TELL YOUR GOD…

Scrub…

There’s too much gore,
it seeps down through the floorboards,
and drips down
on
the new generation,
those who were told fairy tales
instead of history.

And even in the savagest of days,
it became obvious to the storytellers
that people rather wanted to escape
the awful truth
that is human nature
and the beautiful environment they destroy
in order to create their failing utopia.

They prefer stories of heroics,
turning ordinary men in biblical saints
and the soldiers into daunting warriors,
and people would shudder in their presence,
the quick draw,
the bolt of lightning,
the bullet carrying them into oblivion,
how they never see it coming,
the smoke billowing out of the revolver.

And they need these stories
don’t you see?
They need them or else they will lose their minds.

And it gets so dark sometimes,
when you look back far enough,
when you notice the gore from the ceiling,
when you notice it on your shirt,
when you see people scrubbing it off their clothes
every day
and when you tell them what they are doing
they say they know,
and they shrug
and they say ”that’s how it’s gotta be.”

Scrub, scrub…

And they tell you to not worry,
cos
the people won’t stand for it.
Eventually they will get of their ass
and fix their gory mess
and make it look like it never happened.
They will find a way to turn back time.
They tell you that the eaters of children
will eat themselves too,
the hunger is too great
and can never be fully satiated.
It’s too powerful and too meaningless
and we are not meant to cope with it,
it is meant to destroy us.
And when that happens,
the darkness will slither away
and the light will come through.
And once people see it they will travel to that place
and inspired by the light
they will create a better world,
a world that will never repeat the mistakes of the past.

Yes, yes, don’t you worry young man,
the light will always take over.

The light always takes over.

And the way to do this is to keep those kids
young,
because in their smiles
you can imagine
the light coming through.
And it’s so beautiful,
you’ll forget about all the gore.

Scrub, scrub…. 

But you can’t stop it,
But it can’t last,
age will take away the light…
You remember the limerick an aging angel or demon once told you:
”There are things that are coming
and things we won’t see coming
and are coming anyway.”

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor deadwood show blood
***

Eventually you will conform
because that’s the sane thing to do
because living with open eyes
is a good way
to lose your mind.

So you will scrub the gore on the floor
Scrub, scrub…
and listen to the stories
and after a while,
you will even start to believe the stories.
They will give you hope.
They will give you dreams
about all the things you could achieve,
about being the main character in one of those stories,
to be an old man and look back with pride
and say to your foolish and privileged grandkids
”all you gotta do is work hard.”
And sometimes you had to be a little vicious
and cut some throats.
It’s the way the world works,
it’s the bloody game we must play.
And as you sit on your throne,
and look down on your kingdom,
you will actually believe you deserve all of this,
this kingdom where you have 24/7 cleaners who scrub away the gore,
making sure you will never see it.

A hundred years later they will make movies
and TV-shows
out of these ordinary men and warriors
and it will inspire people
and the real subjects have been dead so long
and you wonder what they will think,
you wonder if they will us the truth about who they really were.

And if they would
would you even listen?
Or would you choose not to-
because the stories are so much better
and it’s easier to live with yourself that way.
Or would you simply tell them to shut up and start scrubbing,
because the kids will be home soon
and they will be hungry.
And
Remember:
soon when they be old enough
to ask uncomfortable questions.
They will ask about the blood seeping through the floorboards
and you have to warn them not to upstairs and look,
you gotta convince them that it’s better to stay down here,
where it’s warm
and
the illusions are thick with glitter
and
smell like bleach.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor deadwood blood

***

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Seven Reasons Why Black Panther is Overrated

