Archive for politics

21 Aug 2018: Moderate post written by me, Edward G Nilges, was removed from Facebook, and, I was suspended from posting for 12 hours

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 21, 2013 by spinoza1111

The following moderate post concerning the dialog and the politics of “Islamic extremism” was, to my considerable surprise, blocked last night China time. It begins immediately after “Comment by EGN” and ends with “loud drunk in the bar”, perhaps unfortunately.

Comment by EGN triumph, disaster, triumph, disaster, Wednesday 21 March morning…next memo shall be my usual. I am still available on facebook. Do not discuss my issue there for your own personal peace of mind, please. Here is the friendly moderate post which triggered the FB action.

Fair enough, ***** REDACTED FB FRIEND NAMES REMOVED *****. But if you examine the history of interaction you find that the verbal and physical abuse started with the West. The sanctions campaign against Iraq took place in the 1990s. It was an act of war that deliberately targeted women and children, not soldiers and leaders, and as such was a war crime committed by the United Nations.

For me at the personal level, the only way out of the problems I’ve created with my defects of character or the defective characters of others has been the mutual soul searching and admission of fault but “debate” (duh-bate) is always a shouting match in which the “pundits” most popular and well-paid are Johnny One Notes like *****REDACTED FB FRIEND NAME***** and Samuel Huntington who advance an extremist narrative of West is Best sure to radicalize thoughtful Muslims.

At a minimum, the West and Islam need to compare notes. In fact, during President Bush’s administration, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed precisely this. In a sense he was looking for a soft target given Bush’s poor speaking and mangled logic but this simply shows what a disaster Bush’s presidency was, and how the West has often been untrue to its vision of itself.

We’re not only the pure crusader, el Cid in the Hollywood film of that name shining at the end of the film. We’re also the loud drunk in the bar.

1 Name of undisclosed Facebook Member and Friend

A Note on Some Shockingly Incoherent Babble from Paul Ryan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 18, 2012 by spinoza1111

Recently, Mitt Romney’s new VP candidate, Paul Ryan, accused President Obama of destroying Wisconsin jobs…at auto plants that closed in the last days of the Bush administration!

In other words, even more so than was the case in the Republican campaigns of 2000, 2004, and 2008, there is no basic logic, coherence or decency in what the Republicans are saying, and their lack of commitment to truth is bringing what CS Lewis called “the curse of Babel” on them. They are babbling incoherent nonsense like Lewis’ “Director” in his post Joy Davidman novel “That Hideous Strength”, the head of a wicked research institution that’s taking over postwar Britain, who gives a talk that becomes nonsense in this strangely mature and, for CS Lewis, complex novel.

The Democrats are bad. Obama is a war criminal because that is the logic of the American state, it’s what it’s become…and Eisenhower warned us about this. But the Republicans are worse.

OK. Habermas (a German philosopher, so there) believes that we use language two ways.

We use language first of all to get what we want. In a universal climate of competition and mistrust, we wind up, like Willy Loman, “babbling in a toilet”, or, like Paul Ryan, babbling from a podium.

Loman’s salesman’s talk has no traction when he tries in Arthur Miller’s play to save his job from downsizing by the son of Loman’s mentor. Ryan’s salesman’s talk has traction but is equally nonsensical; George Bush’s economic policies destroyed the Kenosha and Janesville auto plants as a matter of simple temporal logic! Obama wasn’t President in late 2008, he was President-elect!

I am sitting in a McDonald’s in the City of Sadness, the poor district of Tin Shue Wai in Hong Kong. Some kids are noisily babbling in Cantonese and I do not know Cantonese, but it doesn’t bother me in the way Paul Ryan’s lies bother me. They are kind of refreshing since most Chinese kids just aren’t as rowdy as American kids. I like seeing rowdy kids.

As Sheldon Levene in a production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross in 2010, I enacted someone using words to try to get what he wants: “Jane, Jane, Jane, the thing is, the Glengarry leads, you’re sending Roma out. She’s fine. We know what she is. She’s fine. But, listen to me, you need to send, no listen, a seasoned man out…”.

