Vibes And Pressure

I never ever thought I’d write anything like this. I was Facebook free for three years, even though I opened my account in 2007. Truth be told, I only opened the account to see my friends wedding pictures. I went to Antigua and had a wonderful time bar the loss of my phone and all my pictures (losing phones is a recurring theme in my life) so the lovely bride said to me
“Open an account on Facebook, I’ll put all the pictures on there!”
I thought nothing of it, being able to ogle all the pictures was great, but when I started getting emails about every last fart that my friends did, I started to take offence. (Yes I now know you can switch off that function but I didn’t at that time) The final straw was when I saw photos of myself in my beachwear from Antigua on the Internet. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude nor were the pictures embarrassing or obscene. I just wondered if it was right to have your picture displayed to potentially the whole world without your consent.

Old-fashioned pictures would end up in a photo album and really now, who looks at photo albums? Let’s be honest, when someone gives you a musty old album to look through, we look at it to be polite, often before the end of it our eyes have glazed over and all the pictures have merged into one hazy mess, but pictures on Facebook? We over indulge in them and all their 10-megapixel glory.

So I deactivated my account and thought that was the end of it. Oh foolish pride. There I was walking tall thinking “Facebook, who needs that? I have real friends in the real world, I don’t want to be part of the matrix”
Famous last words. Many phrases come to my mind, kettle, pot, black or if you live in a glasshouse do not throw stones.

As it transpired I needed to contact someone in South Africa, so after a few cumbersome emails he’s like “Yeah contact me on Facebook” and he gave me his profile name. Upon reading the email I thought, “excuse me sir I don’t do Facebook” but as I had a good excuse I went to check it out. I thought my account had been deleted so I would need to open a new one, so you can imagine my horror when my old account reared its ugly undeleted head and smiled at me! All the pictures all there with unconfirmed friend requests from friends’ non-friends and randoms. At first I felt guilt towards all my friends, folks who I had abandoned and left in limbo having not accepted their requests to be my virtual digital buddy, I frantically started confirming people hoping that I hadn’t offended anyone. I promptly stopped when one my friends said to me in real life “look at you adding people like a madman” I thought about it. I’m sure nobody is really offended if I don’t add them, they don’t really care do they? (Actually I suppose they do. I have sent requests to at least two people that I really do know and they have ignored me, I am actually quite bitter)

So I closed the account again, or should I say deactivated it. Now here is one of the sinister things. The account is just deactivated, so it is still in cyber space but people can’t see it. As you try to close it asks you why you want to close it. I was thinking, why I want to close my account is none of your fucking business Mr Facebook. But it’s a question you have to answer so I put my reason as “other”
Its final twisted temptation before it becomes comatose is to show you pictures you are tagged in and say “so and so will miss you.” It’s like the monster in the movies that is left for dead after a long gruelling battle then suddenly springs back to life with its last dying breath and grabs you by the ankle.

Images of lovely memories almost made me give in, I stopped before I hit the deactivate button and looked at my friends pictures of fun in the sun, then when I realised I was being emotionally black mailed, I hit the deactivate button. “Be gone foul beast of social interaction!”

So fast forward to November 2010 and after meeting new people at home and abroad, coupled with the start of a period of unemployment and that darned Facebook iphone app,(I have since lost my iPhone) the devil made work for my idle hands. I found myself back on Facebook. I could hear my evil account saying, “Sucker, weakling, I knew you’d be back” It knew I’d be back but can honestly say I didn’t. Why else would it only allow you to deactivate it and not be able to delete.

Once again I started confirming all the waiting requests. I laughed when one of my real friends said “Its taken you three years to approve my request” I shuddered when one of my non-friends said “You are lucky, its taken him five years to approve mine” (I am still not 100% sure of who she is)

Being back on there has given me some positive things, it’s made me realise how much I enjoy writing again. It’s made me realise how funny and witty some people are, it’s made me realise how much technology has the ability to shape culture. I was in the supermarket and I over heard two young people talking, when I say young I mean anyone who is too young to remember life without mobile phones. They were talking about someone’s Facebook “Status” They spoke about the status as if it was a true reflection of the person’s inner being, I can’t remember the whole conversation but it was something like “She was really angry with him because she said so on her status”. Status=Reality=Scary.

