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.

Thursday, September 8

SONG OF THE DAY: Little Hero

My first tattoo was homemade, with my dad in the living room of the trailer we lived in, just me and him, after my parents split, when I was like 15 or 16. We just called it homemade, as stick and poke (as well as mullet) weren't things said until the internet homogenized slang globally. I did a peace sign on my arm, with LOVE written above, an ahnk on my left hand forefinger, and a NO $ on my upper shoulder which never took (because I'm destined for vast riches). I've done a few other homemade tattoos over the years, and still do to be honest, just as a general rejection of tattoo snobbery, but also because sometimes you just want an extra star on your leg at 9 in the evening or you need DIRTGOD on your thigh. I have nice shop tattoos now too, plus some really dumb ones (because it's my brain thinking these things), but I have never been ashamed or wanted to cover up my fucked up, fading homemade tattoos.
A weird thing happens though, and I had it happen recently when in a room full of well-meaning self-identified progressive white men talking about some art shit, where when I find myself in certain environments, all the homemade tattoos start to throb. I used to think it was a pain years ago when I first noticed it, and it came from anxiety about well-to-do people realizing I'm a natural born piece of shit. But over the years, as I've come to trust the guiding hands of ancestors looking out for me, I realized the throb is not pain or anxiety but warning, "These are not your people" or "You are in a dangerous environment, protect yourself." And they're not dangerous physically, but culturally/systemically, dealing with people who have always had some sort of power within our society who don't even need to use physicality because they've transcended use of their body for survival. They live off the abstractions, embezzling the labor of others, either directly or through inherited or familial wealth, and thus their danger is also in the abstract realm.
In our society though, the goal is for "economic liberation" or to gain that abstract comfort so that you don't have to destroy your fuckin' body the rest of your life. Like that's the individual goal (and our society is built to mainly think about individualistic goals, not communal or collective ones, even amongst the progressive types). Any sad sack out here suffering through whatever hustle/grind/pray combination they're dealing with in our capitalistic society says they're doing it for their kids or family or future or something like that. You are sacrificing, working hard to get that bag, money before hoes... there's no shortage of euphemisms for this individualistic moral compromise.
That's why I'm thankful for my shitty homemade tattoos which ache when I find myself in the presence of too many abstract devils at once. That No $ that you can't see starts vibrating with warning, like a rattlesnake tail only I can feel saying, "Beware these snakes!" And I realize, I would much rather lounge than grind, and definitely prefer hoes way more than money. Ultimately the goal of not using your body to survive capitalism is so you can lounge around and fill your brain with serotonin. Why deny it now to chase an abstract carrot version of it you'll most likely never catch?

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