"...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

Dec 21, 2011

Natural Defecation Authorization

According to a number of blogs and websites, ranging from the Bircher to the Beech Street Choir Boys, we're all supposed to be like wicked upset about an acronym.

Specifically, the NDAA, which from what I gather is this totally nefarious parcel of freedom destroying paragraphs, subsections, clauses and dispositions which wipe away our ability to resist the police and shit. Oh, and it prevents people from doing dissenty stuff that Uncle Sam might treat as terrorism, or the corporate press will escalate into a story about public safety and the public good, about keeping the children protected from the monsters under their beds.

Not for nothing, the people really upset and pissed about this de jure restatement of de facto policy are white. And law abiding.

I wonder if these white people are like all in the doldrums because now there's some legislation which allows the cops and the Feds to get away with acting as if white people were black, hispanic or "illegal", or some shit like that.

Because the last time I checked, it's already fairly routine for people to be rounded up, held on trumped up charges, and shuffled into indefinite detention (or sent to the death house) with little or no evidence, or on executive say-so. Because they're not-white. Because they make unapproved social choices. Because they don't toe the line. Because society doesn't prize their obedience enough to spend loot teaching them how to police themselves.

And I'm frankly as tired of white people complaining about suddenly becoming the nigger and the Other as I am of Canadians who get themselves into a miff-midden because Americans are shitty voters who are at least smart enough to realize that voting doesn't make a difference.

People eschew voting for the same reason that people steal: it makes sense, if you can get away with it. Too many people vote, and not enough shit gets stolen, if you ask me. Not that you're asking. But whatever.

Laws aren't real, like money isn't absolute value. Laws are as unreal, and unrealistic, as paper currency. If you take a handful of dollars and wipe your ass with them, you've got some pretty - and pretty well used - toilet paper. The same applies to laws. Or vote ballots.

Only thing which gives them power is faith. What allows the law any power over your conduct is confidence. Sometimes that faith serves your survival needs, especially when there's a policeman two feet away, brandishing his aerosolized poison in a can, his right hand clutching at a tool designed to punch fatal holes into human bodies.

Sometimes it just doesn't, as in often. Because there just aren't enough cops in the world, or laws on the books, to tame an unruly people.

I'm not saying you're obligated to go out your front door and get all unruly. Your thing is your thing, and it isn't easy to jettison a life time of obedience training, socialization and faith in civilization. Most of what makes an individual feel individuated is in fact quite commonplace: mammalian needs, cultural conditioning, dependence upon arbitrary rule-making parents, abuse and desires thwarted.  We are, I imagine, less individuated than we tell ourselves.

Think about it: what makes the rich contemptible is their freedom from the commonplace, isn't it? Not that they've managed to inherit or steal lives which allow them to satisfy their desires and escape the punishments which discipline lesser mortals - but that to keep their lifestyles, the rest of us have to be disciplined into wage-slaves, to be bound up in restrictive norms, imprisoned in self-betrayals and programmed deficiencies, shackled with bad morals and bad consciences and otherwise made into instruments and tool-people. We get squandered, so they can squander. We're interchangeable, and we were shaped that way.

I'm not talking mere metaphor, here. Go on, quit your job. Break the rules. Walk up to a cop and punch him in the face. Throw a bouquet of harmless flowers into your Senator's face. Get close enough to the President to call him names, and then curse at him.

You will be replaced. By someone who has the same basic pre-programmed moral and social template that each of us believes is special and unique. Sure, I've got a picture of my wife and kids on my moral cubicle, while you've got your calendar open to the photo of a beach in the Caribbean, or if you're more of a dork, to some fantasy rendition of a dragon slash muscle car slash airbrushed approximation of a supposedly desirable woman-as-toy.

We're replaceable. And we fucking know it. It's why people develop pathologies, pursue obsessions, get depressed, masturbate like zoo caged orangutans, fiddle with religion, aim a gun/bow/magic spell at a digital demon, gossip about the office "whore," discuss films like they're personal adventures, read novels, cultivate hobbies, yell at the kids as if their futures are important, and do all the things that replaceable people do to distract themselves from their fundamental instrumentality.

It's why, I think, we haven't killed the fucking rich pricks dead, yet. The laws certainly aren't keeping us in place. Because laws don't work like that. And there aren't enough cops or soldiers on the planet, to keep people obedient.

It's that we know, because we were trained to know, that we aren't really fully human. We are, morally, intellectually and emotionally, machined parts.

The NDAA wasn't written to provide a sea change to public policy. It doesn't really change anything, because even without its passage, you, I and most everyone else can already be taken into custody, processed through the system, and incarcerated until the end of our days. With little cost to our earthly masters. And on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Don't take my word on it. Go ask a black American. Or an "illegal" Mexican. Or the eighteen year old just busted for "distribution" because her tail light was out and she had enough herb in the car to get herself and a couple of her friends stoned for the night.

If you quit your job, you will be replaced, and the machine will operate without you. If you go to jail, someone else will take over your daily functions. If you go to jail for long enough, someone else will slot his or her self into your family or role, and one day "your" kids won't even be yours anymore.

The NDAA wasn't written for you. It isn't a threat to the average American's life. It's not a law to get upset about. It's like fretting a law requiring you to take a shit. Don't goddamned worry it.

Unless you're ready to make the leap from machine part, to monkey wrench, that is. And then, it ain't nothing at all. It's less than nothing. It has no power. That's the fucking beauty of the de-moralization of your head space. Once you become an actual threat to lawn order, the worst they can do is cage or kill you. The laws don't fix themselves in your head, anymore. They become scenery. They stop being plot. By the time you're free, you're already free. And the game begins in truth, then, doesn't it?...


Will Shetterly said...

Y'know, if you're assuming you're safe 'cause you're a male honkey, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Jack Crow said...

Nah, Will. It's just that most of the so-called "losses of rights" and "invasions of privacy" that white folks complain about have been field tested on brown people for generations.

Randal Graves said...

Dammit, I remember when the white male 18-49 demographic meant something.

Word verification: paudryme, if that ain't a word, it should be 'cause it looks Middle English pretty.

Mark S said...

"Oh? The NYPD are treating you badly? Violent for no reason? Weird." -- Black People


That was widely re-tweeted this fall. All it took to find it again was a search on the string: police black people weird

First hit.

Lisa Simeone said...

Lemme see if I understand this correctly:

a) If you haven’t been fighting injustice with every fiber of your being for your whole life, you have no business fighting it now.

b) If you have been fighting some injustices but have been insufficiently inattentive to others, you have no business fighting them now.

c) If you’re not a member of an oppressed minority, you have no business speaking up on behalf of anyone or anything.

d) If the abuses that have been and continue to be perpetrated against oppressed minorities spread to the entire population, it’s all good. The more the merrier!

e) If you believe that the criminalization of speech is a big deal, you’re naïve.

f) If you believe that blacklisting and indefinite detention are a big deal, you’re naïve. After all, people survived McCarthyism, and Japanese-Americans survived internment in camps during WWII, and people survive in jails all the time, so you can, too.

g) If you believe that the rule of law means something, even as you recognize that it’s not always followed, you’re naïve and it’s no big deal that abuses occur. Because they have to occur, because the rule of law actually means nothing.

h) If you believe that the assassination of American citizens is a big deal, you’re naïve. Because the U.S. has been assassinating other people for decades, and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.

i) If you believe that the evisceration of our rights is a big deal, you’re naïve. We never really had any rights to begin with; we’ve just been deluding ourselves.

j) If you think your government shouldn’t be spying on you, opening your mail, raiding your house, applying pepper-spray with swabs to your eyeballs, knocking you out with Tasers or LRAD, or beating the shit out of you, you’re naïve and should thank your lucky stars that it hasn’t happened to you already.

k) If you believe that the designation of you or your fellows as “domestic extremists” or “domestic terrorists” for posting on blogs is a big deal, you’re naïve. If you don’t have the courage of your convictions and aren’t willing to go to jail for saying things like, for example, “Fuck the TSA,” then you’re naïve and should expect to go to jail.

l) If you think fighting to prevent yourself and your fellows from becoming serfs is a worthwhile endeavor, you’re naïve. You don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually accomplishing anything anyway.

m) You should just throw up your hands and go to a disco.

n) All of the above.

Okay, now I think I understand.

Enron said...

"If you think your government shouldn’t be spying on you, opening your mail, raiding your house, applying pepper-spray with swabs to your eyeballs, knocking you out with Tasers or LRAD, or beating the shit out of you, you’re naïve and should thank your lucky stars that it hasn’t happened to you already."

I am not sure if you understood it correctly

Jack Crow said...


I'm not dealing in shoulds or should nots, if that helps.

I'm just saying that the law itself means nothing, and it's nothing to get upset about.

People are getting themselves into frenzies over the passage of a law which formalizes the de facto powers already arrogated.

The law is an a posteriori justification of pre-existing practice. It's the practice which is dangerous, not the law. So, don't worry the law.

If you've got yourself, as a rule, to the point where you can condemn the practice and disobey those demanding conformity to it, then you don't have to care about the law.

Look at this way: raping children is bad. It's always bad. You don't need a law passed to tell you it's bad. You don't need a law passed to tell you that you should probably stop the rape of a child, should you come across it. And there's no law on the planet which can fill you up with the rage which might follow from discovering a child rapist doing his worst.

Laws are paperized intent. They merit no rage, no worry, no concern and no loss of sleep.

Jack Crow said...


Gratis, for the link, my friend.


I've expanded a bit, next post.