I do find it strange when people update everything that they do. A old school friend of mine once put on her status “I’m going to take a bath now” after all the mockery (“is that your first one this year?”) her excuse was that she typed it by accident following a telephone conversation. I’m not sure which is more alarming, writing that by accident or writing it on purpose.

It got me thinking about how much people reveal about themselves knowingly and unknowingly on Facebook. With me being an armchair psychologist, I am quite careful about what I post, nothing too that is too militant. I don't wish to offend anyone and I don't think its the appropriate forum for a certain level of debate. My friends and non-friends must be thinking that I have too much time on my hands because at the moment I am in light-hearted comment overdrive. I don’t have a job at the present so I have a (tiny) excuse, however as I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist I can’t help thinking that there is something a bit sinister about a system that coaxes you reveal so much personal stuff, does it get stored somewhere? When big brother goes for lock-down mode will Facebook tell him who the "real revolutionaries" are?

Facebook highlights to the fact that we have at least three parts to our psyche, how we see ourselves, how we wish others to see us and how/who we really are. I suppose in an ideal world to those closest to you all three should be the same, but in everyday life things are different. How many of us go to work and project the image of a professional in a “role” then come home and smoke all the weed we can get our hands on! Facebook is definitely about how we want others to see us, so its quite interesting what people choose to reveal. I suppose it’s a social utility so for the most part people want to show their fun side, but there is also a lot of ignorance, and I find that people can also be overly critical, harsh an quite judgemental sometimes, often more so than they would be in real life. Everyone gets ten tons of courage when they’re behind a computer screen. For a supposed multi-cultural modern world we live in some of the racism I've seen on You Tube comments is appalling.

So I am going to enjoy my time back on Facebook and I am not going to be ashamed of it, hopefully I’ll get bored someday but until then, I’ll be adding people like its going out of fashion. I still admire those who have been able to resist, I think in a way that’s a small sign of strength of character… Anyway, I'm done now so I am going to check my Facebook page.......... I am a self –confessed Facebookaholic don’t judge me!

@me “Get off Facebook!”
Been thinking abt how Brother Clarence taught that it’s all mathematics. How the worlds' peoples r divided in2 percentages, y'all kno the figures (if not, check it out). How things can b looked at as equations, and that the slightest imbalance can bring un4eseen results. There is no gr8er example of that than Gaia herself, impulsive, impetuous, harsh, yet nurturing, sustaining, ever 4giving. Bear witness 2 what has been over the past few years. Indeed, heads need 2 take notice when an earthquake occurs of such magnitude that it shifts the earths’ figure axis, and human life is lost en masse in the blink of an eye.

But sometimes, the profound and incredible can b found in the most unlikely of places. I an’ I heard something that stayed with me, abt a street hustler known in his community as Basboosa. My man sold fruit and produce 2 makes ends meet, and also 2 hook up his Moms and siblings, even sending 1 on 2 higher education. Y’all kno how it goes tho, harassment by po-po is the norm, but that’s just the life of a hustler. These things occur on the regular the world over, the hand of the state slapping the unheard from time 2 time, just 2 keep it all in check. The balance is a delicate thing 2 maintain, after all. Mathematics.

The very temperature of the earth is yet another example, a few degrees this way or that wld have disastrous effects on all life. The sheer mechanics of what it takes 2 sustain life, from a universal perspective right down 2 the nitty gritty, is astounding, and fills any1 who tries 2 take it all in with fear and awe. The insignificance of the individual against the cosmos itself is, well, incalculable, so intelligent heads who have knowledge of these things sit back and observe the movements, attempting 2 gain insight in2 the Gr8 Mystery.

Been checking out the opium box, and I’m told of wave after wave of devastation, upheaval, unrest, and tragedy. I even heard the craziest thing, that the seat of European power, Brussels, exists in a country that 4 almost a year now, has no official government, and that if it wasn’t 4 the fact of the significance of Brussels in the Gr8 Order, Belgium wld cease 2 b what it is. On the real. And, it cld all fall down anyway, the fact that Brussels is the centre of Europe, and that it’s the glue that holds the country 2gether, notwithstanding. Yet, western ‘civilisation’ is the model 4 the world. A beacon, even.

