Friday, September 25, 2009

Musical Freedom

It wasn’t too long ago that I remember it; the scandals appearing on the television, the advertisements that started playing, showing kids but years older than me set to the song “I Fought the Law”, busted, it seems, for sharing mp3 files over the internet. I hadn’t really much idea what all this meant at the time, or understood the severity of their offenses. What the commercials told me was “file sharing was bad”.
Well, some years later I started to use the internet much more often, and one day, I stumbled across Wikipedia, and I was astounded; a free encyclopedia, without ads, that seems to know everything about anything. I was very impressed, to say the least. However, as it turns out, things get better. I discovered the ‘edit’ button atop every page, and even came to the realization that if a page doesn’t exist, I ought create it. To this day, I help write Wikipedia, and although I’m a little less active than I was formerly (slightly retired) I clean up vandalism, fix typos, and add my knowledge where needed.
If you know me well, you’ll understand that when I get into something, I get into something. I learned as much as I could about the principle behind a wiki, and learned that it actually came from the Hawaiian wikiwiki, meaning quickly, because of how fast its articles could be edited. I also learned about how major a communal effort is needed to create a wiki, and learned about ‘community’ technology, so to speak. To this day, I’m still stunned beyond words at how Wikipedia virtually organized itself, and how it taught me something I shan’t soon forget: the principle of open source.
Open source is a tricky thing to pin down in a few words, but it primarily applies to technology, though it can extend past that. Open source is mostly a principle that deals with creation, sharing, and so much more. Wikipedia terms it as “an approach to the design, development, and distribution of software, offering practical accessibility to a software's source code.”
The reason it’s called ‘open source’ is because the ‘source code’ of a program, or all those lines of code that make a program tick- sort of like blueprints to make a building, or DNA to make an organism- are there for the taking with open source software. Thus, you can take the source and modify it to meet your needs. Not only that, but you’re encouraged to share what you’ve created with others, and collaborate on improvements. This is only the tip of the iceberg in describing open source.
But what has this to do with music, you ask? Well, as I learned about open source, and the licenses that accompany it, I realized that open source extended beyond technology, but the same principles applied just about all works, such as art, music, literature, film, and even products. Around the same time on websites such as Youtube I noticed that large companies (I won’t drop names) were starting to complain about people violating their copyrighted works. Videos were getting pulled down left, right, and center. Unauthorized audio was disabled, and people got quite angry. Now, these huge companies that provided the music were becoming the villains who took it all away.
So I decided to examine the matter a bit more closely. What was it that people could be posting that’s causing all this trouble? I took a look for myself. Turns out, people were getting creative, making top-notch music videos from television shows, movies, and anime. The problem is, however, this was in violation of existing copyright law.
These laws were put here to protect rights; suppose you created this song, it took you five whole years, but the song is incredible. You start selling copies of it, and it becomes a hit, millions of people love it. Then, some company takes the song and uses it in a commercial. You, however, receive no credit for making the song, no money from their using it, and they make billions with some product that you unwittingly sold. Yet, you receive no part of it. Copyright law is there to prevent that kind of thing from happening. It’s also there to prevent somebody from claiming your work as their own. Unfortunately, most of it wasn’t written for the participation age. Because the tools to not only create, but also to modify, share, and distribute things that were previously considered ‘professional only’ are now in the hands of ordinary people. Thus, common people have the tools to create things, the platforms to distribute them, and the ability to collaboratively improve upon existing works. All of this is done, yet with a different principle behind it, not in an attempt to steal but innocently trying to share something they created, profiting from feedback, not sales. Unfortunately, these massive companies are incapable of understanding what’s behind this sense of community, partly because of fear they’ll be ripped off, partly because they’re afraid they’ll be taken advantage of by their competitors, and in some cases, partly out of sheer greed. As I’ve brought out before, the intentions of the ‘violators’ is quite innocent, if not noble. Thus, something needs to happen. Some of the major arguments media conglomerates have against people doing these things are:

