No. 4

The plight of any human being pales in comparison to that of any factory farmed animal, and because of this I will explain why all of our ideologies, which only boast irrelevant constructs of our ego, should be abandoned; they do not save or protect life. I think some of our social movements, lifestyle choices, and spiritualities can be maintained if they do not interfere with our ability to focus, especially because some of them are advantageous and inherently supportive of animal life and nature. Even some lifestyle choices, spiritualities, and movements have the tendency to befoul nature, not because of what they are but because of how they become dogmatic in their own way. These differentiations are part and parcel to my deconstruction of ideology as a human phenomenon.I was listening to a segment on NPR about confirmation bias, which was ironically appropriate in and of itself. I was seeking confirmation, listened to the segment and was given the confirmation I needed about certain feelings, ideas and thoughts which I knew needed answers. And the subsequent induction of logic came to be. People create individual identities mostly based on words, cultural activities, and overwhelmingly, their ideologies. It would seem like everyone we know clings to one belief system or another, even if you yourself wouldn’t call a certain belief system an ideology outright. For instance, if you asked a practicing Catholic if they considered Presbyterian people ideological, I doubt that they would affirm that unless they also believed their self to be ideological. Also, the definition might get lost between individuals; an ideology is a set of beliefs, conforming to normative ideals of morality, politics or social behavior which are deemed appropriate. That definition I just wrote from the top of my head. I didn’t look it up, because I didn’t have to. It’s prevalent, nigh ubiquitous, this psychological trend. And the truly unfortunate reality that most ideological people fail to realize is that they have automatically segregated themselves from other people who will never refer to themselves as any such thing. They refuse the title, and become a member of the “out-group,” rather than the “in-group.” While I hope for success for both the Black Lives Matter and Women’s Rights Movements, the latter of which is very much a global struggle to enhance and equalize the lives of women, I do not support Black Panthers or Feminism, because these are two ideologies with titles that people give themselves, and thereby divide themselves from others. I probably agree with most of what “feminists” adhere to, but why should I or they call ourselves something that would keep us in a separate group, when it’s obvious that there will never be a whole planet of feminists, those that completely agree on one kind of feminism or another, the same as Muslims, Christians,

All that we are meant to be, as beings, is self-sustaining eukaryotic organisms, surviving based on nature’s productivity, which we should be seamlessly in tune with. However we are astounded and confused by our reality, and therefore we frequently adapt to theories that grant us communion with others and a safety net of metaphysical comprehension, all of which is fostered on language and nothing more.

There is a difference, also, between what an ideology is and what a spirituality, a lifestyle choice, or a social movement is. These latter three can easily fit into ideologies, but by themselves they remain largely harmless, for the sake of this argument. If I choose not to eat meat, which I do very proudly, and if someone chooses to believe in a hominid-like God in their mind, we are both acting on simple internal emotions, not necessarily what a book, doctrine, or clergyman has deemed righteous. Vegetarianism, for instance, is basically a lifestyle choice, though I can see how someone might disagree. What makes it different than say, libertarianism, is that the word vegetarianism indicates a specific action or non-action being undertaken consistently to achieve a straightforward purpose or emotive connection, rather than just the theoretical principle that animals deserve freedom and justice being held as true. I believe in those ideas, don’t get me wrong, but vegetarianism isn’t about belief, it’s about action and decreased consumption, a physical contribution to the movement to release animals from our dominance. Libertarianism may indeed encourage, via its esoteric tenets, one action or another, yet overall its purpose is to inflate and prioritize the ideology itself, not the individual actions or some singular motive such as decreasing government involvement in free market society. I’m sure by now you assume I’m only writing this to influence you to stop eating meat, to call yourself a vegetarian, or to sway you to my way of life which involves learning to grow my own food and choosing more whole produce over processed items, which includes meat and dairy (the latter of which is in oversupply, leading me to believe we’re harming more animals than necessary to feed people products they don’t actually need to survive, which is plain unintelligent). I’m writing all of this to say that I’ve looked at the world with a set of sensible eyes and found little to no reason to spout much in favor of lifeless conceptualizations, but rather I’ve found it empowering and substantial to live by physical standards, exercises of truth that I can be held accountable for, and this can indeed be applied to any person’s life in a multitude of healthy forms.

