A Thanksgiving Prayer: Give Me Liberty, Give Me Security, Or Just Gim’me More

abrahamIt is long passed the time for our many-tentacled and exploding Republic of Fear to return Lady Liberty to those squishy French people who loaned us the statue so many moons ago.

You see, I’ve been back here in the United Security State Republic of America (USSR-a) over three weeks now, and while I haven’t seen security forces amassed and marching in the streets of our cities yet, their numbers in the airports seem to have quadrupled since my last visit back in July.  And by the looks of it they have settled into their posts quite nicely and rather permanently.  I think it will not be much longer before we may see tanks in the streets on routine patrol, especially in those abandoned inner cities and outer-loop suburbs that could not keep up with the shell game called US finance and zero-sum game casino capitalism, as resources become increasingly scarce and distribution systems falter and breakdown.

And do not try to delude yourselves for a minute; this up-armoring of the USSR-a directly correlates to the decreasing availability of global resources to feed the imperial beast, and the concurrent negative impact of climate change.  These are the three legs of the stool that has come to define our world and quietly determine our collective representations… our worldview.

We, the people, must be increasingly vigilant about the inter-relationship between these three world-altering facts, for they are inextricably linked.  There is no getting around the conclusion that the up-armoring of the State is a direct, unabashed, but unannounced response to the other two legs… It is just that the State tells us it is to protect us from terror.  When, in fact, they are getting prepared for the blowback that is surely brewing as a response to the growing awareness of the other two factors. And if you still believe that marshal law is not the law of the land, just look again; and take another real close look at the US marshal service.

But all this security is not my real concern during this thankless holiday season, Black Friday not withstanding.  I have myself become accustom to the myriad intrusions when back on the sacred soils.  And, while I have made the choice to call it like I see it, there are still many, so many citizen-deniers here.  They wish to remain ignorant and recite the official narrative about security and freedom: the freedom to buy, to spend, to gorge themselves until it all goes up in flames.  But, they deny that possibility as well.  For, most citizens believe we are just going through a small blip in the screen that will soon pass. They say, we will be saved by more open markets, cleaner technology, and the domestication of outer space (DOS).  Just as long as we can keep those ‘fucking’ Arabs, Chinese, or Iranians from raining on our parade… after all, this is the New American Century, and they need to respect it.

We still manage our lives and seek to manage the lives of those around the globe by this myth of our own righteousness, of our own special status, just like we did with the American Indian.  It is a myth handed down to us as far back as Abraham and his original disciples, and it goes something like this: “We are a special, chosen people! And if THEY are not utilizing resources efficiently and most effectively (according to our standards), then we have a justifiable right, indeed, we have a moral imperative, to take it from them, even if by force.

So, let us not forget on this uniquely ‘whiteman’ American holiday exactly what it is we are commemorating.  We hereby commemorate our complicity in theft of lands, destruction of cultures, and decimation of indigenous populations.  And we are continuing our legacy with every passing day, whether by military force or through capital market exploitation, or by both working hand-in-glove the good ole’ American way in the USSR-a.

91 Responses to A Thanksgiving Prayer: Give Me Liberty, Give Me Security, Or Just Gim’me More

  1. the Heretick says:

    well, Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
    actually, the Holidays have always left me just that bit cold, probably a consequence of seeing things a bit too clearly.
    imho we would be better served by celebrating the Solstice, natural rhythms and all that.

    the adverts are out in full force, seems the latest thing is “chocolate diamonds”.
    “Before the development of the Argyle diamond mine in Australia in 1986, most brown diamonds were considered worthless for jewelry; they were even not assessed on the diamond color scale, and were predominantly used for industrial purposes.”
    which of course could stand as an example of our society as a whole. take some essentially worthless item, in this case diamonds, convince people of their value, then take the crappy ones and tell people they are something even more special, presto! your money into my pocket.
    there must be some people with the spare change to spend on this kind of thing, me and mine?
    we’re just trying to figure out how to pay the car insurance bill, and they don’t even provide any lube.

    no, we have gone beyond the speculation, we are definitely deep into the symbolic phase, which is of course used by tptb to mind-fuck the populace. step right up ladies and gents, get your big screen right here! we are so thoroughly mediatized (funny thing, spell check doesn’t have that word in it’s memory) myself, i can’t go to sleep w/o some racket……………….

    now, i’m not a doctor, just an amateur shrink, but it’s an art, and all art relies upon the willing suspension of disbelief, question is, what happens when the spell is broken? when all the thralls wake up, the programming no longer holds, and the demons poke out their ugly heads?

    it’s a dangerous game being played here, condition the population to be aggressive, acquisitive, selfish, and violent……………….
    but then, “do as i say, not as i do”, has always been the name of this game.
    glad to have this opportunity to spread some holiday cheer, but you have a good one, i’ll give it my best shot.

  2. Disaffected says:

    Great to see you back again Sandy. Today is unofficially known as National Football Day as well, with three, count ’em three nationally televised extravaganzas on the slate stretching from early morning until bedtime, all guaranteed to feature conspicuous nods to the national security apparatus, aka “the troops.” All cleverly framed so that anyone who would dare question just what it is “the troops” are doing on our behalf would be quickly shouted down by the inflamed mob as unpatriotic at best, treasonous at worst. Having watched it for so long now, I merely shake my head and laugh at it all, which is likely the best response if you’re at all concerned about the personal safety of you and yours, but one can be certain that many a cowed Deutschlander experienced the same mixed feelings during Herr Hitler’s rise to supremacy during equally uncertain times around a century back now.

