Heated Hatred (Poem)

It’s hot, so hot I cannot be myself.

I can’t sleep cannot think.

Sweat and hot air engulf me.

This heat makes me hate my life.

Hate what I’m doing and can’t do what I need to now.

Makes me want to quit and die.

All I’m doing is escaping, in search shade, shelter, cold air.

AC is not within the threshold of my owned power.

The whole week it’s been this way.

High temperature and humidity.

It started Sunday, now it’s Thursday, and although it’s by far the coolest point of the hellish week my good will is shattered completely.

I can’t focus on art and just want to be lazy.

Everyone I meet today is irritable or impatient.

All our good vibrations consumed by southernly a devil.

Again I stop and try to re-imagine this shitty situation.

Thinking about hotter places, hotter days, people who did and do work in states of greater oppression.

This heat is really nothing, not the best but far from the worse.

I’m not living in a desert or dwelling under a Georgia sun.

I have a choice to remain under a roof and even am allowed a blasting fan.

No this time will pass and I will return to my familiar self – refreshed and reformed.

The mild weather where I live is like a friend seen taken for granted.

But someday soon I’ll quit this heat and go somewhere even cooler.

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Self-Reflection: Memory Filled

I’m washing dishes after my waking breakfast. I peer at the box for Waltz with Bashir. I had done an incomplete watching the film earlier in the week. The piano music and then the sequence explaining false memories generated to fill the gaps of reality or one’s own identity. Memory is alive, an alternating composition of memory objectively needed by an individual. This explanation rekindles my own remembrance of another explanation that the mind creates a narrative for a person on any given day. Then on any given day, the life story is the soul or identity of the person. Identity will always change depending on the state of happiness or sadness we feel at a given time, and our memories are remixed and prioritized as such.

Even as I washed utensils I recalled these memories of knowledge which inform my thinking I had, and am now remembering, having again. I am thinking about thoughts that informed me from a manufactured experience that I have absorbed, recollect the process of absorption. What is this process of processing: Re-processing, mixing, dissection, clarification? All those methods for describing the mind morphing my own thoughts. A warped memory depicting ghost in the shell flashed within me. It happened when considering how my objectives are altered by artificial experience turned into owned memory.

Before breakfast, I exercised my muscles. After that, I showered and thought how so much working out is pitiful compared to ancestral nomadic humans whose bodies were maximal shells of tough muscle and bone. All that physical development made by hard toil of running and hunting. A never-ending toil for survival is what informed humans. I can absorb media in many forms and methods. Such learning excites and challenges my identity, but it doesn’t usually push my capacity for survival. Survival still just means shelter and money. Yet my own story is being filled by experiences made by other people which become my experiences.

Still, the mind selects objectives for a person depending on the memory of an experience. Neanderthals possessed an identity of just wanting to fend off hunger and obtain pleasure whenever possible. It’s too easy for me to fend off hunger and devote too much time to pleasure. Yet the memories of hunger and fear must’ve informed the early humans to peak physical form. My own warped memories and well-insulated lifestyle have filled the gaps in my soul. So much reading, watching, and listening makes me vaguer when I consider myself. I am just someone seeking the best sights and shocking truths, and my body reflects that.

The Color of Poverty

In my childhood school days, every piece of content was designed to brighten the classroom. A time for promoting high self-esteem, equality, and diversity within in kids. The icon of an extending rainbow atop different ethnic faces stands out in my mind. The notion that every person should embrace their own unique sense of self-rooted in their culture. The culture of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, interests, and genetic makeup. All those differences blended together into a harmonic belief of diversity, represented by various bands of color united into one form of beauty.

I am a believer that diversity is beneficial. It is better to have a variety of people so that a group can better adapt and solve problems together. Being conformist, singular, and exclusionary creates ignorance and segregation is slow development. Diversity embracement brings up everyone while segregation hinders everyone. Diversity and inclusion mean a united purpose amongst different people. However, the positive message of diversity has not patched up segregation. Segregation doesn’t exist legally due to skin color. It does exist in the division of the urban landscape, places of work, and communities of worship. How can the overwhelming support in schools for equality and diversity not solve this issue?

