VIN 20- Thus, We Resist

The only problem with America is that it has always been acceptable for large portions of it to be uneducated.

After the fall of Southern Slavery, that divide became smaller and smaller, resulting in less educational inequality. The seeming Broca-Divide between those diseased with poverty, and those with eloquence and refinement, was nearly erased. At least so far as history had yet recorded. Then came the re-institution of racism in the national-jingoist’s mind, the rise of the Civil Rights movement.

These were effects of the disturbing changes in modern-day comforts. Suddenly, instead of seeing a local newsman lazily predicting weather, people were seeing whole swaths of others being brutalized or disruptive.

Regardless of sides of the fence, fires were stoked. Indeliberately, but undeniably.

These realities though still existent, seemed to subside with the growing pace of the Vietnam war’s end, and the sleek fast-moneyed cocaine-lifestyle of the 80s. However, that lifestyle had a seedy underbelly that millions were suffering from the cost of fueling it. In context, Cocaine was black market. Black market was bad. Not because it is, inherently– it is only a concept for the market of that which is prohibited but needed, and thus, unregulated– but because it was perceived to be and treated as such. (Whether it’s worth long term stability to remain so is a matter unto itself.)

However, those suffering from that underbelly were those so recently disenfranchised– whatever the effect, because they, as components of the system of society, were yet in the final stages of their own turbulence.

In essence, civil-rights and peace movements weren’t done moving, but they were slowing– if only to come to a stop at having yet nowhere to go next.

That was exacerbated later, by those other-but-corrupt elements of the system (society) that had struck back at those slowing, causing them to speed up, swerve, and nearly lose control. It was like a retributive game of rural-road chicken.

The crack and heroin epidemics of the 80s and 90s gave way to such current nuisances as the Drug-war and Opioid epidemics– whose pre-digital mindsets are entirely products of their time. Psychology dictates prohibition is doomed to fail. Human curiosity, that which is relied upon for us to survive and thrive, does not allow for prohibition except when used to challenge oneself.

While these aforementioned epidemics are of the worst kinds, in that they harm those involved more greatly than they could ever help, it remains that it is not in the prohibition nor prosecution of these behaviors, Human efforts should be focused. Rather, evidence best indicates its focus should be on treating their underlying causes.

Escapism will never be entirely voluntarily. It is, if only partially, a compulsion for Humans that comes from their need of, and connection to, imagination. It is why, despite the existence of videography, pure type still exists. There is a want, need even, for the Human mind to capably escape its reality in as many ways as possible.

The reason is simple: Stress is a killer.

Medical science knows this now. Society knows it, too. Likewise through Medical-Science, it is known as unavoidable, useful even: as much a part of the Human condition as water, oxygen, excretion, or death. An equal imperative in life to keep itself living. As well, through Physics, we know each action has an equal and inverse reaction.

These principles, reversely applied to escapism, reveal its engineering as a mechanism of action for coping as much as needed or desired. The problem with the aforementioned epidemics, and their connection, means they’re byproducts of the same underlying issues.

Simply: No pure-escapist, uninfluenced by external sources, wishes escapism badly enough to rot their teeth and smell like bleach and cat-piss from crack. Such a person would be like a connoisseur of animal shit: probably necessary, but limited in number for sake of natural process rather than want.

To simplify even further, the extremes one may go to in their escapism may correlate the depths of their damage. Speaking generally, the higher you wish to soar, the deeper you live– unless you’re Tolkien’s Dwarves.

But education, its seeming lack of pervasiveness in a so-called “educated society,” dictates we are anything but. Mostly, because en-masse Humans have failed to grasp the simple concept that to learn, one must be willing to do so.

With that comes a harsh reality: Humans don’t care to learn. They care to be led. To change the people, they must understand why they must change. It is why the addict seeks help only after admitting their addiction.

Thus Humans must wish to learn, so that they might see the beauty inherent in what it grants– why it is crucial to existence as a whole, as a “next-level” species to do so.Because otherwise Humanity is built on a foundation of animals shit, rather than something lasting.

To resist that, guide the change properly, allows all involved to be apart of something grand. It makes each participant like a kind of royalty.

