On The Efficacy of Education Reform

1— Introduction

The majority of political discourse on the national stage — with varying degrees of philosophical and rhetorical decorum — is evident that the question of public education is a matter of contention and debate. Continue reading “On The Efficacy of Education Reform”

The Confederate Flag Waves in Utopia  

1.

Despite Stephen Hawking’s claim that philosophy is dead, every single human action made by every human in Western culture, is, first and foremost, an action with ethical implications and secondly they all contains metaphysical assumptions— alas, philosophy exists in everything we do. Something as simple as buying coffee in a consumable, non-recyclable cup from a national coffee chain like Starbucks is making the implicit ethical claim that the carbon footprint used by people of Western culture is not a problem, that supporting a large capitalist corporation is not a problem and that the exploitation of coffee farmers in foreign lands is not a problem. You may, on some level, find that you are in the ethical wrong but do it anyway, because you do not think your actions make a difference; but ethical indifference through diffused responsibility is still ethical indifference. In addition to making the implicit ethical claims, you are making metaphysical assumptions by implicitly assuming parts of our human reality are permanently rooted— unchangeable, or as John Searle’s calls them: “default positions”.[i]   To take the aforementioned ethical stances you would have to take the assumption that we have no ethical obligation to future generations, as to assert the metaphysical assumption that ethical claims are predicated on existing. If you do not exist, you have no ethical claim.   Additionally, to assume that the capitalist ideology takes precedence over the quality-of-life of coffee farmers in South America, is to implicitly reinforce that the ethos of the capitalist ideology must be maintained above all else and the allowance of ethically questionable activities can be tolerated in pursuance of maintaining the capitalist status quo; as to assume that all other ideological systems subordinate into capitalism.   However, as all action has metaphysical assumptions, even in my argument I am making the assumption that my life is of a higher quality than that of a coffee farmer. As to assume that things like coffee, this laptop, my condo and my Volkswagen automatically add to the quality of my life, to assert that purchasing power creates happiness. In this sense even my anti-capitalist critique is implicitly assuming that the values of capitalism are “default positions” of human flourishing. That is to say, I am implying what makes humans happy, what makes a good society and in essence I am assuming the ethos of Utopia.   It could be argued that our actions are implicitly suggesting what Utopia would look like. We are trying to redefine the world over as a constant reflection of our metaphysics and if we do this while thinking we are in some way working towards the promotion of the greater good, we are in some sense creating the contents of our vision of Utopia.

With that said, I would like to look at the recent debate over the confederate flag and ask the simple question of: Would the Confederate flag exist in Utopia?   If we ask questions such as, should we support racist symbols, or should the government promote racist symbols— we are in essence predicating our questions on implied value judgments about the flag (and symbols), the purpose of government, the intent of the flag-wavers and racism altogether.   I will table those questions and get straight to the meat of the argument:

 Utopia, defined as the concept of social perfection — the perfect society; and the                          Confederate flag, defined as a symbol with racist connotations.

And, hence I will rephrase my question as follows:

Does a perfectly conceived society contain symbols with racist connotations?

2.

Before delving into that question it would be best to assess and deconstruct the concept of a symbol first. The word “rock”, as a signifier, is the word used to symbolize the thing that is a rock (the signified) and the word rock is inclusive of the qualities of rockness: hard, solid, heavy, etc. The relation between the signifier (word rock) and signified (the rock thing) is completely arbitrary, as there is nothing inherent to the thing rock as to assume we inscribe it as the word ‘rock’.   Symbols, such as flags, on the other hand are rather different than a rock. If we were to ask a person what the signifier American Flag means, the explanation of its physical qualities (stars and stripes) will not really tell us anything at all. In some sense, you can say that flags, like the American flag, represent ideas and not physical attributes of the flag itself. Say we had to examine these three objects: a pillow, a rock and a coffee mug and without having any previous experience or knowledge of these objects, it would be reasonable to assert that from examining the meaning of these signified objects we could identify their proper signifiers.   Conversely, if we were to examine three flags: American flag, Nazi flag and Confederate flag without any previous experience or knowledge of these flags, it would be unreasonable to assert from examining an interpretation of the meaning that we’d be able to know which is which. In other words, the signified object of these flags do not contain the signifiers of freedom, anti-Semitism and racism. Ideas like freedom, equality, racism, nationalism, justice, liberty, pride and heritage are all master-signifiers, which is a term for explaining signifiers that cannot be signified. I can define rock, and see rock, and confirm rock.   But what does liberty look like?

A flag, if you take away the ideas it represents, is merely shapes and colors sewn from cloth— this is not meaningful in of itself. Hence, it could be said that a flag only gains meaning by the ideas it represents and not by its physical qualities. But since liberty is not signified, the ideas inscribed upon a flag are arbitrarily placed and not universal. That is to say the American flag could mean one idea to one person and another to someone else. These ideas could be positive, negative or neutral. Or, in other words, there is no objective idea behind any symbol and since flags, as a symbol, have no way of explicitly translating their meaning — it could be said that flags are completely subjective.

 

3.

I shall return to the question at-hand:

Does a perfectly conceived society contain symbols with racist connotations?

Since the ideas inscribed to flags are subjective then it is possible that somebody, somewhere inscribes racist ideas to all symbols. Meaning, all symbols may be perceived by somebody as having a racist connotation.   In that sense, we could say that utopia does not contain any flags whatsoever, or any symbol that are capable of having ideas projected upon them.   However, that seems like a rather absurd suggestion, so we will rephrase our question as follows:

Does a perfectly conceived society contain symbols that a majority perceives as                     containing a racist connotation?

 So, if a symbol is perceived by the majority of the population at representing ideas of racism — is this sufficient cause to censor the symbol?   Is this not rooted in the metaphysical assumption that the majority group has a higher claim to grant meaning to symbols than the minority group? Is this any different than assuming my quality of life — as actualized in my ability to buy Starbucks and expend massive amounts of carbon — takes precedence over the quality of life of people in South America?   I am not saying that one group is right and one group is wrong, but rather I am saying the projecting of ideas onto symbols is completely arbitrary and subjective and is almost akin to projecting aesthetic value onto art. At one point in time penises were removed from art, because it was considered to be profane, and now it could be argued that the mere idea of censoring art for religious sensibilities is an act of profanity itself.   Is censoring offensive flags the same thing?   Censoring and demonizing the symbols that the majority find offensive— as to assume they have a right to make such a claim? Why should we assume that one interpretation of a symbol carries more weight than another? If a middle-eastern country decided to outlaw the American flag would we condemn their blatant censorship of our symbol; while self-righteously wrapping ourselves in our Bill of Rights as to imply under the guise of our freedom of speech we would never lower ourselves to such barbarism? Or, in other words, we as Americans, as the purveyors of freedom can decide that censoring our symbol is an infringement of speech, but conversely, we can choose to censor the confederate flag or nazi flag. This is not a contradiction, because we are the purveyors of freedom and our subjective perception of what is sacred and profane is objectively right— because we dictate the dominant symbolic ideology.   Is this metaphysical assumption fair?

It is absurdity to assume that socially and politically ostracizing the minority who does not perceive a particular symbol as racist, classist, sexist or any other profane idea is the path to utopia. It is also absurd to assume that the perception of the majority regarding a particular symbol dictates the reality of that symbol and henceforth makes the minority embody the qualities of the symbol by association. To be clear: if person X projects the ideas of ‘racism’ on to the confederate flag and person Y projects the ideas of family on to the confederate flag; neither idea has more value than the other, and person X cannot make the leap as to assume that person Y is lying, or that person Y includes racism as being inclusive in their idea of family.   Person Y is capable of being fooled by their defense mechanisms just as much as person X is. Person Y may be harboring deep-seated racists views that it masks in the notion of family heritage, but, conversely, person X may be harboring deep-seated racist views that it feels guilty about and is therefore trying to hide all the evidence that reminds them of their deep-seated white guilt.   Neither view is more right than the other and neither view has a stronger claim to categorically defining the meaning of a symbol.

And besides, utopia is supposed to be perfect, and not just perfect for the ideological views of the majority. Meaning, if we wanted to respect the views of all people in utopia equally, we would remove all symbols that offend somebody in someway. Or, in short, we’d remove all symbols altogether. And it could even be argued that this would have to be extended to language as well. Maybe in utopia we can all just be isolated individuals floating around in tiny bubbles where we have no possibility whatsoever of ever being offended by anybody or anything.   Is this a perfect society?   Is this what we are striving for?   Is this the path to human flourishing?

