Wading in the Waters of Slave Narration, Blade Runner 2049 (A Broke Radical Review)

“Every civilization is built off the backs of a disposable workforce. We lost our stomach for slaves, unless engineered.”

Niander Wallace

______________________________________

One of the ways the original settlers worked to solidify chattel slavery was by attempting to build a science around reproduction. The psychological terror, dietary restrictions and grueling hours in itself was enough to deplete the plantation labor force. Rebellion and the quelling of also meant high production values replaced by mass executions of the most hearty fugitives.

With effective breeding they could control a lineage of workers who would add to productivity, so as to ensure their dynasties ad infinitum.

Building a world so reliant on labor also meant ensuring that this mode of production would forever remain accessible. Advancements in technology tout an end goal of moving beyond human, and yet many scientific leaps are made with the express purpose of extending, as opposed to extinguishing human and (non)human life. I am not of the belief that white supremacy hinges on the physical eradication of the fugitive. Rather, in order for whiteness to remain the default definition of personhood, antiblackness has to be maintained at its current level of dehumanization.

[Disparaging remark scrawled on K’s door]

_____________________________________

Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner film lends credence to the peril of living while non white in a world fueled by the settler economy.

This is a future deeply reliant on corporate sponsored consumption. In the sequel, it’s mentioned that the Blackout had erased most records, debt, allowing many replicants to escape from the fury of their plantation owners. Being white they are able to effectively hide amongst their white human counterparts.

Meanwhile, humanity is force fed garish holographic delights, processed food in Japanese style vending machines and replicant sex workers in legal brothels.

People no longer have to deal with the psychological strain of determining whether their quarry should be counted among them and spared. They are instead left to collect the flotsam of a world wrought by climate change, war and economic ruin. Making due on an earth pillaged by the mega rich, who have taken settler facism to the stars.

It also stands to reason that the nuclear fallout and climatic changes have forever altered the way most carbon based life was able to reproduce. Thus, the titans of industry had to find a way to re-insert slave labor into the economy.

The replicant is completely stripped of any semblance of humanity parceled out post Civil War and reconstituted via the Civil Rights Act. Steeped in a different type of social death. Created for pleasure, terraforming newly colonized worlds or military service.

By giving the slave a white face dystopian writers have long attempted to equate humanity with a label that is, for better or worse, a stigma long associated with blackness. This erasure is a false bid at equality. As well as a method of garnering sympathy for a class of being typically far removed from being seen as a respectable citizen.

As many a black scholar has pointed out, white supremacy thrives on the fugitive status of a people completely cut off from their legacy.

____________________________________

K: “I’ve never retired something that was born before.”

Madam: “What’s the difference?”

K: “To be born is to have a soul I guess.”

Madam: “Are you telling me no?”

K: “I wasn’t aware that was an option madam.

Madam: “Attaboy. Hey, you’ve been getting along fine without one.”

K: “What’s that madam?”

Madam: “A soul.”

_____________________________________

K is a replicant hunter-killer, a newer model with a longer life span, advanced memory implants. Greater cognitive skills than the older Nexus models built by the Tyrell Corporation. He’s the perfect slave catcher. Wily, despised, focused.

His human masters have given him enough freedom that he has even cultivated a simple home life with his holographic girlfriend.

K is tasked with hunting down the origin of an ossuary found beneath a dead tree. The bones of a long dead replicant reveal a truth withheld by Tyrell and a prize that will allow the Wallace Corporation to colonize even more planets. K’s ultimate aim is to destroy any evidence that a child was actually born. And also to find and retire the replicant spawn.

For Niander Wallace, reverse engineering the formula once perfected, then hidden by Tyrell, he could shift his focus from creating a new line of replicants to solidifying his God status among humans.

K begins to lose his conditioning in typical everyman fashion, failing his baseline tests and eventually going rogue. The promise of participating in a miracle pressing the replicant to cosign to mayhem. And thus be counted as more than machine. You see here a dual blessing, so to speak. Spiritual atonement and citizenship.

This is the origin story of our time spent as wanderers in the hollow. Ours has been a fight to reclaim our spiritual, mental health, reproductive and the most basic of human rights. The upheavals, rebuilding, putting in a consistent bid to live. Puzzle piecing the flotsam of our existence, so thorough was the thunderstorm of slavery.

Despite reports to the contrary, the fugitive will always have a place here.

Be it the vanguard or the back room, we’re forever tied to the machinations of the European ethno-state. It is only just that we persevere long enough to watch it fall into dust.

