The Indestructible Battle Design

June 24, 2014

Check out what you’re actually doing.
 Think about what you’re going to make.
 Abuse the privilege of self-reflection from time to time.
 Give the occasional impromptu performance, because that form of might
called Creativity can be yours.
Being alone or lonely isn’t always terrible.
Sometimes, by leaving people behind or by being left behind,
you are reminded of what you actually have — whatever it is —
and it may be a time of self-realization.
Conversely, it may be a time of self-denial.
Be careful either way.
Overcome fears related to budgeting, because the economic system is largely
 bullshit anyway.

The indestructible battle design prevents society from being totally reformed,
or totally destroyed — unless perhaps a meteor hits the earth and wipes us all out (or something to that effect).
What do I mean by the indestructible battle design?
These systems of thought, both formal and informal, intentional or not,
 which collectively and individually shape human interactions and systems
 of thought to always be in  conflict with each other and themselves, even
 when they seem to “work”.
Some elements of this design are surely by nature in general, as opposed
to what we call “human nature,” but they structurally make up our break downs,
yet we rely on them just the same.
Because of this, shouting is not always enough to get your way. 
There are always louder groups than whatever particular one you
find yourself in on a given issue.
Sometimes stop shouting and start thinking and talking.
If you think enough, it will eventually be harder to be a total idiot,
even if you’re not the greatest thinker.
You will make some observations that are difficult to refute.
For example, I often tell conservatives that if they object to people being
 on welfare, offer these people employment, money, or a place to live.
If critics can’t do any of those things, or refuse to, they are just throwing
around words and won’t actually accomplish anything.
If you tell them, “Stop being lazy and get a job!,” then put your money where
your mouth is.
If you cannot offer a real alternative to their situation,
people should be skeptical of your claims otherwise from a grander, philosophical
perspective.
See, that I believe is a valid point, with plenty of practical merit.
It’s hard to debunk the logic in it.

I would say similar things about theft.
If you are generous to people, yes, some might eventually abuse your generosity
by expecting it all the time, but these people are at least somewhat
 less likely to steal from someone who is nice to to them anyway.
Why steal when all someone has to do is ask?
From there I will say it’s not enough to generate the business half of life
and leave it at that.
Even from a business-savvy perspective, it makes sense to cultivate some
personal relationships that are mutually beneficial.
The alternative is to lead a disparate local existence with
no relief from extended middle fingers.

If you make too many enemies you increase the odds of facing trouble.
Speaking of trouble, people spend way too much time believing jail or
prison solves — or even addresses — society’s troubles.
Bars for them equal freedom.
Is it a failure to act responsibly to ask whether concrete
cells are good enough to really address a problem?
Unfortunately, many people do not see need to ask such questions,
and simply internalize the status quo.
They are mostly dabbling in a mythology, if they think about such
things at all.
What about a concrete cell actually addresses some root cause of a
given problem?
It merely conceals it, at best.
It’s also cruelty.
Certainly it sometimes inflicts cruelty on someone who was willfully cruel,
but that is not always the case anyway.
For example, I’ve heard of a man who left his baby in a car
while he was at work, and the baby died from the heat.
In response, someone argued that the man should be imprisoned
as a murderer.
I explained that it may not be murder at all but neglect,
that people are capable of doing stupid things, and that
putting him in jail probably won’t really accomplish anything.
After all, did the possibility of punishment prevent this particular neglect?
Obviously not.
From there it simply follows that it won’t likely prevent similar events.
To top it off, I even suggested that this parent (or anyone like him)
 may not have been a neglectful “monster” all the time, but possibly
just on this one occasion.
What were common sense considerations for me apparently were ever elusive
to this person, which illustrates how far down the pike we’ve gone
from being an intellectual society.
None of those are particularly brilliant observations, but plain
and entry level ones.  Still, I had to be the one to step in and make them,
possibly in the face of condemnation.
As Emma Goldman once said, it is easier to condemn than to think.
It is also easy to fuck up in life changing ways, like that guy probably did.
In the broader sense, this is what people have done all around.
The human race has fucked up, but we’ll take it all out on some idiot,
just so we’ll feel better about ourselves.
Of course, we’ll forget about our outrage at that instance when a new issue
comes along, and pretend we’re accomplishing something grand.
Again we will say, “We’ll never be like that person!”
Meanwhile, systematic and ideology-based abuses continue to flourish,
including in those places we send these neglectful or evil criminal fools.
We’ll tend to ignore systematic abuses because they belong to the
 indestructible battle design, and redesigning anything requires too much thought.
It’s out of our control, right?
That’s why you should occasionally sit and quietly think.
Check out what you’re actually doing.
You have probably missed a few details.

