Tomorrow is an open mic at Pierce College and I intend to go. I’ve edited and prepped that poem “Alter Egoes” I mentioned a bit ago, and I must say I’m increasingly happy with how it sounds. I’ve said to death: political bullshit is way too easy and at the same time way too difficult to pull off these days.
If you’re picking on Trump, Putin, the CEO of EA, Kevin Spacey, Germany (still getting hate over that Nazi business last century), and North Korea, you could find that you have enough material to work with to be done with everything else that comes with writing political: subtlety, satire, nuance, all that jazz. And on the flip side of that coin, if you stay too subtle, you come out with something nobody cares about or understands. But stuff from Voltaire, and papers like “A Modest Proposal” hit their mark all-too well. Makes a hard act to follow.
In the scope of political writing, I used to swing towards Hunter S. Thompson’s view that the American Dream is dying. No longer what it used to be. Nowadays I’ve found that I’m developing more interests outside of purely writing, and with that comes a bit more awareness of the system I’m operating in. Some artists, such as Rage Against the Machine, exist in a weird grey area where they sound like whiny pricks while at the same time putting out really good messages like “Testify”.
This world is a real pay to play one. I’ve heard it described as dog-eat-dog, but I don’t believe it’s that cutthroat. There are clear cut boundaries of things you should fuck with and things you shouldn’t fuck with. We’re not as savage as to be permanently in a ‘kill or be killed’ scenario. But you put in your dues and get a seat at the table, where all the fun stuff happens. But “writing political” these days is either: “fuck the right” or “fuck the left” or “fuck libertarians”. It’s not complex.
I still think it is an awful idea to associate with any one group, to let your representatives champion a cause you agree with into oblivion.
With such, I’ll use all this when I deliver my short little poem Alter Egoes tomorrow.
I’ve written political before, but it’s either too vague or too blunt. No in between. My poem Blame Me didn’t exactly hit the mark I was going for, and it warrants another look later on. Other poems veil the issue I’m trying to discuss behind layers and layers of metaphors, never really touching on the issue that even I’m too afraid to directly speak about.
Radio Reality City believes in expression over censorship. So I’ll be tackling both, and talking political. It’s actually quite a thing for me, because usually I’m too absorbed in things fantastical or unnatural. A lot of my poems tackle some very peaceful things. I’ve never been so content to rock the boat, and maybe the political climate is the cause of me wanting to adopt and announce my views.
Everybody else is. Why should I feel the need to stay quiet?
I’ve talked with my dad about this at length. He’s got a lot of differing opinions when it comes to stuff like this, but we have some lively, rather scholarly talks about it all. The consensus among the two of us is that there’s a fear of simply becoming someone who is loud and has an opinion: at best ignored, at worse chastised.
Today, with the light control and random Fridays, I’ve decided It’s far worse to not say anything at all. Why exist if I’m not going to communicate on the grandest scales I can? I’ll leave it up for worlds to interpret what I say and what I mean.
There’s a fear of being called out, being challenged, being taken to task, and in this day and age even more so there’s a fear of physical injury if words reaches far enough. When I changed every username I have online to JakeThomasShaw, I decided that I was worth my life in words.
Not everybody wants to die for what they believe in, however, and I wholly agree that willing to do so is a much more intensive thing. It’s really easy to yell agreeable things into the void, but disagreeing is dangerous.
There are things in this life that are strange, that are bizarre, that are completely out of the question, and individuals act like it’s all too common.
Equifax is a recent wound inflicted by the system, but we’ve sort of forgotten about all that already haven’t we? I might have just reminded you that over 10 million people’s personal data has been compromised.
There’s so much to cover. That’s why I write. I write to remember the things worth having experienced. Maybe one day when I’m 60 I’ll start looking back at all these poems, all this writing and all these op-eds, somewhere far in the future. Where now I have no idea what I’ll be doing next week, I’ll be 60 years old looking back at today. So much space and time gone by. 40 years later, it’s 2057. So much has changed. 9 more presidents. My 22nd Century Group stock will probably be worth something by then. And I’ll be looking at these poems. About relationships that even now I’ve forgotten the point of, about political events that in months won’t matter, about scenes in nature and in cityscapes that I’ve experienced and thought them too beautiful to ever let go of.
The truth is, you should be, so that in 40 years you can look back and be proud of something.
What will I have covered by then? This is Jake Thomas Shaw, The Host here at Radio Reality City. Thank you very much for tuning in, and hopefully you left with something nice in your ear.
Consume reality. Radio Reality City!