  1. It’s illegal. Well, that’s true, however, it’s not an intentional violation of the law, perhaps some wiggle room could be provided? Remember these aren’t people with ill intent.
  2. The people who directed, edited, and toiled over this content are receiving nothing. Yes, but how often, exactly, are they receiving something? Suppose a music video is made, and fancy special effects are used, a load of people edit it, contribute towards it, etc. Suppose now that somebody wants to use portions of that video somewhere. The licensing fees are usually rather largish, yet, a pretty good chunk of the people don’t get anything from those licensing fees.
  3. You’re crushing the musicians you supposedly love! Don’t you     know that this music is their livelihood? Nope. Just like those people who make the music videos, artists don’t make much off the sales of their music, but from concerts and merchandise. What does the record company do, exactly? According to Wikipedia, the record label is “the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion, and enforcement of copyright protection of sound recordings and music videos; conducts talent scouting and development of new artists ("artists and repertoire" or A&R); and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers.

Yet, music can be produced at home. Manufacture isn’t necessarily necessary, since an mp3 can be download free, distribution can be free, and if you’re good, fans will come to you. Marketing, again, can be free, by sharing your music with others online. All it takes is a simple link to a file in a few places, and maybe even a few ads at a minimal price. Regarding protecting copyright, one can simply ‘copyleft’, using licenses that would protect their rights without the self-villanization of refusing to share. Thus, an artist can allow others to create music videos, make funky dance-remixes and forward your songs to friends without breaking the law, at the same time promoting your music. How would you make money, you ask? Like everybody else, from your concerts. It’s already proved quite effective, and the cost of renting out a venue can be offset by the sales of tickets. The internet is now a superior platform to the record label. The only way for record companies to survive is for them to adapt, and to continue with distribution. If they change their models, freeing up music, and doing their jobs to protect the rights of artists- without smothering them. Record companies ought embrace copyleft licenses and by all means encourage the use of them. They should be producing CDs for people who will buy them, and making sales off the price of physical goods, not the music itself.
Thus, by allowing people to use songs freely (within the bounds of noncommercial usage), music videos, remixes, etc., can be created by communities, the end result being good for all parties involved. Regarding commercial use, it should be dealt with as it always has been- licensing fees, using the record company to ensure that the artist receives a good deal.
Yes, this is a system that can work, but how? The first step is to share this article with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Then, try to educate yourself on copyleft, open source, and the like to understand the motivation behind it. Make sure that you send a copy of this article to your local record company, possibly by e-mail, but preferably a hard, printed copy, to show that you mean business. Another recommendation is to listen to ‘open source’ music, I’ve provided a couple sources in the bibliography.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to participate. Make music and share it around, you never know who will like it!
However, in order to get them to change, I do not recommend violating copyright law. This, of course is illegal, and something you really shouldn’t do. What is the solution, them? Share around copyleft content. You’re allowed to. Peer-to-peer, or p2p file sharing has been given a bad reputation by the mass media, mostly because it is abused to violate copyright, but also partly because it can draw attention away from the mass media itself, towards peer created content. For the first time, we don’t need to be dependant on a few people for creating quality content- meaning that the voice of the people can truly ring out.
This model can work for music, but can it work for movies? This will be discussed in another article.


Here, you can find a proper definition of open source technology

More information about the use of p2p file sharing

An online radio website that plays music according to your taste, based on music you know you like- connecting people with new musicians.

An open source video game console

Open Source Music in every genre

More open source music, primarily samples to make remixes from

Copyleft licenses in plain old English that you can feel free to use

This is my blog, where I publish stories, poems, articles, and book reviews

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
An excellent book that describes just how mass collaboration and peer production can be successfully employed in business environments.

