Let Me Drop A Bomb Of My Own

Alright you know I have to say my piece on Paris.

I’ve been coming across random posts about it and I’ve just been sitting here waiting, lurking, eager for more information to come out. These things are always touchy subjects, especially in western civilization. It’s sparking a lot of fear (if you didn’t already know, America is known for it’s Culture Of Fear) and a lot of heartache.

Of course my heart goes out to the people of Paris who lost their lives, the people of Paris who lost their family and their friends, and the people of Paris who are now living in a state of emergency. It’s a moment in time that will affect the rest of many people’s lives in the worst way possible. For that reason it’s disheartening.

I hear a lot of people saying “we’re all in this together, stop the senseless killing.”

I hear a lot of people saying “we have to love each other, you guys.”

I hear a lot of people saying “fucking terrorists”

I hear even more people saying “fucking terrorists are going to come over here!” 

And now that it’s been revealed ISIS was behind the attacks, I’m sure I’m going to hear a lot more of “Fucking Islamic terrorists!”

Hmmm. Let me take a moment before I open my big ass mouth.

Stop. Stop with the “we’re all in this together” stop with the “fucking Islamic terrorists” stop with the fear. Stop and silence yourself. Now think.

ISIS is obviously a radical group. They obviously have an affinity for decapitation and mutilation and violence. There is no question about that.

And so do we. There is no question about that.

France vowed to get their revenge according to an article that was released two hours ago. They declared it an “act of war”.

Lets get one thing fucking straight here. This isn’t anything new. It shouldn’t be shocking. When you’re over in the middle east shooting down families, burning huts, blatantly disrespecting their religious choices, you think that’s not an act of war? You think it’s alright for all these armies to storm in there claiming they fight for “Freedom” (whatever the fuck that means) when really they only provide weapons and aide to the allied countries that supply them with oil? You think those haven’t been acts of war?

These attacks are not random. This is a cauldron of bullshit that has been bubbling for years and ISIS just happens to be one of the radical groups with enough power and craziness to act. So yes, you should be scared; there’s now a group with enough power to play your little game back at you.

This is not to say killing innocent people is alright. I feel deeply for the people of Paris; the citizens have done nothing to deserve this, just as the citizens in all those middle eastern countries did nothing to deserve the attacks on them.

You ever notice in all the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and such, we never got the true numbers of how many of their people died. We got the number of our soldiers. We were taught to grieve for our soldiers (and rightfully) but we don’t hear about the families torn to shreds, the children living in fear, the parents struggling to walk outside of their house to get food in fear of getting caught in the crossfire between radical groups and western troops.

And let’s also consider why the fuck groups like this even form. Yes, many have a religious agenda. Many hate their government (and have reason to). Others are like the Guerrilla’s in “When The Mountains Tremble”; they’re fighting because people are fighting them.

Let’s flip this around. Say America has some nice resources the rest of the world depended on. Let’s say we had civil unrest and our government was struggling and Europe wasn’t willing to save our ass and let’s say there were several groups formed throughout the country fighting for power. Would you agree to have ISIS over here and force their will and their agenda upon us with their guns and their tanks and their soldiers so they can secure their cash crop on our land?

My point? Mind your own fucking business.

Stay the fuck out of countries and countries will stay the fuck out of you.

I don’t care how much oil you loose. I’ll drive a Fred Flintstones car, I don’t give a fuck.

ISIS is a result of all this past bullshit. Yes, they’re militant and yes they’re religion based and they’re obviously ruthless, but they came from countries torn apart by unrest and foreign armies and induced poverty and government corruption. They started with radical demands for their own country, not anyone else’s. This attack wasn’t random, and the following attacks won’t be random. This is unrest that’s been bubbling for years and years and now it’s spilling over the rim.

That much hate doesn’t develop out of thin air. If the entirety of ISIS are enraged sociopaths than I’ll bite my tongue, but I don’t think that’s the case.

War is never about peace or freedom; war is about money, it’s about divided beliefs, and it’s about allied countries.

An article already speculates ISIS struck Paris because America finances Saudi Arabia.

What the fuck does that have to do with peace, religion, freedom, or any of that bullshit?