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Beware the comment section. Since this article will touch upon some of the more troubling aspects of identity-politics, it will undoubtedly cause some polemic debate.
If you don’t like this film, then apparently you’re not seeing things clearly. If you don’t necessarily subscribe to some of the political rhetoric spoken by the film’s hero and its villain, then you are in dire need of enlightenment. If you are skeptical about the film’s cultural importance, then your views must be clouded by the privilege of your skin-color.
This article will not be solely devoted to the manic following of Black Panther’s perceived social significance, but also on the film’s aesthetic flaws. With all this, it must be said that Black Panther is a good film and certainly deserves to be, at the very least, in the top ten of the Marvel staple. While I don’t personally take these films in such a regard as many others do, I do admit that they are well made films and Black Panther’s idiosyncratic style, thanks to the directorial whims of Ryan Coogler, makes it stand out among the more generic ones.
But I do feel that much of the film’s lauded praise has less to do with the film’s quality and more to do with the culture of identity-politics. It’s about what many people perceive this film rather than what it actually is.

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Identity-politics, whether in favor or not, has been a profitable marketing tactic. Even if it might alienate a large group, it will also encourage a lot of people to see it, even if the product in question is not nearly as political as many people think. The goal is to manufacture hype by any means possible, one of them could be via the exploitation of the current political culture. The retweets, the tedious debates on Youtube, the clickbait articles, it’s all about getting people curious and making people give up their money willingly. Once you finally see the film, you realize that despite the film’s many qualities, it’s still nothing more than a well-made corporate product.
None of this makes this a bad film but we need to be honest about its flaws and ponder critically, whether or not, Black Panther really means what many think it does. No matter how smart we think we are, nobody’s truly immune to smart marketing. Our most favorite corporate predators know exactly how to lead us into their jaws by flooding our face-book and twitter-feed with hot button issues. Nobody’s really ”woke” because the trap is too well-crafted and before you know it, we are amidst fake-outrage and fake-news. We are desperately protecting our bubble from discourse and while this is happening; the moneymakers are just making more and more money.
It’s a brave new world, but nothing much has changed.

7. The Standard Marvel Ending

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Besides Black Panther’s idiosyncratic flourishes, from its African-inspired score and slight political subtext, it could not escape the dumbed down, all too familiar Marvel ending. There is your standard countdown followed by massive (computer-enhanced) explosions. Worst of all, the ending of Black Panther involves people riding CGI rhino’s. And it’s as dumb as you can imagine.
All of this ruins the suspense it could have engineered if it kept it smaller, more intimate, more character based. We don’t need armies flocking into each other, save that for the next Avenger installment- which from the looks of the trailer looks positively exhausting.
The actual violence, because it needs to appeal to a younger audience too, is relatively bloodless and without grit. It’s hard to be worried about the main character if he can survive spectacular injuries without sustaining much if any serious injury. I know it’s part of the genre itself, but this is why Logan, with its visceral bloodletting was something special. It just becomes tedious and boring and you’re just waiting for the noise to stop. Not every Marvel film needs to turn into a CGI cartoon at the end.
What they don’t seem to understand is that people aren’t as hungry for this action anymore. People really want to care about the characters. If the viewer is already invested in the characters, you don’t need to go overboard, you can make it nice and simple and be often more effective that way- as the final season of Sherlock should have done. The relatively fight scene between Captain and Iron Man for instance, where you are watching two characters you care about fighting each other, is more exciting than anything we see at the end of Black Panther.

