Category: Rants

The Revolution is Still Here

Well, it’s come to that point for me. I can admit I’ve been an asshole. It’s going to take some time to change. I’m scared. But in this day of instant knowledge, of irrefutable evidence, I just can’t deny the harm my lifestyle is doing. I’m a burden. I’m a burden and I tried not to care, but I’m also a mom. I didn’t plan that, but it’s happened, and I love him, so I can’t shit all over everything. I can’t shit all over my child’s inheritance and I can no longer be glib or ignorant about it. I can’t even pretend to be obtuse when the truth keeps worming it’s way into my conscience. I can’t sleep at night and maybe if I wasn’t being such a dick, it would ease my mind a little.

The problem is that I can’t unsee those videos of children, just like my own little one, lined up at a row of sewing machines instead of playing in the park. I can’t unsee the place where they slept, or stop imagining that old wooden broom in the corner being hastily snatched up to beat them with, or used to prod their little exhausted bodies awake to push out more fucking Levis. I can’t unsee what went on with those chickens, or the cows, or the pigs… although it’s a little tiny bit easier not to give a shit about the animals, especially before dinner, I mean, but I saw it. I can’t go back to before that time. As hard as I try to push it down into the back of my mind and defiantly carry on living my usual carnivorous life, and as much as I make excuses; We all need to eat to survive; My family needs affordable clothes and I can’t be held responsible since I didn’t personally abuse anyone; Those kids have it bad but it might be worse if they lose their jobs; It’s not my fault that people are greedy dicks; It still remains there. Seen. Known. My guilt comes from knowing and doing absolutely nothing.

So I guess I do give a shit. I give lots of shits.

To be honest, I think humanity is doomed. I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that we pull out of this death-spiral before we’re just obliterated (which is why I didn’t want kids). I think we’re all dead and we just don’t know it yet. But as long as there’s life there’s hope and so while I have no power to change anybody else, I’m going to have to start trying to make some better choices for myself. Ones that help me sleep easier for whatever time we have left.

It wasn’t our fault. I mean, if you look at us, we are all basically slaves to the game, and pawns on the board. The people you love, and the people you hate, the people you consider your rivals, the rook, the knight, the bishop? Yeah, we’re all in the same boat, and if we don’t cut out the petty shit, we’re all going to drown together… in an acidic ocean, with no signs of life left in it, other than excruciating stinging jelly fish. We look at issues like slavery and racism and wonder how it was allowed to happen. How absurd is it that we fail to realize that if there are any future generations, they will look back at us with the same disgust, contempt, and lack of understanding. WE ARE PAWNS AND WE ARE BEING USED!!!

The Revolution will not be televised.

It’s not going to be a mass event. It’s not going to be a collective epiphany. It’s not going to be a million views on Youtube, or life or death likes on Instagram. It’s not going to be the neat and tidy ending to a Hollywood movie.

It’s going to be about the work, not the show. It’s going to be a quiet midnight prison break. It’s going to be the slow realization that the emperor has no clothes. It’s going to be an evacuation; quickly, quietly, calmly, and one at a time. It always starts with one. And one by one by one by one. It’s my turn, and I’m ready. Bring it on.

The revolution will be not be en-masse; it will be anti-masse. Because en-masse is what’s killing us. Mass produced garbage. Mass produced meat, mass produced clothing, mass produced electricity, mass produced water. These things are unnecessary and they are killing us.

I recently moved. From my old home I brought a little off-shoot of a lilac that I’d always admired. I’m not very good with plants. I usually kill them. But I was pretty determined that this one live. I bought soil and planted it in a large terra cotta pot. It began to die. The problem was that the root (earth) couldn’t support all the branches, and so the leaves started drying out and falling off. I tried trimming it here and there, but it just kept dying – slower, but still clearly dying. It looked hopeless. In a last-ditch effort I took my clippers and clipped down to the top of the stem where the branches had begun. I was left with nothing but a thin stick protruding from the earth. I thought all was lost. Here’s what I have now:

img_6627

The branch on the left represents clean water, the branch on the right is wifi. The sun gives us the power, and anything else is dead fuckin weight. *glares at Toronto Hydro*

We are all going to die if we don’t clip out that which our roots can’t bear. It’s not my place to force anybody to clip anything in their own lives, but I sure can do some pruning in mine. I have to believe we can do better. We’ve come a long way and maybe we can go all the way before it’s too late. There is a deadline on this and nobody knows exactly when that is, but we know it’s fast-approaching, and it’s been a long time coming.

