Tuesday, July 14, 2009

*t-shirt ideology

This is my final edit, but it will likely change slightly as i memorize it.

T-shirt Ideology

In the summer
between grades 7 and 8
I bought a Rage Against the Machine t-shirt
from a Music World
in a half built mall
in Calgary

It had a picture of Che Guevara
who I, at the time
thought was the singer of
Rage Against the Machine

It instantly became my favorite shirt
I wore it at least 4 days a week
and managed to find out
who Che Guevara actually was
with minimal embarrassment

I bought Che’s Guerilla Warfare
and Socialism and the Man in Cuba
and became convinced
that a socialist revolution
was exactly what Kelowna needed
and I began my feat of attempting
to win the hearts and minds
of the locals

I began hating George Bush religiously
and maybe, it had to do with
my left-winged role models influencing me
but the more I read
the more I became disgusted
with Republican policy

I printed One Term President shirts
before the 2004 presidential elections
which I then began to wear
at least 4 days a week
and petitioned the right-wingers
at my church
attempting to convert them
to my side of the political spectrum
(to say the least
my success was limited)

I could attribute
my escape from
evangelical mentality
to my hatred for
the Bush Doctrine
and right wing policy
and (eventually) that lead me
to my exodus from the
social and political conformity
and religiosity
that some tried to sell as the only
true interpretation of Christianity

When I went to university
I had a political science professor
who introduced me to
and I abandoned
my Marxist theory
and the overstatements
that are carried by ideas
grounded in modern ideology

I idealized the EZLN.
as they were the first
post-modern revolutionary group,
and Subcommendante Marcos
(but only as the idea of
Subcommendante Marcos
because I didn’t want to
be contributing to the
Marcos personality cult
that the EZLN has
attempted to avoid)

The insanity of modern ideology
and neo-liberal economy
took its toll on me
and the bottle
found a place in my life
more prominently
to escape the reality
of a world going insane
with rationality

While the idea eventually,
but somehow suddenly,
became daunting
that I may just be
a product of my t-shirt,
and not actually
a revolutionary

Because in actuality
how is poisoning myself nightly
sticking it to the hard-right?

Will bottles that tower beside my bed
every morning
(that I, of course, recycle)
change the minds
of the half of my continent
who hold, and act on
a completely opposite
idea of of right and wrong
than what I’ve come to?

But this morning
I had what I hope I can call
a moment of clarity
everything was tear inducing beautiful
yet simultaneously
vomit inducing disgusting

and in this shimmering disgust
I woke up with a stomach
like a jar of pickles
and skateboarded in the wind
to closed buildings
and put up one poster
and felt thankful to be lost
in the (sometimes-catastrophic) mystery
of Earth and humanity
and under-slept clarity

Because my leftist ideology
or spirituality
will never be quantitatively
proved to me
and maybe, solitude
is what’s in the cards
and being happy with
being disconnected from
the culture surrounding me
wherever my feet are planted

But I’ve been getting better
at walking away
and calling it progress
as I walk a little to the left
of where my compass points