Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Once Was Lost

Hate Structures

(Updated below)

Frameworks of hate and bigotry may effectively induce members through the concept of original sin.  By charging that all people are inherently flawed, wrong, and bad, hatemongers peddle a solution in the form of accepting responsibility for the colossal weight of past sins, confessing loudly among groups of fellow confessors, and then being redeemed and reborn as someone who, though imperfect, is more perfect than others, who have not yet attained that level of enlightenment.

Orwell chronicled this structure quite well, having Napoleon lead a revolution for equality that ended in something a bit less.  Hate structures built on divisiveness inevitably lead here; it is inherent in their structure from the beginning.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
~Animal Farm.
Here's the basic model:

1) All [entities] are guilty of [wrong]

ERGO,

2) All [entities] are [flawed]

ERGO,

3) Only those [entities] which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality

ERGO,

4) Those [entities] which have so admitted fault, [enlightened entities], are superior to those [entities] which have not so admitted fault, [ignorant entities]

AND,

5) Because those [enlightened entities] have admitted their fault, they are good, just, and superior, while [ignorant entities] are more responsible than ever for the [wrongs] of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them

AND, FURTHERMORE,

6) Because [enlightened entities] have been guilty of [wrongs] themselves, and have admitted to them, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the [ignorant entities].

Monotheistic Sin

Eve's sin in the garden, and its place in Christian mythology, is one of the readiest examples of this model to westernized humans of the 21st century.  By philosophically justifying the propertization of women and patriarchal dominance, structured around a damning supernatural entity, Eve's sin, and various doctrines of "everyone has sin," required that all subsequent humans submit themselves to God/Jesus for forgiveness, by following codes from Kosher to Mormon.

Here's how the model looks with Christian variables plugged in:


1) All humans are guilty of sin

ERGO,

2) All humans are sinful

ERGO,

3) Only those humans which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality.  They must submit to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior to gain forgiveness for their sins and come closer to God.

ERGO,

4) Those humans which have so admitted fault, Christians, are superior to those humans which have not so admitted fault, Heathens

AND,

5) Because those Christians have admitted their fault, and admitted that they have, themselves, sin, they are good, just, and superior, while Heathens are more responsible than ever for the sins of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them.  And they don't even ask for forgiveness!

AND, FURTHERMORE,

6) Because Christians have been guilty of sins themselves, and have admitted to them, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the Heathens.

Babies!


Insanity and hate are easy to spot in the Hate Structure for many westerns when the variables are Christian.  One of the greatest horrors of these types of hate structures are the curses they place upon children.  If each human child is born encumbered with the sins of the past, life can never renew itself.  Antilife exults in this foulness; to crush a new person with the transgressions of all those who have come before, and forever limit that new person's potential based on original sin, is a delightfully efficient way to shackle the new world to the preserved corpse of the old.

Is each little girl baby born cursed by Eve's sin?  Is each boy born cursed by Adam's?  Is it possible to live a good, wholesome, healthy life, without needing to submit to the authority of a man-god who lived thousands of years ago, and beg for his "forgiveness," lest eternal torment result?

The idea of a child growing up, and being forced to shoulder the burdens of all humanity's past wrongs--and submit to a corrective moral code as punishment thereto--has turned many people "off" of old-style religion. Many religions are adapting to this, but the Hate Structure is not found only in old-style religion.

New Two Minutes Hate

Let's plug some new variables into that same old equation:


1) All humans are guilty of prejudice

ERGO,

2) All humans benefit from privilege in some form or other

ERGO,

3) Only those humans which admit to this condition, and recognize their own role in it, are cognizant of reality.  They must confess to their prejudices, apologize for the benefits they have received from privilege, and submit to radical academic theories in order to be part of the solution

ERGO,

4) Those humans which have so admitted to the benefits of their own privilege, Redeemers, are superior to those humans which have not so admitted to those benefits, Blinds

AND,

5) Because those Redeemers have admitted their own privileges, and admitted that they have, themselves, been prejudiced, they are good, just, and superior, while Blinds are more responsible than ever for the prejudices of the past, because denying them is perpetuating them.  And they don't even ask for forgiveness!

AND, FURTHERMORE,

6) Because Redeemers have been guilty of privilege themselves, and have admitted to it, they know exactly what these wrongs are, and can thoroughly understand any attempts at denial offered by the Blinds.

Privilege

Just as with Christianity's version of hate-justification, the variations on the model curse all new humans with the sins of the past, in order to explain why it is okay to pre-judge other people based on appearance and social status.  It has appropriated feminism, stealing the idea of dismantling a deliberate patriarchy and turning the tools of revolution into the tools of oppression, where any claim to "victim" status can make someone an oppressor--a justified oppressor.  Because someone was mean to me once in high school, I get to fuck up your shit, goes the argument.  He started it.  No, he started it.  No, he started it!  Punch, punch, an eye for an eye, mutually assured destruction.  Yay.

Any human is guilty of privilege.  A black lesbian Jewish unemployed woman is privileged because she is not handicapped.  A four-year-old child on a ventilator in an Idaho hospital is privileged because he is male.  An abused woman in Georgia struggling to buy gauze for her bleeding eye from a convenience store clerk is privileged because she is white.

We've come roundabout:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.~Animal Farm.


Absurdities abound in absolute Hate Structures, like the old one about, "You mean, if I look at a handsome man just once, and think about kissing him, I'm going to Hell?"  It doesn't make any rational sense, without the long monotheistic understanding of antilife hatred of human sexuality and the living expression of physical love.  Within that context, it makes perfect sense, just as within the context of, say, American Women's Studies, it makes sense to call the black lesbian Jewish unemployed woman "privileged" for not being handicapped.  She's blind to it, all right?  She's blind to her privilege, because she's, like, a fish inside a pond who's never seen outside the surface.  Even to have grown up taking care of her handicapped mother, she can have no idea of the diverse experiences gone through by those who are themselves handicapped.

That message is the message of un-understanding: it says that you cannot understand someone unless you've actually been them.  It suggests that humans are disconnected from one another, lumped into innumerable classifiable castes, and from no one other than an approved representative of this caste can a "perspective" rightfully be given.

Of course, when a Christian of thirty years steps forward and says that he doesn't feel that Christians have to be against homosexuals, he's just being ridiculous and doesn't really understand; when a woman of forty-seven years steps forward and says that radical feminism has not helped her at all, but has in fact hurt her, she's just being ridiculous and doesn't really understand.  Built into the absolutes of these Hate Structures are plenty of defensible hypocrisies, to ensure that what really matters--the ability to hate and discriminate--is not spoiled by the compassion of any given individual who belongs to any given sub-group.  And so, white slaveholders who granted freedom to their slaves were ostracized from pre-Civil War society, because they just didn't get what the point really was.  And women who don't adopt the precepts of radical feminism are immediately labeled stupid, ignorant, patriarchal tools, who couldn't possible have thought their way there themselves.

Each new Structure produces a priesthood--those who have learned the lingo well enough to recognize one another as independent agents of the movement.  As social power spreads through trade associations, education associations, and governments, it becomes unthinkable to openly advocate anything other than the Hate Structure.

Like all Hates, it is justified by a citation to the past.  It's okay to insult, discriminate, and abuse, because you're defending yourself.  Everyone knows that, in the past, [bad thing] happened.  Therefore, [discriminatory behavior] is not actually discriminatory.  Rather, it's a logical reaction to the Facts As They Lie.  The KKK has used this for over a century: there are always bell curves, statistics, and anecdotes to demonstrate why any illusory sub-group should be slurred or marginalized.  Churches had, for many years, pamphlets proving the power of prayer, community, and religiosity in surviving surgery or traumatic illness.

All of these Structures, though, depend on the Other.  To say, "I once was lost, but now am found" is not merely to speak of oneself.  Rather, it is to say, "I once was lost, but now am found, and because of that experience, I know that YOU are still lost!"

Updated:

How To Tell If You're A Bigot

(1) Do you believe that certain subgroups of people, based on a genetic factor or factors, should be prohibited from taking certain actions?

(2) Do you believe that you can identify members of that subgroup based on sight or manner of speech?

(3) Have you identified terms which can be used to describe, in shorthand, persons belonging to members of that subgroup?

