Solo GenX Warriors

Game over. Let's start a new game.

Archive for the tag “alternative hope”

44) Hold My Hand

So much has happened in 2019—historic climate events, gun violence epidemic in my country, troubling shifts of politics and populism around the world, my own wavering sense of well-being along with that of every other human on the planet. Like many of you, I’ve felt spiritually and emotionally bankrupt from all of it.

I don’t take very good pictures these days, so I don’t take many. Perhaps, it’s the sadness in my eyes or the greying of my hair, or the fact that I look too much like my late mother. The last two years have been hard on my body, hard on my soul, just hard. I’m glad to get out—grateful to hear the wind and feel it blow through my hair and let the sun touch my face for several hours.

Walking the trails behind William S. Hart Museum—Newhall, California • Oct 5, 2019

Today, I gave myself a long overdue outing and attended the 26th Annual Hart of the West Pow Wow. I saw children playing, chihuahuas, elders, a Vietnam veteran, a homeless man who crouched down nearby taking in every drumbeat into his troubled soul, beautiful muscular bodies waving feathers and wearing colors so luscious that it makes one salivate to look at them, circles of drummers singing in swelling voices that rose up over the hill of the old estate where 1920s western film star, William Hart, once lived. I was overcome with emotion and a deep sense of familial loss. I had to walk away.

I walked up the hill and explored through little pathways lined with railroad ties, cactus, fallen trees, and the grounds of Hart mansion. I took photos up there, but put my camera away when I descended back down toward the Pow Wow and the tents with families gathered underneath in a large crescent shape around the center of the park. I could not bring myself to take photos. I felt it wrong as a non-native person. Although California born, I can not claim my ancestors were from this place beyond 300 years—so… I tread lightly, walk silently, approach with respect, and hope that one day we can all heal from the terrible burden of a painful past.

I watch the Aztecs perform. I melt into the drums and shifting feathers. Afterwards, everyone was invited to come join in a community dance—the moment I was waiting for. I’ve been to a few Pow Wows in my time and always felt a great release in these shared dances.

We formed a circle and held hands. Some of us grew tired as the drum beat went faster, but we all did our best. We held onto one another, even when our arms grew tired and our hands were sweaty and we had to expand and contract as the snakelike chain wrapped around wide and then in close until the faces of young and old, large and small, faces going by—all bright and focused and smiling—all working together in harmony. The feeling was tremendous and uplifting and I told the man I was holding hands with that the whole world needs to do this.

I thought about climate change and the great challenge we are facing and how the entire human species must rally together to solve it. This is how it will feel—all of us in motion, keeping the line going, holding on tight, moving together in unison.

Let’s do this. Hold my hand.

Copyright © 2019 Solo GenX Warriors
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

41) I Remember Princess Diana

TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 18: Princess Diana Resting Her Head In Her Hands Whilst Sitting On The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

20 years after her tragic death in an automobile accident in Paris, Princess Diana remains an important historical figure. The wounds for all of us are still fresh from that fateful day. Diana embodied the seismic shift of a world coming apart. She represented everything the world needed: love, compassion, grace, and humility.

As beautiful as she was, Diana was also imperfect. She had an eating disorder, was needy, and desperately wanted someone to truly love her often straining those around her in her pursuits. A shy daughter of an English Earl, the dreamy 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer married unwittingly to a man who was forced to give up his own true love for a more suitable match as dictated by the Monarchy. Love and feelings had nothing to do with it. Though Charles and Diana’s circumstances were tame by comparison with past Royal coupling arrangements, nonetheless, their experience was a painful situation in any time.

At first, Diana Spencer found the attention of the press amusing and even liked it. But that soon wore off as she was thrust into the public eye becoming a prisoner, a passionate young woman suffocated by the heavy expectations of a fusty, royal family born into privilege, resolute in the knowledge that all they are cannot be destroyed.