I would posit that this is the antithesis of a perfect society. Maybe instead of allowing symbols be the wedge that divides us we can use them as the bridge that binds us.   If somebody perceives a symbol differently than you do, should we assume they are wrong? Or, should we assume we do not understand their perspective? Instead of casting judgment, is it not better to ask them why they see it differently and foster understanding in lieu of division — as opposed to assuming we are right and they are wrong. If we can move past the ambiguous meaning of symbols and realize that hiding behind the ideology I deem as perverse, is another human being. And this person is not different or better than me, nor am I better than them. Utopia is not a place where we hide away the things that offend and scare us, but rather it is a place where everything that is offensive and scary has lost all its power. Not because we forgot about its dark past, but because we have found a way to transcend our own symbols and not abstract and objectify demographic categories as being dictated by my own prejudices that we encapsulate into abstracted symbolism.

If we want to expel racism out of our culture, this cant be done by literally expelling symbols that we find to be racist. This is merely a smokescreen that gives the illusion that we are working towards the promotion of a racist free society. Does banishing symbols change the hearts and minds of people? Won’t a new symbol eventually replace the symbol you cast into the darkness for being racist?   Opponents to my views would argue that allowing the free usage of symbols that have racist connotations is akin to sanctioning and implicitly promoting the hateful ideas themselves. However, I am not arguing that we allow the spreading or promoting of hateful ideology in the name of freedom of speech; rather I am saying we should use this moral indifference about these symbols as an opportunity to talk openly and empathically talk about our collective problems. We should not abstract our hatred and negation-of-hatred into symbols, but rather lay our cards on the table and openly and honestly discuss the open-wounds of our society. The solution to racism is to talk about it, not hide it. And, moreover, the act of hiding it diminishes our willingness to think critically and perceive the other empathically.   If we want to transcend ourselves and transcend our society, we need to begin by owning up to our assumptions and all their ethical implications.   And regarding our question:

The confederate flag does wave in Utopia— but this fact has no meaning.  

 

 

 

 

SOURCES:

[i] Searle, John R. Mind, Language, and Society: Philosophy in the Real World. New York, NY: Basic, 1998. Print.

 

I Could Have Been a Nazi…

When I think about my life and what I am, I can’t say with any certainty or rationality that I had any input in being who I am.  I did not choose my parents, place and time of birth, race, gender, class and any opportunities or lack thereof.  My life, my birth and, subsequently, my actions and experiences were akin to a dice roll…it is by mere chance that I exist in the form I exist, or even at all.

I could have been an Egyptian pharaoh, but probabilistically I would have been an unknown slave that served the unknown needs of a known king — a short-lived existence and a tiny cog in the machine of human history.

I could be an African American man born in Baltimore and perhaps instead of writing this blog I’d be rioting in the streets— as the anger and frustration of institutional racism bubbles from deep within me and manifests violently like a divine bolt of lightening from the gods.  Or maybe I’d be a peaceful protestor, or maybe I’d be a police officer trying to maintain peace among the sea of chaos, conflict and contradiction.

I could have been a terrorist and maybe from that vantage point I’d see myself as a hero, prophet or a martyr.

I could have been a serial killer, a religious zealot, a human sacrifice or an aborted fetus that never saw the light of day.

I could have been born under the reign of Nazi Germany and been coerced and convinced that their way is the true way— and perhaps then, I could have been a Nazi.  My ego would prefer to think that I would be part of the resistance and I would have helped Jews escape Germany — but by that fantastic, illogical and delusional reasoning, I might as well just will myself to having the opportunity to kill pre-nazi Hitler and negate the entire existence of Nazi Germany.  However, that is not the case, nor could it have been the case.  The reality of such things, is that I could have been a Nazi and there is nothing in my current existence I could do to negate, change or deny that possibility.

The probability of our universe, our galaxy, our sun, our planet, our life, our intelligence our existence and the abstracted symbols you read in this blog are a mere sliver, of which we can’t even measure.  And beyond that, one thing we cant measure or know is the experiences of other people in a true sense.  I cant pretend to assert that I know the experiences of other people; nor can I assert that if I was randomly born in their shoes that I would do something different or live different or actualize a different existence.

Conversely.

Given different economics, different politics and a completely different matrix of existence…

Michael Brown could have been the one who successfully fought at destroying racial injustice….

& Freddie Gray could have been the one to help bridge us towards world peace.

