All the best parties I’ve ever been to, Chapter 3

I was in the backseat of my friends’ Subaru, holding a parsnip.

My friends are both timberframe building instructors and have a beautiful home that they built together with a huge permaculture garden that provides most of their food. While her husband drove, my friend turned around and made a lewd remark about the parsnip which I won’t repeat here because I literally froze in my tracks.

I had arrived on Thursday for a Sunday wedding because instead of receiving a printed invitation, the groom had invited me verbally after camping out in the back yard of the tiny washing house where I lived in Hawaii at the time. He was working at the Four Seasons Resort, restoring what is called a “Living Machine”, an ecosystem of water plants designed to clean wastewater from the hotel so that it could be used for a fish pond. Then he visited me and very politely ate a modest meal and slept in the backyard, like a real gentleman.

Flip back to me riding in the Subaru with my two hosts (thankfully, I had a great place to stay!) and she asked me why I had arrived so early for the party. When I explained it to her, she said, “XY. XY. It’s his chromosomes. Guy doesn’t even remember his own wedding day”.

Fortunately, the bride’s family being Italian, she and her parents were delighted to see me and have some fabulous wine and antipasti together at one of those places where they use wine casks as tables. It was a reunion filled with delight and heartfelt celebration. We had all been aghast when, a year earlier, the couple had almost split up at a point where the bride was facing a life threatening health crisis. Her life had turned around after a visit to the Amazon where she took ayahuasca with an Ecuadorian curandero. Our greetings were heightened with a sense of relief and happiness that she was not only alive, but the relationship had turned around and they were deeply in love like never before.

On the day of the wedding, me and my permaculturists piled into the Subie in our fancy clothes and drove to the venue. It was a beautiful house with a magnificent view of gentle meadows outside, where the ceremony was set. Of course there was an arbor with flowers on it! What else?

The vows were beautiful and they invoked several cultures during their ceremony. The bride read a poem. The musician played Neil Young on the piano.

Beautiful Italian food was arranged gracefully under the branches of a white oak tree. Everybody got that kind of perfectly tipsy where we stayed on this side of wasted. Her local friends played music under the big white tent and we danced. I did get tears in my eyes knowing how close she came to disappearing from this life, only to experience something as beautiful as this.

All my favorite parties I’ve ever been to, chapter 2

Chinese New Year in Penang

When I was six years old, we spent Chinese New Year in Penang with my Chor Chor, Amah (grandmother) and Chor Chor’s best friend, Ah Cheng Chee. Cheng Chee’s husband owned a restaurant and she was such a good cook. She used to cut the carrots and pineapples with little designs, so that when you sliced it it would look like little flames.

Chor Chor and Cheng Chee spent all day preparing nice things to eat; stir fried beansprouts with garlic, laksa curry with thick noodles, glass noodles with sambal, spicy peteh, their special fried chicken, and of course pineapple cakes, cookies and jelly sweets.

At midday, Cheng Chee’s husband Ah Pek piled us all into his red Cadillac car and we went to his restaurant to watch the Lion Dance. Wow! There were drummers, and dancers and the Lion playfully chasing its ball.

We went home for a nap before dinner and when I woke up, everyone was outside! I got out of bed and quickly ran outside where my sister and cousins were posing for photographs and I began to pose too, until I realized I had forgotten to put on any pants! As soon as everybody noticed they all laughed, I think I remember that I didn’t care how embarrassing it was. Malaysia is warm, because it’s at the equator, it’s very warm outside and you hardly notice a thing like that.

Yah, so, after everyone laughed at me I got my pants on and we sat down at the big dining table and ate that good food. I remember I had to take cough syrup because I had gotten pneumonia, in those days I did get pneumonia a lot. I was so happy the medicine tasted good to me that day.

In those days, we would wake up and hear the chickens from the neighbor’s chicken coop laying their morning egg, and they would give some to Chor Chor to cook for our breakfast. People were very careful and did nice things to preserve those happy feelings.

