Tag Archive | fascism

Cubed

Orange, yellow, red, white, blue, and green

A spinning mess on an axis seen

From distant planets a paradise found

Turning slowly gray at the speed of sound

 

The war drums beat in amber waves

A present for the dreidel debt slaves

Layers heap and lawyers burst

Rules unheeded leave second and first

Without a home to call their own

Unrest is nature’s debt on loan

 

Even with layers second and first

No third is solved without a durst

But come apart to fall together

And the third swings ‘round and sticks forever

 

But go past one and never see

An end to the need

nor the will of the free

But watch ye closely and you will hear

The nimble fingers of Paul Revere.

 

Mowing the Lawn In Gaza


“When thy intelligence shall cross beyond the whirl of delusion, then shalt thou become indifferent to Scripture heard or that which thou hast yet to hear.”  – Bhagavadgita

I keep this passage from the Book of Doctrines close to my heart since I first came across it in the winter of 1991, for I thought it a dangerous passage.  Two centuries prior to our beloved Christian movement and some seven to twelve hundred years after Moses first freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt, the Gita was making doctrines obsolete faster than scribes could record them.  Or the rich people of those days could typeset, print and distribute them.  The ebb of life on the planet was slow and uneven in the third century BCE or we might all be walking about with dots on our foreheads.

By the year 1948 (CE), those laying claim to being the people of Moses had had enough talk of messiahs coming or going, enough discussion of Judaic Ethics and decided, some would say with wide-ranging consensus, that “The Jews” had waited long enough.  The persecutions and the pogroms, usually sponsored by Christians, were a tiresome affair to observe and, all too often, a heartbreaking routine to experience.  “The Jews” would return to Israel and David Ben Gurion was as good a messiah as any in his time.  Maybe putting pen to paper would shut the Jews up.  In any case, the narrative of six million dead Jews at the hands of a lapsed Catholic expedited matters considerably.  The Jews would, “come home,” from their perspective, but for the Palestinians who had had a very amicable relationship with Palestinian Jewry up until the early twentieth century, the sudden shift toward Jewish hegemony in what had been “their homeland” must have felt like a betrayal among good neighbors.

I happened along on the planet a year before a fellow from my hometown won a Nobel Peace Prize for recording and codifying the epic journey of the Joads from Oklahoma to California, a journey that many read in sadness and shame but a journey that only told a smattering of details regarding the indignities humans serve up to other humans.  As the Grapes of Wrath went to print in 1939, the woman who was pushing me out into this theatre of the absurd in 1961 had been just 12 years old and had actually been a part of that original journey to California in 1929.  Needless to say, John Steinbeck had skipped a few significant details in the interest of brevity and creative license, but let it not be said it was because his creativity was waning; he had been drinking rather heavily in the hills above Los Gatos at the time and generally making an ass of himself between his residence and the post office where he delivered his manuscripts for editing to his publisher.  The politics of publishing any account of human-imposed human suffering within US borders that was not Civil War-related, would still need to follow that mould of, “all things come together for the good of the country and God Bless America,” or it would not be typeset.  Being a practicing drunk of some literary and journalistic promise, it is virtually certain Steinbeck was nearing the end of his publisher’s largesse when he and his wife made the editing decisions that could have meant the end of an endless river of booze and cigarettes, neither of which Our Dear John could have lived without.  Details be damned, even if it was my entire family’s story that was left out.

The reason why the Steinbeck (really, “GrossSteinbeck,”) story is relevant to a story about landscaping an area of Palestine who some feel has fallen into disrepair is because Steinbeck’s paternal grandfather, Johann, formed, with Clorinda Minor, the Mount Hope colony/pre-kibbutz in Jaffa.  Steinbeck’s grandfather’s brother, Frederick, was murdered and his brother’s wife and mother-in-law beaten and raped by Arab farmers in an all night affair of murder and mayhem that came to be known as, “the Outrages at Jaffa.”  To be certain the Steinbeck’s and their family had suffered from Arab and Bedouin harassment before this night in 1858, but this was the first noteworthy incident of Arab on Jew violence in Ottoman Palestine and it had more to do with zealous Christian Dominionist end-times theology in collision with Muslim hegemony, than with the inability of Palestinian Jews to live peacefully amidst their Muslim majority neighbors.  The murder of men and the raping of women, while practiced as an act of profound disrespect towards the “unclean” in Muslim countries, is not an act sanctioned by Islam.  It just so happens that where there are Muslims and “infidels,” there tends to be a lot of violence towards women and xenophobia towards men.  Sort of reminds me of South Texas, after a fashion.  Sniff.

