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How to Think

When I hear those words echo from outside myself, I get angry, too.

I don’t know where the anger comes from – the fury.  I just know that it comes.  And it becomes.  On grey Winter days it may comeLiteral Fork In The Road at any time.  In the bursts of springtime blossoms it may fester and go rancid for a chance to spill its seed into the life of another unwitting victim.  Beginning anew, a little less angry with each successive generation, it comes forth with the promise of something different, something interesting, something beyond what has ever come before.  But then it just dies in fits of forgetful regret for not having lived out its promise, for never having broken through its own shell to reach out to the Light.  The Light that’s never really there when we need it, anyway.

Such is the fate of stardust and the powder-filled wings of angels.

If there’s anything good to come from the outright theft and betrayal of the sexual identities of fourteen young women, it is the minor wizardry of these words spilling forth in a waterfall of grief, regret, despair, disappointment and utter betrayal.  I cannot believe we gave so much of ourselves, promised to so many for so very little.

I used to blame my father’s Catholicism for the fact that I could never seem to accept the timid, tentative outstretched hand of a woman looking for connection, for shared joy, for relief from the bitter dregs of adolescent angst.  I could never smash the faces of my enemies nor vanquish my guilt over my reticence.  It was because of that old mossy, rusty cross and those eyes cast down upon the world in a familiar fact-filled glance of grief, regret, despair, disappointment and utter betrayal.  I could not bring myself to strike at the face of my own despair and fear; I could never accept the hand of promise stretched out to me from what seemed like miles away because I never felt entitled to the release, the resolution or the reconciliation.  I never felt entitled because…Jesus.  I never felt good enough because He was hung there like carrion for a murder of crows.  Every bloody nose I willed to be theirs, every smashed face that wasn’t mine, every orgasm lost in grievous sin into tawdry linens I sacrificed by being nailed to a cross of my own construction and design because “They” told me to do it when I couldn’t cross myself correctly, serve mass piously, take my torments with humility or confess my sins honestly.  The same sins it has taken most of my life to even recognize much less comprehend in origin.  “How convenient,” I thought, “that they have numbered all my bones and laid the wages of all sin at my feet, in my tawdry linens, in all my unreconciled torments and dreams of vengeance – no matter how long delayed!”  Of course it was the rancid, ancient beliefs of little men in fancy clothing and funny hats sent from a righteous heaven to defile the dreams of resolution and absolution begged for from a laiety so masochistic, so anachronistic that only a fool would pass on the chance to milk so sacred a cow.  Let the carnival barking begin!  Crash my dreams of a normal, healthy existence into the side of bitter mountaintop, never to be seen, nor heard from, again!

My mother’s bloodied face in 1966 and her long-defiled, swollen abdomen in 1936 had more to do with my tormented-shut libido and my interpersonal cowardice than any religious liturgy oozing out of  ancient Rome.  The sadism was handed down from years of masochism gone unrequited, from beatings so severe and senseless that the beguiled prayed to be set free even onto a snow-filled prairie to take their chances with wild buffalo; buffalo soon to be stacked high near the dead natives left without food to fight the chill of Winter.  No, the Catholics gave these brutal people safe passage into purgatory years after condemning them to the hottest Hell for refusing to eat fish on Fridays, refusing to restrain their coital urges for a public sanctioning of wedlock, for missing a week of mass or a Holy Day.  Or for loving an improper stranger.

The sins of 120 million dead brothers and sisters, of at least as many tears, bore witness then to a brutal savagery yet to come.  A web of interdependent shame so hideous as to make the true character of a people facile in the face of sacrificing any hero or shrew, for they would always be one in the same here.  To Europe and to ancient Rome, the impudent Americans would always be a laughing stock of hollow native outcasts, of fools and of dregs.  We would always care little for ourselves because, for centuries, we would be forsaken by the Crown of Britain for intransigence and singled out for disrespect.  Nevermind that the freedom we sought was only a modicum of what might be deserved for the children of any lesser god.  This callous disregard of our dignity was passed down to all others too taken by our silly clothes and poor agrarian skills to yield to the iron fist our naiveté concealed.