I remember Princess Diana, growing up. Her short, feathered hair and bright, blue eyes exposed the goodness of her soul and the pain inside her heart. In the summer of 1984, my mother and I cut our hair off just like the Princess. My father wasn’t happy because he liked his wife to have long locks. It was a moment I shared with my mother when we both felt the same giddy excitement as mother and daughter going to the salon to have our hair cut like Princess Diana.

I suppose my mother saw her own feelings reflected through Diana’s simmering blue eyes. Like Diana, my mother was unhappy in her marriage and didn’t show it but through tears that would escape her now and then. I had other reasons for cutting my hair just like Diana. I loved who she was, trying to make things work as best as she could, through tears. Sure, she had everything. Sure, she was beautiful. But I saw something inside her that was raging. I would not have been able to express these words at 9-years-old, but years later I understood that rage. What was not known or said in public spoke volumes to women everywhere.

Counter to the typical Monarchy’s raising of children, Diana showed the world how devoted she was when she became a mother to two beautiful boys, openly displaying her affection, taking them to school, and constantly playing with them. In high school, I fell in love with the Princess all over again as she went out on her own and began her charity work. There is no one that could quite replicate the conviction Diana had in her voice underneath the soft British accent as she spoke on behalf of AIDS’ victims. Princess Diana was never afraid to touch and hold and console and love on anyone who was suffering. That is why she became the ‘People’s Princess’.

Diana Spencer shares the same birth year (1961) with many other notable members of Generation X; Peter Jackson, Michael J. Fox, Brent Eastwood Ellis, Douglas Coupland, Enya, Martin Gore, Henry Rollins, Boy George, Julia Gillard, and Barack Obama. 1961 marks not only the beginning of what most historians agree as the beginning of Generation X, but a watershed year of political and cultural changes that correspond with this particular generation: the rising of a great wall that divided Germany into east and west, the introduction of the birth control pill which would lead to sexual revolution, the Cuban missile crisis and an accelerated shift away from post-World War II prosperity into the Cold War, the moon landing, the environmental crisis of the 1970s, and the free-wheeling decadence of the colorful, synthesized 1980s.

Diana was special because she had a relentless heart. She changed everything because it had to be done and she had to do it, her way. Her life force was captured in the hearts and souls of the people. Perhaps it was this reality that would eventually lead to her untimely death. I remember seeing Diana on television and in my mother’s People magazines. I watched a 19-year-old girl grow up and become a figure that eclipsed the grounds of Buckingham Palace and the British Monarchy and ultimately, inspire the people of the world to make it better.

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales cradles a young child stricken with cancer at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore in this February 22, 1997 file photo. August 31 marks the fifth anniversary of her death in a high-speed car crash in Paris. REUTERS/John Pryke


Copyright © 2017 Solo GenX Warriors
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

35) 2016 What Will It Mean?


Tears streaming down
Need substance now

A world most saturated
Political hemorrhage

Ideas dead
Consumed by dread

No room for growth
No time for love

Illusions and fog
Statistics and smog

Temperatures push up
Earth is running amok

Leaders are losing their heads
People consumed by hatred

Refugees flee from Syrian bombs
Leaving on vessels starved for new homes

Countries packed together
Explosive and prepped to fire

I am in my bubble.
Secure with no real trouble.

Yet, I fear our world will crumble
If all that we are is not stable

The glue of the past may unravel
And blood will splatter in ritual

And all that progressed our humanity
Will be lost in moments of infamy

Libraries will die
Humanity cries
Progress is dead
Off with our heads

Same as before
Hunger and more
Lost again
To fake and to fend

No learning from the past
No future that will last

Once again…
Our world to plunge into the abyss
Our inability to find bliss


I refuse to accept that
All of this world is inept

So, if I exist then I must try
To do what I can before I die…

Copyright © 2016 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer



34) A Memorial To Prince

“Despite everything, no one can dictate
who you are to other people.”

And Purple, Too

Copyright © 2016 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

33) I AM…

I am the disease that penetrates the cell.
I am the creature that screams its hell.

I am the anger that floods the darkness.
I am the flame that flirts with the abyss.

I am haunted because I am dead.
I am alive and suffer instead.

