Love

It’s absorbing. Like travelling to another dimension – to a place that only really exists in the form of chemicals in one’s brain. It’s at once fantasy – an unreal spun into existence by mutual passion – and the only real thing there is. I have been in love. I remain in love – unreciprocated. Pain is not a stranger to me, yet I have met no greater agony than that of unreciprocated love.

It stalks the mind and deadens the heart, unreciprocated love. Though, the love remains, albeit one-sided, and sustains. It is still a reason to be happy. To have purpose. To be optimistic. Because true love is stronger than diamonds. Only death can defeat it and, even then, it will echo into history no matter how short its mutual manifestation.

Love is feeling no greater pleasure at the slightest touch with a lover. It is admiring them as something more perfect than one’s wildest imagination could conjure. It is wanting to die to protect their life. Love is uncompromising, unflinching; eternal. It is the most beautiful, sweet-smelling, long-lived, and, sadly, rare flower in the universe.

It is the only reason to exist. Its absence makes one momentarily, in times of weakness, fantasise self-destruction. But, its permanence and resilience is such that it is the only permanence acceptable or possible. Love is life. Life is love. Neither can truly, honestly exist without the other.

Love is an absence of greed, jealousy, envy, deceit, superficiality. Such things can still exist, to one in love, but not between them and the person they love. Love is truth, which is literally undeniable. Love can be suppressed. Ignored. Abused. But it cannot be killed. It is immortal. All powerful. It does nothing but win, wait to win, or revel in its triumph for eternity.

I fought love, once. Considered myself unworthy. But all deserve love. Even the most evil. Because love is the ultimate force for good. Evil is not defeated by love – it is eradicated. There is evil in this world only where there is an absence of love. But not for long. Because love is patient as evil is earnest. The fickle fuel of evil, no matter how seemingly plentiful, will inevitably burn out – leaving nothing but love – finally, or necessarily urgently – in its wake.

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Maybe I Was Wrong

About the necessity of revolution. Things seem – seem – to be changing. Or more accurately approaching a change. A very long-overdue change. Still a revolution, but one not necessarily violent. I would say I’m impatient, if it wasn’t for the fact that impatience in this particular context is a waste of time.

It will happen suddenly. And I write that having absolutely, or at least very little idea what form the suddenness of change will take. It is necessary. It has long been necessary. There are signs: LGBTQI acceptance, global warming being an accepted fact by all but the most stupid or corrupt, wealth inequality set against gargantuan abundance – to name a few.

Humans have always been predominantly rational, despite superstitions ranging from the obscure (ghosts) to mainstream (monotheistic religion). But, hundreds of years since The Enlightenment, it seems like we are finally seeing the importance of bringing to a close the transition from ignorance to understanding. From injustice to justice. From brutality to compassion. And etcetera.

There are not many particular, concrete reasons why I think we’re near the end of the darkness that has plagued civilised us for more than 10 millenia. One is notable. The absurdity. The batshit craziness of the stubbornly ongoing status quo. I don’t think anyone not willfully ignorant needs examples of said absurdity.

But there it is. Surely absurdity more than anything else not conceptual is the enemy of true civilisation. The wait is nearly over. I can’t wait, so to speak, but I have to. I might be wrong, but if so I’m content to die, childless. If I’m right: I’m looking forward to bearing witness to the human race assuming, achieving its destiny so long delayed by greed, ignorance, selfishness, arrogance – those other enemies of civilisation that have finally produced the clear absurdity that should finally become slavery’s death-knell.

The Root, Trunk, Branch and Leaf of All Evil

(Reading time: 35 seconds.)

The bitter irony is that when they tell you knowledge is power it’s because they’re lying to you, and it’s not. (Although obviously it should be.) Material wealth is.

Conveniently, objectively, hoarding of finite material wealth is evil. And under the ridiculous socio-political-economic system we (still, bizarrely) inhabit, encouraged.

So, literally, in our current reality, power is evil. And evil is power. Which is why it seems like everyone with any power these days is a cruel psychopath.

Because you’re not crazy. They are. But they have the wealth, so they have the power. Their appetite for both is insatiable, so do yourself a favour and stop them the only way they will be stopped:

yourself.

Seriously. They can’t stop you. They’ve merely convinced you that they can. And besides, if you haven’t noticed that if they aren’t stopped urgently, we’re all fucked, then they’ve done a better job of brainwashing you than I think even they intended.

Two Things I’m Obsessed With

The first is commonly known as the (technological) Singularity. Put simply, it refers to the moment in which a machine emerges that is not just smarter than humans, but smarter than the collective intelligence of all humans. The average prediction of various experts places this occurrence at about 2045. Which means it could happen much sooner, or much later – depending on the rate of technological progression. I won’t bother with references. You can look this up if you choose.

