Page 1

i


ii


LI(V)ES

iii


iv


v


COLOPHON

This first run of Li(v)es handbuilt by Corbin Zahrt http://corbin.design

Is the third publication he has prepared for distribution.

This first run of Li(v)es is not intended for general distribution.

It is reproduced in an edition of 3 copies of which this is No.

The Lie We Live Š Spencer Cathcart

Design & Photographs Š 2016 Corbin Zahrt

vi


vii


viii


DESIGNERS INTRODUCTION

Negatives, in this publication, are raw memory. They are remnants of a part of our lives which we only vaguely recall, but when seen as these negatives allow us to see, the circumstances of that reality they recorded come surging back. The reality of age. The loss of artless sincerity and childlike awe at the world are bitterly felt. The sharpness of that feeling of loss forces introspection. Why and where does life spoil? Is this spoilage something inevitable? An inescapable outcome prescribed by our genes? Could it be that at some point the fight for simple survival in this society demands so much of our time and thought, that the spark within us that was so vibrant as children suffocates? Negatives are pieces of time preserved on film. They are included to induce the pang of loss and the reality of age and death. They are included to force introspection. The book asks the reader to contemplate the possibility that this loss is not the simple and inevitable result of age, but of the economic system we must endure.

ix


PART ONE

THE LIE WE LIVE

1


2


I MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU I MISS YOU I MIS YOU I MISS YOU I MISS YOU MISS YOU THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

3 THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE


SS UI SS UI SS UI SS UI SS UI SS UI

E

ach day we wake up in the same room and follow the same path, to live the same day as yesterday. Yet at one time each day was a new adventure. Along the way something changed. Before our days were timeless, now our days are scheduled. Is this what it means to be grown up? To be free? But are we really free?

4


THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

5


6

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS THINGS ARE ARE NOT NOT AS AS THEY THEY MUST MUST BE BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE


7 THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE


8


FO LA WAT The very elements

we need to

9


OD ND TER

o survive

are owned by corporations.

10


There’s no food for us on trees, no freshwater in streams, no land to build a home. If you try and take what the Earth provides you’ll be locked away.

11


So we obey their rules.

12


13

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

Our children take our place in the game.

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

Until a day comes when we are too old to do our job. It is here we are left to die.

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

‌S

o we work and work, left with no time to live the life we work for.


14

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE


THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

I I M

SS

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

OU

I

O S Y

U

MI

I M

I I M

S MI

U

S Y

I I M

U

OU

SS

O S Y IS

YO SS

YO SS

U

I M

Y

I I M

U

I I M OU

I M

YO SS

I M

S IS

O S Y IS

U

S IS

YO

I

Y

SS

U

U

OU

I

YO

S MI

U

I I M

S MI

I I M

I I M

SS

O S Y

S Y

U

SS OU

U YO

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

15

I I M U

I I M

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

YO SS

I I M

SS

YO SS I I M

THIS SORE TRAVAIL HATH GOD GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MAN TO BE EXERCISED THEREWITH.

I I M

U YO

YO SS

YO SS

I

U

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

SS

U YO

U

SS

U

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

I

O S Y

U

I

U YO

O S Y

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

S MI

YO SS I I M

I I M

S MI

U

SS

U YO I M

U

Y

SS

Y

I I M

S

I I M OU

I M S IS

S IS YO

U

YO

U


OU

SS

U

I

S

omeday the sensation we call life will leave us

16


17


THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE

18 THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY MUST BE


Our bodies will rot, our valuables recollected. Yesterday’s actions are all that remain. Death constantly surrounds us, still it seems so distant from our everyday reality. We live in a world on the verge of collapse. The wars of tomorrow will have no winners.

19


20


To us our path is unique, but together we are nothing more than fuel. The fuel that powers the elite. The elite who hide behind the logos of corporations. This is their world. And their most valuable resource is not in the ground. It is us.

