The Curse of Paying Attention.

Means that you will notice the years go by in the mirror and the faces of your friends and not look away, but remember.

Means you are built so the pot that you smoke and the drugs that you take and the alcohol you consume will give you two, three, or a hundred versions of the past, but they will not obliterate any memories, nor will those memories lead to any other place than the place where you stand. Learn to go without.

Means you will not be taken by something so cruel as Alzheimers, or maybe you might, or maybe you'll catch a bullet, or maybe your end will be nothing but this life on repeat forever and ever amen. But you will not look away.

Means your eyes will be seared in their sockets at the coming of your version of God (or lack thereof), yes, you will meet your fate with eyes wide open... I don't like it, I wanted to die in my sleep sixty years from now, or under a giant rock from space a thousand years from now, not meet my Maker awake, I hope it's not too scary.

It's the Curse of Paying Attention. In youth, you become a pariah, or you become a scapegoat. As you grow, you learn to measure your words, to pull in your feathers, to disguise yourself as normal. Or face the pain of exile. It's seeing and participating in what's going on, knowing your place in the machine, watching it unfold from a place up and removed from the map, but knowing your roots are forever mired in the mud, along with the rest of the world. Just because you can fly doesn't mean you never land, if you catch my drift.

March 29, 2012 at 5:53am
glossolaliablack: the masses uphold our asses (Default)
( Jan. 10th, 2013 10:11 pm)
Wow, I forgot this was here.
T-Mobile phones are known to commit suicide. Mine did about a year ago, my husband's did just last night. "It makes a slick looking paperweight!" he quipped, knowing that his ability to contact work and myself was just severed.

We aren't all that rich right now. We had to go to the county for assistance with rent this year, a first for us, and a long time since the last time for me.

Communication is a human right, yet the technology to do it efficiently lies in the hands of corporations rich enough to put satellites into space. It's a bummer, but even though Misha's got a free upgrade coming, it'll be to a phone so new that it has to change both of our plans, which will bite into us for the cost of upgrading both our phones and signing on to a plan that incorporates the new features of our twin Sidekicks.

Yet, we're struggling to make the rent.

It is a common idea that when you buy into a plan, you're retaining your citizenship, and that you will be treated accordingly. But you are only a consumer, a customer in relation to the empire that provides you with instantaneous communication with your very important loved ones.

Yet, communication is a human right. Access to communication is a human right. Yet it costs money to put them satellites into space, to maintain the network, to make the cute advertisements, to crunch the numbers and make the big lumbering corporations move across the landscape like giants of yore.

We're gonna be okay with rent, hopefully, if both of us can maintain our health and good fortune.

I am fortunate that I don't live in a society that would have my skin cut in order to have the right to call myself an adult, or a grown woman. I am glad that I live in air conditioning, I am thankful for western medicine, clean water, and the right to bitch.

But this phone shit is amazingly complex, more than it needs to be.

(His phone was a piece of shit, anyway.)
I think it took me until 30 to realize that, even though we're living in a panopticon prison, the camera that's watching you doesn't necessarily have human eyes monitoring it. And even when it does, the human eyes watching the screen aren't necessarily connected to a brain that gives the slightest shit about you.

For someone resigned to living in the panopticon prison, I fuck up a lot. I don't know if it's because I've been allowed to fuck up with relative impunity, or if it's because what I consider a fuck up isn't anything that'll jiggle any meters.

I'm the kind of person that gets one tattoo in her life, in the Designated Tattoo Rebellion Zone (upper arm). Tolerance, I suppose, is built into the system. Too stringent a system, you end up squashing something good, like art or music. Too free? Never been such a thing, not even before video cameras and social security numbers. Hell, before all this, peasants were kept in place by another kind of ubiquitous surveillance.

It's not because I aspire to be racist. It's because I know I've got some racist assumptions about people, things ingrained in me from living in a racist society. And dealing with it the way that someone who doesn't belong in any particular camp does: with occasional bafflement, and a lot of apologizing when I get it wrong.

Take for instance, over in LiveJournal, there's this community called [profile] interracial. When I joined it, I figured it would be about something a little more than shagging someone that doesn't share your skin color. In the interim, I've found out it's about little more than that.

Confusing Race Interaction Part The Billionth: Someone there says they're baffled and/or angry that black girls, especially dark girls with afroes are now considered "trendy". I roll my eyes and say, "Wait five minutes, blonde hair and blue eyes will be trendy again," because come on, we live in a society that touts it as a standard of beauty. For all the whimsy of having black girls be trendy for a minute, my experience has always been that white standards of beauty are going to reign in the end, because that's what gets shoved out there as NORMAL.

And then the person gets annoyed with me for coming to that conclusion, saying, "There's plenty of people that would prefer brunettes and dark-skinned people over blondes," to which I say, "Okay, then, enjoy your moment in the sun for being the look that's trendy, now."

Mind you, I also said that people will fall in love with who they do, regardless of what's trendy, but that point seems to have been lost in the muddle.

Not to mention that I'm not even sure what I said or the conclusion I came to was racist or not. Just because I acknowledge that there's a "normative" standard of beauty doesn't mean I agree with it, for fuck's sake. It just means I'm noticing that it exists.

I don't know, man, Sometimes it just doesn't pay to talk to strangers on the Internet.

That, and well, I have the elbow room to think about this all in a very abstract way. That's privilege for sure.
glossolaliablack: the masses uphold our asses (Default)
( Jul. 17th, 2009 05:07 pm)
It's been a while since I joined anything like this. Sure, I've been plenty of other places on the Internutz, but LJ's been pretty much my wailing wall for about a decade. I've been with LiveJournal about as long as it has been around, but Earle convinced me that this would be a fun, fresh new slate.

Very well then. Let us proceed to mar it up nice and pretty.