My newly completed watercolor, inspired by that creepy “Sub Audio Hypnosis” recording that I first saw posted on Dangerous Minds.
It just bespeaks to me of the things I’ve become more aware of lately, social mind-control, these pervasive little and big lies that just crackle through the air – who put them there? Does it begin and end with bluebird, artichoke, mk ultra? Does it go deeper than the CIA, the Vatican, et al? Do we all collectively perpetuate our death culture by refusing to become sentient? I think a lot of it is perpetuated under the guise of “positive thinking”, and the idea rather than there being positive and negative intertwined, and a time for both, positivity should for some reason be the default setting in all things. And if you aren’t constantly HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY you are some kind of malcontent. You may get labeled anything from an emo whiner laughed at and mocked to a dangerous subversive imprisoned and stripped of clothing. And all the things that have been accepted over the years as things not to be questioned, at least not by those who are “happy” and “normal” – it wasn’t all that long ago, in the overall scheme of time, that it was not that questionable to see slaves in irons, auctioned on the block. Or that sexuality of women must be suppressed at any cost, yet the idea that a woman could be raped by her husband wasn’t even considered a possibility, not because he wouldn’t do such a horrid thing, but because the notion that a wife had a right to refuse her husband was absurd. I could go on about all the appalling things once considered without question “normal” in “well-adjusted” society, things that never would have changed if someone hadn’t questioned them, if people hadn’t been angry, and decided to act on that anger. Even today though, look at all the things the likes of Scott Walker and John Boehner think acceptable to pull, the things we are expected not to question, that the “normal” and privileged people think ok as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. In the past few days filmmaker Usama Alshaibi (someone I originally knew of through LiveJournal) was the victim of an anti-Muslim assault in Iowa. Meanwhile here in New York Saturday evening, some ugly yuppie in expensive clothing thought it was perfectly acceptable to shove my physically disabled husband aside to steal the taxi he had hailed. I tried to get to her so I could teach her not to do that, but she’d shut the cab door and I could not break through the window. Yes, yes, I know that such flies in the face of certain schools of behavioral modification therapy. Some advocates of positivity feel one should, rather than try to take action, adjust their thinking until they feel complacent with their oppression. “Just be happy with what you have!” is their end-all be-all salvo. Well guess what? I AM happy with what I have! I’m married to my amazing soulmate and partner-in-crime, I live in an art collective where we create and hold unusual events and something out of the ordinary is always happening. We have adorable rats and cats. And it’s all great. Doesn’t mean everything is right with the world though. Nor will it be if we collectively sit and do nothing. Wait to read about the further wacky antics of Lady Gaga and Charlie Sheen.
The people I’ve known who’ve been the greatest advocates of thinking positive and taking things at face value have, oddly enough, also either been overtly abusive or else insidiously undermining in subtle ways. Today I’ve ordered this Barbara Ehrenreich book that seems to cover similar territory – looks promising!
Complacency never got anyone anywhere. Not out of the kitchen, not out of the back of the bus, not out of “eating cake” or from under a dictator’s thumb. When life gives you lemons, squeeze them in the eyes of your oppressors.