RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Friday, June 28


The peripheries of social media have another young person dead today – suicide or drug overdose are the two consistent ones, though both are symptoms of the same overall disease afflicting us all. And also it’s payday which means I calculate how I continue to have more bills than pay, despite a decent job, mostly due to medical debt despite insurance, and there’s like two parallel universes playing out it seems. On one hand I see the death and despair and constant struggle and people just trying to have a fucking smile on their face despite everything around them squeezing harder and harder and harder. And then on the other side I see social media streams of folks on perpetual vacation, smiling children beaming the confident smiles of comfort. Adults living a playful lifestyle, posting positivity memes, without recognizing how much harder it is take a deep breath and remain calm when you are in a position where everything is squeezing and squeezing and squeezing. Eric Garner’s police murder death where he was choked while struggling to say “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” has always seemed a fitting statement for the state of American culture and civilization in this 21st century.
Access to inherited wealth is such a huge thing that’s overlooked in this country. The ability to be self-righteous, and have the comfort to sleep in often enough that it’s easy to appear woke when you step out your house, which you have no trouble paying for. I have a good job, make good money, but no access to any family wealth whatsoever, none, which means I am fighting a losing battle every paycheck. There will be no retirement for people like me, ever. There will either be some sort of devastating illness which breaks the hand-to-mouth cycle and puts me on the streets to begin the slow spiral downwards, or if I am lucky I will remain healthy and get to live a mostly-confined, sub-dreamlike existence in my old age. I am hopeful I remain healthy, and my mental faculties do not diminish too badly, and I can make the creative most of that latter confined option. I say all this readily acknowledging I have a better job with better pay than a lot of people. And I’m still fucked. I know there are so many being crushed harder than me, struggling even harder to breathe every day. That’s why people are out here fucking with heavier drugs, and taking their own lives. I’ve contemplated both options myself multiple times in the past few years. Why not just be high as fuck in an opioid cloud? If it’s a 50-50 chance I end up by the river homeless, why not be high while I’m there?
It is hard not to be resentful of those who speak to you as if they have it all figured out, while they have done so from the economic comfort of having access to wealth. This doesn’t mean rich, necessarily, but having family you can borrow from, people to make down payments for you, or who you can access times of crisis. Or just wealth built over generations that you can utilize to travel, take those five trips abroad every year, or the beach vacation that happens. It’s hard not to be resentful of the beach vacations, or the small business plans enabled by some unseen wealth.
Anyways, I’ve had dreams of a low rider too, classic car, candyflake, Dayton rims, just riding around on a weekend, where the weeks actually still end, instead of this constant struggle against the inevitable end of this American empire era. I’m not sure I’ll be able to ever realize those classic car dreams, unless something magical happens to my life, but they are still there. It is interesting how even the trickle down, which was never all that real, is less than it used to be. I don’t see a lot of cruising going on. Far less Caprices on rims with fresh paint bopping around town than I saw ten years ago. Welcome to the end of the American empire, which is crushing people left and right, but we keep up these social media performances of hypeness and happiness and hopefulness, and people are tormented by dreams of just having a decent hooptie to tool around in. Nobody can breathe, because the metaphysical air has been completely poisoned. The game is technically already over, but we are in the pretending stage right now, cosplaying American dreams still.

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