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Children of Mandalorians

Friends,

I just finished Chapter 3 of Prince Oberyn in Space and (SPOILERS!) something occurred to me as I watched its Mandalorian protagonist eavesdrop on Werner Herzog’s “Client” character before rescuing baby Yoda: The Client, it seems, wants something extracted from the infant and he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the its survival. Right off the bat this reminded me of harvesting ADAM from little sisters in the Bioshock series…

this is four panels show how a little sister is harvested in bioshock

…and ADAM was essentially stem cells.

Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian has not dropped yet, but I would hazard a guess that the Client wanted Midi-chlorians. MCs are not stem cells per se, but they do some pretty incredible things and I think it’s significant that the client wants to extract them from an infant, as it makes the stem cell comparisons inescapable.

So now we have two assumptions:
1) The Client wants Midi-chlorians from baby Yoda, and…
2) Midi-chlorians are an allegory for fetal stem cells
Let’s run with these assumptions, taking them all the way to their ultimate conclusion and see what Disney is trying to tell us about stem cells through coded messaging.

Harvesting Stem Cells From Babies is Bad

If you listened to Alex Jones’ most recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience (and you definitely should), and if you furthermore believed even half of what he talked about, you would know that harvesting terminated pregnancies is very lucrative in the United States, and agencies like Planned Parenthood are bravely leading the charge. In our little allegory, the Client (a German eugenicist who employs a mad scientist) and his Imperial Remnant faction could be said to be Planned Parenthood insofar as they intend to profit from what they harvest from Yoda.

“You could harvest these nuts, nukka!”

In the scene where the Mandalorian rescues Yoda we even see him dispatch one of those floating “abortion orbs” which extracted something from Leia (information, but still…) in Episode IV.

In retrospect, this makes me wonder about how many abortion references I missed in the original trilogy. Probably millions…

Yoda for his part seems drugged up and oblivious to the fact that they are about to steal his mojo…

….and this only reinforces his lamb-like innocence.

Man(dalorian) the Fuck Up!

I know the word Mandalorian has been around in Star Wars lore forever, but it’s nonetheless fitting that this male character with such a manly appellation (he’s even called, ‘Mando’ by no less a man than Apollo Creed himself aka Carl Weathers aka Greef) would be the one to rescue the helpless child from the abortionists. After all, protecting the family -born and unborn alike- is a father’s job, and Mando is very heavy-handedly established as a surrogate father.

the mandalorian and yoda imprinting pn each other and establishing a father child dynamic

However there is more than one Mando, and collectively they, the Mandalorians, have been forced underground since the abortionists (a term herein being used interchangeably with ‘the empire’) did away with them in The Great Purge. In their exile they have retained their warrior ways, their honour, and (a few personal flourishes on their armour notwithstanding) a high-standard of uniformity in dress and deportment.

this image shows that all of the mandalorians have unique flourished to their armor but there is nonetheless a consistent them

In fact, The Mandalorian’s rebuilding of his armour is a fairly prominent plot point of the first three episodes, and the other, non-Mandalorian bounty hunters seem to resent his highly-visible self-improvement when he walks into a bar in his new threads (more on that in a moment).

“I’m here to rescue fetuses and chew bubblegum…”

But before you reductively think that Disney is making a statement that men are based and all women are abortionists, it bears mention that the Mandalorians are led by a matriarch, and she, as well as being their blacksmith and authority, also seems to be their keeper of traditions, stories and children -or foundlings at least.

Wretched Hives and the Scum & Villainy Therein

Remember how I said that the other bounty hunters all looked like bums compared to Mando in his new dipped threads? A large part of it has to do with their individual deportment; nobody looks particularly well-armoured or strong.

More importantly, they all seem very ragtag -there is no uniformity, just a bunch of poorly-dressed, self-interested individuals about as organized as atheist, godless protestors who have no higher principle to organize behind than a desire to tear down what is good –fashion slaves protestin’ to get in a fuckin’ lookbook as it were (word to Killer Mike!).