6. The Wasted Potential of Killmonger

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The most baffling praise for Black Panther goes to its main villain: Killmonger. The character has become quite popular, deemed one of the best villains in the lackluster rogues’ gallery of the MCU and some articles have even theorized that he’s the real hero of the film. This might be due to Michael B. Jordan’s excellent performance which most certainly stands out. But the character itself, his history and motivations, have so much more potential and the film barely reaches the surface.
When we are first introduced to Killmonger, he’s standing in a London Museum lecturing a museum-curator about her country’s colonial past. Soon enough she is brutally murdered by his criminal partners and he doesn’t seem to care about her life at all. his introduction shows ruthlessness which continues throughout the film, right until his final demise- there’s even a scene where he kills one of the film’s heroes, slicing her throat right in front of her friends and smiling as he does it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because he’s the villain after all but the film hints at his nobler intentions, in his wish to save ”his people” from oppression. This is the aspect that makes him popular among his fans. For many he seems to represent the vengeful fury of the victims of colonialism, a product of the great many sins of the past. If this is true, the writing simply fails to properly exploit this idea.
There’s a wonderful scene where Killmonger enters the spirit-world and meets his estranged father. We witness his muted humanity, his father’s regrets for having inspired him on his corrupt path. The problem here is that we never see the struggle of Killmonger’s youth and looking at his accomplishments, he seems to have done quite well for himself- if one aspires to be a murderous mercenary.
We don’t see and only get a vague idea of Killmonger’s activist-education. He apparently wants to liberate people of ”oppression” but what cultures is he specifically talking about? About the oppression of women and gays in Arabic countries perhaps? A great part of his mission was motivated by vengeance and this makes more sense this way, yet the film keeps reminding us of his more noble intentions. All of this would have been interesting to explore but since this is a Marvel film, we can only get the bare minimum of his interesting motivations. If it didn’t have to appeal to the general fan-base of Marvel, we could have gotten something far more interesting.
His dying words comes with the mention slavery but the emotion behind them seems hollow, closer to the hypocritical jabbering of an extremist lunatic than a noble warrior. It seems tacked on, not genuine. There’s so much more potential here. It’s not enough to make references to colonialism or refugees. It deserves more than what the film gave us.
The excessive love for the character, in my mind, seems to represent a disturbing trend in identity-politics, where a character is revered for espousing anti-colonial rhetoric no matter his murderous deeds. All I saw was a ruthless mercenary whose nobler intentions were vague and hypocritical. If the film wasn’t engulfed in Marvel superficiality, perhaps the character would have been given more humanity and clearer motivation.

5. The Supporting Characters Are More interesting than Black Panther

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A common issue with superhero films is that the main hero is often overshadowed by either the villains or the supporting cast. The Dark Knight is a perfect example of this- everybody was talking about Heath Ledger performance instead of Christian Bale’. As the long the lead is compelling enough, it doesn’t necessarily have to hurt the film’s quality.
But even though Chadwick Boseman is certainly a capable actor and does more than a fine job, you do find yourself wishing by the end of the film that it focused more on T’Challa’s trusted bodyguard Okoye (played wonderfully by Danai Gurira). One of the most memorable sequences in the film, is Okoye’s fight scene in the casino. Perhaps it’s the unusual but fun theme song of Okoye that plays in the background, but we get such an equally exciting moment with Black Panther.
Part of this is because T’Challa is written as a virtuous character with nearly no flaws while Okoye for example is shown to be temperamental and passionate. There’s also T’Challa’s industrious sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) who humorously questions Wakanda’s customs and has a youthful excitement throughout the events of the film. It’s not that T’Challa doesn’t have a decently written arc-his discovery of his father’s moral compromise and his decision to mend the sins of the past- it just doesn’t make his character anymore compelling.
Perhaps one could argue that his virtuous nature is akin to Superman but T’Challa is also mopier, taking his duty as Black Panther almost as a burden. Superman meanwhile did it for truth, justice and the American way. The script simply doesn’t allow the character to have enough fun.

4. Troubling Character Motivations

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We already established the flawed motivations of Killmonger but it’s his followers, most notably W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) that are the most frustrating upon reflection. W’Kabi becomes a devoted follower of Killmonger after he brought forth the body of a called Klaue (Andy Serkis who sadly departs the film far too early), one of Wakanda’s greatest foes which Black Panther had failed to apprehend. While the film does set this up early on, it still fails to make sense and almost seems unnecessary, just there to add some more bloat to a film that already has enough going on.
It just doesn’t feel right. He would betray a trusted friend, show little to no remorse for his death and then commence with mass genocide? Not to mention accepting the brutal slaying of faithful elder statesman Zuri (Forest Whitaker). In the final climatic battle we even see W’Kabi trying to kill Black Panther and when that fails, he’s willing to maim and murder the dissenters of Killmonger’s regime. He only changes his mind when he’s confronted by his beloved Okoye.
Why would any man, certainly someone as reasonable as W’Kabi, follow Killmonger, someone who obviously shows signs of mentally instability. I know some people are thinking about a current world-leader right now but regardless of how unstable that particular person might be, at least he didn’t try and murder one of your oldest friends.
The fact that so many would follow Killmonger, even the elder statesmen makes little sense. But that brings me to my next point…