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Nothing to say now

May 15, 2014

I have nothing to say now, so I’m going to post five words below and see if anything happens. 

Here they are, officially starting now:

Weeks!
Drive.
know.
Escapee.
hatred.

On banning stuff

April 14, 2014

People do things that arguably aren’t perfectly healthy. 
Gambling is just one stock example.
Before you say, “I’m thinking of banning gambling this year” — STOP!
  Gambling, like so many other things, is an issue to be resolved by individuals and families directly affected by it. But personal issues are almost an alien concept these days, and it scares people. 
Banning is not resolving a specific instance by those directly involved in it. It is imposing laws upon others — many who would not wish to resolve the conflict in such a way. There is a simple solution here: Don’t gamble, and discourage others from gambling.
Generally speaking, I think the premise of banning something is in bad taste.
That’s one way to describe these circumstances. 
Or one can see it more as nipping at  another’s heels, so one person can feel morally superior; “I don’t engage in this or that questionable behavior, so I must be superior and make all those poor fools more like me!”
And attempts to legislate undesirable behavior often end up with weird, convoluted arguments in their defense.
Eventually, any pro-choicer somehow becomes a conspirator for the white devil movement. Or all “liberals” are out to convert heterosexual, white, Christian males to homosexuality.  Or all Batman wanted was to bang Vicki Vale.
A long time ago I decided to mind my own business, for the most part, and I haven’t veered too far from that since. 

Rehashes giving me rashes

April 14, 2014

All television programming is subject to change.
So is music.
So is anything else in culture.
Creativity is not a static operation,
where some intended decency must be present at all times.
Still, why did Spike Lee have to remake the South Korean film “Oldboy”?  I’m not a bitter opponent of remakes, but there is nothing any film maker could have done to make that movie better, as far as I’m concerned.  I may even watch the remake some day, but right now it’s just too much.   

6 Ways The Entertainment Industry Harms Comedy

April 14, 2014

[For purposes of full disclosure, this is an article I originally attempted to pitch to Cracked.com.  This isn’t usually a humor blog, but I am capable of being at least somewhat funny.  I’m a bit biased, but I don’t think it’s such a bad article (and their article criteria is a little strange, in my view).  So here is the rejected article in all its glory.  Enjoy!] 

1.    Image Is Everything

Most people hate certain Hollywood celebrities, but pay attention to them anyway.  It’s like a collective scab we need to pick at and let bleed every so often, just for the hell of it.  Or is it because we’re inundated with their images, and focus on them accordingly? 
On TV and in tabloids, flashy Hollywood premieres, celebrity interviews and scandals abound to the point of obsession, and most of it is superficial nonsense. 
In Hollywood, and in the entertainment industry generally, there’s an expectation that things be glitzy and glamorous (with some obvious exceptions like Gary Busey).  Yet, paradoxically, the media is fascinated with celebrities falling short and appearing flawed — human, as it were.  All too often these perceived failings become the obsessive topics of mainstream comedy — not merely topics, but obsessive topics.  So-and-so is one drugs, engaging in slutty behavior, said something controversial or weird, etc.
 
 When celebrity failings are constantly brought up on every late night talk show, and on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News, one is occasionally tempted to locate the nearest Kevorkian.  Comedians talk about celebrity “meltdowns,” but a lot of those same fools have their own meltdowns and shortcomings, which also make the news cycle, and are regarded as somehow interesting. 
As a recent example, consider Piers Morgan’s little live TV spat with comedienne Chelsea Handler, in which she called him a “terrible interviewer.”  It was a minor skirmish, certainly, but such words will take a significance far greater than merited.  Maybe Piers Morgan is an unlikable British buttock who believes he’s a super hero for questioning American gun laws, but why should we care about it in our Facebook “trending” news feed?
He’s flawed to some.  We’re all flawed in some way.  Let’s move on.  Celebrity spats get boring.
Mountains out of molehills:       
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/03/13/chelsea-handler-piers-morgan-terrible-interviewer-on-cnn-show/
     
