SystemIsms

…thoughts on the human race to oblivion…

(some parts also published separately on this site)

IrisBubbleTxRacism, and many other isms, are all about power,
and we have let that power turn and corrupt us

 

DEAD CALM

WayneSL 2012-06-22

Peace at Last.
Peace and Quiet.

None remains to challenge me
or disturb my reverie.
Even the hill on which I stand
dare not rise above my height.
I am Master of all that I survey
and I can see a smooth horizon
fitting earth to sky precisely
uniformly, according to My Will.
I have ground this planet
like a ball bearing
until it shines
as a dark mirror to my face.

Not even a crashing wave
can interrupt my dreadnought thoughts.
The oceans joined the blackened skies
evaporating before my iron wrath.
Unruly water, like the birds and beasts
and plants that wedged apart
the concrete steel and glass
that I had built.

They would not cooperate.
They would not take their places.
They would not do as they were told.
And it came down to me or them,
and now it’s down to me.
I dominate all I see.
I alone am free.
All that did not yield to me
I turned to ash.
I
bent their knees.

The piles of blackened bones are still
The neutrons even killed
the germs so there’s no smell.
In blessed silence now I stand
Victor of a perfect land
No tears or laughter have escaped my hand
No slightest movement flouting my command.
The only sound competing with my breath
is wind that howls through bones
charred black as death–

…and I’m workin’ on that.

 

We’ve had encouraging news this past week, with the “Supreme” Court actually upholding the rights of humans to marry and to have healthcare, and a wave of opposition to the pervasiveness of the confederate flag. My joy has been somewhat tarnished by knowing that the right to marry has been stupidly long in coming, and that the healthcare victory is not only very late, but woefully incomplete. More sobering still is the fact that the flag issue was precipitated by the assassinations in Charleston, 193 years to the day after 35 members of that same church were lynched, and the building burned to the ground. I had those terrorist acts on my mind, as I began writing this, but racism is connected to a lot of other Isms which both feed, and feed on, humanity’s fatal inhumanity. You see, racism does not consist merely of wrong thinking, or bad actions, or speech, and it is not an either/or status, identifying bad racists and good non-racists. Racism is a sociopolitical system, and it interacts with a lot of other systems (mostly isms) to concentrate power and privilege to some humans at the expense of others. It’s one of the malignant cancerous Isms that keep us divided, and therefore conquered. I don’t generally think of myself as racist, but to whatever extent I have benefited from the system, I am tangled in the harm, touched by the disease. It’s a disease which I believe reaches back 2 million years, to a fundamental change in the process of evolution. All species before us adapted over millennia to their environment, but instead, we adapt our environment to suit us, circumventing biologic evolution. Now, we build systems to serve us, and sometimes those inventions take on lives of their own. The genie of our genius offers to grant us wishes, and the hunter-gatherer in us asks for a longer spear.

Australopithecanthropi

Australopithecanthropi

Taint

WayneSL 2013

In the morning we go out to hunt
to gather and to bring home stuff
and if that stuff is in another’s hand
then there will be negotiation
a battle
a process.

and if it is Gaya herself
and she should oppose us
there is still
a process.

That process may be thorough yet
still the stuff brought home with us
carries a trace of its former place
the fingerprints of other hands
a tint of blood on the diamond
a twinge of cyanide in black or yellow gold
though refined it still retains
signs of its source: a stain remains.

We bring stuff back to the nest
to feed our young
to please the Queen
Then as they open stuffed mouths
to praise us
the poison cuts them off

And we
are indignant.

 

Not all Isms are destructive. For instance:
The principles of Unitarian Universalism teach me that:

Until we, as a species, recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and grant them Justice, equity and compassion, based on mutual acceptance, which is the fruit of our search for truth and meaning, our consciences and our democratic aspirations will fail. In that case, our world will not have lasting peace, unfettered liberty, nor justice for all.   In fact, the web of life will likely have to heal a wound left by our self-destruction.

Humanity is at the foot (or the precipice) of an evolutionary change, that is deeply affecting all life on this planet, and the outcome will be decided by whether or not we, as a species, learn to share equitably, to behave morally, and to love truly. Our evolution has suffered some devolution too…. our cognitive ability may have surpassed our emotional development to a deadly imbalance. I fear for the human race and all life we encounter.

