Simplicity: A Still Fog

Kha (Kevin). 20 // Honest Wanderer. Down-to-Earth Realist. Semi-awkward Communicator. Melancholy Existentialist. Philosophical Naturalist. Pensive Romanticist. Soft Romantic. Aspiring Transcendentalist. Wistful Writer // Trying to catch tigers in a red weather.

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Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich, 1929-2012

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

A Religious Youtube Comment on Homosexuality: My Mock Argument

Let me give it to you in a non-religious sense. Homosexuality is basically a defiance against the law of nature. A man and man or a woman and a woman CANNOT create a child together, only a man and a woman can do that. Sure, married gay and lesbians couples may adopt children but does that change the fact that it’s unnatural? No. That’s why most people like myself don’t accept homosexuality because to us it’s just not natural.

Homosexuality is not a defiance against the law of nature. Sex has many other functions than just reproduction. Sex relieves stress and fosters attachment, and it is for this very reason some animals (chimpanzees, bison, and dolphins but mostly primates) have homosexual behavior. It happens in nature constantly. Stress is not something that should be trivialized in our world as it may lead to depression. Fish are weak of heart and die of stress very easily as an example, and for humans it has been proven that stress and depression correlate with worse immune systems and cause negative physiological effects. Sex of any kind is necessary, yes, but not only for reproduction but for sexual and stress release.

Now does that mean I’m against homosexuals? No. I don’t have anything personally against homosexuals, I just don’t support the idea of homosexuality in any shape or form. I actually have a few friends who are gay yet we respect each other opinions. We have our disagreements but we don’t hold it against each other. And believe it or not they’ll actually come to my defense whenever another homosexual starts calling a bigot and stuff like that simply because I don’t agree with him or her.

I have no doubt there are some reasonable explanations to as why your friends defend you, but the fact of the matter is you cannot not be against homosexual if you do not support the idea of “homosexuality in any shape or form.” This would mean you wish it did not exist “in any shape or form,” which is to say it should be eradicated and never expressed, and if it were present then homosexuals should be striped of their rights to express themselves and forced to live a lie. Makes no sense to not be against something yet not support it at the same time. That is just a clever way of saying I am neutral, but I am not. If you were neutral then you would just say neutral, but instead you have to say something convoluted as “I don’t have anything personally against homosexuals—I just don’t support the idea of homosexuality in any shape or form.” So to say you have nothing personal against homosexuals is to be telling a lie because you actually do, but just don’t want to be labelled as homophobic. The personal hate stems from the fact that they shouldn’t be allowed to practice their homosexuality, and homosexuality is a deeply personal trait of that person that cannot be separated.

When people say that we are animals biologically, they’re forgetting the fact that we’re still human beings. We have a brain, we can think, we can talk, we can have conversations like the one we’re having right now. An animal, a real animal, can’t do that. Sure, we can teach them to do tricks and stuff but they’ll never be able to speak or think like we do. That only happens in movies and kid’s TV shows. The wild animal only has one thought: Survival.

Human beings are still animals no matter how you cut it. In the animal kingdom there are different levels of intellect for each animal and humans are of course at the top of that list, but dolphins are not so far behind. Just because we are capable of speech and have higher levels of intellect does not make us different from animals. Dolphins communicate and socially interact with each other on a higher level than how other animals do. On a very basic level, every “wild” (you can’t separate animals with just the word wild) animal is focused on survival—this is correct. But humans are also only focused on survival. To say otherwise is to invite your own suicide. If we are talking about basics thought processes here then it is safe to say everything humans do is in order to survive right? We build walls, we build societies for protection, we build armies for protection, we have policies to keep order, we work for food, we play to relieve stress, we prolong life with medicine, we value life, and we procreate to ensure survival of our species. Survival is innate in every single living being on planet Earth. What about art? Art is used as a distraction from death. The finer thoughts of living are just more productive means of tweedling our thumbs as we put our mind away from death and onto life/surviving. It is true we don’t think of survival like animals of lesser intellect, but that is because we put it out of our minds and even then it pervades our life as the single driving force to keep going. Even the idea of Heaven stems from the instinctive nature of survival in that we want to survive even in the after-life.