Republicans, muslims, feminists, buddhists, or any archetypal ideological title that someone might attribute to their self is a hollow moniker and whichever system of thought that person falls victim to is doing nothing more than bolstering obedience to the system as a whole and its title, not its constituent parts and practices.

Therefore a person may call themselves something every day but do nothing healthy or worthwhile, beyond serving the ideology, which their ego justifies and rationalizes. While millions and billions of people rest assured that an unseen deity loves them for believing, they are massacring innocent creatures inhumanely which said alleged God figure would have created!

On a side note, people gather together and divide into separate yet common cultural groups. Of course this process began long ago, as regional groups populated regions naturally, but now it happens in a unique unprecedented way which doesn’t require the members to look alike. An American can leave the US and go to belong elsewhere, changing quickly or gradually to become more aligned with say Hindu people in India. The same happens radically often among people who are adapted by invasive forces, those that simply foreclose to religions that came from elsewhere, like Sudanese people who are Christian or Muslim, neither of which originated within the country itself. And if you don’t know, that country is divided because of their beliefs, like several others are, not because of the individual beliefs but because they gave them nomenclature.

I don’t whine about the Palestinian Israeli conflict, because even if I was there, as a Palestinian descendent, I would literally drown myself in the Mediterranean before I would stoop to throwing stones or stabbing people, even if someone came and forced me at gunpoint to leave my own fairly acquired plot of land. I would protect myself from physical harm in a practical way, and I would protect others that I could, but conflict over territory breeds more conflict. There’s plenty of land that isn’t patrolled, and there are plenty of countries that accept refugees and immigrants. Human beings should count more on kindness than we do. Ugly-hearted, militaristic people will always exist and you cannot fight them out of existence, because that’s obviously contradictory. You have to escape the triviality of them and their need for power. In the event that this planet is entirely overtaken by greedy people forcing us to be slaves, then I suppose we all have a fight on our hands, but that’s never been the case and never will be; there are two little resources to overpopulated the earth’s entire land surface before we reach an undoing crisis.

People tend to band together, partly because of shared beliefs, fear of isolation, fear of what is seen as harder work but to return to primitive subsistence would be truly only a further evolution towards nature, rather than away from it, as we’ve been directed for several centuries.

What’s worse than this nonsensical mental behavior of attaching the mind to an ideology, is that our obsession with our particular subset of groupthink distracts us, probably just as much as consumerism or addiction, from certain very troubling realities of our ever complicating world. In fact, it might be that ideologies distract us toward consumerism and addiction, fixation of one kind or another, rather than freedom, natural equality and peace. As I mentioned previously, there is a difference between ideology and lifestyle, as well as from social movements and spirituality. Millions of animals, or billions, depending on the scale of time in question, are murdered slaughtered dismembered and tortured in ways we would appall if they were done to human beings or many other loved species. What irritates me the most is that greedy terrible people allow and perpetrate such crimes against nature and sentient life, for themselves, and we the ignorant consumers of such criminal products go on our overly busy lives, claiming to be too rigorously involved in other tasks, obligations and pastimes to notice the atrocity that we allow and support, whether indirectly or directly. How ideology fits in is simple. Some belief systems are directly responsible for encouraging a continued active consumption of meat and some ideologies patently speak against wealth although that’s disregarded very clearly. Few people live by the ascetic standards of distant yesteryear, except those isolated in tribes far from urban landscapes.

Demand has shifted to processed food, technological dependence, and institutional thought. Greed is ever the perpetrator, and therefore the ease by which animals are treated poorly and massacred for food, has been increased. Muslims and Jews who, in earlier times wouldn’t have allowed for certain unorthodox bloodletting as is conducted in slaughterhouses, are now okay with more lax protocols in the name of money and loose tradition.