2.  Too Many Usual Suspects

This is easily forgotten, but there are billions of funny people in existence.  Even people who aren’t always funny can be hilarious sometimes.  The internet has made this phenomenon even more noticeable.  For some, a stupid, relatively anonymous cat video ranks as the funniest thing of all time.  And why not?  Funny people and funny things are basically a dime a dozen.  Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know that from watching most TV.  Often, spliced in between commercials, we have these shows called “comedies,” and in these comedies we have many familiar faces and names appearing in a wide assortment of places, until their very existence is etched into our brains.  Some of these people are funny indeed, but what if we see them so regularly we begin to dislike them a little?  It’s reasonable to assume that’s possible.  Songs we like get tiring if we hear them constantly, don’t they?  Now imagine that song being in person form, and looking like Ben Stiller — a man who, at one point, seemed to appear in every other new comedic film.  Many people believe Ben Stiller is funny, but how often has the proverbial Ben Stiller received a role that others could have done?  How often has he received public attention that others could have received?  Ben Stiller has become almost an entity now, whose very presence overwhelms whatever it is near.  Meanwhile, some really funny stuff goes totally unnoticed, as Big Ears makes yet another faux pas for Robert De Niro.         
     No one’s saying enterprising comedians can’t enjoy steady work and success.
For example, back in 2005, it was written that “CRACKED’s new creative, editorial and business team includes experienced individuals from the publishing world – from companies such as Universal Studios, Dennis Publishing, American Media, Marvel Entertainment, Wenner
Media and National Lampoon.”
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cracked-magazine-re-launches-56173522.html
It’s all good in the hood there (right?).  But there’s a difference between steady, successful work and the feel of an all-consuming media presence.

3.  Comedy Is Often Taken Too Seriously

As CRACKED magazine notes, CRACKED Magazine is “one of America’s oldest and most well-known humor magazines.”
http://www.cracked.com/article_15430_investor-group-acquires-cracked-magazine.html
What makes it so?  It is often funny, plain and simple.  It may not always be funny to everyone, but it’s consistently able to get the job done.  But that’s the question:  Is comedy just a job?  If so, what happens if a comedian, or any comedic gesture or statement, isn’t considered funny?  This question easily plagues anyone who tries to be funny, because no one wants to fail.  Failure leads to disgrace.  At the same time, this makes comedy more absurd, and not simply in the positive sense of absurdism.  Thinking about comedy as a business cheapens it, as business cheapens everything else.  Look at what happened to Michael Richards.  Was anything about that situation normal or funny?  It looked like someone in a high stress environment failing to make some folks laugh, getting heckled as a result, and lashing out in a highly offensive manner, thereby creating a media uproar and damaging his career.  Real fucking hilarious.  The possibility of that happening is more sad than it is funny.  Why could such a thing happen?  There are many reasons, but an obvious factor is that a paying customer might be disappointed, criticize the service rendered, and the stressed out server (in this case, comedian) completely loses his shit.  The lesson:  Don’t treat comedy merely as a business, and don’t lose your shit.  If you lose your shit in one sense you can lose your shit in another, and never quite get it back again.  

       
4.  Corporate Monopolist Censorship 

When Disney, Capital Cities and ABC merged, we may have learned this about
the CC/ABC Multimedia Group: 
    “The Multimedia Group develops and manages business opportunities
in new and emerging media technologies.  These include the
interactive television, pay-per-view, and video-on-demand areas;
video cassette and disc-based media; on-line services;
location-based entertainment; and HDTV and digital television.”
(http://www.thefreelibrary.com/%2FFIRST+AND+FINAL+ADD+–+DISNEY,+CAPITAL+CITIES%2FABC+AGREE+TO+MERGE%2F-a017368916)
That was quite a while back.  And what has happened since then?  Disney just kept growing, and bragging about everything it acquired, like the proud behemoth it is.  Unfortunately, Disney is typically a G rated or PG rated entity, which usually makes for shittier comedy.  Sure enough, Bill Maher was considered too edgy for ABC/Disney, who cancelled his show Politically Incorrect.  Why? 
After 9-11, he disagreed with Bush’s calling the terrorists cowards, saying: “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, not cowardly.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNMhNJDRnhU
In other words, he was cancelled for living up to the title of his show.
How cool is that?  Mickey Mouse is apparently a giant wuss.
 
Then there’s Gilbert Gottfried, who lost his gig voicing a corporate duck. 
Sure, one can still find edgy comedy in the corporate world.  However, as suggested before, commercialism tends to make it less edgy, and more conformist.  Perhaps a better example is the censored music video for “Gay Bar” by the often humorous band Electric Six, as shown on MTV. 
The offending lyrics?
 “Let’s start a war, start a nuclear war,
 At the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar.”
The words “War” and “nuclear war” were replaced by whip cracks.  
Why?  The song made its air debut at the start of the Iraq War.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRWe_0sD33Y)
As one Youtube commenter notes:  “They censored ‘nuclear war’? I thought it was ‘suck a cock’ for years. They made it sound far worse…”  Indeed they did. 