(4) When questioned about your beliefs, do you prefer to say, "The matter has already been settled," rather than suffering the pain of explaining in detail why you feel as you do?

(5) When you have refused to explain yourself to someone, do you then relax by returning to the company of those who agree with you in order to talk about how silly members of the bad subgroup can be?

And finally, double-updated, courtesy qvaken, who says openly the stuff that only Fran Mushpie used to say.  Priceless:

Even if they’re an asshole, I still feel delighted to see a powerful woman.
and:
I look back on my sexual history, and I realise now how bad it all really was. For my part, it was all a complete act – the act that I was taught to give. For men’s part, it’s all about taking, taking, taking, and never giving. It’s at the point where I realise that heterosexual sex, as an act, truly just isn’t worth it. It’s always proclaimed to be about pleasure, and about personal and political freedom, but that’s bullshit; every minute facet of heterosexual sex is about dominating women.

"My experience is everyone's experience"--the bigot's summary of the world.  If one person had a few bad partners, every partner is bad; if one person didn't enjoy something, no one could.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Destroying Children, Part 4

Succeeding Destroying Children, Part 3.  Updated below.

In the directly quoted post below, seyrah offers a long follow-up, with good links, to the series.

/begin seyrah

I found myself wanting to fill in so many additional points on this post that this turned out to be a post of its own.  And since I have no public blog, Arka kindly offered to let me guest-blog on the subject.

I cannot agree too strongly that willingness to accept and participate in what Arka calls antilife results from a very basic, deep-seated insecurity and fear.  The more we find out about child development, the more we can trace this kind of problem to the first two years of life.  If, when a child begins to form a sense of self, he is confident in his own basic worth, the love of his parents/tribe, and his ability to investigate the world without being eaten, then even severe hurts to his psyche after that development of self will not have so great a formative effect.  Dissociative disorders are very highly correlated with low attachment to parents or caregivers during childhood.  I.e., someone who has been nurtured and loved in the first two years of life would naturally have a really hard time butchering a fellow human being without remorse.

So, to look at ways that mothers connect to their babies: in almost every instance, we find a way in which current mores are being rearranged to stymie that connection.

Mothers reassure their children of their presence, love, and intent to care for them by:

1. Being a constant in the transition between life inside the womb and life outside.
Birth ideally triggers a number of important physiological reactions in both the mother and the child.  When, in some hospitals, as many as 90% of mothers are drugged during labor, and 30% deliver via surgery, other physiological triggers occur instead.  For example, the mother who does not feel the touch of her baby right after birth may decide (physically if not consciously) that her baby did not survive.  She may experience post-partum depression; she may not lactate; her body may shift its hormonal focus to trying to conceive a new life rather than nurturing the one it thinks it lost.  A baby who is instantly taken away from mother, bathed, subjected to bright lights and strange smells, stuck with needles (WARNING: the video linked is very disturbing to any sane mind) makes the same decision: mother did not survive.  It is a stressed baby, who is going to conform its biology to the presumption that it exists in a hostile world.  The smell of mother is gone.  Baby doesn't know it's in a hospital, and a few hours in a nursery away from mother might as well be a few years to a newborn.

Interventions in childbirth, which are generally well-intentioned but also performed for such dubious reasons as scheduling, hospital profit, and maternal convenience, are all ordinary parts of obstetrics (from the Latin obstare, to "stand opposite to"--i.e., the person who stands opposite to a birthing mother, as an "obstacle"; compare to the German-derived word midwife, from "mit wife," or "with woman").  Obstetrics is a science, which has broken down human understanding to the cellular level, and prides itself on being able to monitor the welfare of an unborn baby and that of its mother.  Obstetrics does not always proceed from the basis of belief that the mother's and infant's welfare are one; rather, the baby is almost like a malignant entity causing the woman to enter the most dangerous period of her life, and the mother is an annoying barrier to the doctor's ability to assess and treat the newborn.  This is where we get our Hollywood idea of a baby deliverer, standing beside the panting mother and sternly admonishing, "PUSH!"  There is a practice known as "playing the dead baby card" which refers to a maneuver designed to pressure a birthing mother to conform with doctor's advice by threatening that noncompliance will result in a dead baby.  Again, this is separating the child's welfare from the mother's and assuming that the mother doesn't know what is best for her baby.  Which may sometimes be the case, given how interfered-with and confusing a mess we have made of birth.

2. Nursing

Arka elaborates pretty well on this; I have just a few things to add.  The above interventions result in mighty obstacles to a mother's ability to nurse her baby.  A plethora of misinformation and inconsistency in hospital policy ensures that most women who want to breastfeed and try to breastfeed, fail.  And if you don't want to, there are helpful women out there making the case for your right to choose not to.

Arka's mention of biological desires is a crucial one.  Most women might not want to confess to this, but I know as a nursing mother, if I see another infant in distress--it doesn't matter if it's mine, or if I know who its parents are--I want to pick it up, comfort it, and breastfeed it.  It's not just that I have a conscious regard for children, though I do.  I have a physical desire to put milk in babies.  I see my own baby waking up from a nap and my breasts tingle.  I find it physically satisfying and pleasurable to breastfeed.  Of course, we do not say such things, or risk being labeled some kind of pedophile.  Even the pro-breastfeeding crowd tends to frantically reassure itself that breasts are not sexual, and that there is a sharp divide between breast as baby-feeding device and breast as sexual plaything.  But this is bullshit too.  The same hormone--oxytocin--is released during orgasm (both male and female), during and following natural childbirth, and during lactation and breastfeeding.  This is all part of the same reproductive process; your body has pleasure centers that go off wildly when you're participating correctly in the reproductive process, and yes, sex and breastfeeding are both part of it.  The fact that society finds conceiving children an unacceptable activity for public, but feeding them a marginally more acceptable one, does not matter to the biological unit, which forms its desires according to its own needs.  This doesn't mean I'm out there getting off, vibrator-style, when I sit down on a park bench to nurse my baby; but I am enjoying myself in a way, and my baby is enjoying herself in a way, and the kid over there eating a fudgsicle is enjoying himself in another way.

I suggest that there is no such thing as a healthy mother who does not want to nurse her child.  We can accept that it a lack of libido is a disorder, and not generally a choice.  We don't understand why someone would want to be in a relationship such as a marriage and not want to ever have sex, unless there is a disorder at work.  Similarly, there is a serious problem with a mother who is in a relationship with her infant and does not want to nurse it.  This is even more damaging than the marriage example as the infant is utterly dependent on the said mother and can't just divorce her and get a new mother.  Believe me, the baby wants to nurse.  Formula-fed babies are not, contrary to rumor, more content--they sleep more because formula is a foreign substance, hard for the infant digestive tract to digest.  It has been demonstrated that just one bottle of formula causes irreversible changes in the infant's gut flora, quashing many of the infant's natural protective processes, and making the infant much more susceptible to illness.

And yes, a baby who is fed only by a bottle is missing out on a crucial, formative ritual, one that it is programmed to intensely desire.  I suggest that such a baby is more likely to grow into an adult who fearfully hoards every material possession, mistrusts his fellow man, looks to religion for the love and certainty ever denied him.

3. Holding

Babies crave touch, and are born with poor autonomic processes.  We "don't know" what causes SIDS but it is theorized that it is often a simple failure of the infant's systematic reflex to breathe, which may occur in especially deep sleep (remember, deeper sleep is also associated with formula feeding).  It has been demonstrated that mothers and babies can sync their heartbeats just by smiling at each other.  So what happens when a baby spends most of its life in a carseat, stroller, crib, and bouncer seat, looking at stuffed animals or colorful patterns and not at its family's faces?  What is baby to assume about the world?

Babies also smell really, really good, especially to their parents.  This isn't something everyone knows as obvious anymore, because formula-fed babies who have gone in their diapers do not smell good.  We replace baby's good smell with Johnson's baby wash, scented powder, scented diapers.  But a solely breastfed baby with pure gut flora has poop (and vomitus) that smells of slightly sour milk, and never has bad breath even after sleeping for hours; its sweat does not have a pungent tang like an adult's.  (I still remember the day my toddler's farts first began to stink.)  Even babies with funny features are generally believed beautiful by their parents and often even by strangers.  Such a creature is a delight to hold close, and only a maniac would want to put it in a stroller where it can't be smelled and constantly looked at.  Personally, I suspect the Western stroller fad came from the upper classes, who would hire nurses to tend their children; now that it is fashionable to at least be seen to be parenting one's own children, parents have adopted the habits of the detached, on-the-payroll nurse.  I might suggest that other current practices are similarly derived such as separate crib sleep for infants, and ignorance of elimination needs brought on by the era of the disposable diaper, but that is probably a more involved discussion.

