Creative corner

    Did we give up? (when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor)

    An old yogi asked me once, "is the purpose of suffering to suffer?", presumably to mean it's to learn, as a way to avoid suffering. He continued, "the baby poops its diaper - do you put a flower in it? No, of course you don't put a flower in it - you clean the diaper".

    Yes, to stay on this road is to kill ourselves, spiritually, psychically, maybe if lucky even physically. Gurdjieff talked about a man enthralled with this most beautiful fruit he'd discovered, so much he couldn't put it down, even though the red peppers were killing him. Yes, we as a party and a people do love to hear ourselves talk.

    28 years ago, the Berlin wall came down, freeing millions behind the Iron Curtain soon followed by apartheid crumbling in South Africa and then the Soviet Union itself. The US responded as it usually does, put on its suit, grabbed its briefcase, went out to try to sell these people something - computers, fertilizer, cars, deodorant, stuff. Plenty of stuff.

    We were so eager for our peace dividend, we didn't much worry about those folks who'd been in a type of jail all those years - "hey, they're free - let them fend for themselves. We're cashed out."

    Well, we weren't cashed out, and they weren't quite free, though a lot freer than before.

    See, I remember from before the Wall fell, we used to worry about the plight of the poor, the 3rd world, the starving. And after the Wall fell, it became, "hey, those people are stealing our jobs". I mean, I wasn't born with a computer or real estate license in my hand, but I guess we're ordained by God for certain kind of work, and those folks were messing with us.

    It takes very easy to turn it all into "us vs them". To panic, to draw inward, to worry about the threats. See, we're more attuned to *preventing a loss* than *gaining a win*. That's one of the ways we're suckers, how we get played.

    See, I remember the 90's, and it wasn't all gloom and despair that got us into a jam - from what I recall, it was talk of the Dow hitting 36,000 and taking out another mortgage to take another vacation, and whatever else we wanted. People with barely 2 nickels were buying a *2nd* house. 

    I discovered rather late on in the bubble, in fact, just the other day, that owning a house had *never* been a very good investment. But we're a foolish lot - we think we're all 2nd cousins of Fannie Mae, when in fact most of us know diddly about the housing market or other stuff we get involved in.

    But those guys repackaging mortgages could have never shined us they way the did if we hadn't of gotten greedy. And we're all pretty lucky overall - considering, we're pretty much born on third base no matter how bad it gets. Okay, we don't have a dude ranch or a house on Martha's Vineyard, but still, we're not riding a caravan through the Sahara or working 14 hours a day in a factory in Magnitogorsk in the Urals.

    In fact, we don't even have *wars* like we used to have, inch'Allah. Numbers are getting down close to the amount of vestal virgins they used to sacrifice to the volcano each year.

    And in the meantime, we have all these cool phones and internet and nanotech and remote medicine and battery-powered cars starting to get real, even ones that drive themselves. And plane tickets and travel - whew, there are overall quite few Americans who can't manage to splurge on a Caribbean vacation at least once every three or four years. 

    So what did we do with all those riches, those advantages, our "peace dividend", our position as the last great superpower? It's humorous to think we at least blew it on cocaine or fast cars or something - but no, we got some mortgages that got foreclosed on, and some overpriced education with student loans to pay off forever, and despite $700 billion or so on security we're still shitting our drawers over any brownskinned tourist speaking a language that's not obviously Hispanic.

    I know, I know - it's the other guys who are the racists and vultures, but as Ewan McGregor pointed out, is it any consolation to be *ruled* by wankers? Democrats pride themselves on being more educated, more flexible, more technically inclined - but we're still spouting out fairly baked over pseudo-Marxist class nonsense as if we just walked out of a 1970's Islington pub or slightly equivalent PIRG meetin back then, or putting some spin on our jobs and economics prowess as if we hadn't needed 10 years to get Blue Dogs off our lawn and then sat there blinkered in 2008 as the meltdown ran us and all our pet social, union and new economy pretensions over.

    Part of the reason that Trump is so captivating is that the rest of us just aren't that interesting anymore. It's a wonder we still get laid and reproduce - perhaps it's from cribbing lines out of bad 70's flicks, I dunno. But we need that vision thing, and frankly neither Bernie nor Barry were that exciting or believable to start with. Where do we go from here, what's our next-gen pitch, how do we move to Netizen 2.0? Instead, we seem to plod along with how it's a good road we're on, could be rockier, but we're getting there, give it time.... Groucho Marx talked about a guy in the depression he invited to their show. "Oh man, I just have 1 nickel in my pocket." and then thought a second and added, "but is it kicking?" We've got some interesting pieces, but they don't quite add up to a full 3 acts.

    The other part is they're just playing much harder ball than we are. And while we don't quite know what we want, they know how to tear it all down. There never will be a patch of respite where these guys stop with it all - they just keep coming. It's what they do. So we'll have to figure out how to plan and prepare *while* we're doing that other stuff in life that's so important. And while a certain amount of internal struggle's good for getting the verve up, we never quite get around to fighting *the other team*. I don't expect us to out-asshole them, but I did think we might prove better at social media and organizing and analyzing and just taking a wider, longer view. 

    The good news is that if we were waiting to be bruised, beaten, humiliated and cheated to get our energy and anger and focus all augured in the right direction, we finally have it. The bad news is we don't seem to agree that we've hit bottom - folks are still dusting off "bridge to the 21st century" and other anchors to the past, but it's moved on.

