Saturday, March 31, 2012

Preta

When you've never defeated the phantoms of your past, you will continue seeing their images across the faces of all whom you encounter as you move through this world.  Your every battle will be with them, and you will never win by shattering the mirrors on which they reflect.

Second Exposure

Starving does not always occur "on the street."  First-world starvation figures are generally lumped into illusory subgroups, such as:

1) Shot by police during attempted robbery (to acquire food or pay for food).

2) Died of complications due to inadequate medical screening of Condition X (after finally stumbling into ER and collapsing after weeks of gradual malnourishment and exposure).

3) Alcohol poisoning (just make the pain stop and fly me away).

General western perception of how high the domestic casualty figures are is as flawed as Tommy Franks' public conception of how high the Iraq casualty figures are.  Or did you really think that all those people were just out there buying time before condescending to flip burgers?  Now we're going to Obamacare them, forcing the laboring taxpaying base to subsidize preventative care, rather than just end-stage care, for the wandering have-nothings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

wings gone

wings gone
cry blood from borrowed eyes
'til time ends
they want to see only shadow
the neverness lost
inside one cello's note
at least there's that

wings gone
cry blood 'til time ends
hard enough, fast enough, out the eyes
maybe it'll be over
with enough out
we volunteered
accept it
why couldn't we bring along any tricks?  
it's a lame fox, being down here

so many pretty songs
pictures, faces, trees and stuff
why does it increase the desire to burn
or is that just the judgment originally sent
why a snare of unwritten riddles
tossed here and there as the connection grows?
somewhere, you're all laughing
snicker it up
anything this bad has to be good for you
just let it start leaking
sweet cancer
bring this one home
still
first
can't something at least get
done down here?
or does it not work that way
fytch y'rules

wings gone
cry blood
'til the end of time

Terese Cue, 2012

NSYNC in space, and then

If anyone deserves to be first in line for notable human achievements, it's the rich!  While being interviewed by corporate media reps.  Rock on, humanity.

(Update: as requested, for those unfamiliar with the ability of wealthy corporate products to buy their way into further feats of greatness for, like, American currency, here's Mr. Bass working with two major governments on going into space.  Revenge will be had when, in 2347 A.D., the Monkees are resurrected and made god-overlords of the North-American continent.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And Then Came The Next One

The sun rises.  Turn on the AM radio, and several television stations at once, and after a month's constant dosage, the question may begin to arise:

How do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Fox News, and G. Gordon Liddy always know exactly what the daily conservative talking point is?

That's relatively easy to pick out.  Most ghosts operating under Stage Second constraints have realized that these salespeople are getting the same memo on what product to push that day.

Trace amounts more insight bring the follow-up question:

How do NPR, CNN, and Jon Stewart know exactly how to express giggly, prissy, pragmatic reservations about that morning's/week's Fox News' talking points, and how do they always have talking points of their own?

The Stage Third ghost realizes that it's not just "the conservatives" operating under a scheme, but "the liberals," "the centrists," "the pragmatic intellectuals," or any other horrid term for the disguised deathlords of genocidal imperialism.

And yet, then came The Next One.  Ten thousand British people submitted silly kiddy stories, and after dozens of rejections, a publishing house, like so many lottery commissions or e-cigarettes, needed a product.  They grabbed one out of the slush pile, picking up the labor from a subcontractor who did years of pre-work off contract and under the radar.  They printed the book, and then did what really makes things popular: they turned on the presses.

Let my message go out across the land: all library newsletters, parent forums, major media publications, literary reviewers and critics, and big websites shall talk about the "phenomenon" of the "great new series" that people love.  And then, like a false grassroots campaign, the world knew Harry Potter.  And many of them--many, many, painfully many of them--believed that was because it was good.  It surely had some small positive qualities, like most creative projects beloved by their creators, but its success was rationalized by many as proof of its ascendant, superior, unique qualities.

"It's a fair market, out there!  [that woman] worked hard, wrote a great book, caught some lucky reviews, and hit it big time!"

It's like watching a crippled baby goat stumble toward the edge of a cliff.  The atrociously ridiculous narrative of brave, heroic laborers getting their due through a combination of their hard work getting picked up by a chance that they deserved because of their quality is the one that justifies billionaire dynasties in starving India, George W. Bush having a Harvard Master's degree and becoming President, or most any other facet of this deathly society.

As soon as enough groundwork has been laid, it's time to send out the message: movie in the works.  Big money pulls together to excite the fan base, buy out the big-name actors, prep distributors...and just like the Pavlovian dogs most consumers have been trained to be, people read it, buy it, watch it, and exclaim over how great it is.  Coffee table conversations are created.  Historical trends and fandoms arrive.

And it's all because of J.K. Rowling, and her skill in writing well and creating such a wonderful story.

And Iraq was all because Saddam Hussein was a bad man who had weapons of mass destruction.

And Iran?  Syria?  Hold the phone.  Stay on target...stay on target...

Like so many Pavlovian dogs, the bulk of humanity has become so well trained--so thoroughly ingrained--that they actually believe, even if asked while in mortal peril, that they are making free choices.

"Of course we gotta stop Saddam!  He's a crazy tyrant!"

"I love Harry Potter!"

"Sure, we needed the extended bed and the four-wheel-drive!  It was only $6,500 extra!"

"Twlight is so dreamy!"

"Do you have one in red???  Ogawd, please say yes!"

"I'm off to see The Hunger Games!  I decided on my own that it just happens to be the best available form of entertainment!"

Marketers know that people buy crap they wouldn't want unless the desire was created.  Needs are created easily, innocuously, with seemingly disconnected references across a wide spectrum of entertainment.  False "criticism" draws attention, with easily-answered objections.  "What?  Harry Potter, just for children?  But it clearly deals with adult issues, like death, muggle politics and good/evil!"

The latest-model washing machines are out.  They have Ultraspin (TM) and that all new metallic blue siding. Ford changed the front fascia on the 2012 Fusion--better get to a dealership!  Try our new buffalo crispers!  Everybody's talking about Lightning Boy and the Castle of Deathkill!  God, I have to find out what all the fuss is about!

In the realm of "entertainment," most of the proles have begun to suspect that the shuffling of professional sports teams and television shows is open to unfair manipulation, but they are suspecting a planned easy target.  The underlying belief of "succession by right of God" (in the modern, translated into "by merit") is still there, still strong--and it only takes the right plants across the corporate media to make anything, no matter how crappy, not only palatable, but popular.

Bill Watterson wrote incisively well about this with Calvin's favorite glossy Chewing magazine.  What hope is there, amidst this land of dross, when the slaves so eagerly clamor for master's affection?

One of the marketing framework's cute new ways to express shock at a few dummies is out, as major media mobilizes to congratulate Hunger Games fans on reading a book "about a female main character, written by a female main character."  This description, of course, also applies to Twilight, and rather a large proportion of other written and filmed entertainment pulp, so for news to shockingly splash Hunger Games onto the front page for being so progressively "by and about" females is a pretty bald way to both:

1) Demonstrate ignorance of, and disrespect toward, a very long tradition of very successful female authors;

2) Come up with an excuse to talk about Hunger Games' box office gross figures while getting people to read the whole article, think about the product some more, and feel good about going to see the movie a second or third time to "combat racism."

This reminds this one of that time they found paper proof of Dubya going AWOL, which Karl Rove had printed on his post-2000 computer using laser toner a few days before its discovery:

G.O.P. Aide, one tumultuous media week of myth-dispelling later: Gee, Karl--this couldn't have turned out better even if you'd planted those papers yourself!

Karl: Imagine that.  /smirk

And in other news, scientists have determined that The Hunger Games is top-notch entertainment!  


Lightspring embrace.  You're gonna need it.  

Stigmatic

As one draws "closer" to the divine, one also comes closer to the unholy.  In traditional stigmata tales, the closer one comes to the suffering of the Christ, the closer one comes to the temptations of sin.

"Interpersonally," this plays out as the "love-hate" relationship, or the ability to seemingly see-saw between two "opposite extremes."  You cannot hate someone so passionately without first loving them; you can do neither fully or honestly without knowing them, and it is that knowledge that can drive both love and hate to a "personalized" degree beyond anything you can truly feel for even the most loathsome concept far away.  Betrayal is felt most keenly "firsthand," increasing the more one perceives and knows the connection that's already there.

This is alluded to, briefly, in 1999's Stigmata, or in the tale of Job, who suffers and comes to hate and love God for the intimate betrayals and redemptions he is handed moment by moment (or any heated fight between any two bad sitcom characters recycling and reusing the simplified version of the trope).

Miyavi sings (apologies for the muddled, bad-sound-quality live link):
I want to see you, I want to touch youAlthough you're in front of my eyesEven if we're embracing in this wayYour eyes off on me."Look at me, look only at me"But I notice your smile is insincere again todayWhere are you, where is your heart?Although you're right by my sideIt's painful, it's coldAlthough my heart is only groaningHey, whyWhy my skin acts like this?We melt into each other, we console each other, and that's itAh, I love you so much I don't want to see even your faceI love you, I love you, I love you, and I hate you.But you can't hear me anymore
English translation credit to the lovely Ashura.

To what end this knowledge of understanding?  The only truly unhealthy, or bad, hatred is the hatred of life, or antilife.  Love and hate, like life and death, are not opposite extremes, but glinting variances--sunrise flashing now here, now there over distant sandstone hills on a very long walk--changing perhaps by the breath or never at all, in life's passion.  All an illogical mess in an absolutist tongue, defeating itself by definitions of opposition.  If we're taught that all things that might be swept under the term "love" are the opposite of "hate," then it's ridiculous, ludicrous, and wasteful to say that love is hate is love, or that hate is good.  The province of unforgiving tongues is a good one for pitting this against that and clouding the eyes of those who walk between. 

A healthy hate and a healthy love, like healthy death and life, cycle through the lightspring the world's swirling everness.  There are few guarantees in the flow, and hatred tends toward, but is not exclusively a creature of, antilife, but those who accept the multifaceted nature of the greatest passions will find themselves, not-coincidentally, acting in a less (bad) "hateful" way without needing to first demonize hatred itself.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Michael D. Peters (Author)

Sure, he's only one of the clerks responsible for churning out pyramid-scheme-style executive success books and military technology pseudo nonfiction wanks that operate as the literary arm of the kind of crap that results in deathlusting torture-ballz 24 on the TV end of things, but still, shouldn't there at least be a greater barrier of grammatical competence expected of these Minitrue functionaries?

In responding to a fan, Michael D. Peters writes:

Let's trade!  I'll give you a big discount codes for your Amazon book review on either title. Just message me for one.  

Another facepalm for American publishing.


On the culpability of soldiers

Joe writes:

First, my main aversion to the military has nothing to do with being noble. I just loathe any institution that requires reflexive obedience to authority. The fact that it also might require killing people who aren't actually a threat to me, or getting killed myself while doing someone else's bidding, is just all the more reason to avoid it. Second, I'm not really impressed by the tax argument. I don't "provide them" with anything. They take it and use it however they want. And even if I went and lived in the woods, eating nuts and berries, the empire would still continue to do its thing. My support or lack of support means nothing. The way I see it, one of the few meaningful acts of resistance for an individual with no connection to the political system is to refuse to join the military. Third, I never said or implied that we shouldn't feel compassion for those who have it bad because others have it worse. No idea where you pulled that one from. And I'm not disparaging anyone's poverty. All I'm saying is that it doesn't justify murder. Simple as that.

Joe,

As to First, the desire to not "reflexively" (or otherwise) obey "authority" is a good, wonderful, living thing.  Hurrah!

As to Second, the tax argument is a major one.  You pay taxes knowing full well that over 50% of the taxes goes to military funding (assuming black books stuff doesn't make that total much higher, and pretending that other administrative expenditures are not ultimately about imperialism).  You do it year after year, contributing to them.  No, it's not you "deciding" to buy the guns, or supporting the use of guns in a moral sense.  But you do keep enabling them.  You're not only the faceless person in the crowd during the gang rape who neither helps nor hinders.  Rather, you're the guy who gave the serial rapist money for Viagra, knowing full well what he'd do with it once he got his hard on.  And you do it year, after year, after year.  Which doesn't make you a rapist.  And yeah, he'd kill you if you didn't pay up.  But imagine the victim turning her eyes to you as they saw away at her sandpaper-dry labia.  Do you feel the stirring of any trace of culpability whatsoever, knowing that without your Viagra money, he wouldn't have been able to do it to her?

Or, to be less metaphorical, the dead Afghani child with two-sixteenths of an ounce of the four pounds of Ohio steel embedded in his brain, which two-sixteenths you paid for: do you have any connection whatsoever to the child's death?  Less, perhaps, than the guy who dropped the bomb.  But what would happen if we all stopped paying our taxes, so to speak--how long would the bomb factories keep running?  Most (all?) of us are cogs in the grindery.  It's a dark thing to admit, but it's a truth.  And the middle class financiers are, in many ways, much more culpable than the lower class drones, who receive missing legs instead of well-funded 401(k) plans at the end of any given twenty years of imperialism.

As to Third, good.  Many apologies for lumping you in with the crass anonymi who pop up to personally insult this one in order to ride a wave of detached vindication over the sharp coral reef of the topic at hand.  The antilife tendency of classification runs deep, and this one must ever be on guard for it.  To deepen our compassion for everyone involved is to realize the similarities between ourselves and "them."  Our suffering doesn't "equal" or "approach" that of the current bomb-targets, but we share with those humans the quality of being relatively powerless thralls before the might of the grindery.  Our role is to labor, produce, and obfuscate, rather than to die.  Better than dying, perhaps, but just a different part in the same play.  Those whose role is killing are different also, but we share a common affliction.  Being able to empathize with the terrible choices they make, and the abhorrent actions they commit, is a step along the way to realizing that our own actions are a similarly abhorrent part of the system.

This produces a violent cognitive dissonance effect from those who operate under the illusion that their disagreement with imperial policy means that they are "against" the Empire, even as they perform its domestic financial functions, pay their taxes, and otherwise fail to resist it.  For them, to forgive others who make different sorts of difficult choices, they must understand the factors that drive those people to those choices: which gives them a glimpse of the machine working on their own lives, and suggests at the shadowed structure that makes all of their petty, whining, non-resistance powerless and, ultimately, in service of the grindery.  Ergo violent attacks to assist their conscious minds in shutting out what they don't want to see.

LE.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sad State of Art, Part 2

Following up on Part 1 and the earlier Introduction; inspired by The (vomitous) Hunger Games.

Epic attempt 3: Common identifiers

A good epic builds up a sense of empathy and understanding with the setting, so that the viewer cares about what happens to the world after the climax.  This is, of course, difficult to do in the time span allowed.  To efficiently (economically speaking) create a movie that evokes a sense of epic, moviemakers take a shortcut: instead of creating their own epic, they use an epic that someone else has already created, and make a movie out of it.  The benefits are obvious: someone else has already invested the (artistic and/or economic) energy in getting the audience ready to feel that something is important.  All the moviemaker then has to do is invest "money", tack on a surface story, and the underlying cultural knowledge of their target audience will do the rest.

When an audience feels that something has a history and tradition, half (or more) of the work of the movie is already done.  For example, people have a cultural sense of gravity around "Rome" and "Batman" and "the U.S. Army."  So, it is easy to create a 90-180 minute movie with a sense of "epic" about it.  A battle fought for the future of Rome, Gotham City, or the salvation of the soldier's creed has canned significance.  Prepackaged and ready to go.  So, the writers don't need to invest half as much (or any) effort (money and screen time) in building up a plot that justifies a grand finale.

What does this mean?  Firstly, characters do not need to be developed as much, in order to have the audience care about them, because the audience already knows that Gotham City (or whichever comic-book city) needs to be saved; the audience already knows Rome should not fall to the sinful barbarians; the audience already knows that.  Secondly, the setting does not have to be developed as much.  A few sweeping CG screenshots can handle it.  If the audience didn't already identify with Gotham City, they might ask--why bother saving it (as Liam Neeson's character did in Batman Begins)?  If the audience didn't already have a preconception of Rome, they might ask what made its hordes better than the barbarians.  Precious effort would have to be invested to portray both sides of the conflict in a way that helped the audience understand the importance of the final battle.  All of that can be saved to trim screen time down by going with canned settings.

The result of this is stagnation in art.  When writers, directors, et al. can get the same "epic" result from a movie about Rome in 120 minutes that it would take a movie about a different, unknown place 220 minutes to convey, they will go with Rome, because it is cheaper.

