The Curious Adventures of Gordan's Thoughts

Friend and Foe

Friend and Foe
There he glazed through the rainy city streets, carefully dodging puddles while avoiding bumping into crowds. He manoeuvred his body carefully, at times shuffling his shoulders to make room for him to pass. It was almost like he had an invisible, metaphorical shield around him to protect him from bumping into anyone. Either that, or his charisma somehow carried an aura that simply led people to part for him. Whatever it was, he felt magical. 

Despite the ease at which his bulky self moved, he dressed rather eccentrically – but not the colourful, hippie-like eccentric. Rather, he did not quite dress for his age. Something about his style was a cross between mature and young – almost like an extremely well-groomed middle-aged man. Leather jacket, throw-over jumper, collar shirt, slim black trousers and black boots. 

This was a guy to whom youth was both friend and foe. 

Just shy of a quarter-century alive on earth, he hadn’t quite grasped the balance of being an adult; if anything, he was back to being a baby in the complex and conflicting manner in which the “grown-up world” worked. Everything he had ever been taught about life – work, academics, relationships, finances – seemed to make so much less sense on paper than it did in practice. In sum, the reality was definitely less complicated than the methodical, theoretical education he underwent at school.

Suddenly, he missed college – that balance between having freedom and responsibility. That period of time when parents finally realise that the less you pressure your kid, the more they’ll pressure themselves. 

Somehow, here in the real world, he saw it for what it was – high school all over again. Rich, popular people stick together the same way nerds and philosophers are drawn to each other. The classist, racist, and ageist mentalities seemed to be even more blatant in this world. 

He suddenly found himself wishing he’d paid more attention in high school…

The sun sets,
Slowly dimming the street.
It falls behind the magnificent structure
Of steel, glass and concrete.

The view from this altitude
Is an endless stretch of charm.
With what’s left of the sun’s rays
Reaching from the city to my palm.

As the roads wind and connect
A seemingly complicated system of its own
Extending from where I stand to infinity
Further and deeper, the winding roads flow.

You illuminate this beautiful creation
Each color pasted against the dark
The blackness of the freshly painted evening sky
Anything you connect with lights a spark

Your endless glow revealing the city’s corners
The secrets, illusions, blind to the naked eye
But all is clear: the cars and the trees
The alley ways, the gangs, the random passer-bys

The people, the animals, the steel buildings
The clouds, the moon, the glowing stars
The trucks, the dogs, the plants and pipes
Everything is clear, from here to afar

You see it all yet you say no words
You keep the secrets that all conceal
You are the one who knows everything
You hold the key to any darkness revealed.

For you are the reason that so many souls
Have been brought to life by the flick of a switch
You are the reason that people who search
Can see through the mask to the bottom of the pit.

~Mikaela Gordan, 2008~

Many construct buildings while I construct villages. Villages grow into towns, into cities; a building will always just “be”.

What Are We?

i am one

What are we?
We are a generation.

A generation of dreamers
who are told to walk when we can fly.

A generation of poets
who speak of nothing but truth.

A generation of scholars
who are censored through education.

A generation of learners
who know nothing and everything.

A generation of thinkers
whose thoughts we are taught to suppress.

A generation of radicals
who are oppressed by our leaders.

We are a generation.

A generation of non-conformists
who are intimidating to the sheep of our society.

A generation of critics
who live by a standard.

A generation of soldiers
who are willing to fight.

A generation of fighters
who are trained to live by standards set by society.

A generation of creators
who create a paradigm of humanity.

A generation of philosophers
who are criticized for depth.

A generation of influence
who are hindered by time.

A generation of doers
who haven’t made a mark in history.
Yet.
A generation of historians
who are making a mark in history.

We are.
A generation.

A generation of people
who will not be robotised.

A generation of humans
who will not lose our dignity.

But we,
this generation;
us

We are what we are.
We will be what we want.
We are a result of history
and we are the makers of our future.

But at present,
we are this generation.
And if you break us,
you will make us.

Us, this generation,
is made from the debris of our ancestors.

~Mikaela Gordan~

Blank.

