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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Learning from History: Atlantis and the Present

a pre-election reprint from 2009

The Past:

Atlantis existed. It was in the area of the African Continent in the East African Rift, the zone which separates the Nubian sub-plate of the African tectonic plate from the Somalian sub-plate of the African plate.
It was situated in approximately what is now the middle of Lake Victoria, or Victoria Nyanza - Nalubaale in Luganda - in an inland fresh water sea that was approximately 1000 km. long with a maximum width of 500 km.

In Plato's account of Atlantis in the Timaeus, he describes the island as beyond the pillars of Hercules. There have been various interpretations of these pillars, or stele. There is an ancient account of "pillars of Shango". referring to the god of thunder of Western Africa, but the story is placed in East Africa!
The pillars of Shango form a trinity of volcanoes, the three which form Mount Kilimanjaro: Kibo, the central volcano with a permanent snow field and glacier; Shira, the most westerly and the oldest; and Mawenzi, a peak that stands just under
5350 meters, or just under 17,600 feet.

In this vicinity was the very old city we call Atlantis. It was on an island within the much larger Nyanza that existed at the time, and it was the center of a great empire which extended around the margins of the Rift Valley inland sea - of which today only the small necklace of lakes in the valley remains.
In old Islamic accounts, the city is referred to as Madinat Al-Launain, the city of the two colors, these colors being red, ahmaru, and white, abyadu, the colors of Shango. The people of the land were said, however, to be of three colors, red, white, and black.

Geology indicates we are speaking of a time about 62 million years ago. This is much too early for human life, according to present science.

However, the story continues that the Atlanteans became debased, and the forces of Nature and the forces of Justice conspired to destroy Atlantis.

Then we come to the Present, and we stand and stare into the Future:

We are becoming as estranged from each other as was Spain in the years leading up to its Civil War in the 1930s.
For a spokesman for a political party - the Republican - to forcefully state in the middle of great danger and uncertainty that he wishes that the President of the country fail...and by failure, we obviously imply that the country fail a great change in America that I have never seen in my long, long life.
In the past, we fought tooth and nail, but we came together to do at least the minimum of actions required for the well being of the country. And we never, ever wished that the country go down to ashes, so that we - the latter day messiahs of our tortured imaginations - could then come down from our slum Galilee and scream - as if in a nightmare - Lazarus, arise!!
Horrid blasphemy of the Present age! Unnatural men and women!

We are entering the Faun's Labyrinth - Laberinto del Fauno - wherein the spoken stories of the horror of fratricide, passionately hot, become congealed into despairingly cold aspic of novel terror.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Continuity Girl & Best Boy

 Wm. O'Reilly as The Mikado

I am always whining about the same things over and over, without actually doing anything about them beyond my own life. Well, you may say that shows true wisdom, but wise I was ere I saw Elba, to quote the French Emperor!

I have repeatedly pointed to the fact that we find it hard to follow through on things, like keeping our waterways - like the Chesapeake - clean. We are always turning out and gearing up to clean up the mess about 10 years after we had already done so, then turned our attention to the boob-tube reality of the remainder of our lives.

Now that the mighty poobahs of the Talking Dead at FOX are saying PBS should be de-funded - and I must admit that all of a sudden everything is becoming very music hall-ish, wherein Bill O'Reilly pomps and vogues about like Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado and Hannity is Ko Ko... sort of a D'Oyly Carte Opera company of the damned! ...
I suggest that PBS be fully funded to be our country's Continuity Girl and Best Boy: to follow through on each and every story of supreme importance from beginning to end. to analyze and present and power-point us until our glazed eyes get a glint of understanding!
And it would be beyond attack by the bought-and-paid-for; i.e., our elected representatives.
It has to be, for it would provide us with CONTINUITY: reminding us we invaded country X for one set of reasons - which all turned out to be hooey - and now the war continues in X and neighbor Y for an entirely new set of reasons, none of which amount to a hill of beans in a world not populated by the Talking Dead-ites.

I was keeping the role of "best boy" for myself, but am informed that I am eminently suited for the "gaffer".


Christine O'Donnell's Meltdown: The Mikado of Government

She went down in flames on radio; access here:
The video runs about 19 minutes, and the interesting part occurs around the 11:40 mark.

If this entity is elected to the role of US Senator, it will be a Gilbert & Sullivan era, when government will actually be a music hall entertainment. It has been said that a people gets the government it deserves:  what crime did we commit to deserve her?
It reminds us of The Mikado where the ruler of Japan might sing:

My object all sublime
I will achieve in time,
to make the government fit the crime,
the government fit the crime.

Tea Party is the karma coming from Shaka 'n' Awe!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

How We Create Reality

Banks may claim that they have the right to foreclose, even though they have no mortgage note. By a communal exercise in group-lie, they create their own reality. They almost got away with it. Earlier this year there were stories in Florida about banks-too-big-to-need-proof trying to foreclose with no documentation.
If they had gotten away with it, think how it would have revolutionized our reality.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World's Worst Job

I met a fellow who did background music for political commercials. Violin, actually.
I got his name and will write him in for Congress.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why is Political Discussion So Nasty?

Because there is absolutely no desire to discuss substantive issues.

If you do not discuss matters of weight and substance, how does one fill in the air time that unnamed billionaires have paid for?

Republicans have committed themselves to balancing the budget. They also say they won't touch Defense and Mandatory Spending: Social Security, Veterans' Benefits, Medicare...etc. So they are left with Other Discretionary Spending which itself constitutes just over 15% of the budget.

It would be reasonable to assume they won't suspend all this 15% of spending, so we may guess right now that 7 to 8% is in their sights. Since they won't always be successful, we may again guess 3 to 4% may be impacted.
3 to 4% won't do it; they know it; every one knows it, but it would be suicide to talk about it in front of us.
Two more years of degradation and stagnation.

