We live in times
where reality is speeding up
and the people
in the muuuud
trying desperately to move! and change! with reality’s curves
but nothing moves
it can make you lose it
shaking, shocked with grief
But here is my simple plan
The people filled with righteous fire
for justice!, equality!, liberty! all
Can bravely stand in comrades stead
And join and swing as a wrecking ball
Tag: United States
We live in times
We often talk about “white privilege” and it tends to be discussed in terms of having stuff. “That person has white privilege,” we say. “That other person has male privilege.” But what does that mean?
To me, privilege is not a positive but a negative, or a lack of something. When one has white privilege they have freedom from something. They have freedom from trauma, pain, hardship, toil, etc. When one is protected from the mandatory hardships of life for which one has evolved to deal with, they become puerile and childlike. Their skin becomes thin. They cannot handle the smallest slight. They are weak and become dependent on protection from the necessary traumas of life. This is why those white men carry those rifles around, because they are weak and terrified of having to deal with life naked and undefended.
But what is the converse of privilege? I would assert that it is a surplus of hardship and challenge. It is a excess of the onslaught of reality with its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This tends to make one’s skin thicker and makes one tougher.
And so, if you want to be honest, whiteness has become synonymous with weakness, and thus the entire apparatus of the state becomes necessary to maintain protection from the normal, average trials which befall any person living on this planet.
White culture and the western nation-state steals the defenses and padding of the brown people of this world and wraps it around the light-skinned people it protects. If you start to think of white people as immature and childlike, you can quickly see and hear it when you look at and listen to them.
As I’ve transitioned from being a white male to a white transwoman, I’ve had to experience a rude awakening of what it’s really like to live without that stolen armor. This rude awakening, that I sought to put off for as long as possible by posing as a straight white male, hit my weak, thin-skinned ass with a vengeance, and I was paralyzed at first.
But my skin grew. My toughness increased. Now, I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be black, but I know what it’s like to be targeted for who I am from as soon as I entered elementary school. I know what it’s like for others to hate things in you that you are not even aware of yet. And I know what it’s like to lose a significant amount of privilege.
And yet, don’t be afraid of losing privilege. Living in the false world of stolen armor is not real, and it stunts development in many ways. The transition to a normal amount of privilege can be shocking at first, but then you realize your inner strength, and you begin to realize that life is not about hiding behind wealth and privilege. Life is about meeting life on life’s bare terms.
To quote a brown-skinned Judean named Jesus, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” I interpret this as if you want to really grow, you need to cast your privilege aside.
And also, Krishna of the Hindu pantheon said to privileged Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita: “yield not to weakness; it does not suit you. Throw away this faint-heartedness.” Meaning that one must meet life without fear and without protection and cowardice.
Only through letting go of privilege can one really be alive. Words will not make one alive. One cannot say “I understand that I am privileged,” and expect the situation to resolve itself. One should give up one’s privilege. This is the only path of truth. Change the system from within by giving up your pilfered wealth that was likely funneled through the generations from slave-created surplus. You will survive, and you will be a real human, not a child in a shell.
The problem we face today is not a black problem. The problem is a white problem. Until we recognize our theft, our appropriation of defenses, our heinous usage of black bodies as human shields against the hurricane of nature, we will not grow, and we will not be mature. We will be on average, pathetic sprouts, unable to grow into the trees we were born to be.
Personally, my life is so much richer after I gave up most of my male privilege. It is immeasurably harder, but it is more vital and real. And I ask that you do the same. I can’t change my skin color. I am stuck being white. So the only way for me to reduce my so-called white privilege is to dismantle the institutions that value whiteness over blackness. This takes work. This takes sacrifice. But I assure you that it will be worth it both for black people and for white people.
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I’ve been thinking and cogitating all day and making enemies while so doing, and I would like to have some fruit from that tree of discord, but I don’t know. I don’t know if I can even think rationally in this situation. I try and use my normal methods of understanding the world, and right now they just result in collapsed rage and explosive paranoia, speaking poetically.
