Occupying an empty house

My friend Maureen gets frustrated with me because i keep slinging all this outlandish stuff at her, and as one might expect, she has a hard time getting it sometimes, and an even harder time imagining that any of it might be true or practical. I keep telling her that money is over, she keeps telling me that people use money for good things. I start hanging around Occupy Wall St. and its attendant movement and she feels alienated because she lives largely from Stock Exchange investments. Maureen is not the only one with this issue; a man appeared at our GA in CSpgs last week deeply troubled by the fact that we “haters” were trying to force his grandma to eat cat food because as he noted, “Wall Street”, that is, the package of various stock offerings available there, is owned diffusely by grandmas and retirees, penny-pinchers and wheeler-dealers all over the world. My friend and this guy are both put off by the extremely jarring nature of the realizations at hand that have precipitated huge crowds of traffic-clotting protesters into the streets. (Actually that stranger stayed for the GA and came around, while Maureen has an injury preventing her attendance, so this is kinda for her, as well as everyone else).

The issue with the money that’s causing problems is closely associated with the Global nature of Occupy! and because of that, its fragmented nature. Both issues are rendered all the more discordant to many by their perceived urgency among occupiers. We want things to change right now, not after the next bullshit election cycle, but rather before we all die when the food chain collapses. Many within the movement at hand will object to what i posit here, but there really is no way around it in my own mind, so i have no choice but to put it out there. The FED, the IMF, World Bank, Bank of England, Royal Dutch, Al Rajhi, etc, etc, and their intertwined financial/military/industrial destruction machine already exist as a very solid Global beast with utterly uncontrollable and ravenous hungers. We humans are equally as Global, and Occupy! is the same. The destructive elements in this conflict as well as the creative are out of the hands of nationalistic players, and our old notions of money and its production will not save us in time. Once again, if it were gonna, it woulda.

I’ve put this educational chart up before, and if you have no motivation to look any further then i hope you’ll just go get another beer and stay out of the way. The World as we know it is a disaster, and we made it so. Don’t give me that crap about global warming is caused by dinosaur farts. We’ve dumped more toxic shit into the ecosystem in the last century than can be said to have even existed, anywhere. If Humanity can’t effect the world, like one hears on Rush, of some of those other insane programs where are all the American Bison? Passenger Pigeons? Pennsylvanians drinking tap water? Live, healthy corals? Why are so many of us completely, stubbornly ignorant of these obvious and urgent facts. It’s the Fear, of course, and it’s actually propagated deliberately by some, who fail in turn to recognize that they are trapped by it themselves. we’ll move on to the business of the Fear another time.

Plenty of accusations fly around about who caused the money crisis, the environmental crisis, and any other crisis at hand. It really doesn’t matter, and even though some players have obviously been behaving recklessly, some in succession with conspiratorial characters of some pedigree, we absolutely must give up the hatred and sort out solutions, if we want to live. There are a few links at the bottom to articles, (and one video–don’t like ’em myself), on financial and economic collapse. There are plenty more. The point is to assure you all that our monetary system, the means we’ve “developed” through haphazard mutual throat-slitting for trade and interaction among ourselves, is fucked. We can’t fix it. The “money” we’ve been passing around isn’t reflective of anything real. The “price” we pay for things has utterly nothing to do with their intrinsic worth or their scarcity in the world. This is our collective fault, not simply the fault of a couple Rothschilds and Morgans. We all scrabbled to keep up appearances and grubbed around to buy stupid shit we never needed, or even used. The numbers involved down at the FED are so unrealistic they’re meaningless, and trade imbalances and the like merely amount to spiffy terms for describing exported slavery, a kracken which is quickly coming home to roost for Westerners intent on prolonging the petro-economy for the sake of the god damn Fear. There is no money. Its value has been pilfered away by milquetoast pirates one Stewie Griffin party at a time.

The ends of the Dollar and the Euro represent terrific opportunity. Not for making more money, you dumb-ass! That’s the thinking that’s got us in this state in the first place. Some reasoned arguments exist that attempt to exonerate the financiers held up by many Occupiers as responsible for this mess. It really doesn’t matter. The people playing this game, which are all of us, have all been working at competition together ever since we began to establish societies. We didn’t know any better at the time. Now it’s apparent that the approach we’ve been taking isn’t working. If you are trapped in a mindset that insists on claiming a bigger slice of pie, or plaintively keens of the potential virtue of money if only it flows through the right hands, i’m sorry for you. Because when this all really hits the fan, you will be completely lost. We own nothing, except stuff that’s really not worth much, if you figure it in money. At some future point it may be necessary to argue these points at a higher level, because financiers are fond of obfuscation and bullshit in the literature, and hate to admit to themselves or anyone else how evilly they’ve been behaving, but soon enough the thing will collapse beyond the need to parse words.

