There is a Gap…

It is wide enough and long enough.

It sits inside my head, dividing portions of my brain in non-linear ways. There are no two sides, because one synaptic leap is all it takes to bridge it and I am made up a millions. Billions. Trillions at a time.

But this gap exists. I dare not call it a chasm, because I’m scared of heights and I don’t think I could call it a pit, because it suggests a bottom to wallow in. It’s a gap, because it isn’t the depth that scares me, but the content and the distance.

The Content: As humans, we throw a myriad of things into the back of our mind. Have a part of the brain that is responsible for this technique; the Amygdala which recesses emotional states into a distant part of the mentalscape so we can concentrate on removing the stressful situation, circumstance or object.

Where do these things go, though? I have trouble departing or eliminating things from my own mind, giving them near tangible quality every time they become apparent to me. Rather, every time I am conscious of their existence. Like understanding that anger is some grim faced other me hiding in the dark parts, down imagination alleys with shivs and stereotypes.

Or the resentment goblin that hunkers behind impenetrable barriers of ancient memory, I’ve forgotten and can’t define for their invulnerable ambiguity. 

Or the inept cloud that circumnavigates every idea and thought posed around creativity and progress, that makes the visible end a fugue. A non-existent noun.

This gap is where I throw them when my Amygdala activates. It is a smooth edged, sloping curve down past pink and grey brain tissue, as if someone had pushed a spatula edge into the soft loam of it all and left behind an impression.

Everytime the brain asserts something that I want, I have to jump the gap. No matter the content or the context, even if it’s a question or a thought or a creative endeavor or a cookie. I have to jump the gap because that’s where the Content is that I threw away and there is no evaporation in here with me. Nothing is ever vaporized, everything stays as is, until you breathe it out into the air.

Until you let it go.

The Distance: The Gap is wider in certain places than in others. Depending on what I’m reaching for and want, it could be as thin as a trickling stream hugging a stone curb because the neighbours left their hose running while they went to answer the phone.

It could be as wide as the traffic jam from downtown to home, that’s stopped up the buses and left me thinking 12KM walking is better than an hour of waiting stuck between ‘Smells like Cheetos’ and ‘Too much Chanel 5’ on the number 502.

It always varies, that distance and sometimes, I admit, I look at that distance and think to myself

"Not today. Maybe not ever." 

And find myself wanting on the wrong side of the gap.

And don’t mistake my intent. The gap always needs to be jumped because the thing you’re reaching for is always on the side that you aren’t on. 

Love sits a question away, waiting at a coffee shop table for you to pop over, excuse the interruption and ask what she’s reading.

(That’s a big one. I would need wings.)

Lust is a great pair of hips and a dancefloor and the smile she makes into a suggestion that is innocent and without concern and all you have to do is keep your eye on her while you go swimming through the hundred writhing bodies between you.

(James bond grappling hooks and winch system and a Parachute…because the Cloud keeps whispering that the fall is inevitable)

Adventure is a dark path off the main one, most others are eager to explore and a hand held back asking a question, wondering if I’ll come along just to see what happens and I hesitate. I know the thousand things that could go wrong with this scenario.

(Parkour and maybe there’s a notch or a knothole on that smooth edge, where I can get a grip)

Warmth is a friendly face showing concern and a hand on your back noticing the vague disquiet in the otherwise unremarkable calm I show the rest of the world and the answer to that brief hesitant smile they flash that says…

(Strong legs. A quick push. Steel nerves and maybe a breath I refuse to let go…)

Joy is the struggle someone old or infirm is having with something and the immediate urgency and knot that tugs on my insides that I need to get rid of. An ugly little discrepency that occurs and has to be fixed so I hold their bags, while they close the gate. Hold the door while they push the stroller inside or outside. Hold their hand on my arm while cars sit honking and terrifying, for the five spare seconds it takes us to cross the street.

