Saturday, May 31, 2014

Attention

Before she shot herself, I was working on the theory that they were after our attention. A "pet" theory. That's what you call it.

I was working on the theory that they were after our attention. That they didn't care about anything, or have any real interests themselves--not like we did. But that they craved our attention. In any way.

They would do things; cause things to happen. Big things. Dramatic things. Things with explosions, horror, and dead people. The most senseless, cheapest, biggest things they could do, just so we would look. We'd look, jump, dance--run about doing all the things we did when something big happened. And they'd love that, savor that, do anything they could to get more of it. They'd dance and sing, too, in this flat, horrible, marionette way, that would still draw our attention, because it looked close enough to the stuff we'd used to watch when we'd wanted to watch something. Some of the older ones remembered the difference, and complained, but after some time they were gone, and no one remembered anymore.

It was all gradual, though. Then there were new older ones who remembered different differences, and they complained, but after some time they were gone, and the complaints switched around, but it was always sliding toward less of something, less of whatever it was that the first ones had been complaining about the absence of.

We did less and less, but talked more and more, and even in that talking, they found they could get our attention. They became talkers, talking in a way that was like talking, without really talking. And we watched it, drawn to it like horror, like when one of the big cats stole past a fire that had gone out and dragged off a child, but got caught sneaking out and pummeled to death, and it was a mess of gore and fur and hell when everyone jumped up to see the fight get finished. We stared for hours afterward just because it was horrible, and then even the conversation became horrible by itself, like a car accident with a body half out a window, but not all the way out, so chunky chili and pink rubber tubes were leaking into the gutters where the windshield wipers usually sit.

We all stared at the talking, talked about the talking, even when it was nothing but lies, we couldn't help but look at it, talk about it, think about it, and so they gave us more, and we gobbled it, like moths to flame, consuming even more of the talking and looking as hard as we could. I was working on the theory that what they really wanted was our attention. In any form. Hatred, complaining, cheering, agreeing, it didn't matter, because all they wanted was our attention, and we couldn't seem to turn it off, no matter how little they deserved any of it, or how bad it was for us. Something about us made us give attention.

That's why they picked us, I used to think. Maybe we were insecure, maybe they knew if they stopped here they'd find what they wanted. Maybe it was us to begin with, like a phantasil network where you have to program all the lights to intersect just right so it reverberates in the way that makes it work to begin with, and then never stops, so it's a self-fulfilling thing, like a prophecy, I think they call it. You have to set them up the right way before you realize that the crossings of light that made the effect you wanted were only possible when the light you wanted was already there, so it should've been impossible to create to begin with. It's like the old saying about the sky and the ocean, or the chicken and the egg, where one never could've come first unless the other had, and vice versa.

Back then, I was working on the theory that they wanted our attention and nothing more. That without it, they would wither away and die, and it would all stop. No more wars, lies, or misdirections, because all they wanted was for us to look, to watch, to care, feeding them every second we did it. No celebrity correspondents. No secret agency journals disguised as public interest newsletters to spend decades dissecting. We'd play our own football games and build our own trucks, tell our own stories and settle our own fistfights. There would just be nothing more to complain about. But then she shot herself in the head and I read about it anyway.

Avoid the negative people

Rinse your produce with a light vinegar blend
Do yoga every morning
Find your passion and pursue it
And avoid the negative people

Eat organic vegetables
There's always room for more kale
Try to reconnect with yourself
And avoid the negative people

Alcohol is sophisticated
Raw honey makes you better
Set aside fifteen minutes every evening for you time
And never listen to the negative people

Relationships take work
PCEi drives boot faster
Celebrities have better habits
But not the negative people

Don't waste your beautiful mind on darkness
Look, here, see how nice this is?
Keep watching the pretty colors
So you don't turn to the negative people

Make your boss respect you
Learn how the filing system works
Mustard, not mayonnaise
Don't let yourself be trapped by the negative people

If you feel down for any reason
It's because you haven't been very creative
My advice to you from my penthouse suite
Is to avoid the negative people

Friday, May 30, 2014

Make My Billionaire One More Size

She sat alone on a silver steeple, high above a building banished to the realms of unwanted tomorrow, where the city about was ruined rust and the ground itself was whipping clouds. A harmonica went silently to her lips, but she did not play.

Because, Honey, because. Because your car and flat and your modest CD, and the more impressive legacy you're waiting on from Mama and Pops; because your car and convenience and the quaint little dog park; because your club and your toilet and your expectations and your healthy freedom...because, Honey, because those things are Omidyar, compared to some starving kid who just saw his sister get raped by the coalition. Because you're even richer than that person than Omidyar is as to you.

Because your influence and power over the world is, next to that kid, greater than Omidyar's as to you. Your crimes, my love, are the same as his crimes. A little bit of casual ignorance; a little bit of profitable rabble-rousing; a little bit of shaking your fist and slapping dat ass and letting the chips fall where they may.

You call 'em like you see 'em. You want to be interested and interesting, never boring or bored, and you don't tolerate topics you already consider closed. You're used to being praised by people who think the way you do, and so what if you're a billionaire from one perspective, because you don't run the world, and neither does Omidyar. When you look into that little kid's sunken eyes, a minute before the drone finds the house next door and litters his ravaged face with more plaster collaterals, are you at peace with your history of verbally confronting power? Because, Honey--because that's all the other ones are doing, too. They're hypocrites, and so are we. What makes it better? Let he who is without sin cast the first drone. Or did it already happen?

The clouds were orange as rust and the air above them empty as last summer's dead gnats on the windowsill. It was a husk of a future; a husk of today. The harmonica didn't play anymore, because it was like all things here: an empty casing, suitable for echoing the sounds of breath, but not for turning them into notes. There was no more music worth playing, anyway, in the land of broken tomorrows. Only voices, talking without faces; talking of a tomorrow that had come last week, someone said, in a different form than anyone had expected. Sometimes, looking down, she wasn't even sure it was a wasteland anymore. Maybe the colors just change a lil'. Maybe it was two dogs down the street from everyone's fantasy.

Kiss kiss, Honey. Kiss kiss.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seacookie

The Guns at Last Light; Unbroken; Boys in the Boat. Cuh-rist, the DHS is pushing the WW2 fantasy market pretty hard, lately. The worst part is, with all the educated boomers desperately searching history for Something Their People Did Right--WW2 being the one that they're still vaguely sure was "right," since it happened before they were conscious--they'd probably be turning a nice profit on these things even in a fair marketplace.

All those books above are really recent, and really popular, but this isn't meant to be merely a litany of proof re: the CIA and publishing. Rather, we're examining the way elite publishers are changing their approach to falsifying history. In the old days, it used to be done literally, which is to say, the printing presses would be turned on in order to establish a baseline by telling a story directly. "And then Hitler turned his attention to Czechoslovakia, for he believed that..."

Now, though--well, look at it. History is become a "human interest" area of inquiry, like piecing together what happened on the planet during a one-year period based on what your chums linked on Facebook. When elites want to reassure an aging population that, "Your country, however foul it is today, is at least responsible for saving the globe from Adolf Hitler," they write not massively cited overviews; oh no. Now, they write cute human-interest stories set against a backdrop of how (preceded by a Great Depression that was solved by gumption and resourcefulness) this isolated wacko in Germany started WW2 because he was crazy...thereby inspiring some heroic Olympic athletes, some bomber pilots, and other ordinary heroes to have adventures of the kind you can care about.

Ultimately (for their temporal purposes) they'll see a lot of success in this. What they have done is a great marketing trick: taking the focus off the product they really want to sell--the atrociously fabricated child's narrative of "how did WW2 happen, Grandpa?"--and aiming the intended audience at a more personal aspect of the drama instead. The subtle lies in the backdrop will be ignored, yes. More importantly, they'll be accepted. It wasn't even the focus of the story; it was the background. A lone madman started a war that the U.S. was reluctantly pulled into after an economic recession caused by a few greedy people past whom we have long moved. Also, we really showed that Hitler at the Olympics. Is Jesse Owens going to get a more detailed biography in a few years, sort of the Seabiscuit of the human track circuit?

The plot happened; in order to understand it and care, you swallow whatever background structure the author has worldbuilt in, and by the time you're done reading about how the guy survived the Japanese prison camp, you're even more of a believer in the World War's first holiday sequel without even knowing you are. The lone gunman theory stands, because they had a juggler and a fire breather and a sword eater all dancing next to the bearded lady on the right side of the grounds, so who the hell cares about all them tiny kids' shoelaces peeking out of that little white tent on the left?

Whammo, on comes the engine. Amazon's got it in the "for you" place on the front page, every "cultural editor" and "book reviewer" gets the word to put out an article discussing its pros and cons, every public library gets the memo to purchase five copies for their New Releases stack, and like moths to a flame come the readers, all ready for a gripping emotional journey across war-scarred Europe. (That invisible hand of the free market, dontcha know.)

What's terribly hilarious about all of these projects is that they're relying on the scholarly backgrounds of their authors to make their citation-light pop-drivel seem intellectual as well as entertaining, and that these purportedly academic tomes on the "second" World War are smash hits when properly promoted...yet there are fewer and fewer jobs available in the humanities, duh, and even university publishers aren't willing to keep printing actual research by their own associates anymore, at risk of creating tenure. Ironically, all the human interest stories that killed journalism as an American profession, turning newspapers into total propaganda outlets mixed with cute puppies at the local shelter, will kill the idea of reading "a whole book," making it akin to "reading a whole paper." Once it's all kindle-ized, it won't take more than a sweep of the pen to adjust the text in any work available worldwide, to correspond to the new way the story should turn out.

