Strangeness by Donald Hutchins IV


Is the experience of

imposing our preconceived notions

upon that which is, for the first time, relating

with our sense of the world and

our place in it.


is your conscience

scouring the stacks of your

past selves and relations with the

world, looking for the color or shape that

lie before your unexpecting, virgin eyes

 blinding your senses as your inner

self calls you to say there’s

nothing here;

“that is



is the barrier we appropriate

to defend our habits

from change.


is the box in the

hall closet for deposit

of the differences we wish

not to talk about when

certain folks are

over for tea

only the contents

are a human being;

they encompass our

inner meanings and

isolated feelings of

the way all these

social dealings


our place and taste

in our homes and bodies.


blames a concept,

an interchangeable face

or fact of mob mentality

with no peer-review

and nothing to

say to you

because another


would be

different than

imposing our biases

on what we see before us

when our conscience is confronted

with something new, but just ignores us

and paints the image with a question mark face

but with angry eyebrows to perpetuate hate so

it’s easier to make fates for kids and elders

in poor states, while another turns the

tide to desecrate all other’s faiths

so they never really ever

feel home in this



is the normalization

of victimization through

unconscious habituation of

inaction through disinterest of

the innate person and principles of

their being and place, value, meaning in

the world, as a vast interconnected system

of the same beings at various degrees

frequencies, and vibrations of

energy and raw potential

for just about



is the dualism of

our life in the cosmos,

and the paradoxes.


is the opposite

of seeing the grass

greener on the other side

or the glitter of gold

as the sun shines

bright and



occurs when we

are incapable of

facing the unknown

without the habit of

judgement, founded

in the known, jumps

before the urge to

seize an opportunity

to learn and see,

once again,


Estranger in a Strange Land

By Donald Hutchins

It feels strange to know so little about so much, as the pursuit of understanding expands your scope away from itself. Chasing the rabbit is just like any other fix; I am another type of junkie.

Questions reciprocate one another. And without variation or differing view, our subjective mental chases in nature would uptake a psychopathic positive feedback loop through experience.

But we have one another. It’s a dance of time, our experience of self through one another. Simply gotta wanna try, gotta feel: there’s one another. Need not to walk in some other’s shoes, but make sure one another has ’em.

Don’t ask and question or strike with your judgement. Morality, objectivity, freedom or liberty are not above you. You will not ascend to higher order in deluded self-absolution, and committing acts as such. There is no view from nowhere to impose upon us the way.

Generalizations are always false. Absolutes are a fallacy.

Truth, morality, and good are acquiesced in the present, in the moment of engagement. Anywhere else, they’re illusory. To conceptualize them in an objective sense remains subjective, and the act on such a concept is an injustice to your pursuit.

We are a dynamic system within systems, upon which there is no discernible hierarchy. Microcosms within macrocosms within microcosms within– so on. Dependent upon one another– though while caught in a paradox of disharmonies.

The human condition is one of intense passion. Such a being is embodied with endless potential anew, while driven with raw energy; combining to create power. If there’s any divine entity to observe us, they must wonder the calamities we must’ve required in the lab.

Imposed upon us is a galaxy of differing worlds and senses, approaches to being and relating in space– physically and mentally. Truth and morality lie in our hands, the steering wheel we all use to determine the next moment. At times our actions lead us on a path to righteous compassion– other times we run over folks.

Compromise is a mutation of immoral activity we have habituated perhaps for good. To slay a jungle village for palm oil, to invade struggling landscapes for resource acquisition: or to live without Cheez-itz and existing combustion-engine infrastructure? Why not, bear with me now, look at other options.

“Yes”, “No”, “good”, “bad”, “false”, “true”, “male”, “female”, “black”, “white”; “American”, “African”, “French”, “Japanese”; “refugee”, “immigrant”, “poor”, “alien”, “foreign”, “slave”.

The efficient encapsulations of things too complex for categorization– and yet there they are. We see these words in stark contrast to an opposite, and yet those comparisons differ between each of every one and other’s skulls. They’re used for understanding, when they do not even have the capacity to understand that which they stand for, as signs/symbols of something distinguished to an absolute degree.

“Well, maybe”, “alright”, “challenging”, “compelling”, “interesting”, “HUMAN, GOD FUCKING DAMMIT”, “undiscovered potential”, “beauty to be discovered”, “fears to address”, “obstacles to overcome”.

