TEXT & MEDIA
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY…
(lined paper self portrait)
My name is SHAZZBARBARIC. That’s me above, well a picture of me. Here are a couple more showing what I look like with a mustache;
(smiling self portrait) (caricature)
I messed this one up so I just erased half of it. “Artistic License”
(half face light portrait)
Shazz is a pretty cool name I know, I picked it out myself.
Well, a friend gave me the email address from some Star Wars fan fiction around ’94 so I think I was in 6th grade?
Anyways, I really wanted Dash Rendar but he got that one for himself. So firstname.lastname@example.org was born.
(red face portrait)
I didn’t draw that one, that’s from this artist I met in line in for a comedy show in Manhattan, Vincent Kings. Good guy.
He made me look cool but I was just really tired and stoned.
That’s where I live, Manhattan. I have a real estate brokerage here. If you click on the logo below it’ll take you to my real estate website, though I still need to do some work on it so be kind.
You can see me showing people apts at the following youtube channels;
(David w/Oxford youtube) (shazzbarbaric youtube taken down) (Shazz R4L youtube showings)
I know what you’re probably thinking and yes, Manhattan’s an expensive place to survive. My apt is a $2600 one bedroom and my shower is in the kitchen! But the West Village off Carmine and Bleecker is really one of the best locations in the greatest city in the world.
Trust me, this is my job.
(Yaya roof pic) (me on roof pic)
It’s a good life. You might have noticed in the links above that I started out in real estate as David McNerney, before I changed my name legally.
I guess changing your name is kind of like artistic license too in a way, if your life was a drawing.
I know, most people don’t just change their name to match their email. But it’s not quite that simple.
You see, a writer was the earliest thing I could imagine becoming. I read a lot, and the first epic books by big name authors were always C.S. this or J.R.R. that, so you start imagining what your name would be.
“D. McNerney” just didn’t have the same style as an “S.B. Baric”
Below is a screenshot from a website I made maybe 10 years ago.
(screen capture c 2007)
That was back when my folks still owned their house. I’d found a couple literary references for the barbaric part and was making it work.
But you’ll notice it says I was based out of California. My life has not been a straight line, so I guess I should just start back at the beginning.
Ok, California, 1982. I don’t want this to be too long so I’ll just catch you up to high school really quick;
(baby) (baby w/moms) (kid me on phone) (kid me hands) (school photo) (jail outfit)
(wrestling photo team) (wrestling photo solo) (Army Toughs)
That last picture was getting a little ahead maybe, ’cause that’s the Army after High School. But first I shouldn’t be rude and introduce you to my folks, since they’ll be in and out of this story as well;
(Pops & Mama G)
My dad’s half Irish, my mom’s full Mexican, someone might have slept with a jew in there somewhere.
I’ve always thought that was a funny line but I’m not sure why.
When you’re a “mixed kid” though you get used to the “where are you from” question, so you keep a couple zingers in your back pocket. I always say I’m just a mutt. Less explanations. Stuff like this underground newspaper was probably why I didn’t get good grades in school. It just didn’t make sense to me.
I always resented not being allowed to play and learn on my own time. And eventually I did just do what I want and barely graduated, taking mostly Advanced Placement classes that finished in April and then leaving my senior year to live with Dash Rendar near the beach, skipping out on the whole ceremony and prom and all that other stuff.Though I probably have a decent one developed by now. But back to high school…
Stuff like this underground newspaper was probably why I didn’t get good grades in school. It just didn’t make sense to me.
I always resented not being allowed to play and learn on my own time. And eventually I did just do what I want and barely graduated, taking mostly Advanced Placement classes that finished in April and then leaving my senior year to live with Dash Rendar near the beach, skipping out on the whole ceremony and prom and all that other stuff.
(High School Diploma)
Got my diploma though, not that it mattered. A friend of mine had offered a recruiter my name to get him off his back. And I never really planned to go to college anyways, even though I had Ivy League SATs. I got a 1430 out of 1600 which back then I think was pretty good. We didn’t really have much money and I didn’t want to either go into debt or hang around my hometown.
Since we all have to take the military tests they also knew I was smart. Last time I figured out these numbers I think I would have qualified for any job I wanted? 95th percentile or something, whatever language schools they offer. So of course they give the brown kid Arabic and shoot me off to Monterey, California to learn a language in a year.
Not having done well with the structure of high school, I’m not sure what I expected from the military. Imagine college where they can take away your money and freedom for dropping below a C average. Also, you don’t have a Bill of Rights but are property of the government now.
But I always wanted to be in the military. Grandpa flew planes for the Navy. Some people serve, I wanted to be one of those people. And while I was in I met a lot of other military families. You can scan the above papers to see what kind of troublemaker I was. But long story short, 2 years into a 5 year enlistment both myself and the military thought we should probably call a mutual break up for everyone’s benefit.
Got a Top Secret clearance though, that was pretty cool. And I learned to drink, smoke & play guitar, as I like to tell people. Oh! You may have noticed the documents are about Korean and not Arabic classes. Yeah I switched because I had a friend in Korean. Don’t worry you’ll meet him further down the page in a drunk poker game threatening to sue me.
But back then, thinking ahead, I figured Korean was closer to Chinese, which might be more useful when I get out.
Little did I know…
(youtube video “War Criminals” taken down)
Yeah I got to watch September 11th happen from the barracks of a military base with a bunch of other mostly 18-20 yr olds staring at the rec room tv as the 2nd plane crashed into the towers.
And only last month we had been complaining in the smoke pit that our generation was cheated out of its Vietnam experience.
(marijuana heart) (floating down river on log)
Marijuana. The first time I smoked weed was actually the day I got out of the military. You see, they actually check on your past for those security clearances. So they talked to my friends and teachers from High School. We were a pretty conservative christian family and I wasn’t the type to jump into experiences. And since I was always told I was smart I didn’t want to mess up the main thing I had going for me.
Buuuuut I had just regained my freedom. So on the drive back down to Southern California from the Defense Language Institute I went for a hike in Big Sur up some gorge, where another friend proceeded to get me high for the first time at age 20. I didn’t feel it, I guess it doesn’t work on me. And then we pushed a redwood log into the water and rode it down the river.
And then I noticed the sun had begun to sparkle in slow motion, like stained glass. There was a depth I never noticed in the shadows of the trees. The greens were vibrant. The water felt amazing.
I was high.
At this point I wasn’t SHAZZBARBARIC yet. I had the email, but I was very much still David McNerney. I just knew I didn’t like the army. And I just discovered I might really like weed. At least in nature.