Addressing anti-racism based on complexion and customs is easy enough to dictate. The moral compass of a good-bad morality makes it easy to detect that embracing difference is good and prejudice of different people is bad. But skin color is just an indicator that evokes misconceptions in a person. There is another factor that produces a big difference among people – wealth. Rich people in contrast to poor people. From infancy, in school, and then working, the amount of wealth a person impacts their well-being. If you are poor your achievement in school is more likely to be low and the likelihood you’ll be discriminated is high. The income level of individuals, families, and communities is the sort of difference that is not embodied in a popular image of diversity.

A program of diversity inspired by a dialogue of white-guilt versus black-demand can amend laws and encourage inclusion, but it will not address income inequality. It’s poverty that informs why classes of people who are black, latino, and asian people have been historically beneath the white class. The white class holds more wealth and is given more access and influential power. This sort of diversity of segregation generates a dialogue that causes unrest and instability in the narrative of civilization and society. The wealthy deserve to rule and should not be disturbed and the poor will be managed by the rich. Ignorant people can just say white people have more money and are better behaved than non-white people because that’s how they are. That is a perceived state of human nature, it doesn’t require explanation. Therefore white people must command the non-whites.

Thinking about the hierarchy of racial prejudice and socioeconomic observations can be easily overwhelming in scope. Instead, I want to return to the rainbow of diversity. Specifically that the symbolic rainbow cannot represent economic differences of people. If it did, then poverty, a poor person would be in the rainbow too. So what would the color of poverty be?

If you think brown it probably would be considered a reflexive racist idea. So let’s safely select a neutral color, let’s say it’s gray. Gray seems depressing and does the tone lighten or darken depending on levels of poverty. A tone of living from paycheck to paycheck, or homelessness? I don’t recall ever hearing about lessons of poverty and I’m sure there were peers with me who were poor and never vocalized it. It’s a type of shame that is good, to not speak about. Even the color selection of gray informs a bias point of view. Gray is neutral, meaning unwilling to comprehend such injustice and the color gray is not naturally in a rainbow. That color doesn’t work and is outside the rainbow. Maybe that means everyone in the rainbow is middle class, comfortable and happy with the state of things. So the wealthy live on the rainbow and the poor on the gray stones beneath the bands of color.

Return to income equality. Thinking about it more implies personal values. In the United States, money is important not just for living but is also an indicator of success. The more you own the more successful you must be because you earned something that works well. But in some other cultures, largely concentrated wealth is not important. To not have a lot may not be a shame. Those societies tend to be egalitarian and made less complex by advanced industry. The earned wealth is shared among all people despite the role they play in earning. Each individual has less than the modern earner but can have a well-earned lifestyle. People who don’t have much may be just as happy or happier than other people who possess more wealth. Typically we are made to feel ashamed yet again when wealth is flaunted. We should all feel bad that we aren’t as rich as other people. So we just compete for wealth and do not unite for a better life.

Cultural inclusion and diversity are important. Despite decades of trying to squash racism and struggles for civil liberties the problems of division still exist. True inequality is about an obsession for levels of possession. Equality is about being candid about poverty as the true form of inequality. Poverty is only real in opposition to concentrated wealth. So what is the color of poverty?

No Faith In Imagination

The last time I went to an art museum I realized visitation is a bit of a drag. It was the David Hockney exhibit at the MET. Every museum in NYC is crowded on a weekend. Numbers in crowds don’t always bother me. A lot of people equals a lot of activity, culture, refinement concentrated and accessible. Well, I didn’t find that exactly. I just found a bunch of raiders looking for the next piece of art to clip into their collaged collection. Visitors just floating around rooms in silence, smart phones in hand to record awkward angles in sub-par quality. Cheapening reality into the backdrops for self-portraiture. Snap shots of priceless images, memorialized as snap shots. Probably half the few minutes spent at each person spends at a painting is just for capturing a picture for keeps. I’m guilty of this practice to some degree. I stand, I look, and occasionally I snap a picture on my camera.

