A white rose smells like living. I breathe it in to remind myself what it is to be missed from this dense embrace of Right-here-right-now.
A red rose looks like lure. I stare at it so that the fire in me sees it and tries to imitate it. Monkey see, monkey do can be used for good.
A lily looks like lust and smells like letting go. One can use them to let it go, literally.
The most relaxing sound is the laughter of a human challenged on their strongest territory, that innocent giggle mixed with the deeper spasms of hubris, evoking the joy of being close enough to the wounded gazelle.
In early mornings when the air is cool and it smells like dew, when the night faded, yet daylight is still not paying attention to me, I feel like me.
A tree is a thought, a forest an entire mind. I like to remember that they grow downwards, grounded in thin air and stuck with their roots searching for the center of the world.
A deep carpet of dead leafs is the unexplainable and the wind swirling them into invisible spirals is the fascination the unexplainable begets.
Metaphor is the map we use to navigate our geography of knowledge. A language is some signage on the map: which are the roads to walk on, what depicts topography, where is there some water around. I also carry my compass of belief on which I see which way is north. When my beliefs shatter, I can always look up to the sky inside myself to search for the shine of my heart, which is visible only at night, and always points my north. When I believe, it’s a constant day inside! It’s the angst that sets the sun of my drive.
We’re metaphor first creatures. I am one at least. Will you be one too? It’s more fun, the more you learn, to map the knowledge together.
Does a cat’s purr and thinly sliced pupils make you feel like they know everything and won’t tell? Does a child’s laughter look like spring? Only sometimes?
A warm sand beach with playful waves poking at it in relentless joy is the home I long for. Unlike Camus I cannot lose the sea, I never had it. Maybe only my sea of wonder, but this kind of sea doesn’t make poverty sumptuous for me. Poverty is still the wasteland incarceration of potential.
I would be a good space traveler because I love long walks. Long walks consume eagerness away. Eagerness is tiresome, like the apple fruit that hangs so heavy that it almost breaks the branch, but won’t just fall already, like that rosebud that failed to spark the blooming and it rests frozen into its failure.
You cannot find Jesus. I am dead serious. Once Jesus gets on the map, it gets in the map. Not a christian? Fear not, all religion will remap the map, for they all spill their supreme metaphors on the ones you carefully have drawn so far, smudging your knowledge, asking for your determined detachment right after it blew into the whims of the wind the intricate sand mandala of your soul.
See above? You can teleport inside your geography of knowledge: the subject is the portal. Unhappy with your setting? Change the subject. Are you the subject? Are you a subject?
I like to look at hands doing things. They are, for me, the reason we grew this world inside. We owe our brains to our fingers. When life got fingers it could finally put the universe on its pottery wheel.
Look at these letters right in front of you, these signs with the power of triggering your feelings, of changing your mind, of calling you into a place of common exploration, of rising your blood pressure, of making you blush because someone might know they made you horny and or childish. A letter, a sometimes curly line summoning then fiddling with time itself. See the efficiency of life?
Communication is all about a one on one shared map make believe.
My language is not made of letters though. I am a poor cartographer. On purpose. The roads of my knowledge map, all lead to treasure hunts. The water is sometimes an illusive oasis, other times a river of seas to get lost into. Cities of things I think about, villages of things I never understood, wilderness of serendipity testing the cadence of the sane cause and effect rhythm of my constant questioning, aroused by this silent reality’s ends that just won’t meet.
Slaughter of other humans, lovely occupation, been here since forever.
But we know what’s inside atoms! We inject our children with dead viruses and we eat chemicals that allow cuts filled with dirt to heal! If we do all this to survive, why do we then slaughter each other?
Porn is and has always been everywhere. From your modern browser’s history to your porcelain tea cups shamelessly depicting the small percent of spicy parts in the Kama Sutra. Did you know there is a pretty big part in the Kama Sutra about “relaxing” the woman before getting down and dirty? How about the part about the virtues of marriage? Anyway.
When I say everywhere, I say that fantasy itself is pornographic. You know, that part of thinking concerned with projecting your desirable sexual future.
Want less porn consumption? Stop teaching kids about bees and flowers and storks. Want even less porn consumption? Let’s open up sexuality, like we did with orientation. When will the day come when we can be again openly aroused? Want less porn overall? Why?