The empty suit, in other words. Look at Paul Ryan’s eyes. He looks like the mass murderer of the week which has been one of the most awful features of what appears from where I sit to be a long hot summer in America.

But we also use language, according to my homeboy Habermas, in groups to find the truth; Habermas regards truth as shared in all cases. If it’s your private secret, it is not knowledge and therefore not truth. Or as hero computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra (a computer programmer who resembled Adorno) said, “when we attended University we thought only Knowledge matters: but at Mathematica Inc. [a fictional corporation invented by Dijkstra to mock what he thought the pernicious CEO class] we know that only Secrets matter.”

But Habermas also believes that the truth-finding aspects of language can be destroyed, in a cancerous fashion (interestingly enough) when a critical mass of people, up to and including politicians (which should probably be rephrased as “down to and including”) use language exclusively in the first sense, to get what the fuck they want…and under the sign of Ayn Rand, the rest of us are forced to do likewise, babbling in a toilet at the end of our lives.

But the very fact that what I’ve written makes sense means that this ain’t all she wrote. God, those kids are a noisy bunch. But Id rather hear them than Paul Ryan.

Why Do the Nations Rage, or, David Ben-Gurion, Zip It

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 18, 2012 by spinoza1111

A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

– Walter Benjamin‎

“We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Trans-Jordan, bomb Amman and destroy its [Jordan’s] army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight, we will bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and the Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times.”

– David Ben-Gurion, 24 May 1948,. Quoted in THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE, Ilan Pappe, Oneworld-Oxford 2006.

Note carefully what one of Israel’s founders, David Ben-Gurion, not considered to be a gangster like Dayan or Sharon, is saying here. If he had not been Israel’s leader and an ordinary man, calling for revenge of harm done 2,500 years before, his friends would tell him get help. The men with butterfly nets would take ben-Gurion away for a nice long rest.

You don’t have to be a Christian, always turning the other cheek, to have a sort of statute of limitations regarding the mean things that people have done to you.

Lunatics hold 2500 year grudges, don’t they?

So why are the leaders of nations and candidates for high office permitted to run their mouths like this stinker Ben Gurion long ago, and Paul Ryan or Romney today? When Romney attacks the Affordable Care Act, having himself overseen a version as Massachusetts governor, and when Paul Ryan says his favorite band is Rage Against the Machine, these are acts of men without bones, men without memory, who are certifiably insane and should be locked up.

Ordinary slobs who treasure grudges cause enough problems from domestic abuse to murder. Ordinary slobs who screw up on the job and (let’s say) fight a policy they implemented the year before get fired. And ordinary fans of Rage Against the Machine usually agree with that band’s left-wing politics.

The rules aren’t different for the elite…but the elite thinks the rules do not apply to them. They are the Hollow Men as TS Eliot said of Stanley Baldwin (if memory serves).

If we could get the leaders of nations to exercise “restraint of tongue and pen” by voting for Gandhi (with all his faults), with memory and a certain consistency, and not Jinnah or Milosevic, the world would be safer for my new grandchildren. But as it is, it is as if the elite have no memory, or, perhaps, they think we don’t. And this is nothing new, as my examples of Jinnah and Ben-Gurion demonstrate.

Perhaps (and here I’m going out on a limb) World War II effected a permanent change to political psychology, although this has to be tested against the fact that Fascism predated World War II (although Fascism did not exist in Europe prior to the 1920s and may have been a WWI aftershock…which fails to account for the proto-Fascism of the Confederate States of America in the 1860s). But perhaps I am losing the thread in speculation in this italicized material.

If you are, dear reader, a very intelligent and learned person, and you feel at any time that with all the shit that’s going on in my life, I am losing it, becoming incoherent like John Nash whom I actually knew, please feel free to use the comments to say so. But do spare me the usual charge, which has often been hurled in my direction by aliterate fools, that I am full of shit. This is based on ignorance and fear. It is a Razor’s Edge but it is a real distinction.