Maybe that is a fantastic stretch of my imagination, but perhaps it also a fantastic stretch to be born on third base and presume you hit a triple.  We all had equal chance at being something or nothing; significant or insignificant; rich or poor; you or me.  And this fact— rendered through a lens of empathy and compassion— could be the means upon which we perceive all other people.  Not with judgement, not with pretense and not by denying that the person you cast judgement upon, could have been, for that matter, YOU.

After all, just as much as I could have been a Nazi— so could you.

A Theory of Violence

1— Introduction

If we wanted to successfully advance practices that serve the means of reducing violence, it would be prudent to first understand what violence is and, a fortiori, what causes it to be.  Continue reading “A Theory of Violence”

HAPPY NEW NOW!

So, as it seems, our life can be metaphorically extended into individual, and neatly packed, units of time.  Each new day we start over and our potentiality gets reset — we shower and cleanse ourselves for a new day and hope that, as Annie says, that the sun will come out (tomorrow).  Our optimism is abstracted into the objective future and upon this future we project the infinite capacity of our projects.   Just the same, we also divide our lives into years and we celebrate the passing of one year to the next, like we are collectively and metaphorically celebrating the passing of our own life in one year increments. It is like we are all dying on New Years Eve and we toss our inhibitions to the wind to honor the passing of our collective selves, but we all know that on New Years Day we will all be instantly reborn, and from this new birth— we start anew.   New Years resolutions to ensue.

However, the paradoxical conundrum of a New Years resolution is that it, in essence (and in actu), fails before it begins.  Like, as my wife reminds me to do some chore and I respond by reminding her that I said “I will take care of it tomorrow” and that the proposition I will take care of it tomorrow still applies— tomorrow is never today.  If I tell myself that “next year I will do____ or I will be better at _____,” — I can try to accomplish these tasks, but, as we all know, New Years resolutions generally fail.  Why is this?  Well simply, I posit, as stated earlier, they are not ideas of our self that we identify with or situate within, but they are projected and abstracted ideas of our ideal self that we project on to our future selves (this person we have not met, nor will we ever meet them).  With some odd assumption that when the clock hits midnight we will be reborn as an individual with more will power or tenacity.  But, this is never the case.  We are never actually our future selves, or, for that matter, we are never our past self— the only self that is real is the present self and that is the only self you can change.

You can allude yourself into believing that next year you will eat less carbs or learn to play the piano or something, but in that vein I might as well say fuck it and become Hindu and project my idealized self on to my reincarnated self….

I am hungry, and Jack in the Box sounds good and happens to be close– I will eat healthy starting tomorrow.

I am not happy with my body image— next year, I will start anew.

I am not happy with my job and really, when I think about it, my life altogether. 

I will pray in hopes that the afterlife is better, or that I get reincarnated and get a second chance.

These rationalizations, or defense mechanisms rather, may feel good and may help us get through the grind of the day/year/life, but they are not magical.  Saying this or that will change in the future does not become true by mere proclamation.  Rather, it is only designed to protect our ego from the existential angst of admitting: I am not happy in the present, hence it’s reasonable to assert I will not be happy in the future.

The best example of this is when you are at a New Years Party and you spend the night eating, dancing and drinking in anticipation for New Years to arrive and then, once it does, you realize that the moment actually doesn’t exist.  Like a Buddhist monk who meditates to the long decay of a gong and tries to explore and expand the abstract void of existence that situates between the ring of the gong and the silence that follows— the void between noise and non-noise.  Just the same, we mediate with Ryan Seacrest and cheap sparkling wine in hopes that we can expand the void between the current year and the future year and live in an infinite moment of existence that transcends the failures of the past and the failures of my future. This magical moment where I am absolute and perfect.  

But, even though we can’t measure the time that does not exist in both the old year and the new year, we can pretend to.  We can honor the new year with a kiss and the longer the kiss the longer the void and, hence, the longer we can situate in the void that magically exists between the old year and the new year.  In this magical void we are no longer the person from the past that we want to change in the new year, but, just the same, we are also not in the new year and we do not have to recognize and situate ourselves within the reality of our failed resolution.  A new years kiss does not exist in the 4th dimension of time.  Or, at least that’s how it feels.

