"...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

Jan 26, 2012


I'm not grateful for new employment. The money is terrible, but it's nice to be doing something, and to have a little extra for, I dunno, groceries. There's only so many times you can feed two growing children pasta or chicken thighs before you find yourself face down in a muddy pool of teenaged rebellion. Not that I'm against teenaged rebellion. I just prefer it directed...elsewhere.

The grocery money is nice, all things being equal, which they are not. But I'm far too old to have any gratitude for work, or for being directed around the stock room by a child. Work blows hot dog chunks. Orange-pink flecked half digested kibbles of mechanically separated trademarked meat substance.

Even more especially when what's playing on the overhead is country music. I'm not suggesting to you, by way of vicarious memory, the dulcet melancholy of a blue grass which gets low to the ground and stays there, or the dusty and dirty back shack moonshine fiddling of Appalachia and the bayou. I mean what was coming out of the speakers, all fucking day, was New Country.

If you want a reliable formula for cracking the code of New Country, I'll give it to you.

Aaah, that's a lie. I'm going to type it whether you want it or not. So...

Start with today's date. Dial your mental clock and calendar back twenty years. Try to recall whatever was topping the charts as mainstream pop-rock those long, lost twenty years ago. Remove any bass lines which groove. Add a steel guitar. Stir in one or more white people willing to confuse nasal warbling for singing, and have them improvise a "story" based in dialogue written by George Lucas or Michael Bay.

New Country.

And I could almost ignore it, by hour three, except that it seemed like every twenty damned minutes the station was airing this nasty little gem:

I'm not surprised the god goons of NHforMarriage and the NOFM finished up their moral figuring and settled on a New Country station as the best outlet for the melted butter bigotry of, ahem, compromise. And I'm probably the second or third last person who thinks that a law is the way to keep Teh Gays from being discriminated against, or from being married in the naves of Christ-moldy church-holes.

But fucking aye, you'd think the shitclowns at NHforMarriage - and in all their brother organizations - would have kenned by now that pretty much the only people in New England who give a fuck about the cohabitating and vow-making of homosexuals are the kind of people who also think it's a good gods-be-damned idea to drop tonnage on Iran and send das troops into Syria.

If you're looking for what degrades or corrupts the, heh, marriage bond, you ain't ever going to find it the affections and affectations of homosexuals. But, you will find a whole lot of sundered wedded union in the wake of deployment, military industrial centralization and the austerity which follows war upon war. That shit is disruptive. The gays, not so much.

Not that any of it matters. The same fucking lackwits who can reconcile their affirmations with endless war, and who can even come to believe in it, are certainly capable of scapegoating dykes and queers for their own broken marriages.

Still, by the sixth or seventh time I'd heard it, I wanted to crawl up into the rafters and shake loose the speakers. There's only so much ign'ant a person should allow through the sensory filters on any given day. And then you just got to go find a motherfucker what needs some punching...

Jan 25, 2012

Cat's Paw Choosing

My cats sit at their food bowls off feeding times, certain in the magic efficacy of their own corporeal presences. Looking up with expectant eyes, as if to suggest to me by mystical notions that, yes, their being at the bowl is all the sign I need that they too have a vested interest in the outcome of my actions.

And when I do not feed them directly, even if only an hour after their last feeding, they yet persist. Eyes to empty bowl, and then to me. And back to the bowls again. Doing their cat sorcery.

I do not feed them. Not until it's the time arbitrarily set by the human gods who occupy these rooms.

But they insist on making the show anyway, convinced of their magic prowess. Certain that they have moved me to pity. Sure that their arrival at the place is all they need to achieve their ends.

It reminds me, most of all, of Americans queuing up at the polls on voting day.

Jan 19, 2012

Wasted sentiments

I don't understand the outrage over laws. Laws follow power. They do not create it. Everything you need to know about a law comes down to this: can it be enforced?

If yes, then the law is clown paint. If no, an invitation to disrespect.

If the power exists to enforce the law, then the outcome is already given. If the power does not exist to enforce the wasted sentiments on a legal page, those sentiments are as wasted as any written about law.

SOPA, NDAA, AUMF, Resolution 1929 - they mean nothing. If the power exists, the law follows it. If it does not, it's about as useful as Bob Avakian's wishful thinking.

Jan 12, 2012

Sacred Monsters

Ours is a peculiar age.

Judging from the mediated outrage attendant upon the revelation that American soldiers lack the proper respect for their recently corpsified prey humans, there seems to be a notion, prevalent at least in the commentariat and corporate media, that soldiers don't behave that way.

I don't know what herbs the outraged have been smoking, or how deep their cynicism actually runs, but I think perhaps that what they are, in the end, is victims of their own propaganda.

We live during a period of history in which populations and their gatekeepers are so medicated with symbolic anodynes that it's quite possible those selling their outrage feel some semblance of it, and genuinely.

But, ours is a peculiar age.