Ah, WW2 eros! In how many ways can you cast Winston Churchill and FDR as innocent heroes with a simple sentence near the middle of a page in Chapter 8? With what clarion beauty can you portray the people themselves as savage fools, driven to war by their own nationalized confusion, and never by Daddy Warbucks? (Sure, he made a little bit off it, but he had nothing to do with them killings, officer; honest!) "A Japanese pygmy submarine had been sunk in the harbor only a few days before, but the base commander had unfortunately not considered the possibility of..." ...oops; don't mention that one. Someone call Cuba and Ben, boys, for it's time to reforge our faith in paired orbs of iron.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Whole Oats

Article about Whole Foods' stock price dropping based on organic price competition at other retailers.

What a load of shit. The FTC (the most ineffective federal agency known to man a stealthily effective market comptroller) killed a Wild Oats/Whole Food pairing over "antitrust concerns" (again employing the vernacular: lmfao) at the very same time as every other major grocery retailer in the country was filling their shelf space with the same $16.99/box granola-colored wheat-sugar hybrid breakfast cereal that Whole Foods had to sell. (Editor's note: this means that there was no legitimate antitrust concern, since you could get the exact same products and services at independent retailers across the country, inasmuch as we consider anything "independent.")

In both foresight and hindsight, it's apparent that the FTC was paid off by Walmart to kill the deal so that Walmart could partner with Wild Oats instead, leveraging the brand power to put sorta-organic products beneath its own sketchy sans serif produce signs. Which reminds us of the real purpose of government agencies, doesn't it? To enforce selective punishment by obtuse fiat, while maintaining a track record of ludicrous incompetence that gives one plausible deniability when discussing whether they're unfairly idiotic by chance, or by design.

With delightful irony, it's sort of the opposite of the creationist argument: where creationists say, "The Earth is so perfectly positioned that it's clear it was done on purpose, therefore there is a God," neoliberals say, "The government is so incompetent it's clear it is not being controlled by an intelligent creator, therefore there are no conspiracies."

Golly shucks, Dubya, you thoughtless chimp--you had all the twin tower metal disposed of so quickly we couldn't study it to see how low-burning jet fuel managed to weaken it beyond decades of earthquake and fire science. And those dunces at the FTC, huh! They used antitrust law to shut down a joint corporate venture, only to later approve of the single biggest retailer in the entire country getting control of one of the shut-out brands (Walmart/Wild Oats)! Holy moley, what weirdness! Spin your right index finger around your ear, people; the lord works in mysterious ways, and what a wacky, completely random game board we have here. What are those clowns thinking?

Left Vampires

Glenn: "I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues."

Tarzie: "What a Fucking Asshole @ggreenwald. [Sarcastic comparison to The Society of the Spectacle.]"

Glenn: "This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it."

Tarzie: "Asshole...Heat Vampire."

trish: "what does a socialist project look like to you?"

Tarzie: "I will make sure that anyone who wants to go off on this tangent regrets not keeping it short and entertaining."

That's it; I'm going back to argue with the freepers. Oops, still blocked there; they're as tight as Tarzie. Guess I'll stay here a while yet.

Moving on, this is a good example of why our stunted understanding of fiction and art is so powerful: even the most "radical" critiques we can think of (which all originate from the iPad while our asses are pressed firmly on the living room couch) are self-defeatingly ironic. And even though we know it, and would probably agree with the ironical concept if forced to face it, we justify it through the property system, and enjoy being "administrators" of our own stuff just as much as Bernanke enjoys immiserating Detroit.

If you're not following any of these "fringes," from CNN to Naga/Aryan to Rancid Honeypot, the story with the Tarzie guy is the same ol'--"look at all these media sellouts parroting talking points and ultimately serving power." His critiques are almost always accurate, in the way that critiquing any mainstream American figure is accurate. Yes, Glenn Greenwald was set up by the Intelligence Agencies That Be to be the anti-elite elitist a few years back, which is why he got so much eerie attention from places that shut out other critical perspectives, and yes, as he makes his seemingly-sellout transition to formalized power and influence, it's a lot more obvious, and more people are picking up on it. And yeah, he's a dirty sellout jerk in a way, at least inasmuch as he publicly presents himself as a crusader for peace and justice. So Tarzie has that right.

Which is why it's, like, ironic that, in his own property-based blog forum, Tarzie wants to shut out even his own fans' explorations of the system that bothers them all, because he wants his personal media expression to be self-limiting. Just like Greenwald deleting posts in 2008 about how it would be hypocritical and morally wrong to vote for Obama the Warlord just because Obama the Warlord might eventually do something that could be defined in a certain perspective as "pro gay," Tarzie shuts up his own fan base if they go out of his own bounds (no, "trish" is not my alter ego; Tarzie banned me over a year ago).

The fundamental contradiction we all face as whiners is that our dialogue is the coward's way out; an attempt to disavow responsibility for what we're actively doing, right now, in the belly of the beast, to provide sustenance for the expanding grindery. And maybe there's no way out, but trying to convince ourselves we're different just because we complain in a slightly different tone than others, whom we have labeled hypocrites and tools of the system, is a failed quest--and we're still hypocrites, and still tools of the system.

Whatever our stripes, we seem unable to focus and tolerate. We censor, shun, and go tribal in what kinds of discussion and criticism we permit, establishing echo chambers of our own, as though we feel that it's Hell anyway, so why not at least find some people who agree with us to wile out the remaining years in something like camaraderie?

Saddam accurately and honestly but not fully condemns Shia extremists and western stooges, Bush accurately and honestly but not fully condemns Saddam; Obama accurately and honestly but not fully condemns Bush; Greenwald does Obama, Tarzie does Greenwald, and eventually, Arka does Arka. Which seems to be full circle, but is there any value in "increased" honesty? Is anyone counting the fact that you exposed the next level below as a hypocrite? Is Tarzie, who understands the evil of Bush and Obama and Greenwald, but acts the same way himself in promotion of his own perceived fiscal and social interests, nonetheless ahead of Greenwald, who understands a couple of the wrongnesses of Obama, and is Greenwald ahead of some yapping liberal like Daily Kos, who can go on for pages about what a jerk Cheney is, but who will defend Obama doing the same things for which he faulted Cheney?

If we value it by stacks of Iraqi bodies alone, they're all equally culpable. Sure, some are more honest, but in terms of raw guilt, we're sharing the butcher's bill. Arendt, right? Chomsky doesn't get how Chomsky applies to Chomsky, sez Tarzie--true, but Tarzie doesn't get how Tarzie applies to Tarzie, which is why he thinks his own brand of radicalism, defined by his personal financial interests, sets the boundaries of acceptable debate, just like how Chomsky keeps telling people to vote for Obama.

At the end of the line is not High Arka, whom nobody likes, but who has at least a few more honesty chips in her hand for being a level or two higher (all tokens are redeemable for high fructose slushies at the roadside stands along the highway to hell; that's how much they're worth)--dutifully taxpaying, non-resisting typist full of scathe for the buffoons who just don't get it. The only moral choice, really, seems to be to throw yourself on the mercy of the court, because pretending that you're not just as guilty as the guy you're intellectually kicking the crap out of is missing the very point that your boots are trying to drive home, namely utter submission to the State or the IMF or whatever devil you're most fond of hating. Oh, boo-boo, you couldn't earn less than the income tax threshold because you had to think about your future. Well, what about Drone Victim #2379? What about her future? She was three and living on 600 calories a day, and you were thirty and throwing out yesterday's chowder because it wasn't as good as you'd hoped, and you still thought you couldn't make the sacrifice to avoid buying your 1/10,000 share of the guidance chip that splattered her gray matter? You poor thing, you poor thing, come here and hold me close and we'll talk about what a fiendish liar Greenwald is, the bastard, enabling all that naughty stuff.

True, fewer people tend to come to the temple in the mountains to challenge the undefeated monks, but what's the point in practicing moves all day if there's never anyone to use them on? Maybe Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow really are the best, in a world of sounds and lightplay figurines, where nothing matters but exposure and numerical consensus. There probably aren't any good billionaires, but the same can be said about the rest of us here, can't it? Even Arendt swived Heidegger.

Back to fiction, and that clever foreshadowing from above. We're trapped in these loops because our stories give us no way out. Irony fails to move us because we fail to recognize its power--it's become a mousetrap of humorous utility, which we can't recognize when our own big toe gets caught. Politics remain worthless without a story to back it up. So we sit, and we stare, and we type, possessed of great intellectual analysis, yet unable to aim it in certain forbidden directions, being merely as creative as the narrow-skulled hominid things from the World Bank. Yeah.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Whytaissance

Everyone likes the Renaissance, sort of like Hitler's Night of the Long Knives--the time when all the people who knew the Führer's dirty little secrets were wiped out. Westerners can't get enough of their grand revolution of thought and science, obsessed with the white artists who made such grand contributions to civilization, being that there was no painting beforehand. No glorious city of Timbuktu; no astronomy; no paved streets; no lavish black civilizations with food security and general safety existed before the Renaissance.

Why, oh why, do white people love the Renaissance so much? They celebrate the lord-beholden Michelangelo and the other patroned artists, fawn over the world's cultural treasures, and put on medieval garb and go to festivals where they buy free range chicken on a stick and watch knights fight from horseback. It's the proof of superior civilization, and everyone knows it. The linchpins of the western world, from the justification for parliamentary monarchy to the supposed cultural absorption of the American Empire, are built on the Renaissance's advance of civilization.

Like so many Memorial Days celebrated by peace-loving American presidents, though, the reason we celebrate the Renaissance--and all its mighty bullshit--is the Whitening aspect. The Renaissance is the best kind of conspiracy theory, similar to MKUltra in that so many of the planning documents have been destroyed that even the descendants of the perpetrators believe in the official narrative.

Sure, we're impressed with Leonardo's figure sketches for some reason, and there's the Mona Lisa and stuff, but the real driving force behind the Renaissance was the whitening and replacement of biblical imagery. Michelangelo's David; his and many other nobility-spawned renditions of the ancient saints and the biblical patriarchs: these are all just KKK-style crap that we've forgotten about in the few centuries in-between.



