Society

Blank.

I sit and stare at my screen
Trying to find the words to say
But to tell all that I’ve seen
Well… I’ve only got a day

For every finger we point
There are three pointing back
At us for our inadequacies
And corresponding fallacies

They push you to the edge
Only to knock you down
Then blame you for being on the cliff
When they nudge and you crash and burn

Instead of changing minds
My actions are seen as crimes
Being different comes with a price
One I’m paying with my life

No one seems to see
That society creates agony
The amount of negativity
A result of truths unseen

Unseen to the average human
Sheltered in their comfort zones
Safety nets of their construct
Phased by life’s cyclones

All that we perceive
We trust the concrete
All that we can see
Is our defined reality
We fear the unknown and the unseen
For it unravels our insecurities
Everything we think we perceive
The lies we’re taught to believe
The person we’re told to be
Is a manifestation of all that is
A social construct – a mythical bliss
~McGordan~

The Change

This story is inspired by Huxley’s Brave New World and Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World. 

He swung his rucksack over his shoulder and pulled the door shut behind him as he left the house, once again ready to fly solo into the battlefield. It was an average sunny morning with nothing new except his thoughts and theories which consumed him faster than the speed of light. All geared up with his knives and a crossbow, he skipped down the stairs, realising that the agonising discipline he had endured for the past decade was finally coming into play. He’d never understood why he’d been put through combat training, until about a year ago…

It was late July, halfway into the summer, that he was navigating around various city-states in his surrounding area. In this age of technology, though, his exploration was mostly conducted by travelling through cyberspace. He would navigate from state to state, find the most feasible settling point, and experiment by scouting around the boarders. For months, he had established Influence over certain city-states and civilisations, but it wasn’t until November that he had stumbled upon a civilisation that fully encompassed the types of battles for which he was trained.

In months, he had created a weapon that could ultimately destroy a civilisation of Megalopolises; a weapon that would break through the defense of Superficiality and thus expose and attack flaccidity of the archenemy both as an entity and as individuals. The downside, however, was that his weapon also unmasked his own weaknesses, and he needed to reconstruct a certain set of defenses accordingly. However, as he had allied with a small but strong Civilisation, he ended up investing most of his energy into fueling the weapon and hadn’t quite strengthened his defenses, so just over half a year later, when the Megalopolis decided to unite and declare war against this Civilisation, it was hardly a secret that his stronghold came crashing down, leaving fragments of debris on everything he touched.

With each battle, he felt weakened and defeated. But what his enemies didn’t know is that each scar they inflicted only fueled the fire and passion it took to take down this flawed and corrupt system. Two months after the initial battle, he decided to coalesce with the Army General to enhance the pre-existing weapon and defend it with double the aegis. They devised a strategy that was everything he had hoped, months ago, to enforce, but given the fact that the weapon was still in its phase of refurbishment, he decided that it was still too early in the game to bring out the big guns and fire the ultimatum. Instead, the Army decided it best to ultilise the information uncovered by their diplomats to administer alternate methods.

Finally, after three and a half months of provocation and warfare, he felt ready to save the society from falling down a swirling abyss of soon-to-be Betas of the Brave New World. The Civilisation had devised a strategy to conquer the boundaries of a backward society and catapult these Megalopolises into progressing in a universally sanctioned direction. Fueled with a passion that went both ways, he was fully equipped to train certain Melee units to defend their assets and enhance the skills they had already developed, but also to take on the antagonistic opposition from Greater Civilisations.

Each Melee Unit he was handed to train was equipped with their own set of weapons, and it was his job to cultivate these units into armies that could handle the Great Battle which was yet to come. These little battles that were coming his way at a rapidly unexpected pace were merely his next level of training, which is why he understood the importance of training his Melee Units as rigorously as possible.

The Great Battle was one he knew he was definitely not ready to face yet: What happens when his Melee Units reach their Age of Enlightenment and besiege the Megalopolis? How hard will the Megalopolis fight back then? Somehow though, his reassurance lay in the fact that they knew how to strategise around these impediments, which is why he allowed himself to sustain a few broken bones and scratches here and there: he knew they would grow back stronger, and that he would be able to take on the Ultimate Battle when it stares him in the face. For now, he just has to go on training his Units, and defend their Freedom without the Megalopolis trying to eradicate it. Being one of the few Civilisations in the Information Era, he knew he would have to wait a long time until his Melee Units moved out of the Industrial Era. That, or he needed to find a new method of combat training.

With every demonstration during the training sessions, his Melee Units felt threatened and weakened, but they didn’t yet understand that this was his way of strengthening them. They didn’t understand that the only way to grow was to conquer the existing Challenges before they could be upgraded to a stronger Unit. After three months of battling and Melee Training, he had finally come to discover that although his armies were equipped with tons of state-of-the-art weaponry, none of them had been trained to actually use any of it, so in the first few sessions when he asked them to try to use it, they all ended up shooting themselves in the foot or poking an eye out one way or another.

