Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Putin Is a Pussy

What, me a dork?

Let's lay to rest this whole Soviet strongman myth - or the myth of any dictator as anything but a loser. They're all a bunch of pussies. The drive for power comes from insecurity. Ever see Jesus with a posse? Despot weasels know respect for them can come only from the barrel of a gun. Once that's assured, they then prance around like, "Oh, the people love me! Hear that lack of dissent!"

Russia has always had a culture of a police state. In the times of the Tsars, it was their wet dream to be called a "People's Tsar", holding absolute power but being such just and noble souls they were beloved by all - as long as the oprichniki backed it up. Until they became so beloved the monarchy was violently overthrown and the entire Tsarist family assassinated. Ah, the poor fools who seek power!

Stalin too sought to be a "People's Tsar", his legendary insecurity costing the lives of tens of millions of his countrymen. I don't think there's any way to comprehend the human toll of that monster's reign of terror. After his death, Stalin's purges and maniacal ways were publicly rebuked. He is now regarded as one of the most pathetic men in history. Ah, the poor fools who seek power!

Now, Pussy Putin wants to be the current Soviet weak man. His minions scurry around trying to make everyone believe he is loved and worthy of love. Of course, if Putin himself believed it true he wouldn't be engaging in desperate tactics of repression. Why doesn't he just get on TV and cry? His is a feeble soul clinging to a past that never existed. The inevitable march to democracy will leave him in the dust while valiant men such as Gary Kasparov will be hailed as heroes. Ah, the poor fools who seek power!

Monty Python's Flying Circus - The Lumberjack Song

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Whom Does the Whistle Blow?

I saw in the paper where the trains that pass by where I usually sleep will be silenced. They're gonna put in some new technology or something that allows them to not need to blow their lonesome nighttime whistle. This is like a friend leaving me. That whistle gives me comfort in the night. It drops soothing water onto my parched lips.

I'm listening to it right now and I can hear the distant rumbling of the passing cars. I may not be in Folsom prison, but a prisoner I be. Much as I would love to hop aboard that train and flee from my life, I know I would only find myself in the same hell all over again. What meager support system I have built up here I cannot abandon. If anyone knew what little I am truly living for, they would only laugh - or maybe cry.

Please don't leave, my fellow warrior of the night. We each travel a solitary journey through darkness. As I hear your midnight wail, I want to stay in that moment of bonding forever. Your treasured call is a friendly wave to the world. Only those who know me from afar are my friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The King Is Corrupt! Long Live the King!

At last, the Truth Seeker had proof the King was a fraud. He’d tapped into the hidden frequency used by the monarch’s Secret Army to carry out their nefarious tasks. With incontrovertible evidence he could tear off the mask of the monarchy and reveal its true, wicked nature. As the world had grown dark, the Truth Seeker was set to boldly blast a shining light.

All the King’s men had been in on it. These masters of illusion and manipulators of men convinced the masses to declare the King who brought disaster to their kingdom to be a "good man". The monarchists had portrayed themselves as defenders of the castle, keepers of all that is right and were relentless in their claim as the only ones fit for such roles. Any opposition was violently attacked in word and in deed and many saw this strong renunciation as proof of righteousness.

But these illusionists knew mere lies would not be enough. To bring disaster and call it victory required more than sheer propaganda. It required a willing populace to engage in its own self-deception. “Do you want a strong leader? Do you want to follow a good man?” “Yes!” they replied and thusly did they believe the King to be so. “Are we not a good people? Are we not godly in all our efforts?” “Yes!” they replied and thusly did they believe themselves so. “Do you not want to win? Are we not on the path to victory?” “Yes, we are!” they replied and thusly did they believe. Doom was imminent.

The Truth Seeker was going to change all that. On his recordings was the King’s own voice ordering bombs to be placed under the kingdom’s foundations, followed by a wholesale looting of its riches and a plan for the king and his men to escape to a new kingdom to live in decadent splendor for the rest of their days. The plot was diabolical in its conception and ruthless in its inception. This King so hailed by the public was in reality its worst nightmare, a true enemy of the state.

For the Truth Seeker, the journey for truth had been lonely and frustrating. Penetrating the miasma of lies had left him groping blindly for answers and confidence in his beliefs was slipping. If the monarchists were so evil, why couldn’t he find the evidence? Was he a truth seeker or simply a malcontent? But the Truth Seeker stayed the course until the fog of war cleared and he was able to see both them and himself in true light.

But the glare of truth was too much for the eyes of the kingdom. Friends and allies of the Truth Seeker who had supported his journey were of a different mind once they learned its destination had been reached. They informed the King of his betrayal but the ruler merely laughed. “Excellent! This ensures all my plans! I’ll have my blind shock troops ready for the traitor once the crowd turns on his wretched soul.” The informants left confused by the King’s plan, but the King understood one thing about the world they did not: that the Truth Seeker was going to commit the greatest sin of all: he was not going to tell the people what they wanted to hear.