    Of course our national insecurity state has benefited from all those years of marketing propaganda experience, so the illusion’s a little more convincing this time, to the true believers and unthinking masses at least, both of whom’s groups have been strategically grown over time by simultaneously funding radical conservative political groups to get out the message and defunding public education to make sure that it’s received uncritically. And you have to admit, the whole thing’s been a breathtaking success in both scope and attention to detail. The branding of American politics has successfully created a political mono-culture that first sold us ‘W’ as a “compassionate conservative” to consolidate the national security apparatus’s stranglehold on power at the expense of everything else in the aftermath of a false flag 9-11 shock doctrine event that dwarfed the Kennedy/King assassinations for sheer chutzpah. But then, just to let everyone know that the fix was truly in, it anointed a young, smooth talking, Harvard educated black man to sell out whatever traces of the liberal left that might still exist, and begin the final dissolution of the social safety net that made all of these shenanigans at least mildly tolerable to the poorest among us. Final solution? No mention of that officially just yet, but one can be sure now that it’s just around the corner, and will certainly be sold to us with all the gusto and false charm to which we’ve become accustomed.

    Land of the Free? Not so much anymore. Home of the brave? Yeah, as long as we’re up-armored and packing heat. But hey, we’ve got the best democracy money can buy, and that’s for sure! Happy Turkey Day!

    • the Heretick says:

      which is why we root for Da’ Raidazzzz
      at least they’re honest, they’re pirates, but now that the game is sanitized………………
      just can’t get away with the mayhem like the old days, that’s progress for you.
      however, we still want the Men In Black to truly humble the K’ Boyz, the Broncos are so far up in the West that it doesn’t matter, crushing “America’s Team”?
      it’s a successful season.

      • kulturcritic says:

        25 year bronco fan… but its all violent distraction… preparing us for war around the clock

        • the Heretick says:

          i have become less and less amused by it all, you are correct, still, can’t shake my affection for the Silver and Black.
          we have had war around the clock forever. my sparring partner on these subjects says they can inflate the currency forever, you say a 3 legged stool, he used propped up with a million toothpicks, says you can knock out lots of toothpicks, but there are still too many.
          what i see as the tragedy, leaving all morality aside (as morality is fluid), is the sheer wastefulness of it all, more energy expended for less. of course it’s to preserve the position of the ruling class, same old, same old.
          energy expended for productive purposes makes much more sense.
          witness the freak out over Iran, of course the mullahs are full of it, so are we; however, they are a sovereign nation, they can make bombs if they want. Israel has the bomb, won’t acknowledge it, but they do.
          only reason i bring it up is,
          “We still manage our lives and seek to manage the lives of those around the globe by this myth of our own righteousness, of our own special status, just like we did with the American Indian.”
          let’s see, one for you, three for me, one for you, three for…………..
          hup, hroop, hreep, hrorp…………………

        • Disaffected says:

          The football illusion’s wearing a little thin these days, what with the rash of serious injuries in recent years. No doubt about it, the brutes are just too damn big, fast, and strong now for their comparatively weak joints and brains to stand up to all the punishment. And when you catch one of them in an honest moment (not too hard to do), they’ll readily admit that they’re trying to kill each other, all “within the rules of the game” of course.

    • Disaffected says:

      Well, I eat my words. All the military/patriotic displays I saw today were relatively subdued. That said, and I’m no fan of the national anthem per se, I think they need to ban diva pop stars from singing it before games. No only do they do a terrible job with the basic tune on purely objective grounds, but their “stylings” are more often than not just plain embarrassing to everyone involved. Or better yet, just do away with the damn thing before games altogether! Enough of this damn faux patriotism and the implied concept that pro sports and patriotism are at all related. Obviously, for everyone connected with the teams at all MONEY is the prime objective, so why not just play a recording of Pink Floyd’s 1973 rendition and be done with it? That’ll get the place rocking!

      • the Heretick says:

        season’s over, MIB go down in flames.
        question becomes how do we rein all this in? i go back to what i have written, it’s corporate citizenship (Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad). when confronted with the many headed hydra the only solution is to take off the head.
        Matt Taibbi caled Goldman-Sachs the Great Vampire Squid (there really is such a creature The Vampire Squid, but they live deep in the ocean, for now), and his metaphor (?) is apt.
        Trans-national corps. are larger than many countries, they buy and sell govts. (including ours) they control the world. now, to me it seems that many people are basically good with the way things are but just want to see the system reformed, not gonna work. i used to say put a leash on the beast, once again, not gonna work.
        to turn things around, if it is at all possible, these multi-nationals must be broken up, and the tool is a repeal of corp. citizenship.
        busting up the world girdling systems of exploitation, trade, and commerce will change the way we live. we may not get to have smartphones, computers may be more expensive, or not. Americans can make computers, Chinese, Nigerian, these things can be done on a local scale
        here’s the view from my little cubbyhole, i don’t care if i ever fly on a jet plane again, i don’t want even a tiny sliver of my money going to improve Reagan National Airport, i’ll never step foot in it. call me insular, a rube, see if i give a flip. when i see people attending environmental conferences i have a sneaking suspicion they didn’t get there by buggy.
        now, me and mine will mount our painted horses and go see “Catching Fire” today, but we won’t step foot in the mall, we are giving books and clothing for Christmas, and will be celebrating New Years on 12/22.
        yes, “Catching Fire”, when teen-lit is the most radical stuff around, well, maybe i’ve lived too long.
        looking forward to this one
        love me some trash fiction.

        it’s the corporate citizenship, there is no other issue.

        but then that’s just me.