So follow. The Earth is in the balance, because of the natural behavior of human beings when set loose to compete. Humans also have an innate drive to form societies and cooperate. The mechanisms of the old competitive game are worn, and the game is pretty much decided. We’ve already abandoned borders within the confines or the Game, only keeping nationalisms and “racial” distinctions in place when convenient to some other aspect of the Game, like the continued propagation of slavery, or the demonization of controllers of certain resources. Pull back and look a little. It’s 100% game players causing all the wars in the world, all the food shortages, all the misery. Do we really give a shit what color or religion a thirsty guy in the desert may be? Am i really worried about Iraqi invaders pouring over the horizon? Please! Even if all the current unrest and destabilization isn’t manipulated by people who thought George Orwell was writing textbooks, none of this is necessary. We don’t need petroleum, (look it up yourself fer cryin’ out loud). We don’t need to hate a bunch of desert nomads just because our shitheads set them up in business as a part of a grand scam. We don’t need to compete.

Cooperative living is so much easier and less troublesome you naysayers will be feeling really silly before this is over. It’s OK, though. It’s not so easy to see, at least for now. If it takes too long to avoid the pain you’ll see soon enough. Come see us then. What we have isn’t worth money but i am rich, rich rich! And this Manse won’t collapse, with or without money. Stay with us….


Yer in the Army Now….

So much has been happening lately I’m afraid this will be a big confused mess, but what th’ hey, right?
The world is in a Meltdown. Hell that’s the reason I have time for this crap, ya know? This is NOT a surprise. We’ve all known it’s been coming for a looong time now, though it’s hard to nail down that specific moment when we knew. Maybe we always did. I’ll get to how I think we’ve known, and how we didn’t know we’ve know a different time. For now, a somewhat more imminent thought. Here’s one place to find a buncha bone-chilling stats http://www.theglobaleducationproject.org/earth/index.php . The numbers are everywhere. This is only one source, and far more officious, (don’t mess with me, I used that word on purpose), sources are available. YOU look ’em up. Anyone wanting to look fuckin’ stupid can tapdance around them til–well, til the Apocalypse–and they’re not gonna change, cause tapdancin’ won’t change it. If it was gonna, it woulda! I already put it more or less in a nutshell: WE’RE FUCK-ED!!

But we’re not. We’re still breathing, still eating, drinking, fucking, pumping out babies, and so on. I have two accidental children whom I love without bounds. I genuinely thought it would be rude, at best, to sire a new Person and foist all this bullshit upon him16 years ago when the pertinent romantic interlude took place. Maybe it is, in way, but in plenty of other ways life is as always a thing of such great, broad, deep beauty that I think all potential for its fulfillment ought to be pursued. (Don’t imagine I’ve converted to Catholicism or something–that though was rather more metaphysically driven, and you should put on a raincoat if it looks like rain. Or waders if it looks like–you know ;)) Look around, though. We’re ALIVE!! More than we know. And life shows us in every discrete packet of light entering our retinas that it will rise, no matter what. We can’t kill the Earth. I rather think she’d prefer us to work this out, but she’ll be fine. We can certainly destroy our ability to live here as Humans, though.

In Consider the Lilies, I started to explain what I’m up to here. Every time I approach that question, the answers that come to me sound more and more absurdly grandiose. Save the world? I mean, reeealy! when I was a young child, like in the 3rd grade or something, (no shit–ask Mom), I was politicized and set in a frame of mind opposed to fascism, oppression, and unkindness, for lack of a better term. Everyone knows this is the course of idealism, though, right? I got out in the “real” world and it struck me that one must make some pragmatic concessions to get by. Right? We all learn this, don’t we? Usually when it “strikes” us it’s like a brick in the head. It’s usually thrown at us by some cog in the Fascist machine.

If you’ve read the earlier posts, or caught my live rant, you’ve likely been puzzled by my carryings on about money being a bad metaphor. It’s outdated poetry, good for a time, now hopelessly outdated like that ridiculous, overwrought Victorian romance shyte you may have read in college or high school. (Leave them kids alone, teacher!). “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling, ” wrote Oscar Wilde, and the old thing has gotten us a long way, in fact, it’s gotten us right here. Fucked. Or on the cusp of some spectacular event(s).

We live in a competitive world. Whichever doctrinal approach one embraces, whether scientifically mechanistic or holding out for divine fiat, it’s the scrabbling over game pieces that has us in this sinking boat. Everyone has to have a buncha shit they don’t need, in order to display for all the other poor losers how dominant they or their team has been in the Game. This isn’t a fuckin’ game anymore, though. Look at those numbers again. Do you really think a little half-assed reduction in increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 100 years or whatever is going to save the human race? Get real! Do you really think we might someday pay off our $23 trillion debt, or whatever it is? What’s that shit, anyways? To whom do we owe it? When did we sign that contract? Didn’t someone steal that from us last month? Do we really think we can survive a collapse of the oceans, the food chain, the watersheds, etc, etc, and so on?

