I walk into the freezer, my breath a visible ghost as microscopic moisture droplets freeze and refract light. The Piezo igniter clacks in protest and the flame hisses into life, dulling to a tiny conversational flame, at the ready. The weight of the tank on my back…
Safe Spaces, they come in all different volumes, structures, and purposes. They can exist in the physical and in the mind. They protect women and children from harm. Some, like the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence in Atlanta, Georgia are a network of safe-houses designed to give women a place to get away from their abusers and start a new life. Some are tents, designated as safe spaces for women, dug into the mud on the Northern border of Greece to provide Syrian women a place where they can be alone with other women in safety. Some, like Safe Space London, are just trying to help women that are most vulnerable not die. These safe spaces are crucial, the only defense for the women and children caught in that dark calculus of Capitalism and the State, the tragedies born of mankind’s self immolation. Safe spaces like these are all around the world, and it still isn’t enough.
Crucial and life saving as they are, these are not the only safe spaces that exist. There are many safe spaces on the internet. There is one big safe space that you probably weren’t aware of, which is fine, the people in it aren’t aware they are in it either. It is so massive that generations have lived in it without even seeing its limit. We’ll get to that.
Safe Spaces are coming under propaganda fire from the right. And it is easy for them to do, as many fascists, right wingers, conservatives, etc, love employing complaints about their free speech being impinged when they find themselves faced with a situation in which they must endure consequences for that speech they claim to hold so dear. When meeting that brick wall of consequence is when you hear them rage the loudest. The love of “free” speech is also the first thing dropped when they have power and control over whatever.
Remember this: for them, free speech is a lever, nothing more. It is the places that ideas and their dissemination that have the focus of these jokers, and for good reason, to control what is said is part of controlling the narrative. Control the narrative and you have a lever with which to control a nation. Controlling these safe spaces won’t bring that alone, but it is one more front line that they are on the attack. Those fascists need all the leverage they can get.
They have plenty of ammunition though, because the internet is full of people that, unfortunately, are either so damaged or so plainly stupid that they can’t see they’ve gone off the deep end (I know that’s a lot from someone who is a cis-white male who calls himself a sorcerer, we’ll get to that too, I promise). From would be revolutionaries that can’t form a coherent thought, let alone fight the state, to non-white professors advocating racism as the solution to racism, the internet has it all right along with the safe spaces for it. For every safe space actually helping someone, it seems there are ten that exist as the personal echo chamber of someone that is at best simply not helping.
The safe spaces of the internet are the weakest point and therefore the most attacked by fascist, the Capitalist, and the perpetually bored sadist. The worst of the worst are flouted as the “norm” for “liberal’s” and “radical’s” safe spaces, all the better to deter the ignorant. This attack seems to have two prongs. One prong is the establishment of “conservative” safe spaces for university students, like the one at University of Wisconsin, Madison. What this “conservative” safe space is really for is to push back against what is seen as a source for leftist thought (this isn’t the only one or the first one, they are popping up like maggots!). The other prong is a propaganda push by right wing owned media organizations, Fox news, the personal propaganda engine of the Cock brothers, or however you spell it (I never miss a dick joke, no siree!), and the lesser known Sinclair Broadcasting Group, recently made the hate darling of liberals everywhere by the comedian John Oliver.
Sinclair has been buying up tiny local news organizations and forcing them to insert syndicated conservative commentary. Part of that commentary has been an attack on safe spaces, by simultaneously conflating them all with the most cringe-worthy of internet safe spaces and lambasting them as housing for the “snowflakes”, the reference to Fight Club gone out of control. In fact, it was Oliver’s report that featured a clip that caused me to write this. The clip is of a pasty overweight “commentator” encouraging “snowflakes” to come out of their “safe space”. I found this to be the height of irony.
The reason I found this to be the height of irony is because that man, his owners, in fact, all of the conservative, right wing, fascist lot, have been living in a safe space their whole lives. Their parents lived in that safe space, their grandparents did, down through the generations. I promised and now I deliver: the giant safe space I spoke of is called being white. It stands adjacent to being male safe space and being rich safe space. The three overlap. They fill so much volume on this planet that most don’t even realize they are even inside it.
