Dystopia, or Just Another Algorithm


I had some old pictures of a trip to the Kennedy Space Center and a fantastic piece of water color paper, some pigment, some pens, some ink. With these things I faced my fear of the future. One picture was a looking up at a generator of some kind— tangled bits and pieces of shiny chrome and metal. It had the shape of a neck. It seemed appropriate to me a head should be attatched. And upon the head is an expressionless face that is more finished than the rest of the body and yet not finished enough because there is neither love nor compassion within.

It’s not “rocket science” to say something wicked is upon us in these times of plague and treachery. Fear is everywhere. There is a certain groupthink that preaches giving others due process somehow violates or diminishes their own. That somehow A giving to B is a perceived threat to C. Some are trapped inside a reality of their own choosing, forgetting to take walks at night to take in the air. Some are waiting for the worst to happen. Maybe some are stretched to the breaking point wondering where their next job, next paycheck, next meal might be. Then there are those waiting in the wings with weapons, ready to give up their humanity for a pointless cause. But real power is not in the hand —it is in the mind. Fear is an ether that makes one weak and easier to control. Fear leads to hatred, which leads to persecution and violence. It is the viper that eats its tail and turns in on itself until it is gone into black, the manifest of the end of life itself.

Are we really no better than androids marching into a decaying stratosphere? When would it be a good time to stop fighting each other and levy justice on the actual oppressors? To stop clinging to old ways that continually hurt us and our chances of surviving on this earth? Control is Chaos. Civilization is not civil at all. Our methods of coping are flawed and decaying, getting worse with every decade. The clock is tick tick ticking.

Ghandi Mountain

It’s one hell of a mountain to climb—the journey to superhumanity. To be more insightful, more intelligent, more compassionate with each passing day. It’s not the destination, right? It’s the journey. Just getting to the foot of the mountain on the other side of the river is an accomplishment. This is where I am now. Ten years ago I didn’t even have a single thing packed, felt selfish and angry all the time. Then one day in my thirtysomethings I woke up and thought you know what? It’s not about me. I’ll admit, I’m still dragging my ego behind me, but I’m not tripping on it as much as I used to.

I remember seeing the movie about Ghandi when I was a kid. I yawned through the whole thing. There were no Muppets. I watched again recently and it captured me. He changed a whole society by just being there, and proved that love was stronger than hate. Love is really the best system for problem-solving. An example—what works better when modifying behavior, positive or negative reinforcement? Positive, ding, ding.  If the Indians had fought back with violence, the British could have called it a war. But a war is only a war with two sides fighting. How can you beat them down if they keep standing up and smiling? The situation became so absurd, eventually all the British could do was just leave. Ghandi trained them well.

It takes guts to be Ghandi. Infinitely more guts than it takes to stand there with a gun and be all like, then he’s like, and then you’re like goaheadmakemyday. When you know that you’re about to be ground under someone’s heel and you will not be defending yourself. When you are expecting to be ground to bits more times than you can count, and accept that you’re only a grain of sand letting the ocean wash over you. Mixed media, 18 X 24.