People with Beards on Airplanes

Bearded blokes on planes are scarey. That's all I can say about it: scarey. I used to have a beard until children began to run away when I came into view. Scarey.
I can sympathize with Juan Williams.
Orthodox Jews on planes bother me, too. For some reason, I see them and think to myself, "Irgun terrorists!" And hotels! I still recall when Jewish terror groups planted a bomb in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in the 1940s, and I can't sleep if there is a sizeable contingent of Orthodox Jews staying in the same hotel - which, as has been pointed out, makes no sense, since they would not bomb themselves...would they?... you ninny?  I have no problem, however, if everyone looks like Adam Sandler, for example.
Catholic priests have bothered me, too. Especially in institutional settings.
Most of the Talking Dead on Fox News scare the bejabbers out of me. If I were on a plane with, say, Sean Hannity - who to me looks like for all the world a bunch of rather large 2 by 8s nailed together in a laboratory somewhere in Mary Shelley's image of the Black Forest - I would freak! No doubt of it. Freak!

And I think that all newscasters should come "out of the closet" with their likes and dislikes. I am waiting for Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell to fess up to the fact that there are large groups of people that give them the heebie-jeebies. And whenever they have stories about said groups, they should be allowed to give them subtle digs and jabs, like if Andrea Mitchell didn't like Irish cops - for example - she could lapse into a brogue and say "Bee-jayyz!" and "Sure and begorrah!" and such.

Juan Williams was spot on this time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Revolt of the Parking Lots 4

Tri State Lots after the hostages (seen above, the cart and auto) had been killed by terrorist parking lots from the Sana'a Wal-Mart.


The stories we tell are the language grammar of our philosophy of being.
The films we make are the image grammar of the same philosophy.

When we create our reality by sitting in the darkness of cable tv and listen to the talking dead drone on and on, we are an audience of dullards listening to the same stories told in the same way. Only our adrenalin is new.

Pride Before the Fall

Some people do many great things, yet only some of them are afflicted with pride. Why is that?
For that matter, what is pride?

Pride is being the star of your own version of history; pride is set in one's own personal heroic myth: one is a celebrity, a super-smart CEO, a person with unusual sense whose instant opinions are gold; all scenarios and scripts we write for ourselves.
As such, there is no place for the Irony of Events in the Prideful Script. We do not write that we are miserable failures. We are not writing tragedy or tragi-comedy.
Yet there is always Irony: the banking industry will always collapse, the tower of Babel will always fall, Job will always weather the storm from sun to dark and back to sun again, for Pride is a story that we know intrinsically and inherently needs its own Nemesis. In our hearts, in our DNA we sense the hubristic balance of Arrogance and Nemesis.

Pride is a state of mind. That is why it goes before a fall. The prideful mind sets itself up in opposition to Irony and Reversal, in effect, perfectly setting the stage for itself to slip on the banana peel lying there on the ground. Pride takes the time and effort to not only dress well for the event, but sends out bulletins and commentaries, celebrating its genius, and wears a new top hat to the event. All this time, the banana peel awaits, since it is the inevitable return to average of the self-created genius.

(Without pride, there are still bad things that happen, but they occur in their own time and way. Pride, however, has a come-uppance which is part of the story "Pride Goeth Before...".
Pride and Arrogance create their own Nemeses and Arch-Enemies, while the everyday humdrum of good works and deeds pilots their boat across the sea, stormy or calm.

Observe, please, that Nemesis means "just retribution". In our day, we do not believe in retribution, and we all run crazy schemes and treasons. This indicates we are not believers. Anyone who is godly knows that "justice" is not an empty word.)

Mornings with the Big Producer/Director

Good morning, God. Thanks you for the wonderful day, and all your munificent productions of The Days, your wonderful direction, your continuity without flaw... and script....!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. Lot of chatter waste's time. Take him along to make-up and see if anything can be done for him.

The Talking Dead

I see Juan Williams has a new contract with The Talking Dead.

A Study in Pink

Caught the new Sherlock Holmes on PBS yester. Very good. The new Dr. Watson says, "People don't have arch-enemies in real life." , trying to get some detail from the enigmatic Holmes about his life.

Of course. Of course arch-enemies and nemeses exist mainly in fiction. That is why our political discourse is in so wretched a state: we are living in a fiction. It is of our own making, but a myth and story it is.

Hatred and discord are passions of the great moment; they are a rush of blood chemistry and they overtop the dam of good sense... then they are gone. Enduring bitterness and vendettas, however, are the stuff of tales and drama that engage the attention of all for miles around and mesmerize our understanding for years.

I wonder what the "real" reality is like. I have never lived it. I was born into the miasma of the end of the Great Fatherland War, the Second World War which was the glory of the victorious and their subsequent demonization of each other.
We believed myths about each other. We struggled to keep our heads above water long enough to ensure we would not destroy the earth with our missiles.
Then I lived in the divide between white and black, between left and right, between education and why johnny cannot read... I have lived the myths told by incompetent bards who start the tale, stutter and forget, like the story of the Chesapeake Bay: constantly being saved from our dirt and poison, never going ten years in a row without us falling asleep and forgetting what proper husbandry is.

Tales told by fools, full of sound and fury...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Brother, State of Texas

Texas wants to pay almost $270 million in sales tax in the period 2005 to 2009. The State
wants Amazon to collect sales tax for the State.
Now Texas is a pretty conservative state, so what's the deal with forcing an independent business into doing the work of the state? Many states have a procedure for taxpayers to report uncollected sales tax on their personal tax forms. Most taxpayers don't do it. That is no justification for states to interfere in Internet Commerce.
I am now and have always been opposed to government interference in the activity of the Internet. What is interference? It is usually when the state sends its bully boys - police or treasury - after you, or threatens to send them after you, to get their way with your money.
Uncollected sales tax is a problem, but pretty soon, all government expenditures and services are going to be a problem. How are we going to handle it? I suggest that the stone-age mentality of sending threats to Amazon does not work.


I have a large weekly poem this week, based on Ulysses and Penelope - my favorite couple, and have been wondering if my memory plagiarized some of it. As a youth with nothing else to do to in my autistic state, I memorized some Homer and some Kazantzakis: their versions of the Odyssey in Greek. So every time I write about U. and P., I have to wonder whether I am regurgitating the Greats, whether Homer or Kazantzakis.