Every day, these spokesmen for “conservatism” (more like conserve-atavism) go to battle against the safe space, unaware that they would drown in a biblical deluge if the irony were to suddenly transmute to water. In a land where a white policeman can shoot a man in the back, his act of cowardice caught on film, and can still go free, where neighborhoods are pulled out from a population in poverty, their collective geo-psycho-historical space pulled out from under them to serve the gentry, where it is still so common for a man to beat the shit out of his wife that there are rescues for women in every large and several small cities all across the Western world, let alone America, these ridiculous loony tunes mother fuckers think safe spaces are the biggest problem. And in a weird fun-house mirror way, they are right, just not like they think.
It is the three safe spaces of being white, being male, and being rich that are the actual problem. The need being filled by all other safe spaces flows from the existence of these three safe spaces, the inevitable equation balancing that occurs organically in a world where there is still a glimmer of hope. So naturally these pieces of shit want to stomp on it.
As a white male I think I speak with some experience on this. Sorcerer, bah! How much? How much of anything good in my life was there, is there, simply because of a role of genetic dice and the calculus of historical forces? I’ll never know, you can only grok something like that while standing outside of its context. Yes, I have traveled, it doesn’t help to leave the West. It follows you, everywhere. Can I ever truly leave this gilded and personal black iron prison, never knowing what I’ve earned and what’s been handed to me? But enough of my problems, back to the issue at hand.
There are forces that want to see safe spaces go the way of the dodo. For whatever reason, a woman fleeing a man beating the shit out of her is a serious threat to these, I don’t know, can you still call people like that human, let alone men? Yeah, unfortunately, none of this is beyond the possible for the human, let alone male, and it is a threat, to power, their power. The power that comes built into the safe spaces called being white, male, and rich. And these safe spaces are not healthy, for the mind or spirit.
If you don’t believe me, look at what all the armchair fascists write from the safety of the big three safe spaces, located right behind the other side of a computer screen. Garbage. Falsehoods strung together by flawed logic in an attempt to poison the world with trash thinking. It is how you get someone who looks like they rolled snake eyes in that same genetic lottery somehow proclaiming themselves the pinnacle of evolution. It’s how you get lifestyle retailers selling jade pussy eggs for three times what you could find literally anywhere else on the internet with one google search. It is how you get a reality TV show host, swindler, and sexual assaulter as president.
Come out of the fucking safe space they say? I say lead the way out yourself you fucks, I’m right behind you! You precious fucking snowflakes, deeply threatened by the possibility that one day you will be living in a world where cops can’t just murder a black man! A world in which women don’t have to keep living with a man that is a mortal threat to her! A world in which a shitty racist asshole gets ostracized for being a shitty racist asshole! Yes, say what you will, just don’t think anyone will suck your dick afterwards! Oh no! A world in which being born doesn’t condemn you to poverty or randomly reward the lucky few with a lifetime of wealth and ease! Ohhhhhh Noooooo! Its getting pretty hot in here, so flee you fucking snowflakes, the revolution is coming, and we are armed with flamethrowers!
If there is a lesson here, it is that long term exposure to a safe space can fuck your mind up. Most of the people actually in need of a safe space don’t want to stay there. They want to rebuild their lives and get on with the business of living. It is the people that refuse to leave the safe spaces that are the source of the problems and who are a danger to others and themselves. They are the source of the inevitable casualties of the problems caused by the largest of safe spaces, who then become the poster children of the right’s fight against any other safe space that is not the big three safe spaces, which are themselves the foundation stones that Western civilization is built upon. Oh yeah, I forgot the trigger warning, if you are white, male, or rich, this article may trigger you.
A Discordian for 20 years, Patacelsus finally got comfortable when the 21st century “started getting weird.” When not casting sigils, taking part in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, or studying the unfortunate but sometimes amusing stories of the dead, he’s been known to wander the hidden ways of the city, communing with all of the hidden spirits one can find in a city. As Patacelsus sees it, we’re all already free; after completing the arduous task of waking up to that we can then proceed, like a doctor treating a patient, to try to rouse others from the bitter and frightening nightmares of Archism. He laughs at Samsara’s shadow-play in lovely California, in the company of his wife, two cats, and two birds.
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