I don’t like handing over my civil rights to our glorious leaders, and I also don’t like being slandered as a Trumper and enemy of the people. However, I am just asking questions, possibly dangerous ones I must cede. But what is a dangerous question? Do people end up in fascist Candyland because of dangerous questions?
I choose not to endorse a tribe in the dualistic split in the modern American states. But I do endorse proven science. However, the science on COVID-19 is still experimental. It has only been around for 5 months or so, and we don’t really understand the virus epidemiologically outside of the facts that it kills a lot of old people and some healthy people. It’s not the flu in that the flu usually is just an opportunistic organism, i.e. it usually kills people whose immune systems are close to failing already.
We don’t know how COVID-19 is spread outside of that it is communicable by close contact. We have not proven it spreads on surfaces. We have proven it spreads sexually. We know it spreads through aerosols, water/particulate matter that floats in the air. We know that lots of exhalations like those involved in dramatic sporting event cheers can exponentially increase the spread of the virus.
I’m not trying to say that “oh it was created in a lab by China and we should just open up and fuck the libs and their faggot masks!” I think that social protection to slow the spread of this virus is a reasonable social sacrifice. However, we have to be very aware during these times and watch for bad actors trying to institute new restrictions upon an already restricted people.
We should demand good science from our local and state governments. But we should also hold our Bill of Rights against our chest as we do it. It is our most sacred American document. Jefferson was our flawed Moses in this respect. He never freed his slaves like most of his fellow American revolutionary leaders, but he wrote some of the most freeing words in the English language. He should be judged and also praised.
I grew up in South Carolina and Bakersfield, California which are basically the same place, politically. I learned that conservative people are people. Yes, the Trump years have solidified that conservative zeal into a shield, repelling all queries from “outsiders,” and yet, the liberal flank has played into that defensive paranoia by labeling them as irreconcilable subhumans. And yes, they tend to be unaware of political correctness.
So I want a reasonable, class-conscious, idealistic approach to this pandemic. Right now we have a very postmodern President in our glorious leader, ‘man who wears a combover too long and can’t tan like his cool friends so resorts to foundation.’ Our postmodern, post-ideological president is like a white person trying to play jazz but has no feel, no soul. It is pure depravity and boredom. We know he sucks at jazz, and we have to finish the recital as the other players in the quintet attempt to cover for him.
We need a radical, gnostic re-envisioning of reality. We need to ask basic questions like: What is the purpose of reality? Is the purpose of reality just hedonism? Is it self-abnegation and asceticism? Is it getting along with our neighbors? Is it a balance of multiple values?
The true question I had to ask myself was what is my individual chief value? I found that the only way to save the world is to save your own world. And your world might be a towering inferno of destruction. Discovering your “true will,” as some people have asserted it, does not guarantee happiness. You might be happier overall, but you can go through periods of deep woe and confusion. People selling self-help are usually just drug dealers, and here I am writing a blog…
The challenge of postmodernity is not to lose all sense of value. The challenge is to buy into your own individual adventure, acknowledging its loose effect on the “objective” world. We all have a subjective ride of internal emotion and internal narrative. We also have a ride on the objective train called society and cultural norms. As Timothy Leary noted we seem to be each in our own reality tunnels, and our tunnels often collide, creating society.
This lockdown is tough. I am adhering to the basics of coronavirus prevention. I work from home. I wear a mask at the store. I disinfect my deliveries. But the strain on my mental health has been tremendous. I have to force myself to exercise and stick to healthy routines. These are my thoughts.
The reason why we need social distancing is not “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!” The reason we need it is because the hospitals will be overwhelmed with thousands of patients that they cannot care for, and so everyone else will be without medical services as well. People die all the time. We take risks in life for money, love, or other values. So yeah, we don’t really care that thousands of people die of the flu every year because our system can process those people. Thousands of people die in car accidents, but our system can process them.
Can we have some nuance with this instead of yelling at “the other team,” with simplistic arguments where one side is a mass-murdering psychopath killing grandma and the other side is the valiant, cloistered introvert “saving the world” by not leaving their apartment. No one is pure. We all participate in this system.