(hand to head) (smoking bowl) (beer in hand)
Indeed this early part of my 20’s was a time of trying on identities. I did what I thought was expected of me, which oddly meant drinking was more acceptable than smoking.
I can say with 100% certainty that I would have gotten into less trouble in my youth had this been inverted. But I had to find out for myself which was the greater danger to my health. So for the time being I did what everyone else did; go to college and get fucked up.
(CSUSB) (poetry class)
Ahhh Cal State San Bernardino, beautiful campus and beautiful poetry class with only two guys in it. You would think I would be back on track in society then right?
But things just didn’t click for me. I started with business, then switched it up to creative writing thinking I should focus on my passion.
It didn’t feel like my story though. The teachers and coursework were uninspiring. The partying seemed like we were doing what we were told was fun, but I didn’t feel like I was actually expressing myself. Everyone seemed to be going through the motions.
I didn’t want to pick an identity, even if it ended up fitting. I wanted to figure things out.
What things? I didn’t know. I just kept reading. There was a connecting story to history and I wanted to know what it was, and put it in my own words.
I wanted to create my own life.
Once I fell for a girl and she told me in my car how she was raped at a frat party. I had already stopped going to school by then but that was just confirmation.
I was in Northern California at the time visiting a friend and Berkeley had just expelled students for organizing a protest against the newly fabricated war in Iraq. A war that historic global protests had tried to prevent.
Wherever the truth was, the honest opposition, it wasn’t on campuses. All I saw was careerism entitlement and excess. I dropped out, got a job in consumer lending and rented a house near the beach with some friends.
(leaning on car w friends) (HFC employment letter)
And for a little bit I felt like I had my shit together.
(me and Mitch on beach) (July beard)
So why’d I quit consumer lending? I can’t really say, not as clearly as I can say why I quit school.
I mean, I did try to go back to school a couple times, just like I always had to get another job to keep working to survive. And I guess owning my own business now has been my compromise, perhaps some people shouldn’t work for others. Maybe I get that from my folks, who own their own insurance agency.
(kissing Mama G)
But it was something else too. I really wanted to FIGURE IT OUT. Why was no one stopping this war?! It was like you’re the only person noticing that the chain is not connected to the gears and yet everyone wants you to keep peddling faster.
But we’re not actually making the tires spin. And we sure as hell can’t make them stop. So I got more jobs, where sometimes I quit and sometimes I was fired.
(Park Aid photo) (notice of termination)
Yeah I did make it back to Big Sur, I love that place. But again, careerism and entitlement. Everything I got fired for others did as well. I just did it in a socially unacceptable way. My boss let people in the park for free, but I didn’t let the right people in. The college kids got drunk together, but I got drunk with the guest visa workers. Or the weird kid who was squatting in our bike camp.
I mean, to be fair though, as far that parks job went I probably was technically bad at the job.
But the bigger picture was that I had begun to realize in High School and later in the Army, but only was able to articulate after my time with Occupy Wall Street later on, there were formal and informal structures in society. And I was rejecting them all for some reason.
And reading. I would just work to buy books basically, then I guess take time off to read them. I just remember weeks at a time reading, sometimes on a night schedule so I’d have the house to myself. I didn’t read everything, but I started to read enough to have my own opinion.
(books) (portrait of me reading)
So through maybe 2008 I was just accumulating information and trying to form my own opinion of the world.
Some of those opinions were hard won. I remember the cognitive dissonance reading my first book on Islam, which I was raised to view as an inferior religion. Then afterward how I’d tell my mom I wanted to celebrate Ramadan and she told me let’s make it Mamadan instead. We would disagree and she would argue with scripture. But I think she knew what I was trying to do.
She just didn’t have the time. By then I was hardly working, traveling between Santa Cruz and the Inland Empire every couple months when my money ran out. Self exploration apparently is one of the excesses of youthful poverty.
(ol’ timey shazz)
And what was the end of this self-education? Well there was this one guy, self described acid casualty gutter punk, maybe 40, had done some traveling, lots of tattoos and always shirtless. He pitched a pagoda in a friend’s backyard until he took his life by jumping off a bridge.
But he was a seeker too, and he read furiously. And this world caused him a lot of pain. Obviously because he had a mental illness. But also because he had an amazing heart.
He cared too much. And I was starting to realize that in this world that could be a liability. So I had to either learn to not care as much like everyone else or acknowledge insanity or at the very least social isolation and rejection lay at the end of this journey.
(Vagrant’s Vedas photographs)
Of course, I’m being a little melodramatic. I came from a good family and had a great support system. It wasn’t either really a choice between cynicism or the loony bin. But as I revealed the historic record of my country’s aggression, at home and abroad, I also passed the warning signs against antagonizing supreme authority.
Most are familiar with the major canon of martyrs who’ve died standing in opposition to injustice. The trinity of Martin Malcolm and JFK (or is it Martin RFK & JFK?). But I had never heard of Fred Hampton before I stumbled across his documentary online. We see Che Guevera all over the place but no one told me about Lumumba who was his contemporary, the first democratically elected president of the Congo who supposedly declared upon his inauguration “We are no longer your monkeys.”
Here’s a recent example; Dag Hammarskjöld, the 2nd secretary general of the UN and a man JFK called “the greatest statesman of our century” only recently was acknowledged to have been most likely assassinated.
(youtube video “jumping th…” taken down)
I was supposed to have been smart enough to have figured the 3rd way between hopelessness and mania, the artist exploring the true historical record, Milan Kundera illuminating the Prague Spring with a little sexiness and style thrown in for good measure.
It’s when I learned that authority here in the United States, not some communist country but the one I had wanted to fight and possibly die for, could come after the artist as well that I started to have doubts about my self described life’s path.
Why did they have to kill Lenny Bruce?
(youtube video “Why They Had to…” taken down)
Deceit & Love
A WANNABE WRITER…
So there I was, a wannabe writer with on one hand a conviction that only the truth was worth telling and then on the other recognizing a sociopathic need for conformity from the top down in my society.
So I made my truth small. I focused on myself. America was getting herself worked up to elect Obama like a fake orgasm of social justice but I didn’t stick around to witness the disappointment. No I went to Mexico to lay roses on my grandmother’s grave and keep working on my own story.
I kept growing stronger.
(Iraqi boy linking to Harold Pinter Nobel lecture) (Decibels & the War Dead linking to Essay)
There are so many spinning plates in the news I don’t know if we have a strong collective memory of Obama’s mandate. But I remember. It was an anti-war election. It was an anti-authoritarian executive election. It was a referendum on the flaming shit show that was the George Jr presidency.