  3. Malthus says:

    “A Thanksgiving Prayer: Give Me Liberty, Give Me Security, Or Just Gim’me More.” Somehow Sandy a prayer ain’t going to do nothing at all. We are screwed, blued and tattooed. A marked people. The only way out will be the cliff we are going over. People all through written and before history have met with disaster unexpected. This one though is going to be huge. Such a disappointment to those that live and keep the dream going. Can you imagine the shock they will endure?” What a wake up moment for many. Not so many, as a few years ago, as more and more people are starting to realize they are on the well know hamster wheel of a rat race and it is wearing most down. Grinding them down. Meanwhile we still pay some criminal organization to install electronic apparatuses all over the house including the big eyed sales person in the room that makes every advertising trick in the book to sell you something every 5 minutes. You speak of black Friday which is such a joke as to be an hallucination for those that must have more and prices that have been marked up and then put on sale to pretend they are giving everyone a deal. Such a deal. Good observations as usual and I think more and more of us that come here have one foot in and one foot out and a quick two step we can step out and fuck up some other country because that is what we do best. You mention Thanksgiving which has a real dark side. Just ask a native american. Your take on the military presence is right on and mostly accepted by the non thinking masses that believe what they are told.

    • Disaffected says:

      All I can say is thank goodness for old age and pending release from mortal coils, although I’m damn sure hoping that reincarnation and karma don’t get the last laugh, all at once at least. I’ve lived a pretty shitty life, so I can only imagine the plight I might find myself in if one go ’round simply leads to another one that takes right up where I left off on the last one.

      • Malthus says:

        I have had a great life. Full of adventure and I have been able to avoid responsibilities and am a nomad at heart. These last years have been different as I have had to care for my younger sister who is struggling with MS and heart failure which is a challenge that I feel it is good when one can assist another human when needed especially family.

  4. the Heretick says:

    should i do it? i’m gonna do it.

    it’s tradition.

  5. javacat says:

    We’ve likely read it before, yet…worth the return.

    “There are 50 million Americans in real poverty and tens of millions of Americans in a category called “near poverty.” One in eight Americans – and one in four children – depend on food stamps to eat. And yet, in the midst of it all, we continue to be a country consumed by happy talk and happy thoughts. We continue to embrace the illusion of inevitable progress, personal success and rising prosperity. Reality is not considered an impediment to desire. ”

    Chris Hitchines (2010) [https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/90/hedges-american-psychosis.html ]

    • javacat says:

      Chris Hedges, not Hitchins. I shouldn’t post after dinner. 😉

    • Disaffected says:

      All previewed by this guy. Call it the cult of the ubermensch.

      American Psycho

      • javacat says:

        Thanks, DA. I’ve basically stopped watching movies so didn’t know this scene.

        Something that was presaged on this blog and rings with greater urgency now: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2117718/British-people-committing-suicide-escape-poverty-Is-State-wants.html

        Is this what we’re left with: growing, cold disconnect and rage or utter despair?

        And from kC: “We have replaced our feral awareness, and a primal ability to trust, with an increasingly objectivizing posture of manipulation and control. We live now with a form of hyper-domination resulting from the estrangement created by a rationalist separation of mind and body, self and world…”

        How does one move in such a world to return to trust and not yield to despair?

        • Disaffected says:


          Granted, that’s a pretty damn despondent view of the world, isn’t it? Just as it was meant to be, I’m sure. Little did the producers of that movie know(?) in the year 2000 that such over the top acting/scripting would appear so dated so soon thereafter, or DID they?

          Is that what we’re left with? Apparently so, at this point for most of us at least.


          • the Heretick says:

            you must remember that the movie was done off a book, as was Fight Club.
            both of these books deal with the synthesized reality, or irreality, which we live in today.
            the further we go down the road of simulation here in the Simulacrum Republic the more relevant this kind of art becomes.
            this genre started with movies like “Sliding Doors” and became progressively darker.
            by the end of American Psycho it is unclear if Bateman did any of the dirty deeds in physical reality or if they were just fantasies generated by a sick mind.
            what’s more worrying than sick stuff like this is that movies have now retreated completely into fantasy, or into the militaristic propaganda of films such as “Zero Dark Thirty”.

  6. “…Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.”

    ~Edgar Allan Poe (1842) The Masque of the Red Death

    • Disaffected says:

      I’m a fan of all things Poe. I’m not consumed by it like he evidently was, but I really appreciate his dark outlook on life. Love me some melancholy.

  7. FIDO says:

    Happy Thanksgiving….

    What da shit to I have to be thankful for ?

    1. I am alive
    2. I am still somewhat mobile
    3. I don’t have kids
    4. I have Fur Kids
    5. I can still buy a good beer when I get my check
    6. I can buy a airfix kit when I have the money to
    7 I have my gf,
    8. Guns, Guns and more Guns
    9 Ammo, Ammo and More Ammo
    10. The end is near and Obama is a fraud

    • Disaffected says:

      Best times of my life were spent living in a trailer park just north of sunny Valdosta Georgia right after I joined the USAF. For $65/mo for an old style “silver bullet” Airstream trailer (40′ I think? – the short one) up on blocks back in the halcyon days of 1982, what was not to love? Getting greasy, sweaty, and grimy every day wrenching ancient, decrepit F4E Phantom’s out at Moody AFB, doing an actual MAN’S job. But much more than that, we had a pretty tight knit group living in close quarters, the owner/landlord and his wife were like the grandparents we all wished we’d had, and life was just plain simpler and more fun back then. Of course me being in my early 20s and the setting being deepsouth Georgia with it’s year round warm weather might have had something to do with that as well, but it was great nonetheless. Community? Check. Lack of pretentiousness and egos? Check. Crime free? Check. Country living? Check. FUCKIN-A LOVED IT!!! Little did any of us know what history had in store.

