“I really don’t care. Do you?”

I’ve been calling them shakedown years since about two thousand and fifteen. It feels like the tipping point between words and reality finally took a topple toward words. We’re supposed to listen to and respect someone’s right to conversation, in complete deference and willful ignorance of all their words definitions. You can tell it, yell it, scream it in my face, but if I don’t see conservation in your life, in your philosophy, decisions and actions, I am not going to call you a conservative. If you pull into my driveway and explain how you’re a christian as you apologize for calling me a waste of life and telling me I’ve disappointed my deceased grandparents, you may not actually be living up to the definition of the word Christian.

I hear you. I probably smiled, nodded, maybe gave you an ‘I don’t know’ headshake, or a ‘let’s agree to disagree’ grin, but I saw you. I see you. And the day will come that you might ask me to read you. And I won’t paraphrase. Your complete way of life is beside the point.

I don’t care about your opinion on abortions. If you wanted me to, you needed to go to school, and earn that right.

I don’t care your opinion on illegal immigration. The end result of that line of thinking will have us walling off our states, standing in line outside of our own hometowns providing bonafides and credentials just to be let in. If I drew a line in the sand and said no one could cross it, I still wouldn’t be surprised when someone does. Such is the nature of lines drawn in the sand.

I don’t care that you dislike black people. Or that you would like to casually comment degrading, disrespectful remarks about people who are different than you, in every way except their willingness to suffer and die for their identity. That, you have in common with everyone.

I’ll care when you give me something worth caring about. When the issue on your lips is one we all need to pass over ours in order just to maintain not caring for another day. Our society skipped right over any form of discussion about the basic daily life essentials we’re all scrambling to acquire. Our society has slipped its way between us and our earth and is selling it back to us piece by piece as we grow up and recognize our needs.

Government is crushing farmers, because government does not want us to farm. It wants major corporations to take up those arms, and they’re hesitant. Because growing food is hard. Keeping clean water, and more animals than you can count in your own backyard, is expensive. And, farming has this neat effect on the human life. It gives us a different, more dutiful, dependable and fair master over our time and labor. Nature. And government does not want nature to be anything more to us than a recreational activity.

Well. I am done. Done pretending this is the way it is. The founders of this nation had nothing even remotely similar with which to compare our current way of life. The fact that almost all of us would start to starve the instant grocery stores stopped filling up. The richest aristocrat of George Washington’s era still had chickens in his yard. Still used horses for a car. Still knew the soft snap of green beans and the smell of soil turned over for the first time after winter.

A farmer is a producer. And a producer makes an inconsistent consumer. And our society, our government, in no evil or malicious manner, simply doesn’t benefit so much from a population of producers as it does a system filled with poorly educated, ravenous consumers. That’s as simple as it gets.

If you want to talk about freedom, there has to, I repeat, has to, no option otherwise, be a way of life at the very base of our system, in which a person can eat good food, sleep safe and warm from the weather, and drink as much clean water as they could ever need, without using any form of currency. Apart from their humanity. And whatever morning choring those things require.

This idea. What is freedom without forty acres and a mule? Perhaps that should be our golden rule. Before we sail off into this corrupt, divisive, consumption based, product placed future, we all need to know there is a piece of land set aside for us. A way of life fruitful enough to provide for us. A simple, quiet life in the country.

The economy of want is not appropriate to manage the economy of need.

I refuse to talk about building walls, renovating bathrooms, or putting in a new kitchen sink, until the foundation of this building has been surveyed and repaired.

I am not saying anyone is right or wrong.

I am saying that until the conversation includes providing a base level of survival resources or environments for every citizen in this country, it is my right not to care.

Better Business

Freedom is the simple recognition that your neighbor will inevitably have to be offered all the same rights as you.

You only sacrifice a freedom, if say, it’s for something that negates the freedom of another individual.

The simple answer is, if you would hate to have something done to you, you are called to sacrifice doing it to others.