Okay, Okay, if I haven’t convinced you, consider this: How could something as gruesome as war blossom into something as pure as peace? It doesn’t. No one’s been fighting for freedom or justice. ISIS hasn’t, America hasn’t; the last justifiable war was World War 2 and I will forever stand my ground on that.

Anyone feel a World War 3 approaching? The best thing we can hope for is that everyone will be so busy taking selfies with their guns to show how badass they are hardly anyone will get killed.

So to those who say “why can’t we live in peace and love each other?”, there’s your answer. Because it’s never been about peace or love. It’s never been about helping people, it’s never been about embracing freedom and human rights because all three principals are violated in the midst of war. ON BOTH SIDES.

Why don’t we grieve both for Paris and for the countries ISIS has bombarded? For all the families that have been torn apart by governmental and military industrial complexes? And grieve for ISIS; they’re lost people. They grew up in war and the only thing to cling to in the midst of horror is faith, religion, God–everything else gets blown to hell. They’re fighting for what they believe in because they’ve had nothing else to believe in. That’s not giving them an excuse to murder. It’s proving to you there is humanity amidst tragedy and pain and delusion.

If you truly believe in “World Peace”, if you truly wish we could “all love each other”, if you truly believe we’re all apart of each other, than you’ll be able to have compassion for even the most diabolical, the most freakish, the most fiendish, loathsome monster.

If you truly believe in worldly unity, in Truth, in love, than you’ll be like the mother who hugs her child’s killer in an act of acknowledgement, in an act of selflessness and realization that hurt occurred in their life as well.

You’ll be the one who understands the difference between compassion for these people and justification of their actions.

We’ve been structured to have emotions only for ourselves, only for our great country and our great values. We aren’t taught to explore the possibilities of other’s hurt. We’re taught to see that what ISIS did was wrong but not to understand that it wasn’t unprovoked.

It’s good to live in the present; it’s atrocious to live without acknowledgement for the past and that’s what we’ve been doing. I’ll say it once more; groups like this don’t pop out of the ground.

I’ll also say this once more: ISIS has no justifiable reason for their murders. Rarely is there any justifiable reason for murder. What they did was disgusting, it’s horrendous, it’s soul crushing. As is every other bombing, shooting, and act of war across the span of the globe. This is nothing new and it’s nothing shocking. Stop acting like it.

Acknowledge what you’ve done, learn from where you’ve been, and apply it to the present. Once government/military agents, radicals, and religious sects come to this sort of consensus, once we all realize our world is only as humane as our strongest opposition to humanity, maybe then we can claim ourselves progressive and civilized.

Until then, I’d get used to considering yourself primitive.

P.S: I think everyone would do well to educate themselves about actual Islamic practices. ISIS should do this more than anyone. 

P.S.S: America will have it’s time. We’re not invincible and neither is Europe. I’d suggest they all examine this truth a little more closely.

Lemme Snap A Pic Guuuurrrllll

Now that I got my camera I’m going to go crazy.

Of course, the one day I get it, the one day when the sun is out and I have energy and I want to go and hike and walk and snap shots of shit, it has to be windy and cold as hell.

But I’m not going to complain. I’m going to get up early tomorrow morning, see what there is to see, and snap some shots and have some fun.

Meet Charlie:

wpid-img_20151104_161722.jpg

Casually ignore the GTA 5 game down there.

As you can see by the bullshit quality in this horribly positioned photo, I do not own another DSLR. That’s my 8mp phone camera. Can you feel my pain now?

I know the D3300 is not the best DSLR (don’t tear me apart with all your impressive camera knowledge), but for right now it works perfect. Besides, does it look like I have the money to pay for a three thousand dollar camera? I’m even stuck with a 18-55mm lens right now. I’m not rich. But I feel completed. I’ve wanted a camera like this since I was in middle school. Photography isn’t just about taking pictures. There’s lighting, there’s angles, there’s objects, there’s effects . . . there’s so much creativity and so much eye for natural beauty that goes into it. Not to mention all the interesting things you can manipulate with Photoshop. Now, I’m not into making people’s faces look more “beautiful” or taking a shit ton of cuts of random women and putting them into one face photo to make a woman who doesn’t exist and put her in a magazine to sell my Falafel mix. But I am interested in what you can create with your photos or illustrations.

There’s more money in it than you think. If you’re lucky and talented.

