Now, for a genuine state of the union address,
I call for indictment, call for the arrest
Of the blight in the White House,
Remove him right now
These are fighting words
'Cause this how the fight sounds
I will now read the charges,
That Standing Rock
Is sovereign native land
But the pipeline puts cash
In the President's hand
So he ordered it built
And those who stand
In the way are oppressed
No freedom of press
Communications cut off,
Signals blocked, no less
Than gunfire, freezing water,
Tear gas, sons and daughters
Of the Sioux Tribe
Unarmed, fighting for their water
Their land invaded
For the President's
Wallet to be inflated
Freedom of assembly
You can't debate it,
But there's no question
The rich and powerful hate it,
That's the reason they made it,
A crime to demonstrate
Lock up anyone
Who defies the state
The end of liberty
By design, don't wait
To make a stand
Soon it will be too late
The people's enemy
The world can't wait
His regime in its prime
Is guilty of treason
And that is a capital crime]
A hefty debt to the Saudis
The same sheikhs
Secretly funding Daesh jihadis
Yemen bombed to ashes,
Piles of bodies
In service to the oil lobby
American tax dollars fund terror
When civilians die, it's not an error
"Take out their families"
That's the straight from
The mouth of the beast
Dead children - forty-five
Not upset in the least
That's what he wanted
Same how he has a plan
To provoke a war with Iran
That is treason, and a guilty man
A traitor from the day
His regime began
The people's enemy
The world can't wait
His regime in its prime
Is guilty of treason
And that is a capital crime]
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About this blog
your favorite mod's soapbox and megaphone
Entries in this blog
Now, for a genuine state of the union address,
What does it take to make a country great?
How much war, how much fear, and how much hate?
Some long lost former glory that was never there
You never knew the story or you never cared
For we have learned whitewashed history
Pretend it's a mystery
America once again gripped by this bigotry
There's a sinister synergy of capitalist power
And nationalism that gives comfort to cowards
But it was migrants making less than a dollar an hour
Who built the phallic edifice we call Trump Tower
The kleptocracy has come to fruition
To rule a population lacking courage and vision
While liberals insist we must "respect the decision"
"Respect the office", no - I choose sedition
This goes beyond opposition
Relentless resistance forever against this
White House in business for the ruling class
Not for the peoples' interest
It's perfectly evident who the government serves
And it's equally obvious what they deserve
Time to raise our fists
And demand to have answers
Trump's entire regime
Is a malignant cancer
Mike Pence wants to let HIV spread
Because he thinks if you're gay,
Then you're better off dead
Conversion therapy is torture,
There's no justification
To promote such a terrible crime in this nation
Betsy DeVos is a murder heiress
Made wealthy by Blackwater, state-sponsored terrorists
Now she wants to wage war on underpaid teachers
And indoctrinate kids as subservient creatures
Exxon-Mobil owns the State Department
Salivating to attack,
Invade another country where there's oil to bring back
The Treasury was purchased by a man from Goldman Sachs
Sean Spicer runs the press corpse - "alternative facts"
Jeff Sessions on the record sympathetic to the KKK
Ready to the lead the war on drugs
That kills more people every day
Than any other killer could pull off in any way
This is the ascendancy of fascist USA
I tore up these streets
On a shaky longboard
Not looking to go any direction
My headphones blasted
The songs of anger,
The rally cry for insurrection
I grew up in a city where
The millionaires and the poor
Were a stone’s throw away
My quiet, white middle-class
Home in the center
Boredom weighing me down each day
There was once a man
Who stood at the intersection
Held a cardboard sign up to the street
But he didn’t want cash
It said “99 percent”
He protested alone in the heat
So I brought this man a bottle
Of water and a few bucks
Joined him on the sidewalk
But I didn’t stay
To protest at his side
Though I still appreciate our talk
Because sometimes it’s hard
To find your comrades and you think
That you should give in and go home
And when I think of the struggle
With few breaths of life in it
I think of those out there alone
I met a guy who I talked to
Online sometimes at an
Underground punk rock show
He lived on a farm
Somewhere north of the city
To the city, to the shows, he would go
It was the kind of place
Where it’s easy to feel safe
And solidarity still counted for something
Those twenty punk kids
Couldn’t start a revolution
But without each other they would have nothing
See, the whitewashed, vanilla
Corporate liberal agenda
I know is poison barely watered down
And as a radical writer,
Dreaming myself a fighter
I felt alone in a pacified town
Sometimes the bills and the pills
And the cheap, easy thrills
Mean no one out there’s down for a riot
And I’m no different,
Fuck no, not in the least
Most my life spent distracted and quiet
Hypocrite, I would see
In the mirror each morning
Because I knew there wasn’t much I was doing
But I saw the lies
And the hollow disguise
On the corporate cable news I was viewing
I was born into privilege
And I squandered potential,
Still I spoke out for justice and love
In the grip of depression
It was hard to see
There was still a way to rise above
I’d sit at night in my neighbor’s driveway
Chain smoking, stressed
She’d cry and she’d vent
Hard times she survived
She felt barely alive
Relying on every last cent
So I listened to her stories,
And I told her I’d always
Be there to listen and help her out
Sometimes we’d smoke a joint
In a haze we would wonder
What the fuck is life even about
Every act of kindness
Counts I believe
Not random, but deliberate
And sometimes there are
People whose lives can be changed
If only someone was considerate
I think about my transgender friends
And the hostile places
Into which they were born
And I don’t understand
Why in this so-called “free” land
They endure this society’s scorn
I went across the Atlantic
For love, left for Germany
To live there with my wife
And our loved changed us both
For the better, and still
Shines a light on our lives
And there I met
A few refugees, they had
Fled from the horror of war
And I knew instantly,
That they were just like me
But still racists want to close that door
Whether it’s the GOP, UKIP,
Or the AFD, these right-wing
Parties say they’ll make our lives better
But their rhetoric shows
Quite evidently they
Only hate those they see as the lesser
False promises in the age
Of the capitalist late stage
Brought a monster like Trump into power
And I know that my comrades
Have never felt more alone in
The fascist storm that destroys and devours
So where is the empathy?