The other reason why landscaping stories interest me is because of a side-business I use to support my greater aspirations.  Being an actor and being the owner of a small lawn maintenance concern between Killeen and Austin, Texas, basically means I mow lawns for a living.  As part of a lawn deal with a dentist in Austin, I managed to get my teeth bleached whiter than most politicians, which really helps me get past the first knock on neighborhood doors looking for additional clients, but has done nothing to enhance my capacity for finding dramatic work in a sea of blond-haired, blue-eyed twenty-something’s.  It is not that I am a bad actor or poorly skilled in delivering my lines, it’s that I am a young forty-something at the age of fifty-two.  People in Killeen look at me and think, “he’s a smart, handsome-enough man, why can’t he find any real work,” as I discuss the finer points of putting a clean edge on their lawn, while people in Austin, usually my friends, generally say, “there he goes, livin’ the dream and undeterred by the naysayers.  I can support that!”  Whatever it takes to get the bills paid.  If I have to tan to look Hispanic enough to be in this business, I am willing to do that, but I have to keep the blond hair and blue eyes ceded to me by my parents in hopes of greater commercial exposure.  Landscaping is just part of my larger plan to take Hollywood by storm.  Yay, me.

How I made it here to Texas I couldn’t begin to tell you beyond a tragic tale of unguided love.  Clichés may not be interesting to the general public, but they do tend to move people across country when the getting is good and the timing seems right.  Moving from California to Texas might seem to some folks like a backward move economically, spiritually, morally and culturally.  But I see where Manifest Destiny pegged a journey that began at Plymouth Rock and moved westward like a huge conveyor belt, carrying social pariahs of all kinds who got as close to the ocean as they could before they faced the fact that they would be living in close quarters with people they didn’t like any better than did the rest of the country.  Moving to Texas was a huge cultural shock to my system, but it appears now that my system needed the shocking.  Apparently the world is chalk-full of people who hate what they do for a living, are hanging on to their life story by their fingernails and are doing so while living in a poaching humidity that leaves molds, bacteria’s and fungi floating in midair, waiting for a receptive pair of lungs to come along and sustain them a while longer.  Prior to moving to Texas, I thought everyone lived in a place like Salinas and had a cleansing fog to look forward to rolling in every evening, only to watch it roll back out to sea by noon the following day.  Sixty-eight degrees, year-round. This was certainly the case in San Luis Obispo where I once went to college, and is true all up and down the central coast of California.  But not so in any part of Texas.  Nor is it true in Philadelphia, my father’s hometown which he no longer claims.

If landscaping and the mowing of lawns has been something of a meditation for me while I await the next chapter of my life to unfold, learning to speak with, tolerate, understand and make a living selling lawn services to a typical Texas homeowner has been an exercise in linguistic gymnastics, religious tolerance and humility.

“Do what,” the grey-haired man in the bolo tie said to me after I asked him what time it was.  He then took a step back and looked at the time piece in his front pocket and let me know that I was perilously close to noon-time in mid-August.  No one in their right mind mows their lawn after noon in the midst of a Texas summer, but that wouldn’t stop my client from asking for extras designed to watch me sweat and drip, becoming half-crazy from dehydration and completely incapable of carrying on an adult conversation.

“I really wanted to get back inside by noon, Mr. Deutsche.”

“The Lord works in mysterious ways, Ed.  Mysterious ways.  A hard day’s work cleanses the soul and brings us closer to the Almighty.”

Now it used to be that I could ignore an asinine comment like this from a client.  My Mexican counterparts do all the time, amazing me with their comprehension of American idioms and context, only to become deaf, mute or illiterate at the prospect of being asked to work past noon in the summer.  They often smile politely, say, “jess,” and pack up and leave the job site just as they had planned to from the beginning of the day.  But my way past competing with the rock-bottom pricing capacity of your typical Mexican landscaper was to ape the German-Protestant work ethic that demands a willingness to work for slave wages under third-world conditions, all the while maintaining a bright smile and pleasant demeanor that would make them proud to call me, “son.”  “Arbeit macht frei .” They know what they are asking for is unreasonable, they know they are challenging me to survive a huge and unnecessary obstacle between doing my job and ending up in an emergency room with heat exhaustion or worse; but they also know that if I am a true-blue Texan down to my bone marrow, I will go out of my way to prove it at the drop of any hat.  If a Texan challenges you to a throw-down, you better show up or plan on being part of a parade in your honor that sends you marching out of town.  Texans pride themselves on not being lazy, on working hard and on honoring authority; but once you prove to them that you are among friends who see eye to eye, you begin to notice how much harder the Mexicans you are competing against are actually working than the Texans who are paying their wages.  Southern hospitality meets southern hypocrisy every day in Texas, but don’t ever be caught dead saying so or you’re back out in the heat proving yourself one more time.  God-fearing German Protestants raised in this State get the smartass smacked off their faces at a very young age.  So I smile the brightest, toothiest Austin-bleached smile I can muster and say, “yes sir, Mr. Deutsche,” and I get busy not resisting authority since authority is helping to pay my rent this month.

“Thank you, son.  I sure do appreciate it.”

