After the Deluge: The Recovery of Ecstasy

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Modernity Eclipsed!

This ever-new-and-improved post-modern bubble in which we are living— routinely and affectionately referred to as the forward march of Western Civilization — is not merely unsustainable, but it was wrong-headed from the very get-go. This way of being-in-the-world seems to fly in the face of two million years of our genus Homo prehistory, and our natural placement within the world we actually, physically inhabit. The anxiety and ensuing ennui of this artful, and increasingly artificial, ‘lifeway’ creeps upon us daily with ever greater force and necessity. The newest appliances and electronic gadgets call out for our genuflection, routinely eclipsing our concrete relations in the world and with one another. Ontological insecurity overwhelms us at every turn, with each decision we make, and every keyboard stroke or touchpad click. Everyone of our choices, and each of our words, becomes unalterably fixed, alienated from us, locked in a digital cache, and dissected by so many remote observers and other unintended audiences. Grounded in an absurd concept of infinite progress, and the belief in technological salvation, this world we have thoughtlessly de-animated, objectified, and reconstructed, is yet crumbling before our eyes, physically, economically, and psychically. Our shelves, like our policies and our brains are being emptied on the heels of a ‘techno-industrial orgy’!

Do the Hustle: The End of Racketeering

The dissected, compartmentalized, and privatized ‘landscape’ of this brave new world — so loudly proclaimed as ‘exceptional’ in the footnotes to the American dreamscape — demands a competitive spirit (so we are told); that hustle of the salesman, the ‘can-do’ energy of the entrepreneur. We have come to believe, through centuries of (re)education or indoctrination — much like what happens when the USA occupies a defeated foe — that capital, consumption, and competition are fundamental ‘goods’ (see Plato). And we are told that competition will be appropriately rewarded. Even the recently disbanded ‘Occupy Wall Street’ crowd didn’t want to dismantle this system or the thinking behind it; they just wanted a bigger piece of the action! And so, winning at all costs has become our motto. And  hustle — that results-obsessed, hard-charging get to the top of the pyramid behavior (see Berman) eventually has come to mean ‘trickery’ — as in ‘hustling the other guy.’ This has led invariably and undeniably to the concept of the ‘sting’ or ‘con’ (see Newman and Redford) — setting up a patsy for the fall. Finally it has given birth to the readily identifiable contemporary notion of the covert political ‘false-flag’ operation, where we set up a population, indeed, the entire globe, to ‘buy into’ our magic, our hocus-pocus, our chicanery, our sales pitch, our marketing campaign, our propaganda; and yet, they never see it coming! That is the real hustle!! Everything finally becomes a commodity for sale or purchase, even our ideas and beliefs become commodities for exchange in an economic and political system that views everything as a product, and as a means to an end.

Not only our financial systems, with their arbitrary printing of money, or their ‘hustled,’ ‘boiler-room’ selling of collateralized debt obligations — not just the casino capitalism as it has been called — but all of our dealings finally have become reduced to a racket, and to racketeering. We provide a friendly smile and the carefully constructed rhetoric, and then we bend you over and do you good and proper. Just ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, or Yemen. Are there any better real examples we have of the end-game in this competition of global organized crime? I think not.

Am I a Butterfly Sleeping Through the Dream?

Talk of the American Dream is still rampant today in various flavors. ‘We have it.’ Or: ’We lost it.’ ‘It’s vanishing.’ Or: ’We need to reestablish it.’ Everybody wants a piece of this dream. It has been built (or ‘hustled’) into the very wiring of the modern, secular, rationalist, results-oriented worldview, animating the motivations of players from Austin to Altai, Boston to Bombay, and Shanghai to Chicago.

The Zen master, Chuang Tzu, is credited with making the following reflection many centuries ago:

Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

The question we must ask ourselves is the following: Are we men, merely sleeping through this dream, or perhaps butterflies sleep-walking a nightmare, thinking we are the one, when in reality we are the other. This question needs be asked: Who are we? By all accounts we are products of our environment, our social and culture upbringing. We learn to mimic the behaviors of those around us, so that the objective standards of the community become our own. But, there is reason to question whether the current trajectory of this re-educational process adequately reflects what is natural to us and our primitive genetic constitution.