Where is the solidarity?
Can I feel the heartbeat of the masses?
Should I hope against
The pessimism that strangles
That we can still smash the upper classes
I say now to every comrade,
Every single one
Whom I’ve ever known
That this isn’t the end
Each other we will defend
And set fire to the imperialist throne
Every act counts,
It's not about the amount
Of people who march down these streets
Lift up your friends,
Say to them once again
We’re united; these pigs we will defeat
Dear Heartless Motherfucking Tooth,
Must I even describe the pain you have caused me? You know exactly what you have done, you shithead, cocksucking, cuntmuffin of a tooth. I will always remember how you first deceived me, making you think you were somewhere in the top-center-right of my mouth when you were really the bottom right tooth all along. It was hard to tell since the pain shot all across my jaw. You were such a sneaky little fucker that even my dentist couldn't find you, and conned by your foul deception he promised that you were nothing more than a temporary bout of sensitivity and would go away. But you didn't.
And so I tried to kill you. I tried to kill you with Listerine and Orajel. I used so much motherfucking mouthwash that it fucking backfired right on my stupid ass and burned the skin all over the inside of my mouth, and you never stopped being the vile little prick that you are for even half a second. I thought for sure I could drown you in clove oil. That burned too, and it burned gloriously, for the pain of that burn was pleasure compared to the pain you caused me. And you fucked off for a whole 5 hours before coming back without warning. You came back when I was high, and it wasn't so bad - but it was a trick. As soon as the marijuana wore off, I realized you had come back worse than ever to shower me with your torment. And I took six Excedrin and four Advil that you only laughed it, you fucking asshole!
You made me go to the ER at 1 in the morning! And in the parking lot of the ER where I ran into my old neighbor who was checking herself in at the same time for severe IBS symptoms, you were causing me so much agony that I said "Judy, not now, I can't talk now, bye" and made me look like the asshole. Of course I explained this to her the next day and she was cool about that, but you - you abscessed tooth, you unbelievable piece of shit motherfucker bag of cocks, you never had any empathy for me or anyone else. As I walked into the ER everything was flashing and I couldn't see straight from the pain. You couldn't just hurt me in my mouth, you went into my fucking ear and then you made it feel like there was a goddamned jesusfucking knife behind my eyes. At the ER, they gave me antibiotics and percocet and a CT scan revealed you for the slimy, cowardly douchenozzle that you are!
I struggled through yesterday - even the percocet barely contained you. And last night you woke me up so many times. The pain you caused me was so horrendous that you gave me nightmares. The pain built up in my fucking dreams, and before it was severe enough to wake me up, I dreamed that there were people conspiring to torture me. Yet all along, it was only you.
But you should know this you evil fuck - I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU STILL. If the antibiotics don't work I will rip you the fuck out of my mouth and throw you in a medical wastebin, and I will never even fucking miss you!
- BURN IN FUCKING HELL,
A new President is being inaugurated on January 20th. Some people love him, more people hate him, and he wants nothing more than the eyes of the world on him. My question for you is this: Do you really want to see it, or is the horrible, gory wreck on the side of the highway which you simply cannot look away from?
I have a problem. I am the kind of person who just can't look away from horror. My curiosity is insatiable. Sometimes I just can't help but see what shit they're saying on Fox News, what garbage is coming out of the necrotic abscess of a mouth on Alex Jones, or the cellphone footage of the alt-right chanting "sieg heil" in Washington DC. I watch those I hate frequently. I make myself angry. But I'm not going to do that next week. I've done it too much. I deserve a day where I'm not infuriated.
So I am not watching the inauguration of the pussy grabber-elect. I always keep up with the news. I always want to know what is going on in the world. But this is not news, this is a show. This is a pathetic spectacle of lies. There is nothing of value to see. So I'm giving myself a break from being pissed off. Not sure what I'll do yet. Maybe a leisurely walk. Maybe get muddy (that means drinking lots of kava, which is awesome). Perhaps I write a short story. But I will make January 20th a bullshit free day.
For anyone who wants to join me, here are some suggestions of things you can do while not bearing witness to the sickening disgrace which is about to occur:
- Masturbate. It feels good. What more do you need?
- Have sex. That also feels good.
- Attempt to cook a complicated recipe you normally wouldn't bother with.
- Adopt a dog, cat, rabbit, or giant capybara from your local animal shelter.
- Make a bong out of fruit.
- Educated yourself on the anatomy of Japanese Spider Crabs.
- Acquire DMT and meet the machine elves.
- Get a new piercing.
- Walk into a Walmart, sit down in the middle of the floor in a lotus position, meditate and see how long it takes before someone approaches you.
- Quit smoking.
- Start smoking.
- Stalk a long lost acquaintance on Facebook.
- Join strangers in a basketball game and take off your shirt without warning.
- Go to your family, friends, and neighbors and acquire one pill from each of them until you have a pill for every color of the rainbow.
- Take those pills.
- Call Poison Control and tell them what you did so they have a fascinating work story to tell for many years.
- Watch the uncomfortably serious episode of Family Guy where Quagmire's sister deals with an abusive husband.
