Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sisyphus' Rock Rolls Into the Pool

I can really identify with the mythical character of Sisyphus. Those of you who know the story understand the futility and masochism of this legend. For those who don't know of him, he was this guy who spent an eternity rolling a boulder up a steep hill, only to watch it roll back down to the bottom after reaching the summit. Sisyphus would then make the trip down the hill, and begin rolling the rock back up. This is truly a metaphor for life. It seems that humanity, in spite of it's evolution, is much like Sisyphus as we ebb and flow with the same cycle of war, violence, peace making, famine, fundamentalisms, fanaticisms, hate, etc. Millions of years on and we still don't get it. Like with Sisyphus, the answer is blatant – stop pushing the damn rock up the hill! Same applies with many of our social, political and environmental issues – the solutions are simple and ready for accessing, but we carry on our paths of destruction, thinking that if we piss in the pool that we are somehow immune to it.

I'm one of those people who spends way too much time in their head, I admit. I also have this duality of thought going on when it comes to the human race. On the one hand, I see us as a gangrene-like force on the planet that is contemptuous, and for which there is little hope. On the other hand, I spend every moment trying to spread a socialist message of peace with a desire to help and make things better. So, I guess you could say that Sisyphus is a bit of a role model for me. People really piss me off, but I want to save the world.

Perhaps a large part of what taints me is having lived most my life in Canada and European societies. In the so called "first world" we are bombarded with materialism and people have grown so mesmerised by bright shiny toys and the sand-box mentality of "mine" that we have become self-absorbed, apathetic, bureaucratically bowing corporate clones, addicted to Coca-Cola and paying people more for their tits and asses than we do the people who grow our food, research cures for diseases and teach our children. In the experience I do have visiting poorer countries, these things simply don't exist as people are more concerned with having enough food to get through the day or scraping together enough money to live. In most my travels, I've rarely been invited by strangers to their homes for a drink or a meal, with the exception of Eastern Europe immediately after the collapse of Communism and in small town Mexico. Most of these people had virtually nothing in terms of possessions, and thus were not addicted to them. Yet these were some of the friendliest people that I've ever met. I was invited into their homes, fed, watered and entertained.

I've never cared for wealthy people. Perhaps this is because I had little growing up, with an abusive single Mother whose literacy levels were depressingly low. So, maybe, I'm suffering from a bit of penis envy. But ultimately, in the present, I simply have no desire to own a bunch of expensive crap. As a result, I voluntarily spend my life working with poorer people, and there can be no better experience than this. There is a brutal realness amongst the people known as "poor", but the fact is, these people are richer than any millionaire in their genuine nature and sincerity. I hate people who bullshit me and I hate self-righteous professionals who spend their days in the slums and then go home to their American Dream. What I really detest about the rich, however, is that they have the power to transform our world into a better place for everyone, but they won't share a sliver of their pie.

Like it or not, we are all connected and our survival depends on the benevolence of others. How can we justify our gluttony in the West while people are starving on the other side of the world? I recently saw Henry Rollins do a spoken word gig here in town and he made a very good point that there are people in this world who would give anything to eat our warm vomit, they are that desperate for food. He also noted that there is enough food discarded from the Seoul airport every day to feed the famine stricken people of North Korea, which is only 40 Km away, but Kim Jong Il won't allow the food to come in, just to site one example. When are we going to truly address these narcissistic fascists and end the rhetoric of Axis of Evil as we opt for war every time over diplomacy?

The apathy and the low turn-out at the Canadian Federal Election last week made me cringe. The fact is, if you didn't vote, then you are part of the problem. If you voted for Harper, then you voted for big corporations, for war and basically said screw the environment, so that blood is on your hands because the party you voted for was put there for you and by you. Granted, all the parties were about as inspired as watching sloth's race a marathon, but don't blame the politicians for being non-entities. Blame the nation of couch potato, self-indulgent, American Idol watching, brain dead corporate bitches (with some exceptions) that sat on their asses, said nothing, and did nothing to make things happen. When our civil liberties are eroded, when our bosses censor our freedom of speech because we are now their property and when the next witch hunt begins and we get dragged into more earth neutering, generation eliminating armed conflict, remember that the status quo are not victims but accomplices in all of this. You determined what the market would bear. You paid pro sports athletes, lip-syncing plastic surgery disaster idiots and whatnot millions, while the writers with brains, activists, artists, teachers and others working for the social good were neglected, under funded and unheeded.

Perhaps I am being harsh, but I am angry. My words are perhaps cruel, but, for some reason, I'm trying to wake people up. I don't care if people don't agree with me, that's not the point. What I want is to provoke – to engage and have people think. I'm not afraid of being wrong and am not threatened by others educated points of view. What scares me are the people who have all of the power and no insight or vision. How can we have people living in mansions while there are children dying from starvation? It's not a matter of shit happening – there is enough food in the world. The problem is that few who can are willing to deliver. What scares me is that two planes crash into the World Trade Centre and, instead of asking "why" the response is invasion and occupation. What scares me is that global warming is apparent, yet some dickhead feels that he still has the right to compensate for his small dick by driving a Hummer. Scarier still are the women who are turned on by this! I'm terrified that many people in my country have never left the confines of the world out there to see that humanity is all swimming in the same pool and that lots of us can't quite figure out to swim. Religion that generates hatred through corrupt messages of love scares me. Bush and Harper scare me.

…So I guess you might say the world has me pretty freaked out, yet the spirit of Sisyphus lives on. Perhaps I'm an idiot for holding any hope. I can live with that. Stop existing and start living. Be passion, and to quote Ghandi, my hero: "be the change that you want to see in the world".


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