  8. Disaffected says:

    Having subjected myself to yet another Thanksgiving football weekend in the good ol’ US of A circa 2013, I have the following observations:

    The college game, having become more professionalized by the moment it seems, is better than ever. For now at least.

    Accordingly, the professional game, with nowhere else to go, has become more irrelevant/stupid/pointless than it was before, if that is even possible.

    American football specifically, and perhaps American professional sports in general, especially of the televised variety, have likely outlived their usefulness to anyone with an actual functioning brain. Just a tentative observation at this point, but one which I’m becoming more convinced of with every passing year. And I’m nominally a “fan!” Imagine that!

    • the Heretick says:

      flesh for fantasy, violence by proxy.

      • Disaffected says:

        A lot to the violence by proxy assertion I think. I sense a lot of bottled up aggression out there these days, what with our hyper-civilized society trying to institutionalize and lay sole claim to the major modes of violence. We in the west (especially) live in a society that is systematically trying to emasculate men at the expense of women, effectively neutering and confusing the roles of them both. Their natural underlying sexual tension is then commodified, glamorized, packaged, and sold back to us through the ever-present mass media to be consumed, digested, and shat back out again like so much sugary breakfast cereal. And we wonder why families and gender roles are in complete freefall.

        • the Heretick says:


          yeah well, whatever turns your crank. but yes, modern society has sublimated many if not all of our natural behaviors.
          what i think is bad is the artificiality, it’s not how we are, it’s how we think we are, trying to make people conform to our mental imaginings.
          this goes across the board, for anybody saying this is right, this is wrong.
          as soon as we set up standards there is enforcement of those standards, this is the great misunderstanding in modern society, that we can have perfect freedom while still having laws.
          in my personal experience the destruction of the family unit will be the downfall of any society, i know so many kids having kids they can’t raise properly. it’s rare to see a child from a broken home doing well, it’s the exception rather than the rule.
          of course this entire subject is fraught with pitfalls where one can be accused of holding incorrect views.
          family affects society, society affects family, it’s all synergistic.

          notice how The Anointed Ones speech yesterday focused on half-baked failed ideas on economic inequality and not on an overall reform of our corrupt failing system. this brings us back to the original post here, grab it while you can.

          Christmas? Thanksgiving? who has the money? although we did have a nice meal at my sisters.

          off the cuff.

          • Disaffected says:

            Didn’t see Anointed’s speech. Don’t listen to him anymore at all, as he’s now the official voice of NewSpeak. Just an empty suit going through the motions.

            But as to the minimum wage kerfluffle, notice that right away the status quo resorted to not so veiled job cut threats in the face of mandatory higher minimum wages. And you’re right, we don’t need higher minimum wages, we need a complete reshuffling of the economic deck to where the top 1% (actually, more like 5%) take a MASSIVE pay cut/tax and redistribute that to the bottom 50% or so in whatever form necessary. Matter of fact, it’s damn questionable as to why the bottom 50% are paying ANY taxes at all. Those who are benefiting disproportionately should be shouldering almost all of the load. Of course that will NEVER happen, Atlas Shrugged and all that bullshit.

            • the Heretick says:

              when i try to explain to people how w/o producing value-added products in this country we will go nowhere? well, i give up.
              this is complicated, but w/o limiting corp. profits min. wage does nothing, prices will just rise.
              eliminate corp. taxes entirely, tax any monies taken out of a corp. as income (capital gains, corp. suites, jet travel) this is how you spur re-investment, by treating corps. as a means to an end, not the owners personal ATM.
              this is why i continually hammer corp. personhood, they use the power of mass production to buy govts. use the profits as a weapon.
              our tax code makes no sense.
              start govt. enterprises, grow food, build from scratch.
              i’ve written it before, Detroit has hundreds of thousands of unemployed, give them shovels and tell them to start digging, i would do it, i have done it.
              but no, we will continue the war on poverty merry-go-round.
              being true left i have never written off the criticisms of the right, i have always tried to figure a third way.
              gotta work, but the Democrats are just making the problems worse, the Profit Protection Act merely being the latest debacle.

              globalism does nothing but burn up resources and allow the global elite to play workers everywhere off against each other. the Wobblies were right, the Luddites were also.

              • Disaffected says:

                Not surprisingly, the tax code benefits those who wrote it almost exclusively. Corporate capitalism is now in complete control. Question is, how long can it last before it implodes on itself? Unchecked greed is a universally malignant force.

              • Disaffected says:

                We’ve (Americans) been the default consumption engine for global crapitalism since its inception, a period which is almost over now. Evidently, the masters of the universe think the Chinese will be the next big consumer wave, although who that leaves to pick up their slack as wage slave whores – never mind where do they think the natural resources will come from – remains to be seen. Certainly they don’t think that Americans would ever settle for that. Or do they?

          • Disaffected says:

            By the way, I think blurring gender roles is as much about social confusion as it is biological imperatives. A lot of it came about for the simple reason of expanding the workforce, which, along with technologically enabled job destruction, resulted in a glut of labor, driving wages and benefits straight into the toilet. The result is more and more that men (who, all political correctness aside, are still culturally and socially expected to be the “main breadwinners”) are forced into office and clerical jobs that are done MUCH better by women, and women in turn are allowed to pretend that they’re half competent at jobs they CLEARLY lack the physical qualifications or aptitude for (the military comes to mind immediately). And EVERYONE has to pretend that none of this is actually happening. It’s just yet ANOTHER form of cognitive dissonance in a society that is now replete with such. All with the follow on effect that children are then produced and turned loose at an early age with no adult supervision (but full time social media immersion instead) because mommy and daddy are both working two full time shit jobs so that they can all eat at McDonalds in the five spare minutes they might possibly find at night to interact together. But more than likely mommy and daddy are both doing drugs and/or alcohol to kill the excruciating monotony of it all and/or stepping out on each other with other hopeless souls they meet at work – where they spend all their time anyway – as well. Middle and lower class urban dystopia anyone?