Chaos theory, fractals, butterflies causing the banks 2 crash (not bankers or polytricksters, oh no!)… hmm. In all this awe and wonderment, all this terrifying circumstance and exciting unknowns, there r still individuals. I an’ I. All over the world, people looking out, hoping 2 kno what’s next, wanting something more, not only 4 themselves, but 4 their fam, wishing 2 just mayb catch a glimpse of a little respect, a little dignity, some faint acknowledgement. A life where the powers that b just offer that little bit of dignity, but 4 the unheard, the ability 2 gain this is as unattainable as the Gr8 Mystery.

Galileo famously said that mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe.

So what can I an’ I do in the face of all that has been beheld? After all, the equation balances itself, right? All an individual can try 2 do is deal with what is in front of them. Do u. Handle yr business, kno yr role and play yr position. Code of the streets, feel me?

C, Basboosa, that’s all he tried 2 do, and the odd slap here and there, well its all part of the equation balancing itself out. Mathematics. Except, 1 day, after having his selling stock strewn in the streets, and getting literally bitch slapped by po-po, this hustler had enough. Phuc balance, phuc status quo. So he tried 2 link up with his local beaurocheat, just so he cld try get some kinda acknowledgement, mayb find a little dignity in all this. Dude cldn’t even get on the schedule, much less face time. So he took the only option he cld c, went back 2 that beaurocheats’ big yard, and lit himself on fire.

Years from now, only those who knew him and loved him will mourn his passing, will have a void that is irreplaceable, and cherish his existence. A son, a brother, a cousin, nephew, friend, fellow hustler, 1 of the unheard, is dead.

Yet in his final moments, he made a sound with a power so gr8, it brought down a government, and Tunisia is a whole different place, and all over the world a hustlers’ echo reverberates, moving hearts, inspiring minds, remolding political landscapes or just tearing shit up. All this from an echo that most don’t even kno whose voice it came from. In the face of the insurmountable, the insignificant performed the incredible, the profound. Bear witness.

Now there’s some mathematics 4 yo’ ass!


Corrd the Seeker
Back when my pursuit of the arts of war was a more integral part of my existence, I used to come across articles written by a Grand Master who enthused that the universal purpose of life was 2 b happy. See it deh. Simple, succinct. Profound, even. But then, what is happiness, and is the pursuit of it really our purpose on this mortal coil? I mean, if I and I happiness comes at the expense of I and I, am I justified in this pursuit? It is after all my universal purpose from which I shdn’t b denied.

Even as I penetrate this, something’s off. Happiness can manifest in many ways; a debauched weekend, post coital bliss, familial contentment, or the benefits of an enlightened existence. Happiness itself is both elemental and conceptual. It can spring up on us by surprise in spite of ourselves, or can even b a state we will into existence. Every1 knows at least 1 person who has told themselves that they are happy with a particular situation enough times until the belief is held. Perception becomes reality, or rather desire becomes perception becomes reality. Cld even go as far as 2 say many of us have indulged ourselves thus.

Emerson came at the ting thus: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have to make some difference that you have lived and lived well”. That’s a good look right there… or is it? As much as this sounds like a universal truth, it’s somewhat subjective (like happiness!). It’s also dependent upon the context in which the statement is applied. If eugenics was acceptably applied (many revered 20th century leaders were believers in this, including the beloved Winston Churchill), wld the systemised culling of our own b neatly housed under this definition? And beyond that, Emerson’s’ statement implies that function and purpose r the same thing, in which case whatever your designated function, in whatever skism u r contracted 2 (yes, even the social contract, which is the dominant imposition), your practise of said function is the fulfilment of your purpose. Some heads hold this as absolute.


Now, depending on whatever principles you hold dear, either 1, or both, of the above perspectives contravenes moral rules in some way... not 2 get 2 deep on morality, perhaps a next time, but even if this is the foundation on which I and I can judge purpose, then that ground cld be a little shaky. More than a little as, according 2 greater minds, morality may well b of a transient nature.

