Monday, April 30, 2012

And Then Came The Next One, Part 2



(Succeeding And Then Came The Next One.  Picture is real [inasmuch as anything like this can be considered "real"]; clip-out courtesy Consumer Trap.)

Brilliant; sad; hilarious.  Hollywood did its best to push Obama (TM) in 2008, and like most empty things Hollywood tries to sell, it was a huge success.  This particular shot is funny/terrible not just because of the marketing angle, but because Clooney--who should, by virtue of friend and money quantity alone--be a self-secure individual.  But here, we see him not just pushing the product as a wealthy backer, but also thoroughly enjoying the chance to show off his one black friend in true SWPL fashion.

Take note, oh lamenters of two-party duality: the soulless leaders you decry are just a political version of the soulless products that you excitedly gobble up from the entertainment branch of the same elite pushers.  Patronizing their junk will ensure that nothing good ever gets made/sold.  The picture above is evidence of Obama's worthless insubstance, yes, but it is also evidence that the soulless corporate media conglomerates that control distribution of our books, movies, TV shows, pictures and music are equally possessing of a deliberate agenda.

It's not just an attempt to be popular.  If Obama actually wanted to be "popular," he would have followed major poll results at various times, and done things like offer universal health care, close Guantanamo Bay, "get out of Iraq," etc., that had majority support at various times.  If he really wanted to be popular, he would've announced a national dividend of $1,000 checks to be mailed out to everyone making less than $250K/yearly, or he would've called for a national referendum to replace Congress with all-new-people, or something else that would swarm Washington, D.C. with the nigh-complete adulation of the democratic populace he supposedly represents.  Nach, he does not do these things, because he's not interested in popularity.

The entertainment conglomerates, similarly, continue offering empty soul-calories not because they want popular successes or money.  They already have those things, and their future obtainment of them is--like the American election of someone backed by big money in November, 2012--guaranteed, with the marketing power they have at their disposal and the uninspired marks they're aiming for.  When the bookstores, libraries, theaters and newspapers all slap something out there as "the new sensation," it will sell almost every time, generate massive returns, and produce an independent fan base of unpaid promoters.  Entertainment business offers these terrible products because keeping people relying on worthless entertainment keeps them from developing as critical, empathic beings, and keeps the grindery running.

While the political salesmen have the respectable veneer of "tradition" and "state," the entertainment salesmen wear cloaks of "art" and "expression."  Same show, different acts.  When you compromise and vote for Obama, you're not just choosing "the best option available"--you're also validating, through your participation, the entire process of ensuring that no good, healthy option will be available next time.  When you compromise and read Dimly-Lit Place or catch the next Hungry Thrones movie, you're validating the entire process of ensuring that no good, healthy option will be available next time.

C'est la mort.  Life is short, ehy?  Might as well pick one of whatcha got with your dollars, your vote, or your hours.  We have no hope for anything better, after all--it's just not pragmatic.  Play within the boundaries, suck it up, go see the Hollywood rape of Death Note, and on the way home, stop at the community center and pull the lever for the best guy they got.

Update: from an anonymous commentator at IOZ, summing up a generation and a life:


Anonymous said...
Hey Arka, isn't there a kid being bullied somewhere that you can go save? Fuck you and your new age bleeding heart self-aggrandizement.
7:36 PM

To be ignored, insulted, or destroyed by this culture is a high honor.

Lesser Deconstruction

The "lesser of two evils" argument is inherently monstrous, and literally evil.  Only in a mind sickened to some degree does it take root.  To attest, "it's acceptable to murder a quantity of people if it results in a smaller quantity of people being murdered than would otherwise be," is--again, literally--evil.

It's ever been popular for evil people to rationalize evil actions using the method immediately above.  Healthy souls can instantly pinpoint this.  In a healthy society, someone who said, "Let's murder 10,000 children in order that 10,001 not be killed," would be instantly removed from any position of authority or responsibility, and given medical treatment.  In an even healthier society, such individuals would rarely develop (much less achieve a strong numerical majority).

Within that devil's argument, though, lie even more telling clues that expose its true nature: expose it, perhaps, even to the one making the argument out of a presented, naive do-gooder-ness--if their emotional intelligence is sturdy enough to handle the inquiry.

Here are a few ways the rhetoric works:


Form 1

--


Vile, essential structure: We must support Dictator Zygor.  Dictator Zygor has slaughtered only 10,000 of the enemy.  If Generalissimo Xanthor had gained power, he would have murdered 15,000 of the enemy.

Vile, inherent assumptions: I can predict the future.  Based on political posturing, campaign promises, and the information I'm presented by corporate media, I know what actions Generalissimo Xanthor would have taken if he had been in power.  And I know those would've been worse than the ones Dictator Zygor took.

Vile, with c. 2000 variables applied: We must support Obama.  They said in 2000 that the Republicans and Democrats were not different, but Bush invaded Iraq, and Al Gore would not have.

--

This is the weakest form, but exhibits the greatest arrogance shown by the vile.  What would Al Gore have done after 9/11, if he had been president?  The Vile knows: Al Gore would have been so compassionate he would not have lashed out at the Middle East.  He would not have reacted to intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein networked with one of the suicide bombers and gave shelter and support to al Qaeda.  Despite the constant bombing of Iraq, and the "sanction" murders of 1 million-odd Iraqi children during the Clinton/Gore years, the Vile is certain that s/he knows what Gore would've done--with all the certitude of religious righters who know what Jesus would do about things if He were here passing judgment today.


Form 2

This one's a lot more fun.  Go Socratic.

--


Empath: Dictator Zygor is a murderer.  How can you support someone who murders thousands upon thousands of children?

Vile: Dictator Zygor is not perfect, but he is the best of all possible options.  We must do what we can to inch things toward a better world.

Empath: Then it's okay to support mass murder by one potential leader if it's less than another potential leader would commit?

Vile, Fantastic Possibility: Absolutely not.  
Empath, Fantastic Possibility: Then you won't be supporting Dictator Zygor, the imperial mass murderer, anymore.  Wonderful!  Many more people will have a chance at a brighter world.  


Vile: Unfortunately, yes.

Empath: Posit that Adolf Hitler was reincarnated and running for President against Genghis Khan.  Hitler promised to butcher 400,000 Muslim children during his term.  Khan promised to butcher 556,012.  Would it then be right to vote for Hitler?  Or, if the terminology makes you uncomfortable, change the names to 'Zygor' and 'Xanthor,' or 'Obama' and 'Romney.'

Vile: How could you be so ridiculous and insulting?  This discussion is over!

(blip)

Vile: All right, if you change the names to something reasonable, then unfortunately, yes.  We have to do the best we can for a better world, and if Hitler (or "Obama") would murder fewer children than Khan (or "Romney"), Hitler would earn my vote and my support.

--

What the dialogue reveals is that, by agreeing to vote for whoever is "the best of," the Vile is making the essential claim that anything, no matter how horrible--and by the lightspring, Obama's mass murders are so revolting your soul should be screaming every second--is worth supporting if it can be posited to be better than something else.


Form 3

--


Empath: Dictator Zygor is a murderer.  How can you support someone who murders thousands upon thousands of children?

Vile: Dictator Zygor is not perfect, but he is the best of all possible options.  We must do what we can to move things toward a better world.