In his mind palace, he realised that these armies would take much more training that he had anticipated, which was surprising considering how modern their military technology and weaponry supplies were. He knew what had to be done, and knew what the ultimate goal was, but as for how to win the battle, well first, he had to decided which ones were worth the fight. But he knew. He knew that the Ultimate Battle, or the Great Battle, would only be fought when he had enough Flight Units to intercept the opposition. And for now, he would continue with his various forms of research that would provide substance and options for stronger weapons and more fine-tuned training tools to cater to the unpredicted needs of units that have been bred but not trained. He was tired of seeing his government funding the nation’s military but not actually training the army to use the tools, and considering the fact that this Megalopolis was considered to be one of the most advanced Civilisations in the whole world, his jaw dropped when he discovered that one of his Units whom he had trained for a sheer 9-month period had more common sense than the entire government. They were living proof that his expectations for the Units were not irrational or impractical, and though he may be somewhat idealistic at times, each losing battle only drove his cynicism, which in turn nourished his Strength.

And although he was very well trained and equipped to attack and dominate, the Civilisation didn’t feel that he was ready to be put on the frontlines yet. Instead, they were training his defenses and setting up the battlefield, so that when they did unleash his Ultimatum, it would act like an abstract Apache AH-64 trained to only shoot down Enemy Thoughts but keep the civilians and their Freedom safe. Tough and heart-wrenching as the process sometimes was, he promised himself that he would live to see the day when the Change took place. When the Change he had spent a decade trying to implement happens, he would be on the frontlines with a PHASR rifle to blind and suspend Enemy Thoughts, and an MAARS to launch grenades of Liberated Knowledge which his Melee Units will use to defend their Liberated Minds. So for now, no matter how much damage he undergoes, as long as he has his moments to fortify and heal, he will live to be there when The Change happens, and he would sacrifice his reputation to achieve the ultimate goal of breaking through the Stereotypes and Traditionalism of a conservative, unenlightened and ignorant Megalopolis.

Until then, he wasn’t fighting alone, and besides his immediate allies, he had, within his mind palace, the defenses of Machiavelli, Huxley, Kafka, Sartre, Hobbes, Rousseau, Thoreau and Kant. For now, he told himself 8 words:

頂天立地
永不放棄

A Decade

Searching to find myself

But all I find is you
I can hardly stand myself
So what am I to you?
~Imagine Dragons~

Midnight struck and he was still roaming the streets, trying to find his way home. He’d taken a different route tonight, one that he hadn’t frequented for almost a decade. Much had changed since he’d last set foot in that area, and he still remembered it as a construction site – a section of the train station that was still amid the process. A decade ago, he’d sat on the concrete underneath the stairs, listening to his MP3 player, waiting for the bus. His friends would be frolicking around on the pavement, doing whatever it was fifteen year olds did to keep themselves busy.

A decade ago was a different era – although this generation had only just set foot in the twenty-first century, the build-up of the two decades prior had led to this moment: him, sitting in the shade with a device small enough to pass as a lighter, containing around thirty songs. This generation which had turned the intangible into something tangible – music at your fingertips, any time, anywhere – and that was his spot, every Saturday afternoon at around half three.

Now, a decade later he set foot down those stairs he once adored, but the unfamiliarity of the new structure threw him off for a moment, and he fumbled down the stairs in utter confusion. The concrete on which he used to sit had been converted into a power generator (or so said the sign), the pavement had been paved and smoothed out, and the road which the bus always took looked much longer and further in hindsight. Perhaps he really was that much smaller, physically, a decade ago…

For once, however, he stopped to ponder more on the change in his surroundings and society rather than changes in himself, for it was at that moment when he saw the parallels between the modernised structure and the structure of his own life. It dawned on him that every construct can be destroyed (or modified). That vision which was usually so self-aware suddenly became peripheral vision – a moment when he realised that he cared more about the great wide world than what was going on in his head. He almost smacked himself in the head when he sussed the triviality of his self-interested ego, one that he would try repeatedly to kick it to the curb or drown it in a cesspool, but each failure only fuelled his rage, until he had enough to plot revenge.

And with that, he took out a pen…
Gordan, June 2014

No construct is indestructible.

