The unspoken, the unconscious wish, the truly wild and scary hunger we all feel down to the marrow of our political bones is not what we think it is.
Yes, we hunger for the abolition of debt and corporatism and money-as-we-know-it.
Yes, we want a conclusive end to systemic racism, classism, sexism, shitty pointless wars.
But we don’t want these things to end just so we can sit in a circle smoking hash and holding hands before waking at dawn to tend our organic gardens and do yoga. And if you honestly think that’s why you want a revolution – so you can ever-afterward live in a utopia – well – let me try to tell this to you gently: you are wildly wrong and you need some long hours of self-examination.
So while you smoke some hash and stare into a fire at your next drum circle, think on this:
All utopias are boring.
We want corporatism and the police state and debt and “the war on _______ (fill in the blank with some amorphous threatening abstraction)” to end for just one reason.
The disturbing truth is this: we have collectively noticed how much these things shut down the one thing that matters most to us, the only thing that can ever truly matter to a human being: play.
Play is not the same thing as idyllic togetherness. Play is not necessarily peaceful or wholesome. It can be dynamic, cut-throat, elaborate, dangerous. What play does require, however, is a sense of the possibility of significance, of meaning. Our deepest drive is for meaning, and that’s what real magic gives us.
We’ll put up with any regime, any shitty state of affairs, as long as we have the possibility of play and a satisfying sense of meaning available to us within that play.
What play cannot be – in order to still count as play – is rigged. Because when we all know that the game is hopelessly rigged, it becomes boring and it loses its ability to give us the satisfaction of meaning.
What no one is saying is just this: the reason that we are bored and depressed and angry and disgusted to our core, the reason why (whether you want to see it or not) the millennial generation is quietly assembling and poising itself for the kind of rapid-onset tech-savvy political revolution that will make the riots of the 1960s look like a nice warm up and will have people reminiscing about the gentle ways of Robespierre – is that the level which every available societal game is rigged has become repulsive.
And by repulsive – I mean gut-churningly dull.
The problem isn’t that politicians and the mass media are liars, or that wars are hurting people, or that we’re saddled with debt, that our food is making us sick, that health care is a scam. We expect politicians and media people to lie, we expect wars to hurt people, we expect things to come at a cost. That’s all part of the play, part of the human game that’s our collective heritage.
What’s become disgusting and repulsive is that the politicians and media no longer even bother to lie imaginatively or skillfully. The wars don’t stir our blood. The debts we bear are impersonal and therefore nonsensical. The scams with our food and our healthcare don’t even deserve the name of “scams” anymore since none of us are ever deceived, we’re just plain assaulted.
Think of it this way: someone who has been well and truly seduced doesn’t hate her seducer, because she has enjoyed her experience of seduction as a game layered with meaning and imagination – so she can both take pride in her own performance in the game, and she can also forever savor the pure art that she witnessed in the process (whether or not it ultimately benefitted her other goals).
Meanwhile, we all universally hate rapists because rapists don’t bother to seduce, to create entrancing meaning and magic. Instead rapists rig the game of sex with stupid force and coercion, making the exchange of erotic power into something boring, brutal, and ugly.
So it’s not that we want utopia – rather we want a playing field where we’re free to seduce and be seduced, to play and be well-played.
We’re tired of having our society relentlessly raped by a force of numbing idiocy so huge and so arrogant that it has stifled our ability to generate our sole human joy.
Occupy Wall Street failed in many ways- and yet many of us haven’t forgotten what we tasted during the first few days of that movement: a sense of significance, a sense of real possibility.
The world – as far is it really is just the drama of human society – will never be perfect, and the revolutionaries that are about to rock our existence don’t expect it or want it to be. “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens,” the Talking Heads taught us. We don’t want heaven on earth. What we do want, however, is the ability to actually play and feel alive.
Play is what really matters, play is what we want.
So you should be aware that the co-editor of this here magazine, Carolyn Elliott (a bad bitch I would love to seduce, btw) is about to launch an online masterclass on magic called INFLUENCE. The essence of INFLUENCE, she tells me, is to teach people how to play in such a way that they both inhabit their personal power and also become effective participants in the revolution that’s brewing. Registration for INFLUENCE opens on September 13th and the masterclass starts in October.
If you want to be kept in the loop about INFLUENCE, it’s a great idea to enter your email address in the form below to register for the BAD WITCHES email list.
about the author
Mark Raleigh Hunter is the nom de plume of an accomplished pick up artist, magician, and martial arts competitor who prefers to remain anonymous when writing serious stuff in order to better stir up trouble. His chief interests in life include hacking life and people. He also happens to be really great at pinball. You can find him on Twitter at @markhunter__.
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