Money isn’t my focus, as you can guess. It’s highly unlikely anyway. I enjoy doing what I enjoy, but if mobs of other people happen to enjoy it as well, then hey, pay up. Happiness isn’t free motherfucker. Some people have to pay for Medical school.

Looking at this computer screen, listening to this sub-woofer by my feet shaking the apartment complex, and now petting my new buddy Charlie (Eh, lame name, I gotta think of another one. No offense if your name is Charlie) makes me extremely thankful that I’m able to buy what I want, what I need to fuel my passions, and thankful that I have the time to nurture my talents. Days like these I think about all the children fighting just to survive, whether it be against disease or starvation, the ones who won’t live to my age to find their passion. I think about the adults who also fight to survive and won’t live to continue their passion or see their children grow. It’s for their memory and their spirits that I don’t ever submit to the darkness, and I don’t ever forget about how resilient I’ve been up to this point. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about being strong for those who’ve lost the fight. Not just your mother, not just your nephew or your sister, but for everyone, for the ones you don’t know and you’ll never meet.

Many of us have lost a lot in our lives and as much as people like to claim they’ve gotten closure, that loss will always be with you. It doesn’t have to drag you down, but it will be there. Therefore to recreate and capture the beauty in life, to describe it in words, to strum it on a guitar, to play it in video, to snap a shot of one moment out of a million others, is making art out of our loss. Making art is appreciating and appreciating is remembering the value of who we are. To remember the value of who we are is to align ourselves with our soul and to find the ultimate truth. It’s not a coincidence art is so prevalent and valued in our society.

I notice a lot of people focus on the negative. That sounds cliche, but it’s not. I mean they spew it out of their mouths at a constant rate. But let me tell you something that should be fairly obvious: what you put out is what you get back. If all you ever talk about is negativity, that’s all you’re going to receive. From yourself mostly, but from others as well. You’re going to attract other people who are constantly negative and you’re going to see a mirror image of yourself and you’re not going to like it.

Sorry, I had to.

Yes, I’m talking about depression too. Don’t blame depression for your negativity, that’s playing a victim card. I’m depressed more often than not but I don’t always write about it. If I do, I try to avoid saying “Ug, life is so horrible, no one cares about me” and all that kind of stuff. It’s one thing to get supportive feedback. It’s another thing to constantly remind yourself that no one cares about you. If you’re constantly saying that than you must not care much for yourself and if you don’t well, there’s your main problem. Fuck depression, you have an issue with yourself.

If you’re thinking like that, you’re in some deep pain. Focus on loving yourself before you start wishing other people cared about you. Other people do care about you, it’s just hard to care for someone who doesn’t ever care for themselves and who blatantly expresses that fact.

Life is so amazing it makes you feel as bad as it’s made you feel good, and not many things have that power. Appreciate mental health issues, they make you stronger than your neighbor without mental health issues will ever be. They make you see life through a different lens (a 70-300mm perhaps?) and that makes your views spectacularly valuable. As much as it beats you down, it teaches you how to stand tall, and the harder you fight it that harder you fight against yourself. Just like there’s a particular way to fall to avoid serious injury, there’s a particular way to struggle to avoid serious injury; learn how to struggle, not how to not struggle.

I’ll just leave you with a few words from Paula Gunn-Allen:

“We all know who lives near the railroad tracks: the cast-offs, the unmodern, the traditionals, the ones who cannot belong to a society that has no time for things of the spirit, and whose attitude toward human and animal life is one of exploitation. But a warrior does not forget, even in the midst of devastation, where she comes from. She does not forget that beauty is what we have, what we share, what gives human beings diginity.”

Be a warrior, not a victim.

Grape Soda, Fried Chicken, and Mayonnaise

If there’s one thing that really, really just grinds my gears, it’s when people split my ethnicity up as if my genes are “half black” and “half white”.

That’s . . .

I . . .

Genes don’t do that. They don’t split up and say, well, the left side of her body will be black, the right side of her body will be white, and we’ll make her feet a little Cherokee.

So when I found a new hip hop artist who happened to be “half” Cherokee who I liked, I was happy and exclaimed this fact to my boyfriend. His response was a frown and a “you know you’re not full native american, right?”

Totally killed my vibe, bro.