Some of the ancients believed that the purpose of a thing was within the thing itself, and wld lead it 2 its final destination, or resting place. Now language being what it was, and concepts of existence being different from what we perceive now, purpose was something within, something integral, not just a quality, but that which exists in order for the thing itself 2 exist, and relative 2 the reality in which it exists.

This purpose thing still bugs me. Happiness. Usefulness. Honour. Love. Destruction. So many others, all wherein I and I can reside. But 2 what end? There it is. The rub, as they say. Peep this. I and I pree this, and the reality (if there is such a thing) or realness is that as much as the truths talked abt and many others promote (positive) purpose, all these things r still functionary. They r facilitated by other functions in order 2 allow other things to happen. In this they r higher, or deeper, functions, but they still exist in order to facilitate more specific things. If I’m happy, it allows me 2 affect those around me, enrich relationships, and so forth. 2 b utilitarian aids efficiency, promotes productivity, reh teh teh… Purpose within purpose? Nah b, function within function.

The ancients mighta been on 2 something. Purpose at creation, but actually not just of a thing, but the thing itself. The origin, the root. The place where the Vibe and the Pressure meet the Universe. Nature.

Yeah, I hear u, “Corrd, big hole yuh a miss, cause naturally, people function on the baser instinct, and then learn 2 function within the fam. Without the learning, chaos Iyah!”. Indeed. But remember, purpose is born of nature, on a core level, conception level. Not only born of, but that which it aspires 2, a true revolution, that eventually comes back 2 itself. The realness. Nature, as both beginning and end, facilitated by the functioning of purpose.

Nature. True nature, not 2 b confused with the baser instinct, which is reactionary and evolutionary, like that which is observed in the natural world. Man is different though, sentient, self aware, intellectual. Yet baser (natural) instinct is the simplest way in which man functions, and can’t b dismissed. If this natural self is the base, where does our nature take us? To what end?

I’ma drop it like this. Man’s true nature is 2 overstand his natural self.

Function (and purpose) becomes relative 2 nature, guiding I and I 2 a higher high. Alpha and Omega.

As the Universe realigns, its time 2 embrace yourself. Don’t b new 2 this, b true 2 this.


Corrd the Seeker
We’re all taught that a species survives or dies, based on its ability 2 thrive in its surroundings, how it interacts with other species and whether or not it can successfully adapt 2 any change in its circumstances. We commonly refer to this as evolution, and view this process as a positive change to a more complex or better form. Evolution is not only abt survival, but progress, often resulting in the development of a new species… only 4 the process to start again.

All evolution, until recently, is influenced by the natural environment, as well as the growth of social and cultural conditions 2 aid natural selection in strengthening the gene pool. Enter Man, the most evolved of all species, master of his natural environment. Man is intelligent, he can visualise, plan 4 his future, increase his ability 2 survive and affect change through sheer force of will. Only, in our great wisdom, we went a step further; why try to better survive when we can adapt our environment 2 suit our own needs. Or better yet, let us use our superior intelligence, our capacity 4 imagination, our ability 2 build, and those resources nature itself provides 2 create our own environment. A “super” natural environment.

We design and construct ourselves this modern environment 2 facilitate a better quality of life, 2 promote human “progress”. We adapt this environment in2 varying landscapes, according 2 the concept of whichever lifestyle we think best suits our needs, continually adding in2 these increasingly complex landscapes gauges and restrictions 2 protect ourselves and aid in guiding the path of our assured, more comfortable existence. We spend the first 20 odd years of our life learning abt this modern environment, the basic navigational tools, and the rules of engagement when traversing these landscapes. We then spend another 30 to 40 years accumulating the things we perceive we need 2 both give us and facilitate the achieving this better quality of life the construct promises. Finally, we enjoy our twilight years in retirement, free at last 2 reap the rewards of achieving the goals our varying lifestyle ideals set 4 us.

Our ability 2 survive no longer is our driving force in our daily lives. We can focus our existence on other things, ascending 2 gr8r levels of sophistication, becoming evermore “civilised”, moving 2wards taking natural selection out of the equation al2gether and ensuring survival 4 both the fittest and the not so fit. Only our inability 2 accumulate wealth can prevent us from experiencing all the construct offers. Conversely, those of us who have gr8r material wealth and/or social influence not only have more opportunity, but in some cases get to shape our landscapes 2 suit our individual needs.