- Contemplate whether the Matrix trilogy ever posed compelling philosophical questions.
- Get a slip n' slide.
- Invent time travel and warn people how fucked we are if Bernie Sanders doesn't win the primary.
- Then travel back to classical antiquity to observe the Battle of Cannae.
- Write a script for a new season of Firefly.
- Go to the gym and use a machine which is for a muscle you've never heard of.
- Hang out by a public pool with a very strong smell of chlorine.
This is the age of the great glass cage,
And the most impotent collective conceivable
The instantaneous, the effortless
Envision not how powerless you are
The revolution is not put down,
It is diluted and rendered harmless
Like some homeopathic snake oil:
A perfect formula for lazy top dogs
For we are lions comatose,
Our numbers count to billions
And count for zero
Our riot is a like and share; we care
Thunderous laughter in the board rooms,
Even outrage can be monetized
Controlled opposition made voluntary
Daily validation of action not taken
Alienated beyond reason,
Solidarity still not in season
21st century know-nothings
Who could easily learn quite a lot
This is the web of dull wonders,
Swept up in every soft breeze
To be carried perhaps anywhere
Except to somewhere that matters.
A short (relatively speaking, compared to an essay, anyway) critique of how "millennials" are stereotyped:
We do not think we are "special snowflakes." We may indeed be a generation that has realized from the onset how not special we are. Conventional wisdom would assert that many young folks' approach to social media is "like farming" and getting attention. You know what 100 likes on Facebook is worth? Nothing. And we know that. All the way back to the MySpace days, I saw me and everyone else decorate our pages with the same HTML codes and post the same songs and copypaste the same bulletins.
I don't think my facial piercings and shaggy hair are symbols of noncomformity, because a million other people have them too. I just like how they look. Maybe there is a little subconscious influence in my head telling me it amounts to "making a statement", but that's an easily recognized delusion. And by pointing out that dressing weird or getting pierced or doing something against the grain doesn't amount to individuality, I'm not "special" for saying that either, because everyone else has already come to that realization too.
When I first learned about the 1960's hippie culture and the anti-Vietnam protest and groups like Students for a Democratic Society, I kept thinking "why is there no counterculture anymore?" The truth is that there is a mainstream culture and a counterculture that has been so blended that everyone walks the line between both. And here on social media, that blending is on display in full force.
The next time you see a stranger on the internet expressing an identity of gender noncomformity or some abstract political or spiritual ideas that don't flow well in the mainstream, don't assume that person is trying to be special. Instead, consider that person may be wanting to find others just like them. Cliche as it as, it rings true that the more connected we get, the lonelier we get. I truly believe the internet is still a net positive thing, because it's very cool to find out when none of your neighbors or your classmates or peers or family quite get you, there is someone on the other side of the world who does, who you are free to talk to any time - instantly.
You see, we know we aren't special. We know originality, real originality, is so fleeting that you always miss it. Because when an original, revolutionary idea is conceived, it catches like wildfire and spreads. The rest of us are just hoping to set off the next spark, but we know the odds and we know how it is. We're saturated in the finer details of every day life. Going down your Facebook feed is much like walking down the street - you see a lot of things: most of them scarcely matter to you, fewer things still that even help you grow as a person. But all of it together is the unfolding and unending story of all of us.
Some have said my generation is uniquely sensitive. I say we have the thickest skins yet. You say "we didn't have this disorder and this dysphoria and this condition back in the day." You sure as hell did. Some of those people whose feelings and conditions were invisible are dead now. Some of them are homeless or in prison. And some of them made successes of themselves. They have a nice car and a big house and a meaningful career. But some of those same successful people are hanging on by a thread every damn day, feeling the weight of the world on their chest that presses and presses but never stops their breath.
Every life has adversity. But the point of adversity is to face it down, conquer it and grow. Life is not settling for feeling shitty. Saying "I'm miserable and I have no way out of it, but I'll just go on" and settling for that - no. You're supposed to fight. And the people around my age are the ones who are realizing these battles shouldn't be fought alone. So if you want to make fun of these support networks we make for people who feel the pain of bigotry and misunderstanding, consider that those people are healing and working in unity to overcome what they're facing.
Let me tell you something about "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" I've heard some folks laugh at. Those were around long before I was born. What the hell is "viewer discretion advised" on TV? Someone is going to say "fuck" on TV and you felt the need to warn us. That's just the status quo. A parental advisory sticker on a CD, or every time the news anchor warns the viewers that they're about to show "graphic content" - you accept that. So there is nothing unacceptable about saying "hey, we're going to be talking about racism or rape or something horrible here, and we know some of you have been personally affected by that and may not want to have to think about that right now." A courteous heads up.
You all have safe spaces. If you have a group of friends who you know you can just talk openly with without fear of being judged, that's a safe space. If you go to an AA meeting, would you want someone to come in and plaster the walls in ads for liquor? Would you want a group from the nearest bar marching in uninvited and ranting about how trashed they are and what a crazy night they're having? No, you don't want that. And that doesn't mean if you've quit alcohol that you can't a handle a world where alcohol exists and people like drinking. If you go to church, do you want someone to come up next to the priest or pastor and argue that God doesn't exist? Again - indulge me. Can you not handle realizing there is a world with atheists? Are you incapable of defending your beliefs in an intelligent debate? Of course you can handle it and you're capable, but your church wasn't the time or the place. That's a "safe space." Ours are just as valid.