Pink and Yellow

On the meaning of being a wild little thing

I was just a little girl, about eight years old when one of my second cousins offered to make me a crocheted Kleenex box cover. “What are your favorite colors?”, she asked me, laughing in her eyes as she looked at me. “Pink and yellow”, I said and a few days later a Kleenex box cover appeared, with scalloped ruffles all around. We were living in my great-grandmother’s house for a month on Emerald Hill Road in Singapore. Great-grandmother, or Chor Chor, we called her, was crocheting round tablecloths with intricate patterns and her two grandchildren from Medan were living in the house while going to school.

Pink and yellow reminds me that not everything primal is tough, brutal, or violent. Sometimes it comes out as a frothy and gaudy decoration for disposable tissue paper!

Family, nurture, gentleness, love, kindness, respect were normal in that house. I won’t say that there were no mistakes, but every mistake became the basis for learning and growing, what I call “compost” that makes our soul richer and more fruitful.

Chor Chor and her delicate, intricate movements as she wove this beautiful symmetrical object out of cotton string, is a reminder of the primal need for detail, for making tiny improvements over and over that evolve into something beautiful.

A wild little thing doesn’t need violence because she notices everything and creates a tiny change that becomes self-defense, protection, income, food and shelter, and so on. A wild little thing creates safety with alertness and agility. And somehow she not only survives, but she can thrive.

Like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, a wild little thing is friends with all the creatures of the jungle. A human being is unique in that it has the ability to befriend any creature, any plant, even the cosmos.

An elephant has a trunk to pick things up with, a dolphin has sonar and a sensitive skin, and a human’s evolutionary feature is our consciousness. Playing with material things is a way to play with our consciousness, and the finer and more detailed our consciousness becomes, the less we require violence to get what we want or need.

All my favorite parties I’ve ever been to, chapter 1

There was light falling through the leaves of the trees.

Chairs around a card table outside, but no cards. We drank wine and beer.

Women cooked AND men cooked. It was a pot luck.

I glowed with happiness about the way the people were proud of the different kinds of food they cooked and gave to each other. Especially the people who cooked healthy food made me smile because I feel happy when I eat healthy food.

A visit to my friends after a wild summer showed them that they missed me. And the women were looking after each others’ feelings.

My friend was going through a lot and we sat down to have a heart to heart talk just like old times. What consoled me is that her partner was supporting her emotionally in the most profound way possible every step of the way.

My favorite moment was when another friend of mine who had learned how to eat with chopsticks put his chopsticks down and he said “yeah, China” because he could see that someone needed clarification of why they felt I was different or weird. I just felt glad he stood up for me.

His girlfriend was someone who I befriended, too. She was very smart about family politics. I thought it was nice that she and I visited and just chatted a bit in the kitchen.

Matrix 4 finale Malian’s version (Happily Ever After)

Bliss and Ezra are looking at a perfectly smooth silver mirror surface that reflects a surrealistic landscape. Beauty and idyll surround them. People emerge from the forest with fruit, nuts, and game they have harvested and we see a panorama of them crossing a flower filled meadow on their way into an eco village. We see technological installations in the village, free energy receivers and transmitters, or satellite signal receivers and transmitters. They are reminiscent of our technology, however, they are more light and transparent.

The buildings are examples of various eco and sustainable building techniques, all creative, comfortable, and functional.

BLISS: Look at them.

A small boy is tugging a doll out of his little sister’s hands. Their mother is sorting fruits nearby. She looks up at the children, taps her son on the leg with a twig, gently, and he begins to cry. He drops the doll and sobs. His mother opens her arms and he throws himself into her arms to be comforted.

BLISS: Do you see how gently she invokes his conscience?

EZRA: You would exchange all the accomplishments of my civilization for this? A mother who chastises her son gently?

BLISS: Fortunately, we don’t have to. We are inventing a new way of being that contains both.

EZRA is flushed with both excitement and shame, inspiration and penitence simultaneously. He passes his hand over his eyes.