/end seyrah

*   *   *

/begin High Arka

To what end, this?  For the political malcontent, an evaluation of "international affairs," "foreign policy," or "domestic politics" often touches on despair: the question, How can these people be so incredibly dumb? springs often to mind.  Or, perhaps, How can they be so heartless?

Perhaps it then turns to a soulless, derisive humor, like so many passengers on the Titanic who laugh madly at the foolishness of not only the builders, but the crew, the other passengers, and even the musicians, calling upon us all to accept that there is no escape from hopelessness, and heartlessly mocking their kith and kin.

The proles, such as they are, support wars that send their children off to die killing other poor people, so that supranational elites can enrich themselves.  The proles support trickle-down economic theories, like capitalism, whereby wealth is consolidated in the hands of elites, who abuse their power while feigning social responsibility that never materializes in a tangible way.

Why?

A large part of the development of humans who behave this way is found in the destruction of vulnerable, inexperienced humans--children.  As discussed in the beginning of this series, starting a cascading system failure of humanity is best done through children: through harming the way that they grow and develop by severing their relationship to mother, family, world, and life.

Yes, "boobs" and "milk" and "babies" and "poopy diapers" are supposed to be gross and improper.  Like the Torahtic vilification of women, menstrual cycles, and sexuality, antilife has worked upon culture to make aspects of creating, caring for, and passing the world onto babies--other humans--a thing for the private realm.  Ergo nursing is gross, an affront, or in the most enlightened case, a private choice to be made between a woman and her child.  It's definitely not something that, say, a political thinker should think about.

Antilife disease, such as religion, has always found its spread in the indoctrination of vulnerable individuals, and children.  As St. Xavier may have said, "Give me the child until he is seven and I'll give you the man."

To cut off the infant human from the warm attachment to species, kin, life and nourishment in its earliest, most vulnerable stages, is to winnow out feeling: it is to create the soulless, un-empathic monsters who now rove the world, crushing and destroying while doing on the surface exactly what they've always been told is right: putting up a strong face, not crying too loudly or disruptively, and taking terrible revenge on the cold world without remorse.





There's a large part of the answer.  While it may not be possible to use logic, empathy, or even long-term self-interest to sway the interests of the proles toward humanity, it may be in twenty years (or seven?), if enough in a generation can grow up loved and cared for by their mothers and families.  A planet full of adult humans who have learned that they can be loved, that they deserve to be loved, and that something good, natural and free is out there waiting for them, is a planet full of humans with the tools and experience to end this disillusioning kill-factory, and extend to the generations that follow the warmth and compassion that may give them the tools to climb even higher.

The best, most effective thing that many "activists" can do is, perhaps, not to spend all their effort attempting to sway the attentions of uncaring adult killdrones with arguments about how inhumane it is to butcher Arab children, but to help the next generation of humans feel cared for, so that they can learn more empathy than so many of their calorie-providers currently possess.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Those Forgotten

Exit Through the Gift Shop was discussed, briefly, here in Tidbits.  This movie presents an arrogant summary of "street artists": wealthy, white, multilingual rebels who travel about the cities in the world that matter (Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York), gluing interesting pieces of pre-made art to public venues.  These heroic, authority-defying rebels are occasionally accosted by the police for defacing property, and later make a movie about their exploits, in which they describe themselves as the forerunners of a new kind of art: street art.

The prodigious stupidity and incalculable arrogance of that statement stands contrary to human history, but in a narrow sense, it represents wealthy, hipster douchebag whites appropriating African American hip hop culture. "Street art" has always been there, but the modern rebellious media take on it which filth heaps like Banksy are trying to steal is of the African American gangster variety.  Here's the real story:

1) Americans have slavery.  It sucks.  Black Americans suffer.

2) Americans have Jim Crow.  Americans have the KKK.  It sucks.  Black Americans suffer.

3) Americans have the Civil Rights movement.  It begins to address more meaningful issues.  A very convenient, completely random, absolutely not sponsored by security services white crazy person shoots, completely on his own, MLK.  Civil Rights movement stalls, its figurehead cut off.

4) American blacks are moved into ghettos.  To finish off the Civil Rights, anti-imperialist echoes still lingering after the assassination of MLK, security services work with domestic racketeering organizations to traffic drugs through American ghettos, turning many African American neighborhoods into war zones, killing off young blacks, and validating the demonization of American blacks, because it was "their choice" to "deal drugs and live badly" even after they were free, and had a civil rights movement (the "Iran-Contra scandal").

The black gangster culture sprang, in part, out of these drug wars: blacks attempted to control territory, protect communities against white gangs, Hispanic gangs, Asian gangs, other black gangs, etc., and to retain more of the profits from the trafficking, winnowing down the percentages that the security services and their South American cronies were able to skim.  A form of "street art" flourished, whereby gangsters would demonstrate national independence by marking territory, portraying their own histories and self-interpretations, and warning away intruders.  A culture movement intermixing hip hop music, graffiti, break-dancing, and low-riding caught some of the general interest.

Many American cities, rail cars, and other venues had, have, and will have, stunning murals and other incredible pieces of visual art done in the context of this culture.

However, opportunistic shits like Banksy soon moved in to buy out the urban blacks and claim the mantle of rebellion and originality for themselves.  After all, who has more claim to be a swag rebel in this world than white British people?  So, you painted pictures.  Good.  But you didn't start a radical new form of art.  African Americans, on fear of death, torture, imprisonment, utter social scorn, and the blind eye of the entire world, struggled to mark territory, and express beauty and rebellion, in between set tripping or deals big and small.  They worked with what they had, where they were.  They did not travel the world, all expenses paid, filming themselves executing creative vandalism in major industrial capitals.  They bled on the pavement, used cheap spray paint, and did their art on the spot.  They did not piece together careful spray plates at the neighborhood Kinko's, then enlist a team of buddies to drive around in a film-crew van and glue-gun their pre-made art to buildings.

Just another one forgotten.  It makes you think: hundreds of years from now, historians--and the entire culture, perhaps--will look back on late 20th century, early 21st century society, and conclude, "Banksy, and white Englishmen like him, spawned a style of urban art that was unparalleled in their time.  Here are some of their photocopied masterpieces."

While the thousands upon thousands of blacks, and the real, amazing urban work they did on buildings long demolished, will be forgotten into the mysts of time.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

What, then, of Leonardo, or Michelangelo, or Raphael, or the greatest of the great artists in the past?  The ones who sold out their entire craft to the nobles in order to paint rich heirs, banal religious recreations, and token Greco-Roman scenes, so that all human children, until the end of time, could ascribe artistic greatness to them?  Is it possible the same thing happened, there?  That the really good, true, pure, original stuff was done, but will never be known, because the lords' PR guys were making movies (err, books) about the fervently religious dross getting churned out by the big names?

As you stumble through this world, think, at least, on this possibility, and look somewhere other than under the patronage of the noble houses of the day, if you search for something with real spirit and quality.  History is written by the victors, goes the old saw, but it is not always the victors of "wars" who write it, but the victors of thought and creation, be they right or wrong, good or true.

From a 2349 mindzine article from Twisted: Modern Takes on High Art and Culture: "In his latest work, Greenburg joins such literary giants as Rowling and Shakespeare to create a compelling tale of..."

In closing: Banksy, please take your "independent film" award to 1980s Compton, find the nearest six gangbangers, and tell them how you created street art and are all up in their hood with your photocopied cutouts.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tidbits

Instruction by DVD

As the great Ms. Ravitch reports, at the New Living World School in Louisiana, Louisiana will soon be subsidizing, to the tune of $8-10K/student, religious K-12 instruction for young LAers, at a price you can't back away from even if you're not religious.  Monotheistic westernized religious schools, crazy, yes.  For the purposes of the sort-of radical, what's interesting about this particular privatization is the predictive model it offers of the future envisioned by Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and the rest of the philanthropists currently buying out public education through tax-deductible charitable foundations:
Instruction in the school is offered for 20-30 minutes each class on DVD, while ”the classroom teacher is on hand to manage the class, review homework, answer questions and give assignments.” This is Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to reform education, remember?  


Stuff White People Like: Art

No one more needs a visit from your choice of set for the 1992 Crips than the sniveling, uber-white, wealthy, powerful, self-glorifying, movement-stealing, faux-rebellious "street artists" of Exit Through The Gift Shop.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

(Updated below)


Baseline Reading

   You walk into a room where a man sits at a table, stirring his porridge furiously, not yet eating it.  A checkered tablecloth of white and red covers his small, four-legged breakfast table, its hems dangling to the floor for modesty.
   Curiously rapt, you watch him stir for at least two full minutes.  Around and about goes the spoon, like that of an expert pastry chef at the dough: whipping; coiling; curling; blending...  "Oh, hello," you say when he notices you.  "That...too hot?"
   He shrugs.  "Not really."
   "Need to add some water?"
   "I just sorta like to do it."
   Weird.
   You circle the table, notice a banana peel on the floor, and toss it in the trash.  "That yours?"
   He pauses in his stirring just long enough to glance up with a little grin.  "Yeah."
   Sitting down next to him, you browse the paper.
   After a few minutes, he gets up and leaves, not having eaten any of the well-stirred porridge.
   Weird.

Scenario Two

   You walk into a room where a man sits at a table, stirring his porridge furiously, not yet eating it.  A checkered tablecloth of white and red covers his small, four-legged breakfast table, its hems dangling to the floor for modesty.
   Curiously rapt, you watch him stir for at least two full minutes.  Around and about goes the spoon, like that of an expert pastry chef at the dough: whipping; coiling; curling; blending...  "Oh, hello," you say when he notices you.  "That...too hot?"
   He shrugs.  "Not really."
   "Need to add some water?"
   "I just sorta like to do it."
   Weird.
   You circle the table, and notice the body of a girl of about six years old, lying in a puddle of fresh blood near his feet.  Omigod...  "Ah..."  Your throat catches.  "She your kid?"
   He pauses in his stirring just long enough to glance up with a little grin.  "Yeah."
   Sitting down next to him, you browse the paper.
   After a few minutes, he gets up and leaves, not having eaten any of the well-stirred porridge.
...

American amusements are, by themselves, not necessarily horrors.  Stirring the porridge for no particular reason--or doing the NYT crossword puzzle, or getting excited about seeing the latest corporate cinematic adventure--is, by itself, of little note.  Maybe it's stupid; maybe it's clever.  Maybe it's derogatory, offensive, soulless, easily entertaining, or just an abuse of resources--but on its own, any one of these little quirks is not more than an interesting tidbit in the day of many someones.

In this dark land, though, when you come upon the giggling, stirring, chatting, and pointing, the macabre portrait gains a new dimension of meaning.  When not merely the banana peel or the clean floor, but instead the dead girl lies on the other side of the table, the unsettling nature of the worthlessly stirred porridge, and the location of the sitting character, reveals itself as an act of greater significance than mere fidgeting with breakfast food.

"Oh, isn't it terrible?  Who did that, anyway?"
"I hear it was the guy upstairs!"
"Yeah, yeah.  Soja' stir your second bowl, yet?"
"You know it--on my third already.  I love the resistance this mix offers!"


Updated with Scenario Three

   You walk into a room where a man sits at a table.  His hands conceal his face; sobs rack his shoulders.
Concerned, you place your hands on the tablecloth.  "You all right?"
   "My...my daughter," he sniffs.  Not meeting your eyes, he nudges his head toward the floor.
   You start to look, then catch yourself.  There isn't much space between the table and the far wall, and by the broken way he shudders...  "Oh my god...what's going on?"
   "I called the cops..."  Raising his head, he struggles to keep his voice even.  "She slipped, but I can't bear to move her.  She's...no one'll believe me, but I guess I don't care...not with my priors...after this, I won't see you for a while.  I just...I gotta have some breakfast.  Even this is better than what I'll be getting for the rest of my life."  Tears run down his face as he gives his porridge a quick stir, then spoons a small bite to his mouth.

Same crime as in Scenario Two, and eerie in its own way, but not quite the singing of the loons that the original stirring of the porridge and clownface suggested.

Which came first--the Glasgow smile, the happy madman who wears it, or the crimes he commits?  Like the chicken and the egg, these things probably feed on one another over the generations of a life, renewing and altering slightly each time: but when you see that man eating that porridge next to that body, there's a wrongness present that doesn't quite figure into words.  "Ordinary" behavior alongside "extraordinary" activity presents as a sign of mental illness to a licensed mental health professional--and the diagnosis can be accurate, and chemically verifiable, in many instances--but scientific language doesn't offer ways to explain, in fullest detail, the manifestation of such an air of wrongness about the act.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Destroying Children, Part 3


Succeeding Part 2 and Part 1.

Comparative Destruction

The war to destroy children, and produce fearful, vindictive adults, plays out in a way similar to the way that cigarette companies, to choose one villain, act against the human populations of the living world.  In the process of "making profits to their own selfish ends," they lace tobacco leaves with toxins, addictive substances and preservatives, making it more harmful while also more desirable.  Once addiction has been achieved, it is substantially easier to harm humans and extract resources from them--and all with the human making the independent, proactive choice to buy cigarettes.

Denying the Biological Nature of these Shells

A denial of the biological nature of the human shell is necessary in order to help people fear themselves.  This causes them to seek solutions that can be provided "for profit" while curiously hurting the maker of the choice (for the Stage Third, or progressive/anarchist analyzer) or that harm them, leading to the destruction of the self and the aberrant, hated desires (for the Stage Fourth).  Those who fear themselves and their own desires often seek to first not understand them, after which they can be ignored, denied, etc.

Desires?  When a heterosexual human man sees a shapely blonde twenty-year-old female crouched nude on her knees, looking invitingly over her shoulder, there often results a biological reaction in the form of chemical secretion, at the very least.  This results in corresponding changes in the male's thought processes, as well as, perhaps, some discernible physical reactions in the nether regions.

Almost as commonly accepted by c. 2012 society is a fear reaction.  For an inexperienced tourist to walk around a hiking path and encounter a snarling grizzly bear, there will, just as invariably, result a fear reaction. Regardless of the carefully planned itinerary of the tourist, the tourist may find herself sweating, panting, panicking, twitching, or desiring to run in the opposite direction.  She may even start, without deliberately planning to use her muscles in such a fashion.

From pressure points to sexual arousal to anger to anxiety to the patellar reflex, these bodies have made clear to their corresponding minds that the "mind" does not fully run the show.  Things regularly happen to the body that are not planned by the mind.  The incredibly intimate, co-dependent relationship between body and mind--like that between mammalian "mother" and "child"--is one in which the mind is not a detached observer, but an active participant.  A participant whose thoughts are not fully controllable possessions, but rather things affected directly and constantly by the shell that it has created and been created by.

No dice?  Avoid letting the body sleep for fifty hours and see how well that arch, scientifically intellectual overmind continues to function.  Pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming.

The deathly monotheistic tradition has made its entire mission the severing of the body from the mind, alleging an immortal and separate "soul" that can cast off the body like so much wasted nothing, and ascend.  The sensations of touch, taste, smell, movement, lovemaking, and listening to music, are attributed not at all to the wonders of the mortal shell's crafting.  Instead, the physical form is treated as consumer-culture car, to be swapped out for the new "heaven" model after the fall rapture line comes out.

Angry Socialized Repression

During the era of Freud, the thought of young women having sexual desires, or any sort of sexuality at all, was a charged topic.  C. 2012, as focuses shift, adults are encouraged to embrace their adult sexual desires in ways that do not upset imperial war, while more insidious repressions are slipped into place.

One of the largest of these, and an integral part of destroying children to destroy's humanity's future, is the repression of a belief that mammalian human mothers, in general, want to and need to nurse, and that mammalian human infants, in general, want the same.