I sit and stare at my screen
Trying to find the words to say
But to tell all that I’ve seen
Well… I’ve only got a day

For every finger we point
There are three pointing back
At us for our inadequacies
And corresponding fallacies

They push you to the edge
Only to knock you down
Then blame you for being on the cliff
When they nudge and you crash and burn

Instead of changing minds
My actions are seen as crimes
Being different comes with a price
One I’m paying with my life

No one seems to see
That society creates agony
The amount of negativity
A result of truths unseen

Unseen to the average human
Sheltered in their comfort zones
Safety nets of their construct
Phased by life’s cyclones

All that we perceive
We trust the concrete
All that we can see
Is our defined reality
We fear the unknown and the unseen
For it unravels our insecurities
Everything we think we perceive
The lies we’re taught to believe
The person we’re told to be
Is a manifestation of all that is
A social construct – a mythical bliss
~McGordan~

The Change

This story is inspired by Huxley’s Brave New World and Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World. 

He swung his rucksack over his shoulder and pulled the door shut behind him as he left the house, once again ready to fly solo into the battlefield. It was an average sunny morning with nothing new except his thoughts and theories which consumed him faster than the speed of light. All geared up with his knives and a crossbow, he skipped down the stairs, realising that the agonising discipline he had endured for the past decade was finally coming into play. He’d never understood why he’d been put through combat training, until about a year ago…

It was late July, halfway into the summer, that he was navigating around various city-states in his surrounding area. In this age of technology, though, his exploration was mostly conducted by travelling through cyberspace. He would navigate from state to state, find the most feasible settling point, and experiment by scouting around the boarders. For months, he had established Influence over certain city-states and civilisations, but it wasn’t until November that he had stumbled upon a civilisation that fully encompassed the types of battles for which he was trained.

In months, he had created a weapon that could ultimately destroy a civilisation of Megalopolises; a weapon that would break through the defense of Superficiality and thus expose and attack flaccidity of the archenemy both as an entity and as individuals. The downside, however, was that his weapon also unmasked his own weaknesses, and he needed to reconstruct a certain set of defenses accordingly. However, as he had allied with a small but strong Civilisation, he ended up investing most of his energy into fueling the weapon and hadn’t quite strengthened his defenses, so just over half a year later, when the Megalopolis decided to unite and declare war against this Civilisation, it was hardly a secret that his stronghold came crashing down, leaving fragments of debris on everything he touched.

With each battle, he felt weakened and defeated. But what his enemies didn’t know is that each scar they inflicted only fueled the fire and passion it took to take down this flawed and corrupt system. Two months after the initial battle, he decided to coalesce with the Army General to enhance the pre-existing weapon and defend it with double the aegis. They devised a strategy that was everything he had hoped, months ago, to enforce, but given the fact that the weapon was still in its phase of refurbishment, he decided that it was still too early in the game to bring out the big guns and fire the ultimatum. Instead, the Army decided it best to ultilise the information uncovered by their diplomats to administer alternate methods.

Finally, after three and a half months of provocation and warfare, he felt ready to save the society from falling down a swirling abyss of soon-to-be Betas of the Brave New World. The Civilisation had devised a strategy to conquer the boundaries of a backward society and catapult these Megalopolises into progressing in a universally sanctioned direction. Fueled with a passion that went both ways, he was fully equipped to train certain Melee units to defend their assets and enhance the skills they had already developed, but also to take on the antagonistic opposition from Greater Civilisations.

Each Melee Unit he was handed to train was equipped with their own set of weapons, and it was his job to cultivate these units into armies that could handle the Great Battle which was yet to come. These little battles that were coming his way at a rapidly unexpected pace were merely his next level of training, which is why he understood the importance of training his Melee Units as rigorously as possible.

The Great Battle was one he knew he was definitely not ready to face yet: What happens when his Melee Units reach their Age of Enlightenment and besiege the Megalopolis? How hard will the Megalopolis fight back then? Somehow though, his reassurance lay in the fact that they knew how to strategise around these impediments, which is why he allowed himself to sustain a few broken bones and scratches here and there: he knew they would grow back stronger, and that he would be able to take on the Ultimate Battle when it stares him in the face. For now, he just has to go on training his Units, and defend their Freedom without the Megalopolis trying to eradicate it. Being one of the few Civilisations in the Information Era, he knew he would have to wait a long time until his Melee Units moved out of the Industrial Era. That, or he needed to find a new method of combat training.