For me, the consequences are simple. And about three-fold. One: humanity will be capable of achieving a type of immortality, through people being able to upload their minds to what we now call the cloud. This will possibly also permit downloading minds into bodies of any imaginable type, not unlike in the Netflix series Altered Carbon. Whether one would actually want to be immortal or not, is worthy of an entire book. Two: machines will replace humanity as the dominant species of Earth, and possibly the universe. This might happen through the direct destruction or dying out of humans, or because humans fuse with technology to the point in which the cease to be explicitly human (cyborgs). Such an occurrence could be seen as evolutionary – as in the next logical step in human evolution is superior beings originally of our creation taking over.

And three (which leads me to the other thing I’m obsessed with): the current ownership class (the bourgeois) of humans (think Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch et. al.) use their ownership of the increasingly automated means of production to render the vast bulk of working class humans obsolete, perhaps homeless, or even liquidated by the very machines which made them obsolete. Frankly, as things currently stand, I think the third scenario is the most likely. Wealth inequality is at catastrophic levels, and the super-rich are showing no signs of either intending to, or actually balancing things out. While I admit this possible future might solve the problem of overpopulation, I also venture that technology advanced enough would solve the problem of overpopulation (and associated resource shortages and pollution and climate change) itself.

The second thing I’m obsessed with is called Universal Basic Income. UBI involves giving everyone, from poorest to wealthiest in society enough money to live on. Say four or five or six hundred dollars per week. Without any obligations in return. The idea is that they can then work or create/expand a business for more money. Or they can travel the world eating banana sandwiches. Or they can become the artist they always wanted to be. And etcetera and etcetera. When I mentioned UBI to a narrow-minded but intelligent friend recently, he gave a cliched response, something to do with that it wouldn’t work because people need an incentive to work and excel and achieve. Unfortunately, what he didn’t grasp because he clearly hadn’t read into the issue is that, yes, UBI is not an incentive. It’s a tool. Much of the world is too impoverished to be really of any use to their fellow humans. You have to spend money to make money, as the old adage goes. But if you don’t have any to start with, then you can’t make any from it.

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Current welfare systems across much of the developed world already seek to achieve this purpose. The problem is they provide a subsistence, not dignified, level of income. And they require recipients to look for work – ignoring the absurdity of such a requirement in a rapidly automating labour industry which is increasingly prohibitive of the sort of low skill, low wage people on unemployment benefits. UBI gives people enough financial power to not just survive, but live a comfortable life, and also possibly live an even more comfortable life if they wish to work/innovate/invent for it. UBI gives people choice. Freedom. Freedom they’re otherwise denied, whether they’re working or not. It gives them the ability to achieve their dreams – even if their dreams involve sitting around at home, ordering in pizza and buying products from the internet.

Another criticism of UBI is the cost to taxpayers. Firstly, it’s a “basic” income. They’re not going to be squirreling away much of the money. The vast bulk of it will be returned straight to the economy, and into and through again the hands of taxpayers. Secondly, even if they are saving a lot of the money, eventually they will make a big purchase with it. Maybe use it to create a product beneficial to mankind that wouldn’t otherwise had appeared. Third: the cost of current welfare systems are bogged down in their complexity. Their bureaucracy. The myriad different payments to and requirements from welfare recipients make up a sizable bulk of their cost. The argument goes that UBI would eliminate this complexity by giving everyone a flat basic income. Any losses of employment in the public or associated private sector would be mitigated by the fact that said unemployed would be receiving the UBI, and would now be free to pursue activities or work surely more enjoyable than sitting in an office unnecessarily managing the lives of society’s worst off.

Barring an unforeseen catastrophic event, or perhaps a foreseen one in the event of climate change, technological progress will only continue to accelerate. Humans will become, in a productivity sense, more and more redundant. Artificial immortality is an at the moment science-fictional ethical dilemma for individuals and their families. If humanity is replaced or absorbed by machines, then by then we won’t have much to whine about. But if the vast bulk of humanity is not just enslaved, but made redundant, homeless, starving by a tiny clique of super-wealthy elites who own all of the machines that produce everything, that would be the worst option for me and any children I might have (that currently I don’t want to have because I believe that’s exactly what might happen in their lifetime). Wealth will always be limited, depending on how much of the universe’s resources we eventually have access to, but it has never been more abundant. Why is it not psychotic that this world has several billionaires, while millions starve to death? We need to start asking ourselves, and our elected representatives, one simple question: is it necessary, or even humane, for people to be forced to work for water, food, housing, clothing, and small luxuries such as technology and travel, or otherwise languish in poverty?