Empath: If elected, I would promise to end imperialism and cease all belligerent actions against foreign nations as my first policy.  I am, therefore, an even better choice for someone with your principles.  Will you vote for me?


Vile, Fantastic Possibility: *gasp!*  Yes!  Or anyone who promises to stop this terrible butchery!  
Empath, Fantastic Possibility: Then you won't be supporting Dictator Zygor, the imperial mass murderer, anymore.  Wonderful!  Many more people will have a chance at a brighter world.  

(ahem)

Vile: Of course not.

Empath: I actually exist.  You could write me in.  And there are many, many other people out there who would slaughter 0 children if given the chance to begin an era of peaceful leadership.

--

This dialogue reveals another blinding flash of the obvious: that there are more possibilities for "presidential leadership" than the ones the teevee and enn-pee-arr tell us about.  It's an artificial choice, and a deathly humorous ruse, that one has to choose between option A or option B.  Which leads to the next...


Form 4

--

Empath: Dictator Zygor is a murderer.  How can you support someone who murders thousands upon thousands of children?

Vile: Dictator Zygor is not perfect, and neither is Generalissimo Xanthor, but the two major parties are the only ones that people would feasibly vote for, and everyone knows it.  Our only hope lies in picking the best of the two available options.

Empath, after some casual conversation: Pretend that you went to a car dealership to purchase a car, and the salesman greeted you and showed you their two top-selling models.  Would you say the following sentence:

"No matter what price they are, what options they have, or what condition they're in, I'll buy whichever of the two is cheaper.  No matter what price they are.  I will not walk out of here today without buying one of those two cars.  Your goal is to show me which one of those two cars is the best."

Would you?

Vile, chuckling: Don't be ridiculous!

Empath: Are you sure?

Vile, finishing iced tea: Oh, you're silly!

Empath: What if that was the only dealership in town?  And what if, for the past hundred years--just, hypothetically speaking--the majority of people in town had said that to the salesmen every single time they went in to buy a car:

"No matter what price they are.  I will not walk out of here today without buying one of those two cars."

Vile, Fantastic Possibility: *gasp!*  That's ridiculous!  Those people are getting taken advantage of!  And if they keep falling for that dirty ruse, they'll never break free of the cycle!    
Empath, Fantastic Possibility: Then you won't be supporting Dictator Zygor, the imperial mass murderer, anymore.  Wonderful!  Many more people will have a chance at a brighter world.  
--

Another level of the blindingly obvious, which pops up only now, after the most recent burning of satire's resurrected corpse.


Form 5

--

Empath: President Obama is a murderer.  How can you support someone who murders thousands upon thousands of children?

Vile: President Obama is a little imperialist, and is not perfect, and neither is Mitt Romney, but the two major parties are the only ones that people would feasibly vote for, and everyone knows it.  Our only hope lies in picking the best of the two available options.

Empath: If killing fewer children is acceptable and better, then would you support Obama as he accused three of your grandchildren of terrorism, and tortured and murdered them?  After all, Obama might kill fewer Arabs than Romney would, but if he just killed your three grandchildren, that would be way fewer murders overall!


Vile, Fantastic Possibility: Absolutely not!  When I think about Obama murdering my own loved ones, I realize that sacrificing Arab children is no better, whatever the ends.  This horror must stop!  
Empath, Fantastic Possibility: Then you won't be supporting President Obama, the imperial mass murderer, anymore.  Wonderful!  Many more people will have a chance at a brighter world, including your children and their Arab sisters and brothers living on a different part of our shared planet.  


Vile, realistically: Your terms of debate are inappropriate and rude.  I shall ignore you, and shall instead make sure to help people realize that they need to vote for Obama.  Murdering Arab children, even a lot of Arab children--and Persians, and blacks, and hell, a lot of other kinds, too!--is one thing, but murdering Americans is entirely different.

Empath, following frantically after the departing Vile: But Obama has murdered American citizens, too!  Besides, are you saying that American lives are worth more?

Vile: No!  I'm not a racist.  They teach you that's "bad" at university.

Empath: Then why is it acceptable to sacrifice innocent foreign children to Obama's imperialism, but not innocent American ones?

Vile: Your terms of debate are inappropriate and rude.

Empath: Are the deaths of dozens of thousands of small children something worth your being able to answer questions about why it was okay?  Especially considering that you're lending your support to the one who masterminded their killings?

Vile: Delete!  Delete!  

Empa--  bwooop!  

--

Painful apologies for rehashing this--in essential response to the living strawman Wolff, with current variables--so many years after even the latest tyrant has played out a subtle variation on this cycle.

Many others joined this one in predicting with horror the course this latest tyrant would take, prior to his 2008 coronation.  Those of you already know all this stuff, but don't discount the value of taking any attempt to help even the most stoic apologists realize what terrible crimes they've worked for, and give them a tug in a better direction.

(Granted, after four years of snide mockery from the very pragmatic, reasonable, wealthy and well-educated Obama followers, it's hard to keep trying, but if they lose us, what else will help them?)

Obama's course through this murder charade was predictable, but he was only following up on Clinton the sanction-butcher of the oft-cited million brown kiddies, and the rest of the marvels brought to us by the Democratic Party: the oldest living named political machine on the planet, and the organization with the most blood on its hands.  This malignant beast exceeds even the piss-stained husks of the British royals, having gained ascendance post-industrialism, and left rich little Nazi Harry to dwindle in kill numbers relative to the newer shootemups, like so many flaccid Robocop DVDs melting in the sun outside Blockbuster.

The Democratic Party, the party of American slavery, the Native American genocide, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow, colored washrooms, World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the nuclear mass murder of the Japanese, the littering of Kosovo with depleted uranium, the Iraq sanctions deaths, the terminator robot assassination expansion, telecomm immunity, et cetera.

As this one once read, "It's like...like I'm seeing it all happen again."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why Do I Work For Obama


In Why Do I Work For Obama, Mr. Wolff, after a few token insults at this one, argues that the Democratic Party's marginal domestic policy improvements over what the Republicans would have done during the same time period (which he knows because of his time machine, and also because of what different politicians say they would've done if only they'd had the chance) are reason enough to support Obama's imperialism.  Recording response for posterity before it vanishes down his memory hole:

What a horrifying, utterly selfish decision--to support someone who murders thousands upon thousands of foreign children, because their domestic policy decisions are a little bit better than the domestic policy decisions that might have been made by other people in office at the time.  
Even if those domestic policy decisions are better than what a "Republican" would've done...and they're not...but even accepting that partisan fairy-tale, what a vile, selfish act it is for you to support the ongoing murder of so many children belonging to a different culture.  This is unabashed, vulgar selfishness of the worst kind.  
You gravely agree that "Arab" children shall be butchered in droves so that "American" children can have unions.  You are the worst that humanity has to offer.  

Update: succeeded in Why Do I Work For Wallace.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Intelligence

There is a keen split between the modern perspective on "intelligence," and the results of that intelligence: PhDs who behave childishly; highly-educated leaders with no respect for humanity; overweight physicians.Why?  It results from incorrectly correlating one type of intelligence with all others.

Types of Intelligence

Projective intelligence: "outward" problem-solving and analysis.  Sums are added, trajectories calculated, fluid mechanics deduced and the behavior of large or small populations predicted.  Brilliant engineers hone planes that drop bombs that destroy the children of people who get angry and kill the children of the brilliant engineers.  A lot of intelligence being used, but only of a certain kind.

