"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 17, 2013

How To Kill

If you can't dispute a man's actions on the merit of those actions, feminize him:

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen seemed likely to win the contest when he confusingly dubbed Snowden a "cross-dressing Little Red Riding Hood."

Because, you know, being just like a young girl at the mercy of a predatory beast is a condemnation of...

...well, obviously, not the predators.

(original quote from the H-Post)

Jun 13, 2013

Contamination Testing Kit

1. Introduce the FBI, CIA or NSA into a conversation. The more randomly done, the better.

2. Make "outrageous" claim, along the lines of: "The real problem isn't that the FBI, NSA and CIA don't communicate, or that as organizations they torture, spy and frame up with near impunity. It's that their members aren't required to dress up as circus clowns whenever on official business."

3. Contemplate the bright beauty of NSA snoops sitting at their terminals, garishly attired, faces a'painted in sideshow colors, noodling through sensitive materials in search of a pay raise or a promotion. Or, if your tastes run to the baroque, the image (captured as if frozen in time) of a CIA case manager briefing an asset in a Lebanese McDonald's parking lot, each astride an oversized tricycle seat - the agent dressed as Bozo, the asset as a rodeo clown.

4. Wait.

5. Suggest that appointment to the CIA, NSA or FBI be made only on the basis of a sliding scale of preference for Frosted Flakes, Grape Nuts or generic brand Cocoa Puffs. People who like Frosted Flakes are assigned positions at random in the FBI. Grape Nuts aficionados are shunted off directly to the NSA, where they will spend their first week of orientation being fitted for custom, clown nose and performance accessories. Week two will be scheduled entirely for training in make up self-application. People who like store brand chocolate corn ball cereal are put on a boat for which the only port of call is Mersin, Turkey. If they make it back , they have to nominate a complete stranger to take position in the CIA, using only the "pick a random name out of the phone book" method. If they don't make it back, they're the Turks' problem.

6. Count the number of seconds until the respondent uses the words "national security," "law," "order," "prevention," "terrorism" or "crime." Multiple the number of seconds by one if this reply includes the word "Islam" or "Muslims." Multiply by two if it makes reference to "cartels," "illegals," "Mexicans," "Latin America" or "the inner city" and "gangs." Multiply by 2.5 if the concern centers on "leftists," "ecoterrorists," "union thugs" or "militias." Multiply by three if the response insists upon "threats" from Russia or China. Multiply by four if it includes a redirection to "organized crime" or "the mentally ill."

7. The lower the final number, the more likely it is this person will be able to not only justify your arrest, torture, incarceration or death-by-government to his or herself, but also to actively support it.

There is nothing occurring anywhere on the planet which reasonably justifies the existence of the CIA, the FBI or the NSA. The degree to which someone disagrees with this assertion is the degree to which that person can be relied upon to sacrifice you and your interests should the occasion ever arise.

Jun 10, 2013


Goodbye, Iain Banks. You were one of the finest to ever take up the quill.


Not knowing enough about Edward Snowden to do more than check the spelling of his name, I will nonetheless steal a moment to consider his distinction from our other, more notorious leaker of government secrets, Bradley Manning.

Before I do that for the six readers I have left (finally, I'm back where I belong), here's a redirection towards Tarzie. It's worth a read.

For mine own, I think it's worth noting that the professional security state operator, Snowden, who is an alum of both the CIA and the NSA as well as a private contractor, showed far greater understanding of the system in which he chose to play his hand, than young Mr. Manning.

This is not, you would understand, a critique of Bradley Manning. Manning is no dummy, and I reject the notion that he was a misguided naïf, on the evidence. But, Manning did what he did without seeking egress from that system. He played his hand while betting his life.

He risked everything while he was still at risk.

Snowden, it would appear, was far more sanguine to how the network operates. By the time he decided to go public with his name, he was safely ensconced in the embrace of the Middle Kingdom, where efforts to "extract" him will come up against the rough reality of "international incidents."