This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. In short, you’re free to take this article and edit it to your hearts content, so long as you credit the author Jourdan Cameron. For commercial usage, however, you must contact the author:

Monday, September 14, 2009


Well, I just read Zap! The Rise and Fall of Atari by Scott Cohen, and I'm quite impressed. The book was (obviously) about the history of the Atari corporation. It chronicled their astounding rise from humble beginnings, and yet managed to spiral back down to the bottom of the barrel. I was quite surprised about what helped pull them down, such as the way that ColecoVision and IntelliVision, the way they released 'modules', allowing their consoles to be compatible with the cartridges of the Atari 2600.
         ^IntelliVision, not too shabby either^                                ^IntelliVision Controller- pretty impressive!^
    ^Whoops, what is this old thing?^
But, I noticed some things that sort of indicated what future was lying in front of video games. It was believed that games were going to be a 'passing fad', and that the record industry- not the recording industry, I mean those big round chunks of vinyl- were going to outlast video games. Little did they realize what was coming next! Yet, despite the failed predictions, I can still recommend this book. It explains just how certain companies behaved, and would explain alot about the industry today. I give it 3.75 stars, out of 5.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thesis on the Life of Charles Dickens and his reactions to oppression

Charles Dickens is one of the most important authors of the 19th century. Through his life, he wrote volumes- within much of his writing was often held aloft a deeper message- how to treat the impoverished, life from the perspective of the mistreated, the proverbial ‘view from below’. Charles had a difficult, albeit short, childhood, in a world where pain and heartache was the norm, it was entirely average to be defiled as refuse, a place where a human life meant cheap labor, a person was forced to become a simple automaton, living upon meager subsistence wages, a place, where, the tears of a child were simply used as lubrication for the massive, smoke-belching, industrial machine. It is this world that Dickens spoke of. It is by no means a nice world to reside within, yet, for so many people this world was reality, and there was absolutely positively nothing anybody could do about it.
Dickens shed light upon this dark, filthy world.

"Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport on the earth in the night season, and melt away with the first beam of the sun which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily pilgrimage through the world."
- Charles Dickens

Early Life
Charles John Huffam Dickens was born Friday February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, England. His parents were Elizabeth and John Dickens.
“Charles’s mother, who was twenty-three when he was born, was named Elizabeth, and she came from a family of musical instrument makers. He said that she often sent his sisters and him “into uncontrollable fits of laughter by her funny sayings and inimitable mimicry”-or, as we would say now, doing impressions of other people. But there was a scandal in her family; not long before Charles was born, Elizabeth’s father stole some money from the Navy Pay Office, and when he was found out, he ran away to the Isle of Man.” (Rosen 13)
His father, John, was a clerk at the Navy Pay Office, and unfortunately, quite indebted.
“He dressed like a gentleman and spoke in an upper-class voice. Perhaps he was imitating his parents, who had been servants in upper-class people’s houses. He was always, always, always, short of money, and always either spending it or borrowing it.” (Rosen 13) His father made a mere £80 annually, which made caring for his family difficult, to say the least, and a problem compounded by his spending habits, and seven children besides Charles.
Young Charles took note of his fathers financial situation, which evidently affected his works, most notably so in David Copperfield.
Soon after the birth of his other siblings, they had to move to an apartment in London’s West End, soon moving yet again to Sheerness, on the east coast, and finally Chatham, which, to young Charles, was a source of much inspiration. He referred to it as a “dream of chalk, and drawbridges, and mastless ships, in a muddy river”- just the kind of place that influenced his writings in later years.
“I faintly remember her teaching me the alphabet” said Charles Dickens about his mother, who was his very first teacher. He also remembered how she would sometimes hit him with a stick, later referring to her as one who “ruled the world with the birch”.
On occasion, his relatives would bring him to the theater in London, a rare privilege! It is by these that Dickens learned about the very vibrancy of the performing arts, in all the joy and the pain, trials and tribulation, and influenced not only his style of writing, and how he put together chains of event in his books, and quite likely the realism, the very “true-to-life-ism” and sheer emotion that makes his books timeless.
At one point in his childhood, when his family was rather short on money, John, his father, had young Charles leave school, despite his having sent Fanny, Charles older sister, to the Royal Academy of Music in 1823, leaving poor Charles feeling rather hurt, tossed by the side of the road, and stolen from, cheated out of a learning experience he enjoyed.
As the slippery slope of his family’s financial situation steadily grew steeper, Charles sat back and watched as various possessions were taken to the pawnbroker, pieces of furniture, cutlery, clothing, books, and many things that would once adorn his home slowly disappeared from view.
Though things seemed as if they couldn’t get any worse, they could, and they did. Shortly after turning twelve, young Charles was sent to Warren’s Blacking, a factory where black boot polish was made. It was “a crazy, tumble-down old house”, complete with “rotten floors, and staircase, and the old grey rats swarming down the stairs at all times.”
His job here was working with labels, where he would take a pot full of “blacking”, or polish, and label it appropriately, for ten and a half hours. Daily, he trod six miles, three to get to Warren’s, and another three to return home. The only pause he received from his work was a twelve PM lunch break, and a short stop for tea in the late afternoon.
Shortly after beginning this terrible labor, his father was pitched into debtors prison, and for young Charles to visit him on Sunday, his only day off, and poor little Charles had to descend into the dank, bleak, dark prison, where lost souls, weary, and their empty wallets took up residence for a while.
After his father was released from debtors prison, he went back to his job, and would walk each day to work with little Charles,
Though the world all around him was crashing, not everything was taken from him; his mother would sometimes come to visit him at the factory, and he would be able to keep some of his own money that he earned, and be able to spend it in restaurants for his lunch break.
In 1825, young Charles was allowed an opportunity to learn once again. His father sent him to the Wellington House Academy, a single roomed school that would hold two-hundred pupils, all in rows, with elder students sometimes teaching the younger. In later years, Dickens wrote of most schoolteachers as tormentors, rather than teachers, as underscored in the books David Copperfield, and also Hard Times. Yet, it is also at schools that he and his friends formed a sort of arts club, where they “put on plays, recited poems and songs, wrote stories, put them into scrapbooks, and produced a magazine called Our Newspaper.”(Rosen 28)

