Glancing

Yesterday I saw you

Under the rainbow you carry

But your eyes are always shining

I said hello but you couldn’t hear

I didn’t take it personally.

Where do your dreams live?

How do you present yourself

How has your past made you

Do you sleep on your side?

What silly thing do you do with your pets or when no one is around

I’ll be vulnerable too.

Why do you get out of bed in the morning–do you hesitate, procrastinate or shoot up with glee

What do you crave what do you scorn

How can you put up with all the attention

Maybe it’s better as it is maybe not

Either way I wish you well

And I wish I could tell you all this.

Bankruptcy

Much like sitting in the optometrist’s chair, it only becomes more and more clear. This country is bankrupt. Sure, we have mansions and private jets and brand new football stadia and interstates and national parks–but we’re bankrupt. Ethically bankrupt and corrupt. The responsibility falls on everyone, but especially those who protect the interests of and enforce the will of the multinational corporations. The politicians, the security guards, the private investigators, the lawyers, the judges, the law enforcement officers, the mercenaries. If you are one of these things and act as a tool of a business or corrupt government institution that always puts the interests of a minority over the majority and puts profits over people and the environment, you really need to take a deep look at what you do and change it. Don’t be a bandwagon, scab, “Well, this is the best thing to do for me” type person. That’s exactly the attitude that is screwing us.

We need to think of each other before we destroy all our most precious resources i.e. our food, water, and air. The good news is everyone can do something to help fight the madness that, for example, manifests as the flesh of a thousand cows in one hamburger that is then sanitized with ammonia before being served to you. The madness that is continuing to find more dangerous and destructive ways to extract the very fossil fuels that are increasing the temperature of the entire planet irreversibly. More good news is that bankruptcy is a perfect place from which to start over. While the protest at Standing Rock failed in the long run, it was still inspiring to see all of those people fighting for what was right for once.

To affect real change to the important issues such as campaign finance reform, food and drug regulation, environmental protection, and economic equality will take nothing short of a miracle of will and organization, but it is possible–if people keep one idea in mind, love. Love for yourself and those around you. To not accept being taken advantage of anymore. To not accept being just another consumer or taxpayer or soldier. In this case, love is the unwillingness to accept mistreatment; it is standing up for yourself and others. Now, more than ever, we must focus on the things that make us alike rather than different. We must fight each other’s battles because we will need help to fight our own. We must fight to protect what’s important, but first we must come to a consensus on what that is. This won’t be as difficult as it sounds. Though the media and the powers that be would have us believe otherwise, we actually all mostly agree on our goals. We may disagree on how to achieve them, but we can also all agree that making no change will not bring us to those goals. We can also all agree that whatever solution truly works without causing externalities and hidden costs is acceptable, even if it wasn’t our idea of how to achieve that goal.

The resources are there to solve all of our problems. There is enough food, enough land, enough water, enough energy to meet the needs of our growing global population. But our resources are not being distributed equitably. Many of them go into destruction rather than construction or sustaining what we have. They are misspent, misplaced, misused–but they exist. So get involved in a political movement. Take to the streets. Get loud. Vote with your dollars for local food, for socially and environmentally responsible companies. Know your enemy. Forge alliances. Remember we are all one. Love thy neighbor and thy self. The time is now.

Technology and Its Impact on Society

The first world’s shift towards interacting more and more with devices rather than people has had some awful consequences which we must now learn to curb. Young children are spending hours on their tablets instead of being occupied by a parent or peer. A device is something one has complete control over, if something disturbs you, you can close the window, app, or turn the device off. You can find graphic sexual content and violent content abundantly and fantasize about sex and violence to your heart’s content. This control over, objectification of, and trivialization of, the most intimate and horrible acts a person can commit has somehow failed to translate into increased sexual and violent crime rates in the United States over the last two decades, however the media’s bias towards such stories has not made this seem the case to the average citizen. Fortunately, despite technology’s negative influences, the world is not going to hell. This isn’t to say that the full impact of consumer technology has been realized yet–and there are some crucial differences in the ways people interact with devices as opposed to the ways they interact with other people.

