Manic world. Depressed human. Locks. Chains. Cords. Keys. Strangled. Inhibited. Out of control. Confused. Knowing too much. Not knowing enough. Victim to emotion. Desperate. Depreciate.
What do you seek?
Power = Control
Self knowledge = Freedom
EXPAND into infinity.
This memorial day I saw one of my dreams realized. This project was a vision two years ago. It was even a bit jarring to my nervous system to now be living with the 3D version of this piece. It was born from very intense frustration and some pure fucking rage but something knew we could turn it into love. The overtaking of ego by purest self produced an explosion in my mind, a vision brought me to my knees. A complete reorganization of my mind space happened, my values changed in what seems like an instant. Organizing with people to rant about our concerns did nothing to ease the personal suffering I experienced. Honestly this made me feel more frustrated because all of us together couldn’t change even one person’s oppression. I saw people who have the same things to lose alienate each other over ideological differences. I realized that I had moved into the spaces I had for lessons not longevity. My purpose is to enlighten through love and creativity. I now understand that freedom is an individual choice and so the project is fully understood.
Enough back story now to the art! The original vision revealed the television set exactly as it is with my body chained to it. I was in Boston common, having initially conceptualized a stationary piece. The TV set you see is a part of a performance during which I lug it around sometimes appearing pained and begging for freedom at others appearing mindless and drained but determined to move forward. My goal was to convey the idea of being weighted inhibited harmed and hurt by this apparatus but being willing to die carrying it because on some level I believe I need it. The box represents propaganda and conditioning on the most superficial level but also nationalism, racism, sexism religion and beauty, sexuality or gender standards. I was easily able to put myself back in the raw emotional space from which the project came, maybe helped by the physical pain and stifled blood circulation brought on by the chain. I had some extremely intense moments where I screamed in frustration cried and struggled with the box for my life.
Some offered me help and seemed genuinely concerned. A few immediately understood it as performance art. Some people took pictures and video, some asked questions and wanted to connect with what was happening. Some made jokes some looked away and few even thought I was involved in some horrible game or hazing ritual. I listened to conversations, to what people said to me and answered most of their questions while staying in the performance. From 2pm to 8pm I performed through the streets of down town Providence and Boston. I crossed Boston common, canvased downtown crossing, crossed the common again and visited Newbury St. The second crossing of the common was the true full circle moment. There where people everywhere. I came to a clearing and I saw the event from both past and present perspectives. I collapsed to the ground and the moment I saw so clearly 2 years ago came to pass. I sobbed and struggled to free myself. I screamed at the top of my lungs to release all the energy that had built the moment. I made contact with many people that day and what I will never forget is the looks in their eyes. I perceived deeply buried fear solidarity support and even relief, some expressing these outwardly as well. I expected more pushback than I experienced, finding the overwhelming reaction to be support. Funny thing, when it was time to execute I found myself needing no one’s support and receiving it from everywhere.
This is an act of love even though it was born from war. I do this because I love this planet and because I love humanity. Open minds and free expression are our salvation. I chose to memorialize those who have given there lives in the name of love by speaking truth. ♥♥♥
I’m convinced that modesty is useless conditioning. It is simply a way that empathy is used against humanity. I see no logical reason to not be great and recognize where you are such. I have beat myself to a pulp in attempts to make others comfortable, to present no threat to their personal security. It took much soul searching and grappling my own insecurities to see that this is not part of my purpose. No one’s insecurities/psychological inadequacies are mine to deal with just as mine or anyone else’s are not yours. It is completely irresponsible and self destructive to make one’s self responsible for another’s emotions. This is because only the subject can control or even really understand their emotion. They are in the end the only one who knows how to produce pleasurable feelings in themselves.
The reality regarding insecurity is we all have them even those who you may look up to in some way. The biggest mega stars or supermodels have insecurities because it is the human condition, we all endure struggle. The test is in how we deal with them, how we beat them into submission as this is indeed what is required. In most cases this is the only way to manifest the things we perceive as rewards into our experience. Insecurities allow opportunities for others to manipulate and control us through our emotions. Everyone wants to be happy and comfortable, unchecked most concern themselves primarily with this. Because they are only living their experience they will expect those outside them to attend to their happiness and comfort as well. In some respect humans gauge love by how much another is willing to do this. This conditioning becomes problematic for those who are empathetically talented because this will be taken advantage of. Producing situations where only one set of desires are expected to be considered, the empathetically talented party becomes responsible for coalescing to the other without concern for their own desires.