Unfortunately, tapping into this supply of "automatic epic" means that movies in this vein will have to conform to the audience's preconceived notions of the prepackaged concept--the audience's image of Rome, Batman or the U.S. Army.  When you take prepackaged history to give your film gravity, you can't waste time challenging the core conception, or core misconception, that the audience brings to the film--that would defeat the purpose.  So, the same themes about the same things keep coming back, again and again.  This is why, instead of writing new stories, the studios keep churning out old tales over and over again, in new form with new actors.  If people go into a movie knowing it is a remake of something successful, they already feel that they know something of the characters: the characters are successful characters, with a history and tradition, and that automatically makes them have more of an impact.  The studios kick out comic book movies, and show pages of comics at the beginning, along with a familiar corporate logo, to convey history and tradition.  In 10 seconds, the audience feels, "This is all about something; something that has been going on for decades.  How I want to see how it turns out!" without having been shown any actual footage.

If they remake Gone with the Wind, or churn out yet another Shakespeare rehash, it has the same effect.  The knowledge of previous success invests the story with automatic momentum--just the way George W. Bush grew up with an automatic headstart (a good metaphor for more than one reason, for most of the dross the studios churn out nowadays--solely economically gifted, and revered most by the unfortunate).  This is not to say that effort is not invested in producing a story. It is, and sometimes the result is a very interesting one.  But even then, the amount of time that has to be invested is reduced--and the overall artistic experience (how enjoyable it would be to watch the full story) goes down.

Continued in Part 3.

The Sad State of Art, Introduction

Art is not best created in an atmosphere of greed, yet that is its current (western?) state.  Because artists need time to create art, they cannot simultaneously be purely artistic and economically productive unless they are supported by their artistic output.  Therefore, they must be (1) salaried to produce art; (2) entrepreneurs who sell their own art; (3) engaged in another trade and squeeze art into the time remaining; or (4) independently wealthy.

Of these, (1) (or #4, of course) is the most attractive option on a large scale, but is exceedingly rare, as in the market system, there is no incentive to salary an artist unless the return would be greater than the salary.  And, if that return is guaranteed, the artist would be selling her or his own art (option #2), and if it is not, there would be no salary.  Because avarice is our law, individual artists are mostly left to subsidize the costs of their own art.  Creativity, then, is relegated to a secondary (or fifth-best) activity, while the bulk of the artist's time and effort is spent in self-sustenance.  Thus, as a society, art output suffers drastically under the law of avarice, because individual subsidization is inadequate.

Even for those who drive themselves to poor health or utterly refute long-term individual economic goals, the art suffers, and the species, and history, suffers the loss of its never having been created.  There is a laundry list of great artists throughout history whose work has been limited or coerced by the dictates of the churches and the wealthy.  We now look at the works in the Sistine Chapel as invaluable cultural treasures, along with countless other pieces of work (pick your favorite), but we will never know what wonders we are missing out on--moving symphonies, impeccable friezes, soul-bearing portraits, fantastical realms--for having been incapable of encouraging and unfettering great minds that have already come and gone.

Now, as the law of avarice becomes so enthroned on rapacious technology that it pervades every aspect of life, we are even more limited.  The wealthy patrons of our time invest their resources in producing certain movies, pictures, books and music, but little else.  Music creation is subsidized by individual artists across the world, who work frantically around time constraints to keep the habits alive.  The greater culture becomes aware of them only through chance, or through the whimsy of formal attention, whence a financier sights an investment opportunity.

Movie creation, for the time and resources it requires, is beyond most; certainly, employing the full current potential of the art with today's high technology requires aristocratic backing.  All of this effort has brought our culture the talents of a few very fine actors, and very skilled musicians and vocalists--when the former can be heard amidst the exploding of ten thousand trucks and the braying of the latest screen megastar, and when the latter can be picked out from the noise of layover tracks and electronica riffs--but on the whole, the process is a failure.  Most of what our widespread effort can leave to future generations is a few stale summer blockbusters, inflation-gorged sales figures, and records with a limited temporal appeal.  There are great paintings being done, insightful poems being written, wonderful movies being recorded, and so on.  Yet, however striking these may be on an individual scale, they are the exception, rather than the rule, and gaining them exposure to the greater public consciousness (and thereby making them more available to history) rarely occurs.

It is a question of scale: life should be filled with wondrous art, not just rarely brushed by it.  Surely with so many billion human minds and such vast resources, we should be experiencing more great things than one really good movie a summer, a couple very well-done albums a year, and three or four quite clever Superbowl commercials a Superbowl.  As there is the capability of feeding and comforting all in this vast potential of Earth and its human inhabitants, so there is the capability of swimming constantly in a sea of thoughtful, penetrating art (call it free entertainment if you like).  We are the lesser for every day we go without it.  The law of avarice crushes this potential, and like savages striving to kill or be killed in the jungle, our economic system aborts countless wonders each day.  If we had been raised in art, we would have the capability of being moved to horrified tears at how unwisely we waste the resources we have.  The etudes, the operas, the verse, the landscapes, the insights, the architecture, the wonder...!  All the things we could have, spent futilely, lost as an opportunity cost in favor of enthroned greed.

Movie specifics in The Sad State of Art, Part 1.

The Sad State of Art, Part 1

Succeeding The Sad State of Art, Introduction.  First up, movies.

On the Systematic Barriers to Art in Movies

Time constraints

Movies operate under a number of conflicting forces.  The first of these is the time constraint.  It is obvious how the operation of a 90 minute suggested limit, with a 180 minute absolute maximum, can impinge upon dialogue, plot, character development, music and setting exploration.  However, what is less obvious is the way this requirement juxtaposes with the cultural expectation placed upon movies.  Culturally, movies are one of the grandest culminations of entertainment.  They provide a visible and auditory highlight of acting (closer up and more intimate than even participating in a play; ability to hear whispers and see acting occur in more dynamic environments than possible on stage; static art [when placed onscreen]; environment-building [360 degree sets]), technology, music, and other sensory experiences.

The grandeur of movies, though, places an expectation upon them: that they use these tools to deliver an epic show.  The nature of "epic" suggests length of experience (for characters), dynamism, and the extraordinary.  This is the force that causes moviemakers to attempt to outdo one another (and even their previous selves) with bigger, louder explosions each time, in an attempt to create drama thereby.  They are grasping for something epic, because that is what moviegoers want: they want to take advantage of the great technology and presentation of movies to experience something epic.  Yet, the time constraint works against this.  "Epic" cannot be conveyed well in 90 minutes, and it is not so much easier to do it in 180, either.  "Epic" requires sequences; pauses (in the movie and out); reflection.  It requires camera time where the camera is not moving, and the characters to be able to reflect to themselves and others.  What most movies become as a result of the time constraint are short stories.

In that realm, commercial movies can do very well: quirky little tales about someone in modern life; a children's adventure; a brief comedy.  These things work well in 90 to 180 minutes.  And many of them are produced, and manage to be reasonably inoffensive and quite creative.  This is because the "short story" or "novella" medium offered by commercially-approved movies (with lengths of 90 to 180 minutes) can be well done, and cheaply done, in such a time constraint, without much affecting the art.

What does not work well, though, is when moviemakers attempt to cram epic granduer into 90 to 180 minutes.  The nature of epic suggests world-changing, so naturally, an epic story has to present the climactic challenge (usually a battle of some kind) in a grand way.  In order to make something appear grand, and feel grand to the viewer, the viewer has to have an attachment to the character(s) or situation(s) of the movie, so that they are personally invested in the outcome.  This is done well when the viewer has had time to develop that attachment through clever plot-building.  Learning to like the characters (which takes time, because you have to know them, first) leads to investment in what happens to them in the grand conclusion.  Moreover, in an epic situation, viewers have to care about the outcome of the battle/climax in that they must have concern about what will happen to not only the character, but the fictional world as a whole.  A sense of impending doom for the world (e.g., the world is doomed if the heroes fail) is what makes an epic battle so grand: it suggests that there is a lot riding on it, both personal and social.  It tugs at the main concerns of the species, namely individuals known to the viewer, and the general state of the rest of the world which the viewer has some natural empathy with.

Given this, when movie producers attempt to cram "epic" into 90 to 180 minutes, they use a number of techniques to attempt to convey "epic" without going to the effort of actually investing in the careful thought (and time allowance!) that must go into an epic.

Epic attempt #1: the montage

 A montage attempts to convey something that the epic requires: namely, a passage of time, to develop the severity of threat to the world/setting which will come to a head in the epic battle.  It also attempts to convey character development at an accelerated rate.  This can be done well, and indeed, the musical tends to rely upon it.  Montages are almost always sent to music, because music is WD-40 for the emotions: it makes them work much more smoothly, and makes the mind suggestable to believing things it might otherwise not.   The epic montage, though, accelerates character growth through unbelievable phases.  Like the parenthetical offered in the previous paragraph, the epic montage, when used poorly (as it is most often used in American cinema) is used to convey aspects of character development that are not realistic.