The Truth Seeker called a meeting of both high and low throughout the land. He showed his evidence, played the recordings and gave details on how he got them. But the King had planted his men in the audience who then shouted "Fraud!" and "Usurper!" at the Truth Seeker. And comfortably closed minds found facts to be irrelevant in the face of such a cruel reality: "Our King would not do such a thing! Never will we call him evil!" And still others, stillborn in greed, hailed the monarch's madness and hoped to share it.

For saying "By his fruits ye shall know him", the Truth Seeker was branded an enemy of the state by the raging crowd. In his hopes to set the people free from a cruel tyrant, the people became the cruel tyrant. The Truth Seeker had triggered the release of their own self-hate and by crushing its mirror they hoped to crush their reality. As he was dragged off to his highly sought execution, the Truth Seeker asked 'Why?' of his former friends.

“It’s all about winners and losers, man. And we want to be with the winners.”

POSTSCRIPT: The King's plan worked to perfection. Amidst the dead and wounded from the planted bombs, the King and his cabal looted the kingdom, living the rest of their days in luxury, never to see justice in this world. Devestated and impoverished, those left in the kingdom faced starvation and misery for the rest of their lives. For some, this was a chance to come clean, but many remained bitter.

"The King was evil! He destroyed us all! The Truth Seeker was wrong. Truth doesn't set you free, it ruins your life! Truth is the enemy!"

"You fucking moron," rebuked one who had come clean. "You have it all backwards. This is what happens when make yourself an enemy of the truth. We didn't save our future when we killed the Truth Seeker, we forsook it. We are in this hell for one simple reason: we chose it."

POST POSTSCRIPT: Centuries later, historians played the What If? game on the downfall of the kingdom. What if the Truth Seeker had not been betrayed? What if the King's men had not been in the crowd? What if the Truth Seeker had presented his evidence in a more effective way? But questions such as these are only asked by the self-deceived. For when the kingdom turned corrupt, all roads afterwards led to doom.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Coming Impression

The world as it exists is a product of our collective soul. Without an understanding of that, there is no broad understanding of wars, economics, politics, etc. So I look for people who have an understanding of life first, then I listen to whatever area of specialty they are concerned with. Usually, I can gleam a nugget of truth from that. With this in mind, I found the following to be illuminating:

NEWSWEEK: You say we're in a new Gilded Age. What do you mean?
Paul Krugman: We are in a Second Gilded Age. The first continued right up until the Depression. Pretax and pre-transfer-income inequality in 2005 was exactly the same as it was in the 1920s. And a lot of [the hallmarks] are the same: the giant private philanthropies (which mitigates economic inequality by giving away fortunes), the exhibitionist display of wealth and, of course, the malefactors of great wealth insisting that they're doing great things for us all.

Krugman has an understanding of how morality plays into economics and his statement helped me to coalesce a lot of nagging thoughts I've been having. People like to reduce economics to a numbers game, but remember, the value of money exists solely in our head. Lose your head and you lose your money. And clearly, we have lost our head.

I remember in the 80s there was a whole slew of books on the Coming Economic Disaster Just Around the Corner. This continued into the 90's but the doomsayers have vanished from consciousness. But they were only seeing the seeds of disaster, failing to account for the time needed to grow. The beauty of an economic disaster is that it can never happen unless we believe it can never happen. That's when you know you've lost your head.

Look at things now: National debt has doubled from 3 to 6 trillion, trade deficits and our national deficit are at nightmare proportions; the number of jobs remains high but the number of people earning a living wage is decreasing and we have the highest concentration of wealth (the richest 1% of Americans own more than the bottom 90% of Americans) among any western country. And in Iraq, war profiteering runs rampant as greed has become institutionalized. Basically, we are in a free-for-all.

You hears whispers of trouble now, but the stock market is still high and all the talking heads paint a mostly rosy picture, but the fatal error lies in that we have finally lulled ourselves to sleep. We are insane and out of control with our spending and yet nothing bad is happening! So maybe we don't need our head after all. Cool! Let's see where making an enemy of responsibility gets us!

Not that I'll be crying when you join me in the street. But here's the basic human truth to this all: Everyone - every man, woman and child, rich or poor - wants to be free of money. It's the inevitable, unstoppable direction of the human soul. For we are human, and in order to have a future, all things inhuman must be purged.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Ate Lunch at Sonic Today!

Sometimes, it's the little moments you remember the most. When I took my foray into Florida all those years ago, I signed up with a temp company to do odd jobs. There was a hardware store that needed help taking down shelves and whatnot as part of its remodeling effort. As usual on jobs like these, there was a cast of assorted characters: a teacher doing summer work, college kids, people in transition for one reason or another and also just losers like me. I wasn't on my way anywhere beyond that job.

Anyway, I got to talking with this college guy and we hit it off pretty well. I don't remember any details about him other than having a good feeling. So he asks me to come along with him to Pizza Hut for lunch. Even back then eating out was a huge no-no for me. Five bucks at a grocery store goes a looong way further than one freaking meal at a fast food joint. But for him, in his life, it was no big deal and I was deeply ashamed to admit it was not the same for me. And I also didn't want to seem rude by rebuffing a simple invitation to lunch.