We all know this guy, right? Jesus, a.k.a. Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI (sic), born in the late 15th century and chosen as the new image of Jesus. And the church purge, yada yada, destroying all the earlier images of black Jesus, black apostles, black Christians. Sure, always fun to blame the Catholics. But what about the imaginarily-secular artists upon whom we rest the foundations of our culture? Michelangelo was the one who did the job for money, turning Jesus from a Semitic black into a blue-eyed white guy with a hipster douche.

The utter whitening of black Jesus was perhaps the most powerful single side effect of the Renaissance, and one not spoken of and adulated over, the way the other religious art transformations are. Because we know who Cesare Borgia is, and have papal records, we can track the specific co-option of Christianity by the imperial post-Romans. Like the co-option of other social revolutions--1970s nerdiness or 2014 media dissidence--the theft of Christianity-as-social-movement was profound, comprehensive, and soon forgotten. The cultural images of Africans in a pit, getting eaten by lions for the entertainment of a Caucasian nobility, were abruptly tossed into the memory hole, replaced by shots of heroic white saints suffering for the faith that would be used to justify the next thousand years of creditor-crown power relations. Blacks were wiped out of history as the post-Romans turned Marc Antony's rape and purchase of Cleopatra into an erotic fantasy of sexual choice by a liberated female ruler, and the incarnation of God became just another rich white guy.

That fast, medieval Europe suddenly believed itself the heirs of the One White Guy To Escape Nazareth.

Judaism

Even bigger and deeper than the way blacks were driven out of Christianity was what the Jesus-scrub said about Judaism. Glossing over the true image of Jesus being an Israelite was important for the future of Christianity, but also Judaism--all the dark middle easterners who followed the Torah were, in the same stroke of the cultural pen, wiped out, and replaced by the Caucasian David. Yes, David is a really cool sculpture, but why has it been championed so vigorously by the western lords for over 500 years? Michelangelo was very skilled, and given access to a lot of new materials and public promotion, yes, but again, why this inordinate focus on him? Why do so many classes on history and political science look to Michelangelo, and his Jesus and his David, as such pivotal moments in human history?

David is so important because he is white. White David gets so much attention as an artistic marvel because, clad in Caucasian features and white marble, he seems to be a historical proof that the original Semites, and the line of belief that went from Torah to Gospel, is a white line. That's why it's so damn important--why people who cut funding to art programs in every public school in the country still exhibit such marvel at the idea of this one statue carved over 500 years before their latest speech. David, and Jesus, take Africa out of the equation: they exemplify the appropriation of hundreds of years of Semitic art, and replace entire cultures with whiter versions of themselves. It's not like Hunger Games and Inception's ripoffs of Battle Royale and Paprika were particularly new, and at least the Japanese got to keep their original, dated versions, so that later civilizations might be able to, on their own, figure out how filthy Collins and Nolan were. Oh no; the appropriation here was more than mere marketing trump, being instead a full overhaul and replacement of the original idea.

Everyone likes to say "Memory Hole" now and then, but here, it's literal. The papal purge took away God knows how many (sic) pieces of invaluable human art and human history simply because they portrayed one (potentially) historical figure as non-white. Took, and destroyed, and destroyed records of, so that Jesus and the Torah Jews would be a more appealing marketing tool for future use. We know that slaves in ancient Egypt tended to be blacker, sub-Saharan Africans, where the original Israelites fit in, but all we have left behind after these memory-wipes are fine carvings of white people portraying themselves as the victims, the oppressed, and the resistance.

Even just from an artistic perspective, how can you recover from that? Particularly after so many hundreds of years of white people parading around replacement images and claiming them as the real thing?

Purge

The purging of African representations of African history before the Renaissance was very thorough. The Pope oversaw the tracking down of unapproved Jesus-imagery, while the nobility exterminated non-white images of Jewry, and replaced them with delightfully bleached clones: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with the white Adam, which is nearly as promoted as David; his Crucifixion; his equally white-marbled Madonna, in the company of a bright-eyed little white baby; his The Last Judgment; his endless white sculpted Saints, and his patriarchal, European Moses... It's SWPL, way before the internet. That's your Renaissance, people--a burning cross driven into the husk of African culture, where Europe stole Judaism and Christianity from their creators (or vessels, if you prefer).
Dark am I, yet lovely,
daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
like the tent curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
Song of Solomon 1:5-6
The Torah and the Gospels are littered with stuff like that--Africans' descriptions of themselves, encountering Europeans who are haughtily surprised that they can speak coherently.
As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”
“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?”
Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”
-Acts 21:38-39
See? There's even some left after King James and the NIV translation committee got done scrubbing it.

From picture to text, the European job made Africa fade into the background of history. Suddenly, all the Christians and Jews were "white," and whiter as time went on. But the excursions into Africa never stopped. Crusades, colonies, resettlement, and then, thousands of years after Moses left, that's right, triangle trade incoming, and slave ships come back again to teach Africans all about White Jesus and picking cotton. A few years later, schools are desegregated, and it's time for all the Africans to learn about the glories of the European Renaissance, while a Federal Reserve Bank and an International Monetary Fund staffed by white people demand repayment for various development loans to the rotating warlords of the post-colonial states.

Welcome to the New Africomm, and I'll see you at the Faire.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

That's What I Call Progress


Click for the whole thing, but the point comes across even in slivers. KKK literature, right? About how big-lipped niggers are lazy and violent, and how they can't be trusted around our white women because they might leap into an irrational rage and kill them over a minor disagreement. They don't understand capitalism either; they think that they should choose the product purchased by the consumer (ahhh! save us! product choice is the only true freedom!).

Nope, not KKK literature--a modern recreation of the standard racist comic fare, that one above from a 2002 volume of a series that ran 12 volumes more, picking up seven Eisner Awards on the way. The selection comes from Bill Willingham's Fables, another in the series of DC spinoff works that recycles old public domain characters into profitability based on the plot, "Everything we imagine exists, exists, therefore the most popular stories are real." (And just like Gaiman's Sandman, these eerily meaningful works all spring up from connected authors who can't draw, produced by hiring a rotating cycle of artists and guest/assistant writers who are replaceable, less-well-paid, and not given "creator" credit.)

It's not like racism is anything new from DC, or from the comics industry in general. Heck, read a Frank Miller from the 1980s, and learn how Russians are evil, western liberals are secretly violent communist insurrectionists, fags all carry around red pitchforks with which to molest children, and teenage girls crave sleeping with rugged, fortyish white men (but only if those men are willing to hit them first, to prove their masculinity). Jerry Siegel's parents left Europe with curiously good timing right before World War I, and he was born in the U.S. to create "Superman," the penultimate straight white man who always upholds the American way by defending the weak from evil rich villains (sic). Superman kills bank robbers, stymies social unrest, upholds the existing social order, and all of the Batman-style stuff that Rands up the game to Iron Man levels.

Of course, that's all there. Comics reflect society just like art, society includes racism, and so scum like Willingham gets to portray Africans as women-abusing buffoons, to the applause of the whole industry. What's striking, though, even in America, is how quietly this stuff slips by when it's in a "comic book." When using novels or movies to soften people up to the idea of exterminating Arabs, the racism has to be more subtly done; the African in question has to be part of Saddam's command, or offset by a "good Arab" who is reasonable.

The best shield, though, is a woman. Look at the image again, where the tough white businesswoman is lecturing that violent fool "Hakim" on how customer service doesn't involve choosing products for, and threatening, the customer--and the penitent Hakim has to take it. Willingham's writing is filled with revealing dross like that, where white woman feminize African men, proving the progressiveness of the white men who are the white women's ultimate masters. In The Siege, we used a double whammy, employing both a willing black man and a white woman to prove that we were tolerant and progressive for characterizing Arabs as inhuman trash.

It's not just the character Hakim, who's that way, is it? Check the dialogue at the end: it's a "cultural misunderstanding." Quite literally, that's Arab culture, right there, stoning women and repressing them via husband-training. Just like Navajo culture is about scalping white men, beating wives, and raping white women, right?

Nothing new. Nothing in the least bit new. Edward Said didn't say it first, but he was allowed to say it most loudly and recently. That's something all feminists should take away from this issue--not just how blatantly racist are Willingham and the entire industry that has spent over two decades richly rewarding him and lavishly promoting his work--but how western women are used to effeminize and disempower foreign men. That's what western "feminist" movements are, in so many ways: a constant recycling of gender tropes in Anglo-American culture, whereby increased female participation in narratives of domination and exploitation prove that Indian savages or Ghana heathens or sand niggers are just completely backwards, as we blow them up and slaughter their children. All the white men are so very proud of their disciplined white women, who are "free" to abuse and dominate those backwards A-rabs like so many Lynndie Englands.


Why not, huh? And why should Lynndie apologize? Bush hasn't; Obama hasn't. Look at those proud, cheesy white men smiling away as "their" woman shows the A-rabs who's boss. Now that's what I call progress. Bitching someone yourself is fun, but if you can move even higher on the food chain, and get your underlings to handle the nitty gritty of subjugation, well, it proves you're just doubleplus studly, doesn't it?

Never you mind, of course, that America's consumer salesmen are worse than Arab ones, and that white salesmen almost hold the patent on being pushy assholes. Never you mind that white Americans hold the lion's share of stock in the world's torture, as well as the world's corporations that telemarket and phone-poll; that white Americans have mutilated and killed more Arab women in the past thirty years than any ten Arab leaders together could claim credit for; that date rape is endemic to American military academies and military bases, as well as the ritzy colleges where the finest of the fine whites send their little drone boys to learn.

What's that cute thing you're supposed to say in situations like this? I was thinking something along the lines of, "Welcome to the 21st century, where making a squinty-eyed face and saying 'me so solly' is definitely out of bounds and everyone knows it, but having every Arabiac wave a scimitar while threatening to stone you is A-OK." Is that what you do now?

