doing a very poor job of masking the copious amounts of ganja with which he is no doubt rocking the night away. Personally, I don't care if he's drug dealer. I encourage people to use drugs if it makes them easier to deal with. I used to live with drug dealers. Trust me, some people are much better off stoned. It's the people that come to buy the drugs. They're not nice. No, not at all.

My landlord came by tonight. I rarely see him, mostly because I try to avoid him at all costs. He stares at my tits, not in the furtive, not trying to notice kind of way that most men do but with great relish and enthusiasm. Usually, our conversations end with my arms wrapped around my torso straight jacket style trying to keep the ‘ladies’ hidden. “C’mon,’ I’m thinking, “They can’t be THAT great.” Who am I fooling? They truly ARE that great. No reason to open season on the poor gals though. He creeps me out on that level of course, but there’s something truly disturbing about a man who looks just like Santa Claus with a whiskey bloom in the center of his face that reminds me of those Los Alamos films from the Cold War. Anyway, he handed me a piece of paper that instructed all of us to lock up tight and hold down the fort since my neighbor got burgled last night. This severely cramps my style of late. I was in self-imposed exile for quite a while and I am kind of liking getting out. And my poor neighbor Isaac, the guy who does summer stock in New York every year. He has to come back knowing that some asshole turned his hard earned stuff into ill gotten gains.

Crime outside of prostitution and the occasional fight or two on my street is rare. I’m actually very shocked that it happened. Then again, this does offer me quite an opportunity. I’ve been very, very pissed off at the world, hence the exile. Stayed at home for a few days doing nothing but writing and listening to Freedy Johnston's "Bad Reputation" which is my new theme song. Things are pretty much going my way except for the financial struggle that most students must endure from time to time. This is different though. I got played and played hard. I got pissed because I knew deep down I was getting played but I like to give people chances when they’re sad and down on their luck. Turns out that what I suspected was pretty much true. Often times, when people are sad and down on their luck, they’re seeking a shoulder not to cry on, but to step on to get to the next rung on their ladder. This is the story of the hen, who asked all the farm animals for help planting the seeds, sowing the fields, and harvesting the wheat. When the hard times were upon her, the other animals turned the other hoof. When it was time to eat the bread though, they were sharpening their butter knives.

All this comes down to two things for me: If it looks like a dog, yada yada. The new neighbor really looks like a dog, too. I’m not kidding. And not a cute dog, because no one loves dogs more than I do. A vile, horrid dog he is and a horrid, vile dog is he. He’s not a low down, dirty dog, like the playa I was telling you about. Don’t know which one I’d rather see groveling with my six inch stiletto up his ass. Life’s full of tough choices. I can roll with the punches.

The second thing is the burning hope that some asshole tries to fuck up my scene with burglary or some such shit. I’m really pissed off right now and a lady like me, with the mood I’m in, with a history of a not-so-stable state of mind yearns for only two words: Probable Cause.

Oh please please, please Lord, when’s goin’ be my time?