Late teen years to early adulthood
At the age of fifteen, Charles once again had to leave school, this time, however, to work for a lawyer, and not at the blacking factory. His primary job was to copy important documents, and carry files from office to office. Though the work was a tad boring, he often got to meet with people of all sorts, but sometimes, he had to go to places that could be potentially hazardous, and it was experiences like these that led gave him the strength to write as he did, and something to draw from, and base his writings upon.
At the age of 18, Charles had the ability to write in shorthand, and took up a job initially in a court, and later in Parliament.
In 1883, at the age of twenty-one, Dickens published his first story, “A Dinner at Poplar Walk”, and it was published in Monthly Magazine, and was quite successful. He wrote eight more stories, none of which he profited from. Soon, he moved up to the Morning Chronicle, in which he was paid for several things, including theater review, reporter on elections and their campaigns, etc. He progressed quickly into other genres, comic included, under the pen name “Boz”. In 1836, he became the editor of Bentley's Miscellany, and married his first wife, Catherine Hogarth, and the two had nine children.
In the same year, his articles and sketches were published in his first book, Sketches by Boz. George Cruikshank, a famous illustrator of the day, made pictures for the book.
Dickens progressed to publishing stories serially, month-by-month, in a book known as The Pickwick Papers, and in 1837 started serializing Oliver Twist, along with Nicholas Nickleby, and after completing the two, started publishing The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge weekly.