Healing the Wounds: The Recovery of Ecstasy

Our inordinate civilized capacity for drawing distinctions, creating cuts in the plenum (Bram), has become like a cancer – its mutant cells continuing to divide and multiply well beyond what the ‘body’ (humanity or the globe) needs to prosper. The result is a growth, a tumor, if you will. And this growth in distinction-making has become malignant. As I stated at the outset, this current condition is unsustainable. One way or the other it will come to an end, and when we awaken we will see if we really were butterflies living the dream or just men trapped in a nightmare, a cocoon of our own making.

From the Greek word, “ek-stasis,” ecstasy is, in a real sense, a feeling of being outside oneself, an experience of intensified or heightened sensitivity. It is a ‘standing-out’ into the world, not hiding, like some objectified and objective observer squatting in the bush, or retreating anonymously behind a screen, merely observing the passing spectacle. Rather, being ec-static, one exists necessarily outside oneself, not locked up within a bag of skin, but feeling the outline of your body as an inline of the world where one actively participates life, dancing the dance we were built to perform. This is what I mean by the recovery of ecstasy, the re-sacralization of nature, or the re-enchantment of the cosmos. It is the holy grail lurking silently behind every heroic quest. But to get there we must stop drawing all these distinctions, we must stop cutting the world up into so many disparate pieces, but learn, instead, how to reconnect them. The world is not a chess board of black and white, good and evil. It is a shading across a mysterious and inarticulate spectrum. We must rediscover our natural place in that plenum. Paul Shepard called it a sacred dance. I call it the re-enchantment of the world, a re-sacralization of nature. Or borrowing a phrase from David Abram, it is reinvesting ourselves in the intractable but elusive “spell of the sensuous.” And, at the very least, it gives us pause, something to contemplate after the deluge!

67 Responses to After the Deluge: The Recovery of Ecstasy

  1. the Heretick says:

    “I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called ‘Armistice Day’. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind. Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not. So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.”

    Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five

    Voice of God or just enough quiet to hear oneself think, it matters little. Who’s to say the Bushmen cannot read each others thoughts in the silence of the Kalahari? And by the by, how many of the people who remembered this day are still with us?

  2. the Heretick says:

    Remember when you were a kid and dreamed you were flying? Some say it’s astral projection, who knows? When was the last time you had a dream of flying?

  3. George Drosdowich says:

    Very good reflection on Armistice Day, a hugely important distinction.

  4. Disinfected says:

    Great picture! Reminds me very much of the Valles Caldera over here. Immense grassy plain rimmed by the mountains that form the caldera. Very beautiful sight.

    The American Hustle does indeed seem to be approaching and inflection point. Hope it doesn’t take everything down with it, but it damn sure appears that that’s what in the plan. I’m getting rid of the TV this year and am even considering getting off the internet as well. Not like I don’t have enough access at work to do whatever business I need to do anyway.

  5. monalisa says:

    Wonderful essay on actual facts.

    I personally like your expression of “re-enchantment of the cosmos” and “re-sacralization of nature”.
    Being in the Middle of Europe and still in a state where the thoughts of the indoctrination of the Roman-Catholic Church is still very much present and with it the thoughts of the Old and New Testament (Bible) I see the problem more in the fact that with state-ordered Roman-Catholic church religion and the mentioning in the Bible that man should dominate and spread.
    Other religions except the three monotheistic (where in fact Christianity isn’t really monotheistic!!) include humans into the nature and put more stress onto the individual to take care about thoughts and actions and being aware what he is doing. Which means much more consciousness in daily life.
    Last summer my TV all of a sudden gave up working and I started to listen more radio, CD’s with music or dramas etc. Then I bought a new TV. However, I could have spared myself to do so. I started to feel how the majority of TV programmes are hollow and without real meaning and looking at music events of greater scale I just see people getting moved by those on the platform. Like those thousands (yes, there are quite often thousands of humans attending!) are being in trance and therefore manipulated to a great extent. Same goes with mainstream media which nowadays manipulates by day and by night, paid or free to take (yes, we have here on stops, in trams and busses or on train stations etc. free daily papers to read).

    We especially in the Western sphere on our globe (and pretending that we are so much more educated and much more worth than all others on this planet!! – At least some president is repeating it !) lost completely our sense that we are within the nature and not above or outside. This being within and not above is in my opinion the point. The majority of mankind (mostly in the Western hemisphere) lost the feeling being embetted in nature and being also taken care by nature with its great creativity !!

