February 23, 2006

TBF: Racism and Prejudice

We're In This Together (The Fragile)

I've become impossible.
holding on to when, when everything seemed to matter more.
the two of us all used, all used and beaten up.
watching fate as it flows, down the path we have chosen.

you and me,
we're in this together now.
none of them can stop us now,
we will make it through somehow.

you and me,
if the world should break in two
until the very end of me,
until the very end of you.

awake to the sound, as they peel apart the skin.
they pick and they pull, trying to get their fingers in.

well they've got to kill what we found,
well they've got to hate what they fear.
well they've got to make it go away,
well they've got to make it disappear.

the farther i fall i'm beside you,
as lost as i get i will find you.
the deeper the wound i'm inside you,
for ever and ever i am a part of.

you and me,
we're in this together now.
none of them can stop us now,
we will make it through somehow.

you and me,
if the world should break in two.
until the very end of me,
until the very end of you.

all that we were is gone we have to hold
all that we were is gone we have to hold
when all our hope is gone we have to hold
all that we were is gone but we can hold on

you and me,
we're in this together now.
none of them can stop us now,
we will make it through somehow.

you and me,
even after everything.
you're the queen and i'm the king,
nothing else means anything

It is the root of violence, Lives destroyed by ignorance, Fear is harrnessed by misinformation and reflected upon the innocent. People suffer both emotionally and physically for these reasons beyond their control. In our society this is truly our darkest sin....

So today we'll attempt to understand what creates this horrible disease and learn how to avoid passing it on to the next generation.

Here on The Brian Factor we tackle a power that must be stopped: Racism and Prejudice

The Story:

No matter who we are- black, white, mexican, gay, straight, rich, poor- we are all different, we are our own people and we live completely different lives and that is the world we live in....

Unfortunately, there are some who feel that a person's race, religion, and sexual orientation are not appropiate and feel some obligation to openly disapprove of someone lifestyle by open protests, slander, and even desecration and, unfortunately, violence against someone. Groups like the KKK and the Nazis feel the planet should be purged of the "inferior" races cause we're destroying our planet and are the source of crime, pollution and simply put we're everything that's wrong with society.

The Reasoning:

Ignorance is dangerous in the hands of men, it's created by confusion and fear which in turn causes them to destroy what they can't understand or what they fear. There is never a reason for violence against another person simply because they're different. So what breeds the ignorance? Mystery, misinformation, fear; many who refuse to open their world to new people, new places. When you embrace your ignorance you choose to reject the world and you see it a war between good and evil. In reality it is a war, but it's not good versus evil, it's really the war of the ignorant versus the innocent.

Men, women, children aren't seen, all that is seen is that they are different. Women are judged as being unable to do things as a man so they are treated as subserviant or lesser beings. Homosexuals are beaten and denied the rights to live normal lives and marry. The lists go on and on. Children are still taught this, they are taught to hate and they learn that a person's race determines their overall value in society. But now children are becoming more outspoken, and in this era where actions are being used instead of words, many will suffer for this.

My Two Cents:

Before I give my two cents allow me to share two brief stories. When I was eleven I was walking home from school, on my way across the street this guy looked at me and started swearing at me because I was Mexican. He called me a wetback peice of shit and said that our only purpose in life was manual labor, and I ran home crying because all I knew was this guy was yelling shit at a kid who didn't do anything but walk home. That was my first ever experience with racism.

Three years later I was at the mall with my mom, after walking all day I decieded to sit in one of the empty dressing rooms, after I sat down the door closed, shortly afterwards there was a loud banging on the door, apparently the empty room was actually in use, the lady had gone to check herself in the mirror, I opened the door immediately and apologized for the accident but she wouldn't let me go. She called for security and asked me to empty my pockets. She had left her purse inside the room buried under a pile of clothes. I didn't know and kept saying I never knew there was a purse and it was all a huge misunderstanding. She said that I was lying and that all my kind lied and triple checked the contents of her purse and afterwards upon realizing it was a mistake all she said was: "You got lucky this time" and walked away.

