domenica 29 aprile 2012

You Are Wroing: WhyA Lot Of Activism Is Failing

I do not have anything against activism, in any form. I believe in activism, although my heart sits with the strength of actual risky activism. I believe in taking stance. I believe in change. And i deeply despise indifference and cyncicism. The world is a c rumbling place not because of evil, violence or separation between humans. It is unbearable because of indifference.

I have mor eunderstanding for racism, Mysoginy, homophobia and all forms of hatred than i have for indifference. Refusing to vote, shrugging your shoulders violently and taking the stance tro not care, is the real poison that enables the slow and unstoppable decay of the social organism.

Yes, i am aware that most of action, stances and fights are probably pointless, wrongly done or will probably end in nothing.

I am aware that most social fights (one big gaping example is the recent Occupy Wall Street campaign) are handled largelky by obnoxious people that are unfocused and disorganized and driven more by a generic disdain for authority, rather than an actual interest for change.

I am also aware of how many cases are oyut there of good causes that revealed themselves to have been manipulated into lies and treachery. When i learned how the Joseph Kony case was a big mess, i was also disgusted.

But indifference is not allowed ina democracy: If you wanna live in a social context you are required to take stances. Real ones.

In the digtal era, its eems that maximum effort for change is Sharing slogans on Facebook. postign videos and pictures. That, in most cases, does NOT promote awareness. It drives awaty the focus of people on the real issues.

To make it clearer: animal activists, please do not post heavily photoshoppes of abused animals that some ill advised friend shared with you to promote a shady cause. You wont make everyone vegetarian by showing nearly pornographic shots of abused cows. All you will do is make me disgusted.

Use words. The right ones. "Hate" is a powerful word. As much as love. It is supposed to mean something. To act as a fuel and as a weapon. Spreading ity everywhere mnakes it loose meaning.

A person that does not agree with your belief or has an opposite poin of view to yours is NOT a hater. A person who wants to argue is NOT a hater. And you yelling your belief and how much your heart is wonded because people do not agree with your ideas wont change minds, no matter how right the idea is.

You will not win people over with gruesome images. Not with obsessive over the top slogan, not with constant whiny monologues on how nobody understands you or endless sob stories.

On the opposite, that will transform potential people on your side into indifferent ones. Or REAL haters.

And as much as you thrive on the ideal that you "do not care" about other people's opinions, you do. And you need them, because youre one limb of a functioning body. You work on your own but you need the others too.

So the ideal is strategy, psychology and actual activism. Make people understand and they will follow.

And please stop yelling.

martedì 24 aprile 2012

Storytelling: A Soft Place To Hide


The blow echoes in the empty room, reverberating in the barenessa of its sickly green, sterile walls. There is no music in the background now. Thnere was before, some sort of churning, joyous,m jangly pop, with compressed, plastic guitars and robotic vocals spreading through the ghastly skeletal tracks like a gangrene in a child's body. But then the tunes dropped out and silenmce strated filling up every inch of the air, leaving the whole natural sound of the scene to unfold itself. J. yelps, recpoiling from the hit. The pain is still sharp. Her body hasnt numbed yet. The wall hasnt been reached. She doesnt know if thats a good thing or not. 

She has survived throyugh the dark years, thanks to the invisible sticky wall that her own body built for her, in porder to preserve what was left of her mind, from the aftermath of her wedding. Her husband, still not an ex, maybe never, had a peculiar set of invisible tools to slowly peel down the layers of her soul and inflict wounds that could cripple her min, for his own delight and amusement. He was a skinny, slightly bloated man. With brown eyes and an empty glassy stare. She remembers the smell of the cologne and the thought itself makes her gag. No time for gagging. She holds the wave of vomit back, straining to do so. The pain in her mouth, after the punch, is warm and pungent. The metallic, sweet taste of her own raw flesh and blood, which till then just lingered in her becomes a reality. Her mouth fills with red juice. She spits it out and sees one of her teeth,m cautiosly pauid for fixing by her expensive professional Dentist, doctor Lucius Freeeman. The wall is there but being scraped at intently. Good. 

