Scary! No?

Scary! No?

I’m at our family dacha now, outside the small village of Kizlukha, in Altai Krai, Russia.  We have decided to build a new banya here with some additional living space, in preparation for spending more time and longer periods outside of the city. The peacefulness of the countryside surrounds me as I write. The sights and sounds of pending collapse are a distant echo here by the forest edge, overlooking the Ob River. I am lending a hand with some of the work on the banya (digging dirt), while preparing for a five-week journey back to the heart of what DA calls ‘the Beast’… America!

As I make my arrangements for a return to the land of commodities and home of calamities, I reflect on how our world has become increasingly dominated by false prophets, ludicrous promotions, financial chicanery, unrestrained greed, increasing militarization, enhanced domestic policing, and scary people.  I am neither disarmed, nor moved by calls for political change. Those currently responsible for the masquerade ball will remain in control no matter who wears the imperial headdress, the crown jewels, or the court jester’s cap.

For all you law-and-order faithful, now you can sigh briefly in relief.  Your worldview and your illusions are safe for another month perhaps. Chris Hedges and a US federal judge have just collaborated to give  us Americans a stay of execution on implementation of the most heinous sections of the new National Defense Authorization Act.  Yet, it seems that we had better keep our eyes on the heavens for those silent drones circling overhead like starved praying mantises, as well as the satellite controlled cameras lurking on every street corner in every village and town. Remember that the real-time Google maps and GPS guidance systems we have come to depend upon represent nothing less then Big Brother standing guard high above, alongside their sky-god.

Meanwhile, the protests in Chicago that have been encircling the NATO encampment this week were vaguely reminiscent of precursor actions to the civil rights riots in that same city nearly two generations ago.  Yet, it is incredible how these rulers – self-anointed Masters of the Universe – continue to parade around the globe like international royalty as if they controlled anything at all, as if their decisions were still relevant to outcomes.

The entire planet is engulfed in the haze of fallout from a complex and intertwined web of natural disasters and social insurrections – nearly all of our own making: wars, mistakes, abuse, arrogance, and self-aggrandizing choices acted upon over the past few centuries by those of us drenched in the logic of the Western Curriculum and its underlying command and control mentality. However, the foundations for such circumstances were laid millennia earlier when the first standing armies were garrisoned in the first cities sprinkling the ancient Near East.

This world crafted by the hands of modern science and technology, brought to you by international entrepreneurs, propagandists, and soldiers, is unraveling as I write and you read these words. Yet, the ever-inventive (conspiratorial) global investment bankers – the puppeteers behind the screen – continue to pump up this realm of make-believe, while the politicians shuffle impudently to and fro, scuffling and fighting over the spoils and the remaining scraps.

In the meantime, our newly coronated global virtual commune, Facebook, belly-flopped in the opening days of its purportedly fraud-riddled IPO.  As one analyst, Henry Blodget, noted:

I was on the phone last night with a former hedge fund CEO who was talking about this. “Facebook,” he said, “is a colossal example of a complete clusterfuck where everybody wins except the ordinary investor.” 1

At the same time, the puppet president of Afghanistan was with the hegemon Obama, thanking the American people for siphoning a good chunk of their tax dollars into his now “liberated” and newly “democratized” nation, while the enterprising businessmen of India were seeking to enlighten, not consciousness, but their own women’s darkened treasure troves.  Concurrently, all of us continue to suffer under the yoke of an inflexible taskmaster (the Curriculum), while Gaia (the earthly feminine) herself moans and buckles wildly under the final grasping attempt of our corporate elite to unearth and ravage the last bits of her own darkly hidden riches.

At the same time, anarchists, primitivists, evangelists, socialists, palm readers and astrologers alike are all clamoring for the end of the world as we know it, whether it be the end of imperialism, the end of hierarchy, the end of human dominion, the end of commodification and capitalism, the end of purportedly secular rule, or the end of civilization itself.  We are on a trajectory whose final destination is yet uncertain, as we struggle to read the various signs of collapse in these previously uncharted waters.  And the “ring of fire” seen in the sky this week – that solar eclipse – only serves as a proleptic reminder of what may yet be our collective destiny.

In the meantime, the West continues to endear itself to the Islamic world, not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things.  After all, the Moslems are just as psychotic as are the Christians and the Jews, and just as influenced by the mechanisms of indoctrination and public opinion.  Still, an elite Hollywood movie director together with a beholden White House and US Department of Defense are fixing to produce a wide- screen shoot-out, digitally-enhanced Technicolor spectacle of the Osama bin Laden execution. But while the Administration sees nothing wrong with production of such a film or the distribution of top-secret documents to the film-maker for purposes of self-aggrandizing propaganda and good old dick-swinging (yes, Hilary… that includes you!), poor Bradley Manning sits imprisoned, facing the possibility of death by firing squad due to his alleged, embarrassing (but not top-secret), disclosures.  Scary! No?