Instead of criticizing, or worrying about, what the watching of people doing the sexy time on camera does to kids and teens, why don’t we make sex normal again? We don’t, because we’re set deep inside to fear sex, because we’re set deep inside to fear ourselves.
I find a super tight resemblance between porn and soap opera. Not an easy thing to swallow, and it is a subject for another context, but I want to say this:
Women and men don’t look for sexual satisfaction in porn, they look for emotional fulfillment.
Alain de Botton has a cool talk on this, basically that sex is more about the soul than the body. However, it is true only while your perspective is from inside to outside, while when you look the other way around, it is just sex. What I mean by that is: when you hear some one describing their sexuality, don’t turn into an instant psychoanalyst and draw conclusions on personality because of fetish. You will be wrong if you do it.
But in Emma’s piece the problem is not the fact people watch porn. It is the fact that the content of porn is demeaning for women and bad for men. However, the content of pornography will change when it will be a different industry producing it. Porn today is made by an industry made of ignorant people, who are held ignorant by continuously being kept at the edge of outcast. If you want to do porn you better want it for the rest of your life.
There is no real input of creativity and art into pornography because the world still clings to chastity as virtue. When chastity will be just another option, perhaps gonzo will shrink and meaningful porn will rise up: in numbers, then in popularity.
Porn is popular with teens because it is still something to hide and it still indicates a rebel status. Just like fifty shades of grey. It is the “oooh, I shouldn’t be doing this”. But, at the same time, it is more, much more: with all the progress about being open about your sexual orientation, we’re still a closeted world in regard to sexuality.
In “You’re the worst”, a TV show, there is a dialogue like: “don’t tell me you’re one of those creeps with a foot fetish”. As long as a fetish springs up a label, porn will always be an emotional band aid. And it is so for both men, the horde of wanking dudes, and the, by comparison, select few women who venture into this bottomless pit of lust.
Women don’t barter sex. Women barter men’s emotional fulfillment. And so do men.
This is key to grasp porn properly. I am not talking about abused women or abusive men. They are not the bulk of the society. Feminism explains patriarchy very wel,l but we should not conflate the privilege of being born a male, with the intent driven abuse of women by men. They are different things.
It is a common misconception that in relationships, and in society in general, women barter sex for things. That is wrong. The greater aspect of a sexual relation is about the fulfillment of desire. In the emotionally stunted group of men raised so by our civilization, desire is the root of a general schizophrenia.
Most men live in a state of inner conflict between what they are and what they’re suppose to be, just like women. They suffer less than women, because, like racism, the system is gamed so that they are pampered with privilege to ease the pain of the their schizophrenic mind, lacking emotional expression, outward motivation and any sort of connection to their inside self. Be a man! No shit.
I don’t glide easily on the idea that men learn from porn how to behave in bed. It is true! And it hurts like hell. But this is how male sexual education works because we’re making it so for thousands of years.
Do mothers or schools open up the subject properly and then their kids get slammed with porn at random? No, porn is a seek for what is unknown. For example, in medieval times men of means went to courtesans, sex workers, where the “secrets” of sex were “taught”. In Chinese and Indian sexual tradition always special women, mistresses, priestesses, these knew the secrets, never the wife, the mother or the common girlfriend. Why?
When I was very young there was no internet. Yet we still “learned” about sex from sex stories, magazines, tapes and whatever, including pornographic depictions of sex from older boys do were doing it. What those boys talked about isn’t even on the entire PornHub.
Porn is free because we still can’t pay for sex.
Sex work is, in most parts of the world, hugely problematic. It is a way to work which has been constantly persecuted by society as a whole, and now it is infested with the vermin that grow in the rot of anything deemed illegal or over regulated.
When sex work will be as normal as being a bank teller, and as easy, and as safe, sex will become accessible. Right now it is not, and porn fills this void avidly. Sex is, in the US, in the EU, for the most part still inaccessible.
There isn’t even a serious market for female buyers of sex which is not because women don’t want that, but because of the bad idea that women “get it” whenever they want. Which makes them vulnerable. The hypocrisy is huge.
Pornography works because sex sucks.
Humans are thread full. We have this illusion of cohesiveness, like we’re the same in all dimensions. But, c’mon, we’re so not. We change, we shift, we switch, every single minute of our existence, constantly pulling on threads that unravel some behavior.
