Monthly Archives: May 2015

Lamentations of Birth and Exultations of Re-Birth: An ode of the birthed and mothered on Mother’s Day

Lamentation and Exultation

I am spirit
Though not pre-conceived;
I was conceived; and pro-created;
I contained knowledge, and
I was known
I did experience,
and I remembered; but
I was then birthed, and
I became human; so
I was mother’d;

I was mis-guided;
I was injured,

I was mis-judged; and
I was so scarred

I became ignorant;
I became blind
I forgot experience;

I became animal
I fell asleep and
I became unknown;

I too conceived; and
I pro-created
He too was spirit
He too contained knowledge;

I birthed him ignorance
He too was experienced;
He too remembered
I was the witness; but
I was still blind’d

I was still sleeping;
I then mother’d, and
he became human,

I then mis-guided,
I then injured,
I then mis-judged
I then so scarred;

I saw the death of one dear before me;
and then,
I remembered;
I was re-wakened,

I became un-blind’d;
I sought my [lost] knowing
I reclaimed my experience;

I forgave the mis-guidance
I so sought forgiveness;
I forgave the mis-understanding
I so sought forgiveness;
I forgave the injury
I so sought forgiveness;

I understood ignorance, and
I so sought re-knowing:

Those who are born are meant to be born;
Some who are born, though, choose to be born;
Most who are born though, have no choice to be born;
Most who are unborn; are not meant to be born
Not meant for this time; not meant for this World;
Those who have birthed, those who have fathered, have re-pro-created error;

Still there are Those who were sung into exIStence
Those are the Ones who chose to be born;
Now those who were birthed, not sung into existence, must will to re-member,
must choose to re-birth, to become re-known;

I re-membered mySelf, re-birthed mySelf
Now,
I am beginning to become re-Known.


Jesus said: “When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your father.” – Gospel of Thomas (15)

Jesus said, “The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same.” – Gospel of Thomas (4)

Jesus said, “Take heed of the living one while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see him and be unable to do so.” – Gospel of Thomas (59)

A woman from the crowd said to him, “Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you.”
He said to her, “Blessed are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, ‘Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and the breasts which have not given milk.’ – Gospel of Thomas (79)

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Homogentricommodifization

I’ve just finished listening to Benjamen Walker’s Theory Of Everything podcast “New York After Rent” – he completed a three part series on Airbnb and the “commodification of every square inch of the city”. He posits that Airbnb (Air Bed and Breakfast), a room/housing short-term rental app service, which began in 2008 in NYC may be responsible for changing the face of entire blocks and neighborhoods of NYC – and of urbanity itself – for the worse.

The Broadway musical “Rent” which ended its run in 2008, is a running theme throughout the series, but for those who never saw “Rent” (which includes the producer/narrator and myself), it’s actually ancillary to this series. But for “Rent” and NYC fans alike, the famous, real-life Life Cafe featured in “Rent” and other beloved or famous NYC neighborhood icons are gone or going, and they are not coming back any time soon; and for that, we can thank the “sharing” economy and gentrification — which tends to displace 31+ original (yet, not aboriginal) flavors of people and their original (yet, not aboriginal) histories, experiences, art, talents, personalities and cultures with just two or three flavors – and instead offers, as a salve of sorts, the choice of 31+ fucking flavors of cupcakes, sushi, cronuts, artisan burgers, and craft brews and welcomes ubiquitous retail chain stores – catering specifically to tourists and suburbia’s immigrant short-timers.

Authentic sharing, lest we forget, is borrowing a cup of sugar or a stick of butter, a tool, a ladder, or a bit of expertise or advice; giving away plant cuttings from houseplant or a garden or a kitten from your cat’s litter; lending lawn chairs, an evening dress or camping gear for a weekend; subletting a room or borrowing an unused bike for the summer; raising a barn, doing a brake job, helping to paint a room or build a deck for a future quid pro quo; or dog-sitting or babysitting for a friend, neighbor or relative. BUT the [false] sharing economy is an intentional misnomer — it is lucrative and far, so very far, from sharing. Instead of each transaction (whether a payment is involved or not) happening between two or more individuals or parties (acquainted or not), the app’s middleman claims his toll — a generous commission for connecting the user to an unknown party — because his app’s innovative design, cool interface and purported ease/safety of its use replaces the interpersonal, friend of friend, proximity, word or mouth, or bulletin board connection – or even the old-fashioned advertisement in the weekly neighborhood newspaper’s back pages (which now consists of mostly foreclosure notices). It’s about monetizing every possible type of transaction – and Wall $treet is all up in it — or $alivating ahead of future IPOs, for 525,600 minutes per year, every year, into perpetuity.

Walker and a few of the urban and sociology experts he interviews assert that the advent of Airbnb along with the continuing gentrification of NYC, i.e., the ongoing transfer of affordable housing from lower-incomed, but multi-faceted and diverse tenants to the “economically functional” who are willing and able to pay higher rents – those who are homogenized via income, education and provenance has resulted in the homogentricommodifization (my new, clumsy word) of many once colorful, flavorful, cultural NYC neighborhoods. Because, what suburbanite immigrants, who claim to crave city life for a visit or to put down shallow roots after college until they eventually move back to suburban or urban perimeter enclaves, really want is mirror image neighbors, mirror image aesthetics, and comfortable, suburban privacy and security, and that translates not into urbanity, but into banality.

Walker talks to Sarah Schulman, author of the 2012 book “The Gentrification of the Mind”, who argues that the “rampant suburbanization and commodification” of NYC is destroying its “physical and spiritual infrastructure” — that the diversification of experience, race, class, education, culture, sexuality, talent, religion, ethnicity and nationality anchored with the infrastructure of affordable aparmetns and public transit and buttressed with integrity in the city zoning and planning comprise the true “urbanity [which] teaches us every single second of every single day [of every single year — 525,600 minutes] that other people are DIFFERENT [from us] and that knowledge — is crucial for creating new ideas for the future …”

Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and ubiquitous cupcakes, mega-sports bars, Walgreens, Dunkin’ Donuts, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21s are the antithesis of urbanity or at least, supplant the familiar urbanity with something lesser – suburbanity.

This series is worth listening to for those who love cities or want to understand cities, and those who have bought into, reject, or question the “sharing economy”.