I know I’m not “full” Native American, does it look like I was born on a reservation or anywhere near any tribes? I’m especially not Native American by government standards (why should that matter?). And I know a lot of Native Americans now get frustrated when there are people who aren’t full Native American claiming scholarships and claiming Native American blood and getting recognized by the government but I agree with the Apache man I quoted a while ago “are you free people or will you let a government tell you who you are?”

I think you should need a card if your family came from Europe. Yeah, get a card and a blood test that tells you your family is from Poland. I’d have to get half of one, my mother’s side is full Polish.

Anyway, I don’t claim to be a Native going to Pow-Wow’s and drinking Acorn soup. But I respect their ways, I respect their writings, I respect their culture, and I respect my ancestors who went through hell so that I could be alive at this computer right now. I don’t practice any Native American practices or know any tribal phrases, but I love their connection to each other, to the earth, to themselves, and to the rest of the universe. It’s something I admire and it’s a part of my ancestry that I have the opportunity to embrace and learn more about.

So no shit I’m not “full” Native American. By those shallow standards, I’m not full Polish, or Danish, or Irish, or African American. If you keep splitting me up into parts, there’s not going to be any me left. What am I supposed to be? What would make you fucking people happy? If my entire family was descended from one little town in England for the last two hundred years? You want me to have Hemophilia or some shit? You want my entire family to come from Nigeria so I’m fucking BLACK ENOUGH for you? You want my entire family to be Cherokee? Then I probably wouldn’t fucking exist. My would-be mom would have been secretly sterilized before I could be conceived.

I’m so sorry my mixed “race” is so offensive. Let me just put on some black-face and make everyone a little more comfortable.

Fuck off with that shit.

Discrimination doesn’t have to be “get out of here blacky, before you steal my bike” or “stop being such a cracka, Bob, you’re making all white people look bad”. It can be subtle, so subtle the person doing it might not even realize the amount of offense in their language. It’s not easy being mixed race, especially in a town where the majority population is Hispanic. They all have their families and their cultures and traditions. Both my boyfriend’s parents are Mexican, so by those shallow standards he’s “full” Mexican. He doesn’t understand when you’re of mixed race, you have to struggle to find your identity and which culture of your family you prefer to identify as. You have to struggle when people say “What, you’re black? You don’t look black. You look Mexican. You only have an accent when you’re angry.” Or “Ha, you’re white-washed”.

Fuck off with that shit.

On top of that,  I’m also the not black enough, kind of southern-accented when I’m angry (the “black/Cherokee half” of my family is from Mississippi) but white-washed quiet girl who whispers to herself in the middle of class but can’t speak when she needs to.

There are a lot of campaigns going around now to bring attention to stigma against those of us that struggle with our mental health. You know, people taking selfies with their medication (Big Pharma thanks you for your advertisement) and people writing things like #StepFoward on their hands.

Sorry to burst your bubble ya’ll, but writing on your hands and taking pictures of your anxiety medication isn’t helping anyone. I think social media is one of the most powerful ways to bring forth a movement. However, it needs to be done correctly and that is not the correct way. What does writing on your hands tell people? It doesn’t give you websites to support, campaigns to support, it doesn’t even tell you why people are stepping forward. Just #StepForward.

Okay, I just took a step. I stepped from my desk to my fan. Does . . . what do I get? Do I get a prize?

Sure, there’s meaning behind the hash-tag but not everyone knows the severity of that meaning. It’s like reading a book in a literature class. You can read the words, you know what happens in the story, but do you understand the depths of motifs? Do you understand why there was foreshadowing? Do you understand how syntax of particular scenes represents a particular feeling? Do you even know what Motif, foreshadowing, and syntax is?

Hashtags and medication pictures don’t talk about what we as a society don’t talk about. It puts mental health in the back of everyone’s mind but there’s a lot of junk in the back of people’s minds today, I’m pretty sure mental health is buried underneath all that other shit. In this article, this woman in New Zealand explains her own reasons for why #StepForward and other such campaigns might not be doing what it intends to do.