Contrast that to the Mandalorians, a tightly-knit, albeit quarrelsome, family who have a higher ethos than self-interest; a higher calling than mere bounty hunting. Specifically, the Mandalorians have a religion referred to as “The Way,” and for better or worse, it keeps them cohesive while underground, it places priority on continuity through the sponsoring of foundlings, and it leads the tribe to come to Mando’s rescue when he is ambushed by the (pro-choice?) bounty hunters attempting to steal the baby away from its newfound father for a reward. And all of this while comporting themselves with a high-degree of uniformity.

So what does it mean? Well I think how we put ourselves out in the world matters. Guy Richie talked about how a man’s suit is his suit of armour -it’s how he openly and honourably shows how he’s part of the game, it shows which game he’s playing, and it furthermore shows how he invites all challenges. Mando does no less, making no apologies for what he is all about, walking into Greef’s hangout, wholly unafraid of making a statement.

That Statement?: “I’m better than you.”

And that is how the righteous must always be -nay, that is the only way they can be.

the path of the righteous man“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”

Don’t be virtuous unless you are well comfortable with being hated and schemed on by others.

B A S E D Favreau?

So is the show’s writer and EP, Jon Favreau consciously trying to make an anti-abortion statement? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his sub-conscious feelings peeking through; as a father, this is his story. Still, it’s important to remember that we’re operating on two assumptions: The unconfirmed assumption that the Client wants Midi-chlorians from Yoda; and the poetically licentious assumption that Midi-chlorians are allegorical for stem cells. However, even if both of these assumptions are incorrect, the fact remains that the Client wishes to harvest something from Yoda and cares little if he survives. This dynamic has real world parallels and I find it difficult to believe that Favreau was not cognizant of those parallels.

On it’s own, I don’t find this story outrageous in light of said parallels -on the contrary, fathers protecting children is about as old and traditional as stories get. That said, I was nonetheless surprised to notice such an allegory in a Star Wars program, as the Star Wars franchise since the Disney takeover seems to have prioritized progressivism and female empowerment. Meanwhile The Mandalorian is at the very least a celebration of older values, and at most, a condemnation of the progressive values which have led the franchise astray.

Still, maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there, but I studied English literature so can you really blame me?

Looking forward to Episode 4: The Abortionists Strike Back!

Best,
-Dre

 

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Cold Servings

Friends,

I got betrayed by someone whom I offered to help. Helping this person would have helped me too. Helping this person would have required solidarity, ruthlessness, and a long memory for how we had both been transgressed against by a third party.

Her memory wasn’t adequately long and she took pity on the third party, breaking solidarity with me.

I saw it coming, and should not have put my faith in her.

Still, I’m having trouble not hating her in this moment. I wanted to win. I should have won. But winning in this case hinged upon the weakness, the inadequacy of another.

That weakness / inadequacy in question?: Her compassion and forgiveness in this misplaced context.

Her weakness is going tp cost me time and money, and it’s hard for me in this moment to wish the best for her; to hope that the third party doesn’t continue to transgress against her once I’m gone. Part of me wants things to degenerate further once I’m gone so she’ll realize that virtue misplaced is tantamount to sin. So that she’ll realize that she messed up.

The only thing which softens my current feelings toward her is thinking that perhaps things played out like this for a reason; perhaps this is a part of some larger-order plan -everything is after all.

For now I will simply be patient and take things as they come, making the appropriate adjustments as necessary and acting accordingly.

I don’t intend to forgive her precisely, but in time I will come to be grateful to her.

The wheel keeps on turning. Let us never be so prideful as to think we know where it should stop or that it should stop.