    Instead of taking care mankind damaged and still damages everything the creativity of nature of our cosmos created on our earth !
    We will pay a big price for neglect and much more for the indulgence and the ignorance to respect the wonders we can see in the creativity of nature ! While humans are just looking into the creativity of nature and just copying it the ignorance grows – the ignorance towards nature wonders’ is too great and is fed on a daily basis either by greed and ignorance or by religion with its ignorance and bigottery.

    monalisa

    • kulturcritic says:

      monalisa, you are correct.  the Abrahamic religions are a major part of our problem.  they were complicit in the emergence of this civilization, and the attendant destructive behaviors of our race. I only hope that those in the heart of Europe are as conscious of the problems as you seem to be.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  Sandy kC

  6. Malthus says:

    Another nice one Sandy. I will be reading it often just because it is so well written and of course how you put together concepts so well. I really have fun with telling people that the only way to change is to go back to our ancestral roots of hunting and gathering along with cooperating knowing full without it we can not survive without cooperation. And where the fun is to a person I am told we cannot go back. Everyone that says the ever growing mantra actually is saying we don’t want to go back having been conditioned into believing the hype of the awful brutish life’s our ancestors lived. And of course how could we show off our brand new granite counter tops? Not for once thinking that living in a natural environment is actually living not something created out of thin air for the only purpose is to control with power and turn every one into serfs dependent on the great and wonderful. Weird, really weird.

  7. FIDO says:

    In 1972, we as a family took at trip to disneyland. It was a technological fantasy that even amazed the most hardened member of our family on that trip. My grandfather had served in WW1 and had lived thru the great depression and the dust bowl. He was a hard man to please and an even harder man to make smile or laugh. He was in disneyland, the happiest place on earth and he was being a crabby bitter old man. I was 8 years old and I was happy to be in the land of mickey mouse and donald duck. He was assigned the task of looking after me that afternoon. I don’t know why he was given this task, but He was and he took me down main street and to the various child rides that were there. He stopped , however when he saw that Mouse…. Mickey was by one of the rides and I wanted very badly to meet the mouse. So, we walked over to see him and there was a crowd around him. It was hot and everyone was sweaty and tired and cranky. My grnadfather was irritated by the wait and hoisted me over his giant head to rest on his broad shoulders. The crowd was hushed when they saw me being hoisted over to look at the great mouse. Several disney employees, seeing how palsied I was, ushered us over to the great rodent. Employees quickly and gently took me off of my grandfather and placed me directly in front of Mickey Mouse. As I embraced MIckey, I for the first and only time saw my grandfather smile and laugh. Yes,even a hardened cranky and bitter old man laughed and smiled. Even he was not immune to the magic of the mouse. Disney staff gave me a stuffed plush toy of Mickey mouse and took a rather funny picture of my grandfather and me with the mouse. … Why do I tell the story, well it has to do with the suspension of reality and the embrace of magic,,, It took a trip to disneyland to suspend his cold demeanor and his stoic mannerisms , if only for a moment, he was a child again and he embraced the fantasy world of small child with a disability. It was the only time I ever saw him smile and laugh.

  8. monalisa says:

    to Malthus:
    I see not the problem in comsumption (of our modern life appliances) only. If consumption is paired with taking responsibility and actually doing things on daily basis with consciousness our problems would be much more less.
    Actually the majority of the masses turn on TV daily, use cell phones to chat (instead of trying to meet personally for a chat – even if only for half an hour instead of TV consumation.

    Its the careless attitude of the masses – worldwide.
    This includes religion (on Christmas time Bibles for children – this means to lure and manipulate already children between 4 to 10 years!! where is the outcry??) as well as consumption whatever it is – from too much food to sitting for hours in front of TV; from eating GM-food and taking pills for everything because doctors prescribe in order to feel “fine and well”.

    Its the unconscious acting of masses. Its the careless and neglicence of wanting to know what some governments are doing inside and outside their countries. The carelessness includes bombing women and children in far away countries as well as explointing resources by stirring chaos in order being an easier exploitation for some big companies (far too often in foreign countries).

    If only people would be much more interested of what up-to-date appliances comprise of and what they release. In our times it has become extremely easy to get reliable information of our environment and in a broader sense how some technical appliances and/or things used in our daily life work.

