Naked and spectacular

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Layer upon layer of California

Why do we persist in this haze?  How do we continue to walk around in this stupor as if everything is normal?  How does the world not collapse around us, so tenuously built on so many of our non-existent concepts? 

I look around me and I see layer upon layer of illusion.  There is the illusion of the culture that exists eternally.  Despite our frequent libraries full of histories, we know our culture has always been like this.  Despite science telling us that the sun will eventually collapse, we know our culture will last forever.  It is fundamentally non-existent and therefore not bound by the laws of physics or even logic.  I grew up surrounded by it, like a slimy birth fluid.  This culture can easily be washed off in the shower, but we are encouraged, via advertising, to subsequently coat ourselves in it; oily paint that destroys our skins pH, petrochemical and alcohol skin products, constructs of metal and stone and woven fabrics.

The illusion is enforced.  I say it is easy to wash it off, and I know many people who have, but life must continue.  In the city we are surrounded by people in uniforms dedicated to surrounding us with threats and weapons.  We know that if we do not at least pretend, we will be attacked.  If we do not exchange the currency of this culture daily we will be attacked.  If we want a home, we must pay this currency to a rich person who claims to "own" it, because they have a piece of paper and because they possess more currency than we do.  If we choose to not pay this lord to live in our own home we will  be attacked.  If we are hungry we cannot take food without exchanging this currency or we will be attacked.  If we try we must remain invisible.

Why do we maintain this illusion at the expense of everything?  Who are these people, these demons, these law enforcers, these one percent?  Are they not us, members of our own species, members of our own culture, people like us, doing their jobs like us?

Illusion upon illusion.  Every morning I wake up surprised that I am not lying naked on the earth surrounded by my sleeping family, that I am clothed, surrounded by artificial light and concrete.  Where did all this come from?  I have been to Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Scandinavia, Central America and California, and it's the same everywhere.  What is happening?

I grew up in New Zealand surrounded by the voices of the other side of the planet.  I grew up with media that defined my world to a large degree but was not related to the area and people amongst whom I lived.  It was produced in Los Angeles, California.  In all of the places I have been, they are watching and listening to the same media, the same messages, the same culture, the same subliminal propaganda.  We take very seriously our consumption of media.  I cynically criticise here what I am undoubtedly a part of.  I put a great deal of energy and time into finding the best cinema available in my environment and exposing myself to hours of it, when I could be sitting on the grass in the sun.  I am hopelessly trapped in this layer of illusion and thus seek not to liberate myself from it, but to refine and improve the quality of the meida I expose myself to.  I avoid television completely but I continue to go to the cinema.  I avoid microwaves completely but I continue to eat cooked food.

In my lifetime another layer of illusion has carefully been laid upon us, with nobody flinching.  I did not use the internet until I was 17.  How quaint and hilarious I thought it was when my mother told me she didn't have television until she was 12.  I couldn't imagine a home, a living room or a life without a television.  We have barely noticed as this complex layer of wire and information has been laid upon the world like a protective coating.  Where does all this come from?  Google, Facebook and Twitter are all based in San Francisco, California.  When I was a child I knew nobody with a mobile phone.  Now I cannot communicate without a mobile phone and Facebook.  I upset people if I only have Facebook and not a mobile phone.  I am trapped in this world.  This world is California.  This world is Purgatory.  I give it names, though the names mean nothing.

We don't know how to respond and so we play along until we figure it out.  In the meantime we get old and die, blamelessly perpetuating and further developing the illusion because we didn't know what else to do.  What should I do? I ask, again and again, already having figured out that I am no longer capable of getting a job, paying rent or buying food.  Destroy it, I hear.  Destroy it without compromising what you value.  Destroy it with the unique gifts that you possess.  Destroy it in a way that has never been done before, in a way that reinforces everything you know to be true.

When I walk through these streets I see people avoiding my gaze, I see people staring right at me and I turn away frightened because they are threatening or because they are beautiful.  I see polite people just trying to get on with things and I don't have the heart to disturb them, so I try to be polite.  I see unshaven men muttering to themselves facing the floor, I see men limping, I see women pushing trolleys and going through garbage, I see dandies in purple pants, I see drunk blonde women laughing, I see bums accosting everyone for cigarettes and coins.  Everyone I meet is intelligent and beautiful and caring and gentle.  Everyone I don't meet is terrifyingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous.  I see zombies stomping down the street with their eyes bulging out of their heads.  I see zombies striding with the confidence of a suit and the justification of a credit card.  I do not understand why we allow it to continue.

People shout in the streets.  We ignore them, including I, the morally superior one.  We see those who commit "low level quality of life crimes" being harassed by bums in blue uniforms and we pretend its normal in our consciousness though our stomachs claim otherwise.  We sit at home or in the park and we talk openly about it all with the people that we trust and we wonder why it is not changing.  Jesus announced the apocalypse as the Roman Empire encroached on the villages he was born amongst.  My global tribe, goddess bless them, announced the apocalypse at the end of last year.  I knew what the apocalypse would look like cos I knew what the apocalypse needed to look like.  I was disappointed to the core, though I had carefully veiled myself in scepticism.

I suppose it will go on as it has, illusion layered upon illusion when the old illusion wears thin.  I suppose I will get old and die and never feel comfortable to have children.  I will find a niche and fill it and be satisfied.

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