3. The Contradictory World of Wakanda

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Many people perceive Wakanda as an imaginary part of Africa which has been untouched by the horrors of colonialism. Wakanda is supposedly Africa without the usual horrors associated to it, not to mention far more technologically advanced than the Western world. A great premise to explore one day but it’s not the story we see in Black Panther. The problem with this interpretation lies in the film’s opening where it explains that Wakanda’s technological superiority came from a meteorite made out of the fictional resource of Vibranium, that crash-landed there centuries before. If the origins of Wakanda wasn’t fostered by interstellar magic, then this interpretation would have made some sense.
But even with the magic of vibranium, the tribalism at the center of Wakanda’s political ruling is a recipe for disaster. It’s supposed to be an advanced society but it’s a miracle it hasn’t collapsed in its early inception. In order to become the ruler of Wakanda you have to fight to the death with one of the tribal leaders. This is exactly what happens when Killmonger shows up and challenges T’Challa to a duel.
This just seems contradictory to the peaceful and soulful world of Wakanda. The scriptwriters tried to make the world seem like a secret Eden, a place that all other Western nations should be encouraged to imitate. But the savagery inherent in Wakanda’s society doesn’t merge at all with the screenwriter’s original intent. This doesn’t mean that its society should work with the exact same democratic principles of Western society, but it would work in the film’s favor if becoming the political ruler of Wakanda means being good in civil discourse rather than mortal combat.
Once again, due to the limitations of the superhero-genre and the Marvel formula, we never get to see this beautiful fantasy of Africa, untouched by colonialism. We only get a little taste. And that’s all Black Panther gives us. A taste of something special, but it never really gets there.

2. The Limitations of Being a Marvel Product

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My main problem is that the film was ultimately just another Marvel product. This means that the filmmakers were allowed to stray only so far until they had to revert back to the comfortable formula. As I said previously, the viewer only gets a taste of something different, something that could have been very special to the genre. Having an almost all-black cast doesn’t make the story and its predictable outcomes necessarily riskier, it just makes it more bold on the surface while beneath everything stays the same.
The screenwriters were mostly inspired by the modern Black Panther comics by Ta-Nehisi Coates and if they had been more faithful to his work, then we certainly would have gotten a more risqué and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the riskier traits of these comics, which included far more science-fiction weirdness, gay characters and a more in-depth look at the strange politics of Wakanda, cannot fit in a Marvel film. At the same time, one has to admit that a more faithful adaptation would have probably alienated most viewers and not make it as ludicrously profitable as it has been.
But I would have loved seeing this version of Black Panther. It might have been too out-there for its good, but it would have been certainly been more interesting.