Social Darwinism

“Of all the problems which will have to be faced in the future, in my opinion,
the most difficult will be those concerning the treatment of the inferior races of mankind.”
~Leonard Darwin~

 

Used to be ignorant bout the hip hop culture
Lyrics in clubs ’bout men acting like vultures
Rapaciously finding a chick to divulge her
Never stopped to think that maybe he’d convulsed her
The irony of it all is that I did just the same
New to the scene? Be a playa in the game
Running crazed and wild, impossible to tame
Got that notorious rep, so-called social fame
Never was a fan of monogamy
“Misogyny” they call it but I disagree
Fundamentalists coin the term “sodomy”
Definitions are subjective, the lines are blurry
But hearing new lyrics with deeper meaning
Not all this bullshit ’bout sex and cheating
Rap is the new method of teaching
Theories of how the system’s dealing
With social injustice – innocents busted
Failed by the system they defencelessly trusted
Education gave hope then the government crushed it
Catering to elitists, their money’s their sustenance
Six decades of developing racial equality
Then enters the new wave of sexuality
But classism, Marxism, social mortality
Watching it lose to immorality (or “watching it incept social reality”)
Racial equality, elusive at best
They call me deluded, saying “give it a rest”
Everyone wants liberty, and yet
It’s colonial history, not f***ing progress
No one really tries to sort out this mess
It ain’t on the surface: underlying distress
Religion embraces it as “God’s test”
Saying “just face it, consider yourself blessed.”
A passion fuelled by harboured resentment
Towards masking the truth with falsified presentment
Then covering lies with a monetary blanket
Proves accuracy of philosophies ancient
Turmoil of our world leaves nothing mundane
Even if the surface drives you insane
Strategic moves in this societal game
Fraternising with the enemy chain
Disenfranchising their right to remain
In positions of power only ever abused
Taste their own medicine – let them be accused
Of misuse, excuse, being abstruse and obtuse

If these words you can’t even comprehend
Then maybe it’s about time that you descend
From that point of authority – absolute majority
Make those sacrifices you promised the minorities
Equality in wage, race, gender and policy
Here’s an idea: sort out your priorities

Everything I rant about y’all know what I’m like
Soon as I’m inspired all I do is write
My sanctimonious version of what’s wrong and right
To ignorant asses who’re societally blind
Treating us like we’re just a f***ing statistic
Brutality through corruption – it’s capitalistic
Don’t tell me that my words here are uncharacteristic
There’d be no need for them if had decent heuristics
They tell me what I’m writing is plain narcissistic
Idealistic, unrealistic, and pure antagonistic
But that ain’t f***ing true, go learn your linguistics
It’s unspoken truths – I’m cynically pessimistic
Socialistic, journalistic, some say pantheistic
All it comes down to a world so hedonistic
Consumed by whatever you call materialistic
I ain’t here to preach but I just wanna speak it
Get it all out there: it’s called expressionistic
So don’t tell me that I’m being impressionistic
So it renders these thoughts just floating around
The only way I can drown out the the sounds
Of these speculations and deep meditation
Are the method of writing these outcries down
Manifestation of thoughts into reality
Turning conjecture into actuality
Finding the links and commonalities
While assimilating to so-called municipality
The abstracts of life – pure supposition
Molecules and atoms of human disposition
At wit’s end trying to make decisions
Concretising everything ever envisioned
Knowingly constructing a palatial realm
Engulfed by a subconscious impossible to helm
Unspoken truths emerge – we’re overwhelmed
Defying reality, in our essence we whelm
Back and forth with rationalisations
Escaping to a world they call “Imagination”
A utopian reality of our own creation
Releasing and deposing all frustration
Inner voices just bounce around and echo
Off the walls of our mind palaces, labyrinths, chateau
Teachings of Hobbes, Marx, Kant and Rousseau
Camus, Sartre, Machiavelli, Thoreau
Zealots of the past inspiring insurgence Revolutionising reality as innovation emerges
As particles of both worlds inevitably converge
You do what you can till the storms disperse

If these words you can’t even comprehend
Then maybe it’s about time that you descend
From that point of authority – absolute majority
Make those sacrifices you promised the minorities
Equality in wage, race, gender and policy
Here’s an idea: sort out your priorities.

Mikaela Gordan, 2014

I’m In Love with Poisoning

Would you allow our play to leave no bone unbroken?
~AFI~

 

You always remember your firsts.

An experience cannot (and should not) be explained, it can only be appreciated.

Rather than explaining an experience, one may romanticize it; romanticize, to freeze a moment and express it as it was felt. Romanticize, not romance as the definition of love, but romanticizing an experience so beautiful that a memory created should not be erased.

One can romanticize an experience, and thus freeze-frame it with as much detail and description, to come back to the memory and evoke an emotion that in time becomes a part of history. But is that not what emotion is, after all? Is it not partially a correlation between remembered feelings?

When one reaches the age of reason – or rather, when one has dealt with a history so “eventful” and challenging; when one has learned to cope and deal with the perils of maturing, it hits a pinnacle of emotional capacity. At that stage, one does not often deal with new emotions, rather a correlation between experiences felt between separate events.