Straight, white, “normal” people want the right to gender identify, they just don’t get challenged on it as much. But we do, and we take it for granted. You don’t have to respect your neighbor’s identification. No one can make you. But your neighbor, whomever he or she or however they identify is, probably works, and probably has money, and probably has network connections.

You respect how they identify, you call them how they prefer to be called, because selfishly, greedily, connivingly, they are valuable. And people who get along with more people are going to be better at business. End of story.
They’re going to get more out of life.

Say you hate someone over their skin color when it’s really your own lack of self esteem. But eventually, they’re going to receive every right you have been offered. Including the justified right to hate you right back.

Prejudice, racism, sexism, I’m not sure these things are inherently so bad as they are stupid. They’ve been cursing and tackling civilizations for millennia, while we crucify and martyr anyone who dares recognize the value our economies ignore.

And that is the value of love.
One sided consideration that never asks to be reciprocated.

It may not make you wealthy, but it will make you impervious to poverty.

And I wish I could hand you loftier reasoning, but if nothing else, trust that black kid, that person you don’t know how to call, people who don’t speak enough of your language to know how to call you, have money in their pockets. Value to their person. Probably spend it here and there, when and where they feel invited, welcome, and free.

Conservatism isn’t dying.
Natural causes are revealing it was never in our nature.
We’ve never been a conservative creature.

If we were, we’d have gone down with the trees, and never learned to stand upright. If we were conservative, there wouldn’t be this much diversity in our species.

In fact, one could argue, that if homo sapiens had been a more conservative animal in the past, we’d all still be black.

No matter how you look at your neighbors, exercise no right you would not also extend to them.
Because in the end,
it will come back for you.

Not because it is right.
It really is just better business.

Shipbuilders

Our political system is having conversations that we, its citizens, are not.

We have used our collective, national imagination to finally do what we have always murdered prophets for doing. We’re predicting our pitfalls. Our future failures. It is a massive blow to the ego. But before we go building up the nuclear arsenal and battening down the hatches, remember, nothing has actually happened. Nothing whatsoever.

When the boat rocks, every hand is on deck. We don’t argue tax plans. We just start writing checks. What we call government is a pie crust of individuals incessantly campaigning to be popular enough to keep their careers. And really, the sanctity of their names. All on top of this massive creamy filling of neverending government office jobs. Courthouse clerks. Cops. Janitors. Receptionists. Those kids they hire to get their coffee. So surprised when something they did not stop at eyes leads their hands to committing a crime.

Our turmoil is their job security.
The last administration’s failures are always fresh fodder for this one.
How they explain away all the choppy water during this American expedition.
We’re all on deck still for yesterday’s storms.

But nothing has happened. Politically, globally speaking, there are blue skies and very few dark clouds on the horizon. We’re actually in good, clear, steady water, comparatively speaking.

Now is not the time to argue over captains, or suggest mutiny.

Before this bubble bursts, let’s get to dry land. Find some forests. Cut fresh timber.
Patch the holes in the sails.

Let’s build a better boat.
Not bigger. Not greater.

This last election turned a new generation of Americans on to politics. Politics, is an industry. Industries put on shows, and hide doubts, and even losses, in order to keep their stockholders confidence. They will decry and bemoan abhorrent figures into American history. Into great military power and media attention. A lot of people are making a lot more money because of how much we now pay attention. Spoiler alert. It is going to be a cliffhanger. There is always going to be part forty five, and forty six and so on. The new one will always blame the state of this nation on the actions of the previous administration. And by the time they’re out, let’s just say no one cares to see their tax return as much after that.

I don’t know. I tend to get deep, and preachy, and metaphorical.
But this needs a base. This argument needs water.

The current boat is the dollar. It is our national, global representative currency. And there are at least three things that can not be industries, because they will always be monopolies. Because they’re essential to our basic access for life.
Which is not a government, but a universally guaranteed right.

Food.
Water.
Shelter.

There is absolutely no reason other than our own obliviousness that these basic resources should be translated through a national representative currency before reaching us.

