Valueless

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Vigicant eat academic black out.  Who sneak
in and delete data without a shout out.  Costing
me money and heartache… hiding behind their
state degrees.  Itching their seemingly educated flees.
Sick with their lack of values in a world filled with value plastics.

I need to play the game. Keep my mouth shut and refrain.
I need to win friends and influences to climb the ladder and its many shades of gray.
I’ll walk over anyone to get there one day.

Art is something no one can define.
Our children line up outside wanting to get in these
hallowed halls of time, to learn the ways of the slacker, the academic jaw jacker.
To learn from one who is sicker than they are. No richer.

I play artist but I have no heart at this. A real artist would want no part of this.

We know the system is messed up but we complain
about it in utter silence.  We don’t address the system’s utter violence.
We don’t push against the pistons.  Because we are tools in a machine
churning out paper for non-biodegradable hopeless dreams.

Diplomas printed on paper not worth burning.  Continue to churn in a system of credit that’s yearning.
Credit that can’t be edited.  Of which you must pay before you are audited.

And our art means nothing.  As nothing means everything.
And everything is you and me.  But I don’t have anything.  I have
a dark hole in my heart because I was not told I was special.

Because I was told that teaching art would make me a vessel.  That I could change
the world now I’m just another number.  Just another adjunct waiting for my
summers. Maybe get  a second job to help pay the bills.

And as I cower and cut and slice my friends along the way. I claw
and pull myself up to the top of the invisible academic pyramid today.
Just another youngster reaching for tenure.

Not realizing it can all can be torn from my fingertips
if I step out of line like Ward Churchill’s open lips.

Cause my art means nothing.  But nothing is everything.
And everything is you and me.

Comments

  • this is an excellent rap, fed by anger against the players of an art game.

    i always say, hate the game, not the players.

    the nature of the accusations are true, but mixed with the personal is a dangerous thing.

    some might argue that keeping it personal is a way of maintaining a human element to the work. there could be truth in that.

    the rejection that comes from our freedom of speech might be the deeper transgression. it is hard to know.

    my loyalties are to the work of Globatron, but i never knew those people personally.

    i think some of the fears were real, and once exposed, it is best not to agitate it further, for fear tends to grow from such focus.

    underneath anger is hurt, and you have been open about the hurt, but to return to anger is to avoid healing, and bitterness is always possible.

    to acknowledge injustice in the world opens one up to bitterness, unless one decides to believe in the ‘the good’, and only then with an act of blind faith can one be assured of the growing force of love and compassion, to which one can align oneself, and in doing know that the truth is there, visible, and does not need to be pointed out to the point of hurting others.

    akbar

  • You being a fan of rap that’s a big complement. I know it’s raw but it’s a start. Thank you. I tried to reach out for months now in peace, in order to bring understanding for the actions that were done to me through these relationships.

    I have attempted to take the high road publicly, but have recently been inspired by Eminem’s true freedom of speech on Relapse. I guess I’m practicing my freedom of speech before it’s taken away. I do not apologize for my words as they have been inflicted upon me. However, I do see this as the end of this chapter. I will not let this make me bitter. This is catharsis.

    This has been a real break through for me to put my words to a beat. I can see how many of my words could have been worked or reworked to do so also. So the pain that I have felt has been creatively justified.

    I guess this was the reason for this painful lesson taught to me by this art game. I believe making art personal keeps it real on many levels. Art is personal. Life is personal. It is a good idea to look for the lesson from all of this. That will take time I’m sure.

  • Logocentric

    your words strike hard. your voice is full of determination. as a work, it is artful. as a piece about human relationships, perhaps it is potentially hurtful.

    i suppose i could go on about this idea of the “personal as political.” i think i have learned something about what that phrase means to me, after re-reading your rap. the “political” part has something to do with the articulation of that personal orientation as an identity, but one which is shared by at least one other person. that is, part of the “political” is that one does not go it alone and that one can describe the position in similar terms to those of his allies. there is also the fundamental question of being able to tell friends from enemies. i don’t suppose this means broadcasting one’s list of enemies, but rather having an idea of the enemy in quite specific terms that do not overgeneralize.

    that said, i don’t know whether or not this piece is political or the extent to which the work on this site has been politicized by the nature of the relationships between those who have posted and commented. sorry. didn’t mean to go off on a lecture about the meaning of “political”; it has just been on my mind lately, and my ideas about it often change, particularly when i see the past put in such striking terms as your rap.

  • Logocentric thanks mate. I appreciate the input. I don’t think these human relationships could be hurt anymore than they already are. I am looking at how to respond to such situations in a more constructive positive manner in the future. The rap stands testament to the hurt that was inflicted on me. And now in retrospect I am thankful for that gift. When life gives you lemons, etc.

    As to your idea of the “personal as political.” That’s an interesting way to look at it. It’s like identity politics. One must identify with a group to take political action? So one would need at least one other person that they stand together with in order to make a political action? Is that what you’re getting at?

    I’ve stated many times that every action we make be it for, against, or apathetic to a cause that we are making a political act. I still believe that. As to the extent my theory could be tested I have yet to find out. I’m sure if I was told to shut my pie hole vs. losing my freedom or family like what is going on in Iran I would most likely cower very quickly. I’m not sure and I’d rather not have to find out. I’d prefer to keep my freedom of speech for now.

