"The mental struggle in human relations is shared by all of us, and we can see ourselves in Victor, in Tim, in Carl, in those beloved relatives you've never got to know well enough, in the alcoholic neighbor, in the militant atheists, in the street preachers, in the unknown victims and may interleave with the experiences of other peoples (...)" The root-causes of human problems have not changed. Social injustice, racism, totalitarian ideologies, conflicts pretext-based on religious convictions, you name it. When trillions are spent on looking for water on other planets while people here on Earth are still dying of thirst, I remember Jidda Krishnamurti's words: “It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Nevertheless; “Books are not made to be believed, but to be subject to inquiry.“ - Umberto Eco Is the cause and the cure for our troubles to be found in the plain simple and highly difficult act of loving unconditionally? And to what extent can we have it from scratch, and lose it in the blink of an eye?
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On A Few Things...
Daniel Karl Göhler
Texte: © Copyright by Daniel Karl Göhler, 2016
Umschlaggestaltung: © Copyright by Daniel Karl Göhler, 2016
[Steinbacher Hohl 115]
60488 Frankfurt am Main
Verlag: Neopubli GmbH
Druck: epubli, ein Service der neopubli GmbH, Berlin
Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
ISBN ebook: 978-3-7418-3455-4
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 29.07.2016
“ Books are not made to be believed, but to be subject to inquiry.“ - Umberto Eco
In Umberto Eco's tradition, I advise the reader to question what this book has to offer for it is the outcome of the subjective view of a reality that is completely shaped by its observer. Objectivity at its best or its worst?
“Literary nonfiction is a type of prose that employs the literary techniques usually associated with fiction or poetry to report on persons, places, and events in the real world.“ Now that's by Richard Nordquist right there!
Why shall you read something about what we all – to a certain degree – have already experienced? Just in order to find yourself and others in those run-of-the-mill-episodes, in those true tales? Yes! That is exactly why!To reassure that we, the people, have to deal with the very same core human matters! And afterwards, you could do your share, and put your stories on paper! What for? What is the purpose? In our times of global information, we can read snapshots of the life of a person that we probably will never meet, and we will notice that there is no profound difference to the struggle when we break it down to the core . I do care about your stories!
Human problems have not changed in their root-causes. Social injustice, hate, racism, totalitarian and political ideologies, conflicts pretext-based on religious convictions, you name it. When trillions are spent on looking for water on other planets while people here on Earth are still dying of thirst, I remember Jidda Krishnamurti's words :
“It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
And last but not least the question of who is this voice that appears in italics throughout the piece? Popogusso, yeah! Who is it?
I would like to thank my university's professor whose inspiring classes have always been a great joy, and do form part of my memories of the best times being on Campus! Since our intent is not to involve too many people personally, I will not put down your full name, and address, face book-account-alias, neither any info of yours in reference to FB's professional mock version called LinkedIn, nor your Instagram nick-name or any other social media tool we use – and sometimes even being forced to use! – to be seen in the world. They made us all forget about the fact that invisibility is a superpower…
They had to cover their faces in order to be seen, remember? I remember, and I will always remember you and your seminars! Keep up with the inspiring work, and through you there will emerge writers that will highly appreciate you the same way as I do! Peace!
“La peste del olvido se puede curar con un lápiz o con un esfero, una pluma, si quiere. Y si no queda más nada de molde que sirve para legarle al mundo su testimonio real o ficticio, hasta valga la propia sangre como tinta.” Vaina absurda la de la literatura para los que se han contagiado con ella...
The Itch. That might describe it best. That is how I finally decided to call it. Maybe as some sort of a nickname whose history is yet unknown. It is the invisible beast of flashbacks and inspiration that crawls up on me when I am most vulnerable. When she ripped me out of my sleep, I was trying to guess what time it was by counting the four white lines on my wall the shades let through. There must be always a little bit of light. Chea kar pit , even in the darkest of all nights, you will always find some light. Darkness seems way more dangerous from afar. Being surrounded by it for a long time makes it appear less sinister, and rather evolves into a normal condition. The darkest of all nights I experienced happened to be in Muisne. And another, I only know from hearsay in Kosovo. I could tell that 4 am had yet not come. Time to gird up your loins!