With every demonstration during the training sessions, his Melee Units felt threatened and weakened, but they didn’t yet understand that this was his way of strengthening them. They didn’t understand that the only way to grow was to conquer the existing Challenges before they could be upgraded to a stronger Unit. After three months of battling and Melee Training, he had finally come to discover that although his armies were equipped with tons of state-of-the-art weaponry, none of them had been trained to actually use any of it, so in the first few sessions when he asked them to try to use it, they all ended up shooting themselves in the foot or poking an eye out one way or another.

In his mind palace, he realised that these armies would take much more training that he had anticipated, which was surprising considering how modern their military technology and weaponry supplies were. He knew what had to be done, and knew what the ultimate goal was, but as for how to win the battle, well first, he had to decided which ones were worth the fight. But he knew. He knew that the Ultimate Battle, or the Great Battle, would only be fought when he had enough Flight Units to intercept the opposition. And for now, he would continue with his various forms of research that would provide substance and options for stronger weapons and more fine-tuned training tools to cater to the unpredicted needs of units that have been bred but not trained. He was tired of seeing his government funding the nation’s military but not actually training the army to use the tools, and considering the fact that this Megalopolis was considered to be one of the most advanced Civilisations in the whole world, his jaw dropped when he discovered that one of his Units whom he had trained for a sheer 9-month period had more common sense than the entire government. They were living proof that his expectations for the Units were not irrational or impractical, and though he may be somewhat idealistic at times, each losing battle only drove his cynicism, which in turn nourished his Strength.

And although he was very well trained and equipped to attack and dominate, the Civilisation didn’t feel that he was ready to be put on the frontlines yet. Instead, they were training his defenses and setting up the battlefield, so that when they did unleash his Ultimatum, it would act like an abstract Apache AH-64 trained to only shoot down Enemy Thoughts but keep the civilians and their Freedom safe. Tough and heart-wrenching as the process sometimes was, he promised himself that he would live to see the day when the Change took place. When the Change he had spent a decade trying to implement happens, he would be on the frontlines with a PHASR rifle to blind and suspend Enemy Thoughts, and an MAARS to launch grenades of Liberated Knowledge which his Melee Units will use to defend their Liberated Minds. So for now, no matter how much damage he undergoes, as long as he has his moments to fortify and heal, he will live to be there when The Change happens, and he would sacrifice his reputation to achieve the ultimate goal of breaking through the Stereotypes and Traditionalism of a conservative, unenlightened and ignorant Megalopolis.

Until then, he wasn’t fighting alone, and besides his immediate allies, he had, within his mind palace, the defenses of Machiavelli, Huxley, Kafka, Sartre, Hobbes, Rousseau, Thoreau and Kant. For now, he told himself 8 words:

頂天立地
永不放棄

A Decade

Searching to find myself

But all I find is you
I can hardly stand myself
So what am I to you?
~Imagine Dragons~

Midnight struck and he was still roaming the streets, trying to find his way home. He’d taken a different route tonight, one that he hadn’t frequented for almost a decade. Much had changed since he’d last set foot in that area, and he still remembered it as a construction site – a section of the train station that was still amid the process. A decade ago, he’d sat on the concrete underneath the stairs, listening to his MP3 player, waiting for the bus. His friends would be frolicking around on the pavement, doing whatever it was fifteen year olds did to keep themselves busy.

A decade ago was a different era – although this generation had only just set foot in the twenty-first century, the build-up of the two decades prior had led to this moment: him, sitting in the shade with a device small enough to pass as a lighter, containing around thirty songs. This generation which had turned the intangible into something tangible – music at your fingertips, any time, anywhere – and that was his spot, every Saturday afternoon at around half three.

Now, a decade later he set foot down those stairs he once adored, but the unfamiliarity of the new structure threw him off for a moment, and he fumbled down the stairs in utter confusion. The concrete on which he used to sit had been converted into a power generator (or so said the sign), the pavement had been paved and smoothed out, and the road which the bus always took looked much longer and further in hindsight. Perhaps he really was that much smaller, physically, a decade ago…

For once, however, he stopped to ponder more on the change in his surroundings and society rather than changes in himself, for it was at that moment when he saw the parallels between the modernised structure and the structure of his own life. It dawned on him that every construct can be destroyed (or modified). That vision which was usually so self-aware suddenly became peripheral vision – a moment when he realised that he cared more about the great wide world than what was going on in his head. He almost smacked himself in the head when he sussed the triviality of his self-interested ego, one that he would try repeatedly to kick it to the curb or drown it in a cesspool, but each failure only fuelled his rage, until he had enough to plot revenge.

