Wir haben Angst und sind allein…

Recently, well two days ago I finally got around to reading a comic called The Dead Hand.  (The graphic novel doesn’t come out until Oct. But if you are into history and comics. I can’t suggest this enough. It is well worth the preorder.) The Dead Hand tells a fictional story that takes place during the Cold War. A time where the United States, the world really didn’t know what was going to happen. I am going to do my best to say what I have to say without giving away much of the story. 

The genesis of the idea behind this story is the idea that Russia made an A.I. system that could detect an American threat. Once the threat was received the system was programmed to retaliate without hesitation, without thought. Being a comic of course it is filled with exciting things, not plausible things, fiction, but the odd thing was the fiction wasn’t the unbelievable part of the story. The fiction actually made more sense than the truth of the matter. I believe that is why it has stuck with me for the past two days.

See it wasn’t that Russia developed a complex A.I. system or the fact that they developed it before the 90’s. Before the fall of the U.S.S.R. they were somehow able to develop a system more advanced than what we have even today. That wasn’t mind-blowing to me, at all. No, it was the thought behind its creation that seems so out of this world, so fictional. The truth in all of this is that during the Cold War. The United States and Russia were more than ready to destroy the world. Not one another. That would make sense. That would be easy to process, but instead they were ready to destroy the world. The selfishness of the situation seems unreal. Then I have to stop. I have to look around and that’s when I realize. It is right on point for who we are as humans.

I find myself questioning what it means to be American often. I want to jump to the conclusion that we are everything everyone says we are, but I also like to believe that we are not. The reality is that it has nothing to do with where you are from. Any nation, any thing under a microscope will reveal things we did know where there. Things we may not have wanted to know. It is easy to point At the United States or Russia and say they are evil. They have done evil things. Evil intentions. In actually as fucked up as the Cold War was and it was pretty fucked up. It gave us more than we could have known. It gave us this among other things. The internet, which we use everyday. Both good and bad. Some of us use it for what it was intended to be used for and some use it to hurt others. That isn’t nation based. That is human. As much as I want to say that so and so is the enemy to the human race. The reality is that we are the enemy of the human race. We do this to each other. For no reason at all.

Last night there was a shooting a street down from where I live. It was a drive by. Bullets ripped through steel, through flesh and blood, and now two people lay in the hospital. The shooting was drug related as these things seem to be as of late. Probably fighting over territory. For shit that was never really there’s to begin with and as I snatch my daughter from the couch. Press her body to the floor and I try to figure what the fuck is even happening. As I lay over her body to protect her I think what is this really all for? Hours later I am left with the same feeling. I wait for what I know is going to come. More shots echo outside of my home. The thing is there are always retaliation shots. No one gets shot, shot at and thinks, “Where did I fuck up?” 

Despite putting over twenty rounds into the strangers down the street so far they have lived. I couldn’t be more upset at the fact. I shouldn’t feel that way. I should be happy. Feel as though every life is precious, but instead I am left feeling like a monster.  Of course there will be retaliation. There will be retribution. It won’t be tonight or tomorrow, but it will come. How long until someone else is left feeling like me as they hold their child in fear or worse? Because that is how we are. A nuclear apocalypse or a bullet. What’s the difference? A nation or a person what is the difference? To be human at times is fucking sick. 

 

 

 

(The title is from a German band known as Rammstein from their song Engel. It says, “We are afraid and alone.” Or at least that is what Google told me.)

Bending Over to Take It… Smile… All Will Be Well…

New slavery needs a place to stay
New slavery doesn’t have anything to say
Too many problems to fit in one sentence
Too many issues to blame on one thing
We say we are holy, We don’t live in sin
Yet we worship all the worst things in man
Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, and Greed
We wonder why we have nothing
Left wondering
Get off your knees

New slavery is lost in the distractions of the day
New slavery is divided with too many things left to say
Too many people still caught up on who is gay
Too many people still caught up on race
We say we are just, We don’t except intolerance
Yet we stand against our victims, condemn them with the rest
Allow our masters to get in the way
We look to the stars for some sign of God
The answer standing next to us all along
A united front of ignorance and bliss
We say one thing but really we could give a shit
Auto correct me if I’m wrong
Mirrored repercussions, actions on repeat
No American has ever been okay with retreat
Maybe things are different, too blind to see
But won’t deny it never existed at all