The itch. As if it were the mosquitoes under my net who were charging me to stay at their place, uninvited. I remember that I used to let them do as they pleased in my greener years, for any creature on our Earth has a function and I remember that when I was told to spray them to death, I refuse by never targeting them directly so that they had a chance to escape. I remember the day I lost complete mercy. They say that times would change you, but it is rather circumstances and condition that do. How many of them I killed, I do not remember. First, I actually counted, then I lost track. Back then in Muisne. I remember the literal itch on my legs as if it was there. As if I was there...
The itch. I remember she said I had a random mind. And that she liked it. And that she enjoyed going to the dentist. And she enjoyed injections of all kind. Narcosis, flu-shots, yellow fewer vaccines. Kink. Kinky? These rather uncommon predilections paved her way to becoming a biologist, specialized in anything that bites and is poisonous. She must have had the nights of her life, for all the bites her legs had to borne. Maybe fate brought her to the eternal green in order to be where she actually yearned to be at. I am still not sure how to evaluate her feelings for me, or how I fit into this picture. How did I get there? Thanks to a declined practical school training in Monterrey due to "internal issues that unfortunately lead to the cancellation of the contract" - "Estamos?" - "Arre!" Thanks to whatever went wrong, Plan B had to be considered, and I got to walk along the equator with another random-mind person. She enjoyed Frontera with milk. Weird mix, though and folly to think that you could quench the savor of liquid fire with food for babies .
It feels weird when you are appreciated by one of those “weirdos”, if you allow me to use that expression within a rather positive context, for what we consider as “normal” might be considered “crazy” in the future. Weird, isn't it? What does it say about you? The itch randomly reminds me of the many unique characters who crossed my path. Like the guy who had also an itch, but of another kind. He couldn't find sleep anymore at all. And he had a weird tattoo on his calf which he never had to explain to me, though I could read it as if it was a plain manual of instruction. After his military adventure in oversea, where his ability to sleep died in the killings fields, he roamed Philadelphia until the day my cousin put an advertisement in the local newspaper that he and his pals were looking for another roommate in order to pay the rent. Was it a coincidence that we met on that day when I was confronted with the color of my skin for the first time in my life? It was the first time I had come to the Land of the Free, and I had an unforgettable start .
I remember how we drove from the Garden State to South Philly in my cousin's old wrecked pick-up truck he had bought either from a vet or a hippie - assumed due to the anti-war stickers on its bumper - and how we stopped by in Cambodia on our way down south. Atkhlean, briphok . The biggest restaurant I had ever seen in my life. A decade before, this area "belonged" to the Puerto Ricans, I was told. Atmean avei tiet te. Not anymore. Who knows what restaurant has replaced the Khmer Kitchen by now. There were some guys playing a weird mixture of volleyball and soccer, I only had seen once on TV. Seeing them live and kicking was the best dessert you could have after a huge bowl of Samlor Machou. Takraw, mittaphokde! They invited me to join, and ever since I have been hooked. Not that I would make it ever into the finals, due to the "starved" flexibility of my legs. "In order to play well, you have to eat more Cambodian food!", they told me. These players fly-kicked the rattan ball with the power of Ong Bak, and the precision of a real surgeon, not like that quack Al Yankovic. Jebu sliku svoju! He helped me out, though! Don't you mess with the Great Y! Yeah, right… As if it was a match of pool-billiard, they explained how to induce a certain spinning to the ball which in return I had to be able to detect in order to gain control over it. A little further down of that field was my cousin's new home in which many of his neigbors would go outside whenever there was a thunderstorm ahead, hoping to get hit by a lightning in order to go straight to Nirvana. Is faith something, or it is something?
It was in the early afternoon we started to unpack his stuff from that American classic vehicle which has been a witness to its former owner's nervous breakdowns, horror-flashes and hopefully love, peace and harmony. I like old stuff, and I really like old cars for you can almost read them if you just let your mind arrange the connection of time and space. I grabbed a very old armchair that might have had quite a story to tell if he had been able to, placed it upon my head and walked down the alley since there had been no space to leave the car right at the door. One way street. Narrow. Almost impossible to turn around .