I can’t speak for New Zealand, but here in America I would apply her same points. Campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter I hesitate to consider useless, only because the subject of Race has been a topic in American society since . . .well, the settlers. We’re not “open” about racial discrimination like we should be, we don’t talk about why it still exists in our society. At least we (Well, most of us) recognize that it does. We don’t talk about the fact that “Race” itself is a social construction; it changes with time. For example, Hispanic didn’t used to be a race. I remember when it wasn’t. I remember when all the state standardized tests in my area had “White, African American, Asian , and ‘other’ ” as your “race” options. I always put other, ever since first grade. Fuck your categories, California. Fuck off with that shit. Then they made a separate column for “Hispanic” or “Not Hispanic”. Now it’s a government-recognized race. We made it that way.

So our discrimination tactic is based upon something we made up.

Seems like it would be easier to see how dumb it is if people realized “black” or “white” could eventually change to “fried-chicken people” and “Mayonnaise people” and it would all be the same.

Just like the people who want to change “Schizophrenia” to something else. We stigmatize the behavior and the symptoms. You could call that disorder “Happy-Fucking-Sunshine-rainbows-and-Unicorn” disorder and you know what? As soon as people learn what the disorder entails, they’ll go right back to discriminating. And as soon as they read “Happy-fucking-sunshine-rainbows-and-unicorn disorder, otherwise known as Schizophrenia” then they’ll go right back to discriminating.

Yes, our language needs to change. But we created language. We created the words we use today and therefore those words describe our understanding of the world and how we view others. As long as we continue to misunderstand severe mental disorders, as long as we as a society fail to recognize the issues in our past that have created the issues of our present, we will continually call people “Crackas”, we’ll continually say all black people love fried chicken and grape soda (Grape soda tastes like straight up ass to me. But then again, I‘m not “full black”, am I?), we’ll continually say people with schizophrenia are dangerous, and we’ll continually use “race” to describe a person’s appearance before anything else.

Our language will change with our understanding, our compassion, and our realization that we’ve created the mess we’re in.

Facts are facts.

A Little More Love

I have to start off this post in a completely non-clever way because I need to point out this petition to get those dumbass “Dorothea Dix: Psych Ward” and other such ignorant costumes out of retailers like Amazon. I mean really, it’s going too far. If you want to send a big middle finger to stigma and the people who perpetuate it, sign today. Or, for those of you less-aggressives, if you want to send a big “please learn some respect” finger to stigma and people who perpetuate it, sign today. I was signature number 2,616. We need 5000. So haul ass over there.

Anyway.

I’d be a complete liar if I didn’t admit I sometimes get frustrated listening to people’s troubles. You know, people who don’t fight with their mental or physical health everyday. When I hear people complain about trivial things, like the fact that their new Iphone 89 is going to be delayed an extra day or the item they wanted to buy in the store was out of stock, and they keep talking about it and talking about, I get offended. At least you can walk out of your house. At least you don’t suffer from crippling depression. At least you’ve never tried killing yourself because voices told you to or at least you never got admitted to a hospital because you’d been up for two weeks planning the cure for cancer through newspaper clippings. At least you don’t have to go through chemotherapy or fight H.I.V. while in poverty.

If you’re not of color (any color), at least you grew up with “white privilege”. That exists. If you were born a man at least you don’t have to live up to the expectations of femininity or get called a slut for sleeping around with a bunch of women or fight a glass ceiling. If you were born a woman at least you don’t have to live up to the expectations of masculinity and be expected to hold everything inside of you until you pop. If you’re “straight” and attracted to the opposite of your biological sex than at least you don’t get called unnatural or a freak or disgusting or godforsaken. At least you aren’t sticking a needle in your arm. At least you don’t have diabetes or heart disease or even a broken leg. And at least you don’t have Multiple Sclerosis. There’s a plethora of things you could have that you don’t.

I don’t want people to feel guilty, because everyone’s pain is valid. If the worst thing that’s ever happened to you is a delayed Iphone and that’s really painful for you, than it’s really painful and I have no right to deny that. I just want people to realize what they take for granted everyday. Our health, mental and physical, is one of the most fragile things about us as human beings and yet we treat it as if it owes us something. As if it’s invincible and immortal. I’ve never had a serious physical illness, and I’m thankful for that but my mental health could use a lot of work. I know a lot of us expect things to be better after we pop a pill, especially when what we’re dealing it is scary and feels like it’s taken away our control. But it’s true: physical health in mental health patients is being ignored. If you don’t think the state of your physical body effects the state of your mind, than you’ve got some more things to learn.