Why should I concede with anyone’s “individuality” (which is defined by some combination of the 4 concepts) if it is the mechanism that first distracts the human mind, thereby automatically forfeiting the freedom of innocent beings who never asked to be apart of our existence or ecosystem. They stay in the background, almost subconscious, or completely removed from the worldview of most people who eat meat. They deserve respect as we would want for ourselves.

Homosexual people (who have their own social movement and lifestyle choices, which both combine to affect a seemingly ideological tenor) deserve the right to marry not any more than infant cows deserve the right to live outside of small crates so that ignorant people can savor their tender muscle in a restaurant. And I’m not inferring that homosexual people disregard animal rights; I’m inferring that our priorities lie way too much with ourselves, disregarding nature and the ecological truth behind who we are and how nature has been defiled. You might think some of this isn’t applicable to my main argument, or that I’m blurring the lines between a person’s natural love or mental state, but to me, all things in this life intersect. If you don’t care about other living creatures’ suffering, and the many detrimental circumstances that go along with that, why should anyone care about you and your social movement, your particular need for attention, or anyone else’s. The suffering of many beings can be ended with very simple daily choices, which do not interfere with one’s essential personality. You’re free to be who you are, don’t get me wrong- paint your face with whatever mask you choose or don your animal body with whichever costume you prefer, but I don’t care and I shouldn’t have to hear all the noise about other people’s petty differences, people’s megalomaniacal pride being burnt. That we create ideologies or ideological mindsets to suit our own personal needs as meek and self-absorbed individuals, all the while ignoring those that suffer much deeper pains, is what makes us disgusting and what makes our capacity to follow doctrines and be distracted by belief all the more insignificant. Who cares if you think your god tells you to bless people with holy water, that’s a fabrication of human culture, and who cares if your feminist coworker disagrees with you about shaving one body part or another, just more babble to drown out the hidden death and carnage against families of peaceful animals, and who cares if you think chauvinists are suppressing your rights to vote, your right to learn in schools, there are always humans and animals somewhere else if not right under our noses beings exploited and while your rights do matter, their rights are ever the more disregarded! There is a hierarchy of prioritization, and at the very bottom, almost crushed to nothingness is the heavy stack of human egocentricity. It is distracting you from nature and the fact that you are a blind consumer paying for the torture of animals and paying for your own never-ending slavery to a system that wants your labor and conformity, especially for those people that work twice as hard for longer hours in worse conditions so that a bigger more dominant corporation or nation’s economy can exist. Both human and nonhuman animals fit into this equation, but those non-human have it the worst. Exploitation is the key word here, and the extent to which it is employed outside the scope of a person’s ineffectual ideology is atrocious, yet invisible to so many. Such exploitation might not exist at all if we disbanded from all of our ideologies, refocused our attention on those that needed it most, and only when the major suffering is diminished can we as privileged humans work on ourselves. We must disassociate from each and every belief system and become earthly natural people once again, our only culture being a methodology of safe and humane survivalism, along with some other arts and activities that don’t hurt anyone. Even I have a hard time living up to my demands because the system has given me numbers to focus on and a maze of difficult turns to navigate in order to live. I have succumbed multiple times to my desires and fixations which were likely beaten into my psyche as a child by a society full of marketing and lacking in restraint. I will overpower them, and I do each day, in the face of ridicule and social pressure, and so can you. There is no evidence that you need some belief system to survive this life, or some fundamental practice such as eating meat which itself is bolstered upon a subconscious ideology termed by Dr. Melanie Joy as carnism. We have a choice to abstain from something that has long been heralded as normal, that being the consumption of meat, and the relationship between that choice and the choice to abstain from ideological thought is suitably analogous. Our aim is not to not solve one problem which benefits our own livelihood or ego, but to heal the world, starting with those that need saving the most.