“Anytime, Mr. Deutsche.  You can count on me.”

“Do what?”

“I said, ‘you can count on me, sir,’” with yet another smile as genuine as any smile seen from the pulpit of any mega church in this State.  The “do what” was perfunctory and used as a double-check to ensure I wasn’t full of shit the first time I said what I said.  If you pass the second, “do what,” test, you’re in.  You’ve sold ‘em.  And if you think it gets any harder than that, just remember the long-con the Bush Family has been able to pull off in this State and the people here still hold their Family in high regard.  They were able to drop the entire economic, political and legal infrastructure of the goddamn United States to its knees in a fortnight using the same tricks Hitler used to come to power in Germany, yet Texans still want to get their pictures taken with these lizards, still want to be seen around them.  Frankly, I’d rather mow Mr. Deutsche’s lawn.  He’s a big fan of “Dubya,” swears to God Almighty that “Lib’ruls” are the death of this country, watches FoxNews and Reverend Hagee, but his heart is pure gold.  He would no more take a switch to a man beaten down by circumstance than he would stab his wife in the heart.  He’s actually quite liberal in ways not understood by those he supports with his money and his vote.  But he’s a Texan, so that means he has to win.  Texans pick a winner and stick with them to the bitter end.  So as long as I’m putting a perfect edge to Mr. Deutsche’s lawn and making it the pride of his block, I can count on plenty of business in this neighborhood.  My Californian ancestry is excused for as long as I am willing to adopt Texas values as my own and respect those whose trust I have earned.

Jews wouldn’t be terribly comfortable with the accommodations here in Texas because, first and foremost, Texans don’t like hearing people complain.  And complaining is something bred into the genetic code of every modern Jew I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  They might talk a good game, might be able to get you to relax and laugh with them, but make no mistake: this whole fucking world is beneath them, they know it for a fact and they believe that you do not.  Your willingness to accept the unacceptable is what makes you, “goyim,” and a sally, and this permits them to think of you as no better than a pack animal.  Heaven help you if you tell them this truth to their face, even if you heard them tell it to each other in your presence.  Now not every single Jew is this touchy any more than every single Texan is a naïve fool, but generally Jews and Texans share something in common that makes them mutually repulsed by one another: they stick together when times get rough and they share the spoils when times swing in the other direction.  The reason so many Americans find Texans so obnoxious is for the same reasons that the people of the world have always had it out for the Jews: they know their own, they cling to their own, they protect their own and they damn sure aren’t going to tolerate being invaded  by someone not, “their own.”  And, “fuck you,” for noticing it, you anti-Semitic/anti-Texas parent-hating Californian with a thirst for the ungodly and the unseemly.

I don’t often launch into a thesis while I’m mowing someone’s lawn, but my thoughts make it possible for me to do what has become second nature to me while I make use of the time discussing more important matters with you.  Matters of gravest urgency.  Matters that you might have overlooked while you were busy trying to live your daily life without feeling like a complete and utter failure to your employer, your spouse and/or your children.  I’d like to think we can sit down in this sacred space I am creating in my mind and recognize our thoughts in each other and identify the common mentality that binds us to one another on a global basis.  You look at me and think, “Loser,” because I am choosing to work at a menial job I am good at while I nurture a dream I have to connect with a whole roomful of people using a script or the written word as a vehicle.  I must seem silly to you to harbor such fantastic delusions of grandeur while I scrape the wet grass from the underside of my mower because you watered before I arrived and let your grass get too high before calling me to come shred the tops off your lawn and make it look brown and sick.  I am unworthy of your time because I appear to you to be less than what you would expect from someone who can speak and write English as if I were a college graduate, as if the graduates from your institutions of higher learning will ever be able to write or spell like I can.  I was born with this freakishly precocious diction and suffered many ass-whippings in the old neighborhoods I grew up in because of it.  Yes, it might be going to waste while I tell you about the finer points of lawn care and maintenance, but at least I am not using my gifts to decimate and devalue the lives crowded into a pseudo-city and made into clichés with fleschette bombs and white phosphorus, as your more promising college graduates do.  At least I know better than to see the heads of Palestinian children in every blade of grass I sever from its root, or regard every crawling insect or worm that inhabits one of my lawns as a signal that I need to spray insecticide over an entire yard.  At least I have the sense to realize that the same causes and effects that require me to intervene in a lawn gone wrong are identical to the causes and effects that make my own yard problematic.  At least I know what the word, “conservative,” means, and when a “radical” intervention is indicated.  I know lawn care, I’ve done yard work my entire life, and I know better than to treat every brown spot in a yard as a case of lawn moths requiring insecticide, rather than as a neighbor’s dog who got out over the weekend and had his way with the neighborhood.  A lawn is a system and systems always reflect the thinking and the behavior of those responsible for bringing them into being.  If I can’t make reasonable sense out of what you expect from a lawn care professional in the first ten seconds of conversing with you, I am not going to be able to save your lawn from your own ignorance and stupidity.  I have walked away from business like that out of sheer reflex because I know I am tossing pearls down a privy.  Maybe that makes me xenophobic or maybe that makes me a Jew, but I haven’t missed a rent payment in a long time and I haven’t had the police called on me because my client felt cheated by my work ethic or felt I was being, “unfair.”

