Dirty Dishes Day

Getting set in our ways is set in our way. We don’t pick a calendar date for change. Numbering each day indefinitely as if they’ll stay the same. Then. That sunny one we needed. We wake up to rain. Wind. We wake up to cheddar cheese lightning staining the wet earth orange. Didn’t make a plan for that. When the truth is, we really didn’t make any real plans at all.

Hoping and wishing is not the same as planning.

Crossing fingers doesn’t cross that little box on each monthly chart. That ancient graph.
Showing us all the possible outcomes of the imaginary equation that is tomorrow.

Best case scenario. I’m talking world peace. An end to hunger. Homelessness becomes nothing more than a joke, just something college kids take a semester off to try out. There are still storms. Hurricanes and earthquakes and floods. There is cancer. Sickness of all manner. There’s still the matter of dinner. And then afterward, best case scenario ever, we still have to do dishes.

Revolutions. Are not just something we do to get around the sun. Of all the best laid plans of mice and of men not one, not a single person, put dirty dishes on the calendar. Even though it was more vitally predetermined than Christmas even. Life is messy. If the standard of building a perfect system is to have no extra remainder of necessary effort or labor unforeseen at the initiation, then settle in folks, this is going to continue being a bumpy ride.

But what if, oh the irony, what if we stop dreaming. What if we wake up right now and admit, fully admit, what we already know. The human being is not a thing. It is a process. The systems we establish to protect, enable, provide for humans, will not function in a fixed state. As we grow along, our societal solutions to individual problems will have to prorate. Will have to change. Not to speed up. But just to keep pace. We’ll get smarter, leaner, wilder, wiser, every successive year. You fight that. You set up roadblocks in front of progress, you’ll have a revolution every twenty years. You plan on it. Allow. Foster. Even enable it. Put change on the calendar. You’ll get a little bit of revolution every day.

An internal upheaval for every human being to remind them if all of this goes correctly there will be another day after this one. Definitely. It is a big if, but as far as we know, every if of its kind that ever came before has come true. Until now, there has always been a tomorrow. Maybe we could make a plan for something to happen that isn’t a birthday, or Christmas, or some kind of sugar-glazed, paper wrapped holiday.

Perhaps we wouldn’t need a big hairy revolution every other decade.
If we went ahead and made a plan to picnic in the rain.

The Almighty Dollar

Modern money is idolatry. Its very existence is a social contrivance. Like a lot of human institutions, it is representative, more so than authentic. For our ancestors, one of the stupidest, and most dangerous form of savings, was money. The wealthiest derived that status through land possession, crop stores, timber, chattel. Money was a placeholder, a tool for conversion. Lots of things have been money. Metal. Salt. Beads. And now, green pieces of paper and your hard fought credit score.

It is a relatively recent development. Even just a couple hundred years ago, money didn’t mean nearly what all it means to us now. You could have no money to speak of whatsoever, and live on your land, and eat from it. This idea that taxes just take a percentage of something that already exists is false. Taxation requires any land owner or laborer to convert some of their time or assets into the almighty dollar. And considering one of those trade goods is priceless, invaluable, and rare, and the other is as cheap as you need it to be, we always end up losing out on the conversion. We’re taxed. Even people who can only work a little, and are on food assistance programs, they get taxed. The goal is for all of the economy to pass through this government sanctioned, printed, malleable tender. Even if it is being spat right back up on people left in unsustainable economic conditions. Our government has become a glorified middle man. Our ancestors wouldn’t understand this.

I just wonder, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, why can’t we, as a community, simply take stock of our needs, and the ability of the lands within our regions to produce and meet that need. Instead of taxing our food producers and forcing them to convert their labor intensive products into money, why couldn’t some of those required taxes be rendered in providing food to the community, jobs, housing, even arts, culture and entertainment. I don’t know if you’ve read at all about what farms used to mean for people, but the idea of running a monotonous, one crop operation was almost unheard of. Very rare. Once, farms were cultural and economic institutions. Seasonal jobs to offer, cheap or even free housing for workers, hosting community events and celebrations. Fairs and concerts and markets.