I know what it's like to be judged by the color of my skin. I've been insulted and accused of being a lying thief, and, apparently, I'm also a wetback peice of shit. This is what words can do, I know what those words feel like. It demeans you, it makes you feel worthless, like everything they're saying is the truth. Others haven't been as fortunate, as I mentioned earlier; we are now in a time where people will use actions instead of words, where the worst was calling someone a "nigger" or "wetback" gets replaced with punches and kicks and eventually serious injury and/or death. We must learn to get pass the names and violence.

We are people, we are individuals, we are all made to be unique from one another, we come from all walks of life. As I look outside I see different people, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, rich, poor, blondes, brunettes, redheads and I see they are nothing alike and I like that fact; I like seeing different people, I like seeing diversity, I like learning of people's backgrounds and who they are and where they're from and what they believe in and it brings ache to my heart when I see those who can't see the beauty in that, who only want their one race, one nation, supreme race bullshit. We are one nation, and, yes, we are not perfect, and we have little to nothing in common but we're all Americans and we are one people.

So to all those who feel that I'm some wetback piece of trash: FUCK YOU!! I'm just as American as you, and if you can't see that then take your head out of your ass, stop chasing either your pig or your sister to fuck and open your eyes you ignorant, closed minded assholes!!!

Teach the next generation that to hate is to spit on everything this nation was formed on; teach them to love one another and that no one deserves to be judged for being different. Teach them that racism is a poison that destroys lives and as we enter a new millennium let's not be at each others throats. We can do more united then apart....

So I'm done for this week. As always don't be shy on your two cents, and remember: STAY TRUE, STAY YOU.

I'm Brian and I'm out of here.



February 10, 2006

And All That Could Have Been

And All That Could Have Been (Still)

Breeze still carries the sound,
Maybe i'll disappear.
Tracks will fade in the snow,
You won't find me here.

Ice is starting to form,
Ending what had begun.
I am locked in my head,
With what i've done.
I know you tried to rescue me,
Didn't let anyone get in.
Left with a trace of all that was,
And all that could have been

Please take this and run far away,
Far away from me
I am tainted
The two of us
Were never meant to be.
All these pieces....
And promises and left behinds,
If only i could see
In my nothing
You meant everything
Everything to me

Gone, Fading, Everything
And all that could have been. That could have been

Please take this and run far away,
Far as you can see
I am tainted
And happiness and peace of mind were never meant for me.
All these pieces
And promises and left behinds
If only I could see
In my nothing
You meant everything
Everything to me

I had something orginally planned but it fell apart as I was typing and i just felt like taking this week in a different direction, Don't ever be surprised if I do things like this from time to time. A good friend reminded me that the world will never fit me into a box, it will never keep me in control. i will grow and I will evolve as we all do and will in time.

I am a flawed man and I give more of myself in this column than you can imagine. It's not about pride and it's not about bringing everyone down with me, it's really to show the importance of being there for one another. I admit there are times where I still hurt, some of this hurt are the demons and sins my father could never face and eventually it consumed the better parts of him, some of this hurt is from my own experiences growing up, but this hurt is here and I am here and in the end only one of us will remain. I see depression as a venom in my heart and soul, a venom which exploits any negative feelings in me and makes me feel like i'm nothing, there have been many times I find myself wondering if the fates put me in this to prepare me for something or if I just have to be the one in a few billion who just hurts. But I share this with you:

I was recently given praise by a friend for being able to express these thoughts and feelings. She had mentioned that she too had her share of hurt over time and always wanted to express her feelings but couldn't; but she can: by telling me, it's proof that she can share and open up, there in lies my point.... if one person opens up and shares his demons with the world, then the demons don't have as great a hold as they did before and soon others begin sharing and eventually we learn to overcome the insecurities together and we begin thinking for ourselves and we learn to grow and find our purpose in life.