1. The Need for Black Panther’s Cultural Importance

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The adherents of Identity-politics needed Black Panther to be important, just as they needed Wonder Woman to be important. And while it’s certainly good to see modern superhero movies with an almost all-black cast or a female lead, the religious love for the mere concept of these films overshadows the truth about what these kind of films were and have always been: a corporate product. They are made by extremely wealthy people starring extremely wealthy people and the purpose of its existence is to gather more excessive wealth. There is certainly some creative spark in the inception of both these films but the end-result, no matter how entertaining, is ultimately compromised by the studio-executives who want this film to appeal to as many countries as possible.
The sad thing is that there are plenty of independent films out there with a diverse cast who are often forgotten in the face of these big blockbusters. These films are made with tiny budgets but they are made with immense passion and in the end, have so much more to say than any Marvel film.
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Film journalism has become tainted with identity-politics, some of it rather cynically. Black Panther and Wonder Woman were seemingly universally praised and though though I’m not suggesting it was solely due to the culture of identity-politics, it was undoubtedly a factor for many reviewers. Taking a nuanced stance has rarely been profitable.
There’s the case of click-bait articles, the manufacturing of moral outrage. A film can be outright condemned from its inception, simply by not casting a diverse enough lead or cast. Films are constantly dissected through the lens of identity-politics and sometimes the point of the film gets lost- one of the most frustrating examples of this was Blade Runner 2049 imaginary misogynistic subtext or the imaginary racist subtext in Three Billboards in Ebbing Missouri.
Suddenly these bloated and expensive superhero movies are staples of civil-rights. They are not. They are made for profit. The money doesn’t go to a righteous cause, the money goes to the moneymakers. The excessive amount of money these filmmakers and performers receive is far more problematic than any white-washing. If people really care about inequality in Hollywood culture, then perhaps the focus should be less on diversity and more on wealth inequality.
Neither Black Panther or Wonder Woman are bad in their respective genres but neither are they game-changers or anything significantly different. The common argument is that they portray positive role-models for children in their respective gender and race, but in my mind, these role-models should not come from our Hollywood manufactured products. They should come from the heroes of history, real people who fought for civil-rights and gender equality and were scorned and sometimes even murdered for their righteous mission. Not fictional characters with superhuman strength whose adventures always seem to follow a neat three-act structure.
And while history might not be as entertaining or comforting as these superhero films, at least it’s real life. Perhaps that’s the place we really should be looking at.

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Also published in: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2018/7-reasons-why-black-panther-is-overrated/

***

193

Not everybody wakes up.
Not everybody can redeem themselves.
Not everybody gets a chance to become a better person.
Some are on the right path but die along the way
and their story never gets a happy ending.
Not everybody gets a happy ending.
Nobody’s even entitled to an ending.
Sometimes life just ends.
In the middle of a pop song- you should have been more careful, you should have turned to the right…
Poof.
All of it,
the light in their eyes,
the struggles of the past,
the dreams for the future,
gone, goodbye, sayanora, go fuck yourself.
Like it was nothing, like nothing ever happened, like nobody was even there.
It can be so impersonal,
a big mean surprise.
It can be such a pitiful sight,
seeing the strong wither away into oblivion.
Even those that are considered lucky didn’t even get luxury of dignity
and were deprived the sanctity of their final words-
they forgot them the moment they wanted to share them
and when they remembered the words,
they forgot the meaning of them.
Some, perhaps even most, never got over their personal demons
continued in their darkened path of bad habits and misunderstandings.
The moments of enlightenment too brie
and too painful to linger.

I don’t want it to hurt,
I don’t want to it to be near,
I don’t want to go away
and I’m asking you this,
if you’re listening
though I don’t think you even have that capacity anymore,
to leave me alone for the next 200 hundred years.
I promise I will only waste 193 of them.
The rest will be time well spent.

I promise.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania love and death woody allen
***

Monika

With the awareness of death,
after the last comforting and terrifying word of scripture,
after counting all the stars,
after reading countless peer-reviewed studies
about the lack of human meaning
in
this dark room filled with stars and planets,
and after everything is said and done
after all the warnings ignored
and the future becoming increasingly finite,

love
is
the
only light
that
can
be found
in
the void.

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***

TAKE IT EASY

Yesterday during kick-box training my trainer stopped during one particular exercisewhere I had to exchanged two punches to the other guy
and then receive two punches in return
and the trainer told me to ”take it easy,”
cos ”you don’t know it yet but your face is drained of all color. You won’t notice it until it’s too late and then you’re hugging the floor.”
It’s true,
I didn’t notice anything until I was on my way home
and I felt dizzy and tired,
and it wasn’t until I had a good meal inside me that I felt better.

