Shame

Pathless

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In a farmhouse, on a farm. With goats.
Shame. I am ashamed of my white skin. The deeper I go, the more I probe, the more I read, the more intelligent non-Hollywood movies I watch, the more music I delve into, the more the shame shines. Shines? Yes and I will radiate it, tempered with knowledge of how I can live differently than how the system would have me live.

Picket fences from the 1950s. Dichotomous gender roles, dichotomous values of good and evil. A dichotomous god looking down on us all with lightning bolts of judgment. On the flip side hell of that god, the mean old devil, hungrily scractching for our souls, snarling. "Grrrrrr. I eat you up forever." Evil laughter, flames. Close curtain, and god's up there, shaking his head and washing his hands of it all. "Ye had your chanceth. Now in my ever-loving wisdom, I cast you into eternal torture for all eternity. Eternal eternity of hell. And then again when that's over. So long, sucker!" And then back to the choirs of angels and the complacent masses of human spirits wearing sheep costumes.

Absurd vision. Digression.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for my education in a way. It taught me to write. Gee, I wonder if my moms and pops could have taught me that themselfs? They be college educated, but they been too busy pushin those gears of them machines in Mister Smith's fear factory of insecurity. But hey, they got insurance benefits and under them, me. So that at 17 after spending the past five or six years isolated in my room, talking to myself, listening to Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Van Halen, Faith No More; after smoking cigarettes out the window during summer when moms was off at work and daddy, too; after kicking holes in my walls and talking hate, crying, frustrated, yelling--after the symptoms got way out of hand, well thank god for the insurance that allowed me to start through a progression of psychiatrists and psychologists.

And enough about me. This story isn't about me. It's about a planet out of whack. It's about people slaughtered all over the world, ongoing, in the name of progress. Tin cans, microwaves, DVDs, Nintendo Wiis. Cancer. AIDS. Racism. Homicide. Death penalties and executions. Nuclear weapons. It's about Nablus, Palestine, the latest military push and punch of an apartheid government. Iraq decimated. Sick, sick people hooraying at the hanging of Sadaam Hussein. Cheers, folks! Live it up in the land of plastic shacks, boob jobs, crack and meth. The land of ecosystems decimated by unsustainable agriculture as well as the land of neatly-packaged, market-savvy organic foods. Hooray for social responsibility and Starbucks, for pharmaceuticals. Hooray for Calvin Klein and your kid's happy meal.

Why the hell would anyone feed their kid a happy meal? What's happy about that? Poisoned cow, bleached bun. Sugary ketchup, Freedom Fries. Yeah!

Pardon the vitriol. I'm not always like this. My heart burns with joy, too. Somehow this criticism is its fuel. Wish that rainbows and butterflies could be my joy's primary fuel, but alas, there is work to be done.

Work. Work. Work. I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. But I work, oh yes. I sharpen my heart, shape my mind, make connections, strive for peace and nonviolent change.

Anyone remember the American dream? What was it? All I could find was this mechanical toy, covered in spit and grime. And then even that was gone, but I think they put the reruns of the commercial advertising it on TV.

Done with toys, I'm going to take a shower, try to scrub some more color into my skin.

Peace,
Pathless
 
Pendelum swings as the pendelum do....

In the 60's the rivers were so polluted some caught fire...in most major cities the sun was regularly blotted out. We are improving. I feel for China their industrial revolution is just starting they are about to redo all our faux pas for the past century...but at this centuries speed.

Africa and India will soon be in the same boat...

But interfaith and interrace relations work is growing like crazy...it was only 2 score and half a decade ago that civil rights made a change in the US....so hard to believe...separate water fountains...wow.

The dichotomy to which you speak is dissappearing...albiet not fast enough, but times they are a changing and our future is so bright were gonna need shades (global warming freudian slip?)

G-d is good therfor all is good.
 
*sigh*

Anyone besides wil want to chip in? Anyone?

wil, I read your post earlier in the day and have been considering how to respond. After much reflection, I've decided to type the following:

You missed the point. Read the post again. And again. And then check out some Howard Zinn or, better yet, ingra muscio's autobiography of a blue-eyed devil. At that point you may have some sense where I am coming from.

Yes, I know, all is good. And I agree with you from a cosmic standpoint. The tao is the tao and all of that.

We need to approach our very human problems from a human standpoint, though, and not smile up at divinity, blinking and nodding that all is well.

All is not well.

All is very so bad.

The progress you pat us on the back for making is illusory. Small cookies, propoganda done quite well. We live in an ass-backwards world where commodities are valued above human life, no matter how the media serves it to you on High Definition TV and Time magazine.