I may be grandiose and ridiculous, but I can read the writing on the wall, in the sky, on the face of the Moon. We’re gonna need to stop fiddle-fuckin’ around and wrestle this shit to the ground, or we’re all gonna die. Our kids are gonna die. Our grandkids, if we live to see them, will be mutant freaks like Goldbloom’s fly monster, just like the poor fucked up three-eyed fish around Chernobyl and downstream of a BHP Billiton mine , (BHP: Broken Hill Properties. It’s only a secret if you close your eyes, kids). They’ll die miserably, and the Earth will breathe a sigh of relief, having fought off a pestilent Virus. Or we can CHANGE EVERYTHING.

I saw a panel discussion at the community college yesterday, (PPCC). A Bahai, a Buddhist, a Pagan, and a Christian philosopher walked into a bar and the bartender said, “What is this, a fuckin’ joke?” Oh–sorry. They actually sat behind a table and spoke as cogently as they were able, and we all took them fairly seriously, if with the standard portion of salt–you know it’s still all bullshit, right? A thematic keystone was the notion that we’re all One, that it’s all All-One. You’ll notice me playing that riff for all I can wring from it. It’s got a lot of Soul, and it sounds good. When I say we’re all gonna die, I don’t mean all us minor league players. The whole stadium is collapsing. It’s already collapsed in a lot of ways. Check out my friend Skip’s posts about the Federal Reserve. Don’t be tapdancing when you read. The Fascists will die with us. Their secret bunkers won’t do. Competition is over; the game pieces are reduced to Parker Bros. parts. Cooperative living is at hand.

Only LOVE will save us. That’s right, y’all.Think that’s hokey? Sure. It is. But that’s a view from the old game. I put this shit up because I believe it. I’m just as much like water as anyone else. I’d stay comfortably here at the lowest level if it seemed for one second to me like that might be an option. It does not. It is not. Change or die. Right now. Today. Look me up. I have a couple ideas, and I bet you do too, if you were to stop concentrating on that tapdance.

There are many, many more things to say about all this. Come back and see us, eh?

Viva la rivoluzione!
Viva l’Esercito dell’Amore!

(Reprinted from Hipgnosis)

US press protecting corporate identity of Melamine-poisoned milk recidivist

Melamine is back in the Chinese food chain, coming from milk product supposed to have been destroyed after the food industry scandal which killed six Chinese infants and left the health of thousands permanently debilitated. International conglomerate Danone was named then among the villains, but at that time, many of those implicated could claim to have been unknowing accomplices. What excuse could there be today for the resurfacing of the tainted stock, sold to Ningxia Tiantian Dairy by “an unnamed company as a debt payment”? International readers have nothing to fear from Ningxia products, but what of the culprit in this transaction? Why is that identity being concealed?

Just as when the poisoned food products were discovered in 2008, Western consumers were not exposed to the baby formulas which hit Hong Kong, or the Oreos, M&Ms, or Snickers which reached Indonesia. The melamine infused large western conglomerates Kraft and Mars, but endangered only their “loyal customers” in the East. Which didn’t mean that US consumers couldn’t affect their buying habits to punish Danone, Kraft and Mars.

The Famous burger not most famous

Burger from The FamousOnce again COLORADO SPRINGS STYLE nominates THE FAMOUS for the city’s best burger. It ran against the usual lineup of respectable dining establishments plus King’s Chef, the token dive, but there were notable omissions worth pointing out. At the crux, The Famous grinds their own hamburger from bits trimmed from nonpareil $40 steaks, but we’re talking Iowa corn-fed variety, not prairie grass fed beef. You can find a free-range burger at Adams Mountain, which is listed, and Manitou’s The Keg, which is not. The health aspect is a first omission that might have informed local diners immeasurably.

Ranch Foods Direct, and their packing house on the west side, is a regional wholesaler of sustainable, safe meat. But they supply only a few local joints, from The Blue Star to Cy’s Drive-in, to Barney’s. If their burgers didn’t make the culinary grade, I think it’s worth noting they are orders of magnitude healthier than what the others are serving. Get that word out, and those restaurants charging $12.95 for a burger will allocate some of their cost to better beef.

Conways Red Top was also overlooked, whose burger is arguably Colorado Springs’ most famous. Red Top’s giant burger had its own chapter in Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation. The local chain was praised for its favorable labor practices and better food sources, in comparison to its fast food competitors. Red Top has since made some compromises with its hamburger patties, but they’re still a local favorite. I remember once taking some Norb’s Whole Burgers from carryout to a Spring Spree park event downtown. Amid brats and roast turkey legs, Hawaiian tacos and the usual concession fare, everyone wanted what we were having.

Thankfully STYLE ignored the fast food chains, the ceaseless Carl’s Junior ad barrage notwithstanding. Likewise there was no dwelling on the corporate theme restaurants for whom the better burger is a raison d’etre. Those omissions, if you’re avoiding the mad-cow feed-lots, meet our approval.

Plastic as far as you can see and can’t

Plastic barrel encrusted with sea lifeHere’s an interesting exception among the photos accompanying a recent NYT article about the mass of plastic detritus, twice the size of Texas, floating in the Pacific Ocean. This barely buoyant plastic barrel, demonstrates why plastic does not qualify as flotsam.