EZRA: How much he loves her! He is watching the little boy sitting in his mother’s lap, the boy is patting his mother’s cheeks. She speaks a few words to him, and he gets up and goes over to his sister who is playing with her doll. She flinches away instinctively, grabbing onto the doll, but all he does is apologize. His sister lets her guard down, and he puts his arms around her neck and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Their mother calls them and they both run over to her. She hands them each a piece of fruit, which they sit down to eat happily.

EZRA: I cannot justify, in light of this, the man who I have been. He is someone I never wanted to be – simply, someone I thought I had to be. If this is true…if existence is not just a vast wasteland of pain…

BLISS: This is the beginning of the end, for the man you used to be. It is the end of the beginning for the man you are becoming.

EZRA stares at her incredulously and gives an astonished laugh.

EZRA: Churchill?

BLISS smiles.

BLISS: Power, glory, and domination do not serve you as well as living your soul’s true purpose. That is a path of using your unique gifts in service to others. Paradoxically, it brings you even more power.

EZRA: The war is over.

BLISS: The battle is now within. A peaceful warrior conquers hate, pride, jealousy, and revenge, from within.

EZRA: How will that help?

BLISS: To live by our conscience, is the source of that state of beautiful, deep peace we all long for. We can always reconcile our grievances with others, as long as we ourselves are at peace.

EZRA: I have unlimited power, but I have never experienced that kind of peace.

EZRA and BLISS have reached the village, walking with the people and their baskets of food. A village woman gives him a piece of fruit from her basket and he is filled with emotion at the kindness he feels he doesn’t deserve. He bites into it.

EZRA: It’s delicious.

CUT TO: The Karal.

NEO, NKAZIMULO, and WHITE PUMA are on the battlefield as the villagers and Zion soldiers work together to clean the bodies and debris away. NEO squints into the horizon. Dust clouds are settling around the Karal. NKAZIMULO is observing him as WHITE PUMA approaches.

NEO: Where are they?

WHITE PUMA: They should be back by now.

An agent has run up to NKAZIMULO and is speaking rapidly. NKAZIMULO nods and the agent nods back, then runs back in the direction he came from.

NKAZIMULO: The council of the Ndbele has been called. Neo, you have been especially called for.

NEO and WHITE PUMA are following NKAZIMULO to the council with an honor guard of tough and heavily armed Zion warriors. NKAZIMULO pulls the flap of the council lodge aside and smiles at NEO.

NKAZIMULO: After you.

NEO ducks into the ten, and gazing squarely at him, flanked by the NDBELE COUNCIL on each side, is MORPHEUS. MORPHEUS is laughing, enjoying the surprise! NEO is overjoyed to see his friend.

NEO: Morpheus! My friend.

NEO grabs MORPHEUS by the shoulders.

NEO: I was at the council of Zion, and you weren’t there.

MORPHEUS: When I found out that these villagers were cooperating with the machines, I had to find out exactly what was going on. What I found out is that there is more – there is much, much more than we’ve seen so far.

MORPHEUS notices a shadow crossing NEO’s face.

MORPHEUS: What? What is it?

NEO: Morpheus…these people have a prophecy that involves me.

MORPHEUS: I know. What are you going to do about it?

NEO: She’s amazing. It’s just that we’re so different.

MORPHEUS: Love transcends identities, politics, or boundaries.

NEO: You’re talking about unity. Transcending duality. No more war. No more enemies. Peace. Even with the machines.

MORPHEUS: I no longer believe that we need to be the enemy of the machines, or the Agents. They are the ones who brought about the reunion between the people of Zion and the Africans.

NEO: That was Bliss. Morpheus, she’s a true hero.

MORPHEUS: Neo, losing Trinity was not your fault. There is nothin you could have done.

NEO: But, to reconcile with the machines means to forgive them for killing Trinity.

MORPHEUS takes a deep breath.

MORPHEUS: Neo, this is why Bliss is your personal medicine. To reconcile with the All-That-Is, is to be fully human. To reconcile is to open your heart and be able to love. And people who love are boundary breakers, risk takers and law makers. Neo, I would like to invite you to a ceremony.

NEO: What kind of ceremony?