As we walked over, I was in a world of hurt. I felt trapped and was cursing myself for spending money unnecessarily. Eating out every day was and is a lifestyle far beyond my means. But I decided to bluff my way through it. I ordered a personal pan pizza which I had never had before but always wanted to try. And even though I felt like a trespasser in a world in which I did not belong, I started to enjoy myself. I ended up having a great time and to this day a personal pan pizza gives me good vibes.

Maybe that was a glimpse of what my life could have been.

Today, I had a similar experience. I always get along well with construction workers. I remember on a roofing job how almost everyone smoked a joint on their breaks. It's just a free and easy feeling I get. So I again violated my rule and hopped in a pick up truck with a regular worker from the site and headed to Sonic. The weather was perfect as we sat there, with the wind and the sun on my face and an Eagles tune on the radio, I suddenly took flight. For a few bittersweet moments of borrowed time, life once more was filled with endless possibilities and dreams and the beauty of living was undeniable.

Maybe that too was a glimpse of what my life could have been...instead of a lifetime spent hiding in shame.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

And God asked "Why?"

In a place that held no time, it was time for a harvest. The Maker of all spoke:

“The planet Earth I made with such joy, go and tell me if it has chosen life or death. Let us bring her into the fold.”

In literally no time, the angels gave their report.
“It is suffering we’ve found.”

“Suffering? How can that be? I gave them all they need to be happy and joyous.”

“Although truly there is enough food for all, many are starving.”

“But why?”

“Also, they decided to put poison into there air, water and land.”

“But why?”

“They also kill one another fighting over their resources.”

“But why?”

“They have even built devices to destroy their world.”

“But why?”

“And they choose not see themselves as responsible for their planet.”

“But why?”

“These are things we’ve seen. When asked if they were ready to receive the Bliss of Heaven, they said, 'Yes!'”

“But why?”

The Huntress

I’m trapped in the forest, lost in a place where I don’t know how to survive. There’s a smell of fear in the air - and it’s mine. My gritted teeth and nervous hands panic their way through the brush. But I’m only moving aimlessly, never getting anywhere. But I have to do something – anything –to avoid the Huntress. If only I could leave these silent sentinels of the woods.

“Kill him! He’s worthless!” Those were the last words I heard her say. I’ve been on the run ever since then but never been able to shake her. Her fury knows no end and is relentless in its pursuit. I am a disease to her, a tumor to be removed. Living with me is not an option and with maniacal jealousy does the Huntress guard her life. No thing, no person, nor even a truth can she tolerate to come between her and her wishes. This I knew from her final speech.

“You are useless! You are no kind of man and your life is nothing but shit! Just look at what you’ve made of it! You think I want shit like that for my life? You are a loser who’s never done anyone any good. How have you earned the right to live? All you are is a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe and I mean to scrape your annoying ass off of me! There is no excuse for a worm like you.”

I’ve been melting into fear ever since. I ran into the forest to find escape but escape had already left. For when I ran away, the Huntress’ resolve hardened into my death warrant. She began talking to others – the Haters – as I knew she would and they too joined the hunt for the Worthless One. So that’s how I find myself, slashing through the woods in terror, imagining the Huntress’ bow taking aim at me from behind every tree. But even if I can hide from her, I cannot hide from myself.

Slowly, I’m disintegrating. My face, my hair, my spindly legs are rotting. Won’t be much left of me soon and the witch will have my carcass to gloat over. In that, I am resigned. I just don’t want her or her minions to be in on the kill, to have to hear her last few words stab me and shred my remaining soul. It’s true I don’t measure up to her - or anyone. And her condemnation is completely unbearable to me. I am Shame’s slave.

I’d heard of a place perfect for hiding, thinking there I could find rest and peace and buy more time from the Huntress. To my dismay, I found only her and her minions glaring at me in raging contempt. The hunted beast was trapped at last. “How did you know?” I involuntarily asked. “Because I know you, loser,” sneered back the Huntress. Indeed, it was the knowing of me that doomed me. But I had to let someone know of me. Maybe that’s the Achilles Heel of each of us. So they shot me down and spat on my dead being as they passed. Only the Huntress paused with a second thought.

I wish I knew what it was.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

When the devil came to town

There once was two towns: one filled with goodness and the other filled with good intentions. And into each of these towns the devil sent an evil man. But after announcing his refusal to repent and yet also his refusal to leave, each city passed a death sentence for the evil man to keep their fair burgs godly. To which the evil men responded with a sly speech given to them by the devil:

"Kill me and you become me! Murderous butchers, all! Are you really so sure of yourself? Can't you live for me just a little? Have you tried living with me? I have been sent here to test you! Guard jealously your goodness! For what are you without that but as salt without its saltiness?"
The town of goodness found no merit in the evil man's words and killed him ruthlessly. The town of good intentions however had a change of heart. "We must do good and not be a killer like this man. Live and let live, we say! Let us speak well of him and bring out what is best in him - and in this way show ourselves good. Goodness shall always triumph in the end. In this, who can doubt our intentions?" That night, the evil man poisoned the town's well and destroyed the village.

"The opposite of good is good intentions" - Asian proverb.

The trick, you see, is to get you to lie to yourself. Once that's done, you're toast. Telling yourself you're doing it for a good reason, well, that only makes the evil man laugh.