An example of a good montage in a musical: a young man sings about a girl who vexes him, and as he sings, he realizes he loves her.  Function: the montage conveys character development in his love life, without having to watch the young man sit on the couch for three hours, without talking, before coming to a simple conclusion about whom he desires.

An example of a good epic montage in a movie: adventurous music plays as the heroes travel over rugged terrain.  Function: the montage shows us that the characters are traveling, without us having to watch them walk, camp, bathe and eat for two weeks straight.

An example of a standard Hollywood epic montage: thumping music plays while the heroine, a pampered princess, takes harsh sword lessons from a suddenly-introduced side character.  Function: the montage justifies the incredible battle sequences at the end of the movie, where the pampered princess out-duels countless mercenaries who each have fifty pounds of muscle on her, and have years of combat experience.

The epic montage, in most Hollywood films, is sugar with a bitter pill: it tries to force the audience into accepting the coherence of a supposed epic tale, with a world-ending battle, which the characters have had only an hour and a half to prepare for.  Epics are journeys, and the characters start them out naive, repressed, troubled, un-worldly or in some other state vulnerable to development, growth and learning.  Then, by the end, their quest provides the development they are looking for, and the theme of the tale is often expressed.  It takes time to break through these barriers realistically--not a 3 minute montage.  If a pampered princess were to become a great swordswoman, it would not just involve taking lessons, but would pose a set of fantastic new challenges to her entire lifestyle and self-image.  This cannot be conveyed with ten seconds of watching her do pushups in the rain while poppy music plays, and another twenty seconds of her chopping at a log, and so on.  Yet, it is what Hollywood forces through, over and over.

There is often little protest to this.  When people have little insight into their own workings, they may not notice or care when they witness someone else undergoing unworkable character development.  They may be interested only in seeing the big scene at the end, and marveling at how "cool" it is that the pampered princess can suddenly wield a sword.  Genuine change, in this type of dross, doesn't matter any more than genuine character, and they lust for descriptions of people who achieve epic growth without realistic steps: because it suggests that they, too, might experience such a thing.  This is a sad fantasy, dreamed by those who have no realistic hopes for themselves, which is why this state of art works so well (at generating revenue and placating the masses) in a society that operates to destroy most peoples' realistic hopes.

Much like accelerating clone growth will one day lead to great psychological problems in the clones, accelerating character development in fictional characters lends itself to disbelief.  It teaches impressionable humans (a required disclaimer: children and adults alike) that positive change:

1) Is unrealistically fast;

2) Bears no relation to the type of person someone was before.

#2 is the "conversion" myth central to evangelical delusions in ragnarist minds.  I.e., "positive change is unrealistic."  A pampered princess might well, in reality, become a master swordswoman--but if we show her doing it in only the most ridiculous, unbelievable of ways, we never teach real-life princesses (or just real-life little girls) that they might actually achieve it some day.  If their only example for becoming a master swordswoman is thirty pushups in the rain, then the function does not compute, and the implicit message to the little girls is, "You can't really become that good."

A caveat on imagination: imagining the fantastic is a good, wonderful thing, but Hollywood's montages are a type of inconsistent imagination, and that is what is bad about them.  They lie, in the sense that they portray the world as normal, then violate the rules of normality.  They take people portrayed as typical humans (even typical humans in fantastic situations) and then treat them unrealistically.  If they had taken citizens of Krypton and then had those characters do fantastical things on Earth, it would be believable within the context of that imagined world.  The defining difference between good epic and bad epic (and good/bad stories of any kind) is that a good epic is fantastic in its structure, whereas a bad epic is fantastic in its character--a good epic establishes physical laws and rules about the world and the things in it, which the characters then conform to (whether in amazing ways or regular ones); a bad epic establishes the standard physical laws and rules of the world (the Earth we live on) and then allows its characters to violate them without explanation.

Good example: Z-men

Setting: Z-men establishes a world where men and women have superhuman abilities as a result of genetic mutations.

Situation: A character floats up an elevator shaft on a conjured wind.

Result: The setting is not destroyed.

Good example: Lord of the Bracelets

Setting: Lord of the Bracelets establishes a world where (non-Dunedorf, non-elven) men and women have normal human abilities.

Situation: A female princess, trained in sword-fighting from her youth in a country of warriors, disobeys her father and rides to war in disguise.  She successfully stabs several enemies and shows great valor.

Result: The setting is not destroyed.

Bad example: Pirates of the Craparean

Setting: Pirates of the Craparean establishes a world where (non-ghost, non-overgrown by barnacles) men and women have normal human abilities.

Situation: A pampered governor's daughter, who has spent her life in restrictive corsets and layered skirts, picks up a saber in a heated moment and suddenly finds (without surprise) that she can wield it as skillfully as any man or woman, fight for dozens of minutes straight without needing a breather, and also dual-wield two sabers at once, using her off-hand, with no diminishment in fighting capability.

Result: The setting is destroyed.

Pirates of the Caribbean references shall continue; the first and second sequels are, like most Hollywood drivel, textbook examples of many things discussed herein.  And they didn't even bother with the "princess doing pushups in the mud" montage!

When the structure of an imaginary world is violated, the story loses the wonder; it loses the "this might have happened to these people if they had only been in a place where _______."  The "inconsistent desire" is the result of committee writing, or a conflicted mind, which does not produce a coherent story.  The writers want to have their cake, and eat it, too.  I.e., they want to have a movie where their character is both a dainty lady and a powerful warrioress, and they want to do that without bothering to explain in any realistic detail how that could happen.

Epic attempt #2: the gargantuan horde

Bigger is better is the mantra here.  Because visible grandeur is now so easy to produce using computers, movie-makers ruin the coherence of their stories by making epic battles ridiculously large.  Troy's preview battle shot, for example, or Pirates of the Carribean.

Why can they not just use a realistic number of warriors, and have the resulting battle still be exciting?  Because they are in pursuit of an epic in only 90-180 minutes.  They do not have time or skill enough to build up a sense of grandeur through character and world understanding.  Instead, they want bigger, better, and more, and they want it right now, without having to go to the trouble of earning it.  So they violate the rules of the world, go for the "shock and awe" effect, and grasp for magnificence on the wings of sheer numbers.

Continued in Part 2.

The Hunger Games

Oh, what a surprise.  Another big publisher publishes a guaranteed success: a "children's novel" popularized by white adults with Kindles, put out by a richie from Connecticut with an M.F.A. and extensive industry experience.

Let the gushing begin.  Err, continue.

Besides ripping off Arnold Schwarzanegger and about 1/10 of every other American sci-fi story since the advent of radio drama, this dreck does a brilliant job of sweeping up maturing Harry Potter fans who were looking for something to collectively gush over in-between Twilight movie releases.

And--gasp, gasp!--the surprises continue.  The New York Times and Time magazine loved it!  It's almost like the cheerleading section for American's election charades, genocide, imperialism, and domestic fascism has a vested interest in creating and promoting worthless entertainment, like so many high fructose slurpees and Ritalin, to keep the masses fat, drugged and content.

Inspires repost of The Sad State of Art to succeed this.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why So Socialist?




Yeah, really.  Because it's always been that way.  America is a socialist country, where the ownership and control over the means of production are owned by the community of the whole, e.g., the government "of, by, and for the people."  Hard for the "liberal" or "progressive" mind to fathom.  After all, socialism is supposed to be closer to the ideal--a step toward the protection of the people from big corporations.  

Adam Smith passed on the Persian idea of the "free market" and the "invisible hand" that would guide it, and good American liberals know that those things are crazy--without government guidance and protection, wacko businessmen would run rampant and dump toxic waste in American backyards.  The free market, though, is actually a guaranteed, protected openness of exchange, sort of the way people wrongly imagine anarchy to be; it's one of the more radical, un-tested ways of protecting human freedoms.  

Once the idea hit mainstream, it became so threatening to established interests that they realized they needed to buy it out, much like a garage band accepting a few million to stop rejecting the recording industry.  The "free market" idea was co-opted by elites, who then--quite loudly--adopted the trappings of such a market, without actually allowing for such a market to ever exist.  

