The Taste of Illusion

Outrage is humming in the lower atmosphere–that special kind of heat that ignites revolutionaries and reactionaries in the same chakra, churning up bullshit-scented gas. That gas leaks into the air, forms itself into words on video screens, and takes on a life of its own.

A cop choked Eric Garner to death because he could. It was captured on video, and whoever makes such decisions decided that there was not enough evidence to charge the cop with a crime.

Hee hee ha ha ho hee ha, says the clown.

For many–I would even say most–of the people who recognize that this event is fucked up and wrong, there is a particular flavor to their outrage. A tangy, subtle note that only shows up at the end of a swallow. It’s an array of spices, grown in the soil of beliefs that have been embedded in us from birth.

This is an outrage that says, somewhere deep down, that what has happened is an accident, an aberration; a glitch in a system with many glitches. If we could only just patch those glitches in Babylon v.2015, everything will be okay.

This is the flavor of illusion.

America the beautiful, a collection of borders drawn up by genocidal invaders. They’ve raped our babies and feasted on our blood and flesh since First Contact, since day one. They’ve been a plague to the earth, destroying, poisoning, laying waste to life in all forms.

This is what the system does. This is what it has always done. It has trained us to believe otherwise, so that it can continue. It is a master of smoke and mirrors; the truth of what it is and what it does to us–all who walk crawl swim fly live–is obscured. The enemy is invisible. The enemy is in you. To the extent that you identify with the system, you are the enemy. This is true of us all.

Calvary troops used to bury our babies in dirt up to their necks, in front of their mothers, then kick their heads off. They gave us ebola on a blanket. They split us open and fucked the wounds. They sawed us down, burned us out, piled us in grotesque union in the bowels of ships. They make weapons that can blot out the sun, turn thousands of square miles into charred and lifeless rock.

Are you surprised that their physical and ideological descendants would choke us to death in broad daylight?

You haven’t been paying attention.

Defang the snake.

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Rap Styles

I’ve always been hella picky about the music I listen to, especially with hip hop. If I’m really feeling something I’ll bump it for months on end, learn all the words, etc. But if a song doesn’t grab me in the first few bars, I’ll punch that skip button so fast the CD might get scratched.

When it comes down to it, I’m just a regular-ass person like everyone else, including the motherfuckers who get paid to review albums and tell us all who is supposedly dope. However, I have been listening to rap music since before a lot of cats I encounter in the underground scene were even born. I’ve seen trends and styles blow in and out on the wind. I’ve seen some of the most talented artists disappear without a trace, and some mediocre dudes continue to linger like a bad case of athlete’s foot.

I was a teen in the mid-90’s, and I heard a lot of fantastic music, real hip hop, actually get played on commercial radio. Most of these cats in the scene can’t say that. They’re post-Biggie, post-Pac. Most of these cats were initiated by Eminem (ugh). Point is, the spectrum of what made it on the air in the pre-Clear-Channel-owns-the-universe days was much, much wider than it is now. By the end of the 90‘s the corporate overlords started closing the gap as far as what styles, lyrics, themes, and content would be permitted.

If you didn’t make it into hip hop before that doorway was shut, locked, and deleted from the continuity, chances are good that your concept of what rap music is and can be is heavily skewed toward bullshit. That’s not a dis to the younger generation, it’s just statistics. Like, find someone under 25 that doesn’t have a cellphone on them at all times. We’re products of our respective generations.

These days, I mostly listen to underground rap. And I mean super-underground, like shit that people hand to me in paper envelopes with their name scrawled on it, discs burned on their computer at home. Music made by people I meet, people I know. Local artists, up-and-coming artists, by and large folks who in 5 or 10 years will be talking about how they used to rap.

People claim that the underground is where real hip hop lives. I’m not so sure. The average radio-play, cable music video, “mainstream” artist puts me to sleep, but I can’t make a blanket declaration that the ability to induce a coma is the same as being “unreal.” At the same time, I hear so much garbage in the underground that the stench of it could easily wake me up. The main difference is that underground artists have the freedom to do something different, because they’re not beholden to contracts, labels, corporate overlords, or the demands of the masses. But possibility is not the same as manifestation; real talk, most of these cats should probably retire the mic AND the pen.

The content of mainstream rap, of course, uniformly reflects the values of the culture at large: materialism, money-worship, domination culture, patriarchy, misogyny, ignorance. But frankly, the content of underground rap is not much different in that respect. I’ve heard plenty of indy rappers who describe themselves as “conscious” say some outrageously ignorant and disrespectful shit on a track, especially about women. This is not surprising to me, since male privilege–along with its attendant sense of entitlement–is just as invisible to men generally as white privilege is to white people.

(And P.S., if have no knowledge/wisdom/understanding of white privilege, or if your only knowledge of it comes from songs/books/videos/whatever by white artists, stop reading now and go do some research. Otherwise we’re wasting each other’s time, and I’m not going to pause to explain Invader Culture 101. And since you don’t never hardly hear a hip hop song about male privilege, go do some research on that, too.)

So, what’s to be done? Well, I’m an advocate of overthrowing industrial civilization and putting the whole Babylon show to bed (The War Is On). But, since that’s not likely to happen, I decided, as a fan and an artist, to write the following two cent guide to stepping the game up.

Knowledge
Immortal Technique once said that knowledge is the stone that sharpens an MC’s lyrical sword. I can’t say it any better than that. Read. A lot. Study. A lot. Real books, not just the internet. Some of the most accomplished and influential individuals in history were self-taught. So stop watching youtube videos about the illuminati and get some real knowledge and wisdom to put into your lyrics and style. The deeper your knowledge, the more interesting your music will be. Knowledge is the fifth element of hip hop.

Truth
Speak your truth when you rhyme. I think that for artists of any variety, if you’re not willing to rip your chest open and spill your heart and guts into your art, you’ve got no business creating. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Fear is the mind killer, and it’s the heart killer, too. But please, for the love of all that is sacred, don’t fucking preach to me. Nothing makes my eyes roll as hard as some twenty-something trying to tell me what life is about. You can tell me what YOUR life is about, but that’s all you got. Work with it.

Originality
This goes along with truth; nobody has the same experiences and perspective as you, so bring it out, put it on display. Be original.

Performance
If you can’t put on a show that keeps people’s attention, you may be a rapper, but you are NOT an MC. Emceeing, as a descendent of west african griot culture, is an art of social performance. There is a theatrical element to putting on a show; who the fuck wants to see someone holding a mic, staring at their feet and delivering rhymes? You’re wasting people’s time and energy, and possibly money. Learn how to entertain people. If shit goes wrong, if there are technical difficulties, it is the MC’s job to keep the show going no matter what. If you can’t improvise to fill time, you’re a pretender to the throne.

Flavor
Put some god damn LIFE into your lyrics. Put your passion in it. The cultures that originated hip hop are cultures that integrate the mental and physical. Get your body in it.

Lyricism
A big part of the aesthetic of rap is technicality; original flows, tight rhymes. However, some of the best songs have the simplest lyrics. A high level of technical ability in rhyming doesn’t necessarily make your music more interesting, and it doesn’t make you an MC. Stop trying so hard to be the dopest rhymer, and focus on the first five points.

Word Play
Can you write a song that is rich in metaphor without using the word “like”? Give it a shot. Similes are grade-school level in writing and rapping, so aim to graduate. Paint a picture with your words. Build a world and bring listeners into it. Invent your own terms, phrases, and slang. Experiment with word placement, move things around, shake it up.

Professionalism
Whether you’re making a living doing music or not, be a professional. Show up when you’re supposed to. Deliver on your promises, do what you say you’re going to do. Give your best to everything, or don’t bother doing it. Live up to a higher standard. If you give your word, keep it. Word is bond, or it’s nothing. If you don’t take your art and business seriously, who’s going to take YOU seriously?

Special Addendum for White MCs
Learn our history, the history of the people who created this culture and art. If you are white, you are the inheritor of Invader Culture, which is largely defined by its sense of entitlement to colonize, capture, and claim as its own whatever it wants. Learn why, and learn how it’s affected the rest of us throughout history, and continues to affect us. Otherwise, you’re just another thief, another cultural appropriator. We built this house; you’re a guest. Learn the protocol, and don’t hide behind some false “universality” of music. It’s your responsibility to alleviate your own ignorance, not ours.