5.   Excess Pressure For Comedians to be Edgy

Now we’re getting into the opposite problem, which is a little more difficult to tackle.  Every comedian is expected to be edgy; to mock, critique, offend, and criticize culture.  It sells, and gets respect from other comedians.  But sometimes it actually seems “tiresome, too-eager-to-offend,” as Variety said of Daniel Tosh’s show “Brickleberry.”  The problem is this:  Someone might joke about, say, eating out a raccoon, but where do they go from there?  Must every other joke involve something gross or offensive, or just some of them?  Asking this makes one sound like a prude, but it is a valid question.  To what extent can people go the Cosby route, but keep that raccoon on standby?  There is, of course, no real answer, but it’s an interesting question. 

  
6.  Comedy Central Needs A Wider View of Comedy

Comedy Central can be great.  As an example, the Daily Show is often considered a leading source for news (a fact Jon Stewart often laments).  Still, one thing is commonly missing from their lineup:  Old school and offbeat comedy.  Where in the hell is Redd Fox?  Bill Hicks?  For movies, how about some interesting choices like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, rather than seeing Clark Griswald or Daniel Tosh half the time?  The Marx Brothers made some truly hilarious comedy, yet their existence is virtually unknown to Comedy central viewers.  You would think a place where comedy is central would take more interest in the history of comedy, right?  Some people may find Charlie Chaplin funnier than Sinbad, if they were able to compare and contrast.                      

Godzilla VS. Sudan.

September 26, 2013

We’re not as bad off as Africans are. We’re not as, we’re not as…

My happiness makes me OVERWORK!

I can see the direct results  and read the scores. S

Some day I won’t need my meds anymore… Life is FORCING it’s way through.

I Must Get Ultra Low Cost Meds!, must smile better for SOCIETY!

A clean getaway, adultery, appliance sales, FORENSICS.

TV besotted with some muggings and murders, unnerving images of reticulated pythons.

TV besotted with some muggings and murders, unnerving images of reticulated pythons.

My home away from home is here inside my home.

Pushing the War Button

October 28, 2012

As “intelligence failures” over Iraq indicate, governing can have serious  consequences.  Still, it’s not necessarily true that we can’t afford another corrupt  administration.   If we so wish, we can afford virtually any leadership  that comes down the pike. They can simply remind us, as Bush and his predecessors  constantly do, that the US is chiefly responsible for “the  spread of liberty and democracy” in the world.   In other words, Americans are inherently benign — provided we have strong leadership above us.  Supposedly, 9/11 makes it more so, for it apparently instantly  added legitimacy to the state. After all, as Bush said in his final State of  the Union address, “We have taken the fight to these  terrorists and extremists.” Implied is that all other questions are nonessential to this divine quest. Bush also suggested that, “wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose  it.”  This is because “Iran is funding and training militia groups  in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas’ efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land,” and “Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range, and continues  to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon.” (1)

Of course, as always, US nuclear weapons and missile defense programs are just fine. For example, in London on Thursday, February 18, 1999, House  Policy Chairman Christopher Cox candidly assured us the following: “Some of the research and development for our current ballistic missile defense program dates back to Britain’s response to the German V-2 ballistic missile attack in the last world  war. Today, we talk of the amazing successors to these technologies: guidance systems utilizing kinetic energy, hit-to-kill intercepts of ballistic missile targets, and such things as indium antimonide and gallium arsenide quantum wells. American scientists’ attention is focused principally on advanced theater missile  defense now, to protect forward-deployed and expeditionary elements of  our armed forces,” and those of chosen “allies.” Where is the moral outrage over these weapons programs? No one is supposed to have it. Like a good salesman, Cox’s language implied that missile defense (and defense spending generally) was more important than ever before. Again, it’s okay for American missiles  to be advanced, but Iran is a different story  entirely because theirs would be against ours. (2)

Also implied in Bush’s address is that only Islamic states and terrorists have unjustly abused “the Holy Land”. Did any military-happy American President urge Israel out of  south Lebanon, or to drop its weapons programs?  No, and supposedly because “America is a force for hope in the world” and “a compassionate people,” as are its  official allies. That’s the official script. To veer away from it supposedly makes one an unsavory character. Under this principle, fire coming from “our” hostile troops, as well as “our” bombs  from above, are hopeful and compassionate — presumably unless a key  American politician declares otherwise.  Until then, everything must be well-intentioned.   If we believe something like this, we can stand squarely with President Bush.  Then, of course, Bush can ironically warn Iran (or countries  he doesn’t like):  “Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations  can begin,” and tell them that, “to rejoin the community  of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home and cease your support for terror abroad.” (1)