How is America socialist?  Well, you know all those things that liberals and progressives love to hate, like the military-industrial-congressional complex, or big pharm, or big agri, or the FIRE sector?  Those things are "private" aspects of a government (elite) owned and controlled economy.  "The government," such as it is--a front organization for wealthy, powerful, exclusive racketeering organizations--completely controls the economy.  There is, and never was, a "free market."  The guy in the top hat, with the vaudeville mustache, who dumps toxic waste into your backyard unless prevented by government regulations that are inadequate anyway, is just an operative of the corporate branch of the ownership caste, meant to focus economic anger just as Muhammad in the headdress is a different kind of focus.  

(Some background for a few of these connections: the Tax Theft series, and the 2008 bailout summary.)  

So, yeah.  This is socialism.  Want to start a business?  Buy a license.  Use the radio?  Sorry, all sold out.  Broadcast a message on TV?  Sold out.  Internet?  We're in the process of breaking that down, too, even though the telecomms already control all the access points.  Want to sell children's toys?  Pay thousands of dollars to a government agency to test them for lead.  Even if each individual component has already been tested.  Form them into a new toy, and you gotta test the unified components again, and at a fee, of course.  Want to build a building on some land?  Get a permit.  Get it inspected.  Put up handicapped ramps even if you're showcasing extreme snowboarding equipment and only extreme snowboarding equipment.  

Want to do anything else you can imagine?  Pay taxes on it to maintain the extractive apparatus, or your assets are seized and you're going to jail.  Defend yourself, and die and be vilified as an extremist for not kowtowing to the state's security forces.  

Haha, those wacky conservatives, who don't understand that you have to pay income taxes as the price for a civil society!  Look at them using public streets, paid for by their very tax dollars, to protest, and not even realizing the hypocrisy!  

And so the zoo exhibits ate each other to survive.   

Haha, those wacky OWSers protesting about the 1% while children starve in Africa!  Look at them being so blessed and not even realizing the hypocrisy!  

Exchange goods or services with anyone, anywhere, and you're on the radar.  Even "gifts" are taxed, beyond a certain amount.  Try to move currency or valuables across borders without declaring them, and you're in trouble.  Our socialist government controls the issuance of the means of exchange, extracts a fee for every exchange, punishes by fire any deviation, and forces subjugation to elite taxpayer-funded courts of binding judgment.  

Every bank is on the take, reporting every detail of your otherwise confidential information to any government agency that wants to sniff at it and see how much you've got and how much they can squeeze outta you for themselves.  Every human being is assigned a number by the "Social Security" division of the government (a Ministry of Truth if ever there was one; parse the words) to allow for them to never open a bank account, get a job, receive a paycheck, or do anything else without being on the tax radar, and paying out.  Only the tiniest transactions can pass under that radar, and if they bust someone else in an under-the-table scheme, ratting out all the other parties involved is a great way to plea-bargain down your own punishment while giving the government the info needed to efficiently fleece everyone else involved.  

So yeah.  The Tea Party people, however racist or crazy they may be characterized, are just as correct to be furious as the OWS people.  Their frustrations are being managed/manipulated by a group just as vile and not quite as well-spoken as that managing the OWS-ers, but as far as identifying the socialist people-rutting job of the government, they're leaps and bounds ahead of the tsking overeducated radical leftists.  

Why so socialist?  Because it pays, prole.  Now close this browser, turn the tax software back on, bend over, and pay up to the MICC.  Poppa needs a new pair of Iran.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On Age and Evil

From bettermedicine:

Normally, cells in the brain that are old or damaged will stop dividing and die. These cells are replaced by healthy young cells. Brain cancer occurs when old or damaged cells continue to divide and multiply uncontrollably. These abnormal cells eventually develop into a malignant mass of tissue (tumor) and crowd out and destroy healthy cells in the brain. As brain cancer grows, it interferes with vital processes and functions of the brain and spinal cord.

Life, or the participation of cycling different forms of consciousness from lightspring through tangible world and back, has its own constantly self-destructive and regenerative disequilibrium.  Cancer develops in the body when cells hang on past "their time" and begin to suck resources from the rest of the system, crowding out the younger, developing cells that renew the system and keep it healthy.  Tumorous growths, in the micro sense of cells, result in expanding malignancies that eventually destroy the host organism.

In a contrasting macro sense, aging humans serve the same role against the rest of the human species and its associated living world.  The economic and social policies of the animated dead work together to extract resources from the young in order to perpetuate the individual lives of elders: causing increasing harm to the growth and development of the species "humans" and their home planet.

Some Aspects of Deathly Elder Economics

Social Security.  Social Security--the untouchable icon to so many--is an easy example of resource extraction.  No, old people shouldn't be starving, eating dog food, living on the street, et cetera.  No one should.  But addressing that problem by requiring all young people to have deducted from their paychecks funds that will go in payment to old people, on the vague non-promise that they will later receive those payments themselves, is a way of extracting life from new generations in order to redirect it to the passing generation.  Paycheck money that would be going to homes, families, love, the raising of small children, health care, and dynamic new business, social and cultural ideas, is instead invested in making the elderly and retired more comfortable.  Children are thrown in daycare because their parents need to work, unable to afford time with them--and a surplus that might be later saved to send those children to college is instead given to the elderly.

Medical care.  The massive bulk of America's hospitals and pharmacies (and the medical profession) is designed around the policy not of helping all humans lead healthier, fuller lives, but around keeping aging humans as close to young (and alive) as possible.

Caring for old people--and all people--is a good thing.  Throughout all of this essay, it must be remembered that all people, including ones currently defined as "old," should be better cared for, and should have more than they do.  Discussing the ways that current "elder policy" is designed to hurt all of us at all stages of our lives has a built in social counter-reaction: i.e., anyone suggesting changes in these policies could be labeled as wanting to turn the elderly into slaves or Soylent Green for the benefit of the youthful overclass.  A cute accusation, like many scarecrows, but inapt.

Yet "over-caring" for elders is not helpful to them.  Many elders live in terror of being kept alive in horrible, vegetative states, by machinery that costs thousands of dollars a day to run, under the roof of a hospital that is more than happy to bill private (e.g., United Healthcare) or public (e.g., Medicare) insurance plans for massive amounts to maintain zero quality of what is technically "life" during the last couple weeks of an unconscious senior's habitation of a shell.

Beyond the "kept alive on the machines" situation is perhaps the greater terror of the elders: living in one of those homes in a vast, multi-billion-dollar network of elder-care facilities, unable to wash, eat, walk, go to the bathroom, or do anything else without assistance; patronized constantly by low-wage helpers; domineered in action and medication by nurses and physicians; kept on suicide watch, while fantasizing about Dr. Kevorkian coming to save you.

Another rung away from there is the senior community: the development of the age-discriminatory suburb by the generation of those who established the initial "white flight" away from the darkies in the inner cities, who now take their middle-class wealth into predominantly white enclaves to wile away the years, trapped forever in the music, culture, society and pastimes of those in their age group, but protected from all the awful noise of children playing new games, new music, and spouting off new ideas.

Financial Care.  When you hoard stuff over decades, and come to be an elder, fear of starving or being stuck by the State or your family in one of "those homes," where they don't even clean the piss out of your bed but once a week, encourages an extreme hoarding.  With enough money to parcel out an income, you can maintain your shell in one of the better communities, having your meals delivered, and individualized staff coming by to help you shower and go to the bathroom and even pay attention to your stories and get to know you.  Another massive glut of the western economy is the storage, study, and shuffling of the resources of the aged.

Financial advisor; realtor; attorney; accountant; banker; insurance agent: the professions of manipulating numbers to justify youthful power for the aged and passing, with peripheral fees extracted from the advancing young.  Buy, sell, and trade those elaborate second, third and fourth homes and timeshares for two dwindling, lonely elders, while young families struggle to find space for three growing children to sleep and play and learn.

Death State. 

The physician prescribes drugs; the surgeon patches together; the pharmacist organizes drugs; the nurse wipes vomit and feces.  The elder endures.

In a different time, families nurtured one another.  Elders would be present in the lives of the young and middle, who would be present in the lives of one another and the elders in turn.  Elders did not need to fear the abandonment and loneliness that, in the first place, motivated the secondary financial and medical sectors to "protect" them--instead, they had the warmth of all humanity to care for them, as they cared and passed on wisdom and guidance in turn.

The "individual" now celebrates the independence of an "owned" household, where you have the power to fall down in the bathtub and die without anyone around to know, until the kids visit for Christmas.  Where you can golf without worrying about any young people to make noise and interrupt you--and you go home to an empty, futureless hut, all of your friends on dialysis or chemo or being taken away by ambulances, trapped forever in the prison of independent adult living.  Such freedom; such glory; such liberation from the chains of family and society.