As a matter of temperament, this recommends Snowden to me. He was clever enough to have an escape plan. For all that I appreciate his apparent skill in striking a blow at empire, I trust him less for having been smart about it. This is the mistrust that comes from recognizing a player of high stakes games for what he is.

We can admire his gamble, and the consequences of it, but it would be smart to remember that unlike Manning, Snowden's was the gambit of someone who knows how to adapt to and exist within a predatory environment.

This isn't a moral judgment against Snowden, who I don't know, or a backhanded swipe against Manning, whom I've also never met. But, on the surface and at examination, these are different men. And it costs nothing to keep that in mind.

May 30, 2013


Early and current depictions* of "virtual reality" tend to portray the experience as immersive and isolating, not unlike pornography. The popular treatment of virtual reality is one which enhances the experience of self to the detriment of the self's ability to determine what is or is not reality. The standard model of self, in these treatments, is that of a single personality dominated organism which can generally determine what is or is not real, until it can't. Reality is questionable, but it is generally posited as an "out there" which can be defined as (a) participatory but also (b) not subject to significant alteration, such that the definition of "real" is substantively changed.

What is emerging as the actual popular virtual reality (outside of very narrow training regimens, especially in the military) is something altogether different. This emergent trend will probably look inevitable from some future point in history, only because it will seem both path dependent, and perhaps more importantly, more human.

By "more human," I mean, occurring within enduring narratives about ourselves.

The "enhancement overlay" trend represented by Google's Glass does not ignore something seemingly quite basic to human experience: people will aggregate. Given the opportunity to share the creation of narrative or artifice, technology will follow this path even when isolating and immersive alternatives exist (the obvious outlier again being porn, which went from the collectivity of public theaters, into the hyper-personalized experience of home porn).

What is perhaps even more significant about the "enhancement overlay" structure being built is that takes into account and is structured upon - knowingly or unknowingly, I cannot say - the already existing mode of awareness commonly called "faith."

Faith is an enhancement overlay, learned from without through training, reinforcement and the investing of symbols with purpose and value, but generated afterward from within. Faith tends to express in participatory, real world play, but it depends upon the individuals engaged in it to maintain that set of overlaps and symbolic realignments of reality into wonders, signs and meaning.

Google's Glass will very likely do the same.

And because of this, it will be subject to hacks similar to what occurs to and within faiths. Faith is routinely "hacked," wherein the existing moral strictures and symbolic structures are re-purposed towards new interpretations, which are then shared, normalized and spread.

The uses for those in power are nearly limitless.

* - the execrable but fascinatingly anvilicious "The Unincorporated Man," The "Chung Kuo" series by Wingrove (well, until the awful ending), eXistenZ, Total Recall, Strange Days, Johnny Mnemonic, Vanilla Sky  - deviations which tend to reinforce my own point include Otherland, by Tad Williams, TRON and The Matrix trilogy.

May 25, 2013


I wonder if, once the technology becomes pervasive enough to be affordable to the new emerging middle class of corporate technicians*, the next wave of "innovation" and art will be re-imagining real space with user-created overlays. I wonder, also, how it will function to separate out those who can afford to script their environments with self-generated, customized and licensed overlay from those who must live in a merely meat space.

* - and the support system monetized enough to allow for "creative play."

May 16, 2013

Does it follow?

If movement conservatism's hallmark is hyperbole in defense of a past that never was, does it follow that institutional liberalism's defining trait is hyperbole in the defense of staged retreats from a past that never came into existence?

May 9, 2013

Switching Modes, or Changing Gears

Being unwell means having less to say. For me at least. Right now I feel better, and have even managed to complete a run long enough to help me run the skin right off the bottom of my left foot. I switched to "barefoot" sneakers last year, and they are harder to adjust to when run season picks up again. I'll have useful callouses in a couple of weeks, but right now, my feet are mostly sore and too-tender.