Manna from Heaven

And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
Numbers 11:9

Mammals grow to understand their connection to one another through the symbiotic act of nursing.  Nursing infants lie against their mothers, putting their largest organ against that of mother's (skin), and receiving the internal warmth that can only be transferred by skin-to-skin.  They instinctively, powerfully want to suck--to receive nutrients--and to grasp, burrow, and be held.  Proximity provides a sense of safety, but also of heartbeat and breathing regulation.  For the mammalian infant, newly created, it is a novel task to regulate heartbeat and regulate breathing--the best and safest way to learn how to perform these tasks safely and automatically is to lie against someone whom you are more alike physically than anything else in the world, and feel and listen to their heartbeat, and their breaths, to learn how to make it look so easy when you grow up.  Milk also provides calories and vitamins, of course, in the cocktail specifically designed not only for human children, but for the child of the mother producing it; it provides antibodies to diseases the mother has suffered, and familiarizes the infant with the smell of mother, so that mother can be more easily recognized in the dark, or picked out of a group of strangers as someone who can be trusted to offer protection and nourishment.  The baby who forms this bond is more relaxed, neurologically stable, and better able to grow, learn and develop, trusting in its sense of mother = security, lessening associated worries, and focusing on "getting bigger" and "breathing" and "developing," etc.  These healthy developmental effects cannot be overstated, except in a culture designed to sever this bond, where it is no longer taken for granted, but rather, argued about: should dependent mammalian infants (1) be held against their mothers' bodies and nourished by her? or (2) warmed with artificial blankets and machines, and fed artificial substances for calories alone?

And no, old, genocidal, Chosen racists of the Torah--the single, divine nutrient from heaven, which is the perfect food designed just for lost, helpless humans, is not manna given from a single all-powerful old-man patriarch/Father/LORD in the sky, but rather milk, given from each and every woman who has grown and borne a child.

Severing the Mother-Infant Connection

To stop children from gaining the antibodies, deep physical connection, warmth, reassurance, and inexpensive nourishment of nursing, western antilife comes from two fronts: the first is an "American conservative," pro-business, product-choice attack, while the second is an "American liberal," feminist, lifestyle-choice attack.

These attacks rely on consumers who don't understand what "nursing" is, and who don't understand the design of their own bodies, and that of their babies, vis a vis nursing.  Some highlights:

1) Nursing isn't automatic.  Like "peeing" and "pooping" and "having sex," it's something that people can all figure out on their own, but which often takes some practice or guidance from other humans first, particularly to do it well.  For those who believe that those things are all automatic, they're forgetting what it's like to not know--to be a lonely egg in the dark, completely reliant on other humans to become something grown up who knows it all.

If mothers do not learn to nurse, give it up before they've figured it out, or don't even try because they've been convinced it's too hard, then antilife wins.

2) Mothers' bodies generate milk in response to the presence of babies, and the suck of babies.  Like the man becoming aroused by the comely woman, or the man needing to urinate because of eight beers, the maternal physical form reacts to the cry, tug, and suck of the baby by producing milk.  It takes a while, just as it may take a man a while to "get it up" in the bedroom or a nervous person a while to pee in front of an audience for $50 (or pee for free at a roadside urinal next to the 6'6" trucker with the hairy arms).

If mothers do not nurse their babies, or do not learn how to properly, the body may stop giving milk, just as people can become constipated by not defecating properly, or impotent by not urinating properly.  It may then become impossible to nurse, because the natural reaction has been long enough stymied.

and, of course

3) Shame.  This one worked really well for decades, and is still used, though against a growing resistance.  Social shaming has worked great on homosexual behavior, non-legally-acknowledged-citizen-adult sexual behavior, interracial relationships, etc., and maintains a constant western record of working against the human body itself; it still has an important place in the destruction of the mammalian mother-child bond.

The American conservative attack is, naturally, the funnier of the two big fronts in the war.  Like the old tobacco producers club, it's bald-faced, rude, abjectively stupid, and highly, highly effective.

Choice is a Red Herring discusses some of the most recent fun, involving both ROMNEY!!! and a token woman enabler from "across the aisle":

Like cigarette smoking, breastfeeding is a public health issue, not a freedom of choice issue. Obviously, US women feel free to choose not to breastfeed; most of them do. If women were actually intimidated into breastfeeding, we would have a breastfeeding culture. Instead, we have a bottle-feeding culture in which 67% bottle feed. Only 33% of mothers breastfeed. If there is, in fact, any social pressure to breastfeed, it certainly is not effective. I would argue, that the social pressure is to bottle-feed...
The tragedy is that the breastfeeding choice issue is a formula industry tactic. Here’s how it came to be. When, in December 2005, the Massachusetts legislature became the first in the US to prohibit formula sample bags in hospitals, then Governor Mitt Romney pressured the Public Health Council to rescind the ban. The council successfully resisted his pressure until he fired and replaced three members just prior to a vote on the ban; in May 2006 it was rescinded. Less than two weeks later, Romney announced a $66 million deal with Bristol-Myers, the world’s largest formula manufacturer, to build a pharmaceutical plant in Devens, Massachusetts.
In June of that year, Massachusetts state representative Helen Stanley (D-Second Essex) introduced House Bill 2257 to protect a new mother’s right to receive formula sample bags in the hospital. The wesbite, momsfeedingfreedom.com—created to oppose the Massachusetts ban—hosted a petition in support of this bill...
At the time, the website, momsfeedingfreedom.com, was registered to eNilsson, an international web consulting firm whose clients included Romney for President. Now it openly states that it “was made possible by a grant from the International Formula Council. “A mirror site, babyfeedingchoice.org, is copyrighted by the International Formula Council.
Here the comparison to cigarette companies is so apt it's beyond comparison; it's a direct copy of their South American business model of getting vulnerable young people hooked on something that then becomes very hard to give up.  What formula companies do is send marketing reps to hospitals, where they encounter new mothers lying in hospital beds, exhausted and recovering from delivery stress, painkiller cocktails, more involved drugs, or surgery.  They offer "free samples" of their new product, which is then fed to infants--and when the infant is full of formula, it dozes off, does not suck at its mother, and the mother's body stops producing milk.  The infant then needs to receive formula, because the natural source is gone.  Not only cigarette pushers operate this way; consider the history of the fossil fuel industry and its acceptance of various renewable sources of energy.

Mother's milk, like sunlight or the earthwind, is free, and there for the gathering by humans.  It's not instantly as "easy" as burning gas or mixing artificially sweetened baby-nutrition packs, but the long term consequences of taking that deceptively easy route are often catastrophic.

American liberals use feminism to develop this method.  By suggesting that infants are using their mothers, they urge women to demonstrate freedom by not nursing.  Not nursing means either letting the baby starve, or buying formula: ergo to be "feminist" in that light means avoiding something your female body naturally produces, and instead, connecting to your child by selecting which brand to use of a patriarchal megacorp's product, patronizingly marketed to women--because women and women's bodies couldn't possibly know better than powerful male nutrition consultants.

The nuances of this debate go on at exceeding lengths, as the battle against patriarchal oppression becomes an issue of consumer choice: Ford v. Chevy; Coke v. Pepsi; Similac v. Enfamil. 

For those who are discovering this particular aspect of the MIC's various assaults on humans, discovering the attacks on infant mammals gives a clue to the future: fewer and fewer nursed babies produce future generations of children who have even less of a connection to their kin than those previous--which forebears, despite often being under the rule of tyrants, were forced by reduced cultural technology to at least rely on their mothers for love and nourishment, before enterprising capitalists began developing flour pap, then formula.

As many human males want to have sex with females, many human females want to have and raise children, and many human babies want to suck milk, grow, learn, love, and explore, the shutting off of the baby's desires, and corresponding attachment of the baby to a factory's synthetic chemical blend, is the shutting off of the baby to its mother, and to its species.  The rejected baby, left with only the calories--which were, perhaps, the least important part of it all--will grow up without the belief that life comes from another person.  Instead, life comes from a bottle.  Life is sold at a price from for-profit corporations run by powerful men in great suits.

Any callous trends here observable?

1) Buying things satisfies me and makes me happy.  The empty feeling can be solved by finding something new to buy.  Even if sometimes I feel like I'm never actually getting what I really want.

2) Deep down, I know people can't be relied upon.  They need to be denied what they think they want, as I was denied what I wanted, because the world is just that way.

3) The world, ultimately, holds failure, sadness, denial and tragedy.  