To return, then, to my topic…

Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan a Muslim state) was not a pious Muslim, and he supported the Congress Party until Islamic fundamentalists convinced him that the path to power was fundamentalism. Jinnah may be usefully contrasted with a rather close, but pre WWII politician, Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, to reinforce my italicized thesis concerning an effect of World War II, for Ataturk was pre-WWII, no Fascist, and reasonably effective as a nation-builder (but also a genocidal maniac as far as the Amernians were concerned). Whereas Jinnah left us Pakistan as opposed to Turkey because in the immediate post-war, somehow, media and its “dialectic of enlightenment” had made information, at one and the same time, more available, but alongside disinformation.

It is unlikely that opinion makers would have ignored Jinnah’s deception as to his Islamic credentials in, say, 1880, and, post 1945, the radio and cinema could have renarrated Ataturk as a monster. But media destroy memory. It is plain that something happened as witness the contrast, in my own US history, between John Adams and George Bush.

Milosevic, the late “butcher of the Balkans” who as Serbia’s leader implemented Israeli style ethnic cleansing and worse on his fucked up watch, was truly winging it when in 1989, he was giving a speech in Kosovo, there was a disturbance on the edge of the crowd involving Muslims and Serbs, and he said “they will never beat you” (although of course “they” were as he spoke). The rest is history. You know. History. That from nightmare which Stephen Daedalus and my kids would like to awake.

As I write, American Jews are actually signing up for a war with Iran perceived as inevitable, where it would not be inevitable if we didn’t have a pussy in the Oval Office, and instead had a President who could say to Israel, no, don’t do that, or no more F-16s for you, so there.

“Why do the nations rage so furiously together? The kings of the earth rise up, and take counsel together against the Lord and his anointed.”

When my kid brother went off to war in 1990, he said, sure wish wise old Dad was in charge…he’d figure this thing out, sit down with Saddam Hussein. Fortunately my kid brother covered himself with glory, that is, it was a cake walk (we didn’t know that it would be at the time). I think a whole Iraqi unit surrendered to him and a couple of his buddies. Something like that. But his point was well taken: Facebook alone teaches us that the more ordinary of a slob you are, the more brains and goodness you have: cleaning ladies are the wisest and best of us, like the cleaning lady in Hans Guth’s dramatization of Handel’s Messiah in a dull hotel. Me, I consider myself borderline. I am a slob but not ordinary enough.

Notes on the Chick Fila Brouhaha

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by spinoza1111

I found the photograph that leads this article and the Facebook comments below it (in which I appear under my own name and image, taking full responsibility for what I say) uniquely disturbing. The couple look nice enough. But what looks wrong for Michigan Avenue, as a place that used to have some class, is for them to be feeding, not having a meal, feeding on things in bags and paper cups.

How we’ve normalized deviance! I used to take the lucky lady who became my ex-wife out to nice places on Michigan Avenue, and we wouldn’t stare into space like this nice but to me rather glazed couple! We’d look each other in the eye and talk! We’ve normalized a communal meal to something taken out of a bag in silence.

My Dad and Mom used to work on North Michigan Avenue near Stuart Brent’s old bookshop, art galleries, the old Water Tower, and an incongruous but practical Woolworth’s with a lunch counter that was always racially integrated and at which people were served proper lunches with cutlery on plates with dignity by servitors making more than minimum wage. Nor were they God-walloped by the boss because commerce in America, having to sell to a multi confessional society, has traditionally stayed away from religion…until recently.

On Friday evening, Mom and Dad would go to Armando’s (which Mom always called, in her New York accent, “Ah-mahndo’s”) for a meal served with even more dignity by people making even more than minimum wage on tables with table cloths.

But ever since the 1980s, Michigan Avenue has just become an upscale and less interesting form of State street, a haven for people who feed out of bags.

[Kenny Rogers, the country singer, has a small chain…there was a Kenny Rogers in Idaho Falls where I worked in 2000. You got a plate, a knife and a fork like a human being and to my knowledge Kenny Rogers doesn’t bash gays.]

[Fried chicken is curiously political in societies with racial conflict, if the USA and South Africa are any guide, but in South Africa, the leading chicken restaurant uses humor and grace to sell its product as here, not sour “pro-family” God walloping.]

