Friday, July 31, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

Don't sit down. Stand up. You got thoughts in your head! Get 'em out! Let everyone know what kind of person you are; that shit makes things easier for us. Us being the rest of us, the not-yous. The not yous have a stake in all this shit, too. It's not just you, standing on the top of a mountain, shouting truths into the sky. Peep this: there are so many people; they all believe different things; they value different things. You can't speak for all of them.

Speak for yourself, so we can start dividing into camps. 

And maybe it ain't about one camp fighting another. Maybe it's more like: yo, we don't want people like this in our camp. It's just like family reunions. Uncle Jeb keeps getting wasted and hitting on the cousin's? We stop inviting that fool.

My camp is really simple. In my camp, you cannot put your pleasure, motivations, or anything else above the well-being of others. If it doesn't hurt anybody, then you do whatever you want. No one cares. If it hurts someone? We're running you out of the town on a rail.

And hurt comes in fists and words. It comes in missed job opportunities, failed promotions, mortgages that don't happen, cops that can't see past their ignorance and hate, rapes and harassment. 

Yeah, honestly, Capitalism isn't going to work in my camp.

In my camp, we're going to try to help each other because when we're all doing well, the camp will be an awesome place to lay down your head. It will be a place where no one goes hungry unless everyone is starving. It will be a place where we use our own individual skills to better the community. I can write stories, songs, and teach your kids to read and write. 

I need people who can cook, clean, build, inspire, soothe, listen, talk and more.

I need you in my camp. Is what I'm saying. 

But you're going to have to stop the divisions. We don't call is Socialism. Communism.

We call it human decency. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

There ain't enough podiums, but why the fuck do you care? Your trophy. Your moment. Why can't you just enjoy running the race? The streets are lined in Poplar trees. The air is thick with birdsong, and small children clog the sidewalk holding signs of encouragement. They aren't trying to decide who has the biggest sign. The best sign. They're happy to have a voice, be alive, and be part of something bigger than themselves.

Money. Food. Security. There could be enough of that too, but it doesn't serve the interests of the few. A lot of those rich fuckers have figured it out. It doesn't matter if you are good or decent. It doesn't matter what your fellow man thinks of you. It doesn't matter what kind of footprint you leave in the sand. If you build a big enough pile of money, the regular people can't touch you and you don't have to hear their cries and laments.

If you're a white man, you've got all the special armor in the game. Already. You can assault powerful women in front of the whole country, go on TV and talk about your wife and kids; everybody is going to be all, "damn straight - shouldn't have to apologize for "passion."

I'm awful sorry the rape happened, your honor. I'll apologize for the actions of my penis, but not my passion.

This is the world we are raising our kids in. I have two daughters who could look at AOC as an inspiration, and I'm not saying they don't. I'm saying they also see a representation of they way white men treat the world through the way she has been treated. They grab everything by the pussy, figuratively or not. At church potlucks. In schools. At work.

They have always been they same; they take what they want.

Like it belongs to them.

Friday, July 17, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

Everybody thinks their glass is half empty. Or half full. I'm like, man, why do we gotta keep our liquids in glasses? Pour mine in a trough; I'm cool with sharing. Pour it back into the river, so I can get down the with the mornfog deer, the fishes. I don't want anyone corralling any part of me.

If you don't let them put you in a box, they can't say how much you fill it up.

I went to the bookstore in my mind to look at all the self-help bullshit books I've ignored. The stores are full of them. Be a corporate warrior. Be the perfect multi-tasking Mom. Manifest your success through mid-day mantras and money will come out your ass.

Where are all the books about how to lift your community up?

The golden rule was always lame in language, but the intent was pure. If you think it doesn't matter, you best be real sure.

Put your fucking phone down and look at the clouds. Sit and talk with someone you don't know and see what happens. Try listening. It's the thing you do during a conversation when you shut your fucking mouth for a second.

It helps to make sense of things if you make them all about you; it's easy. I know. You take the stance of the world against you, and everything you decide to do becomes a stand. It's invigorating. It gives you purpose for every single selfish thing you do.

It's a scam.