So what does lawn care have to do with Gaza, especially now that we all know there isn’t a blade of grass left in Gaza worth sacrificing potable water for?

Point one.  Only people with money are going to be able to afford to sustain and maintain a lawn in the heat of Central Texas.  I am not going to find much business for myself in a poor neighborhood.  Likewise, people treat their religions like they treat their lawns.  People who don’t give a shit about their lawns generally do not go to church, mosque or synagogue, nor do they give a damn about what anyone else thinks about their status as the neighborhood iconoclast.  If I want to find the “sweet spot” for a lawn care business, I need to find people with the right mixture of devotion and money to make my talents profitable for my efforts.  If having a shitty lawn happens to be your religion, good luck getting your holy scriptures published and available to a wider audience.  While your devotion might be admirable, it is not a good fit with mine.  Vaya con dios.

Point one-aye.  The Holy Scriptures everyone seems willing to lose their minds and their lives over could only have been written, printed and sustained by a system of wealth and power that crosses many multiples of human generations.  That means that what is written in those scriptures was deemed as “not offensive” to their publishers and when it might be seen as such, was rapidly edited and a new edition published.  In the case of multiple editions deemed to be offensive, the errant editions were categorized and subsequently burned from public memory.  People have always heard what rich people wanted them to hear.  Loudly.  So while you might be fixated with using your chemical fertilizers and insecticides, there is a pretty good chance you are doing so because some rich guy told you to do so, or he told someone you trust to do so, and, voila, you’re doing it based on authority.  I’ve had to rescue plenty of lawns burned with chemical fertilizers, so I know that authority is about making a “prophet” into a profit, not necessarily doing the right thing.

Point one-bee.  Not everyone has a god, but everyone has a story that they treat like their god.  If you want people to believe your story, you better find a way of understanding your story, their story and a story with a happy ending that you can all blend together in that satisfies everyone’s need to have a good story to tell and one worth living for.  If you cannot master this very fundamental art of community building, plan on spending a great deal of time, energy and resources keeping everyone else from erasing your story from the slate of acceptable storylines.  A storyline that informs me that you want to have a lawn that is the envy of your neighborhood but requires no devotion or commitment from you is not an acceptable storyline, from my perspective as a lawn care professional.  That won’t stop you from trying to tell everyone about your storyline, especially if you have a lot of disposable income to spare.  While doing the impossible with nothing sounds appealing to the ears of sleepwalkers, in practice it is a waste of time and energy.  Everything is already Nothing, so expecting something for nothing is nothing new but it is a request for a static separateness that will be satisfied, if the desire in your heart is to be empty and alone.  The purpose of anything in Nothing is to communicate to you how very fucking alone you really are as you delusionally whirl on a speck of dust, flying safely away from anywhere you might cause greater harm.  Once you get the depth and scope of the abyss, the appearance of a helping hand on the horizon is accorded its proper value.  Communication received.  So if I ask you to do a few minimal chores in between my appearances to mow your yard, I am not suggesting that you should light it on fire, blow it up, mine it with explosives, or tear it up and put in Astroturf.  You can do any of these things, if you wish, because Everything is Nothing.  But you can also expect to feel the value of Nothing in great depth within yourself for all your trouble.  You have been warned countless times and in many ways about the meanings you assign to particular things at particular times.  Accept responsibility for your own crappy choices and make your problem solvable; blame me and repeat the same error with a less forgiving lawn maintenance professional.

Point two.   Christian Dominionists and Jews were strange bedfellows from the beginning.  But there was a beginning and that beginning came from a particular interpretation of an ending – an ending and an interpretation that began and ended with the rich folks mentioned in Point one.  If I were to go corporate and start swallowing up all the lawn care business in Killeen, at some point, I would need to ensure that everyone was always going to have a lawn, that they were always going to be able to keep their lawn alive and that there were always going to be plenty of bad examples of lawn care around town from which I could contrast my service results against.  Likewise, if I know my authority is based in a happy ending to a story we all fit into, I need to make sure that we all have the means to survive our stories and our shared happy ending, but I will still need to provide for plenty of bad examples to keep everyone focused on moving in the same general direction.  That is what war is for.  War is nothing more than a bad example of humans failing to get along with other humans.  With enough war, we drive people to peace.  But if I try to turn a profit from your bad example, I lose control of my ability to release either you, or myself, from my need for bad examples.  In so doing, I become a bad example.  Fixation with bad examples is illness and this illness results in death.  There is no exception.  So I let others better suited to the task try to corporatize what they do not, and cannot, own until they learn that they did not create life, nor can they wish for anything more without automatically asking for an end to their own existence.  I love lawn care.  I despise paperwork.

