27 May 2006


Whether the mask is labelled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus -- the bureacracy, the police, the military ... No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.

Simone Weil (quoted by Howard Zinn in Declarations of Independence)

21 May 2006


It seems to have reached the point where I can’t keep the mad parade of Bushworld corruption straight in my briny, messed-up brain-pan anymore -- not without some sort of scorecard or a fucking road map. Who’s really screwing who; what’s the real story, and what are the calculated diversions and misdirections that prevent us from understanding it; where does the truth reside, and just what the hell is the truth, anyway ...? It’s quite an impressive mass of confusion and bewilderment, a well-orchestrated campaign of controlled chaos, a cynical and hugely manipulative circle-jerk of thievery and deception that the amoral corporatists and barely-closeted Nazis in the current regime have foisted upon us. What’s the blueprint for survival in this milieu of maniacal, money-grubbing malfeasance? I don’t even know where to begin, what with my head being tied up by a clabbered and contorted assemblage of labyrinthine flapdoodle, mystifying minutia, and an anarchy of perplexing and stupefying misinformation. I am, for all practical purposes, mentally immobilized and intellectually unable to blaze a trail out of the Neo-Con darkness in which we’re slowly being asphyxiated. A common problem for most people nowadays, I should think.

Honestly, the accelerating nature of the present state of things has seriously outstripped my capacity for reason. If I really wished to understand what’s going on -- and I do, obviously -- on what am I supposed to focus my ever-shrinking attention span? Every member of the “progressive” community, whether they be bloggers or democratic activists or just loud-mouthed opinion-mongers, all seem to know the precise answer to such an impossible question. To some (and I include myself in this camp), the impeachment, conviction, and removal of Bush and his obscene horde of con-artists and blood-swillers is of the highest priority; others are of the opinion that installing a Democratically-controlled Congress next November is the magic panacea for all our various national ills; certain quarters seem to believe that we should get our bowels in a righteous uproar over NSA spying, or the Iraq war; or perhaps the non-issue of immigration, or election fraud, or even gay marriage or the looming aggression against Iran. Every blithering mouth-breather has their own pet issue, and each of these issues holds a certain degree of importance in its own right. However, the multiplicity of critical issues obscures the fact that the fundamental questions (whatever they may be), which need to be confronted first, can’t be addressed at all so long as we’re all acting like a clutch of pinheaded reactionaries. The latest outrage crashes over our heads, and well-meaning groups and individuals immediately froth and fume and spew out fiery blasts of indignation and anger -- but it rarely touches on the root causes of why the outrages occur in the first place, thereby setting the stage for the next outrage. And the one after that, and so on.

Oh hell, this isn’t anything we don’t already know. I’m certainly no paragon of ... well, anything really. I indulge in the same instinctive, adrenalin-fueled, fury-soaked reactionary behavior I so rudely poke others in the gonads over -- as in my previous post, where I was (and remain) practically catatonic in disgusted outrage over those Iraq photos at After Downing Street, or in the queasy panic I’m struggling to contain at the prospect of an Air Force general, the very same bald-headed bottom-feeding fuck who cobbled together the illegal NSA spy program, being installed in the top position at the Central Intelligence Agency. I guess the point is that, as vital as these individual issues are -- as well as the myriad of others clamoring for attention -- obsessive fixation on any one of them in particular is a hollow exercise in self-defeating futility. All of these actions and questions, these low-lifes suddenly thrust into prominence, these criminal acts of larceny and destruction and mass death, are merely manifestations of far more deep and fundamental phenomena: they’re only means to a nefarious end, in simplest terms. You can expose and attack and dissect and eviscerate and ridicule and (occasionally) force to a halt any one of these manifestations, which tends to puff-up one’s ego with a lot of uselessly hot air, but it doesn’t really change anything. The cancerous zombie of the Neo-Con Death Machine will continue its disastrous, lurching rampage over what’s left of the prone and pliant American body politic, regardless of how many tiny bits and pieces of its diseased and foully bloated carcass the righteous and well-meaning manage to knock off, here and there. We need to kill the damn thing, not just annoy or inconvenience it.

Yeah well, blah blah blah. I wish I knew what the hell I was talking about.

17 May 2006


If you have a cast-iron stomach to go along with your sense of utter, seething outrage, then visit After Downing Street for a whole slew of sickening images just like this. Are there any serious doubts left about the necessity of removing the Bush bastards from office?

