Annual election day posting of the poem “Crumbs”

Crumbs

We squabble over crumbs on the floor

While the big pile of money… oops… food

Sits on the table just out of reach.

We eat self-help slogans

Never acknowledging that this game

Of life is rigged against us.

Slogans offer little sustenance.

We dance as the puppet masters

Pull the strings.

We follow the magicians’

Sleight of hand

And allow ourselves to be astounded

With their misdirection.

We obsess with details

Refusing to ever see the big picture.

And we are amazed that we remain

Forever hungry.

Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

I will post this poem every year until things change in the United States for the better. I feel like this year has allowed more people the time to really reflect on what type of society we should be growing toward. The structures need to be dismantled, and we need to be a population compassionate and active citizens. Will we ever get there? I don’t know.

Supporting the Insufferable – The Choice is Ours

I am disgusted by U.S. politics as we go into the election year, and the debacle of the impeachment hearings. So much so, that I just haven’t been able to talk much about it. And yet, I find myself thinking of a few personal incidents that have happened at home in my reading choices and drawing some parallels to the larger stage.

A while back, when we finally unpacked all of our books that had been in storage for years, I thought about rereading The Mists of Avalon, a book I had picked up at a used bookstore when I was in undergrad along with The Firebrand and had read both one time through and had picked up the sequal to Mists at the library. Truth be told, I was less than enthralled with the writing style, and I felt a vague discomfort reading some of the scenes. But I remembered how much some people cherished the books and Marion Zimmer Bradley, so I was ready 15 years later to give the books another try. Until I read up on the allegations her children made against her, and I had to come to terms with how I felt. And I decided to donate the books to my local thrift store, because while I couldn’t bring myself to destroy a book, I also did not want them on my shelves any more. My husband, more recently, learned about an author that he grew up reading, David Eddings, being jailed for child abuse for a year, seemingly unapologetic about it afterwards. As my husband was in the middle of rereading The Belgariad, he had to think long and hard about whether to continue or not. In the end, he did decide to keep the books and keep reading, in part I think because the specifics of the case aren’t readily available.

Apply this to all that has become apparent in both entertainment and politics. We, as consumers of both in this capitalist nation of ours, need to exercise our responsibilities more. We need to think critically about our choices. It cannot be about creating a cult around someone and following them forever. It cannot be about pouring our hard-earned dollars away to a horrible human being, no matter how talented or how much they appeal to you. The ends can no longer justify the means because that is not how we the people survive in the long run. One of the few ways we can exercise our freedom in this society is by choosing what we pay attention to, what we give our time to, what we spend our money on. We have choices, and we have to wake up to what those choices actually entail.

I don’t know how many political posts I will be making this election cycle. It’s hard not to get discouraged. We co-create our reality, and it seems like so many are still willingly to limit themselves to mere existence instead of actually living, and as long as their “team” wins, nothing else matters, not even how dead and numb they are inside. It is really sad. I maintain hope for the future, for my children. I try to remember that growing pains are really, really hard and painful, but I’m also anxious for the next stage to come to pass. I’m not sure I will get to see it in my lifetime though.

“I don’t want to live in my father’s house no more…”

The lyrics to Arcade Fire’s Windowsill have spoken to me since hearing the album Neon Bible for the first time years ago. Actually, that whole album is thought-provoking in many ways. But it was this song that came to my mind waking up after the election in the United States last month.

I’ve always been a floater socially. I know that’s a jump in topics, but stick with me because there is a point. In high school, I had friends and acquaintances in a lot of different groups, without truly belonging to any one group. It made me feel both alienated in some ways and free in others, because I never concerned myself with dressing or acting a certain way to fit in. And for someone getting over the scars of being bullied in the years leading up to high school, it felt safer to not dig in too deep anywhere. Sure, there were feelings of isolation sometimes, of never fitting in, of loneliness, but I was also given the opportunity to notice the similarities between individuals in different groups. We all struggle for the same things in life, and we’re all struggling for them alongside each other. And it would be far easier if we reached out a hand to help each other rather than hope that an entire group of people ceases to exist. That way leads to disaster for everyone.

I’m not entirely sure what the answer is. How can you help heal cognitive dissonance in a massive number of people? How do you help them to realize how much they are manipulated by various systems in such a way that doesn’t alienate them? It seems a herculean task, but a necessary one.

So despite my initial response, I am not leaving “my father’s house”, either physically or mentally. I intend to remain and do the work needed to build the society we could be living in. I intend to engage as much as possible with this time we find ourselves in. As part of that, I will start to blog about some ideas I have but don’t really have the knowledge to implement, and maybe some of you will be able to chime in, and maybe ideas can become realities.

Here are the full lyrics. Gives me goosebumps to read them.

I don’t wanna hear the noises on tv
I don’t want the salesmen coming after me
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
I don’t want it faster, I don’t want it free
I don’t wanna show you what they done to me
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
I don’t wanna choose black or blue
I don’t wanna see what they done to you
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Because the tide is high
And it’s rising still
And I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
Don’t wanna give ’em my name and address
Don’t wanna see what happens next
Don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Don’t wanna live with my father’s debt
You can’t forgive what you can’t forget
Don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Don’t wanna fight in a holy war
Don’t want the salesmen knocking at my door
I don’t wanna live in america no more
Because the tide is high
And it’s rising still
And I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
Mtv, what have you done to me?
Save my soul, set me free!
Set me free! what have you done to me?
I can’t breathe! I can’t see!
World war iii
When are you coming for me?
Been kicking up sparks
We set the flames free
The windows are locked now
So what’ll it be?
A house on fire, a rising sea?
Why is the night so still?
Why did I take the pill?
Because I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill!

Windowsill from Neon Bible
By Arcade Fire