From the desk of: An Irrefutable Lunatic
Another day in the alembic.
Dearest stranger, I do not need to know you to know you deserve all the love your heart can hold. We share a life on the greatest stretch of Earth humanity has ever known, during an era of such indescribable wonder that one mind alone cannot catalog it. We are capable of the greatest feats ever committed to paper. The collective power we can call upon at a moments' notice defies accounting. There is so much money we're all choking on it.
Do you feel lucky? Do you feel like today is a blessing, like you are as glad to be here as we are to have you? Do you feel like you are part of the grandest undertaking any of us will ever know?
Hell no. This shit sucks out loud. I bet you're feeling like some feral appetite in a cage, all fangs and no smile. Three months is enough time to realize why your exes were right. You have found the balance of your life severely wanting, and every time you set foot outside you risk having it yanked from you lungs first. The only people enjoying this are maniacs and medical supply CEOs.
Care about what I have to say because I am a teacher who hated and failed at school. I did not attend my own graduation ceremony, so we have at least this much in common. I did not go to my own prom, nor a single one of my reunions. I was not missed, like the many of you who will not be missed by the cliques who come to manage your alumni circles. Good riddance!
You are not the sum totality of what happened to you and the resultant gossip. You have been freed from this tyranny prematurely, how lucky for you! It is natural to mourn that which was stolen before its due course was run, but do not let this absence define your coming days. This trouble will end all too soon, replaced with an even wilder hell to cross.
You will have your fill of dances before the band breaks up for good. You have to believe that the best is yet to come, that you deserve brighter days. We will make them brighter, together. You are isolated, but you are not alone.
This is not a detour on your path to becoming yourself. This is not a test, it isn't something you can pass or fail, what we are living through is nothing less than the absolute and intentional failure of power to protect the powerless. You have never encountered a more important lesson, no matter what else the disease takes from you, please do not let it take this moral: What happened was preventable. What were are experiencing didn't have to happen. You must remember, this didn't have to happen. How you react to this not only speaks volumes about your current character, but will decide the moral arc of this next stage of your life.
I'm so sorry, my dear students. This is a terrible responsibility to lay on ones so young, but your species needs you.
Individualism and solitude can slow the spread of the disease, but it cannot fix the problems that enabled it to spike in the first place. The engine of the West is misfiring, too few have too much, leaving the rest of us to scrabble over the scraps. Pursuing individuality has pitted seven billion against each other in a zero-sum game of exploitation and despair. This is not accidental.
Teamwork is the only thing that can save us, now. Out of every comic book super power, teamwork reigns supreme. Teamwork fed early hominids, gave us the strength and resources needed to develop our massive malfunctioning jerkass brains, helped us conquer the most inhospitable corners of the world out of a sheer stubborn determination to wake up every day in the kind of ecosystem where Here, There Be Dragons.
Now, the dragons are everywhere. Invisible, wrapped around our throats, hiding in our lungs, each breath a cloud of slow-acting incineration. There is no space left for the individual to grow, we're all stacked atop each other in matchstick towers or crammed into moldering suburbs. Denied even the comfort of companionship, the quiet joy of two people sitting in a room, each looking at their separate phones in unbroken silence. Did you ever think you'd miss something so banal?
It is so easy to believe this virus is evil, to believe that evil is an indiscriminate violence perpetuated by an unknowable, unstoppable force. If evil cannot be stopped, it absolves us of the responsibility to try.
Quite the contrary, this evil is intentional and calculated. It is done with the full knowledge of the human cost it is extracting from those most vulnerable among us. There's your dragon for you, hero, it's time to sharpen your lance. Nock the arrow and draw back till the feathers kiss your cheek. Breathe. Anger is only as righteous as the target allows.
Every evil stems from the conscious exploitation of others. Never let an exploiter tell you it's accidental, or unavoidable. They will draw a line in the sand and insist that some suffering is warranted, but if you accept that any can bleed the powerful will never relinquish the knife. Every homeless person is a threat against you, that noncooperation with the kings of the world will see you suffer the same fate. If one of us wears chains, we all wear chains.
When people lie and act in bad faith, especially people in power, what they are telling you is what would have to be true in order to excuse their actions. It is the absolute abrogation of responsibility, the denial of most basic respect. The cheater blames you for emotionally withdrawing to justify running into the arms of another. The abuser blames you for making them mad, when in truth they would become mad no matter what you did. If what they say was true, maybe their actions would be understandable, but they aren't, so they're not. Discard their words accordingly. You've got to anchor yourself in the surety of facts and simply refuse to allow them to move you.
When homophobes call gay people pedophiles, they're attempting to justify bans on gay adoptions. When CHUDs start reciting drivel about "Black on White crime" they're attempting to justify invasive policing and the for-profit carceral state. Don't debate their logic, they don't believe it either. They know what clowns they sound like. Trump didn't believe himself when he called me fat, he just spat the first insult that floated to the surface. Regard it as such.
You cannot trust words. Believe me, I am a writer. Monsters will tell you anything to justify what they were going to do in the first place, and you will waste all your time in circular debates against an asshole who isn't listening to a single thing you're saying in the first place.
If there is a disconnect between word and action, trust action every time. "What they do" is the only part of a leader you can believe in. The dishonest will send you chasing after words every time, hiding the honesty of their intentions behind spin and empty bluster. Don't fall for their sleight of tongue, hold fast to what is true.
There is a figure in Western polemic, a kind of security which is only achieved through an application of violence and surveillance which feels indistinguishable from war. A peace won only through military occupation, how safe are we really when the State has carte blanche justification to execute us in our beds?
Do not worship this god of fortresses, do not tithe it your fear or patriotism. It will sell your neighbor a gun and you body armor in the name of freedom- from what, exactly? Its priests clog the airways, chanting the mantra of human capital stock, as if you are a sacrifice for some implacable divinity. They will claim their will is not their own, that the world they shape is built according to the edicts of the Inarguable, and maybe it is. Know a god by the bruises their followers leave upon you. Does that feel like love?
If you have not had the privilege to experience it firsthand, love is what moves a stranger to make the world better for you. Anyone can care for family or friends, it is love that drives altruism, that outlines a fairer way of life. From the Sun's perspective, none of us stands above the other.
It was necessary for those in power to reduce it to tawdry lust, a cheap pink heart-shaped cellphone charm, the same 3 minute pop song our grandparents were conceiving us to. Love has launched revolutions and stymied invasions. If we revived the full power of love and focused it, we would set the sky on fire. Brick would not remain stacked on brick. Greed could not possibly survive the fury of a people united by love.
I love you, stranger. I was made to improve things for us, we both were. No walls are too high for us to scale, no fortress so impervious we cannot silence their guns. It is this love which carries me through the worst storms fate or Robot Hitler or my own nightmares can throw at me. You must trust that it will deliver you to tomorrow, as well.
Mourn for the dead, fight like Hell for the living.
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