Surprised that I am writing this to you, but I take all of your soothing placations and platitudes with a very big bag of salt.

Apologies at my harshness. It's necessary to make a point.

Peace,
Pathless
 
Well, look at the bright side. Somewhere inside of you is the makings of the disease that's gonna kill you!

Chris
 
Pathless... I read it twice and it seems like you are ashamed more about your life and society fed beliefs you once believed in rather than something in your genes. I only perceive that because you listed far more about your education, lifestyle and societal generalizations rather than anything involving skin color. I'm glad that you didn't really involve race and I would advise looking past skin color. If you are depressed with the society you were born in then why not travel and explore a different part of the world?
 
Hi Pathless,

If you like, I’ll chip in…

Yes, I agree the biosphere is being destroyed by man. I believe that as a species, we have the technological maturity to put a man on the moon but not the psychological maturity to live peaceably and (perhaps due to our breeding “success” in part) symbiotically with the planet. As a trivial aside this means the colour of an individual’s skin is irrelevant (except helping in wars…), none of us chose it and ultimately we’re all going down the same toilet bowl that we’ve created together. Some unity there at least then.

Being the most powerful (and combined with an aggressive militaristic foreign policy) country I’m afraid that the US is one of the main drivers on our road to hell. But a trivial point again regarding your OP, none of us choose our place of birth.

On an individual level, no-one can change their past, but can (to a greater or lesser extent) shape their own future. Each of us perceive our world uniquely, our world in that sense is born with our bodies and ceases with our final breath. So yes, make efforts to get out of Maggie’s farm if you see that as being worthwhile and ethical behaviour. I also feel similar pushes and have tried to make changes where I can, constrained by certain factors in my own life. Initially at least you can only change your own circumstances but in being different you will, perhaps only in small ways, change others. That is all any one person can do I think. On the macro level I don’t know how this may change the state of the planet that we think we own. It may just slow the velocity with which we go down the toilet, or slightly lessen the number of species that we take with us…

s.
 
Hey. Thanks for the responses.

I was born white in the good ol' U S of A and there ain't no changin' that now, that's right. I been to some other countries but have no plans to move out of the states in the near future. Being an ex-patriate is an option for sure and one that may be more appealing in the future, but at present I think the best way for me to effect change is to park my white ass on my home soil and make people think about shi...

The society and the skin color thing are intertwined. We don't like to talk about race, do we?

Funny thing, kinda: naturalists and some environmentalists talk about "invasive species" when referring to plants and animals from the old world that cropped up here in the new world and are causing problems for the native plants and animals here. Whoa nelly! Does that mean that white people are weeds, too?

And no I don't think that we should use herbicide on weeds.
 
Pathless... I read it twice and it seems like you are ashamed more about your life and society fed beliefs you once believed in rather than something in your genes. I only perceive that because you listed far more about your education, lifestyle and societal generalizations rather than anything involving skin color. I'm glad that you didn't really involve race and I would advise looking past skin color. If you are depressed with the society you were born in then why not travel and explore a different part of the world?

Correct to a point. I never believed in the society fed beliefs. They pissed me off on a primal level from a young age, but I couldn't understand it then, so I just shut down for a long time. No one should have to do that.
 
On the macro level I don’t know how this may change the state of the planet that we think we own. It may just slow the velocity with which we go down the toilet, or slightly lessen the number of species that we take with us…

It will be full reversal on the macro level. People will live harmoniously on this planet once again.

That's what I choose to believe.
 
Edjumakating myself this mornin. Here's a doozy of a quote from the hidden annals of 'Merican history:

[FONT=geneva,arial][SIZE=-1][FONT=geneva,verdana][SIZE=-1]"During the past three centuries," Roosevelt opined, "the spread of English-speaking people over the world's waste spaces" (meaning spaces not occupied by "progressive" capitalist-developmental Caucasians) was a great and welcome "feat of power," for which the "English-speaking race" could justly feel proud. No such "feat" of "race power" was more laudable, however, than "the vast movement by which this continent [North America] was conquered and peopled" - the "crowning and greatest achievement of a series of mighty movements."

Yep. Gooooooooooooooooo whitey! This cut-up Teddy Bear Roosevelt quote taken from an article I am still reading. Just couldn't wait to share. :D
[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT]
 
Resurecting an old thread. White privilege, anyone?