            • Ron McCafferty says:

              My wife and I were born to working class families as probably most were here. Both of us had/have issues from the stresses of our childhoods. When we married we were both working. When we had our second child my father-in-law (aka our babysitter) died. My wife decided to quit working and take care of our children which she did very well, while at the same time continuing her education. But through the years we have always had dinner together and still do. It has been a little bit of a struggle with cell phones at the table but we conquered that with just being truly interested in our children’s affairs. We don’t have much but we have each other. That is what truly matters. I actually look forward to some sort of collapse in the monetary/technological system. People will have to face some sobering issues and actually have to relate to each other and WORK together for food and comfort. It’s kind of like the song from Alabama “High Cotton”, “Wall Street fell, but we were so poor we couldn’t tell”. That is my family. We have very few of the creature/technological devices. We won’t miss them when they are gone. Bottom line for us is this. Family is everything.

            • javacat says:

              In Maine, our noted governor is pushing to reduce the legal working age to 12 (but to limit hours to say 10 per week), and to adjust wages for younger workers to about two bucks below the minimum wage because they are “training.” Your call as to how this will affect the workplace. What will happen just before their six-month ‘training period’ is just about up and the pay set to increase? I imagine a new crop of trainees will suddenly be found.

              Urban folks will have a hard go when things fall apart. In more rural areas, there’s still the understanding the we depend and rely on each other when the power goes out, the truck breaks down, or someone is stricken.

              Blurring of gender roles has less to do with the expansion of the workforce as our own disconnect from our wholeness. That disconnect is manipulated magnificently by TPTB to create whatever disharmony or camps are desired.

                • javacat says:

                  Cryptic, kC. 😉

                  This blog has brought up some wide-ranging topics. I’ll want to get back to the role blurring and the sports violence…

              • the Heretick says:

                sounds like the sixties all over again. the local newspaper here had a sweet scam going with their carriers. first they got permission from the parents, then 12 year olds such as myself were “contracted” to run a route, “independent business men”, yessiree bob!
                in reality we got up at 4:30 in the morning, seven days a week, rain, snow, or shine, and threw the evening paper six days a week, what a rip off. the local publisher literally got rich off the backs of a bunch of children.

                and the old man? (the bastard) hell, he saw nothing wrong with it, he had gotten up all through his youth to milk the cows, slop the hogs, and feed the chickens.

                truly, when i look around, even here in a red state, some people have gone soft, not to be fooled though, there are still some who know how to swing a hammer.

                • Ron McCafferty says:

                  Oh,yeah! Been there, done that Heretic. I think I was about 12 or 13. Also sold flowers on street corners for 10-12 hours a day for a whopping 10 bucks (at least till I figured out I could overcharge and skim the extra). Holidays selling flowers could turn into a 300 dollar day easy.

                  • Disaffected says:

                    Yeah, wasn’t that a hoot? Made you appreciate the wise guy’s collection methods too, as I recall. Lots of stingy customers who mysteriously never got their papers who otherwise couldn’t make it to the door on collection days.

                    • Ron McCafferty says:

                      Yes, and if I remember right they left it up to us to collect the customers money after they took what the customer owed out our pay. I didn’t last long at that one.

                    • Disaffected says:

                      Almost out of space over here.

    • Malthus says:

      That’s funny. Football is losing out to football(soccer) in this country. Want to know why? Well I will tell you anyway. All the soccer moms. Who ever heard of a football mom? LOL

      • Disaffected says:

        Unfortunately, we’ve all heard of “hockey moms” now, haven’t we? Thankfully, they’ve receded back into the backcountry where they belong. Too bad we couldn’t have had a Shrub/Palin ticket. That would have been a comedy writer’s dream team.

        Archdruid’s post is excellent this week:

        Man, Conqueror of Nature, Dead at 408

  9. FIDO says:

    It is an interesting discussion about gender roles in the new age soon to be gone. My question is what happens to the feminists after the lights go out and raw physical power is needed to get things done ? When I posed this question to a local democratic councilwoman, she said that the power will never go out and the economy is doing just great, thank you. When I pointed out, peak oil, climate change and the growing level of poverty in children and women, she got all defensive and asked if I was a Tea Party activist. I said no, I just wanted an intelligent answer to the question. She did not have an answer beyond ” technology will solve the problem ” She honest to god sounded like one of those ads from Mobil. And this is a woman who Is one of the smart funny liberal types. My impression was that if this woman didn’t want to deal with the real issues, then nobody would be willing to be honest and tell the truth. My own take on the feminist gender reset that will take place will be a sudden realization that feminism was dependent on the age of energy and with the end of that age, a massive reset button would be in order. Brute power would be a necessity and valued again.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Wow – love that cynical realism, FIDO!l

    • kulturcritic says:

      Watch out for FIDO, JC! 😉

      • javacat says:

        Thanks for the warning, kC, but I’m not worried about his bite. Dogs and cats fight but also know when to get along.

        As for the challenge…What will we do when the lights go out and raw physical power is needed? Trade our bodies for food and shelter?

        It’s wrong to assume that all feminists are women. It’s wrong to assume that women are unable to do hard physical labor. It’s wrong to assume that women will adapt less easily or be less resourceful than men when the lights go out.