Why would our government not want to send hungry people to this sort of place to get food, and possibly short term employment, or housing? They’re already taxing the farm, why not give a call, and ask, instead of these tens of thousands of dollars we were going to force you to render at peril of keeping your assets and freedom, there are three thousand people in your area on government assistance, what could you do for them?

That’s a good question, why exactly would our government not simply operate as a big picture, national seamstress quilting all the various agricultural regions together to form one solid, cohesive food system that could actually outlast the almighty, yet highly mortal US dollar. Don’t they care about us? Haven’t our leaders seen how currency is prone to inflate, and shrink back. I mean, by design, capitalism, our current form of economy, creates a recession or even a depression every decade. Don’t people lose all their savings even in mild recessions? Could we research what happens to the suicide rate during a recession, or god forbid, depression? People literally, and in more than a million ways, die with the dollar.

So this seems to me an insufficient vehicle to distribute basic resources we all require to maintain the little things, like breath, and open eyes, and a body that works, and a reasonable mind.

I don’t have some inscrutable authority to determine the rightness or wrongness of any issue, but same as you, I do have the ability to say there are some issues that truly effect all of us equally. Such as access to food, water, shelter, healthcare. Products we expire without. And knowing how many of those requirements exist naturally, easily on a farm, I wonder why our government talks about agriculture systems so infrequently.

Not really. I don’t wonder. I’m being ironic. It is because farms are true government. The first government. And that group of men who gathered up on the east coast and claimed to be this country’s new government, were mostly farmers. Problem was, they didn’t want to be any longer. So they became judges and congressmen and senators, and established a system that would allow their children to not to have to be farmers also.

If a farm is run right, and smart, a person could disappear into one like a black hole, and never be seen again, except for at a produce stand, strand of grass hung out from their mouth, while they turn a little bit of their best corn into petty cash, just to have some pocket money.

The base of our economy should be a barter based, agrarian community of farms, connected by foot trails and train tracks and highways like ivy vines all leading back to that rooted base. A productively laid back home place. People should be able to wade into it like a kiddy pool beside the high dive and sixteen foot deep end of the rest of the economy. Mark ups and tax rates are disrespectful and dangerous when they stand between someone and their survival.

Food, water, and shelter are not appropriate commodities for purely monetary economies.

Which, ironically, was the way it always was, even back when America was established. Everybody had a back-home and family farm they could retreat to when their city endeavors were taxed too high, or like we have now, a government that refuses to operate outside of its own self preservation. We literally have a system of government where our leaders can never make an unpopular decision, because they have to be elected again next season. Most of our workers are paid by the hour, so the harder and faster they work, the less they take home.

Why have I never read these ideas before? It’s like every other person who has this realization thinks forward, launches into new systems buried in the ideals of socialism, or the standardization and equality of communism. But I look back, just a few hundred years, and this is exactly the agricultural world our ancestors lived in.

Money was a trifling, mostly seasonal object for them, a vessel for trade, and security, so one could sit back and feel safe, and manifest their own autonomy while they lived off the food, water and shelter almost every piece of land on earth can provide.

But now money is being worshiped. This is beyond the borderline of idolatry.
The whole economy has become its sanctuary. And I really don’t believe in irony.

It’s just that survival is scary.

And money, the almighty dollar,
makes for a great place to hide.

Disagreeable Animals

It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy, to mean it isn’t an accident. This country is not broken. We are. Because that’s what the men who wrote our constitution were dealing with. A divided population desperately being translated into a divided constituency. England left slavery alone in America, because that is all America was to the British Empire. Slave labor. Pillaged resources. Raw goods, for industrial ends. The idea that under Britain, we would never own our farms, but if we were culpable only to Americans, we would. Talk about a powerful campaign promise. That’s all freedom really was to our founders. It is not a conspiracy, but was not an accident, that they did not address the liberty of all the people living within their country. How a leader can preserve the self esteem of thousands on the oppression of hundreds. Someone to look down on. The rejects, and runaways, and the chattel of Europe, and their African slaves. If they were not evil in their initial intentions, then they were certainly turned over to the idea by time. Look at who we are today. We are the inevitable, flighty, judgmental result of our ancestors. This was not an accident.