But, with the elimination of natural selection, how do we ensure the continual strength of the gene pool? Or even more importantly, if we continue to build towards a safe, secure environment where there is no more struggle, how will we continue 2 evolve? And if we no longer need 2 evolve, will nature, in its pursuit of constant change, bring forth another species 2 supersede and eventually curtail our existence? This is what we’re told happened 2 the Neanderthal, by us. Maybe, in the quest 2 eliminate natural selection, all we’ve done is anger the beast.

B4 modern society, natural disasters, disease, war and other calamities 2 befall humans, whilst destroying human life, ironically aided our survival by thinning the herd. Through medical and technological developments, our development no longer follows this Nietzschean phylogeny. Diseases that used 2 devastate populations r now held at bay, like cholera or malaria.  Settlements have grown in2 towns, cities, then countries, with concentrated populations and multiple human traffic routes. This has proven to aid the spread of new, more insidious diseases, like SARS, or viruses previously unable 2 jump 2 different species, like bird flu, or superbugs like MRSA.

In creating the supernatural environment, we’re on our way 2 laying waste 2 the natural environment that first spawned us; depleting natural resources, contaminating both land and sea, and polluting the air, which is losing the oxygen we need 2 survive due 2 deforestation anyway. And if the construct exists to make our lives easier, why r so many of us unsatisfied, unfulfilled, or just lost, finding evermore creative ways 2 distract ourselves and escape this pinnacle of human development? Here, perhaps, is an even more disturbing question; is this phenomena an unexpected side effect our experience, or a predetermined part of the system, and therefore a necessary aspect of modern civilisation? Doesn’t the fact that we spend the majority of our life cycle either learning how 2 achieve or working 2 obtain the things we need in order 2 enjoy this superior quality of life somehow defeat the purpose anyway? More and more of us suffer from chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety attacks and stress related illnesses than ever before.

So we create more complex solutions, legislate more restrictions, exhaust more of our finite resources, and invent even distractions so as 2 lessen our struggle and negate our need for change in an environment that, by nature of the resources it draws upon, is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

All in the name of progress.


Corrd the Seeker
A big part of the human experience is our relationships. The connections between I an’ I; parents and children, loved 1’s, colleagues, friends, etc... c, relationships r not just the abt foundations and connections, but abt real-time interaction, ongoing communication, and how we relate and relay that 2 each other. Y’all kno that say u have a bredren or sistren, and that person gets u a work hook up, the relationship may take on new dimensions. The ongoing experience may then have a new root, and spread thru new connections. This can develop more complexity if, thru duties and responsibilities, formal connections are forged, say 1 person has to report 2 another. I an’ I c this manifest in so many different ways, on many levels. This kind of evolution occurs in many situations, and influences our perception of self, our environment, even the world. It certainly influences the way we see each other.

Our mode of relating 2 each other makes a difference as well. 4 example, if most of a relationship is spent say, on the phone, and then suddenly the persons involved get thrust into an extended period of direct close physical proximity, then the dynamic of that relationship gets shifted, being that the majority of 1 on 1 communication is non verbal. This then means a reassessment in order find comfort in that relationship so as 2 conduct said relationship going 4ward, or assess the future level of investment in it. So, changes in the mode of relating bring abt changes in perception, which then changes how we relate.

What made me really pree this ting is an event I an’ I witnessed abt a year back that kept bugging I. 1 of I an’ I generals, as well as myself, was passing thru a train station when he met a female friend going the opposite way. After the usual “hi, how r u, what u been up 2” phase, they began to exchanges info abt people that they both kno, who saw who where, reh teh teh… The bredren then said that he kept in touch with a 1 known 2 both on facebook. The sistren then asked him “r we friends?” , to which he replied, “I don’t kno… when I get home I’ll check!”.

R we friends???