Creative intelligence: connection to the lightspring, permitting the connecting of different shades of reality with one another through "art."  The mundane, long-gone shades of one place are glimpsed through music, visual art or literature in another place, where they become realms of wonder.

Introspective intelligence: "inward" problem-solving and analysis; a cognizance of the porous isolation of "selves" out of the spring, and the connections betwixt and between, with increasing "intelligence" being an ability to understand the nature and exchange of the connections and isolations.

Common Uses of Intelligence

Projective intelligence is, by and large, the only type major industrial and post-industrial cultures are recognizing or developing.  Introspective and creative intelligence are almost wholly ignored.

Introspective intelligence is usually acknowledged only after visits to the metaphorical psychotherapist's couch.  There, the therapist is not someone who has been trained to be introspectively intelligent toward herself or himself, but rather, someone who has been trained to utilize projective intelligence to guide toward socially-acceptable normalcy the mechanical workings of others' minds.  The theoretical nature of mental therapy professions leads many students of therapy to independently discover value in introspective intelligence, but this value, through the lens of science, tends to be viewed as a means to an end--establishing the self-control, through therapy or medicines, that can lead a patient to resume normal work and social activity.  Problem solved: normal projective activities have been resumed.

Creative intelligence is acknowledged only in art or music instruction, and except for rare instances in composition theory or creative writing instruction, what is offered in training is projective intelligence as to the methodology of creation.

Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement: horrible, deathly attempts to leech the life out of dynamic systems by pinning them, twitching, to catalogued butterfly-collector's nets and understanding every tiny bit of them, until they've been understood so finally that they cease to exist as anything except a skeleton that can easily be duplicated for sale as many times as desired.

In a land where only projective intelligence is enthralled, creativity is absent, replaced by mathematical sonatas, stories and scripts, where formulaic entertainments are churned out like so many factory-produced cars, with similar reliable parts, actors, tropes and themes.

The Failures of Projective-only Societies

The inability to recognize different types of intelligence results in extreme dichotomies in the world.  For example, we have the prospective intelligence to design and build nuclear weapons, then deploy them worldwide, but not the introspective intelligence to not use them (those who believe that the mass murders of World War II were the only such use are highly in error, and encouraged toward depleted uranium).

Our greatest prospectively intelligent minds involve themselves engineering fighter jets, designing sprawling private mansions and building giant dams, without having the creative or introspective tools to think intelligently about what they are doing.  When they do think about it, their level of thought is as unprepared for the task as that of a three-year-old analyzing War and Peace or designing a functioning jet engine.  Their faculties in that regard have been so neglected that they are not up to the task, so all they have left is to design big explosions without understanding them.  When confronted with a creatively or introspectively intelligent question about the use of their projective intelligence, they grow upset, and counterattack, slamming shut the "too complicated" book of troubling possibilities.

Having been told, then, that they are "adults," and that they are "intelligent"--and having every social verification of these facts, from majority status to as many advanced degrees as necessary--they are never spurred to question their own wisdom.  And the bombs, as it were, continue to be built.

Both neglects are a consequence of ragnarism (and one of its many children, avarice).  Fearful minds do not want to understand themselves.  Understanding the nature of the mind involves confronting the lack of an absolute, singular self, and requires different intelligence than that of the sum-adding kind.  That is why our society is so structured around avoiding introspection, and avoiding the create-ivity (a word built by the projectively intelligent, to suggest that the discoverer of art is "creating" and "owning" it, much as Columbus "discovered" the "New World"--"death by air quotes") that can lead to discovering introspection.

Carefully, over the years, we have crafted all academic, professional and social inquiry in such a way as to resist analyzing what someone thinks and feels inwardly.  To brush upon the subject provokes a violent response, and sound condemnation from all corners.  The result of a society of introspectively stunted individuals is a chaos of sad, confused, sick, needy lives.  It clings together only by the overwhelming force of the social mores that protect humans from having to think about life and their own piece of it.  To maintain that surface tension, and protect the projective illusions from destruction, humans occupy their time with social ritual.  Fixed behavior practices (i.e., the supposed human affection for a daily "routine") occupies the mind with external schedules and controlled behavior.  As the rituals occur, everyone is validated in their general participation, and thoughts can be as distracted as possible (by the details of the ritual) to avoid their turning inward.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Buying a Ticket to Trash


The wonderful Ilir offers the following (in Mr. Trovillion's comments):

On the other hand, buying a ticket to hollywood’s trash isn’t exactly as bad as bombing brown people to secure and expand military and corporate domination over the world. Or maybe I’m wrong. I heard that Transformers 3 was so horribly dreadful that it was actually responsible for at least 40,000 deaths in the United States alone (and at least 17 confirmed cases of Polio in Italy) so maybe Hollywood is worse.
Cute, and a necessary question to ask, in the face of many Stage Thirds, who have understood the genocidal deceptions of Obama and the DLC and vowed never to vote for them, but who continue to gobble up, say, Twilight or Harry Potter or DaVinci Code or Game of Thrones or whatever else.

Which is worse?

Obama: Makes speech encouraging Congress to pass budget resolution authorizing the expenditure of funds to pay troop salaries and equipment costs for American military forces.

Soldier: Shoots brown person.

Congress: Gets encouraged by speech to authorize the expenditure of funds, etc.

Hollywood: Drains the soul out of human creative expression, deadening the ability of the world's peoples to learn how to understand empathy, love, loss, critical thinking.

Yes, the soldier is actually "doing" the killing.  But who is more integral to the system?  Who lays the entire groundwork for what results in the shooting; who makes it workable, then honorable, then tolerable, then even conceivable in the first place?

Many of the upset radical bloggers wonder to themselves, "Why is everyone so dumb, heartless, and mean?"  The answer is found in many places, but one of the major components, alongside an increasingly-absolutist educational structure, is the replacement of our artistic cultural expression with ash and dust.  The stories we tell are mostly dumb, heartless, and mean, and those we revere are almost all so.  The cruel farces of emotion that they offer are viewed as actual emotion by us, and so we become unable to express and recognize (real) empathy, while simultaneously using all the right terms for it.  The easy answers and absolutist plots of bad movies and books are the very lifeblood of the crushed souls that seem chillingly unable to deal with the real world without snapping up their arms in the latest version of "heil Hitler."


Who is the calmative for the populace that votes for the politicians, accepts their direction, and enlists?  Who lays the groundwork for tiny children growing up to either serve in the military, serve in financial sectors, or pull levers on voting booths and get delighted by political contests between upper functionaries of the killing machine?  Where is all the power ultimately derived from?  Our stories, and our culture, create this madness.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bible, gay, yada yada

Logging a response to one desargues via IOZ, on whether Douthat is closeted, Judeo-Christianity is anti-homosexual, and what the reasoning might be.

The passage from Leviticus (If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them) reveals an obsessive anti-homosexuality.  Here's a look at working obsession:

1) Becoming aware that many humans exhibit a certain type of behavior, e.g., homosexual behavior.

2) Devoting vast amounts of time and other resources away from survival, and instead using said resources to promulgate rules in a book that decrees that this behavior should be punishable by death.

3) Ascribing this mandate to a divine being responsible for all creation, and who, despite said universal breadth, takes a particularly keen interest in this behavior and its punishment.