We are still colonizing. It seems like it's all we know to do as white people. We export capitalist economics and call it democracy. We like to use words like globalization to gloss-over what we are really doing, which is continuing slavery and environmental destruction. Yet even as an economic savior, we are a failure! Before the first Gulf War in 1991, an Iraqi dinar was worth $3 US.* Currently it takes 1230 dinars to equal $1 US, according to the website of the Central Bank of Iraq. Thanks Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm!

We can't even manage our affairs here at home, yet have the audacity to 'export democracy'? Our national image, maintained by sensationalistic news shows and bubblehead sitcoms and unreal 'reality shows,' reveals that we are a shallow bunch of clueless narcissists, more concerned about maintaining illusions of status quo and slapping ourselves congratulatorily on the back for those same illlusions. Hell, at least Sanford and Son was more honest than the Cosby Show.

But television is a large part of the problem. People absorb this stuff as gospel, no matter how stupid, racist, or neo-colonial it may be. We may be, as a nation, on a slightly more liberal pendulum swing right now than we were five years ago when all was blatant state propaganda; yet the media is still zombifying the masses.

We need to decolonize ourselves. Our imaginations have been colonized, as inga muscio makes reference to in blue-eyed devil. Have you noticed how extremely difficult it is to form original thoughts? Of course, strictly speaking, there are no original thoughts, but I'm not interested in logical deconstructivism like that. I want to make a point that there are plenty of resources out there that enable us to broaden our perspectives and colorize our world, and they are not even hard to obtain. Anyone who has a library card in an average sized city or progressive town has access to an immense well of information with which it educate themselves. And this is what we all need to do, because the education system that we have been fed is tainted, full of nonsense. It's a form of state-run media not unlike corporate television. I think of corporate television as "state run" because it embraces capitalist economic values as the highest good, which is what our government also does--liberal and conservative elements alike. The reason we have not begun to pull out of Iraq yet, even with the liberals supposedly 'in control' of Congress, is because it would not be good for business. No one in power intends to let the Iraqi people go through the violent process of self-determination, because they know that it would mean the expulsion of America, along with punitive economic measures (sanctions anyone?) were the Iraqi people ever to get their economy going again, which is very unlikely. The punitive measures are unlikely and unnecessary since, left alone, Iraq's economy might implode. Those people would continue to struggle simply to survive (as they are now) and would have little use or immediate concern for exporting oil, perhaps. They might get the idea that it's better to eat their own food grown from their own land rather than to rape the land in order to obtain oil to trade for food.

And without oil and other countries to demonize, what happens to Western Civilization? It slows waaaay down. Actually, I think Western Civilization as we know it will cease to exist, and we will be forced to come up with alternative models. We don't want to do that though, not when there is a perfectly functional system in place already, right? So we find more aliens to demonize, more infidels to condemn, more foreign workers to exploit so we can keep eating steaks and buying gasoline.

Does it make anyone else sick to feel a part of this horrible global slaughterhouse? Who else around here gets angry when they contemplate how the work they perform to support themselves and their family is part of an enormous dysfunctional system of ongoing colonization and resource exploitation? Or do you just turn on the TV and try to tune out the thoughts? After all, the media is in charge. Sitcoms are your friend. And you too could make a million dollars if you whore yourself out to reality TV!!

Gawd bless America
and no one else. :rolleyes:

:D :mad: :( :p


*As reported in Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekeran, 2006, pg. 103
 
Though the American media isn’t officially state sponsored, there’s very little difference between those in countries where the media are state sponsored and CNN, MSNBC, PBS,or NPR etc. all of which toady to power. At the other end of the spectrum are progressive publications which omit the points-of-views of African-Americans, Hispanics, Native-Americans and Asian-Americans unless they are their tepid mind doubles.The Nation magazine is whiter than Fox News founded by the man, Roger Ailes, who recycled the 19th Century confederate campaign strategy of warning of black rapists, in his Willie Horton campaign. Fox news has a number of black correspondents. The Nation, under Katrina vanden Heuvel, a progressive, has one.


source:
Konch Magazine
 
Pathless,

I sympathise with your melancholia. I love the poetic angst.

From a UK perspective....