And of course he gave everyone a pass, refusing to “look backwards” as he said and bailing out the banks before going on to prosecute more whistleblowers and escalating more foreign conflicts than his predecessors.
The hypocrisy was becoming unbearable. I’d come back from Mexico with 50 pages of a novel written, an immigrant story based on the effects of NAFTA on both sides of the border. But it just didn’t interest me as much as the dominant narrative of injustice.
That’s me coming back from Mexico as the “prodigal son” with flowers for my mom because she doesn’t understand why I can’t just be normal. To my right is Brother Benson, who’s pretty much known me my whole life. He met my folks when I was just born.
(youtube video “5 mom’s ho…” taken down)
My mom was an orphan, my dad lost his own father before they had me. Brother Benson’s as much of a grandpa as I’ve had. He said I was going to be a preacher as well. I didn’t agree with everything he’d say. But he’s a good man. I know this because he’d counsel my folks when they fought. He was slow to anger, I never saw him get angry. He was a hard worker.
He had a word.
(Obama’s an asshole)
Barry is an asshole. Look at the picture above. That’s not a smile, that’s a sneer, we’ve just forgotten how to tell the difference.
There’s a difference between cool and cold.
He increased racial tensions by having race be the only substance to the discussion. That’s what they mean by Obama being racist. He used his race as a gimmick, just like my line about someone sleeping with a jew. By using his identity to further his own ambition in such a shallow way he merely used the concept of race, with all of its complex baggage and history, as another political tactic. Obama didn’t invent this trick, but his approach to it hardly broke from tradition.
There’s a difference between illuminating the black experience and cashing it in.
Besides, mutts like me are the first to point out that race has always been more of a political than a scientific classification. He might as well have been adhering to the one drop doctrine. But we also were desperate I guess. Which probably makes his political opportunism worse in hindsight…
(youtube video “2 shazzbar…” taken down)
Maybe you don’t agree with me. I get heated. I’m not a genius, I only get 95% of the answers right remember. But I think enough time has passed to acknowledge that Obama let us all down.
It’s just that those of us who were paying attention have been let down for a little bit longer. So I tried to turn my frustration into something positive. I made art. I wrote. I took speeches from historic figures that I felt contained wisdom worth sharing and put them to inspirational music.
(political joints taken down from soundcloud)
And then I listened to those songs, because I needed inspiring.
It wasn’t a bike without a chain anymore, it was a bike without wheels. As Fred Hampton predicted, they gave us a negro imperialist.
You know what it was? It was that shitty horse at the grocery store that you put a quarter in as a child and you get on once and then you never do it again. Because for some reason it looks awesome every time you pass it. But it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t go anywhere.
It’s not a real animal and it’s not even a real toy.
Obama was a way to keep us distracted while the adults went shopping.
(pic of “writer” biz card linking to youtube “S. B. Baric” video taken down)
(screenshots; “I Like Americans” “Fucking Patriots” “Monday Morning” “Allah Akbar” “Cadence of the Christian Soldier” “God Help the Man” “Proud to Be an American Couch Owner” “The Lady Soldier with Footnotes” “Interrogation” “March 19th, 2003, NYC NY” “Cadence” “To a Tragic American” “Go” “Our Museums Empty Their Beauty” “Flag Man Fun” “White Lip Widow”)
(office Shazz shirt) (office smiling)
Didn’t land any freelance writing gigs though, so I also pretended to work at my parents business between trips back to the Bay Area, every now and then making them some money by accident.
(youtube video “10 busride…” taken down) (youtube video “11 busride…” taken down)
Around this time I developed my concept of tools vs toys. Tools multiply labor, toys waste it.
In a world of abundance our cultural obsession with toys helped explain the current situation. It also served as a warning sign for myself.
No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings, as Kennedy said. If we’re focused on them, that is. In order for our world to maintain its disrepair in the face of increased efficiency, it made sense that labor would have to be systematically wasted. So I started to document the promoted distractions.
And I marked down every person and organization that told me to get on that shitty fake horse ride and took them off my list of people who’s judgement I could trust.
Have you made your list yet?
You should probably start, while we still have an honest historical record. Barry’s done. His actions are set. Judge the man against his word. Did he match his rhetoric?
How does that make you feel?
Well it made me feel like getting drunk and then I got a DUI. So don’t do that.
Actually I blame the Lakers.
And after some reflection myself. I needed to change my lifestyle.
So I found an ad for a job with Greenpeace in Manhattan and jumped on a plane.
(1st Christmas in New York)
It’s not the size of the tree as they say… it was a cold, humbling first New York winter. All the writing and books were left back in California.
I was too much in my head. I was growing bitter and in danger of jumping off bridges. I needed to live. I needed balance.
I needed a relationship.
So I did what self-respecting adults ten years ago did to get laid.
I went on craigslist.
(online courtship in 2008)
This is where the Shazz vs David dichotomy started to come up. I was David in my public life, but my email I used for everything including my dating life now was this Shazz, Shazzbar, or just SHAZZBARBARIC.
And I didn’t want to give it up. Once I secured a relationship with the new Shazz name, the girl telling me I looked more like Shazz, that settled it. I was Shazz the writer in a serious relationship with a beautiful creative intelligent and equally impulsive partner for the first time in my life.
I would change my name as soon as I sold my first book project, I told myself. So we moved back to the Bay Area to work on that project. Because if I was going to consider actually settling down with this girl I had to share Big Sur with her. I had to share my version of beauty and happiness.
She packed a suitcase full of shoes and asked me where were all the streetlights. It was an adjustment.
But I was in love.
(youtube video “15 Berkele…” taken down)
It was winter of 2009-10. We had jobs in Berkeley, where I’d lived for a couple months back when I was fresh out of the Army and always meant to return. Even if it’s not the current activist hub, there’s an energy in the air and natural beauty that makes you feel alive.
(I and Thou cover)
So we ended up subletting an apartment on Spaulding from Regina Spektor’s cousin funny enough. The night we met she recommended a book over a hand rolled cigarette that read like a workout, where once you finish you can go right back to the beginning and start over for the next level of understanding. Mental heavy lifting, philosophy as art.
I had a girl I was considering putting a ring on. So I made plans to jump into the family business, albeit in my own way, and start an insurance agency in Northern California. The art, although our initial spark, was going to have to take a backseat to reality.
While Sha worked at a local health clinic as a receptionist I sat home smoking multiple strains of medical grade marijuana – free samples from recently made friends in return for my opinion of their quality – and I collected data into spreadsheets from the California government motor carrier permit sites.