No. 3

The modern sphere of political debate seems more like subterfuge with the aim to keep us as consumers of information, when physical products fail to distract us from being free. Our connectivity to the smorgasbord of facts and talking points as well as the polarized and disputatious content of so many programs and articles might make us feel involved, but how often are we actually effected or given an opportunity to effect change in the political atmosphere at all. The ocean of news and media reporting is fodder for those with strong enough minds to have an opinion but not cognizant enough to disregard the inane and aggravating conveyer belt of trash that plays into our minds, from the radio, on TV, and from mouth to ear throughout the country. Whether it’s a policy with a specific number or an idea such as pro-life, an entitlement program, a military budget, a scandal about income taxes, a racist blurb that gets someone fired or an ecological or infrastructural catastrophe which one faceless department is held responsible of, there’s always something about our culture to gripe about. We are inundated by an assumption that someone is causing the problems in the nation and it’s somehow our duty to scapegoat and shame rather than seek and suggest solutions with equanimity.

There is a they. And they don’t want anyone believing that individuals and families can live outside the bounds of American systemic citizenship, that including paying taxes, renting and financing automobiles and ephemeral housing, shopping for every aspect of “survival” and being convinced that wealth is only defined as a dollar amount. They are those who have long had power, prestige, and capital enough to conduct society how they see fit. There is no conspiracy in this statement. Whether you see them as white men, old bankers, corrupt lawmakers, lavish CEOs, or particular dynasties whose name may have changed though the bloodline has not, there is a chief and that chief intends to keep their status as dominant. There is no great equalizer except the self.

We are too reliant on a system and therefore too consistently bothered that someone else isn’t making life always easier, set up the way we individually believe it should be. We as citizens are responsible, even if we are seemingly powerless. It may be extreme or spartan to suggest that a person or a family reduce their consumption and lifestyle to the point where there is no tie to the grid of information, policy, and infrastructure, so as to be truly independent, but that extremity is only by comparison to too many years of decadence and expectation. While we might be indentured servants in this boisterous world, it is our daily and long term apathy that allows each and every one of us to be controlled by our materialism and a false reality. All of our emotion is stagnant; we need new action to smash the social chains in which we were born receiving – our myriad passwords and identifiers, our fabricated religious and consumer holidays, our constant taxation and illegitimate representation, our greed for material possessions, our competition over others, and our heightened concern for that which appears wrong and that which we take for granted. 

Let it all go, diminish desire, and find a better presence within.

No. 2

In the last decade, Americans have been inundated by the bad news of the world, the political mischief of the country, and the struggles of those close to them who may have gotten laid off or taken a hit by the volatile economy. In that spectrum, I see a complex intersectionality that cannot be denied. We are doing things wrong, living our lives in an unsustainable manner, and we’ve allowed ourselves to ignore life-threatening facts and bad logic so that our daily comforts are not impeded. Real effective change needs to be undertaken.

Our livelihoods are vastly dependent on nonrenewable resources, an acute situation of which everyone is aware nowadays, and though it may seem solar[1] and other renewables are taking a real foothold in our culture and infrastructure, it’s unrealistic to assume such sustainable technologies could completely supplant dirty energy without a major global crisis transpiring first[2].

If you drive a car (and I’d say almost everyone in America is dependent on cars[3] even if they never drive them) then you know that paying for gasoline challenges people to make budgetary decisions[4]. Imagine for a moment everyone had to pay double what the current price is. That would cut back on frivolities in our daily lives for sure, including what each of us might consider necessary diversions from the daily grind. Less theater visits, less in-person shopping, less ventures of all kinds, which would cut into social engagements and thereby increase stress for the average citizen. Corporate magnates from the oil industry likely make it their goal to keep gas prices low so more people use it rather than decide to go electric or take public transportation, which is becoming greener every year. And of course the economy would collapse without it[5]. That thousands of citizens sit in traffic for hours means nothing to the executives of oil companies[6] as long as they’re burning gas.

