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:
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.
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: YouTube – Wikipedia – 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.