None of this is something to be ashamed of I guess,
but that’s how I feel.
I should be tough and handle this training
but apparently I’m too weak.
And whenever I leave training,
my trainer always reminds me to ”take it easy”
cos he can see that I’m stressed out too much.

It’s been a tough week for me,
at my job I’ve received negative feedback
because I make sloppy mistakes.
On a personal note,
the boss also told me that my language is too coarse
and when I come into work,
I’m complaining too much
and my colleagues get distracted because of this.
cos more often than not,
I start about something negative
and it’s tiresome listening to some naggy motherfucker all the time.
This affects the work environment.

Naturally she has a point,
cos I know I ain’t easy to deal with at times.
I can feel how uneasy she feels in my company at times
and that she doesn’t know how to deal with me.
Same with my colleagues who’ve witnessed on multiple occasions how quickly my mood switches
from casual to jolly
to depressed.
I could be having a good time
breaking balls with colleagues
then suddenly I’m lost in a ruminating thought
I start hating myself
I feel embarrassed cos they didn’t laugh at one my jokes enough
or
I’m haunted by this fear that I did something inappropriate
and they’ll talk amongst themselves
saying what a piece of shit I am.
And I’m constantly checking myself,
watching my language,
making sure I don’t touch anyone,
cos that would freak me out,
would spur on my OCD
and then I’d fear losing my girlfriend,
the one I love.
And
I know I should challenge my OCD
and not recoil into it.
The more you recoil into it
the stronger it gets.
But it’s too hard
and even after a few victories,
one failure can put me seemingly back to square one.

There’s all these things I want to achieve:

I want to be a great boxer,
and I do a match one day-
become a decent amateur (despite the fact I’m close to my thirties and I’m just starting out).

I want to be a great writer
and
create multitudes of
short stories,
novella’s
novels,
screenplays
and plays
cos there’s so many stories in my head
but I’ve wasted so many of them
and I never finish anything.

I want to be a great Buddhist,
be meditative and calm
and teach people how to approach life.

And all of these things are hard
and I guess I want too much
cos I also gotta go to work
and I don’t like this work but I gotta make money.

I gotta sleep on time
or
else I’ll be tired and cranky at work.

I gotta eat healthy too or else I’ll feel bloated
and my man-boobs will get bigger.

My girlfriend tells me
to just focus on having fun with boxing and writing
but I haven’t been having fun doing either of those things in quite some time.
I feel horrible when I’m doing it
and I feel horrible when I’m not doing it.
So I don’t do it as much anymore
and just mindlessly watch TV shows and movies
and dream about doing it in the near future.
And when I go to sleep I dream about this man I want to be,
even though I don’t think I can ever be this man.
I think it’s too late to be this man,
I lost my shot for being this man,
this interesting and inspiring artist.
I think it was there somewhere in the past
but I fucked up
and choose self-pity instead.
Cos that was always easier,
cos telling yourself you will always fail
is easier than working hard and
achieving something…

So now that I’ve gotten this out of the way,
I’m going to get some lunch
and after lunch it’s time to make myself some coffee
and do some writing.

But before I do
I’ll remember what my trainer said:
”take it easy,”

You got that?

I think so.

No thinking,
you gotta be sure.

Yes I’m sure.
I mean how hard can it be?
Just relax, take it easy, have fun.
Should be doable right?

Right.

Tony  Sopranos

***

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

So I was having a discussion with the girlfriend of a friend of mine,
a university student from America
finishing her masters in Holland
and the topic was ”white-privilege.”
A light-skinned girl, she’s intensely dedicated to the subject.
She tells me about the different experiences of races in society,
and how whitey got it easy on many fronts.
Even if whitey is poor with bad upbringing,
it could never be worse than a black man whose poor with bad upbringing.
There are hidden forces working against minorities,
they were forged from its colonial inception,
covered in the blood, sweat and tears of slaves.