You say my generation doesn't tolerate dissenting opinions. I've yet to hear a single millennial say that if you disagree with something like marriage equality that you should be put in prison or pay a fine. That's ridiculous, and precisely why that's not what any of us believe. You say university students shouldn't protest speakers with a "different worldview." Everyone draws a line somewhere with who and what is unacceptable. If Westboro Baptist Church was going to come to a conservative, Christian university, many of those conservative, Christian students would protest and say "hell no, we don't want them here." Because they, like liberal students, see a degree of hatred and intolerance that is unacceptable and they emphatically say no. Any reasonable person would understand students saying "we won't let David Duke speak here." And some of you will argue "but they protested people who aren't anything like David Duke or Westboro Bapist Church, they protested reasonable people." It's a matter of differing perspectives. But unless we're jailing these people or inviting political repression, no one's first amendment rights are being violated.
We are not sensitive, we do not think we're special. We didn't invent safe spaces and trigger warnings and we aren't the only ones who make use of them. We are definitely not threatening anyone's right to free speech. And we're not lazy either. We're doing what we can with what we have, and a lot of us are making a difference. Every day.
A tarnished badge and the grip of steel,
To save us from our fear
The oathbreakers feel safe and warm
Inside their riot gear
A hero's acclamation
Will await them all the same
This is how to rig a hopeless game
Oh, the Western star is shining on
May it show us what the great new cause is
While the city on the hill is looking ever more
Like an orchard made of rotting crosses
The eagle feasts on roadkill,
Still its wings unfurl with pride
Should nothing seem so perfect
As a wall from our side
And walls within, a fortress land
So sacred this divide
No, you can't climb the tower, but you tried
Oh, the Western star weeps for the lost
Such a price for what we have defended
The legacy of conquerors who have in turn bestowed
Freedom to the in-crowd as intended
Drink up the living waters
From the lead and methane wells
And rise now for the anthem
Since you stand for nothing else
Surely you'll walk free
Within this hive city of cells
Maintained by the benevolent cartels
Oh, the Western star is shining on
Glory never suffers short supply
And beneath the Western star you'll find a place of rest
A landfill for sterile bones bleached dry
This is the silence of a thousand insecurities,
This is forgiveness, this is the end of guilt
It seems that nothing could have been so unlikely,
But this life is mine for what it is – it’s what I have built
This is a vision that regrets can be irrelevant,
This is a declaration of the conquest of fear
I’ve heard from my worst critics and most persistent cynics
But those were voices I created – they’re no longer here
I spent so much energy listing all that’s wrong with me
Now it’s time to shred it with the boxes uncrossed
I won’t worry about falling short or dying in anonymity
This is growth and not another perfect moment lost
I know you all here on GDC expect nothing less from me than to be the trendy motherfucker who vapes and drinks exotic tea. I also know I have a problem with wanting to talk about shit that most of you don't care about. But I would kindly ask you to give me a few minutes of your time, because the US government is about to literally kill people and I hope that concerns some of you.
Kratom is a leaf very closely related to coffee which has psychoactive effects, including stimulation, mood boosting and pain relief. I have used it often for more than two years. For me, it helps me focus and diminishes my anxiety significantly. For others, kratom is so much more. Many heroin addicts have been able to permanently kick their habit thanks to kratom, I know some of them personally - they're my friends and I know their story. Kratom also has provided significant pain relief to people with fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic muscle pain and other conditions. And the DEA is about to ban it. On September 30th it will be Schedule I in the US - the same category as heroin.
The DEA has stated that all use of kratom is abuse. They allege kratom has caused 15 deaths, despite the fact that toxicology reports have shown all people involved were on multiple drugs at the time including dangerous research chemicals from China. The fact is that kratom has not directly killed anyone and it is scientifically doubtful it is even possible for that to happen. It's very hard to even overdose on it because taking too much causes you to vomit. I have taken a lot of kratom quite a few times, and I was still perfectly able to drive, read, talk or do whatever I need to do because kratom doesn't impair you. It doesn't cause you to hallucinate and it doesn't make you think anything you wouldn't think while sober. If kratom is comparable to anything, it's probably how you would feel after having a very strong coffee - minus the racing heart. It's a very subtle feeling of well-being.
So what is going to happen when kratom is scheduled? Many people who quit heroin and opioids will relapse. We know this because it happened in Alabama. That state banned kratom and the year after, the number of heroin overdose deaths doubled. Chronic pain sufferers who have been able to take their kids to the park, have a job, go the gym, travel... they'll be left without their only effective medicine and have their lives ripped away from them. And anyone who is caught with kratom after this ban could face a felony charge and years in prison. Kratom saves lives, but it's a threat to the pharmaceutical companies who own the government. If you're not hooked on opioids then you aren't buying them, and that's bad for their bottom line. The DEA wants this ban in place because they can no longer justify their own existence. More Americans are recognizing that drug use should be seen as a health issue rather than a crime.
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, then the White House will be made aware and have to respond. It's a start. Please sign if you value liberty and think recovering drug addicts, chronic pain sufferers, and depressed and anxious people who have been helped by kratom have a right to life.
I support the right of a person to breastfeed in public. I support the right of a person's breasts to be out in public. In fact, I think if a person wants to be fully nude in public, they ought to have a legal right to do so. Now, I don't mean someone can't say "you can't come into my restaurant/workplace/school/university/grocery store nude." A business or organization can make those rules. But as for walking down the street, the beach... nudity shouldn't be an issue. Don't give me that "what about the children" shit, the only way a child would be bothered by nudity is if they're socialized to be bothered by nudity. Being naked in public is a victimless crime, and I don't believe in victimless crimes.