If history can be trusted - and some measure of it reflects old truths, despite the visible hand of the victors in writing it - there are a few constants to civilization:

1. Large populations are ruled through religion, law and force of arms.

2. Usually, the religion and the law are imposed by force of arms, until such time as subsequent generations learn to adhere to the beliefs and attitudes of their masters, and the long sleep of self-policing takes hold upon the somnolent body politic. For any polity or civilization durable enough to last beyond its own founding epoch, an internal enemy is required. This enemy is the social whipping boy. This enemy symbolizes the failures which follow from disobedience, faithlessness or an incomplete absorption of the prevailing moral norm: licentiousness, wanton sexuality, illicit esoteric acts, the stealing or corrupting of youth and perhaps most egregious of all, the formation over time of defensive sodalities. See, Jews in Christendom. Women, in Greece. The capite censi and Phrygian mystery cults, in Rome. Palestinians, in Israel. Et cetera ad nauseam ad infinitum.

In the US of A, the whipping boy has historically been black people. They endure the physical and moral nightmares of the long sleep of peace; they are the receivers of its transference and the scapegoats for the frictions and problems which tend to arise and accumulate in memory, whenever humans pretend that living together in large hive like structures is somehow native to the hominid condition.

And, to do unto whipping boys, a society will need to produce people who want to wield the whip.

3. Whenever a polity, society, region or civilization enters a period of flux, doubt or insurrection, it produces not only discontent, but those who try re-established lost faith by attacking the visible symbols of its decline.

4. This insecure type is already drawn towards enforcement, even during eras of relative quiet. In fact, soldiery and policing depend upon the twin attractions of sanctioned violence and permissible punishment. Whether during flux, when all discontent tends to be folded into the category of internal enemy and scribbled over with the attributes of the whipping boy, or during the decades of peace which punctuate the more common human tendency towards irascibility, those willing to do violence against doubt are made sacred by the uniform. The uniform hides. The uniform reveals. But most importantly of all, the uniform permits.

5. Not surprisingly at some point a population usually develops a healthy and rational disregard for cops and soldiers. Men with permission to do violence and a reward at the end of it will act violently. They are already temperamentally suited to it by a disposition towards acting out their insecurity on the heads and bodies of weaker persons. And they are paid to stay insecure while wrapped in moral and physical armor.

The soldier, like the cop, has not been well received for much of recorded human history. The soldier means death. The soldier, like the cop, is a reminder that this life is lived for the enjoyment of those people who can afford to pay the soldier. The soldier is an ill omen. If you can see him on the streets, somebody in power is feeling dicey. Throughout much of history, the soldier was set apart in barracks and special colonies, for his own good. Quarter the soldier with the people, and the people will eventually cultivate a taste for killing him.

But, ours is a peculiar age. We wouldn't dare...

Because, we are reminded daily, "we" love our soldiers. They are the best of us. The brightest. The backbone of the nation. A soldier is God's special angel with a backpack and a rifle. "We" invent and repeat whole cloth fictions about how the disobedient routinely mistreat soldiers, spitting on them and refusing to celebrate their glorious return, at airports. The soldier, like the cop, is a well armed victim. He is surrounded by lesser men, jealous enemies who would degrade his spiritual orgone and unman his virtues with negative vacuum vices.

It's a liturgy in its own right, this Mass of the universal golden soldier.

It's also background. So look at the foreground. Look at what the be-rifled soldier does. Examine this cult of the noble warrior not for its conceits or its maudlin sales pitch for jingo tchotchkes. Take a long hard gaze at what the showmen are working hard to conceal.

Which is everything that soldiers exists to do.

But, we are a peculiar people living in a peculiar age.

So, instead of taking comfort in the reminder that soldiers are by and large the sacred monsters of this final Americanist age, we get sophomoric sentiment instead. And are expected to mumble it into our own cups, as well. We are told, all over the print, the display and the telly screen, that our soldiers are and ought to be better. That we have to need them to be better.

We are instructed in image and text to need them to be elevated. To perform their wars and occupations as if they were less and more than the human, and anything but the sort of men drawn to blood sport and sanctioned degradation.

The real worry, though, would be angelic soldiers. What we who are ruled should fear perhaps most of all is an age of war and occupation where soldiers did not act like soldiers, in which there is no corpse mutilation, cruelty, disrespect for the dearly departed, cultural ignorance, anomie, adrenaline thrill murder and the disregard for the feelings of the natives sufficient to provide for the dehumanizing distractions warriors and soldiers are wont to seek when in need of provisional entertainment.

I know there's a whole lot of shocked sentiment or bored cynicism about the subject, but truthfully if our lords and masters ever manage to breed and train up a perfectly behaved, respectful, culturally sensitive and gentlemanly species or type of solider, we are well and truly fucked.

Our governing caste of powerful families serves a ruling class armed with imperfect instruments. If they ever manage to produce a well behaved and moral soldier, we can kiss dislodging them from power and from their colonial redoubts within history and memory, for a very, very long time to come...


h/ts to:

Rob Payne
Al Schumann

Jan 10, 2012

New Hampshire

Romney: I will give you austerity and war and you will thank me for my lily white face and my squeaky shoe Mormonism.

Obama, from the White House shadows: Yeah, but I'll give you austerity and war and someone to blame for it.

Goldman Sachs: Meh. It's all good for us.

Jan 6, 2012

Petty Squabbles

I guess a certain blogger needs occasional reminding that an attempt at an inversion - and one which is admittedly undertaken with a decent chance of failure in mind - is not the same thing as a "rehabilitation."

Jan 3, 2012


"American women face a stark choice in the Iowa caucuses: re-elect feminist President Barack Obama who has advanced equality or caucus for a Republican who pledges to roll back generations of progress."
~ The Younger Pelosi