Supposedly, America’s control of Baghdad was never in any way oppressive or terroristic.   This is why, during his famous 48 hour warning to Iraq, Bush warned that, “For their own safety, all foreign  nationals — including journalists and inspectors — should leave Iraq immediately.” Somehow, terror of any kind is simply not implied here. In this case, any perceived terror must have been merely a subjective feeling, just some emotionally charged mental hyperbole. (3)   On the other hand, reports of a “‘two-way pipeline’  moving Islamic militants between Europe and Zarqawi’s network in Iraq”  (and other such reports) are a matter for total alarm. (4)

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hamed al-Bayati,  expressed his own interest in further alliances, urging the “international community” to “provide greater support to the Iraqi government in confronting terror groups that are active worldwide, like Zarqawi’s group,  al-Qaeda and others.”   (5)      So why stop warring now, or ever?   As Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari reminded us, “car bombs  can be exported everywhere.” Iraq’s Shia-dominated Government sensibly admits that elections didn’t end the insurgency. As al-Jaafari stated: “You all know the heavy legacy inherited  by this Government.  We are afflicted by corruption, lack of services, unemployment and  mass graves.”  (6)

And, of course, anyone against American efforts can be accused* of “agreeing” with al-Qaeda, or any other Islamic terrorist  organization.  We’re supposed to be practically ahistorical.    We’re not supposed to care about the support America gave to the radical Islamic Mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, even though these same fanatics later gave as al-Qaeda  and the Taliban.   Or, if we are to look at that example, we’re  supposed to justify it because of the Soviet Union and play the “lesser of two evils” game.

However, we actually can condemn all of al-Qaeda, the US government, and the  Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for their corresponding roles.  We needn’t play the “lesser of two evils” game.  Let’s not be so dishonest as to regard 9-11 as some historical cut-off point, and that the  US (and Britain, France, Germany and others) were “leaving the  Middle East alone” until a fateful day in 2001. Unfortunately, though, “lesser of two evils” remains a very popular  game. It’s pervasive even after it was reported by the New York Times  that ISI, the intelligence service of Pakistan (“a crucial American  ally in the war on terrorism”), has had “an indirect  but longstanding relationship with Al Qaeda, turning a blind eye  for years to the growing ties between Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.”  How “indirect” the relationship has been remains questionable.   Allegedly, the ISI “even used Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan to train covert operatives for use in a war of terror against India.” Said one State Department official on the matter:  “I think the Pakistanis realized as time went on that they had  made a bad deal…. But they couldn’t find an easy way out of it.” But the C.I.A., going down the usual route, still “equipped and  financed a special commando unit that Pakistan had offered to  create to capture Mr. bin Laden.”  (7)

That Pakistani intelligence would fail shouldn’t be entirely surprising. US authorities themselves “have stated that more than a third of those rounded up after the September 11 attacks and still in custody were people of Pakistani origin.”  John Ashcroft said that, of the 641 people detained in  the US in connection with the attacks, “over 200 came  to the United States from Pakistan”. This is not to say all those detained were even guilty, but that the US government seems suspicious of Pakistanis in general. It makes an alliance of doubtful merit, at best. (8)

According to high-ranking officials, military intelligence has been a consistent problem with capturing or killing al-Qaeda members, as it was with bin Laden. During the Clinton years, “the information was usually only at the ’50-60% confidence  level, not sufficient to justify American military action,” wrote CIA Director George Tenet in his memoir. ‘As much as we all wanted Bin Ladin dead, the  use of force by a superpower requires information, discipline, and  time.  We rarely had the information in sufficient quantities or the  time to evaluate and act on it.” (9)

Now that bin Laden is dead, how much new information must the US government take in, how much more time must be spent on war-making, and must we continue to act like the full history doesn’t matter?

SOURCES: 1.  President Bush’s final State of the Union Address.  Chamber of the United States House of Representatives.  United States Capitol.  Office of the Press Secretary.   January 28, 2008:  [url]www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080128-13.html[/url]

2.  Address to the European-Atlantic Group. Hon. Christopher Cox Chairman, House Policy Committee London, Thursday, February 18, 1999 [located on Usenet]

3.  “President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours.  Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation”:  [url]http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030317-7.html[/url]

4.  “Desperate Londoners seek survivors after bombings.” Katherine Baldwin and Kate Holton (Reuters): [url]http://redorbit.com/news/general/168696/desperate_londoners_seek_survivors_after_bombings/index.html[/url]

5.  “Steep rise in London death toll” Mail & guardian Online: [url]http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=244896&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__international_news/[/url]

6.  “Terror chief losing grip, says US,” James Hider, Times Online: [url]http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1596751,00.html[/url]

