Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the duality of man

I've been on a two month long intense binge of listening to Counterculture music.

Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison all flow through my veins at a speed that is beyond light years and waves and universes. Because when a riff or a line, a certain intonation of voice or a turn of the pick hits you at the right time, the right spot, the soul erupts. Truly, music touches the human in a way that no other man-made creation can. Words and sound intermingled vomited into a mess was never so beautiful.

And when I listen, I think of those times when the Vietnam War was being fought and protested; when hippies danced, took acid, saw through the doors and opened their minds while handing soldiers and strangers flowers; when blacks and women fought for the rights that they deserved from the time they were born and were denied in the country of the free and of the brave and of the strong and of

; when Americans were questioning their morals values lives intentions purposes government everything and they began thinking in new ways and listening to new music and started speaking about possibilities and futures that were bright and could happen and then

and then

and then what happened? Because in a short time span of several years, those dreams and hopes didn't flicker out and extinguish, they burst like a nuclear bomb and just as quickly disappeared in a magic act of nowyouseeit nowyoudon't.

And I don't understand why it had to end and why it cannot come back again. I ask people and they say that no it's gone and why can't I just accept that it's gone? All good things go, you're a realist and a cynic to boot so how can you be so idealistic about this one thing that you just can't change?

But isn't that what it was all about? Knowing that you could change the outcome of something, or maybe even if you didn't, you could at least change some people's minds? And if you even change one person's mind, you've won. Even if you don't stop a war, even if you don't succeed in seeing a law pass in your lifetime, yet you change the way one person thinks about an issue or you make someone open his mind, that is winning.

Because people are stubborn and they don't believe in change even though they preach about it all the time. They'd love to be idealistic and follow their goals and dreams but they have jobs and children and responsibilities and they are not seventeen, they are forty and they've done this thing called growing up, which apparently is an extremely important thing to do once you reach a certain age.

And when people look at me with that simpering smile and tell me that those times cannot come back and I should go do something productive, I stare at them and I don't wonder any longer why the world is the way it is right now. And I smile back and I answer, Get a life. Because the 1960's weren't just a time of drugs and hippies and love and peace and words that don't mean anything anymore because people refuse to see that

human nature isn't fucking natural.

Starting wars for land or because of religion, because of greed or because of jealousy isn't natural. Animals don't annihilate other animals and leave them dying and moaning in the sand because they are "fighting for their country" or protecting their pack from the others. Animals don't kill and then turn around and smile and say they support peace. Animals don't lie and cheat and play games in order to not confront the truth because it's too unbearable to face. Animals don't look other animals in the face, the same age the same fears the same hopes the same children and wife sitting at home waiting for that fateful letter, the only difference the ethnicity, and shoot them in the face because by killing that same entity, they are getting to that "bad guy" who has no problem sacrificing as many animals as he wants to prove his point.

No, we are lower than animals. Animals are gods compared to us. We are base creatures that cannot step over that line of GET OVER YOURSELF and who cannot deal with our problems and conflicts in a mature manner. Because those who do not support these methods are simply naive and do not know the way of the world.

No, the Counterculture signified the true spirit of America. The freedom, the power, the liberty, the open-mindedness that the Founding Fathers preached about several hundred years before were packed into the 1960's and crumbled immediately after. The irony is that America is really not all that it claims to be. Throughout history, the United States has gone back repeatedly on its promises of liberty, freedom, and the like and has only been true in that one time, that one time that everyone thinks is now long gone and will never come again. The hypocrisy of the country was quenched for a moment, simply a moment until everyone started whining that being peaceful's too goddamn hard, man.

I want the ideology back. I want people to think more, to judge less, to envy and kill and hate less. I want the hope that was then to be here now. I do not think I'm asking for something very difficult to obtain. All you must do is cast off those interminable years of evolution and macho-ism, those years of curling up in the corner and glaring at everyone's happiness while you whittle away in the dark, refusing the bread that is only inches away from you. All you must do is open your mind, accept yourself, and get over yourself.

You say it's easy for me to say and it's harder to do than to preach. You don't think it's easy? Here. Try this.

Go look outside at the blue sky. Go breathe in the air, polluted or not. Go listen to some music, read a book, go to your job, and drive your car. Go take a long hot shower and when the day is done, go curl up with your favourite teddy bear and squeeze your fluffy pillow and fall asleep in your soft sheets.

Be grateful for the commodities you have and for the people that love you. Because yes, people do love you and even if you don't love yourself and even if you don't believe in love, that doesn't mean it's not out there and that people don't care about you. No more selfishness, no more calling yourself fat or ugly or depressed or bored, no more whining and no more feeling sorry for yourself.

Go out there and live. There is absolutely nothing stopping you and if there is, it's only your perception. If you are not willing to be happy, that is a personal problem. That does not mean you have the right to make everybody else miserable.

And you'll see. If you're happy, you'll have no problem believing in hope, in dreams, in peace, and love, and all of those stupid naive words that don't mean a thing.

*title comes from the movie Full Metal Jacket

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