The brain tries everything and picks the best guess. And we don’t accommodate this very well, especially in our sex lives. How many people are full frontal about what they want in bed, without metaphor, without fear of rejection, and even more, how many people are by default willing to try?
By default? Edging towards zero, because as we grew up our sexuality was non existent to our social circles.
This guess work done by the brain, which I strongly believe to happen, is even more relevant about sexuality. Men and women get turned on by how a voice sounds or by eye contact. What do we do about it? We ask people to not get distracted by open sexual stimuli. How sane is that?
When will we be able to be openly aroused?
Openly aroused, yes. Making horny normal and as mundane as a headache or hunger. We take lunch breaks, do we take sex breaks? This sounds outrageous, and it should, because we’ve conditioned ourselves for it, but it isn’t.
Did it ever occur to us that we like watching others have sex because we used to see others having sex all the time? People were doing it in front of other people since forever and the hair thin slice of history taken over by religious based civilization will never make up for the large chunk of history made by natural human sexuality.
Why was I prompted to write this?
Because sex and sexuality has always been the liberator of mankind. It will always be so.
Because this new trend is getting louder, this idea that men suck as sexual partners because all they do as teenagers is watch porn and then they grow into cavemen exploiting women. This idea that men are bad in bed and abusive towards women because they look at moving pictures of depicted sexual fantasy is gaining support. And it is wrong.
Because I believe it is another ugly head of the utter mind control we’re subdued into as children by a society that builds cohesion by fighting nature.
Because, we accuse without understanding first, and then we feel entitled to say: qui s’excuse s’accuse, which almost all the time is a fallacy because we believe to be doing righteous accusations in the first place.
Whenever sexuality is talked about in the open, just like the last century’s classification of orientation as disease, society draws conclusions way outside the scope of the subject which is sex, not social standing nor good humanity.
It is not movies and websites that make men treat women bad, just as it is not the gore and blood in TV flicks that make people kill each other. Now that we’re at it, there is a horrendous amount of emotional pornography at children viewing hours broadcast daily an no one bats an eye.
The fencing of sexuality will not ever in a million years make men better, and, yes, pornographic consumption (in metaphor too) is an expression of sexuality.
Up until the sixth grade, I talked to myself in gibberish that sounded like English. Long conversations, sometimes out loud, especially while walking home from school on really windy days, making sure thus that no one heard me.
In the seventh grade I changed schools. At the previous joint we studied French and German. At the new place the English teacher asked me to read some fragment of literature, so she could assess my aptitude, not skill, since I hadn’t ever studied English up to that point.
I did a perfect reading, accent and clarity and all, along with a very accurate translation. She was incredulous for a bit and looked into my seventh grader wide eyes for a lie, asking me if I’d taken English classes outside of school curricula.
Sure I didn’t, but all the English sounding gibberish eased my brain on memorizing real phrases and catching the subtle pauses between words and the language’s tempo, just like music.
Suddenly the songs and the movies started to make sense, I understood.
Now the incredible bit: I have not read one full page of written English before that classroom event. I can’t believe it either.
Since then, I believe a child’s learning to speak and an adult’s learning of a foreign language are very similar brain processes and that the brute force, grammar first, “logical” methods of teaching the languages of the world are really broken.
Yet, you see, faking it till you’re making it has one downside. I hated memorizing the if clause and I hated memorizing the tenses. I once asked one teacher, in college, while she was drawing on the blackboard an arrow with markers for each tense: “M’am are you telling me a native speaker keeps that little arrow of yours in their head at all times?”,
“Yes!”, she replied with a dubious and bolstered confidence in her voice.
Didn’t change my mind. The downside of faking it till you’re making it is an inherent stubbornness one should be wary of.
Like, as a person and a human. Let’s say we make some androids to visit distant planets and, who knows, maybe meet the local intelligent lifeforms they might encounter there.
Should your self be cloned and uploaded into an android visiting the universe on behalf of the human kind? Do you represent humanity? Should you?
I mean, really, beyond what the body can do for you, skin, hair, teeth aside. How is your personality in its entirety? Do you like yourself?
Is a part of having children a way of plastering ourselves into the future? Does it work? I mean, if I think about myself, I conclude constantly that I am an accident. A happy accident, because I like myself. But an accident nevertheless.