The more time I spent living in the silence of feet shuffling around galleries and electronic screens firing off shutter sound bytes, the more pathetic everything appeared. I wanted to spend anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes looking at painting that grabbed my attention. The highway traffic flow of the people in the room made me feel like a pedestrian on a curb. What are these people absorbing at the show? Are they looking at the reality of a painting or camera?

Culture is just a form of memorability. Having pictures to share represents form but that isn’t culture. I cannot remember every mark of painting. But if I close my eyes I can summon the image back to my conscience. It may be fleeting and impossible to explain or compose but its with me. The painting lives inside me. But since I can’t share that it means less than a photo file. Nothing matters unless it was recorded for show. All the visitors won’t remember the artwork clearly since their personal machine recalls. Recalls the event of the art, perhaps not the art however.  People have no patience with their lives. They won’t commit to just staring a little longer at an image to feed their memory. They have no faith in their own imagination. Instead the machines hold the memory for them. A good question would be ask everyone what they remember from the show and why. Otherwise it’s just a broken flow of peering at screens and gawking at other passer-byres.

If the device broke, if the server crashed, if the data was erased. The exhibits are pointless, the artwork is be dead. Dead since the visitors won’t remember it. And since they can’t remember it, there’s nothing to say about it – no talking.

USA! USA! USA! Buy!

I just purchased a refillable ink cartridge system for my Artisan 1430 printer. I made this purchase to save money by no longer purchasing single use cartridges from EPSON, which are vastly more costly. But before I made a new purchase I cautiously compared manufacturers by product appearance, name, website design, reviews, and called customer service. Later I narrowed my choices between two online store sites: Ink X Pro, and Ink Jet Mall, for my future supplier. Ink x pro was half the price, but the website details were less meaty and seemed generic. I called the service line and indeed I heard the foreign accent of Andy on a message machine. Andy the sales representative did return my call. He told me the inks were made in Korea and he could not clearly confirm the archival quality. Ink Jet Mall is a company located in Vermont. It’s small, with premium prices, but has loads of information, and phone service was fast and personable.

It was tempting to go with the cheaper option. But I could sense that using a 3rd party accessory on my name brand printer would yield terrible results if I chose a weak product with hard to reach, or low-achieving customer service. Going with the Ink Jet Mall service was more expensive. Yet I have a sounder feeling in my choice since it’s American made. So by purchasing with them l I am supporting my northeastern and national economy.

Then as I reflected on the apparent nationalist appraisal I was giving for the American company versus the Korean maker, my mind delved into the geographical differences of the two companies. From where I reside Vermont is less logistically complex than faraway  Korea. In Korea I have no idea how the time zone difference would affect future communications. And all the controversial news of the two Korea’s and U.S. irritation made me think of what would happen to my supply bottom line if havoc occurred on the Korean peninsula. If bombs went off and obliteration occurred the market share of ink x pro would be in peril, halted, or demolished. Really if any major world war happened many services and products people in modern nations enjoy would be cut off. The invisible routes of mechanization in a global economy are too vast for me to comprehend. Therefore I cannot truly know what sort of existence would happen if the wonders of modern production ceased bringing tools and materials to my doorstep and store shelves.

If the military-industrial complex does spur wars to happen, and wars continue in small nations worthy of collateral damage, how can a global economy tolerate the possibility of a WWIII? A world war would just atomize international relations. Then it would be up to nations own capacity to fulfill all their own industrial needs, or re-establish alliances for trade. The possibility of nuclear attacks and all out war is like a wave of water. It’s so tidal we can’t see it coming until it’s about to crash, and even as it approaches we may not comprehend how big and hard it will be when it hits the shore. I suppose if I am going to be a real self-serving hedonist I should purchase as many things as possible within the United States. Living in a country with largest amount of armaments and defense technology means I am behind a wall. The only good thing for me with this wall is that my friendly U.S. factories can survive while everything outside North America burns. Neo-liberalism the only policy which keeps the urge for wide scale war from breaking out. I suppose if the President says we have so many bad deals for the U.S. Then he really is ready to let the world smolder.