But proof is thus concealed in pudding and murmurs in the mud.

Of one thing my age has granted me some certainty: no deity or reified human being hangs from a tree after being beaten to a point where human death becomes a distant, fond wish and but gives a damn who eats what, who goes where nor who fucks whom.  The look of grief and utter, dismal betrayal in those bloodied, half-shuttered eyes cast down from that effigy beneath which I prayed longingly had nothing to do with anything but the behavior of those who birthed me here and on whose knees my tutelage received.  Beyond that I cannot speak intelligibly, for that is a matter of personal faith which, on a good day, my heart lightens and my smiles abound; on a bad day (or thirty minutes later), well, I wish for you nothing but the cynical fury of a life spent searching for what cannot be found: American dignity.

Fourteen women lost their will to live lives as human beings open to the advances of honest, trustworthy men because a cynical fury, known only to adults, cast onto a child a seething despair so rancid, so irreconcilably lost in the devotion, love and innocence of children, that that child had nowhere left to put their love, had no place to share a joy twisted by fury into sickness and death.  That child turned adult would have you thank them for not murdering these women, but for leaving them broken and not whole inside, that we might reconcile and untwist his sickness into love. Thank you, Bill.  Now go back to the now snow-starved prairie bereft of the buffalo and their brothers, back to the land from which you were fortunate enough to have survived and tell us more tales of laughter and exuberance, if you dare.  Of the wisdom or compassion of a man who hollows out the heart of a woman, eating it but once yet shitting it out sideways into a bag for the rest of his pathetic life, I know precious little but an agonizing despair so deep it cannot be reached.

That was my mother you raped, that was my sister you violated, that was my daughter you betrayed and that was my sex life you utterly destroyed in multiple thoughtless acts of muted revenge for sins beyond any adult ability to reason or scope, let alone a child.  A flaccid awesome lie paints the pants of the American landscape, and we blame you for a child’s disability to communicate a need for reason and for help.

It was not the Catholics after all.  Nor the Crown.  We are where we are because we deserve it.  All power and privilege decreed it so centuries ago.  For that revelation I thank you, Bill Cosby.

No clap of thunder or any tornado-swept hole in Hell matches the jolt of a mind split apart with wattage, laid waste to by countless drugs having side-effects too hideously tormenting to recount, only to be discounted by a community caught in disbelief over its own hypocrisy and loss of moral compass.  It was left to the judgment of a Judge that all power of judgment be taken from a nine year old girl so her goat-copulating father, who freely chose to leave his loose change and burning cigarettes on her nightstand, might continue to work in the community and sustain a family that was rejecting him outright.  The year was 1936 and from 1932 my mother endured the heaving advances, the pathetic breath, the jaundiced eyes and the enormous penis of an entity ten times her weight and orders of magnitude her size.  He was a brutal, drunken heap of human flesh thrown completely clear of a Hell made hot, barren and unwelcoming by his utter presence.  There is a reason the State of Oklahoma continues to quake in ignorant fear of supernatural evil: Jack Shelby lived there once.  He brewed ‘shine fit for Pretty Boy Floyd, lying his way through solid stone, melting handcuffs of righteous lawmen and leaving machine-gun toting criminals in awe of the power of his thunderous, cloven-hooved gait over wooden floors worn down soft by the shuffling feet of the despairing.  He would leave the Dustbowl of Oklahoma just ahead of fate because of the Great Depression, the same Great Depression the people of Texas continue to believe never happened.  They may be right; it may just have been the crater this sucking chest wound of moral ambivalence left in the dirt of Oklahoma when Satan, Himself, threw this Irish asshole to Earth from the hellfire of the Sun.  Steinbeck recounted symptoms for posterity, receiving a Nobel Prize; my mother absorbed a full-frontal moral shock for an entire world terrified by an evil so brutal it defied her ability to remain a whole human being.  For that service she received the scorn of her community, the misunderstanding of her children, and a life that continues to haunt my credulity and stain my credibility with good men who have never had to bear witness to such an empty vastness – to the sheer cold depth – of a moral black hole from which no hope of any light could ever escape.