    As to the extent of the work on this site being a political action to past events I’d say some of it has been, but we’ve been looking forward. Regrouping. Trying to predict the future. We have been reaching out to other communities. We have embraced our differences. Begun to learn and collaborate with each other. Support each other.

    And since this tragedy that was described in the rap went down I think we all have done a lot of growing. And I know I have a lot more to do. Especially on how to deal with betrayal. How to emotionally and physically confront it. Stress is an awful thing to have. And I’ve put a lot of it on myself over this situation. I must say I feel a weight has been lifted since writing this “rap”. So I believe Globatron will only continue to look forward. Push forward. Continue to ask deeper questions and attempt to see how far down the rabbit hole really goes.

    Akbar’s new post brings up some interesting questions on this topic. I can’t wait to take a wack at putting my thoughts together in response. Thank you for your input. I have enjoyed writing poetry the past few weeks. Thank you for supporting it.

  • Logocentric

    just briefly, you bring up an important blind spot in my use of the P as P phrase, which may be more appropriate to discuss elsewhere, but since we brought it up here already: identity politics, yes. as a matter of identity, of personal identity. but when we place it in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, etc., i think there is a danger, in part because of the largely constructed nature of those categories. what i find potentially useful about the idea of identity politics is the unifying rather than the divided mindset out of which it arose post-1950s. it is a personal orientation, but it also goes to the definition of human, of humanity. that’s what i’m interested in. an idea of global identity politics. what is it to be humane, what is shared across cultures and gender lines? what is the human condition? what are the limits of humanity–the inhumanity of human actions? thank you for raising this point.

  • Gotcha. I was speaking only to personal identity. The catch 22 is that a person can’t identify with themselves without their ethnicity,race,gender, etc. It’s all part of the same identity. I don’t think one can leave that at the door. As I can’t leave my identity at the door of most arguments because of my being an artist even. That is part of my identity also. Not in a cliché sort of way but in what drives me as a person. What values I find endearing. What drives me as an individual.

    I like to know your thoughts on what is human and if what you believe is a human universal. Reason being I was initially awe struck by William Gairder’s views on relativism on a CBC podcast interview by Paul Kennedy:
    http://www.globatron.org/contemporary-culture/a-culture-of-children/comment-page-1
    as it supported my views on universalism. But after reading more about him and through reading Akbar’s interviews with him:
    http://www.globatron.org/interviews/akbar-interviews-a-true-conservative-part-ii
    I realized even though we agreed on the concept of universalism in humanity we disagreed on how to define it.

    I think the problem with trying to define the human condition is that it varies so drastically depending to whom you are speaking to. The issue I have seen arise time and time again as that even though we have variations on how we define the human condition it is usually a break down in communication that is the problem not the definition of the human condition. One side or the other defending their side or dogma and even willing to die for it when we are all “relatively” the same. Even relativist are capable of some spiteful hurtful actions even though they claim it’s all relative.

    If we could throw out our languages, religions and politics and speak only with our eyes we might be able to agree on the human condition. I doubt that time is near, however, we might evolve to it. Maybe even very quickly if the singularity happens before the rapture?

  • Logocentric

    i think i see your point, and i agree that one cannot totally exclude the notion of ethnicity, gender, race, etc., as components of one’s identity. what i am trying to do (in part), rather, is treat history as something instructive by locating in it ideas that might be useful in the present. so when i talk about savio raging against “the machine” and declaring students “human beings,” i am saying that that is happening at a time when american soldiers are increasingly identifying their activities as “inhuman” and that they are treating the enemy as non-humans (based largely on ethnic/racial assumptions). there is a sense also in which young people are increasingly aware of global communication, such that there is the burgeoning of the idea of global consciousness, which would be predicated on the idea of a human whole. i’m not saying it came to fruition. but i am saying that this became more a part of identity than in previous years and with previous wars–in other words, that nobody needed to be civilized anymore by the good guys in the west; that kind of thinking got seriously debunked (though it didn’t end). there was the emergence, just a glint, a coming-out, of this idea that the human being was a presence that could be realized in an instant. that the separation or subjugation of people was completely invalid, and not only this, but a huge number of people, young people especially, were willing to express that idea with their bodies. i’m not being as clear as i would like to be. i think that what i am saying is that there may have been a moment a few decades ago in which the discussion of ‘the human condition’ could have become quite serious and a sustained topic of interest. that trajectory appeared in the politics of the period. but history didn’t take that course; the idea got derailed. and now many people think it naive and pointless to try and put words to that idea, an idea of wholeness. now what we think of as “identity politics” just somehow appeared. i think i’m working on a sort of history of identity politics by asking about the context in which it originated. and the guiding question concerns the extent to which it emerged from a discourse that talked about wholeness and ‘humanity’ as a primary identity.

  • Thanks for clarifying. Remember the Derrida post you put up where he spoke of this labeling of human and non-human as potentially dangerous.

    http://www.globatron.org/uncategorized/derridas-animals

    Maybe that’s only because the idea of humanity and what it is to a whole has never been fully defined. The word human in common terms is only used as a lumped up group of us against them. The people that a group opposes becomes non-human. The demonizing of the other runs rampant in today’s politics and runs throughout the history of mankind.

    If we only knew what it is to be human. If we could fully define that maybe we’d have a better understanding of our “enemies.”

    I like where you are going with this. I’d love to examine this further. If I can be of any help please let me know.

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