A person should never, ever be prosecuted for possessing a drug for personal use. I don't care what the drug is. If it's heroin, if it's meth, it shouldn't be a crime to do it. Now, I don't think a person necessarily should be able to sell any drug. But personal possession and use is victimless. And on that subject, marijuana should be fully legalized. So should psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and DMT. These substances are exponentially safer than alcohol and many legal prescription drugs. It is physically impossible to overdose and die from any of them, and any indirect consequences such as dangerous psychotic behavior or even suicide happen far, far more often while under the influence of alcohol. Yes, there are numerous risks to all these substances. It's not the government's job to deal with them. Their drug policies have killed hundred times the people as drugs themselves have killed.
Radio stations and TV channels should not be forced to be censored. They can censor themselves willingly if they wish. It is the responsibility of parents to control the media their children consume. I want to hear songs as they are, unaltered.
Sex workers are not criminals and should not be charged with crimes. Sex toys are still banned in Alabama, what the actual fuck? Further, I say if adult siblings consent to have sex with each other, that shouldn't be a crime either. I think it's really fucking weird but that is also a victimless crime. First cousins shouldn't be denied the right to marry. Again, not my thing but I don't believe in taking away rights I personally don't approve of. The government should not be able to ban any porn that was done by consenting adults regardless of the subject matter.
Enough with persecuting smokers. Fucking seriously. If someone is smoking in a public park 50 meters away from everyone else, you are not getting a single molecule of secondhand smoke. The cars on the streets are filling your lungs with more toxins every day. Don't you dare fucking tell me I can't have gummy bear flavored e-cig liquids because you're deluded into thinking vape shops are trying to hook children on nicotine. It is their responsibility to refuse sale or entrance to minors, it is your responsibility to educate your child about smoking, vaping and nicotine use how you see fit. Why is chewing tobacco banned on airplanes? You can't get secondhand chew. And don't say it's because they might spit it out on the floor like an asshole because then gum would be banned too.
Americans talking about "banning" Sharia Law have no idea what the fuck they're talking about. There is no Sharia Law in the US, no government of a Muslim majority community is telling everyone what to do. The only way Muslims in the US are using Sharia is for mediation of personal disputes, and that is their fucking right, people can resolve their disputes however they wish.
And don't tell a sick person they don't have a right to physician assisted suicide, they certainly fucking do. Why the fuck are chocolate eggs with toys inside them still illegal in the US? Jesus Christ. Or if a person wants to drink unpasteurized milk, let them. That's their risk to take.
No more victimless crimes, I'm sick of this shit.
I don't want to write about the weather. Doing so makes me feel like an abject failure. I mean, fucking seriously? Out of all the cliche, trite and uninspired shit - casual observations about the weather are like the very fucking bottom of prose. But I must, so let's get this out of the way. There's a heatwave this week. Not just in Germany, of course. In fact, this last July was the hottest month ever recorded, so I invite anyone who still denies climate change to suck me off outside in August without sunscreen while wearing a North Face jacket.
Air conditioning is not in every building in Germany, and that's a hard thing to adjust to. Floridians take for granted that you can always just go inside and be fine. Even people who live in trailers have AC units. I feel the need to take a shower twice a day lately. After four hours of sitting in my language class, I fear I will stand up and expose a visible streak of ball sweat to my international acquaintances. But rather than blame everyone else for failing to install an AC unit, I must accept this problem as a personal flaw of my own making. Because one of my teachers is originally from Russia and even he seems to be doing just fine with the summer. If someone grows up on air conditioning, that's all they know. But the ones who never had this cushion adapt seamlessly. So maybe the solution isn't every building in Germany having air conditioning - maybe it's that I build a time machine and deprive myself of AC throughout my entire childhood. It's like skating. When I learned to skate, I fell on my ass and scraped my skin off so many times that it just became a part of my day. But a kid whose parents keep pads and pillows on them every day, who is never allowed to get on a skateboard, the first time that kids falls they will think they're dying. And in terms of air conditioning, I'm the kid who has been wearing pads and pillows his whole life.
On to other things. I now have enough German to conduct most of my transactions only in the German language. I felt quite proud of myself the first time I bought some e-cig juice and coils all on my own without any English. Of course, so many Germans are fluent in English that any moment of uncertainty on my part invites them to shift the conversation. If I hear a word I don't know, I usually will say "entschuldigung?" or "bitte?" in hopes that a person will repeat and it will click for me, but usually my obvious American accent prompts the person to clarify for me in English. And I appreciate that, but I certainly need the practice. Last week, I also successfully procured ibuprofen from the apotheke (pharmacy) on a day when I had a raging headache. I got everything right except for the fact that I pronounced "ibuprofen" like an American.
The apotheke is quite an interesting thing for an American who isn't familiar with Germany. In the United States, over-the-counter medicine can be purchased in a pharmacy, grocery store, Walmart or gas station and it's a simple matter of bringing it up to the register to be scanned. In Germany though, all meds are "behind the counter." You don't need a prescription, you can ask for some ibuprofen and get it, but the pharmacist makes sure it won't interact with any meds you're on and lets you know how many to take. So every headache pill, bottle of cough syrup and laxative you need requires interacting with another human being. I don't have strong feelings about it either way. I suppose it's for the best though, it's not like most people bother to read the label on their meds.
If any American expat ever misses the enthralling experience of waiting at the Department of Motor Vehicles, they will be happy to know they can have that experience in Germany too. I had to talk to the Auslanderamt (immigration) and Anna and I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to get there right when it opened. We took a number. And we waited. And waited. And waited. A big screen displays what numbers have been called and what room to go to - and just like the DMV, it makes that same "ding!" sound every time a new number is called.
Anyway, I'm off to my class. If I survive the heat, then you all can expect this blog to continue.