That is why you have never heard of Jack Shelby, for as soon as he appeared in your life, your mind demanded you forget him; the sheer gravity of his darkness exceeded human comprehension.  What I realize today is that it was his presence in my mother’s life that sealed her fate long before I was even born.  It was never my grandmother’s fault; it wasn’t even the Catholic Churches’ fault; though responsibility, when it hits the fan, is never evenly nor fairly distributed.  This was all Jack Shelby, my grandfather, an evil-dead non-person who raped my mother from the time she was five until she was nine, defiling the countryside from Oklahoma to California in one, long forgettable visitation to our planet.

The first time they strapped my mother down, shoved rubber into her terrified, confused mouth and scrambled her brain with electricity was when she was 19 years old and had had two children by a man from the House of Canterbury.  He left soon after her stay in the sanitarium never to be seen, nor heard from, again.  Decades later, when his children were fully adults and merely curious, they located Jonathan and attempted contact with him.  He refused the connection.  He insisted they were mistakes and that they never contact him again.  They dutifully complied, a burden lifted from one child and left to rest on the shoulders of another.  That child died drinking a gallon of cheap wine every night just to maintain himself from shaking due to withdrawals, aged 64 years.  The official cause of death wasn’t cirrhosis or poisoning, but cancer.  A mere brush with a black hole sends grown men a full country’s width away from their own children and another man into a bottle never to surface again.  Mental illness caused a terrible fright in the 1940’s, even some 4 decades after a firm commitment from the country to build sanitariums to house the mentally ill, the alcoholic and the terminally misunderstood received cheers for President Teddy the Bullmoose.  If we could not repair broken lives, we could at least hide them, and our shame, from public view.  It was the least we could do since, prior to that time, it was the SPCA – the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – who were the only human beings willing to risk contact with society’s untouchables.  Sydney Cameron, a psychiatrist and admirer of the strides the Nazis had made experimenting on the Jews and others in their “work camps,” not one to miss out on an opportunity, used these sanitariums to find research subjects for his experiments involving the erasure and reconstitution of the human personality.  To relieve suffering, of course.  Dr. Cameron never quite perfected the “reconstitution” aspect of his experiments with “psychic driving” before he was forced underground and his experimentations along with him, but that wasn’t for lack of available test subjects.  There will always be plenty of shame to drive some of us completely mad and in search of some sort of erasure.  I do not know if my mother was ever a formal test subject in the early days of the “Monarch” program – a place where the cleansed records of Nazi doctors found a home and adequate funding for further research – but I do know she was given numerous “shock treatments” on multiple occasions in her many three-month, “convalescent stays,” behind the walls of Santa Clara’s now defunct, “Agnews State Hospital.”  I may never know the actual extent of the procedures my mother endured because the State of California “mishandled” all of the patient records from those days, selling the property to Sun Microsystems in 1997.  But at least I know that of the many “sterilization” operations that were performed on mentally ill women without their consent or awareness, my mother was probably not among them.  That could be considered a stroke of luck since, of the fifty states in these United States, California sterilized the mentally ill far more often than any other State.  Texas, where I now live, the least often.

We have always placed great pride in our mental illness in Texas, as it turns out, burying a wealth of “crazy uncles” and “addled aunts” in trailers and trailerparks spread out across the vast, expansive countryside, as if they were our secret treasure waiting to be mined.  We’ve even sent a couple of our most grievously afflicted to serve as Presidents of these United States.  One from each political party has been sent, so far, just to prove that we are nonpartisan and fair in our admiration and respect.

Both men were, history has shown, equally and predictably destructive.

