Saturday, July 25, 2020

Light My Fire

With the quarantine I chose to use the time to well write more, learn more and simply just be. Not more, just be.  Being forced to stop moving, running, going and coming never allowed me to just be still and in place.  I used to say the minute I stopped moving forward I stopped living, well guess what? Not dead.  Or as I say: May the bridges I burn light my way.

That philosophy in life allowed me to never set roots, avoid long term relationships, not have a stable home, work or even friendships.  I again used to say that while we are on the same road you matter for that time we are, then when our paths diverge we go our own wy, ways but for the time we were on the same path and that journey was one shared, and it mattered.

That all changed in 2012 and when I left Seattle. That departure was planned, deliberate and necessary for my long term safety and survival. I shudder to think if I had stayed how angry and afraid I would have been.  I chose Nashville for many reasons and they met those expectations.  However, I had a belief that somehow it would solve all the other problems packed in the dozens of boxes to this day no matter how much I downsize I can never seem to rid myself of.  But I am getting there.

Landing "permanently" in Jersey City was well not a whim but it was.  It was like Nashville a few years before, an article in The New York Times and how it was becoming not so much an "it" city as the 'vile had been declared, but as one seeking a reinvention of being just a city as afterthought. Hoboken just up the road was the true designated it city a few years ago, and well,  it is I find a great place to roam around but live, I am not that sold on it.  Jersey City seems to be a hybrid of fuck that and sure we Jersey so what do you expect, we're cool and we know it.  And that is Jersey Cool which again is its own animal.  I found my tribe and for what its worth I will take the monikers that go with being a Jersey 'girl'.

But the quarantine changed how that adjustment and integration would occur.  The normal venues and side roads I take to find my way around are closed.  I still wander but it is very different and the way New York City was in the early days of the pandemic was the most fascinating place as if it was from a sic-fi movie and aliens had landed.  Only the fool as in hardy were out and about and we all seemed to pass silently by one another with physical distancing already a heavy mantra as we traveled along. By Memorial Day that changed and while there are still pockets of quiet it is a city slowly coming back to life. What state that will be is yet to be seen but it is still NYC and that is a city that took just a long nap and will undoubtedly be up and running once she fully awakes.   And that is why I love it there. Funny that living there is not something I ever imagined as I like her being across the river or in my backyard as I say, as it allows me the time to investigate and play when I choose, and not have to be a part of the competitive driven nature residents seem to have to find the next greatest, it, or thing.  That is something I want nothing to do with and I saw that in Seattle and in Nashville and I know what that game of tag does to a place and a person, it destroys it.

What I found upon reflection, was that Nashville and Seattle parallel each other, in many ways from the patronizing condescension that center around politics and money.  The two differ in education although one pretends to care the other doesn't.   And the biggest difference is in sex and religion.  Seattle loves its obsession with sexuality as it covets San Francisco back in the day and Nashville is obsessed with religion and oppresses its sexuality with endless attempts at laws and ordinances to stifle nature made laws.  Religion is the key to Nashville's heart, sexuality is to Seattle. Neither is about sex as in fucking, (I actually think Nashville has way more of that) as that is not the issue, its just the idea of it that either appeals or repeals the great unwashed and is used as the bellwether to determine your worth and value.  Women are cum dumpsters in the South and the idea of sex and sexuality as bait is essential. The idea that Seattle has transcended the act of sex, and that people are binary right there tells you that the idea of humanity and sexuality are not of import.   As for the issue of race is one more complicated and more diabolical.  Nashville hangs its racist hat out there in public housing and immense violent crime. Seattle covers it with protests and looking at Portland it has now become a debacle overshadowing the real intent and message of Black Lives.  That is the way it is in Seattle as well, its is less about the message and more about how they appear with regards to the message.  I'm a Libra and even I can't talk you to death over one subject for any length of time like a Seattle resident can.  Nashville Way = faux kindness, Seattle Way = over talk.   Both have a social disability and one masks it under the concept of Southern Hospitality and Seattle its Freeze but they are the same, passive aggressive and utterly judgmental.