The hatred of women's menstruation that arose out of Judaism and its monotheistic, patriarchal offshoots has become, in the modern age, the subtle, smiling Romney, glitzy "free choice" of product over person.  It was once popular to directly bash nursing, while now, the "choice" ruse is necessary to create the illusion of independent will that results in large majorities having no other path to choose, once a few innocuous drug samples cause their body to turn off the free flow.  While perhaps an honorable, necessary, exceedingly expensive choice for those (extremely) rare women who actually can't be helped into nursing by other women, the creation of generations of corporation-feeders is the increase of disempathy, disconnect, and callous bleakness for this decaying species of wandering mammals. 

Yes, mammals.


Continued in Part 4.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From Slavery to Supermax

The Positives of Abolition

VastLeft recently discussed an old Arthur Silber article on compromise, in which Silber was quoted like so:
It is not necessary, and usually it is not even possible, to restrict one's compatriots to those with whom one agrees about all issues, or even a significant subset of issues. One need not and should not expect or demand that those with whom one joins in a particular cause agree with or endorse one's general views. In this case, Clarkson and Wilberforce disagreed on every other then-current issue of importance and controversy.
But they agreed about slavery, and they agreed that it must be ended. That is all one should require and, I stress, that is all that is necessary. As in this case, the goal must be very clearly defined, and the members of the coalition must be fully committed to it. I would go still further: provided the goal is defined in a way that is not subject to compromise and equivocation, even the reasons which inform the participants' commitment to that goal need not be the same. Provided they agree on the goal itself -- as here, that slavery be ended -- that is all that is needed.  

This one responded as follows:

The end result of that compromise was segregation, and is now Romney v. Obama. If we cannot subscribe to a higher ideal than what seems to work effectively moment by moment, we're making the argument of the ends justifying the means, and accepting a lesser evil because it's "lesser."

And VastLeft followed up:

Did the limits of what abolition accomplished mean it was a mistake to advocate for it?
...
As with racial segregation following abolition, a single legal change wouldn't wipe bigotry off the map, you're quite right. But it might be a meaningful step in a long road, no?
There, the subject was abolition as an improvement, if an imperfect one, and one whose positive effects may still be with us today.

Slavery as Institution

It bears noting that "American Slavery" was no singular, simplistic issue.  In its creation, it was facilitated in part by African tribal chiefs willing to sell some of their people--criminals, malcontents, or the unlucky--to various traders, in exchange for goodies, or more likely, permission to survive as a breeding population to sustain the trade.  In short, not a good bargain.  To justify this tough but necessary sacrifice to their people, some of them may have made the same "lesser evils" argument that Americans use today to different ends: If we let the white men pay us to enslave some of our people, the others will be spared.  To resist them would only result in us all being conquered and enslaved.

As far as that logic went, we have today, err, Somalia, the Middle East, and the rest of the prosperous African continent--which does not just include the non-Arab sections, of course.  The scars of slavery were and are terrible ones.  If the African tribes had united and utterly swarmed/butchered the first European colonial forays, perhaps the Triangular Trade would not have become so (un)successful for so long.  To be sure, the chances of resisting the entrenched colonials were not very good, but yielding to the traders created a very real, very vicious class of sell-out locals willing to trade their kinsmen in, much as some modern Af-Pakers will settle grudges and gain briefcases of cash to turn "terrorists" over to CIA body-counters.

Slavery in America was not monolithic, either.  Slaves were not, to the woman/child/man, a singular block of oppressed peoples.  Social ranks existed within slave communities, and there were slaves who "had it better" than poor "whites," poor Indians, poor half-breeds, poor Irishmen, etc., to compare one awful situation to another; there were slaves who lived in the house, ate good food, spanked hell out of rich young white kids, and defied the conventional postmodern-white-guilt image.  There were slaves who rebelled, escaped, moved west, bought freedom, et cetera.

Nonetheless, and of course, the institution "American slavery" was noxious and terrible.  "Ending it" is something like good, and was often, probably, pursued as a result of good motivations.

Ending It

To what end, "ending it"?  The immediate result of slavery was Jim Crow laws, the occupied South, droves of starving blacks, and the Ku Klux Klan.  Positive step?  Positive step for a majority of blacks?  Is being "free" worth it if you can't afford to eat at the lunch counter?  Some have suggested that it's not.

American blacks gained the same freedom as dirt-poor American whites: the freedom to starve; the freedom to sharecrop their labor and lives to the owning castes; the freedom to be raped, lynched, and marginalized; the freedom to be used and ignored.  The Algonquin may not have believed that men could "own" land, yet the developers of America felt that deeds vested ownership in colonizing whites--similarly, Americans believed that Africans could be "owned" as slaves.  Still later, it became a victory to decide that people would not be owned.  Instead, they would continue working for the same masters, but without even having the false virtue of propertization to make white owners letting poor blacks starve be a direct economic loss to the white owner.  Work, go hungry, be beaten, be exploited, join the Army, get mistreated and abused by society at large, but you're "free," so it must be progress, right?

(Sharecropping, or contracted slavery, has its own separate, terrible history just as to post-1800s America, lasting longer and in a more insidious form than most Americans know.  Check this reference for one unforgotten scrap.)

c. 2012, some percentage of American blacks have joined the ownership class.  Was ending "slavery" an acceptable goal?  Poverty remains a massive, crushing, deadly problem.  Urban African American ghettos are flooded with drugs, which can be blamed on the Mexicans or the white suburban buyers or the C.I.A., as you prefer.  1 in 21 young black men die of violence; higher or lower, depending on the survey you choose, and black mothers/infants have prenatal care and mortality rates lower than any other group in the "developed world."

Better than slavery?  Poor whites are better off in 2012 America than poor whites in pre-Civil-War America: more flush toilets, modern emergency rooms, occasional college scholarships, et cetera.  And of course, many are proud to be Americans, because Americans are free.  And blacks get to enjoy the same privileges as poor whites, poor Hispanics, poor Pacific Islanders, and poor non-citizen ghosts.  Token representatives from all groups now participate in managing the elite grindery.  Good?  Progress?  Did a switch between numbers in musical chairs change the world?  Did changing terminology from "Slave" to "Sharecropper" to "Worker" to "Associate" to "Regional Sub-Director in Charge of Loss Prevention" make or break the world?  Is the slave shack worse than you and your kids getting evicted from your studio apartment and sleeping under the light rail bridge next to the urine puddle that never evaporates?

Hey, if you can't find a job, there's always the military.  Guaranteed employment for free, able-bodied ethnic minorities.  Lots better than picking cotton.

Are advances in medical care, toilet paper, flush toilets, clothing production, and transportation, and their accessibility to free whites and blacks, something for which "ending slavery" deserves credit?  No; the improvement in lot from "slave" to "free worker" is not responsible for these things, anymore than Obama is more responsible for killing Osama bin Laden than Bush et. al. are/were.

The reality of the situation is that the "freedom" of the slaves was a shuffling act; a token; an 1800s advancement in the way elites manipulated race relations, no more or less valuable to those who were "freed" than any other elite farce earlier or later, be it the Equal Housing Act or the forthcoming Equal Marriage Act.  At the end of the day, the color composition of the Board of Directors might have changed a little, but the real story didn't change.

Don't believe it?  Well, serfdom was ended, right?  England made a lot of progress with that one.  It was, how you say, "all that [was] necessary. As in [that] case, the goal must [have been] very clearly defined, and the members of the coalition must [have been] fully committed to it."

And the English were, when they ended slavery.  The problem was, that was done in the vicinity of the 1500s.  And it only paved the way for the Triangular Trade and African-American slavery.  One group of slaves became "free," so that another could take their place.  And the English had no problem starving and butchering their "freed" serfs, when the times became right--which they did, again and again.  Compromise with evil--choosing the lesser evil to improve the plight of the serfs--created African-American slavery.  It accomplished nothing positive, except in a selfish sense, for the serfs who could believe that a real change had happened.  They were now free to be pushed off the land of the lords, starved, whipped, tortured, executed, or die in elite wars.

Slavery to Supermax

As to American blacks c. 2012 specifically, how does the bad side of the coin look?  Aside from violent death, starvation, suicide, extreme poverty, depression, military service killing people in Africa, Asia, or other places, or a long, healthy life filled with crushing labor for the upper castes, the modern "free" life has come up with horrors that outgloom the worst slavery had to offer.