I believe that usually neither party realizes this is happening when it is, only after being removed from said situation and then only sometimes. The interesting thing for me is how many people I have come across who are veritable vampires, living on manipulation. Most of them don’t even know it, at least not on their most conscious level of thought. They seem to think they are being “good people” whatever that means. That they care for the other party and because they do the party should be responsible for their emotions. The reality is in most cases these people care for what the other can do for them. They care for the feeling of authoritative importance they derive from the subtle oppression they can inflict, how much they can manipulate another’s behavior. They don’t actually care for the person because manipulation wouldn’t be required, the person’s natural presence would make them happy.
Modesty is a detriment because the only way to defend oneself against this kind of attack is to be aware of one’s power, of the things that make you unique and special. This is because the common bases of interpersonal assaults on liberty is forcing you to minimize yourself by making you guilty for not being the way another wants you to. A way they want you to be so that they can be comfortable. So that you don’t highlight for them where they are inadequate to themselves. A red flag tendency to look for is that of underlining your differences from the crowd even if they share them. Some creatures get off on caging things and being in control of their movements. It is deeply imbedded in their psyche that this is where their worth comes from. The easiest way to cage humans is by compartmentalizing and categorizing them because then everything says they should conform to the stereotypes of their category.
I obliterate norms and expectations in the most delicate graceful way but with the efficiency of an assassin. I will never tolerate anyones warped ideas of what I should be. I will not proliferate the gospel of modesty because it is counter productive and teaches people to be or pretend to be insecure for other people’s comfort. If you feel sexy own it. If you feel smart act it. I will not silently watch people minimize their talents and abilities to pacify. We should relish and cultivate pride in what we are, in my opinion it is wrong not to. You were given whatever gifts are yours for a reason and that reason is not to minimze them, in fact I believe we are meant to maximize and utilize all talents. We all have our unique contributions to make and how dare anyone make another feel bad about that. Here is something to think about, bragging and expecting modesty both come from insecurity. Never minimize yourself for anyone’s comfort because to do this is to turn away from your purpose for existence.
I was taken to the porch and asked leading questions such as “did an argument just take place here?” I gave the most honest answers I could then I was asked to turn around to have handcuffs put on. I was completely placid, in a state of numb disbelief. When things start moving fast like this I get completely calm, If I have to ignore what is happening then so be it. In handcuffs I moved toward the door while asking about shoes for my bare feet and the older less spry and therefore most fearful of the officers put his mouth about 3 inches from mine and screamed and spit about how I am not supposed to move autonomously at this point. It was as if he had said nothing and I said nothing else until I asked what I was being arrested for. You see I have dealt with this kind of goading behavior from law enforcement officers before. Here you have a group of men who know nothing about me or N on arrival. Here I am a young black male, the “type” they have been conditioned to expect crime from accused of a crime. No one could see the education I had fought for or the career I was building for myself, the artistic visions taking form in my mind or the gentleness of my nature for the melanin in my skin. This fellow was sure I would have some sort of emotional response to him screaming in my face that would make the day more exciting and make him feel less useless in his aged state. The best thing to do in situations like this is remain silent, instigators cannot escalate situations with a silent adversary. An adversary being just what these people saw me as.
I asked why I was being arrested for the second time when I was in the backseat because the first person I asked apparently didn’t even know. This time I got a much better explanation. This is when I was informed of what she had accused me of. I asked more questions that led the police officer to explain to me that because I and N lived together the incident was a “domestic” one. This meant that according to the law in our area someone had to be removed when the police arrived. I was informed that had I accused N of brandishing a weapon or physically assaulting me we would have both been arrested. I had been arrested for an event that did not happen because I lived with someone I hardly knew and they had made an accusation. This was horrifying to me! Deep down I knew that I would be vindicated because said accusation would have to be proved but in the following days I kept thinking about how many people in the city where in an Identical situation to mine. Boston has the second or third highest cost of living in the country and many colleges in and around. Everyone I know lives with roommates and a quick look around will prove this is how most are surviving and getting through their education without family. Luckily I had cultivated a friendly relationship with my ex but someone else who’s family springs from SC would have sat in jail for who knows how long.