I say no. Certainly not. And I hope for ever more agreement.

(Another) Unemployment Reflection

Well, more of an update really. Should say I’m full of shit, considering previously writing so smugly about supposedly figuring out how to gain and keep work. I’ve been let go from one job. And I’ve resigned from three or four. But when the site you’re working all but full-time at doesn’t pay the labour hire company you’re employed by, well, it makes it hard to figure up from down in an employment market sense.

So I’m essentially unemployed, again. I’m vending The Big Issue magazine. TBI is a social enterprise (people are paid, but no profits are given to an owner/shareholders). It’s designed for homeless/marginalised (I’m the latter) people (men) to sell in high foot traffic areas. Women in difficulty work indoors packing and distributing the mags. It’s ok. It keeps me busy.

But, as much as I appreciate the opportunity, the area (my “pitch”) I vend at just isn’t busy enough. (It’s between two others that are much more lucrative.) I buy them for $3.50 and sell them for $7. Some people will give me ten and say to keep the change. Even then, if I make any more than $40 in six hours most days then that’s better than average.

I’m trying to get off Newstart (the dole, $250 per week). But so far I haven’t made more than that in a week so I’m essentially wasting my time mostly staring off into space while people ignore me, on top of my obligations to Centrelink. I’m grateful for the support of the businesses and locals at my pitch, and again to TBI, but it feels like bad luck within good luck (great opportunity/terrible location).

Otherwise, I’m still registered with a labour hire company but they don’t offer anything below south Brisbane (apparently Centrelink requires job seekers to travel a three hour round trip to work, which is ridiculous bureaucratic bullshit). They did get me two weeks’ work before a trip I took recently that I’d never have booked last year if I’d known what dire straits I’d be in currently. Sure enough, I was offered more work at that site that conflicted with the trip so I doubt I’ll hear from them again.

For a few months I volunteered with a wonderful group named Orange Sky, that washes clothes for the homeless. My team leader gave my details to a bloke he knew who runs a rim (car wheel) repair business. Again, sure enough this guy got in touch with me just before the trip. I mentioned the conflict with him and got in touch with him after I got back, but, haven’t heard back. I’ve since stopped volunteering to focus on my mental health and search for employment. And I’m going to just vend TBI Sat/Sun, instead of also Wed/Thurs/Fri, now. Because it really is a waste of time during the week, in my location.

I visited another, busier pitch during the week just yesterday (Wednesday) and it was busy! Sometimes I think I’m cursed. Or I would if I was superstitious. So yeah, I’m full of shit. I have no idea what I’m doing. I apply for jobs, and hear mostly nothing back, or rejections. My application to McDonald’s failed. The local casino’s warehouse rejected me. I did a certificate 3 in security. But the license, I since discovered, costs about $500. And my “job service provider”, to her credit, said security probably wouldn’t be great for my mental health – when I mentioned my recent increasing struggles with it.

I have no idea what’s on the horizon. Or if there even is one. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to report, soon. But optimism is lacking, and hardly growing.

Loud Engines

Shit, it’s obnoxious. You’re sitting at a mainstreet cafe or chilling at home, and: RRRRRROOOOOOOAAAAARRRRRR! Some dickhead overcompensating for something flies past on a Harley or in a customised automobile.

Ford Laser, circa probably 1990ish. A much more practical, quiet machine.

It’s just kind of wanky, really. Totally inconsiderate. At least if someone’s just playing music too loud maybe others won’t mind so much. But otherwise, take your loud engine and drive it off a cliff (and jump clear before the edge, if you like). Please.

“Living in the Past”*

It’s something someone said to me recently. Aside from the fact that it’s a horrible cliché, it’s also incorrect. I write about the past. And also the present. But I’m living in the present. And where necessary looking to the future.

It’s one of the things I find frustrating about socialising. People just say things. They don’t really think about it. They don’t ask a lot of questions to ensure that any judgement they pass might be at least somewhat accurate. They have a tiny window into others’ worlds.

They shout judgement through this window, usually to distract themselves from the problems in their own lives. Judgement and advice are useless. Indulgent. If you genuinely want to help someone you should do so practicably, or not at all.

Because making obviously prejudicial statements to people you know will only alienate you from them. Which is fine if that’s your intention. If it’s not, as they say: put up, or shut up. Anything other than genuine assistance is nothing but empty rhetoric.

* I put the title in double inverted commas for two reasons: 1) it’s a partial quote, and 2) my use of it is sarcastic (as in I’m not actually living in the past).