Pills, god, counseling, they never helped like this does. I feel free here and as if I'm slowly gaining everything I could ever want by just bearing my soul..... I know it sounds silly but it's what I feel.

My father couldn't handle becoming a father, he couldn't handle growing up, he loved life and he loved women even more, and for loving more than he could he became a father more times then I can count, but the official number is at six. He spent at most two years which each of us but eventually moved on. We only hear of each other as rumors, sometimes as living skeletons. I swore on everything in me that I would never become that man, and to this date I've stayed true to that oath. He lives in a trailer park in Arizona now, just a shell of who he was. I looked into his eyes and felt sorry that he couldn't beat his demons...... So, you see, to beat my demons has serious significance to me. I love him and I hate him and I pity him and I want to save him and I realize no matter what, I can't..... That's why I try to be the hero; that's why I give more of myself than needed. I just want to do the right thing but this doubt, fear, I know these hold me back, and I still push on through, I refuse to fail and I won't. So maybe I'm crazy for caring, maybe I'm not.......... Time will tell

I'm living my life and not letting the venom slow me down, so don't let it slow you down.

Thank You and until next time,


February 03, 2006

Echoes: Gay Marriage

Responses Posted on Febuary 2, 2006:

Comment submitted by Tessa:

Wow!!! Brian you are so beyond your 21 years of age. You are so brave to be able to come out and say how you feel. Someday you will make a woman the happiest woman on earth. If you continue to allow yourself to be so open all it is going to take is for someone as open as you are the biggest key to walk beside you in your journey. I wish I could be as open as you. I have had to deal with a lot of stuff in my life and I am not very good at handling stress. I am too emotional and get my feelings hurt very easily. DON'T EVER CHANGE!!!!

Reply from Brian:

I honestly feel like I'm 40 but all jokes aside it isn't easy opening up and putting yourself out there for the world to read, but I do it, and usually I'm scared. I'm scared that I'm revealing too much or not enough, I'm scared that by telling people my demons that I'll lose them as friends or that they just could never look at me the same............ It's those fears and insecurities that prevent me from doing many "normal" things, but I realize that actually talking about it and sharing it with everyone alleviates those fears and the insecurities.......

As for dealing with the stress and emotions it's not impossible to deal with them, try redirecting them by taking up a hobby or like me try your hand into writing, listening or playing music, and working out....... or if all else fails...... masterbate........

Question submitted by Jaime:

You said that you've recently had the urge to write again, will you be sharing your latest creations here or on the Brian factor ????

Reply from Brian:

Perhaps..... just not right away, any recent urge to write is mainly for A.B.T. (see last echos for more info on A.B.T.) so it wouldn't sound right unless I had the music to support it's emotional foundation. but I never say never..... so again............. perhaps.

Comment submitted by Free Dominguez:

we have the power of the peaceful warrior through our thoughts and words. :) have an awesome rest of your weekend!


Reply from Brian:

Too true. Now it's my turn to say thank you for your kind words and support. It's really an honor to me knowing you take the time to read your fan mail. You are a true soul and I wish you all the best....... Plus I hear your album kicks ass. I'll have to check it out.

Comment from Marie:

I guess there are two main arguments against homosexuality: it's "unnatural", and it is verboten by God.

Well, for the first one, same-sex pairings have been found in numerous animal speies. And since animals don't have the capabilities of reason and morality, they are simply following their natural instincts. Instincts which could be said to have been given by God. So, it seems like a pretty natural phenomenon to me.

The second argument has the premise that the anti-homosexual statements written in the Bible are the true words of God. My first rebuttal: the Bible was obviously written by humans, divinely inspired or not, and humans are (by definition) imperfect beings. Second: the scriptures have been translated and retranslated over centuries. How can a logical person believe that what the Bible says and means is exactly the same as what it originally said and meant, when the phrase "Polly saw a polliwog" morphs into "Bob likes linguini and balloons" in a game of Telephone?

