So This Is Hell, Huh?
Yes Curtis Mayfield, We’re All In Hell…And Yes DMX, Hell Is Hot
I’ve lived both in hell and without a soul for 1000 days. No, not literally, but because humanity has descended into utter madness, I stopped caring about many things, and started caring about a lot of other stuff. Given where life is right now, I’m incredibly glad that I made that decision.
When it comes to noting just how morose and draining life seems these days, I’m actually blithely smiling and laughing at a lot of it all. However, the level of detachment I’ve reached from life is actually problematic right now because as we hit 100 days of Donald Trump’s American Presidency while Europe stares at Marine le Pen’s ascendance, and the Chinese stare deep into the heart of resurgent Communism, everyone around me is finally noticing (as I did 1000 days ago) that life is getting incredibly uncomfortable on a social, emotional, and physical level.
Yes, as Curtis Mayfield predicted in 1970, all of us… “sisters, ni**ers, whiteys, Jews, crackers,” have gone to hell. And indeed, as DMX noted in the name of his 1998 debut album, “it’s dark, and hell is hot.” Of course, important to note here is that nobody survives hell. Unless of course, you decided to not have a soul, so feeling your burning flesh or seeing the rotting carcasses and tear-filled eyes surrounding you actually doesn’t affect you at all, because you’re already dead.
Ni**as wanna try / Ni**as wanna lie / Then niggas wonder why / Ni**as wanna die / All I know is pain / All I feel is rain/ How can I maintain/ With mad shit on my brain?
We’re living through the moment where the sociopolitical balance of the Earth has shifted to the “you have to be kidding me, right?” point in the polarity gap between what’s considered “very right” and “very wrong” by people on all ideological sides of all fences separating all people. There’s a sense of utter disorder to all of this because we’re in an era where “balance” is difficult because we’re not just simply attempting to create the space where a discordant two become an uneasy one. Rather, because we’re now analog, digital, mobile, global, and universal in how we communicate and live, it needs to be made an accepted fact that unity — even uneasy unity — is thoroughly impossible. So much of so much is happening so often that discovering a middle ground is as hard making non-polarized magnets attract. Yes, opposites attract. But multiple opposites? There’s absolutely no science that allows for the creation of the kind of social neutrality (yes, read as #safespace) that needs to exist to make our collective lives at this moment make sense.
So, again, we’re all in hell. And it’s hot. No, hotter. No, hottest.
I know that my metaphorical flesh is burning. It’s weird because I should totally care about this, but again, I have no soul so I really don’t know how to feel. While others are only now experiencing this metaphorical/existential angst, I’ve been here since 2014, so this just feels all like advanced elements of the same pain I was already feeling so long ago…
“We’ve entrusted the world to impotent idiots who are afraid of the future,” I wrote in 2014. Continuing, I stated, “as well, the people who actually do control the future are arrogant nerds who are drunk with power and influence and rubbing not just the jocks, but everyone’s noses in it, basically making the all-powerful and life controlling internet into a bad high school teen comedy (I’m going to choose Zapped!). So, because nobody wants to act like an adult, we’re turning the world into a giant Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-style rib on everything by doing things like turning the news into a game of clickbaiting, trolling and general tomfoolery, so much so that Buzzfeed can be worth $850 million dollars because it’s the one place where I can find out about Borgore being an asshole, why black people are getting shot, and find out what kind of pizza slice I am. Not that any of that matters when the NFL’s Washington Redskins don’t change their clearly racist name and Daniel Snyder isn’t fired, but when Donald Sterling gets taped being a racist by his jump off, he “suddenly” has like, life-altering dementia and must divest himself of ownership of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers…”
1000 days later and these conditions have somehow gotten worse. 2000 days later, and I can’t imagine where we’ll be. It’s in times like these that I invoke tenets of climate change policy, and think of what the world would look like if everyone had scorched souls and lived on a scorched planet where we all ate beef jerky, popcorn and pine nuts, and drank Pepsi because that’s all that was left. I imagine what we’d do for arts and entertainment, and I suppose we’d all just be staring at our smartphones playing Pokemon Go because well, those virtual reality generated characters would be the only way that we would be able to engage with anything tangible that’d be non-human and of any discernible worth. Man. That’s going to be so awkward and deplorable, yet so disturbing and perversely entertaining.
Living in a world governed by things that have existed and willfully allowed the present to occur is a worthless, meaningless, and entirely ridiculous gambit. Engaging in activities that are wildly progressive, and obliterate much of the past that has led us here is important. Yes, it’s also completely frightening because we are not entirely certain of success or how to measure the sustainability of any of what needs to be done. But, there’s also the fact that we’re in hell, so, as Miles famously tells Joel in the 1983 film Risky Business, “[s]ometimes you gotta say “What the Fuck”, make your move. Joel, every now and then, saying “What the Fuck”, brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future.”
As things tend to go in what we likely assume hell to be, here’s some potentially insanely socio-politically, emotionally, physically, and psychologically scarring days ahead. Given that it’s hell, that’s par for the course. However, given that most of us were unwittingly plunged into hell and also likely are completely unprepared to survive it’s soul frying levels of depravity, sadness and intense depression, there’s likely to be a ton of outlandish human activity of any and all types forthcoming in counter-active response.
Once again, I implore everyone to consider just putting away your souls for the next 1000 days or so. Everything’s pretty much a metaphor for a garbage fire, and we’ve sunk society six million feet underground.
We’re in hell, and hell is hot. What the fuck.