As I show in my comments at the Tribune, something very disturbing is going on in my country. Its CEO class has ever since the 1980s and to an extent even more, failed to deliver on its false promises and has instead delivered true miseries, including my ever more precarious work life in software…in which my knowledge and hard work never seemed to gain any traction and for the failure of which I mistakenly blamed myself. Romney claims that he’s a job creator but if we consult the Guardian we discover that one of the biggest employers in Freeport, Illinois, is being shipped by his former firm Bain to China, with its long-term workers losing their jobs.

Just. Like. That.

[And, we have to consult a British newspaper since Fox won’t carry this news.]

What’s happening bears a curious resemblance to Iran after the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1978. In Paris in 2008, I met a Marjane Satrapi, a dissident who documented the emotional history of that time in a graphic novel that was made into a film (Persepolis).

Satrapi’s family name itself shows that they predated the Pahlavis installed by the British as rulers of Iran in the early 20th century. To her family, the Pahlavis were arrivistes, uncultured and rude, and the Shah certainly conformed to this expectation in the way he treated dissidents, with the enthusiastic support of the United States after the convenient CIA overthrow of the popularly elected leader Mossadegh in 1954.

But in a few short years after the taking of the United States Embassy and the overthrow of the Shah in the late 1970s, the new rulers of Iran, a sort of coalition of the lower middle class, clerics and workers, failed to deliver economically in the context of the US embargo despite their oil wealth.

Now, it appears to me that in Iran’s Shi’ite Islam, there’s a “Lutheranism” in that Martin Luther preached, in the face of Renaissance Catholicism’s priestly and episcopal hierarchy, “the priesthood of all believers” which meant at the time different things to different people. Islam, notably Shi’ite, has no priestly caste, unlike mainstream Protestantism or Catholicism: Islam is a regime of the brothers who have no father in the form of spiritual authority that mediates the believer’s relation to God, and Fundamentalism in the United States has followed this path in some measure: in many Fundamentalist churches the pastor is also a businessman or employee outside of the church…because his brethren in the congregation believe themselves to be in effect his spiritual equal.

Luther’s meaning of “the priesthood of all believers” on the face of it was quite radical and triggered a Jacquerie or peasant war which Luther quickly disavowed and, cooperating with his new best friends the German princes anxious to reduce Rome’s influence, suppressed in the 1540s. It also caused women to get, in places such as Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1690s, the strange idea that they could be under “the priesthood of all believers” priestesses, and form Bible study groups. They were, in Massachusetts and in Europe, burned as witches for this foolishness.

That is, “the priesthood of all believers” was in terms of “dialectical logic” (look it up, this is going to be one of my forced marches, so stop whining) was like “we the people of the United States” a thesis which elicited almost immediately, whether in 1540 or 1776, an “antithesis” of the form “you have got to be kidding”.

“Is my servant a priest? Is my wife a priestess? Are black people, people?” So by way of dialectic, the “priesthood of all believers” and “we the people” become the authority of a subset of males defined by easily recognizable markers: white skin and economic success in the form of property.

And, once a class of leaders is seen to fail, as American CEOs have so signally failed in recent years to deliver the “jobs” they promise in return for their being allowed to pull their stupid stunts (such as creating “jobs” by eliminating “jobs”), those leaders often turn to religious claptrap…whether “pro-family” talk that enables fag bashing or Islamic Fundamentalism that also enables fag bashing, strangely enough.

Dan Cathy and Chick Fila are straws in the wind. I noticed in 2000 in North Carolina at one of their restaurants that they had a policy of not opening on Sunday and I vaguely approved, since Sunday openings had destroyed my neighborhood of downtown Evanston in the 1970s. I did not realize that ultimately it’s mischief to conflate or confuse the CEO role with that of the spiritual leader.

Satrapi’s Persepolis shows how lower middle class males gained authority over her educated and cultured Mom because they could sprout beards and become religious police in addition to their day jobs as ordinary slobs and grease monkeys, admonishing Marjane’s Mom to conceal her hair and calling her a whore when she talked back. Because CEOs can no longer create real jobs at a living wage in the United States, they are enabling the murder and bashing of gays with “pro-family” talk when in my direct experience, their policies destroyed my family.

The United States is becoming Iran and vice versa, which is why I prefer, like Ho Chi Minh and Sun Yat Sen, to live in Hong Kong.