It was also not a southern tradition, or some small, easily discounted regionalism. America owes its existence more heavily to African Americans than any other group of people. This is the motivation for racism, untrue, identifiable, quantifiable hierarchy. Undelivered respect.
And the guilt it inspires.

Emancipation did not end slavery. Slavery, the word, does not mean the incarceration of one group of people in one country during any certain period of time. The people at the top, going all the way back, use the subjugation of others like caffeine. Slavery is in our prison system, it lives in welfare programs, and minimum wage, hourly pay, two weeks off a year careers. Slavery is the lack of having any other real, substantive option.

And if you did not participate in some form of income generating activity, where would you live, what would you eat, where would you go that you would not owe a single debt?

It is not some great conspiracy. But it is also was not in any way on accident.

It’s agriculture.

We, the people, are being farmed by the same poor standards we subject our animals to undergo. Taking the horns off goats so they don’t hurt each other. Castrating cattle. Separating mothers from babies. Not evil, just specific to a very particular context, that if taken out of that context, has a very similar shape, make-up and the same sordid potential of anything we would agree to call evil.

Up until now, no one has really been trying to shape a sustainable, viable society.
We’ve been building and expanding pastures. Fence lines. Tethers. Barns and locked pens.

Doing it outright to others is actually a highly successful method of pulling the wool over the eyes of people having it done to them. All the little pecking orders animals in cages establish over one another. Whispering conspiracy theories about those towering shapes that show up to trickle grain into a dish, or clean the water tub, and leave us some hay. Do they love us? Is that why they’re feeding us? Then why do we disappear one by one as our offerings shrivel up, why aren’t we guaranteed life outside of productivity and use? Did they shape all of this for this purpose, to keep us confused, yet working, ignorant, yet dutifully pulling the cart, for fear of a lash from behind?

It’s just, humans can’t be fully domesticated. The wilderness is written into our curious consciousness. We’re the shepherd creature. Through evolution, we learned the latent power of the universe.

Revolution.

And until we invent a system that truly guarantees our freedom, a pasture with a gate any one of us can open, we’ll have revolution after revolution after revolution. Just as we see when we study our history.

I refuse to believe we’ve been earnestly investing and upholding societies that break down this destructively and this often on accident. We’re too smart for that. It’s not a conspiracy that government has been used more as a tool for control than an actual mechanism for organising access to the basic needs and protections for entire populations.

It’s just inconsiderate, bully farming. But humanity makes for a precarious subject.
A creature that rivals goats at breaking down and betraying barriers.

We all need resources for food, water, and shelter built into our local communities.
And if we are living in a system that can not or does not provide those resources,
we all need the equivalent amount of commercial value that would allow us to sustain basic life.

It really is that simple. Leaving us in conditions that demand payment for items we die without, breaks down our sense of community, it lends tender to the fire of prejudice and division, and keeps us hungry, and reactive, unsettled and under stress. Essentially, our society doesn’t feed or water or house the chicken, until after the egg has been laid. Which is really poor farming. Most of us who have raised chickens provide a safe, warm environment, clean water, good feed, months and months before an egg is ever laid. And even when it grows cold, and the production slows, we don’t. A good farmer still pays into the livelihood of animals that are not currently returning.

“Is it really as simple as that, Jeremy?”
Yes. It really is. Society doesn’t need to organize our social lives, or tell us how to chicken. We really just wanted government to make sure the things we need to stay alive get distributed evenly to all of us, because no matter who or what we are, we cease to be any good to anyone without them.