7.  “A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SPIES; Pakistani Intelligence Had Ties To Al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say ,”  James Risen, Judith Miller, New york Times, October 29, 2001: [url]http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B03E3D61630F93AA15753C1A9679C8B63[/url]

8.  “US feared ISI during Clinton’s Pakistan visit: Report,” rediff.com, November 30, 2001: [url]http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/nov/30clint.htm[/url]

9.    “U.S. ABORTED RAID ON QAEDA CHIEFS IN PAKISTAN IN ’05,” Marlk Mazzetti, The New York Times, May 4, 2009: [url]http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500E6D7133EF93BA35754C0A9619C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all[/url])

Chosen people, chosen land

September 21, 2012

If we examine history’s rogue’s gallery, we see some differences between the leaders. Unlike Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler and Mussolini weren’t military heroes, for example. However, they did have common ground. Today they make many of us cringe in repulsion, but in their heydays they offered something hopeful, something virtually all political ideologues offer: The promise of being a chosen people in a chosen land.

Now, what does the term “chosen people” mean? It is, quite simply, the striving to be a select people with a coherent political and social existence. This ideal is very pervasive, and very convenient for the powers that be. When we don’t like what a politician says, we may still cater to what a religious authority preaches, what the Bible commands, or what some other distinguished, authoritative guide instructs. And, of course, the same is true vice versa. For these guides, gurus, politicians and the divine documents they wave around, many borders are constructed and wars launched (including so-called “preemptive” wars and “terror attacks”) – supposedly for the benefit of the people. Those who object to this state of affairs may be shunned, penned off into “free speech zones” outside of party conventions, faced with police violence, officially excluded from discussion, or simply persecuted. Such exclusion is an important issue in its own right, but it’s largely omitted from the “national dialogue” in authoritarian cultures, for mainstream media tends to the demands of the bully. Instead, we’ll hear vague rhetoric about our being a free and open country, even when saddled with a ruling class of some kind. When the excluded are noted, it tends to be in a purely derogatory manner; maybe the excluded are traitors, sinners, rioters, or absolutely nothing but human filth. In the process, many legitimate demands for change, for justice and equality are omitted, or at least simplified to the point of ridiculous caricatures and mindless labels. Xenophobia and racism are grown.

Now, what do I mean by “xenophobia?” Contrary to what some say, “xenophobia” is more than just a petty, singular insult or “emotional appeal” to throw around in an argument. It’s a regretfully common phenomenon with deep implications. The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners, or people different from one’s self. The stronger this fear, the greater the xenophobia is.

It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning “foreigner,” “stranger,” and φόβος (phobos), meaning “fear.” Many fit this description well, and plainly so. Why else would we have the term “illegal aliens,” which brings to mind not images of human beings, but of hordes of extraterrestrial “things,” or mere legal “entities”? Such phrases are used to depersonalize people, to carefully abstract them. And it works extremely well.

Another phrase, “anti-American,” serves to divert attention from serious issues. Among America’s political right, the term is employed to make critics of the US government sound like sympathizers for the Taliban, “Commies,” “Saddam loyalists,” or some other traitorous boogeyman to the American race. To some, even mild-tempered critics must have sold us down the river to some GI killer. However, none of this is a purely American phenomenon. The term “xenophobic” serves well to describe vast portions of the human world, both expansionist and isolationist. In fact, some say it describes every country. Xenophobia and authoritarianism constitute virtually the same thing, and share on obvious characteristic: The “chosen people” attitude, which is often considered an innate, almost biological imperative that must be fulfilled. In order to fulfill this elitist vision, it’s only natural to have elitists at the helm.

Certainly, people are territorial beings in one sense or another. To an extent then, some degree of territoriality is how the world works. However, I’d add a simple admonition: Where elitism and authoritarianism strive, people have the most problems. Some will attack this general statement as being far “too simple,” but go ahead and pick up a history book. If history is any kind of guide, and if territoriality is innate or genetically determined, then we may indeed be programmed for self-extermination. It sounds dramatic, but predictability needn’t be easy on the eyes. It bears repeating that this is not a loose and fantastic opinion, but something revealed by a cursory glimpse into history. Most of us are raised on authoritarian logic, to want to be American citizens, to want a great God presiding over us (and often a certain God that only a select group will see). And just as there is a special authority to help us untangle the “mystery of God,” so too are there specialists regarding statecraft or economic privilege.