The Fate of the Middle Rung

The structure of class in the U.S. is segregated by top, middle, and bottom. To be at the top is a life of luxury and authority. The middle supports the top in exchange for watered-down privileges. In the bottom people’s bodies are batter by work and always at risk of joining the poor. That’s a familiar belief I have heard often.

But the bottom really just means the poor people who are better dressed than ever, but endure despair because their sense of freedom is dim. People in the middle endure inflated illusions of entitlement and self-worth. I say illusion because the identity of a prevailing class of people is hemorrhaging. A member of the middle class believes in their rewards of working services for the upper class makes them similar due to aspiration for riches. The middle class is more closely aligned with the rich, even though they are in servants like the poor.

This worries me because that alliance middle and upper is a huge segment which bolsters the rich minority. And the alliance leaves the middle class of American society is morally frozen. Middle class must conform to the wealth generation of corporate industry. Even if there they hear stories of pollution, violence, ignorance, and imbalance – those evils will not be attributed to corporations. Even if they the old echoes of Darwinian ethics will just ring out, “That’s the way its”. That the nature of human society is unjust because it’s so uncontrollable. So live well and do better personally is all that matters to the middle class. The poor workers are rough physically and weak mentally and should be hated. A middle class that will not protest the rich and disregards the poor. There is some grave destiny for the middle class in these ideas, so what is it exactly?

When I reflect on this narrative I feel uncertain because I do not know where I fall. My finances reflect a working class income. I am dressed in middle class appearance but live in a modest house. Strangers on the street assume I am doing better and the beggars see me as having cash stuffed in my pockets. Everyone who is in the middle is living a lie based on material camouflage. I think the world would be totally different if it was thought about like this…

To survive is to endure pain. To live is understanding what that pain means. Life has to be understood otherwise is doesn’t exist. The level of required survival that I know about is summed up by the middle class concept of, “that no matter what’s happening everything is going to be alright”.  Such optimism generally means that hardship can be turned around.  But another meaning can be that things just can’t get too difficult because there are so many things and processes in place that maintain safety. This idea of well endowed safety is best believed by the middle rungs of American society.

The aspects of our societal safety are the shelters, tools, groceries, and medicines that are well established in our lives. Scarcity of these items has been eliminated. Even if someone does not have much money, the excessive ways of people liters the earth with abandoned valuables, and the poor to collect it all. So what is our struggle in a land of plenty? Is the struggle just a conflict of over consumption: eating too much food, weighed down by holding on to too much, or just avenues of drugs and thrills?

In an older world our ancestors once feared for wanting property and guaranteed livelihood. I wander a world that only demands land for too much money and acquiring tossed fruits only slightly spoiled. In fact the large amounts of wealth accumulated by the living only spills out to other people once there is death. Similar people by and large have identical possessions. So much duplicity can just feed the material wants of people to the point that the need to purchase new things outright is unnecessary. Even if the population soars it can’t match the clones of cloned items, innovated and marketed again repeatedly. Appetites are numbed and our society is bloated. People aren’t happy when bloated; their irritable, sluggish, moan a lot. That description sounds like the majority of Americans I meet, these people are afflicted with mild depression and practice nasty antagonism towards each other in order to bury the greater reality, of staggering depression.

What is the cure for bloated depression then? Well, lets loose some weight. Go on a diet and cut the fat out. Make a true work of art and get rid of the useless parts that are ugly. Maybe if everything has been given to us and there is only plenty, we just should do nothing. No work, maybe play, definitely make room for some stupidity, and just starve. Starve the fat because the bodies we inhabit do not cry from hunger pains. In just a generation or two we can shrink the behemoth inheritances of property, bank accounts, insurance policies, and retirement funds to zero. At the end of our lives, we’ll budget our century long existence to just enough days of heat and food to last until our expiration date.

When we in the middle are gone only the hives will be left. All the tools and luxuries turned into artifacts and then dust. A skeletal world will stand where too many of us stood. And everyone else who was too poor and too rich to achieve a lulling departure, are fated to live out an even more cruel life.