We’ve got to work together. With ourselves, with others, with everything, without judgement or inflated sense of self– which is indeed the first challenge of rectifying the ills of our communal world. The changes we seek are inherent in ourselves, however difficult it is to recognize.

To consume beef is to transform 2500 gallons into an 80z. sirloin– while Flint Michigan, the valley communities in California, struggled for water these past few years. To consume cocao over cacao is to be guilty by association for child slave labor in African resource wars, in which Nestle’ and Hershey’s fruitfully invest following your continued market participation.

To allow racism, absolutism, anti-intellectualism, tokenism to continue. To allow the over-exaggeration of minor issues as “mental illness”, and to glorify suicide and normalize fascistic tendencies with humorous sentiment. To let the opinions of others direct your feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. To convince yourself you’re unworthy, unfit, incapable of value and being valued.

The change begins with you. We value the value life brings to the table. Life is a determinant of value, not the reverse. Let your light blind the present with your offerings– it may take or leave it as you consent.

If you believe in your best and most appropriate self, if you strive without the influence of others to walk your own line, if you take each challenge as the opportunity to show the potential you’ve always had to kick ass and triumph, you’ve already won.

Resources for the Concerned Thinker

By Donald Hutchins

Mind control:

One of many patents on Cannabis:

This could’ve supplied the world with free energy, but J.P. Morgan wasn’t interested in “free”:

Dealing with today, as a journalist:

“Only through understanding the freedom we lack can we enhance the freedom we possess”~ Raoul Martinez; artist, philosopher, and writer:

These folks are just awesome:

More to come soon!

Finally Entered the Matrix!

By Donald Hutchins

Fiiiiiiiinally, I have gained access to the website!

~noises~ One less anxiety attack.

It’s strange, to me, that all the people that used to speak of the internet as a fad while passing out worksheets on penmanship, are now fully engrained in a tech-based approach to nearly everything in academia now.

I used to be told not to put information on the web ’cause “you never know” where it’s going or to who, and for what purpose. Don’t put your name, don’t talk to strangers or folks you don’t know well, don’t discuss personal info or where you live, etc. All that shit’s now long-since gone! The ship to sail has been outmoded for a rocket ship, and it’s orbiting Saturn at this point in the game.

How strange is it that all those who spoke with apprehension of this newfound “fad” back in the day are now comprehensively intertwined with the technological realm that has taken hold of our society; they’re now asking the previously led-like-cattle youth: “how do I get the sounds to stop”, “how do I Facebook”, and “what’s this button do?”(for all you Dexter’s Laboratory fans).

Is it so strange the turning of tables, or is it more strange that I actually wasn’t sure how to spell “penmanship”, and was lost in a stupor in the instant my brain called the word front and center. Such a mental act hadn’t taken place, at least based on my memory, since elementary school. This memory seems trustworthy, seeing as I remember moving to typing-tests in middle school, and straight up Macintosh for high school.

How strange!

Make ‘Murica Strange [Again]

By Donald Hutchins

So I had a post on my personal blog with a series of videos embedded from my Facebook archives. They initially were intended to work as a sort of tumble through the rabbit-hole, concluding with a positive message of the importance of self-worth and determination.

However, the page continually crashed my browser whenever it was revisited after publishing. Long-story short, I had to delete it. I can’t imagine it worked very well for anyone else, and it would’ve been a dumpster fire trying to make it work on this site. (R.I.P. Make ‘Murica Strange Again embryo no. I).

Instead, I offer three much simpler objects for a much shorter and concise explanation of where the hell I’m going with this. The first is The Killing Joke (1988) by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland( A beautiful one-issue series on the Joker, and how just one bad day can separate us from what’s considered “normal”.

The second I offer is a TEDTalk by Jon Ronson entitled Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test(2012): It is a longer talk, but has beautiful points I feel don’t get enough attention on a stage. Ronson analyzes the degrees of psychopathy from a number of different perspectives and highlights some really unique implications about how our society is run.

The third: an infographic, “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you”, from The Oatmeal: This vague title, and the vague beginning to the comic, are meant to entice you but are also putting you in a position of strangeness– like, how could this thing in a screen possibly have any ideas about my thoughts? Just check it out. I promise it’s worth it.