That Solidarity Economy

Bruce Dixon talks about the solidarity economy here, summary, "form co-ops (not chicken coops) to make life, and business, better for real people." Which is a good point, and he goes into some detail about a co-op in Spain, and some nice organizing in deep south America, that has some theoretical potential.

One of his commenters, Dramond, responds with the semi-obvious:
One of the reasons plans end up not succeeding for us is because people see us coming a mile away. Why? Because sites like this one get excited about such movements, start advertising it, banging their gong. Whatever happened to us quietly doing our necessary work and as others bear witness, they adopt similar practices? This post put a bull's eye on these organizations. Stop being so vocal about what you're doing. Stop announcing every damn thing. Take a note from the Chinese. They plan well in advance and work QUIETLY. They advertise NOTHING. You need to remove this post and stop making these organziations and their plans targets. Learn from history, damn.
The good point there is, of course, "If these co-ops for capital movement, trade, employment, and general humanity become effective, they'll be crushed by the evil bastards who are gaming the system now, so keep it quiet." However good that point, it's sadly naive, because even absent paid informants, elites find out about these things. The I.R.S. is just the first, most public level of closing down cooperative economies, using accounting tricks to shut down genuine co-ops (hint: not your local juice bar that pretends to be one) by leveling some manner of "tax evasion" punishment on it. Literally inappropriate, but spiritually correct, so far as the I.R.S. goes. George Washington's first battle after the British, remember, was to kill farmers by enforcing a tax on private whisky transactions, in order to fund a federal army that would allow the murder-swamp named after him to amass a slave empire in the Caribbean.

So, whadda we do? The Jackson Rising thing is about as good of a realistic change as you can hope for--a completely non-violent, completely legal, working within the system, yet without relying on "voting" or "petitioning legislators" (lol) to provide sustenance for human beings. Yet it faces the obstacle that all mass decency does, namely, a giant bullseye painted on its back. Why give it away to the Feds?

And yet, if you don't publicize it like Dixon does, how is anyone supposed to find out? How can it grow? That's the elite benefit in controlling media. Respected newspapers and websites, schools, books, and movies are how we talk to each other, and it's all saturated with ramshackle history and scrolling text alerts about the latest Biebifer relationship scandal. Most of us aren't even aware that, say, Bernard Baruch, a powerful financier and adviser to Woodrow Wilson, pushed hard for the U.S. to:

(1) invade Russia, consolidating the Bolshevik revolutionaries as nationalist heroes who would later provide gulags and a profitable cold war;

(2) get Japan to help invade Russia, kickstarting imperial Japan toward helping out in a profitable second World War;

(3) pay for the next century's murders and weaken most citizens by enacting an income tax;

(4) establish a "Federal Reserve Bank" and a "Federal Trade Commission" to allow private control of currency ergo everything.

We're so incredibly progressive, but how do we even begin to have a discussion at this level of ignorance? Whatever the malevolence ascribed to Mitt Romney or even Hillary, lacking a hundred years of context, we're missing the larger pattern here; failing to see how the same fights have already occurred, and been lost. All those things, just like market-evolution rising, happening right around that lovely chemo time of the turn of the century, and yet we keep approaching "the Cold War" and "troublesome Ukraine" and "the Fed" like those K-12 history textbooks are honest about both Columbus and 9-11. Is it the height of noble idiocy to try to work around it with a solidarity economy, or is it just the height of nobility? Is it a knowing sacrifice?

It should be clear enough now, a century later, that this stuff is pure evil and antithetical to life on Earth. Stalin and Hitler, right? What more do you want? We know the communards got crushed rather handily by the French financial elite, so will Jackson Rising have its own chance? In completely different other news, how long before Detroit gets (formally) declared a free-fire zone, and a wall is thrown up to prevent "incidents" between Detroiters and the rest of us? Pretty soon, Kurt Russell will be sent in to bring back the drug-dealing ganglord who has a plan to spread the Cursed Earth to the white civilization surrounding. A straight-to-DVD release, but worth picking up. Anyway, the point was that Detroit was (as BAR says) "the great black metropolis," and crushing it right now sends a very particular message (especially while a certain carefully-bred rich fake does nothing about millions of hungry, which is indeed change you can believe in).

Hey, here's a new subset movement for us all: free the handicapped people of Detroit from their repression. Research shows, after all, that handicap access ramps in Detroit will be substandard as long as the greater metropolitan area is being turned into a Gaza-style prison. How long before you're prevented from moving out of Detroit until you've repaid your share of the "debt"?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Against the Flow, Rather Again

"So, how about we get something to eat?"

Scene changes. We're all at an oceanside restaurant. A few seconds after we've described the funny personal habits of the waiter, or just panned the camera across the waves, Sally leans forward. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" she asks the table. "After all, we're wanted criminals! Anyone could see us!"

"Stop worrying," mutters Billy. "I just had to get some lamb chops before we're on the run."

Oh, fine; "salmon." Scratch out the lamb chops. We're at a seaside place, remember? It's just that "Billy" sounds more like a "lamb chops" guy. The important part, though, is that, for decades upon decades, all of art--directorial techniques, writing of books and novels, TV shows, movie scripts, friggin' comic book layouts--we've had this all-powerful idea that, to economize on storytelling space, we mustn't include full conversations. We don't have time for them, after all.

So, how did the conversation flow when Billy suggested getting something to eat? Obviously, Sally and Billy decided on, "Yes, we'll eat." And how did they decide upon that despite being wanted fugitives? Apparently, Billy really had to eat that salmon. But why, when they're are the restaurant an hour 45 later, after having the argument, settling on a plan, driving there, Billy taking a leak while Sally eats butter mints off the maître d's podium when no one is looking, them getting shown to a table, ordering and being served, and cutting a few bites--why then is Sally bringing up the old subject again, in very clear, yet concise terms?

Because we're reminding the viewer, of course. We skipped from one scene to another, intending to entertain a bunch of shallow-attention-spanned idiots who couldn't handle listening to Sally and Billy's argument and understand their decision, so we put artificial dialogue into Sally's mouth (inserted at an arbitrary point mid-meal) just to explain the transition and get to the next "more interesting" scene we'd prefer to show. This is what it means to be a professional entertainer--to destroy character consistency, and make people act in unnatural ways, redundantly referencing topics in objective terminology in order to explain why we are where we are without having to bore anybody with the details of why.

A future without a past. A destination without a reason. A passion without a passion. Blink.





I threw away four brand new books today. (No, not fiction. Don't jump to any conclusions.) Cookbooks, ranging from vegetarian to (east) Indian Nouveau. And why not? Who the hell needs a book anymore? All the recipes are on the internet. But these were new books, newly printed, with recipes and health tips, yet lacking any cute side stories. Nothing but recipes and pictures of the completed recipes. Why in the world would anyone print such a book? It's a waste of space. It's even more environmentally sound to use a friggin' iPad, left on a custom-made stand during the whole cooking process, for a cooking reference, than it is to print and ship and retail and transact and drive home an actual, physical cookbook. And everyone knows it, by now. This isn't, shudder, the year 2000 or 1990 or 1980. It's far enough into this phase that we all know how stupid cookbooks are. Unlike fiction, you don't read them in the tub, or treasure them as part of a family collection. So why? It's insane to print them.

So I finally, after suffering their presence untouched on the shelf for several years, tossed them out. You can't blame people for giving them as gifts, though. Nothing says "pointless holiday gift" quite like an in-print cookbook in the post-digital age, oops, we're not there yet, fine, "like an in-print cookbook in the digital age," there ya go. So we have to print them. What else will people give for the holidays if not in-print cookbooks? And you can't even blame each other for buying them or throwing them out. Life is nothing but the short span of random shit that happens on the roughly four feet of conveyor belt located in-between the factory and the landfill, eh? Moves quick, too.

I bought a twenty-four thousand dollar dining table today. It's ugly, ugly as hell, but he liked it. It was on "special," too, if you can believe that.

(Oh, go on; excoriate me for my largesse. But actually, the shits that like these kinds of tables think of this one as pretty low-end. The real purpose is to communicate a message--a message that can only be communicated by wasting so much on such an ugly thing [with redundant curves that make serving a pain in the ass] that exists only to communicate. Communication for the sake of communication, power and power dynamics, welcome to the top of the food chain, or at least, as close as you're gonna get. Have the boss over for dinner again, honey. I'll be in the back with the hemlock.)

Even more offensive than the table is the nineteen hundred dollar vase of reeds. This "vase," nearly five feet high, holds a bunch of reeds that look vaguely like malnourished didgeridoos. They're supposed to be artistic, these collections of reeds, and a step up from the equally pointless platters of wooden "spheres" (don't call them "balls") that the lesser folk set on their coffee tables in an attempt to imitate my vase of reeds. I look at it, and I think, God, I gotta stop reading Luxe. That's right--it's not my fault. It's the constant bombardment of something I crave and actively create. Blink.





The military march. The murder mystery. The broiled trout. The gonzo moneyshot. Different facets of art, subjected to the tortures of the house of bathos: music; literature; cuisine; erotica. Where does it begin? Where end?



Her prose is evocative; incendiary; brutally reminiscent of the post-postmodern world, where entertainment has increasingly become like a contract between the viewer and the artist. The slices of contemporary urban Americana here represent...

His review was banal; pointless; brutally reminiscent of the post-postmodern world, where entertainment has increasingly become like a contract between the viewer and the artist.



