Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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.

1 comment:

  1. I. M. Peller--did you delete your own comments, or did blogger do it? Four showed up on different posts in one day, but they're not now appearing for me.