I am the one who watches the world.
I am the one who wakes the absurd —

I am a disease

I am enlightened by tragedy.
I am deprived of ecstasy.

I am brilliant in my spell.
I am in anguish and appeal —


I am the ghost of generations’ past,
I am alive in nothing that lasts.

I am changed and I am change.
I am like others just as they claim —


I am unique because I am dark.
I am kicking and spitting at sparks.

I am Gen-X.
I am reflex.

Copyright © 2016 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

29) I Am Sick To Death But I Still Fight

Angry girlEvery day, I fight for my soul. I try to feed it oxygen, but the air is stale and smells of gasoline and cheeseburgers and rotting garbage.

Every day, I fight advertising and marketing and spreadsheets.

Every day, I fight to find the good in humanity…

I fight to find courage to live.
I fight the sadness of a world falling apart.
I fight to find peace of mind.

With a shifting and restless planet, I take solace in knowing the earth is fighting through earthquakes and pyroclastic blasts, venting the pressures that hold it all together. I let the words pour out, like lava. Words burn holes through the brain, force out the impurities of conforming conventional wisdom.

I am sick to death of conforming to institutions and social norms that are corrupt.
I am sick to death of convention that lacks conviction that should be self-evident.
I am sick to death of the wisdom of tired old men talking business and trading greenbacks and depleting the last hope for democracy, something I believed in once upon a time…

The Constitution and its promise is an illusion, a false store front, high fructose syrup that sounds pretty on parchment, yet everything we do undercuts the foundation of those carefully crafted words. My vote means nothing, but I still vote.

I am sick to death of a world whose religious beliefs, politics, and monetary interests overrides social progress, education, science and the welfare of the planet and all its life forms.

I am sick to death that writers, historians, philosophers, teachers, and artists must fight for their very existence while football players, politicians, lawyers, stockbrokers, and those born into wealth are more influential, privileged, and praised in society.

I am sick to death of oil drills and greasy machines and backyards full of junk.
I am sick to death of plastic and Styrofoam and concrete.
I am sick to death of consumerism and money and GDP.
I am sick to death of buying things that have to be thrown away.
I am sick to death of driving and getting nowhere.

I am sick to death of women giving birth to children without thought or consideration to the massive responsibility involved in spawning a life form into a world lacking everything to sustain that child.

I am sick to death of suburban mansions piled in neat, manicured rows in the desert and SUVs full of burping, farting, wasting human beings that drive 30 miles to soccer practice and idle their engines in long fast food lines.

I am sick to death of college degrees and career aspirations and MBA’s that focus on making money as the ultimate goal.

I am sick to death of cardboard and packing tape and useless pretty things made in China multiplied by billions of air-polluting vehicles delivering the same useless pretty things to retail establishments that throw out large portions of what they bring in; all to sell at discount prices that are palatable for Americans that need cheap stuff to comfort themselves from the stresses of their daily lives who end up storing their cheap acquisitions in their garage.

I am sick to death of the blinding speed of daily life, police sirens more numerous than the chirping of birds, and the drone of air conditioners in a September heat wave.

I am sick to death of the thought that I could be armed with 500 guns and never safe from a nuclear bomb.

I fight to stay engaged, to have a voice.
I fight to love and not to hate.
I fight my thoughts that words are futile.

Copyright © 2015 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

26) The American Dream is a Prison Cell

Growing up, I was under the illusion that my father was good with money and was conscientious about his investments and what he chose to buy. I learned later on that my father’s motivation was entirely based on my mother’s hormones. He would do anything to assure that she stayed with him, even moving our family when we were better off, financially speaking, to stay and pay off the home we lived in. All of this was hidden from my view; yet, I continued to think that he was making sound choices all along.

As I began attending college, I had to take out student loans, like the majority of other middle class students who were lucky enough to attend college. My primary motivation was that I had to pick something that would land me a job. Survival and independence was the ultimate goal. I often wondered why society calls it education, when the reality is to get a job and serve a life prison of work for pay to consume.

