10/29/2007

"What's the deal with all the monkey shit?"


People sometimes ask me (after on of my many tirades); “What's the deal with all the monkey shit?”. It's easy to answer that with a simple, “I don't like humans anymore.” Or I could launch into how I created the name while sitting on a bench in the middle of Broadway when I lived in New York. To go deeper than that though I would have to take a trip back in time. Back to when I was in prison. I used to hang out with a 6'6” 19 year-old Russian hacker, a 4'6” psychiatrist (who got busted selling drugs to high profile clients) , and a Yugoslavian gun runner. We each considered ourselves anarchist, and would spend most of our evenings walking laps around the track on sunny days and simple lapping the yard on most days. As we circled the prison grounds we would have philosophical debates, discuss the news of the day, and tell stories of our lives before prison. We would also share books and gush over past anarchist who share our common bond of incarceration. All this would help shape my own rhetoric that I had been espousing my whole life. I had been calling myself an anarchist and preaching its virtues to the heavens since junior high school. Yet I found I had a very vague idea of what anarchism entailed. I found my knowledge of anarchist history and literature was limited to say the least. More importantly I found that I did not see eye to eye with even the most common of anarchist believers. They in my opinion where too weak. Modern Anarchy did not go far enough and left room for future corruption. In order to truly free mankind from the yolk one must seek to remove all forms of hierarchy and the structure of power. Anarchy left room for leaders and order. I desired Chaos and complete freedom. You should have seen us though with me normally in the center and the midget Dr. on the tail end, plus me being the only crazy looking black kid hanging out with a bunch of crazy looking white dudes, it was something to see. I used to have more faith in humanity, then came that day in September that no one will let you forget. I was in prison then and the day after was fine, but as the weeks went on my compatriots lost their nerve. No on wanted to be seen as terrorist. So they toned down their revolutionary rhetoric and shrunk away. The Dr. dropped out first then the Slav, the Russian was fine but you could see the nervousness in his eyes if we passed someone while we wer talking about it. I could care less. I felt empowered. In my mind the revolution was on it's way. That soon mankind would all rise up against the powers that be and all towers would fall. Then I got out around November to find that America had regressed back into the 1950's. All of a sudden it was like the nukes were coming and everybody needed to build bomb shelters. Flags were waving everywhere and the evil tide of nationalism was everywhere. I suddenly understood what it felt like to be Jewish in Germany 1937.

I once dreamed of a techno/cyber-punk/new-wave future, one step removed from Mad Max. I saw a grand vision of Barter Towns and Logan's Run scenarios. A year later my dreams where gone. All the middle class punk-rockers traded in their mow hawks for SUV's with yellow ribbons. Those that didn't hid under their beds afraid to protest or write a zine. The only people making any noise where half-baked college kids and their ex-hippie parents. The media made the anti-war effort a laughing stock. The police suppressed the rest. Real dissent was shipped of to Gitmo and the rest was history. I tried to stay in the game. Going to protest in New York, and Atlanta, but what I saw was worse than not going. The radical movement in this country that had been growing throughout the nineties had been marginalized. Thanks to Fox News and a ever growing color coded climate of fear. I witnessed people in New York being beaten by police only to go home and hear nothing happened on the nightly news. The anarchist had retreated to the safety of their lofts and video games. The only people left in the streets were the kooks and cranks and left-over hippies. This would change over time, but right then it was disheartening. It was as if someone had ripped out the very heart of everything I believed in. It was then I began to turn my back on humanity.

In New York I became a parody. I wore a confederate flag belt buckle and extolled the virtues of the south, while wearing punk rock T-sirts and hip hop jeans. I tried to confront peoples ideals and beliefs with sarcasm and attitude. Instead I just got drunk and came off as a joke. When I returned to Atlanta I tried to be as confrontational and reshape opinions of what it meant to be radical, but instead I just came off as a asshole unable to “chill” and “get along”. Until one day I woke up. I realized it wasn't the message it wasn't the movement, it was humanity. The problem I was having was that no matter what humans would not change, someone would always seek to dominate over another. The question then became what to do with that knowledge. I turned my back on humanity but, then what would I become. Thanks to my old buddy V2 and his Anti-Alien movement I wasn't about to become an E.T. So I took it back, way back, to before “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”, into Monkeedom!

When I left new York for Atlanta I began studying Hindu Mythology and ancient mythology's in general. This lead to a discovery of monkey myths and legends that thread through most of the known world. I had earlier, while sitting on that bench at 77th and Broadway, created the name Monkee Armada. So I had the name, I now had some thing tangible a history. All I had to do was pull it all together and tie it with my own personal philosophy. The only problem was that as I had gotten older my own personell philosophy began to change. I didn't care about saving the world from itself anymore. I saw the larger picture, and figured nature was taking its course. When I turned twenty-five, I began to focus more on myself. Who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I had become. I had to redefine me first. The world around me seemed full of cowards, all flag waving and ignorant. Those still in the struggle for liberation seemed sheltered and pompous. In truth it was my own arrogance, that blinded me and cut me off from my faith in revolution. Not to mention that the media had long co-opted revolution as a marketing gimmick. Even in Atlanta (one of the last pockets of free thought-believe it or not), I felt alone in my desire to challenge the status quo. I was not of course, but this feeling only helped fuel my withdrawal from humanity. When I finally left Atlanta for St. Louis, late last year, I slowed down on my drinking enough to finally hash out the “Codas Armadas” A quasi bible of ancient legends and my own anarchistic beliefs, that will hopefully bridge the gap. I've been searching for a long time for a way to express my opinions without coming off either too silly or contrived-for lack of a better word. This I think may be my opus.


Post a Comment