4) Detailing at length how homosexuals are the thing that makes God the angriest out of all of creation's many sins, fueling His wrath to its greatest that they may be made faggots to burn the hottest in eternal torment in the flames of Hell.

obsess to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally: Suspicion obsessed him.

The Bible is thoroughly occupied with cursing many people, but the damnation of the faggots is one that God takes a very keen interest in.

You, however, feel that it doesn't rise to the level of obsession.  Either because of lack of familiarity with the Bible--or a differing viewpoint on what an "obsession" is--you see it as just one in a laundry list of things the Bible's God has a problem with.

So, we return again to the question you were afraid to answer.  What defines obsession?

The reason you don't want to define the word is that you were trapped before when you defined something, and you now see that, by defining logical structures that will allow us to determine a given fact--say, that the Bible is misogynist--those same structures can be used, with different variables, to draw conclusions that you don't like, but which result from a framework you already offered as valid.

To follow a Socratic inquiry beyond "the Bible is misogynistic" to "the Bible is anti homosexual" to "the Bible is obsessively anti homosexual and misogynistic," you would eventually be forced to conclude, if you had the courage to continue exploring, that "Judeo-Christian religions are obsessively anti homosexual and misogynistic," and ultimately, "those adults who advocate and advance Judeo-Christian lifestyles are far more likely than a randomly chosen population set to be obsessively anti homosexual."

You could slow things down in hopes of getting out of it by attacking terms.  "Obsession" means this degree of interest, but not that degree of interest.  "Anti-" homosexuality means this degree of condemnation, but not that degree of condemnation.  Et cetera.  More likely is a dissonance spiral, counterattack and shutout.  As your subconscious struggles to avoid the cognitive dissonance it perceives on the horizon, you come up with the perfect solution: "This argument is ridiculous and bores me!  I withdraw from it!"  Satisfied that you have nothing new to discover, you have a long list of reasons why certain questions are not necessary to answer.

You've already tried to escape this way several times, but the positive aspects of your character have kept you returning.  This could fail at any time, but we must keep our hopes up in favor of learning and sharing.

The inquiry would, if pursued openly, lead to us discovering the "why" of the anti homosexuality: repression.  Obsession is often (usually?  always?) a hallmark of subconscious interest, ergo why violently anti-homosexual celibate male religious orders tend to attract self-loathing homosexuals who do not acknowledge their own interests.

This type of repression can also lead to the sort of showboating that Douthat was engaging in, where sexuality becomes a subject of a joke.  Mild teasing of the funny, different freaks helps reassure those doing the mocking that they're not really interested in that kind of stuff--after all, look how easily they make light of it!

Where we come to at the end is that IOZ was quite reasonable in identifying the homoerotic dialogue of an adult, very public member of a religious cult with a massive history of homosexual obsession and child abuse.  But let's not spoil the ending: would you like other references to biblical anti-homosexuality, to help you understand why this one calls it an obsession?  Do you concede that point?  Or, are you sufficiently familiar with the Bible that you feel it is not obsessively anti-homosexual, and have reasons why?  What, for you, defines obsession?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old Folks, Purina, Etc.

So they're not even trying to change the name much--they're actually marketing milkbones to people.  And people are not eating it in resigned disgust, but liking it.

A surprise within a surprise, wrapped in something that's not a surprise.

They're already selling joke soylent green, yeah, but how long before the real stuff comes out?

Asking that question with awareness that it's probably already out under a different name.  The real math issue for enthusiasts is, how long until they can admit what it is?  "Cannibal bars," or a similar name, may be on the horizon.

.

at every turn
mocked
by those you would help
at every stage
uncovering
a new layer of deception
it goes higher
than you think
higher
higher
steps to Babel
like a forever climb to a reverse Gehenna
then you get there and
realize
it wasn't a climb at all
no turns, no stages, no fucking onion peels
they were all in it from the beginning
save the empty something
that comes
from the flow
kiss my net
if then where condition variable
there's nothing to find at the top
but the babbling ignorance
that began it all
and what we thought we'd do
was become some of those deaf mutes
throw the weak to Moloch because it's fun
to hear the screams
no
not fun
just a way of drowning out
but you never really can
except by ignoring long enough
so you were all really ahead of me this whole time
i
apologize
stamp it out yet
just working on it
stamp it out yet

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Changes

I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets and the war in the middle east
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
So the police can bother me...

Tupac

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Body Defacing, 2

(Updated below)

Following up on On Body Defacing, and as most recently inspired by Mr. Trovillion's The balanity of war.

This stuff being widely available is, in and of itself, positive.  A large part of what keeps the current form of the grindery going is the complacence of stuffy imperial citizens who both support and disdain what their soldiers do.  The essential message to the soldiery is, "Do it, but act mature and sophisticated about it, in the way we would want you to, so that we can continue believing that our killing is done humanely."

The desire for that illusion is a deadlier, more arrogant, more disgusting act--by many degrees, if such horrors can be measured--than any actual killing being perpetrated by some savage soldier.  Next to such deplorable, aloof complacency, the honest firsthand violence of the grunt shines like gold.  It is that bourgeois indifference (like Barbara Bush's "beautiful mind" comment) that creates the violence which the soldiers carry out.

In many wars--Vietnam comes easiest to mind, perhaps, for Americans now--much of the soldiery realized that the "supportive populace" back home had no understanding of, or appreciation for, what they were supporting.  This is a large part of where this kind of posing comes from: a subconscious desire to send a message back home, "Look what you fuckers paid for.  Like it?  Huh?"  That's everything that coward deathlords like Obama are trying to keep from their subject populaces before they've finally expunged empathy from said populaces.  Empathy, and the witnessing of tiny slices of graphic reality, threatens to collapse the structure.

Let the comfortable, fat citizens shower in the blood and entrails they have ordered, and we may find that they no longer have stomach for talk of drones and occupations and humanitarian inventions.  Let a dead child fall from heaven to shatter the television tray of each voting American at suppertime.  Bring them awake with their sheets soaked in blood and the heads of suicide bombers staring dully at them.

Fight on, noble soldiers.  Take as many pictures of the world as you can, and show us what we have demanded of you.  Make us bathe in the stinking morass, until we stand against obscenely wealthy serial child killers and their terrible adherents. 

Update:


There are levels of knee-jerk reactions that we're conditioned to have to these kinds of events:

American conservative: Ha!  Take that, camel jockeys!

American centrist: War is tough.  They probably shouldn't do that, though--at least not where people can see.

American liberal: How terrible!  What a deplorable way to tarnish the honor of the rest of our brave soldiers!

American radical: There wouldn't be a corpse there to piss on if there wasn't a corpse at all!

Let's move beyond that, and ask ourselves, what might these soldiers be trying to do by showing us these bodies?

1) They're idiot warmongers.
2) They're heroes cutting loose.
3) They're misguided heroes who got out of hand and need to be corrected.

Instead of the standards, what if they--or some little part of their ghost--is trying to tell us something about what's going on in a more visceral way than any of our most scathing antiwar articles can do?  What if they are the true communicators; the real voice of protest and effective change?

If so--and this one thinks that's the case, even if these particular soldiers would probably not consciously admit to it--then it explains why the tyrant deathlords come down harder on these soldiers than they do on bloggers whining about tyranny and drone strikes.

