Resisting The Bum Doubts

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 4 Aug 2023

"Hipness is death to the individual, and
only the individual is truly hip."
Pablo Smog


I feel the need to add a caveat to my last article.  It's going to sound "negative," but it's only negative if it isn't true.  If it isn't true, there's nothing to worry about except nuclear war, artificial intelligence, and economic collapse.  If it is true, we're in serious trouble. 

Sparrows of Resistance implies that all we have to do is go on a hunger strike with Bobby Sands while jamming to some Calypso music in the parking lot of a Jason Aldean show, en masse, and we'll be able to turn the course of history around.  Maybe even save Western civilization in the process.  

This is not what I really believe.

The article isn't disingenuous; I meant every word, but I meant it for the individual.  The article was fun to write, listening to Black Stalin on a loop, but I didn't really write it for THE ENTIRE WESTERN WORLD.  I wrote it for me, which is to say, you.  Just you.  I wrote it for you.


"Songs with the most widespread appeal
are written for an audience of one."
An Audience of One (you are the world)


You.  Meaning me.  Certainly not them.  Nevermind "them."  There is real hope for you, and me, but "they" aren't going to make it.  If you unleash the sparrows of resistance in your soul, you might make it out.  So will I.  Unfortunately, "they" don't have a chance.

It's sad and hard to watch.


50, 100, 1000 years ago, yeah, we probably could have changed the world.  We might have ended slavery, circumnavigated the globe in a circus tent, or invented Rock 'n Roll.  In the past, we could have "made" history, like making a birthday cake, and we probably would have.  But it's too late for that now.  If the only sinful species on earth was ever going to "make the world a better place" by denying the fundamental, obvious fact of this sin nature, while simultaneously taking every opportunity to demonstrate it, we'd have done it by now.  But history, like a birthday present, has been wrapped up.  It is sitting next to the half-eaten cake of the apocalypse, waiting to be opened.  The sulfurous candles have been lit, and the names from the Book of Life have all been written in decorative frosting across the top.  Has your name been written in frosting on the eternal birthday cake of life?  The "gift" of hell itself has already been chosen.  It is sitting there on the table, wrapped in flames that look like festive paper.  The pattern is falsely joyous, yet destructive.  All that remains for the "gift" is for it to be revealed.

So, I want to add this caveat before I continue.  The rest of this article is not for people who are afraid of considering the possibility that they're wrong, or that there is no longer any hope in this world.  Perhaps there never was.  The silver lining is that when everything goes to hell, we have a better chance of putting our faith in something worthwhile (God).  Broken things that fall apart are difficult to believe in.  Whether it's your heart, your family, your friends, or your entire culture, once it breaks, there is a sense of being "liberated" from the curse of putting your faith in it.  If it was broken anyway, it was only going to lead you to perdition.  Perhaps the only way to the proverbial white pill is through the black pill, not away from it.


“He that findeth his life shall lose it:
and he that loseth his life for
my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 10:39


Of course, there's always hope for the individual.  No matter what happens or how bad it gets, every single person always has a chance.  De-colonizing your heart, soul, and mind by switching from mainstream alternative Country music to Calypso, even if only for an hour, is enough to break the bars down.  But it will only work on you.  "They" are never going to listen.  In all likelihood, "they" are in your way.  Not in a social sense.  We all get cut off in traffic and have to stand in line.  NOBODY is really "in your way" in that sense.  We're all here, and we all have to deal with it.  But spiritually, "they" are (in all likelihood) a 2000-foot fence made of razor blades and broken glass, surrounded by dogs and electric alligators with tazers for teeth that shock you as they maul you to death.  The pain they inflict is unbearable.  If you can bear it, you've never experienced it.  If you think you can bear it, or that "you have no enemies here," because you have placed your faith in a naïve belief in the goodness of man, like a suicidal ass, remember what Red said.  No enemies, eh?  "Wait awhile."

You can always take the John Hurt in Midnight Express route, and dope yourself up on false "optimism," so that you can have faith in the bars.  But don't forget, the only reason you have chosen (chosen) to have faith in the walls, is because they appear insurmountable, and you have settled for the compromise of institutionalization.  You don't think escape is possible, so you find yourself as a prisoner.  And indeed, if you've been given a life sentence in the correctional institution of life, your time is perhaps more enjoyably spent getting high on the heroin of false optimism, than in making an attempt to embrace the reality of your imprisonment and actually escape the desperate need for "optimism" altogether.

Perhaps the only way to the proverbial white pill, the only true white pill, is through the black pill, not away from it.

Of course, you can't break out unless you believe you're worthy of being broken out, which requires some level of positive thinking, to be sure.  Just don't make the rookie mistake of wasting that necessary faith on unreliable, insubstantial things of no intrinsic value, such as the integrity and honesty of the other prisoners.  Never allow yourself to think that the caged bird doesn't hate your guts.  Undeniably, he does.

