Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Life of O'Reilly

It must be soul-killing to play a pompous, boorish nincompoop mouthing patent inanities, even if you're paid millions annually to do so. At least your average Tea Partier truly believes every element of his fantastic ideology. It informs his worldview, sustains his soul, and makes his heart jump with life. The life of O'Reilly is pathetic by comparison; a perfectly intelligent person wilfully playing a fleshly puppet spewing stupidity into the ether, to be recorded by posterity as nothing more than a pimp selling ignorance, all so he can trade on his empty celebrity and pose with the powerful.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

On Syria

"I am against delaying reaction to what is a massacre of a thousand people," he said. "You saw these pictures of these dead children. Come on. This is horrific. We can't stand by and watch this happen."
Senator John McCain
What a foul and steaming pile of manure. We in the US routinely witness the slaughter of innocents without lifting a finger. We're not bothered in the least by mounds of corpses even if the product of our own policies or proxies--especially if the dead complexions are of a darker hue. We even consider our own 30,000 annual deaths by gunshots to be normal; we don't care enough to protect our own citizens from violence. We are the most hard-hearted of peoples, immersed in our own tawdry culture of distraction, isolated from each other and the world and armed to the teeth, but at the same time easily manipulated by reliable old war horses like McCain who never met a missile he didn't want to send over the horizon to deal death at a distance. The gift bequeathed by Bush and company, and one happily received by Obama, is the Orwellian concept of permanent warfare, where the enemy is ever-shifting and therefore unconquerable, providing morally and materially corrupt politicians the means of easily manipulating an apathetic and ignorant population. They can arbitrarily point to any convenient stack of bodies and loudly proclaim that a line has been crossed and now we must act immediately, that our former enemy is now our ally and vice versa, and to not act now is to allow this newly anointed evil to prevail.

Be assured that this strategy will work--yet again. But let us not flatter ourselves that the impending and deadly intervention is due to our collective kind hearts and far-reaching empathy. As history up to the present shows, we have an inexhaustible tolerance for the indifferent witness of slaughter. We care more about our "reality" shows than the reality of wholesale massacres; this is our default mode. When the missiles fall on Syria, it will be due to our fearfulness, our stupidity, our cowardice, and our seemingly unending desire to play the hapless marks of our conniving leaders.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Modest Proposal

What to do with cannibals intent on consuming all of society for themselves and their own kind? The only sure course of action: off with their heads!


Not only the dismal science; also the most dogmatic.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Strange Fruit

We are now a nation that legally justifies extrajudicial lynchings. I don't know what more needs to be known or said about us than that. As a white man in a city that's 80% black, I can't look my fellow Detroiters in the eye. A jury in Florida delivers a verdict last night, and this morning I can't stomach the stench of my own white skin.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the Useful Idiocy of the 30%

Roughly thirty percent is the number most often cited in connection with birtherism, the false flaggers, the president-is-a-Kenyan-Nazi-socialist-communist-Muslim gang, and other elements of the paranoid right.  On the one hand we should be grateful that this number represents a resounding minority; on the other hand, it should make us uneasy to think that every eighth person we pass on the street is one of these feverishly deluded citizens. Still, we might take comfort from the fact that this demographic trends old and white, and is passing from its mortal coil to be replaced by a more diverse and infinitely more tolerant generation of Americans. In other words, the “culture war” in the U.S. is resolving itself nicely, through the sheer weight of shifting demographics.  One more generation, at the outside, ought to do it.

However, the paralysis of our economic and political system by the toxin of finance capitalism will endure until some kind of broad-based social movement demands systemic change. What becomes more evident every day is that the moneyed, multinational elite no longer regard themselves as a part of any civil society and are entirely unaccountable to any system of laws.  Their economic machinations have become entirely detached from any traditional form of productive activity and as a consequence have left vast swaths of destruction in their wake. 

The best model for understanding this global dynamic is colonialism. In the past, large colonial powers would insert themselves into various parts of the world where they could extract valuable natural resources for the purpose of the generation of wealth (often under the cover of “the white man’s burden”).  Though clearly exploitive and often racist, these powers would frequently leave something useful behind: a school system, an efficient system of civil servants, etc. 

But today’s colonialists are stateless and aim at the direct extraction of not only natural resources but also wealth itself in any form: school systems, the civil service, etc.—anything that could be sold or traded for a shekel.  They buy and sell anything or anybody, without even a veneer of moral justification.  They happily cannibalize their own societies and nations, insatiably.  Their loyalty extends only to their bottom line; they live only for sheer, unadorned, soulless extraction, and they will extract everything if permitted.

Any of this can be easily verified through a variety of legitimate measures; indeed, as time passes and the impudence of our masters grows stronger, the evidence sits there plain as day for all to see.  And our masters so love the 30%!  Why? Because they would much rather have the population fixated on nonexistent plots of the FBI blowing up the Boston Marathon, or government agents slaughtering first-graders at Sandy Hook, or the building of FEMA concentration camps in Montana, or the president's impending imposition of Sharia law, or whatever Beck and Jones might be raving about on any given day.  Our masters would much rather have us arguing about such inanities than focusing on what has become increasingly obvious since the late 1970s: that our government has come to represent large corporate business interests at the considerable expense of the people.  Lenin had a phrase that could easily be applied to those who belong the 30%, and their Tea Party faction: “useful idiots.”  That they are idiots has always been obvious; but let us never forget whose interests they really serve, even if obliviously.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Death By Drowning

Go ahead, drown government in a bathtub. But bear in mind that society will be next.


The sooner we understand that government is simply the main instrument used to extract wealth from civil society on behalf of finance to the acute impoverishment of the former and the obscene enrichment of the latter, the sooner we'll have a better grasp of the topography and extent of the growing crisis.