(Kazantzakis also wrote Zorba, the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ and much else. Homer did an Iliad.)

If you read it, take me royally to task if you chance upon a copyright turn-of-phrase or trope!

(It'll probably go up by Wednesday.)

Chto Delat?

What needs to be done?

Famous quote from Vladimir Lenin, during different times and circumstances, but relevant now nonetheless.
A news analyst is fired... the right wing immediately demands government involvement to adjudicate, clarify, and punish! This is the same right wing that hates government interference into private business and our lives.

All of which shows us that it is all a nasty charade. There are no beliefs, there is no ideology, philosophy has jumped on board the midnight train a long time ago. I have cast at least 10 votes in my life as votes signifying my frustration and the fact that I was mad as hell... but nothing changed. In point of fact, things got much worse as time went on. We are committed to power, compulsion, greed, and our lusts.... as a group responding to the wealthy elite which drives us and pays our group bills.

George Wallace won a Republican primary in Michigan back in the day; we were mad as hell and we weren't...yadda-yadda-yadda. We took it, and we asked for more.

We shall continue to take it, and we shall not make any substantial difference until we change ourselves. Then change the world.

The Disingenuity of Mr. J. Williams

A man was fired for his remarks, remarks which were more like things one says in a  bar or watching a football game, and which we are not used to hearing from news analysts. We are used to hearing comments and blather and chit-chat from Whoopi Goldberg; that is her job.

The job of a news analyst is something more. I can't imagine watching Walter Cronkite deliver the news or analyze the news after hearing him say he did not agree with the Pentagon, or that hippies should get a job, or that President Nixon was an OK guy.

The nature of the firing indicates that Mr. Williams had been in discussions about this vcry activity, inidcating the NPR had made it clear to him in the past that such activity was not consonant with NPR's idea of a news anlayst.
Yet Mr. Williams now pretends that he was taken by surprise.
He contributes his little bit to this Crap World of American Cable.

(PLEASE note that onbe of the first responses of Conservative politicians - who dislike the interference of government in private matters - was to suggest that the government become involved.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Waiting for the Federal Reserve Decision at the Portico

The Persecution of WikiLeaks ( with my tax money!)

Read the august Fabius Maximus for the low-down on how the down-low US security establishment is seeking to destroy the man who runs WikiLeaks:




It just occured to me...! Blast it! I hate it when things that are pretty interesting as well as intricate just occur to one! It takes the wind out of one's sails, causes consternation, and makes the pilot leave the helm just as Deadman's Reef is off the port bow.

So, both Job and Noah appear as fools to their fellow men.
In this symbolic game of narratives about God, the Just are always idiots.
Suppose we repent, and the whole world - except for a few celebrities - turns to righteousness and justice; would the just still seem like idiots?

Actually, they would. They have to be; it is the logic of the narrative of God and Man. It is inherent in our understanding of the relationship of Man to the Holy that Man be corrupt and that the Just Man be a fool.
All this sets the stage for the ironic reversal where the fool is seen to be wise - not wordly wise, but infinitely wise.
Which means that if we say this is "true", we condemn ourselves to an "iffy" proposition, for we have seen that modern day fools have lost the sense of feeling comfortable with God, and they just remain fools.

Now to most of you, this seems like a discussion of how we tell our stories and spin yarns and tell tales. But for me, it is a study in consciousness, and it is a experiment in how we create the potent symbolic realm which has as much and more power over our lives than does the symbol "money".  There are symbols that are like fallen leaves, and there are symbols that are like ancient trees with deep roots into the earth.
I suppose this business about godly fools explains why God was wearing a fedora when I ran into Him a couple years ago.

Tony Nsofor

Nigerian Artist Tony Nsofor

 Today is red, red, red

Aureo Antunes

Brazilian Artist Aureo Antunes

Supply and Demand

I shall not  buy anything except necessities at full price... until such time that my savings are earning a reasonable rate on interest. Otherwise, there will soon be a run on the domestic "piggy bank".

I repeat, I shall not buy anything except the basic necessities at a price that is not heavily discounted for the reason of sales, clearance, grand openings, holiday sales... or deflation itself!... until the infernal concertina of "creative destruction" - American Capitalism - finds a way to let us live our lives like free peoples, living off the fruits of their labors, and not watch everything we worked for dribble away. Otherwise, we shall dance to its hellish music like Snow White's stepmother, our dancing feet encased in red-hot boots!
(The Brothers Grimm version of Snow White.)


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Keynesianism works...
if there is a sufficiently large war within the foreseeable future, and the nation in question wins that war in a reasonable time, and its economy and land and population has emerged more or less unscathed from that war, and it is able to put its economy to work rebuilding the portion of the world which had been destroyed in the war.

Anti-Keynesianism works...

if you have a death wish.... which is the reason you got into this mess in the first place.


Last Days and The Seventh Seal and Steve Zissou

I saw Gus van Zant's Last Days - purportedly about  Kurt Cobain's end of life - and saw again Bergman's The Seventh Seal recently. There is something fine and grand about seeing films on similar topics in such proximity; one remembers each and each gives understanding to the other.

I think I found them much interesting in conjunction than alone. I certainly had a deeper appreciation of Bergman's film this time around, not in contrast to van Zant's film, but in community with it. They pointed my understanding somewhere a bit further along the rough road of comprehension of symbols... which is not a simple thing at all, symbols being of many natures, not just one simple type we like to pretend they are.

Then I watched Steve Zissou: The Life Aquatic again. I cannot really tell you why this is a significant event in my life. All of Bill Murray's films seem to be fine sandpapers that smooth out some existential rough edges... of which I have many.
I have spoken of Broken Flowers of 2005 frequently, a film whose first 15 to 20 minutes I missed and found the experience without the introduction and setting the scene to be a much more engaging experience than I usually have with films. I sort of became unusually involved as I had to figure out what was the story line, and as it became clear, it was as if I were walking through the film next to Bill Murray.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


All the talk of the Creative Destruction of Capitalism and how that is part of its glory... yet we cannot face up to Deflation, the decrease in the prices of assets. Deflation is part and parcel of the creative destruction, otherwise a cup of coffee that cost 2 cents in 1885 would cost $5 million now. We shall experience deflation because it is the only way that our savings will actually grow, since interest rates are at Zero; my $7000 in the bank now will buy $7500 worth of goods next year - ignoring medical care which always goes up.

We are terrified of Deflation because it lowers the value of assets.
Therefore, it is a nightmare to the asset-holding class.
While the rest of us would like a chance to buy something a bit cheaper, the 2% of the population that holds the wealth and really runs the country does not want to see their assets lose value. Thus we must fight deflation, and by doing so, we totally lie about capitalism as some sort of creative destruction, we lie about our economic stories. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, at stake anymore in this country except maintaining the value of the assets of the rich.


First Bank of America and others announce a suspension on foreclosures, then suddenly B of A says they're back on line to foreclose. Quickly, PIMCO and the New York Federal Reserve are suing Bank of America over $47 billion worth of toxic assets in Countrywide Bank, owned by B of A.

It all goes back to the article months ago from Florida, when banks wishing to foreclose discovered that the proof that they may foreclose - the actual mortgage note - had disappeared. No one knew how it had been sliced and diced, and no one knew whose derivative-hamburger it had been put on top like sliced onions.

PIMCO and the FED are apparently tired of being stonewalled by B of A, and they want to get on record and start the process, because they know that the mortgage notes of that $47 billion have probably flown the coop. (PIMCO had also assisted the government evaluate B of A's holdings starting in 2009, so they have a privileged view.)

No foreclosures without proof. Period.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things Fall Apart

Kokomo, Indiana, is coming back, thanks to the stimulus funds supplied by the US government.

KOKOMO, Ind. ( -- Kokomo is going back to work.
A year and a half ago the fate of this car town, home to four Chrysler plants and a Delphi facility, was as uncertain as the American auto industry itself.

It mentions new hires at Chrysler for $14 per hour instead of the old $28 per hour.

An experiment...
What happens when wages decrease 50%? In particular, what happens when the general level of wages decrease? I would say that one thing that will happen is that prices of goods will decrease, reflecting the decrease in buying power of the individuals households.

There is Deflation in our future. The people in charge did not want Rapid Deflation, they are on record for that. But a deflation at a more leisurely pace? Why not?
I remember years ago speculating on the rising costs of everything, wondering why prices just did not keep on growing - like compound interest. Assets crash, bubbles  burst, things fall apart; that is why prices do not keep on escalating forever.

And this inherent tendency that Things Fall Apart in Capitalism derives from the lack of any
homeostasis within Capitalism itself. A self-regulating homeostatic system within economics is what is needed. We thought we had something like it with our ratings agencies, only to discover they had been corrupted by the viral greed.

Personally, I think Things Fall Apart is one of the stories we have chosen for our society; we seek the ironic reversal from the high and mighty down to the dust. That is why we have always sought to increase our karmic burden: to fuel the dynamo of our demise. Not as individuals. No, as individuals we are wonderful people. But as a group! That is something else.
The group narrative differs from the individual narrative: the individual spins his own story, more or less, while the group has to get together and palaver about theirs. The incessant talking and arguing back and forth is nothing more than computation: it is how we process the incredible amount of detail and complexity in front of us. And that is why is takes so long.
I suppose we could use a system whereby we could speed up the processing of this complexity, short of surrendering our rights to tyranny. Democracy should view itself as a vigorous system that needs to stabilize itself for its job of optimally processing the almost infinite detail of our lives, not just a bunch of clowns on the take in D.C.!
Start by getting rid of the "crash and burn" scenarios we have in our myths, and substitute myths and stories that emphasize the good, the sober, and the just. Start there. If there is a virtue I've left out, we'll get to it once we have this inception process under our belts. Make our political debates to be aware of the true nature of what they are doing:  not fighting for the sake of fighting, but to - incredibly enough! - process infinite information into our crowded skulls! Our struggle every place and every time and everywhere is a struggle to get a grasp on the flow of the universe through which we live, and which flows through us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kindle a Fire

...and get it to Fahrenheit 451; that's the temperature at which paper burns.

I saw an article which wondered whether books would be a thing of the past in 5 years. Maybe. So the efforts of the firemen in Ray Bradbury's  Fahrenheit 451 have come to fruition, and there are no more books. The Lords of the Power Grid and Data Encryption will have total control of the Internet and the airwaves, and they will control what is available to be read on your Kindle and your other e-book machines that are enslaved to the technology that disseminates information; a technology much more arcane and difficult than graffitti or writing on a wall, or printing a pamphlet, for that matter.

Free TV is gone, and how is that working for you? Soon hard editions of books will be gone, and the ephemeral electronic book will be at the mercy of Ministry of Truth; they will be constantly edited to reflect the changing truths of tyranny. And they will be in NewSpeak, so get used to it!

Suze Orman & Lewis Black

At the end on the NBC Evening News, Friday, October 15, 2010, Suze Orman has a short piece on your money. My wife watches and listens to the TV news; I studiously avoid it, but there I was, and Suze Orman gets her intro. So there....

Well, I never heard anything like this on the American Media in a long time. Suze Orman did a Lewis Black - almost! She covered a lot, not just the fact that interest rates for our savings suck. She said we are SOL! She did everything except use the same language Lewis Black does. She did not hold anyything back: at least a generation has been and will be lost: banks are not lending to small businesses, jobs have disappeared, no one hires older people, etc. etc. etc.

I was totally amazed! I mean, it was so bizarre to hear this on the Big Media. Where was Jim Cramer, or that Larry Kudlow creature? How dare anyone say anything resembling the hard truth! It was just like watching years ago a documentary that chronicled the Kennedy brothers and Marilyn Monroe:  I had to stop what I was doing and sit and stare at the TV with my mouth open, saying "Who did this?". Well, it turns out the BBC did the film way back, a long time before the American Media touched on such things. (Now, of course, we are awash in the sex antics of politicians.)


Sunday, October 17, 2010


There is a great brouhaha about "socialism" and "marxism" and "collectivism" these days. Many people are quite firmly in the camp that such ideas and practices derived therefrom are inimical to our way of life. (I must admit I am no lover of government and taxation.)
We have seen political parties spring up to oppose such notions, whether they are a real problem or whether they be illusions.

Agreed so far? Thus, to combat certain notions of collective effort, mankind must resort to collective efforts.

It is merely the definition of "socialism" and "collectivism" that is being fought over, not the reality.
The only way to withdraw into one's own life, into a solipsism, is to go mad. It is time to give that a try, according to most observers.

Doth not Brutus Wheatless Kneel?

Apologies to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, but it is a week since I stopped eating wheat in its various forms. Last weekend we were visiting, and I had driven for 4 hours. My usual snack is fresh pita bread, cooked that morning at the Pain D'Or ( obviously a Lebanese place! ), or Khubz adh-Dhahab: the Bread of Gold bakery. Unfortunately, this immediately causes an infestation into the Radio City Music Hall of the mind of Soeur Sourire and Domenique :

" et deux anges se presenterent portants deux grands pains d'oree.",

but you may not have been forced into memorizing it as we had been in French 1.

So, mucho muncho of el pano. Apple festival and pies and fresh doughnuts... which are the real ambrosia, I think. I can see the Greek gods sitting around pulling fresh crullers from the vat wherein boils the fat of sacrifice, and throwing  sugar on them, and voguing themselves into a miscellany of Antique poses; I believe it was a sugared doughnut that Dionysus dangled in front of the infant Hermes, a treat lost in time!

So, new locale with new allergens; it usually takes me 2 days to get over the parochial allergens when I travel; in Washington in September it took 2 days and 6 hours and 31 minutes. And a family pooch who  was in need of a bath: romping and playing and spreading one's blanket of dander.
I literally awoke each morning feeling I had been cozened by Sweet Sleep and once she had me in the alley, she had sapped me with a blackjack right on the base of the skull.

Last Sunday morning I awoke and my mind said "Stop eating wheat!" Now I have not been one of those people who are into the ways of gluten; I have not extensively researched modern wheat and its discontents, but there it was.

So a lot of corn and oats and some research into buckwheat flour and rice flour, and here I am, and I feel that 50% of my allergy symptoms have disappeared. There was a low extensive aching I felt, like a low-grade inflammation which pulsed everywhere in my body for the last 20 years at least, and it has gone. Absolutely amazing. Nothing like gluten allergy and celiac disease, but a real allergic reaction to wheat that I may have had all my life.
May have had, since my allergies seem to shape-shift every 3 years or less; June used to be Rose Fever season, but that seems to have disappeared. My immune system seems to be somewhat like the the Enterprise to the allergens Borg, and the Borg-allergens catch onto the frequency of the immune system weapons, so allergens have to "modulate their frequencies" every couple of years to be able to invade Federation space... (an extended metaphor!)

So, this message to the Allergen Collective: Resistance Is Not Futile!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Job, King Arthur, and Fabius Maximus

Although Job was not a general of an army, he was able to view the ups and downs of life in the same manner as King Arthur of Britain and Fabius, the opponent of Hannibal the Great. Both men lost sons in war and both were able to bear up under their loss. Early on, these two had been trained in war, and they knew how to conquer their passions: fear, hatred, and despair. They knew that battles were won and battles were lost, but a warrior does not lose heart.
So also Job. He developed his knowledge that life is up and down, and the good warrior, firm and steadfast, remains true to his duties.

Modern society has not been taught this. Even modern armies lack this spirit.

The outrage which goes into our upcoming election is the rage of those who have been forcefully deprived of their illusions, and they will move hell and earth to restore the illusion of their "separateness" and their status as specially favored by God and by Nature.

We need the delusion of our grandeur, and will bear arms in our chase to recapture it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Job Revisited

There is some unclarity about my post on Job, so I hope to clarify:  "faith" has come to mean today the phenomenon of "believing in" - I believe that God exists - or "believing that" - I believe in Jesus as my personal saviour. Then there is the meaning of "steadfast" in "fides" and "fidelitas", the basis of our "fidelity". This is Job's faith, a remaining unflinching and unquestioning under adversity.

If your belief in God is based on a childish belief that all is Good in God's world, then you will have a severe jolt under the onset of suffering and trials. If you believe that God's world is just, you will have trouble with injustice being rampant. God's character is not paralleled in minute detail in the Creation; if it were, all living things would be Gods.

The knowledge of the Holy is inherent in life and in mankind. It is part of the vast unconscious sea on which we sail, and in which we periodically dip our net of consciousness, trying to extricate some new and unseen denizens of the deep.
Faith is already established in us when we draw our very first breath. Faith need not wait for the onset of language skills. Local language, limited synods, and parochial training of cathechumens lead to the Babel of division in the prospect of the Holy, and destroy the aboriginal unity of sight, the Eos or Dawn State of consciousness that precedes the splitting of the day of Mind into the sunrise, the sunset, and all the individual states between.

Job's Faith remains unchanged. Job expects God, and he does not expect trinkets to be rained down on him from heaven as proof of God's existence. Job expects God every day and every night. When Job sits in his miserable state, he does not believe that somehow some moral law has been transgressed, some ancient covenant has been broken: Job knows life has joy and suffering; steadfast he remains expecting God; the sun of the Holy is not eclipsed forever... if at all by any of this. Job remains in his state of Dawn consciousness, for he never allows his thinking nor his speaking to do what thinking and speaking are prone to do: to make division! to make separation! to detail and specify to an infinite extent, so much so that all the time in the universe is not sufficient to compute an understanding of creation and beyond!
Think of it: the story shows him thinking and speaking rationally, yet truly he appeared as stubborn as a mule and as stupid as a dunce to his fellow men. Job seemed to them to  be anything but rational. Perhaps he deserved his fate, the fate of the lowly and poor who cannot express themselves in their speech, in their erudition, in their pursuit of wealth; his friends in the essence of their speech to him were defining the moral nature of the world as "the successful pursuit of riches" (the unsuccessful are ignored by all!) and "the exercise of power to get one's way" (the powerless do not write history!). In all such speech, we define the Moral and Ethical nature of ourselves and the world we create by our consciousness: a survival of the fittest world which survives... until the bubble breaks, as it did in 2008.

