Naked and spectacular
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Thank you,
Quinoa Blessed
2017

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2012-11-30

Smiling fully and submissively with my famiy

I travel from across the ocean because I dedicated my life to the human species, and I seek the most pure expression of human nature I can with my imprinted culture and language.  I seek to wash myself of this culture and language to the extent that suits me at any one moment, and I succeed only so far.  When an old man who only speaks Q'eqchi' grasps my hand with some unknown intent and I look into his eyes and can only say, "No entiendo," I realise I have shed little of what was given to me by my culture as a child.

I have found a culture full of refugees of the same culture I try to escape.  They come from North and South America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand; and almost never elsewhere.  They are my brothers and sisters and I do feel comfortable to express myself exuberantly and joyfully when I feel inclined.  We meet only temporarily and always in a different place because we share a distrust of permanence and an avoidance of responsibility.  We meet under many names, but there is a banner that has developed and which many of us wear with pride.  Under this banner many gatherings occur all year round across the planet.

I have met eight times under this banner, for one month at a time.  Over this time I have noticed our own culture developing, some of which is 40 years old, some has developed over many years and some emerges from the experience of a single gathering.  Like the culture that offered us concepts and objects to believe in and buy, this culture is utilised as a limiting factor for the maintenance of a shared experience.  How can a man who is embedded in a culture that he loves use such a cold sentence to describe the sight of 100 people singing, dancing and drumming around a fire under the fullmoon?  The night sky is thick with clouds and the ground is wet with mud, but this is not the reason; perhaps it is the waves of digestive disturbance that I haven't figured out how to avoid.  Perhaps I have cultivated an alienation from my own culture that facilitates the observations that the thoughtful appreciate reading on the internet or in a book at quiet moments.  When I am strong I throw my joy and my love around our Sacred Circle as an alternative to whatever else is going on and the more smiles I give, the more I have to give.  When I am weak I have nothing to offer and cannot accept the oat and hash "blissballs" that circulate as a pathway into the mindset of the crowd, my family, the culture we collectively cultivate and unconsciously consent to at every moment.

It is my job to contradict any culture I see developing around me, I tell myself.  At times of hysteria I promote calm and at times of cultural haze I provoke chaos.  But I also like to sink into the lap or into the gaze of a beautiful person who simply accepts me as I am, lazy or busy, poet or person, sad or happy.  I sleep alone surrounded by too much food and ants who often respect the space I borrowed from them.  My eyes open so wide sometimes that it must seem like a blinding headtorch in the night, perhaps this overwhelms the beautiful I most seek connection with.  I do not know how they respond to my rejection of the drugs - wheat, rice, marijuana, tobacco, hippie slop in huge pots, spiritual noise and new age chatter - or whether they internalise the rejection as if I believe in something different.

I believe only in love, not in The End of the Mayan Calendar or The Law of Attraction or the need for excessive consumption of overcooked grains.  I came here to open my heart and to have the most beautiful people open their hearts to me, I tell myself.  I came here to experience disappointment and love and ecstasy and whatever else I haven't found yet.  I came too far to be able to turn back when I feel sad from eating too many tortillas and peanuts.  I am here and I don't know who will invite me or where, but I will go where the most beautiful lead and I will be ready for whatever I have never experienced before and warms my heart and brings smiles to those around me and allows me to smile fully and submissively with my family.

2012-11-20

Now is the time

We are in the centre of the New World at the End of the Time.  Many of us have travelled from afar to be here together.  We have left behind the stifling comforts of Civilisation to sit in the dirt around the fire.  We have rejected the promise of various forms of success for something more tangible, perhaps a social acceptance that resonates in our bodies and stimulates a feeling some might refer to as the "soul".  Our presence is bolstered by various Native American prophesies; one that announced our new age tribe by name decades before we first came together; one that placed cosmic significance on this specific time and place.  We don't know what we're doing, we are standing together in a circle in a maize field in the rainforest holding hands naked under the sun and the moon.
What are we doing here and how do we find out what we are doing here?  We can listen to our bodies or we can discuss and form a rational religion based on superficial explanations of common understandings.  So many of us are post-Christian and post-Scientific Materialism and post-Adulthood to the point where we resist and deny any point at which a religion seems to form.  Some of us possess watery minds within which a drop of anything colourful can spread rapidly, but many of us wait patiently for that which is simple and proves effective time and again; cooperation, gentleness, love.  Surely we need an empirical source of information.  Luckily, we have our bodies to provide us with all the information we could hope for within a universe in which we are literally manifest as human bodies.  Our bodies are extremely sensitive and malleable and so we can adjust and adapt to many environments and climates.  We learn a lot as travellers and vagabonds, experiencing many variations of reality.  In our rich and civilised First World homes we frequent Health Food shops, choosing to expose ourselves only to the best consumables available.

When we come together here in ceremony outside of the concrete and education we grew up with we choose to desensitise our bodies with chapattis, wheat grains refined into flour, mixed with flour and burned to a crisp on the fire until they form crusts of indigestible delight for those who identify as hippies.  We carry around huge pots of overcooked post-food to serve to one another with filthy hands in our Sacred Cirlce.  We reach out our various containers like refugees, desperately begging for more mass to fill our bulging bellies, craving the nutrition that has been deliberately boiled out of our hippie slop.  Having shared our meal and still feeling joyful almost to the point of being overwhelmed with the beauty of our environment and each other and the envigoration of life, we must further desensitise our bodies with the smoking of tobacco and marijuana.  Our goal is surely the reduction of intensity of the fullness of experience of a life devoid of distraction and toxic influence.  Everything we need to know is contained in that moment of silence after our collective AUM, seconds before the inevitable noise necessary to organise the feeding of 200 people.

We try to work hard and we try to enjoy free time, we become agitated to leave and we plan to form communities with dreams of sustainability and the relief of the alleviation of nomadism.  We are free from the idiotic ideologies of all societies and yet we are trapped by our own addictions and traumas.  We hope for far more than we are willing to accept when it is offered to us, but we anticipate great change soon.  Our dreams creep into our waking minds as memories when we don't smoke too much before bed.  We are forced into fasting when our bodies become sick with parasites that beg us to starve them.  There is so much waiting for us when we decide to allow it that our imaginations fail us.  What if we take our clothes off forever?  What if we only ever speak the truth, even when it provokes emotion?  What if we eat and smoke no more and only drink the water and breathe the air that is clean and full of goddess?  What if we accept fully the divinity of creating the state of our bodies that maintains the state of our world?

2012-11-06

Behind the cultural haze

Having surrendered to the will of the universe in which I exist, I continue to find myself at home in places that I could not previously have imagined.

I was warned about travelling through Central America by people who have never been here and know nothing about it.  I forget what I am supposed to worry about here.  Years ago I chose a life without stress, I'm not sure I would be alive today otherwise.  I also chose to listen to my body, and the pain of loneliness and boredom has pushed me into situations that could appear to be dangerous or stressful.  I can only push myself as far as I feel comfortable.

I do not speak the local language, I don't know how many people do, or when they get the opportunity to do so.  There is a common Spanish that is mostly spoken, and my grasp of even this language is thin.  I could not have come here without the knowledge that I was walking into the wet tropical forest to find 100 brothers and sisters from all over the world who blessedly speak in a common English.  Can I remain in this bubble of international love and hippie culture?