Now (interweb) social networking is an emerging phenomenon in the human experience. Its still 2 early 2 give definitive data on its impact on us individually or as a whole, and I’m no sociologist (til I touch some henny, at least), but it’s somewhat apparent that wherever interweb usage is the norm, i.e. most of the planet, people not only define (and redefine) relationships, but even themselves thru social networks. In fact, entire communities’ r generated solely thru this device. For many, this is the preferred method of finding a partner or spouse, or the bringing 2gether of people for an event. Bonds r forged and broken within this space. Yet despite the fact that many servers, untold miles of cables, and vast amounts of memory help 2 build and maintain this construct, most of the space on which all this and more happens occurs on mental real estate. We, all of us, participants or not, by virtue of our belief and investment in this virtual plane of existence, give life 2 the beast.

We invest the cranial capacity that makes the endless rows of code, the images, and the hardware in2 a functional environment (the irony that u may well b read this via a screen is not lost). With new communities come new social conventions, new protocols (both in the construction of the device and the application in real-time, if there is such a thing), new mores.

I came across a study that said that increased usage of the interweb brings abt a rewiring of the neural pathways… yes Iyah, changing the way the brain functions. Brain adjustment. Suddenly, 5% teachings seem like mathematics, and the great works of sci fi scribes r somewhat prophetic. Indeed, I was reasoning with a nex’ I, who has strong knowledge of self. He relayed that in recent times that he not only found a gr8r preoccupation with social networking, but that even his thought processes had somehow shifted.

I an’I overstands how the device has increasingly become the currency of exchange in the marketplace of the self, some avatar or web space plot (myspace, MSN, facebook page endless others) must exist in order 2 even seem as if there is a reason 2 b taken seriously. Yet all this representation is based on a system that is supposedly free. The masses r now liberated and tru expression can now b found. So why is it that the scope of what is expressed, and the comprehension of the world we live in, is bcoming narrower? The rise of celebrity as genuine matters of pertinent interest, the growing need 2 express the minutia daily life, the increasing commonality of mass opinion making, the coalescing of the vibrant youth in2 an inert mass subject 2 the whims of polytricksters and  glossy imagery, whilst doped up on the opium of the nation… is this the liberation?

U kno that study, it also said that this rewiring of the neural pathways cld remap the brain 2 look something like, well, the interweb. Huh. I also came across a dotcom entrepreneur who read the same study and was so alarmed by this that he created a website whose only function was 2 make the visitor not interact with the interweb and merely observe imagery 4 just 2 minutes. Over half of all users failed.

So, Wha’ppen Daadi? How did all this just happen? We have a brave new world, full of wonders 4 every1 2 explore, and it just is… what it is. And remember, we still have conventions and mores that guide us within this new socialisation. Brother Malcolm 1ce said that if the rain is real, how can the circumstances that cause the rain b unreal? Where r the leaders within these new communities? Who even leads the masses in this socialisation? 2 what end? All devices, all systems, r built on rules. So even the social network must be built, engineered, in order 2 exist, and engineers will have 2 maintain and redesign the device as its need 4 gr8r capacity grows. Social engineering 4 the brave new world.

Still can’t shake that conversation tho. “R we friends?”. Here’s the thing grasshopper. U, I, all of us still provide the mental real estate that makes all this possible. It’s the willingness of I an’ I, us, them, that gives life to it. We acquiesce our overstanding of the organic in order 2 b compliant with the virtual in a bid 2 get on, move up, redefine, belong. Everybody needs 2 belong, form identity and connect, and the funny thing is that actually we socialise less. And this is a good thing, we’re told. The way 4ward, the future. And tell u the truth, I despair, bcos kno matter what any1 says, ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. 2 gather in fellowship, 2 vibe with a 1, even 2 stand and experience the harmony and melody of voice. The less we feel, the less we have the capacity 2 empathise with each other and keep at bay apathy. The re-socialisation of the masses, the bigger investment in our new communities may well cost us that which defines humanity.

But then again, is this not the time of redefinition? Mayb I an’ I have it wrong. Mayb that now makes me an anachronism. Why shdn’t the definition of friendship b a code based electrical connection in a people fuelled virtual existence. I bet HG Wells wld laugh his ass off that constructs and devices dictate whether a relationship between 2 humans is a reality. Or he’d weep.

“The formula ‘two and two make five’ is not without its attractions.”  Fyodor Dostoevsky

…and so it wld seem, so it wld seem…


Corrd the Seeker