Posted in DZA, EleMentalism, Media and such | 2 Comments

American Alien

There has never been anything like you.

Never.

And I don’t mean new age meme snowflake feel good bullshit type of “never,” I mean never like never, like–
You’re an alien. A new creation. From a culture newborn to the earth.

You’re american.
Spell that shit with a capital A, god damn it, AMERICAN, capital every fucking thing

Alien, as in:
Stray motherfuckers from all over the earth stirred up together–
with former slave/peasant/king/savage/asshole merchant motherfuckers
with a pinch of armageddon genocide leftover motherfuckers who walked their
native AMERICAN
lands for hella thousands of years.

Hella thousands of years doing basically the same shit. breathe eat drink shit piss fuck love gather hunt dance chill in the clean air and water and land and… and… Well, you’d know if you listened.

Anyway, forget those heathens, we were always better than them. We’re evolved and shit. You can tell from our text messages.

We’ve only been doing our industrial civilized borg dance for like maybe a couple hundred years
so of course it hurts like birth pains. We’re still on the umbilical cord. When I sniff the air and listen to the screams I get the feeling this baby is doomed.

But there’s never been anything like you, like us and we and whatever is in-between or beyond that. We’ll stir it all up, put that shit in the pot!

The only foreigners we know are in other countries. Don’t any of you here speak english? Fuck your culture, we run this fucking planet, and we’ll take you along for the ride if you’re lucky enough not to catch one of these payroll dictators. Trujillo my hero!

If not, I might care next week, but it’ll be hard, cuz, well, a real family is a human community that’s bonded by blood AND BY LAND and we barely can even tell there’s land because we have concrete instead.

You there, machine creature! That’s right, you reading this! show me your batteries!

Posted in DZA, Indigenosity | 2 Comments

Angry Wind

The wind is angry tonight. It’s not hard for me to understand why. She’s blows over the castles in the hills, the high performance cars, the barbwire and gang tags, the eroded soil and cancerous fields of clear-cut forests. She blows over the ocean’s dead zones, the starving communities, the torture rooms of warmongers. I would be angry, too.

Writing prose, typing prose, is not at all like writing a song; this is much more cerebral. With a beat, my body moves as I write, I tap my pen and bob my head to the sound of the drums. My lips move with the words. Here, at the keyboard, there is only the dance of my fingers and the steady drop of my head as gravity pulls it down. Then, as I sit up and twist my spine, it unlocks with audible cracks. Repeat as needed, until it’s all on screen.

A couple of years ago death came to visit me. I was in the kitchen. It was late, alone in my mom’s house, and I was drinking. Death came and told me it was time to go; there’s a knife in my hand and poison under the sink, choose your own adventure. I was ready.

But then a funny thing happened.

All of my ancestors showed up, too. Hundreds of them, thousands of them, all in my kitchen, looking grim and resolute. “Not so fast,” they said. They lived and died and suffered to bring me to the earth, to make me a possibility. “We have given you these gifts, of speech, of song. All we ask is that you put those gifts to use. Say the words. Sing the songs.”

So, I had a choice. I could go with death and leave this sick show of babylonian life behind. Or I could stay, and make the medicine.

I’m here.

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Mr. Big Road

She hands me a smooth, machine-rolled stoag out of her pack of camel crushes. Behind the black mask on her face, her eyes light up and her face opens into a wide smile when I rip the filter off and throw it in the butt can.

“Did you just…?”

I light the cigarette, smile back at her and wink. “Baby, I like it raw.”

Black fedora, black suit jacket with a white pin, red long-sleeve shirt underneath. Legs crossed, my black leather shoes have the shine of newness, having rarely ventured out of my closet. My cane leans against the wooden patio bench; it’s been barely two weeks since I fell off a cliff while climbing rocks in the oregon high desert, so I’ve still got a pretty serious limp.