14 May 2006


Afternoon in the brewpub:

The three televisions are all tuned to the standard corporate/professional sports baloney; the barfly chatter is insipid and largely indistinct, serving admirably in its usual role of empty-calorie background filler and intellectual rot-gut; on the other hand, the beer is good and cold, but not quite as cold as the hatchet-faced bartender -- a common sorrow in this particular establishment. Anyway, the joint is inexplicably crammed to the rafters with boneheaded know-nothings enjoying themselves far too much, their over-taxed sweat glands pumping out a cloyingly obscene fog of synthetic sophistication and blankly trivial glibness ... The atmosphere of mental gut-gas is so thick and enervating, it's enough to put you off your righteous outrage at the general state of things, here at the bottom of the cosmic toilet bowl. Do these drunk fools not see the dangerous knife-edge along which the Busheviks are forcing us all to convulsively dance? Or is it that they don't care? I seriously wonder why I bother to patronize this hell hole.

Soaking up the cheap and superficial vibe so common to these plastic, quasi-suburban watering holes can certainly debilitate your capacity for critical discernment -- which is probably why they're so popular. I myself must admit to a sometimes overwhelming desire to just TURN OFF the rusty, rat-shit-choked faucet of experience that, especially over the past 5+ years of the Bush disaster, only seems to spew out the noisome, disease-ridden sewage of political corruption and socio-economic dissolution with which we've become all too familiar. You can chug only so much of this poisonous dreck before permanent damage sets in -- mental, physical, or both; hence the absolute need for a psychic pit-stop, a temporary refuge where one's human sensibilities can at least partially recover from the relentless battering they take on a daily basis. In that regard, I suppose that explains why I still spend such an inordinate amount of time in this ridiculous alcohol emporium.

So, it's all a question of escape, which is a legitimate activity within the wider project of maintaining some sort of equilibrium inside modern life's rubber-walled nut house. How this escape is affected is about as diverse and variable as humanity in general; in my case, as is usual with most people who have little initiative and no imagination, it happens to involve periodic forays into the foamy wasteland of beer and bars. It's not something I'm especially proud of, but there it is. Anyhow, whatever methodology or gimmickry one employs to cope with the desperate exigencies of reality -- to briefly escape from them, in other words -- serious problems are bound to arise when the overall perspective gets flipped on its ear. When escaping becomes merely an end in itself, without conscious reference to whatever it is you may be trying to escape from ... Well, one of the things you wind up with is this bizarre spectacle of brewpub suburbanites loudly convincing themselves that the women's kickboxing match, currently being displayed in all its absurd glory on the behind-the-bar plasma TV, is of far more import than the cost of the fuel they burned in their SUV's to get to the bar in the first place. Or the banalities of office politics colliding with the most recent controversy on American Idol, naturally preventing any intellectual energy being pointlessly expended over obscure esoterica like NSA spying or CIA torture gulags.

Oh well, you get the picture. It doesn't require trite generalizations from an idiot such as myself to get the idea across that, yes indeed, we live in a sick and deluded nation full of dog-wagging tails ... in a manner of speaking. The only thing that's truly significant is that, perhaps paradoxically, the more I seek to get away from it all, by plowing my way through as many unhealthy brewpub vices as possible, the more I actually obsess over all those things that I'm purportedly trying to escape from. So, yet again, I have to question the utility of such a self-defeating activity.

If only there was another Impeachment Forum to attend -- I could definitely use another large dose of hope. At the very least, it would be more entertaining than kickboxing ...

10 May 2006


Dante quote of the day, #1:

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.

Dante quote of the day, #2:

The secret to getting things done is to act.

I couldn't have said it better myself. No, really.

07 May 2006


How’s everybody’s supply of hope holding up these days? You know -- hope that this country can alter the disastrous trajectory it’s currently flying along, before it’s too late; hope that our Frankenstein’s monster president and his venomous crew of thieves, despoilers, and mass murderers will eventually have real justice served upon them, harshly and mercilessly; hope for a future ... any sort of future, really. Always an especially rare commodity at the best of times, in these later days it seems that “hope” and I have become almost (but not quite) as estranged as, say, a drunk is from self-control or a Republican office-holder is from the truth. In other words, our paths seldom cross, particularly since the advent of the George W. Bush reign of terror. Entangled in the poisonous web of loathing and despair so artlessly spun out of the slavering Neo-Con imagination -- the fundamental animative engine of the so-called “administration” -- and bamboozled and distracted by all the soulless sycophants, shameless schlockmeisters, and supercilious stenographers in corporate media ... hell, I hardly know what the word “hope” is even supposed to mean anymore.