I boned up on my Russian history. Apparently, events occurring between Russia and Ukraine between the years of 1907 and 1922 do not merit a mention of the American and British humanitarian intervention (which certain ignorant extremists have called the 1917 invasion of Russia). This, from the London School of Economics! I was so shocked at their oversight that I moved right on to the new treatise on President Polk, where I learned that Anglo settlers in North America came there out of a desire to work hard and live free, in contrast to those damned half-African Spanish bastards, who held an exclusive license on cruelty. Because, you know, Cortes. What is Columbia thinking, these days? How could they have strayed so far from their reliable roots of...hey, maybe the table isn't so ugly after all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How tight the web

My friend and I were touched by the death of a relative, and we wanted to learn a new way of fixing kidneys, so I told him he could extract a few cells from mine and study them with this idea he had. Then we found out that if we tried to get anesthetic for the operation, we'd go to jail, even if we paid for it 100% out of pocket and signed fifty consent forms ahead of time. We also found out we'd go to jail extra for practicing medicine without a license, for violating regulations regarding storing potential biohazards in unlicensed storage facilities, for transporting them in violation of regulations (when we took it from his cooler to the microscopes set up in my kitchen).

(Not just a joke or a trifle, baby. The police power of the State enforces this like someone growing one too many cannabis plants. Teams of armed men kicking in the door, seizing assets, destroying lab equipment, and shooting to death anyone who resists.)

We wanted to learn, so we looked into getting these "licenses." It turns out that buying four years of college, four years of medical school, three years of residency, and then passing a battery of tests in various states, is not enough. That just authorizes you to be a physician, provided you pay your little fees and insurance and other stuff every year. In order to get permitted to do operations, you had to be approved for only one or two areas at a time, so you had to spend years in speciality schools, designed to prohibit you from getting other specialties, and with the warning that, if you said anything too esoteric, you would lose your licenses, but still have to pay back the $200-600K in sundry education costs you'd accumulated up until then. Also, the 11 years of your life, minimum, would not be returned.

We did it anyway. We went to med. school, spent another 4 years getting approved for nephrological procedures, but it wasn't enough. In order to do any kinds of studies, you had to be preapproved by research grants at universities, or else the campus police would escort you out and you'd lose your license. None of our prospectuses were approved. It was a complete waste. Dozens of years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, in order to be permitted to join a special sub-sub-sub-class of people who could, if approved by a different round of bosses, be allowed to study stuff. Occasionally, we came across samples, but we couldn't transport them on our own; there are regulations for that.

Finally, I had my own kidney operation, for other reasons. I thought I'd ask to keep the stuff, but no, there are regulations for "biohazard waste," so even though they cut it out of my back, it had to go to the disposal facility. No, seriously; no joke; they chuckled at first, then rather sternly informed me not to ask such an inappropriate question, and took my cells away for destruction.

Can't learn. Can't grow. Can't try. Can't imagine.

No free market. No inquiry. If you want to test out an idea, some kind of "safety concern" can make sure you don't get to. What are they so afraid of us discovering, anyway? Would it be so terrible if someone bled out on a garage floor in Kansas? It's happening, anyway, of course, but god forbid it happen in the context of trying to learn and discover. All the "forbidden actions" the police rove about preventing the occurrence of are so very like the medieval church's stance on the immorality of cutting up cadavers. Exactly like, in fact. There's a very good reason creditor-priests don't want you looking through telescopes, reading Latin, or discovering more about what's inside you. How very tight the web is, preventing us from learning who we are without our every task monitored by the pre-existing system. Putting people in jail for privately growing and using their own drugs isn't the only "victimless crime" in this hellhole, and colorful children's fold-out books which freely provide the archaic names for different bodily organs are not the same as permission to set bones or study cells without giving states and insurance companies their cut.

Physicians meet patients, but researchers do microspecific research under the supervision of microspecific-approved research-managers, and it's so wacky that money and employment responsibilities can be used to ensure that never the twain shall meet. Physicians and researchers play a little game of "telephone" back and forth, communicating the "on the ground" realities of patient experiences through seven levels of executive-monitored hearsay, in order to convey something to the researchers, who are supposedly researching 1/20th of a large-scale project to address those convolutedly-delivered patient needs. Even if they were trying hard, by the time the administrator's report gets back and forth and back again, it's purple monkey dishwasher.

Public health, from the country with nuclear bombs and fracking and air quality and mercury and TSA genital-ray scans on four-year-old kids boarding a plane from LA to Sacramento, and, oh, how completely non-ironic is irony, anymore? We sit here watching a fifty-year run of invasions, wars, crumbling infrastructure, the Labor Department approving union labor in uranium mines, lobotomizing vets, testing nuke exposure on vets, the LSD gigglers spraying stuff on even non-vets, etc., and yet, when the local public health office warns us that we need to get a certain inoculation to protect our health, we actually believe that it's because the government is interested in keeping us well. At least in that one tiny thing, their heart is in the right place, clearly. What could be farther from the truth? Hey, wouldn't it be quite the coincidence, to say the least, if there actually was still one tiny county agency somewhere, in one of these states, that was trying to keep people healthy? We spend millions in extra legal fees to execute mentally retarded prisoners; we spend more effort arranging the silvered hair on our news anchors than we do stabilizing the pensions of, I dunno, our K-12 teachers.

Help us, other countries. You want the empire to end? Then stand up and help us. It's like a prison, here. The looniest, most lavish prison around, but still a prison; a twisted mindfuck neverending prison where the rules about your posture while you stand in the jello line are found only in summary in a 300 page book, and 9 out of 10 books in the prison library are that book, the book on jello line guidelines, yet we spend most of our days attending re-education courses for putting a foot wrong three steps shy of the Cosby poster.

Medical

If a _____________ says something unpopular, she/he is ______________, and needs to be ___________.

1) private citizen AND fringe wacko who knows nothing about medical science AND ignored or mocked.

2) medical student AND ignorant of the realities of a completed education and day-to-day practice AND put on academic probation or de-registered.

3) medical resident AND inexperienced and lacking in a diverse perspective AND re-submitted to the committee on mental fitness and character.

4) licensed physician AND just starting out in the profession, not only inexperienced but not a specialist, a mere "general practitioner" AND stripped of license or monitored closely and denied all publication and teaching access.

5) experienced physician from a small area AND tainted by the low geographical quality of where her sorry skills caused her to end up, as well as bitter at her failed career AND reviled and ignored as a small-town nut from Kentucky suitable for giving boosters to kids in a village with a population of 6,000.

6) experienced physician or specialist from a prestigious place AND isolated in her ivory tower from the realities of day-to-day practice, and attempting to gain attention for her practice by making money with an attention-getting advertising message to promote her books and website AND stripped of license, stripped of specialty, or merely denied all publication and teaching access.

7) senior or retiring physician AND out of touch with the newest advancements, clinging to the past in desperation AND put quietly to pasture.

Clearly, it would be dangerously irresponsible to publish an unorthodox opinion by any of the above.

You wanna do it with politicians, too? Works all the way from "member of the local zoning board" to "Senator heading on a trip in a small private plane" to "retiring president of the U.S.," does it not? We can mock anyone at any level; destroy anyone, no matter their credentials and background, with a pre-loaded story for exactly why their failure to conform is such an outlandish and irresponsible view.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Little Short of Retirement

Over here, Boink says:
Mrs. B and I are old enough to be (and are) retired persons. We were expecting to augment our SSB’s er… social security benefits to younger folk… with interest earned on life savings. There is a huge cohort retiring just now with similar expectations.

There are no such earnings, i.e., insured savings earn about 0.1% to 0.25% interest ever since 2008. Inflation is at a somewhat higher level than that every year. At least inflation on food and other essentials. So that older folks are eating their savings here just like the retired people did in the USSR after Yeltsin invited in Smith’s Chicago boys back in the 1990′s. The banks however have remained solvent at least officially and the bank officers have merited bonuses annually. I think that that is what became of the expected income-augmenting interest. Our interest became their bonuses.

The reality sort makes the Atlantic’s quiz rather pointless. In hindsight Mrs. B and I should have tossed the life savings into the stock market in 2008 or 2009 and made out like bandits …. but it didn’t look so prudent at that time, given the crash that had just occurred in 2008.
Response for posterity:

Well, that's the unpleasant issue we must face, isn't it? It is, of course, so much nicer being cheated by the Fed here than it is to get gang-raped by coalition soldiers in Afghanistan--and yet, it really does suck to get cheated out of a few years of reliable relaxation by the Fed.

Yet, that expectation some of us educated prog-blog-reading bourgeois had--of those dwindling years of fixed, but survivable, income--is built upon all that exploitation we decry. Those of you who have nest eggs built them up using a system of exploitation that denied a safe retirement to, say, Hispanic agricultural workers who fed you, asbestos-stuffed miners who powered your house, or even the painfully obvious dead Iraqi who powered your car (and your 401[k]). We're upset that our interest rates are down, even though the banks that we wanted to get those interest rates from are the ones who have spent decades denying that same security to the "illegal Mexicans" who fund Social Security while never collecting any, or who stock shelves or pack our amazon.com shipping boxes while never earning enough to have their own nest egg.



Secretly, we were all hoping that, despite the malfeasance of which we were quite aware, things would still turn out okay for us. Should we give our money to Citibank, ravager of the South American continent, or should we "toss the life savings into the stock market and make out like bandits" by investing in, oh, Apple (anti-slave-suicide nets pictured above, natch)? Halliburton? How about General Dynamics or Oracle or Bank of America?

So I share that pain, but what the hell else did we expect at this point? We're talking about bankers who have, with malice aforethought, starved literally millions of children, polluted the cradle of human civilization with depleted uranium, and who meet every week to discuss who to kill with their flying robots. What good was going to come out of that?

Like I said a couple days before that discussion happened to start up there, thank God for Iraq.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Villainous Inadequacy

Why are today's villains inadequate? So importantly so?

Because today's villains don't actually chuckle behind the curtains. They're grave. They're reserved. Their speeches are calm, with fewer gesticulations. Even among their inner circles, they are serene, hard-working, serious, and believe in what they're doing. They actually are the stuff of the placid talks they give; the banal policies they release. Down to the tiniest fiber of their gray matter, they actually do believe that the things they say and do are the best choices in difficult times.

