We're into a new annual cycle, and it starting with a new moon. A good time to start new projects. Ruth at the facebook artist group, Daily Creative Practice, asked everyone to make a statement about what we envision for ourselves through the course of 2014. Not a resolution, but what one sees on the horizon, so to speak, the direction one is moving, projects in sight. Intent. Seeing that it's a new moon, it's a good time to address intent. I'm not one to look that far ahead, a year ahead, so this thinking is new for me. I prefer not to think about the future, except to look at the evolution of police state that has trumped American democracy, view changes in the progression of specifically American fascism, and the changing cartography that will go with global warming. I pay attention to it for self-preservation. Like I know not to use the word Be Oh Hem Be. Or Hen Eye Gigi He Are. NSA will nail me with insta-word check for key words. I'll end up in the deepest darkest dungeon under the maximum security prison in Alaska for using forbidden language. YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! I just did. Targeted potential terrorist. He used the B-word. I figure everything I write here is surveilled in a nanosecond when I click on the publish button. That's the internet landscape as I see it, all of it reviewed by NSA with word check. A satellite can see a quarter in my driveway. I don't see this Snowden episode changing anything. It's a surprise speed-bump for the propagandists and no more.
I saw the young actress Jennifer Lawrence, whose name I only know because I saw her on the Jon Stewart show, is campaigning with her celebrity influence to eliminate the word FAT from the language. Now we have another forbidden F-word. Issues of forbidden words have been going on in my homeland for several years now. You really have to watch what you say around white middle-class women. I've become so weary of watching what I say around them that I just make it clear when you're around me, you're on your own where handling forbidden language is concerned. I'm not vulgar, but I'm not obedient to priestesses of Political Correctness either. Get in my face and you just might make me laugh. We have an alphabet now of forbidden words that you get fired on television for saying. It's as bad as the preacher's wife syndrome in the old days. The preacher and his old-lady disapproved. Whatever it was, they disapproved. Middle-class women who get bent over the alphabet of forbidden words have fun disapproving of me. I'll never forget a brief conversation with a white middle-class woman I've been acquainted with for several years when she was informing me the N-word needed to be banned from the dictionary, "and while they're at it, they can ban the C-word." I thought: Oh no, another letter of the alphabet with a banned word! I said in jest, "What is it, Cool?" Answer in no uncertain terms, "No! CUNT!!!" I said, "Oh." I did not see that coming. I couldn't imagine what a C-word would be. Colored? Coon?
All this time we're throwing away our freedom of speech as something reprehensible in need of controls, I'm in awe to see the American people, after two-thirds of a century of television, don't want democracy or freedom of speech, these precious aspects of America The Land Of The Free our flag stands for. Not just let fade away, but thrown out like broken children's toys. In the Fifties it was called the Throw-Away Society. We're so far advanced in tossing out that we're spoiled by it like we're spoiled with what we want by Wal-Mart. We've gone from landfills to making mountains of trash. I remember seeing a trash mountain beside I-95 near Stuart, Florida, that was so high the bulldozer on top looked like a matchbox toy. I point to television, because it has rendered the American people collectively unconscious. It's purpose. Crowd control. It worked. Keep the masses ignorant and they vote republican. Like it matters how they vote. It's a game, like a card game, a cyber poker game between propagandists using hate to divide us into Us against Them. Divide and conquer. Because I see how conquered we-the-people are, I can't involve myself in paying attention to politics or the news anymore. I say "paying attention to." I hear it on radio a time or two a day and see internet bits of current events, but will never again let political, religious, or ideological influence clutch at my heart with a pang that says: It hadn't oughta be that way. Maybe it hadn't oughta, but the Titanic hadn't oughta neither.
Because this is how I see the world that is the landscape I live in, I chose to abandon a life of supporting the military machine USA has evolved into. Fear created and cranked up by the tv to a stress level that longs for security. Tv cop shows kill offenders, criminals, the unspeakable word, the enemy. I choose every day not to live in such mind. Even though I am not manipulated by the corporate belief system directly through television, I get it from everybody around me. I live in television culture even though I don't watch it. I see it once a week for a few hours. It reminds me why I care nothing for it. I'm grateful to God every day for landing my parachute on a back road in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I need a gun to take a walk in the woods anymore. I see images of cities around the world in movies and feel claustrophobic. I remember standing on the highest point in London and seeing city to horizon all the way around. It was the reverse of being at sea out of sight of land. The place I'm located geographically and mentally is about as good as, "at sea out of sight of land," as is reasonably accessible. I don't want to live someplace it takes a Land Rover to get to. I'm ok with a road running by the house. I'm ok with neighbors. I need trees desperately. I can't participate in the mind that values only money and the appearance of money. Tv is about money and money only. I don't value money. A guy in a gold-chrome Cherokee wanted to buy my house one day. I told him it's not for sale. He said there is a price I would sell it for. I laughed. Didn't say it because it wouldn't sound the way it was meant, I don't think you know who you're talking to. Our conversation went nowhere.
A month ago I decided to let go of listening to the news in any form. I asked myself one day, Why am I giving attention to people like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Bachman, Boner, Mitch and Paul? Any of them? I have no respect for anyone involved in American government anymore, would cross the street to avoid one. I need to get my mind out of that thinking. I say that's the landscape I live in, but it's not only that. It is that if I turn it on. I have a choice. To turn it on, or not to turn it on. It is my creation. I scroll through the facebook political images that used to amuse me as if they were commercials, which they are, propaganda commercials. The republicans are taking us on a downhill run, I can't stop it, and I don't like to watch it. I see it enough at the grocery store, rising prices and the huff-n-puff swat-team mind of town cops these days. State cracking down on citizens with outrageous fees for everything. Mandatory sentencing and outrageous prison sentences. I'm so paranoid about getting out in the world anymore, I want to stay home all the time. I'm stuck to it and there's nothing I can do but acquiesce, stay at home, draw minimal attention to myself, watch international movies, read international books, pay attention to international art. I can ignore as much as possible, while at the same time not being in denial. I know what it is to my own satisfaction and praise God every day for the insight to get out of that mind. Beyond the writing and the art projects for 2014, I want to separate myself even further from concern about anything to do with American politics. I want to hear American political news with the same dispassion as if it were North Korean news. I want to sit with picture books of Ai Wei Wei, Larry Rivers, Robert Irwin, Robert Mangold, Constantin Brancusi, books in reach of where I sit. I tell myself to look at art more, not corporate mind-rot.