Virtual Pariahs

The parasitic nature of society and culture feeds off your thoughts. Seeking justification at any expense. Some aspects more voracious than others, but never satisfied all the same. Don’t give your mind away to some ephemeral notion of solidarity when your surrounded by folks who only want your unconditional love.
The nature of politics today is division. Race has lost its effect. Gender is too confused, and no sane person believes in “politics anymore. So now the division will creep into your family. They won’t stop until they’ve divide your intellect from your emotion and you’re running around with cardboard signs instead of sitting around a table enjoying food, family, and friends.
Some folks are consumed. They claim some intellectual high ground while running around cities with infantile antics and adorned with the most offensive garb, actions, and words. These are the pariahs in disguise.
If someone is demanding your loyalty step away. You don’t owe anyone anything. Loyalty is earned through the taste of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s not sold through sound bites or photos that lack touch. It’s not deserved through antics or promises. If someone is doing things for a collective group, good or bad, they’re doing just that, collecting.
Don’t be fooled into isolating yourself from the characters around you for the characters presented in a fabricated reality portrayed through some form of social or political media. For some these are one in the same, it’s called propaganda.
I’m not the genius in the room, but I’m not an idiot. Any simple person can see that these media outlets are intentionally dividing us into categorical madness. We’ve disagreed throughout history, those of us who lived before social media understand that. The difference is when you have to put your hand in the persons hand you disagree with, or look into their eyes, even know their story you learn respect. The folks miles away from you on some profile they’ve created aren’t real.
We know these folks aren’t real even if we can’t accept we are playing a part. We know because we’re surrounded by folks who we see their social media and their real life in real time. We see the fabrication, exaggeration, and understand that the difference is what they hope for and what they are. We excuse this misrepresentation out of respect and hopes that the vicarious experiences will lift them up to their dreams, even when we know different.
My point is not to point out hypocrisy or delusion. My point is those folks you see out there misrepresenting themselves are no different than the folks you see on social media that you don’t really know. The ones selling you plastic wisdom, flexible loyalty, or even worse utopian fantasies.
Don’t trade the reality that surrounds you for some imaginary possibility of grandeur. Don’t trade a hug for a “like”. Take the handshake over the “comment”. Chose the kind word over the “share”. Chose reality over fantasy.

We’re fighting a battle that isn’t understood. Your family and your friendships are under attack. No longer do disagreements facilitate conversation. It’s more common to explode and go back to the computer or phone and get instant justification for ignorance by logging into a fantasy world.

There are folks who say that they only use social media to communicate with family and friends who live at a distance too far to travel. I hope so. That’s not social media’s intent. They want to control everything from your seasonal decorations to your “friend list”. Use social media how you will, just understand that it is intended to guide your thinking.

With the political cycle headed into the home stretch be weary. Understand that the messages you receive are intended. Understand that what you see is designed to have you understand things from someone else’s perception. Most of all, understand the people around you that talk too loud, smell funny, and are way too obnoxious are real. The ones you see on your newsfeed are not, they are the zookeepers that help feed the pariahs.

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Religious Industry

Religions time has come, and gone, yet they still get a pass. I have no problem with the Christian out there doing good in their family and community. I can only admire those folks who dedicate their lives to the service of others. I have no problems distinguishing between the Christian, Christianity, and religion. What I can’t overlook is the blatant hypocrisy of the institution.

You are probably thinking I’m going for the “pedophile thing”, not really necessary. I’m pissed about how they create constituency through complicity. How they pray/prey over the same folks they persecute. I’m mad about lip service to the core principles of what Jesus preached, judgement and forgiveness. I’ll remind you I’m not speaking of “a Christian, I’m speaking of Christianity and religion as a whole.

Religion has long been understood as a politic. We have phrases about “opiate for the masses” to remind us that in the end, religion supports the politic through the emotions of the worshipper. The number of dollars and where they’re passed along is a big indicator.

The churches adamant support of legislation that involves crime and punishment is well documented. One look at news media over the last 40 years and you could create a 24 hour montage of “holier than thou” characters cheerleading for some politician pushing legislation to get “tough on crime” based on some hyperbole surrounding a heinous act by a sensational character.

