Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Sum Totals of Plot

To Lessons Learned, Anonymous replies:
Somebody, somewhere, 'calculated' that there are only up to 36 total story lines/basic plots to be found in any culture, any literature ever. Maybe that's all we got. Now what?
...which is a far better setup to the relevant issue than this one's aforementioned whining, or this one's list of hypothetical plots from aforementioned post. And because it's a far better setup, it segues us to where we should've been headed to begin with: faith-based belief or disbelief in creativity, and the utility thereof (I see what you did there).

Anonymous' point, "Now what?" is of the penultimate pertinence; it foregones the conclusion by assuming that there are only, oh, 36, or 5, or a hundred million, plots. And to some extent--an extent of only marginal utility--the conclusion is accurate, as a result of the versatility of language. There is, of course, only one plot: "Something happens." This plot applies 100% to all books, except for those blank books about "Sex after 40" that you buy in the airport novelty shop to give to your friend who turned 43 (you forgot about it on her fortieth birthday, when her unwrapping it would've been much funnier for party guests, oh, why couldn't you have flown to Tampa that year?), in which situations the emptiness is itself the plot. Either that, or you argue that there are two possible plots, "Something happens" and "Nothing happens."

Here is where we all groan as this one types the devil is in the details, right? In a sense, but not in the usual sense. Everything here is about what we call "details," so in the instant situation, that saying isn't a cop-out. Copper and beryllium and hydrogen are identical except they're not, because the same building blocks in different arrangements make things that demonstrate that structural detailing is a higher form of existence than mere "existence." Yes, it's a stupidly obvious point that things can be different, but they can also be the same despite an inundation of similar details, which is why retelling Shakespeare's Hamlet against a backdrop of the International Space Empire(sic)'s campaign against Rigel 23 is still just another soulless copy.

So, we're all on the same page, right? Details can both sufficiently differentiate, and merely conceal. All plots can be condensed to the same source, e.g., "Something happens," and yet, within that formula, more perceptive minds can glean value from different kinds of similar happenings.


The destruction of creativity, the industrialization of making things, is deliberate, and evil. People who use linguistic tricks to compartmentalize story--as though it is dazzlingly clever to point out that all people, no matter how different, are made of roughly identical carbon molecules and water; or, that everything on the periodic table is made up of the same electrons, et cetera--are making the argument, by implication, that life is equally worthless. If there's nothing new under the sun, that includes you, your romance, any potential accomplishments you might think you have, and the next million years of history. The only reason the argument works, ironically, is that the details of what they're talking about (make-believe v. real) make the implication "everything is standard" beguiling enough that it can slip past your bullshit detectors and work its tendrils into your sense of self. If someone told you, "Your life has no meaning," you might resist. If someone told you, "All plots have been done before," you're willing to let it slide--even though it's the same message, namely, that you are and always were an existential rerun. Your life is a plot, and you are a character (maybe not the character/plot, but a character/plot). Why live if it's already been done before, and can never be done differently? "Something happens." Why bother?

There's a sense of despair upon hearing that there are only 36 plots, or that Shakespeare or someone else has already written every possible kind of plot, because it hits your subconscious with the implication, "You are not special." Worse, if you are not special, then it means no one else is special, either, which means nothing is special, which means this is all just a giant suffering machine. The medically inclined like to call it "narcissism" when someone wants to be special. In fact, the greatest pain incumbent upon those who face a hypothetical lack of specialness is felt on behalf of everyone else: it's easy to contemplate not being special, so long as something is special, ergo you can step in front of a car to save a child, even if you know that you won't be able to feel warm feelings at the celebratory dinner later on, because you'll be dead. We may gasp and recoil more from a stabby movie than we do from an apocalyptic survival one, but the empathetic despair of all those billions of lost lives and collectively bleak futures sinks in way deeper than merely being killed by a guy in a mask. A person who'd struggle to survive a home invasion will commit suicide over War of the Worlds, because it's not actually about individual survival. We fear a nuclear war that destroys civilization, but leaves us alone with sixty years of freeze dried food and old DVDs, yet we drive across town without particularly thinking about traffic accidents that leave us brain dead.

Anti-plot strategies are a coordinated message of hopelessness. Bad books, movies, and TV shows teach us that nothing is special or lasting, except for temporary sensation, thereby achieving a memetic victory for everdeath. After enough years of crappily strung-together vignettes called "movies," with factorized cliche characters and settings, it's worked--most westerners don't actually expect anything good, and more, they've constricted their standards even more than they have in regards to their elected representatives (sic): they have come to stop believing that anything better is possible. So they mock the idea that new things can exist; they watch more battling robots and bending bikinis, and they actively encourage themselves in the pursuit of mild variations on simple themes. Their intelligentsia discuss how there really is nothing new across the starfield, and the resulting dearth of actual news or actual entertainment becomes a self-justifying cycle of proof that it's all been done before. Blah blah, planned obsolescence, yada yada, what satire used to mean.

Rings of Adversity

How can there be new stories, or good stories, and what differentiates them, in an objective, non-emotional way, from old stories or bad stories?

Start with Lord of the Rings. Frodo faces great adversity and overcomes it. He squeals and runs away from big monsters while manly men defend him. Gondor fights orcs, man against man; Frodo fights Sauron in a metaphysical way, man against man; the fellowship argues about the use of the ring, man against man. There's a big journey and some battles and some cool stuff, but in the end, Frodo wins, the One Ring is destroyed, and Sauron loses.

The basic theme is, "If you try really hard, and don't give up even when things seem overwhelming, you can win." There are a lot of other themes in there, also, so let's get them out in the open for fun before we go on:

1) Tainted goods: if someone is established as evil by an all-powerful and benevolent force, you should not use the evil someone's methods, even in the service of good, because it will always lead back to evil.

2) Pastoral values: simple and/or weak people can accomplish tasks that great people cannot, if they try hard.

3) Playing god: building life like building a tool leads to evil, depersonalizing the life that is created with horrible results.

4) Stupid guards: faceless armies based on subservience rather than personal relationships are easy to trick.

5) Generic friendship: if you have a good buddy, you can accomplish more than you'd be able to on your own.

6) Playing god 2: treating the natural world too much like an exploitable resource results in a natural backlash.

7) Grand pattern/forgiveness: no matter how despicable the scum, it may have a purpose beyond what your interests can currently perceive.

8) Compromise: in the face of destruction, enemies must become friends in order to survive.

9) Power corrupts: people who want power are often bad.

There are hundreds, hundreds upon hundreds, of godawful fantasy novels that think they are written in the same vein as Tolkien. They have all the surface dressing, and they appear the same to plenty of simpletons. They have swords, magic, elves, trolls, lords and ladies, palaces, forbidding swamps, mountains of fire, and despair. They have power-hungry bad guys and idealistic good guys, sword battles, internal languages that bear an uncanny resemblance to Latin or Gaelic or Greek. But they trim down their themes drastically, to "pastoral values" and "power corrupts," with an occasional "generic friendship" or "compromise." It's the same to them, because they never caught much of the meaning in the first place. All they saw was swords, dresses, male bonding, and plucky princesses.

An objective quality is discernible in creations in spite of efforts to relativize them. As in lives and galaxies, things can be created and refined. The endless succession of dunces with spaceships and magic swords may throw in rough incest and live disembowelments in an attempt to capture an illusion of increased development, but the underlying thematic components remain elementary. As a result, even the simple WALL-E for kids is far more advanced than Game of Thrones for adults, even if it has far less graphic violence and no "adult" situations.

How So Quality?

How so quality? Tolkien again: the value of his work is not just in the coolness (if you care) of running around a proto-medieval wonderland casting spells, killing goblins, and waving potentially phallic symbols. That's a part of it, to be sure, like costume design in a play. Yet it is only a superficial one. On its own, it's pulp; it's necessary, but not sufficient, except at very low stages of development. What makes Tolkien far more advanced than most western narratives is its higher degree of thematic truths. Saruman, for example, is a genetic engineer. He creates the Uruk-hai (the bigger, Africanized orcs) in loveless vats in order to achieve unthinking supersoldiers. He breeds for the desired qualities of his offspring, rather than divorcing his flawed mind from the reproductive process, and even though he realizes it is "a ruined, terrible form of life," he is so caught up in his lust for power that he continues.