Advertisements

Proximity: A View from Dead Space

Labor:

[ley-ber]

1: Productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.

2: The body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.

I notice my relationship to negation, when in close proximity to those at odds with Otherness. Which is to say the world that I inhabit, although the action of displacement exhibits a sense of form. Momentum is oftimes misinterpreted, itself an act of resistance, as a sign of resignation. This was a misunderstanding typically assigned to the servile demeanor of every slave. Reality is, the plot to overthrow the merchant regimes and plantation aristocracy was never spoken aloud. Prying eyes, prudent ears, forces one to adopt a disguise sewn from defeat and dejection.

Mind, if your contemporaries are in motion, attuned to the music of subjegation, quite naturally, you also must walk in lockstep, until the call is made.

Resistance is a dance old as time.

In the fields we would deliberately break tools, burn crops, misunderstand directions, clever subterfuge that was at once genius but also allowed the master to proclaim the need to further commodify. In their eyes we were in need of management, so that our dreptomaniacal souls could gain passage to heaven. Not much has changed. Government officials and corporate Titans still assume the masses are in need of guidance and work to quell our misgivings with Hollywood entertainment, fast food and simple escapes. We feed the machine which in turn dribbles tiny bits into our open palm.

Our bodies, despite the will to move, in spite of the desire to perfect a seamless transition from Doing to Being, is still chained to a brutal economy. Touted as most advanced, inclusive, a juggernaut built from blood, bone, disingenuous cruelty, unrepentant resolve.

Copper John once relayed to me a story handed down by his Guyanese grandmother. The slaves that did not make the full journey, those who died en route, tossed overboard, their bodies were collected by angels of the deep. Carried to the shores of their should-have-been home to guide the living along the pathways to freedom.

That said I am wrapped in my ancestors loving embrace. They have lent me the strength of their conviction, etched like the marks of maturity on my weary face.

As object this is at once ethereal and the cause of taxation, time management, prone to savagery through written word and implied violence. Subjegation through the suppression of ones past, for the betterment of a disquieting mode of production. The world is deemed a playground ripe for assault, the body a tool used to terraform the Earth in the image of Eurocentric hierarchy.

Work is a requirement for social esteem, basic needs, sustainable wealth that is in actuality a paperweight on the backs of the workers. Poverty, environmental terrorism and State sanctioned psychological warfare keep the worker class in thrall to this oligarchy disguised as Democracy. Marketable dreams, sold like corner store liquor to the have nots since manifest destiny was tattooed on the skin of slaves and the indigenous First of this land.

To free the body-self from profile slavery is to be in opposition of the course. Many of us, regrettably cannot escape the corporate plantation due to fail-safes built into the capitalist model. True to the Matrix Dilemma, we feel the wrong of it within, yet struggle to remove the paperweight as it has settled into a comfortable spot between the shoulder blades. We reach and only scratch at the edges.

Our proximity to free thought, financial independence is negated by the need to survive in a land stolen and an economy drenched in our blood. Even as we formulate ways to ‘get through’, as opposed to ‘just getting by’. The entrepreneur still has to file taxes. The artist must still hock their works through commercial ventures. The writers words must be seen, to be felt. The sex worker must still utilize the Draconian health care industry in order to ensure they are healthy.

To counter this we must continue to scratch the itch until the paperweight falls away. Once seen it can be reverse engineered, reused as a weapon to advance the cause of true freedom. What I’m saying is this…..

We have always stood apart, even when we were trod underfoot. We’ve always moved in shadow as our bodies dwelled in the sun. We stand apart so we can stand firm, together. The walls are crumbling. Each fracture exposes this regime. We have to keep chipping away until the wall falls. Wrapped in the embrace of years long resistance.

Never Happy to See Me Again

I love sex. I love thinking about it, commiting to consensual acts of lust and depravity as though it will be my last.

As a sex worker I used that to make my experiences just as pleasurable as my clients.

My introduction to sex is rooted in abuse by adults. Thanks to patriarchal norms my abuse at the hands of older women was seen as a right of passage.

The memory was like a throat punch.

It was the mid ’90’s, mid fall. I was out in them streets chopping it up with the homies, getting lit. I heard her voice but didn’t register as she made her way down the line asking for a free hit, catching a firm no. Then,

“Lil’ Pete, that you? Boy what is you doin’-”

She leaned in and I shoved her away, heart pounding in confusion. My brother was like, “You remember ______ don’t you bro?”

