People are screaming at you to tell them how you really feel! Tell us what you really feel! Without the sarcastic way this phrase is sometimes shot back at those who are capable of telling you how they really feel. This is actually the most important thing we could ever give each other.

“Liars don’t like me. People who lie, people who live a lie. There’s people who love living lies. I was thinking the other day, ‘brutal honesty’ is a dumb term. The word ‘brutal’ should be associated with lying, like “You’re a brutal liar”, as opposed to somebody who’s just going to inform you of what they believe the truth to be. I love honest shit, man. You can’t fuck with the truth.”    -Patrice O’Neal

When movies mirror the chaos of behind-the-scenes Hollywood, I feel like it’s OK to walk out of the room. That behind-the-scenes callousness could be movie studios or boardrooms or war rooms. The commentary on the horror has become watery and heartless.  A couple of nice-looking scenes, a smile, a kiss. And we’re tired, could use a dose of knowledge and reality through an entertaining docudrama. Fine. But it’s when this facade becomes our only talking point that the illusion supplants the real feeling. We’ll gladly speak about politics through a Hollywood lens. We actually seem to prefer it. Let’s all see how diverse Hollywood is or isn’t while we forget to shine the light on real activism, real community, real volunteerism. There isn’t usually a superstar there. In fact, the celebrity endorsement has become another part of the problem; cementing the stars in their sidewalks, as meaningless as the next random mass shooting is quickly becoming. Everyone trying to effect change through voting or finance. Don’t worry, I vote, but only as defense against the tiresome arguments that promote this blind politico-economic anvil.

We usually take the short way around real feeling, always occupying a space we don’t feel like being in, in moods that constantly defy what feeling is. Moods are so fleeting- thoughts, muscle contractions, the inner replay, the sawing, full feeling of a nervous belly. What’s real for me in this second might not be real for me in 10. Trying to define myself is like taking an endless series of snapshots. Not selfies. Folks put together a story through the snapshots they’ve taken of you with their eyes, mind and heart. But being inside the subject matter refutes any story! We are beyond stories, in the midst of unedited reality, beyond thought-out plot lines. Almost victims, is sort of how it feels. We have little control and lots of helplessness. The waves of conversation that swarm around selfie-culture are entirely too supportive and fun-loving! I hardly ever hear anyone badmouth it. They joke about it like it’s silly, but this is self-indulgence run amok. The selfie horizon is full of smiling faces, full of eye-catching images to fluff up the article, but maybe not real feelings, so much. This culture goes hand in hand with not quite paying attention when someone is talking in such a way that you can never really be called on it. Polite, but doing other things too. It’s not an insult but I still don’t have time for it. It’s too everywhere.  This is all a part of facebook culture, the meme, the funny shared vid, the very vocabulary of digital social networking and how you can tell now when a smart person spends more than 2 hours a day on social media. You can just tell.

There is no hope for this world without a shift in our moral media presentation. And everything needs to be taken off the chopping block of national economy. All of it. We don’t need economy anymore. We can roll ourselves out now. We’re the new model, smart enough to be self-sufficient if you’d only let us have a few free hours, if you’d just stop demanding that we participate in schooling (as it is), demanding that we buy our survival, have a number.. Demanding that we must have pride in a country we know can’t balance its own checkbook. If it doesn’t work for our country, why would it work for us?

We are our own bedrock. When people are screaming at us to tell them how we really feel.. we know we’re watching a movie, ha!.. What I’ve found about life is that those cathartic, emotional moments don’t happen nearly as often as you need. You have to steel yourself because you are not tested. You just plug in and drone on and the desperation and anxiety come more into focus as you age. We need truth tellers with their shitty moods and never-ending pessimism simply because the optimism I see is usually so fake, so rare and scattered, so touchy. That’s when you know it’s artificial. When it lasts like a minute and turns into a dazed and withdrawn confusion when tested.

We are our own bedrock. I am there if you look at me. But I might not be smiling.