-Dre

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Fractals in Nature

Friends,

Some years back while living in Berlin I ate some poisonous mushrooms in Tiergarten and saw, among other things, the kaleidoscopic nature of the universe. It wasn’t my first time seeing the rainbow spectacle of a gyrating, polygonal vortex (nor is this my first time describing it), but I remember laying there and being underwhelmed by the stained-glass majesty of it all. And that’s what it was: stained glass writ large, bearing no biblical scene, but something profoundly religious nonetheless. And still, I was underwhelmedWhy?  Thinking back now I remember waiting for something expectantly, but I do wish I could have a glimpse of it in this moment because I feel that it has been too long since I saw the kaleidoscopic nature of things and I feel like perspective is an easy thing to lose, particularly when beset on all sides by comparatively trivial day-to-day concerns and the frustrations attendant upon living in a small town and trying to make a go of things as a responsible, conscientious citizen. I am dealing with stuff now that I’ve not had to deal with for some time because my existence has been so fluid. Things like getting caught up on taxes, politicking with roommates, fucking snow! Getting bogged down in these things makes it easy to lose perspective and spend too much time in one microcosmic matrix when there are many more to choose from. The kaleidoscope shows us this. In it, we see all possible matrices. It’s like opening the aperture W I D E and letting all the light in. The formerly dark tunnel you were heading down is now illuminated and in the light you see myriad doors and passages branching off and branching back. The reality is that it is only darkness which makes a tunnel so. I need some light.

-Dre

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The First Blog I Ever Looked Forward To…

EDIT: The Press This function didn’t work out as I had anticipated so here is the link for Illimitable Men: https://illimitablemen.com/

Friends,

I am in the process of giving my entire online presence a facelift and right now I’m exploring the tools available to me in my wordpress suite. One tool, Press This, allows me to take a snapshot of a corner of the internet and attach a blog to it. I guess it’s fundamentally the same as sharing a link on Facebook and then writing an associated comment.

For whatever reason the first url that came to my mind to Press was the blog, Illimitable Men. This blog is just wow! [sic]. A veritable treasure trove of redpill wisdom, well-researched health & nutrition information, soberly reasoned advice, and motivation to grab life by the horns. I remember sitting on the steps of Surfing Turtle Lodge in Nicaragua back in early 2017, licking my wounds from things not working out with Marijo, and feeling ready to attack life after reading these posts. I felt like I could talk to anybody, cultivate any strategy, work to achieve any goal and play 4D chess against Donald Trump with Bobby Fischer up my ass.

I’m gonna go back over the posts about Monk Mode in the near future as they were some of the most memorable. Check it out when you get a sec. Information on testosterone, relationships, hobbies, etc. abounds.

Best,
-Andre

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The Most Gangster Vandalism I’ve Ever Seen

Friends,

Yesterday was Remembrance Day and I attended the campus ceremony here. I was wearing civvy clothes with my regimental headdress and Op Athena decorations, but there were a lot of active and former members in attendance wearing full dress uniform. I spoke with one of the guys, and he is putting together an on-campus group for student-vets. I think this is a great idea and I look forward to having coffee with these boys and building up the group into something special. In somewhat related news, a few girls told me how handsome I looked which is always nice to hear, and all in all it was a great success as far as days dedicated to remembering the fallen go.

But not everywhere. It seems that sometime overnight the cenotaph in Toronto got vandalized:

The text, YE BROKE FAITH WITH US, is obviously a reference to Colonel John McCrae’s World War One poem, In Flander’s Fields, although the source I read was reluctant to definitively make that connection…fuckin’ MSM!!

Some further context: This past weekend Don Cherry was fired from Sportsnet for obliquely suggesting that immigrants were not sufficiently grateful to the Canadian soldiers who (ostensibly) have made this country such a desirable place to live. Are these two events connected? I don’t know but there seems to be a common theme.

First, let me get the superficial out of the way; This is fucking badass. Ye broke faith with us sounds like the kind of biblical warning a supervillain would issue before beginning a campaign of terror. I got a slight chill when I saw it and it reminded me of the vandalized statue of Superman from the Batman v Superman teaser from a few years ago.

To a lesser extent I was reminded of Raoul Silva’s cryptic warming to M before blowing up MI6 in Skyfall:

I can’t help it -I love gangster shit, and there’s nothing more gangster than a cryptic warning. As much as I’m against desecration, I am (net) more in favour of artistic expression/detournement.

Also, I’m not convinced that this is disrespect for veterans. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a veteran who did this on behalf of disgruntled veterans as a criticism of the Trudeau government cutting benefits for veterans. Or perhaps it was a veteran who was troubled by what he perceived as excessive kowtowing to ‘immigrant norms’ or the way (again), the Trudeau government paid off Omar Khadr.  Add to the mix the Don Cherry controversy as a catalyst, and I could see a lot of moto soldier-types getting up like this.