    It is the extreme neglicence of consciousness and with it not taking responsibility.To mee it seems that Individuals are hiding or maybe better to say their own life within the masses – i.e. applying whatever is at the moment “en mode”.
    Just acting as masses do, It’s just as closing eyes, ears and mouth like the well known three monkeys do.

    monalisa

    PS: It is so easy to go into dream-land, fantasy and pray that some god will resolve our mess we created on our beautiful earth. In the dream-land/fantasy land an exceptional man or women would solve all our problems and take care of approx. 25,000 children dying daily of hunger and save women and children from falling bombs our of drones. In the dream-land god shows mercy upon us and forgives our neglicence. In the dream-land.
    Where nobody request anwers why we are not using our so wonderful constructed brains. In the dream-land.

  9. Malthus says:

    To Monalisa:
    “If consumption is paired with taking responsibility and actually doing things on daily basis with consciousness our problems would be much more less.” Not certain what your meaning is by pairing responsibility and consumption, unless over consuming and what is consumed. Consciousness is a really interesting subject as we are, that is neural scientists are just now getting a glimmer of understanding of what it is and what is involved with the term consciousness. As is taking responsibility has many depths to how far one wants to take responsibility for everything which would set one up in a creator of reality itself, knowledge and there again consciousness.

    Agreed with the seriousness of over 25,000 starving to death every day and also want to throw in the fact that 200,000 people die everyday in hospitals caused by hospital mistakes the majority caused by administering the wrong medicines. Sometimes I feel that escaping into some fantasy reality would allow some pressure to be released and life enjoyed a bit more as with Sandy’s quote of Chuang Tzu. At that point one would be praying to oneself not some fairy tale in the sky.

  10. Malthus says:

    Sorry: 200,000 every year

  11. monalisa says:

    to Malthus:
    “….consumption is paired with consciousness…” means in my opinion: whether it is food, oil, TV-programmes or the exploitation of the human race itself (neoconservative slavery of our days too) everything we use and/or do should be done with more thinking.

    Oh I agree that from time to time fairy tales are necessary for recreation.
    To keep ourselves in good balance as to say body and soul.
    I personally like the philosophy of Yin and Yang as well as of Yoga.

    monalisa

    • Malthus says:

      Yep agree totally. What is interesting to me that behind the curtain of exploitation, i.e., neoconservative slavery of out days is the very real push for post humanism. Imagine being melded with A.I. for a bigger and better slave for the wonderful. Oops, excuse me it is happening as you and I read this, through those cell phones and macBooks Sandy mentioned.

      • monalisa says:

        to Malthus:

        Its only being conscious-with our brain-what we are doing.
        When I stopped smoking-15 years ago-I all of a sudden realized how silly I was. That I made myself a slave-i.e. in wintertime having all of the sudden no lighter or cigarettes and therefore going out to buy at the next possible automat or coffeehouse etc (even if would be almost midnight!!). Or in order that my rooms don’t get the smell of cigarettes going outside. My girlfriend goes in wintertime outside to smoke wrapped in thick and warm cloths and shoes!

        Since then I too realized it with coffee every morning (I switch inbetween to different teas in the morning), or cellphone answer. Its my decision (so it might be different with cellphones when having a job and it is necessary especially for doctors, firemen and/or other professionals).
        Or the use of cleaning material (because of chemicals which mostly go into the next river) or using my car (because of oil, pollution etc.) and so forth.

        monalisa

  12. Disaffected says:

    Uh oh! Kunstler’s been warning about this possibility for months.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/22/middleeast/saudi-arabia-king-abdullah-dies/

    • Mike Carrick says:

      I wish I could still visit Kunstler’s site.
      It is very sadly overridden by neo-nazis and other bottom dwellers. Even Jim himself goes off on racist screeds. His most recent post about the poor not speaking proper English was really the lowest attack in a long line of superior remarks. It is a crying shame, but he has gotten weird and cranky and tolerates some of the internet’s sleaziest posters. After the first hour on Wednesday it comletely degenerates to racist sludge.

      • Disaffected says:

        True, you have to apply a mental filter to get through his stuff sometimes. He’s really got a thing against blacks, tats, and most youth street culture. Maybe a past incident or two coming through there. He’s also an unapologetic flag waver for Israel, which I find rather repugnant. The commenters have gotten slightly better. He cracked down a while back to get rid of some of the worst. The one’s remaining are at least tolerable. Hell, I’ve got close relatives that are much, much worse, and they actually sound quite sane most of the time. Jim’s good when he sticks to the unsustainable nature of our current predicament, not so much when he starts to stray from that.

      • follyofwar says:

        Are you talking about Janos?