As sea creatures inhabit this barrel, it becomes encrusted and weighted down causing it to slowly sink. After enough time at great depths the ballast of barnacles is eventually sloughed off, prompting the barrel to rise again to the surface. The scientists call it a “yo-yo effect” which describes only the motion. The living organisms cycle and decay, but the plastic goes nowhere but up and down, all the while leaching its toxins into multiple depths of the food chain. The submerged plastic meanwhile hinders our measure of the inaptly named flotsam. The point being that the collection of garbage which we observe on the surface, whirling in this giant Pacific gyre, is only the proverbial tip of a plastic burg.

It’s worth noting that the article which the NYT picked up, came from a reporter funded by SPOT.US, an innovative journalism collective whose investigation projects are financed by the readers. If novice reporter Lindsay Hoshaw hadn’t made the pitch, and spot.us readers hadn’t advanced the budget, the NYT might never have gotten the story.

The great Pacific gyre, located between Hawaii and the continental US, is estimated to be only one of five such garbage patches in the world. It was encountered only 12 years ago by someone returning from a round-the-world race. We all know plastic can evade airport security metal detectors, who knows, it probably flies under the radar. Plastic surpasses its creators’ hyperbole. Besides having a durability to rival radioactivity, plastic has the power of attraction to morph into masses the size of two lone star states, in 3-D, and cloak itself as successfully as Osama bin Laden.

Don’t eat at Chipotle Grill- it’s not food with integrity

Attack of the Killer TomatoesEat ‘food with integrity’ rather than at a McDonald’s spinoff fast food chain that serves bad Mexican food and products picked by exploited laborers. No integrity there. 2008 Chipocrisy Tour …Don’t eat at Chipotle Grill until they change their ways.

Send Postcards to Chipotle
Pre-printed postcards to Chipotle are available from Interfaith Action, the Immokalee-based group that coordinates religious support for the CIW and is supported by the PC(USA). Just contact Brigitte Gynther by email or phone (239) 986-0688 to request the amounts you need.

Write Your Own Letters to Chipotle
We encourage you to write letters to the CEO of Chipotle, urging him to work with the CIW now.

Mr. Steve Ells, Founder and CEO
Chipotle Mexican Grill
1543 Wazee Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202-1443

See more about this campaign at Campaign for Fair Food

No fishing

no-fishing.jpg Everywhere life is under attack despite our sweet little Colorado license plates urging us to ‘respect life’. Unfortunately though, there is little in capitalism that does respect life much, whether it be human life or other. If we did respect life, then we wouldn’t have allowed our world wilderness areas to be reduced to ashes and ruins. We would not have allowed our oceans, rivers, and lakes to be degraded. We would not have allowed THEM to degrade US, since how can a degraded population really not turn around and degrade other forms of life, too?

One form of life we are in increasing danger of losing is fish. Fish may soon become a thing of the past for most of us in our food chain. The day of the cheap tuna or cheap sardine may be soon gone for good. Many of our water ways may soon become dead zones, as many already are. Just how bad is the situation now?

‘Only 50 years left’ for sea fish says it all, and the situation in fresh water is no better. See Silent Streams? Escalating Endangerment For North American Freshwater Fish We take no action to stop this destruction of fish life simply because most people are too busy defending the society they live in rather than trying to change it.

But look what is being defended here? Our neighbors are defending the extermination of life by their defense of the status quo. Soon there will be no fishing and it will be because most of us played stupid for so very long. I will miss the fish, as so too will your children and their children, too. Destruction of life is permanent, and this will be the legacy of the capitalist system on our planet. The legacy will be dead zones and desolation. Time is about out.

A fan of McDonald’s

McDonalds fan
BEIJING- Could there be a more offensive marketing campaign than this one? McDonald’s has taken a revered Chinese symbol and turned it into a corporate billboard. Beijing 2008 brought to you by an American fast food chain.

In the “open-24/7!” store in the Athlete’s Village, McDonald’s touts one or two “healthy” menu options buried deep beneath the grease-laden, e-Coli-infected, allegedly-edible garbage they offer. Message to young people: you, too, can bring home Olympic gold if you shove this shit in your mouth and work real real hard. Just don’t forget that you must also pay constant homage to Nike, the goddess of victory, except when honoring Ralph Lauren, the lord of the Great Gatsby set.

Remember, too, that you mustn’t offer up your MasterCard, for that is a grave offense. These gods only accept Visa, your ticket to the world.

Korean education system beats US

Forty thousand demonstrate in Korea against US beefThe next time you are in a line of cars wrapped around a fast food outlet showing your interest for a burger. Consider this photograph. These are forty thousand lit candles, held by 40,000 South Koreans who do not want American beef allowed into their food chain. Many nations ban US meat because of its probable Mad Cow contamination, but Korea is being coerced into accepting it, against the will of the Korean people. These 40,000 assembled in the streets not only to protest against the toxic meat, but to block the trucks from removing the poisonous US food product from where it had been safely quarantined.

