Michelle Eskengren:Gangsta Rapper a la Sartre



Que faire du credit, sinon le risquer? (1)

Que faire des femmes, sinon les baiser?

Quand Dieu se tait, on peut lui faire dire ce que l’on veut. (2)

Et moi je dit qu’il dit que c’est ok! de te traiter comme je le veux.

C’est par la violence que nous nous eduquerons (3)

Et c’est par la violence que je t’eduquerais de me

traiter comme un roi, et de me servir au pied.

Oui, je l’admets

je suis mechant, ca veux dire que j’ai besoin

de la souffrance des autres pour exister. (4)

Et j’existe car tu souffres, et je te le faits aimer.

Dieu est mort, (5)

moi je le sais

je ne connais qu’une Eglise, c’est la societe des hommes. (6)

et moi je suis l’homme de toutes les hommes.

Dieu est mort, (5)

il ne retournera jamais

et moi je regne sus la terre.

Sarte a dit qu’on est ce qu’on veut (7)

donc j’ai decide de prendre la place de Dieu.

Moi je suis l’homme de tous les hommes

je decide qui aimer et qui tuer

les femmes sont mes esclaves, mes putes

et mes jouets.

Je prefere mourir que de t’aimer.

Les femmes sont rien, elles sont rien sur rien,

et l’on aime rien si l’on aime pas de tout. (8)

Tu cries et tu pries, tu as une folle envie d’etre aime,

mais, je ne peux pas supporter qu’on attende quelque chose de moi,

ca me donne tout de suite envie de faie le contraire, (9)

Tu m’embrasse, je te casse

Tu me caresses, je te laisse,

qui ta dit que tu a le droit d’avoir des envies?

Va voir chez ta mere si elle peut te reeduquer.

Obeir, et te taire, c’est la chose que tu dois faire.

Je te dis encore une fois,

et si tu ne comprends pas, je te coigne contre le murs:

Moi, je suis mechant, ca veux dire que j’ai besoin de la souffrance des autres pour exister. (4)


Numbers 1-9 are quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre, the rest is mine.

(1) Le diable et le bon dieu, P.196, Follio # 52

(2) Le diable et le bon dieu, P.109, Folio # 52

(3) Le diable et le bon dieu, P..207, Folio# 52

(4) Huis Clos,, Livre de Poche, P. 47, #1132

(5) Le diable et le bon dieu, P.240, Folio # 52

(6) Le diable et le bon dieu, P.36, Folio # 52

(7) Huis Clos, Livre de Poche, P.72, # 1132

(8) Le diable et le bon dieu, P. 223, Folio # 52

(9) Huis Clos, Livre de Poche, P.31, # 1132




Words From a Witch

I am what you would call a witch, and for those who do not know me, the picture you would paint of me would be something like this: an older woman with long, gray uncombed hair, eyes as black as the night, an evil smirk on my lips, wearing a long black cape and a black pointy hat. If your imagination is really creative why not add a big old book with secret spells and potions as well as a broom stick in my right hand. Can you hear me laugh while your imagination goes wild in your troubled mind? I know what you are thinking and I understand your sudden distance. But of course! You think I’m a witch. What else can I do but put an evil spell between you and your lover? Do you think I’m friends with Satan, and that we exchange potions over tea on Thursday afternoons? Do you think I dance with him under the full moon while he tells me how to bring evil to this world by sacrificing children? Do you? And for those who know my face, how do I look to you now? I can feel your insecure eyes looking for my hairy warts; I understand, there has to be something diabolic about me in order for you to call me a witch.