On rare occasions I find my parents in me, usually in the badly lit portions of my self. Some other times I effectively recognize physical features of theirs when looking at my self. But all superficial. I always say the greatest thing my parents have done, indirectly, was to let me be, or in easier terms, to leave me alone. Most of the time they succeeded at doing this.
So I plowed ahead in my life as best as I could. My answer to the question is yes, I like myself, I would have me embedded as a software kernel inside some android’s self. It won’t be me, this is not about immortality, it is about a self aggrandizing perspective I have on the fact that I ended up midlife as an open minded, somewhat kind, somewhat loving, somewhat funny, somewhat experienced human. Oh and I have an above average introspective capacity, which I owe to the fact that I learned what loneliness can be used for.
Do you like yourself? How out are you to yourself? In my book, this is key. I constantly preach the difference between sincerity and honesty. I strive to be honest to the world and sincere to myself. Sincerity cuts deep and lets the light in the closets we keep building. I have outed myself to me a dozen times at least. Hurts like hell but less than what the others can do. I find lying to be moral, deceit isn’t.
Here is a thesis, the world is a better place when we’ll genuinely like ourselves. No egomaniacs, just people true to themselves who work on knowing what they want and who they are. Egomania is always about the others in the circle, a never ending fear of loosing the center spot, forget about that.
Do you like yourself? No love, loving yourself is a weird subject. We all have a love-hate relationship with ourselves. But, I mean, do you like you? Enough to set yourself up as a token for all of us?
Another thesis, democracy and its tool of political participation is terribly affected by people not liking their selves and there is a constant gap of resources filled by egomaniacs.
Do you know that saying: you can’t love no one if you don’t love yourself first? Bullshit. Of course you can. You can hate yourself most of the time and still be madly in love. But, can you be loved, if you don’t like yourself?
We’re second after Syria at the rate of diaspora increase, so I ask: does population extraction exist as a globalization strategy or effect?
I live in Eastern Europe, a place we like to self promote as CEE, which means Central and Eastern Europe, but don’t be fooled, it is only eastern in everyone’s mind, whatever central part ever was, now it is actually western for at least a decade.
Actually, you know what’s funny? In Europe, the bigger the GDP and the higher the civilization, the more western the country becomes. It is a magic place Europe, from this point of view, no middle ground exists. The Berlin wall collapsed in brick form, but is phoenix like reborn as a sociopolitical mind wall. Your compass doesn’t work in the EU.
In Romania you are in the East. You are in the eastest of the East, because any more east and it is Russia. Unless you still hope or root for Ukraine or count Moldavia as a country. Anyway.
By too much of a good thing I mean that we’re part of the EU, and that is good. But, you see, we’re in that second hand part of the EU, the poor countries part. There is no shame in that. The US has second hand states, not everyone lives in California or Texas or NY. It’s OK. What it isn’t OK is that you can buy your way out of this country, and by doing it you have a zillion odds to be much better off, whatever you do.
We’re no Mexico, we’re no Bangladesh either. It is weird, apparently we’re better off. No cartels, and no 10 dollar a month jobs. But at the same time there is this other thing: people leave. En masse. The problem is we have nobody around left. This place is running on leftovers. As soon as anybody levels up they leave.
In Romania we witness population extraction at its finest.
You see, in Romania it doesn’t matter if you are doing well financially, because we’re in the middle of an authentic twenty first century exodus: we are the runner up country concerning immigration into Germany and Denmark, and second in the overall increase in diaspora size in the World, bested only by Syria. Syria!
Because of the exodus there is no one left to attend to this place. Literally.
No doctors, but also no plumbers. No nurses, but also no construction workers. No programmers, but also no baby sitters.
Entire generations of old and new doctors, women and men, left for salary increases of tenfold. Hard to counter offer. At the uneducated end, about all serious, hardworking and good people work for companies that move them in group contracts all over Europe. Au pair and care taking jobs swept away women like a giant depressurization hole. Infrastructure and real estate pulled men like magnets. Opportunity mesmerized all the educated men and women.
It is not only about the money. It is also about overall quality of life. The quality of life in Romania is very, very low. But not because it is as bad as say, … Thailand or Pakistan. It is good in the demagogic sense. You earn your paycheck, the paycheck is good. But the country doesn’t do what you pay your dues for! You vote but you can’t compete with half the population in rural areas, those areas prince Charles adores, manipulated without shame into what to vote.