We're all likely familiar with the differing rates of incarceration for black Americans; the less pleasant plea bargains; the reduced availability and resources of defense counsel; the displeasure of juries, even black juries; and, the urban setups and drug wars that keep so many millions of African Americans without freedom or effective citizenship.   Of course, being in prison is so very different than being a slave, because black slaves were forced to be slaves by virtue of birth, while black prisoners chose to commit the crimes that ended them up in captivity, with concomitant physical abuse, forced labor, and loss of all civil rights.

What's it like on the worst side?  Thanks to sensitive government records, we'll never know, but we do occasionally get glimpses when a Vortigaunt sends word.  Control-unit prisons, baby.  Take your choice: working your ass off picking cotton, or spending weeks alone all day in a soundproof concrete isolation room, occasionally released for an hour into a concrete pool, emptied of water, to lift weights with the Aryan Brotherhood, if you're lucky, or still alone, if you're not.  For the rest of your life.

Picking "the room" might seem preferable, if you're unfamiliar with the psychological effects of long-term sensory deprivation and isolation.

In supermax, prisoners are generally allowed out of their cells for only one hour a day (in California state prisons they are allowed out for one-and-a-half hours); often they are kept in solitary confinement. They receive their meals through ports, also known as "chuck holes" or "bean slots", in the doors of their cells. When supermax inmates are allowed to exercise, this may take place in a small, enclosed area where the prisoner will exercise alone. Prisoners are under constant surveillance, usually with closed-circuit television cameras. Cell doors are usually opaque, while the cells may be windowless. Conditions are plain, with poured concrete or metal furniture common. Often cell walls, and sometimes plumbing, are soundproofed to prevent communication between the inmates.  (from Wikipedia link above.)

Forever.  For psychological effect, the facilities are usually designed so that the windows look out on the side of another building or on the inside of an interior wall.

Forever.  You still happy about the whole "not picking cotton" thing?

This article, though not typed up very neatly, has some nice research.  If you need help reflecting on the Supermax life, read through it.

Luckily, we can at least trust official government statistics to tell us (1) how many of these facilities exist, (2) how many are located outside national boundaries, (3) if there are even more cruel facilities in existence, and most importantly, (4) who the people are in them, how many people are kept there, how long they are kept there for, and what their crimes were.

Of course, it's an improvement on slavery, because the African-Americans not in these facilities, or less-controlled ones, are "free," and the ones who are in those torture boxes forever made independent choices to commit social transgressions that rightfully placed them in those boxes.

Compromise


This is where compromise brings us.  Compromising with evil is accepting evil; is enabling evil; is doing evil.  Performing an evil act to avoid a different evil act is performing evil.  "Freeing" slaves, so that they can become a "free" lower caste of abused citizens, and then, hundreds of years later, making them equal in every way, so that they can be subject to horrible elite laws and state-sanctioned torture, is not "the best progress we could hope for."  Rather, it is simply a way for evil to evolve over the years in order to perpetuate the same results that slavery offered: lives of misery, drudgery, and hopelessness.  When evil evolves, it grows stronger.  Nat Turner had a chance at rebelling out of a plantation, but isolate him inside walls of two-foot-thick concrete, and he would not even have the chance to die fighting.

As the renaming of various forms of slavery throughout human history has shown us, cute compromises designed to appease different versions of postmodern liberal guilt syndrome, which don't actually change power relations, are not small steps in the right direction: they are large steps in the same terribly wrong direction as before.

Evil endures by compromise: it rarely says, "I am evil, and I intend to do evil."  It says, instead, "This thing you have perceived is so terrible that you must perform but a small evil to combat it."  Those small evils that you will commit in order to save the better part of the world are the evils that your successors will commit to combat the results of your small evils.  Those evils you wish to end, and the compromises that resulted in them being there to face you, were the choices made by those who came before you, who thought they were accepting a "slightly better" situation in order to avoid a "more unpleasant" result.  This is how it happens, and this is what it means.

Had the battle for ensuring a good life for all people been fought in place of the Civil War, the world might look differently today.  Empire, genocide, the Klan, and countless other evils may have never lived.  Using the rallying cry, "End slavery, and end slavery now, and worry about other injustices later," continued slavery under different names and in different parts of the world, while making other evils even more powerful and prevalent.

In closing, the old doctor speaking, "break 'em off some."


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Steve Jobs tribute movie

Yup.

If any were yet doubting the collusion between art pushers and death pushers, feast upon:

Sony Pictures officials say the Oscar-winning writer will write a screenplay based on the Steve Jobs biography. Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal says Sorkin will make the film about the late Apple founder "everything that Jobs himself was: Captivating, entertaining and polarizing." Sorkin won the adapted screenplay Academy Award for 2010's "The Social Network." The 50-year-old writer was nominated in the same category for 2011's "Moneyball." His other credits include "Charlie Wilson's War" and "A Few Good Men." He also created TV's "The West Wing." Actor Ashton Kutcher is set to play Jobs in a separate project.

Does anyone else see a smash hit, swarms of social media posts about how your friends haven't seen it yet but are going to this weekend and are excited about it, and serious, critical reviews posted in major publications about how the movie had some problems, but really had a lot of emotional impact and was one of [token-year]'s best stories?

A hundred years from now, university students will spend two weeks worth of classes comparing and contrasting the 2013 iJobs with the 2024 A Gates Moment, in order to better understand art, creativity, imagination, and literature.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Deceptive Whispers

What?

A message of evil is one of hopelessness; it is to say to the world's children, "This is the best you can hope for.  Aspire for nothing higher."  "Humanity's" brief history has been an act of memorialization; of explaining, ex post facto, that what humanity has accomplished is the best it could have possibly hoped for, and that to dream of better things is to be ignorant, foolish, wasteful, and generally bad.

The message of crushed hope is most efficiently delivered by powerful, successful, respected people.  It needs to be tweaked a little bit depending on whose hope should be crushed.  Republicans do it differently than do Democrats, who do it differently than mullahs, who do it differently than city managers, et cetera.  In the face of power that seems overwhelming, it's easy to tell someone that they have no chance for a better world, except to take the occasional millimeter of "progress" that "everyone" agrees is all you can get--and terrifyingly easy to convince them to give up hope and settle for something that you define as "realistic"--i.e., "less hopeful."

To modern "radicals," that's the role of Dr. Pinker, and here's Glenn Greenwald and some his fawning commentators more profanely making that point.  Rand and Romney tell white trash that they're going to get rich as soon as the communists stop holding them back from becoming highly paid industrialists; why demand something outrageous like socialism, to guarantee the tangible results of life security that they seek, when "trickle down" economics can benefit them indirectly?  It's just a little step in the right direction, after all.

Viperous fiends will have you believe that scoring two cigarettes rather than one in a Verdun trench in 1916 is an advancement; that being isolated in a black-site prison with a feeding tube slashing up your throat is an improvement over being a slave in the cotton fields; that a man getting the right to marry a man in the bosom of the genocidal DU poisoner of the living world is cause for a spot of celebration.  Keep spreading frosting on that shit, Greenwald--you'll be eating it until the day you die.  Not just eating it, with a big, shit-frosting smile, but telling everyone else how good it is, and how there really is no cake out there.  The cake is a lie--so dig into Obama's shit.  Beam at the world as you convince a new generation of children to munch genocidal shit in exchange for domestic policy alterations for their own "country."

Don't whip slave darkies in the field; instead, respect the diverse culture of African-Americans and their rich contributions to a better world.  Okay, that's done, or at least, "in progress," or "better than 1950" or "1850" or what have you.  We're there now, wherever you define there.  Have the bombs stopped dropping?  No; they've actually invented better ones, and are developing even more advanced ways of ensuring their use by postmodern superstates.  The respectable veneer of post-racial society proves to be exactly the pill needed for keeping the grindery alive.  Is the police state gone with Jim Crow?  No, same answer.

The appeasing elites were delighted to cheer on the Magna Carta as a limitation on monarchical power.  Did it end the torment of the serfs, the genocide of the gypsies, the wars of the European continents, or the terrors of the monarchs?  No.  Mass killing now is done farther away, with more efficient machines, and fewer bodies need to be seen by the general populace, but "more and better violence" is not "more and better overall."  To make these terrors palatable--to hide the shit under the frosting--they must be presented as tiny steps in the "right" direction.  As far as the metaphor of progress goes, little political policy changes are baby steps up a descending escalator.  It's time to fucking run, pplz--if you want to avoid falling off entirely when you finally get to the bottom.  Walking slowly upward against the track is still going down overall, no matter how many calories you burn.