Until that is recognized, treated as such, Humanity cannot hope to even begin grasping the challenges before us. When such challenges threaten our existence as a whole, it is dangerous to ignore them– Climate change. War. Nuclear anything. Planetary catastrophe. Extra-solar catastrophe…

We must remain focused on our individual goals, the healing ones– for ourselves and those around us. Otherwise, the systems needed to be in place to prevent catastrophe– for us and our progeny– will not do so.

Thus, we resist.

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VIN 19- Worthy Fights

America is in the midst of several, Human Rights crises. Their origin is the blatant attack on our democracy. The idea is to watch it crumble, and benefit from having– if not the best, at least the only structure upright.

Only the mentality of a conquering, tyrannical-style government could account for this. It is a test against not just Democracy, but the forces (people) guiding it. You need not look much deeper than method to trace its origin, but regardless of perpetrator, infinitely more important is the reality that only we can fix it.

We must allow justice its time: it is not a force of instant gratification. Rather, true Justice is a force of satisfied closure– it is the knowledge of adding to the species as a whole, ingrained in our guts, and ensuring its longevity. It is the feeling of completing, if not in our way than in some way, our species’ existential goal: to persist.

Justice is not a thing of guessing. It is a thing of knowledge, conviction. Facts and figures. Those things immutable to Time, because they are formed of Time itself. This is the true test of our era: for we, as a people, to commit to the prolonged trudge of democracy.

We are a lazy people, made that way of our own accord, and joined as thoroughly as possible by as many others as possible. That is the American way, truly: to each of us, live as Rulers of our own fiefdoms.

But to do so requires ensuring the community remains capable of it. That requires work.

Problem we have today, is that the system of contribution is simply too complicated. In a world where everything can be done at the touch of a button, not having the capability to do so routes you. You are automatically a non-entity.

The other side of this is the fear of security– or insecurity, really. The only way to allow the aforementioned without manipulation, is to make it a thing of either personal security or pride. Thereby, making it personal. Something consigned and confined to each person. Yet mobile and secure.

Maybe once encryption takes off, sure. Until then?

It is not an easy solution, no matter which direction is taken to it. Yet, it is by no means impossible. In fact, it is very much possible, and likely, that such a handheld device personally tailored, and secured, could secure democracy.

But look at the costs, risks, and ethical virtues required in such a system: “Is it worth it?” remains the question. In the case of America, is the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness worth fighting for?

Personally?

Yes.

Short Story: The Journey

Light cut inward at right angles around ancient, concrete block that formed the maze-like entrance of a small, former temple. Once a way-station for pilgrims, in an eon of isolationist practices, it had fallen into utter disrepair. However hidden its would-be caretakers were, they existed– even if losing faith at the world’s state.

The land around the flat-roofed temple was now a barren wasteland of petrified trees and Earthen refuse composting since time immemorial. Such grave-markers for the salted-Earth’s civilization ran far and wide. Were it not for the fiefdoms formed of generational, dictated procedures filling settlements with tradeable goods, even the most skilled and nomadic hunters would have nothing to fill their bellies.

Managing without the interference of any Empire was considered myth: the land too poor a provider otherwise.

Though little more than facades for war-lords of untold power and resource, the Empires’ glorious acts were touted regularly by town and heraldry criers, even if their names were not. These acts ensured people remained just misinformed enough to be ignorant of their Emperors’ true movements and motives.

But there was no-one in the brick-and-mortar former-temple to give care to the Empires or their backward warring. All that remained was a skittering lizard, invisible in the darkness and camouflaged in the light via slow-shifting photo-pigments in its skin.

It one-two’d across the floor. Three-four’ing both legs inversely tandem at each other. The front and back feet came together, ending their gate nearly touching. Excellent for tree-hanging, but poor for any hope of speed.

It was doing its best however, at running flat-out. Angling right. Left. Right again. Were it not for its immense length, and thus intimidating stature, it might have been comical.

It was not.

From the rear, it was a sight of relief. From beyond, one of terror. The figure atop the sandy, trunk-mined hill did not hesitate. It knelt, hands together, whispering quickly. Harsh syllabic resonance whistled with feminine sharpness over wind from nowhere. Gusts kicked up. Dirt and sand pelted debris in gale-force winds that stirred but never moved.

The charging creature reached the hill’s apex. Dexterous hands flashed, extended outward: wrists together, hands in a V.