Not decided purely on race or color
Money the chains of the day
Fight among the ones that should unite
Doing everything our masters want
Deception the war we’ve always fought
Step out of line and leave your place, get left behind
The times they aren’t changing only getting worse
We think we understand, believe we are so woke
But we have no idea at all
New slavery has nothing to say
So we just keep slaving away

 

Gasping for the Air that Surrounds Me

Ark

The darkness surrounds me
As the rain falls down

Over the sky, blood drips down
Signaling only death
I hope you all drown
I hope someday you are found
Bleed me slowly and see
If I’m still alive
You all said I was crazy

Said I didn’t know anything
A child with adult eyes

The cuts they hurt
More in the beginning
Stones casted out, words with so much meaning
What was the point if not intended to hurt

Time has a way of healing broken wounds
Time has a way to make it go away
All of this all over again
Clairvoyant even in the womb
Because I know
I’ve always known
How all of this ends

Gather around, get to together
Pick and choose
But you should know
Not all of you
None of you will be
Here when it is all done
An endless time born to repeat
A drowning, a rebirth, a life destined to live
Born to be who we were always going to be
Keep destroying, keep hurting, keep doing it all
Free will was never a choice
Only a way of life
I never saved anything only kept it going
God spoke to me and I chose

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Well this is late… by a few hours… been one hell of an eight-day stretch… honestly only thought I would die twice so that’s something positive… behind on everything… broken promises I never intended to keep… Someday I will figure this all out… what this is I don’t know… working towards living… or so I keep telling myself… 

There has been a lot of sadness in the air as of late in America… In Texas… afraid it will only get worse… before it could ever get better… as a transplant it is never racking… embarrassing to say… where I live… where I am from… accepting that we are all not perfect… is not accepting the actions taken… diluted… forced upon to believe… we are not all what we are entitled to be… wish I could say I was proud to be where I’m from… but there is nothing to be proud of when we are all hypocrites… we say we are a Christian nation… a Christian state… a notion shoved down my throat on a daily basis… If you are going to be who you say you are… then be who the fuck you say you are… hard to believe the wandering Jew known as Jesus… cast aside… “crucified for his lies”… dying for his beliefs… would ever turn his back on those in need…

Confused yet?… trying living this shit every day and not even believing… believe what you want to believe… but fucking believe it… don’t half ass your beliefs all over my life… day in and day out… then turn your back on God… because you are too lazy to do what needs to be done… to take care of those in need… this isn’t directed at anyone person… but if you honestly believe this is for the best… that separating children from their parents… is okay… when their only crime is trying to find a better life… you better go stock up on some more bibles… because there isn’t enough pages to wipe up all of your shit… to clean the ring around your mouth… the stain you are so full of… all the while we hand back our precious babies… to monsters who won’t even get off their ass to look for a job… let alone take care of their child or children… people who are entitled to something just because they are American… that’s okay… 

If there is anything more American than fighting for a better life… I’d love to know what it is… I’d love to know what all this bullshit is supposed to mean if it is all only words and not what we truly believe… For God and Country… For Hypocrites and Assholes… just another day… drowning in our own shit… 

The Ungame… Turn 2…

For those unfamiliar with The Ungame… well this might be awkward… 

 

This week’s question… What does America mean to you?

First a side note… because of course… This was actually the first question that I saw when I opened the box… thought it was a little heavy for week one… but week two why not?…

Good old America… as some of you may know… I grew up outside of the United States… so my opinion will vary drastically or it won’t… to me America was always this place I was from… but I didn’t understand… a land of contradictions… a land of freedoms and a fuck ton of restrictions on them… on the flip side of all of that… my mother’s job for most of my life was to protect those freedoms… 

To me, America is a land of opportunity… I like to believe that anyone… can come here and do whatever they dream… a hazy childlike approach to our great country I know… how much of it is true?… very little… more so than other countries… sure… growing up from the outside… I don’t believe that we are the greatest country… or the worst… I also don’t believe there is any country that is the “greatest”… some are different… some have better things… some shit is exactly the same… nationalism is important to a certain degree… I witnessed that first hand when I went to China…

