the homeless person is not your enemy
the drug addict is not your enemy
the disabled person is not your enemy
the transgender person is not your enemy
the BLM ‘rioter’ is not your enemy
the person on welfare is not your enemy
the socialist is not your enemy
the person getting an abortion is not your enemy
the felon on a weed charge is not your enemy
the striking worker is not your enemy
the Black teen walking home at night is not your enemy
the anarchist is not your enemy
the communist is not your enemy
Listen. Sometimes depression is just a thing you have. Sometimes it ain’t going anywhere.
You can do all the work and troubleshooting, putting in effort and doing what you should with nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, gratitude, mindfulness, therapy, medication, and so on, and still… you know, have depression. Still have a depressive day, week, year, life.
It can be exhausting perpetually viewing yourself as standing on this hamster wheel where it seems like if you’d only run fast enough, you’d reach, what, normalcy? Basic functionality? See, the “basic” stuff other people seem to do easily — things like…
Listen, I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner. Things came up, life happened, between school and work and relationship stuff, time just got away and… ah, screw it. I’m not going to make excuses.
I ignored you for a long time, and I’m sorry.
I’m here now. I know that sounds ridiculous, and I know you have issues trusting people — especially me. But I hope this can be a start.
Let me reintroduce myself. I’m not the future you. I’m the foundation for the future us. It’s my job and my joy to help you become the best…
When I was 19, I threw a mug of hot coffee at a framed wall tapestry my dad purchased when he was in Italy. The cost in damages was a few thousand for the tapestry, a couple of bucks for the mug and brew, and my ability to continue living there.
The mug exploded, the glass of the frame shattered, and the near-boiling roast spewed out over the elegant threads depicting some fanciful 18th-century scene no one in the heavy air of that living room would ever care about. My dad, ever theatrical, called the cops. They came and cuffed…
To the extent that we are able, our first and foremost responsibility within the movement for social progress is mutual aid, helping those most vulnerable and most oppressed by capitalism’s oppressive hierarchies. That’s step one: to strengthen the bonds of solidarity with the colonized, with the poor, with the exploited laborer. To look upon the houseless and say, “Your struggle is mine.”
This is what chiefly separates us from those who look away from the struggle of others, those who tell them now is not the time to end their suffering. …
The average American might think Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders have little in common, but what unified them and formed the passionate base of their energetic campaigns was the calculated deployment of populist rhetoric. Populism — a form of politics that represents the interests of ordinary people — is here to stay. The appetite for an outsider to fight for the “little guy” will only increase as flip-flopping administrations fail to improve life for average people. The problem is that the major parties aren’t really trying to, but they still grasp the power of this weapon.
I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking, “I am not doing enough.”
This is capitalism’s systemic exploitation and cultural pollution fucking up my sleep.
I want to do everything. All of it. Enough of each thing to be great, a master of every craft. And when I look closely, I see this isn’t mere egoism or petty competitiveness. It’s a beautiful, childlike thought — a rebellion against mortality.
I want to draw like an industry pro. I want to tell a powerful story in comic form and make things people would want tattooed on their bodies. I want to…
You know I never mince words, so let’s get this out of the way. You haven’t been writing enough, have you?
You know my voice. I am the guilty conscience of the modern freelance copywriter, the patron saint of the entrepreneurial self-help listicle. I’m the unambiguous quantification of your worth, the not-so-hidden profit motive, and your best damn friend in the universe.
I’m the Stats page.
Would I lie to you? I’m the first to tell you when your latest piece is a big hit. If it’s a dud, I never beat around the bush. I speak in…
It’s hard to create. It’s hard to be.
This is the loop I’ve identified in myself, and it might sound familiar to you:
Shitty moods tank productivity. The shitty mood can originate from pandemic-exacerbated loneliness, could be a kind of ‘recoil’ from quick fixes or a comedown from short-term dopamine spikes that are less potent over time. It might be from stressful dynamics at work, disappointments in personal relationships, or stem from particulars in the brain’s chemical structure. It’s often a general feeling of guilt or anxiety from not producing in the first place.
And so our rational minds, well…
i write love letters from the void. editor of The Anticapital, bylines @ LEVEL | P.S. I Love You | The Writing Cooperative