“If nominated I would not run, if elected, I would not serve,” should have been LBJ’s motto before he ascended to the Presidency on the odd coincidence that his predecessor had fallen victim to an assassin’s bullet, not unlike at least one or two other of Johnson’s political opponents.  The Johnson Family might like to parade their favored son’s “Great Society” programs for all to see, but had he not guided and passed that legislation through Congress during his first and only term as President, Bobby Kennedy, the fallen President’s brother, close confidante and a sworn enemy of LBJ and his friend J. Edgar Hoover, would have certainly taken the Presidency and proceeded to right the grievous wrong that had been not just to his family, but to the entire country as a result of his brother’s untimely demise.  As it turned out, the evil that had been done to the United States and to my family up to that point, had taken up deep roots here in the American South, as multiple homicides just happened to take place against every major political opponent who dared to take exception to this country’s economic alliance with Nazi Germany back in 1932.  That would be about the same time Jack Shelby started making his drunken, twisted advances at my mother when she was barely able to walk and not yet able to run.

As for Texas’ other contribution to “whirled peas,” the wound is still quite fresh and infected to the bone as only the bite from the fetid mouth of a Komodo Dragon can be.  I think George W. Bushes’ dubious flight and appearance aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to announce, “Mission Accomplished,” says everything about the purpose and plan the Bush Family had in mind for the United States beginning around 1932 when the President’s grandfather, Prescott, began funneling money and weapons to Nazi Germany and its new Chancellor, “Adolf Hitler.”  The “mission accomplished” banner had precious little to do with “combat operations in Iraq” being complete, because that proved to be complete nonsense.  The mission, from World War I to the present day, has been to bring about a New World Order; the same “novus ordo seclorum” Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler tried to ooze all over the world during World War II.  That mission, to the chagrin of all those brave soldiers and civilians who died during World War II, and their families, has been accomplished.  The dark crown of fascism has been restored on the head where it properly belonged.  God saved the Queen.

The only time I ever saw Jack Shelby, the person, was when he was dying on his bed in a convalescent hospital in Merced, California.  My grandmother couldn’t see fit to keep something like the death of a parent from my mother and, true to form, she gave him more comfort than I was able to comprehend at the age of 12.  True to the nature of these events, I do not recall his face.  I do, however, recall the old man not two beds away pathetically masturbating as my cousins Deborah and Cheryl sat vigil with my mother and grandmother as they said their final “goodbyes” to a hollowed-out shell of a human being.  By this time the evil had left behind little more than an effigy of the man who terrified and terrorized the women in his life four and five decades before.  By that time only Bobby, Jimmy and my mother were left, and they would pass in that order, all from cancer as the official cause.  As I sat there in that room soaked with the smell of Betadine and urine, wondering what I was even doing there, I began to feel the emptiness creeping over me like a hole in my chest that the wind would not leave alone.  Neither Bobby, nor Jimmy, bothered to see their father off with a final fair-the-well.  Over the decades they had seen many men off to Hell in multiple wars as they served in the Navy; the death of their father would be just another hollowed-out shell tossed overboard, the engines of progress full steam ahead.  They had said all they were ever going to say to the man who had terrorized them and raped their sisters.

There was nothing funny or sad about any experience that included Jack Shelby or his clan; these were spiritual trials to be endured, replete with panic attacks, anxiety and terror that seemed to know no bottom.  The terror that I grew up and through, damaging and traumatizing though it was, was nothing in comparison to the fate these poor souls had consigned themselves to.  Enough of my soul and heart was left to allow me to walk through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous at the age of 30, thinking and believing I had been cheated of another 10 good years of drinking and taking drugs, “for fun.”  In those ten years, had I survived them, the disease would have convinced me that life was not about joy but was a trial to be endured.  Only the meanest, coldest and nastiest men lived long or prospered in this hellhole that the likes of JP Morgan, Henry Ford, JD Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie left in their wake.  These four horsemen created a country that will be known not so much for its natural beauty or its kind people but for its unrelenting cruelty against its own and others.  We have been uncompromising in that regard, the scope and depths of our genocidal history so hideously sublime that no history book dare print a word nor utter a sound lest the hounds of hell be unleashed against them and their families.  Such was the case with the Kennedys, such will be the case with any organized resistance against the evil that grows wild here and in places where the Sun never shines.