No, Job was simple and steadfast, for he knew the world is suffering as well as joy. Job was somewhere beyond the division between Suffering and Joy, for he did not subscribe to the version that life must be one or the other. In a sense, Job was in the Middle Way - or, better, had stepped outside the face-off between the two concepts:  Job was in the Detour Way...  and avoided the hassle altogether.

Faith, then, is not believing this nor that; it is fidelity to one's original community with the Holy in the universitas of all creation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quae Cum Ita Sint... (Since these things are so...)

From Fabius Maximus today:
The Constitution (and the Regime based on it) is dying.  And the worse news:  we’re the weak link in the Republic.  Like in the last days of the Roman Republic, we find the burden of self-government too heavy.  Then as now natura abhorret a vacuo.  

No throne remains empty for long, and we already see powerful elites jousting for supreme power.  Already they have configured the government, and especially the tax code (federal, state, local), to concentrate wealth and income in their hands. 

Nothing can save America  until we change.  And the mystery of reformation lies beyond the ken of our social scientists.  Perhaps only large-scale turmoil can reawaken our spirit, although that did nothing for the Roman Republic (nothing good, that is).  Sans that, the best we can hope for are efficient and merciful tyrants.

America is the new Rome. Late Republican Rome (not the best of times)
13 October 2010


My wife has many nephews, too. Most of their names begin with the letter "M", however. There are some three that immediately come to mind: Maier, Meyer, and Meier.  In New York lived Meyer Hans Joachim H______ (whose last name we will  not disclose). When he was a child, the other kinder in the neighborhood would ask him his name, and he would answer with the whole megilla:

Meyer Hans Joachim!

which was the cause of merriment to the other children, who decided to call him Meyer Hansy Waffles, and the name stuck. [I don't know how Waffles came from Joachim (pronounced "Yo-a-khem" ) other than the "yo" went with "Hans" to create "Hans-y", leaving "O-a-khem" and the only thing they could think of was "waaaa-something-something" and they thought of breakfast.]
This led to variations: flapjacks, griddle cake, and cornbread...although a less cornbread person never have I seen.


Loyalty Oaths and Lebensraum

The right wing in Israel wants a loyalty oath. This is a measure directed at the 20% of the population that is Arab. I assume that in the not-too-distant future, it will be the cudgel by which this minority will be prosecuted for what a prosecutor terms "disloyalty".

Democracies usually do not need such oaths. America had them in the early post-WW II anti-communist mania, but found it did not need them.
However, the clamor for such an oath is redolent of the 20th century, too, too remindful; a terrible souvenir from the past. But the past is not present anymore. It has disappeared, and we all sit in the Glass Booth of Television (parallel to Tel Aviv) and look at the limited view we have of reality: we see the West Bank... ... und Westjordanland ist unser Lebensraum.


God and Caesar... and Pinkie Lee

I talked to someone who was on her way to the Glenn Beck rally a while back. She said that she was thrilled that a Mormon - disdained by some Christian sects - might be the means that America returns to God.

She has chosen Caesar over God, however; the way of Man is not the way of God. God does not caucus, does not accept contributions, does not hold rallies. What she has done is to make an idol of a man who appears daily on her cable TV... unless you believe that Beck is the latest in a long line of The Prophets.

If we are to elevate TV personalities, I shall get out my old Pinkie Lee icons from hiding, and set them up again in the altar of my media center. The godless have been defeated, and our gods now re-emerge from their store rooms to whip us into a frenzy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Algiers Motel

As I read on John Brown and race in America, I am now drawn to John Hersey's The Algiers Motel Incident.

We have forgotten what happened, and we have forgotten what continues to happen; we have forgotten what we were, and we have forgotten what we are.

In short, the enemy is ourselves. If we don't change willingly, we will be changed unwillingly, dragged kicking and screaming to our new future by a very unkind History.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Please be aware that I actually have no "ideas", notions, nor inspirations myself; there are no incandescent light bulbs glowing over my head, figuratively or literally. When it comes time for the hive to fly off in hard thought, gathering rose buds and nectar where they may, I am distinctly one of those drone fellows that remain behind on the street corner, playing eight-ball and whistling at frails off to their jobs at the aeroplane factory, doing their bit for the war effort. (Sorry to mix metaphors so abruptly.)
I get ideas - or their equivalent - from comments and what others say.

Although I give the impression of being a deep thinker, it is all smoke and fun house mirrors; it is the false moustache and glasses which I have effected, trying to look like Groucho Marx or Gilbert Ryle - forget which. My thinking is ad hoc and is only around for the duration... the "duration" usually being the time to drink 4 cups coffee.
So if you wish to submit a comment, do so. And it need not be a flattering comment, it may be critical. Critical comments force us to re-think our positions... that is, they do so when they don't first lead to fisticuffs and wrassling in the dirt.
All in all, I shall guarantee you one thing: you are probably a lot smarter than I am. That is why I am considering running for  Congress.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


The story of Job is the story of the paradox of life: Love & Death, pain and pleasure. There is a lot of extra stuff thrown in, like the bet between God and the angel, but it is an illustration of life's paradoxical... or you might say ironical nature:  in pleasure, there is pain, and vice-versa.

We always seem to focus on one side of the equation, or on the other. What we fail to do is to see them both together, as in Job. Job is not about faith. The old stories of faith are as quaint as metal toy trucks from the 19th century. God is expected, not believed in. "Faith" means "steadfast", not "believe in".

We understand nothing if we do not understand why life teeters between the horns of an ironic dilemma: why pride goes before a fall, why arrogance is a desert, why exploitation of greater wealth leads to poverty.
The story of Job is a guarantee that what goes around, comes around. It says the mighty will be cast down, and if there is no understanding of this cycle, they will remain so. Job shows that the meek and humbled shall once again inherit the earth.

This cycle is at the very center of our lives, and we do not even look at it, having preferred our fairy tales of "progress" and "empire" and wealth as a state-of-being that lasts forever.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn Expectation

Autumn seems to be a festival of death and rebirth.

I guess that's why the Autumn has All Souls, All Saints, Halloween, and El Dia de los Muertos; the ripe and peppery pollens of spring and summer are replaced by the heavier and more somnolent powders of the fall: to dry like natron, to embalm like olibanum, and to cense like bitter myrrh, as we follow the avenue of the sphinxes to the pyramids of Osiris' Duat of Trees.

There are grand circular cottonwoods who seem withdrawn now and pre-occupied with their own affairs, the works and days of the forest and the forest outliers, every branch and network bending their planar thinking to the winter solstice and its aftermath: to meditate for three long months, and then to awake in the new spring like the crew of the first spaceship carrying man to habitable exo-planets, full of wonderment and anticipation. Everything will be new and the slate of the past wiped clean, and the vengeful iron chains and sawblades of the past will be broken.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Autumn Song

Nature passes from vigor to lassitude in the fall. Its loosens its grip on the leaves, which themselves have gone mad, turning in their green uniforms for radical red and revolutionary orange; the toxic sumacs which usually keep their heads down and don't say very much, trying to keep themselves unobtrusive, throw caution to the winds and fly in crimson capes, advertising their poisons, threatening to come back next spring to spread disaster and calamine! And the staghorn sumacs offer their diadem fruits to anyone whose eyes chance upon the ruby bobs swaying in the breeze. They offer a promise of  old time Indian lemonade to drink, old time apples to juice, and old time smells that have not existed since before the War.
When I stroll through a wooded lot, all the disastrous development of recent years falls away, and even the horrendous, jagged scars I chance upon are now beginning to heal. I have found that no matter how much I have looked upon the clear-cutting destruction we have inflicted on ourselves - and the most poignant and Slaughterhouse 5 examples are those areas cleared just before the Fall of 2008; no matter how much the landscape has been denuded, in my dreams, the land is always filled with reeds, cattails, bulrushes, and foreign papyrus, phragmites and loose-strife; and no growing thing is alien: my dreams are not xenophobic. Everything that grows is welcome in a big, booming Bombadil embrace.
Every stretch of coast that I have become used to seeing burdened by unrelenting condos and houses...why, in my dreams, there is a sandy walk through the dunes down to the beach. Grasses grow tall and faery, and grasses grow dwarflike and stubbed, but I wonder where all the real estate has gone... not that I miss it.
The telephones have party lines, the afternoon sun drifts through dimity and lace, notebooks are black leather, furniture is wooden, and the blue sky is a back-drop everywhere I look. The cities and urban concentrations suffer from the elements: downtown the old two-storey buildings sink into the rising waters, and we look to the hills as we dump water from our boots. We feel acid-like in the work day sun, and drink on the way home, falling dead drunk within the row boat that floats down river. Our cottages become inundated and the summer cottage games we play at night float from their cupboards: Monopoly, Clue, Jury Box; ancient games with old-time names played  by classy dames around a hurricane lamp, listening to moths against the screens. Everywhere you look, there is an old man with a long beard sitting on an Adirondack chair.

Everything growing talks to us. Quietly. We have to be quiet to hear it. It doesn't argue about global warming or pollution, but it does speak. I first noticed this when I used to jog for about 30 miles a week outdoors: I could predict the coming winter weather quite well, no matter how unusual it would be. I won every bet I made on the weather. It was a parliament of millions, yet it was harmonious and well-trained. Not a cacophonous rupture of the ears, but a surprisingly pleasant binding... like a goofy Canada winter hat with ear flaps that you swear you'd never wear... until that bitter cold day you put it on, and maybe snowshoes, too, and mukluks, and you learned to intuit like Inuit.
The voices of Autumn are singing.

inspiration: ruth  at synchronizing

Cyberbully: The Jumper-Cables for Christine

What an unfortunate turn of events that every great leap forward in science and technology is managed to become a new device for the nastiness we continue to allow to fester within our society. Why do we allow the germ of hate and violence to remain? Why is not a concerted moral effort made to portray it as the evil it is and to eliminate it?

Truth be told, we like to have a little hate around... just in case we need it for things like mosques and minorities. Our Hates are the jumper-cables that we use to get the Christines of our psyches going after a spell of the drought of Charity.


The problem with Internet advertisements - such as a little video running 12 seconds before the main video - is that I usually do not make it past the first 12 seconds:  I have time to ask myself whether I absolutely want to look at Bill Maher again, the answer being "no" about 90% of the time, and I boogie. The whole business about "going viral" is the rapidity of it all. To turn viewing down a few steps into a mature processional is to lose the drumbeat that impelled us originally.
There's a Lady Gaga vid about an airline; went to watch it, advertisement, yawned, left.
I mean, it gives me time to reflect, and I usually don't stick around, for I have seen very few videos that changed my life for the better.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Shining 2010

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a tale of weak white men. These men are not rich, but they are servants for the rich and wealthy. They do their dirty work.: caretaking, gardening, mechanicals... all the things the rich whites do not want to do themselves.
The weak white men are the ones who are killers and slavers; sent out to kill the Indians, enslave the Blacks, enforce the will of the white elite by violence, eventually to be ordered - like Jack Torrance - to kill their own families, the family of mankind in the periodic general genocide called war.

All the poor die, and have no celebrity of sin to make them endure.
The Age of the Weak White Man has arrived, and they seek to imitate the rich, and will institute their pogroms on their own, not relying on the ancient ways of killing.