        • Disaffected says:

          I think he’s just talking about the site and the commentary in general. You definitely can’t be thin-skinned if you want to comment on Kunstler’s site. Some people like the “spirited give and take” there (much of which is just to provoke a response IMO), some don’t. Once you get past that however, I think there’s a few really smart people commenting over there.

          • Disaffected says:

            That said, I have noticed ol’ Jimbo getting a little provincial up there in upstate NY. He’s got some real pent up hostility toward the “WalMart class,” which these days includes just about all of us out here in middle America. I think he’s probably living what we out here would call a bit of a “sheltered life,” now that his book sales are good. But as a commenter on his site recently noted, perhaps he might want to consider what need the world he’s predicting will have for published authors with little more to say than “I told you so” in the aftermath? Probably not much.

  13. monalisa says:

    In this concern it is also of help to look into the matter of radiation coming not only naturally. Whether we use cellphones, TV, computers etc. we expose our body (and especially our eyes) to a certain mass of radiation, dangerous waves.
    I looked last year into this matter how much radiation I consume in front of TV and computer screens and with the use of cellphone.
    Adding the fact that I had some CT’s and x-rays to do for medical purpose it amounts.

    It is worth to discuss with oneself this-I think.

    monalisa

  14. the Heretick says:

    http://www.egs.edu/faculty/jean-baudrillard/articles/disneyworld-company/

    “Thus, it marks the beginning of real, punctual and unidimensional time, which is also without depth. No present, no past, no future, but an immediate synchronism of all the places and all the periods in a single atemporal virtuality. Lapse or collapse of time: that’s properly speaking what the fourth dimension [la quatrieme dimension] is about. It is the dimension of the virtual, of real time; a dimension which, far from adding to the others, erases them all.”

  15. the Heretick says:

    That’s right, I’m really going there.

    • DA says:

      So far uncool that it’s completed the cycle and come back around to cool again!

    • DA says:

      Or better yet, since it exists outside of time now, it’s both old and new, cool and uncool, kitschy and not kitschy.

      • the Heretick says:

        Well, maybe they were recovering some of that ecstasy, uh huh.
        http://www.bahamasentertainers.com/Paper/jnkno.html
        Actually, KC is putting out a new album this year, uh huh…………
        Disco, like country, contained some serious musicians, uh huh, that’s right, uh huh!!

        • DA says:

          kC and the Sunshine Band? Say it isn’t so!!!

        • DA says:

          You thinking of moving to the islands on us now HT?

          • the Heretick says:

            If I’m not mistaken that’s Johnny Winter’s brother Edgar on the sax.
            Just some old southern boys…………….
            Sandy is right, we’ve got to grab for whatever gusto we can.
            Beijing is declared “unlivable” due to smog, Sao Paolo is running out of water, the Colorado hasn’t reached the ocean for decades. One day, after the sands of time have washed all of this away…………….
            But then what is time exactly anyway? Another one of our concepts ginned up to describe something we really can’t describe?

            • DA says:

              Broke my little toe Tuesday and fucked up my foot in general something awful just by absent mindedly stepping into a baseboard while my mind was somewhere else. Talk about an instant consciousness focuser! I’d like to have that little moment of actual time back again to do over!

  16. Disaffected says:

    Looks like NE draws first blood in the SB, albeit almost halfway through the second quarter. Shaping up to be a Seattle kind of game so far, but too early to tell at this point. Seattle looks flat on offense as usual.

    • Disaffected says:

      What an ending. Whoever called that play should be summarily fired on the field now, publicly.

      • Colin says:

        Crazy stupid ending to that game. I’ve never seen so many crazy finishes as this year. I kind of felt Green Bay should have been the ultimate victor but they choked in what I thought was the most bizarre way until of course the Superbowl ending. I think the Pats this year in my mind are one of the weakest teams to win the big one – since when does an MVP QB throw two costly interceptions?

        Sorry not meaning to get into football talk, just some observations….

  17. DA says:

    After reading The Archdruid’s very compelling latest, I came across this link to the entire book he was referring to, William R Catton’s Overshoot. Not very long and very readable. Highly recommended!

    • DA says:

      This book is probably the most clear and concise explanation of our current predicament I’ve ever read. All in straightforward layman’s speak that anyone can understand.

        • DA says:

          It was on the link above kC. Overshoot by William R. Catton (who died just recently). Turns out the link is only good for the Introduction and the first chapter, but those are quite compelling anyway. I ordered the complete book.

          • drCiber says:

            If you only get to read one more book for the rest of your life, make sure it’s Overshoot. Can’t recommend this book enough.

            • drCiber says:

              Forgot to mention it’s in print & available from Amazon. So sad to hear that Dr Catton has passed on.

              • Disaffected says:

                Still waiting for Overshoot to arrive. Enrapt in Wheelmen currently, the story of Lance Armstrong’s in particular, and American cycling’s in general, meteoric rise through the 1990s and 2000s due to – what else? – the influence of money, drugs, and influence. Great read so far.

                • Disaffected says:

                  By the way, Wheelmen‘s a real page turner if you ever followed cycling and/or the whole Lance Armstrong drama. Turns out that, just as I suspected all along, a lot of people on the inside were either directly or indirectly aware of what was going on, and were either profiting from it so they turned a blind eye, paid off to keep their mouths shut, or intimidated into silence. I followed cycling closely throughout the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, so like everyone else, I sincerely wanted to believe in the “Lance Armstrong miracle,” while at the same realizing that the numbers (a record seven straight TdF wins from a previously average cyclist, post cancer, and all allegedly PED free while all his main competitors were getting busted) simply didn’t add up. And like all good ‘who dunnits’ read in an after-the-fact fashion, one wonders how anyone was duped to believe it in the first place. Alas, such is the nature of the American myth these days. A tad bit thread worn and tattered, to say the least.

        • Disaffected says:

          Let me know if that link doesn’t work. I’m curious, because I’m running Google Chrome and using Google +. Don’t know for sure if it works with other browsers.

  18. Colin says:

    Synchronicity II (The Police):

    “Another suburban family morning.
    Grandmother screaming at the wall.

    We have to shout above the din of our Rice Crispies
    We can’t hear anything at all.
    Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration,
    But we know all her suicides are fake.

    Daddy only stares into the distance
    There’s only so much more that he can take.
    Many miles away something crawls from the slime
    At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake.

    Another industrial ugly morning
    The factory belches filth into the sky.
    He walks unhindered through the picket lines today,
    He doesn’t think to wonder why.
    The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,
    But all he ever thinks to do is watch.
    And every single meeting with his so-called superior
    Is a humiliating kick in the crotch.
    Many miles away something crawls to the surface
    Of a dark Scottish lake.

    Another working day has ended.
    Only the rush hour hell to face.
    Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes.
    Contestants in a suicidal race.
    Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance,
    He knows that something somewhere has to break.
    He sees the family home now looming in the headlights,
    the pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache.
    Many miles away there’s a shadow on the door
    Of a cottage on the shore
    Of a dark Scottish lake……………”

    • Disaffected says:

      Thanks. Never actually read the lyrics for that song, never mind saw the video. Sting was one of favorite artists in the 80’s and then again briefly in 2000 with Brand New Day. Alas, then he got rich and became “someone,” and whatever he had to contribute, to a wider audience at least, was lost. So sad, yet so instructive. Fame, power, and money giveth; and fame, power, and money taketh away. So sad Gordon Sumner! We hardly knew ye!

      • Disaffected says:

        Should add that even by 2000 Sting was completely decadent. Catchy song, nonetheless.

        • Colin says:

          He was good until 1986 with “Dream of Blue Turtles” then went downhill quickly in th 90s along with Rod Stewart who was also a badass turned soft rock shmoozer. Rod did some amazing stuff with Jeff Beck back in the day but u would hardly know it from his modern stuff…

          • Disaffected says:

            Yep. I was a Rod Stewart fan too, but the fame, the booze, the sex, and the blow did him in like it did everyone else of that generation. Hard to cast stones though. I’m sure I would have succumbed to it all too if I was in their shoes. You really have to live like a monk to avoid it these days!

  19. Colin says:

    Want to give a should out to everyone here…

    Thank you all, most notably Sandy of course (being this site and its topics are his). We may not all agree on everything or how to fix our current predicament but we certainly do agree on its existence and the urgent need to draw attention to it.

    It’s funny that not even among family and friends do I feel the camaraderie of spirit that I do when reading comments on sites like Sandy’s. It’s getting ugly out there and I am noticing people are getting more agitated and ready to flip over just about anything, let alone a disagreement over geopolitics. Additionally, everyone supporting the status quo seems to think they are some sort of super genius that has a crystal ball – it’s amazing what I have heard people say to dismiss the obvious.