What I saw there… shaped my view of America… what I saw for the first time… was so different… so extreme… selling this way harder than I need too… When I was in China (2006)… the last night I believe… our tour group went to a fancy restaurant in Beijing… to try some type of duck… I was young… the moments weren’t all important… as we passed the locals and were led to this large second room full of foreigners each at their own large table… Germans… Koreans… Australians… Norwegians… Japanese… other’s I imagine… the room was packed… the room was loud… so many languages at once…

The Americans… were led to our table… we took our seats… some of us whispering to each other… could barely hear the person next to me… as she complained that she wasn’t going to eat the duck because of the bird flu… ignorance… but she was older… had a lot left to live for… I guess… we all do in a sense… as we sat there in silence… it became obvious that the other groups weren’t just talking loudly… they were singing… laughing… drinking in their own culture in a faraway land… while our table tried to not stare at one another… I’m as guilty as the rest… I didn’t say much beyond thank you when my food arrived… What would we even say to each other?… What do we have in common?…  

I was surrounded by strangers… at the table… around it… in the building… even though it felt odd… it also felt very normal… America is a melting pot… we take the best of all the cultures around us… but we never learned to actually unite those ideas… we visit them… dip our toes in… but we don’t understand them… our cities… our states… are segregated to a point… much of it has to do with money… but it also has to do with culture… sure anyone can move to any part of town they want too… but just like I knew to not speak at that table… we know where we should be and where we shouldn’t… Too bad the government never figured that out… Land of contradictions as I said… 

 

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Broken Thoughts

Gunshots in the distance
Another life robbed of its innocence
Plagued by those around me
Fear that maybe were too similar
For existence
Said you’d exist but did we ever
Bleeding thoughts from your mind
Symptoms so familiar
As if I read it off the back of a piece of paper
Think you know what’s wrong with everyday
Breaking down the thoughts to prove how wrong
I like your ideas, so smart of you
So sad just how sad all of this makes us
Like sawing off a limb for no reason at all
Sure we have our reasons but do we
Time has taught us so much about nothing at all
Where to be when we aren’t needed
Where in the day we’ve started staring at the floor
Who could have known time would have ever been
So important to what we know
Do onto others as they do to you
Only works if you are doing the right thing
But who is right? When we are all wrong?
Think you own me, have no idea what that entails
Are you really ready to take control?
Didn’t think so, so go ahead and let go
Let me know when you’re ready to destroy
Tell me when you know
How horrible it is to grow old
Desolate, destination unknown
Feel your hands gripping my soul
So go ahead and let go
Let it all go, slave to a system that enslaved you
Nothing more than a fascist statement
Carbon copy of those around you
You’re rebelling against what you don’t even know
So different yet all the same
Fit into something, bring me the leader
Hydra with so many heads
The masters never intended for any of this
To survive
Nothing has ever been built to last

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Would seem that these thoughts fall into the political realm… oddly they were written about my job… so not quite as epic in scope… but if you put your life under the microscope you may find that the things happening on a world scale… are also happening right there in front of you… the consequences aren’t as dire as a nuclear blast… but that doesn’t mean it can’t hurt as much as one… think about it… pain is subjective to how you feel… not what someone else can take… we like to compare someone else’s pain to our own… they aren’t comparable… relatable?… sure… do others have it worse?… always… doesn’t down grade your suffering though… as comforting it may be to think about…

If you want to help others… you have to help yourself first… In New York… and possibly other places… we have this theory… saying… whatever… about people falling on ice… Never catch them… Stop them… Let them fall… it sounds awful… what piece of shit person sees someone falling and does nothing?… But there is a reason… can’t help someone if you both are in need of help… who will help the two of you?…