Being moral and political is like that. Somewhen around twelve years ago, a grew a conscience, pretty much out of nowhere. At the time, it was not an especially welcome development. I'd always had a capacity for empathy, but I didn't really feel the need to use it all that much, since life had prepared me for the ethical premise of "don't trust people, get away with what you can get away with, and for fuck's sake be smart about the shit people punish" and mostly it worked for me.

I think my kids entering into the verbal and then the moral stages of development forced a double bind that I couldn't really negotiate all that well, so I opted out, morally. This isn't sustainable for any period of time if you need an ethical system in order to justify distasteful choices or choices which others view as distasteful, and you therefore need to explain on the fly.

So, right about the time I was burning out as a member of the management caste, I was also having to teach my children about moral standards, without having much of a moral point of reference from which to work. I knew enough to know that my ethical premise wasn't going to work for them, because they didn't live within the same conditions that obligated me to form it.

I was raised by Carmelites, Xaverians and dissident Jesuits and I mean this in a not-metaphorical way. I spent more time in the company of people in Orders, than not. All of my adolescent and newly complex notions about correct behavior came from being influenced by nuns, brothers and priests who were (and I know this with the depressing bathos of hindsight) radicals. And then, from rejecting them. Which meant, in those halcyon days of the pre-internet and relatively well-stocked public libraries, books by Rand and Nietzsche, and the very commonplace and easy to afford rebellion of sex, drugs, "Satanism" and rock and roll - with an emphasis on the occult and drugs, because...really, I never managed to pass for handsome.

But, being ejected not only from my class and from my social milieu, but also from my foster family*, as well as being expelled from high school and losing scholarships along with a short track to officer training in the Marines, I fell as far (then) as possible without becoming a "unchaste" woman, gay or black. My view of human relations were never utopian, or anything but cynical. Now, I was positively misanthropic.

This works just fine, I've found, for people who are outcast, since social betrayal at that magnitude tends to remove any options for redress, or the seeking of alliances from people still within the bosom embrace of acceptable norms. Misanthropy makes sense, especially when you're an outsider who has no lower class social groups into which he can integrate.

Abused children have trust issues. Outcasts tend to belong to those groups already pre-identified as victims. I was a very good victim, because I had enough passion to fight back against the teasing, and bullying, and group cohesion reinforcement, but not enough wit to realize that the best defense isn't defense at all. So, I routinely fell into the trap of refreshing my own target status.

By the time I was homeless in Boston, I was broken. Not in a mechanical toy kind of way, where all the pieces are lying there on the table and it's kind of sad to see them in that state, but fuck it, there's another toy on the shelf at the store.  I mean, broken in the way bones are broken, and meat torn from them, and maybe things don't grow back the way they used to be.

And then several homeless Puerto Rican men saved me from being sold off for rape, because I thought was going with a guy to steal watches, but he was negotiating a price for my ass, and they put a hurting on him because he'd done it before. They took me in and when I could put sentences together again, and perform basic self-maintenance tasks, and with their encouragement, I went "home."

"Home" wasn't a house. It wasn't a family. It was small New England town that hated me. And I hated them back. I didn't deserve to be the scapegoat, the outsider who has to pay so that the group can define who is a winner and who is a loser. I didn't deserve it.

I couldn't get my head outside of that loop, the one based in merit and deserts. I self-medicated. I stole things. I fell in with the scumbags - or, to be accurate, the other scumbags. I got it into my head that, yeah, alright you fuckers, I will be your satan, then. And that's how I stopped caring if I deserved it or not. That's what being a scumbag does to you. It liberates. It's a purgative, if you can survive it. It gets the colony out of the head.