The lakes that beavers create, by building dams, make them one of only two species whose effect on Earth is visible from outer space. I doubt beavers will destroy life on Earth, but humans appear to be doing so. Just this week, while the feeding frenzy of the media focused on the horrific murders in Charleston, Stanford University announced the very credible and thoroughly vetted fact that humankind has initiated the sixth mass extinction in this planet’s history. There has been life on Earth 3½ Billion years out of its 4½ Billion years of existence. There have been 5 mass extinctions in that time, the most recent about 65 Million years ago. Our history of about 2 Million years is less that one half of one thousandth of the span of life on Earth, yet we have gathered to ourselves such an immense surplus of power, and are misusing it so egregiously, that we are clearly causing this sixth mass extinction, even without global thermonuclear war.

There can be little doubt that we are the first species here to have that capability. Our present level of cold, intellectual, technical power – the Machine Mind – has far surpassed our social and spiritual development – our Humanity. That imbalance means that too many of us are ill-equipped to choose goals and foresee their consequences, in order to guide the technique of execution. We are a juggernaut with a loose rudder.

 

Racism remains rampant in this world, as well as discrimination based on national origin, socioeconomics, sex, gender identity, creed… ISMS!
Use the ones that advance our humanity,
avoid the ones that diminish us,
and don’t let ANY of them control you.

 

ISMS

Original art by WayneSL

RIGID ISMS

song lyric by Wayne Slater-Lunsford, 1998~2012

We all live here, in the valley-
and we dance beside the river, deep and wide.
and our voices harmonize here;
and we share the river’s love along both sides.

Bayanihan, and Ubuntu
and Aloha and Communion all are one.
and our planet gives us plenty,
If we learn to share and let the river run.

Who’s that yelling a cross the divide?
That shadow in the sunset looming long?
They’re screaming at the other ridge as loud as they can,
but it Seems to me that both extremes are wrong.

From the dawning to the evening
Some fools on the ridges throwing rocks across,
but the rocks land here in the valley
and it’s the folk down here that pay the cost.

I don’t know why you would listen to them.
They speak of love but fear is how they rule.
They tell us we’re all beggars and that they should be kings
Don’t let those ISMS get the best of you.

Yes, we live here in the valley
not up on the ridges where the air is thin.
where our shadows can out grow us
and our voices echo but our thoughts are dim.

I don’t know why you would listen to them.
They speak of love but fear is how they rule.
We’re all one race of humans and you know that it’s true.
Don’t let those ISMS get the best of you.

We’re all one race of humans and you know that it’s true.
Don’t let those ISMS get the best of you.
Don’t let ISMS get the best of you.
LISTEN TO THE SONG

OverLag (DEFINITION)

Example of Overlag (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Overlag: The phenomenon caused by lag in a messaging system, or in the typing speed of one party (or by reflection, impatience of the communicating parties) whereby successive messages overlap, and the sequence of thoughts and intents becomes munged. The most common pattern is that:

  1. message A evokes a response B
  2. which is on its way, while message C heads down the lagging pipeline
  3. making it look to the initiating party, like response B applies to message C
  4. and message C then seems to be responding to… it’s a mess…

The intergalactic war of 2,335,478 BE (Before Earth) was fought over a misunderstanding created by overlag.

First known usage: 2013, Wayne Slater-Lunsford, in a FaceBook post, long ago banished into the nether regions of Cyberspace…

See overlag example in illustration, above.

Record Broken

GladysColorized__0001Gladys Jessie Smith Lunsford
April 24th, 1919 ~ March 2nd, 2015
Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother
Sweet, Gentle, and Courageous Soul

My father Sister and Brother
Have preceded my mother.
My sister deleted her mind.
Her Earth-Mother body
Calmly continued that gentle sleep
But when it was plain that she was gone.
We turned it off.

Her pain ended, but our mother saw
That body peaceful empty
The round cheeks rosy
The lips full still.
Mommy’s death began with that, I think.

Our brother, mad and hard
Frightened the neighbors
And returned to the streets and fields
And we haven’t heard from him in years.
He’s dead too.

Gladys was father and mother to us.
After twenty-six years held as house help
She saw that we must leave
And took her brood to a new life
Wherein she worked beyond reason
And gave her best years to freeing us.

In that vise of necessity
Her mind burst
More than once.
Yet she returned to shelter the young
Again and again.