You cannot trust the police to have the capacity to protect you. We have too little police, that is why all those globe trotters touting the coolness of this land can do undoable things here: there is simply not enough law enforcement for anything petty. Unless you rape or kill or kidnap, you are filed at the bottom of the stack.
In Romania when you call 112 (our version of the 911) you need a script:
my chest hurts
I can’t breathe
I am thirty years old
I have my children at home
That makes you a red code. Young, heart attack, has kids. Or whatever. Otherwise your ambulance will place you on hold. It doesn’t matter what exactly you are and what you feel, this is your ticket for a slight chance. Because that’s all you get, a slight chance. We had a great artist die this week because the ambulances are staffed with the worst, no one wants those jobs.
This place is ran by people who do nothing to stop population extraction, although it appears to be a very serious issue. You must learn medicine, program your own software, build your own house, fix your own car, change your own pipes … if only we’d be able to fly our own planes.
A couple of years ago we lost a plane. Our national emergency flight recovery service failed to provide any kind of accurate data, it was some local simple people who ventured on the mountains nearby to find the wreck.
We had a pretty draconic school system producing people poached all over the world. For about twenty six years we’ve reformed the shit out of it, that it now produces simpletons who fail national tests, each one in two students. Everyone who makes a decent living by European standards sends their kids to private schools. We sure did copy the US here bit by bit.
Prince Charles is thrilled of this country. It doesn’t help, he is thrilled of exactly what we try to fix.
People right here on Medium love its second world charms, cheap booze and semi legal prostitution. You see, were prostitution legal we’d be too first world to be “exotic”. Were booze as expensive as it should be, darn us savages.
Population extraction makes for an aging population. It is a dangerous thing for a NATO member, home to some fresh US missiles pointing at Kremli … the sky! Population extraction fails the US plans to keep favorable political actors in power, but boy does it benefit the UK (hypocrites), France or Germany.
We Romanians are sick of what westerners like so much, the freedom, the loose regulations, the bad busses and trains that never take you anywhere on time, the “vibrant” nightlife which is actually a big coverup for shady business. We had too much of this “won freedom”, “original democracy”, “balkan capitalism” and we flee.
If you plant, say, strawberries, there is no one to pick them up. You pick them up yourself, with help from family and whatever is left, let them rot. But the Spanish strawberries and oranges and whatnot are all harvested by Romanians.
A myth: Microsoft’s second most spoken language is Romanian. Romanian tech scene: outsourcing all the way.
The free market over here is completely free. Like in almost libertarian level free: no regulations because of no enforcement. We have had this problem: disinfectant material in all Romanian hospitals had a ten times lower concentration. The key man committed “suicide” in the middle of the investigation. I won’t repeat news headlines but this particular incident is horrific for me. Oh and the one where we couldn’t house and treat in aseptic conditions 146 people who got burned in a club that caught fire, in no hospital in the entire country. In a club that caught fire because no one enforces the laws, the safety laws!
Population extraction is not a strictly Romanian phenomenon. It is common in many places. But hey, we’re second place in a fifteen year span at this. Bragging rights?
Too much globalization too. There is nothing left in our production lines. We output just about nothing significant. That is another reason people leave.
Population extraction works in favor of a state Church. We have one. We’ll have a two hundred million euro cathedral. I don’t care, but it is funny nonetheless. Population extraction makes a perfect colony country, a place where cheap workforce is produced “naturally” and whatever is not extracted is a marketplace for European surplus.
Fact: it is very hard to find stuff which is not especially produced for Romanian and other poor markets. Brands mean nothing here. From cigarettes to chocolate. Fanta tastes worse. The one chance you’ve got is when supermarkets, discount stores and corner shops, which are all international commerce chains, bring in stock surplus. That is when the mockery is even crueler when you buy the same thing from the same brand and it is ten times better suddenly. You look at the label, and you know: no Romanian instructions on the packaging.
My biggest future fear is old age. As I am young, paid well, healthy and hopeful: I manage. This is what we Romanians do best natively, we manage. But when we get to feeble to do this we’re faced with the emptiness of a system that we’re paying to exist, an old age stolen by a global experiment that no one seems to monitor anymore.