I survived. I clawed. A lot. I hurt people who got in the way of me not being held accountable for my choices, because I figured I'd already had all of my allotment of punishment, and then two or three other people's lots as well. In traditional parlance, I went bad. I've met a number of abused children who followed this course, as well. It's like we only get to understand ourselves as Survivor Saviors, or go bad. Being abused turn your life into an either/or, because that's what all punishment does.

Punishment is about forcing people to make an either/or distinction. Punishment doesn't correct. It has never reformed.  Punishment defines who is a loser and who is a victor. Punishment establishes civilizations. It's the four chambered blood pump of business, law, family, religion.

So, there's that. I knew it instinctively, which is say, without having to verbalize it back to myself and argue with strangers in my own head. I was beaten as a child. Locked in closets. Raped. Stabbed. Tied to a woodpile in the middle of winter. Imprisoned in the garage for days on end, surrounded by mouse traps to make sure I didn't move from a prone position. And beaten. Did I mention the beatings? I still get headaches. I still can't be hit without having to manage down a very strong fight/flight response that, unmanaged, results in people who have cause to regret striking me from that moment onward.

This does not make for a good starting point from which to parent children. I've discussed this with other people who were abused children. We have a lot in common, and one of the defining characteristics is a marrow level doubt of all discipline and punishment, but coupled with a strong desire to make sure your children never become victims, which ends up looking a whole lot like aversion training and iron discipline and a school for mistrust.

I didn't want to be me and have kids, so I jettisoned everything - and it was symbolically easy, because my whole life at that point was a crisis.

When events had settled back into a semblance of normalcy, I was a leftist. I took all that distrust and self-doubt, and worry over my own capacity for bad behavior and disproportionate self-protection, and I channeled it into fighting a Big Fight.

And that's been fine, as long as I have been parenting small to pre-adolescent children, especially as the home parent. I mean, I'm an adult parent, so I am also automatically a failure as human person, a hypocrite and a breaker of my own rules. And I hate the job, because I really like my kids. But, the leftism was morally consistent with my own attempts to teach my kids to be cunning in their self-protection and empathetic.

But, now my boys are almost adults.

And perhaps not incidentally or accidentally, I have fewer and fewer attachments to this leftism, this urgent need to fight a Big Fight. Perhaps, it's because my children are now facing the actual prospect of having to sell themselves, and I want to be the model for a way of life which is neither strife, nor self-annihilating revolution. Or maybe it's because I know from past modes of self and memory that it doesn't work, this leftist critique of society. Nobody is convinced. Nobody cares. It's time to cut losses and find a life boat.

I don't know. I know. I don't care. I want to care. I think these are the callouses, morally speaking.

But, I feel better. I feel almost healthy.

And I want my kids to thrive. More later, or not as it happens. We'll see...

* - for transgressing too far, which meant (at first) "spoiling" the purity of our high school headmaster's best friend's daughter, and by "spoiling," I don't mean actually having sex with her. I was lower middle class. Olive-tan skinned. Catholic. A good student, but with no access to the social groups which actually confer a chance of success, and who was already working at thirteen, so with no time to do the "volunteer" work that gets you into the NHS, and similar organizations. She was wealthy, her parents were church leaders, Protestant, very White. It's almost cliché, really...

Apr 21, 2013

Over Night

So this is what's been demonstrated. A city can be militarized over night. Not metaphorically over night. Literally. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Mar 19, 2013

By Way of Reply

Competition is an ideology. It is an assertion of the primacy of a single perspective, in a cosmos which permits neither primacy, nor single perspectives. "Competition for survival" is an ideological, almost spiritualized, overlay upon observed phenomena. Ants do not compete to win their niche. They do not have a war plan, a game plan, or victory as an intended outcome. They do ant-ish things, and sometimes this works out for colonies of them.

Competition is itself a moral claim about an amoral world, but it lacks any of the grace or efficacy of other moral claims, like cooperation, mutual aid, nihilism or apathy, because competition asserts as its fundamental and only claim that those who win are better for having done so.