Here we have no moral majority republican robots to vote for thinly disguised fascists. But we have had our "social" party hijacked and usurped by cowards and panderers to the corporations. So we have no choice either. People, the majority, are comfortable living the lie of their lives on credit, afraid to rock the boat even when they do care in case it comes back to haunt them. Interest rates now define whether a huge proportion of the electorate are solvent or homeless. The powerful have the means to deflect any social unrest simply by this threat alone. The threat is not made in such terms but is implied in the presentation day after day of the News bulletins that would make Goebbels green with envy. All news is state sponsored. The BBC in recent years I have come to call the Blair'n'Bush Channel. Useful only for non-political information. Corporate control is everywhere, all-pervasive....insidious. Over 200,000 people a year are quitting this 'prosperous' nation. Cashing in all their assets and fleeing to the colonies before the **** hits the fan. The same number arrive each year from Poland. There are now 7 Polish delicatessens within a mile of me. And a similar number of Chinese and Indians are now arriving in Poland. Musical countries. Maybe it is these people that are willing to up sticks and take a challenge, then integrate their customs into new societies are our real hope. I like to think so. These are the "I want better" people, going and mixing new ideas into stagnant populations.
I think you should travel, (though dont let Cyberpi pack your bags, he may include a natural disaster machine for you to unwittingly unleash on any country but the U,S of A), even to Mexico!! Or South America. I would love to have the time/cash to go visit the social revolution in Venezuela or Bolivia. Thats where its happenin.

Anyhow...I'm tired and rambling... but want you to know from one mutated black to another... things can only get better... can only get better...can only get better...

yeh right :p


Peace

Tao
 
your first post has made me laugh, pathless.. maybe that's not the response you were after, but still...

it makes me laugh because...

the shame you feel in your white skin is no different to that of the child who dislikes his nose... there is nothing to be done about it, and, in fact, you should be happy to be white...

maybe that's the wrong thing to say, but lets look at the facts-

it's easier to get a job if you are white. You won't experience much racism. You will not have people look down their noses at you soley on the basis of your skin colour, for a start (unless you're poor, of course, and then it's a different matter entirely!)

Of course, it shouldn't be like that- we should all be happy and treated equally and fairly, but it wasn't that long ago that society deemed it acceptable to keep slaves, to segregate buses, schools, housing projects, etc, etc... it takes a while for the messages to die, but things do change...

there's nothing to feel shame for... it was not you, the individual, that made the world a crappy place- it's not some intergenerational stain, where you carry the sins of your fathers on your back until you die... balls to that...

you, and only you, are responsible for you. Any misery or mayhem you have created, that's your responsibility- not the rest of it...

yes, I know how it feels to be ashamed to be white- as I've felt like that myself... I have a black friend, and we went to a rock club one night, and she spent the night getting comments and nasty glances, simply because she happens to be black... I threatened to punch someones' head in that night, if they did not stop, and yes, not the most civilised of responses, but it seemed to do the trick...

I went to a gig for Motorhead last year, and what do I find stuck to the venue doors, but white power stuff- join the BNP, etc, etc...

it is any surprise black ppl don't do rock music? you're a black mosher support band, but you won't make it on stage tonight because you get lynched. It stinks. I did rip a few posters down, I hasten to add- if they want to kill me for being this way, well, they have to catch me first, and boy, can I run...

we all have the responsibility to make a stand... we have to challenge our family, and friends, when they are homphobic or rascist, when they think recycling not for them, etc, otherwise, what are we but complicit in the oppression and chaos...

but it's not that easy... you might not be able to challenge a racist boss if it means you won't keep your job... you might not be in a position to challenge the homophobic hardman, in case he punches your head in, and yes, your friends might stop calling if you go on about the planet and how to save it too much... but...there's plenty of other ways to help the changes come about...

you, alone, won't change the world, pathless, much as you would like to, but, between us all, we might have a chance...

something worth striving for, at least...
 
A: it's easier to get a job if you are white. You won't experience much racism.

B:it is any surprise black ppl don't do rock music?

A: Blacks are even more racist then whites... So yeah...

B: You obviously are not into much rock/metal are you? Oh what? Did someone say HED:pe? Oh lead singer? Black? Okthx... Kravitz Kill switch Engage Living color Wicked Wisdom DC Talk sevendust.... I'll stop there....
 
... Kravitz Kill switch Engage Living color Wicked Wisdom DC Talk sevendust.... I'll stop there....
Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Mary J. Blige, Jimi Hendrix...

I don't know about the rest of the world....but gang violence/drug territory disputes in the US is primarily black on black and hispanic on hispanic...

If we want to see a change we need an economic and education revolution in our inner cities....
 
Francis, 17th...
In the 1960's when Mick and the guys wanted to learn from the masters everything there was about how to make soulful music in the right ways, they went to the south side of Chicago, visited the Chess Recording studios, hung out and jammed with Willie Dixon, Pinetop Perkins, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and all the rest of the masters of roots music of that era. And the rest is history. Please educate all of your friends and enemies of these facts

The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock 'n Roll. Case closed.

flow....:)
 
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