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Apocalypse Rising

Vice Magazine’s most recent issue on Power and Privilege includes what they call a “brief guide to making a better tomorrow.” It’s a piece that reads more like a jolt of caffeine when maybe what we really need is a hard look into our psyche. Given that this same issue addresses the robots coming for our jobs and the inevitable collapse of capitalism, the guide—a list of five simple platitudes—rings somewhat hollow.

Here at Lucenti, we aim to create conversations about “how to fight, how to organize, and how to overcome.” We try to “shine light” in a world where darkness “carries with it a fascist taint.” We strive to build a community of individuals with shared values to protect ourselves and our loved ones from rampant, unchecked capitalist imperialism. I fear we do not always have our desired impact.

It’s no easy task to build a mutual aid society such as ours. In today’s world, when even our allies struggle to find common ground, it may seem impossible. But when ecological collapse seems all but certain, what could be more important? We cannot survive the rising apocalypse alone. We need community to nurture and sustain us. We deserve more than simple platitudes to guide us.

The problem, Slavoj Žižek argues, is that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Scientists warn the UN that the environment can no longer absorb the so-called “externalities” of capitalist political economy. The leader of the “Free World™”—with his self-proclaimed “natural instinct for science”—dismisses the issue with little more than a narcissistic fart. When our only escape from the established order appears apocalyptic, we may as well prepare for apocalypse, right? But what does that even look like?

The apocalypse lies beyond an event horizon. We will never know what’s supposed to come after it. I suspect that’s why we resort to vague but hopeful platitudes in our desperate attempts to answer the question, “what is to be done?” In words that reflect what we’ve been writing here at Lucenti all along, Vice says, “Find what lights you up, and the people who reflect and grow that light, to the extent you can give your life, or at least part of it, to what you truly care about.” And while I agree, I think it’s time we start thinking about building a political program. The fight for the present will determine the path of the future, and the future is far from settled.

“Where Dust and Death are Neighbors”

On December 20, 2017, Gary Numan opened his show in Salt Lake City with the words, “We live in a windswept hell, Where dust and death are neighbors, We hide in a perfect storm, Not even God remembers.” Packed hot and sweaty into the small sold-out venue, his multi-generational fan base crooned and swayed with him, letting a godless apocalypse wet their dry lips. I commemorated the show with…

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A Writing Hiatus

Hey folks! After the last post I wrote, a cocktail of busyness, and some big life lessons, I am taking a break from writing on this blog (and other social media platforms).   I am in the process of internal change and trying to find the right words to describe my feelings feels preemptive. I need a break from language and a moment to step into my skin. I…

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The Botfly

I took a walk down to my beloved Utah Lake recently with every intention of stripping down to my briefs, wading into the water, and swimming out to the buoys. But when I arrived and approached the water’s edge, I hesitated. A thin layer of grime floated on the surface. I couldn’t tell if my repulsion originated in my biological intuition to stay safe or the comfortable sense of…

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Radical Heresy Final Part

Seek the truth and run from those who claim to have found it. André Gide All the religious and historical education I’ve encountered has brought me to the firm conclusion that High Churches are far more like primary schools than they purport. They certainly provide a groundwork for the practice of the initial levels of spirituality, and give structure and organization to folks who share some similar beliefs or…

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Writer’s Block

Each time I sit down to write a post for this blog, I wrestle with finding the “right” words for the page. I find it difficult to decide which voice to write in, and I’m never quite sure how much I should edit because I fret over sounding authentic. I think about the unintended authority that may lay in my words, overly aware that someone might take my voice…

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Ahhh, the Good Ol’ Days

I’m not very old. But I’ve been around long enough to have experienced some shit. At thirty-six, I’ve been an adult for half my life—if you accept our society’s arbitrary age at which we supposedly reach adulthood—and I’ve watched the world around me evolve. By “the world around me,” I mean the place I live, the people in it, and my relationships to both. I describe it as “evolving”…

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Radical Heresy Part 2

I wrote last time about modern heresy in lived experiences outside “the norm” and the methods of torture utilized to enforce conformity in the Middle Ages. Now I’d like to speak on U.S. culture but more specifically on my experience in religious-heavy Utah. I have lived on the fringes of this community for most of my adult life. I am currently planning my escape for places that feel more…

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Belonging in June

June was full of so much fun for me. I spent the first weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday (playing laser tag) and Pride. June 9th was mine and my friend Megan’s birthday, and the day began with news that my niece was born, bringing us another birthday sister <3. We spent the day at a festival of colors and later had a pool party with friends. The third weekend…

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But the Top Twitched, And You Missed the Point

I tell students that if they want to take my classes they should make themselves comfortable with ambiguity. To illustrate what I mean, I ask them to consider the final scene from the movie Inception. A lot of people after seeing that movie want to ask, “do you think the top stopped spinning, tumbled, and fell, revealing the current events to be a dream inside a dream?” You’re asking…

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