How many BSE burgers did the kids eat?

What is the extent of the current beef recall? I’ve read that 143 million pounds of beef corresponds to two hamburger patties for each man, woman and child in America. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy That’s the meat of questionable safety produced by the Westland Meat Packing operation in Chino, California since February 1st, 2006, most of it already consumed, and we’re reminded, there’s no need to panic. Why did the USDA set the date at Feb 1st, if only because some of that product is still on the shelves? Since what actual date is Westland thought to have been putting “downed” cows into the food supply?

The Humane Society tried to get the attention of California law enforcement in January, based on a video they’d obtained late last year. We could presume that the Hallmark Slaughterhouse was already coercing downed cattle into its lines which is what prompted the undercover activist to bring a camera in the first place. How long were the scapegoated workers, with their forklifts, chains and water hoses circumventing USDA regulations? How many BSE burgers would that make, per each of us?

The sum total ground beef patties through Jack-in-the-Box, In-N-Out, Regal, King Meats, and the Federal School Lunch Program would be hard to calculate. The task remains to find out who were the 150 school districts receiving the 27 million pounds of BSE contaminated meat.

State school lunch programs which use meat product from WestlandSince not everyone is eating from school cafeterias, we are left to calculate how many times more BSE burgers or BSE pepper steaks each of the exposed kids would have had to consume among themselves.

No need for alarm, but let’s clarify what the AP is reporting: Downed cattle do not “pose a higher risk of contamination from … mad cow disease because they typically wallow in feces and their immune systems are often weak.” Downed cattle are kept out of our food system because they are symptomatic of having Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called mad-cow disease.

In Europe, livestock which cannot walk are forbidden from all food systems, including the rendering of carcasses to feed other animals, to prevent BSE from reaching the human food chain. To this end, Europeans test 100% of their herd animals, unlike the US which tests less than 2%, and whose industry uses terms like “downed cows” and “downers” and “non-ambulatory” in lieu of “mad” or BSE. This is why several international markets will not import US beef. Ingestion of meat with BSE leads to the fatal brain-wasting Jakob-Creutzfeldt Disease in humans.

Here are the products being recalled. (Up next: recalled from whom.)

Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO.,
90 – 10% GROUND BEEF, 3/16 GRIND.

Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO.,

Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT,

Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING:

Six-gallon containers of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF BILE.


Mad cow in school cafeteria food chain

Downer cows and now called non-ambulatoryIt is the largest recall of beef in our nation’s history, notable also because most of the meat in question has already been consumed, and so can’t be recalled, eaten by children in school cafeterias.

The reasons given by the USDA speak vaguely about animal abuse and downplay the health concern. But why would mistreatment prompt a recall if there wasn’t fear about what’s come through? You have to read between the lines. There are no reported cases of illness, it will take five to seven years before Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease begins eating the brains of the school children.

Prompted by activist videos which show slaughterhouse animal abuse, the USDA is now trying to clean up the meat packing practices at Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. Workers at these California plants were documented moving “downer” cows through the slaughtering process, by kicking, shocking or other cruel means. Not only was this inhumane, it was against the precautions which the USDA has been trying to enforce to keep cattle with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy from getting into the human food chain.

In the UK, cows which can no longer walk for themselves are suspected of Mad Cow Disease, which has been linked to Jakob-Creutzfeldt fatalities in humans. The US meat industry has successfully kept mad cow under wraps on this continent by renaming the symptom “downer cow syndrome,” or in today’s instance, “non-ambulatory” cattle, averting the link to JCD.

Even the BBC is helping to confuse the issue, describing the fear about the Westland/Hallmark downer cows as being more likely to contract BSE, as opposed to being likely to already have it.

The current ban/recall, which affects public food programs in California, and the Jack-in-the-Box and In-And-Out-Burger fast food chains, is about animal abuse, yes, and illegal contraventions of the feeble US preventive measures against Mad Cow. The official statements raise concerns about E. coli and Salmonella. Between the lines you can see the alarm because our system’s only protection against BSE contamination was to keep downed cows out of our food chain. Apparently slaughterhouse operators don’t share that concern. Westland/Hallmark was caught not by the USDA, but by a lone Humane Society camera. Where else are there no cameras to record the beef industry pushing mad cows into the grinder?

The iron fist of the marketplace

Burmese priests protestThink you’re the only one who’s come to the conclusion that the average person can be relied upon only as far as you can drag him by the ear? Do you lament that the common sense of common heads put together adds up to a hill of beans?

If you think you know better, your challenge might be to cajole or inform, in hopes of motivating the herd, where others high on the food chain would simply ride roughshod.

Burmese monks leave their sandals behindI find it odd to use animal kingdom analogies to explain human behavior when Homo Sapiens comprise neither competing species, genus, class or phyla stalking each other.

Of the nurture versus nature, I mean carrot versus stick herd management option, which approach do you observe governments most often employ? In public schools it’s authoritarian, on the streets it’s civility so long as people submit appropriately to their fleecing. But as recent events have shown, dissent has meant government reaction with black gloves, masks, armor padding, truncheons, and low tech brutality. Every aspect something you’d expect more from those traditional masters of persuasive communication, the mobsters.