Again, I’m not vouching for or co-signing the motivations or even the actions in an absolute sense. I’m simply speculating that this strikes me as an act on behalf of veterans by a veteran. And, as it was non-violent and subversive to a monument which is ostensibly for veterans in a climate where veterans feel they are being left out to dry, it strikes me as pretty badass and even poetic.

There is of course the possibility that it is a black op: Jussie Smollett for example, tried to defame the right by pretending he got attacked by them, and it’s possible that there are provocateurs who wish to turn public support away from white men by acting like a disgruntled veteran and doing something a disgruntled veteran would do. This strikes me as excessively complex though and perhaps ineffective, because if anything it would garner initial sympathy for veterans and that might not abate even if it were pinned on a veteran patsy. No, I don’t think this is a black op -too many competing sympathies.

Whomever did this, meant it.

Best,
-Dre

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6 Nov 2019 Lecture Review

Friends,
I attended a lecture this evening which I was very excited to see -a Muslim speaker from the UK defending the idea of faith from the irrationality of atheism. Lovely, as I feel most mafuccas need more Jesus (or one of his archetypal counterparts) in their lives.
I was disappointed.
Right from the get-go as one of the “lucky” 20 early arrivals I “won” a t-shirt but could only claim it if I signed some forms denoting how I could wear it and what purposes I could use it for. I realized that this was going to be a highly-politicized thing and not a good faith talk about reconciling faith and rationalism.
Needless to say I passed on the shirt for this reason and also because all my t-shirts say “Nicaragua” or “San Juan del Sur” on them and I wouldn’t wanna deviate from a working formula.
I listened intently to speaker when he came on and did my best to follow his arguments, but he chained together a lot of words whose meanings I know, but whose combined meanings I had to think about for a second. Now English is my first language and I know my way around some big words, but guy was tripping ME up at certain point with his verbose bombast and jargon, so I doubt that the broader audience – a lot of international students and people taking their first crack at post-secondary- were picking it all up. (Keep this in mind)
At halftime Q&A I asked him about his earlier assertion that there was no connection between “truth and survival”. First I asked if that was his contention or if it was something he said while laying out the position of his opponents. He said it was his contention.
SO I then asked him a specific question about his example, his example being: “If we were all dropped in the forest and I said ‘all mushrooms are poisonous’ and nobody ate them, we would have a better chance of survival, even though my statement is not true.”
I asked him if he thought that this was actually proof of the lack of connection between truth and survival or if it was a problem regarding the level of analysis -for example, was that little lie about all mushrooms being poisonous nested in a larger order truth about needing to make ‘one size fits all’ rules to ensure maximum survivability? He evaded this question and moved on. I was disappointed, but it was destined to get worse.
For part 2 of the talk he quoted a verse from the Quran which laid out four possibilities for creation:
You were created from:
1) Nothing
2) Yourself
3) Another creation (infinite regression as he termed it)
4) Uncreated creator
I asked him to clarify the importance of the word “Uncreated” in 4) and elaborate on how “Uncreated” differed from “Nothing.” It turns out that “nothing” is nothing and nothing can’t exist, whereas an “uncreated creator” is something and therefore can exist.
I can’t make this up, people.
The problem was not that his explanation was a purely semantical one (especially after he had condescended to an audience member for listening to his words and not his meaning), the problem for me was that he could have gone so many more interesting places with “Uncreated” -the threshold between being and not being where the rules bend and life is created; the “friction point” (no pun intended) where masculine leaves its impression on feminine and creation happens; a point on the cusp of being and not being.
But no. Uninspired, dogmatic, proselytizing semantics is what we got.
I also asked him to explain why we couldn’t have been created from another creator going back in perpetuity and why this eternal process of becoming and unbecoming couldn’t be considered God.
Well evidently because that was not what he had learned. No, God had to be a static thing.
Now remember I said to keep in mind that a lot of his ostentatiously sophomoric word combinations were beyond the reasonably expected level of comprehension? Well, the most avid of commenters, two older gentlemen up front who seemed to to be comprehending him as well as me, took him to task for his unfounded and recklessly-made claims. He not only evaded but also began condescending to them for their faith in the scientific method. I forget the term he used, but it was some slur for rationalism, “scientism”perhaps….
Then he took a moment to (and I fucking cannot stand this) read off the names of books that we the audience should all read, finishing with “and then come talk to me.”
Yes, he literally said that. He told us to go educate ourselves. The college paid money to bring this guy to speak. It was fucking embarrassing.
By this point my eyes were rolled into the back of my head and I’m pretty sure I had developed brain lesions for the stupidity of it all.
The piece de resistance though, and what made me finally walk out was that after giving us a reading list, he started ranting and condescending to us, repeating the phrase “Don’t believe what you see on youtube” and “Don’t believe the youtube philosophers”. There were other spontaneous utterances interspersed between these fallback slogans, but the whole thing seemed to me like he was trying to film a highlight sizzle reel for his own youtube intros. I walked out in disgust.
The whole thing seemed like a calculated attempt to polarize people against Muslims through smug, self-assuredness; there’s a lot of this polarization on yt because by rousing up the most ignorant of you intellectual opponents to be the most vocal, you can then classify all of your opponents thusly. Transparent as hell!
Oh, and I’m not big fan of Richard Dawkins, but this jokester spoke the man’s name as if he was on his level. He was not.
I’m glad I went, but I will never attend a talk by this guy again. Nor will I provide his name.
Dear Muslim Society of Georgian, please aim higher. There are so many great compassionate, humble, erudite Muslim speakers you could have invited, but you chose a smug, preening, psuedo-intellectual who covers for his ignorance with big words and who wears what his what he knows like an ill-fitting suit.
I invited a Christian couple to this event, and I would have been embarrassed if they had been able to attend.
Best,
-Dre
PS: Real conversation as I left
Organizer who had invited me: “Yo bro how was it”
Me: “Well I ‘m glad I came, but I decided to leave when he started insulting the audience.”
Org: “I can’t talk about it”
Me: “You just asked me, though”
Org: “I’m not allowed to talk about it.”
Me: “So you don’t want to know how it was?…”
Org: ……
Me: “Ok, well have a good night.”
Can’t make this shit up!