I look at the locals and we both grin stupidly.  Am I the retard who can't even speak Spanish?  Am I the exotic foreigner, equally hilarious and intriguing?  Or am I just another human being?  I am rich in this country.  One US dollar is worth almost eight quetzales and everything is considerably cheaper.  Still we haggle and try to talk down the price, fearful that we might be ripped off by a quetzale or two.  We gringoes bring in our phones and our laptops and leave them in our Made in China tents and then we shout our complaints when they disappear.  In Cobán, the local town, the cellphone companies announce the importance of their products on the streets and the thirdworlders clamour to buy into the advertised glory of Western Civilisation.  There are so many things that we didn't know we didn't have.

I am always an outsider, at least as long as it takes me to have a conversation in Spanish, but I am with my friends so it is okay.  Sometimes I want to escape to Civilisation somewhere, but it is too far away and I won't know anyone there and I will need money to survive and my meagre savings won't last for long.  I think about San Francisco, where I spent five days with my friends on the way to Guatemala, and I yearn for the convenience and the good food and entertainment and English.  Instead I sludge through endless mud and rain, cross lines of ants carrying huge pieces of cut leaves into their underground cities, and end my day curled awkwardly by the fire on a brother's lap or laid out alone in my tiny stolen tent surrounded by my belongings and food.  I wonder at the life I chose for myself and how far away it is from what I was educated for.  Here, the currency is touch and music; in town, the currency is quetzales and smiles.

My brother discusses the possibility of buying land; it is cheap, and here we can be free and be together.  We are all searching for something we cannot name, we searched each other out from across the globe and together we know we feel the same about something.  We span the American continents, all of Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.  I notice a distinct dark patch across much of the populated globe.  We agree that we reject much of what we were taught to value, though a lot of it we are addicted to.  We say, "No alcohol, no drugs, no meat," though we suck into our lungs a lot of tobacco, marijuana and industrial grains.  I reject oats and wheat, though I am smitten by a new love of corn.  We expect the world is changing, though we make plans as though it has always been like this and always will be.  I feel my love for the new people around me grow much more rapidly than my ability to speak Spanish, but I fantasise about the most beautiful and cause awkward inabilities to behave normally in their presence.

I am confused human being, placing myself in environments in which my habitual behaviours are not appropriate or useful, forcing myself to discover what it really is I am doing, behind all the thoughts, behind the cultural haze that binds and confuses me, behind the throbbing in my loins to the beating heart in my chest.

2012-10-18

The next journey

Hello to all my friends, readers and potential lovers.  I have completed my story of the most recent journey around Australia and have recorded it in audio form.  I look forward to sharing it with you and with all the friends you feel would benefit from it.  Feel free to make requests for these materials, and I will get them online when the moment presents itself to me.

I don't know what access I will have to the abstract digital dimension of the internet from now on.  Today I fly far away to what has been called the New World, but which geologically is the old world.  A great man will meet me at the airport and hug me and together we will go visit another great man, who will not get the opportunity to hug me because we will be surrounded by thousands of other people who are coming to visit him too.  The latter great man is Bob Dylan and the continent is North America.

From humble civilised beginnings this journey will wander deep into the unknown, the uncivilised, the chaos of nature and the otherworlds.  I don't know about these places either, so I cannot explain them, but I am being called into the depths of the unknown and I am not afraid.  I know I will be strong enough to fulfill my role when I arrive there because I trust that the strength necessary will be waiting upon my arrival.

2012-10-11

Transformation

The world is about to be transformed beyond recognition.  What does this mean?  Our current powers of perception cannot imagine what has never been perceived before. Is this true?  I don't know, I only experience this universe through the conduit of my body; my senses, my emotions, my intuitions and my rationalisations are all I have to go by.  Whatever I felt limited by in the past will no longer be a problem for me.  Where I am going the only problem I can forsee is that all of the excuses I have used to justify my inadequacy and apathy will fall away and reveal the truth of my presence, my purpose and the naked beauty and power of my body, embedded in my environment, embedded in the moment in which I live, surrounded by the people who give my life meaning and whose lives I enrich.  I will see you when I get there.

2012-08-08

I run from everything I don't want to face and when I have finished running, when I have arrived at the destination where I allow myself to rest for a moment, there it is waiting for me.  I have trouble sometimes perceiving the reality of the situation among all of the literary and moral projections I apply onto the world I understand to exist.  I am not this person called Me, I am an entity manifest in time and space from somewhere that my manifest rational consciousness cannot understand or perceive.  Time passes at increasingly rapid rates and I throw away the richest moments my ancestors could have imagined.  Everyone I know is embedded in a menagerie of culture that they refer to as "normal" and yet I can relate to them as a true presence when I look through the veil of culture and see the innocent child behind it waiting for me to notice her.  I am a man at the moment and the fullness of this experience is physical and intellectual and joyous.  I have energy and exuberance and I want to serve and love in the way that comes most naturally to me and this is what I do.  My life is structured around opportunities to love people.  Even when I am surrounded by hundreds of people I cannot love them if I do not "know" them or if someone I do "know" does not introduce me to them, so I go where I "know" people and specifically where I am able to be appreciated.  These are the places where my gifts are received and therefore my life has meaning and purpose.  I apologise to those whose expectations I do not fulfill; actually I do not.  My family sometimes expect different things from life.  There is a completely separate reason for my family and I to be together; not like others, we are together cos we enrich each others' lives; my family and I are present together merely so we can experience states of being drastically different from what we would normally project or accept.

2012-08-06

The uniformed vigilantes

Having sat through over 50 films in the New Zealand International Film Festival I have taken a walk a few metres down the road to the Imax cinema to see the The Dark Knight Rises.  There were 150 films screening over 2.5 weeks and the festival closed yesterday.  Having seen so many films with so much variety it must be asked, why do so many people want to see instead want to see the new Batman film?  It also must be asked, why did someone decide to bring a gun and shoot up one of the US screenings of the film?

There were 100s of screenings as a part of the film festival here in Auckland and at none of them was there any fatal violence.  I did happen to be present for a minor terrorist threat at one screening about a Russian journalist who had been murdered.  I was the usher and so when a well-dressed middle-aged heterosexual couple exited the theatre they talked to me.  "We're probably just being paranoid," they told me, "but it's not worth the risk."  It was shortly after the Batman shootings and the nature of the documentary was political and there was a man sitting in the front row with lots of bags.  "I don't know what he's doing," they reported, "but he's not watching the film."  Wearing my volunteer t-shirt and my official staff card around my neck I quietly approach the front of the auditorium and sit behind the old man in the front row.  He has something on his lap, what appears to be a pad and pen and he is asleep.  It seems the real threat has left the building and it was middle-class paranoia.

Why should the middle-class be paranoid when they have the authority, power and moral conviction of Western Civilisation behind them?  I have just watched 50 films of various styles, various subjects and various perspectives.  Some of them I agreed with more than others, others I opposed; some offered me exuberance, others solemn revelation.  These films were mostly produced independently of the major studios that produce the multiplex popcorn accompaniments.  They were produced by passionate filmmakers who had something to express to the world, whether it was the loss of the death of their lover or the potential loss of the last pristine ocean on the planet.  These films were produced, selected and screened to overcome the persistent illusion and apathy that is overcoming our culture.  Who do they serve?  Most of them make little or no money.  They are not being shown at the multiplexes because they do not serve the culture of consumption that keeps the multiplexes alive.  I hesitate to suggest that they serve truth because "truth" is a word that has been rendered meaningless by politicians and their media allies.  But truth persists amongst illusion and the truth we can receive with our perceptions and process with our brains is manifest in this world in myriad forms which may appear sometimes to contradict each other.  The film festival does not select one three hour film to hand over to the masses for its consumption; it offers 150 films from many different nations representing many different truths; uniting the truth is the passion of the human beings who decide to dedicate their lives to manifesting the images in their head on the screen.

