RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Friday, August 17

WEEKLY FRYBREAD: unfuck the world

Feeling pretty good this Friday, because the past three or four weekends I’ve madly been working on the Football Metaphysics book, and this one, I’m done, I can finally fix the stupid riding mower and cut the grass and wrestle my goats and carve hobo graffiti into the backyard picnic table with my children using old railroad spikes. Everything feels pretty easy, like my Lionel Ritchie jheri curl-sized aura is solidly lime green, and solidly growing.
Seems like some wacky shit going on worldwide, what with the Israeli build-up towards war with Iran, and the Julian Assange asylum brouhaha, not to mention all the crazy surveillance state shit like Trapwire and the indeterminate detention of American citizens without charges as authorized by NDAA. And it’s all inter-related too. Seems like the United States and its two main homeboys in the U.K. and Israel are really making a grand stand grab at things, which I think the rest of the world may stand against. Hard to say, and I am not geo-political expert by any means, though I did play the fuck out of Sid Meier’s Civilization IV. Strange times lay ahead, probably full of conflict and war, and perhaps that starts trickling into our American life a little more. Perhaps not. I’m not entirely concerned.
It can be easy to get caught up in fear and worry, which is exactly what tends to happen during recent American Presidential election years, where both sides fear the cataclysmic catastrophes that await should the other side win. Guess what? They’re both right. And yet, they’re both wrong at the same time, because I’ve come to realize America is not this Great Ominous Evil power I used to think it was. It is a giant self-important bureaucracy, and basically operated like a corporation to a certain extent. And like any self-important bureaucratic corporate entity, it is becoming dilapidated, weakened, eaten from within by cancerous philosophies, and will eventually cave in on itself. That is not a bad thing. All governments should cave in on themselves every hundred years or so, because nothing works forever. Though it will be chaotic for who knows how long, we’d all be better off with a new infusion of ideas and ways of running things in our taxed and strained American system.
Oddly enough, I feel more clear-headed than ever, and have actually been reading a lot of economic theory type bullshit, as I’ve always been the standard contrarian who is like, “Capitalism is bad,” but never really had any science. Watching a number of Slavoj Zizek speeches, where he says some things but seems also to just try to rile people up in pure contrarian manner, it made me want to better understand the source of things and less trust what someone tells me. So I did some reading.
Guess what? Capitalism is on some bullshit. You take normal hunt and gather survival, add the abstract concept of money (which is a good idea usually, to create a standard for trade), and then tweak the system to that each little part of the overall culture produces constantly in order to consume constantly items outside of their microcosm, and allegedly we are made wealthier because we have more shit. The problem is, we don’t need all that shit; we just have this desire to want all that shit. Getting it does not solve the want, because automatically there is a new want. We are not wanting what we buy, we are wanting the moment of buying it, thus we’re never happy. It’s like the people who are hungry for McDonalds and eat it but get no nutrition so keep eating and eating and eating. I know the internet be making fun of people like that, but we’re all like that, whether our McDonald’s is smart phones or downloading music or eating at restaurants or whatever. It’s been bred into our psychology.
That is another thing that bothers me, is that I don’t think it is bred so much as it is a natural chemical reaction in our brains. Thus, a lot of advertising triggers for purchasing goods are not so much great campaigns at convincing you to buy something as they are great experimental activations of chemical reactions inside your body. Psychology, we will find, is something we can heal and repair but not something we can control as much as we think. That’s not to say shit like therapy is not helpful in repairing broken physical mechanisms in our brain, but it’s not the way we think.
So as you might be able to tell I’ve been reading a lot of neurophilosophy bullshit as well, as there are a lot of studies relying on functional MRI to prove some of the things I mention above, and yet fMRI assumes that brain functions are limited to parts of the brain, rather than the whole, and that the part that lights up in an fMRI is the one being used for certain tasks.
This brings me to why I feel so excited and am not afraid, because just like that misleading functional MRI, so goes people. If a man steals a loaf of bread, that is obvious, and he can be caught and punished. If a group through the cyberwebs shares music and books and such through a torrent, it is not one basic act that is obvious, but a multitude of tiny parts of the act that is split upon a myriad of separate computers. That is an action of the collective, or whole, and that is how many neurophilosophers feel the human brain probably works, not in individual parts like a machine. After all we are not machines, we are complex organic matter. That is like a torrent.
It’s something I’ve thought about a lot as I’ve chunked this first book called Football Metaphysics into the internet’s great vagina of nonsense, is how do I feel about what I have written being considered my work, in a sense no one else should ever be able to see it without paying me a fee. And honestly, I’m still working through this, because I have been trained culturally to feel I deserve to be rewarded for my ideas put into words, and there is some truth to it. I physically did the work. But at the same time, I cannot be attached to ownership of my ideas. Most all ideas have been thought somewhere by somebody in this post-modern world, and ultimately a sort of “open source” exchange of these works seems like it might not be a direction we should ignore completely. I mean, I want to be able to provide for my stupid bills through my writing, and not have to pretend to care about the other jobs that have filled my working life, but at the same time, I want to share my mad way of putting words together just as much. And if I am only selling my work, especially in an e-publishing format, I’m eliminating a big part of what I would hope to be my community.
