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punctured

meanwhile matt bai is everywhere with his book about 'when american politics went tabloid': the gary hart sex scandal during the 1988 presidential campaign. so one thing's obvious in the radio interviews etc: hart is bai's hero and he thinks that's where everything went terribly wrong. i can see the argument that who one may be fucking is not really the most relevant piece of info with regard to political leaders. but what i like about this era of examining leaders' private lives is that it continually punctures the mystique in which power enshrouds itself. it shows people wearing suits or uniforms who emerged from yale law school to run our nation are at least as gross and stupid as anyone else. it reveals over and over and over why people want power and what they do with it when they get it. when you get to the point where there just is no mystique, no possible cult, of state power, when all glamour has been scrubbed clean, then everyone is a de facto anarchist,.

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ours is a cynical time…

the secret service fence-jumper scandal is the only thing they want to talk about on cnn and msnbc. war in the middle east has dwindled to irrelevance. amazingly, this is in a situation in which nothing really bad actually happened. whatever. chill and re-think your security.

meanwhile, morning joe among others is bemoaning the fact that one 'pillar' after another - all the institutions that the american people apparently trusted - the secret service, the nsa, the irs, congress, etc - has lost all credibility. thank god we still trust the military, seemed to be the consensus. so why would trusting the government be a desirable state, and when were the american people ever doltish or submissive enough to trust the irs or congress? i don't even think that is is physically, morally, or intellectually possible.

i hope they are being sarcastic about the military. trust the military? have you lost your fucking mind or been asleep for the last half century? also, what the hell, the military is precisely what gave us american hero omar gonzalez.

people who trust those who seize and hold power over them, or trust the institutions in which they are embedded, by which they are surveilled etc, are likely to be raped and executed, and, honestly, it's fundamentally their own doing: evidently what they want and deserve. right now people are just visibly yearning to submit, and are so upset and alienated that watching the news makes that harder. but a situation in which it is glaringly obvious that only a masochistic cretin would trust the authorities is better than a situation wherein everyone or indeed anyone trusts the authorities. that can only be based on secrecy and lies, because the fucking authorities are no better than you or me, to put it mildly.

inappropriation

somehow the united states went from 'congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or of the press' to “There are a lot of names and descriptions that were used over time that are inappropriate today,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “And I think the name this is attributed to the Washington football club is one of those.” in other words, we used to value a bold brawling discourse; now our speech is run by little schoolmarms: 'inappropriate!' honestly, that something is inappropriate, other things being equal, recommends it. i suppose 'appropriateness' is the constitutional standard on prior censorship of expression in our jurisprudence?

re-learning how to dwell

it is usual to pay tribute to the power of literature to remake reality, teach us how to feel, and stuff. let me just say, i think the efficacy of such measures is limited. but really the most hyperbolic claptrap goes down easily. jonathan taylor in the tls september 12:

No longer enthralled by landscape, no longer "dwelling" in it, modern human beings, it woukd seem, stand homelessly apart from it. What writers like Hardy, [Arthur] Ransome and Lawrence manage to do, as heidegger might expect, is to reconnect their readers with the earlier, more transcendent response to nature: through their writings, readers re-learn how to dwell.

honestly, i like swallows and amazons more than i like jude the obscure. but as i cast back to re-call how i felt after i read them, oh you know i dragged my ass out to face another day, got a flat tire on the way to work or whatever. i mean, i guess people are continually having their whole selves and realities transformed by reading novels?

