Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More of a backlogged, digitized manual poem...

Genuinely Lost

Insulation. Distraction. Medication.
Oh–I’m sorry.
Are we not calling it that yet?
We’re waiting for the history books again?
That’s fine. I’ll play along.
Entertainment! Fucking! Fucking attractive entertainment!
Money, envy, money!
Yee-haw! That’s what we’re makin’!

And get this–
It was even easier than it looked.
All we had to do, was look in now’s history books.
They gave us the equation.
Sexy! Attractive! Fucking! Envy!
Insulation! Goddamned insulation!
I’m sorry. I really am this time.
I’ll stop using that word. It’s ugly. It offends.
How arrogant do I think I am?
Who am I to refute the newest craze?
It is a craze, after all, hop on Dylan–hop the fuck on!


If God exists, prime numbers–among all numbers–are closest to Her. Or Him. If I’m not certain of God’s existence, I certainly can’t be certain of God’s gender.
Regardless, it is undoubtedly prime numbers, in all their purity, which please God the most. A prime number is untapped, and unaffected. A prime number answers only to that with which it is divisible. It answers only to itself and 1. Or the one.

In a prime number’s closeness to the one it retains a great deal of independence. After all it is a prime number that does not forget from where it has come, but also knows what it is like to blaze one’s own trail. A prime number comes out on the other end of that trail strong and full of confidence–knowing where it has been, and from where it has come.
A prime number’s independence, by some, has been viewed as little more than a defense mechanism. While a great deal of mutual respect permeates the prime number community, they are not terribly well liked among most numbers. One could even say they are shunned. Prime numbers think the contempt they feel from their peers is little more than jealousy. Prime numbers are especially hated by numbers like 51. 51 feels that it made it very close to “prime” status, but had its hopes dashed by not one–but two– primes numbers (17 and 3). 51's contemptuous jealousy of 17 and 3 is at least understandable.

Interestingly, this attitude is not shared with all numbers in the ilk of 51. I happen to know that 39 gets along famously with both 13 and 3. Weird, huh?
For a prime number, the world of being an even number is a dark place of compromise that is neither able to be understood, nor worth the time that it may take to do so. It’s hellish. You’ll never see a prime running with an even except in places where it is entirely unavoidable. Things like calendars and solutions to equations make it impossible for numbers to have total control over around whom they find themselves. But I assure you that when it is the 24th day during November, the 11 in that date yearns to once again be near 17, as it was just one sweet week ago.

48 is a whore and a heathen. It has too many partners. It is being pulled in too many directions. It is too willing to compromise it’s very makeup just to please the masses. But don’t be too hard on 48. It is surrounded by extremely intimidating company. 47 is a rock. A fucking rock! Not to be trifled with, not to trifle. 49 could certainly learn a thing or two from 47, but among “non-primes” (or just “nons” as they’re called in the number community, much to the nons’ chagrin) it’s not too bad. It is a square, and it may only be divided by prime numbers. Not bad, 49. 48 is still a whore and still a heathen.
Nons just don’t have the same look as primes. They’re just not as pretty, or as remarkable. From a mile away, one could tell there is something more confident and admirable about 29, as compared to 27. The dignity of 61 will never be matched by 63. And when 17 and 21 walk into a room together, at whom do you suppose the good-looking 11 is looking? I can assuredly, and confidently guarantee you that it will not be 21.

But as seems to happen in any society, there is definitely stratifying going on even in the community of primes. 2 has always had authenticity issues. It being the only prime number that is also an even number, this seems like little more than an occupational hazard–comes with the territory. But 2's issues don’t stop there. Oh no. Many of the other primes view 2 as the biggest traitor of all. After all it is 2 that can be seen as the essential building block for a prime number’s most loathsome even. But don’t cry too hard for 2 either. It has an infinite number of friends to whom it is second in command.
Too, large prime numbers will occasionally cop an air of superiority toward smaller prime numbers. The seventies are known to be especially snotty. Anyone could be prime if they only had to get through nineteen numbers! That sums up the snobbery given off by the seventies. The nineteens of the world don’t buy it, but in this author’s opinion, the seventies have everything to be snobby about. I can’t imagine a tougher, more handsome looking group of numbers than 71, 73, and 79. They’re regal. One can hope only to subdue one’s gushing admiration when in the company of this trio; for that admiration will not be thwarted.
This is true with all of the lower prime numbers except for 11 and I don’t even feel that I need to explain. Can you imagine a more beautiful number than 11? Eleven. Even the word! Say it aloud to yourself at this moment! Eleven. What beauty!
Prime numbers and nons alike are probably much the same as anything, I suppose. If they were only looked at only once, there would hardly be a distinction to make. One might not notice the unshakeable strength with which some numbers carry themselves–full of solace. One might not notice the way some numbers have a closeness with the one–that from which all else is constructed. God. If that’s what you care to call it.