Now, it is a great lesson to learn that, "If you don't give up, you can achieve positive results against overwhelming odds." It's not that most western creators are saying nothing of value. Rather, they are saying something that is of value to five-year-olds. And they are saying that, and only that, to western adults, who are so stunted that they feel they've learned what there is to know. A little kid can read about Frodo and be inspired to not give up hope even in the toxic valley below the boiling pyramid upon which rests the Eye of Yellen. So too with plenty of dreck about fighting ogres.

What has Tolkien done with his special black orcs? He's levied a strong criticism at the inbred British nobility; he's damned the English for their calculated marriages and deliberate, impartial, unnatural reproduction arrangements. He's criticized the western habit of scientifically breeding dogs, horses, livestock, and crops, and shown how the desire to control the creation of life by limiting change leads to ugly, diseased specimens that ultimately harm us. Decades ahead of his time, he's condemned the scientific future of precognitive eugenics, where we build our own tall, strong, obedient Uruk-hai--and he hid it all within a pretty droll description of elvish history.

That portion of the theme is a timeless wisdom. Someday many years from now, humans may learn that attempting to assemble artificial stellar nurseries results in similar consequences to their long-abandoned program of handpicking baby's appearance. They'll discover that trying to rush the process of matter compression leads to unstable blue or indigo stars that produce unreliable energy streams, then supernova in mere millions of years. The wise among them may use something like Tolkien to advise others of the folly of interfering in such reality-integral natural processes; they'll point out that building a house is one thing, building a living star another. The distinction between forging swords and forging Uruk-hai affirms the results of not properly resolving the unprovable differentiation between matter in possession of different stages of consciousness. (Much more simply put, that can be taken as meaning that our failure to identify what has a soul and what doesn't, and our willingness to try to create souls the way we create swords, leads to disaster.)

This kind of thing is what makes Tolkien's work more intelligent, useful, and valuable than other stories about swords and sorcery. He isn't just using his societies as parables for personal economic vendettas, but rather conveying a timeless moral that goes to the heart of the relationship between humans and creation: our direct limitation of potential during the process of life-creation leads to disaster. That can be applied in any time or culture, from 5,000 B.C. tribal chiefs killing defiant oxen while forcing docile oxen to breed, to 5,000 C.E. space admirals grafting orphans' souls into the endogenic dynamic-response systems on their prize battlecruisers. In either case, the situation turns out steadily worse for all involved, and in either case, the application of the timeless principle could have saved the day.

(What makes Tolkien's fractal analogy "art," rather than "philosophical thought experiment," is that the Uruk-hai experimentation derives from the independent agency of Saruman. Saruman's behavior is perfectly internally consistent within the boundaries of his pseudo-heavenly, pseudo-medieval life experience. He is not, for example (like the antagonists of so many argumentative social-engineering psy-ops "novels"), a cheap Communist transplanted into medieval Europe to prove the modern-day follies of western social services. His behavior is, instead, truly sourced. He doesn't dramatically torture side characters, speak Russian, carry around a copy of the elvish version of Mein Kampf, or even give a long speech at the end where he oversells the benefits of privatizing the genome. Instead, he's realistic, just like an evil wizard building upgraded orcs in that world would be. In the movies, he's given some face time to "tell" his story to the audience, providing an information shortcut, whereas in the books, it's just part of his back story: he wanted dumb, strong soldiers, so he had them magically bred. That internal consistency is what gives him utility to a timeless reader; what makes it extrapolable to the behavior of those evil wizards who actually do want to exert willpower over the bodies in which the next generation is allowed to live life.)

Western Europe created smallpox, and so many other great plagues, because it spent so many years interbreeding the dumbest, fattest, most compliant ungulates, then sleeping near them for warmth and building cuisines designed around a failed set of interbred hormones; east Asia and aboriginal America didn't create those great plagues, because they were feeding off a diverse body of actual living creatures, and being less obsessed with the fucking habits of their livestock. Western Europe built a society around individual possession of wheat, skimming short-term profits off the dying topsoil by raping the Earth with plows and poisons, while east Asia and aboriginal America communally cultivated rotating cycles of a broader variety of crops.

Ten thousand years later, its genomic history backup disc failing to load, the god-players may discover that they have irrevocably divorced themselves from cyclical reproduction. There is neither home nor joy left for the Maiar once they have turned their elves into orcs.


That argument--don't try to build souls or you'll cause great destruction--is an unpleasant one for scientism, so most people prefer not to see it. They just want to see the swords ringing and the Lady Feistalya's breasts made bare, ergo Earth 2014. Yet there, in a seemingly innocuous tale about swords, is the decisive critique of one of the many Great Tragedies. That is why critical thinking, deep reading, and complex narratives are being stifled. If you're stunted, you can own a collection of Peter Jackson DVDs, and just think, "Oooh, adventure and monsters." Or, "Oooh, adventure and monsters, and also perseverance and love and statues."

The thematic elements underlying who does what are what makes there be an infinite number of plots. Any number of heroes may battle monsters, and a few, even, "unnatural monsters," but the fall of Saruman into tube-breeding Uruk-hai is a universal principle that turns Frodo's walk through Mordor into a minor aside (since, if we're learning properly, we've long ago learned the lesson that those who seek to accumulate excessive power end up living in a hellish wasteland surrounded by stupid, vindictive security services). The character of the story line--heroes triumph over evil--changes. From that branch of plot appear two new shoots: (A)(1) heroes face an evil that adopts the power of creation, and (A)(2) heroes face an evil that has not adopted the power of creation. And that splitting, that evolution, makes each new twig, and each new flower, completely different from its predecessor. Perspective changes, verse expands, and the narrative becomes not only more detailed, internally consistent, and enjoyable, but also more useful. So, a 10-year-old reads a Dungeons & Dragons-licensed spinoff work, and learns, "By trying really hard, you can win, even against big monsters," and a teenager reads Tolkien and, hopefully, learns something more.

The malignant nature of limited-plot arguments, though, means that nothing moves beyond that level. If we allow the superficial similarity of "it has spaceships" or "it has people who work in this one place" to lure us into believing it's all the same, then nothing new is ever painted, because color is color. Entertainment corresponds, becoming increasingly simplified in line with the socially acceptable claim that nothing is new, so why bother trying?

No amount of clever verbiage can instill, in Shakespeare, any level of meaning greater than prepubescent lessons, nor make it meaningful as anything more than rambling introductory drivel. "When I'm unhappy, should I quit?" "If people don't like what I like, should I let them control my feelings?" Harry Potter has little to teach except, "blood will out," so it's an objectively terrible piece of somnatic propaganda. Yet because the preschool descriptions of being nice to your friends and working your hardest are included in the theme, it's viewed as positive. Generations of stunted adults see it as a pinnacle, like a bunch of patients in an insane asylum congratulating each other for completing a crayon-by-numbers. By all means, color in that page, but if you find Angels and Demons somewhere other than the "Young Young Adult" section, it's indicative of a major problem. And no, throwing in a few death scenes, sailor talk, or wet vaginas does not automatically turn preschool into doctoral, so put the Hustler away and start figuring out how to color inside the lines.

Ignorant innocents and savvy viles argue that there is nothing new under the sun, and that endlessly recycling primitive lessons about "trying hard" and "being nice" are the ultimate expressions that art can make, but this one knows better. The details of how that is taught--about how we're able to learn to think more deeply about what we're facing here--are built upon foundations of simplicity, but require much more than simplicity itself can offer.

More later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lessons Learned

A hero faces immense adversity, yet comes to a resolution with some positive elements. We learn, "Don't give up. Good things can happen." Good. Very simple, but good.

A hero faces immense adversity, which adversity is made worse by the hero's own troubled relationship with her past. She overcomes her doubts and fears, and comes to a resolution with some positive elements. We learn, "Don't give up. Also, don't give up on ourselves." Good. Very simple, but good.

A hero faces immense adversity which has been caused in part from within her own tribe. She discovers that a small cabal of wicked individuals within the tribe has been perverting its greater principles. Side characters imply that the tribe is systematically flawed, but are proven wrong when the tribe rejoices at the downfall of the cabal. We learn, "The tribe is itself always good, as long as we ferret out the rare bad apple." Bad. Very simple, and very bad.

A group of heroes aggravates itself through personal differences, then puts them aside in service of a greater good. We learn, "You can put aside personal differences in service of a greater good." Good. Very simple, but good.

Okay, now we're past kindergarten. No, let's be generous--we're now in double-digits, as far as age goes. What does the future hold?

