A Barbershop Diary: Recollections

 

Step up into the barber’s chair from a year-ago last Summer and prepare to have less hair to pull out than you did before you started reading. We have some things familiar and some things brand new; we have magazines and pictures, we have the mundane thoughts of old friends, some present, some long since deceased.   

A fair question was asked by one of our readers the other day. I think s/he will forgive me for taking some liberty with the phrasing, but the question was something like, “who are we?”Given the Faustian bargain Mr. “Imadinnajacket” has placed the 9/11 Truth Movement in with his unwelcome embrace of many of our members’ sentiments surrounding the events of 9/11/2001, I would have to say, first and foremost, we humans have become exceedingly predictable.   

Perhaps I am paranoid, but I suspect Mr. Ahmadinejad is really working in the interests of both Israel and the United States. Something about his less-than-statesmanly position within the Iranian government, his often easily misconstrued media statements and Iran’s place as the only viable nation-state operating outside of the Federal Reserve banking system cause me to suspect a set-up for yet another global war over resources and power. Manipulating the messaging of the Iranian President to appear to be in alignment with the messaging of the 9/11 Truthers plays conveniently into the hands of the fine, if under-worked, folks over at the Department of der Homeland Security. Just this week the top three executroids within the national security apparatus published their statement with regard to the “homegrown terrorism” happening right under our very noses during yet another election year. What a shocking surprise. </snark>   

I am no fan of the President of Iran. Most Iranians are not, either. That our global leaders have been able to command the public’s media to coordinate, manipulate and distort the messages and meanings available for public consumption has become both a frightening and disheartening fact of life. I disapprove of capital punishment in the first place and I certainly find Iran’s use of construction cranes to publically hang breakers of the latest interpretation of their holy laws abhorrent, cruel and bizarre. Perhaps more importantly, I find the treatment of women by all Muslim people to be exceedingly reprehensible and far beneath the civilization that brought us higher mathematics and brilliant philosophical thought. But while these offenses anger me they do not inspire homicidal rage. Far more reprehensible I find the cabal of empty suits that continue to prowl the pavement near Wall Street; countless bits and pieces of human flesh came to rest on 9/11 in lower Manhattan because the formerly intact bodies to which they were attached fell to the ground with such force that the torsos exploded on impact. All of this theater presumably so Israel and the Wall Street bankers could bring open warfare to the streets of the despicable goyim and perhaps make a few billion dollars getting rid of a pair of buildings that almost no one wanted to commit to a long-term lease with since the last ridiculously staged bombing of the WTC in 1993. When white-elephant sales didn’t get the deal done for Larry Silverstein, a false-flag event has always been a viable option for our leadership since the Northwoods document landed on President Kennedy’s desk in 1962 with the thud of a treason. Many things about Iranian culture concern me, but methinks the Twin Towers sticking out of our own eye are far more troubling.   

But this is all old pap for diehard Truthers like me who knew, almost immediately, that something profoundly evil, in the human sense, had just taken place on that Tuesday morning; the Bush Crime Family was almost certainly involved and something needed to be done about it. It took a couple of days for me to overcome my own shock, induced long-distance thanks to CNN and the Web, and come to realize that buying 100 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition for a gun I would be better off throwing at someone than shooting them with was a bit of an overreaction. So I traded in the pistola for a high-powered rifle with a scope and 100 rounds of .30 caliber ammunition. I could hit anything with a rifle and there would be no splatter. No PTSD here.   

To date I have yet to fire a single round from that long-barreled weapon. But I did make it out to Camp Casey in August of 2005 to finally meet the woman I had been corresponding with since she had lost her son in Iraq in 2004. Well, she didn’t actually “lose” lose him, she knew where he was. He just wasn’t ever coming home again because of the sheer principle of the situation. I brought supplies for the Peace House and spent that Saturday afternoon driving there, hanging out, and driving back home. It was interesting to watch the little proto-nazis following me out of Crawford in their Expeditions, confusing a kiss, a hug and a fond-farewell with a secret handshake between members of the same satanic cult.   

Whom we are is both sacred and profane, divine and pornographic, compassionate and unspeakably cruel, generous and yet mindlessly narcissistic. We are both lizard and mammal, vulnerable to a deeply stunning confusion whenever either polar extreme of our nature becomes over-stimulated. We are a people who have been traumatized and betrayed by our fellows, the same ones we became conditioned to trust as a result of the civilizing influences of both religion and reason. Many of us wished to continue our evolution, to continue to become, but a few of us felt the sadness and abandonment of a time, place and species that spoke with thunder and ruled with a vicious ferocity. Then a series of unfortunate events came to pass victimizing a few unfortunate ones, impaling them on our few defects, one of which proved fatal: an utter inability to have someone over for dinner without eating them whole.   

