marilyn mao by yu youhan
Much talk on internet about climate change. It's here, it's now, it's disaster: WE can do something about it. WE. WE. We we we all the way home. Am I part of the WE? I don't think I am. I can't do anything about it. I live in a society that is dependent on cars. I am conscious of driving the least I possibly can, have been all my adult life. Pollution and Climate Change are the issues of my lifetime, can't leave out Racism. What can I do? What can anybody do? The mega-billionaires that rule us, whether we like it or not, don't give a shit about WE. WE, to them, amount to the pitchfork squad, the thick-necked proles that drag our knuckles on the ground. They laugh at us. WE are powerless against them, even WE in the form of 300,000 occupying NY for a day is nothing. All it means to THEM is we need more cops and prisons, which can be arranged, easily. Reach in pocket, pull out cell phone, push one button, done. I see cops are wanting to make it illegal to video them. It will happen. I know better, just from basic self-preservation. I saw an incident once that if I'd made video of it and showed it to anybody, I would not have survived the first week. Can't tell you what it was, because it was serious. It involved a murder that was swept out the door. I could have created a major stink with a video, but would not have lived very long. I don't even tell about it because I don't want anyone involved to know I saw anything. Self-preservation is important to me. Justice? There's no justice in America. Evidenced by the common knowledge that when you go to court you need the better of the two lawyers. It's a poker game at the law school graduate club. Since the Reagan Junta's "mandatory sentencing," the judge amounts to a referee. We talk about an American invasion of a new poverty-stricken country as WE did it. I wasn't involved. I am not that WE.
on the road by he yunkai
I am only that WE because I am subject to a government at war with the world and everybody in it. This government is at war with its own people too; war on drugs is a war on the American people. Cops killing black people. They're killing white people too. That part doesn't make headlines. He had a gun. I am all the less WE by making so little money along the way I paid little to no taxes. I stay out of commerce to the best of my ability. I buy books, cds, computers, groceries, etc., all of which I pay taxes on. A local mechanic fixes my car that is 21 years old, legal. I buy everything locally, unless it's amazon and art supplies. I don't know of an art supply store within 75 miles. I've bought into the System the very least I could get away with along the way. I've believed the more money I make, the less my life is my own. I can't give my life to money. It's expensive even to live poor. Utility corporations bleed us the very most they can. Mandatory car insurance bleeds us further. However, I have no issue with that law. I resent paying it, but if I rear-ended a Cadillac, caved in the back bumper and trunk lid, I could never pay for it on my own, even if it were a third-hand Ford. I don't appreciate what the billionaires club is doing to us. What can I do, break into a rich man's house and steal something? Big deal. Halliburton wants to make 38 billion; they put Dick Cheney in charge of the White House, use him to start a never-ending war, call it WE and WE, everybody else, go ahead and identify with the travesty of murdering, torturing, humiliating Muslim people to keep the munitions corporations looking good on the bottom line. I cannot call myself WE over such as that. I cannot say in conversation, What are we doing in Syria? Who is we? We is police state under billionaire's club. I am not that. I may be subject to them in that they can give the nod to have me offed and never think of it again, but they care not the tiniest speck of gnat shit about me, as long as I pay protection fees. Makes it easy to stay under the radar.
warriors by yue minjun
In my youth, I hated the draft, hated it that I was required to be involved in military for being born male in America. Hated it. Then they got me. Two years of living in uncut fascism. I hated it. I gave the very least, never made an effort to advance beyond swabbing decks. I bought a book of Mao's writings in a bookstore in Napoli, kept it in my locker with the other books. I never read it, kept it there for inspections. It was legal to have it. I loved it that it freaked out the inspecting officers. Every time. They already knew I was a weird son of a bitch, one of many reasons not to have a draft. I did what I was told to do. No more. I resented the military snatching me out of my life to put me up to kill and/or be killed. I knew it had nothing to do with anything but corporate boom time. The only thing it had to do with me was: sucker. The military was not about protecting my family's interests, nor my neighbors. It was the circle of wagons around the corporate towers. I had a very hard time inside self being a part in the misery and death machine. Only one close call. The ship went to Dominican Republic over a communist cell there. Upon command, we were to blow the hell out of Santo Domingo. I hated being on the ship all the more. The Ensigns operating the big guns couldn't hit a barn from twenty yards. I was thinking if they shoot into the city with this one address for the target, it will be the only thing left standing when the smoke clears. The guys following orders would figure the whole city was commies, so what the hell, punish the red emeffers. Santo Domingo was beautiful from the water. I saw moments of The King and I at a drive-in on the edge of the city through spy glasses on lookout duty one night. I hated being a part of the military machine, never was comfortable. I knew how trigger-happy the Pentagon is, and this was just a few years after Castro's headlines. Communist was the day's word for terrorist.
by liu dawei
I will edit from my talking references to "we" when I mean the Pentagon operating with weapons manufacturing their purpose, congress and senate in place to produce for the highest bidder. I readily identify myself American. I'd like to see the American people a little kinder to each other. I can't say what it's like in other countries, more than likely the same, each in their own way. I hear that in Costa Rica you can feel it in the air you're in a place without a military. They're able to do it because they have nothing the international corporations want. This is how I have intended to live my life all the way along, have nothing anybody wants. I've seen just from knowing people that I did not want to be somebody with money or position. I pitied Elvis, the people around him drooling for his money and his fame that wrecked his life. I'd rather not know people than have fake relationships, fake friendships, fake acquaintances. I did not want to figure in any hierarchy anywhere but the bottom. Of course, it's said that when you're the bottom of the totem pole the weedeater whacks you in the face. It works out like that too. It's motivation to get on up the totem pole. I don't even want to be on the pole. I'd rather look at it from afar. Upon arriving in the mountains I found my true people. I went to a church in the first fourteen years to bathe my life in true people. No hierarchies of money and status that anybody pays attention to. That's the town people. The country people is just folks. The people held in the highest regard are people fair and honest in their dealings with a a fairly even disposition. I'm remembering telling friend Jr Maxwell, who died five years ago, about a meeting I'd been at in town where the people from Away worked themselves into a state wanting to find a way to get rid of those old rusted tractors in the field out on highway 93 toward Piney Creek. He laughed and said, They'll never do anything about it. Hugh is the best respected man in this county. He sells tractor parts and has every part a man could want. This is the kind of place I want to incorporate into my life, to float free like in a mosh pit and become it. These are the people who have been my teachers in the second half of my life. In the mountains of Alleghany County, North Carolina, is where I identify as WE.
by ai weiwei