Down the road, despite rapid and widespread news about one lunatic shooting up a screening, The Dark Knight Rises screens in multiple cinemas all day every day and the masses march in to see it.  What does Warner Brothers have to offer them?  Gotham City is New York City and its period of peace is about to come to an end.  The terrorists hit first Wall Street to steal all the fake money.  They hate rich people.  Eventually they occupy the city spouting rhetoric about how they are going to give the city back to the people and throw the rich onto the streets.  They disempower the police and take over the city with uncompromising violence, advanced technology and synchronised hierarchical organisation.  Their tactics are those of the military, their rhetoric is anarchist and their intention is to serve their deranged and ugly leader.  The masked vigilante is of course an outlaw, but he has two things in common with the police; one, he is good (as opposed to evil) and two, he wears a mask (aka uniform).  The masked vigilante and the uniformed police serve the same purpose, to save the precious city from the terrorists.  In Imax the city glistens like the jewels of the rich as it is filmed from helicopters on 70mm film.  We see these shots throughout the film and towards the end it is described as "beautiful".  The film never leaves the city, except for one brief moment when Batman emerges into some middle-eastern wilderness before suddenly appearing back in the city.  The unmasked anarchist terrorists block off the Manhattan island from the rest of the world and no one leave or arrive; they threaten to destroy everything with a nuclear bomb inadvertently built by the heroes.  It is basically inevitable that this bomb will explode and kill 12 million Gotham New Yorkers but of course it does not because the uniforms and masks are placed upon the human bodies of the heroes of this city and they restore the city to its rightful rulers, the police.  Eventually the bomb is taken from the city as it is about to explode and in its final seconds hovers above the ocean.  Batman, serving the city that he loves, sacrifices not only himself, as is made explicit, but the ocean, a blue nothingness possessing neither a face nor a mask and the mushrooms can be seen by the Gotham New Yorkers sprouting out of the ocean that they may not realise is the blood of the planet they live on.

Can Batman die?  When I was a child I watched reruns of Adam West as Batman on TV.  At the end of every episode Batman would be in some inescapable situation that he would promptly escape from at the beginning of the following episode.  When I was a child a series of four Batman films was released between 1989 and 1997 that told the story with much more sophistication and violence for a more sophisticated and cynical world.  In 2005 a new Batman rose with considerably more sophistication and certainly in these latest three films an increasing degree of violence which finally erupted from the screen and into the cinema.  Batman is a symbol the film keeps telling us, and we all know that symbols cannot die.  It doesn't matter how many police the baddies kill, there will always be more.  Even if Batman is blown up by a nuclear bomb he, having served his people, having sacrificed his fortune and his life for them, receives eternal life, in the only way our secular minds can understand, happily ever after; in other words, marriage, heterosexual monogamy and financial stability.

Why would someone choose to bring a gun in and shoot up such an inspirational story?  Is it because screen violence provokes real violence?  Or is it because the same mythical tendency that makes violent gods appealing in violent times is exactly the same tendency that makes "superheroes" appealing in violent times?  When the people began to realise that their religious institutions no longer served them, when they were under the impression that even God worked for the synagogue, a man stood up and moved the power of God away from the religious institutions that served only the maintenance of their own power and returned it to the earth and the people of the earth.  Eventually the teachings of the revolutionary anarchist were manipulated by another religious institution that merely strives to maintain their own power.  What can we do if even God works for the church?  When these comic-book superheroes emerged they suggested that power can emerge from outside of the power structures.  They had no faces, they were like gods.  They fought crime though they were not a part of the police force.  It is 2012 and everybody knows that all our institutions are now corrupt.  All we have are the independent filmmakers, the vigilantes, those who exist outside of the system that not only is corrupt but corrupts those who enter into its mechanisms.  What can we do if even Batman is on the side of the police?  Why would we fight for the revolution, though their propaganda makes more sense, because, as this film proves, they are much more than the institutions, much more violent, they are literally evil.

What can we do?  We can submit to this film; considerately, for us intelligent masses it is much more sophisticated and therefore convincing than any similar film that has preceded it, though it maintains the sound-effects of punching and shooting violence that has become a gentle purr, the soundtrack of our modern lives.  If we submit to the film we realise that even in the most extreme circumstances, against insurmountable odds, we will be saved, poor helpless masses that we are.  The baddies that oppose the status quo will be stopped by our heroes in uniform and the nuclear bomb that our best people produced will be dropped into the vast ocean that will forgive us all our mistakes, even our nuclear mistakes.  Those who wear masks and uniforms are not weak like us because they overcome their humanity with their uniforms.

If our world consists only of what we see in films like this, and this is undoubtedly one of the more sophisticated examples on offer today, if we do not have access to a great film festival or some other culturally rich and diverse source, what do we do if the thesis of the film fails to overcome the pain inside us?  What do we do if the certainty of wrongness swelling up inside us is no longer able to be ignored?  It used to be that the ultimate image of powerlessness we possessed as a society was self-immolation by dowsing oneself in petrol and burning alive.  This image is outdated.  Today our primary image of complete and utter powerlessness is a killing spree with a gun with the certainty that you will not make it out of the school or cinema alive.  How could we be so hopeless?

2012-07-31

Films about the life of humans

The New Zealand International Film Festival continues here in Auckland and today there was another interestingly synchronistic double-feature.

Policeman is an Israeli film about a tribe of Police Fighters and a tribe of Revolutionary Socialists.  We are brought into each of their worlds and then we see their violent interaction.

Dead Europe is an Australian film about a man visiting the village of his Greek father for the first time and discovering the lingering hatred and violence throughout Europe.

Both of these films have very bleak views of the price of confronting the damaged nature of our societies.  The idealistic youngsters in the first film feel compelled to address the economic imbalance in Israel.  "It is time for the poor to get rich and the rich to start dying,"  they announce.  They are not the only ones to feel this way.  Last year there was a massive demonstation in Tel Aviv involving half a million people (1/16th of the population of the state) in favour of significant changes to government, social and economic behaviour.  As unprecedented numbers of people around the world have discovered in recent years even peaceful demonstations against governments and corporations eventually end with dispersion or destruction from Riot Police.  However, the characters in this film are quite happy to use violence themselves and thus justify a rapid and uncompromising violence from Police.  What can be done to change society if any mass attempt leads to anti-human Police violence?  Policeman shows that terrorists and police are groups made up of human beings and that one group does violence much more successfully than the other.

Dead Europe has an equally hopeless but much less concise story to tell.  Ambiguity and depravity emerge from every dank corner of Europe that the protagonist encounters, revealing little that can be made sense of.  It is a sprawling trashy and convoluted mythical exploration of why Australia came to be a European colony.  Why would anyone want to leave Europe for this new continent, you might ask?  Tony Krawitz's film suggests that perhaps it is because Europe is dead, a cesspool of generations of dehumanising violence, exploitation and self-abuse.  The only solution, it seems, is to leave and never return.  There is no hope for a land that has been the stage for so many centuries of incomprehensible and unjustifiable acts, we can only give our lives and our passports to our children while they still possess the hope to venture out into the world for a better life, leaving behind the continent where it all happened and the habits of the parents who allowed it all to continue.

It would be easy to understand emerging from this double-feature devoid of hope for any type of future or instead choosing a denial that replaces the difficult face of reality.  I emerged onto the rainy night street of Auckland, however, with a clarity and a peace that is the result of powerful art experiences bringing to world into focus.  It would be easy to have no hope, some might say; but I disagree.  Hope is essential and logical and there was a third film today which exemplified the hope that I continue to experience.