Murder ten thousand children and the papers barely make a blip.  But urinate on a corpse, and suddenly, the Game-of-Thrones-promoting, British-Royals-adulating, election-season-excited corporate media is all over it.  What really gets their attention?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words Can Never Define

(Updated below)

The great Obama supporter and retired, overfed, white, male, graduate-schooled, American, liberal, anarchist, Marxist, Democratic Party true believer and vote-getter-outer Mr. Wolff speaks here about how all humans are interconnected, and how this progressive credo (his words) should unify his readership behind, well, his principles.  Which include Obama victories and, err, this:




In anticipation of more deletions from that intellectual-debate-stifling, PhD possessing, lengthy pontificating coward, this one records her thread response here:

Mr. Wolff, does your great connection to other humans make you feel any qualms about supporting someone who launches robot bombs that slaughter so many children?  
You have a great cheering section of clowns who are impressed by your degree into pursuing your affections, but in a very substantial way, you are a terror of the human race. You are a bloated white wealthy citizen of empire who supports its foulest doings.  Your actions stand wholly against your words.  
Dead children. In piles. Millions of them. Dripping blood on your pretty keyboard. Do you care enough to stop calling on us to support the mastermind who killed them?  

What end, this whining?  Yes, cowards ignore (on the internet, "delete;" in the real world, "kill") things they cannot bring themselves to deal with.  Happens every day.  Wolff's intellectual cowardice is no more news than Digby's or that sad little DLC prostitute Skinner's at democraticunderground.

What may seem striking, though, is the pretty words that Wolff is able to muster.  Like all great liars, from Mussolini to Obama to Wolff this week, his rhetoric is able to evolve to meet the challenges of the past.

In a weakened Italy, everyone knows that "nationalism" and "pride" and "family" and "brotherhood" are good things--and they are, construed in a certain light.  But Mussolini was able to say all those things while simultaneously scarring the souls of Italians, and setting them up for a failed empire, a terrible defeat, and countless deaths.

As discussed in A Murder So Sweet, Obama moved beyond this kind of rhetoric, just as tyrant deathlords have been doing for centuries.  Here's how the evolutionary pattern looks:

Tribal Chieftain, prehistory: We will slaughter the inhuman barbarians from [Tribe V] and take their things!  We will rape and kill their women and drink their blood!

Tribal Chieftain, pre-industrialism: A benevolent and all-powerful deity demands us to send to His judgment the inhuman barbarians from [Tribe W] and bring true holiness to their things!  We will protect their surviving women and purify their blood!  

Tribal Chieftain, early industrialism: Inhuman barbarians from [Tribe X] have encroached upon our territory and infringed upon our national honor.  We will slaughter them for the glory of our land, turning the rest of the world into a version of our glorious nation.

Tribal Chieftain, modern industrialism: Uncivilized peoples from [Tribe Y] have exploited their fellow [Tribe Y]-ians and harmed all of us by attacking not only our own nation, but all civilized peoples.  We will slaughter as few of them as possible as is necessary to ensure everyone's safety, and pragmatically assist all people in bringing a diverse peace to the world in the style of our open, enlightened, modern and healthy nation.

Obviously, the end result is the same.  You can dress up the bodies with sanitizer and use clever statistical marketing tricks ("lies" under the early industrialism model) to make it seem different and better, but it is, of course, just another way of talking about war, which once might've been called pointless mass murder.  When people get sick of mass murder by the newest catch phrase, tyrant deathlords and their bloated ilk need to dress it up even nicer so that the killing can continue under another name.

And that is why we turn to Wolff today: his desperate attempt to re-structure his rhetoric is a co-opting of the words alone in a movement of inclusive, empathic, decent treatment of life.  By stealing the words and symbols associated with the movement of people who realize that mass murder sucks, Wolff hopes to assist Obama in continuing the mass murder, while making it seem to be a new, improved, wholesome mass murder that is really, truly, honestly (this time!) done for the benefit of humanity.  Here's how the new campaign sounds in its formative stages:

Tribal Chieftain, postmodern industrialism: All humans are wonderful, good, interconnected creatures who deserve respect and love.  However, a very few, thoroughly un-culturally-representative people from [Tribe Z] have exploited their fellow [Tribe Z]-ians and harmed all of us by attacking not only their own people, but also ours.  While we cannot stop the terrible wars of the past immediately--because to do so would be irresponsible--we must pragmatically and carefully wind down our current involvement so as to minimize civilian casualties and pragmatically assist all people in bringing a diverse peace to the world in the style of our open, enlightened, modern and healthy nation.  


And so, the robot drones continue to fly.  Wolff sips his nightly brandy, takes a trip to Paris, uses his PhD to encourage a generation of young people to vote for an imperial overlord with years of killing experience, and at the same time, sees no irony in asking us to all remember our human connection.

The next form this will take will be even more insidious.  This brings us to the title: words alone must never define any movement.  Words are but a means of communicating.  When this one says "life is good and connected," this one means it as it reads--but when Wolff says "humans are interconnected," what he really means is, "we should be brotherly about drone bombing hundreds of children into gritty piles of Ragu decomposing in the desert sun, because the Republicans are so much worse."

Phrases, however pretty they may sound in any given time, should not control destiny.  Living souls should do it.  This is why Jesus tells us, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  The prettiest speeches--the most colorful swastikas, stars and stripes, or impassioned, literally truthful words--must never speak for themselves.  Even if it works out for a year--for a hundred years--words can always be permuted into something foul by vile creatures bent on everdeath.  Words can never define.  They are our tools, when employed, like rocks or guns or fallen leaves or these frames we inhabit--and in and of themselves, they are no more than shells.

As requested, here is a picture of just a few of the many, many children Obama has murdered while working as President, rather than as Senator:


On Body Defacing


Relevant article from appropriate whore.

Praise the honesty of the corpse posers.  Enough pictures sent back home and the proles might be moved to think more about what they're paying for.  Can you think of any better use for the shells left behind by the severed than to buy a lottery ticket for the "no war" jackpot?

Open, honest, brutal war-chants, and the encouragement of our brave soldiers the corpse posers, would do more than pompous indignation--either of the posing or of the killing--to break the genteel spell of the deathlords.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Prescient Dark Shadows Review

New movie Dark Shadows coming up in 2012.  Will it be a success?  Let's check the list.

1) Plot and characters recycled from something that was already successful decades ago - CHECK

2) Big name actor and director with strong potential of investment return - CHECK

3) Production history of working within Hollywood to exploit, cheapen and ruin other things on the bigscreen - CHECK

4) Theme of either: fierce nationalism; bleached humor; sexual humor; inner struggles unconnected to the rest of the world; acceptable diversity crossovers; personification of animals; temporally limited physical triumph; or the foibles of forming a two-person intimate union, to avoid even a marginal risk of upsetting the social order - CHECK.

CONCLUSION: roll out the red carpet!  Grosses in at least the dozens of millions, rave reviews in all the finest publications, and millions of people cheering for you for being great.  Good investment!  You rock!

You fucking talentless punk-cowards.  You recycle because you have no ideas of your own.  You think you're "dark" because you believe makeup, clothing and CG lighting effects make "dark."  Ooh, what pretty costumes.  What nice makeup.  How very wicked.

While you were all out there drinking Kool-aid, someone forgot to tell you that the public library system always happens to have certain glossy "new releases" sitting up front in blazing dust jackets because those are the ones that the big publishers push.  They leverage their power, grease the wheels, and make sure that "public" libraries and "private" bookstores across the country have the new product faced and ready to move in unison.  Reviews are published in the right places, front-door and front-page shoppers stop and consider the most accessible options, momentum builds, and the product sells.  Movie in the works.  Everyone gushes.  How could it be any other way?

