No Ugly Ducklings.

every one thing bleeds
into all others. Boundaries
blur. Exchange rates?


is another word
for a largely invisible,
unfathomably complex
association of nodes bound
by the strands
of this vast web.

No, we are not all one,

though it is true
that we need each
other. Accept the diversity,
nurture our connectivity.

We are a small aspect
of the overall force
of natural selection,

we are distinct
in that we belong
to this community
of insight. Dig deep,
find your true and inner
self, find your spark,
your soul,

your drive,
our incidentally shared drive,
our natural space of resonance,
our unintended,
though much needed

to make all worlds
our home.

No ugly ducklings.

No one should ever
feel so alone.

A Reason to Fight.

I cannot be
like you, for that
would impede
upon my individual
to be true

to myself and, by extension,
impede upon
my responsibility to feed
the diversity
that keeps the fires of life
as a whole

To be anything less
than who I am
would be to dishonor
life from all conceivable
directions, so I am afraid

I must decline
your invitation, as it does
not resonate
with my inner core.

Push me? I push you.
You crossed
the line, I am just guiding
you back.

Don’t make
me have to violently
increase the distance,
or, in an animalistic
manner pluralize
your existence,
your precise
location in time
and space.

Its a form of rape.

I know revenge
is just an attempt
forced empathy.

I will never do
what you do to me.
You, you’ll never get it.

Freedom, truth,
is everything,
and among
you, it all dies.

A reason to fight?

Fuck yes,
that is enough for me.

Medieval Mindsets in the 21st Century.

Like a goddamn lunatic, I wave to her from the front door of my fast food place of employment, which usually gets her smiling, laughing, waving back, usually calling me over for a brief conversation. This is Mandy, wife of frequent third-shift manager Steve, and she’s just hanging out in her car. She isn’t smiling or laughing now, though, and I take a few steps towards her driver side window. I still can’t make her out, so I step closer.

I walk up to the window and see her red, wet and puffy face. Fuck. I apologized for my goofy antics and asked her what was wrong.

It was her daughter again, Dani. A slender, attractive redhead with bipolar disorder who is pregnant and, with her boyfriend and daddy of the baby-to-be, is involved with a church that sounds increasingly extreme and frighteningly cultish. Constantly she threatens to not let them see the child once born, calls them bad parents, constantly makes references to “the mark of the beast” and the coming end of days.

As she spills to me, Steve comes out, evidently on break, and sits in the car beside her. She continues spilling to me, which I feel makes Steve pushed off to the side, so I artfully drag him into the conversation. I feel it goes well in that respect, but she is still spilling to me when he goes back from break.

My cigarette is long since out, so I work towards an exit in talking to her, but she stops me in a calm yet frantic sort of way. Whatever this is, she considers it highly secretive. She tells me she wants me to read something. It’s an incredibly long text from her son, Derek, explaining how he wants to be a girl, that he wants her to help him get his nails done and get a dress.

She spoke with him. Evidently he was watching YouTube and discovered other people had a similar impulse. She asked him if he knew what “gay” means, and he said he did, but that he liked girls.

She cries as she is telling me all this and I ask her why, why she’s so upset. Why she’s upset at all. This is her son and evidently he trusted her enough to be open and honest with her. Don’t make him feel guilt or shame over this; it’s just who he is. She kept crying, evidently feeling guilty because she thought it was something she did.

It drives me crazy what others seem to take to be a big fucking deal. Dani is bisexual and she was upset over that as well. She dated a black man and that somehow became an issue. I don’t detest the woman by any measure, but I can’t help but confess she disappoints me. That’s why I laugh when we humans consider ourselves an advanced species; that’s why I have to keep reminding myself I live in the 21st century and not the goddamn dark ages.

Who cares? It’s who he is; let him embrace it. I’m as white and heterosexual as she is and I have no desire to wear clothing of the opposite sex but I don’t see it mandatory that people live as I do. I think diversity is beautiful. I cherish the fact that we are all not the same inside. This is just insipid xenophobia — the kind that so many religions support and feed. Though she is perhaps a decade my senior, I find myself wishing she’d open her heart and grow up. There are actual problems in this world. Can we stop bickering over the petty shit and letting it fucking divide us?

Cooperate to Survive.

We often see evolution as some ruthless, bloody battle in the survival of the fittest, and from that procure the notion that competition is the key to success. Might makes right and all that nonsense.

What we fail to realize is that in the course of evolution we became a social species because for us, cooperation had survival value. A group could provide for the individual were the individual could not provide for her or himself.

Clearly some of this was purely the power in numbers, specifically in terms of hunting, fishing, gathering sustenance. If one person had a bad day on the hunt, he need not starve: she picked some vegetables and Bob had a successful hunt, and you have done and shall do the same for them when veggies are scarce and you’re the lucky one to track down the daily meal.

The individual provided more than just power in numbers in that sense, however. For one thing, the group would value diversity — that is, individuality and rational extents of personal freedom among its members — as diversity has survival value. Each individual shared the fruits of their labors with all other members. Every member had the capacity to excel in specific areas because the areas in which a member was deficient were covered by other group members who excelled in those areas.

With primitive physical technology in a threatening world where you traveled with the seasons, just nomads following food in a fixed territory with sticks and stones, the inter-subjective technology of culture proves most valuable in terms of survival — and so cooperation proves its worth as an evolutionary advantage. In a closely-knit group there is not bound to be much to police officially; the wrath of the group would be faced if an individual operated too far out of accordance with socially-evolved unwritten laws or customs.

What of leadership? There would likely be one or more members — shamans, perhaps — who served a social value as a resolver of conflicts, be it within a person, between people, or between a person and supernatural forces. This would be a direct democracy in the strictest sense, held in check by social customs, serving as an unspoken sort of Bill of Rights. If there were any elected representative, they would have to maintain their popular vote throughout the entirety of their “term” — and they would in fact keep the role as long, and only so long, as they could convince the group that they were the best fit for it.

