Sunday, June 1, 2008

New-age puritan.
by TroPicaLoaNge.

Keep busy.
Save money. Get the education that best suits your ambitions and the world is yours. Work hard in school if you can. Failure is an option but believe me, you cannot afford to neglect pursuing a further education.
Figure out your priorities.
Find your soul mate - preferably one of the opposite sex - and start a family, buy a house, car, a new lawnmower.
Keep busy.
Buy a plasma television. Watch the latest self-help TV shows and realize that you’re living the highlife. Watch the latest blockbusters. Become one with pop culture. After all, you are pop culture.
Keep busy.
Get a good job. Work overtime if you can. Pay the bills, buy into entertainment, and buy into the standard of living you so genuinely deserve.
Find God.
Just whatever you do, keep busy, stop thinking too much, and figure out your priorities: You have an obligation to society.
I’m sorry to say, it looks as though freewill has become quite a viable commodity.
Wait. That can’t be right; I must be out of my tree at the moment.
My apologies.
I’m actually a living example of freewill. I’m educated, I’m not starving and I have a place to live. I mean, I don’t even have the choice as to whether I want to attend an education or not; that choice is made for me by law. As tedious as it may be, I’m constantly being dipped into varying subjects and trains of thought and whether they are there to help me or not isn’t even a topical question. My curriculum has been carefully deliberated over and over, I’m positive it has been developed to perfection. Just as the Spartan soldier was developed to perfection, so has been my mind. The system of education is there to produce success: A healthy and intellectual and smooth flowing place to live.
On second thought, who am I kidding?
Well, you.
As glorious as this all sounds, what I have failed to mention is that the society in which I live has very deliberately decided for me how I should think and exist. The development of mind is, indeed, a very broad undertaking. There is no single way to get any kind of desirable results. If you imagine this development is a long journey down a very complex highway. Each exit, each u-turn, each time your vehicle breaks down is a new way in which your mind has been introduced to something new; be it literature, pictures, TV shows, ideas. It is where the trip ends that will determine how your mind has been molded, how you will react to certain situations, what political party you will vote for. Of course there are infinite destinations the mind could reach but society doesn’t like something as haphazard as this.
You are a rat in a cage, receiving weekly injections and tests.
Think: a perfectly controlled environment.
Education is a beautiful method of development. All education: Learning to bake grandmother’s famous cheese cake, learning how the Starship Enterprise manages warp speed.
The books I study in school, the music I am taught, the clothes I am allowed to wear, the expectations that I face: are all deliberately chosen for a greater purpose.
Your vehicle will break down in 5.
Turn left here.
Traffic slow after exit 248.
Someone is sick in the back seat.
Watch for children.
Congratulations, you have just graduated.

The forces that diverge thought exist in almost everything, everywhere. Each new Hollywood box office smash, each new chart topping pop tune, each repeated corporate slogan, all tear at your brain, hypnotize your sense of question, force feed you ideas of what it is to be successful, happy, alive.
I say almost because there are still, and hopefully always will be, those who refuse to succumb to this mental imprisonment, however a small few, indeed. They ask hard questions, argue, imagine a better society to live in. I’m not going too far into this though, not right now.
With success, the simple list of requirements reads as such:
To be successful your face better sell Pepsi products.
To be successful your method of telling time better be gold plated.
To be successful you better realize that the world is inferior to you at all times.
And so on.
Think: teacher’s pet blown into proportion.
Success is not a personal thing, a thing of personal satisfaction. Success is a collective rule. You are only successful if everyone else says so.
Odds are you don’t stand a chance. Reality is, if you can’t fit the mould, you’re just another desperate screaming fanatic on the sidelines. If you can’t be top shelf material, next best thing is to be acknowledged by someone who is.
Option one is to come close. Two seconds too far from the finish line of perfection in a race that never ends. But, what do I mean by perfection?
I mean age defying face cleanser.
I mean the Jenny Craig diet.
I mean smelling great, even late.
I mean human standardization of thought and appearance.
Conventional ‘beauty’.
Happiness is made easy for you. What I mean is that it has been narrowed to an easy science. What I really mean is why bother trying to figure out who you are when you can be told. What creates individualism has been silenced by the idea of “social taboo”.
Sexual deviance
Drug experimentation
“Cuss” words
Think: a new-age puritan
Is it coincidence that happiness is virtually universal? That everyone likes the same music? That everyone likes the same TV shows? Or are these things just that good. Or am I simply generalizing?
Option two is:
You didn’t keep busy enough.
You fell out of the system that was built around you. You’ve been disobedient to all the moral rights. You probably delved into every conceivable social taboo.
You didn’t find god.
You probably broke the law. You probably ran your mouth.
You’re single.
You’re lost.
You’re broke
Now shut your head up, do as you’re told.
Keep busy.