What does it matter, huh?  It's just for fun.  Well, if you could see what entertainment should be like--the fantastical realms of personal growth and challenging discovery that we deserve--you'd know what we were being cheated out of.

That little kid that got blown up in Af-Pak last year?  He was going to grow up and score an opera more moving than anything you've seen yet.  It would've changed your life and made you cry--no, seriously; when no one was looking, more than once--and you'd wonder, in your last few days in the hospital, what your life would've been like without having experienced those insights.  That dyke that never even told anyone why she was killing herself?  Hey, you asked why no one's invented a major new non-electronic musical instrument in a while.  She was going to be better on it than you can imagine, and more importantly, spawn schools of study that would've formed one of "the necessary foundations of 21st century human musical scholarship," according to a 2647 biography.

So keep gobbling up the product.  It's there on the shelf because an impartial assembly of minds in a double-blind experiment picked it, diamond-in-the-rough style, out of the dross and presented it for your review.

Some people can't even buy cereal unless a celebrity endorses it.  For others, they don't get excited until they see earth-friendly packaging and free trade ingredients.  Tim Burton's got it all covered.  He already did such a fine job with such dark fantasies as Batman Returns.

Oh, the bright, shining lights!  All the colors!  The music; the crowds; the chirping teevee...!  Such an advanced society we have, with all the trappings of perfection!  Yawn, well, maybe it's not perfect, but hey, what're you gonna do?

*click*

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trovillion's Hypocritical Hypothetical

Responding to Mr. Trovillion, who spaketh here.


This one wouldn't go as far as you went in the last paragraph, depending on the interpretations of "no real grasp."  What characterizes these types of people is that they have a macro-intellectual grasp of all these things--they could read this very one of your articles, if forced by a respected intellectual or employer, chuckle about the similarities between it and themselves, watch an episode of "The Simpsons," and then act exactly as they do.

The terrible epiphany behind all of this is that these people actually know what they're doing.  "Deep down" (if you prefer such phrasing), they understand the fiscal, bloody realities behind their seeming ignorance.  They buy organic food because it's better than non-organic food; they lament the plight of the poor while doing nothing to change it because they do not want to risk what they have; they tacitly support imperial murder because they enjoy not being directly in the crosshairs.

Bloggery, as it were--which we're demonstrating right here--is their resort.  There are keyboards beneath our fingers, not pitchforks and torches, because we'd rather not risk it for all the little brown children.  An evil choice, in its own way.  The grinning skull is what you see looking back at you in the mirror.

What distinguishes "those" people (assuming they're not fronting the nonchalance that grates so) from others is that they present as though they're doing something: they manifest to the world that they are, in fact, different, because of their slightly altered consumer and lifestyle choices.  They feign rebellion while, in fact, being not only conformists, but the worst kind: informed conformists who pretend to be against everything they live for.  They are the Inner Party's lower functionaries.

Acceptance of that terrible similarity to the worst of it all--acceptance of our own part as cogs of spira--is, if not perfection, a relationship with the world that tends toward better behavior.

What reeks more of reprehensible is the smug, iPod dangling, GoT fetishizing, latte sipping consumer drone who chirps merrily about being so very, very different from Cletus the slack-jawed yokel, who is at least honest about buying crap, killing darkies, and scratching his crotch in front of a "less-sophisticated" TV show in the trailer.

This is the "indifference of good men" that kills.  Cletus, for all his honesty, may have not the knowledge to challenge the structure.  But Madison the latte sipper does.  It is her actions in greasing the inner workings of empire, not those of Cletus the part-time machinist, or Joseph the spec-ops killer of 14, that provide the modern veneer of enlightened acceptance to the same old story of killing and stealing.

Need Not Be Said

Things which are not contentious issues that desperately need to be addressed in the social consciousness:

1) Mistreating black people is bad.
2) Sometimes, old-tyme rich people were greedy and inappropriate in their behavior.
3) People often have sex in ways that differ from missionary-position intercourse between a legally married couple.

Chattering about how enlightened you are for realizing these things is as risky as sniffling, "God Bless America!" after the anthem at a baseball game in New York, or voicing, "God save the Queen!" in Buckingham Palace.  Or firmly declaring at a stockholder's meeting that the company must respect diversity while increasing profits and being socially responsible.

Old news is old news, though, because people love it.  Why this compulsion to tell and be told things which are already firmly in hand?  Is it a validation?  Living instinct drives people to grow, expand and improve...but growth, expansion and improvement come with risk.  If, however, humans manifest social constructs that, by virtue of general agreement, are considered both "non-threatening" and "risky and deviant," it's all the easier to indulge the simplest of passions while feeling very naughty and borderline for doing so.  Drinks all around.

Wow!  Four hundred years later, you figured out that not all nobles were god-kings enthroned by the Almighty?

Fifty years later, you figured out that not all black people were stupid and backward?

Thirty years later, you figured out that some women could be strong, too?

A million years later, you figured out that sex isn't always post-marital missionary?  Wipe that sweaty forehead, you naughty boy!  How incredibly risky a proposition it is to say that aloud!

We All Come Together

We all come together, and strive, honorably, with nearly our every breath, so that we might pool the extra fruits that result from our efforts, and vest them in a few of our greatest.  From them we take meaning, as we watch their struggles; their dynamism; their beauty, as they dress in the very best costumes, the stuff of which we have provided them.  They draw upon us to extract the finest in learning, haberdasheries, and skills, and command us like pawns--masterfully so--that they might attain new heights of glory.

In this, we can have a small part in their works: we can attain immortality, which we prove by venerating them.  To be a bit player--even an unmentioned one--in their glorious, transcendent schemes, is to live forever.  They maneuver and contest with one another in the sword ring, at the joust, in the parlor, and most devilishly, at grand courts, where we would lack the dexterity of tongue to speak well.  We would only embarrass ourselves, were we to wrongly thrust our aberrant presence upon their entertainments.

In our private moments, we have the greatest treasure of all: to fantasize about their tremendous workings, dashing habits, and seamiest moments--all without the risk of having to be involved ourselves.  We are truly the lucky ones, and they the toiling servants, who must suffer the burdens of being listened to, remembered, and conjured from nothing.  The crushing responsibilities and expectations of their great caste are a weight we are lucky to know only through imagination, and to be scattered to the wind before their icy furnace is an honor for which we should thank them with our very souls.

Friday, April 13, 2012

And it is a business

Following up on this one's Hunger Games post, and courtesy of puppylander, we have the Last Psychiatrist's two feminism-centered articles on the said product: Sexist Fairy Tale and What's Wrong With.

Why focus such attention on the entertainment arm of everdeath?  This ones critiques are, in their own way, the same sort of fetishism that, even as a most scathing critique, gives sustenance to this dross.  Commentators who follow the major corporate papers in order to criticize each of their words are feeding them; knocking down the easy entertainment products, like criticizing fast food for its unhealth, is equally simple.  Why try?  I shot an arrow into the air, perhaps.

