Breathless: A Nostalgia for Oxygen
I’m a Poet, a Producer and lately a Publisher of aesthetic, sometimes eclectic content that speaks to the truth of living your life in today’s moment of existence. Beyond the Real World is the Actual World, which I prefer to inhabit. There really is only one world but social delusions, language and mathematics make us concoct a duality between the “Real” and the “Actual”. It’s just a trick of the light on our senses.
Oddly and recently, I’ve received a lot of flak and unarticulated hostility from people who just like the way things are. Either they get some advantage out of our current state of disconnect or they’ve become so habituated to futilely struggling, to being dehumanized that they prefer what they’re familiar with rather than facing the unknown of change.
Having a back ground in ‘technology’ I do know one universal truth about ‘systems’ and that is ‘systems’ can always be improved upon. In fact if ‘systems’ aren’t being perpetually improved, they fall by the way side and become impediments to useful change.
As is with technology, so it is true of the human community and its social structures. My father was an anthropologist and a sociologist at a time when the very word ‘society’ was being challenged as having no meaning.
My work is about returning meaning to the term “society”. to the set of complex interactions we consider collectively as the norm and worth compromising our individuality for. Society is us and what we make of it, every day of every interaction you have with another human, either well known or a stranger to you. How you treat others out of fear or openness is multiplied by millions and the sum total consists the society we are all part of and are all living in.
No man is an island and no woman can be exiled to one.
This is not about politics or ideology, this is about awareness and mindfulness as to how each of us is as part of a whole. There’s only one race, the human race and you are part of it. The only question is with what degree of awareness are you running in the human race?
Looking backwards, in hindsight, I now realize the the steady stream of anonymous antagonism and threats I’ve received over the past year all started when my album BREATHLESS – A nostalgia for Oxygen was released last year on Bandcamp by my spoken word producer Frédéric Iriarte and largely composed by my art brother Jair-Rohm Parker Wells.
I believe it is the most popular track from the album, I CAN’T BREATH, the last words of George Floyds recited as a spoken word, ‘found’ poem by a ‘white’ voice that triggered the attention that all to soon became menacing and I have had to take unprecedented steps to protect myself from.
It is a tremendous album and well worth the free fee by which you can listen to it. I assure you that you’ve never heard anything like it before although I’m sure you’ve heard Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson, Willian Burroughs, David Byrne and Anthony Braxton. If not, you should listen to them too as they are the inspirations for our album.
Thank you for your attention, it’s the most precious commodity in the universe: your attention.
Sunflower Seeds Inside Your Pockets
Take these seeds
And thrust them deep inside your pockets
So that when you die and your body becomes the earth
Sunflowers will grow once again from the land you killed to claim.
Ballerinas and camouflaged beauty queens will greet you in the streets
With pirouettes of spinning bullets behind barricades of sheets.
My grandmother will serve you up Molotov’s cocktails.
The orphans you murdered will dance around you sleepless until dawn
So that sunflowers will grow once again from the land you killed to claim.
Do you fear for war?
Ask of the stillness evermore,
Ask of the field, or ask the breeze, and ask the birch and poplar trees.
Ask of the children who now lie beneath the birch trees and the sky,
and let their mothers tell you once more
Whether or not you should fear for war.
They died so that the children from ev’ry shore
might live without your fear of war.
Ask those who fought, and those erased,
ask those planted in the rubble of Mariupol and Donetsk Oblast
Ask the women you embrace.
ask your mother –ask my wife–,
So that you will wonder never more
Whether you have cause to fear for war.
Who longs for war?
Who longs for war?
No one but those who are no more.
No one living longs for war
But war cares not for your longing or yearning for living.
Or your fears for war
War will always arrive uninvited to your door.
When war comes calling to your front door.
You cannot lock the war outdoors.
You cannot run and hide behind your chair
Or bury your head under the covers of your bed.
When war comes to your front door
There is nowhere to run, nowhere to go
The corpses of your neighbors will hinder your flight
You cannot let fear become your general
To give up the fight
To surrender to might.
