22 August, 2012

Not A Man Nor A God

presented by
Mystic Metals Body Jewelry

Not A Man Nor A God

I've been very tired recently. I'm not sure why; I haven't done much more than usual. I don't think I have. I have been quite stressed recently. Maybe that has something to do with it. I've been smoking more. Because of the stress, you see. I wish I still drank sometimes. Most times I don't wish that wish. Still, I could use something to fracture the stress a little. The cigarettes aren't getting it done. Maybe I'll uppercut something. That'll make me feel better.

Doing the right thing. It's important and essential. Which is redundant in its redundancy. Doing the right thing is what makes things work because there are many who do not do the right thing in most circumstance, so we need a flock of people doing the right thing to offset that. Doing the right thing has the inherent paradoxes. It feels good somewhere in your chest. In some mystery organ they haven't found yet. It's part of the body system that's linked to the butterfly belly feeling, the frightened spine feeling, and the skin crawl feeling. The mystery organ system. Doing the right thing makes a feeling happen that is a good one. You've done the right thing, and something behind your ribs swells in gladness and pushes your heart to beat in a way unconventional. The other side of doing the right thing is a little more tangible and obvious. You never seem to get the positive and beautiful reciprocal of doing what you did. You always seem to get shit on. Doing the right thing seems to always carry with it the short end of the stick. And like my band instructor in high school marching band once said to us, "It's the short end of the stick that the dog poops on!" The idea is that the short end of the stick, complete with doggy poop, is worth it for the knowing of doing something right.

The problem is, what's right and wrong? There are many senses of that, I suppose. There's law, there's faith, there's some bullshit karmic idea that guilts you into doing good things in order to protect yourself from evil happenings. But the ideas of right and wrong seem to be stitched into our chromosomes somewhere. We know that if we do something to hurt someone else's feelings, that's probably in the wrong category. If we do something to make someone smile and laugh, that's probably in the right category. Simplicity is always the path to understanding. But it does get more complicated. I'm going to tell you a story, and you tell me what the right thing to do is.

As you cats and kittens know, my tenure with the cover band for whom I play bass is coming to an end. As a courtesy and gesture of good faith, I'm playing until they find a replacement. Shouldn't be too hard; I'm no Marcus Miller. We recently got an add on gig from the agent. That's when you're not scheduled but they say, hey can you do this place on this date. We get a lot of them because our agent doesn't seem to like to fulfill their end of the contract and book us, so when bands that they consider better than we cancel or get better gigs on the same night, they call us to fill the spot. Mikey likes it; he'll eat it. So we get one of these shows at a place in my town called Cap'n's Corner. Bar, fish restaurant, hang out for low class whites. We've played there many times, and the guy who runs the place has expressed his... distaste for blacks. Fine. Whatever. Run your shitty business however you want you racist idiot. By the way, his name is legitimately Charlie Chaplin. And I think he is retarded in some way. I mean, seriously. This guy has some brain issues that he is in no way dealing with. So we get the text about the show. Marquis, my black singer and number two on the friend totem (I love you, Dan), expressed reservations about the gig. Actually, he said he didn't want to do it. Conversation among the band happened without much input from me. My opinion doesn't really carry much weight in my band anyway, so I keep my mouth shut on most topics. It reached a point where I chose to speak up. I said I also would not like to do the show because I would not want to stand beside my friend in a place that doesn't respect him by virtue of ignorance. I said it was wrong and not doing the show would be the right thing to do. More conversation among the band happened with individuals playing both sides of the argument.

I hate activism. I hate gestures. I hate white people marching for black rights, I hate straights holding signs for gay rights, I hate men at pro-life/pro-choice rallies. I hate that shit. I make jokes on race and sexual orientation and ethnicity and nationality. I indulge stereotypes because I think they are funny. But Charlie Chaplin's hate of blacks (the bar owner, not the silent film star) is none of these examples. His expressions of hate toward blacks is not my making a joke about Italians talking with their hands. And I don't care on the whole. I don't care that this guy has a formulated inclination of worth based on qualities of birth. He can think whatever he wants, and in a Constitutional way, I'll defend his right to do it. However, when my friend, my close friend, is standing beside me in discomfort and disrespect, I won't indulge Charlie Chaplin and his asinine thoughts by taking the $130 a man pay. It's not worth it to me to put my friend in a position to have anxiety and fear.

Our band is drowning, and we need to take as many gigs as we can to stay afloat and relevant. I have unpaid bills mounting, and I need the money. Badly. But in my mind, not doing the show is the right thing to do. Is it? Is taking a stand on something that, for all intent and purpose, has little to nothing to do with myself on a personal level the right thing to do? Am I a dude at an abortion rally, a white at a black rally, a straight at a gay rally? Am I overstepping my boundaries of concern on behalf of someone for whom I care very much?

I won't tell you what happened because I think it'll skew your response to the story. However, I will indulge some ideas here. I've talked in this blog about modified people facing a certain, sociological persecution. And though persecution is a way, way, way (way) overstated word choice, it happens with jobs and strangers. We know this, we face it, and we own it. We also know that we can change our lot if we so choose. We oughtn't change who we are unless we ourselves decide that is what is to be done, but we can change it nonetheless. We can take our septums out for work, cover our tattoos. So the persecution, to again use an overly powerful word, is incomparable to that which others face. It's not to belittle our own feelings toward the -ism that we the modified may face, but it is just to maybe put it in perspective. Also, this blog is about beauty. This blog is about beauty that emanates from everything. Everything is beautiful, yes even Charlie Chaplin (the mongoloid bar owner, not the star of Modern Times in 1936) has an inherent beauty. What he chooses to do with it is his prerogative, and how I choose to react to it is mine. But it's still there. The problem is this; I have a firm belief that there is none with the power to accost, destroy, demanufacture, or otherwise tarnish another's beauty. None. Not a man nor a god. Sometimes we combine them into certain godmen who we freely give our beauty to and then damn them for taking it. (That's another blog, or more accurately, topic for therapy), but we are giving them that right; they've not earned it.

So what's the right thing to do? Do we stick up for what we are, what we think, how we carry our beauty? Or do we take it on the chin for the money, the points in the column of facing difficulty in hopes that the experience will pay dividends later? How much do we owe to our own beauty in order to endure difficulty for what is right, or enduring what is wrong for what we hope will be right later? Stay beautiful, kids.

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  1. Stick to your guns! JB

  2. Seems like you're asking a question you adjust know the answer to.