A Note on Butts in Seats

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by spinoza1111

It is fashionable in some circles to decry “Structuralism” as French nonsense under the general meme “I have a Master’s degree”,

“I have a Master’s Degree. In Science!” – Ask Mister Science, Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater

“but I don’t understand it.”

However, structuralism by any name is an excellent way of understanding power, which is why, I believe, elite opinion is so selectively anti-intellectual.

For example, there is the abstraction of the specific coexistence, in South Africa, of high-minded ideals in its modern Constitution, with the deliberate use of almost all successful politicians even centrists like Zuma with mobocratic tirades against women and gays, as documented in the New Yorker (28 May), in “Violated Hopes”, by Charlayne Hunter-Galt.

Smart people notice a correspondence, an isomorphism, between two manifestations of this collision, for example in universities in which the faculty are paid to mouth human rights and diversity while their students, regurgitating these ideals on examinations, form covens promoting identity politics which deny certain human rights and diversity often using, as self-protectve coloration, identity politics.

The structure is the gradual “post-modernism”, not what’s normally meant by “post modernism”, but a demotic and demonic variant, where you narrate your “religion” as a going-back-to-basics under hyper-modernization.

Now, this used to be, in Picasso’s, Stravinsky’s and TS Eliot’s time, a rarefied and aesthetic gesture, itself a Modernism in what Adorno, at the beginning of his rib-tickling magnum opus Aesthetic Theory, calls “the vortex of the newly taboo.”

The permission to artistically innovate in a vortex generates economic competition among artists, especially male artists that escapes non market facilities such as Salons. Now, it is very, very hard to create something new. Jackson Pollock ripped art a new asshole by single-mindedly pursuing a vision at the cost of his life, dancing before the world. In dancing improvisationally one feels stupid at first which is why you need that trance music, very simplified music that lets you cover up your mistakes.

But one form of innovation can be brilliant in the hands of genius and that is essentially nothing more than pastiche, whether it’s Picasso’s 1920s classicism, Stravinsky’s “Classical Symphony”, or Eliot’s Four Quartets. But in general it avoids the basic problem of encountering one’s Self as an Artist. It is the adoption of the false (Fundamentalist) persona. And it has steadily decayed to become the Dadaism of today’s Republican politics: for example, a recently proposed North Carolina law decreed that sea levels at coastal resorts are to be extrapolated only using linear, and not exponential formulae, for the scientific conclusions destroy the value of riparian real estate, and I am not making this up.

Neoclassicism is the thesis, Fundamentalism is not so much the antithesis as folk neoclassicism even as in Max Weber, Erasmus was the thesis and Luther the folk response. The South African “rainbow” the thesis, Zuma and earlier Buthelezi the folk response.

But the folk response, while claiming a connection with the past, lacks this. It is an affair of a generation disconnected from actual folk-ways.

Today, the homeboys in Africa calling women witches, engaging in “corrective rape” to “cure” lesbians, and killing their girlfriends, or the good old boys in Montana beating up sissies, never really knew the Christianity, Islam or animism of their grandfathers…any more than even Picasso could claim to have been an ancient Greek, Stravinsky “really” a tonal composer of the 19th century, or Eliot a Lancelot Andrewes.

But politicians today, who can never criticize or try to teach the people, find it useful to address these neo-saved because it tells them that the problems of modernization are caused by sorcerers. It’s not your fault is the message of Fascism and Fundamentalism. Its core constituency is not an enumeration of We the People, unlike the US Constitution, which has no predefined notion of what They the People think, but literally enumerates them every ten years in our Census.

The Republican or African demagogue preconceives a description of right thinking usually cribbed from religion as a time-saver. This description is crudely described as “vote for me or you’re a fag” because it pre-describes right thinking.

Picasso got tired of competing with Braque, in many ways a better painter. Stravinsky needed to put butts on seats and Schonberg’s severe adherence to the 12-tone system sent butts off seats in search of a stiff drink.