Instead, you must stand with the sunflowers in the golden fields
Stand with our heads facing the sun.
Pour your bravery into an empty coke bottle
And pick up a gun.
Stand for freedom, for the children we have lost
Stand up for liberty, against the tide of tyranny.
Stand up for yourself as much as any other.
Summon your courage to stand like man,
Like a like a clown, like a woman, like a child.
The cries of their answer rises loud and clear
for all people, ev’rywhere, to hear.
The message now is as before:
Do not fear,
Do not fear,
Do not fear for war,
For war is already here
© Igor Goldkind March 27, 2022
For the Ukraine and for America
Banned From Facebook, Again…
What can I say?
The month of January was silent due to my having accused a local mask-denier of demonstrating “a lethal stupidity”. 30 day suspension for “bullying’. I assume based on her complaint that I was telling her not to spread misinformation.
My latest trespass, again for another 30 days (first 7, until I appealed the decision), was for taking issue with a Trump supporter on one of Alexandra Cortez’s threads.
The woman was claiming that AOC had made up her account. A Portuguese participant commented in AOC’s defense whereupon the virulent QAnon proponent told the Portuguese national that he was a foreigner and to mind his own business, going back to his own country. I immediately responded in his defence by inviting him as my guest, to comment on anything he wanted to in the land of freedom of speech and then chastised the woman to stop being an ignorant American.
She complained that I was nationally slandering her for being an American manifestation of supreme ignorance. I was again suspended from using Facebook for 30 days, 27 more.
My appeals have been well reasoned and completely ignored.
I am awaiting the moral judgement of the algorithmic overlords by which human employees make decisions at Face Book. Repeatedly, I have been censured and censored for challenging misinformed comments that Facebook itself, if it contained one iota of the moral standard it claims to hold, should have caught in the first place!
If challenging and taking issue with those who question the legitimacy of the election, the validity of the pandemic or its remedies and continue to spout dangerous, Trump inspired, racist and and anti vax madness goes against Facebook’s Community Standards then those standards and their deployment are in serious need of actual public review and scrutiny.
In the meantime, I shall wallow in the righteousness of my exile.
Dostoievski won’t be drinking alone tonight in the Facebook Gulag.
Take a look at my new book and get yourself a Free review copy!
Notes from a Facebook Exile
Once again the ghostly powers of Facebook have judged me and found me wanting.
Or wanting of the veneer of non threatening, amiable posts. Nothing that would offend a Humming Bird of nerve endings. A Calvinist shaking in their boots. I’m not a Facebook post, you don’t have to like me!
My grave offence was to post a photograph of the great American poet Allen Ginsberg standing naked on a Moroccan beach. The original naked poet; metaphor and literal combined into one. His words, not his images were deemed obscene way back in the last century. There was a public trial and unlike Socrates, Ginsberg (and City Lights, the publisher) were both found not guilty of obscenity. Howl was deemed a work of art and protected under the first amendment. Why doesn’t Facebook abide by the first amendment instead of hiding like a coward behind their Emerald City curtain of Community Standards?
And why don’t Americans know their own history?
I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Allen Ginsberg during my Freshman year, when he had come to do a reading and lead a group meditation paying his dreadful table accordion. Was I 17 or 18? I was studying Heidegger and Charles Olsen, the Action Poet; Kandinsky’s New York roommate right round 1959 thereabouts, when the photo of Ginsberg on the Beach was taken. But I knew all of his work, inside and out. I was never gay but Ginsberg made me want to be!
I had stopped Allen in an outdoor corridor lined by lawn between two campus buildings. I was armed with my copy of the first edition City Lights Kaddish epic that I had found by blissful chance in the long gone used intelligentia bookstore at the corner of College and El Cajon Blvd, in San Diego, over a lifetime ago.
Allen looked at my book and gladly signed it. “I haven’t seen a first edition of these in years!” I told Allen about the used book store in San Diego where I had gone through all of his poetry and Kerouac and Cassidy’s First Third and Dylan’s Tarantula, Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki’s 3 volume Essays on Zen, all bought and consumed at this temple to beatitude at the cross roads of the world. I didn’t tell him how in high school we used to climb to the top of Cowell Mountain and howl the words to Howl at the valley unfolding beneath us. We didn’t know what hungry junkies were quite yet, but it sounded good and it was real. As real as the suburbs of San Diego can ever be.