Shall I buy gold?
I find it interesting that all the people who were pushing gold years ago seem to have no idea when the line between solid investing and a bubble scheme has been crossed. Well, neither do I. I do know that if we reach a point where food may only be bought with gold, it would be better to have a gun and ammo.
Gold is another empty symbol.
The collapse of the gold bubble, in 2015 +/- 1 year, will be the sign of the... well, sorry Revelations-reading types, not the end-of-times, but more like a wrapping up of the garbage in the newspaper with the news of the day, and throwing it out.


Morality is based in freedom, not compulsion. This fact is why our systems of morality or ethics seem so inane, so feeble, so utterly useless. Morality is the Art of Life, not the prison thereof. Ethical conduct is a play by Racine or Shakespeare, a grand tapestry of Life, and a perfect enjoyment of mankind in the midst of mankind.

What we have is nothing but a glorified cuneiform - broken and incomplete! - from the Babylonians and those they influenced discussing the ancient balancing of accounts: whether to demand dental work for dental work, or whose bull is in whose field.

To be ethical is to be free to do those things which we desire done to us: a perfect harmonious symphony of the music of our actions, seeing our everyday lives as the works of art - the sound and the fury of color,  breath, smell, and sweat transformed into nonce musical instruments... like small french horns and trombones recreated from wire and brass to hang on Christmas trees! - that they indeed are in the eternal perspective of God.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Immutable Facts

Facts are always changing. The more people look at them, the more they change. Dark Matter did not even exist as a concept 30 years ago. However, the more that there is a group of brainy types looking at things, the more the things change.

The world is foam....
...and our intelligence, which tries to make the best of it that we can.
It is quantum foam and the living who structure lives on this reality.

There are no immortal facts, no absolute morality.
If you want Absolute Morality, you already have it in the Golden Rule. Since the Golden Rule is more often transgressed than obeyed, anybody who wants to assert that there is an Absolute Morality in the Universe seems to miss the point that such morality is not morally compelling.

(So if there is an Absolute Morality, it is more often noticed in the breech than in the observance. What kind of "Absolute" is that? It's as if Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation came with a rain check for those days when the graviton supply truck was held up by traffic.
Sorry. It seems that Ethics is the only science or philosophy that has "laws" at which we can comfortably thumb our noses at.
What rubbish.)

China and The War Crowd

With the incident between Japan and China at the Senkaku Islands - Chinese fishing boat ramming Japanese Coast Guard boats and so on - we see the War Crowd smile, for China is indeed an opponent of worthy mettle which will justify the claims of the War Crowd to its lion's share of the US GDP. Fundamentalist Islam is not such an opponent, and in a country that was not habituated to lack of education, lack of insight, and just out-and-out dopiness would never have become an object of two wars that cost together a trillion dollars or more.
But China!! Now that will be perfect! The War Crowd only has to build on the already pre-existing and ingrained "Yellow Peril" that lays festering in the American psyche; no need to start from scratch and build a hate of all Muslims as it had to do recently.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Orpheus Descending

I was born out on the peninsula that juts out into the lake like a heavy scythe, eternally poised but never pendulant, never keeping time but staying in time and out of time - ominously at attention like a ridgeback, its median hills running along its backbone, jutting from the lowlands leading from the city to the rainy no-man's land where the prevailing winds brought snow and rain down from north, passing west of the city, but straight across the neck of the peninsula, leaving marsh and swamp and deep snow and ice in the wake. In the summer, the sun emerging from the passing tempests would shine its last orange gleam making the concrete of the never-finished interstate burn gold in the late of the day.

I was in the Shea Road Bar listening to Hank Williams over and over again. I tapped my fingers in time with his reedy lament, when Death came for Eurydice; Death, wearing shades and looking like Roy Orbison; making a mighty running scared, each place we afraid that he - here I had run outside to catch sight of them driving off in his Corvette, 6.49 Liter V8 with side exhaust pipes, and he pointed at me and smiled in scorn - that I might show. Tires spun and gravel flew... I could not fire my gun... gravel flies and tires spun... I was helpless watching and I hummed the rhyme of spun..gun in despair, like a mozart  cat stuffed into a bag and falling over and over again into a river.

O, Death,
O, Death,
Where now is thy Sting Ray?
O, Death,
O, Death,
Let her stay... but one more year!

I set out. I could see the lightning from the storm coming across the bay towards the neck of the peninsula, towards the big marsh, Drowned Loon marsh. It was a zydeco storm, it was stark fiddling contest of wills. The atmosphere bellowed in and out like a furious squeeze box. The storm ran up the old interstate - never finished, never to be finished up by Lancey Meadows - and followed Death's track towards the honky-tonk, anointing every head above fifteen feet high, creating a corridor marking Death's journey back to his home. The doorway was in the city across the bay, with a lintel of Avernine marble.

**1** 9/30

The director said "Cut!", and I sagged a little. The continuity girl had just missed being hit by lightning, and for some reason that reminded me of Gordon Parks - just saying. The sky was bright enough to write outdoors, so I decided to work on the script. The thunderstorm towards the northwest was either a Godzilla movie special FX, or it was pandemonium on glass - made quaint - like Duchamp's Bride and Bachelors... even.... chocolate grinders of fate grind slow...

We were packing up, getting ready to chase Death, but not too close... his exhaust was all the toxins people used to pour into the air and water everyday, but now we were Chernobylized and everything was carcenogenic like gang-busters. Man, everyone was just downstream from the Pripyat Marsh. How many nuclear mausoleums were there, how many reactors interred by grace of the rites of modern society scared witless?
We'd follow when the pall lifted, and  make our way to Death's concert backstage door, in Averno, singing orbisons of praise like Mulholland Drive and sniffing bongs that nebulize gunpowder smells of small revolvers. If he was anything, Death was forever and we could take our time to make sure I'd get Eurydice back to the daylight.
We were heading from the Gap to what was left of the Core, the remnant of the great nations. We had to consider that some of the lightning might be predator drone strikes for the pleasure of what was left of the Core nations and their illusions of wealth. Nothing was easy. It was a age of heroes. There weren't any around, so we had to do it.


to be added to. each section will be marked as **x**.