Each of these highlights unique aspects of our relationships with ourselves, whether conscious or physiological(psycho-somatic), and our relationships with the world, both natural and cultural. It’s a bizarre phenomenon to occupy space as we do, to the degree that we do, in comparison to other species. But if they look at us, we probably have just as many extra heads and whacky inhibitions.

The degree to which we understand both ourselves and how that applies to others, and how the whole of it all is imposed by, and thus dependent upon, the natural order of the world from which we’re drawing our existence. We are incredibly habitual creatures, and breaking through the barriers our experiences sediments within us fosters new and rich experiences– whether positive or negative.

Facing the world at large is a complex matter, the nature of which I intend to write about(look for the title of this post on a shelf somewhere sometime in the future). I can’t cover it all here, but I hope the resources above provide an initial sense of something strange. Reconsidering our ways of considering is always a fruitful pursuit, and I’ve learned that that is the most valuable skill in today’s world.

The ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn things through experience. Treasure it and as Andrew Solomon once said, “forge meaning, build identity; their share your joy with the world”. I hope that our country can make the shift towards that style of thinking, and I’ll work towards it in the coming years. Wish me luck, and cheers to this great experience!

Moore, Alan, Brian Bolland, and John Higgins. Batman: The Killing Joke. DC Comics, 1988.


A Guide to my Final project: Make ‘Murica Strange [Again]

By Donald Hutchins

Questions I intend to have some sort of understanding or conclusion on by the end of our semester together:

What drives climate change denialism? (connection to strangeness: Addressing climate change continues to get spun into politicized debate. Around 70% of the world felt a need to address the axis powers in the 1940’s, while today, greater than 97% of the world’s scientific community, and a majority of the global community, are confident that climate change is happening, is intensified by human activity, and will greatly impact the nature of our planet, as we’ve come to understand it from experience. It is strange that even with the technology, the majority of support, and endless amounts of data: we have yet to address our impending challenges. It is also strange that this never gets addressed, so I will.)

Why is there considerably less public awareness campaigns and consequent policy influence than in previous years? (Connection to strangeness: everything from segregation suffragettes, and the Clean Water Act to SNAP programs, labeled cigarettes, and subsidies for school meal programs depended not just upon information, advantageous technological innovation, and financial backing, but with unending public support for the causes at hand. When people are convinced of something, they hammer it home– to the point that it is far harder to convince a person that they’ve been deceived than to deceive them in the first place. In recent decades, public awareness and general interest in national, political, social, and foreign matters have dwindled in comparison to the 1960’s and before. Many things are likely the cause, so deduce it as thoroughly as is appropriate.)

Why do we praise responsibility and loathe accountability? (connection to strangeness: this duality is a plague upon the American people, and it likely goes unnoticed. Deducing, to any degree, the drivers and motivators of this phenomenon would provide great insight into the human condition, as well as other topics of interest– like climate change.)

Where did the self-destructive affluence come from? (connection to strangeness: radical nationalism, socio-historical dissonance, ingrained exceptionalist supremacy, unconscious nihilism and white-saviorism, neoliberal colonialist imperialism, a fundamental flaw in the development of our culture? Who knows precisely where this began. I’d at least like to brush the surface here, if not flank the topic from within the studies of another. Without intending to I may stumble upon this understanding in the pursuit of the rest.)

Do we value our expectations more than reality? Do we anticipate future value with greater motivation than that used to recognize the value of the present? (connection to strangeness: the degree to which we devalue or discount our present directly impacts the flow of time and space in positive and negative ways. If we’re to understand our relationship with valuation and time, perhaps all these other questions will be easier to address. The past has shown us that we have yet to learn from our lesson, but in the now anything is possible.)

Social Estrangement: Lives in Multiple Realms

By Donald Hutchins IV

I’ve come to notice a harrowing reality that many younger folks seem embedded in: online social media. From Facebook to Tinder to Tumblr to the PlayStore, where users can run amok downloading music, games, and countless other facets of entertainment. Whether we’re doing our hair in the morning or prepping for our next morning before bed: we are plugged in.

For some folks, this is a non-issue. For others, it’s an addiction like no other– especially when you’re completely unaware of it. If sitting for a period without FB or Snapchat brings you discomfort, makes you edgy or anxious, ask yourself how long you’ve been without them. If you can’t remember, or if you respond sarcastically(“I washed my hands five minutes ago and didn’t have my phone the whole time”), perhaps you could use some time away from it– and some sun.