(I have to go looking for these manhole moments. Brief but satisfying…)

There is a Gap in my mind. In yours too. It sits there filling up with all the things you throw back there, when you don’t want to think about them briefly. It sits there waiting for you to come and pick it up and hear it out and work it over until it’s nothing anymore and when you don’t…it slips quietly and unknowingly into that gap where all things go to…

You have to Jump the Gap every time you want something. Every. Single. Time. Whatever it is that you want, be it an Answer, a Lover, a Question, Some Peace, Some Patience, Some Health, A Quiet Night in, Some Company…

Sometimes it’s too wide and you’re scared. 

Sometimes it’s so far you can’t even see the other side, just the bright blink of the Desire you want so badly.

And sometimes it’s this tiny little leap that you know wouldn’t be bad at all, but you’re too busy looking at the fall and the dark and all the things you threw down there ages ago that you think might be too late to do anything about

(You’d be wrong, by the by)

That you miss how small that Jump is. How easy that leap is.

Do me a Favour.

Mind the Gap.

Because your mind is so much more infinite, omnipotent, tumultuous and terrible than any sort of distance or content could hope to match. You’ve got wings, claws, teeth and Hulk Smash sensibilities each time you jump.

Mind the Gap.

And Reach.


Hiyao Miyazaki has retired!

waaaaaaaaAAAAAAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! *emphatically holds down the ‘H’ key denoting horrendous, terrible, undeniable loss*

I loved this. Intimate, tender and personal and I? Am not a gushy person. I gushed. Wonderful.

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"Royals" the song: A Perspective.

So I’ve been reading up on the details and landscape of this Lorde song ‘Royals’ and the disaster that has been the articles surrounding it’s ‘Racism’ vibe. I can’t say as I’m clear on which sides are which given the story is pretty old but my opinion on the song itself seems to hang on the product of what it promotes unintentionally, rather than as stated and meant.

I like controversy. I enjoy the fact it shakes up the standard most people come to accept. I dislike the fact it’s used as a vault (or a catapult might be a more accurate analogy) to provide scathing, biased or unfair methods of insult and degradation. Controversy is meant as a discussion tool, not one for intolerance. 

That said, this song has a lot of controversy surrounding it, not just because of it’s message, but because of how it can imply a few things about Popular Culture.

For the record, the Article in question hinges on American Excess and Racial profile, rather than international. It is important, however, to key into the fact that Hip Hop as a genre began and has it’s roots firmly embedded in America and Black Culture and because of this, the statement of the Song, regardless of it’s meaning, is going to have an impact on that collective in it’s varied perspectives.

Of which, Racism and all the hallmarks therein, is one. A perspective. Not a fact. Mutable, questionable and entirely up for debate/discussion. 

Broadly claiming that a song and it’s artist are racist based off a perception, is not entirely accurate. Racism is not an individual, but a phenomenon that can afflict just about everyone on the planet in various small or large ways. 

It is entirely inaccurate to call someone ‘A Racist’, except in the most extreme of circumstances as this implies a willful, derogatory and knowing recognition of the word and it’s implications. An acceptance of your own Intolerance as it were.

Skinheads, Slavery (Black, Asian, Aboriginal/Native etc. etc.), Black Panther extremism. Factions that can be considered populated by ‘Racists’, who actively seek out the harm, derision and ostricism of Minority races.

This is not the same as ‘Being Racist’. (Notice the subtle lack of the word ‘a’ between Being and Racist, indicating a Noun). 

Being racist, is a state of mind. Much like being angry, sad, happy or otherwise. Any one of those emotions is not subject to good or bad. It’s subject to the moment they are inspired. For instance, being Happy might be considered Good, but not if that happiness is prompted by someone else’s misfortune. Being angry, consequently, at someone else’s success and joy, is a negative, while being angry at someone else’s blatant repulsive behaviour is not necessarily a negative.

Perspective rules the boundaries of discussion and it is important to consider this when viewing Racism. When one chooses to derive offense, whether from a Song or a Person’s behaviour, it is entirely up to the Victim on whether that offense is to be taken.

At no point or time, is the ‘Instigator’ of said offense, justified in stating that ‘They are Not being offensive’ because regardless of how they intended it to come across, offense has been taken.