So, I’m going to do what I can to buy local, and small, and to DIY where I can. I’m going to grow some things myself, and I’m going to make big cuts to the mass-produced stuff that we do buy. I’m freeing myself from this dependency. I’m going to do what I can with where I’m at, and I’m going to keep going in that direction.

Our production should be spread out and small. We don’t need slave labour in order to have clothes. I actually know how to make clothes! I knit, I make my own soap, I do it just because it’s crafty and fun, but also because I don’t really like the clothing options that major manufacturers provide, I mean, I won’t even get started on ladies fashion but to sum it up: not one person on this earth actually wants to wear a suit and tie ever. They’re just brainwashed into believing they do because a suit and tie is associated a money reward, as well as elevated social status. It’s associated with fancy. They don’t actually like that stupid lapel shit, or those stiff, choked up collars. I’m sure everyone would much rather work in track pants. Plus they haven’t even changed it up much since the dawn of the industrial era. I mean, why does everyone cling so tightly to that old-timey crap? Oh, you’ve made it sleeker so it looks super-modern now? Well give Karl Lagerfeld a billion dollars because we’re all freaking idiots! I mean, its GOTTA be time for a change! Maybe a much less butt-wipey and pretentious locally stitched tunic that didn’t give carpal tunnel syndrome to a six year old who only made a nickel out of that deal. And patch up the fucking rips! I can’t feel good about working a child into the grave because my shirt got a fucking hole in it. I just can’t. I’ll wear my holes and tears with pride… or just mend them myself.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many things that absolutely need to be mass produced. I don’t think anyone should drive around in a car they made themselves, or try to make their own batteries or car seats. Obviously anything toxic or dangerous should be made safely by professionals who know what they’re doing. We’re still dependant on things like driving our cars, and getting butt-raped by Toronto Hydro every other month (Seriously, LUBE UP! That cock is massive and caked with the electric shards of the countless hopes and dreams they’ve dick-slapped into oblivion). We’re slaves (NOT CUSTOMERS) and we can’t just snap our fingers and be completely free tomorrow. Much like the unfortunate Andy DuFresne of Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, we will all be butt-raped many more times before we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

132

You know what time it is. Bow-chica-wow-Ouch! Oh, God, it hurts! Please, for the love of God, NOOOOOOOOO!!!

The Revolution will not be online.

I’m tired. I’m tired of being brainwashed and used to hurt children, animals, and the planet, all while lining rich men’s pockets. I’m tired of pretending I still have the bliss of ignorance. I’m tired of being a burden, and I’m tired of knowing I’m a burden, throwing my hands up, and not taking any responsibility. Less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day isn’t enough to help me sleep.

I’m awake now and coffee had nothing to do with it.

The Revolution has put you in the driver’s seat.

I never meant to have any children. How I ended up with one wasn’t my fault. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t step up, choose to take on the responsibility, and do my best to be a good mother… and father. I’ve always said that just because an issue isn’t our fault, doesn’t mean we can’t step up and take responsibility for the solution. I say do what’s right, even when everyone around you is doing wrong. They’ll answer for their choices, but it’s you, alone, who will answer for yours. And I say to my son, when he’s considering an epic meltdown or a tantrum, that he’s right now at a crossroads. He has a choice that I can’t make for him. What’s happened has happened, and that won’t change, so what’s left now is that he can choose to make things better, or he can choose to make things worse.

This is not our fault. But we can take responsibility, and I’ve made my choice.

The Revolution is live.

Note: I’m guessing most people caught this, but I used part of Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 poem and song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised in my rant. Here are some sources: YouTubeWikipedia – Lyrics

These are the lines of his that I used:

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution has put you in the drivers seat.

The revolution is live. – His line was, The revolution will be live.

The Snowsuit

My son doesn’t even realize how fortunate he is to have the luxury of being ungrateful for his snowsuit. He hates it. You know why? It’s too warm, he says. Can you believe it?!? I mean, you might as well call water too wet, or the sky too blue. It’s a quality snowsuit that I scrimped and saved to buy him because I wanted him to be warm… and maybe a bit stylish too, but that’s not the point!  Yeah sure, son, why don’t I just write the company and tell them that my son’s snowsuit is too warm so I can go down in history as a nutty crank! You know what I got to wear to school in the dead of winter? An ugly brown snowsuit. I remember it to this day, it was a hideous one-piece that made me look like a giant turd! It was so ugly that Robert Munsch wrote a book about it. He made millions of dollars and I still had to wear that stinking ugly snowsuit because he technically wrote the book before I got the suit and it wasn’t actually based on me, but I know how that kid felt. I bet it’s the same suit. It was second-hand so that’s totally possible. I would have been so grateful for anything other than that damned hideous snowsuit, but I was stuck with it because that was the best my grandma could do. I’m sure any kid stuck in a brown ugly poop-suit would crawl across broken glass to have a trendy blue one-piece with matching mitts. I know I sure would have. Dammit! -End Rant