The greatest of these men (for I don’t question their greatness), Thomas Stearns Eliot, was competing largely with himself. Fortunately for all of us, the Waste Land wasn’t the last word in his case, and the Four Quartets were his answer to the fragmentation in the former work. But, same as me, he had to use an element of pastiche, swiping two ideas from Dante in the Four Quartets: *terza rima* and the idea of the ghostly reappearance of a dead mentor, a Mantuan, “o anime cortese Mantoana”.

Let’s see if I can bring this mess together. The truly traditional is well and truly gone, Flintstone. It is that scene in Alex Haley’s Roots of the raising of the boy child to the gods of the sky and forest because it is a boy. Brought back it becomes demonic, the girl being genitally mutilated and that murderous clown in Norway, Breivik, maddened by You Tube videos, killing girls and the philosophy of my old school-fellow, Ted Nugent.

And from a neoconservative text itself emerges this terrible warning: TS Eliot writes in the Four quartets that we cannot revive old policies or follow an antique drum.

But if I continue in this vein my butt will start hurting, NOT because thinking is bad for me. No. Sitting on my arse is bad for me.

Hoc est enim corpus meum: notes on Obama’s identity politics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by spinoza1111

My comment on this bullshit, in which the author for a second rate East Coast magazine seems to claim to know the Southern working class:

This bullshit is false; it is simply not the case that Obama’s race or approval is the real issue for working people in the south. The manipulation of mass media, as Adorno and Horkheimer showed in Dialectic of Enlightenment, has perverse effects. It creates ignorance as a consequence of the instrumentalization of Enlightenment.

One well-known effect, the crudest, and one easily exposed in totalitarian societies, is the Big Lie, in which the general public is deceived. That this is still operational is shown by the fact that in 2005, 70% of the American public, who had been deliberately deceived to believe that “Saddam Hussein has WMDs”.

However, the self-deception of the users of the data is the real issue. This CLOWN knows Southerners as a statistical abstraction who when called by some pollster during dinner, will say what they are expected to say: they don’t like Obama because he’s from Kenya or the Moon, and they sure don’t like gay people.

The real story is of course that they are working a non-union manual labor job with a herniated disk that insurance (what insurance?) won’t cover, and if they apply for workmen’s comp or disability, they’ll be treated as a criminal and fired.

But as French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu showed in his NARRATIVE study of the pain of working class French people, you don’t get the real story by asking questions in a typical poll. In one example, a French woman without an advanced degree had created a creche and a women’s shelter in the rural south of France. Once it was a going concern she was eased out of managing it, and the job was given to a dame with a classy degree.

The French woman who’d done the dog work was thinking of voting for Le Pen.

Another woman complained about the “noisy” Senegalese in her neighborhood who were having wild parties. After sitting with her, the interviewer discovered the source of her anger. It was that the Senegalese were having wild parties with all generations present while she only had two children who never bothered to see her.

I do not believe that political pollsters use this type of in-depth and almost therapeutic interview, since they are so obviously filled with contempt, a contempt I believe derives from their education-indoctrination in the primacy of the representation over the thing and which is manifest in their contempt for Facebook.

Here, the idiot who wrote this article is clearly a product of this self-deception, this reversal of enlightenment, and this bullshit.

Had Obama delivered his race wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, he wasted his political capital through bipartisanship while his base was crucified on a cross of gold.

White and black men in their fifties are driving rigs in non-union jobs and, absent medical coverage and in view of the criminalization of applicants for workmen’s compensation and disability, they are doing so in constant pain.

White men and black men in their fifties are re-upping for tours of duty in Afghanistan in hopes of getting full military retirement benefits. They are humping in constant pain or fogged-in since increasing numbers of them have taken casualties, received first-rate medical care, but then drugged up (in a way in which the soldier cannot receive medication).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt drew the nation’s attention to the great-grandfathers of these men but today it’s politically incorrect to so much as say “the forgotten man” because to us use “man” to mean “human being” is sexist.

OK. The forgotten person who is either not a member of a fashionable subset of humanity, or, which is almost as bad, is a member of more than one conflicting subsets of humanity. The man with white and black ancestry. The woman who gets her strength from religion. The “sissy” gay man who even in the oh so very liberated and oh so very fashionable gay community is deliberately infected by the top dogs, and note that one of the finest gay spokespersons, Larry Kramer, has spoken out against this.