Dickens and Social Issues
"A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self."
- Charles Dickens
All throughout his life, Dickens was painfully aware of the poverty that plagued mankind. He made these evident in his works, and in his 1846 (entirely published in 1848) novel Dombey and Son, about Paul Dombey, a man who dreamed of having a son as a successor to his extremely successful shipping business. Yet, after his son is born, his wife died. Worse yet, his son doesn’t socialize normally, and, while well behaved, has many ‘quirks’. Despite this, he was described as very precocious as evidenced in the book:
“At no time did he fall into it so surely, as when, his little chair being carried down into his father's room, he sat there with him after dinner, by the fire. They were the strangest pair at such a time that ever firelight shone upon. Mr. Dombey so erect and solemn, gazing at the blare; his little image, with an old, old face, peering into the red perspective with the fixed and rapt attention of a sage. Mr. Dombey entertaining complicated worldly schemes and plans; the little image entertaining Heaven knows what wild fancies, half-formed thoughts, and wandering speculations. Mr. Dombey stiff with starch and arrogance; the little image by inheritance, and in unconscious imitation. The two so very much alike, and yet so monstrously contrasted.
On one of these occasions, when they had both been perfectly quiet for a long time, and Mr. Dombey only knew that the child was awake by occasionally glancing at his eye, where the bright fire was sparkling like a jewel, little Paul broke silence thus:
'Papa! what's money?'
The abrupt question had such immediate reference to the subject of Mr. Dombey's thoughts, that Mr. Dombey was quite disconcerted.
'What is money, Paul?' he answered. 'Money?'
'Yes,' said the child, laying his hands upon the elbows of his little chair, and turning the old face up towards Mr. Dombey's; 'what is money?'
Mr. Dombey was in a difficulty. He would have liked to give him some explanation involving the terms circulating-medium, currency, depreciation of currency', paper, bullion, rates of exchange, value of precious metals in the market, and so forth; but looking down at the little chair, and seeing what a long way down it was, he answered: 'Gold, and silver, and copper. Guineas, shillings, half-pence. You know what they are?'
'Oh yes, I know what they are,' said Paul. 'I don't mean that, Papa. I mean what's money after all?'
Heaven and Earth, how old his face was as he turned it up again towards his father's!
'What is money after all!' said Mr. Dombey, backing his chair a little, that he might the better gaze in sheer amazement at the presumptuous atom that propounded such an inquiry.
'I mean, Papa, what can it do?' returned Paul, folding his arms (they were hardly long enough to fold), and looking at the fire, and up at him, and at the fire, and up at him again.
Mr. Dombey drew his chair back to its former place, and patted him on the head. 'You'll know better by-and-by, my man,' he said. 'Money, Paul, can do anything.' He took hold of the little hand, and beat it softly against one of his own, as he said so.
But Paul got his hand free as soon as he could; and rubbing it gently to and fro on the elbow of his chair, as if his wit were in the palm, and he were sharpening it - and looking at the fire again, as though the fire had been his adviser and prompter - repeated, after a short pause:
'Anything, Papa?'
'Yes. Anything - almost,' said Mr. Dombey.
'Anything means everything, don't it, Papa?' asked his son: not observing, or possibly not understanding, the qualification.
'It includes it: yes,' said Mr. Dombey.
'Why didn't money save me my Mama?' returned the child. 'It isn't cruel, is it?'
'Cruel!' said Mr. Dombey, settling his neckcloth, and seeming to resent the idea. 'No. A good thing can't be cruel.'
'If it's a good thing, and can do anything,' said the little fellow, thoughtfully, as he looked back at the fire, 'I wonder why it didn't save me my Mama.'”- Dombey and Son, Chapter Eight
This excerpt as makes it evident that Dickens understood the value of money- he realized it was useful as a tool for obtaining things, but evidently not much else, and by the end of the book, Dombey realizes money will never bring him happiness.

