Freedoms of speech and press are the unalienable factors of what constitutes a free society. They are what separate the U.S. and other free democracies from the authoritarian leadership principles held by Nazi Germany, Communist China, the U.S.S.R., and the Socialist dictatorships currently in power throughout South America. It’s what gives U.S. citizens the right to criticize our government’s actions, no matter who’s in power, without fear of repercussion or even death. I find it unequivocally revolting that there are those on the far Left in America today, including many Left-leaning poets and writers, who push for these freedoms to be stripped away from our population. Especially after the Liberal poets of the 1950s and 60s put their freedom on the line to fight for freedom of expression against the Conservative consensus culture of Cold War-era America. The idea of supporting censorship in any fashion, I believe, is a slap in the face to great poets like Allen Ginsberg and our recently lost Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who fought for these freedoms for all writers to enjoy. When the only plausible recourse against those who wish to take our freedoms from us is our voices, my words are my weapons in this war, and I refuse to be disarmed.
In this nonfiction essay, the author argues that the climate crisis is the number one issue of our time. It overshadows every decision we make as individuals and as a society, and has forced many of us to ask, “What is the point in trying/living/building a future?” Many of us have severed our connection to nature so thoroughly and become so reliant on technology that we’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a greater ecosystem which doesn’t exist solely to prop up our existing way of life; only now are we slowly starting to wake up to this again. However, outside of a few movies and novels, the subject has yet to be tackled in any great depth in the world of fiction. In this piece, the author argues that the cyberpunk genre can be retooled to confront our fears surrounding global heating and revitalise itself in the process.
How are stereotypes helpful? What can we do to curtail unhelpful assumptions? “Two Chicken Platters” explores how the presumptions we make are so often superficial and ignore the nuances of human suffering.
How do we form bonds with others? How do we ensure our attachments are stable and secure? These poems deal with the power and powerlessness that comes with the need to connect to this world, to one another, to a truth and beauty greater than ourselves.
Often, one wonders about the limits and limitlessness of human possibilities, human atrocities, and compassion — the extent of everything we deem good and bad. In the lecture ‘The Value of Science,’ Richard Feynman touches on the fundamental natural attributes of the human self. Drawing on the observations Feynman presents, one can appreciate the ‘isness’ and spontaneity of human deeds.
“The Bully” deals with the rational human fear of mortality and suggests that anger is born from that fear. There is also an implication that bullying behavior often comes from a lack of consciousness rather than simply an aggressive posture, and that a lack of consciousness — being inattentive to the suffering of others or numb to the world — is a poor coping strategy implemented by so-called bullies to try to stave off the reality of mortality. It also offers that a shared human connection in terms of acknowledgement regarding the tyranny of mortality can lessen suffering and, therefore, reduce fear and anger. **Based on a true story.**
How can negative emotional experiences be transformed into opportunities for individual growth?
“This past August, the universe delivered to me the ocean as my higher power when in a deep depression. Though I cannot hold onto water, I can hold it in a special place in my heart. I love to take long walks on the beach to be in the presence of the water, and to witness the ocean’s vastness, blueness, and beauty.” — Sophia Falco
How do we come to terms with death, injustice, the artistic impulse, family, the past, and — most difficult of all — with one’s own demons? Each of these poems represent a dialogue between the heart and the mind as mediated by the soul, which tries to reach an understanding of life. Isn’t that what the human condition is really all about?
Are certain choices more meaningful than others? How do we justify or rationalize our actions in the absence of confirmation that they were correct (or, at the very least, appropriate given the information at the time)? In this short window into our protagonist’s life, we see a glimpse into his personal struggles as his inevitable mortality and death approach. He grapples with the sacrifices he made in his life that brought him to where he is today, and whether or not those sacrifices were worth the unknown outcome of his journey.
The human body is infinitely amazing, particularly in its ability to move through space in small increments. The pieces in this series of digital paintings freeze some of these intricate and complex instants that occur when our muscles engage — with or without our conscious thought — in activities that require the full participation of our beings with another thing or person.