Point two-aye.  The entire state of Israel began as an apostasy that no practicing Jew would want or would have tolerated during the 19th century CE.  This did not stop Christian Dominionists from wanting the ending foretold in their scriptures, nor did it stop a certain type of educated Jew from wanting to beat certain types of Christians to death with their own ignorance.  Enter World Wars I and II.  World War I decimated the Ottoman Empire, making possible the transformation of all those 19th century Jewish colonies, and later, kibbutzim, in Palestine into a Jewish homeland while also gaining control of the oilfields of Basra.  World War II was about killing off all internal Jewish opposition to the establishment of a Jewish homeland followed by the restoration of the British Empire to its former glory.  In a very real sense, World Wars I and II were about mowing the lawn in Europe and Palestine, at the expense of the mostly Muslim Turks.  The Crusades might have ended with Saladin running a victory lap all over Eastern Europe and North Africa, but no blue-eyed Caucasian is going to allow a dark-skinned mud-person living in a tent have the final word in any argument.  Being crazy is an important survival skill bred into the genetic makeup of the Caucasian race.  Ask any black African from which all of us once came and they will make plain that white people are crazy and they aren’t kidding.  It appears that albinism took more than melanin from our skin: it took away a piece of our ability to be humane.

Point two-bee.  While the rich publishers of our fine scriptures are busily trying to assure us that, in the end, the Jews will agree with everyone and all will be well, the Israelis are also busily trying to arrange for Muslims and Christians to kill each other over false pretenses while defending their ability to maintain their status in Palestine.  That means the order of the day is convincing the rest of the world that they need to “globalize” their economies while Israel busily arms itself in preparation for the inevitable resource wars that will come when there are too many Muslims and too many Christians left to maintain a healthy biosphere, at which time the Israelis will, as they have done in Gaza, mow the fucking lawn and leave us all bereft of a place to live in or a window to throw it out of.

Zionism – whether it is Judaic, Christian, Muslim, Confucian, Shinto or agnostic – is the endless search for perfection in a place where perfection has no utility.  There are no Edens, there are no utopias, there is only a choice between the deepest, darkest emptiness our heart’s can stand, and the hand of a brother in arms.  We might feel abandoned by our churches, synagogues, mosques, families or neighbors, but we have not been abandoned by that which created us.  Life knows itself.

It is high-time we got to know ourselves.

FleaInfestation

Return to Nazareth

“Such was the crucifixion of the Son of God. His faithlessness did this to him.”

A Course In Miracles, p. 421

Imagine a world where this might be true.

In the first place, being a country-born ideologue riding into the “Big City” on a white jackass to “learn them city boys some righteousness,” would always be contraindicated regardless of their obvious need for remediation. Mocking the power structure must always result in your untimely death at the hands of that power structure.

In the second place, lying to an entire civilization as to the nature and consequences of one of its pivotal, if manufactured, moments in time could have massively deleterious consequences.

My early tutelage in Catholicism taught me to not question authority, to always regard the Church as the “one truth” I could always count on to provide me the guidance any worthy human life could possibly require. If the solutions provided by church dogma did not provide me with the solutions, or relief, that a solution should, the problem was due to my as yet unreconciled defects of character. The Church was to be the pearl of great price in my life and conducting myself as if I believed otherwise must always result in being posthumously tormented for all eternity. Simple. Like all great solutions.

So, in addition to having a number of unresolved challenges waiting for me outside the doors and walls of various churches scattered across the country of my birth, I had the problem of hiding the fact, growing more obvious with each passing decade, that I was the Antichrist spoken of by John of Patmos in his Apocalypse. My blood boiled with unresolved rage, my life became awash in failed relationships and the world around me grew darker the more worldly “truth” I let come into my mind. Much was wrong within me and the more I tried to apply the solutions provided to me as a child, the worse things seemed to become. One would expect that the wicked should suffer so.

Quite naturally, a nice refreshing box of wine became one of my favorite escapes. Smoking some of the “sacred ganja” in combination became a daily lifestyle choice that lasted some ten years. But like most love affairs that burn hot enough to produce smoke, an inability in both acumen and desire to be a responsible motorist, or both, things ended rather poorly. Alcohol and ganja continue to work for others which is fine for them; I, however, have had my dance card unceremoniously punched out of existence. Time to go home, time for salvation, time to get down to causes and conditions wherever they might take me.