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This Sinking Feeling

I been up and down in prison; I’ve lived inside this cell.
Surrounded by these demons and the fiery gates of hell.
I blame my Mother and my Father for the man that I’ve become.
-I was born into this family; I was born the Devil’s son.
No I ain’t gonna see my freedom … ’til the day …
… they lay me in the ground.
-Ryan Horne, Terrible Tommy

Friends,

There’s this nuanced aspect of a more generalized existential despair which I would like to explore. It has to do with my inheritance from my parents, and since parts of this line of inquiry really hurt me to think about, I know that is where I must look.

In Sterquiliniis Invenitur – In filth it will be found

To be clear, I am learning to love existential despair, but every new encroachment of it on my life does take some time to get used to. And the more it encroaches the more clearly I see what has kept it at bay for so long. In fact, I realize as  I write these words that there are two bulwarks which have held back the despair,-for better and worse-for most of my life: The Strength of my Father and The Dreams of my Mother.

The Dreams of My Mother

Having been estranged from my mother for almost 20 years now, you might say this bulwark has been in disrepair for some time, but it would be more accurate to say I  have been chipping away at it even as I have been protected (suffocated?) by it.

Still, my mother was a big dreamer, and the magnitude of her aspirations made a deep impression on me.. There was always something, not exactly upward striving about her, but rather upward-desiring. More precisely, she wanted deeply and she had a way of externalizing responsibility for the fulfilment of her desires upon other people, including her kids (I was always meant to be a doctor after all). Still, in fairness to her, the Joneses weren’t going to keep up with themselves…

Two incidents from my childhood really stand out as perfect examples of the gulf between her life and her desires.

1) There was an affluent development we used to drive by on the way to visit my grandparents. The houses were mansions -like proper fucking mansions. My step-dad was a small business owner and he did okay for for us -we lived comfortably and had a beautiful house in the country, never wanting for anything. This one mansion though; it must have driven my mother nuts seeing it often as we did. I guess she felt entitled to that life -that of affluent Italian immigrants instead of the blue collar family she came from (hold that thought). In any event, one time we were driving as a family and she drew all of our attention to that unnecessarily, ostentatiously large house, too big even for us as a family of 7, and said something to the effect of, “We’re going to live there one day,” and while I don’t remember her actual wording beyond that, there was a way in which it was clearly indicated as a challenge to my step-father to give her the life she deserved. He, for his part, simply kept driving.