21


We build their cities, we run their machines, we fight their wars. After all, money isn’t what drives them. It’s power. Money is simply the tool they use to control us. Worthless pieces of paper we depend on to feed us, move us, entertain us.

22


23


I

f we all look at our innermost desire, we will see our dreams are not so different.

We share a common goal. Happiness.

24


Presidential elections might as well be a coin toss. It’s two sides of the same coin. We choose which face we want and the illusion of choice, of change is created. But the world remains the same. We fail to realize the politicians don’t serve us; they serve those who fund them into power.

We need leaders, not politicians. But in this world of followers, we have forgotten to lead ourselves. Stop waiting for change and be the change you want to see. We didn’t get to this point by sitting on our asses. The human race survived not because we are fastest or the strongest, but because we worked together.

We have mastered the act of killing. Now let’s master the joy of living.

25


Spencer Cathcart

26


PART TWO

I N T E RV I E W W I T H G R AC I E Z A H RT

27


28


because at the time I was living with her. I just really floated around, lost—for many years. Making bad choices. Nothing too dramatically bad, but they definitely weren’t the right choices.

corbin zahrt

So the first question: Tell me about your background a bit. Your family, so on. gracie zahrt

I went to college for a little bit. My mom wanted me to go to college, but I was just not in a good place. I went, but I dropped out. Worst decision I’ve EVER made. Hands down. What was I thinking? I was 22! I lived right by the college.

I grew up in Reno with two older brothers & a single mom. My dad lived in Sacramento. We saw him on birthdays. He was, there, you know. Just regular lower middle class: food on the table, roof over our heads, clothing, everything we needed. We weren’t traveling to Hawaii every summer, but we had everything we needed.

I guess I was really into the punk rock scene. The mentality of it all: I don’t need your school, I’m not going to work for you. Now I’m in my thirties, & I realize there aren’t many options other than those things in this society.

Mom, was a single mom. Can you imagine raising three kids on your own? I’m terrified to raise one, with my husband let alone three on my own—I can’t even imagine. My mom passed away when I was 18 from cancer. I just moved in with my brother

29

cz

That brings me to my next question: what do you currently do for a living?


cz gz

Right now, I’m serving tables & going to school. I’m finishing my college education. I substitute teach for supplemental income. It’s good for getting experience as well.

I definitely think it’s something that people who care about other human beings must do. gz

I definitely want to make a difference in the world, & I think it’s a way I can have an effect on the world.

cz

I love teachers gz

They’re pretty important. I mean, some people appreciate them. They certainly don’t get the compensation they deserve. cz

I wonder what that’s all about. gz

I know! It’s appalling! They sometimes might get alright compensation, but more often then not, they’re treated terribly. Sometimes I ask myself, “do I really want to do this?”

cz

I definitely think teaching is a strong way to shape the world. Everyone has a teacher that really impacted them—that change the trajectory of their lives. It’s a great way to shape people—even though it is oftentimes a thankless job. gz

Pros & cons. Currently I have a very easy lifestyle. I’ve been waiting tables for a long time, & I make decent

30


money. Not a lot, but enough to survive. I also have been enjoying the flexible schedule.

gz

I think it’s both. I think it is also a cultural thing. There are so many expectations on parents these days. I read an article just the other day called, “You Don’t Have to Make Every Moment of Your Child’s Childhood Magical” because it’s inherently magical. I think the time thing is very important. Everyone, with the exception of the elite. I mean most people when they get home from their 8 hour+ jobs, they’re completely exhausted.

cz

I’m sure you rake in all the tips. gz

It’s OK. It’s not that much, just enough to get by, & a small amount for fun things. It’s not a career. It’s not a job that let’s you put aside money for retirement or save the future. You don’t get health insurance. cz

Earlier we were talking about how you came from a family of three kids. You mentioned how difficult it would be today to raise just one. Is that an economic thing? A time thing?