I first majored in Business. Like many young people, I was swayed by the idea that knowing business will be a guarantee to get a job and thus achieve success. As I spent the first year of college in business courses, a great anxiety slithered along the edges of my perception like worms in moist earth.

I didn’t like what I was doing or learning. The language was empty, calculating, devoid of the natural world. Dressing up, making appearances, walking the walk, talking the talk, my soul plunged into the void. Oxygen escaped through my pores every time I opened the doors of the creaking building.

The light disappeared into the polished floors of the hall; every classroom was filled with the templates of PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and cut and paste Word memos with cheesy clipart I had seen on thousands of student flyers stapled onto billboards. Being ‘creative’ was equated with changing the color scheme and typography on your spreadsheet.

Everyone dressed in smart suits and shiny, black shoes clicking as they walked, like the sound of register tape pounding out numbers and dollar signs. Some days, I would stroll down those halls, feeling sick, observing my fellow students regurgitate business principles and economic trends mimicking their pale faced heroes on the trading floor of Wall Street, going blind staring at an endless stream of financial tickers.


About this time, I saw the film, The Matrix. There was no color to this world, no life in it. After taking a marketing class, I realized that my DNA was fundamentally opposed to everything I was being taught. A storm passed over me, a kind of existential crisis. I tried desperately to study for tests. I was a poor test-taker to begin with. Give me an essay question and I can explain everything. Our tests consisted of multiple choice and true or false questions, just like all of the CTBS tests I took in grade school with many rows of dots on Scantrons.

I was never any good at them. I overthought my answers and had difficulty with the process of elimination. Elimination is waste and in my world, everything must be considered before being discarded. My Business Law professor told me I think too much. I was completely depressed. What can I do in this world that has meaning and real satisfaction? I can’t buck up to make this work without going absolutely mad or becoming a sociopathic asshole.

My roommate, Tracy, was also a Business major. I came home to our apartment in tears. After several cigarettes and a few beers, she pulled out the course catalog and showed me a major I had never heard of.

“I was thinking… you are really creative. Why don’t you see about getting into the Graphic Design program?” she said. “It’s still business oriented because you work in marketing and advertising, but you design logos and other stuff.”

I took one look at the catalog and knew that’s what I wanted to learn. I needed creativity. I needed more than black numbers on white paper. I needed color and hues and tints; I yearned for new ideas, research, strange juxtapositions and conceptual exploration.

Three years later, I was in my junior year in Graphic Arts taking a class on Ethics in Design. Once again, I found myself in a panic, questioning how I would make a living in this field and I began to worry. Even though I reclaimed my soul in the creative element, would I be chained to the whims of business interests, would the color of my world dissolve into oblivion with the incessant needs of my clients to sell things I didn’t believe in?

After all, I would have to engage clients whose bottom lines were engrained in their business plans and the bottom line is all anyone can focus on. Was I willing to sacrifice my creative energy to see it produce another useless consumer product, more waste, more of the same? Was I willing to use my design skills to manipulate the public in ways that inherently were wrong and completely unsustainable?

The answer was – No.

After graduation, I took a retail job as a temporary solution with the hope of planning my next career step. After a year, I signed up for a 401(k) and contributed more than was recommended, having educated myself on money and trying to save more than I spend, once again knowing the future was uncertain and I had to pay my student loans. I subscribed to Money magazine and drew up a spreadsheet, keeping track of my expenses and re-balancing my portfolio every year. I did this for five years, careful to plan everything out, how much I would save and keeping my interest income figures low, just in case. That all changed…

I was clearly the wrong demographic for Money magazine, so I let the subscription lapse. Money magazine was for people who had $5,000 to invest, a mortgage, a kid or two in college, and a nest egg of at least $100,000. Nothing in the articles represented anything I was going through.

Four years later and an economic upheaval in 2008, I began to focus less on money, and yet, I saved it because I needed to sustain myself even though I knew the system was absolutely screwed. I began to downsize my living to the bare essentials. I stopped servicing my car and driving only when I absolutely needed to. I became more reliant on my computer for communication than my phone.