Nevertheless the lizard-people felt the pain from beyond the graveyards of history buried deep within our own mid-brains and recognized the utter power the conscienceless psychopath held over the “lesser” mammals driven to herd and cooperate together like so many ants. To utilize this machinery without compassion or mercy, to squash the innocent underfoot without contemplation or consideration as easily as one might extinguish the guilty: this was a job description for which the lizard-brained psychopath was peculiarly well-qualified.   

Our story has continued to unfold over time; bands of villages stole from and murdered one another, raped each other’s females and burned each other’s livelihoods into cinders. Pain on pain on play, repeating. A minority continued to thrive through sheer cunning and the willingness to terrify with merciless spectacles of genocide, homicide and fratricide. This minority sought obscurity and isolation from the vast majority which could hardly tell that something we all took for granted in each other was vacuously absent from those we had believed we could trust.   

To end the mindlessness of the killing, moral law and the invention of commitment to moral codes of behavior were used as tools to keep the majority from either turning on the powerful minority or turning on each other. As various times proved overwhelming, moral behavior would break down, requiring that these moral codes become ever more sophisticated, psychologically ensnaring adherents into fanciful creations and recreations of events and mythologies no one could either prove, nor disprove. Human beings had become conditioned to separate from their very natural selves. Who could we believe, our local high priest and scribe, or our own lying eyes?   

As always happens whenever two or more are gathered to solve a problem that neither fully has a grasp of, committees were formed, work was delegated and the circular logic inherent in creating what one defends most virulently against was born. Bureaucracy moved from tool to lifestyle, means to end in itself. Questioning a moral code or the seeking of solace in a supporting mythology took a back seat to the need of the bureaucracy to defend itself from assault and the common rot associated with the loss of a primary purpose for existence. We possessed the qualities of whatever had created us, but like a Xerox copy, important details seemed to fade with each replication of the previous version of the original until the point of the original disappeared. Human life in an organization replicates itself on a daily basis until the movements are as empty as the rituals they support. Into the vacuum rushes our indomitable ego, providing both purpose and motivation.   

After many centuries of slowly weaning ourselves from our own brutality, enough of us could overcome the trauma of our murderous conditioning to see that something had gone missing from our mythologies and the moral codes they inculcated: we had taken leave from our senses and our senses wanted us back. Enter the age of empirical science and the scientific method.   

I come by my agnosticism honestly: I was raised Catholic. And not just the apostate Roman Catholic variety, either, for my grandmother was a strong adherent of the Ukrainian church of Byzantium. I may not know church canon well nor perfectly recall the saying of mass, but I do know what neurosis is and what causes it to flare up in me and in my life: insisting that my way of viewing reality is the only relevant method worthy of further consideration. So while I can prove to you that, philosophically, atheism makes no sense at all, I hear so much honesty, reason and genuine disappointment in the arguments against organized belief in a supreme being that I have been moved to reframe my own agnosticism: I am anti-religious as hell.   

The Lovely Imogen Heap, Always Imaginatively Coiffed

It is one thing to adopt a moral code of behavior to promote the social order and the well-being of the species, it is quite another to drill three holes in the head of every child, one each for the father, the son and the holy ghost. Quite unbeknownst to me in my formerly deluded state (I now entertain a far more delicious set of delusions now), I have witnessed the rich  and the powerful pick up the heads of these delusional adherents to irrational sentimentality and go bowling seven days a week. Every time I hear of another young man volunteering to go make the world safe for “Jeebus” I see that unmistakable sheen on the wooden floor that tells me the roll will be sweet tonight. And when I watch the release as the head of the young man or woman travels down the alley, I wonder if the head will break right or left in time to smack those pins completely down in a single strike. Or if it will just be another gutter ball. It matters not, win or lose: it is how the game is played that retains its importance. If being a bowling ball for the amoral and lizardly rich does not appeal to you at this late stage of the game, you are going to have to fill in those three holes with some mortar, post haste.   