Millions of flocks around the country take flight in some 1st century stoning fashion to demand adherence to the commandments. Led by charismatic figures in the latest fashion, followers everywhere demand action in the form of laws, rather than thought in the form of research.

Religion in America damned drugs knowing damn well that their constituents were developing drugs for the masses. They seized the moment and baptized the addict over and over again as a demonstration of piety. Really they were playing both sides against the other.

The tricky thing is that by and large the individuals trying to help were genuine. Sure, they’re thousands of folks out there that sense the hypocrisy and have the taste to “start a program”, but the volunteers who sacrifice their time and money truly want to help, and help as an extension of their faith. Above these folks it’s a crap shoot.

This rubric spilled over to the point religion makes more money off the poor than the market makes off for profit business. The decentralized nature of religion hides the fact they’ve been in the trillions for quite some time.

Christianity knows this to be true. The “United Churches” thrive on this as well as the independent. One look at assets and it’s undeniable. The average person going to worship thinks hard about the dollars the put in that plate. Something is always forgone for those dollars.

The church collects and distributed these tithes to higher organizations or “missions”, usually outside their communities because the folks in their communities usually aren’t “members”. In many cases the tithes become funds in a budget that is used to drive the ego of a few to “build” a bigger dream. Even the faithful can get caught up in movements with marketing titles like “purpose driven”. The trigger for me is how tithes become funds the minute they’re disseminated after service. It’s like the tithes are props.

Again though, that person giving those dollars they don’t have are reaching out with faith. Their tithe is just that. In some cases it’s always a tithe, it never becomes associated with “funds”. They never associate the new zero turn mower bought by the church because the previous mower was outdated with the tithe the gave.

These degrees of separation aren’t new in the world, or in business. The corporate model is within churches because there’s a lot of money involved. Corporate folks don’t waste time on ventures that don’t produce, and religion produces through projects, initiatives, and products created by your tithes that became funds for entrepreneurial folks within the religious industry.

I pray for people, places, and incidents. I try to follow the example of Christ in my heart and my actions. I don’t have a church. Nor do I ascribe to a denomination anymore. I’m not a Christian in the corporate sense, but I am smart enough to see the problem that Jesus had with the temple is alive and well in the church today.

You can’t call for persecution and run a half way house, or decry about stricter drug laws and be a leader in the rehab industry, even worse you can’t support the expansion of the prison industry and develop programs and materials for prison ministries. Religion makes millions, if not billions, off of crime and prays/preys over the criminal. It’s time to shine a light into these dark places.

Pieces, Shards, and Moments

Moments lie scattered like pieces of a broken mirror.
Reflecting shattered remnants on a dusty floor.

It’s the sharp images that cut thoughts into a fragmented one.
Meanwhile I stand fixed on how many pieces I’ve become.

It’s never been as easy as me, or I am whole.
The I’s never really have anything but others they’ve stole.

Then the exponential value of all I am leaves me to wonder.
How many are you that watch
with silent eyes asunder?

The noise is deafening with thousands of us screaming,
Screaming to be heard within the silence of dreaming

So I’m lost, there is no one voice, and now I must think in silence.
The quiet aspects we ignore
leaving certainty in suspense.

All around are noises and silent eyes, words and looks reveal
what others have in mind
to lie, cheat, or steal.

So shattered I lie, shards of me
pieced together with scars,
and reflections of hope
In memories afar.

Lady Justice got “Thick”!

Justice in America is bloated. It’s coming apart at the seams. The cracks have been showing for years. It’s like the relative you haven’t seen in ages who gained 40 or 50 pounds since you last saw them. You really get concerned when the can no longer bend over to ties their shoes so they’ve changed styles to slip on shoes for posterity.

I don’t know when the tipping point occurred. Sometime around the 80’s with the onset of the “War on everything”. It’s spiraled out of control since then. We’ve devolved legally to the point of where you’re at geographically, or where you land along the socio economic strata determine your place within the justice hustle.