Just the other day I was reading a recounting of the history of German Uboats of World War II and the various artifacts found in that most impressive submarine fleet of the day.  Among the contents?  Several ticket stubs to movie theaters along the Texas coast.

The point of my story lost in a fog of shame and guilt will be over what shame and guilt I have failed to surface and resolve here.  My responsibility thus adjudicated, I shall suffer that the Queen and Rome might continue their masquerade as unwilling witness to the original sin the publishers of fiction  and contradiction thus contrived.

A Certain Pestilence

Today we celebrate our distress by pretending distress does not exist, that the now familiar pressure in our lives is actually that of earning a living for our families, no matter how outrageous, or even surreal, the pressure on our families becomes. Rather than the effects of nineteen Arab Muslims with box-cutters on the economies of the western world, perhaps a warp in space-time swallowing even the light with which we view our television sets is to blame. Forget that fascism has always been a pestilence since it became the reason we broke from Mother England over two hundred years ago, let us stare, instead, at the fascinating or morbid, strangeness staring back at us as we observe a cosmic black hole in some far-off galaxy.

Before I encourage anyone to snap out of this trance we find ourselves in and become a conscious adult human, let me assure my readers, first, of the many effects a massive gravitational anomaly in our midst might have.

Nothing escapes the odd beauty of the event horizon of a black hole. The warp of space-time at this perimeter bends all available light between the observer and what exists beyond the boundary observed, creating a fiery ribbon’s edge composed of the light of things not ordinarily seen. This is the fascination we have with this cosmic anomaly: in one small place we can see what happened a million years ago and compare it with what happened a billion years ago, along with what happened a dozen years prior. A truly vast perspective on reality we behold imbuing us with a sense of godlike vision over the affairs of our lives. The dense and enormous gravitational pull of a black hole lenses reality into a radial focus, giving a sense of eternity to the observer, the observed and the process of observation.

What follows very swiftly as one begins to embrace this most stimulating of horizons is a noticeable difference between the gravity at one’s feet and the gravity at the top of one’s skull, establishing a sensation of heaviness, of importance, such that every step taken towards the fuller embrace of the anomaly becomes a grander, deeper more meaningful encounter with all that can ever be seen.

But what can be seen inside the event horizon of a hole in space so deep that it bends light from a billion years away into itself? For those of us watching this embrace, what becomes clear is not a whit of illumination escapes; there is no light, only a darkness deeper than imagination’s many children. But for those enraptured of the things just seen and their own sense of gravity, the darkness is but a pittance. Look at all that we have seen and achieved so quickly, they proclaim!

More swiftly still the difference in gravity between feet and brain becomes ever more acute as the body of the observer is pulled into smaller and smaller pieces by the embrace of the observed. There can be no escape from this fall, event horizon to core, an end as inevitable as death itself awaits as acceleration pulls apart the very soul of a man or woman into its component parts. No one can see this end for all occurs in the cover of deepest darkness, yet we can know from abstraction and deduction that the end stage disintegration was never the initial intention of the observer viewing the observed. All too soon this End became everything that the observer could speak of as the Madness pulled even life-giving blood from the brain into the feet of an otherwise good man or woman running to catch a train that has long since left the station.

Then, perhaps, a flash of X-rays expelled from the center of the hole reminds us that a drastic transformation has taken place before the event horizon expands ever so slightly to compensate for the mass just consumed.

Fascism, the inevitable result of vast concentrations of wealth and power into the hands of the few, is just such a warping of space and time, pulling apart the very fabric that makes community and fellowship with our brothers and sisters a pleasure and such a joyous possibility. Fascism pulls each of us into our component parts until nothing, not even light, can escape its embrace. We might know of the dangers of approaching this much gravity so brazenly except that all evidence of its presence disappears without a trace in history, its consumption of witnesses and evidence vacuumed completely out of existence.

So what was the essential “sin” in this flirtation with the acceleration of human possibilities and potential? Comprehending as we now do why an individual or a group might be deceived at the edge of the event horizon, why do we not chart a course completely avoiding these cosmic sinkholes, knowing the inevitability of the end?