Back to Point A.
Try again.
You probably don’t even know what’s happening around you, the patterns, the manipulation. You feel cured, you feel relived, truth is, you feel easy to work with and society never looked so bright. Truth is you won’t be writing all of this down.
What am I then? Where am I in this cycle of production? What makes any of what I say true or even believable? Why didn’t you stop reading after the first sentence? Why don’t you burn this immediately?
I’m too busy to have all the answers. But I know how I feel about the whole thing:

Disconnected as all hell.

You’re covered.
by tropicalorange.

I’ve been an English teacher for a long time.

Three days of this is a long time, 28 years seems something like an aeon.

The only exciting part about my line of work is how everyday I realize more and more how hopeless our society is becoming, how worthless this production line of so called “education” is becoming, how increasingly empathetic I am becoming.
That’s the worse part, I actually care.
But why rant? It’s no use ranting on and on about things we cannot change, at least that’s how I feel about it.
My grandmother rants.
I’m an English teacher in a world that is slowly forgetting the importance of so many things, English included. By “English” I don’t mean rhetoric, or literature, or quiet coffee shops, I mean using your goddamn head from time to time, I mean stepping out of the little seclusive indestructible box people don’t even have the dignity to build for themselves anymore.
Someone’s got that covered for you.
Classes today:
At 12
At 3
At 5.30 have that covered.
Your favourite shows:
Wednesday at 8
Thursday 7.30
Saturday marathons have that covered.
That’s something like what I mean.
The world is forgetting how to imagine and question and protest.
Simple things; once upon a time.
The kids are forgetting how to figure out who they are. There’s a magazine for that, a car for that, a pair of shoes for that.
It’s too bad, really.
Look, I can understand some disinterest in English as a subject. I don’t expect us all to share the same opinions. Even I can’t stand a page and a half of Shakespeare. But I'm not meaning the disinterest. Look at who governs this country is what I mean. Look at the new censorship laws is what I mean:
Sex for pleasure is a mistake they used to make.
Doubting the existence of a God is a mistake they used to make.
Failing in school is a mistake we used to make.
The only imagination that circulates in these rooms is a “daily dose” as I like to call it; “what can I do to make this society dumber?” is about all that is imagined.
After all, how else do things get done around here?
The only reason I was kept around was because this damned atmosphere is stronger than my voice will ever be.
I’ve complained.
I’ve protested.
I’ve been a real pain in the ass about it.
I've been warned to keep quiet.
Or else.
But the factors of control are more powerful, the media, the propaganda, the fact that all of this is happening is louder then one man, me. But believe it, all in good time, they’ll figure out a way to get rid of my voice.
They’ll pass a law that has that covered.
I've been warned to keep quiet.
Or else.

If you don’t believe me just stick around.
I have a story to tell. You’re not saying much anyway.
It’s not so much a story as it is a representation, a representation of the daily bullshit that I have to put up with.
I want to tell you. After all, you seem like a smart kind of person, you have that look about you; a look I’ve almost forgotten to recognise, I guess.

Yesterday, as usual, the class was completely out of control:
My ears can’t even comprehend the mindless garble that’s being passed around this room. My mind feels distorted, the desks are scratching the tile, the floor is vibrating like mad, I hear books being abused all over the place.
I can’t even blame it on age groups or academic levels anymore.
That was a mistake we used to make.
Teachers are assigned a list of names, who cares how old, how smart, how “impressionable” they are.
Class of 48.
Not the year.
“Mr.” was a name forgotten long ago.
Teachers will one day be substituted for voice recordings and pop icons. I just know it.
I hate how I give a damn.
One of them says, “Lenolial, this new book is complete crap. You seriously expect us to read about some sick, old hag? I showed my mom one page and she laughed. Even she thinks its complete crap.”
I try to stay calm.
I say, “Look, I understand the novel can be a little slow at times. I know, I've read it more times than I even care to count. Look beyond that, try and enjoy the story line, try and feel the woman’s pain of sensing the closeness of death. Try.”
Another says, “I don’t understand half of it anyway. We’re not goddamn geniuses here. Can’t we watch a movie or something? Cant you just give us a break once in a while?”
I try to keep my mouth shut.
Another says, “Look Lenolial, times have changed. We don’t need books anymore; we shouldn’t have to waste our time at these uncomfortable old desks all day long like you had to.”
I try to stay sane.
Another says, “I have a game tonight, community rally after that, show on at 9. I simply don’t have time to waste reading this senseless garbage. What good is it anyway; surely an old man like you has enough sense to teach something worth while for once. I can’t think of a single useful thing I’ve learnt all year.”

I think that’s when I snapped, so to speak.
It was out of my control to keep quiet at that moment. It wasn’t just me that had to say something. I had a responsibility. I had to speak for all the dead poets, artists, musicians, all the great thinkers once upon a time. I spoke for them. I spoke for the anger that I regretted feeling because I actually gave a damn about these kids.

How I did not lose control at that very moment is something I used to ask myself. I knew the answer and it wasn’t an answer that I had come up with, someone had come up with it for me.
I couldn’t react in the manner I would dearly have liked to. I couldn’t tell these children the thoughts that were exploding in my mind. I had to be careful for a lot of reasons.

Perhaps I gave a damn because I was scared we were living in the Dark Age reincarnate.
I think I told them they were a spreading cancer.
I told them exactly were they could shove their magazines, fast cars, sports teams, rich parents.
I told them words they had only heard rumours about.
I told them to shut the hell up and look around for once, to notice the damage they are causing to thought and intellect.
I told them a lot of things they will never understand.
Bottom line is, I told them enough to get a personal meeting with my boss the next day. Some angry parents I guess.

It was fear that told me what to say and I had no choice.
It was fear of the so called greater good, of controlled Darwinism, of what might happen if.
I told them they were beautiful minds waiting to hatch into enlightenment.
I told them that all I had taught them was chosen for their own good, to make them and society better.
I told them all kinds of careful things to calm them down.
I told them everything I hate myself today for saying.
Bottom line is I told them what they were supposed to hear.

I think it was then he started to tell me.
He told me I was a dying breed, a waste of a human being.
He told me I could be of better use on a production line. O, irony, I thought.
He told me he had been waiting for this day, waiting for me to slip up, for a long, long time.
He told me where I could go, and it wasn’t home, although he did tell me this was my last day as an English teacher.

All that I really accomplished was reinforcing my hate and my pity for the world I live in.
I tell myself at least I've kept marginally sane.
I tell myself at least I still have a job.
I tell myself at least I’m not part of this all.
Bottom line is I tell myself I need to be really careful with what I say.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

you've come a long way baby.

those eyes grazing with careening jeers.
they want.
they desire.
they raise their glasses.

i'd fuck her.
you'd fuck her right.
i'd fuck her.

with those automatic lips curved into a false acceptance.
her fake approval.
they tell her it's her right. to exist for them.
to be seen and desired by them.
God Bless Us All Because She Can.
her rights. and their rights.
they tell her they have the right to stare
the right to snarl to themselves and each other about all of the things they would
do to/at/on/in her.
but never with.
not together.
not as the same.

i'd fuck her.
you'd fuck her right.
i'd fuck her.

because she is. it.
she is that thing to have and hold.
to be touched and fucked and even hurt and used.
she. is.
she. is. it.

as she moves. eyes gazing and grazing and looking but never seeing.
this is her right.
cheers baby. you've come so far.

i'd fuck her.
you'd fuck her right.
i'd fuck her.

seeing. is feeling. is knowing.
that her body.
her. self.
that she is not an entitlement.
or a receptacle.
not a fuck.
a sweaty palmed release.

every time she looks too long.
too hard.
too closely.
she tells herself.
as long as they look but don't touch.
touch. but don't hurt.
hurt. but don't kill.

when do we allow ourselves
women and men. him and her.
she and us and them and him and you and me.
to become human?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I think I heard Jefferson Airplane on the radio.
by Tropicalorange.