Around the middle of the year long fiasco I obtained all documents related to the case. I read the wording and it was clear that N is a much more sinister character than I ever imagined. You see N was well aware of the credibility her european features and home ownership bought her. The description of me was quite strange. The person she described was 6’2″ or 6’3″ and “black black black” this is quoted from the 911 call transcript in which N used the word black regarding my appearance 8 times. She was asked for my description once. This was a perceptual distinction she wanted to make crystal clear before the police even arrived for the most obvious reason. I am of african decent but just about 5’11” weighing in at around 140 lbs. My willowy build and androgynous looks and voice don’t typically inspire fear, reading the transcript it is obvious that N agreed. It seems she felt projecting me as the big black bogey man archetype would bolster the believability of her tale. Along with implying heavy drug use and details about my sexuality, even dragging a friend she met once into the fantasy by name.
During the conversation in the car on the way to the county lockup I noticed a change. As I began to speak for myself and become a real person instead of a projected image the relations shifted. At the house when I was being as quiet as I knew was necessary I was shuffled around and looked at like something without a brain. When we were in the more intimate setting of a sedan I was asking relevant lucid questions, ones that suggested I knew at least the basics about my rights and probably that I was pretty well educated. This was these people’s first opportunity to get a read on my character my temperament and it did not add up. By the time we made it to the station I was being referred to as Mr. Ocean and sir, I was being respected and treated gently. I remember having my handcuffs adjusted and my comfort being a concern. I cannot know what anyone was thinking but I sensed what seemed like sympathy in the officer who was there from beginning to cell. A look in his eyes and behavior that seemed to give away his instinct that this was not right. The police are you me our neighbors and family members only guided by entrained blind allegiance to law. The problem being that the legal system is flawed tainted by racism classism and financial motivations. I had forced him to see me as an individual human not a black criminal. Never forget your humanity and no one else save sociopaths will be able to ignore it.
Know your rights and never be afraid to ask questions or remain silent as you see fit. Remember that when police arrive on the scene there job is to find reason to arrest you, calmly cooperate but do not help them. You have the right to protect yourself from legal trouble. It is scary being arrested but right now you are innocent until proven guilty. Make people who accuse you of shit prove it without your help. Under stress innocent people can say very damaging things to our own interests without realizing it. ♥
I was just thinking about a conversation I had with a friend about a week ago. He said people are like cats in the way that we relate to each other. It was very funny in the moment but he was making a keen observation. Cats are capable of ambivalent feeling and it can be very pronounced in their behavior. I love the company of cats and typically they love mine but I have always sensed that they think about eating me. If house cats could magically be big like there wild relatives I believe they would have to decide everyday whether or not to eat those they live with and for some it would be a struggle. Not unlike humans at all. We are moderating impulses based on many emotions/thoughts happening simultaneously at all times. The point he was making was people are capable of anything, any evil and any good regardless of their relation to each other. I have noticed that it seems as though everything in nature has the impulse to prey on the weaker, the smaller. As cruel as this sounds I believe this may be a part of the collective survival instinct, clipping away the weak to conserve resources for the more likely to succeed biologically. Another great illustration of this is gardening, we prune away the dying and weak parts of plants so that the energy is diverted to grow the strong. Don’t get me wrong, this feels harsh and bitter to me as well but my capacity for ambivalent thought also allows me to see the necessity in it. The thing is nature is ambivalent it is neutral and the progression of all things is based on survival not good or evil, sweet or bitter. The beauty of sentient beings is our capacity for love. This is the component that prompts us to moderate our impulses and we are varied in our capacity for love. Just as it is necessary to prune plants so they grow strong and beautiful. Its is necessary to have harsh experiences through interaction to strengthen our identity, our bodies so we are strong and beautiful. The energy is neutral all encompassing and we are like crystals in the sense that we split the spectrum. We can focus on some waves and release the others in a rainbow of color if thats what your into. We are only victims when we think of ourselves that way. The next time someone attacks your character respond with strength and pride and see that is what they are really looking for. Watch how the evil is deflated and the respect is inflated. ♥
This great country’s government=gentry=corporation has been trying to recover slave labor since abolition. The truth is the construct of capitalism is so that it is designed around slave labor. The machine that this nation is now was built up on the backs of slaves remember? Oh but all skin tones are included now that there are no whips and chains. Yes white privilege is very real but also very psychological. Privilege to do what exactly? Slave a little easier or more comfortably? In this system free people are those who know they are period. This is all an experience and each controls her own. There are no boxes other than those we accept. Differences are intentionally played up and subconsciously reinforced as this is highly divisive. “Privilege” with other devices such as nationalism patriotism classism sexism other forms of racism and probably other isms keep us distracted with kicking each other’s asses and not opting out of the game. By the way war is extremely profitable so are prison higher education and more and more grade school. Things are set up so that your existence earns someone else money=power one way or another from beginning to end.