And just as the individual thief can be punished, but the collective acting anonymously cannot, the individual activist or revolutionary (god that word fucking sucks now) or let’s just say the individual person trying to enact unapproved change, he can easily be assassinated or jailed or disappeared by authorities. Make no mistake about it, the authorities have the legal ability to do that according to many things brought into law by our last two Presidents of these American states, and legal has jackshit to do with right or wrong. Anybody who thinks the law is a matter of right and wrong has not lived enough in real life. But the group acting collectively, they can accomplish more than the individual, especially if the power structure is lacking traditional power structure that can easily be beheaded.
That’s why I’ve been loving the activity of Anonymous, gathering at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and gathering at the U.K. embassy in New York, just being witness to the whole affair. We don’t even realize our own power most times and most days, because we are so stuck in our little over-dramatized daily lives. But we have power, when we build communities. At one point that was the excitement of the internet, that we could build “communities” with people who liked the same dumb shit we did, and feel empowered. But we can take that to our non-digital lives as well, and build community in that sense.
So with that, although it has nothing to do with any of this world-changing, I ask you to go preview my book Football Metaphysics for Enlightened Degenerates. It is entertaining as fuck, but also deeply peppered with real shit, with secret positives and thick tangents that “undermine the social order” as the Russian judge told Pussy Riot in court. And I want you to buy it, because if I could do this shit from home, I could grow pigs and goats and a garden and fuck around with my kids and build a more fulfilling crazier life for myself. But that ain’t crazy at all, because that’s what I was wired to do, how I was born to live. And I can tell you this about the book, it’s more than worth $4 for what you’ll get out of it. You’ve spent $4 on much dumber shit in the past week, guaranteed. But it’s also the first book in the Workingman Books attempt at something, which is not meant to be a business at all. I could give a fuck about building a business. I’ve had my own business before – businesses suck. I want freedom, not business. And the idea behind Workingman Books is to just throw these things out there. On the surface, a football book is just a stupid football book. But anybody who’s ever read more than a little of my writing knows that what I write about is not often what it looks like I’m writing about. You can’t undermine social orders by being obvious, or you end up like the bread thief. I hope Workingman grows into a thousand authors doing a thousand crazy things, all for the financial benefit of themselves, but more importantly for the larger benefit of their communities. Seriously, fuck money. I mean I feel I deserve $4 for what you’d get, but if you didn’t want to pay it because you’re like, “whatever,” I ain’t gonna get all indignant. Fuck the entitlement of the creative class, that feels the capitalist system somehow needs to reward them for their creativity. Your creativity rewards what feels the benefits from it, and that bounces back on you. So if you find a way to bootleg my book, go ahead. You’re only taking a potential $4 from me, and if you ain’t got that $4, fine. In fact, if you don’t have that $4 and want the book and are a Rojonekku fan and are reading this, email me and let me know. Seriously. I’ll give you the book. Just tell me what’s up. I’m not looking ever in my life to be some strict asshole ruling the value of my words with an iron legal fist. Fuck that. Anybody can do what I do. I am not saying what I do is not done in a very special way, but shit man, any kid could sink into his brain like I did and end up right here, mixing and matching the same grand ideas and obscure references and a thousand tangents into a solar burst of creativity. I see my own children already developing this. But they develop this because they are exposed to it.
So yeah, it’s crazy times in this world, but it’s also exciting. New things are going to take place of the old, and it’s not going to be the End of the World, as the Mayan calendar (and them dudes were tapped into them alien motherfuckers with the pyramids) predicted a great change. There’s going to be a big shift in thinking. The few who are still pushing this ownership idea to the max, because they sit at the top of that legal “right” (which again, has nothing to do with actual right in a moral sense), they’ll fight change until the whole thing caves in on them like earthquake rubble. They will. And it’s gonna suck.
But within that, we can build our own shit, anywhere we want, figuratively and literally. That’s what Workingman is already, and will continue to be. That’s what Football Metaphysics is about. Shit man, that’s what my every day is about. I want this shit to make it so we can be together better, me and you, all over the place. I want this to enable us sitting together in strange places, sharing our wild ideas. Because the world is fucked. And we ain’t go no other worlds, so we might as well unfuck this one. And in a world where almost anything you can think of has already been done three times over, all that’s left to be done is undoing what’s been done wrong. So fuck it, let’s unfuck the world.

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