Her husband paid for dental work on her. Surgery, Constant control on her image. Even amphetamine based diet pilsl so shed neever get thin. Thois was one of his favourite tricks. He was rich, he worked hard to build his own wicked fortune since he was eighteen. Going through humiliating roads of degradation so that he could eventually afford to become enough powerful and safe to be able to rest on his own possessions. Another punch, harder. A bone in her nose cracks, emitting a sloppy wet sound. The wall cracks. Her own inner wall, the powerfvul measure that she built to be impervious to phgiscal suffgering. Where other had limits or safe words, she had this. An ability to become numb to the pain while still being re ceptive. To allow the pain to hit her while still feeling it and being aware of its presence. To subvert the impulses of her nerve endings at her own will. But this is so hard. Almost every inch of her bosy is burnt, cut, bruised, sore. Broken. Even after her long, tenacious expereience and testing, her shapely, built body is giving up to the external overtake. Husband married her when she was young. She was broken. LOnely. Unable to have kids after two miscarriages from her past lovers. He took her and nurtured her despair and solitude. Made her feel loved and safe from the humiliation of a family that pointed a finger at her and yelled "Whore" and "unable to procreate". His shielding, welòathy chivalry made her feel beautiful and light. The gloved hands dont rest. After The punching, they grab the pliars. They playfully snap them in the air making a rusty, disjointed sound. The room is now glowerin with the scent of blood urine, vomit and sweast. But still not as dfisgusting as the polished smell of the surgeon's room por the always clean stench of her picture perfect house.

He owned her. Had her surgically made to be the perfect trophy wife, the fair animal. Paraded her in front of his friends and family. Gave her money to be drunk, drugged up and numb so she would have a rictus on her face that could apss as a smile. All the time, in his name. But sadly, bodies get used to alcohol and drugs. She couldve killed herself. She could've taken herself out of his picture. As a reward for the mental toryure he put her through everytime the world wasnt paying enough attention. But that would've been so quick and easy. The gloved hands pinch her nipple, almost seductively. In the sea of ab ysmal pain, her body almost gives a hint of pleasure. The first one in years. Her husband provided her with boy toys to keep her quiet. He did not care. They were on hsi paybook. EMpot minded servants that gave her rides, fixed meal, and jizzed on her face. They wouldve not crossed him: And yet she didnt really feel anything. It was gymanastics. No saviour lovers to take her away. No prince to plot his murder with and live happily ever after. Until She meet X. Her nipple is hard and elongated, the hands stroke it lovingly. Then The pliars close on it. Severing it with "SNIP". The impulses in her head are so strong, they kick down the wall. She screams and then dry heaves, drool and blood coming out of her mouth. X. was a street thgug that her husband picked up from the gutter. Hardened by life. Empty eyes. Abuse made him soulless and the tons of drugs that he was provided by his employyee made him even less able to eprceive any emotion. But he sort of, in aa weird animaistic way, connected with her. He did not respect her husband. All he wanted was money to build his own buisness. And for the moment he seemed to be working its way up. But she had money saved and she needed a way out. So one day, after a pointless excercise in groping that her husband required for them while he was somewhere else, scratching his itches on some asian underage prostitute, she made him a proposal. The ritual repeats on her other nipple. Her body is now a scarred janglke of exposed nerves, felsh and blood. Unfixable and broken. She feels it all. Tears stain her face. The sensation is horrifying yet she knows ity will end soon. Its time. She wants to get out, she tells him. Only not that way. She wants to scar that body. He wants to go out without that enhanced mostruosity that her husband imprisoned her within. Anything she can do to herslef wouldnt be enough: Cant Drive by herslef, doesnt own weapons. He willl have to do ti. And make it unforgettabler for both. He will roture her and disfigure her and, then she will have to choose what to do. Stay or go. In a pool of her own urine, She thinks. Can she enjoy this: Can she go back to her old life? Can she run away? No to all three. But she feels free. Hope ois gone and her body is ruined. X. had enough money to escape from the husband's cluitches too. Money CAN buy anything. It bought her a numb heaven. And now she can finally have the last word with the man who raised her up to be his own dog with a wig. "Do it X. I want it" She mubles through bleeding gums and broken teeth. X takes a deep gulp of booze. Evcen in his broken, numb mind he needs the booze to do this. Somehow he understands the need of a hole to dig to feel no more ache and fear. That is why he slowly abuses himself with chemicals. Its not about the numbness or the buyzz. Its about the ending.