"Faced with a free (read: hopeful) specimen, caged birds
will murder the free to retain the integrity of their
nonexistent souls. I wrote the line years ago,
'I know why the caged bird hates your guts.'
Because I do."
Choose Your Madness


Misplaced optimism is the dope that keeps you chained to the rotten floor of your cell.  You will never break out if you can't even acknowledge the fact that you're in prison.  Hoping you're not in prison doesn't liberate you.  Not believing you're not in prison gets you less than nowhere; in fact it handicaps you and sets you back.  It doesn't matter what you believe; it only matters what is true.  "Your" truth has no jurisdiction over reality, in spite of what the self-deceived acolytes of the false "your truth" faith pretend to claim, or would like to "believe."  We are either enslaved (to sin), or we are not.  It doesn't matter what anyone "believes" about it.  Excluding no one.

It's going to be a hard crash, when the illusions fall apart.  Is it possible I'm the "caged bird" unwittingly mentioned in the excerpt from my own article quoted above?  Is it possible I am now the caged bird who revels in murdering the "free birds" to preserve the integrity of my non-existent soul?  YES.  It's possible.  Is it also possible that the "hope" I'm reading into the word "free" isn't gone, but has been re-routed?  Diverted away from the world and the self, and toward something else?  Toward the only thing, perhaps, worthy of this hope (read: faith), in the first place?

Of course it is.


And anyway, if you do manage to break out, who do you take with you?  Everybody?  Does everyone come with you?  Who ever makes it out, except for a small, select few at the most?  Whether it's Shawshank, Alcatraz, or a prison in Turkey, the entire population of the prison NEVER breaks out.  And in the case of the Midnight Express guy, it was dumb luck.  Assuming the movie doesn't embellish reality too much.  I really don't know.

I guess everybody made it out of jail at the same time in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  Abraham Lincoln, So-crates, et al., made it out of jail all at once.  They even rode to San Dimas High School crammed into a station wagon together, to deliver their final presentation.  Remember Joan of Arc in her chain-mail leotard, dominating the exercise class?  Those 80s documentaries were full of hope.  Anyone who can't see how far we've fallen.... who doesn't see how Kid Rock blowing away a case of beer while listening to Jason Aldean is not only no reason to have hope, but in fact hardcore scientific and artistical proof of our overall decline, needs to go for a Slurpee at the Circle K right now, and hang out in the parking lot until George Carlin appears in a telephone booth, to transport you back to a time when Michael J. Fox could still walk normally, God bless him.  It's going to suck to see him go.  Assuming I'm or we'm're still here.  Which I don't.  I plan (hope) to be out of here any day now.

So, now that we're in the high-occupancy vehicle lane enroute from Bill & Ted to Children of Men, hauling ass in a zombie-proof station wagon driven by a family of power-napping child-sniffers, what do we do?  If the family station wagon has been converted into an electric apocalypse tank that spontaneously explodes if you expose it to too much sunlight, and the mall is no longer a place to meet chicks, but is now a zombie-proof bunker full of of sporting goods and housewares.... if Napoleon's tyranny has extended beyond the ice cream parlor and now exists in the tortured, CGI mind of The Joker...

What do we (you or me) do?

Write "Pablo Smog Lives" on the wall, of course.  For him.  For her.  For you.  Meaning me.  Meaning you.  Certainly not for "the people."  The people are wasted.  They have tested positive for false positives.  They have chosen death.  Or rather, they've allowed death to be chosen for them.  They subcontract their dreams from Raytheon, and make their preferred method of achieving orgasm a cornerstone of who they are.  As supposedly-enlightened beings of infinite love, they bask like reheated sandwiches under a spiritual black light, relegated like yesterday's hot dogs to the greasy, unwashed sauna section of the eternal convenience store.  Theirs is a synthetic, radioactive light.  Humid, green, and weak.  They would like to be machines.  They are more human Boeing than being.  They aren't going to make it.  Are they dumb?  Or is it thumb?  Th'umb.  They're numb, dumb, and full of synthetic Chinese gutter rum.  Bummed-out and th'umb.  They used to say DIY or DIE, which is a Gen-X way of saying, "live free or die," and now all they do is talk about "community."  "Look at how beautiful these bars are.  We sure do need each other.  Institutionalization is a helluva drug.  Isn't co-dependence great?"

What a cop-out.  I have my bum doubts, but I will not be bummed-out.  Resist the bum doubts.

Maintain your healthy, real doubts, while resisting the bum doubts.

It's only negative if it isn't true.

I'm talking to myself, y'know.

Thanks for listening.



More Reading:


The Bible is the Truth (read it!)

Invisible Manifesto For A Rising Outlaw Nation (Take 2)

The Codependence of Community (DIY or DIE)

Declaration of Cultural Autocracy

Choose Your Madness

"Your Truth" is a Lie

GPS Down

The Fire Will Burn Your Laughter Away

An Audience of One (You Are The World)

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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