2) In March ’95 we took our first and only plane trip together as a family -two weeks in that storied paradise we’d all grown up wanting to go to, Florida! We spent the first week hitting the theme parks -a day at Magic Kingdom, a day at Universal, and (my favourite) a day at Epcot. We stayed in motels and had a very lovely time of it. But my mother, like Malory Archer, had a Trudy Beekman of her own -a rival who had to be on-upped at all costs; Cheryl D____. And so it was, when we got back to Canada we were instructed to tell everyone that we stayed at the Disney All-Star Resort.

Maybe if we had stayed here everything would have been ok.

Nothing about her life was ever good enough, and I realize that that same attitude has been a detriment in my life as well.

Now let’s come back to that thought I told you to hold -the one about my mother’s shameful, Southern-Italian, blue collar origins. See, I never saw it that way. As a kid, I always thought being Italian was the coolest thing, because that was what I was always exposed to. I guess it was overcompensation and correction for the racism my mother and grandparents had been subjected to as an immigrant family in the 60s, but there was never any question about the superiority of my Italian blood, and this delusion dovetailed nicely into the Oedipal-Messiah monoculture I was at the centre of as the first-born of the new generation. This over-correction, the aforementioned dreams of my mother, really fucked me up for many years. Her dreams and expectations, which I internalized to a degree I didn’t even realize until my early 30s, were worn around me like a protective cocoon with walls so thick I struggled to break free, suffering many years of stunted growth in the process. In my early childhood, this barrier had the effect of giving me an infallible sense of self-worth; in adolescence I lagged behind the other kids in social development; and at 17 I realized for the first time that in social situations where noone was talking to me, I might be the problem. Case in point: I remember the house party I was at in Summer 2002, sitting alone on a seat talking to no one (which was common enough), but for the first time it occurred to me that it was up to me to make something happen here (at the party and in life); I stopped assuming that other people’s priorities weren’t messed up because they weren’t talking to me. At that point I had already been estranged from my mother for two years, but in that moment I feel I truly breached and poked my arm through the cocoon -though the suffocating dreams of my mother– for the first time.

The Strength of My Father

Jordan Peterson is fond of saying that a good thing to aim for is to be the strongest person at your father’s funeral; the person everyone goes to; the person everyone can lean on. There’s nobody I love more than my dad, and his passing will wreck me, but I have nonetheless thought a lot about it and what it means for my fractured family. I know I have it in me to be the strongest person, to deal with things level-headedly, and (most importantly) not get sucked into arguments with my step-mother, Anita. But therein lies the problem: Once my father passes I can have no expectation of civility from her. When he passes and his unwavering devotion to me and my sister (his kids from his first marriage) passes with him, the centre of gravity of his family with Anita and their kids together will slip away from me entirely and I anticipate her roundly rejecting any help I try and proffer with the funeral or anything else. I will be out in the cold. Still, I can comfort my relatives and siblings, and if that is all I can do then that is enough.  There has been a long cold war fought between me and her and I know how scared she must be to lose him even though to lose him would be to have me out of her life once and for all. It’s quite the Catch-22 for her and maybe for me as well.
I have really tried to put myself in my step-mother’s shoes in earnest over the last year. Though I didn’t formally articulate it at the time, I guess I started with the assumption that she hated me and had legitimate grounds for feeling that way. So, what were those grounds?
Well, best I could figure, I am a 35 year-old wastrel whose guilt-racked father was never judgmental enough. His resultant indulgent treatment of me contributed to an overall shortage of self-reliance, and I still enable this treatment from my father by asking him for help (doing my taxes & collecting my mail while I travel, etc.) because that relationship –having my dad be my dad– is the best memory I have from my childhood.
Still, I get it, it’s not charming to be a 35 year-old child and I’m working on it.
But even today, I had my dad on the phone while he was in his basement going through my boxes looking for stuff to bring up to Barrie for me. I don’t like having stuff in his basement as I feel it is a psychological provocation to Anita, but he insists its not a problem and since I’m just re-establishing myself in Canada, it stays there for the time being.