The end result is, if you have no money, you lose the right to life.
You do not eat or drink or sleep inside.

It happens to people all the time. The aid they receive is not connected to the environment capable of producing such means. Farms. Taxed for the land they work on. And hungry people. Fed by a government program.

The revolution is food production infrastructure.

Little cashless economies all across the country that end up supplementing most, if not all our basic dietary requirements. Water is tied up in food production. So is shelter. The idea of someone being homeless, or unemployed, could be laughable. Farms should absorb these people like water into a sponge. And if there is any government spending to be done, or taxation required, cut out the middleman every now and then, pick up a phone, and call a farmer. Damn.

If the boat would stop rocking for just a minute, maybe we’d see it different. It is very much like our entire nation, politically speaking, still has post traumatic stress
leftover from the World Wars.

And almost every one of these desperate decisions we’ve coerced into sense,
has been in response to a trigger.

Every single conflict we’ve been involved in since, started in the minds of our representatives. And they are having conversations about us neither you or I or anyone we know would ever have. To them, our lives are math.
Telling us we’re divided. Calculator in hand.

Assuring us we’re cut clean in half. But I don’t buy that. And you shouldn’t either.
Now is as good a time as there has ever been for us to get ourselves together.

We could forget hiring the right captain. For the time being.

Americans should go back to shipbuilding.

I have been had by a dream.

To be saved by a government program is to belong to it.
If band aids and ibuprofen are the only things keeping you alive.
Another word for that is dying.
Sustainability is about predicting future need.
Another word for that is pessimism.
Government serves many basic functions.
And a lot more that are redundant.
They want it that way.
The word is enslaved.
And for the longest time
it has been the surest sort
of unchallenged.

I have been had by a dream.
That one day I will wake up out of and truly see
a world where humankind is free. And every nationality
on the planet can finally fit within one species.

I have been had by a dream.
That our leaders will be caught dreaming.
Up late at night scheming.
Earmarked nightlights though
their smiles are beaming.

I have been taken by sleep.
And placated by dreams.
Ever since my eyes were opened.
And in the dream I woke from.
Judging the living from the dead.
Was only a government program.

Some Kind of Camouflage

After two months outside, pretty well insulated from this political climate, I come back to find it was safer in the woods. The poison ivy at least has three leaves. Black bears are pacifists who prefer to hug trees. Bees are after their honey. And leave you alone once they know you’re not sweet. But outside of the woods, things are not as they seem.

I’ve seen black bears the color of cream wearing gray comb-overs who couldn’t fathom satisfying women their own age. Heard about poison ivy hung like mistletoe above office doorways, and dangled from handles, and laid out in thick wreaths on every seat. For years it will be coming out of pores, clothes, hiding in shoes, latent in skin. The itch. Hornets leaping from holes in the ground up skirts, up pant legs, down shirts, not even looking for honey. Honey is back home waiting. These insects just want to sting something. Anything.

After spending a couple months outside, without a roof overhead, I can tell you with confidence, it is in fact not actually raining. A political system is pissing on our heads. And it is not worried about these independent scandals coming out. Its fear is us discovering just how many years this has been happening. And my guess,
damn near every one of them since the beginning.

They’re going to continue painting black bears up like pandas. They already are. Scared people like to hide. These men are scared. They built these governments. All patriarchy. And turned themselves into monsters. And monsters like caves. Armani and Gucci and Polo Ralph Lauren. Single breasted and brand named and an office and a title for a lair. Bouquets of daisies wrapped in poison ivy vines on sumac place settings.
Not all the bees you meet are going to lead to honey.
And not all honey is going to be sweet.

In the woods, you really don’t wear camouflage.
It is actually far more beneficial and safer to be seen.
You put on something bright orange, you sing a little while you hike,
you don’t hesitate to talk out loud and make a little noise.
But now that I’m out of the woods, it has been the opposite.
Since I’ve been home
almost everywhere I go
I see some kind of camouflage.

Keep no living heroes.