I heard an elderly cheerful voice nearby. Since the arms of the chair blocked my view to the left and to the right, I could not figure out where it was coming from. The voice followed me all the way to the house, and when I carefully dropped TV's best pal, I saw to whom the cheering belonged. Seeing me, she clenched both of her fists and she almost chanted: "My people are coming back! My people are coming back!" I did not understand right away how I fit into that picture, and Carl told me that this lady referred to my darker shade of pale. Carl knew her for he had lived nearby for quite a while, and he said that she had given him a hard time due to the color of his skin, but now they were at peace. Norbert Elias explains quite frankly how the socialization process is performed. The question of who got there first, and who has more claim should be irrelevant by now, but seems yet not overcome. Her house got robbed two times by some crazy people Carl refused to call “brothers” for they were nobody's brother's keeper. "Poor people who are robbing other poor people are not my people", he explained briefly. It took him quite a while to take away that "if looks could kill"- glances from that elderly lady's eyes every time she saw him. "She put me right into the box where collective guilt is kept and in which she refuses to be put in", he laughed and added that the erroneous idea of exclusiveness is still causing a lot of damage in the world. Her house was on the local news after they broke in. The supposed perpetrators who got shot by the police appeared in the form of a tiny message in the news-ticker soon after. Carl said that those killed men had nothing to do with the housebreaking. As long as we, the peopl e, have to live under that kind of condition, no successful “Vergangenheitsbewältigung” can take place.
The itch. Wouldn't it be great to start from scratch? Draw a line and call it a new start? Impossible for too much has happened to "just get over it." How shall we heal? Time will tell. When a cat chases a mouse, the mouse either escapes or dies. In the case of the first, the mouse rests from the stress the chase has provoked in its system. The mouse naturally knows when this recovering phase is over, and then goes on by as if nothing had happened. We, the people, nor had time to recover and to be more precise for whatever reason we neither take it to get well again, and another 240 years might have to pass in order to recover from that terrible stress. I guess this is going to be very difficult. Since the NeoCons have passed the Global Ordinance of 2001, we have quite a situation, haven't we? By the way, who are "we" anyway? To me, it feels just as inaccurate and even discriminating as "they", for both exclude the others. I remember once my uncle said: "When we arrived on the Mayflower...", and how I wondered how he got on it. He was not even born on American soil, nor did speak well the language of what he considered as "we"; English was his L3. I slightly remember an unpleasant silence after I had confused my inner voice with my outer. Or is this just another memory I have created? We all are familiar with these “I should have said”-situations. Let me tell you that thou shalt not believe everything you think! Well, fact of the matter, I was young and too judgmental - due to the lack of life experience, and my insensibility of not putting on his shoes and walk in them for seven miles. Reminiscing, I never got to know him well enough. Let me tell you another thing: You will never get to know anybody well enough, and you'll be astonished of what you are capable of, once you'd find yourself in the absolute absence of love! You'll never be the same again! Well, those you have witnessed the absolute absence of love are rather quiet than talkative – at least those people I met who had to experience it. Looking back, I also remember situations in which I should not have put in my two coins, but rather hush up my mouth. That's life, my brother… Been there, done that… “Brother” you say? Remember Cain? Why not just be friends? Fair enough...and accepted! Well, tell me, my friend: Is there an innate feeling of family bondage that makes you “love” even those “close-ones” who do not form part of your daily life due to physical distance? It seems way easier to “love” those who are far away, my friend. And please let us avoid the fruitless intent of defining “love”, can we? One thing for sure: Blood is thicker than water, and red is the color of love. Or of communism. Oh-oh, the main reason why he had to flee, right? Yes, but let us take into account whatever reasoning to come abroad and melt into the New World ( if you'd excuse this term full of erroneous connotations for it evolved into a scary copy of the old one ): The term "Schicksalsgesellschaft" would describe more what Adrienne Rich addresses as "split in its roots", for Carl's people arrived at the shore on boats whose names no one remembers.