Makes all the sense in the world, then, for me to come out to this halloween party as an avatar of Papa Legba. Voodoo Lwa of the crossroads; Mr. Big Road, the gatekeeper, who walks with a limp because one leg is in the dreamtime. This is no mere costume, though. For this night, I will give a piece of myself over to become the spirit man.

On my face I have painted an interpretation of Legba’s veve, the symbols used to invoke the Lwa. Red and black are his colors, like a pirate. Or an anarchist. Black sun, red moon, with me the descendent of the African and Turtle Island diasporas. Spiced rum in a glass, no ice, and give me the strongest stuff you got: Sailor Jerry.

I’m out on the island–alameda, california–with Marcus, my roommate’s 23-year old nephew, who is visiting from iowa. We’re at a pub halloween party, complete with DJs and underdressed young women. We’re two of only a handful of black dudes in the club, both of us light-skinned and pretty. It’s only a matter of time. For what? Stay tuned.

I warned Marcus in advance that once I had two slugs of Jerry in my gut, I would commence to talking shit. I did not tell him that I would not be the one doing the talking, but Legba, that consummate womanizer and lover of all that is lewd, lascivious, and bawdy.

Marcus and I are sitting out on the pub’s back patio, sitting on the bench and smoking a blunt; nobody’s around to tell us otherwise. A large man comes through the back gate, dressed as a football player from Marcus’s favorite team, the Ravens. The number on the jersey is 52. Five and two is number one. That’s a sign, I tell him; the Bay Area is the place for you. But Marcus doesn’t need any signs; he’s been in love with the Bay since his plane touched the ground at the oakland airport.

Soon a couple of women wander out to smoke. One of them is very drunk, and ready to throw pussy to any dude who’s trying to catch it. She’s white and over-weight, probably under thirty but looks older. She sits down next to Marcus and starts chopping his ear. Every once in awhile he glances over at me with his eyes full of desperation to escape, but I just look away and let him, uh, enjoy her company.

Her friend is a hottie though; black hair, black mask, thick in all the right places. Both women are in the coast guard, and they’ve just recently come to alameda after being at sea in alaska for four months. Marcus is doing his best to apply his midwestern politeness to the drunk one, but every disinterested question he proposes to her sends her off on another endless ramble. Every once in awhile she glances over at me with her eyes full of desperation for attention, but I just look away and let her get back to throwing pussy at Marcus.

Without warning I slide smoothly off my seat on the bench and move to the far side of the cute one. I ask for the cigarette and she gives it to me. The blunt has dulled my ability to ape-babble, so there’s no real chance of me putting the verbal moves on this young lady; I simply can’t summon the desire to talk. Instead, I listen to her.

The women leave for another bar. The drunk one is hoping we’ll meet them over there, but there’s no chance of that. Marcus and I go back inside, where a go-go dancer dressed like Pocahontas is writhing her shapely hips on an elevated platform. Other women from the crowd take turns writhing with her, putting on a show. I am captivated by their erotic movements, and make no secret of watching them. When Pocahontas is alone again, I tell her I want to dance with her. She agrees to have a dance with me when she takes her break.

At some point my supply of rum is renewed, and I’m back on the patio. Marcus is too, talking to a dude whose wife is making out with a tall, brown-skinned Wonder Woman. I nominate myself to get in on the act, and then take my own turn tongue-dancing with the Amazonian.

I return to the dance floor to await my tryst with Pocahontas. I’m sitting on a stool next to her platform, gazing upon her sensuous body rhythms, visualizing her doing those same moves on top of me, naked. A pretty, voluptuous, and foolish young woman dressed like Beetlejuice sways over to me, and asks me who I’m dressed as. I stare at her with a big smile until she wanders away.

Finally the moment of truth arrives. Pocahontas climbs down from her platform and wraps her arms around my shoulders, bringing her body close to mine. Her hips begin to move; I catch the rhythm and move with her, perfectly in sync. She presses her body against me, our hips touching, my instant erection pressing against her leg through my pants. I lead the rhythm; my hands explore her back, her waist, her legs.

“You dance pretty good for a guy with one leg,” she says in my ear.

“You should see how well I dance with all three legs,” I say with a suggestive cackle.

A few minutes later, she says, “There are some chicks giving me nasty looks.”