Greenwald does develop the traditional model of hopelessness.  He doesn't say, "Obama is great, and this new domestic social policy mission statement is great."  He says, instead, a far more clever call to a dispassionate stasis; a sugar-coated cyanide pill: "I admit Obama does many terrible things, but we can still cheer him for this new domestic social policy mission statement."  The little admission of truth--Obama does many terrible things--is used to help the core of the message slide down easier.  "Yes, I ran over your son, but I missed the mailbox, didn't I?"  We should be talking about the child, but Greenwald would prefer to focus on the new paint coating the mailbox.  This is what makes it more noxious.  Mentioning the mailbox at all is profane when the child was just run down and another one will be run down tomorrow by the same driver in the same car.  In this example, though, a child is run down every minute, and it's been this way for, let's just say, five hundred years.  Mentioning the mailbox then goes beyond profane.  There are no words.

As to this particular message of hopelessness, here's the worst part of Greenwald's position:


I’m generally no fan of mass murderers, and we all know the reasons why, so let's not bother discussing them. . .
On this issue, though, SUPREME DICTATOR'S statement on DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE will be remembered LATER, while his motives and his previous dithering on this issue will be long forgotten. A sitting head of the HEGEMON is willing, for the first time, to personally back basic civil rights for CITIZENS OF HEGEMON WHO ARE NOT IN CUSTODY OR DEAD OR OTHERWISE INTIMIDATED AGAINST USING THESE CIVIL RIGHTS WHICH MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME . 
That is an action. It’s mostly symbolic, sure, but it will mean a whole lot to CITIZENS OF HEGEMON WHO ARE DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THIS PARTICULAR DOMESTIC SOCIAL POLICY.
I’m old enough to remember eight years of THIS ONE GUY once NOT ADDRESSING A DIFFERENT DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE FOR CITIZENS OF HEGEMON. Any STILL LIVING CITIZEN WHO REMEMBERS THIS DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE will instantly recognize today’s significance. That was less than A TIME ago. To get from there to this is remarkable.
No, today’s statement doesn’t get any legislation passed (at least, not directly), and the states’ rights hedge is a copout. But the important takeaway is that DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE opponents, can no longer dismiss  DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE as a fringe concern, and the notion that we can be separated from the fabric of HEGEMON life and be shunned, buried, and forgotten is officially dead.


Got yours?  Because the frosting really makes it taste good, huh?  Things are improving.  Sure, it's not as fast as we'd like them to improve in our wildest, most ridiculous fantasies, but after, like, decades of toying with this DOMESTIC SOCIAL ISSUE, getting a statement about it by an important person means so much that it's an indication that things may later happen which may change the tone enough to allow other things to happen which may cause those non-incarcerated, living, legal-citizenship-having, non-homeless, non-otherwise-discriminated-against, token people to get something that may be a benefit for them and only them.

Let's take a moment to congratulate ourselves, Mr. Greenwald and friends, for small domestic policy improvements that help make us feel good and progressive while we continue turning faraway children into gritty bolognese sauce.  You selfish, spoiled, terrible pieces of murdering filth.  This is the new face of Imperial America: a face of compassionate, diverse, tolerant murderers who care enough about shifts in the formal social status of various sexually-identifiable cisgender groups to make them cheer on Murder Himself.

Why?

Why can they do this?  Because of the message of hopelessness.  If you believe that humanity has nothing better to offer than this, or that humanity can only accomplish things decades or centuries or millenia from now, then increasing drone strikes on little brown kids far away while letting gay people get married is a good thing compared to merely increasing drone strikes on little brown kids far away while not letting gay people get married.

There's no real difference, of course.  The elite wars have raged for thousands of years, and will continue to rage.  Even now connected by our "internet," we find ways to justify these horrific slaughters--and those ways are to have pompous, wealthy, powerful, diverse middlemen assure us that this is the best we can hope for.

"Take tiny steps."

"You can't stop the killing.  You have no chance of that.  Just relax, and be glad that gays might be able to get married in a few years."

"Production is up 15%.  Things are progressing."

The deceptive feeling of freedom is what allows the killing to continue.  By encouraging us to accept the little domestic goodies the genocidal tyrants come up with every few years as a distraction, these awful middlemen are a vital part of the process.  Greenwald promises Americans that meaningful strides are being made in civil rights so that they believe they have improved the world--even just a little bit--through Obama. In a hundred years, Americans will be making great strides fighting discrimination against half-Arab futanari with DU Syndrome, while a new executive council murders a different subgroup in a different place, in a different way--while a different rich lawyer writes thoughtful, impressive articles explaining how good and noble Americans are for taking steps to end discrimination against half-Arab DU futas.

Hope

In a mind of hope, this is disgusting.  To be offered these token parcels by peripheral servants of the killing empire is not to be rewarded, but to be cozened--to be lulled; to be tricked into believing that something has been accomplished.  The world holds greater things than what these terrible little men would have you be satisfied with.  The sky is higher; the sky is limitless.

Beautiful truths from a great ghost:




The good Earth is rich--the solar system, the galaxy, the universe, the multiverse, and places beyond and betwixt, can give "us" everything we want.  The petty joys of gobbling up the scraps that occasionally fall from master's table--or of being the tyrant who drops those scraps, and finding meaning in the distinction between scrap and main course--are shallow, empty, horrifying things, which distract humans from what could be.

If you don't believe it's possible, you need to seek a new faith in humanity.  It may seem unlikely--it may seem impossible--but the power is within humans to arise, on even one day, and make a new world.  We were not always this way, and we will not always be.  Somnatic, soulless pharmaceuticals like the words of Greenwald may drip-feed promises that our mere mortal world can never hold the treasures of a distant heaven...but beauty is immanent, and can still be reached for, free of the illusory bonds of those who believe nothing can ever be truly good.  We are meant for more than an endless series of lesser evils and sold honors.

Perhaps, in this age, they will seem to be proven right, but humans and life are far greater than the stunted, already-trodden paths that those with tongues of worms and poison would have us walk again.  A bright future awaits, around the corner on an instant or ten thousand years away.  If you will not bring your shell to it in your current form, do not practice disbelieving in it, as the pushers would have you do--there is hope.  There is good; there is life.  In the face of all seeming impossibility, and past the whispers of soothsayers and terrible men, believe that you and all of us can and must have better.  Your dreams are fantasies of what could be; they come to you not as mockery, but as a map.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Michelle Obama

Click here to wish Michelle Obama a happy Mother's Day.



Perhaps as she hugs her children this Sunday, she might look at them, and see beyond their frames as picturesque Americans; that she might see, instead, two humans, alive and well, filled with brilliance and hope and potential.  And that she might then, somewhere in the forgotten recesses of her mind, have sparked the idea that killing other children is wrong, even if your husband tells you it protects your own, because what if someone else's husband in Pakistan is whispering that to them right now, but talking about your children, instead of just some poor foreigners who live near terrorists?  

And that when she thinks this, and her tired, cliché defenses to the acts of killing children arise, she looks again at her children, and sees how beautiful and alive they are, and realizes that there can be no defense.  There can be no defense good enough for foreign leaders to rationalize hurting her children--and no defense, either, for what her husband and his strong men do with their weaponry.  

Maybe in one flash of wonder, she will see in her mind these faraway children, too, and feel connected to them, and all stolen corporatized phrases of all the corny Hallmark moments will begin to show a glimmer of meaning to her.  

Perhaps she might storm down the hall and beg with her husband to call off all the wars, so that no more mothers have to spend their every day--not only their American gifting day--wondering how many seconds of shrapnel shredding flesh that their children had to feel before the Obama-brand Predator drone finally excised them entirely from this world, leaving behind a ruined corpse to stuff in the dry soil, and a mother with no one left to remember her if she is not killed herself before reaching old age.  

"Please, Barack...so that fifty years from now, when there is a different hegemon, one of their leaders does not murder my grandchild, and leave my daughter a forgotten mother.  Please, let you be one of the ones who at least tried to end it."  

Let us wish her the light and hope of the world to do this thing.  If not on Sunday, then perhaps Monday.