I've been living in Germany for more than six weeks now, and will remain here for the foreseeable future. As an amateur writer and self-styled internet intellectual virtually unknown to the world, I have no choice but to blog about my experiences (from the local Starbucks). Okay, I'm not actually in Starbucks. I'm at home. There are Starbucks, though. They're overpriced and crowded just like in the US. I'm going to start with listing off a few differences between Germany and the US which don't merit a detailed analysis.
- The plastic bags at the grocery store here aren't free. They're cheap though, only 15 cents. Still, you have to pick up the bag from under the cash register and put in on the belt to be scanned like everything else.
- I make up for this new plastic bag expense by saving on tipping. Minimal 15% gratuities aren't a thing here. If you pay a €46 restaurant check with a fifty note and don't ask for your change back, that's actually considered generous rather than an insult.
- The Autobahn usually only has two lanes on each side, even in unlimited speed sections. Any self-respecting American highway has at least 3 each way. On the other hand, the speed limit signs or lack there of are often digital which allows for more effective management of traffic and for speed limits to be changed based on weather conditions.
- Tschüß, the casual German word for "goodbye" sounded for a long time to me like "Cheers!" with a German accent. I didn't even realize I didn't even know how to spell the word until a few weeks ago, but at least I was sort of probably saying it right.
- Pokemon Go attracts huge crowds to lure parties almost daily. This I'm sure is the same in the US, though the Pokemon's names are often different. Weedle auf Deutsch? Hornliu. Pidgey - Taubsi. Charmander - Glumanda.
- There is an awesome German energy drink called Relentless. It kind of tastes like a 50/50 Redbull/Rockstar mix. Very nice (Whenever I say "very nice", read it with Borat's voice).
- Crosswalks are a more serious matter here. In America, you can jaywalk like an asshole and cars will stop for you anyway. Here, I'm not so sure. I wait for green.
Now I'd like to address the German language. I'm a novice, I got some basic shit down though. Ich heiße John, ich komme aus den USA. Some parts of German are easy. Numbers? I got 1-1000 all figured out with minimal effort. Nouns are often similar to English. Verb conjugation isn't terrible, but it's only second week in the language course so we haven't moved past present tense yet.
Some things are weird for me to get used to as a native English speaker. There is a formal and informal "you", kind of like how Spanish has "tu" and "usted." In German, it's Sie, which is also the pronoun for "she" but with a capital "s." When you use Sie, the verb conjugates differently. Figuring out when to use it is another matter. I addressed Anna's parents like that until they told me I didn't have to. Would definitely use it in an encounter with a cop, which thankfully I haven't had since I've been a law-abiding foreigner since my arrival. The food delivery guy? "Du", I guess.
The worst part of the German language I've dealt with so far is learning articles. In English, articles are very simple. "A" for "some thing", "An" for "some thing that starts with a vowel", "the" for some specific thing singular or plural. German has der (masculine), die (feminine), and das (neutral). How do you learn what noun has what articles? You memorize 100 new ones every day until you die. The weird thing is that German doesn't just have gendered articles. I'll demonstrate with a simple translation:
Where is that pen from? It's from Germany.
Woher kommt der kugelschreiber? Er kommt aus Deutschland.
See, I'm calling a pen "he" - er. Trippy. Even saying years is awkward. My birth year, 1991. In German neunzehnhundert einundneunzig. See, in American English, while saying "nineteen-hundred ninety-one" would be technically correct, it sounds really, really dumb. "Nineteen ninety-one." I had to ask Anna if Germans just say the years colloquially like that, but no, apparently people actually say the "hundred." If I'm referring to the current year in German, I really want to say "zwanzig sechzehn" because that's how normal people talk. Apparently it's wrong though. Oh well.
One last thing I'd like to note is a conclusion I've come to: Aachen is the Seattle of Europe. It's a really cool, charming diverse city but it pisses down rain way too often. We'll continue this series soon as I continue to stumble through culture shock and master the pouring of a Weißbier without creating an ocean of foam.
Do any of you remember this story about a reporter, who in the aftermath of a plane crash starting going through the luggage of the deceased passengers? Body parts likely weren't more than a few meters away from him. All these people had died right there, and here is this reporter unzipping the bag and casually remarking on the possessions of all these dead people. He got a lot of shit for doing that. It was disrespectful, inconsiderate, and in incredibly poor taste. I do have to wonder though what the reaction may have been if that journalist had picked up a charred, severed leg and proceeded to eat it right there on camera.
What the fuck am I talking about? I'm not talking about people literally eating the flesh of the dead, no. But the way politicians respond to acts of mass murder and terrorism amounts to the same. They're like vultures eating roadkill. At the Republican National Convention, Trump had a big appetite and he ate up the corpses of those dead cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Those were fresh, weren't they? Even a scavenger prefers fresh carrion if given the choice. Fresh casualties serve the politician's purpose especially well - wait too long and they just don't have as much potential.
Murder is the greatest gift an authoritarian tyrant can ask for. The more bodies, the better - the tyrant can consume them all. A woman in California murdered by an undocumented immigrant - politicians fed off her for months, growing stronger as they did. To them, she wasn't a victim, she wasn't a human being with a family and her own story - she was nothing more than food. The thousands who perished on 9/11 gave the vultures and crows a feast for years. The feast was so abundant that the American people surrendered their civil liberties to the Patriot Act and consented to an endless war in the Middle East. Thousands of soldiers died in those wars and they were consumed too. Every dead soldier gave an empty suit a chance to pay lip service to a sacrifice and win some votes.