        Greater variation may come from geography and socio-economics that gender. Many here have already addressed scenarios of collapse in urban areas. Rural areas may fare better because of fewer people, a previously established network of dependence and greater access to natural resources, Skills as simple as building a fire and raising a garden suddenly become valuable and are doable by both men and women. What one has and is willing to do without also will play a big role. The more one has depended on others to do the day-to-day, the more difficult it will be to adapt. And, initially, probably, who has access to what weapons and ammo stashed away, along with jugs of clean water.

        Feminism tied to the age of energy…if that’s so, then does Peak Oil signal our decline? How are you defining the bounds of the age? If one considers the early 60’s to be the rise of American feminism, I’d say our age of energy began long before.

        I also think it’s important to remember, as kC as pointed out in different posts, that earlier cultures and societies followed a more egalitarian pattern.

        There will be some ugly, brutal scenes as things melt down. We’re already seeing them in towns and cities of all sizes. Men vent their anger on women in numerous ways. But in the end, you need us. Women excel at cooperation and building communities, which is what will be essential for whoever is left.

        • FIDO says:

          I think that the actual feminist movement was started as an off shoot of the anti slavery movement in the 1840’s and 1850s. I think that my comments were taken in the wrong context. Yes, my grandmother was a sugar beet worker, she worked the fields like everybody else did. However, she was treated like a lady and was generally respected by the workers, men and women alike. My great aunt told me that she remembers grandmother’s male coworkers helping her with the heavy lifting. When grandmother was with child, the company wouldn’t let her work and paid her full wage while she was with child. The company was not perfect, though. They would not hire black or Hispanic workers. The company also paid women less than the men. However, the company was a clean safe and generally a good place to work at in the 1930’s. So. Yes, Javacat, I do know of or did know of women who were fully capable of handling the Heavy Labor of an non industrial society/ workplace. But, the vast majority of men and women could not today do the kind of work.

    • Disaffected says:

      She did not have an answer beyond ” technology will solve the problem ”

      Sounds like a true believer in Archdruid’s secular religion of Technology. Yep, I agree with your conclusions. And in the here and now, the blurring of gender roles creates a tremendous amount of confusion and frustration, not to mention the fact that “brute force manual labor” in all it’s variants is systematically being devalued monetarily in favor of staring at computer monitors (aka “knowledge/information work”), which, not coincidentally, just happens to also be the realm of the financial architects of the current system. Having long since come to the conclusion that my work is a zero sum shell game – albeit a very elaborately constructed one – I now adopt the “40 mile stare” as I walk in the door everyday and dutifully keep it on until the minute I walk out every night. I can and do routinely produce spreadsheets that make a PhD’s head spin right off their shoulders, and yet I’ll bet that less than 10% of it ever gets looked at at all and considerably less than 1% of it ever leads to meaningful action on anyone’s part. Database downloads to Excel spreadsheets, Excel spreadsheets to Powerpoint Slides as graphs and charts (because senior managers don’t DO actual numbers), Powerpoint Slides to a snappy electronic presentation (with the ubiquitous paper copies for everyone in the room plus). Fours hours of work consolidated down to a 10 minute presentation which has been dumbed down to the point that no one in the room could even possibly comprehend it, assuming any one of them actually gave a shit in the first place. I get more meaning from my walk to/from the bus everyday.

      • the Heretick says:

        9/10ths of our technology is simply refinements and better controls of what has been around several hundred years. this includes the physical sciences as well as the humanities. all used to further the interests of the now global elite.

    • the Heretick says:

      let me rephrase your question. what happens after the lights go out and raw physical power is needed to get things done ?
      answer, my daughters.
      there are some who still are made of fine peasant stock, big girls, smart, strong, and pretty, the total package. they know how to fight, thanks to our excellent public school system, understand Latin and French, and will knock you on your ass.

      but seriously, we can hope that things will not devolve to the point where the talents of women are under-appreciated.

      • Disaffected says:

        More importantly, it’s the abilities of men that will have atrophied the most, while women’s true talents will be appreciated more than ever. All that electronic “knowledge work” we’re busying ourselves with now (mostly just cyber-voodoo meant to justify wealth transfer (theft) up the chain) will translate poorly to any possible new version of Kunstler’s ‘World Made by Hand’.

        • Ron McCafferty says:

          There will most certainly be a learning curve for everyone once technology failures occur. Those who survive it are going to be the ones who readily accept their roles according to their abilities. We can all do something. And women back in the days before all the creature comforts made us lazy were for the most part built like brick shit houses,for they did a hell of lot of lugging stuff around, just like men. I think for the most part they accepted their roles. They had to.in order to survive. I don’t think it will be any different in the future. We have come too far too fast in an irresponsible manner. At some point the piper will have to be paid. And those very same roles that ensure survival will become relevant once again. Have we just lost our appreciation for those differences that make us men/women?

          • kulturcritic says:

            DA – you are perfectly positioned to be the NEXT Snowden!

            • Disaffected says:

              What’s he up to these days anyway? He seems to fallen out of the media spotlight of late.

              But no, I don’t have access to anything anymore (never did actually). I’m just a low level aging flunky in a dead end job surrounded by a bunch of young flunkies who’re in the same predicament but just don’t know it yet. Truth is, most of the so-called “knowledge work” these days just ain’t all that knowledgeable. Just profit driven, like everything else.

          • the Heretick says:

            some anthropology texts i have read said that the average physical size of humans declined when farming was established, makes sense, as hunter gatherers size and speed would tend to be favored in the genetic jackpot.