The construct is designed to maximize profit while minimizing expenditure. Think of what these expendatures are… they are things like wages, benefits, safety upgrades, proper waste disposal and conservation efforts. The key is getting us to work for as free as possible so that the money goes straight to the top. To the owners CEOs and whatever other letter combinations. I’m sure most would agree that it makes since that the closer one is to ownership of any business the more said individual should earn of the profits. This makes sense but what doesn’t is the idea that these people should continue to make more and more into perpetuity at all costs to everyone else. This though is built into the corporate law (corporate=law) structure. Stop sit for a minute and really process this idea, you will feel it is ridiculous. everything is cyclical. These numbers that are thrown into the news with 10 20 30 zeros are nonsense. Where do you know of numbers this high existing? In the media and therefore in your mind. No one has seen that many anything in existence. The reality is the paper money is for paper flemsy products after the essentials which we realize are quite few basic and still affordable or free!
There is an abundance of completely lab created food with no nutritional value and medicine full of chemicals with the effects of who knows what for an array of shit diseases caused by said processed mystery matter. A system of distraction based on mental conditioning honed to make us believe we need more than the essentials. Conditioning that makes a name worth anything more than the cost of the materials and some for everyone who had a hand in making the named product. The bottom line is logically no shirt costs $5000 dollars and those made of materials that require the price are pieces of art that maybe shouldn’t be crapped around in at the club. People began creating products just to have something to sell and it followed that a market had to be created for these products. How does one create a market for something unneeded? Make people think they need it… marketing.
The plan works like a charm, it’s ingenious really. Distractions and distortions are set up everywhere and we live under an incessant latent fear. A nagging that our lives are somehow threatened by not having enough snacks, a relaxer, being able to get fast food, being able to watch tv, or eat meat everyday and many at every meal. This is not natural. But this is what more products than people looks like… bigger and bigger people who barely live on more chemical products created to earn pharmaceutical companies hefty profits. Then they die and earn a pretty penny for the people who stuff them and put them in those obnoxious overpriced boxes. Everything is cyclical. Money money money. The thing is the power players of old are the same ones as here because that kind of grip maintains its self through generations. These are dynasties. Being comfortable is great it is something that we all deserve. It does not take great wealth to accomplish this in any system. There is no motivation to have a trillion dollars but power and control. Stop. Focus on your motivations. Connect with your deepest agenda here and push forward. There will always be distractions until we collectively ignore them.
Night fell as I crossed into pennsylvania and it all became colorful sparkles on an endless black sky. I stopped in philadelphia for some late dinner around 11. As I sat in cantina Los Caballeros scarfing down the vibrant mixture of lettuce avocado oranges carrots and several other colorful clippings I half listened to to the barmaid talk with regulars. Although they had deepened the colors of the day had not faded and I was eager to make ground so my mind was on the road. Midnight saw me thanking the very proper young lady for the satisfying vittles and tolerating my very spaced out less conversational state of being. I took to the night air stretched, breathed and turned again to my journey.
The world was silent. In the depths of night I entered a toll plaza somewhere in New Jersey. I slowed and noted there seemed to be only one booth in operation, everything was dimly lit. I retrieved my wallet and adjusted the volume on the stereo. A cool chill and a nagging confusion brought everything into focus as I turned to ask the cost of the toll, it wasn’t listed on the outside like I’m used to. The extremely thin woman raised her willowy finger and with an inaudible whisper indicated the toll to be one dollar. Her dull black hair lightly fluttering on her shoulders with the wind. She reminded me of witch lore. Silence and this.