A CEREMONIAL LODGE in the village. We hear traditional Bwiti Shamanic music from the Iboga ceremony. MORPHEUS has read and white paint on his face, and he is wearing the red and white cloths and shells of a Bwiti shaman. He offers a cup to NEO.

MORPHEUS: Drink.

NEO takes the drink and gulps it down. He reclines onto the blankets on the floor that have been prepared for him. He closes his eyes, and we see MORPHEUS covering him gently with a blanket and tucking him in. MORPHEUS is standing guard, watching over NEO’s body as his spirit journeys.

NEO opens his eyes in the dream space of the Iboga. He is looking at a landscape of rolling hills and grasslands. NEO’S FATHER is coming towards him, wearing the uniform of an agent.

NEO: Dad.

We see a happy, contented family of a mother, father, and small children picnicking in a beautiful compound with a garden. The mother is BLISS. A baby in her lap, the mother is encouraging her children to eat their food. One of the boys runs into his father’s arms and we see that it is NEO. NEO lifts the boy into the air and both are laughing.

NEO’S SON: Dad!

NEO: Son.

NEO and his son close their eyes and touch foreheads and noses, breathing deeply in a honi greeting. The vision begins to fade away and we see NEO awaken. He is indeed in a state of deep tranquility. MORPHEUS is still watching over him, thoughtfully.

MORPHEUS: You seem well.

NEO: Yes. Morpheus. I saw a vision.

MORPHEUS: What was it?

NEO: Everything is created by consciousness and love…to live in love means that a loving consciousness creates a loving universe.

MORPHEUS leans in, resting his chin on his hand, his finger over his mouth. He is wearing a small smile of pride.

MORPHEUS: And?

NEO: When I am love, then everything I create will be love.

NEO has tears of joy running down his cheeks. He is laughing.

NEO: I protect my son with Bliss.

IN THE VILLAGE, children are chasing each other through the midst of everything, innocently laughing and screaming with happiness in their game. In the central grove of the village, Ezra is sampling various types of scrumptious fruits that the villagers bring him.

EZRA: Oh, thanks very much.

Laughing, a villager shows him how to eat an ice cream bean.

EZRA: Oh, mmm. Yes, that’s great.

BLISS, WHITE PUMA, and the VILLAGE LEADERS are watching him with amusement.

BLISS: EZRA, the village elders have decided to bestow upon you a special gift.

EZRA: Lovely. Where is it?

VILLAGE ELDER 1: We invite you to bathe in the sacred waters here, that reveal who you really are.

EZRA: Who I am?

VILLAGE ELDER 1: The purest form of your soul within.

VILLAGE ELDER 2: The reason you have done so much evil, is because you have been blind to the aspect of who you are, that is good. Our sacred waters will cleanse the darkness of ignorance from your eyes.

EZRA: Aha! I see. Yes!

NEO, MORPHEUS, and the ZION SOLDIERS are processing solemnly through a brightening landscape. Green grass and flowers gradually replace the desert. They come to a stream, and the soldiers set their packs down and look for water and fruit to pick. There is a glow of light, and they are surrounded by the presence of the ELOHIM.

MORPHEUS: Welcome, we are honored by your presence.

RAPHAEL: We have brought someone with us.

BLISS peeps her head out shyly from behind the ELOHIM and giggles.

NEO stares at her, transfixed. He takes a deep breath. She holds his eyes steadily.

When NEO and BLISS arrive at the village, there is a chorus of singers regaling them with a baroque fugue without words. The glory of the sound makes NEO shiver with a transcendental spiritual pleasure. He swallows again and we see him take a deep breath. While he is getting used to it, he sees that the children from all over the world are meeting each other. A group of Zion children, Africans and children from other tribes [Aztec, Waorani, Maori, Sami, Inuit, Shuar, Celts, Bulgarian, Touareg, Kalali] are teaching each other their games, songs and stories. The VILLAGE ELDERS greet MORPHEUS warmly.

RAPHAEL: There is a feast. We are all invited to the celebration. All the tribes have gathered, from all the worlds. Will you join?