That is my advice in response to the sudden wave of awareness about the disparagement between sexes. You will find no easy data here. No clear answer. Just when you come up close to thinking it is all of them, you will be surprised. That is the way it is with humans. These are human issues. Within the procreation and sustained development of Man,
the existence of both women and men is required.

Are we surprised at the symptoms of patriarchy?

We took it on without any scientific exploration. We just keep pushing forward forms invented solely by men. More specifically, predominantly white men. We’ve updated our colored pencil collection. But it’s still their black and white drawings we’re filling in. And it’s producing boys who treat the world like toys. To so much surprise. If these are the celebrity stories spilling out, just now, after years, imagine the backcountry congregations and small hometowns and gated neighborhoods full of nobodies exposing themselves without permission, taking liberties with children, even members of their own families. I have heard the stories. Just about every single one of the females in my life has multiple stories that ball my fist, and make me wonder how anyone let these men say and do these things and live.
That’s the typical want to be a good guy response. More violence.
On top of our problem. With violence.

I’m angry. But not surprised. I’ve been a man my entire life. I played soccer in high school, I was in a fraternity in college. Anyone who defends or seeks to lessen an impact of, or response to, any of these forms of sexual violence, is apologizing for their self, their friends, their younger years, their peers, a son who got caught, the many more who were not, ever. Out there in the world leg crossed on the couch. Kids springing throughout the house. A spouse. And when he says a drawn out well, or begins a sentence with but, he is forgiving his own actions. He is doing what he has always done. Since that night. That afternoon. That morning when no one was around, and an implication did the work of social demonstration and time. And the thought that flashed through his mind. If not now, when? Maybe never get this chance again. He didn’t even wake back up into himself until after the flowery flutter of his orgasm had passed. He goes back to the path he was on. Doing what men do best. Committed to lives of distraction. Things work out. The universe doesn’t crash down karmic revenge on his head. In fact, now that he’s committed this act, he is open to an entire social circle of other men who have done the same thing. Who apologize for one another as often as they can, in the company they keep, with the policies they change, their plans.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m very fortunate to suffer from a massive overabundance of trust issues. A highly anxietized form of bold curiosity. Too much imagination for my own good, essentially. And when these boys told me their stories of playing with all these toys, sometimes until they broke, I listened. And I kept thinking how a well placed pocket knife would have taken them out of the gene pool for good. I am angry. So I think stupid things like how women should work blades and small weapons into their boots and stockings. When I know they should never have to. But these boys will never change. You can not wait on them to become men. It will not happen. They would have to go back to that night, or whenever, whatever it was, and make it right. And they won’t do that.

Another symptom of having only half a species invent, establish and organize society
without equally consulting the other half. They forget they are only half.
Half the species. Half the experience. Half of their crime.

I say keep no living heroes for that exact reason. Heroes are only half. The other part of a story like that, is struggle, loss, war, monsters and devastation and suffering are what call heroes out of hiding. Patriarchy is hero government. Their power is defined by destruction, not by a pursuit of peace. Of ease. Of simplicity. No heroes required. The self fulfilling prophesy of one half believing it’s the savior of the other half. When there are no more clear villains, that is what the living hero will become. He won’t be able to give up his cape.

He’ll be obsessive about instances of imitated control.
He will consider his strength indicative of dominance.
He will let the people he loves come to harm so that he can don his cape and save them.
He will construct a government for all people thinking most about what his sons will do for a living.
He will apologize for criminal actions because he is internally crippled by the guilt of what he got away with.
God will look like him.
Messiahs and saviors and saints will be erected in his image.
Cities will function as monuments to fallacy.

He will do most of this subconsciously. And bringing it to awareness will assuredly bring out the villain in him. And he will fight a war against the world, before he breaks down and confronts his own memory. I have no patience or forgiveness for heroes like him.

I learned to keep no living hero. All mine died a long time ago. Their stories are known.
Told by the only honest author in existence. Time. Try not to take it personally.
We’re just a far more trustworthy species once we’re done navigating life.