Dickens and Industrialism in Hard Times
“In Hard Times there is no mistaking Dickens violent hostility to industrial capitalism and its entire scheme of life. Here he is proclaiming a doctrine not of individual but of social sin, unveiling what he now sees as the real state of modern society… The change that reaches its climax in Hard Times, however is not only in revolutionary thought, it is in method as well. And this disturbs still another group of Dickens’s readers, grown used to a profusion of commix episode and a tremendous crowded canvas thronged with characters almost as numerous as life itself, all painted in vivid contrasting scenes of light and dark with a brilliant external realism… the method of Dombey and Bleak House, those complicated and elaborate literary structures like some enormous medieval building whose bays and wings and niches are filled with subordinate figures and with bright genre groups of all kinds clustering in a hundred patterns ranging from grotesque fancy to portraits from nature.
Had Dickens been following this method in hard Times, he would have had scenes among the clerks in Bounderby’s bank like those in Mr. Dombey’s countinghouse and scenes among the hands in Bounderby’s factories like those of pasting on the labels in Murdstone and Grinby’s warehouse… Every packed detail of this entire setting is surcharged with significant emotional and intellectual comment, and every character among the small unified group, symbolic and stylized, who act out their drama in the gritty industrial world, serves to deepen and intensify the meaning. Josiah Bounderby, banker and manufacturer, is its blatant greed and callous inhumanity in action. Thomas Gradgrind, retired wholesale hardware dealer, man of facts and figures, is the embodiment of utilitarian economic figures and its endeavor to dry up life into statistical averages. Young Thomas Gradgrind, devoted first and only to his own advantage, is the mean product of the paternal theories – “that not unprecedented triumph of calculation which is usually at work on number one.””(Johnson 131-133)
Evidently, the industrial world and its injustices played a major role in Dickens literature, in the way it affected his characters, the factories belching smoke being cold and heartless, thus, the people in charge of such are just as terrible. However, in this pit of despair, this industrial abyss of doom, this which is known as the creative mind of Charles Dickens, a glimmer of hope shines through. In Hard Times, that glimmer was known as Cecilia “Sissy” Jupe, Girl No. Twenty, incapable of defining a horse in utilitarian terms. This girl came from a background that, according to Gradgrindian philosophy, shouldn’t even exist, let alone be the place where a child spends most of his or her waking hours. Despite it, Cecilia’s father, according to Gradgrind, ‘recognized the value of a good education’, and he took her in, much the same way as a man swallowing half-cooked pork: he knows that something is wrong, yet doesn’t understand how much of his life could be changed as a result of a seemingly insignificant action. Girl number twenty entered the life of Thomas Gradgrind and changed him for the better- yet her effects weren’t seen for quite some while. The worms in a mans stomach hatch after being released by the powerful acids- Cecilia was released into the Gradgrind household. The worms work their magic by making their way to the intestine- young Miss Jupe went to the heart of her kind host, and softened the stone.
Sissy doesn’t just serve as a character in a well written book, one you pop off the shelf, read, and haphazardly shut- rather, she is the very incarnate of hope and all humanity. Sissy, after a Gradgrind style education, was perhaps the only successful product in that she was balanced- she wasn’t a cold, hard, pale Bitzer, sort of like a diamond lacking color, it may be ‘absolutely perfect’, and ‘rock solid’ in conviction, yet, it’s a diamond, just a whole bunch of carbon in a unique formation and not much more. Sissy could have become a lost, wandering Louisa, with a head full of facts without use- neither was she a like Tom, a kind, loving (and occasionally misanthropical) person, lost like Louisa, but unlike Louisa, he is looking for a path in every opportunity that comes by him. These opportunities include the (potentially offensive!) comic blackmoor, bank robber, and perhaps the saddest of all, what we in modern terms would call a ‘mooch’, reliant on his poor sister for his livelihood.
“Fir Sissy’s loving humanity, though, this bleak factuality is quite impossible…Of a town of a million inhabitants of whom there are only twenty-five starved to death in the course of a year. What does she think of that proportion? “I thought it must be just as hard on those who were starved whether the others were a million or a million million.” So “low down” is Sissy in “the elements of Political Economy” after eight weeks of study, that she has to be “set right by a prattler three feet high, for returning to the question, ‘What is the first principle of this science?’ the absurd answer, ‘To do unto others as I would that they should do unto me’””(Johnson 158)

Yet, despite all this, Sissy turned out regular. She took in all the facts, but her emotion, her fancy, and her sheer wonderment could not be removed. She was a hybrid, a beautiful, well developed thing, and like electricity to Tesla, she used fact and fancy together, thus forming a proper and balanced view of the world and excellent methods of solving problems.
Dickens used her as an engine to express the fact that with England in his day and age, it was all or nothing, yet, a little bit of something at the same time, always a little loophole that allowed for a major oppression. Cecilia Jupe, despite her calm demeanor in the book, was a revolutionary character, achieving a something through her actions. It was a thought that she implanted in the minds and hearts of readers. It was the knowledge that there is a middle ground, one that has been hidden from the world for so long. This middle ground of reason- neither living in extreme asceticism, wearing yourself thin, or a life of laze, without the vitality to accomplish anything. These two extremes were unfortunately the most common in Dickens’s day, and this is what evidently moved him to act.
Dickens used his writing as a medium by which to reach people. Motivated by the pain he suffered as a child at the brutal hands of industrial England, he put the knowledge right into the laps of everyone- made available to the wealthy and the impoverished in one way or another. And Dickens work was not in vain. It lead to some eye-opening, and heartwrenching realizations that lead to fairer treatment for the oppressed in England, and to this day, his novels give hope to people worldwide.

