31 July 2006
Sorry -- I just can't do this anymore. You all can continue on with this sad fiction if you want, this delusion that blogging is a concrete activity, that it makes a real difference to real people ... Blogging is a degenerate psychological salve, an empty way to convince your psyche that you're actually doing something when you really aren't. It's a cheap, gimicky trick to divert our attention away from our own complicity in all this madness. I apologize for my offensiveness, but I simply can't buy into this crap anymore. So I'm taking an extended "vacation" from this nonsense, in a desperate attempt to uncover real courses of action in the face of the insanity -- not that it matters to anybody.
Take care, friends -- watch your backs.
25 July 2006
-- White Rose letter no. 1
Never were truer words spoken, and they’re as vividly applicable to 21st-century America as they were to Nazi Germany during World War II. The transcendent universality of such a statement is, to my rather pickled intellect at least, another one of those gloriously weird and impenetrable dichotomies -- both motivationally inspiring and appallingly depressing. Inspiring, because it so beautifully expresses the core existential problem confronting us in the nightmare of Bushworld 2006, and it offers a simple starting point from which to move beyond this horror; depressing, as it’s been more than sixty years since the Scholl’s and their friends, the authors of the White Rose letters, had their heads hoiked off by the degenerate psychopaths of the Volksgerichtshof ... humanity obviously not having learned much in all the years since.
I assume that the story of the White Rose, the anti-Nazi student movement that sprouted briefly at the University of Munich in the early months of 1943, right around the time the German Sixth Army was being destroyed at Stalingrad, is sufficiently familiar to most thinking people as to not need recounting here. It’s enough to say how astounding it still seems, so many decades removed, that something like that could’ve possibly happened in the obscene dystopia of Hitlerite Germany; that a handful of individuals were able to maintain a sense of their own humanity in the midst of such a colossal mental and physical meat-grinder; that anybody managed to escape the disastrous effects of the monstrous apparatus of Nazi domination and control, and was honest and courageous enough to see the regime for what it was -- standing by their convictions to the bitter end. If there ever really was such a thing as the apocryphal “Good German,” Hans and Sophie Scholl, as well as the rest of their White Rose comrades, were certainly authentic examples of such a being.
OK -- so what does any of this have to do with us dumb bastards in the year 2006? I realize this will probably come across as a sad excuse for hyperbolic over-reach, but I’m convinced that those in the unsettled mass of the left-leaning end of Blog Land are the default inheritors of the White Rose’s hopelessly triumphant legacy, whether they realize it or not. It’s an arrogant assumption, to a certain extent, since it’d be tough to argue with the fact that the Scholl’s and their small band of compatriots were face-to-face with a far more ruthlessly formidable adversary, under conditions and circumstances we can hardly fathom. We have advantages they could never have hardly imagined, but there’s no denying that we are being relentlessly frog-marched toward the precipice of disaster by a totalitarian-minded gaggle of thugs who, particularly in intent, are not at all dissimilar from the Nazis. Indeed, considering the range and scope of the whole stinking Neo-Con project -- not to mention the sheer destructive capacity of the military power that forms its superstructure -- we’re probably in a much more precarious situation, relatively speaking, than the Scholl’s were. That’s not especially encouraging, when you consider that the members of the White Rose were all put to death by a tyrannical government that was, itself, only brought down after a catastrophic world war of its own making. That’s more than enough to give all correct-minded people serious pause.
Well, I’ve never been much of a believer in the either the utility or the efficacy of unbridled optimism, a confession that surely comes as no surprise to anyone. But when I spare a thought or two about the Scholls and the White Rose ... It’s strange, but I find myself somehow uplifted (the previous blog post notwithstanding). Such audacious, fuck-the-consequences bravery, the fortitude to pursue a course of action knowing full well that your sorry ass is doomed, plowing forward against the fear and loathing and the hopeless certainty that you can’t possibly succeed ... to have such unalloyed conviction in the face of all that. Admittedly, I’m still as conflicted and despair-riddled as ever when it comes to the earth’s terminally stupid human inhabitants, but the example of Hans and Sophie Scholl forces me to stop and think: I’m not quite ready to give up, not yet -- even if there is no hope. My only real goal now is to keep the contemptuous smirk firmly glued to my face and to keep laughing uproariously, even as the axe is falling on my own outstretched neck. Victories are rare, and it all ends in disaster in any event, so let’s get on with it already.
We are not in a position to draw up a final judgment about the meaning of our history. But if this catastrophe can be used to further the public welfare, it will be only by virtue of the fact that we are cleansed by suffering; that we yearn for the light in the midst of deepest night, summon our strength, and finally help in shaking off the yoke which weighs on our world.