31

cz

I think it’s growing worse. The 40 hour week has become something of a dream. gz

Totally! My husband works 40+. I definitely think a big part of is the time issue.


then going home & cooking organic pasta dinners.

cz

It seems like it’s a cultural double bind, two conflicting demands which are mutually exclusive. “Make every second of your child’s lives magical! But also give every free second to your job to keep up.

cz

It doesn’t sound fun There’s been a huge push since the 70s to suppress wages, so two people working is not enough to provide for a family.

gz

Yes. It’s not like it’s the fifties when women could be housewives. Cooking & cleaning, etc. Today women are expected to be super women & super men. Cooking delicious meals! Throwing lavish birthday parties for two year olds! cz

That’s good! gz

I’m scared for the day when I have to do that. I don’t want to do it. All my girlfriends are moms & working 8 hour days at office jobs,

gz

Yeah, absolutely. You’d think it would be that for two people working really hard, you’d be doing awesome. Two people working 40+ hours a week. You should be doing awesome. cz

Do you think that vacation—time not spent playing catch up—is that something that is currently feasible?

32


the car, work work work, gotta pay that college debt. There’s more out there in the world that I think we were meant to see a little bit of, right?

gz

Yeah, but they wouldn’t want you to think that. Of course it’s feasible. By “they” I mean the elite. I think that free time like that is important for our health, happiness, & even education. That kind of free time allows you to learn about the world & other cultures. Many Americans never get that exposure to that knowledge. cz

Ultimately, I think people get so caught up in the protestant work ethic that they work, work, work their lives away without ever stopping to think that they’ve only got one time to live, & after this there’s death. gz

Right! I saw this great meme that says “you were born to do more than pay bills & die.” I think that’s true! There’s more to life than just buy the TV, buy

33

cz

Right, let’s shift into the second part of this interview. The question is really broad: what’s your idea of happiness. gz

That is a broad question! A lot of things come to my mind. For me, it would be career happiness. Does that make sense? Contentment with my career & also financial security. I think the two are interconnected. I want to be happy in my career because its such a huge part of my life. I want that security so I can be free to do things. To experience life, & to be happy with my job. I hate working for someone else—being beholden to someone else. I’d like to own


my own business, but that is not feasable at all for me right now. cz

You had that great interview with the Canadian National News Network, CBC, & it made me want to ask, what does democratic socialism mean to you?

cz

How does having to pay so much for college affect the trajectory of young people’s future? gz

I really think it’s contributing to the dumbing down of our country. I think our country’s asleep at the wheel, & that’s a part of the reason why. I have a coworker: smart, pretty won’t go to school. “I don’t want the debt. I don’t want 30,000 in debt.” A smart girl with all this potential not accessing that education.

gz

If I had to put it into one sentence: the govenement & society cares for all its people & resources, not just for the wealthiest. Right now, we really only care about the big businesses, the super elite. We’re not talking about just the super poor being ignored. You & me, the middle class, no one is looking out for them—even people above us.

cz

I know someone who took 8 years to go to school because he would load up on classes, leave school after this semester, pay it off, & then go back.

34


gz

cz

I know a girl like that too. She just dropped out because she couldn’t afford it. She’s been in this cycle, which I know she’ll finish, for several years now. How much productive time is that taking out of the economy. Me, I’m afraid to graduate. I almost don’t want to because I don’t want to pay off my loans. Do you have student loans?

I’ve got a quote here: a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they shall never sit in. What do you think of that?

cz

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. gz

Myself & my husband have a hefty payment each month. It keeps us from putting a downpayment on a house, starting a small business. We can’t accumulate the cash & no one would give us a loan with all this debt.

35

gz

I think it’s super true, & I know that this isn’t supposed to be super political, but it sounds like Bernie Sanders. We need older people to be champions for our generation, & younger ones. To help build a soicety that cares about us. Bernie vs. Hilary, I know I wasn’t supposed to be political, but those “trees” are a part of a politcal conversation. A lot of the Hillary supporters are older people, & honestly, we’re mad. They’re not giving us the shade to sit in. They’re not thinking about the student loans were in. They went to school in a time when they could afford it with unskilled labor, & they’re good now. I think it’s a great quote.


cz

cz

Final question: what do you think the future holds for you, your generation, & for your children?