As a senior at UMF, I cannot count how many people I’ve seen, on-campus and off, that walk right into the crosswalk without looking or paying attention, because their head’s down focusing on the keypad. I’ve seen multiple lunch tables, study sessions, and “hang outs” become gaggles of screen-lookers; four or five or more “friends” actively not engaging each other, talking, or even looking at one another. What could you possibly be doing that’s so pressing as to distract you from the human in front of you?

My sister is in middle school. She doesn’t go any part of the day without her phone. I had a Tracfone in middle school and couldn’t wait to stop using it whenever I got a call or text(minutes, man, they costly!). Plus, I had people around me– not many and not very enjoyable people, but it didn’t matter. She’s got countless friends and remains active in dance and Girl Scouts. But her daily activities revolve around whatever occurs behind the screen of a phone, laptop, or tablet.

THIS IS A PROBLEM, PEOPLE. And I’ll tell you why. Remember back to when imaginary friends were prominent? Maybe or not. I had one, even when I had alot of friends in my life. Perhaps because there’s freedom in it: you make the friend, so they fit in any situation. You make the rules and the game by which you and, ultimately, yourself play in. And that’s pretty cool. But what happens when you amplify that freedom? What happens when you harness it into something physical?

I once had a terrible obsession about keeping FB on 24/7. There was something about having everyone you know in one place, at one time, all generally there for the same thing. It’s like an open party, all the time– you can talk, laugh, share ideas, music, pictures, games– it’s like a creative playground, but you build it yourself. For the longest time, it was all about being in that space. So much potential with that many minds and collaborative spirits. But it never went anywhere. Because it’s behind a screen, stationary, and non-existent without a power source and wifi.

I had given up video games, got a skateboard, smoked pot and cigars, and joined track and field for a bit before I shook that obsession. I’m not sure what shook me, outside of the pot. Once I was toking, I had far less interest in material things and nonsense, and far more interest in being active and simply going outside. It was awesome! Five years of continuous Xbox and all-nighters really put me into Plato’s cave, but I couldn’t wait to get out into the light once I’d gotten a taste of it.

Being ingrained in both social media and online gaming had a weird way of keeping me pinned to routines and habits. Getting away from them, with my addictive personality, brought a lot of new opportunities for me to try new things and be more spontaneous. My freshman year in college was loaded with that, so I was more than prepared. We went wild: howling at the moon intoxicated, mountain running, street and hall sports, dorm parties, camp-outs, and far too much more to list out here. I had finally found that playground I had an affinity for– and I found it in reality!

Youngsters these days, I’m afraid, are very far from where I was. There’s, perhaps, an equal divide of interest for reality and interwebs, possibly because they coexist in the same physical space. But one of them is a more ethereal space, an alternate realm of being. Behind the screen is nothing, but with the proper conditions it is a portal to an ever-evolving, expanding, compounding, confounding experience that countless individuals, globally, can access together. And this experience, this realm, has emerged within about 20 years or so.

I remember working with dial up and thinking “fuck this, the internet’s boring”. Incredibly few children have this experience today, and the one’s that do may respond with tantrums or a strong pursuit of wifi, in order to access the playground everyone else is on. This is a dangerous place to be, as humans, since we are physical beings with a tinge of something else(consciousness, et al,). While the internet seems a sort of wild west, it does have boundaries and the people that understand them are far more capable in the interrealm than a blogger or seasoned researcher.

We’ve gotten to the point that we share everything with the interrealm. Our names and ages, which I remember being told explicitly not to put online, are now our email addresses. Our relationships, friends, family: public information for anyone to see. Our intimate moments and interests: marketing fuel. Our comments, posts, and searches: evidence, in the event the CIA can use it against you. Everything done through the web is noted, saved, and catalogued somewhere that you cannot get to it. The government absolutely has your dick pics.

Most applications on your smartphone won’t work without “permissions”, which if given, allows apps from your memo pad to Spotify to collect data from your contacts, messages, camera, microphone, and more. In order to make a call on your phone, you have to let it record at will. I don’t think even Edward Snowden had this kind of surveillance in mind when he acted against it. I bet George Orwell’s rolling in his grave, trying to figure out how the hell we got folks to freak out when the camera isn’t on them. Big Brother had his work done for him with all the affluence production in 1980’s America.