(DMIS Insurance Agency business card)
I was maturing, right? Time to put those childish things away if I wanted to start a family. As mom said, she also liked Che Guevera when she was young, until that bastard Fidel killed him because he was jealous. She had her ideas. But she also was a hard worker, both my parents were. Self-made independent entrepreneur Republicans. My dad’s never been on disability even though he’s epileptic.
Pride in yourself and your abilities over handouts.
I had learned a couple tricks on how to build a sales pipeline while working for my folks. Some of my clients still brought them decent commissions. And I knew it all first started with a good database of leads. Commercial trucking was where the money was near a port like Oakland, one of the busiest in the world.
So I got high and worked on the foundations of my nascent business while my girl held down the bills.
(Granny D hikes across america doc)
And then, sitting at home with my unlimited free weed and hours of busy work, I watched a documentary on Hulu about “Granny D,” an old lady who walked across the country to raise political awareness.
Funny enough, that documentary was free on Hulu back then but now I can’t find it anywhere online. I couldn’t even find a valid source for the Iraqi boy who lost an eye I posted further up when I was ranting about Obama through a reverse image search.
The internet has changed over these last 8 years.
(write in candidate for gov swag)
But back to the story, I was starting to get my own ideas again.
Non-commercial insurance ideas.
(youtube video “16 Our Fir…” taken down)
Our cultural tools were multiplying as well as our toys. Youtube was sold to Google a year and a half after it’s invention for $1.65B. Cameras were taking videos, good videos. People were becoming empowered.
Perhaps now the truth could outrun deceit.
I’ve always felt that if you slow down your mind the answer will come to you.
Just like all writing is editing, the answer is defined by what’s left.
(youtube video “17 selling candy t…” taken down) (youtube video “18 you can upload…” taken down) (youtube video “Drunk Poke…” taken down) (youtube video “19 that’s…” taken down)
Yeah I annoyed my friends. But I felt like I was onto something.
California was having an election. Jerry Brown, the former Governor and son of a previous one wanted to run again. I had read enough by then to start focusing on power structures, and how the same people seemed to stay at the top.
When you’re young you want a single big boss to fight. But as you gain wisdom and experience you realize that evil in its most malicious form isn’t a concentrated poison but a diluted one, the kind that doesn’t kill immediately but slowly cripples.
Perhaps that is why our collective consciousness latches onto these Hamlet figures haunted by the ghosts of historic tragedies we’ve never been able to contextualize, rejecting friend lover and mother in suicidal self-explorations.
But then Don Quixote was able to achieve a measure of honesty, peace and even fame, although admittedly he used the tools of delusion to attain them.
I’d like to think this was because Cervantes was a soldier, an honorable one, and so he knew the real consequences to false words, for better or for worse.
Shakespeare merely made cuckolds of his crowds.
(press release for CA tour)
Dynasties are broken systems in democracies. Hero worship, assumed candidacies, party machines, these all were power black holes.
We didn’t need answers, we just needed to crack the door open for the answers to develop. That’s what Granny D inspired me to do. That’s the wisdom I was going to hang my hat on, what was left once I stripped out all of the emotion and bullshit.
Pull the weeds and the garden will recover. Sunlight will cure the rot. Or as I put it in my press release, you can’t fail at democracy.
Failure is in not trying.
So I ran for governor, as a write in candidate of course.
(Crescent City pic linking to Citizen’s Audit entries)
(105 Citizen’s Audit videos taken down from youtube)
105 videos containing 11 hours of footage interviewing around 35 people including city mayors comptrollers artists and librarians, as well as a half dozen animals including a toad, some peacocks and an emu.
It was a hot mess of raw content on a dysfunctional website I was teaching myself to build while also trying to edit the footage down AND create our shot schedule every morning.
While living out of a Honda Civic with my young love and about a thousand dollar budget that was supposed to last us four months.
(funny face in mirror)
Yeah the project had quickly spiraled out of control. To begin with, I still hadn’t changed my name legally. So though I was going around introducing myself as Shazz, I had an internal conflict not to mention the illogic of running, even symbolically, for candidacy under a false name.
We were using couchsurfing heavily to take breaks from sleeping in the backseat of the car, where most nights than not we’d pile our clothes to a flattened mound and make a nest for two. Then in the morning we’d grab a cup of coffee somewhere with wifi and I’d outline a rough idea of where to find our shots;
-give me the top and bottom couple addresses in this local real estate market
-give me whatever art scene they have, collective, museum, gallery, whatever
-what industry is historic here?
-that kid walking down the street looks interesting, get the phone out let’s go
(youtube video “About thi…” taken down)
It was just too much. After the last “loan” from the folks to keep us going, and after the last blowup with friends to crash on their couch – interrupting their very real responsibilities with our delusions of populist uprising – we called it quits.
My girl went back to Manhattan to regroup and myself, I went back to my parents house in Southern California without Sancho Panza. My insanity had returned and then abated once again through poverty, but taken hold deeper in my psyche for the flare up.
I became a loose canon grabbing at political straws for any writing project I could conceive of to crack through the noise.
(youtube video “BQH Book a…” taken down)
This video is embarrassing, but not because I’m running around in my underwear putting on a bad cholo accent.
My folks were working at the time to save their business and house through a deepening historic recession while my head was in the clouds. I bummed around and refused to work. Yeah I explored some interesting ideas, but at the cost of those around me. I was taking a lot and giving back little.
When I reflect upon what it means to be a good man I think about this time and what those decisions cost us, what other decisions could have helped us avoid as a family.
(youtube “23 David Bacon How Global…” taken down) (youtube “22 Mongrel…” taken down)
I continued to invest in my own story, the small truth, by exploring the Mexican American experience deeper.
And I also tried to contextualize the broader American citizen’s struggle against oppression through literature, discovering multiple new layers to one of my favorite authors while also starting to resonate with anarchism, a concept I once thought too far out there.
(Randolph Bourne pic link to “War is the Health of State essay) (Social Writings of Jack London)
The low water mark was probably when I was living out of my car in San Francisco on the few dollars I had left.
A cup of coffee and a boiled egg from a local cafe were luxuries. My friends in the Bay Area were no longer taking my calls. I was showering at the nudist beach on the north shore in view of the Golden Gate bridge, walking into the ocean with my wash cloth and shampoo on sunny days, and otherwise reading about the pirating exploits of London’s childhood.
At one point Jack imposed himself upon his sister, making her support him as well as her own children while he tried to make it as a writer. I lived with this arrogance, but with less support, until I got it in my head to walk in front of Nancy Pelosi’s office downtown for the distance from Iraq’s gulf border to Baghdad, symbolically tracing the path of our invasion.
War had become my ultimate injustice, my cause. And Pelosi, the daughter of a congressman who had worked her way up the democratic party through her fundraising acumen, was the perfect figurehead for an entrenched, corrupt political class.
Remember when the Democrats had total control of government in 2008 and a mandate to end the war?
I would spend over five hours a day for about a week pacing in front of that federal building in my BDU’s (military camo pants) with a strip of American Flag tied around my ankle.
In other words, I fit right into San Francisco’s homeless population. And then my knee started to swell to the point that I couldn’t walk anymore.
I called my mom and asked her for the gas money to drive back home.
(Fiji marketing material from 11.12.02)
Before my political rabbit hole, that once innocent honest inquiry that had now consumed my life, I did have other plans. Like Jack London I always envisioned myself as an explorer of the world.
Raised in the desert but with my dad a beach kid from Costa Mesa, I loved the sea and warmer climates. So in 2002 I sent away for an information packet on Fiji. Apparently there were good deals on land there, Clint Eastwood even owned some property and he has good taste – if you doubt me just visit Carmel by the Sea sometime.
So a life of island paradise was always in the back of my mind. It just took a call from a friend who had moved to Puerto Rico to make it a reality. Closer to the beginning of empire, closer to my heritage, further away from responsibilities and failures.
I surprised my friend on Valentines Day with her bike as a gift from California and the need for a place to live. I left my books though, and luckily that first week my laptop was stolen so I couldn’t write.
New beginnings, new lessons in the wild.
Gods & Cages
(flipping pancakes on island rooftop)
Pirate island, the definition of anarchy, where as a friend put it even God himself lost his shoes.
I had found my spiritual home.
(youtube “carthwheels” taken down) (youtube “island vid…” taken down)
(youtube “jumping off…” taken down) (youtube “street dru…” taken down)
(surfing mural pic)
I gave civilization the finger and went full savage, finding my tribe of kindred spirits on an island removed from an island removed from the world.
(youtube “van surfing” taken down) (flipping off tire change) (tree climbing) (kids in truck) (fort)
But of course I could never live anywhere without context. So even in paradise, away from my books and inhibited from writing, I added to my story. The tourists I would take around Vieques had to bear with my 500 year history lessons, an amalgamated lecture on cultural anthropology and subaltern studies added for free to whatever spearfishing or kayaking adventure they’d signed up for.
(Vieques pics 1)
I made a good life for myself. I was happy. I was exploring the simpler things, having simpler connections. My relationships were with tourists who came and went without complications.
I spent more time learning about myself. As I’d hear often on the island, it just holds up a mirror, the cracks are all your own.
I could make my rent for a small shack on an acre of land surrounded by trees with a couple spearfishing tours, and then live off the food we caught. I spent the week after hurricane Irene showering in that field below. But homeless habits like washing outdoors feel a little bit different in paradise than in the city.
(truck and house) (the dogs)
One day myself and another guide, the boss’s son, took a group on a tour through the mangroves before we all ate our packed meals on a beach just outside the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. We built a decent size fire to pass the time until the sun completely set and the first stars came out. Then we would take them back into the bay to play with the bioluminescence.
One of the girls from the group, she was from Seattle, didn’t tip me that night. Because for some reason she didn’t want to give me both cash and her number. We met up later for drinks and then spent the next day on our own secluded beach.
(staring at ocean sunset 1) (staring at sunset 2) (Kristina on beach)
…where a rock the size of a cinderblock rained down on us from a cliffside while we had just finished up, thinking we had been alone.
I earned a coin slot deep slice in my skull and remember telling the nurses in my broken spanish, whatever you do don’t cut my hair.
It just so happened that my roommate had fallen off his horse that night drunk-riding into town and got kicked in the face, breaking his nose.
(Trevor on horse)
We crossed paths in the hospital just before he was being released. They wouldn’t let me go until I got x-rays, and I needed a companion. So he ran home to pack more beer, a guitar and banjo and then we flew together to San Juan in a puddle jumper, singing drinking songs for doctors between naps on empty cots trying to get discharged.
That’s one story.
(youtube “island str… taken down) (youtube “island gym” taken down)
New lessons in the wild.
(youtube “It IS a Question of…” taken down)
But there were stories other than the island giving me enough rope to hang myself.
Older stories, original narratives. This is where the Tainos lived, a word that the original inhabitants of the island used to signify the first, the good. The people that the bastard Columbus said he could pacify with a handful of men and guns, in the name of God and country but most of all greed.
You tell me when did it stop?
Why are the statues still up?
Who owns Puerto Rico’s debt?
It is an island on the southernmost tip of the Bermuda triangle, from which the last native raids were launched on the Spanish. To which escaped slaves fled. From which pirates launched their boats. Over which multiple empires wrestled for control, boasting the last Spanish fort to be built in the western hemisphere.
That fort is now a cultural center run by the United States government btw, which obtained Puerto Rico as a colony – I’m sorry commonwealth – at the turn of the 20th century, and then enforced an agrarian economy of concentrated land owners until they got bought out to use paradise for war.
Not the people, the landowners. The people were forcibly relocated.
(walking with kayak) (kayaking)
It is an island that boasts Playa Caracas because Simon Bolivar landed on its shores to resupply, as well as “Green Beach” and “Blue Beach” because subjugation means the death of traditions and culture but most of all creativity.
After having two thirds of their home confiscated and suffering live impact training bombardments for over 50 years, the people themselves took their identity back and kicked the U.S. out. They built houses on Navy land. They fought a generational struggle that decimated families through overt and covert violence and harassment, that is still plaguing them with military-related pollutants contributing to one of the highest cancer rates in the U.S.
One of the highest poverty rates in the U.S.
One of the highest murder rates in the U.S.
I don’t know this because I read more books. I lived with a widow of the struggle. I loved the island like a home. And I felt its pain because it was my own.
It takes a special breed of evil to poison the land where God walks barefoot.
(youtube “peekaboo” taken down) (youtube “teach them” taken down)
I learned a lot in Vieques that I didn’t know I needed to learn, holes I discovered not in my education but my character.
I had never really spent time with children, or young mothers. I never knew love in the general sense, not directed at someone but as a form of peace, of meditation.
I knew intellectual humility, but to swim among that which can easily kill you is a different brand of wisdom. To smile back at the barracuda, and know to leave calmly when the shark appears. Because the wild does not tolerate the fearful or the weak, nor the ignorant or boastful, but it does have an order which can be respected.
This was the doorstep of that initial accumulation of capital which would go on to fuel the enlightenment, the engine of western civilization. This is the true beginning of our story.
And for what we lost you now have the words hammock and hurricane.
(Online Missed Connection)
A friend from my childhood called me while I was on the island. Remember that set of three pictures right after I just smoked weed for the first time and was “trying on identities,” the one on the left where I’m touching my head with my hand? She and her older brother lived with me in that house when she was just 17 and had run away from home.
Her brother was in my 7th grade science class. I watched her smoke her first cigarette, switching over from the sweet smell and taste of cloves to Marlboros.
She was living in Gainesville Florida now as a heroin addict and had just put her boyfriend’s gun to her head, pulled the trigger. Luckily he had removed the firing pin before heading off to work that day.
I told her Florida was a quick jump from Puerto Rico, I’d come by to visit. To say hi, say goodbye, at least give her a hug.
So I went.
And I got arrested for possession of marijuana.
(mugshot normal) (mugshot colorized)
Personally I like the pimped out version on the right. Let’s just all take a minute to say fuck the drug war. About 1/4th to 1/3rd of the inmates in that bay of 500 where I won ramen through aggressive chess were in there for non-violent drug charges.
This was (is?) a for-profit prison, so they hold you for the maximum days before court when they can, each body and each additional day means a better bottom line.
I mean, some of the guys were violent. Prison pro-tip, don’t go around asking people what they got locked up for while you’re writing down notes, looks a little bit suspicious. Luckily I came off as more eccentric than narc.
Or as I put it in the emails above, more constipated than angry. Though I was actually still really high when that picture was taken so I was really just disappointed in you America.
Like really? All this effort for $25 worth of weed and a literal corncob pipe – or as they put it, paraphernalia. And all of this happened in a private residence which we never gave the police permission to enter.
You don’t expect people to just walk into your apt while you’re trying to talk a friend down from suicide, especially not the cops, and then hold you accountable for what they find. At least I didn’t. At least not in this country.
And if she had the gun instead of the pipe in her hand when they burst through the door?
My arresting officers had never smoked weed before. I told them to take some of mine before they turned it in and try it themselves. They were Iraq War vets, could probably use a head change.
A lot of us could.
Never gave me back my fucking corncob pipe though.
“The enemy is the objectification of man, as manifested through violent institutions and defended by cowards”
I had a thesis and the seed for my most mature writing project to date now. I defined objectification as disregarding the dignity of your fellow humans, violence as meeting your needs at their expense and cowards those who value self-preservation over the establishment of truth.
Objectification is the excuse, violence the crime, and cowardice the enemy.
The conversation had grown to be about more than California, more than even the United States. But the above book pitch, a first chapter out of a planned 25 describing a light-hearted but thoroughly researched summary of revolutionary principles and tactics, is skipping ahead a little.
I did create the outline and table of contents in that shack on Vieques where I contemplated the natural beauty and order of our world while I channeled centuries of abuse into what I hoped would be a guide book for a constructive response, editing out my own ego with the tools of newfound peace and confidence.
But I was also a young man in his late 20’s now with a couple detours to go before settling into my path in life. And I was still David McNerney technically.
The adventures of David McNerney sometimes exceed his ability to outrun their real consequences.
(OWS Holding Cell Communique 11.15.01)
More arrests. But this time it was along with 300 other people in Zuccotti Park, otherwise known as Liberty Plaza, the epicenter of the American interpretation of a global populist movement to reform government.
They called themselves Occupy Wall St. Well I guess we did, since I arrived November 1st 2011 to camp with them two weeks before the raid.
I hadn’t planned on it though. Originally I left Puerto Rico to drive a friend’s car from Chicago to California to gift it to his mom. My own folks, remember them? They were in the final stages of foreclosure on their own house, the one where I was dancing around in my underwear in that ill-conceived video.
Not all high ideas are good ideas. Feel free to write stoned just remember to edit sober.
On the way to California I picked up a rideshare who was a college educated anarchist which seemed to me a contradiction in terms but I let it slide. He informed me about the protests going on in Manhattan.
That’s funny I said, I’m writing a book about revolution. I should probably check that out.
So I spent October at the folks house finishing that first chapter along with a professional looking proposal then headed off to New York City to sell a book and save the family homestead while also helping spur on the evolution of consciousness that would help save our world.
But as they say sometimes
gang aft agley
(youtube video “the one where shall g…” taken down)
I had shaved my head. Too many hippies already here, I’d said.
Also if you’ve ever been on the streets for an extended period of time you know that practicality trumps style. Long hair invites more hygiene issues and clean socks become your new best friend.
In fact, traveller kids actually prank each other when they fall asleep with their shoes on, foot hygiene is that big of an issue.
If you can’t walk you can’t keep going. And in this crazy world we’ve built based on conformity and control, if you’re going to choose to go off script you can only survive if you keep moving. It doesn’t even have to be going forward, just don’t make yourself a target.
Which is what was the inherent courage behind the Occupy movement. We all stood together, still as stone in a single geographic place, to have a discussion. And we dared the powers that be to hit us on the chin with their best shot.
Oh and they did. And they continue to do so. As the police dragged me out from our central group shoulder to shoulder, I huddled my arms around my backpack containing my laptop and book proposal. I locked my hands around the straps and held on, figuring they’d have to pick me up and drag me out of there if they were going to physically deny my right to protest injustice.
But that would have been too much work.
So they kicked me instead. In the head, on the ears. Punched my ribs. Kneed my spine. Beat me with batons. Ripped the clothes off my body, the chain off my neck, my belt. Finally I’d had enough and extended my arms out so the half dozen officers could cuff me.
“What happened to him?”
During my processing at central booking I looked like a mess. I think one of the officers felt bad, said something about it being for our own good you know.
I wish they’d stop being so good to us.
(youtube D.A.V.I.D. – Defining Autonomy & Violence; an Inclusive Discussion 1-74 taken down)
17 hours of professional video this time with a hired videographer and an actual planned shot schedule using $300 my mom sent me.
My parents had been evicted from their house while I was living on the streets of New York between November and March. They were now renting a room on craigslist with some…interesting characters. When you get evicted they lock you out and then let you back in later to get whatever you can out of the house within whatever time frame they give you.
At least that’s how they did it with my folks. Between the lockout and the allowed window to come back for their stuff someone broke into the house and robbed it.
It was a hard time for us. I was pretty beat emotionally and physically by the time the above videos were shot. But my mom still gave me that money. ‘Cause that’s what family does. Even when it doesn’t understand what the hell you’re doing.
It’s ironic that during my proposal one of those college-educated anarchist kids contested my discussion of violence versus non-violence. As I transitioned out of full-time activism into getting my real estate license, finally coming to terms with how bad of a situation our family was in, I lived out of a tent in the backyard of a supposed anarchist collective.
Supposed because, once I got my license and moved out the leader claimed I owed him some money. I went back to pick up my things and settle up, his claim for I think it was $50 in my pocket. But I was going to get my things first, I heard weird stories about this guy.
So I just walked into the front door down to the unfinished basement and grabbed my couple plastic bags of clothes and books, always books. I wish I remembered which ones, they had a bunch of notes in them. I think it was Conservatism by Nisbit, and some good anarchist readers.
That’s when the dude appears at the bottom of the stairs blocking my path with a metal Louisville slugger in his hands. Now this wasn’t a scary guy, maybe six foot two but lanky, a bit of a goof. Remember Dash Rendar? We became friends because as a bigger kid from 5th grade he’d whoop my ass until I could fight him even, which is how I became the captain of my wrestling team.
I’ve always felt comfortable physically.
But this was a fucking metal bat, even if he was choking up on it way too much.
So Goofy swings as I dive in to close the distance and I take one to the side of the head before grabbing it from him. Then he jumps on my back and starts pulling my hair.
NOT THE HAIR! I yell, and hand the bat to his hobbit friend standing to the side watching. Let’s take this outside man.
I was trembling while I tried to talk to him. Not out of fear, again not an intimidating dude. But I thought we’d been friends. You don’t hit your friends in the head with metal bats, I started. He just looked at me coldly. I was the other now, a sell-out, a real estate agent. Formal and informal structures. I’d broken the bonds, stopped being a part of the cool kids. I was being fired from the park again for breaking unspoken rules and not fitting in.
My parents aren’t well off like yours. I need to work. They just lost their house.
I touched my hand to my head. I was bleeding. While I type this I stop to run my fingertips over the right side of my head to find the indentation that’s still there, a reminder about paying attention to the company I keep. It’s amazing that your skull retains all the little dents you pick up through the years.
I’m lucky my head is so thick.
So I stopped talking that day when I realized I was getting nowhere and reached my hand out to shake and squash it, extending a red palm upwards.
When there’s blood in the water I’ve learned to leave the area. There’s an order to the wild that I respect and this kid was not in line with that order as I understood it, and so a danger to keep in my life. And that was besides the attack on me. It was the principle. As a friend on the island once told me, he was trying to play big boy games. And he definitely was a big boy in appearance only.
Donald Trump kind of reminds me of this guy.
Tough guy pro-tip; don’t wield weapons you can’t control, because they just end up being gifts for those who can.
(Youtube “I Shit in my Pants Y…” taken down)
That was one of the few negative experiences I had in the Occupy Wall St movement though.
On the whole I met a lot of amazing people I wouldn’t have ever expected to otherwise. Philosophers, poets, activists, often all three within the same individual. Took a lover for a bit who I had to cut short the morning she threw on a Hezbollah shirt with a grin and told me she had HPV, not sure which seemed more threatening at the time but definitely the STI was something she should have told me before.
But I’m on the end of my period so I thought it wouldn’t matter.
What you thought a sexually transmitted infection would be LESS infectious while you’re bleeding?
The shirt was just silly. It’s already hard enough to avoid being painted into a violent corner when you try to discuss anarchism without claiming the banner of actual violence as your own. Laws of the wild. Don’t pretend to be a shark when you’re not one, when you don’t need to be one.
Bigger sharks eat smaller sharks you know. Not always because they want to. Because they have to.
And sometimes because they want to.
Her family vacationed next to Noam Chomsky’s compound on the north-eastern seaboard. Or was it Ralph Nader? She took me to a cool Burning Man decompression party though, where they handed me some synthetic mescaline at the door and I melted into the couch.
There was a lot to the world I still had not experienced.
And Occupy was kind of like my anarchism coming out party, captured on my documentary footage. I’d just read Fukuoka’s “One Straw Revolution” and was getting a crazy cross-pollination of thoughts between permaculture practices anarchist theory and open source systems. Add that to my previous passion for Zen Buddhism derived from Pacifica radio doing the lord’s work by consistently broadcasting the lectures of Alan Watts and I was starting to craft a solid political philosophy all my own.
But I still needed to process. I was beat. So before jumping into real estate full time I went to Puerto Rico for a little bit.
And honestly, I didn’t think I was coming back. Reviewing my life’s story, it’s easy to apply a narrative after the fact. Well, not easy, this has taken over 4 weeks and cost me the potential $10-20k I’ve grown used to making a month in real estate, summer or winter.
It’s really been exhausting to go through all of these memories and try to be as honest with myself as possible in applying context. There are so many details I had to leave out. I didn’t even talk about the farm we secured and then lost for the movement. That was a really sweet family. And I’m a much different person than when I started this journey at the end of November.
Hopefully I’m more like myself. Who I’ve always been trying to be. Which was kind of the point of the exercise, one that I was inspired to start by watching a podcast by Jordan Peterson.
But it’s easier to tell this story than it was to live it. I can truly say that at each major turn or crisis, I was 100% broken. I gave up and tried to change course. I actually challenged myself to find an alternative path that made sense. I challenged my own assumptions over and over to filter my ideas into a coherent set of principles I could hold onto, wisdom I could embed into some form of art.
Luckily I also kept all my notes just in case I ever earned the peace to actually make sense of all the accumulated scraps.
So I left to Puerto Rico after Occupy Wall St still David McNerney but this time with some numbers tattooed on my forearm.
My social security number. I was ready to live my philosophy. The government itemizes us to borrow against expected tax revenue, committing future generations to debt slavery. What they call “the national debt” which every citizen inherits at birth. What they use to fund these foreign entanglements which propagate their own cycles of violence. What Washington the playboy philanderer warned about. What the so called founding fathers originally protested, taxation without representation, by dressing up as – wait for it – anarchist Mohawk Indians.
If you take a look at history the right answers don’t change, just the excuses and the cowards who make them.
In my mind I was Spartacus, whether or not I ever made it beyond the mountains or marched on Rome. So I put my slave number on my arm just in case I ever forgot this truth in my quest for survival, one last fuck you to the system I’d now spent a majority of my adult life trying to figure out and improve.
The first thing in life is to have no fear. We’ve got to understand this.
And now I was going back to meditate on the footprints of God before heading into the heart of the capitalist arena to earn freedom for my family.
What else can we do but try to live a story worth telling.
Calm & Captivity
(2016 tax return) (Vieques family vacay pics)
Watching my Occupy Wall St documentary I realized that I made this film for myself.
I was filtering the whole experience, the whole movement, down to its essential wisdom. To keep some coals burning, as Bukowski would say, until the fire could be lit once more. My spirit had been ground down. I knew it would take me a while to recover. But I also knew that I couldn’t afford to forget what I had learned. It cost too much.
It always costs too much.
The fact that you can forget what was once truly important to you is perhaps the scariest realization a person can have in life.
(youtube videos taken down; “we are the stories…” “dinosaurs” “filming actio…” “fire” “fire” “fucking hroses…” “got back into guit…” “I’ll either kill him or I’l…” “Iguana” “IMG 1997” “learned how to use…” “makey outt…” “monkey man” “dirt road off a side road o…” “paper airp…” “paradise” “parmesan I…” “plane landin…” “riding from Isabel…” “VQS ocean”)
(Vieques pics 2)
I didn’t talk much about growing up but there was a first love in 7th grade that I was later lucky enough to reconnect with and lose my virginity to when I was 19. She told me back in middle school that one day I would be a great writer. I believed her then because I knew her love was sincere, even though I didn’t fit into her story and she didn’t have the courage to join me in writing our own.
Or maybe I couldn’t find the right words.
Then at 19 the Army had me and I couldn’t relate to her college narrative. Our plots had strayed too far apart. We connected once more though, 15 years later, so last year or the year before. She was in New York, recently divorced. We met and shared a night. And before she left my life again she gave me a last bit of wisdom;
“You see others as they are, not as they want to be seen. But sometimes people don’t want to be seen.”
And then we stopped talking to each other again.
(youtube videos taken down; “burlesque…” “Coney Isla…” “Gianni on…” “homeless i…” “IMG 1199 1” “IMG 1500” “la di da da la di da da la” “subway per…” “legless pa…” “life of the…” “lighting y…” “making new s…” “mariachis” “Michael Mo…” “Mickey n Cookie Monst…” “murica” “showtime 2” “source” “MVI 6851” “when the preside…”)
(various photographs NYC 2012-2017)
Love teaches you. Life teaches you. All of our experiences shape who we are. But are we spending enough effort to see ourselves as we truly are? To see each other? If this is the answer, then is this where the war is being fought? Are you being kept from knowing yourself?
What has this war cost you?
(name change form)
Let me tell you a story. My name is SHAZZBARBARIC and I have but one life.
I want to add to the truth and beauty in this world.
Writing this has helped me remember my own narrative.
I wasn’t born to work in real estate. I was born asking questions. And I’ve never received answers.
Why do they did they lie to me in high school and deny me my real history?
Why did they lie us into war, almost sending me to die for someone’s profit? Sending my brothers?
Why don’t we hold our politicians accountable? Why do we let them turn us against each other?
Why do we all feel so helpless when if you talk to anyone in person they all agree on the major problems we face?
Why do we deny people in other countries or even in our own colonies or commonwealths the right to self determination?
Why did they attack us violently for coming out into the streets to try and change things?
What can we do?
I don’t think I can ignore it anymore. This has shown me I have to get back to my calling, even if I can barely describe what that is.
The truth does exist. And we can figure it out together.
But I’m going to need your help.
(Flash Politics link)
The King of Carmine
Of woman born when Caesar died
When clowns would dare to crucify their king
From King’s quarters this I write
News the latest regicide will bring
So bring me fortune bring me fame
And I will bring to you their names in verse
Versions known and unknown shared
If I err tell me but where at first
I the first man, first to speak
The barbarous as well as Greek of tongue
Have sung into belief this bond
To bind the men that dare be strong
For our women
Of woman born when Caesar died
The Ides of March are prophesied again
An Earned Calm
I think I know how to filter out the pollution of objectification from our stories and free ourselves from the bonds of capital, inspire people to take control of their own identities and therefor their actions. It starts with making a stand though. Go to one place, one geographic or virtual location, but if it’s virtual you will need to verify who you are talking to. Hell, might as well do that in person as well. And then you, we, can start figuring out real solutions to our actual problems. Dare the authorities to hit you on the chin. They will, baring their teeth as they go down, screaming like animals as we reclaim the dignity of man.
On my way out through the gates of empire, past that moat that encloses liberty, let me leave you with one last thought. This world might claim an animal spirit, but we always have had dominion over the animal world.
Just don’t let them take away your boys.
Deceit is how we carved out security within the wild. If the animal spirit is a constant need to survive, deceit is how one earns the space to think. A tool is a form of deceit by misrepresenting ability, transforming it into greater efficiency.
Fiction is a form of deceit.
Capitalism is a deceitful tool.
If animals are born with the capacity to fully integrate themselves with their environments, our ability to introduce new concepts into reality will always give us the advantage. Asymmetrical information. The original sin for which we were banished from the garden. The discovery of deceit.
The tiger is more profitable in the circus than in the soup.
A lot of people with the role of instructor in our society, formal or otherwise, claim that there is nothing true worth seeking. This is a convenient thing to say when you have nothing worth sharing.
How can anyone be exposed as a fraud when there aren’t any standards. Very clever.
So they do their best to convince you that life is only about play, that’s as high as the elevator goes. They encourage you to be a slave to your senses – usually in a way profitable to them – while they themselves become captives to their own will to power and lust for recognition. Lack of love. In this way their demons become our own.
so we worship a pageant of animal lies
boys joust will and willie between the world’s thighs
claiming all that they need can be held as their prize
as our world slowly dies
women still cry
do we still not open our hearts
They say his identity was more complex than his reaction to the circumstances of his existence. His story transcended the temporal. He escaped the enslavement of ego through active meditation with plants and partners. He tore down the walls separating experience to become the soul who straddles all worlds.
and was woven back into the fabric of life itself
There is always something you can do.
And everything’s going to be ok.
(online slandering of concept “truth seekers”) (sleeping on couching office Dec. 2017)
(texts with Pooks December 2017)
(Hysterical Literature: Session One: Stoya)
(Daphne Odora poetry)
(youtube video “IMG 6305” taken down)
(youtube video “inside mah…” taken down)
The last justified war was against other humanoids.
We both won and lost, with our vanquished relatives surviving in our genetic makeup.
And our subconscious.
This is the source of the instinct to reject the other that tribes are manipulated through to get them to act against their own interests.
There are no true enemies of the species left except ourselves.
Perhaps our original victims speak to us while we sleep, manipulating symbols to convey emotion. The language of the pre-historic. What came before. What has always still been there, awaiting translation, reviewing your actions. The actual wild. The universal animator. The source of thought.
What I call the barbaric. What the artist attempts to embed into form.
Maybe this time around we can’t fight our way out.
Perhaps our answers await us in dreams.