I am happy to report that my inflated opinion of myself regarding my ultimate identity was not true. Not entirely. It appears everyone around me is both christ and antichrist and how we choose to deal with this most confusing set of circumstances determines whether we live happily and usefully whole, or die according to some miserable bodily or mentally vanquishing upheaval. I believe I am on the mend, certainly in much better spiritual and physical condition than a person who began life on an unstable trajectory might deserve, but I am by no means completely free and clear of a formerly incessant desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Particularly in those circumstances where, like Jesus of Nazareth, I return to the Big City to mock the rich and well-heeled for the crime of maiming a large portion of my family tree, mostly before I was ever born. The Great Depression hit my mother’s side of the family tree especially hard.

The Catholics and Protestants of my youth, in many cases, would like to make the story of Jesus of Nazareth a tale about those who loved the spoken word of God made flesh, and those, “dirty Jews,” of the Sanhedrin, the Scribes and Pharisees. No doubt Jesus may have felt that way and may have “cleared the temple” for this very reason, but, according to A Course in Miracles, the problem that resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was his own inability to believe that every human being is equipped with a divine spark that makes salvation and “seeing the Light” possible in the first place. Jesus lost faith in the ultimate humanity of his fellows and took to insulting and mocking them at just the wrong moment in history. The story of the end of Jesus of Nazareth had nothing to do with “Jews v. Christians” at all, but rather rich versus poor. When one considers that for the majority of Christian history the only humans wealthy enough to own and operate a printing press might have had a vested interest in distorting the story of Jesus’ life and death, the scapegoating of more modern Jewry begins to take on a completely different hue. Especially if those Jews were also quite wealthy themselves as often becomes the case when slaves overthrow their masters and learn how to hold their former masters at bey.

And you thought being black, African, Egyptian or possessing more than a slight amount of melanin in your skin was cause for horror or concern. Yet genetically, it is not possible for two white humans to produce a dark-skinned child, yet it is quite possible for two dark-skinned humans to produce one that is very Caucasian in appearance. Click, click and click. Obviously a huge amount of human history has been lost to us over the centuries, which is sad, but one side benefit of getting one’s own story straight becomes an uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit from the collections of stories other humans tell about themselves and to start identifying and resolving similar patterns of denial, delusion and dishonesty.

My problem with the phenomenally wealthy is not so much that they are not human but that, like any human ceded that much authority over other humans, the slightest character flaw in them produces an enormous amount of suffering in those occupying the lower rungs of the social strata beneath them. The problem is not that human beings possess flaws so much as we are utilizing a system of social organization that magnifies the impact of human flaws on the lives of others. In time this condition will need to be adjusted so that compassion and mercy can be more evenly distributed throughout the human family. Merit may well strike in one person for a particular of time, but that good fortune seldom passes on to one’s progeny. Certainly the times where one is called to demonstrate their merit change such that what is required at one time may be more or less than what is required in another. A genetically oriented social hierarchy is not fluid enough to allow solutions to flow to the problems where they exist.

I continue to distrust, as do many, the religion that water-boarded a fear of drowning into my consciousness at the age of six months – the only memory I possess from that period in time. I continue to distrust any collection of humans hierarchically organized to manage the thinking, beliefs, money, property and/or prestige of any social collective – I do not believe that such trust is merited given both history and the known unknowns we can deduce from the lack of it in key areas of import. But most importantly, I am coming to realize that not every phenomenally wealthy human is a psychopath, nor is it entirely ill-conceived that merit be considered when deciding who deserves their station in society and who does not. My great sin in life has been that I did not possess the merit required, at the proper time, to bring down the psychopathic conspiracies of wealth under whose heel we all now suffer. I only hope that I can be of some service to those who hope to make our present conditions survivable, tenable and known to others for all time. We dare not repeat these same mistakes ever again.

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 Theism

Atheism:  (n) à-thē-i-zəm, godlessness (the doctrine or belief that there is no God).

Our religious friends will be gratified to know that this word is at the bottom 50% of word lookups in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, while our atheist friends will be disturbed to recognize that the mechanics of human perception render their basic doctrine mute in cases where the god under review is omnipresent.

Be all of this as it may be, I can no longer offer a heartfelt defense of any religious, or irreligious, dogma or doctrine; all of them carry the seeds of self destruction within themselves.  Each major dogmatic tradition denies that it affirms the necessity of a defense against the very omnipresence on which each relies on for legitimacy.  Both theism and atheism suffer from the “trap” that is dogma.

Questioning of any legitimate sort requires, at some point, that the querent establish the level of authority of both themselves and the entity they wish to interrogate or engage.  While authority of this sort does not establish ethical, moral or procedural legitimacy, this process – usually conducted in the blink of an eye – establishes a basis for reasonable expectations from the proposed dialogue.

For example, I can ask my dog if the value of Pi is approximately 3.14159, which is a simple true or false question requiring very little effort for my dog to respond.  Many an intoxicated college student has put forward such a question of their furry pets on many occasions.  But is this an appropriate question to ask of a creature that has no earthy idea what Pi is, what approximate might mean or the notion of abstract value?  And is it reasonable for me to base a whole system of thought upon the answer to a single question that has an equal chance of being either true or false?