What turns us INTO an animal is when we lose our humanity or throw it away for illogical, unnatural, or disturbing reasons. For example, a serial killer who comes up for the most brutal and horrifying ways to murder people, a man who has sex with every woman he meets whether she wants it or not, or becoming so traumatized we end up lose our minds. Hell, even fighting on the battlefield during a war can turn you into an animal because all thought leaves your head except for one: Survival.

Your meaning of animal is skewed. Animal is a dirty word for you. Animal is less than dirt. Animal means mindless and unsophisticated. You have no perspective on the word animal at all. Animal carries this stigma that you keep attached to it otherwise it would break the separation between humans and animals. When in actuality animal, when seen in an unbiased light, just means living creature. A living being. Something that lives.

Again with survival. Doesn’t matter if you are fight a war or sitting at home. Constantly everyone is thinking about surviving. “When is lunch?” “I have to go to the bathroom.” “Drive carefully!” It pervades us like a colorless fog. No, I don’t mean to say that if you start to see everything is about survival then you start to become obsessed with survival and start ignoring the finer points of life—I mean quite the contrary. If you are blind to the idea that everything has to do with survival you will forever be gripped by survival. Going to work? That’s not survival that’s just life and the joys of labor. Eating good food? That’s not survival that’s just enjoying the culturally diverse cuisines of the world! Writing an emotionally gripping poem? That’s not survival—how dare you!—that’s looking at life in a different way. When in fact everything is centered around this. It is undeniable. Once you see that most everything in this world is primarily about survival it is easier to separate oneself from it. People begin to understand that skimming the waters between life and death become exhilarating and fascinating (bungie jumping, parachuting, on-foot traveling basically all of the things that constitute an adrenaline junky because they are seeing survival in the most minimalist way possible. It is still there and ever present, but once you see is when you can truly avoid it (funny that avoiding survival = death).

Now, I’m not saying that being gay turns you into a animal, not unless you’re having sex with just about everyone you meet and have little to no control over your sex life. The real danger about homosexuality that most people are concerned about is that if this becomes common practice in the future it could lead to the end of humanity on Earth because NO ONE will be reproducing. I know that sounds far fetched but that’s pretty much the law of nature and the cycle of life. You’re born, you grow up, you get married, you have a family, you live your life, and then you die.

Fine the whole spiel about animals was for nothing then. There is no danger. Never will be. It is far fetched, and I am glad you noticed it was far fetched. If someone ever brings up a graph telling you more people are identifying as homosexuals exponentially as time goes by then (1) they are creating a graph based on extrapolation (2) did not account for the increasing numbers of openly gay people who were once closeted, but, now because of civil rights, have a voice during our time (3) did not account for the increasing population of humans on Earth in which the proportions between heterosexuals and homosexuals rises together not separately. Heterosexuals will always outnumber homosexuals (unless there is immense genocide of some kind) because of their ability to procreate whereas homosexual can’t. So basically you won’t have to fear because like you said earlier homosexuals can’t breed, so their “lifestyle” as you call it won’t envelope our species. Why? Because most of the human population is heterosexuals. Why? Because we were made to survive. To carry on our species and DNA to the next generation. People are not just turning gay it is inherently within them, but how much of the inherent homosexuality is beneficial to reproduction? It isn’t. But homosexual people should be able to utilize sex not as a reproductive tool, but, as many heterosexuals already do, as a tool of stress relief and social acts of love. 

I know you’ll probably won’t agree with me on this but I did want to explain it to you from a different perspective that’s both non-religious and logical. Whether you do agree or not is entirely up to you. All I ask is that you don’t start calling me bad because my views are not the same as yours.

You are right I didn’t agree with you. Thanks for trying to be “non-religious and logical,” when the entire argument is rife with religious and illogical ideology. Whether I agree is up to me. Well here is where you wrong about not calling you “bad” because of your opinion. Just as it is up to me to agree or disagree and it is up to you to agree or disagree—I disagree. There are illogical harmful ideologies that hurt other people, so it would be wise to call people out on them (like you are doing! So good job on calling people out but not really doing good at staying away from illogical, harmful ideas). The point of discussion is to bring about change and improvement. Take ideas, leave ideas, and amalgamate ideas. You are not automatically immune from being called a bigot or a fool any more than I am. Don’t ask for immunity from criticism or insult when you present your idea. Stand tall and be vigilant for those who seek to destroy your ideas, but also be vigilant for those who seek to improve on your ideas so that you may better understand the world around you. 