"Better how?" is rarely answered, because to do so is to lay bare what competition really proposes, as a way of life: "I have defeated you, and now I will not only eat your life, I will memorialize this act of cannibalism as history, religion, culture and law."

Competition, as a moral claim, assumes that cannibalizing the lives of others is not only good, it's an improvement over all other ways of thinking or being human.

Mar 12, 2013


Why can't we have a society where the sick, the depressed, the lonely, the broken are sheltered? Why is this anathema? Why are we actively thwarted in establishing a polity, a Commons, where a a person who is clinically depressed receives care as a priority? Why must society be arranged so that the cruel, the hard and the domineering receive all the social benefit, where people who can use others and dispose of them have all of the machinery of state and culture and advancement at their disposal, but where a child who cannot explain her sadness is just supposed to shut up and get tough in order to prove her moral worth?

Why is that men who rape and abuse are routinely forgiven their transgressions, in a set of networks organized to isolate their pasts as off-limits to their present, but a woman who "experiments" once is a whore now, was a whore then, and always ever after will be a whore?

How is it that a relatively small cabal of people who treat others as mere tools can order up and maintain vast armies, exploitative systems, niche polluting power systems, alienating transportation grids and whole continents as rent extraction regimes, but basic survival for the rest of us is a drain on the system?

Is this natural, inevitable, the consequence of merely being human, or is it in fact a history imposed from above, enforced with violence and privation, and therefore subject to alteration?


Mar 10, 2013


Please read Devin Lenda's donkey pyramid scheme. It reminds me, again, why I walked away from Omelas.

Mar 9, 2013

And to be clear...

...we are already extinct. We just don't know it yet.

Anatomy and Dissection

So, a couple of conservative acquaintences are gloating and bleating to me, already, about how Hugo Chavez was a liar and thief and how socialism is all about stealing money from the poor and hard working so that jumped up peasants can live like kings. Yeah, I know. There's bunches of cross pollinated bullshit and bad logic in that.

In questioning one of them, I was trying to understand where this notion of Chavez stealing money from Venezuela was coming from.

I didn't take long to find out:
The  Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), which defines itself as a risk assessment and global analysis firm in Miami, claims that Chavez left about $2 billion dollars to his family. They allege he gave $5 billion to the Castro brothers each year in oil profits, from companies he stole. They also concluded that since 1999, he and his friends in the Bolivian gangs have stolen $100 million in oil profits.
The conservative echo chamber is a twitter with the news. Problem is, as with most conservative "facts," it appears to be the fabrication of a single man, one Jerry Brewer (he who is CJIA, pretty much all by himself), who didn't even say that Chavez stole the money. He said he believes that Chavez probably stole as much money as he believes the Castro brothers have "stolen" from Cuba, which guesses would be around $2 billion dollars.

I suppose it's just fairly predictable that conservatives can't conceive of socialism except as theft from the "real people" who really deserve all the world's wealth because they have the right morality, phenotypes and gods. I suppose there's also no use wagering against the likelihood that conservatives will reduce world figures into Bad and Good. Manicheans just think that way.

But, you know what I find really insidious about the treatment given to Chavez's legacy?


As a politician, Hugo Chavez was a force of nature, as strangely masterful as he was polarizing. But as an economic steward, the socialist firebrand was something sadder and far more ordinary: "an awful manager," as author Rory Carroll succinctly put it in the New York Times today, who squandered a world of opportunity after he took over Venezuela's presidency in 1999.
Which sets up this conclusion:
But judging Chavez's record on poverty in isolation would be a mistake. Brazil, Peru, and Colombia also made significant progress on measures such as poverty and child death under more traditionally capitalist economies. Latin America, on the whole, was growing. It would have been hard for it not too: It's a resource rich continent that's reached relative political stability at a time when the world is desperate for oil, food, timber, and minerals. It was a bit like being dealt a pair of queens in Texas Hold 'em -- a very good hand, which  Chavez didn't play particularly well..