Anyway, there I was, as is usually the case, sitting immobile at one of those ubiquitous east Sacramento intersections -- if you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a place like this, you know exactly what I’m talking about ... a gargantuan expanse of asphalt and concrete, garishly ringed all around by gas stations, religious fanatics with flapping cardboard signs that read HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS!, ugly cookie-cutter corporate-chain restaurants, homeless beggars, and at least one automobile dealership. All the plastic detritus and sad polluted waste-water of American consumerism, strained through the clogged cheesecloth of the fossil-fuel industry. Notwithstanding the inflated price of gasoline, this particular intersection was also gridlocked with obligatory, early rush-hour traffic, esthetically completing the appalling awfulness of the whole scene. While sitting there helplessly, wistfully watching large gobs of figurative dollar signs rise inexorably from the teeming forest of exhaust pipes surrounding me, I was bitterly chewing on some obnoxiously unanswerable questions which were hurled in my face a couple hours prior: after casually mentioning that I’d attended the Impeachment Forum organized by the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party last weekend, a co-worker exclaimed What the fuck’s the point? They’d just replace Bush with somebody worse. Besides, he’ll never be forcibly removed from office, so why waste your time with this impeachment nonsense? Just as my frantic monkey-brain was preparing to offer up a well-honed, after-the-fact rhetorical demolition of such ridiculous, hopeless, pathologically discouraging and blindly stupid commentary, a shiny and insanely enormous Escalade rolled up next to me, subwoofers set to maximum annoyance volume, license plates and side-view mirrors vibrating like the outer extremities of a coke fiend checking into rehab -- whereby my always tenuous acquaintance with the more positive and optimistic aspects of human experience quickly dissipated in a sick cloud of noisy, stinking absurdity. My thought-train jumped its tracks, and I barely made it home without throwing up on myself.

So here we come to the rub, the crux, the essential point, or whatever the hell you want to call it -- that is, insofar as I have a point, which is not altogether certain. Anyhow, the question is: what’s the secret to maintaining a sense of hope? You fully expect wingnuts and freepers, know-nothing ditto-heads and fools in SUV’s to go out of their way to pollute your punch-bowl of optimism. That’s just what they do, what with their strange allegiance to -- and identification with -- the symbology of power and domination, aggravated by (or perhaps stemming from) an inexplicably violent opposition to diversity of opinion and the inalienable right of people to think for themselves. Except for those in positions of dubious “authority,” to whom we really have no choice but to pay some attention, it’s generally best to deal with sub-humans of this ilk by ignoring them as much as possible. No, the real destroyers of hope are not the mental weaklings on the right; rather, they’re the great mass of the uninformed and uninterested in the middle, the complacently depoliticized majority, the self-righteously aloof who’ve so deeply integrated the practice of detached cynicism into their day-to-day lives, they can’t even see how cynical they are. Indeed, they actively deny that they’re cynical at all, such as the aforementioned co-worker who, despite having absolutely no love lost for the Bush Crime Family and its evil policies, derides me for being stupid enough to participate in a forum dedicated to the removal of Bush and his army of thugs. The what’s the point? attitude of an otherwise reasonably intelligent and compassionate person -- the casual dismissiveness of it all -- does more to puncture my already flaccid balloon of hopeful optimism than anything some empty-headed right-wing freak could do or say. So, confused and flabbergasted as I am, I’ll ask the question again: How do you remain positive and full of hope, under such circumstances?

Ah well, perhaps the true source of hope lies where my humble and comprehensively disinformed opinion has always relegated it -- in the sudsy dregs at the bottom of every beer glass. Maybe so, but if any of you out there have any other thoughts or suggestions concerning this matter, I’m all ears.

01 May 2006


Just the briefest of brief updates, to let everybody know that the Impeachment Forum this past Saturday night was, well ... I thought I'd link a few summaries of the event, since these people are a hell of a lot smarter than I am and can actually write. Anyway, here they are:

Bob Fertik, of Democrats.com

omega minimo at Democratic Underground

Joye Swan, of the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus

Phil Burk at ImpeachBush.tv

Frankly, I don't think all that highly of bloggers that camouflage their lack of ability and/or lack of imagination by posing as pathetic "link" services to "real" blogs, but to tell you the truth, I'm just too flippin' tired to suss out my own impressions of the impeachment forum, at least at this particular moment. I'll be delving back into my own incomprehensible brand of mindless gibberish soon, rest assured.Till then, you must peruse what these good people have to say ...