I thought it was only children who saw witches as evil beasts, and I have accepted their notion as so, for I can not change nor blame what has been fed into their minds about us. To my great astonishment, and great pain, I have discovered that the mature man’s mind is not far away from a child’s. I can fully comprehend the fine line that exists between fiction and reality in a child’s mind, but that adults, and I’m not talking about blissfully ignorant ones, but ones with great power, still sees the witch as in the stories told to them as infants. This makes me think about what kind of sarcastic society I live in. A society were censorship is being put down, yet applied. Let me tell you a story were the "real" witches are the men of power. Let me tell you my story in a few words. I was raised between the sheets of goodness and joy. My parents taught me only good values in life, how to respect and live as one with nature. I was brought up without evil, even though I knew it existed outside the four walls of our house. It was not long before I knew I had power of some kind, as if expected, my parents encouraged it’s development. Now, what I call power, and others witchcraft, has permitted me to do a lot of good dues throughout my years. My prayers have given hope, to people who has nothing to hope for. My energy has cured illnesses, and my ability to see what others don’t "want" to see has helped me make many right choices. Never have I seen upon my powers as something evil. But growing up, becoming a woman, and having to mix in society where the notion of witches is far different from the one I grew up with, I started to question my beliefs and lifestyle. I remember how at first, I told people with enthusiasm what I knew and what I could do, which only led to people talking behind my back, laughing at me in the corridors of school and in the office. My boyfriends questioned my powers and too scared of not being superior or in control, all left me rather quickly. I was born to heal, not to frighten. But what I had seen as a beautiful gift given to me for some unexplainable reason, was soon to be shattered by the preconceived negative association of the word "witch" that society has created. Because of what I am, or society thinks I am, I have been passed over for promotions, I have been harassed at work, I have been fired, and even lost custody of my child. You ask me why I keep my beliefs private? Next thing I know I will be burning on a pole. They, the controlling power, are taking away my privileges, rights and possibilities because they don’t approve of my lifestyle, believes or practices. But they call themselves liberal and preaches freedom of speech. They look down on Chinese communism and censorship, how sarcastic, how disappointingly two-faced, because at the same time that they are criticizing censorship in another country, they are practicing it in their own.

I do not say one can not have different opinions about witches, for all means, for I do too. Many use their power rather unwisely. But two hundred and some years after the Salem witch trials, one would think man’s conception about witches would have changed. And it has, fictional witches such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch , and Tabatha in Bewitched , are few of the popular TV series picturing witches as "cute". Target stores new campaign for it’s household tools, picture a beautiful young woman, not on a broomstick, but on a orange vacuum cleaner. So there we go, witches can also be beautiful, and useful. At the time of the Salem witch trials, these popular notions of witches would not be accepted, for witches were ugly, poor and evil. Even though our society is trying to commercialize the "good" witch, she still remains dominantly wicked. A good example of this manifestation is Halloween, one of Americas biggest celebrated festivity.

Halloween brews images of witches and goblins dancing around bonfires, ghosts roaming the streets in search of humans to scare and Jack-o-Lanterns leering from window sills. The image of the witch associated with Halloween is to its extreme stereotyped. She is recklessly repulsive with her long deformed warty nose, stripy hair, black hat and mantel. Her job is to scare children, for if they are not good, she will sweep them away, give them to the devil or cook them in her kettle. So does today’s mixed commercial imagery of the witch do her any good? Although we are no longer stoned or burned, and generally accepted in society, the common man’s conception of a witch is still negative and stereotypical. For don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch your words as soon as I say I am a witch. It is so solidly carved into our minds, that the negative connection is automatic. As a child, had you ever heard about a good witch, except for a few exceptions? So how can one form a positive image of something that is constantly blackened?

This does not make me accept nor fully understand all the unjustly acts done to me. I did not choose to become what I am, I am what I always have been. But to say that I am an unfit mother because of my practices is a bit farfetched. Who gives the men in power the right to decide that what I do is connected with evil and has a negative impact on my child? I do not see the "powers" take away children from mothers involved in the KKK. Are their beliefs less harmful to their children than mine?

I do not ride on a broomstick, nor do I cast evil spells. I take the subway, and I heal with my powers. If you saw me on the street you would never think I was a witch. But now that you know, you think of me differently.





The Republic


Plato’s Response to Contemporary Society


Plato encountered problems of man, the world, and the divine within the ethical and political context of the Greek city-state, a unique social and political vastly different from that of the contemporary world. The fundamental fact in Greek political life during his lifetime was this entity, which had brought to actuality the rich Greek potentialities for social life. The independent existence of the city-state was largely responsible for stopping the trend to an all inclusive nationalism in the 5th century B.C. Where Plato alive today, or given the opportunity to "visit and observe" contemporary social and political institutions, he would probably be quite amazed at the fact of nationalism and its implications. Plato would also be concerned with the emergent nations in which ethnic bloodshed and hostilities is apparently endemic.

