The Death of a Radical

Stephanie Fail

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll die for nothing.”- Catchphrase of Raw Comics Inc.

“Don’t be the first turkey to lift it’s head.”- Cambodian Proverb

Both of these quotations can be seen as two sides to a single coin. It is far too easy in this world of remote surveillance to be caught doing something wrong. You may think me paranoid but I often consider the potential of our country to fall off a cliff and be taken over by fascists. This does not mean I live in a state of nervous or angry fear. Instead I choose to lead my life with a wary attitude towards all those whom hold government or economic power over me. Many poke fun at my eternal skepticism, but I think keeping it and learning how to defend my dignity from jokes with a better one is an apt adaptation.

You can call me all the names you want. Many around this campus do. I can be your token anarchist, radical, socialist, communist, fascist, feminist, Satanist. Give me any name that makes you feel threatened, and I’ll own it. For I can not be categorized. In the cosmos of my own perspective, I am at once human and alien. Devil and saint. Whore and Madonna. I am the voice of this human universe, manifesting infesting your brain one word at a time rolling through time on a comet with no intention of stopping. This is why I play this game of verbal activist. Ideas are the most powerful weapon against stupidity we humans have got. I have discovered that the mind can make anything come true. Whether in dreams or reality, passive yet lucid, the visions of a million problems and solutions for humanity rise to the top of my mind making me wild in desire to manifest them all but alas, with only two hands there is not enough time for me to make more than a few come true. Yet I refuse to be a spectator in this wheel of human fortune because without action, one begins to die. So alas, what to do? What to do? How does one change the world?

One changes the world by changing their role in it. By opening up to all the possibilities of fitting yet another noble act or thought into each moment. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s a result of New Age music, but I find myself as I grow older getting more sweet on the ways of this world. It’s not all bad, after all.

And then SMACK. Reality hits. Right now, people are dying so that I can sit on my fat little ass on a laptop bitching from a pedestal. Don’t you see? I have to ask myself how do I deserve a life as comfortable as this. People are suffering, intense physical suffering, people are being cruel to each other, and destroying the Earth. It feels sometimes like being born in middle-class American suburbia is like making a deal with the devil saying that you are going to have everything in life within reach right in front of you but I am going to steal your soul and hide it from you so that your whole life on this Earth is spent seeking medicine to bring it back. There is something really creepy and empty about a dark Pleasantville-style Catholic high school. You have the 17 year old coke addicts, you have the 17 year old pregnant girls, you have the dark ones like me shooting sarcasm from the corners, and then you have the mainstream type- the most creepy breed of all- because in spite of all the hypocrisy nestled inside their bubbly world their apathy means death to others. You have 16 and a half year old teenage girls driving a new Mercedes to school while youths in the city slaughter each other for the money to buy one. It may cost us a limb, but damn, one day I’ll get that nice car and then all will be perfect. The future, seems grim if these are it’s future leaders. Yet we are trained to be optimists, like a mass suicide to Moloch- a monster we never even believed in.

It’s ironic, growing up surrounded by all these people whom seem to worship luxury. This love of wealth makes one subconsciously anxious and insecure about whether or not they’ll have the money to keep this illusion up for the rest of their life. I snapped soon after high school from a mix of corporate boredom and existentialist self-hatred. I knew morally that my extravagant lifestyle of a suit in the day, pot and parties and partners at night was a lie but you know what? It made me feel good and numbly distracted my moral eye into a million diversions. The problem was I got too comfortable in this shallow utopia and my inner-self quit advising me. It’s faint little voice of the truths you don’t want to face that rises up in the silence of the mind confronting you with delicate pieces of advice. Ad is a root word meaning before, vice is a habit that has become a weakness. My habits were the source of my psychic discrepancies. I could not lie to myself anymore. I could not hate myself any longer without considering a cliff. “It is time”, that voice finally said, “To engage, or get the fuck out of the way.”