Now this is not an excuse to suddenly get over-sensitive about every detail. There are those who might go hunting for even the smallest elements in someone else’s behaviour to try and find offense and insult. This is just as unacceptable behaviour. We live in a world with so many different problems, perspectives, opinions and outright ignorance that offensive it bound to happen across all groups and factions at some point in time.

The important thing to keep in mind, is the difference between Perceived Offense and Insisted Offense.

The former is a victim’s recognition of offense, for another individuals behaviour and opinion. In this circumstance, clarifying with the Offender what they mean will help to cement whether this is merely perceived on the victim’s part, or is an actual offensive (read: ignorant and/or insulting) statement based on insistence.

"Why does Hip Hop have to be so violent?"

This is a Perceived Offense statement, where-in the person might have little understanding or concept about Hip Hop except what they are exposed to by popular opinion and media. 

It isn’t meant as a specific offensive statement per-say, but might be construed by a number of individuals close to the genre as offensive. (implying violence is exclusively extreme in Hip Hop, unlike genres such as Heavy Metal, Rock, Emo, Industrial etc. etc.) 

Insisted Offense, is a bold statement made to incite or inflame another individual in some manner or way. The Reasons for such are usually pretty obvious and often demand attention somehow. This is a purposeful attempt on another individual to impose their beliefs, opinion and perspective on others. Often times this can be a tool used to incite discussion and is a hallmark of controversy, but without credible sources and backed up information could be taken incorrectly. 

"Hip Hop just promotes violence in Black Culture."

This is an Insisting Offensive statement. It is broad and blanket in it’s generalizing of black culture in it’s myriad and varied quality and forces those who are hearing it, to respond defensively or from an immediate vantage of being afflicted. Even those with little invested interest in the statement’s subject matter (Hip Hop and/or Black Culture) might feel the pull to either agree or disagree ‘choosing sides’. 

Bringing this back around to Lorde’s song, “Royals” seems to hang around the concept of over consumption and consumerism. Popularizing American excess through the medium of it’s Music Industry, which does a lot to celebrate excess and luxury both in the music and in it’s related elements (Fashion, Exposure, Influence etc.). 

The call for the lyrics and the dynamics of the song as ‘Racist’ isn’t entirely accurate or inaccurate. If a Song is capable of being perceived by a collection of people, regardless of their backgrounds, as Racist in some form or fashion, means it has the potential to come across as such.

Elements of the song clearly hinge on the excess within Hip Hop Culture, a Culture that is tied intrinsically to the Black Culture found in America. You can’t talk about Hip Hop in any broad strokes, without referring to the American Black Culture, because of how embedded they are. Trying to separate the two and calling them completely different entities is not only impossible but insulting as well.

A lot of popular musical genres underwent that same ‘separation’ however. Jazz and Blues  were the grandfathers of many modern genres these days and had their origins in Black Culture and it’s Music scene ‘back in the day’. Popularity was only broadly sought and found when the Black Element was removed from the genre. 

The video ‘Everything is a Remix' a documentary by Kirby Ferguson, states within it's first five to ten minutes, some of what I'm talking about. Great view and worth the 45 minutes in it's entirety, really.

The point is though, that Royals provides an external perspective on a Genre of Music that is tied to a Culture of Peoples and thus, comes across as ‘Perceptually Offensive’ because of it’s content, regardless of intention. This makes it controversial and worthy of discussion, but in no way implies that the Artist is ‘A Racist’. Perhaps ‘Being Racist’ could be made into an argument.

And for the Record, making claims or pin-pointing things about another Culture in one’s own creative endeavors, will inevitably open you up to potential criticsm for your claims/personal views. You are an outside/external source trying to Clarify/State something about a Genre and Culture you aren’t really a part of.

Having ‘similar living conditions’ or ‘upbringing’ does not entitle one to ‘Speak for or against’ another Culture. Merely provides you with a perspective to be able to speak intelligently about it, regardless of whether you are right or not.

