Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wanderers 2009.7.29

This is open season, er session @ Pauling House, meaning we say whatever we like about whatever.

Jim Buxton yakked about that eclipse, with the potential to be the most viewed in human history, but what about the cloud cover -- might've cut viewing opportunities by up to 60%? We don't really know yet I guess (maybe NASA does). I hope at least a few had some fun in the sun.

We then dug up an old Youtube about this dead whale on the beach they decided to "atomize", got blubber everywhere, wrecked somebody's car. We got to this through a more generic discussion of explosives, given Jeff's son's job as an ordinance decommissioner (new movie coming up, more Hollywood-branded unrealism).

Knights of Pythias... (Sam's story). New shoes in the Philippines c/o Imelda, as Bucky's side-kick in 1970s... (me prompting Sam, after Lindsey got here).

A couple of us watched Why We Fight again last night. Smart cookie Eisenhower warned people on TV that they had every potential to succumb to a "complex" (similar to Mad Cow), becoming half-wit monkey-brains, much like the Nazis, recently defeated. Those hoping to stay sane (as in vigilant) would have to reposition big time, in case the guy was right (he was).

Fast forward and you get a lot of the smarter rats jumping ship around 1983, leaving the helm to Congress, which steered her onto to the rocks, abusing its war powers big time, caving to mob psychology (the mad cows, the know-it-all pundits, the think tanks), Senator Byrd notwithstanding.

It's not like the rats went away though. A sort of "government in absentia" (off shore based) helped compensate for LAWCAP's insane greediness and cowardice, kept the flame alive while the berserkazoids ran amok, disgracing themselves in Abu Ghraib etc., losing another war for themselves (shades of Vietnam).

The White House was aware of this smart rat underground, wasn't too worried about it, thought it made sense, a good long term investment.

Fast forward some more and the loser-moron Rambos are still strutting and puffing on stage, clowning around big time. They're planning to play Drug Wars, keep the coke out of Coke, in as many territories as possible, rotating special forces through Columbia, Afghanistan, wherever else they might score (Philadelphia?).

There's nothing especially "American" about any of this. Idiocracy knows no borders, feels free to drop bombs wherever looks fun, on whatever easy targets show even a modicum of defiance, are not yet "with the program" ("you're either with us or against us").

The gulag professoriate grants degrees for living this way, and the pay is pretty good. New suckers sign up daily, soiling their Facebook reputations.

If we ever want our USA back, we might use some of our new cyber-tools to resurrect her (version control software for Congress?). Some people have been working on this in the background, but mostly there's nothing on TV about it (too busy foolin' ya), so it's not all that real.

The corporate media is mostly in denial about its role, thinks it's an innocent bystander in censoring our best heritage. That's why we have Youtube etc., although many high schools ban that, pretending they have a mandate to do so (old reflexes, authoritarian thinking inherited from ancestors, really awkward and jerky (lots of schools dumb ya down, so choose wisely, study their charters on-line (if they're not open source with those, maybe look for some smarter ones?))).

Lindsey showed up around 10 AM. Our discussion turned to the Global U and an analysis of "liberalism" (what is it?). I mostly talked about "liberal guilt" as one of the hallmarks, a connect back to Protestantism and its mealy mouthed ways (Quakers are nominally Protestant but my brand tends to not celebrate that heritage so much, finds "speak truth to power" too irresponsibly "us versus them" in most contexts).

Lindsey connected liberalism to incrementalism vis-a-vis the monarchy, around the time of Thomas Hobbes, a kind of trickle down strategy wherein you beg and/or negotiate with conservatives (monarchists) for some shared glory, a small place in the sun.

As such, liberalism defines the outer ramparts of a semi-feudal society, sets up a kind of perimeter around "free speech" (think NPR). Anyone outside this perimeter gets demonized, as the flip side of liberal guilt is this ominous sense of "some one or some thing" upsetting the ego's apple cart (they're mostly rotten anyway, so big deal), probably "communists" or one of those (whomever sounds most terrifying i.e. "out of bounds" i.e. "not playing by our ruler's rules" (connect to "language games" here)).

Based on today's discussion, I'm thinking "neocon" and "neoliberal" have much in common (two sides of the same coin?).

Office Scene
:: coworking booth ::