This is what I'm seeing today in NYC... I see a hypercommercialized space where giant advertising firms prey upon people's insecurities. Everything is money money money. People who have lots of it and make more of it, in their fancy clothes and briefcases, shoulders spread wide with confidence. People with none of it, eyes crossed over or hooded with a semi-conscious current of despair. I feel like I'm inside of the marketing machine.
I cannot believe what is being allowed to happen. I'm not sure I'm right on this, but I think marketing as we know it largely came out of World War II propaganda, developed by fascist regimes to create and control public behavior. Pair that with TV and the internet, and you have an extremely powerful cultural programming technology that is being used by and large at the behest of corporations designed, and legally bonded to, making more money... a homogenized impoverished directive of what I consider to be stupid AI, or stupid collective application of intelligence. It doesn't have to be this way. No one has to work for a system designed to take and rape energy from people and planet.
Last night I was at a concert and dialogue by Egyptian singer Ramy Essam, at a center for queer Arab youth working on demilitarization in NYC, called the Ya-Ya Center. The dialogue was with the audience and people from Eygpt, the US and Palestine talking about similarities and strategies among their resistance to oppressive regimes, including the Occupy Wall Street events and Fergusson. It was a gift to meet Ramy... such a powerful channel for spirit, and super intense, the depths and joy he holds. He is sometimes referred to as the voice of the Egyptian Revolution. I learned a lot from hearing/seeing how he held that... myself being a voice representative of a global network of creative revolutionaries and a singer. And goddamn he's sexy.
What I was reading in his voice was a connection to ancient heritages and place, and right relation with the masculine... songs that say "get out", this is not ok, not from a heady place nor a place of religious conflict, but from a place of life giving voice to the spirit of life, when it is being crushed. And a contemporary voice, of right here right now. That is true power, not speaking from one's head or dogma passed down. There's a big difference between dogma and living tradition. I often feel lately that most European-Americans (who are by the way providing militarization to oppressive ways), are separated by thousands of years from a living tradition connected with Earth and life, because of European history. Looking at it that way, it starts to be less us against them in my head as understanding why people are behaving as oppressively as they are, mired in systems of control and domination with no threads connecting them to the felt sense of shared humanity and interspecies health.
One thing Ramy said is that the revolutionaries in Egypt are waiting for their young people (early twenties) to come up with new political solutions, because it's clear to them that transforming the oppressors' systems themselves is what can unravel the divide.
One more interesting point, was discussion around fabricated categories like the Muslim brotherhood (it's actually a hyperdiverse intersection of communities; the phrase used to jail and demonize people has no real meaning), and internationally, terrorism... Governments use those terms to pick off resistors with no boundaries to what lengths they can go to to do so, and create justifications for more wars and militarization.
I continue to see how large a role the U.S. plays in escalating these things, and how unresolved the wound with Indigenous repression and massacre is here, not only from European colonizers to Native Americans, but how brutally European witchcraft and druidic practices have suffered genocide. People removed from connection with the spiritual dimension, through living ritual and land-based community, are dangerous, because they live a culture of disconnection. That disconnection is self-reinforcing because to maintain a state of disconnection, you have to create systems that are impenetrable to the inevitable breakthroughs of creative awareness. Sometimes I feel all of political gridlock is a rhetoric problem and is best dealt with by making music together so you get out of the realm of the word and belief systems, and touch the fabric of reality and the currents of spirit directly.
Amidst a surprisingly revolution-themed trip to NYC, psychedelic surreality pervades... here I feel like a teeny tiny character in a video game, where there are boxes upon boxes upon boxes in giant towers, blocking out the sky. With fascinating things and whole worlds inside every box. Grateful to be meeting some of the most fascinating couples I've ever met, great conversations about the esoteric, technology and social justice, and media activism. Continuing to take photographs of advertising that makes me laugh, be completely furious, and have sickening depths of understanding the way humans and technology are interacting at the behest of money controlled by misuse of Power.
May cultures of disconnection be healed of disease. May empathy through song bring love and awareness through the veils of history.
Here's a link to an introduction to Ramy and his music: