Lost in the Machine | Metropolis

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" 1927 1.

We must not define ourselves by freedom from religion, from abuse, from rape, from derision. From societal norms, from conformance, from acceptable compliance. From race, from the accident of geographical happenstance of birth or of life, whether lived extraordinarily or pedestrian, with unsung aplomb, or within the rarefied strata of the newly minted pantheon of 'celebrity' deities.

We should define ourselves as freedom to reinvent ourselves and our realities. To impact positively the lives of those with whom we have the great fortune to collide into as we traverse the plane of life. Like so many balls on a field of green, we are billiards. Carom. How many arguments, wars and massacres has humankind engaged in to define the players, from whence we have evolved? We are in perpetual quest of the why, the how, the when, and the why?

To neatly gift wrap a beginning, an end; punctuated with a nice explanation in between. Who is the player? What is this felt top green? Where is the cue? How many balls? Who hits and determines corner pockets? In this world, is there truly an infinite number of permutations? The process of forward motion, as we collide one into another, Energy released, negative or positive, repelled and attracted, we leave indelible marks of our passage.

2.

Floating cubicles in the night sky, a uniquely urban phenomena. These animals are sequestered each night in one to many rooms. We watch them wander half dressed from food preparation areas, to rooms dominated by flickering walls of effervescent images. They watch in two dimensions, nature and others like them, on a liquid reality that exudes no corporeal warmth.

See these creatures move back and forth? In floating cubicles stacked South to North? Earth to sky, some cubes/cages are the width and girth of the rectangular structure that juts from the earth. These "Tame Kingdom" moments are most easily observed after the sun has set, whilst the moon ascends. In the mornings the gaping maws of these edifices, disgorge a steady stream of the male and female specimens, showered, brushed and dressed, stimulants in hand, they head to other edifices by foot, train and car.

We have warrens, dens, hives, hills and plains. They have floating cubicles stacked high, wherein they toil night and day.  Shocked, dazed, wrung dry, we see nothing for their labors, not even crusts or water. They stink of prey, fear dogging their entrails; we see not what hunts them, nor they us. We are as invisible to them, as they are visible to us. Close enough to smell the fragrance of their foods, the stench of their trash. To hear the whelps of their love, their soft lambastes. Cries of fear, pain, stress, and grief. They peer out of clear glass panes to watch each other, their loneliness reverberates in silent ripples across the pool of nightness, while we hug tight to the shadows......

3.

Tags abound with photos and acronyms. The only distinguishing features in an otherwise featureless land. Whereas their food sources, our brethren, cows, sheep, and such; in freedom once wore, bells jingle jangling from their necks. Now, corporate giants and governments, tag their women and men with loosely hung beacons, that track all movement through the benevolence of key less card access.

Fiery brands have been replaced, in vernacular and social consciousness. Their skins are no longer seared with hot metal. Property now allocated in a totally subtle manner. Yet, their psyches yearn for the days of yore, when the rule of hunter and prey, truly meant to kill or be killed. But, not with stressed induced heart attacks that now dominate the landscape of their survival skirmishes. Civilization, modernization, technological advancement, has trapped them in an outward manifestation of freedom, but in exchange robbed them of all ability to determine their own destinies. They have been vetted, tagged, processed and tracked. And for that privilege they get to work to death. As cog, as spoke, as grease, as wheel, as chain, as gear, as pedal, as axle, in the behemoth that moves inexorably forward, called Capitalism.

Author: Ayanna Nahmias

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