So this heartbreak's back because her heart breaks backs,
At least it did mine and in time she'll fucking catch,
another lost soul, with no cross to hold,
so they just see some time with you as a chance to relax,
Nothing going for them, stay back and lay flat,
What you want woman, just a chance to pay-back,
All these other men who just try to lay traps,
for you to fall in,
thats this coke and alcohol, kids,
Sucking down another round until the bathroom stall is,
The only option left for me to improve upon my conscience,
Let it out, look around, then finish up that scotch, bitch
Her talented talons slashing up my face and cock pit,
Stop this heartless action,
Making me depart this,
Chances that our plans had,
--Nah, fuck it -- she's a martian
Using human movements to confuse the pain with what art is,
Her back scratch tattoos she drew made me a martyr,
To my self, why help, I dealt a little blackjack,
Learned to keep a straight face
during these panic attacks,
'Said stay gold the way told, by Miss Hinton,
A Shared name still rays on hope where I lived in,
But whats worse:
Bottom of the pit, with a chance to climb out,
Or in the middle of the dessert just fucking looking around?
Thats what I asked her,
Damn right, she had her answers,
Said, "Stay alone until you know exactly what you're after,
and that good things come to those who wait"
Well I don't know about that......
Saturday, 4 May 2013
It's hard taking the sole thing that's been on my mind for these past three months, and putting it into any type of sensible prose. Speaking emotional is so overrated right? No matter how much I love, hate, admire, respect, or sympathize with you, putting those feelings into words always gets caught in my throat because no matter what I say, I will be cheapening those sentiments.
For the passed three months i've been living life on auto-pilot, and going through the motions has never been so easy. Thinking of new possibilities with a new person is always exciting, but never has a fleeting image of what "could-be", grabbed me so strong and pulled me in every direction quite like this person has. From sleepless nights, days with no appetites, and feelings of hopeless depression all the way to excitement, and new feelings of optimism that haven't been around in years.
To this person, you've provided me with someone consistent to share life with, someone to look forward to sharing life with, and someone that I have so much in common with that it seems unnatural.
Beyond feelings of love, attraction, and attachment, I have become a slave to contradictions through you. Everything you say makes me react a new way every time you say it, and the adventures you take me on are what I am the most excited for this summer.
I can't wait to grow with you, learn from you, and above all else just be with you. Sharing my life with someone like you will be a true blessing.
This also sounds way shittier than it did in my mind.
- John F. Johansen
Thursday, 25 April 2013
"What's the matter, man?"
I could feel the eyes on me as I looked out across the river valley, trying to give the impression that some random tree out there was holding every last bit of attention I had.
"Hey, you okay?"
The question made me stammer a bit. Raking my brain for a suitable response seemed to stretch those couple seconds of thought into hours. I couldn't decipher whether I was trying to avoid the answer, or if I really had no concrete reason for these sleepless nights, blank faced days, and dwindling social life that have been becoming nothing more or less than routine. I realized then, that maybe the reason I could never seem to get out of this little funk, was that I had no answer for how come I found myself in it the first place. Feeling things is easy when there is a producer of that emotion right in front of you. A beautiful woman, losing a loved one, reaching some sort of success for yourself all breed emotions at that exact time.
But there was nothing in front of me for this question: "What's wrong?". This was a question for the in between times. For the times when you had to be in control of your emotions. When you had to make yourself feel a certain way, not rely on something or someone to bring it out of you.
For these are the times when optimists bring positive light and energy to mundane things, or when cynics are able to exactly point out the shit-stains on a ray of sunshine. I see both. And what do I feel in these 'in between' moments? Nothing but anxiety.
I've tried to force myself to see and appreciate the positive side of everything and it left me exhausted. I've tried to have a level of apathy to most things in life. I became a dick. It's hard finding the balance between being self-reflective and being self-consumed, isn't it?
All the focus on trying to escape a negative mind state took away from the real way of being that I was looking for. I learned that being positive and happy all the time, does not equate to being fulfilled. If only I could see something and see it for what it was -- for its beauty, its struggle, its darkness and its challenges. I needed to be able to grasp what it was that made that thing (anything in the world) unique, special, and of value to you. To be fulfilled, I began to understand that it doesn't necessarily mean always being happy or seeing the positive side. But it is to be fully engaged, involved, and to a certain extent allow yourself to be manipulated by the things around you.
Humans can feel! It is what has made us clearly the most social, advanced and co-dependent species. We need others and objects around to make us feel certain emotions: Happy, sad, upset, angry, depressed, lonely, or any other emotion on our human spectrum. We should allow ourselves to be victims to these emotions, with the understanding that all these emotions are states of mind that a person needs to learn to harness, live with, and explore for them selfs. Feeling negative energy does not have to have negative consequences on you, but it should be a mind state that makes certain things more accessible to the brain in that way. Learning how to master the self as it passes through these spectrum of human emotions and feelings is imperative for a human being to be fulfilled and get the most out of the world around them. Through feelings, good and bad.
But I feel nothing. And that is why I can't find any answer to the simplest question of questions: "What's wrong, man?"
- John F. Johansen
YOU is here for YOU
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
The Avenue of Nations, a stretch along 107th Ave and the northern boundary of downtown Edmonton is the landing spot for many immigrants and new citizens of the city.
