"...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

Apr 29, 2011

Misericorde, Revisited

I walked home from an early season run, today. My ankles swelled up. My eyes blurred, capitulating to an urgent need to lose their focus. My knees showed their decades - and recent winter weight - of hauling around a worthless donkey carcass pretending at humanity.

I didn't make it as far as I'd intended. I made it further than I expected. So the walk back took a while.

I had a difficult time seeing. I mean, the senses duly reported, and distorted - but none of it registered on its own terms. I kept overlaying the political. Apartment buildings transformed into oppressions. Road signs as warnings. Roadways as caustic reminders. The riverside as border.

I couldn't see. I could only evaluate.


My pain and age didn't get in the way of seeing.

An unanticipated immersion in a self-important moral universe did.

A calculus of all-or-nothings, of dull and lifeless economism, of gender and race and ethnicity all threatening my integral experience of the sensible world with their insistent bodiless bellicosity. I tire of complaint, of self-pity and the mockery of vitality that is modern radicalism. For fuck's sake, them as rule don't listen to whiners. Scare them, already...

Four blocks from home, I reached a moment of clarity - and absurdity. My views and beliefs did not drop away. I still have them in my head, knocking away at door which no longer opens.

I just unexpectedly lost my burdensome concern for strangers.

We have choices. We make them, and they will never approach perfection.

 I do not choose the salvation of strangers. I can't do it.

I want instead to tongue my wife's bunny hole until she forgets her name and I remember that I have never really had one. Go hiking with my kids. Drop a line in the ocean with a friend and help him bring in dinner. Run up Mount Washington. Get lost in the Allagash. Drink moonshine with lost cousins in Kentucky. Send my cousin's son to film school. Punch motherfuckers who irk me. Raise money for foreign orgies. Start a godless religion for tricksters. Steal all the copies of the Fountainhead from the local outlet of a national chain and use them as kindling for a bonfire - to burn copies of the Torah, the Qu'ran and the New Testament. Run skinheads and hasidic wifebeaters over with my car. Or at least have them think I will. Get drunk in public. And stay that way for weeks. Convince half the PD to quit with offers to guard gambling houses at three times their municipal salaries. Convince the other half to quit with all expense paid trips to islands which don't exist.

I don't want to save anyone else.

I fucking reject all salvation.

I think it's just best to take the opportunities which present themselves and leave systems, economic hoodoo and revolutions to the assholes who always end up ruling over them, betraying them, and in the end (yes, Owen Paine, you witless boring nitwit) turning them into the next last thing.

If I have fight in me, I'll fight. If I prefer to lurk and sneak, I'll do that. If I want to fuck my way to the darkness, more love to me - and you. I'd rather steal, corrupt, bribe, offend, disobey and defame where I can get away with it, and pass unnoticed whenever possible.

I want to run when I ought to and never again look down on a good stabbing in the back. Some people will never deserve good faith, and I'd betray my meager humanity to give it them.


For idiots.

The future belongs to people comfortable with ruins...


Jack Crow said...

Also - good bye, Joanna Russ.

Good for you, Trump. Bammy is not an eleventhy dimensional chess master. If he was, he wouldn't have made you look cagey and shit.

Fuck royals and royal weddings. Guillotines should never have gone out of fashion.

senecal said...

Rebel without a cause, eh, Jack? That too is a pose.

Jack Crow said...


Jack Crow said...

I don't know what you're getting at, Senecal. I don't strike poses, for me to be taking another one "too."

mike flugennock said...

Y'know, as someone who's always thought that a good old-fashioned ball-busting revolution could straighten this goddamn' place out, I still can't help but agree with you.

About 12 or 13 years ago, when I first got involved with the DC chapter of Indymedia as an editorial cartoonist and "samizdat newsreel photographer", I believed my job was to chronicle the upcoming peoples' revolution. Twelve years and a shitshow or three later, I've just about thrown in the towel on any chance of a much-needed revolution going down in this country, and have decided my "job" is, instead, to chronicle the collapse.

And, y'know what? I'm totally comfortable with that. It was tough at first, as this realization coincided with my fiftieth birthday (2007) and the kickoff of the '08 Obama campaign, which succeeded in sucking down what passed for a Left in this country and swallowing it whole. But, now...? Hell, I'm totally cool with it. Fuck it, man.

My big dream now is to convince my wife that we should retire to Puerto Vallarta, where we can hang out in our favorite beach joint, sip margaritas at sunset while waiting for the band to go on, and watch this whole shithouse go down from a safe distance, on TV, until I get bored and ask the bartender to put the soccer game back on.

Jack Crow said...


My wife is not political. I have it in spades, even when I'm not trying.

She can name flowers I don't even notice.

I used to know the various names given to a single star. Now I couldn't even find it in the night sky.

She's put up with my affliction long enough. It's time for me to give back.

I live in a country of four (to give homage to Vonnegut).

It's time to show them where my loyalties lie. That's the real genesis of the whining complaint, above.

I want to know and perhaps even believe that revolution is possible. Then I go to Walmart to buy the cheapest toilet paper, look around, and know we're fucked.

The most radicalized person I now know is my closest friend - and he was a gun loving Republican business owner less than two years ago. He still can't say the word "socialism," and yet just tonight he made a socialist argument to me, about money and the distribution of goods and skills.

And sometimes, I think his hybrid approach is the one which will get him and his own through. He's got a few parcels of land, half a dozen apartment buildings, a fishing boat, a farm and an orchard. His plan is to be able to provide food, clean water, and a home to everyone he loves.

We were different, him and I, for a long time. I always pegged my hopes, my plans and my politics on collective action. On solidarity and unity. But I stored nothing up by some wasted good will.

He's got material assets, a willingness to part with them for people he loves, and a desire to carve out a small space he can defend.

I imagine that's doctrinally offensive to some people we know in common, but I also suspect that on the other side of the coming collapse, his experiment will still have a chance being found running, because it accounts for people as they are, and not as they ought to be.