Likewise, problems of authority arise when questioning the existence or non-existence of an imagined life force or form capable of embodying omnipresence.  In the first place, omnipresence is not a quality that can be verified through human perception, and one could deduce that its omniscience could not be calculated mathematically, either.  We’d be equally likely of proving that everything in the universe is six inches and five years older from where it was when we went to sleep the prior evening.  Or, solving the problem of the following sentence being completely true.  However, the preceding sentence is absolutely false.  Insert your favorite irreconcilable conundrum here.

Either atheism or theism offers us a 50% probability of correctness.  Adding a postmodern spin to this line of thinking, both propositions could be either true or false in tandem – god is both is and is not, or god neither is nor is not.   To anyone of an agnostic temperament, the false dichotomy of “god is” or “god is not” can be readily seen.

The latter of the postmodern assertions, that god neither is nor is not, is the same as suggesting that the question of the existence of god is irrelevant.  The former is highly suggestive of an issue of definition: a poor or deficient definition of a supreme being would allow for a kind of overlap between “isness” and “non-isness”, so the postmodern spin on the classic debate between theists and atheists does bear some illuminating fruit.  In summary, then, either god is, god is not, we have a poor definition of god, or the whole matter is completely irrelevant and we need to steer clear of this line of inquiry entirely.

Notice that while over the millennia philosophers have managed to develop some very precise qualities for a supreme being that must either be or not be, nowhere has anyone bothered to suggest the possibility that god’s existence or absence is irrelevant to us.  All of us would like to believe that the question of universe versus multiverse is critical to our understanding of ourselves, however no one has bothered to provide us with a really good argument in favor of resolving the matter without also damning us to some imaginary, eternal hell of fire and brimstone.  In point of fact, the atheist camp has some very astute observations in the direction of shutting the whole line of inquiry down post haste.

I am of the opinion that the mere fact that we are cognitively present and carrying on some manner of interaction suggests that there are some uni or multiversally important truths to be known that could well maintain the qualities of a notional omnipresent god.  So the atheists, for me, lose the argument up to the point where the theists fail to consider the complete irrelevance, in fact harmfulness, of drilling into the ancient details of what makes or breaks a notion of god that could be relevant to humanity.

For example, the United States has a long and proud tradition of celebrating its affinity with a trustworthy god.  It is printed on our currency and declared from mountaintop to sleepy hamlet, to a nauseating degree, that the US and all that it represents comes by its relative prosperity honestly, and has in fact been ordained by an omnipresent god that this be so.

Meanwhile the corporations and governments manifested and operating under the auspices of the United States have manufactured a nuclear nightmare on the same island of Honshu where they first dubiously dropped two nuclear bombs not quite sixty-six years ago.   But this time, make no mistake, the arrogance and stupidity reaches beyond the level of breathtaking since the Cesium 137 that is now spewing all over the planet mimics, at a molecular level, the presence of potassium.  So, yes, ladies and gentlemen, whatever the media reports as being the current “exposure level” of Cesium 137 in your local environment, they are at least understating the exposure, by a factor of 1,000, what will soon be present in our global food supply.  This is due to the fact that potassium is an essential element in the creation and maintenance of all life on planet Earth.  This means that every living organism will store and hoard radioactive Cesium-137 as if its very life depends upon it, courtesy of General Electric, and the molecular similarity of radioactive Cesium 137 and the relatively harmless mineral potassium.

Other than the questionable ethics and morality of ever bringing such a nightmare, “to light,” what makes this issue a matter of theistic consideration is the fact that most, if not all, of these “captains of industry” who operate these destructive economic leviathans do so because they believe their ultimate reward, and their ultimate justification to act, rests with their favorite flavor of deity whom they visit, religiously, on a weekly basis.  So while they may bomb Hiroshima or pollute the water table of Tokyo via Fukushima, they are forgiven for their misdeeds by a loving god who sees no harm and no foul in them because somehow, someway, an ethical justification for the good of what they do might possibly exist.

To the churches who dispense the dispensation and excuse the dubious morality of the individuals involved in propagating and perpetuating these environmental holocausts I say that you are at least irrelevant and probably a harmful affront to matters which should always be relevant and kept so for all time.  There is no reasonable justification for the worship of a god that asks for the destruction of one’s own ability to care for one’s self, now or ever.  Worship of such a deity is plainly evident in the behavior and the moral justifications of behavior of persons who are psychologically indistinguishable from serial murderers, psychopaths and sociopaths, yet who are presently occupying positions of trust throughout our society in the United States and abroad.  This is what theistic elitism has wrought and one very powerful justification for keeping the less dubious philosophical arguments for atheism front and center – a great many dishonest, murderous things are going on in our troubled world and theistic institutions provide at least “covering fire” for their perpetration, if not their metastasis.