    I never hear people talk about what the maximum manufacturing output we can absorb - in this country, for exports, and for what others can sell back to us - worldwide consumption. I don't hear any nuance on modern unions, such as which fields even have bargaining power, what's the leverage when people are extremely mobile and find their jobs on Monster.com, where our idea of a "better" job is often with a low-paying but flexible and energetic startup - where to unionize is the opposite of that spirit. Immigration - how many new people should we allow in in a year, and are we allowed to put *some* preferences on for a percentage of more "desirable", to try to define what's beneficial? Will we ever develop a policy defining what's acceptable money making, what is wealth and business that we don't have to be ashamed of, that we don't feel a need to slam as exploitive? How symbolic are our wins, our advantages, how real is our assessment of the future?

    See, we came close this past year, but I'm not sure we've even defined what winning means. Give up? As I see it, we're just getting going. It's not a retirement plan - it's more working on a chain gang. But what does last generation's chain gang look like - now *that's* the future.

    Comments

    Peracles I have to render unto you the Dayly Headline of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of you from all of me. hahahah

    It is like when Kimmell or whoever put a man on the street and asked folks about their opinion of ACA or Obama Care. hahahah

    They liked ACA but hated Obama Care.

    Fuckin Krauts.

    Bombing Hawaii and all.

    hahaha


    Yup. 


    This is so good.


    PP ... Nice... real nice...

    "Part of the reason that Trump is so captivating is that the rest of us just aren't that interesting anymore."

    Yup! He simply uses the K.I.S.S. principle to impress the basest of his base.

    ~OGD~


    I'm not against Jingoism per se...


    Trump is just the next bubble, the latest scam, the 'fix' for your boredom, the next episode of entertainment. He's a well seasoned entertaining expert.

    Frank Zappa said: "Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” Driftglass adds to that.

    Driftglass in The Narcotic of Trump rather colorfully summed it up, quoting himself from 2008.

    Substitute Obama for Clinton, and Trump for Bush to update it:

    Clinton was mere addiction maintenance delivered in measured doses under adult supervision: all policy-wonk that wasn’t cut with that industrial-waste-grade bigoted, psychotic bloodlust that gives Conservatism its wild, freebasing edge. Clinton was methadone, and for the hardcore lifestyle junkie, that shit is for babies.

    Dubya? Dubya was meth with a ketamine chaser delivered hammer-and-anvil directly to the lizard brain. Dubya was 40 million Pig People tired of the hard, fussy job of being a tolerant, powerful democracy finally once-and-for-all blowing America’s family inheritance on an eight-year, blood-drunk bender.


    We tend to try to make nice and not take a hard stance. Reactionaries made it a point from day one to oppose anything Obama proposed. The response to "give Trump a chance is Hell No, We treat him like the GOP treated  Obama".. If there was a hint of Russian influence in Hillary's campaign even with the loss, there would be Congressional investigations. Even now, the investigation into Hillary will continue in Congress. The GOP will not be investigating conflicts of interest by Trump. We should not be afraid to oppose Trump and the GOP. Block everything that you can.


    They were ready for Obama at Day Minus 73 - obstruct the presidency, make him a one-termer. They at least failed in that. But these are the same fights we've seen (or heard tell of) since WWI and before - Wolraich can summarize all the antitrust fights and what not of the late 1800's - they didn't walk away quietly either.

    The thing you can hand MLK is he played to win - pressure on multiple fronts, concise & achievable objectives, clear moral justification, mobilized support, ready to suffer and be a pain in the ass as needed, and knew how to take partnerships and support where he could find it. Granted, civil rights movements aren't quite like political campaigns, but neither was the Orangutan's foray into politics either. 

    If you summarize everyone's points, you at least knew he was "delusional corrupt self-absorbed poseur & cracker thinks he can solve the world's problems or at least get elected by insulting people and referring to TV action movies" - we got what was on the tin. What was Jeb's claim to fame? "boring legacy candidate with lots of family money isn't quite sure he wants to be president, but since dad & bro been there before, why not?" 

    Again, no one is saying anything interesting. We've become the Stepford Nation with the perfect Stepford First Family. Did you dig that Inauguration Speech? I don't know whose cadaver he ripped out of the morgue, but it was one helluva bland plagiarism worthy, missing just a reference to "helping children" to be a perfectly bland and unassailable Beauty Pageant statement of intent. Hmmm, I think I answered my own question.


    We have to be more forceful in countering attacks. For example, a common meme is that blacks are programmed to vote for Democrats. This ignores the racism tolerated by the GOP. Black Republicans are "independent thinkers" while black Democrats are "on the plantation". Republicans wonder how blacks can criticize Jim Brown or Steve Harvey for meeting with Trump. In their next breath, they beam with pride regarding the ability to purge the Dixie Chicks from country music stations. The hypocrisy of the reactionaries has to be confronted. Republicans may propose bills that appear to help on the surface, but you can be sure that they will "pay for" the bill by cutting a program that aids the poor or middle class. Reactionaries are predictable and Shumer should recognize this and attack the harm that will come from passing bill X or Y.


    We also have to point out that David Duke is ecstatic about the result and the alt-right held a ball celebrating the inauguration. The fact that attendees at the ball had to be instructed not to give Nazi salutes says it all.

    David Duke

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-david-duke_us_58824741e...

    Nazi salute warning

    http://www.tmz.com/2017/01/19/trump-deplorables-ban-nazi-salute-deplorab...


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