The people most alarmed by totalitarian repression are the educated class who over the centuries have fought for every liberty their overlords were forced to yield. The working classes represented the leverage used to negotiate each concession, and thus came along for the ride. But its muscled ranks have always served as the labor pool for the thugs the governors would use to fight any progressive reformers.

Your police departments all have riot gear to don in the event of civil disturbances. Can you say you’ve approved of their harsh measures in the event of your getting hysterical? That equipment isn’t for soccer hooligans, it’s to break strikes and beat back political assemblies.

We’ve seen police around the world fire on crowds assembled peaceably in Burma, Mexico, Tibet and Iraq. In New Orleans we’ve seen police taser crowds of people just like us, who wanted to protest a public meeting where the decision was being made to condemn their houses.

If you think massacres are beyond the pale for our corporate overlord class, think again. If they can do it without inciting a mass rebellion, they will. The independent minded people of East Timor were massacred with US weapons and the tacit complicity of a media which let it happen off camera. So long as you don’t see it, it doesn’t bother anyone’s conscience apparently. Children labor as slaves in Bangladesh, Africa and Asia for our corporations. You don’t see it, so it’s not a problem. For the profit-mongers all corporate genocide is OK, be it by economic starvation, accident, contamination, or pollution. If you could understood the depravity inherent in their exploitation of world poverty and its resources, can you doubt they’d hesitate to fire live rounds into a crowd who threatened their rule?

The Godzilla Mac

Want to see the evolution of the Big Mac into The Japanese Mega Mac into the Chici Mac?

Actually, I think that burger should actually be named The Godzilla Mac instead… But that would imply that you might be eating too many calories, I guess? Is this Mega Mac- Chici Mac going to be made out of Kobe beef? And how many yen will we have to pay for one of these monsters? Be sure to scroll down at the site for the actual evolutionary pictures of these future Japanese Godzilla burgers.

Just last week, too, our editorial clowns at The Gazette here in Colorado Springs, themselves devolved back into the Newt Gringich/ Ronald Reagan dinosaur reigning era with a cartoon they printed once again making fun of America’s working poor and lower middle classes. It was the usual picture of starving poor in the Third World with a side by side picture of the overweight poor at home.

Ha-ha-ha… The pro-capitalist pigs of the Right Wing just love to laugh about how their junk food chains, 24/7 mega-stressed worker/servant schedules, and impoverished factory food supplies are causing working people to grow out like balloons, which of course leads to death by chronic disease instead of kwashkior. They got such a great sense of humor, these elitist fucks. Capitalism is such a great success! See?!!!

Not being a passifist I sometimes get the urge to go out and club these social Neanderthals with some of their own stupid golf clubs. Don’t worry though. I am making great progress in my anger control classes. Plus, I will be attending a 3 day forum this month about how to take up non-violence and become all Jesus-like. There, I will be hugging cops (CS police Boss Liars Meyers) and throwing flowers onto their police stun guns to the sound of meditationary-relaxation-Buddhist music and passifist Anababtist encantations.

J.K. Rowling and the Dead Zone

With author J.K. Rowling declaring she’s written the last of the Harry Potter titles, there’s a panic coming from the publishing world that there will be nothing to take Harry’s place. I suppose this fear anticipates the readership’s sadness, it certainly expresses the commercial concern, but it cloaks itself in a [Scholastic] librarian’s voice: whatever now will the children find interest in reading?
Harry Potter has been around for ten years. Educators like to credit him for pulling children from the terminus of their gaming consoles. If Potter has created an upsurge in reading, I ask you, to where has it led? Ten years is enough to have nourished the new generation. Over 325 million Rowling books have been sold. The first Harry Potter readers are already graduated from college. What are they doing?

It’s a leading question, because I haven’t an answer. It’s not discernible. Blogs, Myspace, trivia-tourism, what? I’ll confer with college professors and get back to you, but it certainly isn’t the Peace Corps.

I would purport that the Scholastic [1] worship of Harry betrays a lack of faith in what it means to read. Do children need to be rewarded for reading? Is not escaping into the abstract a pleasure unto itself? I thought it was a fundamental need that even distinguishes us as human beings. Do we have to offer candy bars to induce people to eat? I’m sure humans can run themselves out of gas out of sheer distraction, but I know appetite is inherent.

A key is to educate children that there’s a world beyond theirs, an abstraction beyond their horizon, which can be explored through reading. Much of it, history, thought, imagination, lies only in books. Travel and science can lie beyond if they wish. Those subjects are taught in school, via reading. Teachers who suspect their students haven’t bought into reading are obviously not grading to challenging standards.

Through books lies an existence of infinite proportion, as n approaches the finite lifetime. Are the Potters hypothesizing that children must be coaxed into this world, without regard that it might be form over substance? Do children whose thumbs twitch for video games need to be lured by books that feel like video games which lead, like arcades and the pool halls before them, nowhere? With Harry Potter, are we creating readers or are we killing them off? Form has become the new substance, which to some sounds clever and new, but really means empty is the new full.

