Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Welcome to Self-Loathing, the city that never sleeps…..

We smell a little sweeter from the shit we're in
I can't believe what kind of shape it's in now
Maybe later some will understand...
We've got no place in the future plans now
It’s misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
Hold you down...

What generation am I livin' in?
I can't believe the time and place I'm in now...
I can't believe it's time to shut this scene...
I wish I had a time machine

It's misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
It's misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
Hold you down...

We smell a little sweeter from the shit we're in...
I can't believe the kind of shape it's in now...
Maybe later someone will have something to say...
I hope I find it just to save my faith now...

It's misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
It's misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
It's misleading and it's only a trick to hold you down...
Hold you down...

Greg Sage and The Wipers
The Power in One

I have been quiet lately. Not just obviously here in the blog-o-sphere
but inevery other aspect of my life as well. I am listening. It’s what
I do when things change. I listen and I wait for something to surface
that relates to my changes. Sometimes it takes awhile.

Needless to say I’m getting fairly tired of my own company at this
point and I’ve taken to grabbing magazines at my break at work,
reading blogs or turning on the TV just for awhile”. I’m adrift.
Consequently, there has been a slow – almost unconscious - absorption
of anxiety over what I’ve been observing in the world over the past
couple of weeks – most disturbing to me: a feeding frenzy in popular

I reached ground zero in my capacity to absorb anymore information
about the world during my dinner break yesterday when, after
skimming through a Newsweek that was lying on the table, I realized
that I had stopped breathing…that is, my breathing was so shallow it
was as if I was fixed in horror...and I WAS!! I went from articles and
pictures of violence, bloodshed and despair to exposés of the most
absurd burlesque and supposedly risqué stories about celebrities. I
returned to work feeling ashen and strangely empty. The emptiness
has been there for awhile but I was just becoming aware of it.

I work from 3 to midnight and I’m pretty much down for the count
when I drag my weary butt home from the job. I may read before I
crash but usually, since I like to be asleep by 2am, I will run through
the late night TV monologues. One of my favorites is Craig Ferguson.
It’s not because he is particularly consistently funny but it’s because
he’s strangely accessible, unlike the usual suspects. I lit on the red
head guy, what’s-his-name, when I was cruising the channels – the
talk was laughing at Brittany Spears shaving her head. I kept going
and found Furgeson. I knew immediately something was up with him
because he was presenting himself in front of the camera much
differently than usual. I was right.

I’m no big fan of Brittany Spears’ music or presentation. Watching her
has always been somewhat painful for me and I didn’t really know why –
she seemed so over-exposed - so I avoided any show she was
associated with. It was easy for me to follow along with any derogatory
remarks that the media might have to say about her because, frankly,
I do not care. Craig Ferguson changed all of that last night and in
spite of the late hour I was in awe of what he found the courage to do.
He may be one to over indulge, in my opinion, of riding celebrities but
he is no coward. Craig dedicated his entire monologue to sharing his
experience with his constant recovering from alcoholism and he did it
in such a way that you could not NOT care about Brittany Spears and
how she must be suffering. He said, “For God SAKES! The girl is 24
years old and she has two babies! She’s but a child herself! ….Money’s
got nothin’ t’do with anythin’ when your sick!!!”…my heart stopped as
I remembered where I was at 24 with 2 babies and, yes, a child myself…

This is what I had been waiting for: Someone to be real about something
that is going on; someone to say something meaningful that I could
understand. I have missed this willingness to relate in the media and
with my contacts lately. Everyone – including myself - seems to be too
willing to cling together to agree with criticizing and laughing at every
one else’s hardships and frailties lately and it’s starting to feel like a
circle jerk to me, frankly. I have been dangerously close to lowering
the bar simply because I am lonely.

Popular culture supplies more than enough lure to seduce everyone into
thinking the same and I was starting to fall into the trap. Thank you Craig
Ferguson for knowing you have the power and having the courage to use
it in front of millions (...uh, okay… thousands …uh, well, maybe a couple
of hundred - all right they are probably sleeping) people.

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