The New Witch Hunt

No matter what you think about a person, insinuating that they are evil is just downright nasty. Okay, so you don’t really get where they’re coming from and you find their followers quite peculiar for relating to what you think is a BS message. That’s all fine and good. These kind of people are usually at the avant-garde of peculiar movements so it is only likely that they appear the most peculiar. What complicates matters is the fact that you think you have their type all figured out. You are so confident in this understanding that you even mock them. But that’s when they go and challenge your presumptions by doing all sorts of weird @#$%

A black guy? An old veteran singing like that? Our knee-jerk reaction is to call these movements dangerous, self-centered, even silly. But they are peculiar because they must keep us guessing in order to avoid our vicious ire…

Funny thing happens when these two divergent forces come together (evidenced here by the conservative Andy Capp and the liberal John Lennon). The differences are illuminated or in other words they are able to best display their virtues due to their stark differences. That’s just an obtuse way of saying our opposites define us. Peace is only peculiar in the face of constant violence because it provides a contrast that is a relative rarity. That nebulous contrast that resides between the two is the gray light or the immediate awareness of a difference between two items. In essence the “contrast” IS something. In the video above we see a back-and-forth rebuke. Two men arguing over who is truly deceived…

Of course I could go on and on with examples of this back-and-forth rebuking, but the point is to point out the positive/negative. Only your so-called opposite can expose you. It makes you question what you thought was obvious…the fact that only YOU truly exist. This is at the core of the opposite attraction. It’s solipsism or the intellectual’s masturbatory truth…all that Descartes business.

I only can be certain that I exist. I don’t know the reason for my existence, I just know that I am…and then you come along and now I have to try and reconcile your existence too. And you…you come in so many “different” colors, shapes and sizes and you behave in all of these really peculiar ways. Sometimes I notice similarities and that allows me to dump you in boxes which relieves some of my angst, but that doesn’t work for long because you keep on insisting that you’re just like me! You can’t be like me! There’s no way! There’s only one me. We can’t be related! Just look at all those boxes I put you in. I don’t fit in any of those. That’s you, not me.

ONE MAN’S HERETIC IS ANOTHER MAN’S HERO

The level of absurdity here would make these cats and maybe even these cats proud. They may not scream it from the rafters, but I’m certain they’re at least smirking. Wait. Wait. Don’t come at we with the pitchforks just yet. I am well aware of how this…

…is received by some. Personally, I see a little Monty Python going on here. There’s a definite satirical element present that I think people are interpreting as sinister. Go figure. Satire has a history of scaring people because it seems to laugh in the face of serious matters. The song talks about a wonderful worldly life at a price. The beautiful death follows the life of abundance financed by that paper stuff we use to regulate universal elements…this life is desired because at least you get to enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it instead of not enjoying what you’re doing while hoping that something better will happen…soon. Those with an abundance of the paper stuff use it to acquire chunks of the planet and and those manmade things that make our live so excitin’….

The more money you have the more of these things you can buy, but it will never be enough so you either have to keep on conspicuously consuming material or something else when that doesn’t work. Pop icons like Kanye West and Jay-Z are telling you this in all of its multi-faceted glory. There are no secrets. It’s just art and yes, it’s powerful. Very powerful. But the nature of its power is determined by us and you see what we do…we give these figures money. Lots of it and we expect them to carry on the way they do. We rarely question their excess. Why? Well, for starters, if we ever become filthy rich we want the same privileges to party with some light skinned girls and some Kelly Rowlands. You just have to make that deal…no, not that one, this one

I NEED YOU TO LIKE ME, NO, REALLY LIKE ME

Why couldn’t you just like me for me? Why do I have to be like you so that you will like me? I don’t want to make a deal with you? Why? Because in order for you to be accepted you made a deal with someone. You’re faking it. I don’t want to fake it. Stop forcing me to fake it. Besides you don’t have my best interests at heart, just your own. You want me to join your army. You want more warriors. More fighters. I’m not going to fight with you or for you because you don’t even know WHAT you are fighting for. You say it’s righteousness, but when I’m around you all I hear is judgment of those you deem unrighteous, and of course they don’t consider themselves unrighteous. Ironically, they think you are the demon. Look, I’m not interested in this ridiculous fight. Back and forth accusations, yet neither of you are capable of determining who is demonic and who is righteous. What if the drive to fight is what is truly demonic? Hey, just throwing that hat in the ring, don’t beat me up for it. I know you want to. I know you are “dying” to.