Now, my lifestyle is still at bare minimum. I have enough money for my creature comforts; coffee, cheap wine and $1 books at the library bookstore. I pay for a phone I hardly use and pay off my credit card each month. Debt is my enemy; a prison cell and I’d rather just go without, not see my friends, not drive anywhere. I write every day, I read every day and I hope every day for a revolution of consciousness.

Copyright © 2015 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

17) My Car Ate My Homework

I was in my sophomore year in high school in 1990. We had an open campus back then. At lunch, hundreds of starving teens descended upon the fast food establishments of the land like caged chickens, pumped full of hormones and suddenly set free.

The unbridled rage of rabid teenagers instilled terror deep in the bones of every underpaid college student working at drive-thru windows within a 10-mile radius. Panic materialized as the scream of hundreds of rubber tires chaffed against asphalt, like a thousand growling hydrogen bombs.

Rotting orange

We piled into convulsive, exhaust-spewing vessels, stereos blaring an angry bile of anarchy and destruction: mini trucks vibrating base from wolfers giving nearby earthworms an erection so intense their heads implode like cherry blossoms in April, the pavement blisters in the sun, sports cars without mufflers set off car alarms and dogs’ ears bleed in backyards where pretty rhododendrons wilt all over the Inland Empire.

This hearkening of affluence summoned the lunch-hour, sending chills down the spines of every doomed restaurant manager, the whites of his eyes reflected against the name badges of his cooks hurriedly preparing to satisfy the beasts at their door – my friends.

My small, insignificant tribe of 20 nihilistic Goth-types piled into our own belligerent vessel: a white Toyota pick-up, blaring the flamboyant verbiage of Oingo Boingo’s Only A Lad out of the cab windows, open wide for maximum effect through the smog-filled particles that lodged inside our ears as our asses slammed against the truck bed going over potholes and railroad tracks to seek out large slices of pizza, luxuriously drizzled with ranch dressing poured to capacity on paper plates.

For 45 minutes, we were free: free to roam, free from indifferent parental units, free to inhale the corporate seduction of Camel cigarettes, free to make out and then, like reluctant slaves, we were forced back to the hive, wheels screeching, circling the parking lot to find an open space and finish off our last two classes for the day.

And then, I got my own car… Counter to all that I was supposed to do, my car took possession of my soul and drove me to imaginary places: silent mansions, dark places, crumbling architecture, antique leaning willow trees. The bamboo whispered stories to the wind and I listened and walked and walked, seduced by the ghosts of pungent orange groves and time disappeared among the smells and sounds of the orchard. I walked the trails that wandered in secret pathways throughout the Kimberly Crest Mansion, one of the oldest buildings near our high school.

Kimberley Crest GateThen, as if my manual stick changed to automatic, my 1966 Volkswagen Beetle drove along, running parallel to an old cemetery with tall cypress trees and then on up to a place called The Point. It was here that I had a bird’s eye view of the universe; it was a haven for solitude and reflection. It was a place where a troubled teen could experience suicide without actually doing it. It was the ideal space where I learned to think, to feel, to reflect  – all of which are necessary in a world full of complexity.

It took another year to get my HS diploma. I learned on my own, to think for myself in a world of contradictory claims and incentives that don’t make basic sense. I learned to look on a level above the tree line, to watch, listen and absorb all the moments in my life and in high school. I found that everything I ever needed to learn was inside as long as I took the time to listen… on top of a hill… in silence.

The Point

Copyright © 2014 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

01) Alternative Hope

Hope is a precious thing, like a delicate snowflake melting on a rotting corpse.

Hope is part of the imagination, part of the mind that belongs to primal instinct. It’s part of human survival. Our brains tell us something is possible regardless of the most desperate of circumstances. We hold onto hope because within this small space of unknowing, our primal minds deny the potential reality.

I believe in the power of the human mind. Our potential is limitless, however, our abilities must be tempered with discipline and respect for the power we have. Without this, we will destroy ourselves.

Hope is great. Don’t confuse it with reality.

Copyright © 2014 Solo GenX Warriors blog
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer


Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: