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Blade Runner 2049: What It Means To Be Human.

Alan Turing once said, “Machines can never think as humans do. but just because something thinks differently, doesn’t mean it’s not thinking at all.”
Well, it’s a really pretty quote, except Alan Turing never said that. This quote is from the 2014 movie, Imitation games starring Benedict Cumberbatch. You’ve probably heard of it, it was in the Oscars and got a lot of recognition. But what about the man the movie is based on? Well, not quite. Much like any other person to ever walk the surface of the earth, Alan Turing, the father of Artificial intelligence himself, has been lost in time… you know, like tears in rain.

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But what it is about science fiction is particular that is so keen on exploring the idea of AI, dating back to the original Blade Runner in 1982, that it keeps raising questions like, “Can machines think?” or “Are machines human?”, over and over in the central theme of the story. Maybe, it’s because only by examining the abstract, we can understand the real. We explore the intelligence in machines, to delve deep into the notion of what makes us human.
But to me, the Blade Runner films have never been about whether machines are human, I mean for one, the artificial beings inhabiting the Blade Runner universe are not very machine-like. They always seem to hide a deeper question underneath.


“What does it even Mean to be human?”


The blade runner universe comprises of replicants and humans. The replicants look like humans, talk like humans and probably even feel like humans do, except they are made by humans themselves. So they are denied the right to be considered equal to the humans. Which is evident from how the Blade Runners are hired to “retire” them once they cross their expiration date or are of no use to their creators. The replicants are not killed or murdered, they are retired like an old piece of junk.
Blade Runner 2049 begins with Ryan Gosling’s Detective K, retiring an old replicant. Living in the almost uninhabitable dystopian version of Los Angeles, K is a replicant himself, working for the LAPD as a Blade Runner, following the orders of his human superiors and being mocked and bullied in and out of work. The humans hate him because he’s a replicant and the replicants hate him because he works for the humans, they call him a “skinjob” – probably the the n-word equivalent of blade runner universe, but K seems to have made peace with all the constraints put on him. He’s accepted his position as an inferior being in front of the more superior homo sapiens, and has build his own small world for him, with his partner Joi, a digital AI, yet another type of man-made consciousness. We’ll get to her later.


THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

Cogito ergo sum.
I think, therefore I am. It is believed only humans are capable of critical thinking, all other animals lack the ability to think rationally. But, the replicants are more than capable of critical thinking. K is shown to be the most intuitive detective in LAPD, and also trusted with the important case of finding out the lost child of Deckard. And K, doesn’t just investigate because he is ordered to, he is intrigued by the the idea of a replicant giving birth. He says…
“It means they have a soul.”
Throughout the movie K is actively searching for the truth, digging deeper to resolve the mystery. He understand the importance of truth, and actively questions his place in this world just like any human being. He believes in the notion of something bigger than himself, he thinks the truth is what will set him free.
Replicants throughout the Blade Runner films are highly sophisticated and empathetic creatures. Take Roy batty for instance, spilling out poetry in the face of death, reconciling with his whole life, going back to his memories. Even K, though played by a very wooden Ryan Gosling, shows a range of emotions. He is in love with his AI assistant, aspires to be something more, feels emotions like sadness, anger and hopelessness, all key to the identity of humans.
One could argue that those emotions aren’t real, they are programmed responses to situations that are installed in the replicant’s software. But how do we know, our emotions aren’t programmed biological responses to the sensory information picked up by our brain. For all we know, love is just a chemical reaction in our brain, how is that different from a computer generated prompt.

MEMORIES

Our memories make us who we are at present. It dictates our beliefs, choices and decisions in life. We grow and build experiences to help us survive in this world, each experience has it’s own importance in our memory, we learn from our mistakes and derive our understandings from our failures. We base our choices on our memories, bright happy memories gives us the pleasure of joy, and we are often reminiscing about them or trying to recreate similar moments in life only to feel again. On the other hand negative experiences, drive us away and fill our heads with dark thoughts, whenever we think of them it pushes us towards depression and anxiety, and we are very unlikely to do things, meet people, or go places, we associate with particularly bad memory.
So an artificial being can be given memories in such a way that dictate their personality, depending on the skills required of them. K’s memory of the wooden horse is a big influence to his rough and tough personality that makes him a detective, fighting to keep what’s his own. Albeit, all these memories are real, they are somebody else’s but to a replicant they are as real as they can get and they don’t even realise they are not real, like K convinces himself that he is the son of Deckard based on his memories. And sometimes they don’t even realise they are replicants, if they aren’t told that there memories aren’t real real, like rachel, or heck, possibly even Deckard. Their memories make them real, even if they aren’t real themselves.


LOVE

Humans by nature are the most capable of love among any other species known in this world. It might be hard to believe that, considering the amount of hate going on around the world right now, but it is true. Human beings nurture and take care of their off-springs like no other, participate in social activities and gatherings, build and break new relationships continuously, and hopelessly fall in love over and over again. Love is the purest of emotions felt by us, and at the end of the day everything a person is fighting for. Can’t the love between two machines be pure? I want to think so. I mean Rachel and Deckard’s love was so pure, it created a miracle – baby given birth by a replicant.
Blade Runner 2049 takes this idea a little further, by adding the character of Joi to the mix. Joi is an artificial being too, but she has no body. She’s like a more advanced, Holographic  version Alex or Siri, a digital assistant that can be a little more than assistant. I’ll be honest, Ryan Gosling’s relationship with Joi in the beginning seemed to be like a real red flag for me. And Villeneuve is such a smart filmmaker, that every time K and Joi share a romantic moment, he cuts back to a scene of Joi being advertised as a sex object, and it fills your brain with doubt and questions. But then it develops into one of the sweetest relationships in cinema history, and the fact that they are not humans or one of them doesn’t have a body never crossed my mind.


SEX AND REPRODUCTION

The Replicants more often than not, are portrayed as objects of sexual fantasy in the Blade Runner films, they either shown as prostitutes or sold off as slaves. Joi is practically marketed like a virtual girlfriend that will do anything you want, like a rpg game. But still, K and Joi overcome all the prejudices of thier society.
The scene where Joi invites a hooker, as host so she can get physically intimate with K, is without a doubt one of the best sex scenes ever put on film, a scene that is by the way very reminiscent of a similar scene from the movie Her. The way the three broken individuals come together to complete what each one them lack, is such a beautiful moment to witness. They are truly whole in this moment, maybe not in the way we understand it, but the feeling cannot be denied.
Sex and reproduction are an undeniable part of the human life, or life of any living organism for that matter. Our entire biology is designed a certain way to facilitate reproduction in an attempt to keep our species alive. It is our way of immortality, if you think of it, passing on the knowledge of our ancestors through our DNA to the progeny. And maybe that is life, passing on, from generation to generation. And that’s why the replicants think the biggest way for them to prove their equality to the humans is finding the child of Deckard and Rachel – a child born out of love, a miracle.


PURPOSE

For Aristotle, writing in the 4th century B.C., being human meant having a telos — an appropriate end or goal.
It is startling that such philosophical ideas were discussed centuries ago, I guess it just goes to show that man is a naturally curious creature, always questioning it’s purpose or place in this world. It is interesting how many actual living and breathing creatures roam around us, without ever actually finding their purpose in life, will they be considered human? I wonder.

K doesn’t have any purpose at the beginning of the film, he’s a puppet to the humans. He just quietly does his work and spends his days aimlessly until he finds himself engrossed in the mystery of Deckard’s child. He believes it is him and assumes his purpose in life. That’s why when he learns that he is not Deckard’s son, all his hopes come falling down. He feels lost in the world all of sudden, like he doesn’t know who he really is. He walks around the streets of LA aimlessly again, as be stands face to face with an hologram of Joi. He’s reminded of her death, and all he has lost to get to this postion. He suddenly finds a new purpose in life,  purpose that he is aware will mostly likely get him him killed, but he chooses has telos, an appropriate end. K might not be born naturally, he might not be a human, but at the end he evolves into something more.

Blade Runner 2049 is masterpiece of the cyberpunk genre, from Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography, to Vileneuve’s sharp driecting and Hans Zimmer’s moody music, it is sensory and visual overload, that can only be felt to be to be believed. It is a film that is not afraid to to take it’s time and meditate on it’s characters and aesthetics, and in the process exploring big questions about existence and life.

At the end does it even matter if something is human, or what it means to be one, as long as we are alive and living happily? There was a time when women weren’t considered human, who knows maybe one day machines will be more human than us. Soon, all of this will be gone and lost forever, only our memories of all that is happening right now will remain. So, sit back, relax and enjoy it all in bliss, while it lasts.

Mountain of Skulls

The bones flowing in the bloody river collide
In the arms of my guitar,
As I rise through the endless
Pile of skulls sprayed around me
The scarlet sky blazes in the backdrop
Of the hellfire, bent on the
Apocalypse of human consciousness.

I use their orbits as a jug
And climb up above like a thug
A mountain of skulls
Filled with memories of the forgotten,
Resting around to decompose into the Earth
The mountain grows bigger and bigger
As time goes by,
And the ones below get pushed further down.

Once I get to the top 
I must make a choice
The others will be waiting for me
As I gave my word to the bard
I promised him I will play my guitar 
And I'll play my songs
I'll share the voices, of those unheard.

But he warned me that 
It'll come with a price
Though at the moment 
I only have my mind on the ticket out
And climbing up this mountain,
Stepping on the skulls of the deceased,
Is only way out.

I take a step and pull Raven up,
She's right behind me, trying to keep up
I tried to tell  her 
About my talk with the bard
But she said she's heard bout' it
And even knows what choice I'll make
But I don't ask her.

I like to think I have some control,
Though my experiences contradict that belief.
My hand's blistering with pain,
I think we're almost at the top.
I look at Raven - she looks morose 
And somehow even prettier than before.

I ask her why it's gotta be me,
Who has to make the choice.
She hides behind her dreary smile
And speaks in her lucid voice,
"You know that, don't you?
You're the boy who entered dreams,
By escaping bone cages called cities."
In that moment, our feet touch the mountain peak
And the countless skulls collapse underneath.








And Then The Bard Spoke

Hanging by the doors, into the windows of mist
That carry your arms to me, in a moment of bliss,
Carry them like the self loathing bastard you are,
Your words don't mean shit in here!
They'll grind you and tear you and make you adhere.

You are young and you're hopeful, you want to do something noble
You think you owe it to your life, like it'll get you your prize
But you don't know of the price that you have pay, to do something in this world your way.
Speak up to people who beat us down, you gotta be some kinda clown.
I know I was - believing in the lies of the world, that once made me a god,
I believed I stood for something, I thought I could change something,
But the world is a bottle factory, molding people into it's own slavery
It will drain your thoughts out of you, make you spill the words you brew
In your head with a meaning, and exploit them to fill their billing.
You can tell people all you want, they only listen to what they want,
Nobody's interested in the truth, just package sugar-dreams for the buoyant youth.
I used to believe I stood for something, I thought I'd help them questioning
But I was just another minion, instead helping them maintain their dominion.
They took her away from me, before I could even see,
And now I lay trapped in this dungeon, forgotten like someone redundant
Nobody will mourn when I die, like nobody mourned when you said goodbye.
Run Away ye Lad, run away somewhere far from here!
Take your pretty lass' hand, they're coming to get her.

Orpheus in the Underworld

Late night at the fortress, high, 
Higher than a kite in the sky,
Surrounded by people smelling of piss and sweat 
Dirty walls holding tears of it's thousand inmates.

Segregated and kept separated
Beaten and tortured until broken
Locked in these cells like animals, who don't cooperate,
Spend forever here on charges of crimes against the state.

Blades run for those who disobey,
Killing all that comes on it's way,
Chains bind them to their doom,
Going mad together in this tomb.

