SystemIsms

…thoughts on the human race to oblivion…

(some parts also published separately,  elsewhere on this site)

BubblEyeRacism, 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.

 

(EDITED to remove dated references)
We’d  had encouraging news the week I wrote this, 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 was 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 the week this article was written, 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. During its 4½ Billion years of existence, there has been life on Earth 3½ Billion years. 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 than 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

 

One thought on “SystemIsms

  1. rob scott cohn your one time "go to" drummer and keeper of the song tempo..its a MONUMENTAL effort my Brother! Sons Daughters of the tide , the music inside, we forgot we all have to go.. chorus of feelings in a single image -still, there are many now w on said:

    Analog aystem
    Digital mainframe

    Flesh and water
    Electrical “flame”

    Power to heal
    All encoded the same
    Now you know ..
    Please pass this on to the next
    before you go.

    Want nothing but love
    please just “believe”

    This love you now render
    you will inevitably recieve!
    Forgive of yourself
    focus to heal all else..
    we cure the other frame!

    Flesh and water ..
    Electrical “flame”
    Each one so d ifferent
    yet SO MUCH THE SAME.

    RSC

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