Transvestites

Another attention grabbing heading. What’s the big deal. If someone’s born a man and feels like a woman, or vice-versa, what’s wrong with them undergoing surgery and treatment to realign how they look with which gender they identify as. It seems absurd to me that anyone would be against this, or would want to prevent anyone from being who they are more broadly – within reason.

The most common argument I’ve seen against transvestites is not wanting women who used to be men in ladies’ toilets. Would they also prefer men who were born female to use the toilet corresponding with their gender at birth. Morons. Some people have their heads so far up their arses they can’t see anything but their own prejudices.

It’s typical of far too many people these days: if it doesn’t affect them, they at best don’t care or at worst are against it. And being against it based on knowledge and information about the subject? Nah. They’ve decided it’s bad before any reasonable assertions to the contrary. Then they’ll seek out media that says it’s bad, in order to confirm their bias.

Populist, as opposed to rationalist politics, of course, only fuels this phenomenon. At a time in which globalism for better or worse is increasingly forcing us to accommodate difference, vocal minorities are helping elect out-of-touch politicians usually with backgrounds more related to running businesses than complex societies.

So, ironically, at once social acceptance is struggling forward in accommodation of minorities but a very motivated, and often wealthy minority which doesn’t like change and promises to lose materially from it is fighting against the arc of history – which bends toward justice. I worry, if it bends toward justice but they’re arbitrarily holding it back, if or when it will snap.

Such is the nature of wealth and power divorced from justice and reason. We’ve seen it before. And if it happens again those affected will hardly be limited to people born with the wrong genitals.

Fascism

There couldn’t be a more appropriate time for me to be writing about it, personally. And it’s not very complicated.

It sucks. It basically represents dominance over others. Something I’ve never wanted to exert over anyone.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to suggest. Even manipulate. But outright control over anyone by anyone else, I can not abide.

It’s unnecessary, at best. Evil at worst. I value love above all else. And control over other people is the opposite of love. It is a hateful act.

So evil, is control of others, that I’m willing to submit to control – to a point. Because, to a point, I also see resistance to control as a form of control on my part.

But there’s a line. And it has been crossed. And my personal sovereignty, at least in principle and at most in terms of freedom and finances, has been unjustly threatened.

So, I will never partake in offense. But I will defend literally to the death – my own death – the line that has been crossed (ironically in response to a line I’m alleged to have crossed by people of lesser intelligence, enlightenment, wilful freedom).

I have no choice. I have few mortal purposes left. Except one: to love, and be loved. Again ironically, the hatred levelled against me once came from a place of love.

Resistance takes the form of love where appropriate. Love for freedom. Love for justice. Love for enlightenment. Love, even, for the source of control, hatred – cognizant of its awry ways.

Fascism exists in this world. There’s little I alone can do about the vast bulk of it. Its application to my own life, however, will fail. Else I will die – literally or practically to the society around me that hopefully won’t but might fail in its pretence of justice and fairness for all.

There are offshore concentration camps, legions of homeless, and thousands of working poor this “country” is responsible for whose plight I might respect but does not give me much hope of personal vindication.

I don’t care. I’m resolved. The rest will write itself, one way or the other. May the gods of creation we’ve created ourselves have mercy on our imperfect souls. There are none else to.

Freedom of Speech

It doesn’t exist. At least not in Australia. Technically, it is implied as a right by our constitution. Theoretically, it means one can say anything, and another can reply with anything. This is crucial to an open, prosperous, free society. Crucial to the true, pure progression of civilisation.

But, really, as with most things, it comes down to power. How much power you have dictates how much freedom – including of speech – you have. To the degree in which you don’t have power, your freedom (of speech) will be forcibly limited – especially by those of fascist tendencies where your supposedly but not really freedom of speech is rightly critical of them.

Fortunately, I don’t care. Because I’m done with pretending that this covertly classist, racist, elitist, theist, fascist society is anything but overtly so (to anyone who cares to notice). And I no longer value my own life in the context that I’m merely a vessel to be exploited – to the degree in which I lack power, by those with more – or exploit – to the degree in which I have power those who have less. I’m not comfortable with either two, no more, and often less, options.

Do your worst, fascists. There’s no limit to what I’m willing to suffer in resistance to your evil. As only acquiescence to said evil could be more agonising to my conscience, humanity, mortality. Your humanity is corrupted. You are willing slaves and perpetrators of a wicked creed that limits freedom. And makes a mockery of human rights, and life. I have absolute contempt and pity for you.

PS No matter what you do to me. Coercion. Abuse. Injustice. Incarceration. Torture. Murder. I repeat: do you worst. Anything less would be unsatisfying and unsatisfactory, to me.