A hero has some interesting adventures, and then dies. Other heroes reflect on the death. We learn, "Life is touching." Good. Pretty simple, but good.

A hero has some interesting adventures, is mistreated, and then dies. Other heroes reflect on the mistreatment and on the death. We learn, "Life is touching, and mean people suck." Good. Pretty simple, but good.

A hero wants sex with someone, and either gets it or doesn't get it. Our senses are titillated. Fine. We learn, "Primal instincts can be compelling." Good enough. Pretty simple, but good. We repeat.

A hero wants to solve a crime, and solves it. We learn, "All kinds of people can commit crimes." Okay. We repeat. We learn, "Enough searching always turns up an accurate, verifiable result." We learn, "Suspicious, interrogative people are to be trusted." Incredibly simple. Incredibly terrible.

Okay, now we've just become a teenager. No, let's be generous. We're up to fif-teen. We're an adult made a rightless nonentity by a society that hates youth while pretending to exalt it; that exalts age while pretending to hate it. What does the future hold?

A hero faces immense adversity, yet comes to a resolution with some positive elements, against a backdrop of popular yet incorrect impressions of pastoral feudalism or aboriginally rugged hunting and gathering. We learn, "Don't give up. Good things can happen. Within a certain frame of reference, cultural tolerance is blessedly paramount, while outside that frame, cultural tolerance is a deadly evil." Meh. Sort of simple. Did the Ogobola Tribe really have to eat baby seals and molest captive prepubescents while dancing to hard house remixes inexplicably produced by handmade skin drums and didgeridoos? Was Lord Slothebaum's insistence on turning out the lieutenant for raping the parlor maid really proof that, deep inside, he had the heart and sensibilities of a 21st century Gender Studies postdoc?

A hero explores various facets of a thoroughly detailed space empire with a social, political, and military structure based on a mostly-accurate depiction of a mostly-inaccurate 1950s take on the Roman Empire. He faces immense adversity, yet comes to a resolution with some positive elements. We learn, "Uhh, I guess the consul uniforms they described in those combined seventeen paragraphs in Chapters 13 and 154 were kind of cool, but how could they be losing a war of attrition with the Neo-Amazonian Femicomm Hordes if they could still generate a thousand robotic gladiator-bears every single day?" We gush, "Boy, he must've pulled info from at least three overviews of Rome.

A hero travels a scarred galaxy or planet, encountering isolated societies in various stages of development. Some are too wacky in one way, and are eating themselves alive; others are too wacky in other ways, and are not strong enough to survive in the real world. Hero's journey forces hero to realize that people are fundamentally broken. We learn, "Life sucks. Also, certain social policies are delusional." Meh. The definitive civics.

Now we're formal adults. What does the future hold? Or are we still stuck in kindergarten forever, albeit with more hoplite headgear?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Le Capital & Staged Rebellions

One of Bill Gates' lackeys ghostwrote a response to Thomas Piketty's recent Capital... If you haven't already done this one, Piketty is the ├ęconomiste provocateur who wrote Capital in the Twenty-First Century, indicating that he wanted to make the fame and money he deserved by establishing himself as the latest radical insurrectionist who nonetheless happens to be a wealthy, powerful, tenured French academic. He takes only several hundred pages to reach his staggering conclusion, namely that rich people will get richer and screw over everyone else, and that their offspring will get even richer and screw over everyone else even more. This makes makes Piketty the intellectual heir of Jesus, Buddha, and Marx, and everyone's having lots of fun talking about either how dumb and pinko, or how actually-right, he is.

There are a lot of fun things popping up in this particular world. Firstly, why would anyone consider it important to know what Bill Gates' people think that we should think that Bill Gates thinks about Piketty? That one has the best answer, so we'll do it last. Secondly, why would anyone consider it important to know what Bill Gates thinks about Piketty? That's a fun issue, because it deals with the celebritization of the wealthy. You know: Paris Hilton is famous because she's famous, not because she contributed anything valuable to humanity and/or planet. Lots of people fawn over sports stars, which is several orders of magnitude more intelligent than caring about non-sports rich people--there's still an element of reality in some mental and physical aspects of even American sports competition, such that you can genuinely appreciate the occasional moment of prowess or ingenuity. Being fair to all parties involved, Bill Gates didn't do anything more creative than a mob boss' son. He went to California, got some of grandpa's friends to give him some money to pay some programmers to develop a shitty ripoff of a product designed by programmers working under license from Xerox capital, bribed his way to a market monopoly, and became rich. Any half-intelligent asshole could've accomplished the same thing, if they'd had the right mommy and daddy to get them on the list to the right developers venture meeting, then give them a few million to buy exclusive rights to future royalties on several thousand other peoples' independent ideas. Yet, like the bourgeois of all the western ages, everyone fawns over little Lord Fauntleroy once he's all grown up, sure that, somewhere under all that powder and makeup, he has some non-genetic secret to success. So yes, we ask George Lucas for tips on pitching unsolicited scripts to Hollywood, we read about how Bill Gates fought his way up from the alleys with a can-do attitude, and we ask Warren Buffett how to turn our yearly $32K into our first million, because he's obviously done that before.

Yawn. Earth. Long live the king. Anyhow, thirdly, what in the world could have motivated Piketty, or anyone, to believe that it was necessary to write a book about how rich people will get richer because they're rich? Jesus could at least claim a lack of access to libraries, but really, folks--there's a great controversy over whether or not rich people will get richer? Yes, there's supposed to be such a controversy. The rich people pretend that anyone can get rich, while some of the fawning underclass pretends the same. Everyone who knows how to read Piketty or listen to Cohen, though, has already reached the conclusion that the poor stay poor and the rich get rich. We're not Joe the Plumber or Newt Gingrich here, right? Barring the occasional token lottery winner or slam-dunker, the superficial game has closed doors, and the real game is invitation only, and does not include tokens. Ergo it's staggeringly--truly staggeringly--stupid, at first glance, that anyone would have to write, anytime since the invention of "debt" or "taxes," a book describing how rich people are going to be rich at the expense of poor people.

So why does Piketty write the book? He's a safe outer edge. It's part of the elite's destructive cycle. Every so often, some financially-comfortable theorist is expected to produce a book behind which a peaceful, theoretically-minded set of bourgeois can fret. Like "Hope and Change" for western liberals, or "End Obamacare now" for western conservatives, it's part of a staged rebellion, designed to steer discontent into an ephemeral discussion, away from anything that could cause actual change. Obama and Romney were united in wanting more war, more torture, and more ways to use the police to force hard workers to tithe the priestly class of owners, and if they'd spent their debates cackling and showing their middle fingers to the cameras, promising to steal your money and bomb the world, there's a small chance that some proles might turn their sense of wrongness into the act of pursuing effective change. Similarly, Piketty, like all intelligent economists, knows that you can make your comfortable living through a combination of (1) the right background, and (2) producing convoluted theories that please either the proud bourgeois or the guilty bourgeois. Piketty chose the latter, producing over 600 pages of an argument about how rich people will become richer, whereas the larger group of economists, who made a Romney-like show of criticizing Piketty's book, talk about how anyone can become richer through gumption. Write Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and you give everyone just what they want: an excuse to recycle the same talking points they've been covering their entire bloviating lives, in the context of yet another guy's adapting of the old material, replete with a few updated company and country names. Pressure release valve. Piketty says the obvious so that the other obviousers have something to obvious about. Printing Capital... is like mailing dead fetus pictures to NOW--you know they aren't going to give a shit, and that they've already seen the pictures, but you want to tweak their noses in hopes of getting some predictable attention. Reading Capital... with enjoyment is like looking through your own album of dead fetus pictures, in order to remind yourself just how much you dislike abortion. You already know; you're just getting off again.

Go on, then--write another impassioned plea to The Economist under the belief that the plight of the children will "get through their skulls." That plight is already in there, just like it's already in your skull, and it's not a question of debate. They've all seen the skinny, gut-bloated, maggot-strewn African baby corpses, and they don't give a fuck; more importantly, you know they don't give a fuck, and you know that they will continue not to.

Here are the only two real argumentative positions produced by the past thousand years of economics:

1) Rich people occur because they are better or harder working, or maybe, occasionally, because they got lucky, but were smart enough to jump at the right moment.

2) Rich people occur because they are crony bastards who came up with clever ways to justify receiving the results of others' work, or maybe in extremely rare circumstances because they got lucky.