In order to get the masses to give you their hard-earned money you have to give them something. Pop culture appeals to the broadest group and thus those who produce it make oodles and oodles of money. The deal that is made is one of compromise. In order to appeal to the masses layers of diversity are stripped away to make the product as broadly palatable as possible…as inhumanely possible…

The final product has to be sterile, almost bland, but deliver a slight punch so that it draws the eye…and that slight punch is sex appeal. That dirty secret. The machination that created us and drives us to create. The licentious act that we don’t want to address because we don’t want to imagine people who we consider family having sex with each other. In other words, thinking about our parents doing it grosses us out. And it is at that very simple fundamental level that our fear starts. The mildly unpleasant thought leads to a bit spicier thought and that’s the reminder of our mortality and we don’t like to be reminded so we fix the problem via physical and digital aids…

Not so “mortal” anymore. Not so scary. Safe to desire now. She is beautiful now. Transcendent now. Not so raw. Clean. Safe. Damn, we are so messed up in the head when it comes to the sex stuff, we cannot seem to reconcile with it…

My mother and father made me, but look what’s happening to them. They’re getting older and losing touch and GASP! Look at their parents! They’re getting really old and GASP! Their parents aren’t even around anymore. Is that my fate? To not be anymore? I don’t want to not be! I better hurry up and find someone to reproduce with…All right, got that out of the way…wait a minute. Are you kidding me!? Damn it! The little me isn’t exactly like me. It’s developing its own ideas. Where did it get those from?

They’re going to hell in a hand basket! That’s where this sinning generation is going! They celebrate sin! Look at ’em! Laughing in the face of the devil!

They laugh BECAUSE you fear. That’s what kids do! It’s their job to look at what you’ve done and sample the bits they like when crafting their version of right now. Notice how they like to mix it up…do things a little differently. But it’s nothing new. They’re just stripping away more and more layers of fear to make it less palatable to you. You’re the ones who are dying and warning them about who’s out to get them and what can kill or hurt them, they just wanna live, but living is worldly, sinful…you know this…because you did it or still do it or wish you could have did it. Explains all that almost old-man angst, doesn’t it? That point where we transition from the fearless invincible kid to the fearful mortal adult…or maybe if you remix it…the fearless mortal adult with the spirit of an invincible kid.

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

When you listen to the lyrics of the Kanye tracks above with just a cursory understanding of what the man who wrote them went through you may get a better understanding of the person behind the creation. Such hardships like the unexpected death of his mother, public embarrassments, failed relationships…stuff we all go through. Stuff money can’t suddenly fix. But ponder this…imagine having a platform where you could deal with these issues and millions upon millions of people eagerly anticipated your ruminations and you were even given money for it! No one man should have all that power! There’s a not-so-subtle self-mocking going on. This is a cat who knows he pissed people off with that Taylor Swift bit. Now before you go full bore into the speculative talk about those scary secret societies consider the idea that there really is nothing secret about the lyrics of these songs. It is not the music of evil, but ABOUT evil, but we like it, we don’t find it threatening. Now I know some out there think I’m being foolish…maybe they’ll even throw out that deceived word. I understand. But when you fear this stuff you endow it with power. If you don’t it’s just pop music. It comes and it goes and it ebbs and it flows.

Also, if we’re going to criticize the easy ones, those in the public eye, then we better expect the same treatment when we put those status updates and tweets out there for the world to see. But we don’t, we’d rather be “liked” and have “followers” than be hated and shunned. If we understand this then we understand those we call celebrities. But we cannot quite fathom what it would be like to have millions of people giving a damn about us and how it feels to to watch people giving those damns publicly. They love you and hate you behind bullhorns in public squares while you’re living this absurd life in squares not so public. Wow, such a push/pull existence. So to cope you share some of what you learned while you mixed and mingled on both sides of the fence…remember, these guys are from gritty American cities…they were once just as anonymous as you or I…they just did something about it. We get mad because we didn’t. We just exist and claim they made some sort of Faustian deal to reach their levels of success. Well if they did so did we. Ours is called a 9 to 5. Well, those of us lucky enough to have one.

If you truly think to attain money and fame one must make a dangerous deal just remember, it is you who is giving that money power. If you truly didn’t want what they have then you wouldn’t say a damn word…doth protest too much, methinks. You want that money too. You hunger for it. Is it the root of all evil? Not really. We created it to regulate the dispersal of resources. So perhaps the desire to obtain an excess of resources is the root of all evil and that would mean these rich rappers with all of their things are evil. Just them though, not other rich people who have more things. Only the court jesters or poor Yoricks apply because of the messages they deliver. The messages we consume like candy. The messages that fill our iPods to the brim. Uh oh. Dilemma. That makes us evil too. Well, I don’t want to be evil anymore so I’ll just listen to religious music…

But wait a minute, that sounds a lot like the evil stuff. The only difference is the message. But isn’t that deceptive. Using the devil’s beat? Who cares. It’s got an interesting message, one that speaks to our condition, but so does this…

A song that talks about that scary bunch of folks who find reasons to dislike you while secretly hating themselves because you possess the positive of their negative or vice versa, just depends on where you’re standing…and that’s all it is…these songs touch you at different points in your life…or sometimes…at the same time…

PAST + FUTURE = PRESENT

    Marco Brambilla is the artist behind Kanye West’s “Power” video

The present is a complex multi-dimensional ratio. On one side we have nostalgia for the past and chagrin about the future. On the other we have a ruefulness for the past and hope for the future. These two play a tug of war for dominance. Pop culture is the reflection of this battle and this reflection is quite fickle…it changes constantly due to the back-and-forth nature of the ratio. This goes to show you just how aggressively temporary the pop moment truly is. Even though pop culture is transient in nature there is a consistent message that is ageless and that is the importance of love and warnings about how unchecked excess leads to a great fall. These unchecked excesses are typically the result of fear. But this fear is offset by the L-O-V-E thing. Hell, we even play with the things we fear…