Not everyone came freely to believe in God or State. “Civilization” often means conquering foreigners and stealing their resources, and this is increasingly admitted with candor, at least by some. In fact, it was through conquest that the system called “America” was established. The conquest against and subjugation of “weaker races” is why people today argue English should be America’s “national language.” Control (and sometimes the elimination) of communication is an important thing to authoritarians, for language is a crucial aspect of human freedom. They will seek to regulate language as much as possible, such as declaring English (or what other language) to be the “official” language. Implied in such a declaration is linguistic and cultural supremacy. Anti-authoritarians, on the other hand, feel that only natural circumstances should dictate how we speak, and that officiating language is not only unnecessary, but rude. We don’t need the state pressuring us into speaking any language, or determining our culture for us in any other way. Some say imposing English upon others is necessary, because it’s the most common language in America. But do people need to be compelled “to make communication easier?” Don’t we make communication easier by applying reason, by learning more about language in general, and not by shaming people or regulating how they speak? If I feel learning another language makes communication easier, I can just exercise my own free initiative and try to learn that language.

When you’re under the boot of cultural elitists, communication is not truly easier. It’s just forfeited, and that’s what “chosen people” tend to do. They forfeit individuality for “the nation.” If they’ve already forfeited it for themselves, they’re more than willing to do it for others. It’s the stuff of “re-education camps,” like those instituted to brainwash “Indians,” or -to use a well-known example – like those which indoctrinated Germans into so-called “National Socialism”. If people woke up to what free speech actually entails, they’d recognize language and cultural expression as a key component of it. They would scoff at all attempts to regulate language in any significant way. They would not fear or distrust foreign tongues, but just admit their own ignorance of that language and go about their business. We should not only seek to rid others of centrist ideologies, but abolish that childish, selfish mania which lies in ourselves. We can use perfectly reasonable means to do this, I believe. It can be done primarily through example, by discussion and yes, by formal education. Free societies don’t mean we absolutely have to speak this or participate in that. It’s about choice. And a free and open system is more reliable, if reliability is directly proportional to ease of accessibility (meaning, in social systems, egalitarianism and accountability). In this case, we mean language accessibility, or multilingualism. The animating ideology I advocate here is egalitarianism, fairness. It has nothing to do with imposing anything on anyone.

Prevailing ideologies lead to social divisions and war. In Iraq, many have died due to US foreign policy. Many thousands have simply been slaughtered or imprisoned by the US government (with plenty of them not guilty of anything other than living in Iraq). It is, yet again, largely a matter of ideology and conquering (or eliminating) “foreign” attitudes and practices. Though no one is supposed to notice, the same ignorance and xenophobia launched this war that launches all wars, and it stands behind all of the conflicts in the broader Middle East. And many Americans now fear people who “look Muslim,” “look Arabic,” or what have you. In turn, Americans will likely pay for this fear, in manifold ways. This doesn’t mean the cycles will be broken, of course. The political “life” of the state seems to hinge upon these fears, these methods. If we do not fear a foreign language, we fear something else we don’t understand. In the process, we cling to convention. Do taxation, currency and war (the main methods by which governments “communicate” their rule over us) give us “order”? Not real order, for these things too involve social division, and therefore chaos. However, these methods, which are against reason and sound communication, are basically anti-human, so we ultimately are debating the indefensible: Force. Force cannot be debated with intelligence. It can only be halted.

The state, with its attack on reason, seems designed to take human contact out of life, so we feel less emotionally and intellectually associated with others in our dealings. In trade with money, people become abstracted, just as they do whenever we discuss them as “the nation” or as “foreigners” and “heathens.” The money is their master status. It is to communicate all their worth. It is this false sense of worth that binds us to this system. We can — and many of us do — convince ourselves that this is a genuinely decent way of doing things, that the social bonds under authoritarianism remain solid. But it is not genuine unity. Strict capitalism does stifle intelligence, for we cannot know anything without spending. We can only know, do, or eat what we can afford. This framework fosters a great deal of chaos and hardship in the world. However, because a ruling class holds so much sway over communication (which is increasingly true even for the internet), nobody is supposed to talk about this as fact.

Elementary truths are relegated into “views” of reality, as “Leftist rhetoric.” In other words, the communication is dismissed entirely. However, no amount of denial can hide how, in state-capitalist society, the poor are just more of the excluded, the alienated, the conquered and the re-educated. This may be according to law, but it is not order.

Personally, I think more order could be found in getting rid of such oppressive features, not by adding more to them. In fact, with government we’re seeing the growth of private tyrannies across the world. “Foreign people” are rebelling against this, and real libertarians would be proud of those who show a rebellious hint of life against a spirit-sapping, sweatshop infested global economy. An obvious example is when Bolivians kicked Bechtel corporation (a US company) out of their country for privatizing their water supplies. Yet again, it was a case of people organizing — communicating — where they were not supposed to, and reaching a conclusion they were not supposed to reach: That not everyone is willing to let some ruling class control everyone’s lives, resources, and minds. Governments often take (steal) our money via taxes and, to create a benefit handout, and transform the money into subsidies for giant global corporations and their subsidiaries. It’s a lousy situation, and we can get rid of taxes, state oppression, and the corporate tyrannies that foster poverty – but only if we stop fearing foreigners so much, put our flags down, and begin thinking some “unconventional” thoughts.