Reading the headlines, scrolling through timelines, if I knew nothing else of America, I’d say every American had a full stomach, a good roof over their head, clean water, the protection and rights that come from any decent shelter. Four walls and tin roof and all. A big old yard outside to roam around, and a little help fending off the dogs. Which I know isn’t true.

So I’m asking you, if it really could be that simple, will you at least consider it?
That all sorts of issues we’re facing as a nation could be solved if there were a little more feed in our dishes, and if we, all of us, had more free time in the yard? That we wouldn’t have to take the horns off the goats, if they had space to explore their instincts and roam.

We need to start at the beginning, and experience a bit of the lives of our ancestors before we step boldly into so-called new worlds. There has to be a quiet, tax free, simple, self made life in the country available to every person, in order for a puritanically economic system to still be called freedom. Or every citizen needs to be provided with the economic equivalent of what it takes to sustain basic life in the town or city.

That’s it. That word, free, we’ve been throwing around for so long, that is what it has always meant. To be taken literally, free of required expense, or payment for products that can’t be boycotted, because they are essential to life. Every living thing has a right to the break neck pursuit of staying alive. Governments should exclusively be a facilitator and ally for us in that pursuit.

Humans are a precarious, particularly devilish animal on a farm. They refuse to lay their eggs in cages. And the human grazes only where the grass is greener, won’t live right not knowing what’s on the other side, for better or worse. Whinnies like a horse, and chatters loud as chickens. They make little plans, and take the screws out of wood, and dump their dishes and peck the farmer, when kept cooped up in pens, and solely within fences.

I get it, government. It’s not some conspiracy. Certainly wasn’t on accident. But up until now the pursuit has been better fences and pens. It has. No reason to deny it. You wrote out a Bill of Rights for us, but we never returned the favor, and put down our bill of rights for you.

Food.
Water.
Shelter.

Everything else we need from you will be lessened once those things are covered.
Like roots. We only see a tower of leaves and color.
But just to stand, just to argue, just to be someone hated by everyone,
you still have to have eaten, had water, and slept somewhere out of the weather.

So what we can’t agree on everything.

Governments, farmers, by necessity, must be impartial.
They feed and care for us all, just so we can get back to the business
of being disagreeable animals.

Pink Sun Rising

Auburn horizons with a purple tinge.
Fields of once white snow grow colored creme de la creme.
Cinnamon trees mixed in.
White lights slow strobe on distant radio towers.

And giant concrete straws blow bubbles of steam
in long trains that fade into brown clouds.

Snow soft as down falls apart in breath.
A foot or so of depth.
Ice layer beneath that.

From so much unexpected rain.

Dropped fifty degrees.
In the short course of a single day.

And the purple horizon.
The pink sun rises.
Signifies.

The rain intends to stay.

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.

Conservative today is liberal tomorrow.

Let me try to explain. Do you know this guy, the person who uses duct tape and rubber cement to fix burst pipes, and then leaves it, for months, until it breaks again. Or who saves money on plumbing piping to use as electricity conduit, or paints over grounding wires. Have you met the guy who uses his friends to do a construction job even a contractor would hire a contractor to do. Just to save a buck.

These people voted for Trump. They call themselves conservative. They pretend they’re running businesses, which are just dressed up opportunities to talk down to other people, while bleeding money into the companies that sold them the supplies to get started. See. Those companies are run by liberal-minded individuals.
They’re not panning for gold in California.
They’re selling you the pan and a shovel and inventing denim pants.

Conservative today, burst pipes, rusted wiring, and slow sinking foundation, will be the most insurmountably expensive option moving forward. The word conservative might be applicable for a year, two, maybe even a decade, and then, with shrugged shoulders and skeptical grin, we’ll be right back at the same problem. Again. Checkbook in hand.

