Because I am a Barbarian

Because I am a Barbarian

 

“Why are you like this?” the question refrains

There’s dirt in my hair and mud on my knees

I run with horses and sing in the breeze

There are stars in my eyes and sky in my heart

I feel the Earth spin and the seasons progress

Because the blood of barbarians runs in my veins.

 

“Why can’t you conform? Why won’t you behave?”

You build walls around me, but I will escape

I’ll find the trails and run for the hills

Dig into the earth where I can be free,

With birds and bears, foxes and trees.

For barbarian souls cannot be contained.

 

“You cannot say that–it isn’t polite–we’ll make it a crime–”

Fuck you, you bastards, I’ll say what I mean

I won’t bow to your idols nor repeat your lies

I won’t die for your profits nor fight in your wars

I am not your dog and I cannot be tamed

Because I am a barbarian and I do not obey.

 

You cut down the trees and lay cities in grids

Flatten the hills and murder the wolves

Choke rivers with shit and turn the frogs gay

Trample the flowers and murder your neighbors

All in the name of “Let’s follow the rules.”

But I am a barbarian and I won’t be a slave.

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The Shrinking World

The more human density grows, the more space per person shrinks, the more human behavior must contract to avoid conflict with one’s neighbors.

If your neighbor is racist against you, but lives 20 miles away over an unpaved road through the mountains, he is less of a problem in your daily life than if he shares a bathroom with you in a college dorm.

As we rub against our neighbors, each individual contracts to avoid giving offense. More forms of behavior, speech, and by extension, thought, are proscribed. To live in close company is to always be aware of the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of hundreds of others or suffer consequences.

As our personal worlds shrink, so do our professions. The doctor no longer makes his rounds, seeing all manner of coughs and colds, appendixes and broken bones. Instead he has a narrow specialty, chosen while still in school. One wing of a hospital, one floor. Pediatric or geriatric. The farmer no longer builds his house, slaughters his animals, preserves his food, shears his sheep, and weaves his own clothes.

Each job is split off, done over and over–and better–by a single person. The Jack of All trades is master of none and the Jills of One Highly Specialized Sub-Trade quickly put Jack out of business. And thus the worker is alienated from the product of his labor.

An anthill cannot function if the ants are fighting; the Queen will not tolerate the workers attacking each other.

Government desire not citizens’ safety, but taxes.

I am a barbarian and I cannot live here.