Given daily life in our world, this sounds like fucking utopia.

Diversity, Personal Liberty and Cultural Maturity.

Its amazing. We have the keys to manipulate life at the genetic level, we have the capacity to go into space, we have the technology capable of destroying all life on the planet several times over. Hallmarks of a technologically advanced species to be sure, but our emotional and social growth seems to be slacking. The lack of maturity we bear in this respect makes our potentially unethical use of these fundamentally amoral tools a dismal, looming likelihood. It also increases the probability that we will fail to apply this technology in ways that could be of the greatest benefit to our survival and growth as individuals as well as a species.

We stroke the ego, bloated and hardened by the friction offered by the pace of our ten to twelve thousand run in the realm of domesticated ape-hood, considering ourselves a higher species. Yet one is forced to remind oneself of that as a mantra, a loud mantra aiming to be heard over the continual onslaught of evidence to the contrary when you read, watch, or listen the news, when your ears cannot help but pick up the dialogues of those oh-so-many idiots we are subjected to as we plow through our daily lives, holding our soul’s breath beneath the relentless teeth of the gears grinding on our backs as we bear the daily grind of our unenlightened social system. Our eyes are just as viciously attacked as we mindlessly surf statuses and images intended to be clever on those popular social networks.

Given the clear and ever-observable fact that the means shape the ends, it seems that the goals, targets, trajectories of our attitudes towards social systems are rather important things to consider: they are the seeds destined to germinate in the future. Gestating in the minds of the many, destined to be born as an actuality eventually. So the fact that most people tend to focus on what they feel is the right way of life for everyone rather than the way of life that would provide the greatest potential freedom for everyone is a tendency that concerns me. Comedian Bill Maher once referred to this as “legislating taste,” and that seems accurate enough a portrayal of the circumstance of which I speak.

Utopia is an impossibility, most rationally-minded people will agree, simply because when it comes to living a satisfying way of life people do not agree on the details, and in fact their individual notions regarding what constitutes “the good life” are often diametrically opposed. It seems to me that too many people fail to procure the greater message out of that argument, and fail to perceive the solution provided by considering the problem as stated. If utopia is an impossibility as we do not all share notions of what a satisfying life entails, than the closest possible approximation to utopia one can hope to achieve is a social order which strives to achieve and maintain a social climate that provides the greatest amount of personal freedom. Despite this, you listen to the media, to those around you, and you read online, blown away that there is still debate over whether two people with the same style of genitalia deserve legal recognition of a marriage.

Comedian Doug Stanhope said it best, methinks, when he argued that marriage should not be a legal institution at all, as the government should be forced to look upon you as an individual — no more, no less. Legally recognizing two people as one is the kind of slippery-slope absurdity that could lead to the legal recognition of, say, corporations being individuals. What a weird world that would be to live in, you know?

Pushing that aside, however: as my favorite lesbian has put it to me, homosexuals deserve to be miserable just like everyone else. It seems rather crazy to me that anyone would be against same-sex marriage, and the reasons people have given have struck me as endlessly insane.

“Next thing you know, they’ll be holding weddings where people are marrying, like, a squash and having legal recognition and benefits.”

Though it was not a squash but a fruit or vegetable of some kind, this is essentially a line I’ve heard from people, their face carrying a seriousness that turned my initial humor towards their comment into pure fucking horror. Are you truly this stupid? People are denied their fundamental liberties because you feel your right to be an ignorant douche trumps all? If homosexual couples can finally receive recognition of their right to marry, I’m not going to start picketing about my rights as an isolationist masturbator to wed by right hand. And how this could open the floodgates of picketing vegisexuals, I will perhaps never understand.

“It will ruin the institution of marriage!”

Again, might I remind you: the divorce rate is around fifty percent. The half that didn’t last certainly didn’t work out, but have you taken a good look at the state of the relationship of the many marriages that have lasted? Ever notice the high level of infidelity? The half that last do not all define a successful marriage by any truly meaningful measure, so pull your head out of your ass and stick a cork in it. There are some people who do compliment or compensate each other quite well, and it is just as likely that they are a pair of Slot-B’s or a pair of Tab-A’s than the “conventional” opposite-sex pairing. So recognize the right of each to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and meanining in their own diverse way, recognizing that we are not all the same inside, and see the beauty in the diversity that serves to increase the survival and growth of our species on multiple levels.

The Only Difference That Matters.

My species never ceases to amaze me.

I was watching a political show online the other day and I was listening to a woman argue her point. I could see that she honestly, sincerely believed it to the marrow. It struck me that this woman and I were different at the most fundamental level in a psychological sense. Not because she was a woman, mind you, and not because she was black, but because she believed that democracy and the constitution were infallible. That the Constitution was a sort of secular Bible; that what was good, evil, real and fantasy was subject to vote.

She believed in the founding fathers and majority rules. I hold no such value in either.

The founding fathers certainly didn’t believe in a woman’s right to vote, or a black’s right to vote or recognize either of them as anything more than property, for that matter, which makes her positions on the Constitution and democracy rather curious to me. At that time most of those who were recognized voters would have voted to maintain ownership of slaves — did majority rules in that case justify the total lack of recognition of a human being’s natural rights? If so, it would certainly be consistent, considering her argument that homosexuals shouldn’t be permitted equal rights in a certain state because big daddy democracy upheld medieval mindsets once again.

But consistency isn’t always an indicator of truth. And unlike her, I believe in the evolution of thought and values. In basic human rights. And despite that it will make me look like a total asshole once again, I can’t help but regard people who think like her as idiots, and these are the kind of idiots that will do this species in.