Winter Nomads began my day, before this double-feature.  It is a Swiss documentary about a man and a woman, donkeys, dogs and a huge flock of sheep performing the traditional winter practice of moving the herd around to glean the final vegetation of the year from every available grassland.  These two humans live a simple life with their animals, in the snow, relaxing by the fire in the evening, sleeping in the tent with the dogs.  The practice is going out of fashion and some progressive locals oppose their tradition but when we sit with these people we realise what a human being is and receive a palpable peaceful suggestion about how human beings might live.

2012-07-27

from Anarchy – a novel I can't be bothered finishing


The stage was set for another democracy performance.  This elaborate and expensive play had been performed once every three years in New Zealand for many years.  It was nothing new.  And yet each and every time there was the promise of something new, something special.  The possibility that the act of democracy would elect an individual who would create profound change in our world, in our country.  An individual who would go that extra mile, who would take it further than anyone had taken it before.  Who would align with the values and the needs of the Mainstream Kiwi and our government would explode in bursts of colour and light, symbolic balloons and streamers would erupt from the beehive like a swarm of love and leadership.  But every year the country ended up with a spineless slug, of sufficient matter to fit into any square hole or ergonomic office chair that happened to already be lying around in parliament.  They were the anti-revolutionists.  Heading, with every passing year, as New Zealanders values become broader and more open-minded due to inevitable creep of globalisation and secularism, towards centrism; the entire political spectrum shrinking into a dash and readily becoming a full stop.  A This-Is-What-You-Get end to the wonderful ancient invention known as democracy.  Is the inevitable end to democracy a slow but certain self-consumption?  A swallowing of one's self?

The billboards stood tall and strong like meercats staked to the ground.  At every corner they proudly display the smiling faces of their digestible candidates

I walked down the street and I saw one of those fucking political signs and I said, “Goddamn politicians, make me pay for their propaganda.”  It looked like that thin plasticky shit so I thought I could just yank it off the wood, but it cut my fuckin' hands up and I ended up leaving the stupid thing, completely attached.  And some stupid old lady was staring at me like I was defiling a religious image of Her Majesty Mary of Nazareth or something and I just glared at her like, “what?” and she just kept walking, like pretending she hadn't been giving me the evils and I stared up at that big billboard with that smiling rich prick in the suit and I said, “I'm gonna fuckin' destroy you and your shit-eating grin.”
            When I got home I told my flatmate Albert about it and he said, “So?” and I said, “Doesn't it piss you off?” and he said, “No.  Why should it?”  And I walked away in a huff.  I live with such morons that I just can't stand it.  If they could at least figure out how to do the dishes properly I wouldn't mind, but even that's a big challenge.  Sometimes I have visions of blowing the back of their heads off with a handgun and then I wonder whether I could get away with it, but I never come up with a good enough plan and I always get bored pretty quickly cause I guess if I was going to shoot someone it would be fucking Winston Peters or John Key.  Don Brash saved his own skin getting out of politics fast enough.  But if I saw him on the street he'd get the hiding of his life.
            I called my mum 'cause I wanted to have a proper conversation with someone and she just told me that we have left-wing and we have right-wing and you may agree with one or the other, but we're lucky that they both balance each other out and what we are left with represents all New Zealanders.  I told her what if you think they're all bloodsucking leeches with as much moral power as a store-brand battery and how can you vote for little electronic bunnies that have no personality and no commitment and have to be wound up by months of public funding and she said, “What?”  I decided to get literal and get eloquent and try to speak in my mother's language and so I asked her what she thought of the concept of anarchy.  “It's an absurd idea,” she told me.  “For starters, how does a country run without any organisation or laws?  For second starters, how can anarchy be a concept and how can it be a political system because as soon as it becomes organised it ceases to be anarchy and without any sort of organisation how is it going to overcome the firmly established institution of democracy?”
            “I'm not about to form an anarchist group, Mum.  I'm just exploring possibilities that offer us a little more than democracy has.”
            “It's futile.”
            It's futile.  You just have no imagination.  The times they are a-changin', Mum.  Democracy has left us with nothing but debt and depression.”
            “Oh, what've you been reading, Henry.”
            “Nothing, you know I don't read.  We've just been having classes at uni.  Everyone's anti-democracy at the moment.  You can get 500 bucks if you set up a club and this guy Jonas wants to set up an anarchy club and he said he's aware of the irony, he wants the money and he wants to stir some shit.”
            Language.
            “I'm just saying what he said.”

Jonas got his $500 and the Anarchists Anti-Club was formed.  Surprisingly for Jonas, people actually turned up to the first meeting.  Many were long-haired, scruffy and unshaven.  Wore dark clothes, slumped shoulders.  Others were well-dressed and confident, with a conspiratorial gleam in their eyes.  The first meeting was not very anarchic, which went along with Jonas's sense of irony, as it was largely taken up by the detailed rantings of an old man who claimed to be part of a failed communist party take-over of parliament.  He then moved to a commune on Waiheke Island and was disappointed to find it as pointless and irritating as flatting with way too many people who wouldn't do the dishes or replace the toilet paper.  He was, at 65, ready for some anarchy.  He was studying again because his wife left him.  These three interweaving stories were the feature attraction of Anarchists Anti-Clubs first successful gathering.  On the way out a giggling and apparently stoned individual kicked over some chairs and drew an anarchists “A” on one of the tables with a vivid.  If the details of this event were at all interesting, I would go into them.  Henry attended, curious.  “Organisation is so boring,” he commented to his girlfriend Michelle on the way out.  “I knooow,” she conceded.

2012-07-26

Beasts of the Southern Wild

The world has been blessed with the spectacular new film Beasts of the Southern Wild by director Benh Zeitlin.  Never have I seen a film that so beautifully and intensely celebrates life, the unavoidable interconnectedness and similitude of all life and the strangeness of our time, its filth and its beauty.

Civilisation itself is confronted with its own perversity and the irresistible brilliance of the film and its six-year-old protagonist, Hushpuppy, challenges the fact that the film is likely to be shown within the same civilisation.  There is no hint of morality or sentimentality, no tenderness around the characters being abducted from their homes and taken to the "Open Arms" shelter or their excessive consumption of alcohol.  There is no such thing as hygiene, dry housing, plastic wrapping or products to be purchased; only that which is sacred is held onto, the vitality and joy of life, the love and community of every form of life.  What is not valued is that which reduces life; sterility, authority, levees, weakness, and these unnecessary elements are avoided without moral questioning.

What are we to think, the audience for this film?  The best of us sit down for a meal together around a table with plates and cutlery eating cuisine with manners; the rest of us perhaps sit on the couch in front of the television eating precooked meals defrosted in the microwave.  In the film the characters pour living seafood onto the table and when a man tries to teach Hushpuppy how to crack open a crab with a knife he is shouted down with chants to the girl, "BEAST IT!  BEAST IT!" and she cracks the shell with her bare hands and sucks out the raw flesh and climbs onto the table in her gumboots and shrieks.

Who are the beasts and who are the domesticated?  What do these children really deserve?  To stay in their home while it drastically changes around them living a full life of chaos and joy and difficulty?  Or do they deserve to be protected from life, sanitised, educated, patronised?  Do our children deserve to live in harmony with their environment, understanding their place in their community, feeling a strong and conscious understanding of the natural world of which they are involved or do they deserve to be locked in houses with airconditioning and soap and shuttled to schools and prescribed activities?  They questions are not addressed by the film, their absence is much louder than their presence ever could be.  What is presented is merely a story of a small girl learning to grow strong while her father dies.  She grew up with none of this civilisation and she is given no reason to choose it, even when those who think that every child deserves to have it forced upon them intervene briefly and ineffectively.