Dead Zone
There’s something happening outside the Mississippi Delta where man’s agricultural runoff, waste and industrial pollutants meet the sea. It’s being called a Dead Zone, which describes it literally, and it’s growing. The phenomena is a total collapse of the ecosystem leaving Hypoxia, the absence of oxygen in the water. It starts with the algae, then never mind every next link in the food chain [2]. We’ve measured it only since 20 years ago. Doubtless it started earlier. Doubtless too it’s happening exponentially in every estuary downstream of overpopulation. I read about Hypoxia overtaking Lake Victoria in Africa, rendering it a sinkhole, the social repercussions of which match Dante.

I cannot but wonder if such a consequence of pollution cannot manifest itself on the human population. Could not our minds become sink holes? Could not a culture or generation be faced with a Dead Zone?

Debilitating, not irreversible in the grand scheme, but certainly final, like stunted growth. Generations of minds shrunk below capacity, below what we might have wished for them, like fingers crippled by the early industrial age. A dead zone of thought, of initiative or motivation, of energy needed to get out of the dead zone. Why it’s called a dead zone, not merely an empty one.

Booksellers seem happy as snakes to see our children want sugar instead of oxygen.

1. The publishers of Harry Potter, Scholastic Press, is a commercial enterprise, not an educational concern as the name implies. It’s like the pseudo-junk food company Subway, owned their ads say, by Doctors Associates, Inc.
2. Overuse of synthetic fertilizers has been causing rising hypoxia on every coast. The excess nitrates lead to blooms of algae which pull all the oxygen from the water, knocking the breath from all other living things. So my analogy is closer than I intended.

The land developer loan default racket

Did you read about the developer who had to default on a 5.3 million dollar loan for a project in Denver? What of that? Poor guy has to give back his $5.3M play toy if he can’t pay for it, is that what you’re thinking? He bit off more than he could chew maybe? Hardly.

Particular real estate schemes vary in their complexity, but here’s what happens in a nutshell. Developer sets up a Limited Liability Corporation to shield himself and his colleagues from financial risk. This entity receives financing from the banks and passes the money on to the participants, the brokers, builders, and management. This pays for the land, the labor and the overhead, being the developer’s cut. Whom the developer chooses as participants might also be considered his cut, since the money goes to who he says.

The point is, the money goes. By the time the project is defaulted to the tune of $5.3M, the money is already spent. By that I mean the money is already earned/gleaned/pocketed. It’s not like defaulting on an auto loan and having your car repo’d. Sure the banks get to repossess the project, but the profit’s already been squeezed from it. The bank will put the property on the market, sell it for a fraction of what it’s worth, and take a loss. Their loss is applied against the bank’s income, so in essence since they pay less in taxes, the taxpayers pay for that deficit. The national deficit grows by an amount that the developer and his friends have pocketed. Some of it went for laborers and materials and local fees, certainly, but the management percentage, that’s theirs. And whoever provided the labor, or sold the materials, or received the fees won too.

And who buys the project from the bank? The next developer, who gets to do another number on us all.

I’ve seen developers at city meetings, tanned, one hand in their pocket of some loose fitting slacks, soft leather loafers, big smile, they’re the top of the food chain and they know it. But I don’t think there’s any harm in looking closer at how they prey on our economy, on you and I. And if you should chance upon one of them standing on some open space conversing with a partner holding blueprints, and he has to cross the road to get to back to his LX, I’d say give him a scare at least. He may know how to beat the system, but has he got your number?

David versus Goliath

What is the lesson we’re supposed to be gleaning from the story of David and Goliath? The theme is repeated in traditional folk tales which originated in the Dark Ages. Cleverness can overcome brute force. The pen is mightier than the sword. Overcoming the odds?
But is it true? Or is it a dream we’re being sold to make our meek existence more palatable?

In the history of military match ups, numbers always win. Certainly there have been reversals in which a smaller force has achieved an advantage, although usually the result is to have endured longer than expected, to have made a valiant stand. In the end the numbers always win.

In the natural world we call it a food chain and it is chiefly governed by size. Put most succinctly, the big fish eats the little fish. Has there ever been a sheep that outsmarts and eats a wolf?

In boxing, fighters are divided into weight categories. No one would think to put a featherweight against a heavy weight, nor even opponents from adjoining weight classes. Why? Because size matters.

King’s missing dong, episode 1

Time Magazine characterizes King Kong’s enthousiasmOkay, I admit that’s my own headline. There was indeed no trace of a King dong, but neither was there lust, nor anything more than a communication barrier overcome by physical clowning. A young white lass with Vaudeville chops was able to cajole the mighty Kong where scores of unfortunate black maidens had failed.
But really the special effects in the latest King Kong were amazing.

With special effects the filmmakers were able to create a giant gorilla who went ape at the sound of tom-toms summoning him to dine on a mouse-sized snack.