Go ahead and forget about the glass, man. Forget about your water, your blood. Think about the river. The pond. The ocean. All the animals sharing that shit. Ain't no fishes saying, my part of the pond seems less empty than that poor fish's. They're huddled up under logs and hidden in grasses because they know that there is some evil shit in the water.

And that evil matters more than any one fish.

Friday, July 10, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

At the end of the street, under the hedges, the kitten sits and tracks the ankles passing by. It is near noon, and the street is bustling with black socks on their way to work, strappy high heels on their way to adventure, work boots plodding mud clods through the streets on their way to job sites. The kitten is not hungry because people are kind to kittens. There is a touch of fear, but it is healthy; a genetic gift.

About to leave school, we have Andrew. Andrew is nine years old and he's flat terrified. It is this way every day when school ends; at school there are friends and games and things to focus his mind on. There are even a few teachers who care. Or seem to. At home there is 1) a father who lost his job 5 months ago and started drinking hard pretty soon thereafter 2) a mother who is never home because she works two jobs now 3) an older brother that everyone thinks is "a little rough" because they don't want to think about the realities.

Andrew's brother is ... troubled. That's what the folks at school say. He's got anger problems. He is too focused on drawing dicks on everything with a Sharpie. He is mean to animals, but he's just rough around the edges. He touches other kids in ways we don't like, but he has impulse control issues. He's a good boy at heart. He comes from a good family. They have their issues. But. Good folks.

The job that Andrew's Dad lost was an insult. He traded 20 years of his life in a factory for existence, back problems, and at-will termination. The Corporation that owns that factory has given it's executive board bonuses every year since Andrew's Dad graduated high school.

Mom does hair. Only now she does hair and she also works at Target in the evenings. She hates everyone except her family and doesn't consider that a problem. She doesn't consider it racism that she hates the fucking Mexicans she works with. She doesn't see misogyny in her disdain for bitches. She hates black people for being loud; she'll tell you in a voice so loud the heavens will crack.

When Andrew walks by the kitten, he hears a sound. The first sound the kitten has made all morning. Down on hands and knees, and clicking sounds with the tongue, and the kitten is in his arms and he is giggling and smiling. The whole street disappears. And Andrew tucks the cat under his shirt. His parents don't care enough to make him give it up. They eat dinner and Andrew goes to bed with that kitten, and his brother is allergic to cats!

In the living room, Fox News is on and Daddy is on his second six pack. He was only going to drink one. He can ring Mom up and ask her to get another. But Andrew's got an ally now. Y'all don't have to worry about Andrew. The kitten will foster the tenderness in that boy. Cats live just long enough to get him out of his parent's house for good. Maybe even get him settled somewhere.

Don't worry, y'all. He named the kitten. Billy.

He's black and beautiful.

Friday, July 3, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

You say you'll meet me halfway, but you never move an inch. Reactionary breakdown. You are reflex wrapped in selfishness, you take. You take and you give only enough to keep the givers giving. You are repugnant in your moral swamp, you stink of death and cowardice.

Wrap yourself in rags or riches, it don't matter. You put up walls to keep others out because you are insecure in yourself. You are full of hatred because you despise yourself, your lot, the people you came from and the people you feel you are stuck with.

You waddle and sweat and curse your way through life like it owes you something. You get out of life what you put into it, so stop being an asshole maybe?

Did you get paid? Is your stomach full? Are the shows you like still filming? Are you able to fill your loneliness with enough men in tight pants and helmets doing shit you were never able to do? Shit you like to talk about and pretend you did.

Are your kids scared? Shame them and demean them; make yourself feel bigger. Maybe every once in a while you drop the word "nigger." But you're just joking. It's just something to say, right? You have black friends at the plant. You're golden. They know you're just fucking around!

Do your kids know? Do they believe the same lies you believe?

Look. You can say you're one thing, but I'm gonna judge you by the way you act. The way you treat the people you love, the way you treat the people you fear, and the number of people you hate. Hate is poison. Drink it deep, but don't think it doesn't change you.

We see you. Red hats or not.

We'll remember.