Category Archives: rant

Tears in the Trail

untitled.bmpIt can be difficult to want to move forward, when all you see are potholes and tears in the trail ahead.  No not tears, tears, rips, chasms, breaks.  There is no crying in abject uncertainty. 

I think many have been feeling this, for the past 7 years or so.  Quite a few give voice to their fears and apprehension about the future.  But even more have swallowed it in the name of ideological loyalty or just not wanting to be labeled a heretic, or worse, a terrorist.  And no, it’s not just The War, it’s more than that.  The happy times of joy and surplus of the 90s seem so far away now.  It’s kind of like we were having this 8 year party, we drank a bit too much, and passed out.  So now, in 2008 many are finally sobering up and realizing what’s been transpiring during this 7 year hangover. 

The regret is starting to sink in.  The  “Oh My God, what the fuck did I do last night?” questions are emerging.  And it isn’t just the mortgage brokers and the over-extended home owners.  It’s pretty much, to a man, everyone.  Those who aren’t questioning are certainly delusional and should be checked into an institution.  They will be the lucky ones, along with, perhaps, the dead.

But will the future really be that bad?  It’s hard to tell for sure.  But at this current juncture, viewing the different paths before us, as a collective of humanity, there certainly doesn’t appear to be any easy road to travel.  There seemingly are choices between physical safety and financial ruin, between global strife and a flourishing currency, between cheap energy and Ocean Front property in Vermont. 

And so we are in this time of confounding confusion and uncertainty.  What steps do we take next?  Who do we appoint to lead the way?  How much do we surrender to our leaders to lead?  And perhaps the most important, what can and will we do to master our own individual destinies?  Because, in my estimation, how that last question is answered in the years to come, will be the actual determination of where we end up. 

Open and Shut

Enlightenment can be a tough road.
Having an open mind does not mean an open highway bereft of tribulation and conflict.  Indeed, so it would seem, it can increase both of those.

The knowledge and understanding of how limitations can choke.  But yet, when others do not share or recognize this, one’s societal world, one’s social circles, can quickly become very limited.  Or at the very least, strained.

This has become apparent to me as a parent.  Watching my little girl, eager and wide-eyed with the world.  A thirst to experience all that she can experience.  No shame in sillyness.  No inhibitions for idiosyncracies.  Yet, when amidst others of her age, who have already begun to develop their blinders, it can be painful to watch.  Because I remember what it was like, to be just a little different then all of the other straight and narrows.  I remember the giggles.  I remember the pointing.  Being comfortable with myself, yet lonely as others decide that they are not.

And so I see it beginning with my little one, before she has even entered the public school system.  To be sure, kids still like her, and play with her.  To be sure, she still enjoys that which is deemed normal and traditional for a kid her age, and of her gender.  And to be sure, I can see in her playmates the happy anarchy of childhood innocence is still there, and viable.  But I can also see where they are being introduced and indoctrinated to the typical paths that so many others unquestioningly navigate.  The hard and fast rules of what boys do and what girls do.  The mantras of how to properly experience the universe we are in. 

And so the tricky part comes.  How to maintain integration without fostering isolation.  How to cherish and champion individuality, and at the same time, teach companionship and comradery.  To impart that though others may not jive with parts of the personality that their friendship is still valuable and vital. 

It’s an odd thing.  We are invariably social creatures.  It is undeniable that at some level we all want to belong to something.  To be a part of a collective of characters.  At the same time, there are parts of our identity that will cause clashes, and sometimes, with those we most want to be friends with, or partners with, or lovers with.  As an adult this is easy to understand and rationalize, and so too with time will it become obvious to my little one and others like her who are growing up now. 

In the meantime, I make it my duty to keep that which may dull to not lessen her shine. 

The common failing of all would-be political agitators

“Centurion, why do they titter so?”
“Just some…uh, Jewish joke, sir.”

– The Life of Brian

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.
– Voltaire

I’ve noticed something of a trend when it comes to politics.  And that is that people think they can use half-assed political slogans along with some pathetic emotional appeal to try and sway peoples opinions.  For example, look at the common refrain from the morons at Democratic Underground: “Bush lied, people died.”

OK, it is pretty much true, as a trend.  If we take the name Bush to cover his administration appointments, including those in the Office of Special Plans (who doctored evidence in the run up to the Iraq war), you have a case.  But does just mindlessly shouting it across the political debating forums of the internet actually convince anyone to forego their support of the Administration?  I’d be very surprised if it did.  Rather, it makes the supporters of the pro-abortion War Party look almost as mindless as the supporters of the anti-abortion War Party, which puts off any freethinking individual and reduces both sides to shouting pre-made soundbites at each other.  I mean, really.  You could script robots to do this shit.

And its not just in America.  Anywhere there is someone who is, on the face of it, is pretty much a complete and utter asshole, those who dislike them try to paint them as Satan incarnate.  It doesn’t matter if this is Hugo Chavez, Putin or Blair.  Same reasoning applies, show them to be powerful, yet utterly evil.

Does anyone actually fall for that shit?  Really?

Because to me, it looks like those on the other side are just affirming the power of the person they hate, from an opposite direction.  Powerful people will always have vocal supporters, simply because being on side with those in power has many rewards.  The moral character, or lack of it, is rarely questioned along the entire political spectrum, what with people being convinced their own political ideology is the only moral one.

Lets face it, if you really want to cut someone down to size, you have to make them a figure of fun.

Its the only antidote to emotionally fuelled political debate, which is 90% of all debate nowadays.  Instead of affirming the object of your dislike is powerful, you portray him as a bumbling fool.  You highlight the hilarious inconsistencies in their thinking, and you then convince people around you to laugh at them.  Never directly engage in so-called debates on the pros and cons of any given policy, instead concentrate on using those policies as ammunition against that person.

I know what you’re going to say.  “But people have already tried this Cain, and it hasn’t worked.”  Well I disagree, they haven’t tried hard enough.  Look at those ridiculous Bushisms people, for example.  The book turned from halfway amusing into textual analysis of policy in about 10 pages.  There was no cutting edge to it, there was no satire.  It was just the idiotic sayings of a man who commanded the world’s most powerful military.  The world has seen Caligula’s before now.  The only way they laughed at them is in a helpless “well, we’re fucked now” way.  There was no opposition, no defiance.

There is an old American proverb, “use your wit as a shield, and not as a dagger.”  Its one I totally disagree with.  Use your wit precisely as you would a dagger.  Back in the bad old days of the Hashishin, an acolyte would be given only a dagger, to make a public execution of the cult’s enemies.  Almost always, they struck in the most public place possible, in the most public way possible.  Friday, outside the mosque, with everyone watching.

That is exactly the attitude a competent political agitator should take.  If you can’t mock them to their face, perhaps you should take up a safer past time, like jogging?  Cut them down to size.  Make them a figure of ridicule.  Try to move outside party based bullshit, make their supporters look like idiots by association.

A person who is widely considered a laughing stock is not going to command respect, regardless of how much power they have.  And in an age where substance is nothing and image is everything, in such an age, humour is king.

Eris On The Subject Of: Golden Apples

As ambassador of Eris on this planet I bring you a message from Our Lady:

Enough with the golden apples already. Apples are nauseating, and moreover, I detest gold. The golden apple I tossed into that fucking wedding was sarcastic, dammit, and was used in a context which is lost today. The Garden of the Hesperides was the Farrah Hair of that time. If you have a personal thing for golden apples, knock yourself out, but stop attributing them to Me. You look like twits, and you bring me down by association.