I’ve gotten off my point now. The interrealm is a space between experience and the pursuit of experience. It is simultaneously everything we want and everything we don’t want, but it is the precursor to that understanding. If you have ever gotten exactly what you want in a situation, you know that the feeling of satisfaction is temporary– what once makes you happy, done again, may not. The interrealm capitalizes on that phenomenon. While there’s an intention and a purpose for it, there’s always auxiliaries at play. If you’ve ever gone to check your email and found yourself on FB 40 minutes later, you’ve experienced them.

There is a grand distractionary essence of the interrealm, and I’ve begun to think that it’s not completely resultant of humans. AI is a big thing now, and the most advanced to date, last year, created its own language. While humans have built something extraordinary outside of themselves, and sort of outside the physical realm, it’s working against the initial intentions. I am concerned with the degree that my sister, my fellows students, and my fellow humans are implanting themselves in a realm they’ll never fully embody; and thus, will effectively render both the physical realm and interrealm unsatisfactory.

In finding this divided reality unsatisfactory, I feel as though individuals with grow increasingly estranged from their reality and will begin to disassociate and perhaps even loathe the lives they live and the world they occupy.  I believe this has already begun, as many folks I’ve engaged in the past few years have gradually lost the faculties of humanhood that are normally attributed to life and being. The capabilities for sociality are completely different in generation Y than they are in generation Z. Gen. Y, in essence, shows incredible variability from any norms imposed upon them.

If we, as a species, is to falter to a creation of our own, I’m a fan of Mary Shelley. It’s only natural that human pursuits run far and wind until they’ve lost their original purpose and appropriate a new one. My main concerns lie in the fact that our experience of the now is lacking when practically an entire class of freshman are absent from the college environment because they’re hold up in their dorms, on social media or simply wondering how to talk to people. Anxiety, social disorders, introversion, and similar qualities also play a factor, I’m sure.

This is, certainly, a dynamic and newly attended to issue and must be treated as such. I’ve brought it up because it is strange that we now collect friends on FB like dolls on a shelf. It’s strange that dating is now practically exclusive to  social media platforms that do nothing to foster healthy, beneficial interactions between people. It’s strange that countless people are more intrigued by and connected to an illusory environment, a fabricated space, than they are the physical space around them. This viewpoint may be an exclusive privilege of mine, making me the strange and estranged one. But perhaps that’s what we get when everything’s just a click away: more unbounded strangeness with less to make sense of it all.

Cheers to my viewpoint, then– I’ll take it.

The Omnipresident

By Donald Hutchins IV

“That is our greatest danger, becoming used to it and thinking that it is normal. It is not normal. It is an outrage. And never, ever lose your sense of outrage.” ~ Bernie Sanders

I heard recently about a woman who, since January, wakes up in the morning and finds her Twitter overloaded by Donald Trump’s feed. Initially, she was slightly bothered at the manner in which a supposed leader would represent himself, but as the days past with his inauguration on the horizon there seemed potential hope. But alas– nah. Trump’s actively tweeting as POTUS, and whether it’s him or a sly sociopathic small child is growing increasingly indiscernible. As the woman preps for bed at night, and as she awakes to the morning sun: it is always a wonder at what “the president” will say or do next. Never does she get a break, it seems, since he’s infiltrated a uniquely intimate part of her everyday life as a citizen.

I’ve been experiencing this similar phenomenon, and I’m certainly disappointed. The degree to which Donald Trump was an abhorrent and unabashedly disapproved choice for the position he’s claimed initially sparked outrage and a level of concern that America hasn’t seen since it became ‘Murica. Overnight, it seemed like the KKK and white nationalist groups, plus individual provocatuers and trouble-makers went for a rousing night on the town(when no one could see them) to spread fliers about their club, and desecrate homes and graveyards with petty hate-speak and horrendously drawn swastikas. (I mean really, how can they be a superior race if they can’t draw a swastika properly– it’s the symbol of your people and you haven’t even practiced it? Come the fuck on.)

The Donald’s got a monstrous PR issue, and it’s almost if he’s straddled it for his own undoing. While Obama’s lengthy pauses in speech mode and Bush and Clintons’ mental-deficiency touted “southern charm” were relatively painful with great focus, you could ignore them. The Tri-Hard dynasty of the last four decades made it easier to focus on the grander issues and topics they were addressing, even if getting to those issues was a tedious bore. Trump’s adoption of nightly Twitter escapades has brought the level of the presidency down to the level of a fourth-grader who didn’t read Treasure Island over break, was called on first day of class to discuss the book, and who stormed out of class to started a frustrated social media campaign for “Blue Beard the Pirate”, because “That is the pirate– he’s the best pirate, I KNOW HIM WELL!”