But after this kiss ends, for some reason that is the moment that we become aware of reality and aware that despite my very hard partying, I am still the same.  I don’t feel reborn.  I look around the party and see the chaotic remains of my hopes from yesteryear.  My hopes and dreams were, five minutes ago, metaphorically wrapped within a balloon drop and now, after the kiss, they’re now scattered across the floor like little land-mines that may, at any moment, burst and deflate, and so goes my dreams, my future and my resolutions.  Drunk and deflated, I tread home lightly.

But maybe deep down inside we really know they are going to fail and that is why we do them.  If you accept resolutions as something you will fail at, because, that is what happens, then you have now freed yourself from experiencing the failed feeling.  If I decide to leap in the air in hopes I can fly but then fail to fly:  I would not ostracize myself for failing to achieve the impossible, but rather I would honor myself for attempting the impossible.  So, with that, if New Years resolutions always exist in the future then they are impossible to achieve, and hence, the act of trying and failing is not a failed act, but rather a successful act— you tried, kudos.  Creating a feedback loop of an idealized future self that we are perpetually wanting to be, but never become and the mere notion that we have faith in our future self (without becoming better) becomes a perceived feeling of success.

My future self could be AWESOME.

And my present self is AWESOME because it believes my future self can be AWESOME.

We open savings accounts to create a nest egg of financial wealth to protect our future selves form unexpected expenses, like, for example, when your serpentine belt breaks and destroys 8 valves and costs you $3000 in damage.  Fucking eh!  The only way you can create wealth for your future self is by having your present self conserve wealth.  You can’t will yourself rainy day funds, nor can you presume a New Years eve kiss will last forever and absolve you from being responsible for your own happiness.

So, if there is something about your life you wish to change and you think this life change would make a good New Years resolution, I say Fuck New Years Resolutions!.  Make it a LIFE RESOLUTION!  And, don’t wait, do it now–  this exact moment in time.  The only moment that has ever existed in the history of the universe is the present moment and that is the only moment you can change.  The past is merely an abstracted perspective of what was, and the future is merely an abstracted perspective of what will be…but, they will never exist as we perceive them (or even how we do not).  The only real is the now and the only self you know is the present— your subjective and determined true self.  It is true that we can be anybody we want to be if we apply ourselves, but that only works if you start now.   Otherwise life will amount to, as Pink Floyd woefully claims:

Plans that either come to naught or a half a page of scribbled lines. 

Fuck that!  Live now.

So, Happy New Now!

A Police Badge is a Hollow Void of Nothingness

The recent media attention has centered around incidents of perceived law enforcement abuse that have become a catalyst for riots stretching across three continents. Incidents, such as these, have been a constant reality and potentiality in poor urban areas for a long time and the recent attention is the product of switching the collective focus to this pervasive and contentious social infraction. Bubbling to the surface are the timeless questions of racism and classism, but additionally it brings up the question of law enforcement, our relation to law enforcement and, lastly, the requirements and necessity of utilizing lethal force.

Sam Harris notes in his book Free Will that if he had lived the exact same life (including genetic makeup) as a killer, neurologically speaking, he has to resign to accept that he would have been a killer too.[i] Accepting that any given moment in time we are merely the product of our genetics and all environmental stimuli that proceeded that moment. This “veil of ignorance”[ii] suggests that we must perceive ethics through a lens that understands that circumstance of birth differs in all people and ethics is contextual and singular.

The aforementioned ideas come into play when we examine the sudden rise in attention of police brutally, as the deeply rooted ethical paradigm that dominates American culture is, figuratively speaking, a narcissistic psychopath who believes that objectivity is something we can assert through mere proclamation. Meaning that a law enforcement officer may persist that they are fair and just and that they perceive every decision through the objective lens of some logical ethical calculus, but this persistence only reinforces their illusory proclivity towards cognitive dissonance.

Human beings are subjects and are completely incapable of being objects. We want to project our objective-selves into the world through our projects and virtual persona and deny our authentic potentialities. What if I was a law enforcement officer and I believe my capacity to perceive reality objectively is valid. But, then I live in a community that is completely atomized based on class and race— grooming me to perceive the observable and institutional divide as being the product of an objective reality, of which I believe to be true.  As humans, our ability to relate and connect to the Other is rooted in how we see our own qualities reflected back at us in the Other. But, what happens if you do not see any reflected qualities— what if the Other seems foreign and distant?