In the past present, Allen handed me my book, more of a pamphlet, back and looked me up and down and smiled. It was a genuine smile and not the least bit lecherous considering what he said next.
“Would you like to come up to my room, it’s just over graduate housing? I can show you some poem books you haven’t seen. I knew what he meant but I was so stunned dumb by the proposition (Allen Ginsberg!). I stuttered something still trying to make up my mind before I spoke. But alas, fear of the unknown vanquished my curiousity or perhaps it was my vanity to be loved by a star that was defeated.
Nonetheless I must of said something because we went on our merry ways, my thanking him a little too profusely and the back of his bald head bobbing down the corridor.
So when I posted the photo a young Allen standing nude on a Morrocan beach, I kind of felt like I had earned the right to share his image, naked and vulnerable for the sake of a poetry reading which it was more than certain that someone would recite a Ginsberg-eque poem.
The Philistines may have conquered the machines but not me as of yet.
Facebook is Anti-Culture
Facebook is Anti-Culture
I’ve started this post after returning from a 60-day ban from Posting, Liking, Communicating, Joining, or Connecting with anyone else in the Facebook Community.
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. ~ The ACLU
What Was My Crime?
My posting one of my own published poems from my book Is She Available? that had been posted in Facebook at least thrice before without repercussion. and is currently available in dozens of libraries and bookstores throughout California and soon to be released in the UK. The visual interpretation of a love poem by the Designer/photographer and internationally renown artist/typographer Rian Hughes entitled:
I Missed Your Scent in Paris
Although his image was a black and white stylized photograph of a woman where if you squinted and looked real close you could make out the shadow of half a nipple showing, (which is exactly what a Facebook employee would have had to have done in order to render judgement that Tian and my work contravened Facebook’s community standards.
The Poem and Rian’s photo interpretation of the poem were not obscene, disgusting nor gratuitously offensive in any way. Unless of course, you consider the human body in itself to be obscene, in which case I strongly suggest you seek therapeutic help as you clearly entertain unhealthy, self-hating, anti-social thoughts.
Instead, if not the poem, then certainly the photograph of the semi-nude woman is a work of art. It is obvious to anyone who reads and looks that it had no other intention. Not being able to distinguish between pornography and erotic art is one of the great threats Facebook’s dumbed down lack of discernment poses to the thriving of a culture.
Art is the science of culture. Both are experiment–driven.
~ Igor Goldkind
As community-oriented and community-sounding Facebook professes to be (in its language and self-justifications of its censorship), Facebook is the enemy of culture. As well as the enemy of the community of humanity that shares the values that a free society comes hand in hand with expression free from censorship; as long as the expression poses no harm. Otherwise, it is not a free community.
“To destroy a people, first destroy their culture.
~ Mario Torero
What is it exactly about the half shadow image of a woman’s left nipples poses a threat to anyone? The last time I checked, a woman’s nipple is the source of nourishment for all of us, male and female at one time or another.
To censor the image of a human nipple is to censor the truth of what it means to be human. How can I prove this? Look for yourself! Apart from a minority of our fellow hairless apes who have lost them in accidents or horrific burns, we ALL OF US HAVE NIPPLES! It is the truth of who we are and as an artist, as a poet, I am only interested in the truth of who we are. Not the twisted Calvinist attempt at reversioning a reality where angels never fart and genies have no belly-buttons.
I know for a fact that genies do have belly-buttons, I’ve seen them with my own eyes! And as far as angel farts go, they smell better than your own.
Article 10 of the United Nations Human Rights Act protects our right to hold our own opinions and to express them freely without government or private interference.
This includes the right to express our views aloud (for example through public protest and demonstrations) or through:
• published articles, books or leaflets
• television or radio broadcasting
• the internet and social media
• AND WORKS OF ART
• The law also protects our freedom to freely receive
information from other people.
