I seemed to have followed up a blissful weekend at Deathfest, during which time I operated solely and full-heartedly on the id, with a combination of heaving struggle and adulting really hard, also known as moving. The hottest circle of hell must literally be where Sky Daddy makes you lift boxes up an eternal staircase. Don’t get me wrong, aside from the roaches, my new crib is pretty lit. My neighborhood is full of majestic stoop kitties and I’m pretty sure the downstairs unit doubles as a DIY venue. It’s just the process of losing half your acrylics trying to rip open that masking tape you paid actual dollars for that I find to be pretty soul-crushing.
But, there is one component of dealing with new digs that I enjoy, and that is asking the question, “so is this place haunted or naw?” The white person in me gets pretty excited by the prospect of an ethereal roomie, almost as much as that prospect of getting to write a 2-star Yelp review. Although I guess I shouldn’t go around making these kinds of assertions until I’m actually in the situation, I can’t help but feel like I wouldn’t mind waking up to all my kitchen cabinets being open. If anything that’s just less effort I have to exert when I go to reach for my dates.
So far, though, things have been quiet. I was feeling some type of way about my bedroom at first, but now that I’ve loaded it up with my platform heels and ten pounds of lipstick the only presence that seems to make sense lurking is the ghost of Anna Nicole Smith. During the next full moon I’ll be sure to listen out for whispers of “TrimSpa, baby,” or maybe just a slurred “ravioli, ravioli, give me the formuoli”. God, I miss her.
While it still may be a little early to jump to any conclusions about lost souls living in my bathroom closet, I do know that I’ve had a lot on my mind as of late. Whether it be moving, graduating, or even a change of seasons, there always sometimes to be certain life occasions that spur on thoughts about the heavy shit. Do deities possess gender identities? Can jet fuel melt steel beams? Was my childhood Easy-Bake Oven actually her off-brand stepsister, the Lalaloopsy? You know, those kinds of mental planes.
I had one contemplative moment hit me particularly hard. I was sitting on the floor of my new room, back against the wall, clutching my inverted cross necklace that I had strung my house keys on to keep them safe on my jog (someone please put pockets in women’s running shorts, thanks). My carefully wrapped poster depicting anarcho-communist hero Emma Goldman was propped against the opposite wall, and I was hit with some pangs of hypocrisy.
What was I doing with a pendant of the Dark Lord (which I realize is not the true Satanic cross, but sorry, I refuse to wear anything with an infinity symbol) when I subscribe to political moralism, albeit secular moralism, but still moralism nonetheless? It seemed to be a clash of the individual versus the collective. But when I thought back to my attempt at reconciliation between atheism and the metaphysical in the OG days of Thirsty Thursday, I couldn’t help but wonder if Satanism and socialism could be reconciled, too. Fuck, I can’t be the only people-hating, solitude-loving commie pinko out there.
Right off the bat, socialism and Satanism both very much reject traditional religious trajectories, with Marx famously referring to religion as the opiate of the people. Where the surface-level difference seems to lie is within each ideology’s alternative answer to the Judeo-Christian realm. For socialism, it seems to be the rise of a collective conscious that will awaken the oppressed and dismantle systems of inequality. Socialism, particularly democratic socialism, generally sees equality stemming from formal, planned economies, while communism is the quasi-anarchism that results after the state withers away (think the self-governing commune in Monty Python and the Holy Grail), although the terms are ultimately similar in spirit enough to be used interchangeably. When I think of Satanism, however, I think the full indulgence of the ego, like a portrait of the simultaneous committing of the seven sins. According to the official Church of Satan website (which is surprisingly much less HTML than one might expect), such a portrait isn’t rooted in deviance for the sake of deviance – on the contrary; its roots are planted in the natural order.
Well, at least the natural order according to essentialists. All debates over the existence over static truths aside, I think essentialism could be expanded to include some of the tenants over socialist ideology. It could be argued that working towards a common goal has been as inevitable over the course of human history as self-preservation being the individual’s first priority. Lest we forget, the rise of large-scale private industry and its associated social implications are all a fairly new invention in the grand scheme of human history. In other words, maybe it’s rooted in us to take the last beer when no one’s looking, but maybe we’re also wired to want to throw down so the whole squad can get another 30-pack and keep the turn up game strong. Now how’s that for a metaphor.
It’s when you have the kind of security through, say, socialized medicine and education that democratic socialist folks like the Danes do, you have the freedom to be able to play around with the facets of your identity because your first priority is no longer sheer survival. In other words, perhaps utopia facilitates decadence. Under the Marxist view, the personal fulfillment and satisfaction that work is supposed to bring is severed by the mechanistic tendencies of being a cog in the capitalist wheel. The emphasis on reproducibility once found in assembly line work, and now, the scripts of the service sector, are actually very much at odds with the individual.
There are exceptions, of course. The small business owners (who, if you’ve ever noticed, are quicker to assert their identity as a small business owner than any vegan or even Crossfitter) and professional artists of the world would probably disagree with what I’m throwing down, at least when weighed against their own experiences. But I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. There doesn’t always have to be a line steadfastly drawn in the sand. Dichotomies are lame anyway. Eat vegetables and drink vodka. Listen to Dolly Parton and then break out some Gorgoroth. Keep people guessing. Have a little fun. Steal that beautiful calico next door that you’ve been eyeing up. Okay, I’m mentally derailing. Goodnight, sweet prince.