Monday, 30 January 2012


from babyhood
parents start training their children to identify with this perverse culture
that's you and me, folks
a triumph of perversity!
then the schoolteachers
the lecturers
the priests
the writers
the advertisers
the mass media propagandists
(masquerading under the titles of journalists and broadcasters)
gradually take over
hammering home the same message
again and again
'thou shalt identify with this culture
thou shalt not identify with the other'
the other is the wild
the untamed
the unneutered
the unmarketed
that which cannot be bought or sold
extracted or killed and converted into 'production' (money)
this process reached its personal nadir for me
around the time of my early twenties
when i took full advantage of the opportunities for cheap long-distance travel
globe-trotting across three continents
even then i could appreciate some of the devastation that the civilised had wrought
that i, unknowingly, was wreaking
the mundane grinding poverty of calcutta
the bleak inner city ghettos of los angeles and chicago
the gross unfairness of the monetary exchange rates
which made me wealthy and most south asians poor
since then i see that i have been undergoing a slow-motion reverse process
like a man running backwards on a rewound video tape
refusing to identify with factory farming
the rape of the oceans
the warmongering
the grand globalisation project whereby the few immiserate the many
gradually this reverse process has been accelerating within me
to the point that at times i observe this culture
with a kind of half-fascinated, half-disturbed detachment
the sense of entitlement to plunder, consume and discard at will
the blatant coercion of children and the weak
the thoughtless scapegoating of the weak and impoverished
the 'unpeople'
the need for instant gratification by means of a million trivialities
the suppression of real emotions
the total surrender to the great machine
the all-pervading numbness of disconnection
the alienation and ennui
all inevitable products of this totalitarian culture
which will allow no threat of an alternative good example
oh to be certain this culture still has its claws deep in me
the comfort of central heating and hot showers
the luxuries of coffee, sugar and alcohol
the technology required to manufacture guitars, pick-ups, strings
microphones, cds, sound recording equipment
oh it's got me by the short and curlies alright
my obsession with rock music trumps so many other issues
'you're my obsession and i can't let go'
how would stone-age rock music sound?
a bit heavy - ha! ha!
at night i pace the suburban streets
staring through living room windows
as the flickering images play across giant orwellian screens
it scares me profoundly that long ago
when i was too naive to know better
i used to identify with that very same flickering image
which passed for entertainment
i was so much older then
i'm younger than that now

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