#late stage capitalism
i’m thinking tonight about masterpieces. michelangelo looked at the sixtine chapel and saw; nothing to preserve. virgil wanted his aenid burned and forgotten; only to be saved at the behest of an emperor who thought it flattery. kafka instructed his friend to burn everything he’d ever written - too personal was it, too unfinished.
they were ignored.
instead, their work was taken and held and published and thrown to be gawked at. instead, an emperor, a pope, a friend, took from within the cavities of them their choices; their art.
tumblr rolls out post+. twitter rolls out tip jars. youtube takes half of what creators earn. on social media, there is a ko-fi or a patreon and a polished face in every bio. i show my poems to my mother and she asks if I will publish them before she says anything else. emily dickinson instructed her sister to burn her poetry.
her sister did not listen.
we are a community, says tumblr, we should give back to creators. my last poem had 50 notes. six of those were reblogs that weren’t mine. i lie in bed at 2am and stare at my bright phone screen and the way netflix’s library grows thinner and thinner. the first ad on tumblr that i can reblog is for amazon. amazon takes more than half of what authors earn.
kafka’s friend took barely finished work and hammered it into structure. he is the only reason we know of him.
my father wrote a book and a play when I was barely big enough to reach his knees. when i try to talk to him about writing, he shrugs.
no one wanted to publish it, he says. so i don’t write anymore.
i am filled with poems I have never published, books I haven’t written. There are little snippets of them scattered throughout my life. I link to my ko-fi on my tumblr.
asked capitalism of the artist: what is art, if not for consumption? who does art benefit, if it is not consumed? why create at all if you do not market it? who are you, frothing at the mouth about someone publishing someone else’s poems? who are you to hate your magnum opus? what is art, if not in relation to its reception? if no one sees it, how is it art?
said the artist, baring their teeth: it’s mine.
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what in the hell
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Me whenever I see a corporate ad trying to say “we’re all in this together”:
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what smart appliances could have been: here is the exact part that is not functioning, here are 5 vendors selling that part for between $30-$70, here are 3 repair specialists in your area
what smart appliances actually are: you can’t operate this appliance because uhhhh *checks notes* your water filter is pirated :(
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Amidst discussion about wealth inequality and race issues, I really wanna hammer into younger Gen Zers minds about how awful Ronald Reagan was
I feel like we all got propaganda’d in school on how great he was just because of basic charisma and for the fact that he made some dopey speech at the berlin wall, but looking back he was just pure fucking evil:
He caused so many problems that we’re all dealing with today- and problems that made Zoomers become “Doomers”:
He made explicit pleas to segregationists and klansmen when talking about states rights, endangering the lives of POC in the process
he KILLED unions, working class people lost bargaining power against the rich and lost livable wages, starting the end of the middle class, we never recovered
His trickle down economics killed any chance of real progressive tax on the rich & ensured that trillions would go to the rich for *generations*
He demonized the shit out of black people, he literally never saw them as human, especially those that were homeless and struggling with addictions (a problem he made much, much worse)
He *knew* about the AIDS crisis and for the longest time, did *nothing*, he sat by and intentionally let so many Black, Hispanic, Indigenous & Queer people die horrible deaths, with no remorse. The community is still grappling with the effect of that to this very day
All of us are angry about how Rich people are putting down poor people during this Gamestop-Robinhood fiasco, it’s good to remember when that started to get real popular...when people say “Ronald Reagan was the devil”, they’re not fucking around.
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Boss made a dollar
I made a dime,
That was a poem
From a simpler time.
Now boss makes a thousand
And gives us a cent
While he’s got employees
Who can’t pay the rent.
So when boss makes a million
And the workers make jack
Then that’s when we riot
And take our lives back.
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Absolutely No One: What legal gobbledygook in contracts in the USA do you want to destroy with a blowtorch?
Me: So glad you asked! Mandatory arbitration, of course. That’s the stuff that says you can’t sue - you have to settle any problem with the company in mandatory arbitration. Arbitration is when you go to a person (an arbitrator), explain what happened, and the arbitrator tells you how to solve the problem (pay money). It was supposed to be a way for two big companies to agree to stay out of court if they had a contract dispute, like Company A didn’t pay Company B. Stuff like that.
Now Mandatory Arbitration is in every contract, and it’s aimed at people, not companies. Your bank, your doctor, your ISP, your cell phone provider, your Amazon account. Every contract you sign says you can’t sue if something goes wrong. If you don’t sign it, the company won’t do business with you. You can’t join a class action either. And the thing is - the big company chooses the arbitrator. Guess who’s going to decide in favor of the big company? The arbitrator, right, yeah.
Why does this matter? It’s this shot from “Bug’s Life”
The grasshopper is the big company, and the little ants finally realize there’s a million of them and they can stand up to the grasshopper. But it only works if the ants can work together.
Arbitration separates the ants. The secrecy rules means the ants can’t talk to each other, or publicize what the big company is doing that’s wrong. The ‘no class action lawsuits’ rule means the ants can’t get together to take on the big company. The ‘no courts’ rule means the whole process happens behind closed doors. Arbitration means the grasshopper takes on the ants one at a time. So they lose.
Mandatory Arbitration: Just One More Way Corporations Screw Americans.
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A message for anyone receiving or thinking about utilizing free resources: never feel guilty for using community resources offered to you!
I recently began working at a non-profit that provides free food to community members. Some of the food we get wholesale, some is donated, and we also collect fresh produce and bakery items from supermarkets and restaurants in the area that they would otherwise throw out. We also recieve money from donors and that amount is based on how many people we serve. Many resources are set up in a similar way, including things like libraries! We want more people to come because then we can get more funding.
Yes, we have a high demand for food right now and we serve a lot of people! But at my non-profit we also have a LOT of food. Yesterday we distributed over 70 full bags of fresh produce and bread for free and we STILL had food left over. I felt guilty taking home produce for my household from the leftovers, even though we have no fresh food in a 4 person apartment. But literally every person I talked to encouraged me to take some if we could use it, since otherwise it would just become compost.
If you are afraid you're not poor enough, not desperate enough, or don't deserve help compared to other people, get that little voice out of your head and reach out to your local organizations. Any group worth their salt will know how much they can provide to each person and we can tell you what resources you could recieve. We may also point you towards other resources that may fit your specific needs. We are here to help.
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How unbelievably fucked up is it that teens are growing up with generational trauma from climate change, mass shootings, state sanctioned violence and racial violence, and when they have mood and behavioral problems because of it, they're put on drugs. Even the natural variations in human psyche like autism and adhd are seen as Problems to be Cured, and the parents and doctors just drug these kids up to make them Sit Still and Behave.
Yes, sometimes a person needs chemical supplements to fix their brain, but I feel like it's way too overprescribed. Kids don't need to be chemically sedated, they need to be in a better environment. It reminds me of the Rat Park Experiment; when rats were given the choice to use cocaine in a cage with no stimulation, they would overdose and die. When put in a cage with friends and enrichment, they never overdosed.
It's not our kids that are the problem. It's their cage. You can throw all the pills you want at them, and it might help, but the hard truth is we can't fix this until we fix our environment.
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