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.

Monday, August 6

SONG OF THE DAY: Tyrone (Chopped Not Slopped)





Been dwelling on the false progress of self-expression that was the past 20 years, where underground independent xerox explosion of zines slowly morphed from live journal online diaries to what we have now with these small selection of social media platforms which people have been acclimated to having information filtered through, depending on an unseen algorithm controlled by yakubian devils to gain access to an alleged world of information. I actually share far less than I used to, which feels dishonest to an extent, because not only do we have to cultivate these “personal brands” or social media images of ourselves, but we also have to be politically conscious of social media relationships and how shit we might say might affect other’s personal brands of online imaging as well.
Currently there are two dueling battlefronts within me regarding that internal jihad we all fight – relationships and self-medication. Traditionally, I would share my relationship thoughts freely in printed format, usually hard to obtain yeah, but now I can’t, because it’s easier to obtain, although getting through the algorithm somehow less than it did when I just had printed zines laying around to send whoever the fuck gave me stamp money. You can’t control the algorithm at all – it is an unpredictable asshole beast mostly looking to squeeze obedience and consumption out of us collectively. But most all my relationships which would be considered traditionally that family support network are fucked. My blood kin are gone, mostly by doing in the past year or so, to keep toxins out of my life, which is more from the generations above than the generation I’m with, but I don’t have the excess energy to navigate other people attempting to navigate their own toxin exposure. And my chosen family as an adult has fallen apart, and becomes a tighter and tighter clawhold on my heart, where simultaneously my existing support network is now gone, and there’s harder (impossible) economic squeezes being made on me. There appears to be no escape too, which triggers the second battle on that jihad front... medication.
As a person who has sought solace from life’s inherent pains in the numbing fog of substances, it never leaves you. And I’m not entirely sure life gets easier so much as you finally convince yourself you will only fuck it up worse by getting fucked up. I’ve been conned into lifelong debt commitments which serve me no actual physical purpose to long enough an extent, that I’m tied to work long past useful working age, when work is required to meet financial obligations. This is the slow heavy crush of soul that actually a lot of people feel, perhaps even a majority in America, but we never share this in our social media, or if we do it is dampered down by the algorithm in order to keep everything moving along. (Before Twitter clamped down on their algorithm in order to become more attractive to investors – an obvious hypocrisy – their less-controlled algorithm resulted in too much shit like the Tunisian Arab Spring and organization efforts on the ground in Ferguson.) But that slow crush kills you – somewhat literally, as studies on loneliness show that factor is a huge contributor to lack of health the second half of life and early death – and all you want to do is escape it.
Social media in forms of dating apps though also run through the algorithm, as well as our cultural training, so the form of connection happening there is seemingly random but also very much not random. And you’re dialed into a certain stream. My experience in that has been horrible – the connections very fake, performative more than anything else (much like most of the digital experience at this point, as we all behave like little PR departments). Real life connections can happen too, still, but In Real Life (as if a separate reality, when the age of cyborg has been in place for a while psychologically) is full of people bracing against In Real Life by digital horror stories, as well as the false solace of having built “community” with distant strangers online.
This existence is honestly crushing me. I’m not built like that, at all, not even close. But life has dealt me a hand where I’m currently living in a somewhat less than wonderful basement apartment, in a somewhat solitary existence where most of my interactions with other humans revolve around going to work, being at work, or coming from work. Work takes precedence over everything because I’m so maximally stretched out financially that it feels like I have to work in order to stay alive. An entire domesticated myth has been woven around of economic responsibility that the barbs hit me at every turn towards escape, even momentary.
So when stuck in place, and trapped, the only real escape is substance abuse. And that is where I’m at, wanting escape, knowing this is a horribly dissatisfying existence, but there’s not an escape. Therapists both real and self-appointed will say there are steps to take to make it better, but that’s mostly a psychological perspective rather than actually improving the physical situation. The physical situation is reality, as the system we lives in has polluted the skies with obedience fog, and I’m choking, we’re all choking, everybody’s choking. I’m not even sure those who control the factories aren’t choking at this point.
If it’s all psychological perspective, it makes me question the sensibility in not getting fucked up. Why not escape this hell? For me, that only answer is so as to not affect my offspring in the same negative ways I was affected by living in such an environment. But that also re-affirms the worry that you’re no longer living your life for yourself, only for others. I don’t know, everything is fucked up.
The progress we’ve made is not progress. Even in progressive circles, there’s a dismissive attitude towards anyone or thing that’s not immediately upon viewing what you expect as purity test. Our culture is done, whether you call it western civilization or America or whatever, it’s fucking done. And it wasn’t ever all that great to begin with (in case anybody thinks I’m on some bullshit proud boy-esque tangent). I’m done with it. Call the Tyrone of history, western culture (or Global Northern culture I guess, as it’s not really western), I’m getting tired of your shit. Every time I ask your for a little cash, you turn right around and ask me for some ass.

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