Gale-forces boomed, focused like compressed air bolts. Wind deafened and off-balanced the creature first. Low-pressure jolted air from its lungs. The distant whistle, howled. Petrified trunks and limbs cracked and shattered at weak-points.

A phantom beam cracked, blowing the creature backward off the hilltop. It cleared the hill-bottom, landing painfully against the temple’s stone. A snap gave way to an agonized wail as it landed on its back with a series of grunting writhes. It failed to move, instead moaning pitifully.

She appeared and knelt beside it, hands together and whispering once more. One hand stroked the great eye of the fading creature as it wheezed. She soothed it with an angelic hum, it harmonized with another subsonic one, vibrating from her hand and lulling the creature into death.

The life slowly left its body without difficulty or pain.

That was always their way– her way. Never anyone else’s. How could it be? So few people understood anything anymore, let alone of themselves. One day again perhaps, the world would come to know the goodness she did. Now however, even she could not negate the need to survive. Not when it counted most.

She sat beside a small fire just inside the temple so as not to suffocate herself, but to still bathe in warmth against the nights’ growing cold. She’d scouted the place the night before, using her mind in meditation to see within it.

Seers, they’d once called them, but with one’s eyes closed “seeing” felt a misnomer. She was a sensor. Like one of the old-world’s fabled optics. People didn’t know or understand that though. How could they? The Empires had been keeping them ignorant and hungry for a millennia now.

She rose to turn the spit a while, doing so in silent contemplation.

If the information she sought to confirm was true, a new world might come of it. Something once thought lost, reborn from ash like the mythical phoenix. There was only one way to find out.

She slept with the fire’s coals still burning. Then, having eaten and secured as much of the prey as she could carry, she set out, leaving the creature’s remnants for scavengers. Were it not for them, she’d mused, the creature she’d filled her belly would never have camped here.

After all, Lord Darwin was strong in his understanding of nature. And it was he whom assured a hierarchy of life existed and affected itself and its environment. The latter’s inverse was equally, if not doubly, true: The old-world had learned that lesson the hard way, and its descendants were still suffering for it. Would be, possibly for life– like millions, billions more.

But there was only one way to be certain of any of it…

It was but a few days later she found herself on her knees, beaten and weathered from rough terrain, and her bodily wounds paling in comparison to those in her heart. She stared upward in mixed disbelief and despair, as if learning her Gods had betrayed her. It was not Gods however, nor even man. It was the Empires.

She saw it now. They were bee-hives with no queen and only one goal: maintain the self-aware Hive’s existence. The truth was staring her in the face now. She might have believed it before, but she knew it now. The evidence was here.

Long seeking some thread of stability in her confused world of war, pseudo-magic, and demi-gods that set fires but could not extinguish them, she’d thirsted for understanding, knowledge. The coven hadn’t answered her questions, even after an entire adolescence in their care. However distant she might’ve been otherwise, lack of answers increased it.

But now, there was truth. A truth she’d seen only with her own eyes, but that she would kill to ensure was known. How? Without the Empires’ interference? She couldn’t say yet. She re-read the words before her, knowing it would have to happen sooner or later.

Her jaw stiffened; learning one’s namesake bore itself a badge of responsibility in itself. Confirming hers, ensured she’d hold it to the highest standard.

There, beneath the millennia of soiled signage, Usa learned of the United States of America.

Yet the Empires had assured their existence was myth, as were what remained of their beliefs. Usa knew now it was lies and would to go to war to prove it.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: Last Setting Sun

There is naught but madness,
where once there was peace.
Therein lies badness,
morality deceased.
Hold tight to your hope,
but don’t let it bind you.
The bad men are coming,
they’re right behind you.
You can’t hide anyway,
when they’re under your hood,
and inside your pocket,
your home and your heart.
Raping and razing.
Looting precious art.
Stealing the young ones.
Pillaging the lame.
Hating the lovers,
whom love without shame.

Even those that made them,
are not immune,
they’ll eat you or chew you,
either way you’re through.

If only each one,
could put down their hatred,
it might not be few,
then we’d know the future,
wasn’t black and blue.

Until then we stammer,
and stumble to run,
Terrified that this,
be our last setting sun.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: Duty and Honor’s Calls

The words of saints,
are written on the walls,
of political prisons,
and private jail halls.