Receiving one’s first gift is an amazing experience: for every gift received thereafter always brings us back to our first experience of receiving a gift. The remembered emotion; the remembered experience.

Photos speak a thousand words, but words themselves can freeze a moment and record the experience as it is felt. One does not explain the experience – one wants to know it as a memory and not recreate it as a fantasy. Expressing the memory, romanticizing an experience is what provokes passion. It is a metaphorisation of an abstract reality – but reality nonetheless. When one’s surrealism and reality intertwine and colour the memory which was meant to be black and white, the contrivance in metaphysics renders an explosion in an allegorical universe.

Every detail, every “mundane triviality,” if romanticized as beautifully as experienced, becomes the foundation for a memory, and in turn adds substance to what is commonly recognized as “prosaic.” Every limitation has a loophole: every limitation has a weakness designed to be broken through.

Moments pass; memories linger.

Retrospections last; experiences remembered.

Our emotional memory bank is resilient and buoyant. As we analyse our present in relation to our past, our experiences tolerance and acceptance level expands. All is proportionate: our experiences determine our values and priorities. The parallels between our pain and pleasure capacity are, in every respect, connected. If one has felt deep pain, one will (at any point in life) experience the same proportion of happiness.

The equilibrium and equanimity that one develops through experiences is undeniably remarkable.

Anyone can write about pain – transcribing happiness is challenging.

And to romanticize happiness – an experience so pure and so gratifying – divulges the experience to an unmitigated vertex.

An apogee. An obelisk. A culmination.

A climax.

Experiences can be frozen and treasured, preserved deep in the vault of an emotional memory bank.

Experiences and memories, when romanticised, merges the line between fantasy and memory.

Our concern for complications renders the negligence of simplicity.

        But the beauty of it all lies in the simplicity that the memory is not a construction – the simplicity of its surrealism.

Spectrum

Wearing your heart like a stolen dream
Opening skies with your broken keys.
~Zedd~

And as the realisation that a reality may soon fade into a memory, I find myself animating words and scenarios in hopes that I can forever cherish the memory with a decor so relevant to the image.

Sounds and music an instantaneous trigger; portraits of each yesterday flood my consciousness with a hunger for just a little longer, a thirst for inspiration. There it was, within reach: but so was a fear that a firm grip on this dream would only push it away. I wanted so badly to embrace every essence of richness and cognition.

“A kindred know-it-all” was the chosen phrase, quoted directly and without paraphrasing. Perhaps the acknowledgement of an association too blatant, yet amidst a silence which is yet to be bestowed, a captivating endearment echos within the empty walls.

Thoughts, images, memories, ideas seep into my cognisance as I dwell on every word once spoken. Analysing the reasons behind each word, contrasting intent and expression.

Paradoxical as it all may be, the fact is that it’s quite possible my expectations were somewhat subjective. Daring to venture into the realms of the unknown has always been my forte – it just so happens that the forte I have stumbled upon at this moment has very obvious unknowns.

True beauty masked by a chassis of diction, academics and knowledge. Wisdom hidden in the crevices of each broken crack. Magnetism radiating from behind every locked door.

A forte not abandoned, but holding secrets waiting to be discovered. It’s shadows and strange sounds driving out unwanted visitors, pushing away strange characters.

A forte, challenging any bold adventurer to explore, apprehensive about a new traveler disrupting a peace and quiet one has become accustomed to. A forte, waiting to be discovered, waiting for its secrets to be revealed – waiting for the right hands to appreciate its fragility.

A forte, robust and beautiful, but mounted in the distance, far away from all. Hidden by the purlieus of every distance and gap between the forte and human interaction. Not inaccessible to those within proximity, but only the brave and perceptive dare to go the distance to enter this forte.

Perhaps one may have been granted a slight glimpse at the treasures inside, and yet extenuating circumstances prevented the traveler from entering the forte per se.

Whether it be a change in weather, a slip of a foothold; whether it be an obstacle or hindrance, a trap or a trigger.

Whatever the reason, when an adventurer is prepared to go forth into an unknown realm, he has always accounted for variable change.

And thus, this variable change may even result in being chained to the walls in the dungeon, far, far away from audibility (but not too far that he is impervious). Chained, while his screams are silenced by a burning desire that cooperation may be the only way out.

So he considers surrendering  because he made it in. Despite the forte’s attempts at scaring him off, his stubborn yet futile attempts at digging for treasure satisfy his rebellion against common sense. He chooses to stay rather than bolt, unless four walls close in on him and the foundations of the forte shatter.

Though that is entirely unlikely.

But then again, the forte has not been fully explored. Any movement, absolutely any movement, could result in chaos and disruption.

To risk, or not to risk.

Braveheart.