Keeping a long and painful story short: As a survivor of the Katyn massacre, any affiliation with those who had the means to take revenge would have been proudly accepted to pledge my uncle's solidarity in their common struggle against the common enemy - the communist threat. One of the fruits of my loins shall be the second Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and will complete what I began! To identify with your brothers in arms was born out of the prior experience of injustice and murder, and not attached to the beginnings of the European invasion of America. My uncle's homeland did not exist for more than 80 years for it was cut into pieces and distributed among several nations who neither showed mercy with its former population. Yet, the pain of being discriminated and persecuted for no former reason but it's plain existence had fallen victim to an educational system that highly rejected the harsh truth of its own country's crimes against humanity. A country that had erased many others had become his new home. Tragic. Even a bit cynical, isn't it? Considering that he made the painful experience to literary lose home and ground of his roots. And ready he was to become a full member of what we would define today as the "official story" which was the biased whitewashing of another tragedy in human history. For the history books state that “tribes” were “relocated” instead of the ethnic cleansing of the native population as a harsh fact of the long history of impunity in the Americas. For the latest calculation of Hiroshima's death-toll, scratching almost 30,000. For taking away a few zeros to the number of those women, children and men who were stolen from Africa and brought to the US ( whose number miraculously has reached 46+ million after 4 centuries of slavery ). Well, my friend, in the Land of the Free there were reproducing plantations in which “slaves were bred” to keep up with the supply. Ever watched “Good-bye, Uncle Tom”? It describes the tip of the ice-berg. Nope, have not seen it yet but I'll take a look for I was not taught in history class about the miraculous multiplication of slaves in the Screwed World. Who is in charge of “education” anyway? There are – as in politics – always strings attached. I guarantee you that in the near future “historians” will find out that it wasn't 27 million Russian victims of Nazi-Germany's scorched earth warfare but only 2.7. And later on, it will be reduced to 27, if the zeitgeist requires it. And in order to pass history class, you have to tick the wrong answers. The whole megillah is about to be re-written when the agenda requires it. What we learn from history is nothing. In his mindset, he miraculously had become one of the lucky members of a Mayflower tribulation who had arrived during the Second World War. America had saved his life, and forever he will be grateful and consider her to be the second best country in the world. He passed his love for his new home down to his sons who took off for war for her – So much did they love her! For whom are you willing to give your life? I must be love, though. Some kind of love at least! – even if it is clear that it was never about protecting her as an ideal vision of a better world, but rather defending a certain political ideology and economic interests. War is a racket! This truth goes unheeded, falling on my uncle's deaf ears (who are working perfectly). The tree was quite young when it was belt. Ain't we all belt?
Back then, America was for him what today is Russia to Snowden – the only safe haven in the world. Let that sink in for a minute! That's a 180 right there! While oppositionists from Venezuela flee to the US in order to freely relocate and rebuilt their lives, she would be the pitch dark pit for those she considers a menace to society – even if these dangers are tens of thousands of miles away. She is ready to get after those who might represent a future menace. Pre-crime is going to be pre-punished . She has to come to senses. Who is she, though? It depends on who she decides to be friends with, and she is not very picky. Like Justin B., she has as many critics as loyal fans who will support her through thick and thin . Am I my brother's keeper? If he serves my interests, then of course… Realpolitik à la Nixon… Unfortunately, there is nothing to find on the other side of conviction; the left oligarchs of the Land of Grace – double-think right there! - claiming to have modernized socialism, have hoarded more wealth than some of the biggest and well known capitalists, and still they do not form part of the Club of 62. While their uniforms tighten, the civilians macerate. The revolution devours its own children. Nothing new to report neither on the Western nor on the Eastern Front…