“Beetlejuice?”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

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Agents

Finished working for the night, I’m sitting alone on the patio’s wooden bench with a pint of beer next to me. I’m smoking a cigarette when a man walks by and asks me if he can have one. He’s a portly dude, glasses, plaid collared shirt, classic nerd type. I tell him I’ll roll him a smoke, so he comes over and sits down next to me.

He’s drunk. He was watching a movie across the street and left to have a smoke, then discovered he didn’t have any more cigarettes. Soon he starts talking about his work; he’s a civilian government agent, working in national security. He doesn’t and can’t give too many details, but he does speak with the free and slightly desperate demeanor of someone accustomed to carrying secrets.

My co-workers show up, and now the man has a reluctant audience. They’re more concerned with the beauty and tragedy of their own plebeian lives. Who’s going to cuddle up with who, where they’re going to drink tonight, whether there’s going to be another fight with the alcoholic vampire boyfriend, who’s got the weed.

They don’t know enough about the world to even begin to feel the weight of this man’s words. They don’t have the empathy to see how important it is for him to have someone listen. They don’t have the wisdom to ask questions and learn. After just over two decades of life, they’re more eager to assert their own ignorant perspectives and then flee. The man is too drunk and lonely to notice, or care. I am listening, and that’s enough for him.

So much in his head and heart he can’t tell, can’t share, can’t communicate with other people about. He’s jaded, but he believes in what he does. A man who watches the mall-shopping, reality TV-watching masses skim across the wafer-thin surface of the world, oblivious to the blood under the streets. He can’t tell us this, and he can’t tell us that, but what he can tell us might as well be secret, because most people don’t have any idea what’s Really Going On, and don’t want to.

Narco-insurgents, chemical weapon attacks in syria, russian military bases. Defective fighter planes forced into use by the political and economic machinations of people on The Hill. Cash rules everything around me, nothing new or secret here. But in his eyes, the melancholy hope. “You guys can do things that I can’t. Vote. Do something.”

The children leave, and it’s down to me and him. I’m smart enough to have a healthy paranoia about the government; the challenge for me in this situation is to prevent my fear from standing in the way of my humanity.

I mean, I’m a hip hop artist, and I say a lot of raw shit in my songs. Anti-Babylon shit, the type of shit the government and its corporate overlords tried their damnedest to destroy. I’ve bought books on anarchism and radical environmentalism over the internet, which probably flagged me. I have no involvement in “politics” or “movements,” but suddenly finding myself in the company of a government agent is enough to give me a tingle of The Fear.

But he doesn’t ask me any questions. He doesn’t show any interest in me or my life at all. He just needs someone to listen.

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Time Vading on the Highway to Vegas

Dear friend,

Like a sudden memory I feel it coming on, the flash of a bizarre experience. I’m in Hunter Thompson’s las vegas in 1971, high on the sheer speed of the digital information age, wearing the vivid suit of a clown ninja fresh out of four days unwashed in the bush. There’s nothing in my bloodstream that didn’t grow free on the earth (or carefully cultivated), nothing that required any factory technology more complex than a backwoods moonshine still to make. No amyls or coke Mr. Thompson, but I fired a backwood bat to the face and I’m deep zone focused into the drive. Steady and even while my thoughts and visions stir.

What the fuck am I doing in 1971? How did I get here? I bask in the incredible weight of panic, seizing my spine and sending an electric rise into the hair on the back of my neck: this is not 2013! I’m in the past! WTF?

But, here I am, so I may as well ease back and see what’s good. Turns out I’m not in a red convertible, but some kind of super-spy european sports car that was the freshest high performance sensation in 2003. It’s all black. Black paint, black leather, matte black wheels. To the locals, I may as well be a space alien. Henry, did you see that car that just went by? WTF?

A full sight of me would be better than any drug. The red baseball cap with the airbrushed image of graf rabbit with a spray can in its paw, an image of yellow paint and L.A. hep hop style fresh out of 2007. Black mask, gold eye of horus. Sun-colored shirt with liquor stains and a hand-painted red chinese symbol that reads: monkey. Black waterproof BDU cargo pans with the reinforced seat and padded knees. Shoes that were once a seizure-inducing lime green, but are now caked with so much dive-bar gunk that they’ve faded to an easy moss color. One tattered black glove on my right hand, with seven blue sequins glued onto the back in the shape of the big dipper.