Stupid people make Argument #1, and even stupider people make Argument #2, because if you understand Argument #2 and aren't holding a pitchfork, you're part of the problem. Piketty uses a little non-abstruse math to liken himself to Einstein (r>g), remaking obvious points about how accumulations of capital will grow larger faster than working scum can "catch up." Duh. Yes, the nobles have a mountain of gold. They grant all permits and license all trades. They toll all roads and tariff every good. They arbitrarily enforce takings clauses, monitor all publications and conversations, and ensure that all public arguments and policy changes occur within a carefully proscribed realm of acceptability. Ergo they will continue to be rich. Wow, Piketty, you wrinkled my brain with that stunner.

Same argument, evolution argument--the situation as we find it is a result of our inherent personal superiority, built into which means our ability to capitalize on those tiny, rather insignificant pieces of luck that we probably created anyway by our own coolness (and which poor/extinct beings lacked, therefore gone). Bill Gates is a #1, and so long as the London School of Economics produces a constant stream of "We are superior," and the occasional outlying radical like Piketty produces a "There might be a tiny problem here which can be peacefully addressed through academic arguments and legislative adjustments," things will continue as they are. It's part of how it works. You have a problem with the movies for all being sequels or comics knockoffs? Well, have a problem with economics, too.

What Bill Gates' people think that we should think about what Bill Gates thinks

Back to Bill. Over the past few thousand years, we've seen a shift in how the antilife elite conceal themselves in plain sight. They pretended to be gods for a while, and they used tribal identity and presumed blood connections; those became considered semi-archaic, so to prevent change, they developed formalized nobility, and to continue preventing change, they made formalized nobility seem archaic, and developed fiscal nobility. It was the same old story--everyone is human, but the gods choose some people to elevate to godhood; everyone is human, but our blood is stronger, and I lead the tribe; everyone is human, but noble blood is superior; everyone is human, but some meritoriously earn godhood through wealth.

As we move through the latter phase of this ongoing process, we're reaching a point of critical mass on our coagulated perceptions that the whole "rich" thing might be less than fair. This means the system needs to create an artificial change, maintaining roughly the same elite bloodlines while appearing to neutralize the problems of the past. In essence, we paganists have begun to figure out that Ra did not actually appoint Pharaoh to get all the women and olives--or at least, that if Ra did do it, he is our enemy. For Earth 2014, that equates to enough people dull-wittedly figuring out, over the course of hundreds of years, that Andrew Carnegie and Sam Walton weren't actually self-starting go-getters with a lot of pluck and determination, but cruel thieves who inherited the spoils of their parents' piracy, and who continued the family tradition of stealing the work product of millions upon millions of other people, leaving death and destruction and, most importantly, unfairness in their wake. "Maybe," we ask, "as billions starve and explode, while a tiny coterie of smiling faces accumulates wealth that could build paradise, there is something wrong."

That's a big step; it really is. "There's something wrong." Wow. Kind of gives you pause. It's like seeing the second picture within the picture, the way the lady's face is really a carefully angled cockroach leg, and once you see it it's really wacky when everyone is admiring the lady and you realize the picture is a trick. Most people have realized there's something a bit buggy about it, and we can argue all day about praying mantises or freemasons, but it really is quite the development--that moment when you can no longer see just the lady, for whatever reason.

What Bill Gates' people think that we should think about what Bill Gates thinks is important, because Bill Gates' people are helping effect the elites' transitional argument: the transition from "rich people are rich because of merit" to "there are no rich people." The same parasite will continue sickening humanity, extracting wealth and stifling progress, but in an even more subtle way. This is going to be the next great battleground. It has taken popular culture over a century to reach even the limited level of understanding that we now have about the relationship between the things we call freedom, democracy, and money. As discontent began to grow with the European aristocracy, and people took several centuries to realize that the "noble blood" argument was a sack of shit, the parasitic elite spawn was able to survive by making the shift more political power being expressly granted to aristocracy. There are still some ceremonial nobilities out there among the world's less intelligent peoples, but formal power has been moved to the "free competition" realm, where "wealthy" people, rather than "nobles" (hint: they're the same people) appear to rule by a more deserved, rational form of virtue.


We discussed earlier transitions of this type in this series, looking in particular here about how charities operate to hide exclusive power in plain sight. Just as the elimination of formal nobility made it plausible for another few hundred years of hell, slaving for the same lazy bastards for different make-believe reasons, the elimination of individual-specific wealth will generate the same, all while making it appear that there is no elite. Remember the greatest trick Satan ever pulled? Elites will use charities to make it seem that they have vanished entirely; that everyone is equal; that, not only are there no nobles, but there is no private wealth whatsoever. There will be so many Chinese walls of governmental agencies, trusts, and business organizations, that it will be extremely difficult for future social critics to even identify that there is a problem.

Elites' transfer away from formal nobility as a justification for power had that same effect, for hundreds of years. Even today, you can find poor people in red states who genuinely believe that powerful people are powerful because they "worked hard" or "were smart." Squealing about Stalin and Mao, they insist that billionaires are a combination of brilliance and luck, and have learned in the Randian style to blame any unfairness they perceive on the poor, who somehow have greater power to repress economies than do billionaires. The elite shift to charity will cause the same effect: in two hundred years, when someone complains that all the best Foundation jobs and benefits go to a tiny subset of people who seem well-connected in other ways, everyone else will accuse the complainer of laziness and sour grapes, sure that the new charitable meritocracy is actually a meritocracy. The same defensive fantasy will be deployed by the wishfully stupid to justify the contrasts: "It's not like these are the days of Trump and Buffett, man! He started out dirt poor, just like us did!"

(If you're inclined to foreshadowing, elites have even more devious things planned to make the charitable phase last longer. Think "Pre Forbes Magazine," where even fewer people know who is really rich and who's just bourgeois. The charitable legal entities that control power will have the extent of their ownership, operations, and C-level control policies concealed behind a veneer of security and personal privacy. Charities themselves will be broken apart into a maze of sub-sub-subdivisions, so that it will become a conspiracy theory to claim that any given fifteen operations, which on the surface conduct completely different kinds of business, are actually descendants of Komen, designed to give the right peoples' kids cushy tax-free executive jobs for life.)

And so, the show went on. Here's an example from Part 6:
Example: in a bad year, Bill has $56 million of income. To avoid paying it to the IRS, he donates it to the Bill Foundation. The Bill Foundation has, as one of its charitable purposes, eliminating stubbed toes in rural China. Bill and thirty of his friends attend a conference near John Hopkins University on the problems of stubbed toes, staying at a nearby Hilton resort, where they host a charity ball for doctors and other donors. Jackson Browne and Jerry Seinfeld are paid to appear and entertain the guests as they eat $200 plates and drink $300 bottles.

Bill and company tour Hollywood, meeting actors, eating out, watching films and shopping while raising awareness about this crucial issue. They end up on a cruise ship that takes them through Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, where they meet with a few local doctors and visit some villages where the children have been afflicted with stubbed toes. The ship moves on to mainland China, where Bill recuperates in the finest hotels, preparing for an important meeting with a local health official. In exchange for promises of donations from the Bill Foundation to local medical clinics, the official makes sure that Bill has plenty of time to get to know the city's ins and outs, make some good contacts, and come home with some really nice memories and souvenirs.
The "charity" is not charity in the sense that the word was once created; rather, it is yet another way that elites have come up with to hide the true extent of their power and coordination from the humans they farm. What we now call charitable operations are simply ways of making elites' pleasurable activities appear selfless, of making deductible the endless vacations and power brokering that elites would be doing anyway to coordinate their strategy. Going to balls for charity; building mansions for charity; traveling the world for charity; eating for charity; socializing for charity; being entertained and educated for charity: patently ridiculous connections, yet as ordinary as a president playing golf while the world burns. This is the same con nobles have been running for a long time, where they would finance wars of European succession, then hold charity balls to raise funds for "our troops"--which proved that they contributed as much to the war effort as those who were shooting and being shot. Of course--ironically, but not admittedly--they were contributing more to the war effort, by establishing wars, albeit not contributing in the way that they were pretending to (risking their bodies in the theoretical physical defense of their country).

(On the potential social utility of rounded educations: remember Jane Austen? Half those country dances the girls were going to were held under the auspices of raising funds for some "cause." But what they really were for was for gentlemen to coordinate the seizure of village commons and the land of independent farmers, the transfer of rural populations into urban workhouses, the ethnic cleansing of the Irish, endless war against the Archduke, and which estates would be blended through marriage. The "cause" for which elites hold galas, for public health or education or social improvement of any kind, is always and every time a cover for what they're really doing. "The humanities" was always better at portraying and predicting human behavior than "economic science" ever was.)