... Chavez isn't leaving Venezuela's as a full on economic basket case (we're not talking about Zimbabwe circa 2001, here). But rather than helping the poor by setting his country on a path towards long-term prosperity, he attempted to resurrect a long-discredited version of state driven economics that's led to the deterioration of the country's most important industry and wreaked havoc with its consumer market. It's hard to imagine who in the long run will benefit from that legacy. 
Conservatives may conjure up stupid phantasmagorias, sure. They do it all the time. That's what you get when you trap people in god-driven moralities and bourgeois sentiment, spending a quarter of their lives immersed in bootstrapper mythology and the seemingly concrete belief that one's victories are a reward for one's own, individual effort.

But, what explains the market technocrat, eh? What explains the merit liberal, who cannot conceive of the use of a resource for anything but growth?

Something far, far worse, I imagine. A triumphalism which makes the conservative variety look like an evening with Mr. Rogers.

Mar 5, 2013


I pity the fate of Venezuela.

Feb 28, 2013

Choreographic, Chiropractic

Markets are like ideologies, because they are ideologies. They do not occur by a process of natural accidents accumulating into persistent structures which evolve into self-propagating systems; they are choreographed, they are planned. Ants do not have markets, because ants do not create ideological spaces where values are determined and recorded. Ants do not sell. Monkeys do not sell. Crows do not sell.

They might exchange, those non-ideological creatures. But, they do not create and impose markets. Ideologists of markets would have you believe that markets are merely systems for exchange, that they occur whether or not people want to have them, that they are naturally arising.

Let's test this hypothesis. Say nothing for a week. Write nothing for a week. Type nothing for a week. Do not pay any bills for a week. Do not obey your employer, for the next seven days. Do not engage in any employment which obligates you to trade your labor for numbers recorded in a file. Do not make any purchases for a week. Do not enter into any agreements for this same period of time. Do not attempt any non-verbal communication. Do not explain any behavior to any other person. Obtain only what foodstuffs you can consume by casual theft, accident or happenstance.

Report back, if the pleasure so arises, on whether or not your outcomes were similar to that of the previous week.

Or, do all of the things you normally do at the supermarket, gas station, landlord's office, employment site, city hall and big box retail outlet. Take everything you want, but do not offer any paper or digitized numbers in return. See if you are "naturally" allowed to retain your even rudimentary liberties and freedoms.

Do not, in short, perform acts of valuation. Have needs, and meet them. If you aren't thrown into prison, it's because you are either very, very important or very, very wealthy. If you are deprived of your freedom, and forced to exchange even further ideological value in order to re-lease it, please afterward explain how markets are "naturally arising."

Markets are like gods: without the word, without the text, they do not exist. It is not nothing that, as Shlain insightfully and clumsily infers in his The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, that the written word shows up with the advent of priesthoods. It is not nothing that gods and markets cannot be idealized and faked into existence absent language.

It is not nothing that when Apples tries to sell you its latest tablet, it does so through choreographed goat-plays, accompanied by a liturgical rite.

Feb 24, 2013


I'm not an atheist because I don't believe in God.

I don't believe in God, which is a clumsy way of stating that I lack belief in God. Belief is a narrative function. Belief is a story upon the completion of which, in the final sentence of the text, or the last frame of a series of emotionally colored images, the believer is instructed to begin the story all over again. Belief refers back to itself, closing the story in order to re-open it.

I make no value judgment about that process.

I just don't tell myself these stories about a God which resolve themselves into narrative cycles whose only function is to prevent their own cessation.

It's not that I don't perform this function. I lack this capacity only at least when it comes to stories about god(s). I'm pretty certain I engage in this narrative function each time a take a step, or fall to sleep assuming I've a decent chance of waking up, or kiss my wife as if her reaction will be mostly enjoyable for all parties involved.