How could I have forgotten? The memory burned in my soul, suddenly like a fresh stain. She saw the accusation in my eyes, and was ashamed. She walked away. I went the opposite direction to my car.

The pistol I kept under the seat weighed heavy in my lap. The thought of following, outing her in public was tempting, briefly. I knew that ultimately I would be the subject of ridicule for calling my early education an assault. The homies would have embarrassed me, called me afraid or any of the myriad emasculating terminology readily available.

I put the gun away, drove to a lover’s apartment and tried to fuck the confusion away. She said it was the best sex we ever had. I was hardly there.

I saw my abuser a few more times afterwards. Always while she was in the middle of scoring crack from a homie. I’d be torn between asking why she did it, outing her in front of someone. I had worse thoughts than these. And always, always I would choose street credibility over healing. Even as I was, at that time just starting to push at the boundaries of my gender identity.

I was a straight coward for not standing up for myself. She was never excited to see me again after that first time. She would speak to me while looking away, would hurry the transaction and disappear.

I honestly don’t remember exactly how old I was. I don’t even remember how I used to end up on that hardwood floor beneath her. I do remember how she would jump up in fear and shuffle to the window at every sound, her panties looped around one ankle. The sweat. Did it begin as a game? Did I easily go along or feel misgivings?

If I remember correctly we had a nebulous family tie. I don’t fault my mother at all because this woman babysat me so infrequently. Momma was particular about whom she allowed to watch over me. Even now she continues to look for ways to protect her children. I don’t think it happened enough to cause noticeable changes in my behavior.

I wish I could remember more than snippets if just to keep from wondering if I imagined it.

I couldn’t have been more than ten years old when it happened. She was the first. Certainly not the last.

There were other moments later, during my mid teens. By then I saw it as a point of pride, when women twice my age taught me how to be an attentive lover, or an affective dominant.

Twenty years down the line, I’m standing in my living room in the darkness, peering out across the street at an arguing couple. The way the non-man stood, all light hipped sass and sensuality, brought me to my knees. I had to get ready for work, needed to get my shit together…

So it’s been back at the forefront of my thoughts. I’m looking at how those instances shaped me.

I’ve also thought about why I didn’t speak out. I excused my silence before realizing that it’s ingrained in our culture. Accolades thrown at the virility of black bodies while also used as a measuring stick against our bid for equal rights. Black male culture is predicated on the myth of our collective Luke Cageism.

Niggas I grew up with know what it is. We were all well immersed in the same cultural norms that conveyed a misogynistic overture, because our older male figures said that shit was cool. We admired their prowess, the fact that they could “talk any girl out the drawes”. Not realizing that, even as we perfected the beat, and laid the track, our ‘game’ was a form of gaslighting. Call it what you will, but if it took you half the night whispering on the phone, playing that special baby making mixtape, begging to the point of frustration, she didn’t fuck you cause she liked you. She fucked you to get you to shut the hell up and go away.”

I used to have such a carefree desire to fuck anyone who’d let me. I hardly wore protection and would get down anywhere. I’ve had more lovers than I can remember but hers is a face that will forever be clear.

I’m way more reserved these days.. The desire for sex is always there, but I’m mindful of the implications of not keeping my impulses in check. I’ve since been tested. For purposes of healing I’ve been happily, sexually with one partner for four years.

Right now I’m terrified, relieved, sad and optimistic. Slowly I’ve been working to distangle these threads holding this caricature together. Each realization exposing more layers until I am raw, new.

Healed.

A Feast, At the end of the Dance

Sgt. Eddie Parks: It’s over. It’s all over.

Melanie: It’s not over. It’s just not yours any more.

– The Girl with all the Gifts

_________________________________

My life consists of constant movement.

Neverending whirlwind on the cusp of incohesion. I have measured the breadth and scope of this earth on swollen feet.

Been dead since birth, subsisting on the dust, piss and leavings of a carcereal end game.

We, a new strain of zombie, exists for consumption.

Puppet strings woven from dry veins, intestines collected in the aftermath of the destruction of our neighborhoods and storefronts.

We dance for our food, walking into walls, sightless, appendages auctioned off like hot links at a mudder loving free for all in the swamps.

Searching for food and shelter. Offered a place on the outskirts, saying we are incapable of making good choices

Deemed by the Settler God unworthy of autonomy.

You say we are animals while co-opting our culture, monetizing our pain, fucking us as fetish, bones used as insturments of torture.