Not sure whether I got a point across in all of this, which kind of ruins any credibility there-in (Heh) but it’s been sitting with me for a while now. I feel as if folks are trying to minimize and shorten the complexity of this issue as instigated by a catchy song. The intentions don’t matter as much as the perspective.

For my own opinion though: Labeling an artist ‘Racist’ is not entirely accurate. Nor is saying that they aren’t ‘Being Racist’, so people shouldn’t be offended. It isn’t for you or I to say when someone is allowed to be offended. 

Black People who grow up in difficult situations have fewer options to climb out of those situations as they face the constant reminder by outside perspectives and opinions, that their skin colour will define their actions and worth before anything they do as Human beings.

A White Person looking at another white person, sees a Person first. The concept of ‘That person is white’ isn’t foremost in their mind and if it is, it’s only in comparison to non-white individuals and their backgrounds/culture.

A Black Person is, by a lot of reflexive and influenced opinion, a Black Person trying to be Human. They are considered from the standpoint of their Skin-colour a lot of the time and it takes conscious effort to go beyond that visual cue to see the Person underneath and what they represent, for good or ill.

Hip hop is one of those things that is exclusively and protectively part of ‘Black Culture’. From the safe and comfortable use of the term ‘Nigga’, without the hanging dread and ugliness normally associated with the word (Robbing it of it’s power in the process) to the popularizing of a Creative endeavor, capable of lifting Black Individuals out of impoverished or difficult situations even if that method is on the back of a lot of luxury, superficiality and excess consumerism. 

Doesn’t make it an ideal path, but it’s a path that’s ‘Black Oriented’ and thus, capable of being improved on and used as a Tool for Growth in the Black Community (See, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye West, P.O.S, Azealia Banks, Outkast, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc. etc.).

Calling that into question, even indirectly, is burning down a house to get rid of the Mold in the walls. No solutions there.

That age old addiction creeping in again

I am still on vacation waiting for the next contract. It does feel tempting…? In a ‘you are not young enough anymore to geek rage without needing a ten hour nap’ sort of way.


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Underwear is overrated.

That is all

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Digging this. Makes me want to learn how to Parkour among a few other things

(Source: Spotify)

….because I realized saying ‘treeplanting’ doesn’t give you nearly enough of an idea of exactly what I do for a living.

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I can’t say as I like comedy these days. I suppose I can understand the attraction some people have towards it and I am aware at my age, I am fairly outside of the current generation’s sense of blatant, flatout, awkwardly shameless hilarity .

That said There is a distinct lack of enjoyment when I watch or explore new comedic movies and television these days which not only seems to epitomize insecurity, frail sexuality and indigestible gross-out humour but embraces these qualities in hopes of making them benign, acceptable and light-hearted.

On the one hand I think I get it. Staring something right in the face and put it out there with all the full force obviousness of a slap to the face proves to people that things like the female menstration cycle, masturbation, addiction and racism are not to be swept under the rug and treated like some quiet step child you throw in the attic for propriety’s sake.

On the other, ‘rape jokes’, klan humour, mimicking homosexual flamboyancy and jackass levels of abuse, aren’t enlightened forms of problem solving when made and crafted by those without the capacity to understand how wrong, unpleasant, uncomfortable and ugly the actuality can be and is.

I don’t have as much of an issue with people making fun of themselves or finding a method to laugh or be entertained about serious subjects as I do people attempting to turn problematic behaviour into an excuse for poor comedic taste/effort.

But if your audience appreciates/likes this sort of thing…well, you go where the laughter goes. Even if half the audience is laughing at a subject they never thought to take seriously.

Steve Martin, John Candy, Chris Rock, John Cleese, Mel Brooks, Bill Murray, Rick Morannis, Jane Curtain, Kevin Kline, Robin Williams I miss you. I miss obvious humour done tactfully. Unafraid to be witty, sardonic and bold. Capable of great compassion and helpless relief.

thedorn-deactivated20130911 said: EXPLOOOOOSIONS?!

Serve a myriad of uses

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