Just the same, I know he has had mobility problems over the past couple of years and that going down in the basement and looking through my boxes is not easy.
I know he’s coming up to Barrie to visit his parents whose health is failing and who are struggling much worse than I am.
I know he still works as many hours as ever, now shouldering the extra burden of paying for my little sister’s university.
And knowing all this I have the audacity to ask him for help?
It makes me feel like shit, honestly, but I do it nonetheless.

Why?

Well, the sad reality is that if he didn’t come up here and help me I simply wouldn’t see him. After all, if I went to visit him at his home it would get his wife in a mood and then he’d be left living with her which I think is overall worse, so maybe its better this way.

And that is the ultimate irony of mine and Anita’s cold war over my father: HE is the casualty and he suffers from our inability to reconcile. How much does he suffer? I don’t know but I have this image in my head of Anita and I standing across from each other at his funeral as they lower him into the ground, unable to look at each other, both full of guilt and shame for the role our mutual disdain played in depriving him of peace on this Earth.

The queen and the prince unwittingly conspiring to kill the king. It’s poetic and almost reassuring that we could work together toward a common purpose.

Epilogue

Looking at the ground around me, I see the sloughed-off bits of that maternal cocoon that I have been trying to shed for the latter half of my life with ever-growing consciousness and awareness. The torn, now useless bits of it, once my constrictive shell, represent the unfulfilled, unrealized dreams of my mother, and those vain aspirations seem shabby to me now where they once seemed sublimely influential -as does she.
I like the shabbiness though -she always wore humility well and in those moments where she took joy in her lot in life and appreciated what she had,  she could be the best mom in the world. So there’s value in these broken bits of cocoon I’ve shed if I accept them for what they are.

As I look up ahead of me I see the wall of my father, still standing, a veritable dam holding back the despair of the world as best it can. I can see the leaks though. Every year, more of the world’s ugliness makes it past him and pools toward me like a flowing tide. Eventually he too will crumble.
Can I brace the wall before it gives way? Maybe … to an extent. But maybe I’m not meant to.
Maybe the continuity of his strength –of his kind of strength– rests with my little brother; in some ways more like my dad than I will ever be. My little brother, Zach, had the one thing I always wanted more than anything in the world -to come home every day and see my dad. I don’t begrudge him this. It’s shaped him into a man of primary importance. A man like my father who takes care of the business of survival and keeps society running.
By comparison, I suppose I am a man of secondary importance: it is my lot to make things beautiful after men like my father and my brother (my brother especially as he’s an electrician) have made it habitable. I embrace that responsibility -secondary importance is still importance- and I have fierce respect for the people who make my work possible.

If I’m honest, I don’t think my dad ever wanted me to be like him. I often attribute his lack of fatherly judgment to his feelings of guilt for splitting up mine and my sister’s childhood home, but maybe it was more than that. Perhaps he had a vague idea of something I could strive toward but which he didn’t know how to guide me toward. Instead, he did what he could while I figured it out on my own.


Looking at the crumbling wall in front of me and the broken shell below me I think maybe I’m meant to pick up some of the pieces of each and fashion them into something new. Maybe not another wall to shield me or another armour-like cocoon to protect me, but perhaps a boat to buoy me.
This idea comforts me –and that makes me immediately suspicious of it– but it also makes sense and I can’t easily disprove it, so I will entertain it.

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So what are the gifts from my parents that I want to bring forward into the construction of my ark?
Well, wherever she happens to be, my mother acts as if she has a right to be there; she owns her presence in any situation (if not her actions).
My father does the things right there in from of him which need to be done. He takes responsibility.

I’ve been doing like my mother for most of my life: Confident and defiant at best; presumptuous and entitled at worst. I’m pretty good at this.
It’s only more recently that I’ve started to integrate the behaviours which have made my father the mountain of a man he is in my imagination: Staying humble, doing the thing right in front of me that needs doing, etc.

I guess if I had to put it in an easy to follow rule: “Walk around like you pay the bills in that motherfucker –but pay the bills, motherfucker!

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Love
-Andre

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