It is not conservative to half ass a project today praying you won’t still be around to fix it tomorrow. Liberal-minded people put money on projects preemptively, recording in the long run just how much they saved by their spending. And almost every social program put forward in the past century has done just that. Taken severe chunks out of violent crime rates, filled in some of the recession pits so we don’t hit bottom so hard. I have personally seen this attempt to provide affordable health care bring millions of the youngest, and interestingly enough, oldest members of the workforce, out of the shadows and into the limelight. We were reminded, there is a current of movement in this nation that still slows down for us. The people.

I don’t see that conservative minded individuals could ever look at us as an investment. As an opportunity. Helping in our hard times is at best their charity. They don’t see how I come out of it swinging. Working. Inventing. Changing. I’m not saying conservatives don’t want that, but they’re sure as hell not going to put money on it before it’s a sure thing. Conservatives are giving away their agenda, offended that we’re offended by phrases like minimum wage. They’re stocking up on duct tape. Come on. The tires are bald. The wiring is exposed. We can damn near see sparks.

I am no Democrat.

But on a timeline, again and again, they have proven themselves to be the true party of conservatism. Instilling policies today that have saved us incredible amounts of time and money moving forward.

Republicans are arguing fiscally conservative in the moment quick fix applications, that end up costing exorbitant amounts in the future. And once we have no choice, because the machine has finally just shut down, they are quite liberal in increasing the national deficit tremendously. You know, one wouldn’t have to work that hard to put up a decent case that on a timeline, Republicans, in every way, socially, fiscally, morally, are a far more liberal party.

And this is where I’ll end. Where I usually wind up. Arguing over timelines. Like every other prophet. Essentially committing entire lives to promoting the philosophy of composting.

Today’s shit. Tomorrow’s soil.
Cheap today. Valuable tomorrow.

These terms, conservative, liberal, don’t hold up the same way on a timeline.

If intelligent life from the other side of the universe showed up on earth, they are not going to believe the party arguing against family leave, fair pay, the basic freedoms of women, also known as half the entire population, electing sordid pseudo-celebrities and teasing nuclear holocaust, is the more conservative party.

They’re going to laugh a little at how we are still being used by our own words.
And then. They will try to find anyone who can functionally think on a timeline.

You could use a thousand words.


How can we be free if we don’t voluntarily pay taxes. When we end up in jail if we don’t hand over however many dollar bills correlates to the life services we purchased in order just to stay alive. How can it be freedom, if it isn’t actually free to merely subsist within this system.

You have no answer for this. You could use a thousand words to prove to me you have no good answer to these words. You don’t. Fear of war. Fear of violence. Imagination that the symptoms plaguing our nation existed prior to the formation of things called nations. They didn’t. How do you fix society, when grouping a species as heavily dependent on ferocious individuality into too tight knit communities caused the problem in the first place.

It is simple. Humans need to be free range. And we’re being pastured in lots so small the grass is gone and we’re ankle deep in muck, eating thrown out Christmas candy, corn in every form but corn. Cages and barns and fence lines they say can change but never do.

Rural lives don’t need to be taxed at the same rate.
We’re not provided public transportation, or the daily services we depend on
to move trash and pump water and repackage a planet into suppertime.

There has to be place in this place where a human can just go and human.

Freedom means free access to the resources that support and sustain life.
By definition, freedom will never be provided by capitalism. Never.
You could use a thousand words. You will never change my mind.

A human is not an isolated existence, but a delicate balance struck between nutrition, hydration and environmental security, within a complex ever-changing universe that produces all of them. You can scream the word freedom until blood vessels in your face start to burst. But humans do not exist in a vacuum. When you mention a human, or look at a human, you are looking at food sources, water tables, and shelter structures that protect against weather and predators.
Without those things, you are not looking at a human.
You are only looking at a matter of time.

Food, water, and shelter are liturgical. They are God-given.
It is not America. It is not capitalism. Or democracy. It’s dinner.

It is your next breath.

I just think we should reconsider using the word free
when we are describing this much debt.