What is undeniable is the intensity possible in life, no matter what the situation; what is undeniable is our severe lack in this department, as we sit in together in a beautiful theatre seeing this life-affirming film, in rows, in clothes and shoes, feeling a swelling of emotion inside our bodies as the music grows loud and the title appears huge on the screen, but sitting there quietly, facing forward.  For some people, I suppose, the veil of their culture is to thick to penetrate and they are thus unable to perceive this world in its purity and beauty, seeing only filth, alcoholism and poverty.  I wonder whether they stumbled into the wrong film, whether their inability or unwillingness to submit to the film's rhythm suggests they should have dedicated their time to a very different type of film, one intended to distract rather than challenge, one designed to reinforce cultural assumptions rather than offer alternatives.  Their are at least two distinct types of film being made and distributed, one is promoted by major companies and shown at multiplexes, one is created with passion by independent filmmakers and shown at film festivals.

These two mediums may share a number of techniques and technologies but they are not remotely similar in intent or effect.  One is commonly called propaganda and is designed to manipulate the viewer into a particular type of perception, one that is defined by an authority figure, in this case the capitalists who run major film studios and the things that they value; namely, money.  The other is commonly known as art and historically has always served to challenge culture, to challenge authority, to derange the senses and throw open sanctioned perceptions to allow a flood of new images, from inside and outside the body.  We are constantly bombarded with imagery and language from many different sources and we do not often consider the importance of choosing what we expose ourselves to.  We may choose advertising, a form openly dedicated to the manipulation and perversion of the human animal into facilitating the mechanisms of modern industrial cities, producing and consuming, working, eating and defecating.  We may choose film festivals, where we are offered many realities from many variations on human culture; we may shun even this and prefer the illegal art of graffiti or unscheduled performance.  Either way, we allow ourselves to be created by those who communicate with us or to us or at us.

It seems to me that life itself is satisfactory and nothing needs to be layered upon it to make it right.  Our heroes in this film, these humans, these animals, these beasts, these filthy outlaws, share their lives with us in the unselfconscious form of drama but without the assumptions hidden in television programmes or action movies, their lives are naked, their buildings are falling apart and their home is flooded.  We are not forced to accept their way of life as normal, because who of us civilised filmgoers could accept it.  I hope that we, having exposed ourselves to such a joyous cinematic expression, are confronted with the implicit messages in the propaganda-type media we expose ourselves to; sitcoms and their assumption of domesticity; advertising and its assumption of material consumption; the news and its assumption that the world is a dangerous place.

The truth is best understood without media intervention and is best perceived without the veil of culture.  It is the responsibility of an adult to seek to destroy the imposed layers of culture and civilisation and connect first with art and then, naked and trembling, with the fullness of life itself; chaotic and yet nurturing; problematic and yet worthwhile; full of conflict and love; never able to be contained or controlled successfully or satisfactorily.

2012-07-13

It is my consistent experience that the world is a welcoming and generous place that is here to nourish, stimulate and support us in a mutually beneficial loving symbiotic relationship. 

Therefore, to love, to worship, to respect, and to always act in consideration for our home, which means our environment, every living being in our environment and especially our body, is the greatest gift we can give with the time and energy of our life and the greatest joy we can experience with our life.

I have discovered one infallible method for learning this.  To practice, refine and constantly improve upon this process is the primary purpose of my life.  All it takes is simply to listen to the land, to everything it has to say.  This need not be an ambiguous or metaphysical experience because the earth is communicating with us in every possible way; when we see the bright fruits catching our eyes hanging plentifully off the trees we know it is time to pick the fruit and the juices will be most sweet when the skins are most bright.  If we listen to all of our neighbours, of all species, and respect their communications then we are establishing and expanding our planet's ability to provide a nourishing and accepting environment for everybody, our role as members of the community of this planet.  Perhaps listening to a human companion is not perfected by focussing on their words, but watching the delight in their eyes as they tell you or the trembling of their hands as they struggle to tell you.  To listen to your body is to learn how to be human and the information of the utmost precision and appropriate specifically to being you in the specific time and place you are in.  Every movement of your body, that which you might call pain, emotion, joy, love, frustration, anxiety or beauty, is a communication of fundamental importance to life on this planet.  To listen is my role and of course the reality of the world that speaks to me is the basis of all my actions.

You are my community and I love you.  I am still human even when I pour my energy into this machine in this cubicled room.

2012-06-30

What amazes me is that we humans, here on Earth at this moment, are facing a crisis on such a scale that its most compelling manifestations are on the level of myths of interplanetary interaction and Apocalypse and the best among us are posting clever phrases and pictures on Facebook to retard the insane ideologies of those in denial about what is going on around us.

The Voluntary Global State

I would like to announce the beginning of an alternative global state.  I concede that democracy, at least theoretically, has some positive qualities, but the fact that it is involuntary I find challenging.

2012-03-28

I am a life-form, not a language-form

I may have said this before, but I suggest that we are in fact the 100% and we constitute all life on this planet.  If we are going to accept some sort of dogma to propagate and believe against all else then surely this is an improvement on the dogma that we are the 99% and we are good and the 1% are evil because they are controlling us.  This is not true.  The 1% are in fact made up of people from the 99% because we are all the 100%.  I suppose the 99%/1% division includes only humans and excludes all other lifeforms on this planet as irrelevant, although without them we are nothing.  We can claim, though it is entirely unsubstantiated, that only humans matter, but even if it is true that we are the dominant and superior lifeform on this planet, we still need every other lifeform to support us so we can continue to live and kill and make posts on the internet, create monolithic political institutions and try to give them legitimacy with names like "government" and by enforcing this governance with brute force and mind-control, create small institutions to oppose the large institutions and while criticising their anti-freedom mind-contol techniques putting them into practice by creating another mini-empire within the confines of an ideology that provides a feeling of safety in a crazy world.

I suggest that the so-called 1% are actually of our own ranks (and despite my criticism of Occupy's rhetoric and sloganing I am definitely on the 99% side of the debate).  I suggest that not only do rich people who are obsessed with their own money or the success of the national economy above the fate of life on this planet imbed themselves in the abstract language constructs that justify their abhorrent behaviour, but we do it ourselves all the time by creating slogans to define ourselves.

If we pay attention to advertising - and if you don't pay attention to advertising you are a fool (unless you can completely remove yourself from its target) - we will notice how our individuality is built up by the way we are allowed to choose which products we want to define us.  I am aware when I go to the movies that I am defined, and I love to be defined, by the fact that I prefer "arthouse" movies to the low-brow uneducated masses who prefer "mainstream" movies, which are so much less intelligent.  I notice this and then I rise above it.  I do not want to define myself by advertising.  I do not want to define myself by the labels "anticapitalist" or "anarchist" because these are merely language-forms to segregate me from my family, the 100%, and I do not want to be defined and bound my language-forms, I am a life-form.

My experience of Occupy Sydney was not defined by the banners many of my family held up to confront the more peripheral of our family, those bound up in the rat race of Civilisation.  My experience was defined by the presence of the people around me.  They were diversely-minded people.  Urban-dwelling Sydney people, but with many ideas about how the human world worked and how it could work better.  I had many conversations and we often disagreed and we always relished the opportunity to disagree, hear each other out, and to enrich our understanding by incorporating the other person in our perspective.  Even if we do not change our political position, we have enriched our soul by listening to another person and being present for the expression of their soul.