The low-cost housing and location is appealing to many new families trying to get comfortable in a new city, but many of the area’s problems have come to the light in recent years.
“Yeah, it’s mostly just stuff that comes with most poorer areas,” says Will Blakeman, a former resident of the area for two years. “You just see the same people hustling, the same people selling their bodies, and the same people shooting up.”
The Avenue of Nations saw these issues reach an ugly climax in the summer of 2011, as the area played host to a high number of the city’s record breaking body count and crime rate.
“My advice for anyone who is thinking of getting a place in that particular area would be to stick to yourself, save some money for a year or so, and then try and get out”, Blakeman explains.
Recently, there have been minor movements trying to rebuild 107th from the violence and struggles it faces.
Building a Community
The All Nations Center, located on 107th Ave and 106th St, provides support and information to newcomers, as well as a spot in the community to gather and meet others in a similar situation.
“We really are trying to develop a sense of community here, as it has so much potential to be a cultural hub, and collection of so many ethnicities”, says ANC volunteer Jessie Monta’ii.
Helping newcomers with employment and getting acquainted to the new environment, the ALC has a few people coming on a weekly basis and hopes that it will be able to continue to expand their role in the area. But that does prove difficult with the crime and violence being at the levels they have in recent years.
“Its tough for a lot of people to come here and completely change their cultural patterns and daily ways of life”, Monta’ii says. “Beliefs, values, and certain habits don’t necessarily change with the location you’re living in.”
Business and Culture
What the Avenue of Nations also offers Edmonton is a wide array of ethnic and cultural dining. Many African, Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants can be found in the area, but sometimes don’t bring in much business besides other people from that particular nation.
“Most times I come here, I never see new people”, says Monique, a frequent diner at Africa Restaurant, just off 107th St.
Will Blakeman also noted that for all the City’s effort to breed multiculturalism in our society, many of the people living in these areas tend to stick to themselves or the people they are familiar with.
“I think it comes with being a lower income neighborhood, to be honest”, he says. “But most of the time you see Somali’s with Somali’s for example, and just with the area being so run down, and people being unwilling to trust others, I guess makes it tough to develop any sense of community.”
A new 107th?
Given the area’s proximity to the downtown core, it is possible the City has revitalization plans for the area in the near future. The question arises if whether or not changes will be good for the residents of the Avenue of Nations. Will the people of the area be simply kicked out when the City’s renovations are done?
Blakeman tries to remain hopeful. “I really hope so, because I feel a lot of these people need a much better welcome to our country, but I’ve seen it before in this city, where they just raise cost of living in an area and force whoever can’t afford it out.”
“It doesn’t make any problems go away, just to the next area.”
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Your Role-Model's Eyewear and Your Grade 5 Bully: An (un)Informed Analysis of Hipster-Glasses Stranglehold on Popular Fashion
Do little kids get made fun of for needing glasses anymore? Will a walk through a playground leave your ears ringing with their taunts of "four-eyes", "nerd", and whatever else they're creative enough to come up with?
I don't personally know, but if I remember how much mainstream media played a part of my childhood, I'm going to assume no. Kids do what pop-stars do. And what pop-stars do these days, is take to these window panes n frames as if these glasses are the reason women throw panties at them.
Now I have no issue with anyone who lacks vision clarity, and needs at least a monocle to make the world come through in HD. But these things are being sold like sunglasses now. Without the lenses even. Why? Why have glasses -- actually not even normal glasses, but those really huge ridiculous things that remind anyone over 25 of that kid in A Christmas Story -- all of a sudden become a needed fashion accessory?
My theory is those kids who used to get picked on, those "four-eyed nerds" of the 80's and 90's who did every shitty high school football players homework, have finally taken over.
It starts with bullying. And frankly it was bad in the 90's, and I don't even want to think about the 80's. This was before companies donated entire advertising campaigns to the cause, or little girls we're posting suicide notes on Facebook page about online bullying ruining her life. Back then kids had to take it. And if you didn't you we're just bullied some more.
My mom used to always say, "watch who does things in life,"...she loved a long pause for emphasis, "the kids pointing fingers and excluding others, or the kid who is outcasted".
Now in the 2010's, those kids who did the others homework, who got picked on and excluded, and had to go through childhood with, what used to be the absolutely worst character trait; glasses, are now in positions of power. Not all of them, but you can bet a fair amount record-label owners, media producers and publishers, and generally influential people have had to deal with bullying over their glasses way back in the day.
And this is the result. Glasses being so "in", and "trendy", and just so damn sexy that the kids need them for looks instead of for looking. 64% of the american population needs and wears glasses. I would like to know how many people of the remaining 36%, have a pair just to fit in.
Hipster-glasses, as they are so affectionately referred to these days, are a staple of seemingly every celeb's wardrobe. And kids everywhere are jumping on board.
I feel this is either some huge anti-bullying campaign done by that Illuminati every rich rapper is supposedly associated with. Or this is the people in control of mainstream media, flexing their muscle on their old school bullies -- laughing as he tells him 20 years later: "Only unleaded fuel, please".
Whatever it is, I'm fine with it.
-John F. Johansen