Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two Days Too Late, But Still

Merry Christmas to all and to all who are not Christian -- tough shit, assholes!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Aren't There Any Republicans On Star Trek?

"The loan deal requires the companies to quickly reduce their debt by two-thirds, mostly through debt-for-equity swaps, and to reach an agreement with the United Automobile Workers union to cut wages and benefits so they are competitive with those of employees of foreign-based automakers in the United States." (NYTIMES)

As I said earlier, the GOP wasn't going to cooperate with the Democratic majority's bill because it was union friendly. I didn't fully realize that they were also holding out for President Bush to use part of the money already relinquished to him by congress to give the auto industry a mini-bailout, setting the terms of the bailout in conservative, anti-union, pro-business interests. After he leaves office, the mini-bailout will run out, and it will return to Congress on whether or not they should continue to fund the auto-industry the rest of the alloted money.

In other words, Bush just royally screwed us one last time. He has overridden Congress to setup the bailout rules in the interests of big business. One must also wonder, to what extent will we have to cut benefits, safety and pay to stay competitive with foreign automakers that pollute in a wantonness fashion and do not have a unionized or protected workforce? I can hear the executives singing in their meetings "How low can you go!?" and no, it's not some typical bourgeois, homo-erotic office party with limbo.

There won't be much Democrats can do either. Now that Bush has started this devilish process, the Republican party will convince the people through subtle manipulation that, even when the auto-industry is cutting pay and benefits to their workers and still not turning a profit, if Democrats try to deny the auto-industry their money when they fail the terms of the bailout or the terms are ineffective, they will be putting the country at risk. The economy will collapse if the auto-industry companies file for bankruptcy, but feeding them money to artificially sustain them is just delaying the inevitable. Democrats will be obligated to continue to fund the auto-industry even if the money is having no effect; Americans will be convinced to stay the course, and any suggestions otherwise will be deemed reckless by big business and conservatives. We've been forced into a situation where the auto-industry will continue to be funded regardless of whether they meet the terms of the bailout, and the government will continue to bailout the auto-industry until the government deficit breaks newer and newer lows and the economy collapses at a much later date.

Big business has the government by the balls, and thusly, all our balls belong to them. The quasi-Chinese solution to this problem is not going to work; i.e. the government partially controlling and artificially supporting capitalist businesses. Either we go the route of the self-regulation of a free market system and allow the Big 3 auto makers to collapse, leaving room for a new supplier to meet market demands, or we eliminate entirely the executives of the auto-industry that have so poorly run these businesses and have jeopardized our economy and now the sovereignty of our nation. The state should take over this industry, put the leaders of green engineering at the helm, and take the alloted 300 billion and more to use it to completely overhaul all the factories and production towards revolutionary green technology. This would allow total control over this economic sector to artificially induce it into a state of rapid development so we could develop relatively inexpensive, renewable energy vehicles years ahead of other countries -- corner that motherfucking market!

Before you get all hot and bothered in your dungaree overalls, and spit out that piece of hay to yell about "commies!" consider the role NASA has had in our own society and economic system. NASA is not a profitable organization, nor has it ever been. The United States has invested endless amounts of money in the organization to rapidly develop technology that no other country has had; only now, thirty years later, are other countries really catching up and developing the necessary technology to get into space. NASA is an organization that is entirely supported by government funding, and NASA could never exist or come to be in a free market system -- at least fledgling space travel could never be launched by a free market. The demand to go into space does not exist in the general public, just like the demand for green technology does not really exist at a profitable level. You need to artificially create this market by spending billions of dollars on developing the technology to where it's efficient and cheap enough that it can be used by an endless number of people and businesses.

Once NASA develops a way to mine resources cheaply and effectively -- a long way off -- it will no longer need government funding to support itself. Green technology is in the same boat, but it is far more feasible to build a product in the next couple decades that will entirely support itself without government support. The free market cannot effectively bring about green tech demand. A government, preferably our government, needs to invest hundreds of billions, maybe trillions (maybe we could not invade a country for more than a couple decades and save our money?) in developing the technology until the demand is there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Have You Driven A Ford Lately? No, Because They Suck.

What happened to the American economy? When did it become such a gold-diggin’ ho? We just bailed out the banking system with billions of dollars, and now -- oh gurl, hell no! You are not coming back to me for more money!

Yep, she’s back, and she wants more. Now our auto industry wants government money to avoid its eventual collapse into bankruptcy. They’re asking the government for money, but really, they’re asking for your money -- your tax dollars. Of course, that’s not entirely true because the auto industry executives are asking for a bailout with money the government doesn’t actually have yet; they’re asking for whatever tax money of yours they can have now and a piece of future tax money you’ll be giving to the government. The government cannot provide that money upfront, and it will be borrowing the money from foreign banks.

So to clarify, your tax money now and in the future is going towards paying off the government’s loans borrowed from Chinese banks among other banks to give to the auto-industry.

Americans should stop chanting “USA NUMBAH ONE” whenever they feel patriotic in some clusterfuck. Instead they should shout “DE-FI-CIT ” or maybe “USA NUMBAH ONE BECAUSE OF ARTIFICALLY PRODUCED ECONOMIC POWER BY DEFICIT SPENDING -- HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MUCH MONEY WE OWE FUCKING CHINA -- HOLY SHIT I JUST LOOKED IT UP ON MY IPHONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CHANT AND ITS LIKE 350 BILLION!!!!” Of course, if we pursue these new chants, sports games and political rallies might end in a lot more sobbing and rioting, and there’s nothing patriotic about tears, unless they’re from the eye of a bald eagle, encapsulating the twin towers.

As I write this blog post, the bill the Democrats are trying to push to keep the auto industry alive with a bailout has basically floundered because Republicans refuse to support the bill.

I’m personally conflicted about it, as I was over the bank bailout. On first impression, I was, for the first time in my life, impressed by the Republican refusal to cooperate with the government bailout. I quickly and not surprisingly retracted my feelings realizing the main reason a lot of Republicans are opposed to the Democratic majority’s bill for the bailout was that it was friendly to the auto-industry’s worker unions. Republicans were not standing up to corporate welfare in defense of the tax-payer, but rather, in typical Republican fashion, were attempting to find a way to weaken unions; by weakening unions, it could allow for a significant reduction in workers’ pay, benefits, and safety, allowing for, when the auto industry is revived, industry owners to make a greater profit from car sales.

I’m sympathetic to the Democrats because what they’re attempting to do is to pump as much money as they can into our failing economy in a hope to lessen the economic turmoil and eventually turn the economy around. They’re doing it in a sincere hope that this bump from government will help the economy and keep American jobs for Joe Shmoe (my preferred American everyman -- look, his name rhymes, he’s probably self-employed by his lack of title, and his last name is vaguely Jewish -- true red, white and blue American. Fuck Joe the Plumber.)

But there is a problem with the solution of throwing money at whomever needs it. Democrats are going to be funneling money into an industry that is clearly meant to die. The most outrageous analogy I could think of is using a time-machine to go back to the mass-extinction of the dinosaurs with defibrillators in hand, screaming “live, damn you, live!” as you defibrillate their dino corpses. The American car industry has not been competitive for decades. Conservatives blame the environmental, labor, and safety regulations imposed upon the auto industry by the government, which bumps up the cost of the car manufacturing. In order to turn a profit, American cars are significantly “shittier”, thrown together with cheaper parts so they can be competitively priced next to cars that are made in factories with little regulation.

So, is the solution to curb all regulation and allow for a future auto industry to do whatever it wants to create the best, cheapest cars to out-sell its global competitors? Well, for me, that is not a solution, since I don’t want our country to become 30 percent dimmer because of smog (This is not a joke, China is actually less sunny because of industrial pollution), and I don’t want to be employed in a factory where I don’t make a living wage, have no power to resist unfair treatment, and have the work place be so unsafe that I could have my head chopped off by some low-hanging buzz saw -- hey, I’m pretty tall, and I’m upper middle-class so I’ve never been in a real factory, leading me to believe all factories have giant buzz saws to cut giant blocks of stuff. Well, I suppose if I die prematurely from unsafe work conditions or cancer caused by pollution, it doesn’t really matter. Cars will be so cheap you can bury my ass in some swanky ride with leather seats and a moon-roof -- play Taps on the car horn, please.

A more viable solution is to develop new industries, technologies and ideas. This can only occur with resources, and the government needs to be funneling money into think-tanks with vision that can give laboratories ideas to work on to develop new technologies that can be built in swanky new factories. We need the auto industry to die a grisly death, and this will surely mean further economic depression; but it is actually a necessary failure in order to give the country a chance to rebuild anew. We need this catharsis more than anything. Car production as we know it needs to cease, and car ownership and use as it is in America needs to cease.

The government needs to spend money to help develop electric cars, or something in such a vein, that can run-off cleaner fuels and renewable energy; the technology is there, but it needs to be rapidly advanced to meet American demand. American factories need to take some notes from Japan and other countries, and come up with some of their own ideas, on significantly improving the efficiency of the production process; factories can be smaller, cleaner, more efficient if we just begin to apply some ideas rather than kicking a dead horse -- or investing money in it, whichever… The dollar is the catalyst. And in the interim, there are numerous steps the government can take to help reshape America. All of this requires money and lots of it. We cannot invest billions in a dead industry that will probably die even if we put the money into it; for one, the industry will most likely not do anything significantly different from what they have been doing, leading to their eventual collapse again; the same executives that fucked everything up to begin with are going to still head these companies; the same factories and the same products are going to be produced -- shit nobody is buying. And also, if another country develops a new form of transportation that can run off a cheaper or a renewable energy source, the gas-guzzling car will be to the future what the music cassette is to us now.

I knew I should have bought that Hootie and the Blowfish album on CD rather than cassette in 94. Come on, America, do you want to end up like me, locked in the past listening to Hootie in my giant American shit-wagon? No, no, you don’t.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Coldplay, You're As Cold As Ice

If any of you have read some of my previous "bloggings," you would know that I have a particular, special hatred for Coldplay. My hatred stems from rich and varied reasons, which I won't go into at length. I just wanted to bring up some news I recently stumbled upon about Coldplay.

Apparently, they're being sued by the guitar virtuoso and general tool-bag John Satriani. Satriani has been a prominent and successful musician for quite some time now, and he is easily one of the most recognizable guitar players for anybody who is into musicians that know how to play their instruments (5% of the United States).

Below I offer the link to the story, and I have a youtube clip that pairs the two songs together. I can't even remember the name of the Coldplay song because every single word that comes out of that lead singer's mouth makes me feel like I just witnessed an execution of a young child.

The news snippet:
Read All About It! Coldplay Eats Their Own Shit

The video comparison between Coldplay's shit song and Satriani "if i could fly" or some bullshit.

I also want to remind everybody once again that these stupid bastards created a hit solely based off of their use of one of the greatest minimalistic riffs ever created on a synthesizer. Kraftwerk's "Computerliebe" was raped and pillaged by Coldplay for their song "Talk." "Talk" is an abomination against the goodness in the human heart. I can't help but compare it to barbarous tribes raiding and pillaging the outskirts of Ancient Roman civilization. Kraftwerk is an amazing expression of art and culture; Coldplay is an amazing expression of human failings, like the sound of a giant turd hitting toilet water.

Oh, wait, you don't think they suck, you Coldplay-loving fool? Well, for one second, let's assume that your brain is capable of some level of rational analysis, rather than adhering to its natural state as a warm brain-vagina for the music industry's throbbing pop-music dick. If we step back for just a moment and really look at the noises and the words that tickle your fancy and make you jump up and down with joy because you "love this song(!)" maybe then you'll have to start admitting that Coldplay is a shitty band.

Every Coldplay song follows two basic principles:

1. Sweeping, melodic, vaguely-melancholic guitar with plenty of echo to give you the sense of something celestial, sacred and ephemeral. Basically, they want you to feel as if you're experiencing something expansive and greater than yourself to induce the feeling of the sublime. The Edge from U2 really beat this sound into the ground for over two decades, and Coldplay decided to make it their own.

Once they've achieved this guitar sound by playing a really famous riff they stole from real artists on a guitar, they add the vocals.

2. All vocals should be about something important to the emotions of everyday people, but should adhere to a principle of vagueness to allow the audience to arbitrarily assign the meaningless lyrics to something meaningful in their own lives. The lyrics usually center around the title of the song, which is usually just some boring phrase or word if you're lucky enough to have it even be anything sensible in the english language.

Here's a good example from the song "Viva La Vida":

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
(Principle of melancholy with vague idea about something important. What a normal person should gather from this stanza: he used to be a false prophet, now he is a state worker.")

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand
(This is what artists and intelligent people call CLI-CLI-CLICHE-MONGERING!!!! I've definitely never heard about castles being built upon weak foundations -- snore. Oh, out with the old king, in with the new? More like out with the old boring shit and in with the... still the same old boring shit, Coldplay.)

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world
(Oooo, good inclusion of references to the Holy Land and its occupiers. That definitely adds seemingly meaningful weight to the banter and bullshit of this song.)

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries Wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?
(Cliche after cliche after cliche.)

This song is probably about George Bush or any other lying sack of shit politician/wannabe-prophet, but honestly, who the fuck cares? If you're just speaking in hackneyed phrases about something that has been covered a million times over by much more intelligent people who actually brought greater levels of illumination on the topic, why in the hell are you wasting our time?

To wipe away the tainted part of my blog by Coldplay lyrics, I will smite them with the mighty sound of Kraftwerk:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Capitalism's Obstacle In Human Nature

Democracy often leads to mediocrity, but mediocrity is a venial sin when compared to capitalism as a system. Mediocrity is an obstacle to be overcome by the capitalist in his unending pursuit for the basest of the base; mediocrity is at least a standard, and the very essence of the notion of a standard is something so repellent to capitalism that most of its sole drive (i.e. profits) goes to the eradication of all standards in personal, aesthetic, moral and political life.

The highest form of humanity in capitalism is an industrial-waste-eating bacteria that shits cash. Unfortunately for capitalism, evolution works slowly, so the human form is an unwilling work-in-progress that must be submitted to curb its essential inquisitive and quarrelsome nature.

Though clockwork social structures have fashioned a corporate-consumerist culture that mimics the biological workings of our theoretical shit-eating/cash-shitting bacteria, where we dole out money for things like our favorite warm and "edible" plastics (do you read your food ingredients?), there is still that innate humanness that has been written on us by nature and cannot be quickly or easily erased; humans have thumbs, and when they are not abusing them to stick them in various orifices, they are, by the very sign of their bodies, ceaselessly engaged in the world as makers. There are always new ways to tinker with the world and fashion new systems as capitalism was once itself fashioned. Strange how capitalism opposes so strongly the very nature that once devised it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The American Way

*Jump to the middle of the video to get the good stuff*

A Belated Farewell To Sarah Palin

I was a bit surprised at the lack of media coverage of Sarah Palin's final interview before she headed back to Alaska. She is owed her last word. I for one thought it was a riveting call to the nation to remain active and seek cohesion in our country.

Oh Palin, your words are to my ears what flowers are to my nose.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Considering The Role Of Power In Democracy

The theory of democracy and its material manifestation in the form of a republic are perhaps the most scientific out of all the governmental ideas and realities. It is no mere occurrence that the inspiration for the republic, Enlightenment thought, was also a wellspring in the development of science; but, perhaps, because it is so scientific, and through its complex, diffuse and responsive structure, it is the most efficient in retaining its power. What leads to the disbanding of a government and its control(?) -- revolt. Democracy, in its contemporary form, is the scientific analysis and solution to the problem of revolt; rather than squashing the power that threatens the government through traditional and, what one might deem to be, religious means -- the wantonness: physical force, punishment, guilt -- satisfy the desire of the revolt, thusly nullifying it, with a mass orchestration of a symbolic revolution. There is a change of heads brought by the will of a nation, but still, a democratic government holds more tightly to its rule than any other government through its economization of power.

If Bush were a true fascist or a leader of any other less scientific system, he would have his body dragged through the streets by Americans, but since he is a republican (note the small r), he retires from his post with no criminal charges or any punishmen for his criminal infractions against the Consitution and his war crimes. He returns to his socially and economically powerful position in our society none the worse, ignoring, of course, any invested money he may have lost in the stock market. The energies of revolution have been spent upon the work and the election for Barack Obama. A newly revitalized, yet very old, party seizes further power in congress, but these Democrats are more moderate than before, and Obama has been consistently forced to remove himself from his leftist ideology, being pressured and "conservatized" through debate by the more moderate Hillary Clinton in the primaries and by John McCain in the presidential election. How much change has the democratic system really allowed?

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Just The City Of The Dead

Instead of my writing becoming popular posthumously, I've become popular with... those who are reading posthumously. I just totally shifted that paradigm.

So keep reading my stuff if you want to go the way of the poor skeleton above.

Propsition 8 My Gay Marriage!

“The sacred institution of marriage!” scream the religious right at the television screen in-between the deafening sound of their fattening guts and asses, and the clinking of utensils on plates. I’ve come up with a new psychological theory. The anger and rage over the idea of same-sex couples getting married is actually a dormant fear that gay marriage means an increase in the breadth of meaningful marriages between like-minded, in-shape, intelligent, egalitarian people. But why would they fear something seemingly so positive?

Well first, take a look at my rigorous, scientific proof to show that the religious right are significantly fatter which correlates with ugliness and stupidity. My tools consisted of misspelled keywords searched and spell-checked by Google’s image search.

A map of the fattest states:

(*snicker* Did anybody else just see Mississippi eat an entire bag of Tostino’s Pizza Rolls?)

Now observe the correlation in this map of the presidential election:

This is my first proof, so keep this in the back of your mind as I continue.

The religious right fears gay marriage because it is a direct attack on their institution of marriage. In the anger that the gay and sympathetic liberal communities have felt toward, what they deem to be, crass remarks and symbolically violent political acts by the religious right, they have failed to step back and look at exactly what the religious right is saying. A gay marriage unhinges the sacred institution of marriage because a strict interpretation of the Bible commands such a covenant must exist between a man and a woman. But, let us stop for a second and think -- are we talking about the same thing here? Yes, the reference back to the Bible and marriage’s long-standing, archetypical tradition are cultural items that we share, but the idea of marriage is constantly evolving as culture evolves. As two distinct cultures have emerged in the United States, so has a distinct notion of marriage. The idea of marriage for the religious right is threatened by a radically different idea of marriage found in liberal-minded communities. What the religious right is saying is true!

Marriage for the religious right is a deeply spiritual experience between a 16 year old girl and an 18 year old man -- both with various undiagnosed learning disabilities and a relationship with their church comparable to their relationship with drinking in the woods. Sooner or later, an abstinence-only sexual program leads to the religious and deeply meaningful desperate act of marriage to either cover up an illegitimate pregnancy or to finally get your rocks off -- like a divine intervention from God and nothing like an accident! There are no accidents in Christianity ever! Marriage then leads to a crapload of children solely out of an inability to find anything better to do in the swamp they call home. The happy couple fail to pursue anything outside of child-rearing, because they got married and had kids before they could develop any significant personal achievements and an interesting personality. The marriage and the children then proceed as a fruitful excuse to get increasingly fat and repugnant, because “hey, I‘m married and fucking retarded, so, I might as well spend my final decades seeing how much processed meat I can eat.”

God’s glinting eyes shine down like the big, old, more muscular, kind-of-hot Santa Claus with significantly fewer clothes. And the Lord says unto them that this is good, this is his sacred institution of accidental impregnation or copulation leading to a generally meaningless pairing of two developmentally-retarded “individuals” that share nothing in common other than the few cultural issues they pick up on by watching the same prime-time television shows together -- oh, and I guess they can bond on the chromosomal damage they share -- never any accidents ever!!! This is God’s gift, his blessing, his assurance to humanity that love is an unending bound between a creator and his creation and when one marries, they engage in this eternal love together.

The gays with their marriages are truly frightening; how could they not be frightening, for their marriages resound the possibility of authentic love between two people beyond the mystical bullshit of trailer park messiahs. Gay marriage, being a phenomenon that can only be viable in a liberal area, will share in the Blue State culture that is also more scientific, pragmatic and generally careful, jumping past the “warm-fuzzies” of religious interpretation, when approaching such a serious relationship as marriage. Turns out putting off marriage to spend time developing your personality, skills and experiences might lead to a better understanding of yourself, allowing for you to make decisions about relationships that will have long-lasting and meaningful consequences. Turns out having a positive relationship with your sexuality, and pursuing the necessary number of partners needed to unravel the complexity of your needs outside of marriage will lead to finding a consistent partner that can meet your analyzed, clearly marked out needs. Statistically, Red States have more divorce than Blue states, and this remains so for various reasons.

As prop 8 came to pass, mainly due to the rednecks that live in California outside of the cosmopolitan areas, the religious right said “No.” to the Blue State’s conception of marriage. They lifted their Bibles and their Tostino’s Pizza Rolls -- their children circling them, covered in sugared cereal -- and they basked in the glory of the divine nature of their communion. For committed love can only exist, and should only ever be recognized by the state, between two aloof lovers with different genitals and unthinking whimsy for the material cosmos. And the sun goes down on the trailer park, the sun moves around the Earth, and the nocturnal dinosaurs come out in shadowy play, and life is as God intended -- good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Disfranchised and Dissidents of Democracy

At another point I may go on to develop a more thorough look at democracy as a viable political system, but as for now, I am spurred by recent events to comment briefly on the given topic.

While patting ourselves on the back over the success of our democratic system, a republic, to elect us a radically new president by unprecedented voter turnout, there lingers a harrowing contradiction. Proposition 8 was democratically and fairly passed, eliminating the validity of same-sex marriage under California state law along with the rights and tax-benefits of marriage. Democracy was used as a tool of oppression on the very day we celebrated its success, allowing for the removal of citizens’ rights. Inequality is voted right into the entire system with the jovial cries of -- no, not Mormons, but a majority of Californians!

And the culture war? (to regress back to some of my previous posts) It is not dead in the newly united “Obama generation.” It remains quite alive and in a “blue state” no less.

The reality of our situation presents itself starkly in the contrast of Obama’s politics of hope brought to life by the same system that robs all hope of equality for a particular minority. Can democracy escape its ironic nature? The ideal of democracy is the empowerment of the people over any form of institutional rule, but who are these people? The people is an abstraction that loosely ties individuals together and gives them a bond, and hopefully, a shared goal in their bond. Many national identities have been fashioned within or slightly before modernity out of farcical notions of history and culture in an attempt to legitimize a government’s expanding boundaries of power. As I’ve stated, the current identity and self-identity of the American people is a narrative constantly being woven -- it’s not some unshakable essential identity synonymous with the Pilgrims (they are the antithesis of modern Americans) as they stepped on to land. The people does not exist as an organic and real thing; the people are brutishly divided into numerous groups that identify within categories of race, religion, sexuality, political group, class, geography, etc. -- some allowing for more significant social cohesion than others. There is never a truly united people beyond the abstract pandering of the state; rather, a heterogeneous collection of groups with differing relations to power is the real makeup of the participants in a democracy.

Ultimately, democracy means little more than the preservation of the majority’s beliefs and needs at the expense of the minority. Democracy can be only contingently(!) aligned with truth, equality, justice and rationality by the actions of unrelenting educators and politicians working within the democratic system to keep it from consuming the very ideals it supposedly propagates through its essence.

A quick and a dumbed-down example to fully grasp what kind of danger lurks in a democracy is a hypothetical situation that reveals democracy nihilistic indifference to truth.

“Imagine a nation made up of the mathematically incompetent at 51 percent, and the mathematically competent at 49 percent. You’ll have to suspend the material issues of evolution and survival here in our hypothetical human species. The state asks to place on some national ballot whether 1 + 1 = 2 or 1 + 1 = 11 should be taught in every school. By some godsend all the mathematically incompetent manage to vote for the mathematically impossible without accidentally killing themselves in the process. The majority of our hypothetical human species has developed a social or perhaps a religious custom that states 1 + 1 = 11 with total indifference to rational argument, pragmatic usefulness and the general framework that can allow a basic arithmetic to work. By the democratic ideal, 1 + 1 = 11 is the new solution to the equation and the people rejoice! There is also absolutely nothing wrong, or flawed, or incomplete in this democratic process. It should actually be cited as a great achievement and success of democracy!”

So we must ask, what should we be celebrating -- the democratic system’s success or our luck that it failed to stand in the way of a more competent government? And we, the few, unsettled individuals, are left with the most startling question as we enter the edge of our known political system and come in contact with the horizon of the negative space of the unknown beyond the foundation of democracy. Is there something better, and can we be sure it is not an illusion hiding some new form of fascism?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Barack On My Brain

In my previous post about American democracy, I outlined a pathology that has infected our system of government. The role of government, especially the executive positions in government, is transforming through a mythopoesis in a dialogue between the state and the people. What is the nature of this dialectical mythopoesis? Mythopoesis is the process by which new myths or narratives are created. Bare with me for this: For a myth or narrative to be successful, and all narratives must be successful for us to canonize and remember them, it must fit into the framework, or the world, in which it is written; Zeus, as a random example, must maintain the necessary qualities of Zeus for a story to expand and extend its particular world. If Zeus loses such qualities, the myth cannot be brought into the greater story and is most likely forgotten. A dialectic is the interaction (in a very broad sense) between two entities wholly separate; an example of this could be two people talking.

President Bush upon his creation of the Axis of Evil, for a most apparent example, inflamed and changed the nature of political talk in the US; it was no longer an issue of nation-states in secular pursuit of their “enlightened” interests in the Western, liberalized notion of government, but rather, it became a battle of religious forces -- good versus evil. Many of Bush’s speeches, particularly about the United States’ role in the world community, have been heavily and unapologetically colored by religious tones:

“This time of adversity offers a unique moment of opportunity -- a moment we must seize to change our culture. Through the gathering momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness, I know we can overcome evil with greater good. And we have a great opportunity during this time of war to lead the world toward the values that will bring lasting peace.” (State of the Union Address 2002)

When President Bush gives a speech, he engages in a very significant form of dialogue, or, at its basest, interaction, with the American people. What he delivers is a narrative that, if it is successful, will be brought into the established mythology of the American people.

Bush’s White House harped upon a dormant religious mythology that hides within the shadowy blue fabric of America; this myth-making par excellence captured what is part of the core of American society and has always jeopardized the ideals of secular democracy. The United States was founded by the progeny of Puritans, and many if not most of its greatest historical endeavors, good and bad, have been conceived in concealed providential narratives. I’ll skip on the history book analysis since this is a blog, and we need to keep it reasonably short. But take note that President Bush adheres to a good principle of mythopoesis by bringing his myth-making into place within the preexistent mythology.

With this new dialogue between the state and the people, Americans underwent a transformation in their narrative or mythology, particularly their relationship to their government. Where a history is molded and reshaped, so is the identity which is founded upon it. This new world, this new identity, in which we inhabit has been written by Bush’s state and the American people through a dialogue. In it, Bush is no longer just president, but rather, he is the shepherd and we are his sheep. Much of our side has been a sickeningly silent response -- we are the sheep! Our assistance in the story has been akin to the status of ghost writer, sitting idly by and writing most of the narrative by providing the white space but taking no credit for it. Our inaction is our contribution to the new American identity, and Bush, through his development of what role the state is suppose to take, has helped to further push for an apathetic waiting. President Bush has molded an identity of complacent waiting for him to resolve us of our problems.

My theory can be proven ferociously sound too by considering the unprecedented actions of the White House in the guise of their new paternal identity. For example, the suspension of Habeas Corpus and the establishment of Guantanamo Bay, the suspension of Constitutional rights through the Patriot Act, the vetoing of a ban on Waterboarding, a neoconservative foreign policy with unilateral, preemptive war, etc. The executive branch fully extended its power in a way never seen before, and many Americans see nothing wrong with this. Bush's legacy is really the reinvention of the identity and role of the executive branch of government, and his Constitutional debasements are an apparent example. Many Americans are quite apathetic to this new, unbalanced executive branch that grew during Bush’s eight years in office. How was this so if it was not allowed by a retelling of a narrative to change the identities of the people and the state? The American people have never reacted to this new formation, and significant disapproval only came with the economic recession, the deficit spending and tactical ambiguity in Iraq, and finally, the near-complete collapse of the economy; there was very little outrage and protest to the above mentioned trespasses relative the seriousness of the crimes. Bush weaved his people a myth, allowing for a new American people to accept something more like a religious leader than a secular president in their executive branch of government.

Consider how radically different the narrative was during America’s 1960s and 70s and the identities that emerged out of that. The sheer rebellion was the sign of an unwillingness to allow an American identity to convert into a religious, unquestioning following. The current story is different.

It may shock you, but this narrative has not been written anew with Obama; rather, Obama has won his presidency riding upon the new identities established by Bush. We throw out the old priest for a new one. Upon Barack Obama’s election, there is celebration as if we have finished our jobs, and now, it is Obama’s turn to take up the role that Bush had establish. Our role in the dialogue between us and the state is over; we return to our sheep status, and wait -- wait, wait, devotedly in secular, democratic prayer that Obama will resolve our problems. I’ve already seen suggestions from the news that Obama can single-handedly save the auto-industry by a state-mandated, instantaneous conversion to a fuel-efficient and alternative energy car -- hilarious. Most people, ignorant of the slow, laborious process needed to transform the economy, the environment and our governmental institutions, think Barack Obama will be doing something more similar to anointing them and setting them free of all their political trappings and failures rather than sound, long-term planning.

For some reason all of this reminds me of the Market Place scene in Jesus Christ Superstar -- odd I know. I don’t want to get too serious when I’m writing a blog, and I have yet to use the Internet medium to its fullest. It is perhaps time for a pause. So maybe I’ll embed a video of the scene from the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. The three minute mark and the end make me wonder…

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A False Obama

I was walking in the street when a rowdy black woman ahead of me turned around and asked me “So, how about Barack Obama?” in an excited tone. I responded “how about Barack Obama.” Which, doesn‘t make much sense as an answer, but if you say it in a long drawn-out way it seems like a legitimate response when you’re just repeating what the person said to you . I noticed what seemed like melancholy in my voice in responding to her, and I wondered if she thought I was a McCain supporter.

Why was I melancholic in my response or something akin to it? I watched the excitement on the news over the historic occasion that signals a time of momentous importance in many different histories. It’s a victory for black America; it is a victory for our American democracy and society as a whole; and it is a victory for me, as I voted for Barack Obama in an adherence to my liberal beliefs and my honest like of a good man and a talented politician. What bothers me about the situation enough to keep me from feeling the euphoria I see in others, particularly the younger Obama supporters?

Perhaps it is the cult of personality that has grown around Obama. There is a strange, undemocratic, apolitical fervor that swelled up around Obama and his campaign. Obama’s sweeping win, his changing of red states to blue state and his ability to get out the vote at an unprecedented level, are all shocking. Many argue that this has been spurred by a reaction to the horrid state of the economy and eight long years of an unresponsive, republican president. While I do believe that Obama’s win has been significantly influenced by Bush’s wide-spread unpopularity, there is a catalyst that is irrational and apolitical; look at Obama’s win compared to Kerry’s loss. Kerry faced an equally unpopular President Bush during a time when Iraq was far more tumultuous than it is now, and the economy was in the full-swing of a recession. Obama faced a moderate republican that rode on the political rhetoric of change and emphasized his bipartisan initiatives. How could have McCain lost in such a decisive way?

Part of the reason is the number of apolitical voters Obama’s uncontrolled cult of personality brought in. In such strife, voters have taken to Obama as a messianic or heroic figure that will redeem the United States in some radical transformation. I refuse to believe that the votes that kept Bush in office for eight long years are now sincere liberal votes. America did not become a politically liberal nation in four years through a steady questioning of domestic and foreign policies; the exit polls show that the number one concern is the economy, not Iraq, not terrorism, and not the social values that had clinched the win for Bush for two elections. The emphasis and concern voters have placed on the economy is rightly due, but the way the people have conceived of it might be truly disastrous.

The economy is a focal point of absolute terror for Americans, and in the throes of such a nightmare, people have been consistently undemocratic, reactionary and un-American in their turn to a political “strongman.” We saw this behavior with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, where Americans focused on their fear of another terrorist attack, allowing for an unparalleled loss of their freedoms in the name of security. For much of the election in 2004, while being bogged down in Iraq, John Kerry was painted as a weak-willed liberal with a phony war record; his liberal policies, ones dead similar to Obama’s, would jeopardize American security at home and abroad -- Kerry significantly lost the popular vote. Americans are still short-term, one-issue voters, and they vote not out of political righteousness and adherence to a rational political doctrine. Their new terror is economic meltdown, and their new hero is Obama, where Osama Bin Laden and Bush are the devil and savor in some now longforgotten fairytale. Americans are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to a strong leader in the childish hope that this leader will resolve all their issues. And I fail to see the goodness in all of this, because it is not a good exercise of our system, rather, it is religiosity breeding a way for fascism.

Luckily, I am reassured for at least these four years. The American public may be a deeply foolish, apolitical, terror-ridden voter, but for once, in a rough eight years, this has worked to the favor of the better party and the better candidate. Obama began his presidency with a speech upon his election that emphasized a democratic resolution to our problems, he put it on us, the people, to commit to creating an America we would like to see. He tempered and brought into the American consciousness once again the lost notion of long-term planning and strategic thinking, rather than, reactionary panic to the economic crisis. The thing about it is, there is the Barack Obama that I admire and appreciate because he is, in truth, all of the things this country needs, but the rabble that is in sheer ecstasy over Barack Obama is a loathsome, undemocratic and fascist element that is entirely to blame for the past eight years of the total desecration of this country; they, the American people, have shamelessly falsified and portrayed Obama as a hero for their idiotic, religious masses. I fear for Obama, and I fear for the end of four years when the American people see their false image of Obama shatter and don’t understand why all of the promises they inscribed on Obama were not immediately given to them upon his election. And where Obama gives his people the chance to be something great and different -- upon his descent from the mountain after four years, he will find a panic-stricken, orgiastic cult worshipping in stupidity and betrayal towards another golden calf.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No More Bowling For Man-Machine?

While I was hand-painting my recently kilned urns with wild pomegranate juice, I looked deep into the village fire, and I saw in the news that online social networking sites have recently usurped porn in internet traffic and popularity -- and Praise the Lord it was not consumed by the blaze!

When one sits back for a moment to view the greater picture, one cannot help but to be amazed. What is this new human way of being? As a species we’ve gone from eating a consistent diet of Giraffe bone marrow and succulent mud to living a majority of our lives in some enigmatic, abstract plane of nothingness. Our fluids jostled and heated by series of data in the form of zeros and ones; and how carefully orchestrated they are into ever-organizing structures with their ends of stimulation through hardware projecting into the brain via the eyes and the ears.

To think not that long ago, the greatest mental stimulus for the human was whether or not Jews, or any other foreign people, were pooping in the town well, thusly poisoning it -- oh, simpler times, when the Earth was flat and the Jew recognized for his unending mischief. Here and now, times change, look at what we have: a person must consider a litany of individual human emotional statuses, vaguely formed in simple sentences, and placed in a growing labyrinth of an ever-complex network of social relations -- my brain is hemorrhaging in the cacophony of “[Proper Noun] is currently!”

Some might see this swell of popularity over social networking as a positive thing; we no longer have to hang our heads and shamefully admit the greatest ark of information and knowledge in the history of humankind is completely overrun and ruled by pornography. Turns out the last great collections of information, the library of Alexandria in Hellenized Egypt, was razed because it was so embarrassingly full of porn -- and Plato’s dialectics -- fuck that shit is boring. You cannot argue with historical fact! Where ancient man brought justice through sword, we brought justice through our narcissistic “interests list” and insatiable need to stalk people online.

And as I’ve spoken of the greater picture before, let us take a further step back, so that we may consider this on a cosmic scale -- in the most literal of senses. I always wondered if holier-than-thou and intelligent extraterrestrials did ever come down to Earth, how would we hide all our porn? Like a bad son who has lived in his mom’s basement for the majority of his teens, amassing a plethora of porn magazines, going unhindered for years, sooner or later, mom is going to want to vacuum -- and then what!? To save ourselves the embarrassment, we’ll probably just pretend we don’t even have any computers or the internet. We’ll say the computers belong to…uh, the… dolphins (!) with their large, active brains, who are currently seeking therapy for sex-addiction. We’ll use computer illiterate John McCain as a demonstration and keen rebuttal that we surely know nothing of these so called “internets” with its series of tubes and trucks for dumping. If these computers were ours, how could we ever consider such a man as a potential leader?

But back to social networking in the specific -- to me the trumping of porn is not a step for progress at all. Pornography’s near-ownership of the internet stems from the social mores that exist in our society, and the anonymity and voyeurism the internet can provide to escape social constraints. Sex, sexuality and the exposed human body are powerful things, and much of culture and civilization is nothing more than the trying and succeeding to control these areas of intense and potentially destructive energies. The “pornification” of the internet is really the latent shadow of our society’s Puritanism; that’s why you have to drink an entire 30 rack of natty ice just to get close to a girl in Ugg boots for a chance at failed copulation. Porn on the internet stems from sex, sexuality and one’s own body being alienated from a totality, or wholeness, of an individual personality. That which is sexual is ripped from a person and denied its essentialness to the person in total. The internet is the perfect vehicle for the fearful, alienated people to play-out a removed “sexuality” anonymously online, as they cannot merge this sexual being with themselves as a whole. Later on, this artificial and “pornified” sex and sexuality are played-out in real life acts as a supplement of something aching for authenticity. Please see fat chick dancing on table in bar for reference to the dangers of pornification.

If people are using the internet for socializing now more than ever, the accusation just brought against pornography above probably holds true for socialization. People are becoming ever-removed from their neighbors, townships and greater communities. This is a well-documented fact, and if you don’t believe me, take the anecdotal evidence of “when is the last time you smelled your community’s smelly feat through the sharing of rental bowling shoes?” There are fewer and fewer bowling alleys, along with other community recreation centers, because public use is decreasing. Authentic socialization and relationships, free of the artifices that cause and are the product of alienation, are being exchanged for something else. In sum, many of the social bonds that unite us and help to form our identities are deteriorating. The social networking sites are both a product of this shift and an accelerant for it. And when our bonds go quietly into the darkness of internet space, there is little social cohesion to keep people from wearing crocs, or keeping fat girls off of splintering tables, or keeping people from embarrassing themselves by writing online.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin Hockey Mom By Proxy Brain Damage

The McCain campaign has stirred up some serious muck in order to divert the focus away from McCain’s inability to reassure the American public he can resolve their economic woes. He has polled horribly on the issue of the economy, and rightfully so, as McCain would implement nearly identical economic policies as President Bush that have played their significant part in unhinging the American economy.

McCain’s charzard and pikachu have both fainted in battle leaving him with his last pokemon -- Ayers. This new focal point for M-dawg’s campaign has actually been around for awhile now, but has taken on fuel from the desperation of the McCain campaign. Obama’s associations with Bill Ayers has really gotten the conservative base riled up. How could Obama have a relationship with Ayers, a domestic terrorist that was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical, leftist organization dedicated to violent means to achieve their goals of ending the Vietnam War? WHO IS THE REAL OBAMA!!!?

To fully address McCain’s attack, I’ll divide my points up into sections.

First on Associations:
Turns out Ayers is a free American citizen who is also a highly successful university professor:

If Obama is in cahoots with a terrorist, then we really need to rid ourselves of all the terrorists at the University of Illinois in Chicago where Ayers teaches. Talk about associations! And more schools seem to be harboring this terrorist!

*In Ayers bio in above link*
2005-6 - Randolph Distinguished Visitng Professor, Vassar College
2005 - Distinguished Scholar, Museum of Education, University of South Carolina
2003 - Visiting Scholar, Lesley University
1996 - Doctor of Humane Letters (Honorary), Nazareth College"

Can you imagine how much closer his ties and connections are to the hundreds of students he has taught, the administrations and faculties of schools he has worked for and the schools who have given him honorable awards! We don't just have terrorist cells here -- we have an entire terrorist organization actively working in the US known as higher education. There are motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!

Obama’s ties to this man are pretty loose. They are both liberal, activists and work in the same part of the country. Well, what do you know, turns out they interacted and served with respectable, mainstream organizations that give out grants, seek to end poverty, etc.. in the early 2000s. Obama must have really searched high and low across this country to find this domestic terrorist, so he could establish a relationship that one might describe as “bff.” Obama’s proclivity to seek out terrorists really speaks of his moral character. Just so you know there is no evidence of further links between Obama and Ayers as of 2002.