Imagine her as a precious woman in her mid-twenties who was exposed to severe violence and abuse, now living in pain, denying its cause, turned aggressive and violent herself, even if she should know better. It is a paradox behavior pattern of victims turning into perpetrators. Take a look at the statistics! Get outta here with your regular psychologist-logic! Would you like to put her on a red couch in order to heal her? Finding a cure by professional listening, combined with numbers and graphics? We are taking about a huge super-mind-set that was born out of the American impunity over the last four centuries. How do we challenge that? I have my ways, though. What do you propose? The act of forgiveness. The act of love. To achieve forgiveness you might have to ask for it first. Haha, you are still thinking that love can conquer anything. Would it have conquered all the atrocities throughout our history? Would a caring hug changed the dictators' ways? Cuddle them to their senses? Is that it? You can ridicule the concept of love as much as you want, but one day at a time the ultimo ratio regum will prevail and change the world. You're just a dreamer, you dream your life away… Ha! Now that's Ozzy Osburne! But can you imagine the deep impact it would have when arch enemies lay down their weapons, begging one another for forgiveness? My friend, it is way more complex as you might think. The toughest battle is fought within yourself. And then you must make peace with yourself. I know who I have to ask for forgiveness, my friend. The New Age agenda claims that a person has to condone himself but I think that it is just another intent of taking the Most High out of the equation. Am I able to forgive myself for the sins I did? Can I truly free myself from a malfeasance of that kind? Quiet an insolence it is to me for it resembles an assumption of authority. In our times of global communication the act of apologizing and looking together for an atonement would be a huge step for mankind, and maybe the only solution! And the US should start? Name me one country that it without sin! There is none. But she has the crucial advantage that all eyes are on her! She could be the example we would like to see in the world! She could be as seductive as Walter Mosley's Elizabeth “Betty” Eady – you are utterly at her mercy, and she has the power to make you change your ways. And what about those who are impervious to her charm? Figurative speech, my friend. Let us define her as irresistible for everyone, no matter what chromosomes they have. Huh? So you mean like a genderless beauty that turns crazy both sexes? Poppogusso no! Let me try to name in politically correct terms the female's homme fatale in order to avoid the idea of future's indefinable “object of desire”: Tyrese-Giovanni Clooney Rodriguez Dupont Levin Nguyen X!ula Al Habib Lee Kaminsky Bogart Khan. Think of someone so powerful that fulfills the longings of everyone. Well, let me tell you that those in power – what ever chromosomes they have – have other plans for they are not inspired by the divine concept of love but rather by the secular appetence for gold, oil and drugs. You might have to show them the way; Where is the love, though? Quaerite, et invenietis. Even in a small dish of black eyed peas. Haha, you moron! Enough! Now go back to freaking your story! This is my freaking story, lady!
“Why are you always smiling?“, Tim asked me after we were done with unpacking, and sat on the porch, sipping on whiskey and milk. Yuck. I did not realize that I happened to have a happy face, but I was quite confident: “Because I am just glad to be here." Carl said: "Because you came on the Mayflower." I rejected that strongly: "I came on Lufthansa." - "Lufthansa, Mayflower. What difference does it make?" I remember an unpleasant silence before we cracked up. Isn't it weird how "we, the down" tend to confront each other on that level, while those up almost seem to have left it behind since water run dry and by now "we" are supposed to have overcome it? You have very wealthy black people in the US, you might say. Let me rephrase that: You would say that Jay-Z is hyper-rich, right? Forbes magazine states that there are 62 people who own more wealth than 50% of the world's population. Jay-Z is not among these men. Those scratching at the top are mostly forced to substantiate it when the public pushes them to take a stand on social matters and the ugly reality of poverty. Please define "rich" in terms of material and financial fortitude; is it Cristiano Ronaldo who earns 180 million per year, or is it the unknown employer who actually has the means to pay him that amount of money? For the record: He neither forms part of the 62. They say that time would heal, but cruel secular reality shows that it is rather money that does. At least so it seems, for historical trauma can be eased by money neither. There is a huge difference between forced immigration – if you allow that expression – and free immigration. Ever since, the rich get along very well, on whatever yacht they arrive. I remembered a voice I had not heard in years, whispering in my ear: "Auf drei Sachen steht die Welt: Auf Geld, auf Geld, auf Geld.”
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