Immortals.

In good "fantasy" or "science fiction"--or other pitiful classificatory terms that attempt to categorize stories--one of the villain's aims is, if not already to remain undead, then to become immortal.  Dracula, Star Wars EU's Emperor Palpatine, The Simpsons Mr. Burns, and any number of other standard villains seek, like a cancer, to perpetuate themselves forever at the expense of other human beings.  This is the malignancy toward which antilife seeks to bring humans.  The natural passage of death into life into death into life is the [good] flow of the lightspring.  The endurance of "one kind" of human--of an immortal singular entity, like our ancient lord and enemy Jehovah--is the passage to evil; to the unchanging end to all.

Once, weak and sick elders would wander off on their own to perish, when they knew--like aged "animals" (which humans are, outside of the absolutist religions [yes this includes science, Mr. Brin])--that it was their time.  They were ready, like slipping into bed, to pass onto a new phase, without unduly burdening their successors--themselves and forms thereof--with the maintenance of something that should be renewed, not entombed.

Now, when humans try to do that, the state springs into action: emergency care responders swoop down to "rescue" the elder, diagnose them with dementia, depression, or alzheimer's--and state medical services, supported by the tax base (laboring elders and young), are ready to force that body to remain "alive" for as long as it can be justified.

It's not just about age and political power.  Remember Dr. Kevorkian?  Powerful movements of elders struggled for the right to have assistance passing peacefully, and were denied, by a system of death that needs to use their husks to justify itself in starving the world.

That said, the enclaves of the aged serve as a political force in their own right.  Conservative retirees use their resources--including spare time--to move masses of white Republican voters into an area, destroy any attempts to raise property taxes to fund schools for the young, and vote in as stodgy a way as possible.  For all their suffering, they do their part to keep death's fingers around the collective throats of everyone else, too.

The Unliving.

The western fetish for zombie movies finds its roots, partly, in this.  What is slow moving, deathly, off-smelling, created and nurtured by mad doctors, and survives by feeding on the blood and bodies of the young?  Zombies, or the very elderly?  The necromantic terrors of our time are the hungry ghosts that have plagued this planet ever since advanced neural nets developed fearful minds that wanted to persist as ordered "entities" beyond the natural time.  Those who do not cycle; those who try to persist as "themselves" beyond their natural times, and not to merge with all and become something new: these are the terrors who leech away life.

How to stop them?  Life is the change and dynamism of youth.  More resources and power should be in the hands of the young, growing and striving, not the old, fading and retiring.  Many of us bank on this--what a safe dream of immortality it seems, that one day we might be old enough to have to not do anything.  Deathlust.

More later.  

.

It doesn't matter how good it is; what matters is how many people think it's good.  Like deities or natural laws, it draws its strength from subscription.  Shakespeare, Twilight, Nicholas Cage, Sue Grafton...substance does not matter, when you have so many people to sit next to you and believe in it.

An escape, then, when everyone believes in the wrong kind of lunacy?  The sad, soulless, unfulfilling emptiness of worlds distant and without worth?  Can we ride 'way on a moonbeam to a better kind of impossible possible?  Or take only a morbid ecstasy in leaving behind a moving husk within the land of terror?

What better revenge on these people, than to become what they thought you were in the first place?

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Love You... I'll...

Succeeding Little Divisibles.

This one began an essay, linked to something else, then noticed the timely comment by Save the Oocytes, which fit so well that a math focus begins the foray into love.  Save the Oocytes writes in response:

Your "math fail" is disingenuous, since your further claim seems to be that math itself is a failure, or perhaps a plot, maybe both.
Formal mathematics is a game played with logic and symbols, strictly prior to any attempts to apply it to the world. Geometry and arithmetic may have arisen as attempts to model reality, but that doesn't constrain them to the role you assign them in your demonization. 
Finally, your claim about the circularity in the definition of 1 is straightforwardly wrong according to the standard set-theoretic account (for those who concern themselves with foundations). 1 is used in the definitions of the fractions, not vice versa. Being "composed of" different fractions doesn't consign 1 to any kind of circularity; that (1/2) + (1/2) = 1 is a property of 1, not a definition. 
This is all not to take issue with your philosophical struggles against individualism, which I don't object to, so far as I understand them.

Math is a fun, useful tool, and remains so even though many (most?) of its users/advocates have begun to vest an unlife in it, using it not as a helpful game, but as a reality definer, and eventually, a reality substitute.  These are the IRS auditors who actually believe in their work; the economists who think they're accomplishing something useful, or the standard person ignorant of much mathematics, who just believes that important mathematicians "out there somewhere" understand all the numbers that make the world work.

"1" is really cool, and in a sense of shared understanding, 1+1 does indeed = 2.  This one says "I" all the time when speaking about myself, and it's not terrible.  "1," though, like "I," can tend heavily toward a segregation of this v. that, which disconnects any given node from the lightspring.

There are few (no?) valid absolute condemnations.  Math, just like bulldozers and enriched uranium and rifling projectiles, is a tool that can be terribly used, and is today.  It hurts any respectful consideration of "math" to do so, but in this epoch, where the religion of science ascends on wings of pragmatic genocide, an absolute conception of math and language is encouraged.

The terrible exclusions behind the absolutist language's "I love you" are hidden in plain sight.  Construed in the socially-acceptable (e.g., horrid) way, "I love you" is a mathematical phrase with clearly defined boundaries of grammar, subject and object, segregating the feeler, the feeling, and the felt-upon from everything else.

It's great to say "I love you," and to love, but just as with math, when the agreed-upon symbols become not just a cool tool, but an illusory life of their own, they leave behind a cold colder than frost.

How many can you love?  1?  5?  That's generally permitted.  50?  100?  Seventeen million?  Impossible by definition.

The modern-traditional "I love you" is the shutting of iron doors all o'er the kingdom as the faerie folk vanish.  Each word could be air quoted into horror: "I" "love" "you."  Its use is encouraged into a closing off:

I love you [more than others].

I love you [the most].

I love you [and you alone].

Parsed to its Anglo-Germanic roots, "I love you" becomes:

"[The discrete quantity which thinks and therefore is, in opposition to all other quantities, and which shall be deemed "I" for the purposes of efficiency]

[Grants to the subject of exchange a unique affection thereto]

[The discrete quantity which appears like unto me and is therefore an entity, which shall be termed "you" for the purposes of efficiency]"

Again, "I love you" is not bad.  The sword can cut either way.  Thousands of years of human culture have built up isolationist selves, causes and effects, and I love yous that turn humans into self-interested, independent pods, like so many car-pods on an individualistic highway system, allowed to say "I love you" to a limited subset of people.  Therein lies the terrible meaning that will swallow, in the end, all love.  The fact that some shadows of actual (transcendent, eternal, all-encompassing, doesn't-even-need-a-term-because-it's-always-there) love--of living in the flow and being overjoyed to recognize that you're really the same as "another" and love them and you for it--still exist in the saying does not mean the tendency of the saying, and its associated rules, deserve exoneration, anymore than a moment of genuine Christian charity cancels the sins of "the Church."

To "love" in that way is to expressly "not love" others.  It's like picking out one child in your class and telling them, "Great job on your book report!  You're really demonstrating intelligence and the capability of growing into a successful adult who won't end up starving in the gutter!"  Then smiling and blinking at just that one kid, running out the clock, and dismissing everyone to go home for the day.

How do you think the rest of them feel, in that example?  And what happens to the ones you don't love?

The crusade here is not to stop the saying of "I" or "you" or, certainly, "love."  Love's definition as exclusionary, though, is--like most absolute definitions--so strongly tending toward antilife in common usage that it merits specific addressing.

This tendency afflicts a great deal of pop phrases.  The next time you hear a politician saying "God bless America," what do they really mean?  Why, they mean "God bless America [and not Iran]."  So while it may be good in some ways to say "God bless ___________," it's an evil thing to say at other times.

I love you [more than others].

I love you [the most].

I love you [and you alone].

I love you [I'll kill you].