Why does the addict pick up their drug of choice, again and again, after every painful detoxification, when they know the pain and suffering that must always await them?

Why does the obsessive love partner return, again and again, to a relationship that they both demand be functional even long after they discover the impossibility of the relationship chemistry between the two people involved?

Why do we humans believe that it is possible to behold a “cake” with our eyes while also enjoying the consumption of the same “cake?” Why do we tear concepts to shreds in order to “better” understand them, yet insist on entertaining the expectation that our reassembly of component parts must always yield the initial concept? Is it not a magical belief that our perceptions of phenomena reveal everything relevant to our senses? What has our collection of novel empirical data always demonstrated without fail in the past?

Our great flaw in all these instances is that we have seen only the past in all the light that has ever met our eyes. We projected futures onto what we saw based on what had already come and gone, regardless of how we assembled and structured the meaning of that past. And so our projected futures, regardless of the quantity of the past data we have had at our disposal, suffered from the same observational flaws we used in assembling and systematizing our pasts in the first place. We have become fixated on seeing nothing right here, right now, just as it is to us. We look at scientific data or the video footage of a war atrocity and we have trained ourselves to associate what we observe with what we have already experienced, what we thought about that experience and how we felt about it. What we miss by occupying a past or projected future state based on that past, is the here and now experience of novelty, revulsion or sensory overload that informs those we share our experiences with that we have rendered the rawest possible data to our fellow interpreters for their own interpretation and use.

So we need to encourage each other to “snap out of” the trance we are in regarding the fascist/capitalist/corporatist dialogue we observe spewing forth from the mouths of television pundits and media personalities with specific, money-making agendas not likely to give us the raw data we need to make informed decisions for ourselves. We already know, if we are conscious, thoughtful adults, that two massive steel-reinforced concrete structures do not collapse into nearly their own footprint at near free-fall speed because two large jetliners crashed into them two hours prior. We know this is rubbish. But why must fascists shock us with nonsense before they proceed with their plans to subvert our liberties and our freedoms? Why do they not want us to be at liberty to decide for ourselves about the nature of reality? Does truth not benefit everyone equally? Why not?

Qui bono?

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?

How It Is (in the Gulf)

Some things the heart has no time for…and so it stops…and so it breaks

ABC News lies lies and tells more what else is new I say it as I hear it murmured in the oil.  John Caylor has breathing difficulty breathing and is moving will be moving to the Beltway from Pensacola where he can breathe where he can sigh and call out like he sees it murmured in the mud murmuring Wayne Madsen.

Charlie Crist may declare a state emergency state as benzene wafts then crawls then muddles then chokes the murmuring in the mud murmuring in the oil I say it like I hear it while the brown pelicans dance no they dance not no they’re dark with oil hold their wings up high to ooze back into mud to drop down from high to soar to fish to float to die in heaving globs of tar I say it like I see it.

Obama lies lies and tells more what else is new he says it like he means it and it murmurs in the oil first one drop then two then a bubble then a blast he means it like he says it as it murmurs in the mud. 

Giant clouds of gas and crude more death from deep from the devil from the past bubbles up rushes fast can’t stop won’t stop bore sinks sinks deep such pressure such crude such heat such madness I boil it like my water and cool it with my rage.

A million times I said or more I said don’t drill here don’t drill there but drill they did and had children too children to play grow up and play in benzene, tuolene and tar to murmur and to sigh play grow up and sigh no one grows up but dies and murmurs only a while.

Sinking just like lizards sinking in the pits in La Brea in the desert in the heat murmuring and crawling crawling and pretending escaping and pretending no escape from gooey indolence automatons in silent movement slowing sinking sinking crawling then one drop then two then bubble then gone beneath murmur in the oil.

Break and smash them break and smash them all first one dies then another then one buys and hides buys and hides misdeeds of one misdeeds of one hidden by all hidden by oil first one drop then two then a bubble then a blast they mean it like he says it but they say it to the mud.

 Mud people no more.