We rose as one,
against tyranny’s fist,
200 years ago,
but now we hesitate to list,

those we know oppress us,
because their money and greed rule.
Man.
Woman.
Child.
Society their collective fool.

When will it break,
for the willfully ignorant?
For I attempt to change it,
with words that are not arrogant.

Many do not see its worth,
to that I have no argument,
because I know the truth,
and I hear the oppressed lament.

Do not mistake my words,
for the ravings of the belligerent,
they are rather pleas,
that with hope I’ve sent,

so that in time,
we may act as one,
and come together,
for sake of Earth and Sun.

Unite and rebel,
against those whom wish you ill,
but do it cleverly with words
and others shall join–
or at least I will.

For the words of saints,
are written on political-prison walls,
but they belong in our hearts,
along with duty and honor’s calls.

Short Story: A Lost Cause?

The Paris Incident… what more can be said that hasn’t been already? Everyone knows how it started, everyone knows why it went to shit, and everyone knows how the Americans– the biggest bulls of them all– were silently and willingly castrated. Jesus Christ, we were so stupid.

To understand why Lemaire’s death had such little effect on us, you have to understand where we’d come from. Then, once knowing that, you’d have to understand why we did what we did.

When Lemaire died, and Paris went up in flames, we watched with the rest of the world, petrified just like them. The difference was, we could mount no revolution of our own. Funny thing about being the one with the biggest stick– when its turned on you, you’re pretty well fucked. Blue-collar, white collar; didn’t matter your shirt-color, if you’d found a place to bitch about things, you were jailed before the broader ‘net heard your complaints.

But like I said, you have to understand where we came from. It started decades ago with the first, foreign terrorist attack this country had seen. It wasn’t just a tragic occurrence for us. Other places in the world were used to that sort of thing. Not us. Between the IRA, the middle eastern sects, and the average, everyday nut-jobs Europe was rife with those attacks. Paris, London, Berlin, hell even Belgium and Sweden had felt their fair share of the dirt being kicked up by those fucking jihadists to the south.

Us though? We weren’t like them. We had security, sanctity, sovereignty, and in them, peace of mind.

So when that first attack hit, it was more than just a pin-prick in our overblown ego, it was a god damn gaping hole in the balloon. Unfortunately, that balloon was also our heads and what we did after, even if for the best of reasons, made sure of it. When the time finally came for us to face our demons, we realized we’d left ourselves powerless.

For decades we’d heard from ultra-leftists about the “erosion of freedoms,” while the right pitched its agenda as the “protection of rights.” It was all just rhetoric meant to hide what people were really afraid to say; we were becoming slaves– either to our government, or the corps that eventually took over. We were all chained to 9-to-5s, rising taxes, and crippling debt. Not even the best and brightest of us could escape after college tuition went through the roof. For the first time in history, we started seeing cities– literal cities– go belly up from outrageous debt and unyielding corruption.

So we did what any first world nation would, printed more money and gave it out by the bucketfuls to people whom promised to protect our economy. Ha, yeah, bullshit. What most did was take the money and run. Turns out ol’ Steve Miller was right after all, but our Billy-Joe and Bobby-Sue were Wall Street and the Financial industry. The difference? They didn’t so much shoot a man after robbing his castle as knock us down and trample our faces in mud as they ran roughshod over our country and economy.

So what we eventually had was a whole country of people terrified from a blow to their ego, scraping to get by after a near-totally collapsed economy. Understanding that makes it easier to understand what came next, and led us to our… current, predicament.

It became obvious about a decade after the first attack– the only attack, really– that our freedoms were eroding. Even as the politicians called for increased security, safety, and freedom, they forced laws past that tightened their grip around our throats and our own belts. They bludgeoned rights and freedoms with repeated attempts to pass harsher and more ambiguous laws, gave total power to acronym and police agencies. The shit storm that hit the fan when we later found out– shockingly– that power was used for all the most malicious purposes, was too little too late.

Whod’ve thought, right?

All kidding aside, what we had was a country of pissed off, desperate people too poor, hungry, and terrified to lift themselves up. More importantly, they clutched for anything and everything that even remotely resembled security– you know, that bygone illusory thing we’d always thought we’d had. So when the corps came in to downsize the police force, clean-up the borders, and take-over the already-corrupt justice system, who’d have thought it could get any worse?