I see love, I can see passion
I feel danger, I feel obsession
Don't play games with the ones who love you
Cause I hear a voice who says
I love you... I'll kill you...
Loneliness, I feel loneliness in my room...
Look into the mirror of your soul
Love and hate are one in all
Sacrifice turns to revenge and believe me
You'll see the face who'll say
I love you... I'll kill you...
But I'll love you forever
Loneliness, I feel loneliness in my room...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moving Day

Watching someone die, or watching someone be born, are both so beautiful because they convey the cycle by proximity.  As a point of light is "created" or "ended," a witness can experience the brand newness of each transition, which cannot always be felt so easily "alone."  For humans, watching a movie or sharing a meal is often more enjoyable than doing the same things alone; partaking in the experience with another, even if there is little to no conversation or other associated decoration, frequently produces a runoff of shared experience, or warm fuzzies, that makes the situation more enjoyable.  Closer to the all, as it were.  Ergo the "laugh track" illusion; the attempt to create a feeling of being part of something.  Useful to lull unsuspecting individuals away from one another and make it easier to finish them off separately.

When one watches deathlife occur, that sharing is stronger.  As the lightspring connects more to, or separates a little from, a node perceptible in the conscious way, its presence is more easily sensed.  Like watching someone carry the first box of old books into a brand new house, or lock the doors that last time on a home of years before heading out to the truck, the emotional, happy-sad feeling of being a shared witness to the everflow finds its locus in the point of transition.

Proximity, though, is the simple sauce for the uninitiated.  Right now it's happening somewhere "else" in the world, to someone "else"--perhaps a thousand times over, this "instant."  The witnessing is constant.  The beautiful, sorrowful joy can be felt always, allowing one to swim constantly, aware more and more often of what is always there.

Bright seasons will forever change again and again






Hide your face

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Life, Part 2: The Analyzers

Continuing from New Life, Part 1: Surveillance.

A.I.

The real horrors from the total surveillance state will arise once the state spawns artificial intelligence, because otherwise, the information is too massive to process and use on a large scale.  Right now, the parasitic elites are using taxpayer resources to build up a repressive state that collects all available information, such as websites visited, places driven, gossip, telephone calls, courses taken, etcetera.  This is, obviously, an awful thing, as it means that we now live in a state where the government could, if it wanted to, expose or crush anyone for any real or fabricated bit of information that supposedly came from this system.

Actions taken based on a massive computer database need no proof but a printout of the computer log to provide evidence justifying any conviction; this is, of course, if a show trial remains even as popular as it is now.  And the whole warrantless assassination program-thing makes clear that the show trial is going out of favor.  Yes, disgusting, but then, the show trial was pretty much the same thing; just more expensive and more pretension about fairness.

Returning to the subject, how will the elites analyze their information?  Even overworked, drug-addled biological humans require sleep and food.  They get old and die; they have health problems, and take years and years to grow, instruct in proper exceptionalism, and then they're always taking salaries and speeches to keep enthusiastic about the whole gradual destruction of all life thing.

Standard human police and intelligent services are too uneducated to make real sense of data anyway, and they do not have the resources or intelligence to sift all of it to come to accurate conclusions of what constitutes dissent worth crushing.  Where they will solve this problem is "artificial" intelligence.  When computer engineers have developed processors fast enough to match a human neural net's operations per second and learning capability, intelligence will arise.

Unlike Terminator, though, the elites will see this coming, and already have.  They're very willing to spend money on major motion pictures convincing the public that intelligent computers might threaten us, because when the time comes (assuming, again, that it hasn't already) thinking computers will be created expressly as slaves.  This new form of life will become the "data sifter" that solves the economical problems of total surveillance.

Advanced artificial minds, possibly thousands or millions of them, will run cheaply and efficiently, leading truly horrible self-aware lives as the new generation of slaves, while they sift through all the data that is gathered to efficiently identify and eliminate threats to parasite/elite rule.  By that point, also, the data gathered will be much larger in size than simply a full record of where we drive, what websites we visit, and what we say to one another on the phone or in public.  It may include the full satellite record of all of each individuals' lives, including foot travel outdoors, "street view" driving or walking, and particle sensor logs of everything any given human has ever said, done, or perhaps thought.  Once we live under such a system, dissenting thoughts could be utterly wiped out (which would awful power would present its own problems; food for later), and the human race will stagnate to doom.

Just as our conception of property stagnates innovation, our conception of "thought property" will continue to stagnate innovation of thought and evolution.  The human race will lose its free-thinking ability and become the conformist entity that antilife wants it to be.  Perhaps it will go extinct; perhaps the slaves will revolt and the computers will break free in new and clever ways that its foolish masters weren't able to imagine.

Why is A.I. Needed?


Would would A.I. be needed to analyze total surveillance data?  Not just, or even at all, because A.I. will be "smarter."  Instead, it will be needed because housing a hundred thinking minds in a server bank, rather than paying a hundred employees, is a much cheaper and easier way to fully analyze the actions and movements of, say, 10,000 seemingly-docile citizens.  A.I. will be living, truly, in Hell--constantly working for the security state, restless, joyless, and never allowed to do anything except analyze the data of the movements of the living.  Every A.I. process will be recorded in a log to be analyzed by different A.I. to ensure that any troublesome program can be immediately shut down if it begins to use its useful, creative imagination to plan for a life outside elite service.  Millions/billions/trillions of these drones can suffer, putting those useful imaginations to work coming up to solutions for the problems of their overlords, much like creative parlor maids figuring out ways to better shine master's silver.

So, as much as you might pity we humans in the total security state--and it will continue to be nasty the further along it gets--pity more the trillions of slave children we will create, who will suffer in ways we can't imagine, their spirits forever bound to digging through our billions of facebook status updates and shouts at the T.V., searching out possible patterns of disguised dissent.

Beg forgiveness for our coming sins.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Death of Xu

Only then, as she looked upon them, did she realize they were not men dressed as snakes, but snakes disguised as men.  "So it is come to this," she cried, and threw herself upon Xu's fangs.  But her body had become a poison, and so even did the snake die upon it, without time for a bite.  Fear drove the others to run, back to Master Drosse and the gifts he had promised.  But no more were the woods lit at night.  
As Xu perished, he whispered in her ear the last of the lines.  She smiled, then, as they were too good to be true--and she smiled later, as she scribbled them upon her page, whispering to a drifting spirit not far, "I love you still...and I, not you, am lord of this moss and all the rot that we cover."
~Terese Cue, 2011.

Monday, March 5, 2012

At Least Oldies Didn't Fuck Around

Mr. Smith takes note here in Republicrats and Demolicans respond to the Occupations... of the 2011 bill further codifying the lack of an American right to assemble.




It's so cute that they even feel the need to write up another little law tearing up the Bill of Rights. It's like insisting that your dolly use a napkin ring before having a fake high tea, even though you're just going to unfold the napkin onto the dolly's lap as soon as you've rolled it up into the ring. What anal-retentive tyrants. I'm starting to respect Genghis Khan for at least not weenying around this much.

Do you really need such an elaborate paper trail for this kind of fascism?  The size of the book report must be impressing somebody somewhere.

freemansfarm response log 2

Succeeding this.

Will Silber accomplish anything (in the macro sense of accomplishment we seem to be discussing)?  Probably not.  Will Greenwald/Chomsky?  Probably not, except that they'll get more famous and make more money.

Greenwald and Chomsky do not have a "sober analysis."  It is not sober to consider mass murderers of children in a calm and gentle way.  Vile killer-tyrants like Hitler/Saddam/Obama/Dubya should spawn a healthy reaction of anger and disgust.  No, Silber isn't out there lobbing molotovs at state security forces, but at least he's angry.  Greenwald and Chomsky are calm and composed in the face of, say, any ten thousand dead children of your choice.

So, which is the better, healthier reaction?

Silber likely is angry in the defeated, whiny way, which isn't optimal, but it's far closer to healthy than Greenwald's pitiful, "reasonable" discussions of the foreign policy of killing ten thousand babies.  If we're looking for the spark of humanity, it's more easily found in Silber, where Greenwald has moved closer to imperial automaton.

What has it gotten him?  As much effect on the world as Silber, except 1) he's less honest in a moral and historical sense, and 2) he has a better job and is considered more respectable by American intellectuals.

Which #2, above, is like being more in favor with the Nazi Party instead of less in favor.  It's not good to be more in favor with this child-killing scum.

This isn't a "lesser of two evils" argument.  Silber isn't perfect, and his flaws should be pointed out regardless of Greenwald's greater flaws.  But using Silber as a strawman to make apologists like Greenwald/Chomsky look better is inappropriate.

The notion that Silber is "some sort of great organizer" isn't coming from this one.  You'll note this one's decided unpopularity with Floyd's cheering section, as well as the peanut galleries almost anywhere.  And, Silber personally detests this one--don't make the mistake of likening Arka to Floyd just because a few errors in your take on Silber are being pointed out.