The other argument is how much death we ignore in the name of profits. That’s a separate problem, and I think we as a nation, have a very poor track record of not killing people.
Oh and lastly, we have no fucking clue who’s infected. Many people get very minor infections and don’t notice it. They can’t get tested. Only the most severe are getting tested, and it’s been in the US since January. Some experts think there are actually hundreds of thousands of people infected at present. We need to be calm because the situation is very fluid and confusing.
Love to you all. Stay strong.
Hey folks, if you’re feeling a lot of fear and dread right now, at least astrologically, there is an explanation. There is an event that hasn’t happened in the sky for almost 4,000 years. Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter are all in the same part of the sky, in the sign of Capricorn. Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth. Saturn is the planet of fear and karma. Jupiter is joyous and lucky but it also IS AN AMPLIFIER AND MAKES EVERYTHING BIGGER!
So you have two seriously dour and gloomy planets, Saturn and Pluto, in Capricorn the sign of rules, patriarchy, tradition, and hard work. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, right when the financial meltdown happened and it’s been upending traditional power structures ever since. Pluto exposes the dark side of a sign, and anyone with a brain can see the dark side of traditional power structures since 2008. Saturn loves Capricorn, and it’s trying to clean up some of the messes caused by Pluto. They will conjunct only one time, next Saturday the 11th in the US. The last time they touched was in 1982, when there was a serious recession and the religious right was just getting started in the US.
Jupiter just got into Capricorn and won’t join the party with Saturn and Pluto until later this year. But they will all be very close to one another all year. Depending on your own personal chart these planets (yes, I know Pluto is a dwarf planet, but we just use the word planet for every major body in astrology) will affect your life in probably dramatic ways. For me, they are passing through my 3rd house, the house of communication, vehicles, siblings, and roommates. My car broke down and I created a mess with my roommates this last month that I’ve had to repair. Depending on what challenges you are facing right now, do it the right way and accept hard reality and you’ll be ok.
Jupiter will come along and probably soften some of the harshness later in the year, but then Mars comes into the party! This is really just insanity. All of the crazy shit going on in the US and other countries right now is all predicted by the astrology. We’ve been watching this unfold like “yep, there’s all the dudes in power acting shitty. There’s the crazy anxiety and panic.” And I know it’s really heavy right now. Like I said, this hasn’t happened for 4,000 years and when it did last the city of Babylon was founded in modern day Iraq, pretty much starting civilisation as we know it.
Don’t despair! It’s definitely a serious time, and IT WON’T LAST FOREVER! It’s ok. It’s going to pass. And after these planets pass through Capricorn, they move into Aquarius, the sign of egalitarianism, fraternity, technology, and progressive ideas. This is a really good time to build foundations for the future. I know it’s en vogue to say “We’re all gonna die soon; nothing matters!” But life is quite variable and can change very quickly. We’ll make it through together. This year definitely is going to be a shit show, but do you know what is ALWAYS a shit show? Radical change. And it’s coming. The dinosaurs ain’t gonna win. If only under 40 voters voted in the US, Bernie Sanders would already be president. The young people know that what we have is broken. And there’s a weird thing about old people that are resistant to change, they tend to die.
Next Friday is a lunar eclipse on the day before Saturn and Pluto conjunct, and it is exactly opposite Saturn, Pluto, the Sun, and Mercury! It’s insanity. And the moon is in its favorite sign Cancer! The technical way to describe it is: shit is going to be bonkers!
Astrology is definitely not an exact science. It’s more like poetry, but to me it works, and sometimes it REALLY works. Stay strong. Be serious. Work hard. And forgive yourself if you’re struggling. We all are.
As a last point, the United States was founded when Pluto was in pretty much the same spot. It takes almost 250 years to go around the sun! And what did the United States along with the co-occuring French Revolution represent at the time? A radical overthrow of old systems of power, i.e. Monarchy. This is a big time to be alive. It’s gonna be rough, but it can be a great time to grow. Stay grounded my loves. Think like a goat, the animal that represents Capricorn, and just keep climbing that mountain one step at a time.