This summer has seen awful acts of mass murder. An attempted coup in Turkey cost hundreds of lives. Erdogan, one of the foulest vultures of them all, is still gorging himself. The aftermath has given him leave to eliminate every last dissident down to a person who merely changes the channel every time Turkey's dictator is on TV. The NRA loved how the victims of Orlando's Pulse Club tasted - every massacre strikes fear into the ignorant that this will finally be the tragedy that motivates the government to confiscate everyone's guns. The NRA and their gun manufacturer sponsors make a fortune as people hoard guns and ammo. Meanwhile, the government isn't feasting for the sake of gun control - they're looking for the kind of meat that tastes like scapegoating an entire ethnic group. Innocent Japanese Americans were put into internment camps just over 70 years ago, and some of you were born before our government apologized for it. You think that can't happen to Arab Americans in the 21st century? This country may elect a man who can make it happen. All Trump needs is a few more attacks. More bodies to feed off. Stupid as he can be, he's shrewd and cunning enough to pick those bones clean.
In Europe, there are bodies and there are also vultures. In France, the vultures are called the National Front. In Germany, they're PEGIDA. There are many who are feeding on the victims of Nice and Munich. They hope they can eat enough to turn public sentiment to their favor. Every refugee, every Muslim, every foreigner will be guilty until proven innocent. And on the waves of fear, right-wing vultures will ride into power and reshape the liberal democracies of Europe into their twisted image.
If you want to honor the victims of terrorism and mass murder, rise up against the vultures eating their flesh.
Patient zero, catalyst, dusk.
The shell stripped bare
To the Earth, it falls
As the soul departs from the husk.
Soar above the canopy
How the talons shine!
The prey was born
To a spider’s web,
And arranged in a most perfect line.
For a bountiful harvest,
But for a legacy ask so few.
The arsonist seeks
To cast a shadow,
As the first men knew.
To be not an entity
But an event,
To lock and load
As a sacrament,
Yet no shadow is
Are we nothing more than...?
Items on the line, dead on arrival
Fuck-ups by design
With a will for survival
Are we so easily defined?
Life on this surface
Born, bred and bled
Then force fed a purpose
One that somehow
Left us feeling worthless
No debate, no conversation
Shrug off your ideals
Or you'll never make it
If you feel too real
They'll show you how to fake it!
I was right when I was young
Caustic bite but no forked tongue
I was right when I was young
Now let the air
Rush out my lungs
I'll scream out insurrection!
Are we nothing more?
Who are we at the core?
We were right
When we were young
We were right before
I've been a flag burning, punk rock Catholic excommunicate,
Eleven: Who can I impress lighting up a cigarette?
Fourteen downing cheap wine, puking in my backyard
Fifteen always out of line, don't know why life's that hard
I've been an anarchist, communist, a who-the-fuck-cares nihilist
Was on the record saying "fuck the world", go on and file this
Uninterrupted existential crisis, for awhile this
Shit drove me so insane, my brain fired off a missile blitz
Acne-ridden face, felt like my skin deserved an acid bath
First boy I went to bed with turned out to be a sociopath
First girl I kissed in high school hated me in just three weeks
Bisexual-atheist-skater-goth teenager, just some kind of freak
Realized at age sixteen high school was a waste of time to me
Didn't study for a minute, still hit the high score on my GED
Proud? No. Ashamed? No. Bad trip with an afterglow,
I moved on and learned a lot, some shit forgot - that's how it goes
I've been a smart kid, dumb kid, aspired to be a bum kid
Cut myself, popped pills or wrote my songs to get me numb, shit
Got my ass beat down more than once, but always got off at least one hit
Changed my clothes, my words, my masks - searching for that one fit
Cliche as all hell, I'll admit, but I shit you not - got no regrets
Sum of all I've been through, seen and done not like I could reset
RIP disaster kid, you're gone but not forgotten, bro
You're in my heart, my mind and you'll be riding on some wicked flows
Won't be restrained,
Can't be sustained,
Found shelter in daydreams;
Relief from the sun,
And life under a gun
Who listened the last time
The best of all worlds is a fantasy,
Clarity born from insanity,
Accept my ideals and my vanity,
Defiant, I'll stay how I am.
With joy in disorder,
With pride in my scars,
I admire the people
Who have gone way too far.
Harmony blesses the ashes,
Debris, the wreckage,
The storm surge
Of infinite seas.
Walk away, drift away
And be free.
I’m a radical
Wear the anarchist aesthetic
I will not grow apathetic
I’m a nonbeliever
In the gods of the elite
Faith is not my crutch
And it does not make me complete
I ask nothing from the state,
I will protect myself
Consumerist plague will spread
You’ll be decaying on the shelf
But I refuse the designation
Human resource or commodity
Won’t stand for degradation
Yes, I do see how things ought to be
But I’m more than an idealist
Human nature at its realest
Begs for freedom unrelenting
It’s in these words; I hope you feel this
Without fail I am dissenting
I am questioning, not repenting
My words turn vitriolic
When the time has come for venting
Our lives are not for sale
But so much time we do spend renting
And for our tireless labor
All the laws they’re implementing
Show so much disrespect
See, the state syndrome infects
The virus subdues your will
Soon you’re glad to break your neck
For elites who won’t care less
Matters not if they’re impressed
Status quo: their throne secure
Their towers rise over the mess
So I’m a radical
If a voice can shatter windows
Hope the ruling class can hear it
The number of the day is zero.
Zero people have died from an overdose of marijuana, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms or kratom. Despite this, prohibition continues. The millions of deaths caused each year by alcohol don't seem to motivate anyone to try to ban that.