Edited to add: I had to pick up my son early from school today for an appointment and coincidentally found out that he’s been wearing the classroom charity snow pants behind my back. The ones reserved for kids who’s parents can’t afford to buy proper winter gear. Guess what colour they are. That’s right. Brown. *sigh*

Make Fear Your Bitch…

Earlier this month, I turned thirty-four years old. Yesterday, I got on an airplane for the first time ever. It didn’t take me this long because I was afraid to fly. It’s just that the money, spare time, and opportunity has never presented itself or been a priority.

I have a four year old son who did not accompany me, and being a mother has made me a bit more vulnerable than I’m used to. I’ll admit it, I was scared. Sure, you’re remembering the colloquial statistic that we are safer in airplanes than we are in cars, probably because there are a lot more people driving cars than flying in planes. If we all flew as much as we drove, I’m sure plane crashes would be a bit more common, but I digress. I was afraid.

I was afraid my plane would be the one-off and that I’d never see my son again. I was afraid that I was marching towards a death-sentence. I thought about all the things that could go wrong; massive earthquake grounding all flights and possibly ending life as we know it, all while I’m stranded across the country and unable to protect my son; terrorist attack; obviously a plane crash into icy, tumultuous water, slowly freezing to death as I desperately cling to an ice floe in a violently churning body of water miles away from any civilization or possible rescue; my house burning down while I’m away, just my lucky day, my space heater started smoking about a half hour before my car was to arrive and whisk me off to the airport, and I had to unplug it and watch it until I left to make sure no embers remained smouldering away in secrecy within, ready to burst into flames after my departure and consume our happy home.

I’ve never left my son for this amount of time before. I’ve never been this far away from him before. I also felt guilty for leaving him so soon after Christmas and making him leave many of his new toys behind to spend a week with his auntie and cousins. It’s a very hard thing for most mothers to do. It was a hard thing for me to do.

My legs felt wobbly and my tummy ached as I made my way through the airport. Anyone who passed a glance over me could easily tell I was brand new. I sucked it up and asked myself this question: Who are you? Are you a lion, or a frightened little gazelle?

I still felt scared, but I was going to eat my meal, fear or no.

I’ve faced a lot of things in my life that terrified me. I’m a girl, alone in this cold hard world with no protection other than my own wits and strength. I’m a warrior. I’ve paid my dues to be who I am and to know what I know.

As I sat in the terminal, waiting to board, I thought that just maybe I’d seen my son for the last time. I thought about him and what my final message to him would be, if I ever got the chance. This is what I came up with:

 

Listen.

Be brave. Make fear your bitch, and make wisdom your master. Never get these twisted.

Always seek to understand; the world, circumstances, others, and more importantly, yourself.

Be honest; with others, but more importantly, with yourself.

Do what is right, regardless of what everyone else is doing; don’t jump into the mud with the pigs.

Never make the mistake of thinking you are perfect; be humble, or be humbled.

Be quick to admit your mistakes and correct them.

Find your own purpose and live for it, not for the approval of others.

There is good to be found in everything. Look for it. Beauty is everywhere. Be observant.

You are always right where you are meant to be. Embrace and master every circumstance you find yourself in. Learn to live in the balance between clinging and pushing away. Live with intention and detachment.

Believe in God. He is real. Do not believe what other people tell you about what God wants of you. Seek Him for yourself and don’t be afraid of what you might find. Be brave and listen. There is a Holy Spirit and if you can tap into it, you can march through the fires of hell and not be destroyed. Listen. Your body may be harmed, but your spirit will be unbreakable, and every trap set out to harm you will only work to make you stronger.

Trust in God.

Get to know God.

Seek God.

Listen.

I love you. With all my heart and with all my soul I love you. I always have, and I always will. There is nothing that can ever change or diminish my love for you; absolutely nothing.

I’m writing this now so indeed I survived my first plane-ride. I’m hoping to live long enough to teach my son all these things myself. I want to live long enough to be certain he fully understands.