It is things like that… that makes me miss the cold… the bitter truth of life… the honesty of trying to survive… something lost in translation depending on where you live… Same goes for pain… hurt… suffering… no one knows exactly how you feel… that’s what this line means to me… “Let it all go, slave to a system that enslaved you,”… it is me rationalizing that my bosses aren’t just assholes… (though they may be… never rule anything out…) but rather they are suffering just like me… a different way… sure… everyone is only trying to survive… I double down on this idea with this line… “Fit into something, bring me the leader”… This idea that you are in charge is a false idea… there are so few of us on the planet who are actually in charge of our lives… and it isn’t even the ones that you think… those of us that fit into society… locked into in… lack the necessary means to be in control of our lives…

That is what we trade for structure… we trade fear… suffering for peace of mind… but someone forgot to mention… these things can’t be traded… given away… they evolve like a virus… becoming stronger over nothing… we become plagued by these fear that we thought we left… that we forget the point of life is to live… that winning isn’t the mansion… the fast car… the nice clothes… but breathing another day… an idea that is lost in translation… uncomparable between different parts of the earth… some of us have it easier… but better?… what is better?… 

There are things to get angry about and things to just brush aside… the problem with the world isn’t that we are all wrong… it is that we are not focused… “Hydra with so many heads”… No battle is ever won by throwing everything you have at once… it takes focus… no one can truly understand what is going on by trying to figure it all out at once… 

 

 

Too Big To Fit With The Rest

This was supposed to be with the very first post for Lemonade and Glass… Then it grew too large to shove in there… so I was going to cut it down… Then the shooting happened and well that didn’t pan out… two months too late…

 

Cruci-fiction In Space by Marilyn Manson (Glass)

Holywood was a pretty amazing album as a whole… just about any song on there is one of my favorite… I chose this particular track because of the haunting and spacey music… I also think that this track blends the overall concept of the three album concept that Manson was working on… I think Manson takes on a lot of shit for his image and music… I had the benefit of not being subjected or shown a lot of what Mason was doing until after the fact… Told Manson was the most god-awful thing… the devil… made it something I had to check out when I was finally able to get my hands on it… It became for me a forbidden secret that I was a Manson fan… Which in retrospect was pretty fucking hilarious considering my parents had no problem with me listening to Cradle of Filth… who literally have a whole concept album about Lucifer… nor did they have a problem with me watching violent horror films… or playing violent video games… What can I say the late nineties and early 00’s… music was the evil of the day…

Manson I think was something else… and what that was, was exactly what he wanted to be… Manson tricked America into giving him power… If you really look at what he did… he didn’t do anything… that was what was so crazy about Manson to me… tearing up a bible?.. Any rational Christians should be smart enough to know that the message of Christ is in your heart not in a book… I mean if you want something to be angry about… Who prints and sells the bible for a profit?.. Then there was the media and political lead crucifixion of Manson over Columbine… Again America put him up on the cross… Not the actions that took place that day… still having issues with gun control… school violence… bullying… in America today…

If you actually listen to or know of the concept of his three biggest albums… It tells the story of a rock star transcending to the point of something more… an Anti-Christ Christ figure… Told in reverse no less… The concept to me was the most interesting thing about Manson… his whole narrative of how America creates celebrity… creates a monster… was fascinating… to not only listen to but to watch play out….

Since I have attempted to write this post yet another school shooting has taken place… Yet again the media is to blame… Not the actions of the shooter, but the media that drove him to do it… It’s been over a week since the latest tragedy and I have yet to hear anything from the shooter… One interview where he is like I did this because of this or I was influenced to do this because… However, We have had a rather interesting escape goat worth of responses as to why this all happened…

We have all this blame on mental illness… We have a problem with mental illness in America and maybe the world I’m not sure, but mental illness is a very vague term… again we want to go on the defense against something rather than the issue itself… guns were the problem here yet again… mental illness may have played a part and probably did… but having a mental illness doesn’t mean you are going to shot up a school… in fact, all it means is that you have a mental illness… guns shouldn’t be available to anyone with or without a mental illness… Check out Falling Down… a movie about a normal man pushed to the edge of his mental limits… a movie about a man who can’t take any more… completely normal yesterday… lost his damn mind the next… how do we stop him?…

How do we use these new proposals to end gun violence against someone who hasn’t been broken yet?… It is not as though you check the guns out and return them when you are done…  again we let children die and again we will fail to act… Really hope John Wick 3 is bloody enough to justify the next school shooting or we might just have to start getting rid of teenagers because we sure as shit aren’t going to get rid of guns..(Lemons here… yep… I will be crossing my fingers for gun control from down under… )

a lifetime for it to make no sense… we bleed the martyrs dry and wait for the next one… we say we care but have we ever?… 

Remembering What It Is To Understand

I remember everything about September 11th. Not the events so much as the day. I remember watching as my mother slept next to the phone. As she waited for the call that could send her away. I remember her uniform ready to go sitting on the kitchen table for days, for weeks after. I remember understanding, but not about what was going on, on the screen. As the days passed I remember watching as everything went back to normal, but nothing ever did. I remember when she finally had to leave. Promises of only for a few months. This will be over quickly. Just like last time. Last time I was a child. Last time I only knew she was gone, but not at war. This time though. This time was different. Maybe it is never different. Maybe she did the same things last time. Maybe I was just too young to understand. No, this time as she left I got to feel every ounce of pain and fear.

This time as I read her letter. This time as the tears hit the pages. This time I had to accept that she may not return. That my mother may never come back from this. No reason was given as to why. Only words of love. Only thoughts that she always loved me no matter what. Hopes that everything will be okay. Prayers that she would return from this and all would be well.  A day of sadness and then everything has to go back to normal. Something we have been through. Something we have to go through as Military children. The stupid parades, the ridiculous slogans, and that fucking flag. That flag that gets waved around as though it means so much to them. Draped across the back of their trucks as it floats in the wind. A cloth that signifies more than just where you live. A stitched-together history we take for granted. When they say they died for our freedom they don’t even know what that means. They aren’t just people. They aren’t just soldiers. They aren’t just tools. Pawns to move around to defend our freedoms. They are our parents, our mothers and our fathers, siblings, children, they are so much more than a “We Support Our Troops” sticker.

I got lucky my mother returned. Many of them did not. Many of them came back different. When I moved here to Texas.  I saw firsthand those that gave it all. Military City they call it. Passed by every day by legless men, scarred woman, and damaged people. You never notice them right away, but you notice them among the whining, bitching assholes they walk beside. The ones that say we need to get in there and kick some ass. The ones who think that war is easy. The ones that don’t understand that nothing about this is easy. The ones who will sit on the sidelines and clap. How easy it must be to do that. How easy it must be to never understand what it means. How blessed they are to never have to understand war, death, or sacrifice.

I watched a young man struggle like a child once while taking out the trash. Struggling to understand why the wheels got stuck. His mother running over to help him. A vision, a glimpse into something I assumed was a handicap. Later my wife would explain that, that young man was more than handicapped. He had gone to war. Right out of high school. Wanted to fight for this country. Wanted to help any way he could. Until the IED went off and took more than his chance. You couldn’t see the scars from a distance. You couldn’t tell what he went through until you got up close. Close enough that you didn’t want to know. That knowing was more than anyone should ever know. Nineteen now he was trapped in his body. Trapped trying to understand where he stood now in life. Forever destined to live at home, to live like this. He got a job at the local restaurant my wife worked at. Amazed, happy, proud of him until my wife explained more. Unable to do the most basic of things he was there as a favor. A charity to give his parents a break. An attempt to give him something to do. The brain damage he sustained left him childlike for now and forever. I’m often asked why I work so hard. I work so hard for those that can’t. For those of us who sacrifice more than their time.

Years later the battle rages on. Years later there are no answers to the pain we all went through or still go through. We got him. But what did we sacrifice for one person? What justification do we have for our actions of retaliation? They say that war is a necessary evil and they are right. War is evil but necessary? Do we need it? Couldn’t there be another way? Are we really so broken that only war could be the only fix for a tragedy? We police the globe with our mighty fist. A fist controlled by those that will never know what it takes, what it feels like to make up that fist. We have power and influence, and as I watch it being used to bully others into what we want I am reminded of all this shit. All these feelings that there is more to the equation than numbers, than opinions, and thoughts.  A conflict that not only rages around me but inside….