Zero cases of transgender people going in the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity to commit sexual assault have been documented. Despite this, persecution of transgender people continues. Countless assaults, rapes, murders and suicides have occurred where transgender people are the victims and bigots are the perpetrators.
Zero paid speeches to Wall Street criminals have been released by Hillary Clinton, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars off them. Despite this, she still wants your vote. Bernie Sanders has scarcely made a few thousand dollars off paid speeches to regular citizens and has donated those payments to charity.
Zero Christians have been persecuted by the United States government. Despite this, the 75% Christian majority of the USA still insists they are the victims. When was the last time secular people have ever tried to legislate who a Christian could marry or what they could do with their own bodies?
Zero scientific evidence exists that vaping is even remotely as harmful as smoking. Despite this, the FDA passed oppressive regulations which will devastate small businesses and cause many people to go back to cigarettes. Because of the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies, the United States government has a vested interest in people continuing to smoke.
Zero civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan whose families were murdered by US drone strikes have been paid reparations by the American government. Despite this, drone warfare continues, killing far more innocent people than enemy combatants. Neither President Obama nor Congress have been held accountable for the bombing of a hospital last year.
Zero officers of the NYPD have been prosecuted for the murder of Eric Garner. Despite this, his family continues to fight for justice. How can any person with a conscience think summary execution by strangulation is an appropriate penalty for selling loose cigarettes?
Zero bankers and hedge fund managers in the US have been prosecuted for bringing the economy to the brink of ruin in 2008. Despite this, countless Americans are jailed for victimless crimes like possession of marijuana or peaceful civil disobedience. Our tax dollars funded their undeserved bonuses under Bush and Obama, and the people have not seen repayment by these billionaire pigs.
Zero justice happens until the people fight for it. Stand and fight.
"Explain yourself, explain yourself"
The chorus of the empty minds
"Restrain yourself, restrain yourself"
An inquisition's all you find
Since when is a person's life
Anyone's but their own
Why should somebody different
Ever have to feel alone
They can go to hell
There is nothing wrong with you
You owe that to yourself
And you owe nothing to the government,
You owe nothing to the preachers
The judgment of mass media,
Police, doctors and teachers.
Who you are and what's your name
And for what you wear, have no shame
In the starless night, you'll be a glowing flame.
There are friends you don't know,
And we'll fight for you
We have no judgment to pass
On what's right for you
We have your back
But you're strong on your own, too
You will see
You have the power to set yourself free
I want to thank everyone who has read my poetry and lyrics. I write for myself, but being able to share it means a lot to me. So I want to share the full collection of my self-published writing. Most of it, you guys have already seen. But it is organized into two nice little word docs which you can share anywhere you want (something I definitely appreciate!)
Now, I hate to sound like I'm e-begging, but I am an unrecognized writer with a low paying day job about to get married and move to another country. So if anyone appreciates my writing and wants to make a contribution, I have a PayPal set up. If you don't want to or can't contribute, sharing this with your friends would also be cool!
Recursions, Volume I: https://www.docdroid.net/h04tyfb/recursions.docx.html
Recursions, Volume II: https://www.docdroid.net/mxtIn3r/recursionsvol2.docx.html
Could I come inside for just a few?
Missed my last chance to talk with you
Seems like the months are rushing by these days
And other days, they’re dragging on
And all of us, we’re dragged along
Eleventh hour bell tolls, find your place
Can you see the wishes unfulfilled?
Behind my eyes
Racing heart and body holding still
Do you wonder why?
Did the old neighborhood decay?
And when those paint chips fell away
Did you catch yourself feeling like sand?
I think the winds are picking up
And everything they’re lifting up
Might rearrange ways we don’t understand
Can you see the wishes unfulfilled?
Behind my eyes
Racing heart and body holding still
Do you wonder why?
Now I see the wishes unfulfilled
Behind your eyes
You won’t tell me what it means to you
I wonder why…
I was born in the wrong decade,
Half a century too late
There's still of piece of me that's lost
Somewhere in '68
And I feel like a relic
'Cause the left is all but dead
The fires of change are cinders now
The protesters have fled
I belong with the revolutionary
Millions untold, unsung
I belong in San Francisco
With a blotter on my tongue
And in the swirling psychedelia
I'd know those who came before
Who swore on their humanity
To never go to war
I wouldn't just burn my draft card
I'd torch the recruitment office too
SDS and Weather Underground
To my comrades, I'd stay true
But I was born in the wrong decade
Where it seems the left is dead
I could sit and wish it weren't so
But I'll stand up and fight instead
Soft targets everywhere you walk
Airports, night clubs, city streets
Tolerance might get you killed
Don't you fall for their deceit
What's going on inside the mosque?
Do they pray there or conspire?
Barbarians are at the gates
They want to set our land on fire
This enemy of the week broadcast
Brought to you by cable news
Don't trust your Muslim neighbors
They may hold radical views
So forget, forget that your wage is shit
That you're uninsured and poor
Forget that Wall Street owns you
Cause we're marching off to war
Who's going in your bathroom?
Following your kid inside
Are these people transgender
Or some predators who lied?
If you don't bake a cake for gays
They want to send you off to prison
You used to have religious freedom
But now they're persecuting Christians
This enemy of the week broadcast
Brought to you by the corporate press
The sodomites say they want rights
But you're the one who is oppressed
So forget, forget your kid's school is shit
And that table-scraps are all you get
Forget that you can never win
And blame the ones who live in sin
Cut the cable
Change the channel
It's all lies,
There is no substance to their panel
Latinos, Muslims, gay and trans
Whatever convenient scapegoat
They're not your enemy - they're your comrades
So unite, you're in the same boat
Slaves to the ruling class pigs!