On the issue of Time:
I’m not going to break down in uncontrollable sobbing over the atrocities (being in a group that fatally killed one police officer and injured another along with various acts of property damage) this man has committed when he acted as a "domestic terrorist" well over thirty years ago. Sometimes late at night I scream out in rage at John Wilkes Booth "WHY!?" The audience who gets riled up about this is full of it. They’re only interested in pretending to be outraged for political reasons. Nobody I know young or old started screaming out about political events that occured in the 60s and the 70s anytime recently -- the 80s, well, that’s a different story “ DO NOT DISASSEMBLE JOHNNY 5! HE’S ALIVE!!!”

The Weather Underground sucked, but it should be made clear what kind of actions they did commit. I’m convinced the crowds screaming terrorist, and your average conservative idiot, do not know why they're screaming terrorist. They want to pin Obama as the outsider, the other, that needs to be associated with the most vile thing they, the collective group, hates -- it was “commies” but now it’s terrorists.

McCain and Palin make sure not to go beyond their rhetoric in their speeches regarding the issue of Ayers. They know if they begin pressing the facts, they’re left with a label like “associates with terrorists” that won’t stick. McCain and Palin leave their rabid crowds to come to the conclusion from what they leave unsaid; they have definitely sewn the seeds, too. McCain can barely control the xenophobia in his town hall meetings. Screams of “terrorist” come from the crowd with other hateful, violent things shouted. He put an old lady in a full nelson when she started callling Obama an Arab on microphone in front of cameras at his rally. What has been left unsaid in McCain’s rhetoric has been filled with the belief that Obama is lying and is whatever is not American to these people -- terrorist, Muslim, Arab, Satan incarnate.

McCain and Palin are playing with the semantics and pragmatics of language. They are using the literal meaning of the word terrorist, so when they say “Obama associated with a domestic terrorist,” it is literally true. The Weather Underground was a terrorist group, and Ayers was a member; however, the meaning that is latent in the statement is from the pragmatic use of the word. Without explaining or delving into how exactly Ayers is a terrorist, setting up a multitude of contexts, the word is left with the resonance of a post-9/11 society. These "terrorists" of Ayers ilk were some of the most highly educated, young, white, wealthy people in America who joined an extremely radical fringe group in a time where political activity was increasingly more aggressive and more radical in response to the Vietnam War among other issues. They are not various incarnations of Osama bin Laden as the rabid dogs at McCain’s rallies would believe. McCain and Palin have used the word terrorist to convince their less than brilliant base that Obama is actually an Arab, Muslim terrorist. These people are not just screaming these bizarre ideas for no reason, they’ve been tricked into believing it through the tacit messages in McCain’s campaign’s wantonness use of pragmatics and fear-inducing rhetoric.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where Have All The Bill Clintons Gone?

Like most Americans I’ve been engaged with the news more than usual. With the presidential election looming, the Dow sinking and a Wall Street bailing, I’ve taken to the bottle for binging to turn misfortune and misery channeled through the TV into a gay and dandy drinking game. In fact, I’ve turned my entire life into one long drinking game -- the magic words to drink by: anything that upsets me!!! My therapist says that this isn’t a game, but rather, an inability to cope -- and I just throw up my hand and tell her to talk to it, because if you want to be my lover, you got to get with my friends. My heart pines for simpler times under President Clinton when a rebuttal was captured in a hand gesture and girls were still spicy.

Remember when the internet was a vehicle of endless economic prosperity with the “dot-com” boom? Then somebody pointed out that Al Gore did not invent the internet (much to his dismay and our loss), dot-com businesses tanked, and the internet turned into a thing you could be addicted to. Where the fuck is my swanky dot-com job? Instead of working in a cool, new and vaguely Swedish office, testing out the latest schematics for ergonomic underwater computer chairs with seat warmers, I’m paying too much to a giant corporation that holds a monopoly on internet services in my area of Boston; thus I can fill the internet with more self-serving, righteous bullshit that a mass of mediocre e-tards will legitimize for no other reason than they clicked on my blog link more than another moron’s blog link.

Oh well, where we no longer have the hope for a growing job market, we have the terror of not being able to take out loans to pay for college -- one worry of many in this new dark age. When am I going to be able to go to graduate school and where are undergraduates going to drink, play sports and wear pajamas to class -- oh, I mean get their Bachelor’s degrees in business/management!?

I’m reassured though that all will turn out well when I see the potential for strong leadership in our executive branch. Policies set by the next president and his cabinet could bolster the economy and change our current course of economic implosion. In our great American tradition of rat-maze freedom (i.e. representational democracy), we have the varied and tempered selection of two candidates -- that’s right folks, not one like in a monarchy or a dictatorship but a whole two candidates! We have Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin tickets to throw our much needed consideration upon.

The McCain-Palin ticket is kind of like a vote for a really long, horrible holiday with your family. Your senile, incompetent and ornery grandpa somehow in his superior inability to be reasoned with has gained control of the van’s wheel, and using his curiously short arms that he cannot lift beyond a 45 degree angle drives the van backwards into oncoming traffic. Palin -- well, a mom analogy would work here, and she would love that too. She could relate to the American people with how much she has in common with them as a hockey mom even though, going by the general failure of the NHL to gain a greater audience, hockey is an unpopular sport and not a good medium to gain comradery . Palin is really not very “momish” if you ask me, and I’m comfortable using the “word” “momish.” Palin is something of a porn star who specializes in librarian fetishes, but with the loveable fuck-up appeal that attracted the American people to George Bush like moths to a flame. Everybody loves joe-six-pack rhetoric and should definitely elect their leadership on how likely they would drink with or fuck them. In summary just think of some incompetent sack of shit hanging out in a Walmart parking lot feeding his or her genetically-struggled children with noises for names a varied-form of genetically-modified high-fructose corn syrup -- that’s the aura of Palin.

But in general the Walmart parking lot will cover the entire demographic that makes up the Republican party -- both the politicians and the voters -- and it covers pretty much everything I hate about America. That’s right patriots, I hate things about America, and it turns out the only decent thing about this country is that it’s founded on a strong principle of hate and not “Judeo-Christian” values -- make sure you don’t forget the prefix Judeo or you might offend Senator Lieberman and our most important Middle Eastern ally Israel. Some people know hate as rationality because rationality commands cognitive dissonance; having a system that guarantees citizens’ rights and establishes a government that functions to the benefit as many as possible reveals itself to be true in the goodness it provides, and that which is not such a system is a bad system, an untrue system, that warrants pure hatred. The Founding Fathers, or as I like to call them “The Old Dirty Bastards,” laid some serious hate on some monarchy ass. The Declaration of Independence was like one really long trash talking session that ended with a board-shattering slam dunk over King George’s head in the form of signatures. And in summary, I hate much of America and Americans because they are, they value and they maintain a strong opposition to truth, which I have to oppose as a total badass American.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Ruined My Barbecue

A year and some months ago I took a odd plunge into an alternative “lifestyle.” There’s something unsettling about the word lifestyle, and I’m not entirely sure what about the word makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps it is a little too "new-agey" and weak-willed for me, giving it the inadequacy of being so general as to be almost meaningless. Lifestyle -- it just encompasses too much to where a meaningful ethical imperative can be clumped with a trivial fad. Hasidism is just as much of a lifestyle as my brief, near-religious zealotry over wearing only the most comfortable pants in the world -- sweatpants. Wearing sweatpants everyday and being a Hasidic Jew are both lifestyles, but most would say that “being a lifestyle” is the only broad, categorical relation they have. Lifestyle is a dumb and vacuous term.

