18.5.10

Energy seeks equilibrium, moving from where there is plenty to where there is scarcity.

It flows like water, always seeking balance where two bodies connect.

It flows like air, always seeking equality in pressure where systems meet.

It flows like people, always seeking majority where society will allow.

Energy comes in waves, surging across the matter fabrics of our reality.

We surge up along the path of least resistance to merge with deeper oceans.

The smaller pools may never meet the sea, trapped inland and slowly evaporating.

As the heat death slowly consumes them their bodies turn salty and toxic.

As they die we watch from afar or turn away uninterested.

The dams erected to hold us apart no longer flow.

The mountains erected to hold us apart leave rain shadows across the other.

No wind may escape, no sea may surge.

Energy seeks equilibrium, but power does not.

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18.5.8

Begin with a family

grow it into a tribe

give the tribe an identity

let that identity grow into a nation

give the nation a state

upon the state invest all power

with all power the state may expand

bring other nations into the fold

but they are not like you

they are different and strange and other

and in the state offer security

security against other nations

cull them until they believe in your identity

then expand

incorporate your identity

give it values none can possibly believe in except you

like love and happiness and freedom and life

and the state will give you them

and the state will grow your identity

and the identity shall provide you comforts

it will keep you company

it will be your company

you will buy from it all you need

you will be free of the worries of your nation

the new value is in need and fulfilling it

growing forever

other nations do not believe

they cling to things they do not need and believe in things that are so other

like hate and sorrow and oppression and death

they do not accept our company

they do not like our nation

but our company accepts them

for our company loves all nations

because the new value is in need

and never mind the state, that we didn’t need

18.5.7

A captive mind, engaged and buried inside a cage

What was anxiety turns into paranoia

and it troubles how clear it has become

that if it is wrong, that if it is right

that if it is neither but both

but some and not none

or none and not any

but all of it is

the fear of never being liked and yet when it is clear

the great deceivers come forth

how worthy are you of affections if you are yourself

are you great, are you fun, are you someone to love and admire

are you are good human being

do you walk the righteous path

or do you bow to a greater power

do you sing and dance and know of love

or are you a spectre

trapped inside a room

a captive mind, engaged and buried inside a cage

locked by a key I hold.

18.5.4

By the way when I can’t speak

I’m wide awake and I can’t sleep

came up short and she wasn’t pleased

bought my night with 9 to 5

left me waiting, the girl of my dreams

lays me down and whispers in my ear

been getting harder just to stay here

and I just need a reason to be alive

but no one speaks

and in my heart and mind I die

shivering insomnia from my pores

waking up at midnight to write poetry

about how I can’t sleep

and how I’ll always be alone

I’m wide awake and I can’t wake from this nightmare

that’s eating me from the inside

that’s eating away at my mind

that’s pushing me to suicide

driving the ideations of hope in tragedy

Imagine me, the no one who speaks

and the wind takes my words

until even my friend never hears me

but the end is so final

and I’ll always be alone

happiness is misery

and I’m living the dream

I’m wide awake so I cannot sleep.

I’m wide awake and I cannot speak.

few

We happy few who march upon the blades of the enemy.
And impale upon the pikes of the enemy.
And fall before the bows of the enemy.
And suffer from the guns of the enemy.

No sling nor shot can break our advance, we the happy few.
And upon the ramparts our bodies lay.
And upon the streets we bleed away.
And upon the stones we suffer today.

We happy few who march upon the den of evil.
And shout and scream for the right to rule.
And shout and scream for the right to be.
And shout and scream for the blood of the wicked.

We happy few who die today.
And we waste away.
And we fade away.
And we hide away.

For we happy few, are lost amongst the tide of the miserable masses.
For they are bought and we are sold.
For they are content in misery, and we are happy in agony.
For they are the empire and we are the landless.

18.5.2

/malaise/

malaise

there is no worse place to be

the cancerous fog

an illithid beast

boring into my skull

so dull

I almost don’t feel the pain

just numb like a pulled tooth

what am I meant to do

when the burning world feels like

static

/static/

Self-determination.

Eastasia makes peace within itself.
A flagrant violation of the world’s current order.
To challenge laws is vain at best.
Submit instead to the order of things.
When the woken giant steps upon your throat.
Do not struggle, it will be over quicker.
It comes not to destroy, but to beset upon you liberty.
It takes from you the worldly treasures you hoard.
So that you may know the freedom of equality.
And imposes upon you its body,
so that you may know the freedom of all other times.
And the whole world shall know you deserved it,
for stepping out of line
for having some semblance of your own control
for daring to be as you want to be.
You deserved it, you fucking whore.
You’re not allowed to shackle yourself like you have been doing,
you belong to the giant, just like the rest of us.

competition

It is sunny out, so I’m making hay for my strawmen.
And math is not my strongsuit.