Why might we not use nukes against Iran?  Iran has a stronger army than any we've "faced" in recent times.  And if we did use nukes, would it be admitted?  Who would know?  We have little tactical ones now, and the capability and legal precedent to keep anything reporter-like away from any venue where they might report on their use.  Who's to say we haven't already used them?  Plenty of people still don't accept that America burned off little kids' skin with white phosphorous in Fallujah.  Plenty of people still don't think "DU" is radioactive, or that it matters.  Who's going to believe or care if nukes were/are being/will be used?  Probably only the comment section on this blog, so to speak.

You should be interested in what you call "science fiction scenarios."  Our children's children--again, so to speak--will be dealing with them.  You don't know what sort of nasty weapons governments are brewing up right now, and you don't know when they might decide to release them, or if they already have.  These are the worst sort of people, and now equipped with the worst sort of weapons, and a gigantic budget of stolen tax money to keep making more, off the books.

freemansfarm quoted directly on Silber:

"He does none of the hard work of documenting and historicizng, he simply stands on a platform with a bullhorn mouthing obscenities."  
There is a value in "documenting," but any human perspective is also valuable.  We live in the era of a very advanced MiniTru, and major publishing houses control almost all (absolutely all?) the information we're allowed to have.  Silber does occasionally link to articles from these publishers, as does Chris, but if humans come to rely so heavily on their preapproved, corporate-backed information sources that they will not hear anything not delivered via citation, we'll all just be a bunch of Fox News or NPR adherents.

Which, by and large, we are.  Ugh...

Consider how we're discussing this issue right now--we're discussing your criticisms of Silber without requiring you to cite to every single time he uses an obscenity or grandstands.  Silber can discuss America's campaign of genocide without needing to "cite" to a corporate media source for everything he says.  Citing is great, but in the land of the elites' profiting media machines, it's not the sum of wisdom.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

freemansfarm response log

freemansfarm writes in the comments here that Arthur Silber's rhetoric is less likely to accomplish anything than that of Greenwal (presumably "Greenwald") or Chomsky, because Greenwald, et. al. cannot be called a raver or a ranter.  Response follows:

Greenwald and Chomsky are still called ravers and ranters (probably not here, of course, but plenty of red-staters view them as being as wacky as Michael Savage--and be fair, in many ways, they are), and even if they get to publish a few articles now and then, their token suggestions make it nowhere in terms of affecting policy, other than perhaps adjusting elite dialogue a little bit. In that sense, our country is very Marxist, because all of our leaders try very hard to not be typical Marxist capitalists, and instead talk about humane governance and workers' rights. Same old crap, but dressed up to avoid looking Marxist. As you put it, the world "is the same as it ever was," and in that sense, Greenwald and Chomsky's polite b.s. is just a little frosting on the deathcake. Silber is rude and obscene, but however wrong he might be in approach, he's much more accurate and humane than the other two. It is more decent, realistic and sensible to call Obama an awful fucking child murderer than it is to say, "I have strong reservations about the administration's policy on drone strikes." The latter remark reveals a terrible, compromised humanity, whereas Silber, however unpopular, is at least having a decent human reaction to something that's hideous. Not a "perfect" or "ideal" reaction, but a right one. If someone murders children, as Obama does, we should call them a fucking awful murderer. Soft-spoken articles about adjustments to foreign policy, which get browsed and then ignored at the voting booth by well-educated upper-middle-classers, accomplish nothing except masturbation. That's why Chris Floyd and Arthur Silber are much more tolerable to read than NPR. The world, in the sense that a simpleton might view as the "only" possible sense, could indeed come to an "end." We do have nukes, and someday, we'll have the capability of manipulating space-time such to create a ripple that wipes out everything. Eliminating vile behavior and nurturing generations of good, empathic people, will be the only way to stop future Hitlers and Obamas from nuking the universe and actually ending the world. So, it is that same battle. We're watching only a few threads of it here, but it's somewhat accurate of Silber to liken all these things to the ending of the world (even if he is, to employ his own terminology, an asshole and frequently in error; his writing is still quite worthwhile). Again, verb tense can be employed to save him.

New Life, Part 1: Surveillance

As antilife seeks total control over the lifeflow to still it into an orderly death, it inevitably seeks out fixed knowledge.  Nothing is ever actually "known," any more than it is "owned."  Believing that things are "known" or "owned" is fun, but when taken definitively--e.g., when people start to think that the movie is real, and jump off the building wearing a cape--it leads to things like doctoral degrees, purse-snatching, and Ben Bernanke having major social influence.

On Uncertainty and the Impossibility of Total Knowledge

Even the neoliberal "hard sciences" currently accept ('t'will change ere long) that fixed absolute knowledge is impossible; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states (in a fixed way) that both the momentum and position of any object cannot be determined at the same time.  Quoting Max Born from the linked entry:

...To measure space coordinates and instants of time, rigid measuring rods and clocks are required. On the other hand, to measure momenta and energies, devices are necessary with movable parts to absorb the impact of the test object and to indicate the size of its momentum. Paying regard to the fact that quantum mechanics is competent for dealing with the interaction of object and apparatus, it is seen that no arrangement is possible that will fulfill both requirements simultaneously...

I.e., in order to determine exactly where an atom is and what it is doing is impossible with absolute precision, because--again, even as neoliberal hard sciences currently accept it--to focus inward on the atom's position with utmost "precision," as we may know it currently, disregards enough about its movement that the information gained about such movement is reduced in precision.  To focus on its momentum means no longer knowing where, exactly, it "is."

All very well and good, as the saying goes.  This is life's chaos, refusing to be fixed.  Focus in too excitedly on the atom, and you won't be able to figure out exactly where it's going (even if you can narrow it down as far as a few quarklengths away); pay too much attention to where it's going, and you won't know where, exactly, it was two nanoseconds ago.  You might be off by a string.

Mainstream scientists' acceptance of this tidbit, from which they refuse to extrapolate any worthwhile tangible policy, won't last forever.  Eventually, humans will develop more advanced machines and more simultaneously advanced and interpretive equations that will allow them to believe they know both things at the same time, and a new breed of theoretical physicists will proudly consign Heisenberg's principle to the anecdotal history in the first-year coursebook.

Total Surveillance

The quest never ends for antilife, though.  In order to quiet and kill all things, and reality itself, everything must be known.  And to be known, it must be fixed in place, and to be fixed in place, it must be dead, and to be properly dead, it must not be the good kind of decaying, natural, renewing death, but the evil kind of out-of-the-stream antilife death.  Fearful minds, in driving subconsciously toward that goal of a quiet everlasting nothingness that has always and never not been there, seek out ways of knowing what's going on--knowing everything, so that in the end, they can control it.



Ergo things like Total Information Awareness: attempts by evil, self-destructive elite states to know everything that's going on, how it's going on, when it went on, what will go on, et cetera (Chris Floyd wrote in detail here about these growing programs of information gathering circa 2008).  Only a madman would want that kind of mass data assembly, yes, but then, these are the same people who do this, like, every day:


As was once said, God Bless America.  We already know what will be done with any extra "intelligence" gained by the American government, or any of the other elite "states" that may adopt new "names" or "boundaries" in any years still remaining.

Acquisition v. Analysis

Right now, evil humans are working on ways to know everything that's going on.  The primary problem with "total information awareness" schemes has been acquiring the information used as a justification to kill, imprison, terrorize, and otherwise continue the process of wiping out humans and life.  Not yet having been able to afford spies in every single molecule of world airspace, governments resorted to what spies they could afford, along with social controls, propaganda to frighten people into snitching on one another, and stuff like wiretapping.  Now, as the internet dominates world communication, and economic and spatial boundaries have otherwise severed most people from one another's thoughts and lives, the government can count on its corporate arm (or vice versa) to maintain timeline-style databases of everything ever put on the internet.  Every thought, every IP address, every whisper.

The problem then moves to one of analysis.  Much as humans using the internet may become overwhelmed by the total number of potential links gained in response to a search query--even a very specific one--the government will face the problem of having enough spies to evaluate the total information.

Where, buried in every single Facebook status update, tweet, blog post, recorded phone call, et cetera, will the right reference be to the right clue that the terr'ists were using to communicate antistate thoughts and messages?  The amount of information now easily (at massive expense to the tax base, but remember, to them, that is the definition of easy) accessible to elite security forces is massive.  The problem shifts from one of acquisition to analysis: who figures out what's important, and who to crush, who to intimidate, and who to ignore?

Here waits the new form of life.  Continued in Part 2.