I don’t.

One also might not notice the way other numbers will give themselves out to any number that comes calling. One might not notice the way some numbers don’t care or recognize what they’re comprised of so long as they are popular, well-known, and are compatible– no matter how shallowly– with a large number of their peers.
Yep. Numbers are pretty much like anything, I suppose. Even us.
I believe there are prime numbers walking among us, friends. They are unmistakable. They are those people you see that are so full of life and inspiration that they can barely keep it inside themselves–and sometimes even they cannot! That is, I suppose, when an artist becomes an artist. When that one thing inside of them, for which they have great passion and respect, finds a channel through which it can communicate its appreciation for its awareness of existence.

Unfortunately, just as it is in numbers, there seems to be a lot more people that may be divided and divided into than these prime numbers who walk amongst us. I can personally attest to having met forty-eight 48s, ninety-six 96s, and a whole slue of 192s. They are everywhere. For sometime now the vast majority of people (and numbers) seem quite simple to divide. They can be divided by greed, borders, colors, words, hate, allegiance, possessions, fanaticism, down-right radicalism, and, of course, 2.
When it comes to 13, 31, 41, and all their friends it is only themselves and 1. You might even call them a phrase normally reserved for us human beings: at one. But of course I would say it is no accident that “at one” is a human’s phrase that means having great peace with one’s future, current, and past selves. Be at one.
Oh–and just one more thing. In the future, when you greatly approve of someone else’s accomplishments, or insights, or fortitude, do not insult them by “giving them a ten.” Give them an eleven.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


It's strange because while growing up a chubby stutterer in the western section of rural Iowa, my father repeated a certain phrase many times. The phrase at hand went "Communism is perfect on paper." He didn't mention (at least according to him and much of the western world) communism had never worked in application. It was to be inferred. He built it into the phrase.
My father is also a staunch conservative. He is a member of teh self-loathing poor whose been convinced to vote against his own social and economic interests. AGAINST HIS OWN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INTERESTS!
Obviously, that is not the version of the story for which he'd account. He'd say he votes his core beliefs--not selfishly, like so many--and that he's a proud and honorable citizen. I'd say he swallowed the grapefruit-sized like the self-loathing poor has collectively swallowed. I'd say he's convinced that some day his piece of the money pie might be considerably larger, and when it miraculously is, he doesn't want such high taxes on the wealthy. I'd also say it's twice strange he'd even accept the prize of being 'selfless.' Selflessness, as I understand capitalism, is of very little value. I guess I just don't understand the value of being selfless when one is going to live in envy of monetary wealth.
But that's me.
(And if only for the record my father makes upwards of forty-five thousand dollars a year. So the "self-loathing poor" doesn't even have to be in true impoverishment. It's the envy of monetary wealth and idea of one's own shortcomings in a fair system being the reason for one's low economic standing that distinguishes the self-loathing poor. My father has worked for twenty-three years at the largest meat processor in the United States (Tyson Foods) and still bounces a check from time to time. Twenty-three years of loyal servitude has not gotten him past living paycheck to paycheck. On December 27th the Tyson Corporation increased their chief executive's salary fivefold. They increased the former chief executive's compensation fourfold. This was their reward for returning the company to a profitable year after losing 196 million dollars in 2006. They saved all this extra money by cutting 1200 jobs and closing plants. When I told him what a profitable year his employer had, I also asked him if he or any of the guys in his department had gotten a bonus. "Nope," he said. But he wasn't sore about it. He thinks it's fair. He presumes these guys are just worth more than him. I just wonder how he swallowed a grapefruit.
But that's me.)