And what is FDR’s Forgotten ManPerson being told? That it’s great that homosexuals marry.

Most of these men truly don’t give a damn whether homosexuals marry, and don’t much like being told by the chattering classes that they hate it; they are quite frankly disturbed by such talk since the experience of homosexuality in the army and in trailer parks is one of male on male rape and nothing else. The PROBLEM is that in a just society, the unnecessary pain of the black and white heterosexual majority is being IGNORED. The PROBLEM is that if I draw attention to it, this makes me a gay-basher, because the rich have made the rest of us into gang members fighting over scraps.

C Wright Mills knew as long ago during the fifties that the PUBLIC of free men, and, after the 19th Amendment, free women, was transformed into a mass by mass media in which we the people are represented as our lowest common denominator whose pain means nothing and can be explained by defects of character.

The old way to get elected in the South was to yell “Nigra” in a crowded theater. Now, people only THINK they have gotten over Nigra politics. But the conceptual, second-order essence of Nigra politics is in fact two propositions: (1) you boys ain’t the problem and (2) that boy over there is the problem. Negative campaigning by the Republicans have refined this procedure, merely substituting an inchoate, female, government worker for the “Nigra”.

But any response that accepts the ontology of them v us and takes the disfavored part’s side is by the structure of the discourse born to lose. Blacks are a minority as are homosexuals, therefore the demographic commanding heights will be not so much actual white working people but their self-image.

Occupy is making a start by putting bodies on the line to say no, your ontology is wrong, the real division in this country is between the 72 year old who, like Cheney, gets a new heart two years after the customary cutoff date, and the 72 year old who’s using pain pills and Jack Daniels to support his grandchildren.

Christ said, hoc est enim corpus meum: this is my body, this is my blood. In another place he said you do wrong to the least of you you do it to Me. We all have to walk through the fire at some point or another and would be, in my opinion, well advised to keep that in mind.

Stop thinking, in other words, of statistical abstractions and start thinking of bodies. On an Outward Bound expedition I had a dream about the pile of garbage that I as an individual had created over the years. In an abstract mathematical sense, in other words, there can be an accounting, a reckoning.

Then there’s the amount of social pain we and our institutions (which are necessarily composed of bodies) that we cause. What I am envisioning here is a supercomputer totaling it all up. It’s a thought experiment. The reality is that compassion stops nowhere you ask me.

The southern working class, white and black, have been hanging on the cross since the end of Reconstruction. Martin Luther King saw this, and said so during the Memphis garbage workers’ strike. They shot him. Robert Kennedy saw this. They shot him. Even George Corley Wallace said this. They shot him. William Jennings Bryan saw this. They laughed.

Obama has only to cowboy up BEFORE the election and STOP playing identity politics. He needs to give a speech about the forgotten person, and help us to see her, sitting in the subway coffee house after getting fired from her teaching job. Help us to see him, sent out on a fishing boat in direct violation of “useless” government regulations without hydrostatic stability monitoring, and going down in a Perfect Storm.

This is itself an abstraction, the forbidden abstraction of the Victim we tell ourselves we will never be. Its symbol is the cross but I’m not Jesus-walloping here. I am only saying…attention must be paid.

All This Useless Brutality

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 7, 2012 by spinoza1111

Edward Hopper, “Automat”

See this New York Times article: and note, beyond all the phony science implicit in pure measurement of complex, self-reflexive and interacting systems, and even beyond the casual bureaucratic brutality in which the only solution for “bad teaching” is locating the “bad teacher” in a high-tech witch hunt, and then, in a fashionable Mamet way, firing her fucking ass, there is an elementary aporia.

Which is that the source of the bad teacher may be that she needs dental work that she cannot afford, or has been assigned a bunch of thugs, or is being systematically pecked to death in the good old barnyard.

Note, please, that when you fire somebody you have to replace them, and it’s very, very expensive to recruit and background-check while retaining substitute teachers, any one of whom could be the Archangel Michael or John Wayne Gacy.

Elvis Costello put his finger on the Thatcher era in another country, in “All this Useless Beauty”. Doesn’t scan the same way, but the anthem for Amerikkka today is All This Useless Brutality.