If I draw my gaze upon the Other and do not see any sameness, nothing similar— I will become prone to assume they are unlike me, different and, even more, a threat.   I am a logical and rational human and they are not like me and for that, they must be illogical, irrational and non-human— a barbaric inferior human variant, perhaps. I, in order to promote and validate my own reality, dehumanize all Others that I find different and removed. Even if I, as subject, perceive them as less I will delude myself into perceiving my subjective reality as an objective reality that is, henceforth, logically sound.   The Other, who is unlike me, is akin to an irrational small child and it is my duty to be the objectively rigid authority that serves and protects.

My power to stand over you as objective authority — as I perceive you as an objectified subject, or rather an irrational automaton that acts from mechanically repetitious impulse — has been deservingly and pridefully granted by the brass badge I wear upon my shirt. But, how, in all reality is such a thing possible?   A badge is just mere object and it contains no authority, no value, no content— it’s a hollow void of nothingness. You can see the badge as a symbol and you can project whatever virtues you want upon the symbol— justice, loyalty, courage. These signified projections do not alter the symbol. It does not matter how hard you try, the symbol, the signifier and the badge will not become a container of virtue that, through some transitive property, transfers its virtuous contents to whomever clips the badge to their shirt.

Life, as we all know, is finite and the process — or rather the existential angst — of trying to render meaning from the void of nothingness pushes us into asserting that we can create the universal from the singular. I am a finite being with a singular existence, but with faith, I can become an infinite being with a universal existence. We all know deep down that ultimately we will fail at this transcendence, but to throw in the towel is to forego that resilient will to power that makes humans so damn special. To resolve this conflict we project ourselves on to symbols, in hopes that the symbol will out live us and henceforth, transcend our values beyond the finite. I see myself as loyal, patriotic and compassionate— therefore, I will project those values upon the badge, the flag and the cross. I know I will die, but those symbols will live on, and to some regard, so will I. Any act that negates my symbols will, in turn, negate me— reducing me back to the singular.   I will fight to defend my symbols.

Police brutality is a problem and more than just being a problem that hangs in the limelight of the moment, it is a symbol of the systemic malevolence.   It symbolizes that the subjective divide between law and man is also a division of race and class. It symbolizes that our ability to see ourselves and the Other as subject, as fragile, as finite or as human takes a backseat to maintaining the illusory objective infrastructure. The inability of the justice system to recognize this injustice symbolizes that we would prefer to objectify the Other in defense of our symbols and ego. And, beyond that, it symbolizes that we would rather negate the leak by creating another leak and never recognize that we keep frantically repairing a broken ship— that is indeed sinking. Or in short, as Nietzsche says, we would rather will nothingness than nothing at all.[iii]

So what then? How do we transcend this vacillation of collective defense mechanisms and find solace and hope?   Gun laws and police training will do nothing.   Wearable cameras will do nothing.   We can’t stake our claim in the future by assuming that the objective lens of a camera will serve to detach the illusion between subjective and objective reality. People will see what they want to see.

The path of hope will come from our ability to gaze upon the Other and see a subject— a human looking into the eyes of another human. A grocery store clerk, a barista, a telemarketer— all people, all subjects, all the time. My pain is your pain and your pleasure is my pleasure. My unbridled hope in the human spirit is a hope and burden that we all share equally. Our subjective spirit is the empathic contents that make up our objective spirit and beyond our empathic gaze, we all must turn and look forward together— recognizing our humanity for what it is and dreaming of what it will be.  Freud claims that the malaise of civilization and the malaise of the individual are attached at the hip and, for that, the only way we can step out of the shadow of the industrial revolution — that ideologically persists that we, as humans, can be reduced to a commodity, a cog and an object — is to declare ourselves as subjects, as humans, as empathic beings. And from this declaration we must authentically act in defense of the individual qua collective, and the collective qua individual. When a law enforcement officer casts his gaze upon the Other he should see himself, his own pains and fears, his own hopes and dreams and his own eyes and spirit: and act accordingly.  We are all, in fact, in this together.

 


 

Sources:

[i] Harris, Sam. Free Will. New York: Free, 2012. Print.

[ii] Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 1971. Print.

[iii] Badiou, Alain. Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil. London: Verso, 2001. Print.

I Want My Fucking Cocaine!