What has proven interesting about the many facets of antilife's gradual destruction of the planet is how it's the lengthy things that elude people.  Most have figured out that, say, George W. Bush was not a paradigm of peace; many have likewise figured out that Obama pushes deadly products.  Some even question whether the Western Hemisphere's Red Meat Profiteer's Association might be biased with regard to the information they present on how often one should eat ground chub as part of a healthy diet.

Even farther than that, many have realized that professional sports, other types of reality TV, certain avenues of commercial visual art, and prefab corporate bands are not quite "the real thing," or at least, that they're indicating a major problem, though one they're perhaps unaware of.  What remains a pinnacle beyond (almost?) all, though, is lengthy entertainment--the kind that it takes hundreds of pages or hours of watching to absorb.  Soulless pushers have a nearly complete stranglehold on this market; their television shows, movies and books manage to keep emptily, meaninglessly entertained even people who've discovered that a supranational elite is manipulating every other facet of the world to prevent humans from growing and developing in fantastical possibilities.

"And it is a business," as Machado once said to Chiwetel in Redbelt (encouraging a series of unfair cage wins to raise a sporting business' profits).

The Original Star Trek

Ahh, Star Trek--that original journey of wonder, filled with progressive enlightenment, proving that "science fiction nerds" can see farther than others and teach us valuable cultural lessons.

Ah, Star Trek!  Where we learn that docile Asian men, obedient black women, and reformed, modern, brilliant Jews can all come together to follow the lead of a super-duper white male patriarch--with a killer right hook that takes ten minutes to wind up--who follows his gut to a speedy resolution.

Those ridiculous, money-grubbing, big-nosed Orthodox Jews tried to give them trouble in the next generation...


...but thankfully, a new and improved white male, from England, playing a character from France, but curiously obsessed with Shakespeare and English tea--almost as if the producers couldn't resist perverting their "character" with the traits of the real-life actor they hired--was able to steer them around those nasty old-timers.

What valuable cultural lessons can we take away from this pillar of sci-fi and bastion of so many parted-out franchise opportunities?

Such progressive, diversity-inspiring gems as these:

Black women can too be sex kitten secretaries for their white male commanders!  They can be!  Just like white women can be!

Obedient Asian men can too be subservient to white commanders.  If they follow orders properly, they can be assimilated and assist modern whites in destroying BAD Asian people, who cling to outdated notions of duty, service, honor, and community. 

Zomigod, Gene Roddenberry & friends, you are so effing enlightened!  How could you be so ahead of your time?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Hard Truth of it All


As government's marketers hold public boardroom meetings about the planning of their next big middle eastern release, they discuss the errors that made the last one not perform as well as possible.  In the linked article, Ronen Bergmen laments that the last war (which he takes to be Iraq) "relied on faulty intelligence."  By that, he's referring to the fact that too large a percentage of the proles failed to believe the "Saddam has WMD" story as passionately as desired.  If they want to work the crowd up the right way, they need to stop relying on scientific justifications, and turn to a less abashed rhetoric of fundamental conflict of civilizations.

Prior to the 2003 invasion, the promotional departments hoped that treating American humans as mature but unsophisticated would have a positive effect: by acting as though Americans needed to be convinced, Americans would feel flattered that their opinions were sought, and react more amicably to the invasion.  Of course, Halliburton and CSX and the Marines don't "actually" care about what the proles think, but they felt that flattering the proles would reduce their direct coercion costs.  By offering complicated (if untrue) facts about weapons of mass destruction, the compliment--"you're so smart we knew we couldn't hold a war without convincing you; here's some evidence for you to review on your very own"--was supposed to butter Americans up and make things flow easier.

Unfortunately, the flattery was short-lived.  Even many of the more zealously vain among the populace figured out, albeit privately in many instances, that the story wasn't real.  An anticipated side effect, but one that wasn't supposed to happen for perhaps 20 years.

What the attempt showed the marketing department was that providing these kinds of compliments only encourages the proles to believe that they can investigate things further themselves, which leads to a breakdown of the system.  The flattered proles started to feel that they deserved the flattery--that, despite the fact that they hadn't lost any weight, the government kept complimenting them on their figure, ergo the compliments would keep coming.  Literally, that government actions would continue to be justified with the level of super-detail provided to justify the WMD story and invasion.

That's too expensive, though.  That kind of push--like Superbowl ads--could only be afforded in the early stages of the invasion.  After that, the proles still wanted it, but it proved cost prohibitive to continue providing it.  Ergo, the next war will likely be justified on a "realpolitik" level.  Cheap bullshit about Iran's (or whichever target's) WMDs will be there, but the proles have learned to grow more suspicious of details.  The next war will have to be marketed on a platform of grand trends and deep meanings, rather than specific acts or understandable charges.

Big Crunch Upon The Ideal

For the purpose of growing the consciousness available here, education, truth and best interests comport with life. Children of Earth may and should establish standards for her survival, including an optional but always available bottom limit...provisions for surviving a big melt or dimensional absolute zero, and zealously pursuing the life of the planet's many and ones, would bring survival instincts in line with human realpolitik and offer an endlessly rewarding framework that, as a side effect, would result in a coercion-minimal environment, healthy channeling of savagery, and of course, the possible presence of unanticipated standalone elements carrying the torch from "here" seventeen billion years "later."

More later.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Outta the Park

The Obama-bots were predictable, and boring in many ways, before "Obama" even showed up to work the crowd, but rarely do they speak as honestly about their selfish party-based tribalism as they do via talking head on Vast Left.  Usually, they go about it in pragmatic, reasonable, cunning ways, making speeches about defense and honor and protection and that sort of thing.  Even for those who have already learned the truth behind those lies, the clever ways that the Democrats would manipulate words and answer objections made it difficult to pin them down in a way that the less-observant would understand.

But today, Professor Wolff knocked one out of the park, picking up his spear and the head of an enemy warrior as he chanted boorishly about his hope for a coming triumph.  He discussed the recent bill where Democrats are attempting to abolish the electoral college and make elections decided solely on popular vote, which would result in more "left wing" victories.  His conclusion:

"As a political junkie on the left, I find this campaign intriguing.  I can think of some powerful arguments against it, but I think I shan't mention them.  hem hem."  
In a "principles" sense, that's as genuine a look at the human's inner character as Dubya's "feels good!" moment from 2003.

Don't question anything, even mass murder, if it will result in our leader losing influence.

When you're arguing against people who care more about the victory of their party than they do about this, and who publicly and without shame announce that fact, what use reason?  Wolff is a coward enamored of dissecting western philosophy in standard ways while complaining about how backward Republicans are, and scurrying rapidly away from the challenging of his public beliefs; he is no more or less hideous in perspective than Woody Allen or any number of token academics or retired wealthy whites. Today, though, he's exceeded Daily Kos in the openness with which he's put Isaac on the shrine and let flow the childrens' blood to his deathgod.

Friday, April 6, 2012

more Wolff


While discussing his latest trip to Paris, Mr. Wolff laments the looney viewpoints being offered with regard the challenge to the recent health care act:

Faithful readers will have noticed that I have not been posting in the past few days. The problem is that I am simply so bored and appalled by the doings of the Republicans that I cannot bring myself even to snark. I promised to start a tutorial on Kant's ethical theory when I get to Paris next Friday, but I have decided to write some preliminary remarks, for which I do not need my copy of the Grundlegung, even before I arrive in Paris. So -- either today or tomorrow, I will launch the tutorial. When I have concluded my discussion of the philosophical background to Kant's ethics -- what folks these days call his "problematic" -- I will pause until I am in Paris, and then carry on. I hope this tutorial will find some interested readers, and perhaps also provide a calm oasis of reflection in the midst of the frantic political speculations of the Commentariat...if you have not read Linda Greenhouse's knowledgeable and careful analysis of the three days of Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, I recommend it as an antidote to Jeff Toobin's feverish remarks.