So what I’m saying is, buying gasoline affords these companies the rationale that building a low cost pipeline across the country is better for their profits. And what is the alternative anyway? An expensive one: that they truck the gasoline or build the pipeline hundreds of miles out of the way due to topographical impediments? Maybe I’m not aware that the planning of this pipeline could have easily been routed through other less sacred lands, but I feel like that would have been addressed in the Dakota Access legislative interim during Obama’s presidency. Why haven’t there been compromises or reasonable suggestions brought to the public attention if they exist?[7]

If you enjoy driving and being mobile, as I myself do, maybe we’re just as culpable as the companies building these pipelines, because our dollar votes give them the power.

The very heavily armed juggernaut of American militancy is unflappable in the face of modern protest movements, most especially because the uniformed men with guns are being funded by the very people protesting! Make a statement by decreasing consumption of gasoline, walk more, use less plastic, and change your lifestyle so that the companies, lobbyists and politicians all in league to turn this planet into a black sky garbage heap will have to adjust their course.


(This posting was edited by Green Le Fleur and linked/footnoted by Masha Blind)

No. 1

As this is my first mini-essay, I’ll introduce myself by saying that I’m not aligned with any party or ideology, unless you count Taoism, but of course, that is unknowable. My purpose here is to deconstruct simple notions and ferret out the rationale that a person might attribute to them.

I believe we live in the most complex time, (not necessarily the most enlightened or advanced) riddled with many forms of expression, especially verbal and textual. The age of super-socialization is upon us, which may be a more accurate title than the technological revolution because what good is the technology without our incessant conversations and the result of our expedited social manifestations and activities. We must task ourselves with using the most perspicacious language to escape the tyranny of ourselves and of technology, and plain incivility.

Instead of assaulting or responding to another person whose ideas differ from your own, write a poem, write a book, keep a journal, or make any other kind of art; it’s better that you feel better than you try to persuade some one individual who has become dogmatically bigoted and hopeless, like so many others.

If you think about it, we still exist in tribes; enormous tribes of cultural understanding, entrenched in naive realism, even if there is a sliver of truth in the current that carries any one of them. I am saying that, as a contrarian, I do not agree with any group but I may agree with an idea.

Our titles might give us a sense of solidarity but we can just look back upon the pages of history and see that many less savory coalitions of women and men had solidarity and forgot the meaning of equality, humanity, stewardship, and so on. The weaknesses of human beings come from within, and an individual with great weakness can easily plaster an ideological affiliation all over their persona and not have the true capability of effecting positive change, social growth, and sustainability.

I keep up with the news about as much as I keep up with sports, the largest highlights might permeate my thinking, but otherwise there’s just too much to know and keep up with and it’s not as important as being healthy, at peace, and uncluttered.

With each column, I’d like to open and explore a topic, rhetorically. This recurring discourse might consider timely and appropriate matters, or it might consider grandfathered systems of thought that some of us have been conditioned to no longer even see above the subconscious level.

To finish out my introductory statement, I’ll pose a few questions that I hope the smartest and kindest people in society will start answering for themselves.

What good is our government, or any style of government, if the checks and balances of multi-level and multi-branch departments or offices are no longer actively regulating authoritarian decisions, while also the size and diversity of the population is no longer represented efficaciously by a few wealthy or biased bureaucrats? What are the alternatives? Is it impossible to return to a simpler time without as much reliance on large scale civilization?

A friend of mine suggests that such advances in civilization have brought about positive change for those who would otherwise be disenfranchised, enslaved, or devalued. While she is absolutely correct, she is speaking about the past and not the future. We can still have shared knowledge and social progress while returning to a simpler, less complex way of living, less dependent on the commodities that we are bound to unnecessarily. The American Indians, like many other groups across the globe, maintained a vast, artisanal culture with minimal use of metal. Can we, using all the resources and technology we have at our disposal today, escape from our monotonous systems to become enlightened and peaceful animals on the planet which created us?