When the youngest
The gentlest
The gift and giver left us
Mommy began
Her floating into gray.
As fog filled her head
She wandered ever more
Until she lived within a minute always new
Or in a past
Where she kept things neat
And in good repair
And the little ones never lacked for her care.
The needle skipped
Back into the same groove
Or farther still
To a song long done
An echo fading past empty arches
Sometimes I was my Uncle Ted
And that was good

Then after years of disjoint minutes
I saw the eyes that had seen more than their fill
That had looked with love and fear and wonder
Gently
Close.

If my series ever goes into reruns
Please cancel it.

WayneSL 2015-03-02

WESL_Wtx

DAWNRIDE

horseadnleg02

WayneSL 1990

My breath smokes out past eyes that roll toward your scent
mixing with the steam that rises from my flanks,
the blanket off.

My nostrils flare to catch your musk,
my haunches twitch
and I await your mounting.

Grip firm the horn to gain your seat,
leg high and heave
to settle in my saddle.

Ride me as a well-bred dame her stallion does:
shoulders open, back erect and arching,
posting high and hard.

Let me gallop to start and to work up a lather,
and stand in the stirrups awhile and then
taking a fist full of reins and mane

clamp your thighs and force me to a rolling  canter,
holding back the trembling tension
eager for the sprint,
and then we

take the hurdles as one creature,
flow and surge through turn and straight,
strain and ache together ‘til we
catch sight of the final gate.

Now in furious headlong flight
we hurtle down the homeward stretch.

Bend low to taste my salty mane.
Hear the roaring of my breath.

The pounding thrusting gallop throws us forward to the precipice
until with one last lunge we leap the river
and for one eternal moment
float outside of time and space.

My flanks and your legs
brushing bushes and tall grass
sweat and dewdrops mingle

heaving chest and pounding pulse
settle to a glowing bond.

Thunder echoes
deep vibrations
shiver, crest and tingle:
wind-blown ripples on the pond.

MAJESTIC

In Marble Halls

WayneSL 2013
a vision shared

You float through the room,
majestic in your steady flow
yet fluid in each sensuous step.
Your sheer gown loves the glass-smooth marble floor
a wave in the wake of your tender toes.
My gaze is captured by the gentle curve of your thigh
rising to a graceful half moon.
Yet full, being double.
Through the gauze I see the dimple
come and go as you move.
Your geisha hair frames a solemn-seeming face
yet thereon lies a hint of smile
which does not lie
is not painted on
is born within
borne by thoughts and feelings forged in fire
to beckon me into your wake
and so I swim behind this lovely vision
to the chamber of love.
Therein you take seven months to slip the shroud
from one soft shoulder to your breast
and I can scarcely breathe
to see the next and the next and your collar bone so fine
the gentle rise of your smooth, spare belly
and your navel and still other signs of your humanity.
Your nipples loved the slipping misty cloth
and stand erect to crave another touch.
I caress them with my eyes
until it’s time for more.
As the shroud falls farther past the fertile hips
and valleys hiding streams within their depths
I tremble just to leap into your river, yet
I dare not still to draw my ready sword
in reverence for your gentle revelation.
Onward and off the shroud more quickly falls
your lovely legs the pillars of a temple
where ardently I soon shall give my all.
The pool of silk around your feet lies spent
the treasure it had guarded now revealed
and I cannot stand longer but must kneel
and beg your leave to enter with my steel.

Dark Money

visual depiction of dark money

Dark$ ©2015 WayneSL

WayneSL 2012-10-06 (song lyric)

Variations on a theme
waves on the ocean
and the currents underneath
the back field’s in motion
as we try to live our lives
we’re bound in chains of lies
We see each other’s eyes
we hear each other’s cries & sighs

Then from the cover the shade
here comes that dark money, again.
Dark Money – eating up our minds
Dark Money – binds us to the grind
Dark Money – hides the hand that holds the key
Dark Money – it’s choking you and me.

In between our legs it trickles
and it tickles, and it prickles
and soon it’s in our public hair
and on our tongues, and in our lungs
until a single sign remains
a fist thrust in the air
and it shakes in rage and pain
through rocket’s red glare

Then from the cover the shade
here comes that dark money, again.
Dark Money – eating up our minds
Dark Money – binds us to the grind
Dark Money – hides the hand that holds the key
Dark Money – it’s choking you and me.