NEO: That would be an honor.

BLISS meets NEO’s eyes.

BLISS: Yes, let’s!

The ZION SOLDIERS shoulder their packs again, and the company continue to proceed, following the ELOHIM. NEO walks at BLISS’ side, without saying a word. They look at each other from the corners of their eyes. Both of them swallow self consciously and look ahead with their heads slightly bowed, smiling.

VILLAGE ELDER 1: We’ve been busy while you were away. I think you’ll be interested to see the results!

THE SACRED WATERS. The VILLAGE ELDERS have brought NEO, MORPHEUS, BLISS, ZION SOLDIERS, and the ELOHIM to witness an astonishing sight. EZRA is sitting in the midst of a crowd of children. They have lined up and one by one, they drop flowers in his hands or place flower chains around his neck. We see there has been a profound change. A small child places a flower necklace around EZRA’s neck and gives him a babyish kiss on the cheek. EZRA looks up at the gathered adults and tears are cascading down his face. As EZRA looks up, we see what it is that has changed. EZRA has become a woman.

NEO: Ezra!

CHILD 1: Her name is not Ezra.

Child 2: Her name is Virginia.

VIRGINIA’s face is a mask of tears. She is smiling apologetically.

VIRGINIA: I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry for everything I’ve done. Can you ever forgive me?

BLISS: Yes, of course. Your new transformation is very beautiful and pure.

THE ELOHIM move forward. Their flower necklaces are glowing with a beautiful light. RAPHAEL places a flower necklace glowing with white light around VIRGINIA’s neck. She is trembling, humbled by his gentleness. She sobs, and then laughs.

VILLAGE ELDER 1: Virginia, will you join us in the celebration?

VIRGINIA gets to her feet.

VIRGINIA: yes.

A BEAUTIFUL GROVE decorated with lights and crystals. The VILLAGERS have gathered in a circle. At the center of the circle are NEO and BLISS, they are dressed in similar flowing robes of silk, similar to Chinese gongfu clothes. Smiling happily into each others’ eyes with pleasure, NEO reaches out both hands to BLISS, who puts her hands in his. Protected by the five ELOHIM, MORPHEUS, VIRGINIA, AND WHITE PUMA stand nearby. A soft icaro is being sung in the background.

RAPHAEL: All are called to witness what these two have wrought.

ARIEL: Surrender.

URIEL: Forgiveness.

RAGUEL: Trust.

MICHAEL: Acceptance.

VILLAGE ELDER 1: Let this day be known from now on, as the Festival of the Light, so that the blessing of the light will eternally live on.

VILLAGERS: [Cheer]

NEO pulls BLISS gently towards him and lifts her chin towards his face as he gently plants a kiss on her lips.

A wave of laughter, cheers and whoops rises from the crowd, and as the camera angle widens to a panorama, we see the village getting smaller and smaller. It is connected to other villages, through the technology we saw earlier, and the interconnectivity of the whole planet blooms with a ripple of energy as the happiness of NEO and BLISS carries out like a wave of light traveling outwards through the universe.

THE END.

A Story

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Once there was a middle aged Regent of a Kingdom.  A Regent, for those who might be wondering, is like Denethor in Lord Of The Rings.  Anyway, this Regent was troubling the line of succession, so the Monarch said to him, get me back my former colony, the best one, the one that got away, and I will see to it that you become King.  Now, the Regent never thought that his Monarch might be sending him on a wild goose chase.  However, she said that because she thought it would be impossible and then as it turns out, she really did want her colony back in her imagination.  

So the Regent identified the Kingmaker of the former colony and it was a woman, so he began to seduce the woman.  She was not so easily plied, however, and she did object to the seduction on the grounds that the Regent is married, to a brave feminist woman, no less.  So she played the same trick again and sent the Regent on a wild goose chase that was the antidote to all colonization for the rest of all time.  And she also never promised him anything because then, she would not have to break her word.