        • the Heretick says:

          just read this book
          half anthropological, half history, which is what good anthropology is anyway. the Comanches are way under-appreciated, looks like the Sioux were so far north just to keep out of their way (?).
          anyhow, yes the men were the fighters and hunters, but the women did most of the drudge work, as they did in many societies.
          when i read Blood Meridian i thought that the author “gaudied up” the dress of the Indians, not at all, according to this account.
          but then i could be transferring some behaviors to other tribes. even now though, the Comanche and Kiowa that i personally know are some handsome men and beautiful women.

          anyhow, when this ridiculousness finally comes to an end, if there is land to work and animals to hunt, more and more children will be doing more and more work, just like in the old days. w/o energy and machines to run the extractive mechanism for the ruling class, more of the fruits of ones labor may stay closer to home. maybe under some sort of feudalism, but then maybe the collapse will wring some of the programming out of the population and we won’t see that.

          in any case, the 98 pound Victoria’s Secret model types, while they may be nice to look at, they may not be so good for lifting roof beams, not enough muscle mass.

    • Disaffected says:

      Goin’ all Bohemian on us again, eh HT? Ain’t it funny how the Country stars of today look and sound more like the rock stars of old, and the “rock” stars of today (well, the pop stars anyway, there really aren’t any rock stars left anymore, to my ears at least), sound more like, I don’t know what. Actually pop music these days is just dance track music, or more accurately, musical wallpaper. Shit to play in the background while the twenty-somethings are all social networking electrically (and ignoring each other personally), or whatever it is they’re doing these days. Strange fucking world we’ve created.

  10. Disaffected says:

    Speaking of kids, yet more of them dead in Colorado (well, one anyway, a couple other wounded) in yet another school shooting.
    Needless to say, at this point such shootings hardly draw a headline anymore. One has to wonder, what combination of youthful lack of impulse control, availability of devices to readily “scratch that itch”, the desire to go out in a momentary blaze of glory, and/or genuine lack of hope in a life which increasingly seems to offer our youth none is responsible for all this stupidity? All conspiracy theories aside – and I know I offer them up regularly – much of this violence seems to be genuinely inspired, for whatever reasons their suicidal perpetrators take with them to their graves. If only they could write a book. Not that anyone in power would actually read it of course.

    • Disaffected says:

      Speaking of kids once again, I just had one of them explain to me the not so hidden meaning of this now rather oldish song (one of my favorites), which I should have been culturally adept enough to guess at first blush. Just shows to go you:

    • the Heretick says:

      lot’s of people have written books, some of them have probably been read, but it’s not hard to figure out. our society breeds violence, and it follows a very clear trajectory.
      first we have objectification, the turning of nature and human beings into the other, something to be used and abused.
      secondly we have quantification, a step further down the road, figuring out how much of the other one can get one’s hands on…………..
      next is commodification, where the other is neatly packaged as a resource, human or otherwise, and it is a further step of abstraction where the subject is readied for the next process………….
      which brings us to exploitation, where nature and humans (being part of nature) are treated to the last final stage, which is of course is death .

      hence the title of Baudrillards greatest work “Symbolic Exchange and Death”.

      now, you say, fine Mr. Heretick, how does this relate? well, people aren’t stupid, they may not have some nifty home grown philosophy such as yours truly, but they sense what is going on, they are being screwed, and they don’t like it. or maybe the violence instilled in them by our society just comes seeping out, death by a thousand cuts.

      agree/disagree, don’t care. we are however at the exact place our gracious host described in his latest, we deal in death everyday, it’s become part of our DNA, but it’s denied, obfuscated, lied about. pointless euphemisms and vague generalities, misdirection, and the entire ruling class plays the maestro.

      now we will have carefully coiffed newsbabes, and serious schmucks in $1,000 suits yammering on about mental health while all the while ignoring the true causes, and solutions, because to do so they would have to admit that their privileged positions are a large part of the problems. we will see more and more calls for gun control, and yes, maybe they are truly wrenched by the deaths, no matter how hard that is to square with their willful ignorance. the end result will be more control exercised by the very same system which breeds this violence.

      at least that’s the view here from the cheap seats.

      • Ron McCafferty says:

        Problem, Reaction, Solution. Carefully managed by those in control. Technology has just improved their managing of society. Sorry to be so blunt. But I have trouble believing that these, albeit random acts of violence, are nothing more than a result of societal conditioning. I have to agree with you, HT.

        • the Heretick says:

          the words of the prophet

          “I wanna tell you about Texas Radio and the Big Beat.
          Comes out of the Virginia swamps
          Cool and slow with money and precision.
          And a back beat narrow and hard to master.

          Some call it heavenly in its brilliance.
          Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream.
          I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft.
          We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
          This is the land where the Pharaoh died.”


          “out here on the perimeter there are no stars”

          • Disaffected says:

            HT’s goin’ way old school deep these days. Me? I’m feelin’ a resurgence of pure Nihilism, but I think the holidays – especially American style – will do that for you. Does for me anyway. Although I do think it’s interesting to note that most of the deep thinkers who try to figure out our existential conundrum end up dying young and/or living miserably until they do. Marginalization from mainstream society certainly accounts for much if not most of that, but I think there’s a genuine rejection of physical/material well-being that goes along with the ascetic mentality as well. Not sure what I think of that anymore. As a by-product of an overall consciousness raising I’d say sure, why not? Strictly as a means towards an imagined predetermined end (which I think it often is these days) I’d say it’s mostly just self-defeating. Granted, it’s hard to know what course to take these days regarding material “wealth” acquisition (although the powers that be seem hell bent for leather to make that decision for us should we falter), but overall, I’d say it’s best to just try to remain indifferent to it altogether. A hard row to hoe.