”Sure things are better” she says,”but we are still behind, still make relatively less money, still have less people in high government, still get killed by gangs and cops more frequently,
cos history is against us.
Cos we haven’t completely fixed it yet.
Cos we got fucked in the past.”

And
it’s awareness that will heal us,
the white man needs to be aware of his privileges,
how much easier he’s got
cos he ain’t gotta deal with the bullshit the minorities do.
And there’s truth in all of that
but it ain’t the whole truth.
My issue with intersectionalists like her,
is that they tend to collectivize too much
and don’t grasp that suffering is more individual than collective.
Even if one group receives more shit than others,
it still doesn’t mean they suffer more.
Suffering is personal,
suffering is spiritual,
it’s in the mind.
And when you suffer inside your skull,
when you get lost in the mess of the self,
that’s the worst pain of all.

They talk about THE BLACK EXPERIENCE
and there is such a thing
but it ain’t as big as they think.
There is so much more
and so much better. 

Each individual is different
even if they never had an original thought in their mind.
Some are offended more easily,
some have autism and therefore have extremely sensitive stimulus,
some were beaten by their parents
and are always angry but they don’t know why.
Some wanna change the world
others want to fix this one.
Some are scared every day
while some seek dangerous thrills in order to feel alive again.
We all suffer
and even if we got all the privileges in the world,
we can still fuck it up so badly,
we can give it all up for something ridiculous,
we might be blind to our own possibilities
and the possibilities that society can provide for us.
We might not be aware of our innate flaws
until it’s too fucking late.

We might never really know ourselves.
We might feel like we are missing something
but we can never grasp what this thing is.
We are all in one way
victims of society
but we are as much victims to ourselves
to our upbringing
to our genetic programming.

We are all deliriously fucked up.
But we are all human,
and some of us too much so.

We’re
all
part
of
the
the HUMAN EXPERIENCE,
and we come in different colors,
different countries,
different religions,
different offspring,
different cultures,
different genes
and so much differences
and most of them don’t matter
and most of them can be overcome
and most it can be solved by mere acceptance.

We gotta be aware of our differences
but we gotta be aware of what connects us,
we gotta be honest about the past
but we can’t wallow in it.
We gotta move on,
hold hands as we does so,
tell our brothers and sisters
that the road is arduous and long
and there are still many evil people out there
and so many misunderstandings
and so much brooding violence
and so much confusion
and
it’s so easy to get lost along the way.

And yet we gotta try
even if we don’t agree with each other,
even if we see people bumping into brick walls.
Even if all the signs point out
that the future is as fucked as the past.
We gotta do something about all this mess….

It’s quite something,
isn’t it-
this HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

”Don’t you agree?”

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***

Can the Neighborhood Be Saved?

As a child I didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,
it was before my time and from another country.
Instead I grew up like most kids back then,
blinded by different collections of action figures,
they were all pretty much the same
but they were dressed in different ways.
I rewatched countless tapes of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
I thought Shredder,
in his modified Samurai suit,
with blades sticking out from his palms and shins,
was the most bad-ass of all.
There was the Disney Palace,
the murmur of angels in the background,
the star that flew around it,
the jingle that will forever be stuck in my subconscious.
There were cartoons bashing each other’s heads in,
those who could never die,
there was always the victor
and the sufferer
and the game never got old.

But even if it aired in my time and in my country, it wouldn’t have caught on. The world had changed too much. No matter how inviting Mr. Rogers’ smile, the kids rather want to see something that sparkles or explodes. They rather want to watch a swashbuckling hero stab a series of nameless villains then hear the wise words of a sock-puppet.

