Identity Crisis – A useful cog in society or a spanner in the works of the ‘Evil Empire’?

I am having a real life identity crisis. There is no ‘I’, the appearance separation is an illusion.

Is this a cry for attention, a creative outlet, or evidence of something serious? Maybe all of the above to be honest, people are dynamic and ever changing and something that seems serious one moment seems comical or inconsequential the next day sometimes.

I am indeed having an identity crisis, I won’t call it a mid-life crisis cos I expect to live longer than that. And I chose to tell all my friends on facebook? Yes, there’s a reason, social media is no replacement for being social, facebook is no replacement for face to face, having 4000 not-real friends may have just made me more lonely but we’ll get to that by the end. It’s all about balance.

This ‘crisis’ mainly brought on by the fact that I used to squat, I paid no taxes and I accepted no benefits. This is because I wanted none of my money to get spent on bombing children. I went to the biggest protest this country had ever seen against the war in Iraq and it did nothing. Now I pay tax and accept benefits, in fact I have just sent off four years of tax returns.
Balance. Have I ‘grown up’ or have I ‘sold out’? These are just labels, immature generalisations, what matters is how I feel. At some points it made me feel accomplished, productive and sometimes it made me feel complicit and used.
So, I used to be a squatter on the edge of society, I was eventually in my 30s squatting and after spending Britain’s coldest winter for about a decade in a squatted warehouse with no central heating while watching half my friends leave to spend the winter in India I decided I didn’t want to be in my 40s and squatting.
There were other reasons. It’s hard to make money with no address, I decided I could promote my music more efficiently with money and I could help more people with money. I also owed friends money and was watching rubbish rappers with more money to promote them sell more music.
Balance. Yes, accepting benefits means I live more comfortably but it also means I help more people.
Now we get to facebook and social media. The NSA have access to everything. They probably don’t read everything cos that would take man-power (woman power) and time. But they can.
When I was squatting and had little or no money cos I didn’t need a job with no rent, wanted to write poems, and didn’t want to rely on an amoral government – the cheapest most efficient way to promote my music and spread political info was facebook. From the start we suspected facebook was a CIA tool and we used fake names and didn’t write about the activist actions that I was once a part of (after my parents house got broken into after a particularly subversive interview my activism has taken a backseat and I stick to social activism. I’m not paranoid, I’m experienced, my level-headed father thought it was an agency that broke in based on my recent activities, I’m on lists I wish I wasn’t.)
Every day I use facebook I question my complicity.
Balance. Facebook, a tool of the ‘evil empire’ or the cheapest most efficient way to tell people about the ‘evil empire’?
But let me tell you a true story. There is a man in Bristol, I’d like to call him a friend, I like him and we get on fine but I see him rarely and he intimidates me. It’s not his fault he intimidates me, it’s my own insecurity (and I tell you this on facebook?) Not cos he scares me but because he inspires me in that he has done more for the cause than I will ever have the balls to do. He has been arrested in Palestine for his principles and he has been arrested in the UK for damage caused to an arms manufacturer. I respect this. The last time I saw him was at am Immortal Technique concert and I really did not know what to say because the truth is the honest thing to say would be “you make me feel inadequate”.
This is where it gets synchronic, ironic and downright interesting.
Two people ‘liked’ one of my poems on facebook recently, both had been to Palestine. (Neither were my lady who has also been to Palestine.) One of these were the activist who makes me feel inadequate. It upsets me that something as superficial as a facebook ‘like’ can have a positive effect on my self esteem but such is the nature of reality.

The fact that two activists I know personally, and I respect principally have shown appreciation for my poem about world politics makes me feel a bit better. Even if that relied on facebook. But do not get me wrong, social media is no replacement for social interaction and facebook is no replacement for face to face talking with friends and a facebook friend is not necessarily a real friend.

Nothing is inherently bad or good, we just label these things, but essentially they are part of us as we are part of each other. The head judges but the heart just loves.
So my head can judge my identity but essentially no matter what lifestyle I’m living other people can and will judge it and I can either choose to be a neurotic bitch (or bastard) or I can get on with it and fill out my late tax returns so HMRC don’t fine me.

I reserve the right to run away somewhere hot to grow food and live in a caravan.

So I shared this on facebook because while it is a database we profile ourselves on it is also the cheapest most effective way for me to share ideas. It is also the fastest way for me to share emotions and receive feedback on my thoughts. I know I invite judgment and I know I will react sensitively to it (and possibly delete this post) but I also invite empathy. And to be perfectly honest, I woke up at 5:30am with these thoughts in my head, I’m suffering an identity crisis and I could do with the empathy.

Kev the Poet? But there is no ‘I’ for the appearance of separation is an illusion. But I fall for it every day, and some days I prefer the illusion I used to be. The one who woke up in a cold damp warehouse with rats for his principles. But principles can’t buy food and rat piss can kill you.

{photo by Fish}

mystic Kev


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