In the end what is and always will be relevant is that any god worthy of anyone’s consideration would not ask, nor demand, that life be divided against itself resulting in its eventual extermination.  God, to be omnipresent, must be capable of providing both the seeds of all Life and must be the ultimate survivor of any observable, or unobservable, conflict arising as a result of its activity within itself.

Still, these god requirements do not represent anything of more relative importance than our treatment of the Japanese people, of any people or of ourselves.  Nor would a god capable of self interest, or obliged by a default survival requirement, ever ask or demand that we destroy our own wholeness in order to sustain our survival.  Survival and death are mutually excludable propositions, so nothing capable of bringing forth life “for all eternity” should be capable of countenancing its opposite in anything like an equal measure.

In the theism of the survivors of this century must rest a rock-solid commitment to the survival of the human species above and beyond the survival of any of its component races or creeds.  It has been our divided loyalty between church and our fellows that has lead to many painful lessons in self defeating behavior for many centuries of human history.

In future musings, I will offer up my thoughts on where the science, religion and postmodern/post-structuralist paradigm clashes seem to be leading us and the attitudes we might gainfully adopt out of enlightened self interest.

Kick Out For Change In 2011

Happy New Year’s Eve, gentle readers.

Corporate fascism is on the march, racism against Arabs on the part of law enforcement is thick enough to cut with a knife, Republicans in the legislature can dare refuse funds for the treatment of Ground Zero  heroes, Democrats refuse to come to the aid of Dennis Kucinich, 90% of the casualties in our mid-east wars are civilians (up from 70% during all of Viet Nam) and our President is a pestilent windbag of tepid air.  Strikes by labor and university students are global and virtually unknown by our media and ignorance and brainwashed stupidity have run rampant.

If anyone is feeling powerless this evening, imagine my shock.Here’s something non-violent we all can do together, starting tomorrow, that will serve to unify us in preparation for what must always fill the void left behind by an oligarchy fit for self indulgent narcissism and a suffering majority sworn to enable them.

We can “kick out for change.”

We can all decide to rise at 7AM, every morning and, after a brief stretch, kick into the air and say to ourselves, “I abhor the way things are.”  Kick accurately, with purpose, from the hip and then the knee.  Release the frustration caused by the powerlessness, and then carry on with your day – go back to bed and rest, or proceed with your regular routine.  What is important is that we are all deciding to do something together, quietly, in preparation for what we must do in the coming days, months and years.  We are many, they are few, but without a singleness of purpose we can be divided against one another.

So, upon awakening, follow these few simple steps for now.  Kick out for change and then watch what happens and what manifests when we add a physical dimension to our many billions of prayers for salvation, wholeness and unity of purpose.

These are the thoughts that consumed me as I watched what was left of the middle class down at the local warehouse liquor store stocking up for one good, long drunk that someone, long ago, decided was a good tradition to develop and maintain.  I have a new tradition that we can all adopt starting tomorrow and proceeding every day for the rest of our lives together.  We kick out for change, we kick out to bust through obstacles of all kinds, we kick out to put our apathy on notice that we will no longer be the sheep that we have all been until now.  We will do something together, in unison, that involves no threat and no clear platform from which we can be accused of terrorism or riot – just a clear physical and emotional statement of unity with the rest of the human species.

This, in truth, is all that has been missing from our lives and what we can chooseto put back, if ever so humbly, one day at a time.

Happy Military/Industrial Complex Junta Day!

November 22, 1963, Friday, democratic government in the United States of America was murdered in downtown Dallas.

What we have learned since the sine quo non of white-wash investigations, the Warren Report, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

1.        Lyndon Baynes Johnson, future President of the US, and H. L. Hunt (member of the Lamar Hotel, Suite 8F, Houston group) played crucial roles in the conspiracy to assassinate President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

2.        Jack “Ruby” Rubinstein worked as a Union informant for future President of the US, Richard Milhous Nixon from as early as 1947.

3.        George Herbert Walker Bush played a role in the assassination, a role requiring him and his wife to fashion more than one cover story to account for his whereabouts on this day in 1963.

4.        Dallas police officer J.D. Tippet, allegedly murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, was also working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

5.        Had the assassination of the President not taken place on this date in 1963, Lyndon Baynes Johnson would have been indicted and probably convicted for at least one political murder in the State of Texas.

6.        J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, was involved in the assassination conspiracy, attending a closed-door meeting with Clint Murchison, George Brown (of Brown and Root), H.L. Hunt and Lyndon Baynes Johnson at his estate the night before the assassination.

7.        Lee Harvey Oswald believed he was involved in a counter-conspiracy to derail the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.

What we now know is that our current President, Barak H. Obama, has given George H.W. Bush the Medal of Freedom and carried more than a nominal amount of water for the political factions represented by George H.W. Bush.

Rebel, resist or sign this nation’s death warrant along with the conspirators.