We have “weed vs marijuana, prostitution vs trafficking, drugs vs medicine as three major cracks in the lucrative aspects of law. In each of these three cases both sides are played against the middle fighting for dollars and sense.

Then there are the conundrums that cost us. It all started with the seat belt. We let these folks charge us and fine us for not protecting ourselves under the guise of public safety. Makes no sense when you say it, right. Seat belt fines have cost us billions and all we’ve got out of it we’re campaign posters of seat belts and cops with an additional excuse to search your vehicle. Don’t tell me about lives saved until you review Govt. statistics for traffic deaths between the 70’s and today.

I’ll ignore the fact that Government oversight has resulted in faster, lighter vehicles with increased speed limits. I can’t ignore the “pricing scheme” for getting a ticket using these faster lighter cars to go faster. It’s the unspoken deal between manufacturing, marketing, and Government.

Now we have phones that travel outside the house. The next move was so obvious, the rubric was set. Hands free devices would net billions and both sides would get a giant boost. Now we have an additional excuse for cops to peek inside that bubble of privacy we call our vehicle. Not to mention the couple hundred dollar fine if you have a phone lying in hour vehicle outside of a “device”. Like seat belts, these laws won’t change fatality rates, they’ll generate revenue.

It’s gotten so bad that your dog has been targeted. Not because he’s dangerous, but because there are “dog people” out there who value pets over children. For the millennial pets and kids are the same. God help you if you mistreat your dog by not getting a vaccine every year and your dog gets lose. It’ll cost you a couple hundred dollars to get legal. Doesn’t matter how often the vaccine is actually needed. Governments make it an annual requirement and demonize breeds so that suddenly your dog is an addition to your status Arsenal. Vets ain’t complaining cause they’ve suddenly got customers who used to just go to the hardware store and buy shots and food then go about their business. Not to mention all the additional allergies and joint problems associated with over medicating dogs. It’s that “ win win” again.

The cat vs dog thing has to be some latent phenomenon from that show about a “cat dog”. Cats roam free while dogs live restrained medicated existences in hardwood floors. Another one of those class meets industry meets government situations that pollute the justice system. Animal Planet needs ratings though; and what would all those “enforcement officers” in Harris County, Texas do if they weren’t “raiding “cat ladies”!!!!

In our efforts to slim down Governments gains in legal restraint we have to find a way to separate the dollars from the sense. Budgeting our rights away and incarcerating millions over questionable laws designed to generate dollars undermines the legal establishments credibility.

Allowing these municipalities to profit from our freedom and choices makes no sense. We should be evaluating our “legal cannon” to begin trimming the fat. Returning to common sense rules and laws that level the playing field for all citizens.

Creating hype to establish fear in the interest of creating laws that benefit a particular industry and increase Government budgets while burdening citizens has to change. Parsing words to demonize one group of folks while supporting another group for the same behavior is obvious today.

Saying a prostitute is trafficked because she was driven to a more lucrative city to have sex is deceitful. Locking up one citizen for smoking weed while taking billions in tax revenue from another citizen selling poser dope is just plain wrong. Locking up a street dealer while traveling weekly to your pharmacy for “pain meds” or “psyche drugs” is hypocrisy at the least.

We need a strong dose of truth in our legal system. Not only for fairness. Not just for equity. We need it because as we’ve seen recently, respect for the law and it’s enforcers is under suspicion. When the law doesn’t treat everyone fairly citizens will treat the law accordingly. Look around!!!

Addictive Advantage

The magicians cure is akin to the kid who breaks the neighbors window, but blames glass for being to thin, because he barely hit the ball. I’m amazed at how many people fall for the latest addiction narrative.

I’m watching this dude who skyrocketed out of nowhere with a an addicted co pilot who’s the victim of an evil capitalist agenda. He doesn’t stand a chance against the medicine designed to cure folks that some folks use as a crutch for their psychological maladies.

I’m not saying that “medicine” hasn’t found a niche that’s deceitful. Pharmaceuticals found out a long time ago how to make the Dr. a middleman and the insurance industry a financier. They did it dude, great plan. The problem is we started talking.