 


Not usually one to avoid politics, it had surprised her how long it had taken for this conversation to come up with her friend. He had a business idea, it was a good one, and as they arrived at lunch one day wide-eyed and excited. Lily sat down with him, spoke with him at great length and when he asked about her day she initially tried to avoid it.

She had very recently given up corporate law to become somewhat of an activist, and while he liked to hear about it he also had some very strict ideas on what constituted morality. She steered it back to him, it was less likely to cause an argument than what she was doing at work.

But no matter how it happened, it inevitably always came back to the same discussion.

“I’ve got some shopping to do after this.”

He feigned a smile, it was a dull and safe choice of topic, “Groceries?”

“No, Issy needs a new bath-robe so I thought I’d look around.”

“Just use amazon.”

“I don’t like amazon-”

“Oh, right, because it’s owned by a rich guy.”

“No, it’s owned by a monster who profits off of slavery and who abuses the so-called free market to make himself obscenely rich at the cost of others.”

He scoffed, “He had a good idea, he earned his money.”

Yet for some reason, unlike usual, she did not change the subject. She wasn’t sure why.

“Okay, so your argument is that if you have a good idea you are entitled to your money, right?”

He nodded, “Of course you are, you earned it.”

“Just, follow the logic for me. You are starting a business and it’s a good idea.”

“I think so-”

“Okay so, how much do you think you’ll get as a loan to start your business? Let’s say ten thousand so the math is easy, right.”

“Uh, sure.”

“Now, let’s say that some nameless rich guy has the same idea and he has ten million dollars in his pocket that he’s going to use to start it up.”

“Okay,” he raised an eyebrow.

“So you let’s say you spend half of your money getting your business up and ready to make your product. The rich guy does the same. And we’ll be generous to you and say you have the vastly superior product.”

“What’s your point?”

“I’m getting there. So you now both have a product, how do you start selling it?”

“Online?”

“Sure, but I mean how do people find out about it?”

“I tell them,” he snarks just a little.

“So advertising. You’ve got what, five thousand dollars left in your bank account and he has five million. We’ll be super generous and say you manage to get the best advertising company money can buy and for every one dollar you spend on it, you get one person viewing your product – that’s five thousand potential buyers. If he spent all his money advertising, he would need to spend a thousand dollars for every one view to do the same as you.”

“Then I’d beat him in the long run.”

“Do you really thing he’ll get such a shitty advertising agency? No, let’s be realistic for the rich guy and say he gets a decent agency and for every ten dollars he spends he gets a view. You got five thousand views and if he spent all his money on advertising he’d get five hundred thousand.”

“Wait, why is he getting a view for every ten dollars?”

“You want him to spend a hundred for every view, he’d still get ten times as many views as you got. If you sold to every person that viewed your product, which is ridiculous, he’d only need to sell to one in ten to match you. If we’re realistic and say you sell to one in ten, you’d sell five hundred of your product and he’d sell fifty thousand.”

“But my product is vastly superior, even you said so!”

“Alright, so you sell to one in five, that’s a thousand of your product sold. He still outsells you fifty to one.”

“But, mine is better so… word of mouth.”

“Sure, but there is a finite number of people in the world that want to buy your product. Let’s say a million people want it. And lets not factor in stuff like declines in sales and trends and stuff that’d be negative to you – let’s just say you a thousand a month and every month you gain a ridiculous amount of extra sales and you double the amount you sell right.”

“Okay.”

“So by around week seven you’ll have taken over them in sales – if they don’t grow at all – and by about week ten there will be no more people to sell to. You’ll have sold around five-twenty thousand and they will have sold around four-eighty thousand.”

“So I won.”

“That’s only if you grow like crazy and they don’t at all. To beat you they’d only need to grow by ten percent to beat you, and we’re talking something like six-thirty thousand to your three-seventy thousand.”

“I did pretty well though.”

“Sure, but your product was vastly superior right, shouldn’t you be on top? And that’s only if we’re super generous to your sale skills. If you don’t double your sales every month, you’d get virtually nothing.”

“So what are you saying?”

“The rich guy, who did average, can beat you when you are beyond exceptional purely because he has money. It isn’t a competition, so much as it is a knife-fight. Even if you wise up and bring a gun, he’s going to show up with an army.”

“So you’re saying I shouldn’t do my business idea.”

“No, you should, but be realistic. No-one really ever makes it rich, the best they do is make something someone else wants to steal, so they either do or they buy it off you for a millionth of what the idea is actually worth. The entire system is rigged against you to keep you from success and the sooner you realise that the better.”

“So what’s your solution then, we all become communists?”

“Yes, pretty much exactly. If we all had the same money to start with, we’d all have the same chance of success and good ideas would rise to the top. People have this dumb idea that communism is anti-competition when it is pro-competition.”

“Communism is all about robbing from the rich to give to the poor.”

