alright, stop what you’re doin’

cuz I’m about to ruin
the image and the style that you’re used to.
I look funny,
but, yo, I”m makin’ money, see,
so, yo world, I hope you’re ready for me.
Now, gather ’round,
I’m the new fool in town
and my sound’s laid down by the Underground.
I drank up all the Hennessy you got on your shelf,
so just let me introduce myself…

Everything above this line are someone else’s words and I’m operating from memory, so I hope I got them all correct. The words are probably copyright Digital Underground or someone from the group and/or some writer they worked with. Just so you know. Not my words, at all, and they don’t belong to me.

This was one of my fave songs as a teenager, though. ‘Humpty Dance’ was a riot, and even though my friend and I had no context for anything the guy was rapping about, we loved the song.

I remember one part, in particular, that we could not understand, no matter how many times we listened. The Hennessy line above. We had no idea what Hennessy was. Never heard of it, never saw it. We lived in a sheltered, religious, suburban world. Our parents didn’t drink and we didn’t hang around other youth who had parents who drank.

I remember rewinding the tape over and over, again, as we tried to make out what the rapper was saying. We finally settled on “heavy C”, even though it made no sense. The real lyrics didn’t make sense to us, either, so we just put in what we thought we were hearing. It was rap. Rap often made no sense to us.

We kept listening to it, though. I’m not sure why. Maybe the beats got to us. I remember listening to Tribe Called Quest daily. I remember sitting with the same friend and writing out the lyrics, because we just had to memorize a particular song and, honestly, we had no idea if Q-Tip was even speaking English sometimes.

I was in my 30s before I knew exactly what Digital Underground and Tribe Called Quest were talking about in many of their songs. Their music wasn’t made for girls like my friend and I, but we poured over it and loved it, anyway.

That’s how much of life is, isn’t it?

Often, we move through this world having no idea what’s really going on, but we love it, anyway.

We have no idea what folks are talking about, but we love hearing them talk, anyway.

Attraction works like that. You don’t know why you’re attracted. Maybe if you could figure it out, you’d turn the attraction off. Instead, you just feel the way you feel and do your best to muddle through any confusion. Maybe you adjust your perceptions, just so you can feel like you made a little sense of what’s happening.

And, maybe it will take you over a decade to decode things. Maybe, like me as a teen, you make up words for the bits you don’t understand and you keep moving. Life is too busy to stop and research what’s going on. There’s really no one to ask. There’s no Google for real life and real problems, right? You just figure out what you can and move it along. You do your best.

It’s okay that you’ve been doing that. It’s okay that you didn’t have the time or the energy or the desire to figure out the truth back then. Perfectly okay. The world did not stop spinning just because you didn’t know what was going on. That’s as it should be.

But, in this moment… breathe in.

And, in this moment… breathe out.

Keep breathing, keep living in the moment.

The past is gone. That confusion happened. But, if you stop what you’re doing now, you’ll be amazed by what you are able to understand.

let freedom ring

We live in precarious times.

Well, the times are always precarious, since time isn’t really real. I mean, we invented clocks and telling time and calendars and gave more meaning to the rotation of the Earth than maybe was initially intended, so time is always precarious.

What I mean is that we live in precarious governments.

I was once mistaken for a refugee. In my own country! I am a natural USA citizen and for a couple of years, I lived in a small city with a large refugee population. I loved it! I was able to hear various languages and see humans of various skin tones as I wandered the city, and that always feels very good to me.

Then, some “white” couple saw me walking down the street and spoke to me in French. It just so happened that most of the city’s refugee population were from African nations that had been colonized by France. I was appalled that the descendants of the European colonizers of my homeland would think me to be an African refugee. I yelled at them that I was an American and kept walking. I’m sure they were in shock.

I was angry about this for at least 2 years.

Lately, in the USA and Europe, there is a lot more talk about immigrants and refugees. Most of the people we Americans want to think of as immigrants are refugees and also have more historical ties and right to be on American soil than the descendants of colonizers who are so determined to keep them out. The entire argument of the colonizer descendants hinges on this: we don’t want to be outnumbered. But, the only reason they can pretend they aren’t already outnumbered is because they have no problem killing and imprisoning everyone. This is the legacy of their ancestors and the truth they live in daily.

Every day, it seems the USA is getting further away from freedom after a couple decades spent trying to inch closer to it. “Liberty” used to be an important American word. Now, we use variants of it to discredit and defame people. Who in the world, in a country that claims to value freedom, would find “liberal” to be an insult?

More and more, we are faced with the insanity of racism/white supremacy. Every day, we must confront how illogical and irrational ideas based solely on the social fiction of race are and how to manage when most of our gatekeepers are afraid of everything.

Fear is pervasive. It’s the fastest-spreading contagion in the world right now. And, there is no vaccine for it. Sorry! We’re going to have to stop relying on our “scientific advances” and get really honest about what it means to be human.

As an American who is well aware of how problematic people of European descent have always been for this land that my ancestors allegedly called Turtle Island, I feel sad at times. There isn’t much one can do against insanity. When people are insane, they are dangerous and incapable of being reasoned with. The best you can do is stay away from them.

But, we are living in the zombie apocalypse. Insane people are literally everywhere.

This isn’t a partisan issue. Never in my lifetime has it been so clear that both major American political parties are horrible for the American public. And, most Americans I speak with accept this truth, yet they will still only vote for either the Democrat or Republican candidates.

They have the fear. It’s contagious and it wipes out all symptoms of the freedom.

What’s the solution, you ask? Obviously, we must sit down and shut up. All of us. Meditate, contemplate, and re-calibrate.

But, good luck with that. We’re too worried about our other social fictions called “bills” and “money” to do anything real in this world.

And, so the madness continues.