classical antagonism

nothing seems to be more caustic
than the ignorance of being ignored
and the indifference to the genuine
the practice of selective empathy
that has the negative zeal of selfishness
the mistaken selves on the shelves
of some codified, communal and coefficient categorisations
that a human moulds to serve themselves

was I never good enough for you?
was I never a good friend for you?
did I not talk to you when no one would?
did I not give you time and also befriended
your sorrows as my own?
and took your phantoms seriously?

why did you whisper sweet nothings in my ear?

it is hard to gain the respect of someone
who didn’t know what was the denotation of love
and the connotations of the affection
that lay between my chest

I palpitate
but grief should not be my second sun

for the indifference in you
highlights my love
and the nth power of my being
knows that what I did was infinite.—

Not everyone will like you — Medium

via Not everyone will like you — Medium.

One day, you find a yellow orchid in your room

But you don’t like orchids

A week later, the orchid starts flourishing

But you still don’t like orchids

Two weeks later you notice a golden reflection on its surface

You start disliking the orchid a little less

A month later, you bow to the orchid

For despite your dislike the orchid kept flourishing

And just like the orchid not everyone is going to like you

But as you continue flourishing many will admire you

I really loved this poem I saw in the Blogging platform Medium. I mean this was one of the best pieces I read today (though I didn’t read much today or any day, my reading is as daft and dry as  an iguana in a snowman outfit). I really know this does feel true. Not being liked is a case that is  considered quite important — two other stories seem to capture my attention focusing on likeability a) Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and maker of Facebook, has willingly become homeless to prove a point for likeability (he did it to have solidarity with homeless people) and b) NHS gets both critical feedback and admiration after Justin Bieber endorses for it. The second story has probably more to do with national health care than likeability but the NHS is a subject of much talked about criticism. If you ever lived in the UK or visited it for a long period of time you will know funding the NHS is a mammoth issue. And funding on it depends on likeability to an extent (I can be wrong but I feel rather than know it to be that way).  Zuckerberg’s act followed his own criticism. Some of it is unfair. Others like the one by Mike Goldsmith, actually shows a better response:

Mark Zuckerberg making himself homeless is like a bulldog making himself a vegetarian. Selling stock ,buying a tent and deciding to camp out is not being homeless. Being homeless is when you lose everything, not give it up. It’s when you are forced to face the harshest elements of life by circumstance , not by choice. Camping out on a sidewalk, eating in a soup kitchen by choice isone thing but doing it as your only means of survival,that’s quite something else

I am sure Mark means well, but if he really wants to do something he should abandon these optics and do something that will really make a difference. With his resources he should do something to address the circumstances that put most of his new found friends on the street in the first place. He has the means to create and fund opportunities that would help a lot of people find new meaning and purpose. He could be a force behind new sources of rehab, retraining and jobs. Unfortunately, this “Look at me” optic is not the way to go.

So mark, If you really want to help, get off the street and actually do something that will make a difference. Stop acting like the lost little boy with to many toys and act more like the captain of innovation that you are….

That does make sense actually. We do get derailed to actually want “likeability” and this actually affects who we are. Like many people don’t talk about their editing processes feeling that likeability is focused on some template of genius. And that is true, we are all inculcated to believe the genius requires no effort. And for a while  I believed that too. Actually, the genius might need more effort in many things and that, with her/his innate vision, is genius is usually born and borne. I will readily admit that I had to read the comments’ sections and also the main article to get the gist of what was happening in the Bieber article (the article by Williams is a bit vague if you ask me because I didn’t read the title properly but I also feel it paces on ambiguous  terms without announcing its ambiguity because it probably doesn’t know what to think about itself; it is a bit divided and that is fine). However, most people won’t mention that for likeability. I am not always going to put likeability in parenthesis because likeability and “likeability” are both concrete and also elusive phenomenon. Everyday likeability and the major form of “likeability” (as a collective or pouring into theme) is faced by all of us. We may not know it but many or some of our actions are based on likeability and “likeability” — though it is true that some social etiquette and politeness should be taught many people overburden themselves with it all the time leading to overall ungratefulness. And this is where “likeability” and likeability actually does fail.

Jonathan Franzen wrote an article of being liked saying it was for cowards. The article also mentions Donald Trump but it was written in 2011 (Trump’s recent comments are more on the extreme scale than on any likeability or “likeability” scale: that is another topic. It is one thing to be disliked by going your own way and another to be disliked for racism, totalitarianism, extremism, plutocracy and oligarchic need for control in human interests which become reduced and violated as your own interests), so, it is more on how consumer culture is based on wanting to be liked more and it has nothing to do with love. Love is an adaptation, poetry in progress and motion, love is also constructive criticism, helping you reach great heights — liking is more about satiating some immediate need and moving on. Though that is important too the main thing I gleaned and developed my own way from this article is that you can’t have either/or: one extreme corrupts the balance you have for yourself. We must do things we like but we must also be challenged and become finer, polished beings, so we require that love too, tough or soft, it’s a need and ultimately a want for us as humans.

As some short stories on depression show in Medium that liking, even for a gift, after a point fails. I put in part of the story down below:

“Karen! Guess what?” he asks excitedly.

I look at him to acknowledge his question.

“I got you an iPhone 5 instead of 4!”

I consider this. I consider him –– his face lit up in excitement and anticipation of my reaction. I feel nothing.

“Pretty cool, right?” he says as he hands me the box.

I take the box from him and shimmy it open to reveal the iPhone nestled in itspackaging. As I lift it from its shell and examine the polished design, I think about how I should be grateful.

“Thank you, daddy,” I say because it is the right thing to say. But I still feel nothing. It takes a Herculean effort to force the corners of my mouth up.

Thoughts wander aimlessly through my mind. I think about how my dad is trying so hard to make me happy. I think about how disappointed my lack of reaction must be. I think about how if I felt any emotion, I would feel guilty for being unable to show him happiness. Guilty for not having accepted his gift with more grace and grandeur.

The pain in this piece is obvious. After a point likeability can fail. To a person suffering depression liking, likeability and “likeability” fails big time. Because there are times, like when is depressed or suffering from depression, no gift can really cheer you up.

Well, likeability and “likeability” in themselves can be complicated issues but no matter how complicated the complex in you has a greater chance fate and faith to win. Because we were all made to be uniques in and with and within a collective. So, we are born into a middle-ground many a times. Unless, you truly want extremity or it is dished out on via circumstances, I don’t think you have to worry on it being your identity too much though another reality is it is hard not to worry too much either. We just have to find frequencies that work for us.

The orchid at the beginning of the poem may have blossomed elsewhere or change its pot and dirt; but as long as its reached this state it’s fine even if no one admired it immediately for it or at all. The thing is some honest things won’t be admired either but you can choose if that is something you can live without being appreciated for: whether you can or cannot doesn’t also determine your worth; you may be living a different life and may have different needs. When I was younger I read the dialogue between Jane Eyre and Helen Burns pertaining to this likeability and “likeability” (the novel itself tracing a lot around it) — I suspected that Burns was wrong when she thought Eyre’s humiliation publicly in their boarding school should not matter as long as God still loved her. I wasn’t wrong in thinking Helen Burns was wrong but I was wrong in thinking she totally was. Burns is not totally wrong. To her, this sort of humiliation did not matter, she was older than Eyre and probably had faced this form of torment previously, she has known that people can be stupid and hypocritical and cruel. But she is wrong to seem desensitised to it and not understanding Jane Eyre’s younger self’s need of acceptance and also how justice needed to be served there which only honesty and truth could help prevail in it. Yet, at the same time Jane Eyre should know that getting their aproval should not be her end goal. Both have right arguments in that debate. It was the frequency, the extent of each voice in it, that needed to be understood and possess a corrected pitch.

I would like to conclude with someone’s poem, who is at the moment, my favourite poet on the internet:

If there’s a tic in your toc

It wasn’t me – I am afraid

Of its –  r.a.p.i.d.n.e.s.s

Especially when running

So very – f.u.c.k.i.n.g – late

This poem by Mari Sanchez Cayuso is called Time. Someone in the comments stated that the use of expletives helps the piece. I agreed. If Mari was only vouching for likeability and “likeability” alone she may have exempted from it (though the young adult phenomenon of doing anything one wants is actually more with the grain than against it – that is also a separate topic; I just hinted on it). Yet, this piece is  hers and honesty and truth on her conditions and beings is always why I loved and liked Mari’s poems. I guess, in her own way, she has shown a great balance in her for both things.

without the drink

 

trickling down, a droplet of absurdity
parenthesis entity — that is me
I am a creature sublime to oddities
artefacts can behold me and I beholden
the seas of chaos, calamity and serenity;

surprised aren’t you when my mouth glides
on tongue and I produce a kiss of words
in sobriety, I mated with soberness and it was
sombre, there is a seriousness in the sexiness
of some abstinence and some less inhibitions (a hybrid)
I am caught in tongues, who are not carcera to cheeks

it feels in the midst of conversations I am the phantom
I do not glow with the iridescence of being high
yet I am a novelty of loosened limbs and tongue
without the bottle — I am still an engaged firefly of sorts

trying to talk to everyone … —

writing about writing + a brief interlude through my mind thinking + some other stuff

sometimes in the clearing away of it
I see other mists — retractable wrists
opening into a marrow-song; it’s how I write
how I swerve into cul-de-sacs and tenable meadows
or can move from this and that freely…

sometimes my hands fascinate me
with their imperial thrones of bones and knuckle-busts
prancing or swaying, or sashaying or ridgeting riveting
in their own little landscape of hills and chasms; the original manifolds
the n-dimensional or called the hand helping them know mutation and staticity
via practice and kingdoms of versatile muscle and cranial conducts
with a few string theory notes mapping out heart territories

freedom formed a calm radius
a protractor mowed the lawns
yet I saw the vectors and vertices subtly skimming
parched my mouth enough to thirst their tongues
something complex in the daily humdrum of rare and ordinaries

sometimes, or perchance all the time I am a hourglass shifting out and in, into myself
it’s like breathing but unlike creating I think it builds cells bonded with oxygen to also flatland universes where my geometrical thoughts reach higher quadrants but also can be trapped
in the murderous grasps of the one-power of a decagon module of space…

there is no ink, but there is fibrous ink, backlit LED buttons. That ask me to tap not hold and scribble — what is modern and what is ancient here? Is it the caveman sort of way that it feels like I am also using the new archetype of stones and sometimes going back to the chisel or is it both for the cursors or the vertical space on the screen that helps highlight and punctuate my act of writing…what about that? I sample the box and what is inside and outside of the box. Paper bleeds and screens permeate other screens making a meshwork of digital blots that we call net…after all blood and ink rival water with their oceanic enormities of principles and prokaryotes-eukaryotes of layers of raw materials and symbolistic jargons.

Is sometimes akin to aether-DNA transcribed and transmitted through my writing? Does imagination also has a codex, a bestiary, a collection of nomenclatures, another manifestation or reification of DNA? Perhaps it does…after all my I fingerprint my keyboard buttons everyday…modernity has called that the new lock-key…which may have also been another interpretation of bone and marrow or muscle and veins…

a cryptographer of symmetries coming from both perceived aysses and assymetrical spaces…mosaic builds on the geometric… you are always a contextual tabula rasa or something like that…

No Apology | Mehreen Kasana

This was such a great article I decided to  quote some of its intense yet true parts. I truly thank Mehreen Kasana from my soul to do this as a person for both equality and a social voice for those people who cannot do so, so easily:

By the time I have figured my criminal-by-default status out, we are on the Manhattan Bridge headed toward Canal Street, which means there is mobile reception. My old white friend is on his iPhone telling his friend something about ISIS. He looks at me every single time he says ISIS or Islamic State. I take it lightly; I don’t want to yell at a guy who looks like his joints would fall out of place if I raised my voice. But it’s insulting and several people look in our direction, at my keffiyeh and at him enunciating ISIS while talking to his friend on the phone. That’s when I debate engagement or flipping him off. I decide on neither but I reach into my bag, which alerts him, and pull out a bomb in the form of a plastic bottle containing tap water.

I drink the water, man. I’m tired.