Before we drown in the stupidity of that tangent, my “lifestyle” was rather a personal response to an ethical imperative that was presented to me that I had so aptly and efficiently avoided. I became vegetarian despite the extreme contradictions of how I had lived my life and what I had said for nearly 22 years. I was the first to bash vegetarians, more specifically vegans. I was by most standards an unapologetic, ferociously reactionary meatarian. How was I able to convert between such extreme and opposite positions? Though I’m sure others may psychoanalyze me differently, I believe I am and have always been a rationalist first before anything else when it comes to philosophical or political issues. Vegetarianism and its many veins provided the only sensible response to the global capitalist juggernaut that has begotten corporate farming , which blindly destroys natural resources, causes unending air, land and water pollution, breeds disease through wantonness misuse of antibiotics, causes starvation and leaves us removed from the production of food so that we have no appreciation for our food and where it comes from. If I was to live in good faith, and be a devotee to truth even in all of its terrible shapes, I had to become a vegetarian.

There are plenty of resources to hear all the juicy details of the many problems with the meat industry, so I’ll spare you the holier-than-thou layman lecture -- for now! What I’d rather focus on is the curious social situation that arise when you become vegetarian.

For one, most Americans are ardent meatarians in some shape or form, or at least, they become meatarians when you’re forced to tell them you’re vegetarian because there’s no other reason why you wouldn’t want a sloppy joe covered in bacon and ranch. Most meatarians take vegetarianism to be an outright attack on their culture, values and especially, their specific family and upbringing; however, they’re not fully conscious of this causal relation, and rather, a subconscious rage builds up and expresses itself in a controlled rage in the form of aggressive and cliched jokes about the deliciousness of meat. They also choose to harp upon some sort of strange notion of masculinity adopted from a comic-book interpretation of Vikings to try and make the vegetarian interlocutor look like a total “pussy ass bitch.” Most meatarians think that the giant, brutal and soulless capitalist machine that is the food industry is synonymous with how they live their lives. People are deeply connected to shitty cheeseburgers and chicken fingers inexplicably. An attack on the amount of energy and resources that go into the livestock to produce the meat is actually a concealed attack on their grandmother and her homemade meatloaf. Apparently, their grandmothers look a lot like hardened CEOs in suits making savy, self-interested executive decision.

These uniformed meatarians responses stem from the fact that most meatarians are completely uninformed (at best) about the political and ethical issues surrounding the meat and food industry, and the rest are not only uninformed they’re also feverishly nihilistic about truth, facts and ethical imperatives when it benefits their petty arguments and political positions. Most of their witty retorts and long-considered treatise to the issue of vegetarianism and evidence of the destructiveness of the food specifically the meat industry about the subject can be summed up with “I fucking love meat!” or “My grandfather ate meat everyday and he lived to be 87!” In summary, there are two basic emotive quips that will erupt when presented with the truth:
Response 1: [Abrupt Joke About Favorite Meat and/or Hatred of Animals Often Very Specific Animal like a Damn Whale]
Response 2: [Strange/Irrelevant Anecdote About This Dude* They Know] *Dude is usually a fat, family patriarch that may have died of a heart attack as the response is uttered by the meatarian

Finally realizing that a good argument riddled with facts that shows the benefits of reducing meat consumption is going to fall on deaf ears, I’ve decided that most discussions about vegetarianism with meatarians should just be brought to the most ridiculous, base level possible. It’s a hopeless effort, so might as well match the meatarian's emotive stupidity.

After the vicious quip on the vegetarian that makes the meatarian look like a total badass Viking and champion of free speech, and makes the vegetarian look like a sissy fascist, you wait for all the people to stop laughing and enjoying their social cohesiveness over their love of the phallic hot dog. With a deadpan seriousness you say “Well, you know if we could get down to the root of why I’m vegetarian -- I’m vegetarian because I was deeply inspired by the vegetarianism of the prominent anti-Semites Richard Wagner and Adolf Hitler! WHITE POWER!” [Screamed in a Nasally Southern Accent] You will not have won the argument, but you will be in a stalemate with the meatarian -- two equally idiotic positions clashing and battling to be the one truly audacious and pointless argument.

Monday, September 22, 2008

College, You Whore

One day you wake up after a long, refreshing sleep. You rub your eyes, stretch and get out of bed. That is assuming you didn’t wake up with both of your arms asleep from falling face-down, drunk into “bed” (if you count your mangled, twisted arms underneath you as a bed). In such a situation, you rise like some sort of horrid Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment screaming and flailing your lifeless arms in terror. But wait, my readers, don’t run off! My arms are quite alive now, and my hands weave through sticky cheese and bean encrusted keys to tell you an ongoing story of importance to you and to all. You see, as I was saying, one day you wake up, and you realize that you’re truly living with the disease that is being a twentysomething. And before you pelt me with rotten vegetables (depending on your contentious definition of vegetables) for using such a clichéd word coined by some suicidal television show writer, I beg for the consideration that my life as of now is the very cliché which the word twentysomething harbors. It’s an apt fit.

Now I am haunted by questions that bring to light the uneasy feeling of a shifting identity with radically different social expectations:

I am no longer a student after being one for sixteen years. Who am I as a non-student?

I am no longer living in an isolated pseudo-leftist community of scared white people. Is it safe to download one of Noam Chomsky’s works in the form of e-book onto my iphone to share my knowledge of the preface with a black family I just met in the subway?

I need a real job. Will my obscure knowledge of Arthur Schopenhauer’s love of poodles and its potential significance on his philosophy be relevant to my application for an entry-level position as a junior manager for Cardboard Boxes and DumbShit Co.?

I need to have friends, hobbies and fun, but in a very distinct tone from the my college years. Do you mind if I barf two bottles of Yellowtail Pinot Noir all over your Ikea furniture and cheese platter during scattergories while my friends break all your windows and chase your pets?

I can’t help but feel this resentful, bitter awareness that society has had it out for me. Somebody somewhere is pointing a big finger and saying “You had your goddamn fun for far too long, and now, it is time to break you down!” A dog thrown out of the house, scratching feverishly at the door to be let back in -- too unsure of himself, too proud to poop in the backyard like all the other filthy, shameless mongrels. This in-between space I now teeter in is ripe for some interesting observations, so I’ve decided to return to blogging, or as I like to call it, writing online. Most of my focus will be on the daily curiosities of Boston living from my perspective, the unavoidable sensationalism in news stories I find interesting, and maybe, if you’re good and do what I say, I’ll share with you some of the philosophical baggage I’ve picked up over the course of four years, giving you a taste of what issues, most vital to me, roll around in my head.