This one responded as follows:

However things turn out in the Supreme Court, if the new health care proposal goes poorly, it will only prove how irresponsible and dangerous the Republican obstructionists are.

If we can re-elect Obama for another four years, the health insurance industry will have been sent a strong message: they must selflessly treat their new state-enforced customers in an even better fashion than they previously treated the customers who had more of a choice as to whether or not to purchase insurance.

And now for my final thought: take a shot every time this plump killer says "Paris."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Blood of Somewhere

It's fucking sickening. They killed the Celts; they killed the Iroquois; they killed the Goths; they killed the Navajo; they killed the Apache; they killed the Sauk.

They named their fucking attack helicopters and music and sports teams after them.  They claimed credit for being the last of the Mohicans, the saviors of the Na'vi and the inheritors of the burden.  They bought out the music, commissioned the reframed pictures...they did everything that goes beyond the relative foulness of pissing on a shredded, burned soul.

The "blood," such as it is, isn't all gone.  It's diffused, and survived, like life.  You can't still "blame" or go back and be angry at the people who actually did the swinging, hacking and planning.

But what's fucking sickening is the way you gobble up the lofty, deathly ideals of the murderers.  Your excited gorging on The Hungry, Pottering Thrones of Dim Evening Illumination, where everyone is a "noble" of some sort, with a heritage to "old lines" of expansionism, conquest, absolute ideals and nuclear patrio-buttfucks, is the worst kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

You might have to live in it.  You might have to pay for it.  They'll kill you if you don't.  But you don't have to go out of your way to be an enthusiastic, self-driven cheerleader for the worst parts of the process.

Why do you support?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fear of Consequence

Does a hypothetical woman need to be being currently raped to be concerned about rape?

If she is not being raped right then, should we say that her fear about walking through the bad section of town late one night is unfounded?

Let us assume that this woman's friend had too much alcohol to drink, and could not, therefore, drive her home without an unacceptable level of risk.  And that this woman had her last $80 in her purse, and knew from an acquaintance that it would cost at least that for a taxi ride home from this part of town.

The woman sits in the corner, worrying about dark shapes in the alleys along the walk home.

Someone comes up to her and asks what she's worried about.  

"Being raped on the walk home," she replies.

He listens to her situation, then snorts.  "You're not really worried about it.  You know you're going to take the cab, even if it costs a lot."

Upset, she turns away.  He's right...I'm going to have to take the cab...but I'll be out of money until next Friday!  Maybe I could just drive with Ginger...no, no, she's loaded; I have to call! 

She makes the call.  Out to the curb she goes, to stand huddled against the base of the streetlamp, watching shadows.

At last the taxi pulls up.  She climbs in, greets the driver, and fumbles in her purse.  "Oh my god," she murmurs, her fingers catching.

The driver hesitates five feet shy of the stop sign on the corner.  "Somethin' wrong, baby?"

"I...someone must've taken my cash!"

She makes her eyes wide and pleading, but he ignores her as he focuses on a different part of the rearview.  With a sigh, he puts it into reverse and begins backing up toward the bar.  "No problem," he says sarcastically.  He slams the door on her apology as she toes at the sidewalk.

She heads back inside to look for Ginger.  Blood like ice, she suspects Ginger's already gone home.

*   *   *

1) Was the central character "really" afraid of being raped, before she called the cab?

2) Was the central character's fear of walking home through the high crime area unfounded?  Could it be said to have legitimately affected her actions at the time?

3) Would your answers to (1) or (2) above change if the central character had found money in her purse and been able to pay the cab driver?

4) This essay is meant to illustrate how individuals do not always have the benefit of "hindsight," or knowing what will happen later, as they think and feel in their current situation.  Discuss whether or not, at the end of the selection, the central character should still be worried about rape, or if she should not, and explain why you feel that way.

5) Do you believe that Ginger will be willing to give the central character back the money she stole from the central character's purse while the central character was in the bathroom?  If you had known that this was how the money vanished, would your feelings on personal responsibility in question (4) above change (if applicable)?

Old Racism, New Houses and SATs

Mr. Smith critiqued a major corporate product's self-aggrandizing spiel on how racism was bad, said critique consisting largely of mentioning that discussing the negative qualities of old varieties of racism is somewhat unnecessary given that it's now, well, now.  Mr. Smith suggested that instead such media products should focus criticism on institutions and behavior patterns that caused the suffering of old-style racism as well as those of new-style racism.

Here's a blockquote from him on Bill Maher's posturing on racism:

Being against it is uncontroversial yet kindles a certain inner glow of enchafĂ©d virtue.  

Many of his commentators then complained, vociferously, that old-style racism was stronger than Mr. Smith acknowledged, including one (Anonymous) poo-pooing the issue of whether or not the SATs were the type of institution that created racism-style artificial divisions.

In response to the criticism, Mr. Smith clarified himself at length here, and this one responded as follows:

Good Mr. Smith, the original post was expressed well enough to not require apologizing and rephrasing, and the angry reaction to it seemed to be a knee-jerk PC thing, whereby anyone questioning the standard narrative on "racism" has to be rudely reminded to first kowtow to the fact that racism is important.  Even if you already knew it, and most everyone already knew it--particularly in the land of pop culture that is Maher's playground, where the acknowledged Klan-types only get airtime as a subject of mockery, perhaps on Howard Stern's show.  All this while a post-racial president speaks regularly, openly, and to massive applause, about slaughtering hordes of little post-racial children wherever the crosshairs fall.  Clearly, the old style of publicly-avowed racism is not the problem.  And those who rail against it while congratulating themselves for doing so (a la The Help) often seem to be:

1) Ignoring the behavior patterns in the now that cause new subgroups to be marginalized and brutalized to popular acclaim

while

2) Making clear how incredibly enlightened they are for having spoken loudly about a decades-old problem that has already been solved, and which is completely uncontroversial to do battle against.

Let's not forget the long history of "racism" against Celtic blood concentrations, the exclusion of "Irish" or "Polish" or "Czech" and varieties thereof from whiteness, et cetera.  Those who now manifest that current examples of "racism" are trademarked by their loudest social denouncers are committing their own acts of whitewashing against what institutions and behavior patterns cause different illusory subsets of people to be screwed over with the changing of the tides.  Whenever they see someone questioning this type of behavior, they angrily shout accusations of ignoring racism--suggesting that they themselves, and those who adopt similar cultural manifestations, have a special claim on enlightenment not possessed by those who don't address racism the proper way.  E.g., the lifeblood of old-style racism.

"Racism" and the other "isms" don't pop up when they're unpopular.  It's always easy--and usually pointless and selfish--to squeal about how bad unpopular things are.  Low is the risk when you try to get a laugh at the special-ed kid's expense, right?  How brave you are.

Yes Nonny, the S.A.T.s:

Madison has $1,000 more credit than Dakota.  If they go to Saks on Sunday during a 30% sale, and all bracelets are originally $399, how many more bracelets than Dakota can Madison purchase?