In this binary, the Bad Muslim is the constant malefactor. Since s/he is fed up with attempting (in distressing futility) to show his/her legitimacy as a human being – forget the title of American as it becomes unavailing in this case – s/he refuses to apologize for Islam. The Bad Muslim is the exhausted Muslim. A Muslim whose morale has been drained by perpetual anxiety, hostility and social marginalization for being seen as a criminal for acts of violence he or she has never committed. The Bad Muslim is the Muslim who makes the mistake of thinking he or she is as human as the next person and should be given a modicum of respect as anyone else would receive, such as the random white American who is never harangued to apologize for what KKK did or modern day Neo Nazis do. The Bad Muslim is unhappy with being profiled “randomly” at the airport, for being rejected employment because his or her name sounds a little too Muslim ergo a little too Al Qaeda or ISIS or Taliban or what-have-you. Unless he or she is rich, a Bad Muslim – who is often a working classindividual, a mere wage earner – cannot afford the temporary getaway financial stability provides from this interminable environment of contempt and xenophobia. The Bad Muslim is often aware of RAND-constructed typologies that identify ideological tendencies in Muslim communities and exploit inter-sect divides to promote US strategic interests

No amount of polls of Muslims denouncing ISIS will authenticate our humanity to the average Westerner who trusts propagated tropes from a culture industry more than anything else. It does not matter to the average bigot whether 126 senior Islamic scholars hailing from various parts of the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, North Africa and beyond theologically make clear in an open 24-bullet letter that the deeds of ISIS are entirely un-Islamic because to the average bigot, Islam is beyond redemption and its followers deserve to be punished by virtue of the faith they follow. It does not matter if one explains, as Alireza Doostdar does meticulously in this essay, that ISIS is not a religious problem but a political exacerbation that necessitates a contextual understanding of its chronological development and proliferation. This hostility is not innate. One is not born with vengeance for a specific group of people. It is instilled and socialized through social and institutional production of ideology from the State, media outlets, academia and everyday social exchange. It is manufactured by ever escalating dosages of premeditated images, sound bites and seductive rhetoric that lures one into regurgitating falsities about a people. It reaches to a point, as we see today, where simply appearing to be Muslim (as if there is a specific aesthetic embodied by us) elicits some of the most unwarranted suspicion, invasive questions and in many cases, outright violence.

Take it this way: In 2011, white men constituted over 69% of those arrested for urban violence and yet black men made up for the majority of the prison population thanks to the American prison industrial complex. The majority of school shooters and mass murderers in the United States are white men (97% of them being male and 79% being white) from upper-middle class backgrounds. But for some curious reason, Twitter or Facebook or even your favorite news channels have not seen a flood of apologies from white men under the hashtag #NotInMyName. I already expect indignant comments to tell me that these men were lone cases who had mental disorders and no friends because it’s the go-to reason when a white man decides to shoot schools up. Unfortunately, brown and black men cannot use the same excuse. 

 

Any country with a majority acts like this. Even in my country indigenous people are always mistreated, murdered, harassed and also denied jobs because who they are. Religion at times make no point but when it does I say the same thing. For example, it is also how you look. The fair skinned or even brown Nepali looking man is not as trusted as a brown skinned or even fair skinned majority or, get this, foreigner. Then my country also has a bad reputation of gender discrimination as in not female or male but to the transgender/transvestite community known as Hijra. The Hijras are always being ostracization and due to this ban of their proper recognition they do  act more flamboyantly and do deeds that otherwise they wouldn’t care to do. Social impregnation of values of acceptability or colouring of class, race, gender, sex and religion do have repercussions. Please be attentive.

Thank you for reading.

No Apology | Mehreen Kasana.

virtually pals

there is a nothingness between us; a waxen taxing affair
of where friendship was and never was — just mere interaction
when you waned me with your tears and waved me into a corner
I had sought your forgiveness trusting that maybe forgiveness was
all that was to be needed — forgetting that you had never understood
that if it was something I strained I never meant to and I never abused
never hurt your heart, your face, your eyes or any integral you —
realizing that you had never attached me to these but I am -was – just a flicker
of pixels amounted to an image that raced away in the rat race of virtual acquaintances.▬