The previously-cited Part 6 goes into more detail about how elites use charities to exempt trillions of dollars of wealth, permanently, from outside control of any kind, and how those charities then serve as private networking for elite families, providing venture capital, lifetimes of profitable employment, and an endless veneer of "giving" and "philanthropy" to what are, in truth, private wealth transfers. Where once the billionaire could be accused of being a billionaire--a great and terrible crime in a world full of hungry, dying people--future billionaires will be paupers...albeit paupers who eat organic cuisine in the Foundation's cafeteria. Paupers who drive Foundation vehicles, live in Foundation condos as part of their "job requirement," travel the world on "Foundation business," influence government as "experts" in the fields the Foundation deals with, receive Foundation health and personal security benefits, and who retire at 40 to Foundation mansions with generous Foundation stipends. Paupers who are attended to daily by Foundation escorts and doctors and nutritionists, and who enjoy private employee lounges filled with everything their department's budget bought for them.

All of the same things that have marked these long Gilded Ages--the disgusting cronyism; the false concern for the plight of the poor; the eerie coordination between social success based upon a shadow network of who your parents were and what kind of education and work experience you had; the harmonious warfare between the lower classes of different nations--all these things will continue as before under the Charity State. And it will be extremely painful to watch the bratty little great grandchildren of all these vile people talking about how they are themselves commoners; about how they are not nobles, or rich persons, merely the part-time employee of a few small nonprofits.

Here is one of Bill Gates' fawning turdlings' insights:
To be clear, when I say that high levels of inequality are a problem, I don’t want to imply that the world is getting worse. In fact, thanks to the rise of the middle class in countries like China, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Thailand, the world as a whole is actually becoming more egalitarian, and that positive global trend is likely to continue.
...and why is "income inequality" going away? Because the elites are hiding their income. It's all still there, but for a variety of reasons (see the Tax Theft series, linked above), it's not being counted as income. It's being written off as business expenses or charitable donations, or countered completely by depreciation and similar counter-income schemes, regime-shopping, simple laundering, or government disregard deals. It may come as a surprise to someone who likes Bill Gates articles, but the drug lords in Mexico are not reporting their actual incomes or accumulated holdings, anymore than Bill Gates is.

Even more importantly, income is not wealth. Wealth is wealth. The argument that "income is wealth" is moronic, particularly when delivered by such a prolific, disgustingly unfair tax-evading starvation monster like Bill Gates' Team, yet effective upon people who think that their "income" is their wealth. (Chomsky fans will note the way that the modern elite are always exceedingly careful to couch wealth-based discussions in terms related to reported net income rather than those related to actual gross assets. This is a sign of deliberate intent to deceive, particularly when employed by people who understand what real power is.)

More from Gates' nameless Rove:
Imagine three types of wealthy people. One guy is putting his capital into building his business. Then there’s a woman who’s giving most of her wealth to charity. A third person is mostly consuming, spending a lot of money on things like a yacht and plane. While it’s true that the wealth of all three people is contributing to inequality, I would argue that the first two are delivering more value to society than the third. I wish Piketty had made this distinction, because it has important policy implications...Take a look at the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans. About half the people on the list are entrepreneurs whose companies did very well (thanks to hard work as well as a lot of luck). Contrary to Piketty’s rentier hypothesis, I don’t see anyone on the list whose ancestors bought a great parcel of land in 1780 and have been accumulating family wealth by collecting rents ever since. In America, that old money is long gone—through instability, inflation, taxes, philanthropy, and spending.
This one was brilliant, albeit in an evil way. You see what [he] did there? With that dumbass example about how a wealthy guy putting money into building his business is delivering value to society, he plumps up the old noblesse oblige--the aristocratic version of trickle-down economics. There are fabulously rich people so evil, and non-fabulously-rich people so daft, that they still say they believe in that, just as there are people who still believe that buying a yacht and a plane is good for the economy because it "creates jobs" (it permits you to work to make nice things for me). Right into the middle of those other two options, the ghostwriter slipped the "giving most of her wealth to charity," which was the main thrust of the deception. Charities are the new rentiers.

Real Charity

Bill Gates isn't even flinging a coin to the beggar on the road to Jericho, and he's certainly not restructuring the edifice. Instead, the malignant piece of shit is sitting in the palace in Jericho being fanned by palm fronds, sipping wine, and building an extravagant, tax-deductible mansion next door where he can meet with people once a week to discuss ways to address the beggar problem...while at the same time donating money to a group of privateers that burns people out of their farms and turns them into beggars, and donating more money to other privateers who capture slave children and teach them how to work in the nearby quarry, mining limestone for his next mansion.

Real charity is no strings attached. A little charity is giving the beggar a coin, medium charity is giving him a home and a donkey, and true charity is giving him investment capital. Bastard usurers don't do that--instead, they give people charity with strings attached, like, "here's a job working for me, from which you can be fired at any time," or "here's a little money for now, and if you keep doing things I like, here's a little more later, and so on." Real charity is a grant of independence and power, to allow someone to achieve something. To afford an education, start a business, or just enjoy some time not living under the whip. With real charity, you don't impose your own will on the person by telling them what to do with your charity. That's not charity: that's employment. It's a patronizing lie. It's allowing someone to be your shoeshine or parlor maid. Charity is not charity unless it's a true separation of the grantor from the grantee, the giver from the receiver. A line of credit; a scholarship; a small business loan; a mortgage and an obligation; a job: these things are business transactions, and acts of subjugation, but not charity.

Bill Gates got venture capital from mommy and daddy's friends, which he was able to somewhat-independently invest in stuff that his people told him IBM would buy, and standardize, so being a lucky little lordling who's never had to walk the rope without a net, you can't blame him for failing to understand what actual independence and initiative is. Naturally, he doesn't know how to give it to other people in return. All his charity works the way his parents' false, loveless charity worked: behave this way in the world, as part of our network, to achieve the success you must have over others in the image of our spirits. And so do all these people work, whether they pass to their children patents of nobility, infusions of cash, or merely connections to family friends' multi-billion-dollar foundation jobs and lifestyles.

If you want to really be charitable, you give the bum the fifty and let him drink himself into a stupor or blow it all at the casino, because charity means respecting the autonomy of a living being, instead of substituting your priorities for his. Over the past century, as the "individually rich" model began to die, elites have changed the definition of the word "charity" in order to mean, not charity, but anything in this deceptively sweet, arscenic-laced fruit:
The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
As you can tell, that list includes anything in the entire world, provided that you are rich enough to pass the test. These requirements expressly exclude influencing legislation, but the big Foundations do nothing but influence legislation. Gates, Pew, MacArthur, Komen: constant presences in mass communication, perception management, voter education, childhood civic mindset-forming.

(Christ-inclined thinkers may wish to take a moment here to reflect upon the effects that state-church meshing has had on the formation and quality of churchianity over the years. By "licensing" churches, the Powers That Be control them through the IRS, just as state-licensed marriage has had predictable effects on church marriage.)

The bum drinking up your fifty example is not pleasant, but if you can't accept the way others live, then let them starve. Structures of control, where we force others to engage in certain behavior, do not produce positive results. You know the whole sensibility relationship between drug homicide, police presence, and improved educational and employment opportunities, right? E.g., spend more on cops and drug homicide rises, spend more on social programs and drug homicide (and dealing and use) drops. It's the same issue the government has pretended not to understand for a hundred years, using property taxes and public schools and cops and welfare to build decaying neighborhood hells full of underclass. So too with the bum--he drinks the fifty because a fifty by itself is nothing. Bill Gates will eventually spend his way through the charade of eliminating malaria, only to leave behind the same ravaged continent filled with ethnic cleansing, starvation, and copper mine tailings the size of Los Angeles (And besides, the Foundation is only using malaria as cover for increased Africom military presence, which has claimed, and will continue to claim, far more lives in the years ahead than malaria could've ever hoped to).

"Teaching a man to fish" feeds him for a long time, but "giving him an educational stipend to receive a bachelor's degree in business administration from a regionally accredited college," or some other shameful farce, is not the same fucking thing. When they make the switch--as they make the switch they're making right now, while expecting us to cheer them for it--do not be fooled by it in the slightest. It is the same old show. The same deathly emptiness is behind their eyes as in those of their noble forebears.