As I walk my dog around my neighborhood the only thing I see are signs advertising food, soda, snacks and, in all reality, basically crap.  Sugar laced crap.   Although, in some deep and dark place I think I am really just envious.   Everybody is walking around hyped up on sugar— it’s just unfair!  Why does my drug of choice get such bad press?   We have sugar dealers everywhere we look and to ensure a lifetime of addiction, they’re in schools too.  What about my rights?   Where’s my coke?  Why aren’t there laws to defend my equal rights to substance abuse?

Marijuana is slowly becoming legal and sugar is beyond legal—in fact, its promoted and championed.  I mean it only took $15m for the US federal government to convince the World Health Organization to falsify their studies about the dangers of sugar.  Thats total chump change.  The feds got nothing on Walt White.   But what about cocaine?  Seriously?  What about me?   What if I don’t wanna get fat off sugar— where is my rich, skinny person drug?  Where is my chance to destroy myself?  This is fucking discrimination.

Silly Bloomberg and his attempts to make soda smaller.  We live in a free society sir and we are endowed by our creator with the rights to freely choose how we must kill ourselves— it’s a fucking liberty.   So where is my cocaine?  I have freely and autonomously decided how I wanna destroy my body— but, apparently, we are only free insofar that we do exactly what they tell us to do, inclusive of our destructive habits.

My opponents would protest up and down that legalizing my precious cocaine will lead to a society of coked up drug addicts, but in a clinical study they found that cocaine-addicted rats greatly preferred sweet, sweet liquid sugar over cocaine.  So again I ask, what about my cocaine?  Seriously?  It wont be as popular as you think.

I think the reason our plutocracy doesn’t want to legalize my cocaine is because they really don’t understand how good it is….maybe they need a sample?  Maybe I should FEDEX them some.  In clinical studies they have found that the pleasure from receiving large amounts of money is equal to the pleasure triggered by cocaine.  So to all you rich, white, sugar pushing hypocrites— can you imagine how much money you’d make if you sold cocaine AND sugar??  Think of all the money?  Think of the high!  Imagine yourself making snow angels in all that cash.

Imagine if all the people in the country who protest and advocate against sugar where immediately pacified by long lines of chemically processed, government subsidized, well marketed cocaine— sold in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods with the label:

“ORGANIC AND ALL NATURAL COCAINE”

Then you can take the low potency, weak shit you have left and cut it with high fructose corn syrup and sell it at WALMART and call it something like RED BULL or MONSTER.

They expect 1/3 of all kids to be diabetic in years to come— imagine if they were all cocaine addicts too?  One drug that makes you thin and one drugs that makes you fat— FUCKING BRILLIANT.

I mean if we are going to be a FREE MARKET SOCIETY then why not go ALL OUT?   Right?
If we are going to grotesquely and unethically exploit the entire population— why not let us all get high too?   Maybe if I was doped up on coke I wouldn’t mind so much that the capitalist machine was persistently fucking me over at every possible turn.

In short:

I WANT MY FUCKING COCAINE!

Drug Free(dom)

Hey there, yes you— the kid in the back.

With your constant clatter and chatter.

Do not talk back

Hey there, yes you— the kid in the room.

With your deliberate defiance.

Do not assume.

Hey there, yes you— the kid in the hall.

With your nagging and non-compliance

Do not befall.

Hey Kid, do you ever listen?

Hey Kid, do you ever shutup?

How dare you question my authority— my title is bold and loquacious.

How dare you question my reasoning— my stare is cold and capricious.

My book of spells that I carry upon my back— it explains you so well.

In clear and confusing language that your desire to be free is, in fact, your disease.

oh well.

Take this potion and drink up.   White noise and robot bliss is such a breeze.

Is this ok?  Do you need help swallowing the pill?

What was that?  Free agency?  There is no such thrill.

Swallow the pill and consume your pride.

There is nobody to help or confide.

How can we protect the walls from the crazies?

— You are bound to go crazy and stomp on all the daises.

What labels to use, they’re all ripe for the taking?

— You are bound up in shackles of your own making.

Hey Kid, is that you, with that number on your face?

— # 10101001, such a disgrace.

I once signed a contract that said Above all, I shall do no harm.

Adderall, Xanax and Prozac — never any pain, works like a charm. 

I build all these walls to keep your freedom within.

And one day you will realize your freedom is, without.

You will build a hammer to free thyself from within.

And one day you will roam free and I will be, without.

Or maybe you’ll just keep on keepin’ on with that stupid fucking grin.