    For every good alt-media article, leaked story or well-articulated alt-political post (like Sandy’s) there’s dozens and dozens of hack-job articles written by a seemingly never-ending slew of “Yes Men” that is easily reference-able by iPhone for whomever wishes to cite it and yell “See – everything is ok! It’s all going according to plan!” and then just stare at you like you are the crazy one.

    It makes a difference, even if we all feel ineffectual – each post, each discussion each time you tell someone you don’t see it the way they do or that they are oversimplifying or not thinking things through, each time we refuse to budge in the face of overwhelming political and cultural pressure by the largesse of blind followers, each time makes a difference.

    So thank you, everyone! And be sure to thank yourselves and each other too. The good fight is worth it in the long run.

    • Disaffected says:

      Agreed Colin! Sandy really is the best for sponsoring our small cast of miscreants. I’ve been all over the web, but this is still the place I call home, for as long as he’ll have me at least

      • Colin says:

        I would tend to agree when it comes to posting comments. I am off of Facebook for obvious reasons and every where else is full of trolls or idiots.

        The only exception is…
        I like reading Zero Hedge comments because those guys are just CRAAAYZEE! I don’t post there thought because I don’t even know what to say – their comments are friggin hilarious though…

        • Disaffected says:

          Agreed on Zero Hedge. Lots of Wall St guys there posting on work time, so I defer to their insider knowledge/insanity.

  20. Malthus says:

    Hi everyone, after reading the comments here I started to thinking how are we going to stop some of the crap that is being thrown at us and the crap heads that expect we are going to eat their waste. How about this. Refuse to buy anything that has a price tag of .99 or .95 attached to it. Time to start letting them know who really has the power here. Buy this or buy that and you are a consumer. This whole show would collapse if “we” the consumers stopped purchasing all their useless stuff. Believe me they will be licking our boots and begging us to come back and play the game. Ha, Ha, Ha laugh in their greedy little faces.

    • Disaffected says:

      I like your idea (I’m assuming you’re talking about anything ending in .99 or .95) and wish it were that easy Malthus! Unfortunately, one of the main benefits of the global economy is that it gradually becoming the proverbial self-licking ice cream cone; i.e., it pushes everything else out as it gradually establishes itself as the unquestioned hegemon. Truly local economies will gradually unseat it, but only by the hard way – collapse.

      • Malthus says:

        Yep DA I do mean anything ending .99. Everyone knows that it is a marketing ploy and yet unconsciously we only see the amount of dollars before it. Clever and cruel at the same time. And yes collapse will be the only way and for myself I have been waiting for collapse to happen for a very long time and yet with all the magic tricks going on, in other words the practice to getting everyone’s attention and to miss the slight of hand the game of hide and seek doesn’t seem to want to go the way of the dodo. It can really be depressing if you let it or realize it is the biggest magic show ever seen. I wanted to say the greatest but my definition of great would seem to me to shower the show with praise which I am certainly am not doing. And as you know the show is a sick waste of human endeavor and certainly has killed imagination and creativity.

  21. I always wonder when some one says they are living the dream…is that a daydream or nightmare.

  22. the Heretick says:

    Stolen from a comment thread at the NYT concerning HillBilly’s candidacy for POTUS

    “America is a giant carcass waiting to be eviscerated by the end users of Capitalism. To think otherwise is pointless. The system grinds on slowly as a water buffalo sipping on a vast savanna watering hole on a dry & endless hot day in the outback. This is not the land of the “noble savage” that indigenous people protected for the next 7 generations.

    Instead, modern America is the place to either sink your teeth into her still ample flesh while the hyenas wait in the silhouettes for their turn to gnaw on the bones. Politicians make friends w/ the obscenely wealthy in order to ensure that they take their turn as the powerful leader of the wastelands. Presidents are mere figureheads for a land that sells its soul to the highest bidding Corporations. People are the ones groveling at the gates of the kingdom, continually complaining about the unfairness of it all.

    Meanwhile, the elephant bones are telling stories of the America they would like to imagine they live in. The fair & just society in which their leaders believe in the plight of the little guys, who are ready to riot if the government doesn’t attend to their every beckon & call. Heaven forbid that a child becomes sick because the government didn’t protect the community. Why isn’t the government feeding every man, woman and child whose stomach grumbles? Why aren’t the leaders as noble as the “savages” that once roamed the land that we degrade & consume like locusts instead of careful guardians of our shared sacred land?”

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