The times have changed now. There’s too much available. The marketers know the game too well. The parents let it happens, the parents couldn’t have done anything about it even if they wanted to. The parents were too distracted themselves by the newest gadgets, building up their pension and Christmas bonuses. The marketers got them in their pockets too. It’s everything you stood against Mr. Rogers. But you see, in your day, television entertainment wasn’t as evolved as it is now. Now things can be created out of thin air, by computers. Now there’s so much money at stake. So much money. And you don’t fuck with the money Mr. Rogers.
They won’t let you fuck with the money. They’ll kick you out of the air if you do.

I’m sorry Mr. Rogers but the assholes of the world have won. Look no further in how little people care now about good morals, about being nice to each other. It’s too difficult to be empathetic, it’s much easier to dismiss people’s pain.
There’s so much pain and misery. There are people debating whether or not to give people medical assistance if they can’t afford it- they should have taken better care of themselves right?
There are the unfortunate people who lost their minds through either either neglect or genetic predisposition and the fortunate ones who pass them on the streets, telling the unfortunate ones that it’s their own fault.
Or at the very least, that their pain is not their problem.
There are people in charge of the government now who favor objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand- if anyone can play a witch without make-up, it’s her- which states that selfishness is a virtue.

But you were special Mr. Rogers.
You were all about love. All you wanted to do is tell the truth and make them understand. You understood that you didn’t have to patronize the kids, that you didn’t need to manipulate them. That there was a higher goal in having a broad children’s audience.
You could teach them to be good to each other.
You could tell about the horrors of this world,
how ugly people can be to each other,
how good people can be murdered for no good reason,
how people can fall out of love,
how people are scared for things that are different,
why sometimes we get a little sad because the world is a tough place
and we have to be alone sometimes
and we have figure things out for ourselves
and sometimes we love will leave us
and they can never come back
except in our hearts and minds.
And we have to accept things
even if we don’t want to,
because if we don’t
this world will be unbearable.
And it’s full of vultures waiting for desperate children who can’t handle this world
And sometimes we let the vultures eat our children
because we don’t know what to do,
we don’t know what to do…

And I wish I was more like you
Mr. Rogers,
I wish I was as pure as you
but I guess it’s too late for that.
I’ve done too many bad things,

I have too many bad habits,

patterns of thoughts I can’t seem to get rid of.
I feel uncomfortable with children,
I don’t know what to say,
I’m afraid to embarrass myself.
And I wished I lived in your neighborhood,
I wish you could tell me
that things are going to be alright
and that it’s okay to be me
and that I shouldn’t be like you,
cos nobody should be the same
because otherwise the neighborhood wouldn’t be so colorful.

You’d tell me these bad men
who are glorified by too many people,
people who should know better,
aren’t really winning.
And it’s because they don’t see it,
even though the right answer was always there.
The higher plain,
the game-changer,
some of us see it right at the end.
They will understand that they’ve wasted so much time
worrying too much
or hating each other.
Thinking too much of the past,
building a fantasy world inside their heads,
putting their names
on top of tall buildings
in plaques made of gold.

You’d tell me:
”I know you want to change the world
but now you gotta look out for yourself.
You gotta show the world
and all its misguided creatures,
what it means to be human.
You don’t let them change you,
you don’t let them away your light.
It’s what happens to so many of us,
and if we could keep that light inside us
and share that light,
cultivating it
by helping others,
collectivize it in one beautiful image
for the world to see.
And it might not change the world
but it might change
the mindset of some,
it might make them feel better
the less fortunate ones,
the ones who see no way out.
And wouldn’t that be nice?”

”Yes it would,” I’d say,
and then I’d smile and look away,
and I would wish I wasn’t so cynical,
that I was more like you. 

And you’d see that familiar glare of mine
and it wouldn’t dishearten you,
you would understand.
You’d finish by saying:

”Love is at the root of everything. love
or the lack of it.
And what we see and hear on the screen

is part of who we become.”
And I’d wipe away a tear
and tell you I need to go home

”but I’ll be back,” I’d say,
”because I like it here.
I really, really like it here.”

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***