We are the 100%.

2012-03-19

We are the 100%

Arriving in the Sydney CBD and attempting to buy a new sim card so I can make calls to pick up some cheques and find a home for the night I found to be an overwhelming unpleasant experience in the heat, carrying my backpack and my guitar.  I respected myself enough to pause as often and for as long as necessary, to calm my emotions from reacting to circumstances beyond my control and of little significance.  Eventually I did these boring things and called Ashwyn, who had offered to accommodate me at his squat through Couchsurfing.org, and he gave me directions instead to Martin Place, in the centre of Sydney, between the twin towers of Westpac and Australian Reserve Bank.  I was surprised to find a cosy little camp set up on the pavement beside the fountains with carpet and cushions and many people talking and enjoying themselves.  I was invited to drop my bag in the pile and relax.  I also noticed armed Police standing around bored.
            The first person I met there was Alistair, a young man with a beautiful smile who was very excited to be there.  He had quit his second job to spend more time at the occupation, but he had to pay 50% tax on his second job anyway, so the loss was insignificant and the gain was immeasurable in his joy and enthusiasm.  I quickly developed a crush on this humble young man and spent as much time with him as possible.  I never once heard him espouse any political ideology, he seemed to me rather delighted to be a part of something real, not a demand for change but a symptom of change, not a display of discontent, but a moment of coming together in the heart of Australian Capitalism, the centre of modern alienation on this continent.
            I was surprised to find James there, a man who had spent a precious week living at my house in Jiggi a month earlier.  In the morning Alistair, James, others and I took signs down to the Channel 7 building to hold up outside the morning show studio.  Being personally apolitical I was delighted to find a sign saying “SMASH THE CLOCK” and I took this sign down to hold up for the television cameras and the capitalists rushing to work.
            For the backdrop of the Channel 7 morning show they film Martin Place, people rushing to work, people gaping in at the famous TV presenters through two layers of glass, and so we got a lot of stupid joy out of holding up our signs to the audience sitting at home, drinking coffee and eating toast.  They had monitors up in the window showing their own programme to the street and so we could see when we were live.  My greatest moment was when I could be seen, between the heads of the male and female presenters, dancing and holding up my sign.
            I got into the habit of skipping around the city and dancing with my sign.  I don’t know how many people understood “SMASH THE CLOCK” but it was mostly school children in uniform who asked me about it.  Some of them were on a day trip to the city, some of them were selling junk in support of breast cancer and some were simply on their way to school.  Children seemed to make up one percent of the population of Martin Place but perhaps 99% of the curiosity, humour and happiness of the population.
            Girls dressed by administrators in identical short skirts laughed at my silliness and asked me if I wanted to buy some crap in support of breast cancer.  “I’m against breast cancer,” I told them.  “Why?” they are shocked.  “It hurts people.”  “No!” they laugh, “this is to support research to stop breast cancer.”  “Ah!” I finally pretend to understand, “I still have no money.”  “How do you live if you have no money?”  “I don’t spend money.”  “Where do you live then?”  “I’m living up on Martin Place at the moment.”  A smile of recognition.  “We better get back, we’re not allowed to talk to you.”
            One boy seemed ready to give up his uniform and join us but was still just a child, not yet a full human being, and so of course remained under the instruction of his parents and educators.  He danced with me in the street like an idiot and encouraged his friends to do the same.  The following day they emerged from the underground train station with, “Hello Chris!”
            I made it my morning routine to hold up the “SMASH THE CLOCK” sign, dance and whistle for the busy Capitalists.  Very few of them seemed at all happy but when I went downstairs to the underground train station I noticed they seemed considerably less happy than the Capitalists rushing to work on the ground level in the sun.  One day during the morning show I was given a sign to hold up for the live TV cameras: “Television is that demon on your left shoulder, telling you what to think, who to believe and how to behave.”  Every time I attempted to perfectly line up my sign between the talking heads and move it closer and closer until finally it was perfectly legible.
            My position was apolitical and there were many with similar perspectives.  James claimed that his role was to maintain a positive energy in the camp.  Some people had political agendas.  The entire concept was borrowed from Occupy Wall Street.  Occupations had been happening in Egypt, Israel, Spain and Iceland but when it hit America it became a brand.  It is easy to be cynical about the manipulative power of such branding, especially in the hysterical media environment of USA, but the fact is the brand “Occupy” inspired 1600 occupations in 80 countries and this can only be seen as a means of celebration, that millions of people around the world are reclaiming their streets for the living, for the human beings, rather than for the non-existent, the corporations.  Corporations are not corporeal beings, but concepts, concepts which convince people to give up their time and energy to manipulate and exploit people and the planet so they can buy things and put those things in a room, their room, where they can sit alone and watch television, surrounded by their stuff.
            The gig is that “we are the 99%” who are being manipulated and controlled by “the one percent” in charge, the ultra-rich, the executives, the bankers who place profit above life.  The idea is that we stop them from doing that to us by holding up signs, living in the streets and telling as many people as possible that they too are “the 99%”, they too are victims of corporate greed and that there is something wrong when our sacred governments promote this behaviour and actually seem to be encouraging it with their policies and their law-making.
            The longer I sit in this bubble of open-minded debate and pro-human living in Australia’s anti-human pro-economic growth central hub, the more impatient I got with this idiotic ideology.  It became increasingly clear to me that here, more than anywhere else on the entire continent, we were the 0.1% who actually cared what was going on around us, who paused long enough to notice what was going on around us and who sought to change the momentum of the imminent collapse.  We had many people stopping to talk to us, desperate to sign something or give money before rushing back to their jobs, giving us more food than we could eat and give away, asking us if there was anything else we need that they could get for us.
            But then there were the hundreds who poured out of the train stations like bursting dams every five minutes, who rushed past without a glance and without a thought for what we were doing or what they were doing themselves.  They were going to work, they were doing their job, they were earning a living, like the people who paused to talk to us or donate to us, like the occupiers themselves, the self-proclaimed 99%, who left their temporary Martin Place home for nine hours, interrupted their life and their joy and their human connections to do what they are told for a while, to earn a little money so they can pay for the food they need to nourish their body, the food that every other species on this planet gets for free, so they can pay for their house, the place where they can feel secure, when every other life-form on this planet shares a home, Earth, the Kingdom of Heaven, and sleeps under the vast wonder of the starry night sky.
            I had many interesting and variable conversations, but three stand out as significant.  In these three cases I spoke to intelligent, patient, respectful individuals with whom I engaged on these matters with a purpose of mutual understanding and sharing.  In each case we agreed on many things but eventually reached a frustrating point-of-difference that we struggled to resolve or understand.  In each case I realised and voice my realisation that we had come to a point where our most basic assumptions are fundamentally opposed.  They believed that human beings are inherently violent, selfish, divisive people and therefore require government, law and law enforcement.  I believe that human beings are inherently loving, gentle, unified people and that we would resort to this behaviour given the opportunity.  I believe that we all need and deserve freedom, respect and love, that no authority is legitimate unless it is respected, and no respected authority requires violent force to implement its decisions.  I am not sure how this fundamental difference in understanding can be resolved, certainly not on a political level.  If I truly believed what these people assert, that humanity is inherently evil, I would simply commit suicide or retreat permanently from all social life.  This concept, however, does not correlate with my experience, my understanding or my intuition.  Thus I dedicate my life to my favourite species, despite our strange behaviour, despite our ignorance and our misguided violence.