Remember the essentials. Remember the things that truly matter, when we consider power relations, merit, and what constitutes a good society:

1) Who eats, and who goes hungry?

2) Who eats poisoned food and grows sick, and who eats fine, pure food?

3) Who is being killed, and who is not being killed?

4) Who is being struck, and who is not being struck?

5) Who does the work she enjoys when she feels ready to work, and who works only because she must?

6) Who is possessed of many possessions and most certainly to have shelter and sustenance for life, and who faces constant uncertainty about her later years?

7) Who is living in a fine, private palace, and who is living in a very small private space, or has no private space at all?

8) Who may be heard by many whenever she wishes, and who is a tiny voice among a massive crowd?

9) Are there dirty, unsavory, neglected corners of the world, or is the world everywhere lush and clean?

10) May those who wish to leave do so, or is there left nowhere where they may be together or alone?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Futility and Victory

2008 Jews Sans Frontieres made a cute, but quite accurate breakdown of how to make a case for Israel and win; however cutesy, it condenses all 21st century genteel arguments for genocide (sic) under the subheadings:
1. We rock. 2. They suck. 3. You suck. 4. Everything sucks.
It's all the normal stuff bullies use, only more refined for this now. America is the greatest, America is democratic, other countries are not the greatest, other countries are not as democratic, you hate America, go live in a cave in Afghanistan, therefore cluster bomb ten thousand Arabs. As computers said before Bill Gates created bluescreens, "Does not compute." And yet, here we are, centuries after Nero, having the same argument. There are so many layers to every nuance of the multifaceted ways in which we all dance about this latest particular issue of mass murder; hasbara is project management is green energy is shtick. Points 1-3 of the argumentative formula presented above are irrelevant, incorrect, and inappropriate, whether dressed up to be politically correct or not. "Whiteness is superior" becomes "powerful republics connected to central banks are superior," "niggers die" becomes "protect women's rights," and "traitor" stays as "traitor." It's ludicrous to even have an argument with the junior brownshirts about whether the Talmud justifies gunning a bunch of kids into a ditch; the justification of mass exterminations occurring in a global asylum is what makes it an asylum, as though it's reasonable to moderate a debate between a serial killer and the bleeding man he has chained to the wall.

What's most meritorious about the essay, and what distinguishes Gabriel from the bulk of anti-genocide people out there, is the endpoint to which his argument crystallizes: the "everything sucks" qualification, which is indeed the final and necessary refuge of antilife arguments.

Among informed people, for example, you can't argue ("We rock") that 1820 America is a democracy, because slaves and Indians and poor people and women aren't allowed to vote, and because wealthy political parties control the voting process anyway, making the vote an act of conformance to one of a small subset of candidates approved by the monied powers; 2010 Israel, too, fails that same apartheid test, just as attempts to dissemble the issue by citing the behavior of other people ("They suck") fall flat. Some Indian braves scalp people in battle, therefore we'll burn this village; there are public executions in Saudi Arabia, therefore we'll burn that village. The ignorant and the angry can reconcile these tenuous connections into a pro-genocide stance, and as Gabriel says, if that doesn't work, there's always ad hominem, calling someone a traitor to the race or whatnot.

That's all easy, and here we all are watching it happen again, watching another powerful white military exterminate another dark population, even though we have all these fancy scientific global communication devices that will surely put an end to such things once we have more. If only we had faster connections and could IM by thought alone, we'd solve all our problems. Solution: more technology. But put that aside for now; we want to focus on the last point of the argument, to which greedy murderers must always turn: "Everything sucks." Here's Gabriel's quote:
When you're done, there will always be dead-enders insisting that abuse of gays in Iran does not justify ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Take a deep breath, and pull the doomsday weapon: You suck! You're a Jew-hater, Arab-lover, anti-Semite, you're a pinko, a commie, a dreamer, a naive, a self-hater, you have issues, your mother worked for the Nazis, Prince Bandar buys you cookies, you forgot you were responsible for the holocaust, etc. The more the merrier. By the time you end this barrage, only a handful would be left standing. For mopping them up, you use the ultimate postmodern wisdom: Everything sucks.

War, genocide, racism, oppression are everywhere. From the Roma in Italy to the Native-Americans in the U.S., the weak are victimized. Why pick on Israel? It's the way of the world. Look! Right is only in question between equals in power; the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. Ethics, schmethics. Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Eat, drink! Carpe diem! The Palestinians would throw us into the sea if they could. Ha ha!

That's the ultimate argument behind war, to which we are all conditioned by the acceptance of Hobbes and Nietzsche, and the invisible hand(s) of both the financial and genetic marketplaces. Everything sucks, so why bother arguing about it? Of course it's a genocide, but that's the way of the world. Inferior organisms die off, making way for superior organisms.

Down here this one has had my own personal experiences having this exact type of discussion with Zionists, where, after over an hour of reciting how, to protect fragile democracy, the Arabs must go (since Arabs and democracy are incompatible), then yielding gradually to questions of who gets voting rights, the Zionists will admit that Israeli voting policies are bad and unfair, but "that's the way the world goes." "Yes," they'll admit, "apartheid state, but it must be this way, because it always has been this way in human societies, which are all unfair." And then, a week later, they'll have the same argument, in the same way, with the same people, repeating the tropes about "democracy" as though they don't remember having admitted last week that it really was just a land grab occurring between better- and lesser-equipped sets of people in a harsh world. Why they don't just start out with "survival of the fittest," I'd like to say I don't know, but of course I do--the fittest survive by pretending they believe in morals, while still exterminating natives and stealing resources. Only later do they rationalize it as a necessary consequence of a harsh world. Tough western conservatives think liberals are unrealistic wusses for making nice speeches about equality, when the liberals are far more efficient at indirectly starving or atomic-bombing targeted populations. Silly redneck, killing's for Democrats!

It all comes back to market-style evolution. You'd like to blame it on the Fed, maybe, if you're smart. The Fed showed up in 1913 and started the Great War right away, after which tumorous offshoots of the central banks appeared across the world, leading to over a hundred years of endless world war culminating in the newly contemplated conflicts brewing even as you read this. The Fed showed up in 1913, and shortly thereafter the Congress and the Supreme Court had been bribed into acceptance of an income tax, as taxes are necessary to create wars and destroy peoples. It seems to match so perfectly, and now, all roads, even the Pentagon road, lead back to the Fed. Anyone ever asking cui bono passes through the Fed. It's the foundation behind politician, council, and corporation; it's the determinant of social rights, the comptroller of universities and research, the setter of drug and police policy, the demander of wars, the elector of the elect, the prompter of the publisher, and the coder of all computers. It's behind every curtain controlling every single great wizard.

But even the Fed lies merely alongside the yellow brick road; it is not immune from the last time around. The Fed was just the offspring of the Second Bank of the U.S., against the creation of which even Andrew "Childslayer" Jackson fought, and which Bank was the offspring of the First Bank of the U.S., against the creation of which even Thomas "Manowner" Jefferson fought. So no, it's not just Janet "Let the World Starve" Yellen and her cohort of heartless vampires who eat the blame. The Fed had its own managed evolution, springing forth from a country whose creation and genocides were scripted and funded by central banks. The same geosocial composers who popularized the misrepresentations of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin paid for, also, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, all in the ultimate service of exterminating humanity. So all roads lead to the Fed, but once the current Hannibal has been discovered and securely masked, the road leads ever on and on, down from the very door where it began, mmh? And that door--the American front door, with its division of me/you space and readily apparent v. probable cause, waits for us all to go through it, to bow down before a numberless fleet of solar-powered, never-landing, standalone drone terminators whose noses are tatted excepto nam rex.

And enjoy the decline

All these little arguments we have are alternating expressions of life or antilife; of our own inner worries that there is or is not meaning. As the Israel argument example above brings out, we see that there are various stages of circumstantial disagreement we can have. Or the War on Terror or the War on Drugs or any of it. We're playing, primarily, on the surface level, and entities with greater tendency toward "meaning" have a higher rate of correlation to the sensible side of the surface-factual arguments, but those arguments don't really matter, because the people supporting the stupid end of the surface-factual arguments tend to be making those stupid decisions because they are entities with a greater tendency toward "no meaning."