The New One


Change is hard. To me, it seems rooted in unhappiness. The discontent desire to reshape their continents. And happy people draw maps. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. Philosophically speaking, it’s a hammer. Or a wrench. If you look at the equipment to get an idea of the ideas they have built, it will always seem too simple. But it’s two different natures. Separate goals and agendas, distinct skeletal structures between the ideals that shape our tools and the things they can build. A hammer moves two ways. Hard and inconsiderate buried into wood, or sharp flat bunny ears that pull shy iron up out of its rabbit hole. If you’re a mover and a shaker, a builder, a creator, a social changer, an adventurer, an artist. You’re probably not the happiest. Dissatisfied. Discontent. You can argue me against it, but I’ll probably disregard all your words and take your passionate need to prove me wrong as its own kind of evidence. Sorry. I stopped stopping at people’s words a long time ago. Around the same time I admitted to myself just how much I will lie to control the idea people have of me. I did this amazing thing. I assumed everyone else was just as smart as me. And doing it as well. So I listen to chest swells, and deep breaths, and that thing where people look down and chuckle a couple times before they talk. Think of all the times you did that yourself. What true answers were you bypassing in those seconds before you landed on the placid, clean, decent one.

So whether you want to admit it or not, you’re not building a new house because you were happy with the one you had. You’re not plowing new fields if your grass was already green enough. Tree roots and boulders buried like land mines. Change is hard work. So are new worlds. America is defined by attracting all of the earth’s least satisfied residents. Argue with me if you want, but people who are truly content, do not get on that boat. They never left Europe. You did not travel then, and you really shouldn’t now, with any reassurance of how soon you’ll be back again. Along with luggage, you are taking your life up into your own hands. Seeking out new lands. Because the one you’re leaving behind did not fill you up. It wasn’t enough. Some of us are hammers. And some of us are nails buried so deep we’ll never be pried up. And a good enlightenededish person will have learned over time to be a bit of both. To seek balance. And let change do what it has always done. This planet is changing all on its own. The revolution, is how to live here and still leave it alone.  

It’s an oversimplification, I know. But if hammers and nails were as complicated as houses, I’m not sure we’d ever get one off the ground. If you’re an artist. A revolutionary, which is simple nowadays. The revolutionary is a good mom, and a patient man, an understanding boss, a forgiving friend. If you’re trying. If you have a dream. Or wishes. If other people are small talking and I catch you staring off into the distance. I know you’re like me. You’re a little bit unhappy. Just enough. To know this way of life isn’t enough.

The same hands that put down the new novels and poetry and short-storied scriptures of tomorrow will have cut the boards and set the nails of the new shelves in the libraries that will be needed to hold all of them. A hammer. The pen. The beauty of this rusty little literary invention. Language is like an old house our ancestors built for us. A decrepit mansion we all inherited equally just by being born human. Maybe a room or two have been kept clean and livable by the devoted satin robe wearing monks of academia, but none of us could keep termites out of the joist in the basement. Mold buried deep with moisture in real hard oak. Floor sagging in places and roof given out altogether in others. No one lives here full time anymore. And how we approach this condemned inheritance sort of sets us into two distinct categories of personality.

And I know I don’t need to write it again. But it is the discontent who want to tear it down and start over. Happy people are scrubbing floors and dusting mantles. But the ones who have glimpsed the future walk the halls with hammers. Prying up nails and taking out hardwood and stained glass and musty furniture while we still can.
We may yet need them.
For the new one.  

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.

Just Like the Rest of Us

This just in. You may not actually be a white supremacist if you have no problem using United States currency. You’re probably not a true racist if you participate in any way in this economy. The people who entered this nation as a commodity actually have more claim on this country. It was built on their backs. They are its original profits. Value. Commercially speaking, if you enjoy anything about this country, you enjoy black people. You like Asians. You delight in the gifts of indigenous peoples, whether or not they gave them freely.

Their contribution is inseparable, and indistinguishable from what America is.