The youngsters’ mum and dad can’t get it through to him, but at least they can ground the child. Trump’s literally half a dog let off the chain– only half ‘cause a full dog would be more capable and intelligent in a position of leadership. There’s a mess being made of our country and of our entire image as Americans, and you can track it in real time on Twitter. You can also attribute it to the seriously impediments of our leadership. Just as appallingly quixotic: those in Trump’s cabinet are just as embarrassingly destructive and obstructive to reality as he is. Their ideals revolve around themselves and pay no mind to the infractions that, sooner or later, will be imposed on them, their character, their personality, or all of the above.

When you lie to an entire country about climate change and the need for a changing society, when you pander with 1800’s sentiment to the most vulnerable populous about “killers, rapists, and thieves” coming from afar to ruin what you have, when you yell at rallies for the little guy and then steal their health insurance, their PBS, their Meals on Wheels, only to allocate that funding to the military, where we spend billions on Tomahawk missiles that get dropped on Syrian children, and then tell the survivors to get fucked when they can’t stay in their country that we bombed. When you stoke the ages-outdated rhetoric that drives wedges in between folks, and when you’re left unbounded in your own ego to act out and run amok: you have become a danger to yourself and all those around you. You have become the greatest of all evils. Hitler harking from atop a barstool to start the Beer Hall Putsch had more credibility than our current president, senate, and congress. (And as a Grammar Nazi, I refuse to give them the privilege of being capitalized here. Their unprofessionalism doesn’t warrant it.)

Alas, however, I must admit that I’d seen this mess coming. In early 2016, I jokingly entertained the possibility of all efforts and power structures getting handed over to the GOP since they wanted them so badly. I thought “suuuuure, you can have it, you think you’re so strong and capable.” Then, resultant of their undoing, which is merely a matter of time in any period, they would never be given the chance again to even try. Obstructing Obama’s ideas for eight years, they take over, can’t do shit because their’s doesn’t actually smell any better than anyone else’s and that’s all they brought to the party, aaaaaaand the public makes them a mockery until a progressive steps in to get some real work done. Oh boy, do I wish I could’ve made that projection with a little less satire. While it was funny then, and hasn’t been now, there maybe something to the humorous nature of this whole situation. What’s a great way to piss off a child, after all: make fun of them. Laugh!

For the woman on Twitter, myself, and the rest of us, The Donald has become a sort of omnipresident: always there, lurking in our daily lives. He’s apart of every discussion and joke and struggle we face nowadays. Talking about climate change in a college class until someone sarcastically boasts “but clean coal’s the real future– climate’s a hoax from China!”; trying to help the hungry and the homeless while knowing full-well that funding for these causes is now going to make bombs to kill more civilians and create more refugees for Trump to ignore. Having folks bolster the “grab her by the pussy” mentality, whether you’re a women or man(I’ve had women defend themselves as “masters of the blowjob” staying in the kitchen until they can “grab their husbands by the dick”, and so on– ick.) If these haven’t been your experience, surely you’ve seen an article or post or comment about Trump and his ushering in of the end on social media. Surely you’ve felt the negative vibes each time he says something on Twitter or pushes another executive order, and the impending consequences plague your brain like a million unanswered pressing questions.

I see a normalization of the nonsense and negativity– confirming the subliminal unconscious nihilism that’s become an American value. I already see people rolling their eyes in silence when Trump takes another vacation or appears at another press conference, but I must encourage you to fight those normalizing behaviors. You’re not seeing the normal, and it’s doesn’t have to even seem normal– if you laugh. It’s hilarious that Trump and his cronies think what they’re doing is acceptable, and the greatest way to make them feel outright weird is to put them centerstage where they want to be, but to frame it as the joke it really is. “Climate change, Chinese hoax? HAHAHA, wow”, then ensues a constructive discussion that at least recognizes the 97% global scientists’ consensus on the matter. Everyone can laugh, everyone can learn something, but most notably: nothing ridiculous becomes normal, acceptable, and permissible. When ridiculousness arises, laugh at it! Make it known for what it is: a joke, whether good or bad.