She smiled and reached down for the bottom of her pant leg. I kept eye contact as long as I could, only until her gaze fell towards her busy hands. Mine quickly followed.

She pulled at their hem but the pants were so tight it seemed as though they were fighting back.
Fighting against her kindness and my guilty desires.
She eventually pealed them up, semi-successfully, then I sat, bewildered.

I could sense her stare move up and notice my eyes hadn’t shifted from her legs at all. They surveyed and analyzed and began to ache as they were unable to absorb the beauty that lay in front of them. I almost thought she could feel the smile stretch across my face.

To me, the seconds that passed felt like time away from the homestead of realty.
A dreamer’s time zone.

Drugged with euphoria I looked up at her like a starving toddler and before I could even produce speech she nodded and that was all the permission I needed. I reached down slowly, for moving too fast would risk ruining this experience and I let my hand float down onto her unshaven leg, which I was being treated to.

I asked her weeks ago for the favor and I can assure you my end of the bargain will be hard enough to satisfy.

But I’m not here to complain.

When my hand touched her skin I could feel the spiky hairs pierce my flesh just enough to send a shock down my back and when my hand journeyed further up, the sizzling sound that was produced wooed my eardrums.

A twist of Beethoven’s 5th.

To me, each hair was like its own cat, purring as I caressed it.

I closed my eyes hoping to enhance the feeling but no sooner did her arms race to pull her pant leg down demanding “ENOUGH!”

I looked up at her rosy face.

At that moment, in that spiral of emotion, I knew what had to be done next.

After all, Gary from the room next door was getting impatient.

He was knocking at the door and usually I wouldn’t open it 3 inches for his trailer park ass.

You see, Gary is a bit of a lap dance junkie. Really, you can smell it on him. Whether it's his bud light endorsed gut, the sweat building up around his forest of neck hair, or his obvious habit of picking through daily news flyers looking for the walmart bra models, you wouldn’t even let this guy pet your dog.

And she knew this as she pointed at the door.

I can’t say I’ve ever given a lap dance before but I didn’t shed tears forcing this femme catalogue lingerie on for nothing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' - Network, 1976

Busy. So busy.
Work hard.
Play hard.

Every moment of everyday filled with tasks and options and deadlines and obligations.
With parties and booze and music and film. And television.
Keeping busy. Never stopping. Bills have to get paid.

Mouths have to get filled.

We run and we search. Stream and pour through subway lines and side walks.
Have to get by there is work to be done.
Stimulate and saturate and exacerbate.
Don’t look me in the eye.
It’s a dog eat dog world.

Not a moment to waste on thinking and thought. And criticizing and wondering why it is.
We are afraid to leave our houses.
Afraid of our neighbors.
Our friends.
Our lovers.

Divide and conquer. The beginning of the end.
We don’t trust others.
We can’t.
It’s not safe.

When we stand side by side. Yet so apart.
Isolation and alienation.
The real terrorists.
That grow and devour.

Never so alone.
Divided we all fall.

It’s not just us versus them.
The blacks the whites the reds the oranges the women the men the gays the straights.

It’s me against them.
It’s me against you.

Just let me get by because there is work to be done.
There are important things that I need to do.

All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We're just getting there faster since we're the most advanced country. -Network, 1976

I want to look and feel.
Not as if I grew from a Hollywood script where love conquers all.
And the free and pure reign.

I want to know that my life was not already imagined and explained.
Rehearsed and recycled.

I want to connect with a human being because I can.
Not because I saw it on a television show.

You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here, you're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do. Why, whatever the tube tells you: you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion. - Network, 1976

We will fall apart.
We are falling apart.
Fallen apart.

Divided and conquered.
Separated and segregated.
Scratched out and erased.

toronto. june 1st

put this into action.
make it live.

june 1st get together.
toronto. somewhere.

if interested.

Friday, May 16, 2008

shot. in the dark.

a call has been made.
is being made.

for the beginning of discussion. and action.
for the end. of excuses and toleration.
another day and time is possible.
when our lives become our own.
not the flickering images on the television screen.

another world is possible.
we have to make it real.

get angry.
real mad.