Leipzig, Germany… I wonder if the city actually matches the vibe of the music. I’m back to cold wave, or dark wave whatever this morning. Maybe it’s that the temperature dropped again overnight after 24 hours of fairly steady rain. Maybe it’s just a mood that suits me and anything else that pops up in this space is just a temporary anomaly. Maybe my affinity for the sounds is the by-product or detritus of the times… of living in a perverse state. Bad pun, but even the group name and title of the album appeals to me today.
Endurance… or for my purposes they could have as readily have named it Patience. Patience and Endurance are connected, the twin sides of a tightly wound DNA strand. You can’t have one without the other, even in the best of times.
(narrator’s voice: This is not the best of times.)
It’s not the worst of times either and that’s where the Patience and Endurance come in . The ability to continue to tell oneself that it could be a lot worse and that it has been a lot worse requires both. But I’m rambling. Try the music. I think you’ll find it to your liking.
I’m tired. God knows I am tired… God… okay, it’s just an expression, and it’s one that gets me into trouble. It’s not really for me to say what does and doesn’t exist in The Universe. There could very well be some central authority running everything but there is ample evidence that it’s not any deity as it’s been described to me, that one that works in mysterious ways. Mysterious indeed. Impossibly kind and good and patient, and yet… You know what I could add here, but I’m not going to get into it. Just look around you. The word or concept gets me into trouble. So it’s not for me to say that there is none, but it’s pretty clear to me it’s not this one that people keep carrying on about. It’s a tired narrative and has no place in any part of my day. These ideas of externalized good and evil, or even just good and bad, is boring and doesn’t ring true.
My most recent encounter with the believers surrounded a recent horrorshow shooting in Georgia. A young man, claiming he was worn down by sex addiction, shot up three Asian-owned massage places and killed 8 people, six of them Asian women. We can revisit this for the argument about whether it was a racially motivated hate crime at another time (it absolutely was despite that the man told police it wasn’t and they are going with his story). The facet of the story I’m concerned with right here is that the newspapers, presumably because they hate to push the the very obvious racist hate crime angle, have expressed shock that he came from a very Christian background. These things aren’t supposed to happen of course because Christ and the Church teach love and tolerance and kindness.
(narrator’s voice: They don’t.)
One doesn’t have to do a lot more than skim the Bible or visit some of these churches to understand that it makes perfect sense that this sick bastard came from a very religious background. You teach that sex is wrong and sinful. You teach continually of an externalized evil. The ultimate good and evil are expressed as an anthropomorphized entity that supposedly works through others. How is it even mathematically possible that a percentage of the followers aren’t going to project their fear and guilt onto others. The man said he was trying to eliminate temptation, because of course he has been taught that his urges are a sin caused by an external force of darkness. This is the gist of what got me in trouble this week. Add to this brief explanation that we are also in a climate of extreme racism and xenophobia where members of the highest offices in the land are scapegoating Asia for the economy and the pandemic and so on and so on. Same as it ever was. It makes perfect sense that the murderer was raised in church. Where else do you learn this paranoia and fear? Church is where the utterly irrational is normalized. He probably thought he was doing the world a favor. His next stop, he told police, was in Florida where he was going to wipe out some vague pornography threat.
Because he was taught that his urges came from the outside. From others. It was all their fault, right?
How do I fall down these rabbitholes? Or is that question even phrased correctly. It’s not technically a diversion from the normal when it’s going on all over in the physical world. These are not my own dark thoughts. These are real things that I can’t comfortably ignore. They are conversations that should be brought to the forefront, but nobody seems eager to discuss them. Presuming that we want to fix these things so mass murders like this, or other acts and events, stop happening, we should be exploring the broader conversation of the factors at play. What drives a hate crime? It’s easy enough to say racism and homophobia, but where do they come from and how are they propagated? What fears do they play on? They certainly aren’t an anthropomorphized, satanic entity. They are… us? Some of us?
Let’s just have the fucking conversations.