This just in. A person might have more luck being a white supremacist in Europe. But even then, it won’t be easy. Still, not all of those countries stacked their foundations on the backs of the people who are the colors racists claim to hate. Claim to be better than. Beyond. But the dollar in your wallet says something totally different. It’s just how capitalism works. These races you perceive actually have a good bit of money. And it is quite impossible to delineate, or keep separate, their effect on markets, culturally and commercially. So if you hate them, you are most definitely in the wrong nation. Because without these people, the United States would mean nothing. Financially speaking.

This just in. You’re not a true racist if you are in any way profiting off this system. Maybe there are a few in-the-moment instances where you use a word, or judge a person on this basis, or a whole group of people, because of skin color, or they’re speaking languages you don’t understand, or have a sense of humor you don’t get, or different fashion or food or whatnot. That’s called being afraid of different. Racism requires research into continental movements and biological and environmental and genetic factors, migrations and immigration and forced exoduses into new worlds, and a subtle, for the most part, unspoken promotion of the theory of evolution.

This just in. Racism requires reading. And honestly, I doubt the homework has gotten done. I know somewhere, someone left you hurt, and any descriptor you can cling to in order to separate them from you, you will use. You take it as offense that you have to be the same species as the organism who treated you as an object. So, you objectify them. I get it. But that’s like a drowning person striking out at their lifesaver. A reaction to fear. And pain. Thrashing out at darkness that isn’t there. You’re just blinded by your own night light. Being racist requires a lot more than being proud of being white skinned. Or beige tinged. Or deeply black. Or light peach. This just in. That’s not racism. If skin color were race, then I’d be a new race at the end of every summer. People come in different colors. I’m not surprised that gets a rise out of a lot of us. It makes sense we would fear different, and favor familiar. But that isn’t racism. Racism would refuse to use the dollar. Refuse to walk on and benefit from an infrastructure that has time after time apologized and defended the people it once acquired and treated as commodities.

If I search my heart, it says there are only maybe ten true racists in this country. Who have now realized they can camouflage themselves conservative, and recruit armies of highly confused colorists. People who naturally fear different. And change. People who do not actually care at all about race. They’re just lifelong pessimists. They meet a few people, experience some uncomfortable situations, and that becomes the standard, and every good person, and positive experience, just an exception. The most hateful, what I would come closest to calling truly racist, whom I have met, always had exceptions. Certain humans who didn’t adhere to a stereotype they otherwise treated as a rule.

This just in. Racism can’t have exceptions.

If you do not hate all people included, you do not hate a race. In my heart, I don’t believe there are more than ten humans in America who have the moral bankruptcy and self-contentedness to sustain such a powerful exclusionary philosophy. It’s not good for capitalism. Not good for small towns. Not good for government.

And, you know, America sort of stands alone among nations in its inability to separate success and vitality from the impact of large groups of non-white and immigrant people.

This just in. You wouldn’t even deign to make your white supremacy stand in America if you were truly racist. This isn’t the hill you would die on. You wouldn’t be able to eat at McDonald’s. Let alone stand keeping cash in your wallet. Knowing where it has been. The hands that make it what it is.

I know people. I know myself. Don’t let the propaganda of a few highly unsustainable individuals convince you that a natural fear of what looks different, denotes any kind of evidence for superiority or inferiority among the racial and geographical dynamics of humanity. Of our species. This is just what happens when you’re a creature who doesn’t go extinct with its environment. When you cross mountains to find new forests, and new worlds. We get a little reshaped by each place along the way, but we wouldn’t be able to breed if we weren’t the same. We’d have different eyes. Different hand shape. Different lives. Just stop thinking in exceptions and standards, and lend other people the same autonomy you demand for yourself. Hate them. Hate everyone if you want to. But if you’re not rejecting capitalism as an economic system, you’re probably not racist. And if you think America is a good place to formally distinguish the white race against all others, you really haven’t done your homework.
There’s a lot more reading required to being a true racist.

This just in.
You might just be afraid of different.
Which means, you are just like the rest of us.

And if facts don’t persuade you, no mater what,
you are going to have a hard time being a true capitalist.