Chemical ImbalanceThat’s the problem with summing all mental health issues up into a “chemical imbalance”. I hate that shit. Firstly, it’s not an imbalance because each brain is as unique as a fingerprint. If everyone’s brain is different, how can one be more imbalanced than the other? There’s no “normal brain” to compare it to. Couldn’t some brains just have a specific way of behaving that’s different from their neighbors? Simple logic here. Secondly, it insinuates that you’re helpless to the chemistry of your brain when there’s been plenty of studies that show even something as abstract as a thought can alter neurotransmission. You’re so much more complicated than any imbalance ever could be.

Take Elyn Saks for example. I watched her Ted talk like, what, four years ago? I bought her book “The Center Cannot Hold” a long while ago not knowing it was the woman I watched in the Ted talk until I read the intro to the book and realized this shit sounds familiar.

Shut up; I just go on Ted Talks and just click on whatever interests me, I never pay attention to names.

If you haven’t read The Center Cannot Hold, I’m not going to go into a summary of it, but basically it’s a memoir about her struggles with schizophrenia. What I was freaking out about in her book was the fact that she made it through fucking law school in the midst of psychosis with the help of a psychoanalyst. Of course she got hospitalized a few times (back when Yale Psychiatric hospital was completely uncivilized. Not that psychiatric hospitals are anywhere close to being civilized) and all sorts of things, but somehow she did it. Makes me feel like an ass. I can barely get through classes with depression and anxiety. If I was as deep in psychosis as she was, running around in circles on campus flapping my wings expecting to fly and shit . . . well, I wouldn’t even be in school anymore. A cop probably would have shot me. I got mad respect for her.

I don’t know how she did what she did, but she found something that worked for her (in this case, Freudian techniques, which is even more baffling) and she ran with it. It’s something we don’t do enough of these days–looking into what makes us function better with ourselves rather than what someone on the outside tells us will make us function better. First you have to define what functionality is to you. If you can’t do that than how are you ever going to get where you want to be? Don’t throw yourself blindly into treatment, that’s just putting yourself in yet another situation where you won’t feel in control.

It’s not easy getting help when people judge your behavior before you get help and then judge you while you’re getting help. You end up stuck as the middle ball of those little Newton ball things–you know, this:

newton cradle

Newton’s Cradle; that’s right. Totally knew that. Didn’t read at all from the image URL.

But here’s the thing: no one is ever going to be accepted until we as people can describe someone without having to also describe their skin color. No one is going to be accepted until people realize the LGTB community (and the rest of the gender spectrum) should be allowed to marry not because of equal rights, not because it’s a federal law, but because they’re fucking human. It’s very simple.

Laws themselves hold no ground, not when people blatantly disobey them. Laws are just words and what meaning do words hold until you choose to put a meaning on them?

The stupidity of our priorities is as malignant as Glioblastoma.

I mean, did I really just read an article that worries about the economy if the magnetic poles of the earth shift within the next 1000 years like they predict? The economy is what you’re worried about? That shit doesn’t even exist. Was the economy here on earth when you were a neanderthal licking the wound on your foot? We put way too much value in the economy, we need it to survive as of now, but if all your technology gets fucked up, if storms and weather ruins all your material items, if this magnetic switch destabilizes the already decomposed Ozone layer and you start getting blisters and cancer all over your skin from UV rays, than I foresee a rise in Native traditions once again. Your iphone isn’t going to exist to get delayed anymore. Your neighbor will share their bread with you because hey, you’re human and you deserve to live too.

I’m not saying it’ll make the world peaceful, I’m just saying there are more important things within our lives than the things we as a society have constructed. Like our health. Our view of ourselves. The giant ball we’re currently inhabiting.

You hear about the water on mars and shit? Psh. Whenever we send humans up there, they can just stay there and investigate the possible microbes in that water by themselves, far away from Earth. I am not fond of having Ebola’s vicious second cousin wiping out our entire population because some freaky scientists wanted to visit a dried up planet with a 45 degree tilted axis that causes extreme winters and extreme summers. Does that sound like a ball of rock worth inhabiting? We can’t even love our own planet. Don’t put mars through this bullshit.