Special effects recreated superstitious black peoples who subsisted on the craggy coast of Skull Island, separating themselves from the island’s vegetation to live behind great fortifications and beneath countless pointy sticks on which were impaled human sacrificees.

Special effects produced dinosaurs also very keen to fight over what would be a tiny human morsel, willing to discard bigger kill for the smaller bird in the bush, even gnash away at a rocky surface trying to snatch said bony morsel.

To another extreme, special effects created bats which prey on animals larger than insects, and they stalk their target, hanging upside down each time a bit closer.

Convenient for the slow shutter rate of film projectors, these bats fly with the awkwardness of pterodactyls, the beating of their wings visible to human eyes. Lucky for our heroes who escape by holding on to the wing of a bat, while he flies with the other. A feat clearly accomplished only through special effects.

Special effects depict a world plainly ignorant of what some know as the food chain. The filmmakers can adhere to the laws of gravity, sort of, and whichever laws of physics can be illustrated, but they can’t grasp the food chain or that animals kill to eat, they do not maraud mercilessly.

By depicting nature as malevolent, we are expressing the highest disrespect for what really have become our wards. Like depicting Jesus with a machine gun for example. It might be funny, but it would be pretty undeserved.

But there’s more. Special effects produced stampedes both human and Jurassic, from which few casualties are seen. Men are able to keep pace beneath Brontosaurus legs to make the Spaniards who run with the bulls every year in Pamplona look like wusses.

And in the end you have Kong flinging blond lasses left and right, you have an entire opera house audience stampede to the exits with nary a body left behind.

In fact, given Peter Jackson’s fondness for gross-out scenes like the close-up of the carnivorous worm devouring a man head first, it seems strange that they cranked back the special effects for Kong’s final splat unto street level from the Empire State building. Kong’s body at rest on the street is shown not one bit like a sack empty of its potatoes, the usual sudden end to a 100 story fall.

David Letterman fans might have hoped to see Kong burst like a watermelon fallen from a great height, but special effects intervened.

And so the special effects try to approximate mechanical consequences, but ignore the organic, what used to be the common knowledge of life.

While this might suit the lower educated of today’s movie audience, Peter Jackson certainly does not limit himself to that denominator. In an early scene he risks boring that crowd with three interminable inside jokes: the actress they had wanted to cast for this adventure, “Fay,” was already doing an “RKO” picture for that damned “Cooper.” Rocky Horror Picture Show fans would get those references, but so what? Why not throw some bones to zoology majors and enlighten everyone.

The special effects in King Kong trade not merely in the currency of the implausible or improbable or impossible, they perpetuate the currency of ignorance with which people do great evil to nature and the environment and other cultures, particularly indigenous ones.

This film plays with lots of movie land conventions, but to an audience that is less privy to the inside references and more prone to base human reactions to the demonized stereotypes.

The emperor has no clothes goddamnit

Lance Armstrong rides with Bush

In Hans Christian Andersen’s THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES, a little boy is finally able to say what no one else would: the emperor had no clothes! The key element which Andersen left out of the fable was this: access!

Everywhere you turn today you can find people frothing at the mouth for the chance to say “the president has no clothes!” But no one can hear it. Television reporters can look at you with a cynical smile, even offer their agreement, but the message goes no further than their camera lens.

People with access to those in power don’t seem up to making a peep. What about their friends? Doesn’t anyone chide whoever is above them on the food chain for not stating the obvious? What do White House minions say to their relatives over the holidays? Do they fear something from speaking out about which we don’t?

Would a danger to their persons or livelihood be relevant? Many of those people are our elected representatives. Wouldn’t it be their job to cry out? And what about our cultural heroes? They owe their popularity to the largess of the people. Where are they to speak out?

Lance Armstrong can beat seven seasons of Frenchmen, he can beat cancer, but he doesn’t dare face off our little emperor in his skivvies?

Not a peep from Bono

This president has no clothes! Before we get caught up arguing with those who would take the accusation literally, let’s say that by no clothes we mean no brain, and he absolutely has no heart. Both of these observations are unimpeachable. We see it everyday on TV. The president is a moron. And we see what he is doing. Heartless.

Or do you stand among those in Andersen’s fable who would have said “nonsense, little boy, your heart is simply not pure enough for you to be able to see his clothes.” Any child reading along with you would put you in your place. Unless he was resigned already that you were deceiving him for some reason, he’d call you a fool.

And he’d be right, because this emperor does not have a stitch of anything on!

I have nothing against naked loony psychopaths, but it’s fairly accepted that they are best kept in institutions where they will not harm the rest of us. Those who would prop a rampaging mentally disabled lunatic into the president’s office, declining to comment on his quite visible impairments, instead declaring him “the best man for the job” so they might continue to line their own pockets, those people must be put into prison.

This emperor’s courtiers: the influence peddlers, opportunists, crooks and stooges are the true danger. They maintain the barricade over which the little boy’s voice cannot be heard.

But on our side of the barricade, in the free speech zone, we hear him.