Any entertainment that has villains behaving otherwise is in service of this calm doom. This one can't emphasize that enough to you people: it's a straw man; it's a ruse; it's an enigma wrapped in a mystery stuffed into a sack of burning dog shit. Anytime you partake of a cliche villain, no matter how realistic the set direction, you're just lending credence to this grand illusion of suffering. Sadly, weirdly, inappropriately, Ed Harris' General Hummel was more realistic, deeper, and colorful than the dross you now celebrate as a progressive stab at the heart of darkness.

If the only villains we're prepared to face are secretly chuckling about the destruction they wreak upon the planet, how will we react when confronted with realistic villains, who are reasonable and photogenic even in their most private moments? Exactly: we freeze up, community-organize, lesser-evil, and generally do just what we're doing now. That's why entertainment media must be controlled. The first step of all of this is in our imaginations.

Worth it if you never. (Side note: aforementioned list has been pretty well followed by all western leaders for decades, resulting in their constant evil successes. I mean, check out the second spillover list, "I will be an equal-opportunity despot and make sure that terror and oppression is distributed fairly, not just against one particular group that will form the core of a rebellion.")

In Plain Sight

Take a look at just one of these, and notice how the top ten holdings only make up about 40% of the fund--and how, if you're into the markets in any way, these companies are "competitors" of one another. They also span the whole damn thing, meaning not just hospitals, but developers, building contractors, technology, training ("academics"), research, pharmaceutical, certification agencies, friggin' delivery services...companies that make customized retrofits for those very specific delivery vehicles...it doesn't end. It's the whole thing.

We can look at that a number of ways as relates Marx or Smith or even Lenin. Does capital always conglomerate such that it's a monofacetious, sorry, singular entity? Is there no capitalism without trust? Sure, America has a lot of "antitrust law" that very, very carefully defines how it's acceptable for post-Rooseveltian (Teddy, in case you're stuck an era later) investors to control the entire marketplace for a single service, over which they've legislated exclusive patent (modern: "license"), for companies to own stock in other companies that own stock in them, for fund managers to work for companies that channel and rechannel different corporate investments into apparently-convoluted-but-actually-quite-simple ratios that leave, really, the same old same old selling the same old same old.

Inevitable? Fair? Yeah, there's the dinner-table conversation with some hapless functionary who thinks that something called "competition" exists, and because of all the pretty logos, believes there is more than one face behind the curtain. And there's the deeper truth behind that, that there may have once been a competition, a hundred years ago or maybe a thousand, where certain arrangements were hashed out to ensure that there wouldn't later need to be any harmful competitions, yeah. Even a thousand years ago (if that's the time we arbitrarily pick), was there competition, or has it always been subject to prior monopoly arrangements, like a crooked 50s game show or a pointlessly non-crooked tweens reality show?

The fund above is, of course, only one fund, and only about $5B, but as you may have guessed by now, they're all like that, and the total numbers involved are far greater than $5B. Maybe, really, all the money, save for a few houses and savings accounts--all the money is all the money, a conglomerated mass of however many imaginary trillions, justifying a godawful number of separate fictitious entities that "do business."

The Drift

Sorry; let's talk basics. A "trust" is, in this kind of economic sense, a "monopoly," or a racket of people who get together to drive competition out of the market in order to make more money for less effort. It's in theory illegal since, oh, somewhere around the end of the Guilded Age, excuse me, the Gilded Age, when President Theodore Roosevelt, running on a platform of hope and change, staved off revolution by pretending to break up the great trusts--sugar, tea, banking, shipping, etc.--with "antitrust legislation." Believe it or not, it actually fooled people. It fooled so many millions of people that, a century later, their distant descendants think of the murdering rapist of the Caribbean as a "reformer," and believe that something good was accomplished.



Just lookit this inane, stuperific (and MC) quiz, where modern schools teach that it was all good and true. This kept the peasants tricked for a while, until the next Roosevelt came up with his own "reforms" to end monopolies. (Remember how the hungry people enjoyed playing the Monopoly?) Meanwhile, Obama is progressively fixing things yet again. Banana republics move aside; here come oil republics, soaked in the blood of as many inconvenient children as he can joke about at a media conference.

What we're trying to remember here is that, despite the shell game, the only changes were that people got less honest. Through cross-corporate holdings and mutual funds, the moneyed class owns everything. It owns Microsoft and Apple. And Samsung. And the next one. There is no competition because they don't want to play if there's the chance they might lose. Even if competition accidentally arises, a reduction in Microsoft's price means a corresponding rise in Apple's, and if the latest war fails, a reduction in Halliburton means a rise in Whole Foods.

How does it hurt? Well, why should your hospital cut its overnight rates if its owners also own the hospital across town, and the one on the south side, and all the ones in the next state, too? Where ya gonna go? They own all the internet access providers and phone service providers; there is zero motivation to either employ or serve well. The best part is, with antitrust laws and mutual funds, this stuff doesn't have to be hidden anymore. We all know and accept that there are "lobbyists," so why not believe the ruse that mutual funds are somehow A-OK for free market capitalism? They own all the parties and the politicians, of course, with the same standardized non-competition results, but you probably already knew that.

If your hospital's holding company also owns shares in a company that does medical transportation, then you can bet that, instead of having an in-house laboratory, there'll be a separate "lab" in a different part of the complex, or across town, so that you can pay for the sample to get shipped there. Well, not you, but your insurance company, which is okay, too, because the same fund owns any of your four options in your area given your health. So we bring it from floor 9 to floor B-2, transfer to a little white non-emergency transport van, drive it to Invorum Labs, have it done up, drive it back, and there's a little tithe at every stage of the game, rather than just having a microbiologist on floor 7 take a couple minutes to do a report on it. And of course, if a CT machine costs $800K, we'll order more of those scans than we would otherwise, because, well, you know. As long as you have half a brain, you can make it sound altruistic, responsible, and justified, and you have plausible deniability at every stage of the game. No one needs to lie anymore; we all actually believe the bullshit we spout. The Watergate scandal isn't possible when every single citizen believes Liddy actually was just vacuuming as an independent contractor.

Back to the murder swamp, what did you think those "lobbyists" were doing, anyway? Waiting for their chance to make their case based on logic alone? Handing over briefcases of cash while wearing black eye-masks? No, the former is the child's view, while the latter is the patronizing adult's view--too obvious, too easy to catch, and therefore, the answer must be something respectable, right? What they're actually doing is passing on subtly worded threats, gifts, and job offers, but all above the table. There's no need to hide anything anymore, because it's all in plain sight and nobody cares. Everybody knows the fight was fixed, after all, because the poor stay poor and the rich get rich.

There are no revelations. You can have intelligent arguments, hours long, with people who have PhDs in economics, and who wouldn't give their teenager signature authority over their bank account during a 6 week sabbatical, but who still claim, straight-faced, that there's no problem with competing companies and investors owning each other's stock. This ruse is so internalized it's like we've forgotten there ever was a dream about not living in a cage. You know, the boring old saws, "War is Peace," and "Ignorance is Strength," and "Murdering Children With Drones is Saving Humanity." We're really having our faces rubbed in it, here. Throw out the fancier theories; maybe this culture is all about submissive BSDM play after all.

Bond markets sometime later.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Glory Days

Who are these people that think fictional high schools are best populated by professional actors in their early- to mid-twenties? We're all so obsessed with our traumatized schooling that it feels good to play-act, "What would happen if I went back with all my adult knowledge and power, but enough makeup to still blend in?" Join us, and suspend your disbelief just a little more: because the SAG can far better fill those roles with experienced adults than to waste their time searching for young people without established careers and plump resumes, who fit the parts, want the parts, and could really, really use the parts. Imperial Britain had court dances, while one of America's essential characteristics seems to be that, for them, high school never ends: it's the lens through which we judge all future selves and events.

Take it, Bruce. "I hope when I get older, I don't sit around watchin' shows about it, but I probably will..."

Yeah, they'll pass you by, but there's always the TV.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A lot of what makes this different

is that the answers aren't easy. There are a lot of easy answers out there, ranging from, "We rock," to, "We suck."

What has so far characterized what we call "dissent," though, is that it absorbs all the elements of "we suck" except for our responsibility. Dissenter after dissenter paints a picture of all of these radicals as helpless-yet-aware pawns trapped inside the workings of a machine too great for us to control.

But then, isn't that just the defense of Obama that the dissenters themselves regularly mock? That he's trapped by the circumstances of his predecessors, or forced by Kerry or the Republicans, to not do what he really wants to do in his heart of hearts? Bullshit, of course, as so many people have pointed out with regards President Drone.

...which is why the same defense does not apply to us.

(If this one isn't around to tell you the next part of the story, don't worry; it's not exactly an exclusive, however much it seems like one from here. We're doing this only because it's necessary to progress. <3~LE)

Thank God for Iraq

I know in your darkest moments, you're glad for it.

When you think about all that empty space. When you watch Walking Dead or some other dumbass dying-world fantasy, or see those kids' bloated bellies in Somalia or some other unlucky place; when you wonder if there's any purpose; when you imagine what it would be like if Russia or China won, and we got put under some kind of occupation or treatment like what all the lesser peoples get. Twenty-year-old kids from another land marching around your neighborhood, kicking in your door and raping you and your family and taking stuff outta your fridge and not learning the language and not leaving, not even five years later, just being there forever, sort of like a permanent police presence of people that think your speech is jabbering bullshit and who blame you, maybe rightfully, for everything else that went wrong for the past hundred years.

I know when you lie in bed at night thinking about the world in which you live, you're glad for it.

When you think about the gas running out and you and everyone you ever cared about starving to a slow, painful death in a pointless wasteland, while four thousand miles away a different place uses the computer and throws out unwanted leftovers and doesn't even give a damn about finding out if someone like you or your family exists. You're so glad about all the dirty things done for you so that you have less a chance of ending up that way.