“I just explained why that is a good idea, do I need to repeat myself?”

“So, because people are too rich, no-one should be rich?”

“Yes, exactly. If you distribute wealth evenly you know what happens? People spend money and buy things, and the entire economy grows. When the rich have all the money you know what they do? Only spend it to make more money, and the stuff they don’t spend gets locked away in a safe somewhere.”

She gestured to the coffee shop, “If the workers owned the coffee shop, the local management would be accountable. You wouldn’t have some rich guy in some office a world away telling them to pay their workers a few dollars plus tips because management has to work with the people under them. They’d want to invest in their shop and make it better, the workers who work there every day would do the same. Your business would grow exponentially purely because no-one wants to work somewhere they hate.”

“But if the business doesn’t make enough money-”

“They go out of business, or they join a worker union that allows them to pool their resources so that one business has some insulation from bad sales or issues with worker compensation.”

“If this is so wonderful-”

“Stop, I know what you’re about to say and you’re wrong. The Soviet Union was barely communist, it’s economy was feudal and its state was fascist masquerading as communist. It was as communist as the United States has ever been.”

She pushed her empty coffee cup across the table, “If you have a system where you effective enslave workers so that they are forced to work the land over punishment of death, and where the only form of mobility out of their rigid class is to be so exceptional that you break from your mold and redefine the society itself – that is wrong.”

She stood, “And I’m not just talking about the Soviets.”

He gave her a puzzled look, but she placed her money on the table and smiled, “It was nice talking to you again, we’ll need to do it again soon.”

“Uh, sure-” he stood, and she left to go shopping.

Legal.

Come here and dance for me, honey. Come here and dance. They’re all waiting for us, babe. They’re all waiting. Don’t keep them in suspense, let them see you smile. Let them know who you are, keep them lingering. Be the bitch on your own time, be the bitch some other place. Come here and dance for me, honey.

Come here and dance.

‘Her name is Lily, she is a contract lawyer.’

Lily smiles for the camera.

‘How’d you meet?’

The lights leave her burning, the eyes leave her pale.

“A friend introduced us, we were at a bar celebrating a friend’s birthday and she was there and apparently famous.”

She laughs, just a little, let them know she is joking.

‘You didn’t know who she was?’

“Not at the time.”

‘Well she knows me now,’ they kiss her, and she can’t help but blush. Maybe it’s the lights.

Back at home, far from the lights and the crowds, Lily sits upon her lounge and watches the television.

‘What’s it like to have the whole world jealous of you?’

The news is on, nothing is news. It is stranger to see her face on every channel, than to know that there are people jealous of her.

“I’m used to it.”

From the kitchen, her girlfriend laughs and makes them coffee so they can stay awake. A long day of carefully conducted interviews with paparazzi and the strange man that her girlfriend calls an agent. She would have to remember to tell them to get a new one, there was something very off about him.

Do you feel used, do you feel violated, is there something off about our love. Do you lie awake and feel sick that you have fallen for a hoax. Do you lie awake and wonder if they love you back?

Lily lies awake, nice to share a bed again, strange that she came to where she was. She knew they loved her, it was the desire to be open about it that made Lily sign away her life. She had dressed like a man, and that had somehow made her what she was. A suit garners more respect than a dress.

She had never imagined she could be gay. She isn’t even sure if she is, or if she just loves them.

The news plays, and she grows sick of seeing her name, she knows there is something in the world more interesting than her. Luckily football season comes and everyone forgets about her, and life goes back to how it was. Then the latest television sensation pops up and everyone forgets about football, and life keeps going as it is. Then the latest movie craze swings around and everyone forgets about television, and life keeps going as it is.

And Lily lies awake at night, trying to sleep, her mind too full of her fiance.

The news plays, and she wonders what else is out there. Contract after contract, the words blur together.

“Let’s go to Europe for our honeymoon, I’ve always wanted to see Moscow in the winter.”

‘Why?’

“I love the cold, it gives us reason to keep close.”

They place a hand on her shoulder, smile gentle, ‘We can’t go to Russia, there is a war remember?’

No, she doesn’t.

‘Besides, we’re gay, Lily.’

“Right.”

‘I’ve always wanted to go to China.’

“We can’t, we’re gay. Plus there is a war isn’t there?”

‘We’re at war with China?’

Lily nods, now that she is reminded of it.

‘I’ve always wanted to see India as well, there is so much history there.’

“We’re illegal in India as well, babe.”

‘Egypt?’

“Illegal.”

‘Is there anywhere we can go then?’

“Europe,” she offers, pushing her own agenda, “or New Zealand – that’s where they filmed the Lord of the Rings.”

‘Europe has actual history though.’

Lily planned it all out, and booked the tickets, and read about what they could do. Every day the list grew shorter, until in the end they could only go to France. At least it was pretty in winter, even without snow.