BEFORE WE DRAW THE LINE

seriousChris

Christopher Slater-Lunsford, who will never draw the line.

Wayne Slater-Lunsford Spring, 1991

The World is both within us
and without us
Before we draw the line.
When we have not yet slowed
our rising forward fall
up into life.
We still trail clouds of glory.
We still own all that we perceive.
We permeate our universe
and grow diffusing
through the ether of experience.

Clear jello with little colored spots
spreading out toward each other
each color cloud another life.
You’re East to me, I’m West to you
our colors mix in the middle
and there’s a new shade in the rainbow.
We as children many selves perceive
other than the ones that elders see
those elders call us make-believe-
the persons that we know ourselves to be.

Existential Moment

Black Hole

Black Hole

2014 WayneSL

That existential moment
when finite and infinite
eternity and now
can, will, might
and probably not
swirl and swell
and do not come to rest
yet we persist…

Mineral

Colossal bust of Ramesses II

Ozymandias Busted. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Waynesl, 2014

What will be made of my ashes?
More than thrown bones
or leaves that lie
in a cup?
I poured the ashes of my father from the plastic box
and tried to see a man there
a life.
Not even pain remained.
We who were left climbed a rock
in the desert where his last glory had burned
and died
long, long, before his body did.
The backward Santa Ana wind
spread those minerals over sand and stone
indifferent, undifferent in their import.
Methodical Joshuas now incorporate that dust
into thorny, twisted limbs.
Neptune may accept me
And make something of my bones
Some coral or a nematode
Or shark.
The hearts I touched may heal
The minds remember
And if these words find shelter with another
Eternity will make of them my seal.

Premature Preemptive Destruction

Used by permission of http://www.forwallpaper.com/

Used by permission of http://www.forwallpaper.com/

My friend Martin Giles posted this:

A burglar breaks into a family home at 2AM and helps himself to a couple of mobile phones, an iPad and a wallet. Unfortunately, the seven year-old daughter is in the kitchen getting a glass of water at the time, and the burglar surprises her. She screams, waking the parents.
The burglar has a knife and pulls the girl in front of him, putting the knife to her throat as he makes for the door. Mum is already on the phone to the police (and luckily there’s a station two doors down), so armed officers are on their way within a few seconds, while the dad, with loaded pistol in his hand (it’s America) blocks the burglar’s exit.
The burglar is a desperate man however, and though he now has several armed men pointing guns at him, he’s got his trump card – the child. A human shield. The police officers arrive, and father and police don’t hesitate. They shoot the burglar, the bullets ripping through the child’s body first.
Everyone is sad that the girl is dead, but all agree that they are innocent of any wrong-doing. The burglar was using the child as a human shield, so it’s entirely his fault that the girl is now dead. No question. Little bastard.
But wait. Isn’t the point of a human shield that no person in their right mind would shoot through it? Perhaps it’s only in the movies where the snipers wait for a clear shot.
 

I responded:

Can’t like this Martin Giles, but you point out one of the deepest, most serious problems I see in human culture today: imbalance. The burglar was wrong. There was a need for action to curb his behavior in the moment, and also to discourage him and others from similar acts. However his use of the child limited the options available to the others.

The only quick way they could counter his bad behavior was to threaten or perpetrate violence which risked an innocent life. Instead of keeping a focus on the innocence at risk, they focused on the evil in progress, and escalated to destruction of an entirely higher scale. They fell into what I see as a common, (and perhaps increasingly so) error which costs many of us our very lives. I call it Premature Preemptive Destruction. It is like jumping off a cliff to avoid falling.  Almost all of us have experienced that alarming feeling at the edge, looking down and sensing that we may have an urge to jump, to “just get it over with,” and though we almost universally resist it successfully, it can often set our pulses racing, our hands shaking, and occasionally… precipitate disaster.

It is in those adrenaline-soaked moments that we must draw on a reserve of prior consideration, of preparation, to withstand the unwise, ineffective, course of expedience. It is at those times our race can end or continue, individually or quite possibly one day in an unnecessary world-wide disaster. I believe that our evolution to that capability, and our either overcoming it or falling to it, constitute a turning point in the story of life on this planet. Even if we do mature and survive as a race, I weep for those individuals whose lives are ended too soon, or severely diminished, by the haste of Premature Preemptive Destruction.