            I must say that of the three men I shared these conversations with two were cynical old socialists with too much experience as activists and one was a young Polish Christian, born under the Soviet Union.  An Estonian friend of mine, also born under the Soviet Union, told me with emotions as old as his body, of the policy of removing babies from contact with their mother for the entire first week of their life, surely creating a deep-seated and largely unconscious trauma.
            The movement comprised many different people and perspectives and a dividing line between socialists and anarchists is arbitrary and simplistic.  I was told that there were three separate socialist organisations involved, each pushing their propaganda on day 8 of the occupation, the second Saturday and the second rally.  The socialists quickly normalised their structural dominance over the organisation of the occupation with their sacred Democracy.  They organised “general assemblies” where everyone could come together and make a statement and have a vote.  To facilitate the general assemblies there were meetings about them and to facilitate the facilitation meetings, more meetings.  Of the utmost importance is that all of these meetings are democratic, as opposed to anarchic, and therefore structured, like an essay rather than a conversation, formulaic so that what is relevant is narrowly defined and obsessed to the point of fetish with technicalities and alienating political language.  I suppose I have an apolitical bias and prefer my communication to be on a human level, but as a poet I am very sensitive to language and I avoided the general assemblies after my initial exposure because they bored me and offended my humanity.
            I felt compelled to speak at the rally with an audience of around 1000 people and an impenetrable democratic speaking list that when I asked to be added to was told that it was full.  Later, two people who just turned up that day and who just happened to be union leaders were added to the list.  My frustration grew as everybody who spoke, with possibly one exception talking about indigenous rights and exploitative mining, were union leaders complaining about what “they” were doing to “us” and speaking for the cheers and boos of the audience rather than any enlightenment or understanding.
            Because of the democratic process I was given an opportunity to speak and because my frustration and compulsion to fulfil my life’s purpose was so strong at that moment I did not think about the fact that I was only allowed to speak for two minutes about the current proposition, now forgotten, and when I began to recite a slow precise piece about human society and personal responsibility the microphone was snatched off me.  I was overcome with a public persona and began a manic rant against the inanity of the divide between “the 99%” and “the one percent”.  I claimed that none of us are being controlled and that we are in fact responsible for our own life, our own society and our own destiny.  The socialist facilitators tried to take the microphone off me while I shouted that already one regime has been replaced with another, that the system is more important than free speech, that I am being silenced in a democracy and that we’re all just creating systems of control, maintaining those systems and complaining that we’re being controlled.
            I was told that there would be an open mic later when unimportant people who don’t organise labour unions are allowed to speak.  Asking to speak so soon before the open mic I was the first on the list.  An hour or two later, when the open mic began, I slowly realised I wasn’t on the list at all and needed to ask again to be added.  When 1000 people had dwindled down to 200 I was allowed to speak uninterrupted and the audience were actually prepared for what I had to say, rather than just wanting to hurrah slogans.  I spoke my piece slowly and calmly (reference).  I know I spoke well because when I sat down, overwhelmed by the emotional intensity of my speech, many people came to hug and thank me.  I appreciated the hugs very much.
            It’s a strange experience to live under 24 hour Police surveillance, but it’s amazing how quickly I got used to it.  I was very confronted when I first arrived by their armed gaze but I soon learned to ignore it.  Under their vague supervision I enjoyed some of the most loving and generous human interactions I have ever experienced in the centre of a major city.  To enjoy this I made a point of not looking at them at all, thus rendering them insignificant.  Unlike most urban experiences, most of the people around me were very responsive to eye contact and overall the people were unusually beautiful.
            I don’t care where I’m sleeping, I sleep naked or I don’t sleep at all, so when I found myself sleeping cosily with 40 people on the Martin Place pavement I found a way of getting out of my jeans and into my sleeping bag without exposing my genitals or making a fuss.  I did not mind the people around me seeing my genitals and I’m sure they didn’t mind either but I did not want to give the non-people in uniforms who I was pretending to pretend did not exist any excuse to approach me.  I decided to wash my hands in the fountain on my first day, the only running water on site, but I was warned that Police almost arrested someone for the same.  Only the birds were allowed to utilise the water fountains, they were not designed for human utility.
            The closest toilet was beneath us, two floors down in the train station, on the other side of the ticket gate.  It was very hot every day and the sun radiated off the pavement and off the glass buildings on either side of us.  Because of this I drank a lot of water, mostly donated bottled spring water, and urinated frequently.  Multiple times per day I would skip down the steps, down the escalator, leap across the ticket gates and skip across to the toilet.  The ticket guards soon accepted that this would be the case.  I suppose it was against the rules, but they were not prepared to deny people a toilet.  After days of this I was warned on my way down that someone had just been fined for using the toilet.  There was a small group around one of the ticket gates, including some Police, and so I went through the other side, not pushing my luck by skipping this time, used the toilet, leaped back over the barriers and went back upstairs.  I guess he was the only one but a gentle friend of mine had $200 demanded of him for using the toilets without a train ticket and another $200 for taking the time to contest the so-called “fine”, actually a letter of extortion.
            I was told that before I arrived Police tore down our tents and stole all our gas bottles, so there was no shelter and no cooking facilities.  In this respect we were designated “homeless” and thus sufficient technicality so Police don’t have to violently move us.  Also before I arrived it started raining in the middle of the night and people took their stuff to seek shelter under the nearby buildings; Police physically prevented people from taking shelter, forcing them to remain in the rain.
            We found milk crates everywhere and used them a lot, to define our living space and store our bedding, food and books, they were extremely useful.  Despite us using over 100 milk crates for a whole week, two individuals were arrested and fined for stealing milk crates; in other words, they were arbitrarily single out, forcibly apprehended and handed a letter of extortion for being an active part of Occupy Sydney.  Because of this, when someone arrived with a delivery of milk crates they had to dump them around the corner and ask people to go carry them in by hand, which I did.
            One night I woke up in the middle of the night and got up to urinate.  Right around the corner from 40 peacefully sleeping bodies was a van marked “Riot Police” that drove down the road when I walked past and looked at them.  I had to go to the Emergency Room at the hospital to urinate.
            After the Saturday rally when we were all calming down and returning to our normal evening routine of coming together to relax and eventually sleep together one of our brothers was suddenly attacked by armed Police.  There were two of them standing on the balcony in front of the Westpac building and soon both of them were being brought down by numerous Police, beaten and restrained.  We all rushed towards our brothers in support, though realising that there is nothing we can do against Police.  More Police than I had thought were present calmly supported their own, forming a line of their uniformed bodies to prevent us from responding to our instinct of helping our brothers.  We watched while they were handcuffed and forced into a van.  At the front of the pack, restraining ourselves from the futile violence at the front of our minds, I stood, finally looking at these human beings in their Police uniforms with their weapons.  I tried to look them in the eyes, standing strongly in my emotional response to the situation, but they averted their gaze from us, trying to look anywhere else.  One man looked ashamed and confused.  As each face in the line was photographed close-up two young women bowed their heads low in shame.