As the week ends and another melds into the same I fear we will go into lockdown around Labor Day or shortly thereafter in order to open schools.  This way they can ensure a paranoia and compliance come fall that if you don't we will fold our tents and leave.  Parents have been pushed to the max trying to balance home/life/work and now schooling their kids and well they found out it sucks. The reality is that while Nashville starts is school year in just a week they will be the lab experiment once again in Covid times. The South has shown us repeatedly that they are as useless and as stupid as we believed and nothing seems to change that other than a few grand gestures, such as removing the Confederate flag, to show they have evolved.  Well they don't believe in evolution so right there it is an oxymoron, emphasis on moron.  Now again, I live in the East and yes folks we got a lot of morons here as we got a lot of people here so that percent per capita is natural.  I have very little to no contact with those outside of my coffee shop and my building, and the lack of education notwithstanding, they are at least possessing personality.  I cannot say I found that in either Seattle or Nashville. Fear of being seen, being different dominates the culture of both cities as they are as blue in one and red in another. They share a lack of knowledge and ignorance that comes from moral superiority that enables them to think they know it all, know it better, and then reject anyone or anything that contradicts that.

To learn, to grow, to be fully realized and to truly integrate into a society you know it all.  You accept, address and understand those elements that make it whole.  You may not like them, respect them or care about them but at least acknowledge them and move on.  We cannot do that as a society today and I am afraid that the pandemic will make that worse as we truly have been living in a bubble of our own for months now. The lure of social media, the lack of interaction, information diffused or filtered has only enabled more ignorance and stupidity in ways that I shudder to think what will be the schools like when they do reopen.

Instead of Teachers I am afraid you will need full on trauma teams in which to handle the myriad of issues that will come through those doors.  Fear, rage, neglect, abuse, excitement and of course confusion.  The public school system is a dumpster it truly is and as I look at the schools in Seattle and those in Nashville I found children the same but different.  Poverty in the South is a kind of poverty that you cannot believe until you see it, touch it and feel it.  In the North there are so many other things around it buries it in a way that you have to kick the soil to uncover it but the reality is that identifying oneself as poor and reliant on public services is not something done in the North, in the South it is a way of life.  It is sick, really really sick. The children in Nashville will be very confused, angry and afraid and that comes out of the social dynamic we are all facing but they have no support, no real mentors, organizations and facilities that they can access to assist them in working through much of the shit pile that has become our world of late.  I am not sure about Seattle but the pretentiousness and subterfuge allow many to simply act as if they are fine but they will also be seriously damaged. This goes anywhere I am afraid, New York, New Jersey, pick a place and the poor and the marginalized will be come this fall time bombs ticking.

So as I watch my two former homes collide with political upheaval, I laugh as the demand for the Mayor of Seattle's resignation is about her failure to not allow the CHOP to continue despite the murders and violence while Nashville is about the Mayor's demand for a property tax rise in a time of  economic upheaval.   Ah yes both cities suffer from a lack of love for their Mayor and Seattle has been consistent with this which is why few ever manage to take on any larger role in State or Federal politics, thanks but no thanks is that job. While Nashville has always used their Mayor to step up and onto a larger stage and that is consistent throughout the state itself.  Well until the Barry fuck up and that was literal and her predecessor or seat filler as he faded into the background, as he did during his term.

In Nashville's weekly, The Nashville Scene they discuss the options of dumping the current Mayor, despite only just electing him,  but the patience for him has waned, and in Nashville money matters more.  And the same goes in Seattle as this article in The Stranger of only month ago, did the same, only this is all about failing the agenda for which she was elected.   Ah yes the last Mayor also fucked his way out of office too, just with molesting foster sons.  Well at least Berry was fucking a cop, irony isn't it?

I am less interested in Seattle and as time passes I have reconciled that my problem is with the city itself, it drains away intellect, creativity and originality. It clones the mediocre and enables the sheep to believe that the kool aid they drink is as special as they are.   They are the cancel culture.  I have less distaste for the city itself and the residents, for the people I met are just bait there for the fish to catch and throw out when done. They are users and they use what they have when they have it and when they are done with it, it is of no use.  I am gone and not of use but I could go there tomorrow and be left utterly alone and could find many more pleasant things to do and see than I could in Seattle. I guess every view looks better in the rear view mirror and the bridges that aren't burned one can still cross.  Toss me a match I want to light the Aurora Bridge alight, for there is nothing there I need to see ever again.

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