What about bricks?

My solution is a shift in perspective. Currently, the administration embodies the blueprinted layout. A deep abstract, architectural design. And I say, what about bricks? Each block, unit, independent resource piled and placed in even straight lined relation to other bricks.

Local government. The only functioning government.
Humans aren’t broad enough to represent anyone.

Daily, the voices of represented populations should rattle in their ears. Decisions, restrictions, a short walk and conversation away from the people most affected. Here, within the heart of every American community, the seed of democracy can be glimpsed.

There can still be a federal government, president, senators and what not, but real active functional Americans won’t have to care. Just need to live. Strive to get food to the hungry, medicine and education to the sick and the suffering.

Who can find a sustainable method to pay for the feeding, welfare of millions? No one.
But the five, ten, twenty thousand in each small town, maybe. And the five hundred thousand, or even millions in and around great cities. At least a government tethered its area has a chance of hearing each voice, each complaint, and a fair shot at answering it.

Stared into the faces of their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, we would never send anyone lightly into war, harm, death. No more minority-majority speak. If one or two stand and make a good argument, they will be heard, or hungry, they will be fed, desperate, sick, no land, home or family, the representation of help can be omitted.

We can skip directly to real local democratic solutions.

A larger national-minded government may find a place in mortar, between bricks, to help each stick to the next. Interconnect, network, trade. Alleviate disputes fairly and then fall unnoticed back into the background.

But people, human beings, American citizens, we keep the town.
We built it up. We have the right to tear it down.

Geniusest

How many words were invented when we invented our government? Congress. President. Senate. I’m waiting. Which of these positions was invented specially for our unique democratic experiment? Because if we took these words from history, let there be no more mystery as to why it doesn’t work. We run our nation like the question how many broken lawnmowers does it take to cut the grass. Maybe a piece from each will work, and we can somehow splice together a decent machine from the rest of the world’s spare parts. But I doubt it. None of these countries, empires, philosophers or tyrants sent us their hearts. Just their rebels. Contraband. Freedom bound. People who look forward to sleep because of their dreams, not to avoid them. Face it. Democracy hasn’t actually successfully happened yet. The infrastructure required to stabilize it in a modern realm may yet not be in existence. And what we need are geniuses. Not chess champions or intellectual gunslingers pointing facts or eleven year old violinists.

We need what genius really means. What it’s always meant.
For the time being. A chance to reinvent.

An alarm clock. A morning reveille. A sunrise.

This morning I woke to the sound of so many minds clicking off. And while it is frightening to consider what all it took to turn them on in the first place, it was an uncomfortable feeling. Seeing hope only when it leads to victory. Treating someone else’s retrograde as your progress. If you didn’t see this coming, you and I have that in common. But thinking there was a fight to be had yesterday, and there isn’t one today, is not a thought we share. My mind is not clicking off, mostly because it turned on way prior to twenty sixteen.

This is it. These are the days our ancestors were obsessive over. This is the end of eras, and the birth of existence. Everyone in the world knows this man is not a candidate. Not a president. He’s an alarm clock. A morning reveille no amount of groaning or rolling over will deter. We’re awake now. We started stirring to laughter over the possibility of a controversial celebrity making a run for our nation’s big Grecian styled mansion. And by the time we took the thought of getting out of bed seriously, it was too late to stop it. That is not on you, or me, or anyone who cast a vote in this election, or anyone who didn’t. That is the fickle nature of representative government. We call this thing a popular vote. A popular election. We discredited candidates early on, not citing credentials, but their lack of likability and winning potential. We can say that to presidential candidates, though we would never say it to children. Yet we do, when we keep it as an institute.

A celebrity ran for president in a popular election and won. All I can think is, how the hell did I not see this coming. I laid down last night with this alarm set for myself. How there is always just enough time in an evening to forget morning will be born again at the end of it all, I do not know. There just is. The end of night seems determined to always come as a surprise.

And this morning, I woke to the sound of so many minds, for the first time, up early enough to see a sunrise.