Works Cited
Karson, Jill. Johnson, Edgar. Readings on Hard Times. San Diego, CA, Greenhaven Press, Inc.

Rosen, Michael, Dickens His Work and His World. Cambridge, MA, Candlewick Press.
Charles Dickens Life
David Perdue’s Charles Dickens Page
Charles Dickens – Biography and his Works
SPECTRUM Biographies – Charles Dickens
Dombey and Son – Wikisource

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Civilized Children

The Civilized Children

By Jourdan E. Cameron

Their fight is drained, and their happiness is dissipated, and in its place, animosity is generated, hatred and fear grow as their sad expressions longingly show, lack of vigor, lack of vim, lack of natural childish whim. Their eyes are blank, they have cold hands, they are no longer willing to hold a courageous stand, what should be there is missing, what shouldn’t be there is, as it’s a nightmare that shouldn’t exist, not just a dream gone amiss but a scary collision of trains of thought into a deep, dank abyss. There lie scattered cries of Who Am I? Am I this, or that? Is something missing, is everything on pat? Did I commit some awful sin to deserve this fate, or was I simply born with this problem, this nuisance, this hate? Is this something innate, something I said, or was it something I ate?

The Civilized ones look down upon me, down upon us, down upon we. To them our life, our hopes and dreams nothing means. To them we are dirt, we are nothing, we are dust, the coating of dew, the sprinkling of rust, the shell on the egg, the grit in the shoe of the foot of the man. We don’t have a chance to truly romance our hopes and our dreams, what we truly desire, which, by the civilized ones, are simply stupid old dreams that ought be thrown into mire, silly old things that they shouldn’t desire, foolish little things, like the peas touching the potatoes, silly little things that ought be in their death throes. These stupid desires of the uncivilized beast are simply manifestations of an untamed mind, the unbridled thoughts, the unabridged brain and ought be deleted. They will die, they will perish, they will go down the drain, they must disappear, forever to be trapped and contained.

Lost are the Civilized ones, with little chance of escape! To drown in unnatural confinement, to expire in a heap, no longer able to stand on their own two feet. The feet with the shoes. The shoes with the grit with the dream with the unbridled, unabridged, uncensored, unadulterated, unharmed, indestructible, unavoidable, inevitable, unrestrained, irrepressible, raw, unexpurgated, truth, that comes irresistibly beaming forth! Yes, the truly cultured, truly civilized, truly intricate ones come forth, with knowledge, and wisdom, once held down, held back, damaged, now beaming forth brilliantly, solid as a diamond, powerful as a bolt of lightning, and rescuing the Civilized ones! The Civilized release their old ways of hatred and domination, shining forth the new creation into ratification! Realizing the errors of their past, now seeing what is the future, and embracing it with open arms, no long causing the ones they treated poorly any harms, putting them back in their proper place, kissing the once slapped face.

The Civilized ones are now civil, and are no longer divided, but a whole, there are now the Civilized and the Civilized, no difference between the two, money means nothing, class means nothing, skin color means nothing, your residence means nothing. What does anything mean? It is who you are, not where you originate or what you have, for if you are truly kind and without any evil, you are kind and not bitten by rabies of hatred, you are now civilized, one of a kind, no longer a pain. Not a pain, but a joy, a happiness, a success, you have made it, oh, boy! Don’t get me started, I could go on for days, my breath could start to form a thick haze, I would be blue in the face, the king, the jack and of spades, the ace, on the tip of the top of the pinnacle of the mountain of the happy, simply overly joyous, ever so snappy! Now please, take my words with you, stay civil, stay happy, don’t hate, you can only berate, simply remain kind and without prejudice, and than you will no longer be amiss!