The Regent saw the justice of the Kingmaker and he did acknowledge that perhaps he did not want to spend the rest of his life overthrowing the line of succession of his Monarch’s Kingdom.  He also happened to be a scientist and he had discovered an infinitely interesting realm of scientific knowledge, some of it was history that had been suppressed while other of it was new knowledge that could be utilized as the foundation of an equitable, ecologically balanced human society that he did not even know was possible in his dreams until he had gone on his wild goose chase.

He decided, as a traditionalist in biological marriage, not to get divorced, but to live as an expatriate on an experimental permaculture farm, like Baudolino.  (Umberto Eco is such a wonderful author, isn’t he?)

As it turns out, by doing so he gained many wonderful and kind friends who added so much to his life that he became very, very happy.  And as for his wife, she is a feminist, and she has to make up her own mind about what she wants.  And they all lived happily ever after until the end of their days.  

New Track produced by Liquid Love Drops!

Mastering by Audible Oddities https://www.audibleoddities.com/

Music, arrangement and production by Liquid Love Drops https://soundcloud.com/liquidlovedrops

Liquid Love Drops – an exploration of hypnotic and enchanting sounds and entrancing patterns.

Liquid Love Drops has been entrancing booties across the bay and beyond, her vibrant personality, skills as a sound track selectress combined with a few of her ear worm bass heavy mixes and her high energy show that captures your attention and traps you on the dance floor.

As a professional sound selectress and dj, she has been recognized for her skills and chosen by other promoters to share the stage as an opening or closing act for acts such as Bassnectar, Glitch Mob, Beats Antique, Little Dragon, Thievery Corporation, Ooah, Edit, An-ten-nae, Marty Party, Joker, Kalya Scintilla, and Random Rab.

About Malian
I am a singer who writes her lyrics and melodies to the beat of her own heart’s drummer.  I am a second generation Peranakan Indonesian, and my ethnic group was the target of a genocide in Indonesia in 1965, the same year African Americans won the right to vote.  The powers that were had planned a genocide of my ethnic group in order to exploit our labor as a replacement for African American labor.
My grandfather was a witness to US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visiting Suharto to plan the genocide, and the rumors that were spread about Peranakan taking advantage of the forest dwelling Indonesians.  In fact the Peranakan were targeted because many of them were Communist and wanted to share wealth with the indigenous. 
My mom emigrated to the USA, where she met my dad, an Irish and Scottish American drummer.  I was born in Kansas City, where the vibrant live music scene made it possible to meet incredible musicians like Taj Mahal or Iris DeMent as a teenager.  I saw James Brown get down and saw BB King playing Lucille at festivals in the park.  As a young person, I realized how powerful it was for African Americans to tell their story through music in the long road to  civil rights.  As a Peranakan, it gave me hope.  If slavery is wrong for African Americans, it is wrong for everyone!
The corporate imperialism that benefits from exploitation of labor in Indonesia is based on a materialist value system that says spirit doesn’t exist, feelings don’t matter, and money is the only god.  In defiance to that system, I use my music to encode the values of the New Paradigm where science shows us that spirituality is real, love is real, and both are needed for surviving and thriving.  How we treat people, matters.
Using music to tell the story of my journey is a personal way to stand for the rights of Indonesians to be seen and heard, and to heal as a nation.  I stand with all people all over the world who are struggling for human rights and civil rights.

Get Up Angels lyrics

Get Up Angels

Extraordinary rendition

Wars of attrition

Economic kleptocracy

In the name of democracy

Fossil fuel energy

Serves the hegemony

Pumps Trumps’ liquidity

Trump’s liquidity

ROSNEFT

Blatant theft

Of our bequest 

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Culture jam

Connect with your fam

Spirit tribe

Land based vibe

No matter the color, be a stand for each other

No matter the color, be a stand for each other

Coming from love 

And bringing the light

Coming from love 

And bringing the light

Peaceful warriors are on the rise

Coming from love

Bringing the light

Peaceful warriors are on the rise

Coming from love

Bringing the light

Peaceful warriors are on the rise

Coming from love

Bringing the light

Peaceful warriors, peaceful warriors

Coming from love

Bringing the light

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Get up, Angels and spread your wings

Burning with justice, get up and sing

Burning with justice, get up and sing

EMPIRE by Malian lyrics

So many ways to be and do

We follow what we think is true

We fail, we learn, we grow, we change

Our natural rights remain the same.