I do not believe there is any serious scholar who would contend that “Science” was anything but a militant reaction to the cruelty inherent in using a bureaucracy to shame people into behaving in a civil manner. Granted much has been learned and unlearned to good end through the application of Science and scientific methods, my graduate studies in Communication and Humanities have made clear to me that Science is nothing but a new, improved version of religion all over again. Science to civilize the demented discourse of the religiously insane; religion to civilize the behavior of the psychopath and those under the spell of the psychopath; murder to civilize those whose will to power conflicts with my own – this is the whole of human history reduced to the details relevant to the present moment. Death to relieve me from the bondage of attempting to be civil when I should have been ruthless, ruthless when I should have been civil and obtuse when clarity would have served me best. Catholics pity the Protestants, Protestants find the Catholics arrogantly self-appointed and Quantitative researchers find the work of Qualitative researchers to be mind-numbingly stilted and contrived. And well-moneyed interests agree with the Quantitative researchers, by the way, in spite of the fact that there is no longer any reasonable doubt that scientific data is as much a reflection of the researcher and their cultural milieu as the thing researched. Just as the church abhorred Galileo’s honesty and the force of the truth of which he spoke, powerful forces within the scientific community cause many questions to go unanswered, or worse yet, unasked. Whether it is a muon-catalyzed nuclear reaction or room temperature fusion, there are areas of science where to question another researcher’s life-long work is tantamount to murder.   

The reason why battles in the academy are so vicious? The stakes are so low….   

To wrap up my little tome on whom I think we are – we are a story. We have a beginning, a middle, an ending and a plotline. We have opposing forces too numerous to mention but which can be broadly categorized once the dust has settled and the circus has long since moved past us. Just as Quantum measures are subject to the laws of Heisenberg, so, too, are the interpretations of the history of one’s own species: the more measurement going on in a particular area of thought and research, the less likely it seems to me that we get an accurate reading of what seems to be going on structurally. Once we have a reasonable lock on where we think the primitive forces are, what their approximate speed and vectors are, and where we are relative to those vectors, we can establish a reasonable explanation, or story, to explain where all the pieces were at time period one and where they seem to be at time period “n”. Quantitative researchers must examine time period “n + 1,” somehow, to prove that the induced story we have laid over our selection of the data has merit from a mathematical and philosophically rigorous perspective. In many years’ time, though we may be dead, we will understand precisely why with great confidence and precision.    

A Well-Coiffed Man Is Easily Remembered

 From a pragmatic perspective, we need to look over the shoulders of those of us who spin tales out of the whole cloth of data we pull out of the bowels of human history. Have we included all the relevant facts? What was left out and why? Since we cannot know what we do not know, are there patterns of thought in the data selection and in the explanation that should be scrutinized for a bias that might make the plotline untenable at some point? Once we have satisfied ourselves that we have a good empirical grasp of where a story has come from and where it is now, we can predict with some confidence level where the story may end up.The sooner we know what we are ultimately facing the less energy it will take to induce the flap of a butterfly’s wings that will send the hurricane force winds across the Atlantic to blow apart the little Central American hotel where a lonely sniper sleeps the day before he marries his target, perhaps the next Che Guevarra or Martin Luther King, Jr.What I think is happening right now will end with human beings willingly ending their own lives just as our fellows leapt from the WTC towers to their certain death on 9/11/2001, avoiding the agony of being burned alive. Worse than the final pain of death, repeated humiliation and torture turns a human mind into a soulless cipher that helplessly repeats the same tired clichés, the same self-destructive behavior and the same victim-laced invective against one’s captors that rots and demoralizes whole cultures of human beings. The manifestors of the present tribulation believe that only persons of a certain ethnic background, color or genetic makeup could ever experience the pitiful demoralizations of the common slave. These fools will be proven incorrect, of course, but the problem humanity has is removing these mindless fools from harm’s way long enough to allow our biosphere to heal itself. Resurrecting the long-extinct members of one’s past through digging them up and making them a part of our present-day life has been a toxic and ludicrously compulsive exercise: it smells of the insane logic of a human ego run amok. The odor of sulfur dioxide and the heat of a planet in thermal runaway remind us all of something primal, something olfactory and quite direct. Welcome back to the Hell we thought we had escaped long ago, ladies and gentleman.But if we can mend our environment, those of us who follow the same basic storyline can work to disincentivize the promulgation and favor that capitalism affords the psychopath. These individuals are quite profoundly disturbed and while they might deserve their pre-approved extinction, quarantine seems generally to be the least cruel course of action to take.But what and where is the rest of the story? Will it be his-story or her-story?

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