With broken jaws, we mimic the voice of reason so as to earn our say.

The laugh track is turned higher to drown out the boring sensibility.

Still life postures on naked screens, demeaned in such a way that culpability is placed on broken shoulders.

Easy to say that the fault lies with the captor, look at all these horror stories created with slum as back drop, burning, ever so passionately while the oppressor offspring twerk happily off beat and basic, as we stumble through the ashes seeking our supper.

We spy a chink in the armor of unreason, prying loose the planks of a storm weathered fence, climbing the gates.

Interrupting the regular schedule, grab Satan’s tail, the onslaught…

Save now we wear ashes on our faces in remembrance of, our will metastasized through this American semblance of body.

And we feast

Terraformed transfigured earth dwellings house us as we peek through web page curtains as you pick up the pieces, weary, deceased.

……..

Songbook in Pictures….

newly born, wrapped in a shroud, pushing upward from fitful sleep.

brain waves change shape in anticipation, limbs creaking from disuse

pinch of light salts the eyelids,

beseeches me, hold on to absurdly abstract yet striking dream shards

a body, once stiff as an unexpected erection, is fluid, draining from the shallows, covered in primordial slime, dismissed

cleansed, thoughts tumbling about. shocked at my own breath, how poignant yet stale it tastes

rifling through old times, Harlem Renaissance memory poetics, socialist sleepovers

default settings turned off a nigga free ranging as though tomorrow will reveal a reset button…

turn to face the sun, however, nevermind that exhaustion runs cool fingers through tangled locs, the hustle pervades, jarring as auto pay alerts, angry white stares on the bus

it’s a trial each day motivating the self when sleep seems so enticing, to lay you down again until the closing of time

would like to choose the hour, have friends recall the day, moved from existence to being, Otherness transfigured unto a galactic song

fine line walking long distance to the edge of my existence. ..

would rather be high instilling order with a crop, blindfold and cuffs, satisfaction mutual

here I sit, connected to earth and all its poisonous delights, deflated, instigating an uprising in silence

I still wanna fight but sometimes I get tired. ….

Radical Nonmonogamy as Praxis IV

Without free and ready access how you gon’ call Tyrone to help you come get yo shit?

Manifesto Digitalis

(Links provided below with permission)

_______________________________

Mainstream society in general encourages disfavor towards the poor.

We want to feel protected, and financially stable. Personally, I often and always fact check my own motivations. Are my daily interactions in keeping with the disintegration of apathy, curbing poverty, if even just a little? Am I bringing attention to those even more marginalized and hated than myself?

A large swath of the populous has no disposable income for food, medical or other life threatening emergencies. Many within my circle of loved ones toil daily to make ends while also dealing with mass scale marginalization. This often limits the amount of time they can allot to dating.

Still, many of us proudly proclaim the right to exist and love as autonomous, queer, nonbinary, trans, disabled Nonmonogamous beings. Not surprisingly, those mentioned are also the ones most despised and erased.

Revolutionary syndicalism speaks volumes about the need for the people to move away from third party reliance when State or corporate controlled hierarchy effectively blocks the poor from accessing programs built (supposedly) in their favor. When coupling this philosophy with nonmonogamy you have an opportunity to create a value system steeped in grassroots ideology that is fueled not just by economic value but also decolonized love and gender frameworks.

Outside of nonmonogamy, resource sharing is already no longer limited to a few politically motivated social capitalist groups.

Many non-white, queer, disabled and neurodivergent folks are using social media as a means to encourage grassroots community building.

One enigmatic example would be #cuilverse, created by Michon Neal, a phenomenal force who also has well over twenty years experience dismantling patriarchal relationship dynamics, abuse culture, disability politics and nonmonogamy. Cuilverse is a world unto itself crafted as an alternative to mainstream publication.

Others like the incomparable Creighton Leigh who has been at the forefront of the #waterforflint movement, uses their voice to distribute funds to non men in need, and educate people about the dangers of misogyny.

This work is exhausting, time consuming and oftimes triggering.

It would do well to note that sometimes we have to just check in on our social activist friends and those we follow. Bump and share their posts to induce maximum visibility. Break bread when you are able. Do it without question. Without seeking a return.

These are just two of many examples. Social media fundraising has been a viable asset in our bid to ease the burden of non men who have been forgotten, in poverty, and even in death.

