Candid Camera This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The world is upside down, gagged with hidden messages and secreting a pus of lies and distance. Portraying a society of pessimism and constructing a scaffold of stereotypes so negative that those who do not fit are left so furiously bored with the arbitrary tedium that is freedom, they have no choice but to rebel. Rebel against war, against love, against authority, against money, against hierarchy, against every whimsical scheme that we as greedy, arrogant pests dote upon as "genius."

Heathen practices of the past have been edited to complement the current time and situation. Though we no longer hang people for their faith, persecute them for their opinions, or ban those who are clearly different, those who follow a train of thought that the majority does not condone are still met with the same antagonism as if those old laws were still universally accepted. We, as a population, cannot change how people think or poison them with fallacy and lead them blindly under one banner. We can, however, prey upon and pretend to interpret what we cannot achieve. So to create an illusion of "equilibrium," we wage wars and participate in hostilities with which we have no connection but to establish superiority over those whom we care nothing about.

Soldiers storm from their suburban cocoons leaving behind families and braving all for Lady Liberty and their foolish pride. Forsaken by their valor and stranded in an alien atmosphere searching for a just purpose in mountains and under stone, questioning why they are playing Simon Says. Ambivalence, apprehension and the element of surprise engulf them in sandstorms and dirty the naive records of ignorance betrayed. Gunshots, guerrilla warfare and doubt rising to a boil - wait a second, hold that thought, smile for the camera. We preach honesty, justice and democracy yet we willingly ignore the huddled masses littering our streets and lurking in our shadows in the ageless hope that someone else will witness their abject conditions and not leave them to fade into silence.

Victims come in countless classes, colors, creeds and levels of consequence, but they all share the common goal of wanting to be understood by those who give them the cold shoulder. They suffer from the mistakes of those to whom they swore an unrecorded oath, from the convenient oversights of those who claim to know everything. They hear the criticism, the constant threat of mutiny traveling over the phone lines, and they either pray for our redemption or establish a contract of fury and fortitude against the multitudes. Yet through all this, the monotony continues. The steady, subtle slideshow plays on in the confidence that we will all one day be able to unite under one resolution and turn the other cheek.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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