That's why you're here. That's why you're here with me.

I know in your darkest moments, you're glad for Iraq. We at least own that. We have a little fracking. We have the caribou shitting range and some wasteland in Texas and some other stuff to hit up if we really need it. All those guys in all those uniforms. All those bombs; all those luxurious assholes in Manhattan and LA who couldn't possibly let their primary support system crumble, right? At least, if they're there living it up, it can't possibly get that bad here. Light switch will still work, faucet will still release water, food will still be on the store shelves, and police will still patrol to repress roving gang activity.

It might not run forever. It might be crashing into an infinite void because we're too stupid to give a damn about anything more than a century or two out, but at least during that time, those of us here will still get our allotment, right? At least we'll wring our 70-odd years out of this place, so that when we go, we can tell ourselves, "Hey, at least I got, you know, a standard lifetime; about as good as anyone gets. Had some good times."

Thank God for Iraq. Thank God for the trans-Afghanistan pipeline and the fact that our boys will be controlling it. Thank God for a little bit of leverage to still matter.

Sorry. I'm that sad voice, I know. That's why you're here with me. But don't worry about a thing. Because fretting about it and reading regular critical reviews absolves us of our sins. Feel a little bad and it wipes the slate clean.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Obama's Defense (updated)

(Updated: okay, you asked. Prez. Drone talked for so long that the blockquote effect is removed, and all tab stops now belong to him.)



The Spoken Inner Monologue

"This is the way it has to be. I'm sorry for lying to all of you, but this is the way it has to be.

This is the best it can be. In fact, it's getting better every day.

I can see you giving me those dirty looks, but please let me explain. You're upset about a lot--I know. You're upset about the terror war, right? The "drone strikes" or the various invasions. You think I've "sold out"--or just continued the process of selling out--this country, and maybe the rest of the world, to a bunch of private corporations that do evil things.

But it's not like that. Let me share with you. Please, take just a few minutes here, and open your mind, and I'll level with you. I'll say something to you that I can never say in speeches--something that I can never admit, except in the private confines of my own mind. You will get to be the one person that understands that I understand why this has to be.

First off, I'll admit that it's terrible. I came into this position of leadership, in control of the most powerful country in the world, and I do things that are terrible. America has started wars that, when you look at them, were really just about resources. I mean, there's no way to look at those maps of Iraqi oil fields that Dick Cheney drew up with his friends over a decade ago, the agreements for pipelines with the Taliban or the Saudis, or the April Gillespie green light to Saddam another decade earlier, and then say that we were this innocent nation, forced into war to defend ourselves from "weapons of mass destruction." I know that most of you know that, and yet you accept these wars and these occupations.

You hate them, yet you understand that we must do them. We must do them because, if we were not doing them, someone else would be.

We live in a world of finite resources. We can't just wish for things, and have them appear. Thousands of years ago, there were a few million humans on this planet, now, there are six billion, and counting. I'd like for them all to be happy, happy and productive, but that's wishful thinking. For millions, no, billions of years on this planet, life has been a struggle to survive. It's an imperfect, capricious thing, this struggle to survive. Ever since our most distant ancestors crawled out of the primordial soup, we've faced a world with more wants than can possibly be received. Countless other beings have gone extinct, vanishing forever from the hourglass of time because they weren't strong enough, smart enough, adaptable enough. Even human societies, over tens of thousands of years, have vanished from the face of the planet because they were not strong enough to survive.

It's not that we like this struggle. We know it's rough, and at times, unfair. Sometimes I, too, would like to give into my sentimental feelings, and be like a baby in bathwater, kicking my toes and believing that, just by me wanting it, everyone could be happy. That we could continue growing on this planet, and break the chains of history, and turn everything into some paradise.

But we can't. Deep down, we all know that can't happen. Life is short. This is a fickle, cruel world we live on, and as the greatest thinkers have shown across our history, we are defined by our struggle for that limited set of resources, those nice things, those necessary things, that we all want. Even before then, facing more primitive animals, it has been this way. Our species only managed to thrust itself to leadership on this planet by putting an end to cave bears, sabretooth tigers, and the neanderthal race, and even before then, by being strong enough to survive the comet that struck our planet and exterminated the dinosaurs, who were masters before. It's a nice thought, though brief, that this is all a picnic.

I don't mind you having that thought, either. If you want to believe in rainbows and lands of plenty, I encourage you. Our hallowed Constitution guarantees freedom of speech that isn't harmful to others, and if you want to be a pacifist, or argue for theories about an alternate economic system, more power to you.

But I have a responsibility to this people. To this planet, and to this race, even. As a leader, I need to see the struggle that truly faces us, and I need to lead America in its response to that struggle, so that there can be a response--so that we can continue to exist. Oil, for example. We need to control oil, because without it, our civilization collapses. Our transportation, our military, our housing, even our food is dependent on it. Maybe sometime in the future we will change that, find a new energy source, but until then, I can't have Americans starving, living in poverty, and this country collapsing to a wasteland.

Some people say to me, what about other nations? What about places that aren't succeeding? Should America's success come at their expense? Sadly, I answer, yes: if America gave away everything it had, then even those places would not achieve success, for our supremacy would only be replaced by the supremacy of another. China, a strong and ancient country, or Russia, or another of our partners and competitors in the world economy, would take steps to control the resource shares that we are. And if they were not there, then someone else would be doing it. People everywhere are hungry, and have needs that they want filled, and desires to achieve more, and if America were not leading the way in this, someone else would be doing so. The world would be no different, except that America would be a lesser nation, under another's boot.

Of course, like all of you, I would like things to be different, but I have a duty as President to lead us, save us, preserve us. Since Rome, and before, there has been a dominant nation on Earth, and better it be America than another. For Americans are charitable, and the more success we have, even if we also engage in wrongs, we can educate, instruct, distribute food, and offer a measure of social stability that was not there before. We can bring ideas about voting, or simply food and jobs, to lands ravaged by poverty and ignorance. Women living under the control of medieval husbands can be freed, to attend school and job training.

But Mr. President, you say, are we not the cause of these unfortunate situations? Do we not engage in "colonialism," or did African American slavery, or a vast capitalist debt conspiracy, create the suffering in many of these places? I tell you, no. And, I tell you, yes. For perhaps it is true that now, right now in this year, we are responsible for arming, training, or partnering with warlords, or opening foreign economies to exploitation. Yet again, I remind you, these things would be done even if America were not the one doing them. Like an apple orchard without guards, or without strong guards, resources will be pursued, and gained, by those who have the power to get them. It is the nature of life, as Darwin taught us, and as so many other great thinkers have, that we must pursue our wants, satisfy our needs, and attempt to be as great as we can.

Even beyond our wants, it is this basic, primal struggle that makes us better. Evolution teaches us that the need to compete, the need to achieve resources, and satisfy wants, and needs, is what makes us stronger. If we stopped trying to succeed, we would become weak, and die away. Competing against each other to win, if you will, is the only way we have survived. Otherwise, it would be the neanderthal, or the tyrannosaur, or the mammoth, that had come this far--not us.

This results in losers as it does winners, but in a way, we are almost all winners from this contest. Many are poor, yes, but today's poor are so many times better off than their counterparts in ages past. Today's poor have smartphones and televisions, they have running water, they have access to government guaranteed emergency medical services and charity. All these things, these resources, are made available to them because of the struggles of ages past. Where men would once die in the street, now we have shelters, hospitals, children's schools, and so many other things that would never have been given to the poor, the losers, in the past.

This struggle makes us better. We are so humane, so good, those of us who win, because we don't win as winners won in ages past. We do not exterminate the unfit. We give of ourselves to allow those who cannot survive in the modern world to survive, working against nature, in a way, to assist many people in getting a second chance. Let me drive home that point, that only because we have been so successful, so strong, are we able to give these concessions. Without our efforts, we would not have survived to be able to do this. The mammoth, the cave bear, would not have been so kind, if they held dominion over the world. Only we men and women, we humans, will do that. And that is a direct consequence of our evolution as thinkers, actors, doers. Because of our battles to survive, we have become so strong and so good that we can afford to give to those who could not make it on their own.

Some who lose do so from chance, of course. When we strive, sometimes luck will turn its hand away from a man who is smart, intelligent, even resourceful. This is the nature of the system. If I were all powerful, and could change the world to make it the soft, colorful, harmless place that some people want it to be, I wouldn't, because even the unfairness that it sometimes produces, in the things it demands from us, is what makes us better. The world is a testing ground, a forge, asking the best we can give, and motivating us by the desire for survival to become better. Without this, we could just, sit on the couch all day, never learning or growing or improving. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the struggle to survive, evolve, or go extinct is what has made us great. Not only charity, but all of mankind's great achievements, music, art, culture, can be traced to these beginnings, to our reflections on our struggle to survive. And that has to come along with the responsibility to survive. With the need to compete for scarce resources.

Again, I know, I will be accused of lying and self-interest. And there is a verifiable self-interest in the things that I do, yes. Like all of us, I must think of myself, and my own family, and the families of those close to me. I am rewarded for my skill, my perspective, my intelligence, my professionalism, in being able to steer the course of this nation, in some small part, within confines already set for me by generations of my predecessors. Yes, I enrich myself, but I do so in ways that I must. I guide us through a dangerous game of nations, striving to keep us strong and whole. Regrettable, sometimes terrible, things happen as a result, but if I can be realistic, and strong, and do the things that need to be done, I have the opportunity, the realistic opportunity, to give back as much as can realistically be given back. For I am a human, and I love God, and I love humankind, and I know that, if we do our best in this battle, this struggle to survive, then those of us who are successful, if we are good at heart, can help those who are not strong enough.

That is something that the weak cannot offer. Something they do not understand.