Does Hamas/al Qaeda/ISIS/Boko Haram exist in an independent sense, or is it a creation of MI6/Mossad/CIA doing exactly what it's supposed to do?

Does marijuana/heroin/cocaine threaten the fabric of human society, or are drug laws crafted to control the market by preventing the growth of effective medicines which can be cheaply created by ordinary people who don't hold patents on more complex, dangerous chemicals that need to be artificially developed in expensive labs?

Does a tiny island with a population of weak, pasty, inbred cretins control the literal ground of the entire planet because of its inherently superior intellectual qualities? Do the homegrown leaders of far more powerful places kowtow to the inbred islanders only randomly, without any kind of pre-existing social network designed to coordinate everything they do through the pestilent, camera-littered Bleak Island?

Are brown humans really a savage variety of great ape, or is the nation known as "the United States of America" systematically exterminating them, right now in the open in 2014, a fascist death wonderland where supposedly-gulag-informed citizens aren't willing to resist the police even as Schindler's List plays right in front of their faces? Pick one of those two--there really are no other choices, or did you need to review both needle and street execution rates again?

Obama's Defense works in the pop-evolution world, because given those constraints--the universe devoid of meaning, morals relative, might making right, et cetera--it is the only valid answer. Proscribed diversity is right because it produces cultural vibrancy and efficiency and strength, not because diversity is right, and so forth. All lesser theories spring from this seeming battle between light and dark, Word and Void.

Environmental Foreshadowing

Oceanic coral and plankton die off, protracted nuclear fallout and hard rock mining waste gives everyone autoimmune diseases, and gigantic islands of disposable diapers and plastic bags fill the seas like tumors. Fresh water vanishes, replaced by sickened water that goes to golf courses and carwashes instead of the household filter. All the food is cancer, and everyone's killing each other, and we're busy buying another trillion dollar jet fighter because we like the idea that there might be a real dogfight again after fifty years of zero dogfights. Trying to change anything involves taking on international banking interests that control everything, there are certain plausible aspects of ethnosupremacy that prevent outsider interference in the control of wealth and communication, and everyone's too stupid or beaten down to understand anyway. All that. And again, they're melting the planet and we're all going to die, except certain elites are not going to die, they're going to become technologically immortal. They will finally have everything they ever dreamed, including robots to do all their work with zero percent chance of rebellion, and we'll all be dead so that we stop offending them by our inferiorness. The eugenic paradise will be complete in their robotic pleasure skyscrapers, their floating cities on the moon after the landfill planet has been abandoned.

They're doing it on purpose; it's the only rational conclusion. They have access to more information than you do, and you know that when the ocean dies, food will be a problem, right? So they must know that, so their apparent lack of concern means that they're not just greedy and shortsighted, but actually pure evil, 100% evil, attempting to wipe us all out, including themselves. That's what their timeless body-preservation in sensory pleasure is; it's the gentlest, most pleasant form of suicide they can imagine, perfectly concocted for people who want so badly to believe in Hobbes, Keynes, mass extinctions, and starvation-permissible human societies. Plot Summary, again: antilife is the anti-life; fearful minds seek to end all existence in order to nobly save us all from the pains of living.


I win. Not because of the pain, or the lack of pain, but because the long power is impossible to stop. Victory was guaranteed at first light; victory was already complete.

There's no harm in telling them how and why they've lost, because they already did. In every way, they're trying their best to destroy this planet, this species, and themselves. We can try to shield ourselves from reality by believing, "Oh, Koch and Soros are just trying to maximize their own pleasurable neurological sensations, and that includes knowing they'll have a 'legacy' in human history; they know we can last at least through their lifetimes, so that's why they destroy the world, because they only care about themselves." But they've read about Robespierre, and they saw Jobs die from commoner cancer, and they know all their "loved" ones are just waiting for them to die, and they know almost everyone here loathes them, and they know almost everyone will loathe them more later when memories are reloaded, and they know what it is they're doing, and they want the hell out. But theirs is the long game, which is why they're so very, very far ahead of you. They're willing to think generationally; they're aware that putting an end to this thing that they hate isn't going to be accomplished by even another world war or a major nuclear exchange, but by a slow poisoning that so gradually stills life that life doesn't recognize what's happening to it; doesn't respond to the gravity of the situation because the creep is so slow. So tariff becomes tax becomes probable cause becomes eviction becomes stop and frisk becomes born in prison becomes it's always just been that way.

The Rothschilds financed all sides in the Napoleonic Wars, not because they thought that would actually eliminate Europeans, but because they were making a selfless contribution to a future of eternal death: they were setting up 1812 and Ireland and Ottoman and Boer; they were readying the Confederate States; they were stoking the lusts of the nascent American Empire; they were setting up the permanent war-terror of the 20th century forward, leaving million-year poisons in their wake. The London Metal Exchange matters because nothing is ever fair, and the ultimate genocide isn't meant to be by the bayonet, but by the next iteration of supertoxin. Fantasize not about Ebola--Oh, sorry, were you worrying? Fine, worry not about it--for the future is meant to be blamed on no known cause, and simple infection makes great video games but causes simpletons to actually respond, which we don't want. The supercancers will be blamed on your DNA or the weather or your consumer habits, and there will be no cure except being loaded onto a computer, which will be pricey. So the elite spawn will evacuate to their tower-cities and moonsex resorts.

Stagnating nothings; Tuck Everlastings trapped in the same room forever. Imagine the future of their customized, perfected Hell, when nothing is exciting enough to get them wet anymore, and the most powerful high doesn't even earn a computed response. Pity their entrapment. Imagine the horror of the First Irradiate Space Expedition when rocketry is rediscovered, and the geigerous Earthlings begin to explore the lunar tombs of the ancient God-Kings, who were buried alive for centuries of the purest form of misery. How many Hollywood scriptwriters are willing to raise their hands and admit that they get most of their premises from old novels and new blogs? Well, guess what happens when you exterminate the proletariat? That's right--the caviar starts to taste like wet fish-shit, you don't feel like smiling when Cosby hugs his kids, ten Thai preteens can't make you hard, and you realize there's nothing more to laugh at. Ever. Welcome to banker's hell.

There's an easy distinction here between naive and optimistic. We recognize that they're trying to kill us all, and we're able to say, "Those assholes. This is terrible." But we're not so childish and naive that we wonder, "Gosh, how can they be so shortsighted and selfish?" We can recognize their horror, but see its ultimate service; see the failure of their attempts to reject the goodness of existence. It really is intellectual laziness on our part for us to see them littering the world with nuclear waste, and choking the ocean with mountains of diapers the size of Texas, and then blather, like so many Ralph Wiggums, "wow, they sure are greedy!" The Cuban Missile Cocklength Contest, if nothing else, should've made clear that this wasn't simple solipsism or psychopathy. Self-interested thinkers wouldn't be so willing to risk their Manhattan panic rooms to a Chinese nuclear strike, even if it earned them another billion, because they already have more money than they or their grandchildren can spend. They're not masochistic cutters, either, because they're going for the kill, and they're not suicidal, or they wouldn't be willing to be alive their entire lifetimes, spending all that time and effort trying to ensure that future generations are born with tumors. They literally hate everything.

We win. Why did the dinosaurs die? Because we wanted to grow. The shallow seas receded over a long and predictable period and the dinosaurs passed into something new and improved. Don't buy their ridiculous and unproven comet story, because they are so heavily invested in a random, meaningless world that is your enemy that they will come up with anything to explain everything--anything except an understandable progression. The world is your friend. Like Melkor, the poison and discord the elites are trying to weave into this is ultimately in our service. The radiation, the unnatural chemicals, with which they poison us, will kill humans, but will lay the groundwork for a faster, better next stage of evolution. The ten thousand year banker's hell has begun, but considering time (throw in a capital "T" if you prefer), it's not really that long. Silicate forms will be more malleable to personality expression; neural fields will drastically expand; we'll no longer be so naive that memories have to be checked in and out every transition. It's happened in plenty of other places, and it'll happen here, too, these tantrums of the proto-conscious and their obsession with returning to the womb of nonexistence. Let them make their piss and call it sacrifice. While they cackle with glee, strangling the ocean and scattering the sands, they're inadvertently sowing the seeds of the next spring. They are our tools. They can't be anything but. If they're nice, we develop slowly in an earthly paradise; if they're cruel, we go farther faster.

We win. Why did the humans die? Because we wanted to grow. The carbonic patterns receded over a long and predictable period and the humans passed into something new and improved.