If Plato were to examine the world of today, he would surely find much to dislike and criticize. The character (or lack therefor) of leaders like Bill Clinton, the corruption in governments like those of Mexico and Columbia where drug lords exert enormous influence over national life, the "ethnic cleansing" and genocidal policies of Serbians and others, and the intrusion of the Russian mafia into government and the Chinese government’s inhumane policies - these would be, in Plato’s mind, evidence that many if not all of today’s equivalent of the city-state were in a state of moral collapse.

If taking the Socratic view of the inherent goodness of men, and the assumption that men aim at the good and do not voluntarily choose evil, Plato’s position on this was that men must be educated in order to recognize what is good and avoid the evil. Any sound political system is based upon knowledge of both good or morality and upon science, or the way in which the universe works. Good statesmanship and good philosophical vision are inseparable. No man can be an effective political leader unless he has acquired wisdom and has learned to aim for the good and avoid the evil. From this particular philosophical and moral orientation, Plato would maybe say that the conflicts across the globe today are a direct consequence of a failure of character and education. He would reject the idea that a nation can be a "leader" when its own internal "leaders" have little wisdom and are almost fatally flawed.

Plato, in The Republic, gives a rather utopian vision of the city-state. He pictures it as a place in which the rule of men is the rule of reason and where the rulers has wisdom and also govern by that wisdom, and where all the individual and political actions are focused on obtaining the good. In a world characterized by political chaos, Plato then saw a city-state ruled by order. And order, for Plato, came only through an understanding of philosophy, which was necessary to instruct men in distinguishing between good and evil.

So even as Plato appeared to be focused on politics, he is really stressing the necessity of ethical behavior and the creation of ethical constructs, or "ideas", that govern the behavior of men. Ethical behavior seems to be a somewhat old fashioned concept. The "leader of the free world" is but one example of how many of us make the attempt to distinguish from our "private" moral failings and our "public" achevements. For Plato, such boundaries did not exist, the moral man was moral in all his relationships and actions. Lacking true ethical behavior, he would argue that true leadership is impossible.

The philosopher-king or the enlightened ruler of the perfect state, must be ( in the Platonic vision ), at the same time a prophet, a statesman, a saint. Government thus becomes the practical application of the divine in the interests of men. Only a state ruled by such a man in such a manner can hope to enjoy the benefits of prosperity and security. It is literally impossible, in his view, to separate ethical and political responsibility. Plato would criticize our tendency to achieve such a separation, and call upon us all to choose leaders capable of approaching the good.

To Plato, the city-state is an indispensable means for attainment of virtue and higher human happiness. To achieve this goal, the empirical state must be structured so that classes of people effectively specialize and operate for particular social ends, Different classes, each with different but equal important responsibilities, are necessary for the management of the achievement of the good in their own lives. In this context, Plato would perhaps be surprised at our current emphasis on diversity, and equality. He might however, come to recognize that we have achieved a significant advance by eliminating slavery and institutionalized classism in much of the modern world. He would also, given his emphasis upon the role of the state in educating youth for future civic responsibility, and find much to praise in the Western notion of a free public education for all citizens. He might well find the public schools (particularly in America) lacking in rigor and a strong focus on high standards, especially if compared to the French educational standards.

Plato would also be impressed, most probably, with the scientific, technological, and artistic advances that has been made since his death. In all aspects of modern life, including medicine, the world of today enjoys an enormous advantage compared to that of the Greek city-state. And science itself is largely responsible for the advantages that has for one improved the duration and quality of much of the planet’s population.

Plato would be somewhat surprised by the advances that has been achieved by woman, and would probably have mixed feelings towards it; given his belief that a specific "woman’s sphere" existed and was the "natural place" of women. Plato would also be impressed by the "informatic age", and its efficiency of communication. Yet, Plato would probably be quite appalled at what he would view as the sexual license of the "age of AIDS".

We can conclude that Plato’s reactions to our world would be mixed to the extreme: he would find excess mingled with efficiency and liberty intertwined with racial animosities.

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