Pop artists like Mr. West to use scary imagery in a cathartic way. I’m certain he is well-aware of the rumors surrounding himself and his cohorts. All that Illuminati and Freemason stuff. That peculiar stuff that even mystifies the peculiars. Most people don’t understand these things, they make no real attempt to, they just know that they are differnet…weird…not them…they’re peculiarities and peculiarities are often painted with a broad brush, but they’re also attractive to a broad range of people. You can be fearful which leads to being hateful because the thing you fear refuses to go away even when you try and crush it, but what good does it do you? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No matter what you think about the box you or I put myself in we’re all still under the influences of our wants, needs and desires and I’m tellin’ you deep down we all just want to be loved. We ALL do. Hate only begets more hate, unless things get beautifully strange.

THE SATIRICAL CONDITION

    Just wanted to pay off the earlier Monty Python mention.

To beat a dead horse, satire rests at the core of self-referential art and satire, by its very nature is daring. Some people will smile, some will frown. Some may ask, “Why are you playing with THAT STUFF?” The nature of the way the question is asked can influence the answer. Besides, click the link, we ain’t doing nothing that different. Sometimes we use fear to keep you off our backs, but keep callin’ us monsters and we may follow suit…

Yeah, I keep switching it up so stop trying to use the pronouns to gauge what side of the fence I reside on. Also, note the title of this segment. It’s all based on perception folks. Where you stand is the place where you cultivate your stance

The reflection you see reflecting off of the building and across the ice is based on the camera’s unique perspective. If you were standing where the photographer stood you would see this perspective as well.

If we all lined a beach to watch the sunrise we would perceive this singular phenomenon…

…in a multitude of ways.

That streak of light appears to be resting atop the water. I mean I can see it. I can see it!!! It has to be real!!! What is this “multitude of ways” nonsense? The light is pointing directly at me!!!

And it’s pointing directly at me…too. It’s real for me AND real for you. You can criticize the collection of teachings (or lack thereof) that I turn to for solace, you can call these teachings evil, even tell me I’m deceived, but why MUST you do that? No seriously, why do you HAVE TO do that? If you have the ultimate answer to the cosmic question then when you lay it on me it should make absolute sense to me. Why doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because you can’t see my light. My reflection. But it’s right there, on the water. You can’t see it? Here, let me move, stand right there, where I was standing. See? Isn’t that beautiful?

It’s exquisite.

You mean beautiful?

No, I meant exquisite.

Oh okay, whatever, that works. It can be beautiful to me and exquisite to you.

No, it’s ONLY exquisite.

Here we go again. We gotta be careful with this stone throwing stuff folks. We’re putting all our business out there via this on-line alternative universe. Just make sure that if you dish it out you can take it…

We go around pointing fingers accusing each other of this or that while forgetting what lies at the base of our NEED to accuse. Fear. We fear those who are different because they have the audacity to justify their reason for being…

Now we have to contemplate that threat. They want to be while we’re still learning how to be and the way they are going about being is very peculiar. Matter of fact, it’s just plain weird

John Voight? Seriously? Angelina Jolie‘s dad!? This is too much to think about. Man, this is frustrating. I don’t want to understand any of this mess for fear that it may influence the way I act

Don’t wanna lose myself. But wait? How can I lose the ONLY DAMN THING I’M SUPPOSED TO BE CERTAIN OF!? I THINK THEREFORE I MUTHAEFFIN’ AM!!! Sorry, I had a moment there. See what happens when you start throwing curveballs at me? I get all flustered and start doubting the only thing I’m supposed to know. I am. I AM. That’s the only thing I can be certain of…

Wait. Wait. You? You. You!!!

You are going through this same thing too!!! Yes you. The person reading this. You. The person who should be clicking every last one of these hyperlinks. Just kiddin.’ But no, seriously, click them. I’m really trying to converse with you and had you clicked on them you would be laughing your ass off by now. You missed both a Seinfeld clip, Christopher Walken and some other interesting tidbits that just blow this text wide open. At any rate, it’s cool, now let’s get back on track…

I may not know you, but what I do know is you’re hurtin’ just like me, but I don’t like hurtin’ so let’s try to not hurt each other anymore. We can at least knock out one dimension of this madness. It’s frustrating thinking about all the different ways that you can hurt me. If I look at that past of yours things don’t look too good, but it’s not just the past that worries me…I’m creative so I can think of new ways as well. Ways I only think you don’t know of yet, but then again, you have your secrets too. What are your secrets? I need to know your secrets. This shit is scaring me. I even get a little jumpy sometimes, but you know what?

I’m done. It’s a wrap. No more. If we bump into each other on the street let’s not get into a fight over who’s fault it is because you and I both know where that will likely lead…both us being “booked” somewhere and then on a later date we will have to relive it without any of our previous zeal in front of a cat who calls himself a judge. So to avoid all that, if it’s my fault I’ll apologize and we can move on. Oh, and you shoulda clicked that last link. This last bit would have made a lot more sense, but I’ll be nice, here it is…again.

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