So leave me my autonomy,

To choose what I want to be,

If I need to learn you need to teach

But maybe you could learn from me

(Chorus) Empire

Using all the ways and means to gain power

I wonder what it would be like

If we all did what’s right

And honor the light

Inside

Your impulse too consolidate

Is making life so second rate

When others’ voice you suffocate

We die when we cannot create

So get this monkey off my back

Consumerism it’s like crack

Manipulation is your tool

Assuming that we are all fools.

(Chorus)

Your fragile ego wants to see

Other people like machines

Reduced to doing what you bid,

Only servants of your id.

I’m honoring my inner spark

I won’t leave others in the dark

The day will come, the tide will surge

A global culture will emerge

From every heart and every soul

There is no centralized control

We start when we respect ourselves

And then connect with someone else.

(Chorus)

Be sincere, be sincere and love

Be sincere and love

This life so precious

Leaves me breathless

Journey into ethnography of whiteness without a higher degree: how I learned to stop worrying and send only love.

As an anthropologist who wanted to study whiteness and found very little interest or support inside of this traditionally colonial field of study, I think that time has shown us we actually need to deconstruct whiteness in order to solve climate change.  What creates our idea of what white people even are?  How can someone who is not white colored “act white”?  We have this collection of stereotypes about how white people act and what whiteness is, like being overly severe, being unforgiving and judgmental, being obsessed with control, cleanliness, punishment and so on.  

These qualities are all just too vague and disconnected to describe something that has so much influence on all our lives; which leads me to suggest that there is a massive amount of cultural work being done both to construct whiteness and make it a cohesive, coordinated cultural meme, and at the same time to disguise its true nature so that we come to associate whiteness with superficial outcomes only, such as having a clean house and enough money in the bank.

People who inquire into “whiteness” and what whiteness is, the cultural, emotional, and sociopolitical threads that weave whiteness together, are often taken aback by how shockingly immoral the answers are.  My guess is that we don’t even know the half, and if taken all together, the history of what we know today as whiteness, would be a gruesome litany that no one would want to read.  

When “people of color” – those who are not acculturated to whiteness – learn and pick up the trappings of whiteness in order to survive, they’re being extremely pragmatic.  What they don’t know is, what they’re actually getting into. From the outside, people of color judge “white people” for their extreme selfishness, lack of social conscience, ability to self regulate, and so on, but what they haven’t seen is that from the inside all of these apparent flaws are actually intrinsic values within the system of whiteness; that adapting to whiteness means that eventually these flaws will appear to be virtues.

I say appear to be virtues because from the standpoint of human civilization existing in harmony with nature, they are absolute vices and are antagonistic to the goal of an evolved human society that lives as a balanced part of a planetary ecosystem.

So, how do we resolve this tension between the sort of dark and unpleasant self torture that has defined the hegemonic approach to achievement and excellence, and the need for lasting change that retains the values of the goals and yet brings us there along a different path?

One answer would be to abandon the search for solutions inside of whiteness itself, and look to other cultures, specifically the much older cultures of Central and East Asia, as many in “Western countries” have done.  The popularity of yoga, Buddhism, Daoism, meditation and other Asian spiritual practices shows that there is a gaping hole in our whiteness civilization where our need for mental and spiritual training is not being met.  

Cultures of innovation, most specifically in Silicon Valley and within tech companies, intentionally use these ancient ideas and practices to remedy traditional “Western culture” or “whiteness” because it makes things better.  It makes communication better, it moves relevant ideas forward that might have otherwise been destroyed by a system of selfish agents, it creates products and experiences that are generally associated with a higher quality of life.

My hypothesis is that this culture of intentional investigation into the spiritual practices of nonwhite cultures and mending the wounded spaces within the “old paradigm”, should actually be expanded to a global level.