The Wizard

September 7, 2012

I drop words simply til they hit  carve them into digestable bits cut into a meaning, straight to the core eliminate excess pus, bruises and sores. Get nutritional value, absorbed and stored into life essence like a reward.

But my intake of knowledge is threatened by ignorance conflicts that stick masquerade as intelligence I speak, of course, of party politics, and the schemers lined up all craftily selling this. I know what they sell, and more are now smelling this, it’s a dirty tale to tell, but I’m the one telling this.

Indoctrination compatible with fatalities injecting false civility into brute animality madly and sadly, many go willingly,  for well-paid and brainwashed shills, indeed.

What today passes for national policy? Quite typically, what most can only do criminally. But the given orders are carried out dilligently, so by definition we fullfill ruling class prophecy.  Fittingly, we pay taxes, or the filling-up-coffins-fee, but if you call this fair, you’re not talking honestly! I see a history book, I’ll tell you what’s often hitting me: goose-stepping fools, war and atrocity. Competing assholes punish varying apostasies; It’s caveman with club, marketed as philosophy.

And this is all practically killing me, so much of what we are is just what we’re willed to be by a ruling caste that only pretends to have empathy — quite simply, they are the crocs to our proverbial wildebeast. Yet propaganda provides the illusion of compatibility between working-class interests and their ruling class enemies.

Sure, their so-called “news” comes in very few hues, but at least it’s delivered by folks in nice suits!? These talking heads will act increasingly rude, spewing one-sided views and cutting off mics in interviews. No food for thought, the lack thereof is their food but they manage to keep enough eyes glued.

Perhaps it’s the nerve, or the graphics they use — blazing colors of lies, distortions, half-truths. But does it pass for journalism in the red, white, and blue? Nah!, Ann Coulter wants you for her stew, and your little dog, too!

It’s the greatest disease that will spread like a plague pyro-maniac leaders set the world aflame. To politicians the people are but pawns to be played well, I offer a solution, revolutionary but plain: Stop supporting these bastards, it’s stupid, insane. There’s a man behind the curtain, so expose the charade!

The militarists, the bankers, the whole legislature, I’ve been on to them, observing the nature – of the game they set forth by propaganda and law it’s the very best and very worst kind of fraud. It’ll take an effort to remove them and move on but progress is alive, and it could be a new dawn.

The way upward is human, through it we could fair well It’s not static and dead, it is motion in parallel  It’s a physically alive, thinking stairwell, It’s being human with interests not narrow as hell.

Surface values questioned, look within truth transcends belief, or color of skin but we need to realize what we’re living in unless we desire imprisonment, and the same for our kin.   Of the weak and the strong, I think very frequently they can alternately make, break or weaken me so when I read the newspaper, I understand why they lie, and though some say nothing changes, at least we can try.

Families – feeling like slaves

June 26, 2012

In many ways, this system puts wear and tear on working-class  people.  Look at the military. As Bob Fertik and Ted Kahl of Democrats.com noted in 2003:   “Bush has used ‘stop-loss’ orders  to force at least 40,000 U.S. soldiers to serve beyond the end of their tour of duty, leaving soldiers – and  their families – feeling like slaves.  And because troops feel abused, re-enlistment rates are dropping,  and our armed forces are losing good, experienced soldiers.”    I hardly consider myself “pro-military,” but it seems there is truth to that assessment.  Over five years have passed since that was written, and Americans are now saddled with additional worries — cumulatively referred to as “the economic meltdown”. No doubt, many people still “feel like slaves.”  In figuring out possible solutions, I’ll cut right to the chase. In addition to calling off the dogs of war, we should stop certain policies, such as interest  collection, evictions, foreclosures, and liquidations. Hardship would be reduced significantly if it wasn’t artificially forced  upon people, and youngsters would less likely join the military purely for financial reasons  (as plenty of people actually do) if they didn’t feel vulnerable economically.  There’s nothing romantic or utopian about this to my mind, and we should start taking these steps as soon as possible, and I have no problem with this view being presented publicly.       Cited Source:  (“Top Bush Scandals of 2003, Part I: Iraq,” Bob Fertik and Ted Kahl, Democrats.com: http://archive.democrats.com/view.cfm?id=18639)