El bosque oscuro
30 April 2021
In 2020, after months of bodily participating in uprisings, months of watching uprisings in other cities from home, and rounds of watching police kill on videos, and then seeing the systems of oppression around me start to finally unravel towards a release but then tightly pull right back but this time even tighter around the working class, the poor, the families — a shrug of well it’s all like it was before. A familiar unwanted smell.

Writing in 1915 Rosa Luxemberg warned that the time was now to decide: is it socialism or barbarism? The selection of not-socialism would bring about a particular state of barbarism, which we live in today: what is left is the shadow of what might have once been. Instead of growth and technology being the liberation of humans, growth and technology burdens humans, locks people into lifelong labor just to make it enough to live. This is the smell we smell today. It is the smell of AC and cheap office carpeting. It is a smell of rot, that is for sure.

The smell is found across time and space: US interrogation rooms overseas, Homan Square in Chicago, LASD white vans and LAPD cruisers, sidewalks and curbs, the spaces between a car and a police car, the ground floor waiting room of the hospital emergency department, every room where a person is laboring at work for someone else’s gain, every bus ride where a person is in transition (not yet there) from occupying their time for income and back to occupying their time with rest so they can return to occupying it for income. Maybe it’s sweaty and acrid. Maybe you smell blood.