The US The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment’s protection of artistic expression very broadly. It extends not only to books, theatrical works and paintings but also to posters, television, music videos and comic books and personal social media pages including FACEBOOK — whatever the human creative impulse produces.
The right not to be censored by an arbitrarily superimposed moral hypocrisy of a minority…. is articulated in the Human Rights Act signed by the US as treaty and thus bound by US federal law in 1964. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the United States renewed its commitment to the international human rights system by signing, though not yet ratifying, several major human rights treaties.
Including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ICESCR).
These are the laws of the land that FACEBOOK has violated in unceremoniously and without warning censoring my work. Judgement without respite and only the cosmetics of appeal.
Facebook is not a community in any shape or form as long as its private owners impose their narrow, petty, puerile, and juvenile morals on us without listening to everyone, not just the complainers, who make up that community. That includes us good for nothing, when-are-you-going-to-get-a-real-job? artists.
There is no one to talk to at Facebook. No one to appeal to; no one to reason with and no one that takes responsibility for its actions. Human beings wrote the algorithms, built the servers and the browsers to increase the human bandwidth, not to distance us from ourselves!
There is no reason to fear the takeover of robots, algorithmic judgements and machines, for we have already surrendered.
Please repost this in part or in full on your wall and please share with your friends across all social media. Maybe Facebook will recall what it means to be a human with nipples one day and stop emulating the machines (who have no nipples).
Still Human & Nippled
PS You think that I’m overreacting? Just another crazy, good for nothing artist making pointless noise? The Modigliani nude, the Picasso, the Rubens and all fell foul of Facebook and are all pictured as depicted after being defaced by Facebook in the name of their hypothetical Community Standards.
The Tyranny of Social Media Mediocrity
After my 3-day exile from FB as sophomoric punishment for posting one among several of the spreads from my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? featuring one of Rian Hughes’s bare breasts (ok, not exactly HIS breast but nonetheless his photograph!), I am revitalised and ready to re-enter the morally ambiguous, inconsistent fray of FB’s so-called Community Standards barred cells.
By these very standards, Facebook prefers a world where women have no nipples, only dead artists are permitted to display the human body, Nazis trump radical socialists in free speech and if anyone whines and complains loudly and long enough to the invisible authorities that hide behind our screens (and Mark’s logo), they can elicit erratic judgements on the part of our social wardens. Not social workers, social wardens!
Well, I’m not putting up with it.
Reality is too precious to be mediocratized to the lowest level of education, much less lowest common synaptic denominator.
I do get it. Children use Facebook and we can’t be exposing our children to naked nipples! They might just recall sucking on one and then where would we be? I’ll tell you: outside the confines of a gated morality where scary, unpredictable things might occur! My god, what if I were to get an erection! Is there a Community Standards Forum where I can ask what am I to do with it?
After all, Facebook lays claim not just to the moral high ground, but the moral low ground and the in-between ground as well. They act on behalf of Community Standards. Not my community, that’s for sure. My community has nipples, menstrual cycles, flatulence and those troublesome erections. Not to mention madness, depression and hallucinatory revelation. Ok, I admit I hang with a strange crowd. But need I mention that they poop and pee sometimes more than once a day? Oh, the moral horror, the humanity, the humanity, the lack of humanity!
You wouldn’t know it from following Community Standards, that’s for sure. Tell me, oh great Facebook, am I allowed to bleed? For you have cut me. Cut me off from Messaging some of my friends about politics and rendezvous, not nipples. Nipples is one of those words that if you say it enough times really fast, it loses all meaning. Try it. Just don’t post it on Facebook.
Please share with your fellow users, poopers and nipple owners. WE are the Community, not Facebook’s false authority. After all, algorithms don’t live in communities, they just exist everywhere else they can shape and conform our computational reality, far away in the bowels of the flashing lights and annoying pings. Far removed from human judgement, common sense and of course human Freedom.
The machines don’t need to take over, we’ve already surrendered and their flesh-eating servants are holding their napkins for them.Edit or delete this