Unfuck the World

I saw this shirt posted by Pitchfork from  Angel Olsen (a musician I’ve never listened to, but I know comes highly recommended). This paired with the recent news from London–the bombing, the vehicular homicide (among SO MANY other things, obviously)–brought a totaling body count to mind. Flesh heaped on flesh, red digits racking up, no time for a breath, blink and gone.

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Image via elevation.supply

Why is the world so fucked up? I mean, it’s not new. People have suffered at the hands of each other for centuries. Our whole history is made up of who won a war against who, who is memorialized for dying in it, and the nameless millions and billions and more who no one will ever know. Pride and greed top the obvious list for why our world is fucked up. Wherever there’s selfishness, there will be souls in its wake. It’s easy to point this out at a distance: Wall Street fiends, celebrity hacks, politicians and preachers–all often one in the same. We seethe at home, thinking that if they’d just WAKE UP or GET LOST, we’d all be better off. But it’s always boggled me how we wish for peace at large, yet within our own communities, we still foster discontent. In my mental wingback chair, I sigh and suppose… it’s because our primary needs of sorrow and neglect are erased by protective shields and barriers like anger and vindictiveness, which cause divide.

I’m not above any of this. I’m envious, I’m spiteful; I get sad, I get tired. And that’s part of being human. It’s impossible to eradicate all of it all of the time. There will always be something that gets under your skin, offends, pains, discourages. I don’t think the point is how to avoid reacting to any of that, I think what splits the difference is teasing forward that other part of yourself that says,”I want to try again,” or “let me understand,” not “fuck you” or “oh well.” Those are easy tropes. They can be funny while they are erase responsibility. But where is the emphasis on compassion?* Our collective culture doesn’t actively lift up language for healing. And I don’t mean that in altruistic ignorance. I mean the language that seeds what can happen when you choose to regenerate like a green plant instead of blistering under heated pride.

Pride isn’t the only cause for trouble in our world, but from where I can see in my little corner, and what I’ve had to deal with and encounter, a lot of the gratuitous fuck yous and self righteousness that feel good in the moment just perpetuate stand-offishness and aloofness could have been salved with the generosity of spirit. That thing that rings in the back of your mind and says, “We all bleed. This isn’t the hurt olympics. Help me.” Call me an idealist at heart (please do), but I do think that with each small step we take in our own lives to honestly account for our actions and feelings, the closer we will come to that embrace we all seek: hope.

*I read something somewhere once that was like, “The three hardest things to say in life are, ‘I love you. I’m sorry. Help me.’” I try not to waste my time wondering why it’s hard to say these things. I’m more interested in trying to open my mouth and say them.

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Sayonara sucker.

Bill O’Reilly is OUT after two decades at the top of FOX News.

It’s about time some evil stopped triumphing around here for God’s sake. This won’t stop him from running his mouth elsewhere, but at least his most lucrative platform has been whisked away from him. I hope this causes him to take a long hard look at his pathetic excuse for a life and livelihood. I mean, it probably won’t, but hope got us this far.

Phonto
Boy, bye.

 

These times.

My heart is heavy for all the mayhem in the world. Though it’s nothing new, and every day brings a conflict, personal, national or global, something about today’s news of the shooting in San Bernardino sits heavy on me. I’m currently at a loss for how to articulate all the different ways we can be hurt and abused, and I feel art is the only salve because of the supernatural way it carries all our questions and uncertainty. So, here are some lyrics from a song by the band Jars of Clay (song below), which I keep typed out on my refrigerator, because it so simply illustrates a lack of answers. It acknowledges grief and failure, and somehow there’s comfort in knowing we’re all working uphill.

liars and fools; sons and failures
thieves will always say
lost and found; ailing wanderers
healers always say
whores and angels; men with problems
leavers always say
brokenhearted; separated
orphans always say
war creators; racial haters
preachers always say
distant fathers; fallen warriors
givers always say
pilgrim saints; lonely widows
users always say
fearful mothers; watchful doubters
saviors always say

sometimes I cannot forgive
these days, mercy cuts so deep
if the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
while I lay, I dream we’re better,
scales were gone and faces light
when we wake, we hate our brother
we still move to hurt each other
sometimes I can close my eyes,
and all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
what makes me so badly bent?
we all have a chance to murder
we all feel the need for wonder
we still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
all the times I thought to reach up
all the times I had to give
babies underneath their beds
hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
all the comforts of cathedrals
all the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
all the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

oh my God
oh my God
oh my God