Flying in an airplane turned out to be pretty interesting. I especially loved the takeoff and the landing. The middle was actually quite boring and cramped. At least in a car you can pull over and stretch your legs. Hours of clouds gets pretty monotonous and you really can’t make out anything on the ground. What I thought were cars might have actually been buildings, or maybe even city blocks. I have no idea. It didn’t even feel like we were moving, even though the little flight navigator said we were going five hundred miles per hour. It felt like we were in a big ship, in a slow-motion crawl along a calm sea of foamy clouds. Some turbulence might have actually livened things up a bit.

I sat in a window seat. The plane was a lot smaller than I expected and my row mates were practically in my lap. More than one person farted during the flight and various human odours constantly permeated the stale pressurized air. It was pretty neat watching the truck with the robotic arm spraying the wing with de-icing solution. I kept thinking the plane was about to lift off as it taxied towards the runway, when it finally fired up it was unmistakable. No turning back. As it lifted, I imagined it swiftly plummeting back into the earth in a fiery crash and for some reason, it made me giggle. I’d made my choice, this was my meal and I was going to enjoy it; every last minute of it. Another random thought sent me into gales of laughter as I watched the ground fall away and we were air bound. If we were going down, I was apparently going with a grin.

I’m grateful for the experience and I’m still having a wonderful time. My fear is in pocket, and as for the flight home, well, bring it on, come what may.

Magnify the Good…

T’is the season… *sigh* the season for perpetual hope, miracles, positivity. Why am I not seeing it?

I think I need to take a little break from social media. As a matter of fact, anytime anything horrific happens in the news, it’s a good time to take a break from social media because everyone and their uncle Bob is going to be posting about it; gruesome pictures of dead children, horrible stories, and even worse opinions. It’s enough to drive a black cloud over even the most sunny and optimistic soul. I’m admittedly not the most sunny and optimistic soul. I like to fancy myself happily balanced between optimistic and realistic, but I know that it’s a delicate balance and one that I must maintain; too much negativity and it’s back to crippling depression-ville, population: me. So I have to watch what I take in and what I allow to infiltrate my being.

It never seems to end. Syrian refugees, then an attack in Paris, and just as soon as the chatter is starting to peter out about that and my feeds are starting to brighten again, there’s another massacre in America.

It’s just never going to stop and people are never going to stop sharing the poison and passing the kool-aid. It’s like the devil’s flu and it just never stops making the rounds. So, if I take a break anytime anything horrific happens, I will basically be taking a permanent vacation from social media, because it’s one thing after another, with maybe a brief smattering of cute or funny cats hiding out amongst the carnage. Now that we are so connected, we have to hear about every single crisis going on the world. There is always disaster happening somewhere in the world and it’s been this way since the dawn of time, we all take our turn at the whipping post, but it is only now that, unless we live under a rock, we are bombarded with the horrific details of one after another, after another. This can’t be good for our spirits. This can’t be good for our minds.

Bad things are happening in the world. They shouldn’t be ignored. But they also shouldn’t be magnified and exploited. Imagine, for a second, that someone goes into labour, or gets into a fender bender, what does everyone do? They stop and look. In the case of the fender bender, they might only slow down to look, but just about everyone does it. What does that do? It causes more people to slow down and look. Pretty soon we’re all crawling, everyone is stagnant and staring at this interesting thing that has happened. Out of all of those looky-loos, how many are actually qualified, willing, and able to do something about it? How many are needed to do something about it? But yet we all have to get our eyeful, even though it’s really only entertainment for us if we’re not there to help, able to help, or needed to help. Just like entertainment, it riles our senses, makes us feel, and makes us think. Some of us are nudging each other and sharing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions among friends, or even with whichever random stranger happens to be beside us or within earshot.

Every tragedy doesn’t need to be exploited and turned into a soapbox and a spectacle.

If you can help then help. If you aren’t qualified, willing, or able, then maybe move along and try to brighten someone’s day with some cute or funny cats or something.

As much as I try to ignore the bad, yes, I know it’s happening, no, there’s nothing I can do about it that I’m not already doing, and no, being sad about it doesn’t help anyone and just makes the world a sadder place so I’m not going to cry and be miserable, it sometimes pops up in the least expected places. A simple post, explaining that the food bank doesn’t have enough adequate food to feed people, especially with the influx of refugees, and asking people to please dig extra deep and give what they can this holiday season is a nice, reasonable post, which should have some pretty positive and uplifting feedback, no? Most of it was positive. Most of it was positive. That is worth repeating. But there always has to be the few who just cloud it up with their negativity, “why don’t they get educations and jobs?” “Dads need to step up and feed their own kids.” “Poor people are just lazy.” “It’s all the government’s fault.” “We can’t afford these Syrians.” “People steal the donations.” Like, geez, the lady asked people to give donations, not sermons and excuses. You either have and are willing to give, or you can’t or won’t give. Your choice.