And what about that comment about communism?

Did he ever believe it? Did he want me to believe it? I doubt it on both fronts. It sounds more like something he'd heard and decided to repeat. But whatever the reason for the continued utterance of that statement during my childhood, I have to in some way credit my father (though he'd say blame) for my becoming a socialist.
I am a socialist.
All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists. I don't think I'm a communists, but Marx was certainly correct that "the working man has no country." And communism could be great. What could be better than a society full of people treated, payed, loved, empowered, regarded, seen, judged, jailed, employed, fired, fucked, rewarded and valued with a fundamental sense of justice and equality in regards to one's well-being? Very little. In this country, and for folks like my father, it is enough to have heen created equally.
All men are created equal. This is a phrase you're quite familiar with if you've grown up in the United States of America. It is very sparsely questioned. It is to be accepted as a truth. But according to our forefathers (ane some of our current fathers) that phrase didn't even cover anyone gay, a woman, black, Native American, not in possession of land--essentially if you didn't look like the guys writing the document, you probably weren't treated equally no matter how you were created. And is it just me or is this phrase also a good loophole through which capitalism can drive its poor-crushing cash car?
If all men are created equal, then it's your fault you're not a millionaire. You're just weak. You're simply not strong enough for this world. You should be grateful you're being given a life full of allegiance to servitude with low wages, poor health care, and very little standing in society. After all, a lot of people in history have had it much worse than you. This "it could be worse" attitude is another reason for such a high population of self-loathing poor.
They hate themselves for not being rich. It is a prescribed inferiority. My father and people of his ilk assume blindly that most rich people made their money honestly. I think it's both possible and likely that many of today's millionaires made their money by means of honesty, hard work, and risk-taking. But I don't even reserve a chance for that being the story for the majority of them. How could it be? People in the business of making money make as much money as they can make as quickly as they can make it. They do what's easiest. And it seems far easier to make money by corner-cutting, and human rights-violating than through hard work, loyalty, and an unwavering allegiance to servitude.
This lie is an especially easy one to fall under considering the times it has proven itself true. There are stories like that of Clarence Thomas who was born to a poor single mother and found him self on the country's highest court. Or Bill Gates and Ted Waitt, both of whom dropped out of college to start technology-based companies that earned them billions. But these people are teh exception. It is a plain and true fact of capitalism that not everyone can do this. Otherwise, on whom will we collectively kick the spit, cum, and blood of everyday life? (It is at this point at least worth mentioning that while Bill Gates ought be applauded for his ingenuity and philanthropy, he is a textbook 'good capitalist.' Microsoft has been scrutinized and even stood trial for trying to squash all competitors through, at best, coercive means. So even Bill Gates can only become who he is by holding down the next person who may try to emulate him.)
I wonder how they did it. How did they perpetrate this lie on so many? Why are there so many people content with their shitty little plot of land in the coldest part of the country working for a place taht sees them as more of a liability than a human resource? It was a very calculated lie. If you can get people to idolize money, then you've got the carrot, and, of course, that makes us the donkeys.
Furthermore, if you isolate them and keep them distrustful of one another, you have instilled the capitalistic mind set of "every man, woman, and child for his or herself." That makes it difficult to get people to work together. They stay insulated and disenfranchized instead of pooling together the only power they have: the power of numbers. The working poor is the lifeblood of the trillions of dollars made in this country and we don't get to see hardly any of it, save that wagged in our faces tauntingly. But it's our fault I suppose. The system is fair. We were created equally.
Someone once said "Labor produces wealth, and that wealth belongs to the producers thereof." I hope that in my lifetime that statement starts to ring even remotely true in application in stead of in theory alone. We have a simple choice as I see it. Should we compete, or should we cooperate?
The root word of capitalism is capital (i.e.-money, land). The root word of socialism is social (i.e.-society, one's fellow man). I don't think the only solution to this mess we're in is a violent overthrow of the powers that be. It would take on a change in the collective conscienceness of the working class, only to become more trusting, and aware.
Like Maggie Rice once said:
"I'd rather be working for another day, than another dollar."