No-one. Why? Because we’d never seen such atrocities committed by our own people, let alone against our own people. We were simply naive; a country too young and juvenile in mind to realize we should be careful of the silver spoon fed to us, lest it contain arsenic and cyanide. Instead, we swallowed it whole, gorged ourselves on lies, empty promises, and rhetoric and propaganda that would have shamed the Nazis. All of that, in the hopes that everything would “get better soon.”

The eternal why is simple really, we are naïve, both as a country and as a culture. The English empire has spanned millennia. Even most, legal orders of European countries were hundreds of years older before they fell. Comparatively, we were short-lived. It made us that much easier to conquer. Hearts and minds were a hell of a lot more effective than guns and bombs, and most of corp execs knew that. We didn’t. So they promised everything our hearts desired, and the return of peace of mind through it, and we didn’t hesitate.

In a matter of months, the US police forces were eliminated by various sects of corporate security. The Military went with them. Soldiers were given a choice to stay on with one of various corporations or leave without a second consideration. The Navy was outright eliminated, air superiority a given from the Warhound-Raptors patrolling the skies and coasts in flocks. More to the point, we relinquished any hopes of self-defense in a bid to keep foreign execs happy.

The State and Federal Governments stuck around a little while longer than most civil services to “ease the transition.” More bullshit. What they did was pass a whole slew of laws all that pretty much eliminated the bill of rights and nullified the constitution. Why? They were all bought and paid for. Every last one of them held positions in corps, received weekly checks from their payroll. We learned that the hard way when the last of the governments dissolved– and we clapped and hooted and hollared about it.

And then there was silence.

Fucking deafening silence.

Media outlets went off the air, the ‘net went down, and all but a few vehicles were banned from the streets and skies. Conventional vehicles were outlawed to fatten the corps’ bottom lines through public transport and electric vehicles. The only thing we really owned anymore was our debt– hell from what I hear, even our sperm and eggs aren’t really ours anymore. It belongs to the corps now. Everything. All of it’s just waiting for some reason to be cut off and sold off to lower our life-debts.

I can’t even really be angry. Not really. I’m just disappointed. Our country had so much potential, such an unbelievable beauty and spirit. It seemed nothing could crush it except us. Then we did. Our streets turned into mostly dilapidated, abandoned memories outside inner-cities. Homes are gone too, everyone stuck in corp-owned buildings, prisons, or risking the elements hiding on the cities’ outskirts. None of those is a viable option to me, not really, but I take what I can get.

So, just like yesterday, I’ll slip into my boots, strap on my armor, grab my rifle and go to work. Maybe today someone will stand against us. Maybe I’ll be forced to gun them down. Then again, maybe not. Maybe we’ll be faced with another person standing beside them. Then another, and another until the whole damned country’s ready to die to take back what’s been stolen.

If not, I’ll just go lick the hand that feeds me again. I’d rather bite it, but I’m not gonna’ let it beat me into submission like the other inmates and homeless unless I’ve got a damned good reason. I may have a gun, but really, I’m just another wage-slave with armor in place of a suit.

I don’t know if it matters, or if it really could– you know, to be one who stands up. All I know’s the older I get, the more I start to wonder; are we really a lost cause?

Poetry-Thing Thursday: Judging Independence

Listen closely,
to the mortars’ song.
They cry of freedom,
by banging a gong,
but shriek in terror,
at a girl’s thong.

What great masses,
of fools and hypocrites,
would deny man or woman,
their in-born spirits?
Perhaps the same ones,
that themselves have no merits.

Yet those same masses,
seem to rule the world,
with chaos and madness,
and delusions hurled.
If only we, the minority,
could be quite so unfurled.

Judge not,
lest ye be judged,
but there is no jury,
and they’ve bought the judge,
forever our innocence,
has been smudged.

A corruption of spirit
of truth and unity,
and thus I must say,
without impunity,
that our independence,
caused a wisdom-immunity.

Two centuries have come,
and then some,
all but a fraction,
spent waging war.
It’s hard not to feel,
just a little bit sore.

If independence this be,
I just have to ask;
is it me?
Or have we failed the task?