Thirdly, if God is an all-powerful being, then why does he allow people to be homosexual? Does he just hand out this "affliction" like Lupis, Autism, and big noses? For that matter, why does God aloow child molesters to be born and admitted into the clergy? Or allow sociopathic idiots to attain positions of power? Seems to me that genetic, emotional, and personality disorders are too various and random to be doled out by the Hand of God.

I, personally, don't buy the whole religious argument against homosexuality. And, unfortunately, the debate over same-sex marriage cannot remain secular because of the Christian fundies running the government.

Look, government guys, I understand that because of the benefits that legal marriage provides, I understand that there should be some limitations. A guy shouldn't be able to marry a sheep for the purpose of insurance or inheritance. (Not that that makes any sense, unless the sheep is financially independent, but whatever.) (And what the hell is up with Mormon polygamy? How do their benefits work?) But I can't understand why two people, regardless of gender, shouldn't be able to make a legal commitment for their mutual benefit. Especially if they are monogamous and committed.

If you want to focus on the problems of secular marriage, why not focus your efforts on the phenomenon of serial monogamy? From what I've learned, it seems like kids whose parents have divorced and remarried numerous times are a lot more screwed up than kids who have been raised in a stable two-parent household, regardless of hetero- or homosexual parents.

Response from Brian:

I agree with you, there's too much gray area and people with power will often will interpet what they want and impose their beliefs on others. That's why we try to change the world.

And now it's time for....
Brian's Top Ten !!!!!!!

As always in no particular order:

1. "Metro"- System Of A Down: I love System, and this cover of Berlin's classic hit really is just awesome.

2. "Darkness"- Peter Gabriel: on a whim I decided to check out the "Up" album and I was blown away by the first track. It's so dark, but pure, and it reaches points where I'm just caught up in the song and I'm stuck there from beginning to end....

3. "Red Tape"- Agent Provocateur: early 90's industrial, truly inspirational, it's one of those songs where you're surprised that they weren't bigger than what they were.

4. "Home"- Nine Inch Nails: I found this track on the Japanese import of "With Teeth" which is a haunting, melodic revisit to the "Still" album. It brings back both good and bad memories.

5. "I Grieve"- Peter Gabriel: Four tracks later I found this incredible song on the same album. Just hearing it is an uncanny description of what we deal with when we're saying goodbye to a loved one who's passed and the winding road we face as we move from grief to understanding it all to remembering how important the value of life really is. I hit the replay button at least four times and was still so emotionally moved.

6. "The Undertaker" (Renholder Mix)- Puscifer: Truly dark and reminds me of what I was feeling when I broke up with my girlfriend. Well, mainly the lyric: "Thank you for making me feel like I am guilty, making it easy to murder your sweet memory." What?? Back then I was a little hostile towards her for a month.... It's since past.

7. "The Old Man Down The Road"- John Fogerty: Can't I branch out from industrial to a little Southern rock once in a while? Yes I can. Hey, in my family growing up I was listening to CCR, Skynard, getting my hillbilly on; it brings back childhood memories: sitting on the porch listening to rock with my uncles as they were chilling with their mullets, drinking some beers, grilling beer-soaked steaks, beer-soaked chicken (both with a hint of lime) and back then there was only one way to prepare it... burnt. Ah memories.

8. "The Devil Went Down To Georgia"- Charlie Daniels: What????? I got back into my Southern roots this week, couldn't help it.... Truly a classic song.

9. " La Grange"- ZZ Top: Need I say why??? After hearing this I was in the mood to drink a six pack and kick someone's ass.

10." Free Bird"- Lynard Skynard: I'm not even going to start on why this is even on my top ten. It just is... too classic; too true to the roots of rock, so it's here and don't be surprised if it returns to the top ten again soon!