The change for me is, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, addicts were demonized. The “Rolling Stones” pointed out the hypocrisy with lyrics like “Momma’s little helpers”. Millions of folks were hiding in their medicine cabinets behind the stereotypical evil “heroin addict”!

The cracks in the walls appeared here and there. Whether it was Elvis and his pills, the long list of country singers going up and down like roller coasters, but we didn’t talk about those things then. Today we talk about everything and the poseurs with their high end insurance coverage got called out. An addict is an addict. Just like they were saying back in the day.

So now we have the perfect character to defend the privileged addict who can keep the hierarchy of addiction in place by assigning blame. No longer do you take responsibility for your actions first. You create a victim by demonizing medicine that you decided to abuse, then talk about how you never stood s chance against the giants of pharmaceutical folks. Sounds to me like an addict not taking responsibility. These issues are not mutual, they’re separate and equal.

It’s the entrepenureal approach to recovery. At times I think the industry is blind to the addict. Focused too hard on who made the pills or which “recovery center” can franchise the fastest. Those with their eyes open see clearly. We see right through “front men” and victimized narratives. It’s just the same behaviors in a different hustle.

If there is one thing to take away from the last 70 or so years, it’s those dudes meeting in basements we’re right, an addict is an addict. Whether it’s street drugs or pharmaceuticals, you’re an addict. There’s no difference between the heroin addict nodding off in the park or the grandma nodding off in her favorite sitting room, they’re the same behaviors.

Addiction is a mental health issue that is shrouded with layers of co dependence that covers the addict like a wet blanket. It takes mental health professionals to treat addiction, not other addicts or grieving loved ones carrying a torch. No amount of dollars or guilt will solve this problem. Honest family members and friends catching the potential addict before the fall and getting them professional help will be a good start.

Unfortunately there’s money to be made, people to demonize, and co dependent people living off the addicts pain. If you’re in this fight find professional help. Look around your circle and evaluate those folks to see who genuinely could help you understand and move foreword with the professional knowledge you receive. Leave everyone else behind for a couple years till your well enough to call them out.

Don’t be fooled by the “ride or die” type. That’s part of the co dependent hook. Folks who say the “got your back” usually do. The question is which way are they facing. Don’t be fooled back into that space that closes in on you.

Rhythm of the Storm

Thunder on a tin roof cancels out the patter of thick raindrops beating a content rhythm. The staccato roll of memories fill my heart with a thud. Memories of you reverberate with us.

Lightening strikes as a glimpse into yesterday through a half empty bourbon bottle. Smoke drifts lazily towards a creaking ceiling fan wobbling to it own rhythm. Tomorrow doesn’t exist and now fades with each flash of lightening, leaving darkness in its wake.

Lost, me and the world, just staring into the distance entranced in times long faded into the myst. Here becomes there and now becomes then as I drift to the rhythm of memories drumming to the beat of the storm.

Soon the rain stops and the winds carry us away to distant horizons. Drops of us break free and fall to the earth silently. We are no longer a force. The thunder rumbles in distant memories as the lightening exposes the horizon for glimpses of maybe.

Then silence screams and the bourbon swishes within the bottle bringing sleep, rest for the lonely. I drift in and out of consciousness like I did love. Then I realize I’ve nothing left to fear but dreams.

Clouded Mirror

I’ve gazed into the stream
Watched my reflection
Drift away unseen

I’ve stood in the winds of time
And watched the world pass by
Making no sense or rhyme

Ive stood in the rain
Flooded with emotion
Void of pain

I’ve see the darkness within
Through the cracks of lightening
Flashing across a soul too thin

I’ve felt the thunder in my bones
Bring back memories
Thrown like sticks or stones

I’ve become the storm to love
Riding swollen streams
Under dark skies above

Life is reciprocal in tone
Darkness for light, evil sees good
And yet I walk alone

Where is my reflection
What reveals me,
Suffers my intention

So I assimilate the sublime
Like a cloudy day
Brings memories of sunshine

To reflect is giving myself away
revealing so little
Of who I truly seek one day

Until then I’ll ride the storms
And show you who you are
Taking different paths and forms