Right. gz

I don’t know what they charge per semester, but I’m sure it’s outrageous. We’re in the middle of a 4 year tution hike. Are you kidding me!? Prices are going up. Obamacare didn’t work. The income disparity is not getting better it’s getting worse. Continuing on that path I don’t see a good future for myself, or my children. We’re a crossroads. Three paths perhaps: Trump it gets much worse, Hillary more of the same—politics as usual. Bernie: it could be a revolution. We’ll have to see. Could be bad, could be good. I’m worried. It’s not looking that great right now.

gz

HOooooooooooOOoooooo.

cz

I know. It’s a big one. gz

Wow. I’m worried about the futuree. I think we’re at a crossroads. We need serious change. If we had a revolution now, we might be able to help our children. I mean, I’m already immersed in student debt, & paying a ridculous amount on healthcare. If we don’t have that revolution, I see the future as pretty bleak. A tough road to hoe. College prices keep going up. They’re not going down. You go to Iowa State right?

cz

I’m concerned.

36


gz

cz

I do think the revolution will happen sometime. If not now, it has to. Before my husband & I ever heard of Bernie we were saying that the revolution will come. Maybe in 50–100 years, but we said it will come. Maybe not now, people are too busy with their football, with their extravagant birthday parties, & Watching keeping up with the Kardasians to think. I think part of that is a function of our social setup—we’re exhuasted.

University is also framed as a trade school now rather than a place to expand & enrich yourself, Not learning how to do a job. gz

Right, UNIVERSity. To be universal. I mean, I think to some extent it still does that, but it is becoming an unttainble dream to go to college. These people who are being locked out aren’t just poor people, but white middle class privileged people. What’s looking like for people in poor urban centers? It must be a completely unattainble goal.

cz

Do you think that is perhaps deliberate? gz

I think it’s possible. Is this all a consiracy to keep us busy in dumb? Are we being led to keep our hands busy so we don;t queation things? Is that why they keep riaing tuition?

37

cz

Something I’ve been talking about with a colleague has been the emergence of complete focus on race, & gender without any mention of class as a tactic to divide people who


share a common interest & a common enemy. The white lower middle class person suffers from neoliberalism just as the impoverished black person in the city suffers. Isn’t intersting that the Hillary campaign pulled out the talk about gender & racism, about ending it without putting forward any feasible plan to imply that Bernie Sanders is a sexist or that supporting him is somehow racist.

cz

It creates enmit y between races indirectly. It’s so easy to inflame racial tensions between white people & black people white by innuedo. A word makes enemies of friends. gz

That might be another intentional tactic. Because if we unite against races & genders, that might not be good for the establishment. Currently we are definetely in our little sects.

gz

The media is constantly talking about “the white vote”, “the black vote”. “It’s a mostly white state, so it doesn’t matter”.

cz

Well those are all the questions that I had planned, is there anything that you’d like to say that you didn’t get to?

38


39

gz

cz

Well, I think that I’d just like to summarize. The society that we live in is inhumane—perhaps that’s a bit too dramatic—but it’s unatural. We were meant to do more than pay bills & die. There’s a contract: we’ll pay your taxes, we’ll get your insurance, we’ll be cogs in your machine, but in return you have to give us something as well. I don’t feel that we’re getting that back. We’re participating in their system, & we’re not getting anything in return. The only peopl who are really benefitting here is the super wealthy. People in other coutries do get meaningful support from their governments. It’s not fair. We’re buying into their system, & we’re not getting anything back. Their not fulfilling their end of the social contract.

I think that’s a perfect place to end. Thank you Gracie, you’ve don a great job! gz

Well I hope so! Thank you!

LI(V)ES  

An emotional argument to persuade readers of the wrongness of our modern organization of society. I use the images of my past, and the image...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you