But, I'm not an atheist because I don't tell myself stories about this mutable character, god. I'm an atheist because none of these stories satisfy a significantly stronger urge to test the character of this character, and to always find it wanting. From my point of view, there is simply no way to posit any sort of god (a creature by definition more powerful than mere mortals, if only in the way comic book superheroes are more powerful, by possessing a hypertrophied attribute which allows this god a greater chance of winning feats of strength, or contests of wit) who interacts with humans and doesn't come out of the relationship having harmed the human person.

And there is no way to posit a god who doesn't interact with humans, but is somehow still known by them, and find that character credible. That story - the god who is known, but who exercises such restraint as to never interact with humans - corrodes itself the moment you begin to tell it. It generates doubt. It collapses its own ability to sustain itself to the end sentence, and the instruction to return to the beginning.

There can be no god who isn't a monster, in the same way that there can be no government which doesn't govern.

It's not that god is or isn't real. "Reality" wouldn't even begin to be a valid descriptor which could apply to creatures which are not bound by the realized constraints of existence within contingency. It's that any god which can be conceived, must be conceived of as a monstrum, as a portent of a thing which mutates into an agent of harm at the instant of its conception. And any god which could be conceived of existing beyond human knowledge, or effect on human existence, decays with an astonishingly rapid half life: the narrative degrades the story it's supposed to sustain.

If you can identify with that monster, and not immediately be sickened unto death, or feel dread at the consequences of your fealty to that story, by all means enjoy the behavior. I hear also that some rapists enjoy raping, which no more justifies rape than the consolation felt in supposed unity with god justifies what the god must be, or not be at all.

Feb 18, 2013

A Day's Work

The death of a man with Down syndrome who was reportedly killed after lying face-down in police custody has been ruled a homicide. WJLA reports that Robert Saylor, 26, of New Market, Md., was asphyxiated on Jan. 12, according to a medical examiner's ruling late last week.
I'm sure better writers than I will come at this story from more significant angles, but what sticks out for me on first read is the following section:
Baltimore County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jennifer Bailey said the case is still under investigation and that the three officers involved in Saylor's death -- Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris -- "continue to work their normal assignments," according to the Post.
If you have a moment, imagine killing a young man with Down's Syndrome and returning to work the next day. The viciousness of murdering a twenty something with Down's Syndrome, aside, is there any other caste of people who can take a life on any given street in the US and return to work the next day, to be paid to do it all over again?

 I mean, other than the President.


Feb 12, 2013

Fuck the Motherfucker

Flashing back:

Thank you, Tim Minchin.

Jan 28, 2013

What I Prefer

What I prefer is to see women and children cut their attackers down. This is not to imply that they should not do the thousand other things needed to liberate themselves from the system of men, to challenge the assumptions about femininity and masculinity which shuffle people into oppressive norms, to create spaces which exclude the gender most likely to act as tormentor, abuser, patriarch, raper and rent taker.

In any system where sex* is rent, where childhood is debt and where gender is a distinction intimately tied to notions of property, propriety and right conduct, revolutionary violence is appropriate. It may not be the only response; it needn't be exclusive. But, it is justified.

If we can accept as generally true that labor must seize the means of production, and that morality is a limitation imposed from above in order to prevent just such a revolt, we must of necessity also concede that those who suffer the consequences of the domination class' control of property, family, wealth and gender itself have something akin to an inalienable freedom to harm those who would subject them to this system of alienation, and that any attempt to moralize or condemn this harm is expressly and intimately a decision to maintain oppression.

What I prefer is for women and children, for all those who have been feminized from without as a prelude to their submission, to organize as Furies, as winged erinyes, and for a period of no less than a decade, to have free reign upon the agents of their misery, until men understand in their marrow that what came before comes no longer, ever again. 

* - both as the act of sex, and as gender

Jan 19, 2013


Lady depicts torture in movie. Shame!
Dude orders torture in real life. Well, at least he's not Mitt Romney.