We’re Living in Someone Else’s Movie Set

To a child, this world of toys and cartoons, every artificial meme and construct, all the things that influence them and create their world view, is theirs. It belongs to them. What is strange about this is that, although they assume it, they had no hand in its creation— it was imparted to them by a bunch of 35 year olds in a design studio somewhere.

When I was a kid, the world as I knew it was made up of Sesame Street, Lincoln Logs, and Fisher-Price Little People. Later that became Lego, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons. Those things made me the person that I am today. What I didn’t know, couldn’t have grasped, was that there was some 30-something somewhere imagining all these things for me. If I had, I would have thought it was a little weird. Why is this old guy making kids’ toys?

Of course, who else is going to make them? The kids themselves can’t, obviously, so somebody has to. Thing is, the vast majority of companies aren’t out to craft some grand milieu. They wanted to derive profit Z, saw need X, devised solution Y, and took it to market. What the sum total of this activity meant in terms of mise en scene, let alone the effect that living in such an environment has on the human psyche, rarely enters into the equation.

But couldn’t it? And, more importantly, shouldn’t it?

When profit is the only motive, so many other things just get left by the wayside. There just isn’t room for them. Wouldn’t it make more sense, rather than externalizing all these costs and their associated unintended consequences in order to make a profit, to turn the model on its head?

A better way might be to ask the question — if we can accomplish this thing exactly the way we want to, the way that we think is best for everyone, achieves the most ideal outcome, minimizes the downside i.e. external costs/unintended consequences, and maximizes the return on resource/energy investment, will it still turn a profit, or at least be sustainable?

If life is a movie, then the built environment is its stage and the artifacts of daily life the props, and we the directors, production designers, and cinematographers framing and creating it. Now imagine your favorite film, its carefully calculated construction, the attention to detail, and compare that with what you yourself are creating in the world. Hopefully there is as much thoughtful consideration given to your work as there was to theirs.

Black Socialist Rappers of America

I preach M.L.K. every day
Brother Malcolm knew the way
is that all u got 2 say
talkin' violence 4 your pay
that ain't y I came 2 play
ain't y I joined the fray
ain't y I mosh the stage
write rhymz across the page
damn straight I share your rage
we grip the bars of the same cage

if u ain't wit me ur against me
ain't that how the story goes
and these beatz preach the same message
treble hookin' bass straight 2 the flowz

     Brotherz ... come together
     Sisterz  ... show us the way
     Motherz  ... teach your children
     Fatherz  ... what can I say

I don't find glamour in a gun
though I once thought I might
saw Boyz in the Hood and Menace
try relate 2 the plight
but folx keep killin' their own people
with the crak rok and such
leanin' on what's (his)tory
like itz sum kind of crutch
never been above impoverished
in the Great Income Poll
but that has never kept me
from achievin' my goalz
sure I slung a little ganja
try 2 make my endz meet
but my friendz slung sax bak @ me
so it in essence came free
point is us poh'z in this 2gether
we're @ odds with the Man
and we'll all B slavez 4 ever
in their bourgeoisie plan

friendz
2day it is no different
then it waz in the past
poh sellin' out each other
2 the dominant class    

Automata

I am a machine that measures the circumstances that surround me and reacts to these circumstances according to the preprogrammed response options available to me as determined by my individual system design. I exist, but I am not [real] in the sense that I have supreme autonomy over any facet of my circumstances. I may have limited mobility in certain situations which present decision-making opportunities, but the possible decision options are absolutely contingent upon my relative circumstances, the inherent considerations of that specific system design which is measuring the surrounding circumstances, and the finite, predisposed, and trained response mechanisms accessible to that system.

If system design is radically altered, measurement is significantly affected to the extent that available response mechanisms will no longer be appropriately matched to the causal circumstances as presented. This is to say that, while to an external observer (control) situational conditions may appear unchanged, if the measuring system is altered while the response configuration remains static relative to any such system alteration, elicited responses will cease to maintain the previously demonstrated correlation to their causal phenomena. Thus, one then finds upon self-diagnostic reflection that although all measurement and response systems appear to be functioning properly, all forms of communication are rendered impotent as a consensus regarding the definition of symbols cannot be established.

Cafe News – Vol. 2

I had the dream again the very next day. It was the same dream, except this time she was in it, which I can tell you really sucked. I didn’t think I would ever have the dream about her. I think it was my guilty conscience, or I should say I hoped it was, because I really didn’t want it to turn out to be true with her like it had with the rest of them.

Actually, I don’t even know anymore, what’s true and what’s not. I don’t even know if I care. Mostly, I just sit around getting high. The problem there is, having commenced from a point so low, said elevation typically only brings me back to par.

I don’t even know what I would do if I did get what I wanted. As if I could ever figure out what it is I want. Basically, I’ve come to realize I’m full of shit. Not that it matters, because everyone is, but I always told myself I was a cut above the rest. Unfortunately, it was true. I am clearly capable of achieving absolutely exceptional examples of self-deception.

In theory, I aspire to find a girl who adores me and would never let a shred of doubt enter my mind. She would be hot enough to keep me interested but not so hot that everybody was, and she would have sex with me every night so I could sleep without the dreams. I’m getting awful sick of the dreams.

Maybe if I could sleep without the dreams I’d have the time or the energy or the inclination to concentrate on the important stuff. But probably not. I’m sure I’d just continue wasting what little time I have like I’ve always done. I try to rationalize it, blame it on appearances, but the truth of the matter is I’m a self-righteous hypocrite. Maybe we all are, but I don’t see that being much of a defense, as we face alone our reckoning.

Sometimes I wish I had paid more attention to the classics. I read and reread all of the important ones, the Greek myths, Le Morte d’Arthur, Shakespeare. I read them, yet somehow I missed the message. No one is safe. Even a sword pulled from stone is insufficient protection. We are all betrayed from the start. It is fundamental to our condition.

Of course it was true. The human mind, to leave off the heart and soul but for their obvious inclusion, is incapable of invention. We are the greatest of plagiarists, confident in awarding ourselves a most undeserved pat on the back for our presumed originality. As soon as I awoke from the dream, I knew it as certainly as I knew anything. It was true, or would prove to be so, given time. I hated the world and everything in it, including myself. I skipped work and went straight to the cafe. Even if they really needed me, which they clearly didn’t, my fellow employees, to say nothing of the customers, would find my absence infinitely more palatable than my attitude.

Jobs and People Talking About Them Should Be Avoided

Be very wary of anyone talking about jobs or the need to create them. Jobs are vestigial organs of the capitalist era and are no longer a relevant concern for any reasonable person. Anyone speaking of them should be considered suspect. Real leaders speak only of livelihood and the work that needs to be done. A job means that someone is using you to accomplish their ends; the livelihood you derive from accomplishing those ends is a consequence, an unnecessary byproduct, a cost that the corporatist would prefer to eliminate – in fact, has a fiduciary duty to minimize. Yes, there are jobs, in the sense of a specific project that a construction company might bid on, an encapsulated endeavor to accomplish, having finite specifications and a beginning and an end. But the notion of jobs, as a requisite interface between human beings and their livelihood, is archaic.