We are not only radicalizing how we love, but bringing attention to radical efforts used to counteract Settler Facism. No one within any marginalized community should have to be overly concerned with how to pay bills, childcare, transportation. In addition, the internet is being threatened by legislation aimed at silencing the voices of dissent. Long distance relationships and monetary pipelines can soon be held for ransom.

Imagine if we continue on a higher level, each non-monogamous group standing tied together through activism, with (decolonized) love being the silk that binds us to the greater good.

Our love practices will continue to evolve. Those who’d benefit most are working more towards bare minimum survival than love practices. This is not to say that we don’t deserve respect, devotion, intimacy and love. In our bid to survive the horrors of a disreputable regime we are seeking to love on our own terms.

I have chosen to deny colonized love’s hold on me. I’d rather surround myself with friends who love me, lovers who aren’t afraid to commit acts of resistance, accomplices willing to deconstruct the system that affords them privilege.

___________________

http://postmodernwoman.com/

https://m.facebook.com/itsmeCreightonLeigh/

Broke Radical Mathematics

America has feasted on the poor for so long even poor people look for ways to get invited to the table. The dying middle class look for productive ways to guard the door. The rich spit out meme worthy quips so that we can pretend that their innovations are for the benefit of all.

This is not a new trend. Southern Dixiecrats used this misinformation post-reconstruction as a way to drive a wedge between poor white and black sharecroppers looking towards communism as a way to ease the burden of poverty. By preaching white dominance to the poor white masses, they effectively brought about the rise of the Klan, recruited watchdogs for the blooming prison industrial complex and limited access to wealth by promising that the American dream was being reshaped to only include white males.

Generational poverty was revamped as pride. So effectively that entire towns have disappeared because the older citizens felt it necessary to keep their children from advancing to assure a steadily dying legacy. This also led to mass rioting across the country as the template was adopted by northern politicians and businessmen looking to quell the rise of inclusive unions, as well as exclusively non white organizations.

The Talented Tenth used this method to uphold the agenda of the NAACP, black clergy and middle class as a way to separate the black elite from black Southerners fleeing state sanctioned terrorism in the south. By erasing their own southern roots, blaming crime in the hood on their southern cousins who couldn’t yet afford an upwardly mobile lifestyle. They built up what is now widely known as respectability politics, legitimizing blackness in the eyes of white society to sue for rights under laws not written to include us.

Everyday we’re provided with statistics showing that the minimum wage is complicit in keeping marginalized black and brown communities from collectively rising above the poverty line. Most recently we’ve been informed that you can’t even afford a two bedroom apartment with the average wage. I can go so far to say that even with my slightly above average wage I still can’t afford decent housing, groceries or medical care and set money aside for emergencies.

This isn’t due to a lack of motivation. Outside of free therapy, writing is also a side hustle that has also become a means for me to express my dissent, engage with like minds and uplift the voices of nonmen. I’m always looking for ways to make extra funds. Recent events have pressed me to request cash from friends and family so that I can make the summer tolerable for me and mine.

Daily, queer, femme, disabled, trans non men have to seek ways to make money due to the consistent life altering laws in place that keep them from gainful employment, grants and government subsidy. This includes sex work, which has been criminalized to such a degree that many are thrown into dangerous situations just to have a place to stay, food to eat.

How is it that a so called free democracy allows a majority of its population to live in poverty? How is it that those who are floating just so above the poverty line assume they’re to thumb their noses at the rest of us?

Settler Fascism demands a status quo.

Some of you, hood raised, from humble roots act ashamed because you have aunties, cousins and such who do hair in the back room or sell plates out the kitchen to make ends meet. As if some of that money hadn’t at some point made your life easier. Urban gardening wasn’t created as an aesthetic. It was done to supplement, and ensure that folks in the house and neighborhood had access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

In home hair salons have been around ever since black folks gained the opportunity to express their originality and style. Hustling has sent many a bougie mufucka to college. Yet these same individuals will look down on their family still squeezing pennies for rent.

America is the world’s most efficient cannibal. It will gleefully teach you that it’s prudent to sup upon the leavings of capitalism, live above your means and die in debt just to say you have attained materials that have no moral substance. I say this because I too am complicit. I work a job, stress over bills, shuffle funds so that my family can have moments of joy that cost. None of us are better than the other. Anyone participating in this grand hustle is not free to cast stones. We can point out its flaws, cite social anarchist theorum until our words bleed, but until this economy falls into the dust, we are all enslaved. Poor, anarchist, atheist, well to do and celebrity alike.

Slaves.