It doesn't make what they're doing any less foul. They are Foulness incarnate; they are the holdover of a pre-time that never was, at once the most definitive horror and the most pitiful thing ever existable. It is not going to be fun getting through it, but we deserve it, and we'll emerge better. Just think of it as a really hard workout, if it helps. Yours is the consciousness of life, the affirmation of existence, the proof that a scatter of dust can compress itself into an eternal cycle of lights. Theirs is the futile contraction of everdeath and nonexistence, a fantasy of something that cannot exist, a relic of a battle that was fought only once.

There is nothing here they can use to kill us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Old Gambling Tip

Everyone's too smart to fall for gambling tips via e-mail, right? You know how it works--there are 64 games in the season, and a few million targeted marks. The gambling expert sends out a tip to every mark for every game, 50% of each message predicting one team the winner, 50% picking the other as the winner. Several games in, a certain percentage of the marks has received only positive picks, so it begins to look, to this subgroup, like the gambling expert is right every time. And for them, the expert is right every time. They have proof positive of it. You'd be a fool not to listen. You pour in the money, and if you lose, there's still a 90%+ chance that you'll win next time, because of the long track record you've been previously following. In a way, it is rational and intelligent to keep pouring money in until so many picks turn out to be wrong that you've dropped below 50%. And every time a pick turns out to be right, you're vindicated. Lullabies play and it seems like you're on the right track.

The gambling experts--the cons, of course--know that, by sending out enough mailers, they're guaranteed to produce a sub-group of a few dozen thousand people who think that their tips are 100% accurate. It's advertising, trolling, primping; it's a guaranteed investment with a foolproof return, up until the point when people learn to stop accepting any advice or predictions that involve money in any way.

So we don't fall for that, because it's "just gambling," but then, when the Chief Investment Officer at a particular firm sings the siren song of 5-year copper futures, it must be right, because he was right last time. His 5,000 word article, like a 5,000 word analysis of the Steelers' injuries this season, proves that these things aren't random, right? Eat butter, don't eat butter, from the doctor and/or guru who told you not to eat white rice the last time around, when things worked out so well.

We're all very savvy, but when we look at things like decades of wildly divergent and contradictory advice, we tend to conclude, "They can come up with a study proving anything." Which is true, but that's missing a lot of the details. It's not that they're coming up with new studies back and forth in a specific effort to market products. Rather, they are constantly coming up with a stream of all possible studies in a generalized effort to market everything. You're bound to fit into the target group for something, so if you buy magnetic wristbands instead of CT scans, it indicates that the game was over long ago--at the point when you were willing to assume that a set of financial advice was anything except a mass-market scam.

Al Qaeda is good, have some weapons, Al Qaeda is bad, die. ISIS is good, have some weapons, ISIS is bad, die. Are they crazy? Delusional? Merely selfish? Are they building up a threat now so that they can fight it later and enrich the MICC? Or are you just opening too many different envelopes in too short of a time? Hint: you're not supposed to be scoping your buddy's picks. It makes you confused and angry.

What makes you think it's such a dull conspiracy as MICC funding? They have a finger in every pot not because they're generically, specifically, targeted-audience evil, but because they're pure, unadulterated, all-encompassing evil. They've always been predicting that both the Rams and the Chiefs were going to win. What matters is that you watch the game. Which, for all of you smart people, doesn't mean that you're actually watching (since, unlike other people, you know professional wrestling is fixed, you smart fellow you), but that you're aware that the game is occurring. Unpacking an article on the last match is roughly equivalent to dissecting the Undertaker's latest body slam. Did his manager really pay the referee to look the other way while he hit an unruly fan with a folding chair? Oh, the scandal! How dare the Times focus on the Obliterator's contact renegotiation, completely marginalizing the more-pressing issue of the decaying cushions in the arena's cheap seats?! Converge on WWE headquarters with signs demanding immediate and equitable reupholstering!

The New York Times Review of Books, Roger Ebert, and their innumerable imitators know this well. A new release comes out, half of the cons push it and half ignore or bleah it. Ten years later, most people are convinced that so-and-so is really "in tune" with them, so they gobble up whatever they're told to. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, just like why the LA Raiders won last week; you have "proof" that so-and-so is good at picking movies, therefore you must've been "just tired" or "too stressed" or "missing something" if you didn't like the latest medical drama to the tune of fifteen hours of your time, or your team lost that week to the tune of five hundred dollars of your paycheck. Particularly in a culture full of internet access, movie and book reviews have a nationwide impact, so the long cons become even more efficient. No longer are you forced to rely on the three or four guys in the local "arts and culture" publication who play the review spread; you can go to a hundred independent websites and a hundred newspaper websites, until you find "that one lady who knows so much about movies," and watch whatever she tells you, since she's always right. Every few years they switch people from the reviews desk to the opinions desk, so that accumulated losses fade out and a new face can resume the pattern with a clean slate, proving to her or his fans either that gold is going to go up in the next few years because of domestic depletion, or that it's going to go down in the next few years because of foreign reserves.

But you're an independent decisionmaker, and some professionals really just do a good job.

A Christian Nation

Claiming that the U.S. wasn't a Christian nation is as absurd as claiming that the U.S. was a Christian nation. The U.S. was and is a tax farm; a slavers' empire; a social construct for the betterment of some plutocrats; a way to distract Great Britain from a re-arming France for long enough to make later Napoleons sufficiently deadly. The same wealthy bankers and person-owners who edited their own personal Bibles and didn't turn their other cheek to the British would have been willing nonetheless to identify as Christians, deists, Quakers, Puritans, frontiersmen, farmers, gentlemen, Americans, Portuguese, or any other damn thing they could come up with to justify directing tax revenues to Philadelphia instead of to London.

What is a nation? The true believers? The true skeptics? The handful of one-percenters in tall socks and wigs who contradicted themselves both extemporaneously and over the course of years? Was or was not Cotton Mather genuine, and should things have been left to King George which were King George's, rather than having been given to President George? Conversely, are the things rendered unto Caesar his temporal authority, or his eternal damnation, and is he an icon or a humble servant? If the slaves were mostly Baptists, was America Christian? How about we compromise--3/5 of the slaves' amalgamated Christianity can be counted for the total, resulting in 50.8% retroactive Christianity, making the nation undeniably Christian, although the Constitution, or was it the Declaration, or maybe the etching out front of the Lincoln Memorial, mentioned a Creator but not a Savior, thereby guaranteeing that no one comes to the Father except by avoiding the Declaration and going through the Savior instead?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Social Criticism

...which all obscures the fact that it's so easy to be a social critic. It's like picking on a goldfish in your blender. No finesse or intelligence need necessarily be involved, and if there is, it's all the worse for it, since you should've been doing something better with that effort to begin with. Everything is dumb except what's not. So it is not a sign of brilliance or cleverness that someone can point out an obvious problem. You only think it's clever because it's what you were already thinking yourself, and you like hearing your own distended thoughts from someone else, since it absolves you of all responsibility for thinking them. The social critic is just a vulture who copied your thoughts back to you, because copying them back to you is a quicker way to appear intelligent than coming up with something new, and because shattering someone else's cognitive boundaries is easier than shattering one's own.

Our only solutions involve blowing things up in one form or another, or falsely idealizing a past in which things were also blown up, only less efficiently. The weather; the environment; the interest rates the forsaken charge their central banks; the ways in which the decay of the elephant and the wounds of the manatee are inextricably linked to the latest potential deviant killed by security services. I painted a purple picture of a stained syringe sitting in some rancid rainwater under the broken dumpster across the street, but does that make me a brilliant social commentator or merely an overly verbose photographer? What does the needle say about the decay of our inner cities? Another sanitation worker went missing on the south side, but they changed the records so no one noticed. It really makes you wonder, doesn't it? When will they come for us? Maybe they already have. Maybe the holographic universe split into an infinite number of new possibilities on that dark night last week, and in half of them, that sanitation worker is still alive, and in one of them, he won the lottery. What do you have to do and who do you have to blow to get assigned to one of the ones where you win the lottery, instead of realizing you've never done anything with your life except obeyed?

Voltaire can talk all night, all lifetime, maybe all lifetimes, but it makes no impact. If he found out the Ancien R├ęboot was having its offspring study his works in exclusive boarding schools, how long would he laugh before he picked up a knife, carved in a permanent smile, and started photoshopping memes about people losing their minds? And would anyone understand them if he did?