The weak, wishful, and idealistic man thinks, or should I say wishes, that none of this were necessary. That we could be in a land of unrestrained plenty, where men would not strive against each other for prizes. Again, I tell you, that is not what I would wish for, but even if I did, the world is not that way, and wishing for it to be so does not make it so. Those who want to make it so are not only doomed to fail, but their own failure creates the threat that could destroy everything we work for. They would have us become soft, and pointless, like an organism that refuses to evolve, to adapt. Yes, the world is harsh, but if we do our best, we can make our time here a little better.

I do lie. Yes, it is necessary to lie, to give hope to those who cannot understand the nature of truth. As many of our greatest philosophers have long suggested, a noble myth is necessary to keep society together. Many people, especially many young people, do not understand the nature of the struggle that is necessary to sustain us. Rather than exert tyranny on them to keep them under control, we must give them heroic tales to live by. Great codes, maxims, and rationales, that shield the weak from the cold, empty truth of our existence, in order to allow them to still contribute what they can. This is another gift we give them, namely, purpose, for without our guidance, they might see the true blackness in the competitive void of our markets and politics, and be broken by it. No, friends, we must lie.

We can praise a God of mercy and justice, for example, while doing what they would call injustice. And that is the greatest justice of all, doing what shelters the weak from the dirty truths of their own survival. Their minds would break, and they would lose hope, if they realized the battles that must be fought to give them the day-by-day goods that they rely upon. And so we give them something to believe in. A light at the end of a tunnel, a promise of looking forward and mutual consideration that they can believe in, and be entertained by, while we do the tasks truly necessary to protect them. We make the difficult, crushing decisions and stratagems that ensure that our nations, our factions, will have resources to survive, so that they, and their children, may survive where others fail.

It sounds dirty, low, and, even, horrible, these things that we must do. And it is, in some ways. I constantly reevaluate, and challenge myself, seeking for a way to do better. And yet, it must be a realistic way, a sustainable way, a way that does not depend on wishful thinking. Like all of the suffering we do here, it is terrible that we must do this. But it would be more terrible, by far, to give them nothing.

It is a justice that transcends petty notions of "justice," for it is a realistic, true justice. A justice that understands that everyone cannot live, that everyone cannot do well. Wishful thinkers would have us all die for their dreams, while we, the true heroes of the planet, and the people, are in the trenches, every day, keeping this light from winking out into nothingness. As Americans, as leaders, we kill soldiers only to prevent the killing of our soldiers, and we kill families only to prevent the killing of our families. Like two plants struggling for sunlight, or water, it is the nature of the beast, if you will, and the only way for one plant to live is to strive for that sunlight. That is what we do, and in our humanity, we reach on behalf of those below us, who share our national pride and outlook. Were we all to go limp, forsaking sun and water for another plant, then all plants would die. The idealist, who asks for "honesty," and his lazy, unbelievable version of "justice," is in truth a murderer, for he would kill us all. He would have us weaken, gradually, then go extinct, based on an impossible, selfish dream of a world where no one had to work, strive, or improve.

That is the sacrifice that we leaders make, a sacrifice of being the ones who know the uncomfortable truths, and bearing upon our backs the weight of a world. We can convince the weak and frail that their labor is a transcendent experience, and that their suffering has more meaning than, simply, the perpetuation and gradual improvement of just another species on a tiny speck of dust in a universe too big to care. Chemists, engineers, and strong and pragmatic leaders need to understand in detail the nature of the work we're doing. We know, of course, that leaders across the globe understand this game, and that they are competing with us as bitterly and as hard as we are competing with them. If we let up our guard, and give in to petty idealism, we will not see the world change. Instead, America will fall, and another nation or nations will rise to the top. The strongest species will succeed, as will the strongest people, and the strongest companies.

And not all that we do is lying. We strive to help everyone understand the nature of science. The information is all out there for them to understand what we're doing, and if they're good enough, to join us. We promote public education of the arts and sciences, the philosophies and theories, that teach us why this is necessary. Anyone can pick up a Wealth of Nations, or follow our take on the Beagle's voyage, and understand what we're doing. The fight for survival, which we've understood ever since the advent of modern science, is what has thrown back the darkness on this planet. It has given us our understanding of medicine, agriculture, and industry, it has provided for massive yearly harvests, and allowed our population to grow beyond the wildest dreams of idealists of old. It has saved millions of lives, and allowed many more to be born and to enjoy the experience of living than would have been possible, otherwise. We have traveled to the moon and done many other great things, all because we have continued developing, improving, as a species, allowing the great competition for resources to reward the strong, the intelligent, and the committed, and it has even left some over to give charity to those who were not able to advance in these ways on their own.

Looking to the future, we may even conquer death itself. We have continued to expand the human lifetime, and the fine pleasures and experiences in it, and conquer diseases that once made the globe tremble, all through our understanding of science. Our economics have created a globalized world, where centralized systems of production are able to meet the needs of almost everyone, and someday, maybe even all of us. I hate the terrible things I am forced to do, when I think about them in a certain way, but we are coming ever closer to immortality. We may finally conquer this cruel vise known as nature, steering our offspring, our children, away from the knowledge that they will expire, and deciding for ourselves, through science, how we will look, who we will be, and what we will do to amuse ourselves. We will be, then, the truest "winners" in this long struggle. We will be, then, perfect."

/end Prez. Drone (Yes, wouldn't it be something if his murders of Australian citizens "triggered a debate about the issue" in Australia? Shudder with anticipation!)

Break

He's right, you know. If you believe in the random interactions of matter, governed wholly by impartial rules, with consciousness and sensation and desires all side effects of competing molecular arrangements, he's right. This is the best we can hope for: a struggle where, occasionally, one of the brutal winners occasionally engages in public charity just to cleanse her or his soul.

It's why Obama has to lie. It's Strauss, Heidegger, and a million others like them, pleading for a Matrix of meaningful, meaningless lies. It's not because Obama is Dr. Evil, cackling in glee and thinking he wants to do evil, oh no. We write unbelievable, unrealistic, inconsistent villains, providing such good substance for a satire everyone understands, because--like the CIA & MI6 thefts of public funds that created the James Bond franchise--we're straw-manning evil to make it seem impossible that it could exist in real life.

It's not because they're "just" after money. It's because they're desperately, dangerously sick, drunk on the "might makes success" philosophy that has poisoned this place for thousands of years. They actually believe that, in pursuing their own success, they're helping others. That is the utterly selfish, tortured logic of randomized evolution and selfish markets of strength and statecraft. The stronger are better. The weaker deserve extinction and replacement, and it is the province of gods to occasionally offer charity to lesser beings while crushing them.

As Kaczynski said, you can't eat your cake and have it, too. If you want to believe in the random prion arrangements, impartial cosmic math, and mangled eugenic elitism that justifies our market-competition take on economics, society, and life itself, then you must believe in Obama. If you believe in what pop science calls evolution, then you have to accept that Barack, and the sundry wealthy warlords like him, are not only right, but the best of us.

They are the winners. Money defines greatness. Verifiable popularity is the only real justice, power is the only definition of good, and might makes right, god dammit. Designer babies are an inevitable, nay, necessary consequence of our improvement. Let every autistic, blind, deaf, unsymmetrically-featured child be stricken from existence before their nasty little inferior cells even have a chance to form. Send robots to eliminate anyone too weak born too close to the combustible of the century. These things are right, ye huddled masses. They are right, and it is time to accept it. If you believe in "might makes right"; if you accept that random mutations allow the best of us to survive; if you are into random evolution in any way, then Barack Obama is your man. Like it or not. He is the greatest modern expression of evolution; the current apex of the species, and the world. The single most powerful, successful murderer on the planet, able to kill anyone he likes with a whisper or a nod.

But don't worry too much about it. If it is just a random, pointless struggle for survival, then it doesn't matter anyway, right? No hard feelings. It was all just a by-product of gobbling genes. Like you, by-product. You like art merely because expressions of consciousness, or symmetry, or beauty, are signs that someone "more like you," therefore genetically closer to you, has been there, which makes you feel more comfortable in the spread of your species. There is no such thing as love, for it is a chemical illusion designed to trick you into mating or expending resources on the next generation, so that it, too, can mate. There is no such thing as you, for it is a chemical illusion designed to trick you into being invested in the body that you think sustains you, so that it can mate and cause more mating.

The greatest, wisest, most wonderful people among us are those who can slaughter and conquer without end. Nothing--nothing at all--matters, except for the few moments of delusion we can scrape together amidst the muck; those rare instants of levity where we can forget, for only a little while, that we're in Hell, and lose ourselves in illusions that it can be different. Thank our warlords. Thank the great killers, and the even greater liars, for blessing us all with these lies: the only good things we can ever hope to have in an endlessly consuming misery. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you for living the life of our history.

The Nature of Evil

No, people. You were telling yourselves that he wanted money, and that he was greedy, weren't you? Sometimes, you suspected that he knew he was doing something wrong, but you just assumed, "He's just evil." No. He is evil, indeed, but that--that thing you were thinking before, to try to explain people like him to yourselves--that is not what evil is. Yes, there are some people who actually think, who understand and accept, that they're doing evil for vengeance, or something, but these thousands of rich tyrants are not that. They go to bed at night, sup with their families, and live "normal" lives, content with themselves, because they have rationalized the horror as the best possible thing that can be. There's an element of Eichmann in there, but all Eichmenn (sic, teehee) are not that blandly stupid, and all the great leaders--upon whom those Eichmanns depend--are not passionate madmen. At least, not in the way you've been thinking. They are, rather, just like you. They believe the things you believe, and gravely, painfully take it upon themselves to do the best they can in such a cold world. They did not get there because of an inherent flaw. They got there because of the permeation of randomized evolution. They got there because of an enduring philosophy of selfishness and pointlessness that has infected our minds for a very long time.

I will save you later. For now, go, seeing in clarion darkness how the "random struggle" means that you should kneel before Barack Obama, the greatest of all of us.