I move funny. My body language is out of the ordinary to them, out of sync. My vibe is different and they can tell, but the Fear has them and they really can’t help but do whatever it takes to remove me from their lives as soon as possible. If that means refilling the spaceship with whatever kind of gasoline you got here, sun, I’m on my way to Vegas to do a show, then so be it. Sure, the twenty I hand them sparkles in the light and features an alien image of a famous dead president–but it’s in english and that’s good enough for them. God bless america folks, thanks for the refuel. Peace! Then I’m gone and it’s over, just another freak coming down the freak highway from one freak city to another.

It’s a good thing they didn’t see me appear out of a flash in thin air onto the highway at 88mph, streaming a trail of fire down the blacktop. The locals don’t have it quite right, I’m not a space alien. I’m a time alien.

I’m the Baytime Vader. And I’m going to las vegas.

Love,
 your dear friends,
spring of 2013 & now

“Let’s go take a look. We’ll do it straight this time, mostly anyway. Their cameras don’t see everything you know. I’ll call up 2pac, Tecumseh, and Cleopatra–the real one, who was african, or black as they call it–and we’ll ride co-pilot. If there are Any Problems, I’ll get my attorney on the line. No need for concern. You’ll only gamble a handful of hopes while we’re there, you’ll barely notice the loss. Put your money where your mouth is. Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

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Scrooges of Shit

What do you suppose the effects are when a large percentage of human beings have their big mammal brains bombarded with constant video stimulation? There’s all kinds of science about what it does to your system, and the symptoms that are invoked. Hella science. I could look it up, but I won’t, because really, who gives a shit?

Exactly.

That is exactly the effect. We are the Scrooges of shit. We give not a one.

Some of us do, for some things. But even then, not much. Just enough to get by.

As for the epic load of distilled video bullshit, is anybody passionate about it? Of course, there’s a few, the ones with the anxious light in their eyes about the latest reality show or whatever, who miss not a moment of their favorite brain spam. There’s always a few. Every temple has its priests. Somebody’s gotta be the asshole.

If you give too much of a shit about anything meaningful these days, the zombies start looking at you funny. Like they might have to one day feast on your brain, or maybe fuck you.

I was about to write an ill sentence using word that rhymes with “spectro pile,” but I realized that crazy p-o …r_ -n trawlers will show up to my blog while searching for their favorite disease. How many people are there like this around, who seem to be there just to fuck it up for the rest of us? We manufacture them, too.

Have you been that person yet? Are you that person now?

I want to pass through the gates. What gates? Where do they lead? What the fuck am I talking about? Is it irritating to see all these question marks? What if I just tell you that these are the new exclamation points? Hell yeah???

Three dimensional dreams that stink and laugh and grip and touch. Typing at these keys, I jump from moment to moment.

Stop looking at me funny.

Posted in Concrete Shinobi, Mass (Death) Culture, Matrix Cults, Media and such | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gladiator Kid

Sometimes a Neo Ascetic like myself has to take a break from all that monkishness and dive into the festering pool of pop culture. I do it rarely and with great caution. Is it to keep a finger on the pulse? Or perhaps to give the old plugs a quick charge, indulging in the remnants of my MegaMediaMind?

Metaphors and metaphysics are the language of machines that can’t be seen. The Powers That Be we can call them, or whatever, you get what I mean. Symbolic resonance mind control. They got us by the dreams!

So what dreams are they giving? Let’s take a peak at a recent one from the Hollywood Hole: The Karate Kid. Starring Jayden Smith, boy of mediocre acting talent, arrogant offspring of white media’s favorite safe-yet-macho black boy, Will Smith. Featuring Jackie Chan, king of comedic masochism, abuser of women and stuntmen. Including various bullies, caricatures, racial program invader codes, and an 11-year-old Chinese trophy stripper girl (more on this in a bit).

Scene:
Boy asks Girl to do something.
Girl says “no,” and turns around.