My mind's intoxicated, all my senses blurred
Thoughts pummel my head, bordering on the absurd
I need to get to Raven,I need to fortify her
But the visions in front me form a constant blur.

Inside the cages filled with golden canaries,
These walls hide their most priced possession,
A hundred year old bard,
With long flowing hairs and beard
Whiter than Gandalf, from the darkness appeared
Growling in a voice, strong enough to persuade even the purest
To melt even the strongest
And to cure even the sickest.
Blinded by the light, I bow down on one knee
And listen to Orpheus go on a recitation spree.







Never Have I Ever – Mindy Kaling’s Netflix Dramedy is the perfect depiction of the Struggles of Growing up Desi.

Never Have I Ever, Show Runner – Mindy Kaling

A Netflix teen drama starring an Indian lead? Well, that’s new and that’s exactly what attracted me towards the show the most. The show follows the life of Devi, a first generation Indian-American sophomore living in Southern California, who’s trying to re-brand herself and get popular at school. Right away, it was nice to see an Indian character not being portrayed as the nerdy stereotype in an American Sit-com. This story is very personal to Mindy Kaling, and it’s apparent from the care it is given to make these characters feel authentic – these are her experiences of growing up Desi in America, updated to a 2020 setting. Now, I’m not ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) girl, but these experiences are quite universal if you’ve grownup in a South-Asian household. Especially now, since our current is so much exposed to the western media through the internet, streaming apps, e.t.c. So, even if you’re living in a strict house under the super-spy vigilance of your parents, you’re not entirely living in a bubble. Teenagers today and opinionated, liberal, demand respect and frankly quite out there (and yeah, they’re still horny af). So, the divide between the generations is bigger than ever.

Devi is, needless to say, a virgin, and also an intelligent firebrand with a seemingly effortless command of power-points, witty barbs and topical-enough pop culture references (“Yeah, but he has a hot face. You’ll be like Zayn and Gigi,” she tells her friend as a boyfriend sales pitch). She’s also a master deflector, reeling, with a John McEnroe-style short fuse, from a massive loss. (McEnroe, for no reason seemingly beyond the fact they could get him, narrates the series.) “As you know,” she half-prays, “last year sucked for a number of reasons.” As abruptly revealed in what seems like a first-episode bit but is not, her beloved father – a sunny, unbridled presence in sepia flashbacks and dream sequences, and Devi’s only true best friend – died of a heart attack at her orchestra concert the year prior. The shock paralyzed her for three months (teenagers: not forgiving of the concept “psychosomatic”), forcing her to use a wheelchair. Only the sight of her crush, swim-team boy and said stone-cold hottie Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) – a layered mystery or stock jock character, depending on the scene – and the promise of a “rebrand” in sophomore year, zaps Devi back on her feet.

It’s so refreshing to see someone like Devi to be given plot like since most Teen Dramas limit the role of the Indian kid as the “dork”. Devi is given layers, she is not an ideal protagonist either, throughout the show she makes plenty of mistakes but that only make her more interesting as a character. But the biggest problem she has to face in the series is probably carrying the Indian baggage. Her ideal constantly clash with her mother, which is the primary conflict in the series. Her mother is very conservative and traditionally Indian, and panic at even the mention of a boyfriend. She doesn’t believe in therapy, American school system, privacy, having fun, talking back to elders or basically anything that is considered “useless” or “wrong” in India. Don’t get me wrong, she is no way a villain in the story, she does all of because she wants to protect her but like most Indian she doesn’t get that too much of anything is not good. I don’t want to tell you anything about the relationship between Devi and her mother, but it you defintely connect with the struggles of growing up Desi that she feels.

The show is really funny when it wants to too, most of the jokes land well. The writing is top notch and will definitely keep you hooked for the whole 10 episodes. It is also very quick and crisp with several great sub plots, and will be over before you know it. All the characters are given their own story lines and they land in most cases. Devi’s two best friends with seemingly one-note personality (the African-Latino robotic nerd and the east Asian drama queen) at first too get their own conflicts as the series conflicts as one of them realizes she’s gay and the other has mommy issues. The sub-plot concerning Devi’s cousin Kamala, also acts as a great commentary on the role of women in Indian households and the practice of arranged marriage.. Also some characters who are projected in the negative light in first half come around at the end and you realize why they are the way. Especialy Praxton, the guy Devi’s after, is probably the most human hot jock character in recent memory in a Netflix teen drama.

The only negative I have for this show is the overuse of voice-overs, which though funny at first, gets old very fast. Also the show has major problem with showing vs telling. Most of the big emotional plot points int story are told to you in a very short which makes it really hard to connect with. Like for example, in the last two episodes something which is meant to be this huge emotional tearjerker, but since it was developed well you just end up feeling a little shallow. But hey, if have a soft heart it will probably make you cry anyways.

Barring that one negative, this is really solid show. The episodes are well produced and tight and the star making performance from Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a must watch (she is so likable and cute). The whole series is available to stream on Netflix right now, so just make some free time and watch this amazing show!

Freedom March

Faceless creatures barking in union,
Speeches directed at The Man
Like noises hissing into other’s souls.

Their voices united by the hate
Towards the ones in power
Who decide their fate.

“Give me freedom!”
Someone yells out and the crowd
continues chanting in a rhythmic hymn.

But who has the power to give freedom?
Is it something you can ask for?
Who is so powerful? I’m not sure.

Raven drags me across the crowd,
Lyrics to Kurt’s ‘Rape me’ written
All over her naked breasts.

She shows her middle finger to the authorities
And tells them to “Fuck off!”
As she asks me join her for her crazy dance.

She moves like an angel,
I wanna dance with her,
Free my arms and join the flow of the swarm.

I don’t know what they’re protesting, and I don’t care
For all I know, this the Black Parade
And I’m one of the bodies in the street.

I wanna join them in whatever they’re doing
Dance and sing with them, like we’re in a concert
But I’m not sure if I belong here.

I don’t have anything to protest,
And I’m not sure if they do either.
Do they wanna change the world or just watch it burn?

Men in uniform try to drive the herd,
Using their water cannons as fountains
In which I bathe as I watch Raven dance.

They have come to take us all in,
They are slaves to The Man and his dogs,
The men in uniforms attacked the ones with no clothes.

Anger instilled deep within everybody,
They wanna tear everything apart,
Fighting together to lift each other up.

Hate brings us together like no love ever can,
People will try to make a change
As long as they hate where they are.

Broken people coming together,
To feel whole in their quest,
Ain’t that beautiful?

But what is my purpose here? What do I fight for?
Or am I just another faceless creature standing in the crowd?
Conflicted, all I do is follow her lead, and start singing a song.

“Sing to me, Muse”

Rising Sun in the rear mirror.
Brittle breeze sniffing on the red scarf
That she wraps around her neck
Hiding the tattoo she was given at birth.

The wretched river follows us right by the side
Of the road we’ve been ridin’ through all night
Through dark forests that smell of dead corpse
Filled with fireflies and nymphs playing harps.

She looks like she was brought down from heaven
Just for me,
She’s the one they call by the name ‘Raven’
She’s come to set me free.

She’s more beautiful than I can comprehend
Her eyes looking at me with reminiscence
Her face makes me wanna sing
In voices I can’t listen.

I don’t know where she’s leading me,
But I want to follow her
No matter how far
It’s not like I have a bigger purpose to serve.

She shines with a glistening glow
As the newborn sun kisses her face.
“Your life’s shorter than your shadow,
Ever wonder why you’re here, what’s your place?”

Born in the city of bones, I have never been bold
All my life I have done as I was told.
The thought of my place in this world never appeared
Or it did, and I taught myself to not think hard.

She turns her head and whispers, staring into my soul
“I know you have stories to tell, Sing them to me all”

I have always had a guitar
I want to play it to her
And even though I never learned to play it
I hit the strings, making up words to go with it.

“Sing to me, that’s all I ask of you
When the time comes, you will leave and forget all about me
But I want you to remember the songs you sing right now
Keep em’ and one day when you’re old, sing them in memory of me.”

“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
The man who sits on his throne, as the whole world burns”

A Kurt Cobain Appreciation post; on his 26th Death Anniversary

Kurt Cobain means a lot to me. Not just his music, but him as person. How does someone who’s been dead for longer than I’ve been alive, affect my life so much? I don’t know, but that’s the power Kurt had – he influenced and connected with an entire generation. Like Lars Ulrich of Metallica said “with Kurt Cobain you felt you were connecting to the real person, not to a perception of who he was — you were not connecting to an image or a manufactured cut-out. You felt that between you and him there was nothing — it was heart-to-heart. There are very few people who have that ability”

Now I don’t know what it must’ve felt like hearing the news of Kurt’s suicide on 5th April 1994 at the age of 27 (though the body was discovered three days later), but from what I’ve heard, it’s one the saddest days in rock history. I know this much, if I were alive back then I would probably lock myself in a room for the whole day and not talk to anyone. But that’s not what happened. In fact I only started to listen to nirvana’s music two years back. I had obviously heard of them and listened to smells like teen spirit, but other than that no real connection. But over the past two years they have grown to become one of my favorite bands of all time.

A portrait of the young man as an artist. For his eighth birthday in February 1975, Kurt received this easel from his paternal grandparents. Comic book characters were his favorite art subjects in childhood; he began with Disney-related fare, such as Donald Duck, but quickly moved to superheroes. Here, Kurt is copying the cover from Giant-Size Werewolf #4, an April 1975 Marvel comic.

Now this post isn’t about nirvana’s music or a review of their entire catalog, I just wanted to share with you my love Kurt Cobain and what he means to me. I feel a lot of personal connection with Kurt, things about his early life that reflect my own. Kurt had a tough childhood, a dysfunctional family and his parents divorced when he was small. He loved comic books and would sit in his class making drawings and sketches. He developed hatred for his father as he lived with him and later his mother, whose boyfriend abused her, which really left a emotional stain on Kurt. Kurt didn’t like sports but still pretended to be interested and played with others in school. He listened to classical and punk rock songs with passion since he was a kid. He also suffered from diseases like bronchitis from a very early age. He later fell prey to chronic diseases like depression in high school and also spent a period homeless. Now, these are not reasons to love someone, but somewhere, I feel Kurt would understand my life since it’s so much similar to his. But the most important thing is he survived through all those problems and lived fearlessly, which makes me look up to him even more.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93. Photo by Frank Micelotta.

But let’s be honest we wouldn’t be talking about Kurt today if it wasn’t for his music. Nirvana was a revolutionary act. Before them, alternative music was considered underground music, only for a niche. But Nirvana made Alternative music mainstream. And thanks to them Alternative music still remains one of the top genres in terms of quality and content. Nirvana became famous with their global hit single ‘smells like teen spirit’, from their 1991 album “Nevermind”. The album also earned great reviews for them and a tour deal for two years. And in no time they became the most adored rock stars of early 90’s. Their sound was revolutionary, inspired by artists like Iggy Pop and Pixies, it made wave for a new kind of music. Their music was raw, unfiltered and loud and it always left an impact on you. They had the ability to get to you.

An entry from Kurt’s journal.

But let’s talk about Kurt’s lyrics for a minute. I know he said they don’t mean anything and it’s useless to try and find any deeper meaning in them. He also said what’s most important to him while writing songs are melodies, and he writes lyrics just around them. Now I don’t know, I certainly don’t more about his own music than him, but his lyrics mean so much to me. They speak to me. According to his band mates he was even obsessed over writing lyrics and spent a long time during the process. He also would often rearrange and rewrite lines while recording them in studio. Also his journals reveal his love for writing and poetry. Trust me, if you ever get a chance, read his journals. And even when he was one of the biggest stars, self doubt hadn’t left him. He often writes about feeling worthless and about his depressive periods in his journals. I find Kurt’s lyrics very similar to Sylvia Plath’s poetry. They are both simple on the surface but possess really dark themes and deep meaning in them, if you listen carefully. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the band’s third and last studio album, “In Utero”, which contains some of Kurt’s most heartbreaking lyrics ever. What makes his lyrics so emotional is that there is no bridge between the words and the man. It is raw and exposes every part of Kurt out for display. He talks to you and you talk back to him, and the words stay with you forever.

Kurt’s suicide note.

Well, now I know that this story doesn’t have a happy ending. I know about his drug addiction, I know about the controversies, I know about his destructive relationship with Courtney Love, I know about his struggles with fame and the pain it caused him, and I know that he killed himself. But I don’t want to remember all that today, that’s just the shadow of the man I love, which he couldn’t avoid any longer. It had been hanging there with him for a long time and his time had come. No, I want to remember the man who defied the shadow, the man who brought light when the sun was gone. I want to remember the man who loved to drink strawberry milk. I want to remember the man who loved making sketches of Donald duck. I want to remember the man who spoke about the poor and damaged, the man who gave them a voice. I want to remember the man who was one of the first feminists and LGBT+ rights activists. I want to remember the beautiful man who sang like an angle, and tried to make a change. I want to remember the real Kurt Cobain.

The Lizard at The Edge of the World

Walking through the roads of oblivion,
The path leads me to gloom that’s stygian
Heard someone on the way say,
“Tis’ the edge of the world you’re movin’ towards”
But I dunno, all I can see is fucking sand everywhere.

My legs need rest but there’s no car to hitchhike
And my car broke down a long time back,
The sun’s blazing hot with full glory
The fucker’s trynna kill me, I know it.
Its heat’s melting flesh right off my bone.

I am a dead rat being chased by a hawk.
I got nothing to do now, no one to see, nowhere else to go
I will die alone in here
Torn and tired, snakes laying eggs inside my skull
Nobody to remember me, nobody to cremate my ashes,
Styx will carry me to hell completing my passage.

“So you’re gonna die just like that?”
Did someone say something? Who was that?
I look around me but don’t see anyone,
But I swear I heard someone speak in my tongue
I feel something on my hand and turned my gaze,
A tiny desert lizard sits there starin’ at my face.
“O lizard, was that you speaking?”
“Yeah why, never heard a lizard talking?”
The desert must’ve messed my mind, I’m hallucinating
There’s a fucking talking lizard, and I’m starin’ at it.

“You don’t need to say anything,
I know the thoughts you’re thinking,
Dying alone, is that what you wished for?”
” I don’t know what I wish, but first tell who you are?”
“I’m a concept inside your head, but for you that’s too absurd.
So here I am in the form of something you know and understand.”

Suddenly I’m reminded of the lonely nights I spent alone in a room,
The only connection I had to the living world is not one you’d assume.
A lizard lived on the walls of my room, even though it didn’t pay any rent.
Until now I hadn’t thought of him, I don’t even know where it went.

“But what do you want from me?” I ask the lizard.
“Man, I don’t need anything from you, I’m one with the river,
It’s my duty to guide wandering travelers to the next world,
Because it’s only a few, who reach to the end of this world.
I gave Oedipus his kingdom and married him to his mom,
I helped Odysseus complete his journey and return to his home.
But something’s wrong with you boy, you seem lost.
Your mind’s become cloudy, you’re haunted by your past.
You have become weak, you think you’ve committed a sin,
You want to meet Hades, as if he’ll cure your pain.”

The lizard’s words hit me straight,
I have become what I tried to escape.
“O lizard, I have made a terrible mistake,
What do I need to do now, to awake?”

“Be brave boy, that’s all you gotta do
Wait for the opportunity and it’ll come to you.
And though I have to go now, you’ll always find me here,
But you mustn’t come back here soon, you must lose your fear.”

“She’s coming to get you, come on, be quick.
Just remember it’s only the brave ones who make it.”
The lizard disappeared before my awakening,
In the distant horizon I see an old car approaching.