Walking about my city I see the many faces of the people who share it with me.
We walk, eyes cold – head down, transfixed by our smart device. Deafened by our music.
We rush forward through the streets, the grim march from the halls of exploitation.
Slinking through the smells and rubbish, inhaling the emissions of the cars and buses. Edging forward metre by metre along the corridors of concrete consumption.
We navigate our way towards our home.
Our home we will never be able to buy.
Our home we pay top dollar for from our pittance that is our “wages” and we paint the dreams of our landlord’s lifestyle.
We open the door, we utter a sigh. Switch on the television and settle into another night imbibing the spectacle of infotainment.
Grumbling over the latest dog whistle on the poor/the brown/the rugby/that politician.
We head to the social media vehicle of our choice.
We post a status, share a petition.
Back to the tv – rinse and repeat.
Isn’t it time we try something new?
What happened to us?
Where did our spirit of resistance go to?
Was it the slow and savage deconstruction of every social fabric and support mechanism we had available to us?
Was it the ever-increasing cost of living that has dulled our duty of care to help each other out? To make positive change.
When did we begin to fear the thin blue line, rocking the boat, seeking and acting to create change?
As I pontificate on my broken heart and examine the bleeding cuts, I refuse to engage in the stock standard response that I know only too well.
I own it! I take it deeper. Past the wounds of the most recent and the echoes of two and a bit years of love unconditional and a language known only by us.
I take it to the deeper realms of my broken heart.
The place where my young self lives.
The place of the genesis of my dreams.
Where I saw a future where I would have “all the things” – a house, a career for life, long summer holidays at the beach, good wages, limited debt – the Kiwi dream.
Until the darkness of neo-liberalism stole these from a generation.
I think Naomi Klien explains what and why we feel the way we do with this quote.
“Some of you are familiar with a book I wrote called The Shock Doctrine. It argues that over the past 35 years, corporate interests have systematically exploited various forms of mass crises – economic shocks, natural disasters, wars – in order to ram through policies that enrich a small elite, by shredding regulations, cutting social spending and forcing large-scale privatizations..()
We are trying to organize in the rubble of a 30 year war that has been waged on the collective sphere and workers rights. The young people in the streets are the children of that war.”
We seek to constantly defend our heart. Broken and in tatters.
The heart of that wide eyed child full of hope! Guided by our dreams! Buoyant with the newness of life, our senses garbled by the fluoro trappings and corporate jingles – the sound track of our age. Telling us – a thousand times a day, “buy these things!
Think this way! Seek individual pleasure through the accumulation of stuff!
Block your senses, dull your intuition via a continuous stream of infotainment and the mass distraction! But for the love of God do not, whatever you do, organise to create change that will dismantle the system.”
So we don’t.. And we are all guilty!
From the most radical thinker to the blind masses.
We defend our “world”, our “truth”, so vigorously that any thought of building and organising to enact change in society or ourselves is a step too far. “Wait. Yeah! Nah? Thats too hard!” we say to ourselves as we march through the rain past the same homeless people we see every day. Fuming from the social media battle that means nothing.
“Too big! Too hard! Too scary.”
Give me something I can control!
What have we become?
Will we escape this hellish, cyclical, downward spiral of apathy?
Maybe? Maybe not?
Boots Riley – rapper, organiser, activist, stated it very well in an interview recently.
To paraphrase, when talking on “the struggle” he stated “I have seen it so many times before! When we organise, our movements get hijacked! They get hijacked by a larger goal, a finish line. They get absorbed by that finish line. A anti war movement gets swallowed by electing Obama and everyone forgets the war and shifts focus on getting Obama in. The war continues and Obama gets in and the movement evaporates.
What we need to do is ignore the implied and imposed finish line of any campaign and be ever moving forward and accept that there is no finish line in the struggle until we are free!”
I’m tired of this! Sick to my stomach tired!
I watch the mainstream media and their hyperbolic construction of mass consent. The way they worship the status quo and denounce #Snowden #Assange #Greenwald in the aftermath of the #MomentOfTruth and all the chickens with their #DirtyPolitics come home to roost.
We need to seize their driverless vehicles, careening towards the void of the corporate desolation of Aotearoa that they seemingly so wish for.
We the people, the Citizen Media, must shift and belittle their redundant prose wrapped in the American flag, wiping their mouths with hundred dollar bills.
Their time is done! Let us bury their arcane, media dinosaur bones via streams, blogs, internet radio, tweets, pastes and a social media narrative shift towards amplification and action.
#MediaByUs! NOT #MediaBias!
Occupy Auckland Media Team Co-ordinator / Livestreamer