"...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

Aug 21, 2012


Expectation does not alter function.

The expectation of an outcome will not change the function of the tools used to achieve it.

The desire for an outcome bears little resemblance, upon close scrutiny, to the expectation for that same outcome. Training and memory produce expectations. An expectation premises that certain behaviors, plus a given number of tools and techniques, will result in a set of conditions which share overlaps and similarities with prior ends and conclusions, as promised by memory.

Organic memory lacks the reliability often associated with it. Cultural and exosomatic memory do not exist in a separate plane or protected bubble, untainted by organic memory. It takes organic memory, conditioning and perspective to interpret those memories stored outside of the body.

In every personal history, desire predates awareness, training and memory. Desire does not even presuppose awareness, though awareness would not likely develop without the recording of the memories of the satisfaction or thwarting of desire.

Awareness maps environment, but it does not take the same form in every person, or across every region or age. In order to identify awareness, memory must function, and feedback to and upon itself in a loop. No memory, no self awareness.

But, memory lacks reliability. Memory has no built in reward for enduring accuracy. Memory does not demand perfection. Memory rewards success, which definition itself does not remain stable over days and months, never mind years and ages. Memory, like desire, exists for outcomes which do not obligate truth, and which patently award error, so long as error results in the satisfaction of needs and desires.

Desire functions with memory, retaining its effect through memory's mapping of success and failure, strengthening and waning according to expectation - but memory will not record perfect facts separate from the feelings of reward, pain, pleasure or other strong emotions.

Desire reminds of need or want, but does not itself satisfy either.

The desire for an outcome will rely on memory to promise its satisfaction, or warn against failure, but memory - especially untrained memory which stumbles about unconditioned by an alternate and uncommon set of skills associated not with self-preservation and gross satisfaction but instead with self-regard and even vanity - will not reliably predict the conclusion of behaviors and choices if the satisfaction of desire or need forms the greater part of the feedback loop of awareness.

No person escapes desire. Not one.

And this adheres especially to the desire for outcomes associated with the use of tools, techniques and human memories.

Social communities function as tools, in part, for their members. They exchange persons as organisms into persons as resources. Every form of society or community, however enduring or temporary, obligates the use of unreliable memory, in order to map out relations of power, skill sets, persona, likeability, adversity, enmity and fealty. These memories lack both stability and permanence, as well perfectibility.

These memories form the basis of all hierarchies. A hierarchy functions as a trainable, and learned, set of responses to others by way of the repeated and reinforced forging of memories - establishing dominance not as a natural or supernatural condition* of existence, but as damage to memories already susceptible to error.

A person may expect the satisfaction of desires which that person cannot achieve as a repeatable outcome precisely because that person's memories produce patterns of errors which reinforce the likelihood of programmed blind spot, bias or self-betraying behavior.

A person raised within a hierarchy will very predictably and regularly reproduce these errors from the exercise of desires continuously thwarted by abused memory. Only those persons in the power positions of a hierarchy retain successful behaviors, because their skill sets allow them to train memory to preserve the hierarchy while still allowing them to see how it functions to reproduce in its support layers - and victims - the behaviors that keep them from seeing what those in power see. They learn to maintain a system which they must also actively conceal.

Most people in the power positions of a hierarchy will receive the correct training which allows them to duplicate its existence into future generations. By accident or by the seemingly random development of necessary character traits, some will climb, lie, flatter or claw into better positions. These types often present an initial danger to that hierarchy, unless its training allows for their easy assimilation, or expulsion.

A hierarchy functions as a social tool.

The use of a tool obligates the experience of an outcome of its use. Tool use will result in an outcome in every imaginable circumstance, because tool use alters environments - but that outcome will not necessarily match expectations or memories of the tool's user or users.

A person should not perhaps expect that the use of a hierarchy will result in outcomes for which that hierarchy does not function.

A good way to illustrate this, maybe, would involve brushing one's teeth with a chainsaw. The desire for clean teeth exists. The expectation of the outcome, also. But not every tool will produce the outcome expected and desired.

A person can apply a chainsaw to his teeth.

We might all find it rather surprising if this decision to so actually cleaned them.

Perhaps equally surprising, all the same, is the very persistent conviction that hierarchies which function to preserve the power and wealth of their members, by subsuming others into them as less-than-human instruments, will somehow magically produce fairness, universal prosperity, rights, accord, peace, liberty and justice for all...

* - despite the claims of perennialists or their liberal adversaries, the meritocrats...

Aug 11, 2012


I had a temptation to write, "Americans have forgotten the feel of war," but truths in the need of telling, that sounded a lie in my head, before I ever wrote it.

The last two wars fought hard on this continent produced a triumphant, and yet equally morose religiosity, coupled feverish and desperately with a stern national faith in the right to expand limitlessly; two senses of life clutching at each other like a pair of illicit lovers tucked into a piss soaked alley, more grappling for dominance than making love.

The War For Slavery and the Indian Wars. And Americans still stamp the seemingly endless ramifications of those contests upon the skins of others.

But, we don't know war.

We don't understand the wake of death and chaos, the sundering of families, the breaking of heart and spirit, the degradation, the shattering of human perspective, the hardening of hatred.

We can't even remember it, because our faiths have no roots in memory. They burrow, instead, into the morrow, nematodes of belief seeking out new flesh and new victims for our devotions.

If you don't hate this America, this complex of ideas and beliefs and redemptive, holy violence, I say to you that you should know firmly now what side you've chosen. And that you should suffer it.

I want nothing more fervently than for war to come home. To tear this nation of 300 million predators and prey animals into tattering shreds. I want us to learn what it's like to be an Iraqi child, who watched her mother scurry towards the market, wincing at bomb blasts in the distance, and who never saw her come home. I want us to feel Hiroshima, Dresden, all of Vietnam, the Philippines, the Lakota, Arapaho, the Comanche, the Colombian and Argentine peasants shackled to the needs and ugly urges of Catholic putchist paramilitaries, Africa savaged Africa, to feel what we never even managed to learn to forget: war.

Until no more America ever lends its name to even a square inch of earth.

Even that would not come close enough to what we've taken wheedled, wrought and bought - returned in due and debts paid.

We have nothing worth saving. We should dream of no pale reflecting wings of angels, come to redeem us. Had we humanity at all, we would raise the white flag and let world have its vengeance, passive witnesses to our earned destruction, mute and without complaint.

But we lack that humanity, we Americans. We do not strangle our bosses and cops where they sleep. We do not take to the streets or the beaches, to echo even the flimsiest of French protests. We certainly have no Greek in us. The young of Egypt shame us, and they struggle against a reactionary Islam and capital's endless succession of martial juntas.

And we do not walk away.

So, war should come. And come, and keep on washing over us until we've left so little to remind our victims of the days of our dominion, that they can raise their heads and pity our remnants.

Aug 2, 2012

Or not

I have less to say, and fewer words with which to say it. I feel healthier for the first time in several years. I've managed to shed forty-five pounds since January, thirty-five of them since the first of May. I have my runs up towards the double digits, which has taken almost forever since a pair of fairly awful ankle injuries and a tumble down the side of a tall hill.

My kids still have to put up with me, and my wife is still foolish enough to go to bed next to me most every night.

The world still sucks.

And the fucking rich keep getting fucking richer.

But, being healthier does change the outlook some.

More on that later. Or not.