-- White Rose letter no. 2
16 July 2006
Yeah, I can’t help but think that this is merely an enormous waste of breath, an expenditure of hot air that possesses no value. Listening to the inane chatter and the astoundingly trivial gum-flapping of your average barfly, suburban gridlock-jockey, and all the other turgid simpletons and brainwashed numbskulls that comprise the vast ugly mass of the American body politic, only confirms the basic futility of this endeavor. Certainly, the more progressive end of the blogging spectrum manages to produce a healthy amount of noise, as it scrutinizes and dissects the rotten, bloated cadaver that was once representative government and political democracy in this country, but does any of it get through to the hordes of apolitical blockheads out there? Are we all just preaching to ourselves, without reference to anything beyond our narrowly-defined ideological boundaries? Is it even important to reach out and make an impression upon the bored and greasy swarms of uninformed nitwits who, unfortunately, seem to be in the majority? In a nutshell: is there any point at all to whatever the hell we’re doing?
What would be the point in, say, dribbling out an angry screed about Israeli aggression against Lebanon? Do you think any of your low-budget schmucks give a shit about more poor Arabs being blown to pieces by high-tech weaponry? These sorts of criminal acts are being committed every day in Iraq and Afghanistan -- where’s the groundswell of righteous anger and indignation about that, outside of the left-leaning side of the blogoshere? It just isn’t there, for all I can see. How do we change that? Or can we? Are we to be the catalyst for change, the jump-start to a fundamental quantum-leap in human awareness, the consciousness-expanding engine that helps propel humanity along the upward track of evolution, away from the retrograde passions and selfish imperatives at the core of our reptilian brain-stems? ... or are we destined to continue spitting pithy invective and clever witticisms and smart-alecky nonsense at each other, while the SUV-driving, cell-phone addicted, TV-watching know-nothings ignore everything completely?
Well, to the half-dozen or so people who accidentally read this blog each week, I sincerely apologize for this depressingly hopeless tirade of absurd questions that nobody could answer. It’s just so difficult to be optimistic these days.
09 July 2006
HATE GROUPS ARE INFILTRATING THE MILITARY, GROUP ASSERTS
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.
"We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," the group quoted a Defense Department investigator as saying in a report to be posted today on its Web site, www.splcenter.org. "That's a problem."
A Defense Department spokeswoman said officials there could not comment on the report because they had not yet seen it.The entire story can be found here.
Now, not to denigrate the Southern Poverty Law Center for pointing out this rather alarming bit of information, but as an old GI from the late Cold War days I can say, fairly authoritatively, that racism and hatred are integral components of just about any military system. I know from my own experience just how virulent these low-budget idiocies are in the US armed forces; actually, I would go as far to say that the American military colossus is, itself, the largest hate-group of them all, especially when it's being wielded by the cabal of Neo-Con fanatics who're herding us all down the toilet bowl of oblivion.
Oh well -- it's just a thought.
06 July 2006
Anyway -- I’ll delve into this rather interesting topic later; right now I think I’ll just stick up some more Krishnamurti-isms, which I was planning to do before Blogger’s blindly arrogant corporate swagger-stick smacked me across the bridge of my nose and left me wallowing in pain-wracked frustration. In any event …
As long as action is the outcome of desire, of memory, of fear, of pleasure and pain, it must inevitably breed conflict, confusion, and antagonism. Our action is the outcome of our conditioning, at whatever level; and our response to challenge, being inadequate and incomplete, must produce conflict, which is the problem. Conflict is the very structure of the self. It is entirely possible to live without conflict, the conflict of greed, of fear, of success; but this possibility will be merely theoretical and not actual until it is discovered through direct experiencing. To exist without greed is possible only when the ways of the self are understood.
Inwardly and outwardly it is easier to repress than to understand. To understand is arduous, especially for those who have been heavily conditioned from childhood. Although strenuous, repression becomes a matter of habit. Understanding can never be made into a habit, a matter of routine; it demands constant watchfulness, alertness. To understand, there must be pliability, sensitivity, a warmth that has nothing to do with sentimentality. Suppression in any form needs no quickening of awareness; it is the easiest and stupidest way to deal with responses. Suppression is conformity to an idea, to a pattern, and it offers superficial security, respectability. Understanding is liberating, but suppression is always narrowing, self-enclosing. Fear of authority, of insecurity, of opinion, builds up an ideological refuge, with its physical counterpart, to which the mind turns. This refuge, of whatever level it may be placed, ever sustains fear; and from fear there is substitution, sublimation or discipline, which are all a form of repression. Repression must find an outlet, which may be a physical ailment or some kind of ideological illusion. The price is paid according to one’s temperament and idiosyncrasies.
… Truth is not a thing to be attained; it is seen or it is not seen, it cannot be perceived gradually. The will to be free from repression is a hindrance to understanding the truth of it; for will is desire, whether positive or negative, and with desire there can be no passive awareness. It is desire or craving that brought about the repression; and this same desire, though now called will, can never free itself from its own creation. Again, the truth of will must be perceived through passive yet alert awareness. The analyser, though he may separate himself from it, is part of the analysed; and as he is conditioned by the thing he analyses, he cannot free himself from it. Again, the truth of this must be seen. It is truth that liberates, not will and effort.