 

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Protected: Elderberry Syrup Ordering Instructions

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

East of the rising sun, west of Gibraltar

 

Crispin, as most of his devoted Crispyheads know, doesn't like Dylan. However, I was driving home the other day, and something I'd never heard before that was obviously an older number because he didn't sound like the late Bob Shepard, Yankee Stadium PA man channeling Son House while introducing Mickey Mantle and it struck me. And, got me thinking about how screwed up the world is...we've got a brilliant president replacing the village idiot; we are a pretty smart country. And we keep stomping on it with cleats...not rubber cleats, but sharp steel ones like Ty Cobb wore

Cobbsl10

I've been shilling Russian mail order brides to all my lonely, unmarried or thinking about it friends. I'm helpful that way. One of my buddies, recovering from his third or fourth marriage told me that he would run before having anything to do with a Russian woman because they come from the womb crazy. This from a guy with 9 cats who wears thin lapelled suits and thin ties with a fedora at work...my comment was fairly simple. "And..." figuring with the Russian bride, you don't have to fool yourself that it's going to be wonderful. 

Kind of like our latest adventure in Syria. So, I wrote this...It's not going to get better in a little while. 

Shamanic Birthworker Programme – A Revisioning

After making my grand announcement about my birthworker programme back in July, I got a lot of requests and feedback. I have spent many hours discussing these requests and feedback comments with some wise souls. It was decided that several changes needed to be made, with accessibility being the focus. It became obvious that spreading out […]

state and climate

it's obvious to naomi klein and to many others that capitalism is to blame for climate change; that's why it is a very convenient problem: because it obviously makes socialism ever-more urgent. but let me ask you this: how good were stalinist russia or romania, or maoist china, on greenhouse gas emissions, or environment in general? say you socialize all industry or something and prohibit people from driving cars or cooking hot dogs. what you would be doing is turning the economy over entirely to precisely the sort of people who run the government now. do you think, for example, that they'll be less concerned with economic growth than titans of industry are now? you want to put every center of power in the same hands. that is a realistic formula only for making every aspect of the problem worse.

we do not live in a capitalist world. we live in a squishy totalitarian world in which state and capital are interlocked at every location. they are pretty much equally implicated in climate change. handing more and more power to the state does not reduce the economic pressures toward expansion, etc; it just puts everything in the hands of a sclerotic bureaucracy. say you think fracking isn't the best idea we ever had. well who is responsible for fracking up pennsylvania? private companies operating in tandem with government agencies. correct? why do you think making the state the lone fracker would improve matters? 

think seriously, in general, about the nature of the 20th-century fossil-fuel economy. who developed these resources where? interlocked state/private concerns. who controlled and exploited middle east oil, for example, and who does that now? who developed the world infrastructure for the fossil fuel economy, the interstate highway system, e.g.? to recommend nationalizing or internationalizing extraction  or consumption is to recommend an even more rigid, uninterruptable, world-bestriding hierarchy. this won't even ameliorate the problem it is supposedly designed to address. as to its other effects: they don't bear thinking about.

putting all resources in the hands of the state is, if history shows anything, the very formula of corruption, and if you really do want your richest people and your bureaucrats and political flaks to be exactly the same people, this is the correct formula. on the other hand, if you want to reduce the exploitation of resources, etc, it's ridiculous.

innovate and die

one thing that the khorasan group has allegedly been working on is exploding clothes. now, i feel that this is a marketable concept, a future fad. i love your outfit! i'm hoping to see a lot of exploding clothes on the red carpet at awards shows. at any rate, i just want to reach out to khorasan in case they need help with the ipo. 

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benignity

i heard the pres of the phillippines, benigno aquino 3, on npr just now. among the problems caused by climate change, he listed 'drugs'. so should all decent people nod along to absolutely anything that would, if true, help make the case even more urgent? say that climate change is an extremely imminent total-destruction emergency. would that make it obligatory to just emit any sort of jive that might get people going? or would it make it morally obligatory to try to believe that jive, or actually to believe it, or to pretend to believe it so we can all work together in virtue of the fact that we are all wackily credulous together for a good end? because that is the actual policy.  all they actually ought to accomplish by this means, and pretty much what they are accomplishing, is to have people switch off. sadly, the response to that is that they will redouble their efforts. it might seem obvious that if people aren't listening to you, you must yell louder, gesticulate more wildly, make even more dramatic/baldlyridiculous claims. but really, it's already been backfiring for many years.

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