Boy grabs Girl by the arm, spins her around, and attempts to drag her to do what he demands.

If you saw the movie, did you catch this? Is there a shine of fire in your golden eyes? Perhaps you were lost in the tee-hees, the giggles, you can almost hear the polo-shirted executives chuckling to themselves about one of the few scenes in the script they bothered to read, almost see the cowardly and un-credited re-writers laugh and nod their heads obediently.

“This is hilarious! She’s bigger than him and he can’t move her!” Har, har.

Well, here’s another scene, and this one is from the Temple of DZA, which means it happened in front of my eyes:

Man and Woman argue hot, with subdued voices.
Woman spins around and walks away.
Man seizes Woman by the arm and spins her around to face him.

In this scene, there wasn’t any fucking giggling. Only the spine-tingling crackle of Violence.

Quick question: How does a system of oppression normalize oppression?
Spoon feeder: By putting a smile on the victim’s face.

Moving on to the subtleties. Those of you with knowledge may have caught the above scene. If you have knowledge and an interest in the technical aspects of filmmaking, you may have caught another Jewel:

Montage:
Boy trains in kung fu.

Boy looks at Girl (the same one he grabbed earlier, if you recall).

Girl turns away.
Boy beats on a pad as hard as he can.

Just like that, we go from Training to Rejection to Violence. DID YOU NOTICE?

The truth is between the lines, the values and vibrations are behind the words, at the bottom of the well. What are they telling US about US?

What do the human women do in this movie? Well, there’s Mom, another real human black woman put into a fictionsuit of a powerless, shrill irritant life support to the Hero of the film. There’s also Girl, who is:

  • Safely powerless—why doesn’t she have any kung fu?
  • Safely feminine—plenty of shy smiles, plenty of giggles, mouth covered with the hand of course
  • Safely available to celebrate the Boy in his victory
  • Safely… a stripper-dancer?

Pole dancing on Oprah! Miley Cyrus writhing on stage! Jenna Jameson on the O’Reiley Factor! Porno goes mainstream! Rape culture live on primetime!

See, I understand that the matrix would have me believe that it’s a Good Thing for women to be transmuted by media magic into sex toys for men. I grasp that I’m supposed to think this represents freedom for women, just as I know that the sexual abuse, humiliation, and violence done to women in film is supposed to be free speech, protected by government documents.

I hear all the names, the slang, pieces of ass and bitches and what have you, and I know the pass codes that grant access permission to your mind: it’s just a joke, what’s the big deal, some women are that way, some women deserve it. I know cult-speak when I hear it.

Here’s the scene:
Boy shows off dance moves on videogame while Girl watches, delighted.
Boy requests demonstration of dancing from Girl.

Girl gets onto videogame and does a Sexy Dance for the Boy.
Boy stares up at Girl in awe and reverence.

Now go back and read all the scenes again, this time adding a few more details: “Black Boy” and “Chinese Girl.

I ask once again, what are they saying to US about US?

Barely pubescent children get viciously beaten up. The movie delights in the slow-motion torture of flesh pounding against flesh, digital sound systems booming out the sound of the impact, faces twisted in pain.

The Man teaches the boy respect and discipline. Is this a Confucian Man, who has regarded women as property since time immemorial, who worships at the pyramid altar of domination and submission and calls it morality, who says oppression is virtue?

And the climax, a cheering circus spectacle of a tournament, in Chinese pay-per-view style, complete with digital fight cards— put your kids in the Gladiator pit so they can learn what life’s all about. We’re a long way from the hometown championship of Daniel-san. Do we all need a Mr. Miyagi? When do we get to grow up?

Patriarchy, I say thee nay.

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Sun in the City

Talk about info overload.

Entering a City is entering another universe. A roboticized mind. It’s a suit I don’t care to wear on the regular. Thus, the city vibe leaves me quick, I shed it as my ears hear the tunes of creatures and life, instead of siren screams and eternal engine roar.

When my feet touch the pavement, they embrace. Old friends. My eyes drift and watch and see, but do not linger, do not crush, do not attack. I am invisible.

The sun shines in San Francisco!

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