As individual citizens, we have the power to determine what we accept to be truth, what we feel is acceptable in the world. Donald Trump, his cabinet, his supporters have no basis in reality. Bring them back from the 1860’s, 1920’s, 1950’s; bring them back from their delusions and unfounded rhetoric. When you tune out in class and begin floating in the ethereal for long enough to snore, typically the instructor will do something mildly embarrassing which, itself, either wakes you up or leads the rest of the class to laugh like an alarm clock. Very quickly, you learn not to fall asleep in class. Trump’s asleep at the wheel of the presidency– or rather, he’s golfing( like he said he wouldn’t be). Every chance you get, expose him. Make it obvious that he’s the joke, make his mistakes an anticipated punchline, make him a walking pun– the lowest and most powerful comedic tool. As soon as the laugher starts and grows to a roar, the sooner we can snap him out of his affluent trance of disintegration. As soon as he sees the moves being made against him, he’ll act even more irrationally than he has. Then our united front of humor can shift towards scrutiny, and that’s where we’ll see him squirm. That’s when he’ll be eating his own medicine.

Who are You?

By Donald Hutchins IV

“Who are you?” It’s an interesting question. I haven’t heard it in a while, either.

The last time I asked myself this question was in my creative non-fiction class a few semesters ago– I can’t recall which one, specifically. Our first assignment was a 40-page autobiography. It could include anything we wanted, and we could omit as we pleased certain events and details.

Which, in a way, does some injustice to both the writer and those that will read about them. Biography is literature on a person’s life, written not by that person. Autobiography would simply be the same but substitute another for the One– the one it’s all about. The one at the wheel, pen in hand– the one in control.

But! Is there a difference in the way one person can control the reality of anothers life, and the way one person can control the reality of their own life? If someone writes your biography, it is their interpretation of your life they’re recording– if you’re not about Mearleau-Ponty, this means that they’re not recording your life but your life as experienced through theirs.

Similar issues also arise if one makes it their interest to commit themselves to written record. In such a situation, the individual presently interested in themselves must take up a reflective– perceived to be objective– basis in order to analyze and make sense of the past and deduce its relevance to the present. A process endured by an individual for another is, necessarily, similarly endured by the individual for them self.

This is ultimately due to the trans-temporality of experience– we live through time; within it and apart of it. We humans reach across time, to the Founding Fathers, to the Civil War, to the Great Depression, to the Great Prosperity, et al., because that is the basis for our continued activity. We develop, we learn, and we live in reference to that which came before us– and we actively use it to make determinations about our horizon.

The difficulty in determining the “who” is the determined paradoxical purpose of it all. While we strive to bring to clear fruition that which encompasses us, enlivens us, turns us on in the most trivial or spiritual ways, for the purpose of others’ understanding, we disregard the crucial reality that we cannot with any absolute certainty endow others with our experience. There is no manner at which we can completely supplant anothers perspective for our own, even if it was the full desire of the receiving individual.

To put this lesson into the simplest terms: even if you can walk for a period in anothers’ shoes, they’re still your feet. Even if you can get intimately close to a complete and identical restructuring of separate experiences, there is the reality that they exist equally in similarity and in difference. By being fundamentally separate, there lies the confirmed essence of difference– even in identical twins(see The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates(2010), et al.).

So! To bring it full circle: the question was “Who are you?” And I can say that the “who” is Donald Hutchins IV.  Presently, I are engaged as a writer. And with a developed understanding of how arbitrary written modes of communication are at conveying the essence I’m geared towards exposing, I am certainly putting myself inside your head. Here I am, as you digest what I put into your conscience’s mouth.

However, whether I, to any degree, transform the contents of your mental file-cabinets from the past into engagements with the present is interestingly enough just as up to you as it is to me. Though I can never do my “job” perfectly, there is a degree that you can. I cannot write for your brain or even to it if it is not willing to accept that which it encounters. The degree to which both myself and you, the reader, will succeed in our activities together depends upon the free-flow of our present intentions.

We must be comfortable enough, interested and together willing enough, to remove our shoes and work with our feet. And you know just as well as I do that it’s gonna be weird. But more on that to come!

Moore, Wes, 1978-. The Other Wes Moore : One Name, Two Fates. New York :Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks, 2011.