My journal, my blog, is not the space for that. My space is for harmony, and hopefully fun and interesting topics. I guess when the world gets to be too much, I want to be able to come here, read the good things I’ve written, and feel happy and sparked up again. I want other people to be able to come here to get away from all the tragic and negative news in the world too. Take a break and get your head right. That’s the idea, but it’s fluid and anything can happen. I’m into freedom and flowing into the natural, not really frigid rules and censorship. So, whatever happens naturally is going to be allowed to take it’s course, alter it’s course, choose a new path, or start over again. It’s whatever.

Harmony happens when things come together and balance out to create something beautiful and magical. Believe it or not, bad things do have a place in all that. Without evil in the world, we wouldn’t understand the relevance of good. We wouldn’t be able to fathom the magnitude, the importance, of it all. Yin yang, right? Harmony happens when we learn to let go and let flow. To agree to disagree, to yearn for deeper understanding, no matter how ugly or painful the truth may be. I’ve been through some tough things, and it’s true that there is beauty to be found in even the most ugly places. All survivors know this. Okay, well maybe not if they only survived, then they might just be existing in a very hurt, bitter, and angry place; just walled off and still breathing. But people who overcome the bad, and thrive to the best of their ability despite it, do understand that there is beauty in everything, even tragedy. The ugliest things have a sliver of something beautiful in them like a golden vein running through a cold hard stone. That is the only piece worth holding onto and magnifying.

I suppose one discord with social media is the lack of balance. Sometimes it seems as if the darkness is just pummelling the crap out of the light and people are complacently just drinking and sharing the toxic kool-aid, treating it like it’s some sort of medicine when it’s really just a cleverly disguised poison. The more darkness I see, the more light I must shine. That’s my new motto. Probably for a few days until I think of something even more clever, gotta let go and let flow – ooh, that’s another good one! I’m on a roll!

The other discord is usually found in the comments sections. People always have to feel right. Even when they’re wrong. I’m not innocent, here. I won’t pretend to be perfect. I’m not even close. But I find that no matter how horrible, wrong, and bad we find someone’s opinions or beliefs to be, it’s always better to sincerely seek to understand why they feel and think the way they do, rather than trying to shame or coerce them into our way of thinking, or to just flat out deride them with memes and jokes. So many people tend to take this futile tactic, which just doesn’t work, although, it is easier and prettier. I’ll give it that. Haha, it’s the slutty way out. (I don’t advocate calling women sluts, no matter how open they are with their sexuality, but that’s another topic. The term just seemed germane here, so I took the liberty.)

When I was learning how to train my dogs, two tiny little things, a chihuahua named Beanie, my boy, and a Papillon named Daisy, my girl, I learned how to get them to cooperate on the leash and the instructions always stood out to me and I never forgot them.
If you pull on the leash with constant pressure, the pups nature will be to pull back with equal pressure.
The pup won’t go willingly, but will have to be dragged along. This is kinda mean and not exactly the desired outcome.
The key is to pulse the leash. For my tiny little dogs it is a light flick of the wrist, that gives and takes. Gives pressure, yields to pressure, then gives pressure again. In order to be understood, you must give some understanding. I sometimes see interrogative questioning which is used only as a condescending way to gather information to be used to win the argument, and that isn’t at all what I’m talking about. Seeking to understand and gathering ammunition are two totally different things, and people know, can sense, the difference.

It’s counterintuitive to ignore negativity, to try to understand people we see as bad, rather than shame and condemn them. But I feel that is the way to bring about balance. If the sensationalism died down then I think the tragedies would follow suit. If open communication and understanding without condemnation was encouraged, angry, hurt people would post hurtful and angry manifestos and be met with love, would be compelled with the power of love. When suicides became less publicized, the suicide rates dropped. We need to focus on what we want and magnify that. We need to magnify good, and diminish bad. That’s what I try to do, and I hope others can do the same. It’s really all some of us can do.

I suppose I will sign off by quoting Mother Theresa:

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

Oh, and commenters, assuming that there are any, please don’t pipe up to inform me that Mother Theresa isn’t quite the saint that everyone thinks she is, or that she’s done this terrible thing or that. I don’t care. It’s not my business, or my focus. Whatever bad she’s done doesn’t take away from the wisdom and aptness of the quote, or the good that she’s done which has, wisely, been the focus until the internet know-it-alls had to come along and start digging for dirt and ruining everything for everyone. If that’s you, feel free to give it a rest.