            We sensibly restrained ourselves from a violent response, which we would have lost and which would be more unpleasant for us than for Police, but we uttered lots of violence with our mouths, thankfully ignored by Police.  The comments I appreciated were appreciated by everyone because they spread.  “Shame!” we yelled at the armed uniformed urban army.  “Let them go!” became the chant for a while.  I believe it was important to at least appeal to the humanity of Police, even if they chose to suspend their humanity for their job.  I believe it was important to demand what is right, for the restraints to loosened and removed by the people holding them.  Our brothers were not being restrained by Law or by Police Policy or by the One Percent; they were being restrained by the human beings standing in front of us.  This is the reality of the situation and although our brothers were not released they at least knew that we love them.
            Our brothers were “arrested”, a euphemism for being forcibly and against your will restrained, apprehended, removed and detained.  It is no longer acceptable to continue to use their euphemisms as if their behaviour is normal.  This type of violent behaviour is so abhorrent and antisocial that in our desperation to destroy it we have trained, armed and paid professionals to completely suspend their humanity and empathy, to walk the streets and to be sanctioned as allowed to behave this way, the only ones allowed to behave thus.
            That night as we all slept they gathered their troops and just before 05.00 they woke us to demand we remove ourselves and all our belongings immediately.  They did not demand this time, as before, with some idiotic illusion of authority that we can choose to ignore, they demanded with real threat of immediate violence.  We were approached by 200 people in uniforms for our 100, Police, Riot Police and a few large men in suits and gloves who enjoyed getting in on the action.
            I blessedly slept away from the general mass for the first night in five and so had plenty of time to wake up and put my clothes on, watching in amazement as they infiltrated our camp.  I was requested twice to leave and ignored both, not sure what to do until I saw James with his backpack on standing aside.  Many people decided to link arms and defy the demands of Police, they were violently separated and restrained, punched and dragged away screaming  with their arms twisted behind their backs.  James’s response was the only one I felt confident to emulate and so when I saw him I calmly rolled up my bed, packed my bag, gathered my stuff and stood aside to see what I could do.
            Somehow I didn’t see much of the violence that was taking place, only navy blue gloved arms raised and slammed down in punch.  Somehow I blocked out or simply forgot the incessant screams audible on all the videos.  What I saw clearly was a brother with curly hair who had exchanged many beautiful smiles with me being dragged away by Police with his arm bent up behind his back screaming with no way for me to help him.
            Before I left the camp I drank an entire bottle of water and refilled it to the top.  We stayed in a group as Police, twice as many as us, slowly pushed us away.  We passed lines of Police staunch amongst our brothers and sisters on their knees in handcuffs.  At the front was the beautiful curly-haired man looking pained and I offered him some water.  His arms were cuffed behind his back so I poured it for him, he drank and some spilled on his clothing.  He thanked me and I saw a skinny teenage boy, who I also had feelings for, and attempted to give water to him too, but I had exercised my humanity enough and they implored me to continue walking.
            They pushed our group around the corner and down the street until we got to Hyde Park and everyone seemed to stop.  The Police presence slowly fell away and the socialists began a general assembly like some sort of nervous tick.  I was invited to be an anarchist and we went off and sat under a tree on the other side of the park.  I didn’t want to leave James as I felt he was the only one I could trust and so I was pleased when he came to join us.
            One of the Anarchists said she doesn’t care what the general consensus is because she will do what she thinks is right regardless.  Throughout the week the general assembly had facilitated many proposals and offered one of three responses, or “votes”; agree, stand aside, or block.  A single person blocking prevents consensus and so must explain their position until everyone can agree.  I refused to participate at all and resented the idea that I have to block and justify my position.  I guess that makes me an anarchist but I don’t identify with the Anarchists any more than anyone else.
            As we sat there we looked across the road at the massive cathedral, mass to begin in mere hours, and discussed the exciting idea of occupying the cathedral.  I would have been keen to promote and fulfil this plan but an occupier turned up, a deeply unhappy man with a lot of misdirected anger, and accused James, who had been making phone calls with a hands-free kit, rather than exposing himself to unnecessary radiation, of being an undercover cop, pushed him, spat in his face and told him to fuck off.  James was merely shocked and upset by the sudden attack and prepared to leave.  I was the only one who defended him, first examining the possibility that he is an undercover cop and concluding in the negative.  “If anyone should fuck off it should be you,” I told the lunatic.  He persisted in his allegations, James defended his innocence and prepared to leave and no one else knew how to respond.  I looked the accuser in the eyes, shook his hand and said, “You’re an idiot, my friend.  You are wrong.”  He had no violence for me, only James.  I left with my friend and we caught a ride in the back of an unmarked white van, keeping low to avoid detection, feeling like we were in some movie and wondering what comes next.  I had no idea where I was going or what would become of my life.  James wept and then decided we should get out and walk to his friend’s place.
            It is no later than 06.00 when we begin the long walk to his friend’s house with our backpacks on.  We pass a couple on their balcony and they stop us and ask for help.  They are locked out of their apartment, trapped on the balcony and James calls their neighbour to alert him to the situation.  I must still be in shock because I have no idea what’s going on, thinking these are the friends we were going to visit and confused but accepting when we leave their neighbour to deal with the situation.
            James guides me through familiar streets, where he grew up, and tells me some of the histories of the area.  This suburb was populated by diverse immigrants, then hippies, then yuppies.  The original Australians living in Sydney were at first marched off cliffs and then later rounded up and driven into the ghetto of Redfern, a slum in the centre of Sydney that white people require a permit to enter.
            James’s friend doesn’t want us in the house because her flatmates are sleeping and so we wait in the park.  I practice the guitar, soak chia seeds and goji berries and offer James water and food.  Eamon goes out of his way to sit in the park with us for five minutes on his way home.  He has been charged with resisting arrest, though I don’t understand how that can stand as a single charge, considering the charge usually comes before the arrest.
            James and I continue our walk to the Sunday morning market in Newtown where relaxed happy people browse the stalls of fresh simple foods.  As we march through with our backpacks on I marvel at these people who woke up that morning safe and secure in their homes with their families, with no idea what was happening in Martin Place.
            We dump our bags behind a produce stall and sit in front of a speaker.  A man and a woman play beautiful loving acoustic music for the slowly moving crowd and I listen to the woman’s beautiful voice and watch the faces of the children passing, wide-eyed innocence, curiosity and acceptance.  These soft-cheeked gentle people are precious and their perfection brings tears to my eyes.  I fully realise that nothing is more precious, nothing more important than our children.
            James buys me some food and I am approached by a guy I met over a year ago who I barely remember.  He gives me a hug and asks me how I’m doing.  “Alright,” I reply, “considering I was woken up by Riot Police this morning and watched them drag my friends away screaming.”  He takes a few seconds to realise it’s not funny and therefore I’m not kidding.
            James is calling many people and repeating the story about the violent Riot Police and the angry Anarchist accusing him of being an undercover cop.  He blames all Anarchists for this angry individual’s accusation, seemingly Anarchism itself.  I am honoured when he explains to his friend, a kind and beautiful young woman working at the fruit and vegetable stall, that I am a true anarchist, without the self-conscious image, living a life of integrity.  She looks at me.  “What’s anarchy to you?” she asks me.  “No government.”
            We look around us at the market.  “This is how my children will experience capitalism,” I told James.  “I hope you’re right,” James replied.  Too many intuitions predict the collapse of Global Capitalism for them to be wrong now.  They all prophesy and explain their intuitions different, but everybody knows this insane anti-human system is on its way out.  I was thinking those thoughts or speaking them out loud and there I was, somewhere in Sydney, amongst those who were already practicing and enjoying the alternative to exploitative profit-centred Capitalism.  “This is much more of a statement than what we were doing,” James remarks.  We fall asleep on the soft grass, on the generous earth, under the shade of a wise tree.

I now have a t-shirt with "We are the 99%" on the back and I tell people that this slogan has a one percent margin of error.