April 27, 2016

Carry On and Run

Some nights there ain't nothing to say.
No words. No ideas. Nothing to say.

Some nights there are too many ideas and enough energy to match. Focus. Attention. Urgency. Results.

Some nights there are enough ideas, but the droopy eye-lids and foggy brain translate into frustrating dead ends and rambling nonsense.

The ability to transform everyday reality and experience into coherent, funny, moving, entertaining, worthwhile prose is no easy task. These daily attempts are nothing but first-thought, best-thought rough drafts at best. Even still, they aren't easy, and I am not even talking about the discipline to actually write real pieces. This thing I am doing is just stretching, but it still hurts.


I got race on my mind. I have wanted to admit that I wish I was I black for weeks, but I have been scared that this confession may be perceived as insensitive and racist, nonetheless- I said it.

Prince and Beyonce have me proud to be black…oh wait….yeah I know, but I have been reveling in the beauty of black culture worldwide, but in America in particular these last few days. Everything I love and admire about American culture is a direct influence of the African American context.

Is it privilege to say these things? Most likely. Is it wrong to glorify the reality of oppression and systemic racism, as some kind of cultural game. I am sure it is. But for days I have wanted to admit that I always wished I was black.

Feels weird to say it out loud and place it in permanent words on the internet, but there it is. I am sure people much more intellectual and learned than me, have all kinds of psychological explanations for my realization, but for me it is simple: I find black culture beautiful. Is it so weird that a white Iranian man, could respect and admire the struggle and beauty of centuries of struggle and music and poetry and rebellion?

I just watched a nine minute virtual reality, 360 degree view of a Mexican slaughter house. I have seen scenes like this many times before, but I choose to be moved every time. I never want to become become numb to these scenes. Or worse choose to ignore them and pretend that they are not reality. Every time I watch the murder of an innocent sentient being I become angry. I become filled with sadness. I get slightly nauseous and feel like I might vomit. I tear up and nearly cry.

This clip is no different. It allows you to navigate the room and witness the blood, the despair, the absolute disgust that houses this process.

I don’t want to guilt people into making lifestyle choices, but if we knew about the murder of human beings wouldn't we speak out. If we knew of untold suffering wouldn't it be our duty to speak for the voiceless. When we are witness to injustice, it is our human responsibility to raise awareness.

You can choose to ignore this video, because you do not watch videos “like this.” It might be too upsetting and you have seen enough of them. But I suggest you watch all of them that come your way. Bringing witness to suffering is a brave and courageous act. I hope for the sake of life you remain brave. I hope that not only will you watch the clip, but that you will share it with as many people as you know.

If you love bacon than please don’t shy away from the truth. Own the process that brings it to your table. It doesn’t make sense to love something but not own the process in which it is created.

(Hypocrisy Clause: Let me take a minute to step down from my absurdly annoying self-righteous soap box for a second and admit that there are many things I love and exploit, knowing full well their origins. All my devices are just a few examples. So I am not here to judge you. I am not here to make you feel guilty. I think the modern person is plagued with enough self-inflicted guilt to keep us busy. I just want to share an injustice that is near to my heart in hopes that it will open your eyes and your heart.)

Just so you don’t think my days are filled with race envy and guilt, let me tell you of my afternoon:

I ran home. In a thunderstorm. There was a part of me that wondered what it would feel like to get struck my the lightening that was striking all around me. I kind if wished for it, until one bolt hit so close that I actually ducked near a bush.

The rain was cold and consistent and felt great steaming off my hot body. The legs were right back at it. The lungs kept up and my brain was lost in the verdant sidewalks and the soaking up of the puddles with my socks.

I ran passed a lost watch. Giant Umbrellas. Passengers chasing buses. I focused on the present.

I was an animal made of flesh running on a spinning planet.
After being buried in so many lingering ruts, the awareness of my being sentient was enough to carry on and run.

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