      • Disaffected says:

        So, since you mentioned it specifically (and since you’re also a fairly outspoken “Red-Stater” with sometimes conflicting views), what’s your position on gun control, broadly spoken. More, less, none at all, ban them altogether, etc.?

        Me, I’m a hard-left liberal that would gladly ban them altogether if I could, but who has come to realize that the current situation is simply intractable. As in, both sides are dug in and not going anywhere absent a nuclear skirmish. Gun “control” is actually just a gun stalemate, which mostly favors those with guns. Me? I’m old, ready to die for the most part if someone wants to kill me for what little I’ve got, and don’t give a fuck enough to buy a gun to protect anything I have or acquire anything someone else has. Hey, if they REALLY piss me off enough to kill them (and most of those people are people I work with, whom I’ll GLADLY kill with my bare hands first!), I’ll find another way to do it anyway.

        But honestly, I don’t much understand what all the gun-hoopla is about in the first place. Does ANYONE in this day and age HONESTLY think the government right on down to the civic level is going to be deterred ONE WHIT by the fact that you may or may not be legally or illegally armed to the teeth?

        And NOW for something COMPLETELY different.

        Have you perchance seen this show or any of these nefarious characters over in Okie land?


        I know, I know. 90’s Camaros are just SO bullshit and this show in general is SO MUCH hype. But it’s funny anyway, and of course there’s some amount of truth to it as well.



        • the Heretick says:

          ok, i’l give you a serious answer.
          i believe 90% of crime, violence, and anti-social behaviors are caused by the stress and anxiety of modern society. the couple who fight, half the time it’s about money, the street thug who robs someone just wants money. cram a bunch of rats in a cage, they’re gonna fight.
          the right to self-defense is an innate human right, never to be taken away, end of story, period. to take away the right to self-defense is tyranny.
          self-defense in our society means firearms, that’s just the way it is.
          now, yes, take away the guns, you will reduce the violence, no doubt, but you will not alleviate the underlying conditions.
          we already have gun control, we don’t allow people to buy dynamite, grenades, 50 caliber machine guns, rocket launchers, tanks, or nukes for that matter.
          i think magazines should be limited to 30 rounds, pretty much the current law, depending on the jurisdiction.
          one thing to think about is the ladies, this old saying is a bit sexist, however. “”Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal”, i personally know several women who have protected themselves by pulling out their piece.
          lady who works here packs heat everywhere she goes.
          the other thing is social collapse, when tshtf, for whatever reason, the authorities won’t be able to control it, they think they can, but get real, if people go nuts enough in large enough numbers?

          it’s always puzzled me how supposed leftists can favor gun control, seems they would be the ones who would favor citizens being armed. go figure.

          sure, it’s horrible when people die, but guess what? people die.

          what’s also puzzling is citizens who favor gun control also seem to be highly critical of the police, it’s odd. i know that cops and criminals correlate on the MMPI, but that leaves aside the philosophical question. what makes govt. so righteous? why should the govt. have this special right? because it’s the supposed will of a bunch of people who themselves are not responsible enough to carry firearms?

          as with all things having to do with a sick society there are contradictions. try to reduce the violence of the sick society by disarming the populace thereby leaving them helpless in the face of the very sickness the society produces? doesn’t seem like much of a solution, not equitable.

          my position is that our country needs to face up to the causes of the alienation, economic equality, and various and sundry pathologies displayed, fix the underlying problems, and then we will see much, much less violence.

          and oh yeah, contradictory? contradictory? who says anybody has to make sense?
          there you go with that Cartesian thinking again, i thought we talked about this.

          most of the serious street racers these days are modifying the rice burners, they can take an old RX-7 or whatever and run away from the Detroit steel. of course you can go fast enough in any car to kill yourself, to me it’s just a waste of fuel.

          • Disaffected says:

            The rice burners are hot everywhere thanks mostly to the wonders of Nitrous. Of course the shit will blow the heads off your motor after a few passes, but what the hell.

            Yeah, I’m waiting for them to pass a law actually REQUIRING people to be armed in public. Wouldn’t THAT be a hoot?

            • the Heretick says:

              i really try to be peaceful, which is my personal choice. i approach these matters with no prejudice. it seems we wish to be risk free, which will never happen.
              asteroids, earthquakes, any number of events could put us back to the stone age, then the wacko with 10,000 rounds would seem to be extremely prescient.

              of course i am against violence, though i sometimes question this attitude, but i just can’t support the disarming of the ordinary citizen.

              the status-quo likes things just as they are, exploit the populace, divide and conquer, while they have their little hideaways, their ranch in Montana, all protected by, guess what? men with guns.

        • the Heretick says:

          “Me? I’m old, ready to die for the most part if someone wants to kill me for what little I’ve got, and don’t give a fuck enough to buy a gun to protect anything I have or acquire anything someone else has. ”

          yo, you should just come on down, i don’t own a gun, don’t need to, if things get bad the good old boys will just take care of business, just set back in the rocking chair…………

          • Disaffected says:

            I might stop over that way next time I go see dear ol’ Mom back in I-Oh-WAY (as the Nebraskans call it). The midwest definitely has a certain charm, although to outsiders it will always seem seem provincial and a bit cultish.

            • the Heretick says:

              midwest? nah, this is the great plains, more southern than anything. plus, this is red man’s land, the meaning of the word. way more cosmopolitan than perceived, in the true meaning of the word, we have all sorts.

  11. javacat says:

    This is only related in the most tangential of tangential ways, but since you mentioned Okies: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/tar-sands-keystone-protesters-arrested-terrorism-glitter

    Apparently glitter can get you in the gulag these days.

  12. javacat says:

    😉 Where’s the mistletoe?

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