A device cannot judge you, laugh at you, call you names–but it can be a vehicle to show you other people doing so. The layer of protection, whether distance or anonymity brings out the worst in people. People behave badly online with little or no repercussions most of the time. If someone said something about you in person, you could confront them and preserve your self-esteem. Doing so online becomes a strange proxy battle so removed from reality that both sides will make outrageous threats and statements that escalate the situation beyond its original import. It is how we interact with other people that is most important, but how we use technology throughout our lives influences this. Who hasn’t went on social media to see a friend or acquaintance posting about doing something enjoyable and instead of feeling glad for them, felt envious or disappointed with how they spent their own afternoon? Technology has the power to influence how human beings interact with each other, partially because spending so much time engrossed in technology, especially as children, keeps us from learning how to handle certain types of interpersonal interactions. Some have theorized this is why there is such a focus on bullying in the education system and that this technology has coincided with the 2010s phenomena of political correctness and people very easily offended–“snowflakes.” Now are these phenomena also perhaps indicative of an enhanced understanding of and compassion for the plights of others? Are they as author Tony Robbins asserted more a result of an inclination towards “victimhood?” Clearly it required a combination of these reasons for the phenomena to arise. But then is technology only a potentially hazardous influence? Or might it actually be able to improve interactions between people in certain cases?

Of course technology connects us with others over long distances, but are these relationships significant or merely hollow shadows of what they would be if the people were able to interact face-to-face? Things such as Skype and FaceTime allow the next best thing to this sort of interaction which have no doubt helped, for example, military people stay connected to loved ones at home. But are these really any more intimate than a telephone call–a technology which has been widely available since the early 20th century? The argument could be made that they are since they allow one to see another’s facial expression, but tone, volume, and cadence of voice can give one a pretty good idea of another’s expression. Technology does allow one to translate much more easily than they could before with a phrase book in hand, and this is one way it facilitates an interaction between people. Perhaps these are two instances in which technology has actually improved an interaction between people, but much more often, technology is used as a replacement for interaction as opposed to an enhancement of one.

I don’t think the evidence supports the notion that technology’s influence has been or will continue to be primarily negative in regards to human interaction, but in the scheme of things it really hasn’t been around long enough to be sure. I won’t attempt to speculate as to why violent and sexual crime rates are dropping in the United States aside from suggesting that it may be the fact that the country has the highest percentage of its population incarcerated in the world. According to the BBC, violent and sex crime rates in England and Wales rose significantly over the past year. Other first world nations may not be enjoying the same reduction in these crime rates as the U.S. is. Time will tell how technology is impacting us behaviorally and psychologically, as technology races ahead to complicate the analysis.

 

Conundrum

I pour my pain in a bottle

Break it over my head and laugh

Trying to find your frequency

Before the light gets too bright

And washes everything out

This bump in the road

Will change your perspective

Keep it clean figuratively and literally

Or we’ll all be drenched in filthy scum

A butterfly flaps its wings

Tsunami breeches the nuclear plant

Radiation grows abundant

The fear is worse than the bottle of pain

Drink up and understand

Put your phone in an otter box

Let it swim away

I’m a hypocrite by accident

Sirens call me but I ignore them

Sweat soaks your back

The ladder just got ten feet higher

Look down but keep your chin up

Up and away

We go parallel

Lining our pockets

Of life sustaining water

You waiting for

Watch the clock

Listen to it tick

Crawling under your skin

Radiant with radiation

Blissful disaster

I saw it coming

Clean and green

Mother nature’s Spring children

Slowly at play

Pause, rewind, fast forward?

Only over the commercial advertisements

Despite their cleverness

Humanity destroys itself after murdering the planet

Do what you can please

Yourself knowing you’re making a difference

Between 7.6 billion and 8.7 million reasons

Knot doll hairs

Detangle the mess don’t accept it

Reject the notion and its implications

Let go of your petty frustrations and think of other beings

While you chew them

Free Speech

You can’t say “bomb” on an airplane.

You can’t say “abortion” in a church.

You can’t say “peace” in the Pentagon.

You can’t say “boo” to a baby.

You can’t say “no” to a spoiled child.

You can’t say “terrorist” to a white killer.

You can’t say “I don’t want money.”

You can’t say “Jack” to a king.

…You can say that again!

Redemption

Slick paint on the floor

Florescent lights pulsing

A bookshelf full of moccasins

Spinning webs in the corners

My thoughts echo

I slip into a dream

Lake of elixir, cat tails swaying

Under the surface the real work is done

Hyperactive anemic mice scurry

When the footsteps are near

Clouds part: the sun splits them

Angels croon

And doves sing

In the supple clouds

But no rain comes

Unfortunately

It is a misfortunate occasion which prompts this affair

A drought as it were

Breathe in through your nose six seconds and out the same way six seconds

Perspective plus acceptance equals peace

Bitter cherries abounded briskly

Shaking on the branches in the storm

And at last the sky opened and allowed rain to fall drop by reviving drop.