And with that, he took out a pen…
Gordan, June 2014

No construct is indestructible.

Social Darwinism

“Of all the problems which will have to be faced in the future, in my opinion,
the most difficult will be those concerning the treatment of the inferior races of mankind.”
~Leonard Darwin~

 

Used to be ignorant bout the hip hop culture
Lyrics in clubs ’bout men acting like vultures
Rapaciously finding a chick to divulge her
Never stopped to think that maybe he’d convulsed her
The irony of it all is that I did just the same
New to the scene? Be a playa in the game
Running crazed and wild, impossible to tame
Got that notorious rep, so-called social fame
Never was a fan of monogamy
“Misogyny” they call it but I disagree
Fundamentalists coin the term “sodomy”
Definitions are subjective, the lines are blurry
But hearing new lyrics with deeper meaning
Not all this bullshit ’bout sex and cheating
Rap is the new method of teaching
Theories of how the system’s dealing
With social injustice – innocents busted
Failed by the system they defencelessly trusted
Education gave hope then the government crushed it
Catering to elitists, their money’s their sustenance
Six decades of developing racial equality
Then enters the new wave of sexuality
But classism, Marxism, social mortality
Watching it lose to immorality (or “watching it incept social reality”)
Racial equality, elusive at best
They call me deluded, saying “give it a rest”
Everyone wants liberty, and yet
It’s colonial history, not f***ing progress
No one really tries to sort out this mess
It ain’t on the surface: underlying distress
Religion embraces it as “God’s test”
Saying “just face it, consider yourself blessed.”
A passion fuelled by harboured resentment
Towards masking the truth with falsified presentment
Then covering lies with a monetary blanket
Proves accuracy of philosophies ancient
Turmoil of our world leaves nothing mundane
Even if the surface drives you insane
Strategic moves in this societal game
Fraternising with the enemy chain
Disenfranchising their right to remain
In positions of power only ever abused
Taste their own medicine – let them be accused
Of misuse, excuse, being abstruse and obtuse

If these words you can’t even comprehend
Then maybe it’s about time that you descend
From that point of authority – absolute majority
Make those sacrifices you promised the minorities
Equality in wage, race, gender and policy
Here’s an idea: sort out your priorities

Everything I rant about y’all know what I’m like
Soon as I’m inspired all I do is write
My sanctimonious version of what’s wrong and right
To ignorant asses who’re societally blind
Treating us like we’re just a f***ing statistic
Brutality through corruption – it’s capitalistic
Don’t tell me that my words here are uncharacteristic
There’d be no need for them if had decent heuristics
They tell me what I’m writing is plain narcissistic
Idealistic, unrealistic, and pure antagonistic
But that ain’t f***ing true, go learn your linguistics
It’s unspoken truths – I’m cynically pessimistic
Socialistic, journalistic, some say pantheistic
All it comes down to a world so hedonistic
Consumed by whatever you call materialistic
I ain’t here to preach but I just wanna speak it
Get it all out there: it’s called expressionistic
So don’t tell me that I’m being impressionistic
So it renders these thoughts just floating around
The only way I can drown out the the sounds
Of these speculations and deep meditation
Are the method of writing these outcries down
Manifestation of thoughts into reality
Turning conjecture into actuality
Finding the links and commonalities
While assimilating to so-called municipality
The abstracts of life – pure supposition
Molecules and atoms of human disposition
At wit’s end trying to make decisions
Concretising everything ever envisioned
Knowingly constructing a palatial realm
Engulfed by a subconscious impossible to helm
Unspoken truths emerge – we’re overwhelmed
Defying reality, in our essence we whelm
Back and forth with rationalisations
Escaping to a world they call “Imagination”
A utopian reality of our own creation
Releasing and deposing all frustration
Inner voices just bounce around and echo
Off the walls of our mind palaces, labyrinths, chateau
Teachings of Hobbes, Marx, Kant and Rousseau
Camus, Sartre, Machiavelli, Thoreau
Zealots of the past inspiring insurgence Revolutionising reality as innovation emerges
As particles of both worlds inevitably converge
You do what you can till the storms disperse

If these words you can’t even comprehend
Then maybe it’s about time that you descend
From that point of authority – absolute majority
Make those sacrifices you promised the minorities
Equality in wage, race, gender and policy
Here’s an idea: sort out your priorities.

Mikaela Gordan, 2014

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