The Enemy

The most difficult wars in our brief historical memory have been those fought against ill defined foes. When those that seek to defeat you cloak themselves in unfamiliar guises it can make the process of aim difficult; and strategy, nearly impossible. The United States faced this very dilemma in the sweltering jungles of Vietnam. Confusion ran so deep that innocent became indistinguishable from foe, even in the familiar territory of Ohio.

The same confusion grips us today. The ambiguously named ‘War on Terror’ has declared everybody suspect. The result has been a climate of fear that pits us against one another in a type of pseudo nationalistic thunderdome in which survival depends upon who can prove themselves the most patriotic. In the midst of this conflict It seems the definition of patriotism has split, with one faction insisting that it means obeying the government and another insisting it means defending the principals of the constitution. This war however is nothing but a fanciful charade, elaborately planned and executed in order to divert our attention away from the true enemy.

While we turn on one another, squabbling about petty inaccurate trivialities, the so called ‘elite’ of the nation are plundering the people of their wealth and liberty. Over the past seven years we have seen the exponential growth of corporatism and a corresponding decline in working class income. We have seen examples of  corporations granted new sweeping powers in collusion with the government. In this new environment telecommunications companies are free to record the private data of individuals and the world’s largest mercenary corporation has emerged.

It appears clear who the true enemy is. It is those who seek to control us, those who seek to expand their stranglehold on our lives. The enemy is not your neighbor, it is not your co worker, it is not your mother in law. The enemy is the collective of humans who have decided that it is their right to control the destiny of others. It is Barrack Obama, John McCain, Mahmoud  Ahmadinejad, the Pope, and your friendly neighborhood police chief.

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Ismisms…

Civilization is a diversification engine. Everything a culture may create; clothing, slang, music, media, beliefs, and anything else are all absorbed for the goal of domination. As the corporate machines standardize the world they are actively converting individualism and creativity into conformity. The act of separating everything into neat categories promotes a behavior called ‘groupthink‘, it causes humans to behave like automatons and to accept and use labels as a primary cognitive tool. In truth, it makes us really fucking cognitively lazy. Ah, but there’s a more genial term for this phenomenon, it’s called Cognitive Dissonance. It destroys the ability to reason , it eliminates critical thinking, and it turns human beings into knuckle dragging bigots.

We separate ourselves into religions, nationalities, classes, and cliques. If the controllers of the labels are powerful enough, they can turn groups against one another. We generally call this war. Sometimes, the war is undeclared and psychological. The child versus the adult, the expert against the autodidact, the male opposing the female.

What does this lead to? In the end we all want the same thing. Peace, freedom, food, and shelter. If we could prevent the manipulators from leveraging us against others for their own personal gain, we could perhaps live in a world absent of war and exploitation. It just takes a bit of backbone and a whole lot of responsibility.

The Reign of the Ego, the Rejection of Truth

titian_danae.jpgIt was all a dream, an onslaught of media in a plethora of shapes and forms produced an environment of illusion. Like a masochistic slave pleading to his master to do with him as she will, a passionate madness ending in self destruction is all that will occur when one offers themselves as fodder to an entity which holds nothing but contempt for their captive. The modern world is enraptured with a sick hedonistic fantasy whose pursuit leaves nothing but death and destruction in its wake.

We trod to and fro, producing and consuming; and always growing, always hungry, never satisfied. More is all we want, and more is all we shall receive. More pollution, more loss, more suffering. Our tormentors understand their relationship with us, and they delight in doling out punishment.

The illusion is so complete that virtually all humanity is affected. Nearly all accept the master/slave relationship on all levels, yet they refuse to acknowledge it. Perhaps trauma blocks out the truth, perhaps rejecting the truth is part of the fetish.

Dreaming of true freedom and independence, the very idea of rejecting civilization evokes such defense and passion that it makes clear how demented humanity has become. It may be that the only cure for humanity, as for Severin, must be like Wanda allowing another master take their turn at whipping the poor slave, a master with whom Severin is not enamored.

A Study of Exploitation

Rewind with me if you will, a lifetime ago, to a dust ridden town dotted by pueblos and wooden framed buildings. Some call this place a boom town, a gold rush only fifty years prior brought much of the population here. Fifty years before that only the Tongvan Indians called this place home. The strategic position of this place however, along with the discovery of multiple resources in the area has led to steady growth. Yes, this town is destined to become a city. An anchor of the western side of the empire, securing manifest destiny.

Los Angeles was a town of under 100,000 at the turn of the century, the land struggled under the pressure of this level of population. Water resources were dwindling, and ground water aquifers were being taxed. A solution had to be found, a city cannot simply stop growing. So in response the Los Angeles Department of Water Supply drafted a plan, Mayor Frederick Eaton and agency head William Mulholland began exploring possible sources of water. The Owens River was eventually chosen as Los Angeles’ artery, Mulholland took up the task of engineering the aqueduct.

Construction spanned eight years and involved much corruption. Land was virtually stolen from farmers in the Owens Valley and insiders provided information to real estate speculators. Harrison Otis for example, turned around the defunct Los Angeles Times when he became editor and used his privileges to print deceptive stories about water shortages to win the publics support for the aqueduct. In turn, Otis was granted information that the San Fernando Valley would be irrigated before the rest of Los Angeles. He bought up vast tracts of land and made a fortune.

The Owens Valley was once known as the ‘Switzerland of America’ for its snow capped mountain peaks and green meadows. After the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 it sucked the life out of the Owens Valley like a metroid. The once lush landscape transformed into a desert as Los Angeles expanded. Owens Lake dried up as well as over fifty miles of the Owens River. L.A. eventually built another aqueduct in 1970 and began draining Mono Lake. The population of Los Angeles peaked over 10 million in 2007, it became the most populous county in the United States as well as the most polluted.

In the end, a lush and unique valley was traded for a cancerous blight on the surface of the planet. Thanks civilization.

This is the Modern Way

The alarm clock rings, it’s 7:00am yet again. The morning routine occurs once more as it always has and always will. A calculated shower, prescribed hygienically correct primping, and an appropriate choice from the wardrobe are precursors of the sojourn to the workplace. Slipping into the familiar embrace of the commute facilitator the ritualistic adjustments are made; buckled, tuned, and acclimated, the journey begins again. Completing a bisected sexagesimal time unit the edifice comes into view. The work station is manned, the expropriation of surplus value and the externalization of suffering begins. Repetitions are made, commodities are produced, lunch is digested. The agreed period of enthrallment passes and the journey home commences much the same as the sojourn away did, merely inversed. Release is achieved upon the threshold of the familiar doorstep. Participation in socially acceptable activities 7, 15, and 52 provide an acceptable level of diversion. Midnight approaches as surely as sleep. Deep within the pineal gland a message is delivered. As it winds it’s way through the maze of synapses and axons, it nears the frontal lobe. The message retains its clarity, it screams, “You have a CHOICE!” The thought is nearly realized as the alarm clock rings, it’s 7:00am again.

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