"I love you" She sort of smiles. It aches and its beautiful. 

"I love you too. And thank you" she mumbles. He grabs her head, lovingly. And slits her throat. Blood gushes. The numbness falls. And she is finally resting.

giovedì 12 aprile 2012

Sounds And Voices

I read accounts of surviving war prisonersthat told one thing, which stayed with me:

They have forgot their father's voices, even the sounds of their children's voices. But they will never forget the sound of their torturer's voice..

Whe i think of torture and sounds, i am supposed to imagine the sounds of electric cables. Of Tools. Of dripping water. Or the amicable talk of a person who is just trying to get you to tell them what they want. Or the threats. The mocking bile.

But at the same time, with shame and guilt, i think of sounds that partain to my past. Cause as much as i think words are improtant and essential and shall not be soiled with lies, i make connections in my head that are personal and private. And work only, possibly, for me.

To me torture is also the sound of a small vacuum cleaner. It wasnbt connected with pain. Not in a direct way. But that thing was sued from my father to disrupt our nerves, when we lived together. It was a small portable one with a hissing toneless screech, that could mute anything in its surroundings.

A classic move by father was, whenever he was feeling like demand9ing attention or simplòy disrupting everything that was happening in the house, or most ofthe times just out of some manic desire to clean, was to push the button on the cleaner in a rhythmic manner. That would cause the tool to emit a series of loud noises that could go on for as long as an hour or more. This would happen at any moment of the day or night.

My father was an insomniac for years,, un til he found comfort in pills. So he would come as close asa he could to my room or bed and start pushing the cleaner. So i would wake up. And any protest woudl be met with insults and a probable fight. No physic al attacks, just more noises and less sleep. So i would just be quiet, hoiping that he wouldtire himself out and i could get at least an hour of sleep before going to school. That never happened. I became also an insomniac and started medicating myself at an early age. I am still addicted to those meds.

Now. I am aware that this doesnt count as torture., I'm just talking abvout sounds that evoke disgust, tension and discomfort.

But to counter this, and not sound like a complete wuss, ill tell you this: at this point in my life, i still have moments of panic, terror, and depression. When i wake in the early morning, my brain's chemical are at their lowest. Its the black area, as i call it. the moment when all i want is to be dead or asleep. And the moment where i need a push to find the strength to fight, the most.

That push used to be meds. Or coffee. Or booze. Or drugs.

none of those are there nowadays. What i have, though, is stronger than all of them combined. Mp3 files, with a voice on them. A voice that soothes me, makes me laugh and makes me feel stronger than a million warriors. And makes me feel full of happiness and able to win anything, so i will hear it again.

That is my new drug. And a victory. Fuck the vaccum cleaner (not really)

mercoledì 11 aprile 2012

One Moment

I had a good life so far. A good one with devastatingly strange moments. I have lived through despair and extreme joy. Fear of the empty and love of it. I wanted to jump into the abyss, embrace the cold dark endless bottoms of it. And at the samre time i always tried to stay on the edge, clinging at what i had there with all of my strength, even if it was only myself.

I have sat into hospital rooms, myself as a patient, trying to recollect what happned. A car crashed, i was driving. I hurt myself. Still i was alive and i wasnt sure how i felt about it. I wasnt happy.

I was at the bed oif my father, after he underwent surgery to remove one of the many tumor cells that plagued his body. I prayed to a silent god that had no apparent interest in what iu asked. He survived. Under the effect of sedatives and delirium he told me mean things. But he was alive. I was relieved but not that happy.

I triumphed, making a novel published, getting through school, being good at jobs, solving problems, finding houses and celebrating at parties. I was happy. But not enough.

I have laughed or cried at music, movies, comedy, concerts, even weddings and funerals. My heart, mind and soul are driven by emotions and someytimes the toal lack of them, clouded by chemicals, booze, drugs or fear.

I got clean and sane. With all of my strength i survived. I climbed the walls.

This year, though the greatest moment was this: i went on a plane. Got through bureacracy and security. Got stuck on a seat, stinky and dirty. for hours and hours. No sleep. Tired.

Crawled through security again. Customs, no phone. Scared to not make it.

Then i get to the exit and a girl is there. She is beautiful. She is happy. She is bouncing and clapping her hands at my sight.

I hold her close. It is the happiest moment i ever had in my life.

martedì 10 aprile 2012

If You Dont Understand This Piece Then Youre Part Of The Problem

The simple act of abuse is far more than one word. It's not as well defined as most scientifically tempered doctors or average people might make you think.

Honestly, the action of separating the types of abuse you can unleash on a victim, usually a child or a spouse, has been a positive step in the right direction. Yes, mentalk, verbal and physical abuse are different, and bless heavens for our fucked up, twisted race to finally get it.

Still theres a large grey area, which isnt grey for its own nature but has been made grey by years of indifference and silence. Its a place where all those forms of nbegelect Ad torture melt together and become a commonly accepted behaviour or form of education or interaction.

A child's soul and spirit are not frail. A child can be resilient as any living creatuire. MNade stronger by the natuyral suyrvival instinct that he is blessed with by nature, at biorth and hasnt been yet pried off of him by society's and love's cold pliers.

Still, a child has one fatal flaw. The same flaw you can find in people plagued by love or marriage. Trust.

That flaw, that weak spot of softness is what allows the predator to bend their inner spirit befoire it breaks. And eventually snap it into numbness.

You can make a son or a dfaughter believe that you are not doing anything wrong to them. You arentseuxally abusing them or huting them severely. Other people have it worse. They do have a roof pon their heads and food and somehwere to live. And for thpose things they can be made beleive that they owe you. They owe you their existence.

And a spouse can be made believe that no matter how strong their nature is, no matter how resourceful they are, how full they'relife was before they came in touch with the burning, scalding, torture that has been your union, they cannot go back to living like they would be naturally supposed to. They need you. they're bonded, theyre crippled and dependent from your exuistence. And you own their breathing, sweat and tears. And blood.

And with that, you can use words that slowly peel off their ego. Thaat erase their self esteem. Their will to live. their curiosity and natural instincts and interests in the world.

With carefully placed doses of physical and mental torture, you can easily make them void, empty shells of fear and guilt.

Guilt, a powerful notion that mixed with fear, loneliness, isolation and despair (which can be obtained by severing with force all the contacts they have with potentially influential figures in their existence) makes them as malleable as putty.

And theyt wont know they are beign abused.

They will bear those scars into their life. Maybe unleash the same on someone else soon. A legacvy of cruelyty. Whoich is what builds and sustains so many lives in the world.

lunedì 9 aprile 2012

The World Of The Draw Something Mutants

Since the world of trends, games or populart apps goes faster than a virgin at his first sexual encounter, all i'm gonna write here is gonna possibly sound outdated very quickly. For all that i know, maybe when your eyes wearily read these lines where i placed my heart and cleverness, IOS applications and games will not even exist anymore and everyone will only play with their own genitals (a turn that i would be completely in favour of).


I am slow at jumping on trend wagons and at followingthe latest itches to scratch. never liked angry birds, always ignored Words With Friuends, hate all the facebook games (if you invite me at a Ville, i will erase yuou from my life).


I have a person in my life, whiom i trust more than anything or anyone, a person that is basically the sun around which my little shitty universe revolves. And when she reccomends things, i trust her. So, yeah, i am one of the Draw Something children, my minions. Feel free to point and laugh (and then attempt to use said finger to draw the word "omnivore" on your tiny phone screen). i know what you are, liars.

If uou lived on the planet Fisterello for all this time, you might not know what Draw Something is. Let me explain shortly with you under this mistletoe: it's a game, you moron.

The idea is a turn based game, where you and your friend, soon to be worst enemy, attempt to draw a word for the other to guess. The harder the word is (according to the game's quite random and puzzling parameters), the quicker you are, the more points you receive. If you fail, you dont loose completely, but you loose your streak and generally fail at life and youre probably a sad person that will never have anything good in its life. Well, dont cry. Thjere's still cut the rope, or cutting yourself.

So what really makes the player stand out really is how good or (way more often) how bad they draw the word. I have encountered plenty of styles but the following seem to reflect sometypes that are diffused in this joyous community of job skippers.

Loosely inspired to real people, to whom i profess my love and ask for eternal forgiveness.

- The Campy

The player is really good at drawing, possibly does it for a living and has a powerful competitive streak and a perfectionist nature. So all those factors combine into a perfect drawing, note-making machine of destruction-. Say the word is "Leaf". The Campy will draw a museum worthy painting of a rtree a garden, children playing and fruit, complete with shadings, collour touches and notes on possible corrections of the shapes. Oh yeah and an arrow pointing to a leaf, but thats not the point, is it?

- The Vivi

The player has a strong sense of humour, a vast knowledge of pop culture and references, is quick minded and very clever and likes to challenge the opponent's patience and ability to guess the non-obvious. So It will pick non-immediate words or turn the easy ones into sets of intelligent and sometimes obscure or humourous references to sex acts, movies, songs, books and other ideas. Say the word is "Scar". The drawing will be of a renidtion of a harry potter scene, detailed and complex. An arrow points to Harry's scar. not that hard if only for the small factor that The Vivi's drawing skills are goiod but not perfect and deriven by impatience (which shows fully when it guesses the opponent words after two seconds), so it's final result will be harder to decipher. Still playing with a Vivi is a riot.

- The Daniel

This player plays for real. No frills or silliness. Picks words that are decipherable or drawable, even if less point worthy. Then does a simple, not too complicated drawing that gets the point across quickly and with no hassle. Guessing its words isnt complicated, but not necessarily easy. All you need is a brain and use it well. He is also a good guesser, not to stressful on time. Playing with a Daniel is relaxing and pleasant and takes stress off of your weary head.

- The Rhi

The Rhi is an unpredictable player. Generally she draws very, very well. And has a quick and clkever sense of humour coupled with a sense of art. Her drawings are a good combinations of prettiness, beauty, and hard to decipher puzzles. They can be quite challenge. Yet, once in awhile, they might become too puzzling. Images that only allude to the main word will pop up and the opponent will have to loose neurons to figure those out. Still a Rhi is patient and good natured. So worth the effort.

- The Andrea

Any Draw Somthing Player'sworst nightmare. An Andrea cant draw a straight line. His words are scrawny balls of distorted hyerogliphics, seen under a heavy dose of LSD. When they contain word, they are scrawled out in a jittery, unreadable writing that is unreadable to anyone besides the author. Not even The Andrea can often figure out what he just drew. Also when he has to figure out stuff, hes often slightly off center, so he takes an unlimited amount of time to even catch theobvious. If you think an Andrea is in yourplayer roster, run like hell.

Not seeing yourself here? well move your stupid chubby ass and write your own list! Fags.

giovedì 5 aprile 2012

In Memory Of Layne

I used to be young once. Not that now i'm old, but i used to be different. Especially for what concertns music. My love for it is still absolute, pyure and burning like a supernova. But i might have gotten more mature and complex towards it.

When i was a kid, i LOVED any band that tickled my heart with no middle gorund. When a band or a specific musician grabbed my attention in the right way, i made a pact with them. An unbreakable bond. They would provide my happiness and the means of my survival in a cold, pointless world, where my parents did not love me and clearly sauid soi and i seemed to be going nowhere very quickly and burn out in slow motion.

I missed the wagon for the grievers of Freddie Mercury's death. As much as i love Queen i discovered them too late. And Nirvana too. When Kurt killed himself leaving a lonely daughter , and insane wife and a world of breoken hearted fans, i qwasnt poaying attention. Maybve too caught up into my own thousand little dramas smelling of booze, meds and neglect. I was too busy following my own obsessions for a better life that was still far from my grasp, to notice that a hero had just opted the way out of this world and left it way more grey and dire.

But Layne Stanley. I knew him.

When i started following Alice In Chains, i was at the bottom of my own pit. They put out the magnificient piece of distorted dysfunction that is "Dirt". I got it a year later than it got out. 93. I was already drinking. not heavily but drinking. and the hangovers had that as a soundtrack.

And then there were the others. The unplugged, providing a silence filling for the sleepless nights with an aching stomach and the desire to just jump out of a window. Or The self titled one. The one with the cripple dog, as we called it. Dark. SOulful. Layne on it sounded like he was either running away from a gaping black hole or about to jump inside of it. And i got a car. I drove aimelssly, listening to their whole discography placed on an ugly nameless tape. And thought of never going back to wherever i left.

And tears., ANd fear. And loves gone and never got back. or celebrations. And sex. And happiness. Nothing was untouched by their music. And by his voice. Like romantic nights, cuddled in a cxar under a blanket with whatshername, the stars above us. The fields of grass that made the nothingness feel less scary. Each other and proimises of a love that would not get fulfilled.

And Layne singing. With Mad Season.

And the years passed anbd i got older. I got worse. I got lost. Laynbe did too. Heroin became his only way of life. He became a hermit and his health deteriorated. ANd one day he was found after three days he had died. It was 2002. I dont remember what i was doing. i remember my heart breaking at the news. For a moment. then i went back to the nothing i was being sucked into.

Today it will be ten years siunce his passing.

It still hurts. Rest Layne. And thank you for it all.

martedì 3 aprile 2012

Professional Humoredians: Dna Gould

When you think of comedy, you probably think of punchlines, setups, slketches, pop culture references.

You might think of the horrifying slapstick covered trickery of Dane Cook. Or the bite sized satire of a Lewis Black. But one guy that might not come to your mind instantly is Dana Gould.

And you'0d be wrong. Because not only Gould is a name in comedy and an influential one now, he has been HUGE. He changed the game for everyone. Transformed the rules. Inserted his own demonic wit and derailed sense of pitch black humour into the scene'0s decaying dna. And added, for the first time, possibly, a healthy and devastating dose of personal emotion in it.

He created characters. He dissected himself and hios rough life onstage. He talked about demons, self destruction, emotional issues for a laughing audience. He melted down for them.

Where average comedians opted for impressions of hyper known characters, politiucans that were on everyone's mind, Dana dropped fewer and more insanely detailed ones of figures that were almost forgotten: Don Knotts, Vincent Price, JFK and so on.

And he made them fuynny. Scratch that, he made them hilarious. Edgy and different. And he moved on to act with some of them. To write for influenbtial pop culture staples like The Simpsons. Become one of the big guys.

Then personal issues and life made him shatter and retire, on a quest for ideas. And he found them . Found a new life with adopted girls and had a comedic rebirth.

Now he has a podcast of his own and new stand up. But you might find him on every podcast in the universe, making guest spot.- Cause he dfoesnyt quit, ever. He's Dana Fucking Gould.