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1892)

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est (via taco-man-andre)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime …
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, –
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

From the Roots of Zoroastrians

We were made in God’s image. We are the children of God. We are not animals. We are autonomous human beings. We are the center of the universe. We were created by the most powerful of beings. We are humanists. We take priority above all else. We are the most important beings in the universe. We are blessed with intellect. We are the only beings capable of thought. We are entitled to Earth’s treasures. We take priority over trees. We are above nature. We can take from the Earth without consequence. We are the kings of the universe. We are the kings of animals. We were meant to rule over all other inferior beings. We are supreme beings save God. We have the right to abuse animals. We are smarter than them. We have the right to kill animals. We can deny inferior beings of rights.

"Although we have no obligation to stay alive
On broken backs we beg for mercy, we will survive
(Break out) I won’t be left here
Behind closed doors.”

"The Sufferer and the Witness" has to be my favorite album from Rise Against ("Black Market" is slowly moving to the top actually) because of its call to action, sense of unity, and empathy in every one of the songs.

"Behind Closed Doors" isn’t my favorite song on the album, but it is a great song that really shows that call to action and sense of unity.

The empathy is subtle in this song, but it is there. The chorus is where this is at. Especially with “Although we have no obligation to stay alive,” is where it always gets me the most. I just imagine someone in their darkest moment listening to that first line and connecting with it so well that the lines that follow after (“we will survive,”). That person is just helped up onto their feet and amongst the crowd of people in darkness head towards a light together.

(Source: currentrotation)

Issues of Suicide

Upon reading the title it is evident that to many the issue would be it takes a life. It does, but the main issue here does not concern the aftermath and more so the build-up. After reading an interesting book on Suicide and the Philosophical Issues, I couldn’t help but ponder. After all is not the importance to preserve life more valuable than pondering it? Indeed, my contradictory words are just for that.

When I was in high school I remember I had two very distinct views on suicide. The first was that it must be prevented at all costs and treated with the upmost sympathy. I thought it was my humanitarian and civic duty to stop someone from taking their own life. Soon I realized this saintly aid required unimaginable patience and empathy—virtues I thought I had but only tasted (still believe/lean to this view). The second view was that I should be angry towards those who choose suicide. I (naively) should inform them about how (they already know) that the people who care the most would be hurt by their actions. That they are letting everyone who put faith in them down and how they will be scarring everyone they know.

It’s cold now, 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Makes me shiver with joy and remember the puddles in front of La Quinta.

Being in college now it or easier to practice hindsight. It is easier to see the errors of thinking in binary—that there is more than two responses to such an emotional hurricane of an issue. My answer of how one should react to suicide is that it should never be the same. It all depends on the views of the victim to suicide.

Personally, the anger approach is the most detrimental attitude of facing this issue because it is repeating what the person told themselves and just reaffirming that they should leave to end everyone’s suffering. I don’t know mending self-hate with anger just seems counter-intuitive and shows a lack of understanding and empathy.

The way I generally view it now is much more simpler that I did before. I believe it is that person’s decision alone, and I can only offer meager advice and aid whenever possible. After all, it is their mind and body—they should have complete autonomy over their own selves. I now understand how much pain can gather in one place and how infinitesimally small someone can feel with this ball of hate. The burden of inadequacy always like chains when wanting to take a leap and how that key to their shackles is not somewhere on this earthly plane. Whether they leave or not, I will respect their decision and in the end it is about remembering that person. I believe remembering that person is the greatest service I could do for them—knowing they existed and will continue to live on with me for as long as I live.

(The place where I am coming from to get this point of view stems from the fact that I believe one should be free of society’s grip. I look to Alaska, Tibet, and the road to be the key to my freedom as many do, but to some that sense of freedom doesn’t apply to them. Maybe neither does the liberty of a society offer what they seek. Although many claim suicide is not the answer, there can be no denying that it is indeed an option. Of course, I would try to convince them otherwise and at least give them the opportunity to try other fruits of life before they go, but after all that I would no longer resist. If they were to leave I feel it is my duty (instead of anger) to bid them farewell, best of luck to them, and that they will be remembered).

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