There is a war on uninhibited humanity and raw first-person perspectives.

There is a war on non-commercial, unmonetized sexuality.

There is a war on unadulterated language that we human beings use when we don’t try to sell products to one another.

Every marketer, every brand, every nonprofit (yes, nonprofits, too), hijack beautiful syllables and turn them into salesman’s weapons.

I am no stranger to this, I have done it many times, and I still do it because I cannot go without food.

But I ache, and I am not ashamed of it. Underneath every LinkedIn profile, there is a person who once wanted to be free.

‘Before the Music Was Stolen’ by Tessa Makes Love (from the album ‘Tessa Fights Robots’)


We are all trapped inside this giant multidirectional abuse network, and the only winning entity is the machine that turns our love into an indifferent and ever-greedy conveyor belt.

We are trapped as long as we agree to do it to each other. In the words of Orwell, “Do it to Julia. Do it to Julia. Not me, Julia. I don’t care what you do to her.”

Here is my very curious tally:

I am a Russian redhead who years ago was questioned by the FBI about being a spy. Such is the luck of Russian redheads! The officers were doing their job after being grossly misled by a vicious ex (who had previously abused me and sought to shut my mouth), and it was eventually resolved, after yours truly spent a month behind bars under the pretext of immigration detention, and paid a small fortune to the lawyers.

I have been scarred by that incident like you have no idea. It took me years to regain my personality. The hefty price I paid for this life experience allowed me to look under the hood and to see many things as they are, with no makeup on. Power abuse, degradation, animal fear, all that. I can’t unsee what I have been through.

But when I tell people about it today, the fearful look in their eyes breaks my heart on a whole different level. It’s the look that says, “Go away, you suspicious Russian. I have no energy to think about whether your words are true or false, but your ethnicity compels me to look the other way.”

And then I wonder, is it how Jews in the early days of the Nazi Germany felt?

Or any group that was arbitrarily downgraded throughout history?

But it goes deeper than that.

The Russian thing is new (kind of). But the contempt for human aliveness and ‘unmoderated content’ has been going on for centuries.

[By the way, why do I feel like I have to apologize for the photo I am using up there? Is it too much? Too intense? Too sexual?]

So they burn witches, they ban words and sounds that are powerful enough to set our hearts free, they punish those who are strongly connected to nature. And if they can’t ban or murder spiritual freedom, they try to starve it out by setting conversational standards so low that anything that is remotely free has to crawl or to bend its head down in order to reach the feeder.

‘Corporate Cannibal’ by Grace Jones


It is about power and money. It is about greed and hunger, and a giant hole in the hearts of those who have made a choice not to deal with the mysterious fragility of human existence. As long as they can trick us into believing that it is the only way, we will keep daydreaming inside the machine while we have some power, and then each of us will become invisible one day, and fall off the wheel.

Let’s talk about how we depend on other people’s subjective free will—and how we try to eliminate that dependency in the modern world. Let’s say, we need something, like fixing a broken book shelf. Ordering a service from a service provider is psychologically less labor-intensive than asking a handy acquaintance for help, especially in a world where everybody is tired, busy, and out for themselves. If you ask another person for help, it creates a situation of volatility, an obligation on your part, and you have to actually interact with a subjective human being who could potentially be unpleasant or invasive. But if you pay somebody, it’s streamlined, they do what you say and they don’t disturb your mojo. It creates a sense of obligation on their part that is secure for you. Commercial, not so warm—but secure. In a way, moving all human interactions into a financial, transactional sphere builds a wall, a psychologically gated community. The process of replacing solutions based on human relationships with financial transactions protects you from the cruel world, assuming you have the $$.

I would argue that realistically, challenging this lukewarm dynamic quickly would be problematic. We have inherited this world just the way it is. We are—yes we are—a bunch of strangers floating around looking for protection from all things dangerous or unpleasant.

But how did we get there? My theory is that in the early days of disconnecting from nature (eliminating a dependency—or so we thought), a few people rooted for a mechanical, algorithmic approach to life. I am guessing, something got broken inside of them in a way that they no longer felt secure in a multidimensional and mysterious world—and so they felt the need to compensate by changing the human element around them to match their internal circuits. By the laws of physics, they had to break everybody else so as not to feel inferior.

I imagine that the innovators of the human condition were excited, too—self-expression feels good, and forcing one’s will upon others can be thrilling.

That said, the question that keeps me up at night is why the rest of the community went for it when it happened for the very first time. Was it a combination of violence, corruption, and curiosity?

Violence and corruption are still around. And the ones who are broken the most, burn witches, ban words and sounds that are powerful enough to set our hearts free, and attack those who are strongly connected to nature.

Being disconnected from one’s purpose is hard—and in order to mask the discomfort of living like orphans, we make a lot of noise. This way, we are too busy to think about anything existential.

I guess in my case, being a Russian redhead in America in 2019, makes things weird. I’ve already seen under the hood, now I am forced to look there again even though I didn’t ask for it, and yikes.

I object to burning the witches.

I object to violence against our right to spiritual freedom.

I do.

Tessa Lena. Body painting and photo by Derrick Little
Tessa Lena. Body painting and photo by Derrick Little

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