Prologue: A treatise of the heart and mind.
The naughty years were kind. I lament this reflection, as my own droops in the window marred by a misty rain.
Hope was persistent while truth was still shy. It hid behind spreadsheets, PowerPoints, and occasional headlines.
We tucked every fact neatly into a compartment and delivered it before or after the sale of something more glamorous. Or at least, convenient.
Fuck, we were stupid.
A patent for your thoughts.
This is the promise young people broke in the decade to follow.
No meme left unaltered or undiminished. This is their reality (or lack thereof). They are most in tune with the persuasion offered by perceptions that are free. The relative song is dissonant. Literally. Dank and dissonant.
I cringe as a child tumbles down a hill and rises to cry... but the anguish is extinguished by a blur and distortion. The maker edited over the painful reality to render it funny. This is what a boy tells me, his wisdom assured by millions of peers.
Any intent to make one feel sad for the child has been dominated. Easily. There is a joyful release in the freedom from propaganda. We don't know this child. We don't know the pain. We own our disengagement.
It's fucking sick.
What injustice might they feel when the pain is real and cannot be edited?
Perhaps we are seeing this unleashed in bullets. Knotted in nooses.
Perceptions used to be hard won: earned by the generation before us or acquired by academic endeavor or literary escapade.
Perception frames a nation, a cult, or mobilization into battle.
A leader can hold our attention underwater, to drain all other senses of acuity, and focus our pain to the cause.
Few subscribe readily, now, to this kind of prison. Knowingly, anyways.
I write this while acknowledging I am entirely complicit. No word written here is without a ripple.
I'm seeking your mind. Hard. Your heart, harder.
You are seeking sense and belonging. But softly. That is the only way that is safe.
That is the rub. You may squint. Or pause to deepen your grasp of my ephemeral sentiment. But you've made no commitment here to a new perspective, while my words are now committed.
I can only hope. And tell the truth.
Let's see if it sticks, as we entangle each other in this story, knowingly or not.
V e l a G a z i n