If we take a hard look at what makes our headlines folks, it is all about control and currency: managing the population and making money.  Whether it is the EU Summit sticking it to the Greeks, NATO sticking it to Pakistan and Iran, DC sticking it to the citizens, or Wall Street traders sticking it to the poor schmucks on Main.  And why do you think  Lt. Gaddaffi was knocked off by the USA? It seems that most of us were misinformed about the reasons for the American financed execution of Gadaffi in Libya.  But, what else is new? We are almost always misinformed.  From a Russia Today report of May 8th one year ago, we read the following.

Under the guise of “protecting civilians,” the United States led NATO into Libya and is attempting to assassinate the Libyan leader. Of course, Libya happens to be the largest oil producer in Africa, but many do not realize that Gaddafi was planning to introduce the gold dinar, a single African currency that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar and allow African nations to share the wealth. It is surely no coincidence that Iraq’s prior leader, Saddam Hussein, was trying to do the same thing just prior to U.S. invasion for all of those “weapons of mass destruction.”2

According to Russia Today, confirmed by other international media outlet reports, there were evidently two major conferences organized by Gadaffi precisely with the intention of introducing a gold Islamic currency for African oil trading.  One conference was in 1996, and a follow-up in the year 2000.  If such a plan had succeeded, many believe it would have severely jeopardized, if not destroyed, the US dollar as the major international currency of exchange.  Moreover, in the months immediately preceding American-led NATO military intervention in Libya last year, Gadaffi called on all Africans and Moslem nations to join together in realizing this new currency, to rival the dollar and the euro, selling oil and other resources only for these gold dinars.  Why is it the American public never heard of such issues through major news media leading up to the invasion of Libya and the subsequent assassination of the Colonel? Scary! No?

What else don’t we know about our country, its leadership, and its intentions? It seems as if the practice of molding our expectations and beliefs just keeps advancing, while the majority of us mechanically go about the business of good citizenship.  This week Javacat has provided me with the stimulus for my concluding reflections from Truth-out.

The display of diversity in the information coming from the mainstream media gives the illusion of independent reportage and news.

In reality, it is no more than another mechanism controlling both thought and behavior, and it extends to the very perception of our own freedom to choose and act. We are allowed a certain amount of ‘living room’ that provides the illusion of both knowledge and freedom.

It is what might be called the ‘allowed liberty’ that is provided to the modern person in pursuit of material gains, as long as there exists a contribution to the overall plan of the ruling authority. Liberty, then, is an expression of mobility within a pre-described system: it does not denote liberty external to the system.3

The job of those managing the message, is to keep that illusion alive and vibrant; in short, to keep us all in-line. The question remains: can you trust anyone claiming to represent your interests if you do not have a personal relationship with that individual, if he or she is not attached to you by some bond of blood, friendship, or other strong sense of kinship or affinity?  Politics is the art of persuasion and the science of marketing, in short, it is always propaganda, it is all about the message. And it is ultimately engaged in creating a commercial relationship with the buyer, the voter; it is an act of selling something to somebody.  Are you buying any of it, my friends?

52 Responses to Scary! No?

  1. Misko says:

    Good post, as always!
    No, I’m not buying any of their shit. That so-called culture ain’t mine.
    And, I wouldn’t trust anyone to represent me if they weren’t a friend or member of my people.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Misko – Good to hear your wild voice as always. Also looks like you are also posting some great stuff of your own. Keep it up. Yours in solidarity, sandy

  2. murph says:

    Ok Sandy, it’s time to stop sandbagging your posts and tell us how you really think and feel about stuff.

  3. xraymike79 says:

    These glasses help me see the real Obama… Scary!No?
    Yes the system we have constructed has taken on a life of its own and it’s impossible to stop this nihilistic behemoth calling itself the global industrial society. We can only wait, watch in horror, and try and get out of the way when this monstrous giant falls, convulsing in its death spasm.

  4. craig moodie says:

    Sandy, love your weekly perspective, one the highlights of the week for me. By the way i’m sure no one engaging on this site buys into this bullshit culture we have to endure.

  5. …lets see, coffee, check email…ohh new post from Sandy! omg!! Shrillary in full strident face contorting finger waving lecture mode. eww eww eww! *laughing*
    And then there is Mitt on the tube, finger waving, telling us we don’t know what being productive is? meh! We have already 2 named storms several weeks before the “official” start of hurricane season, the financial wizards still get to keep their jobs and loot, even though their latest chicaneries collapse one after the other,while telling us to ignore the man behind the curtain
    It seems they wont grasp that all empires reach their most “glorious” times just before they disintegrate. In their panicking they apply more and more of what got us into the mess in the first place.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Marlena – I am afraid that the wizards are blinded by the shiny gold objects in front of them, they will not see the end clearly until it has hit them on the head. LOL I am thrilled you look forward to the post each week. best, sandy

  6. javacat says:

    You write from a different place when you’re in the country.
    The pervasive manipulation on all fronts is sometimes overwhelming. We expect it in politics and advertising. But thought-pushing for profit has infiltrated medicine, education, and environmentalism and others areas so completely that it is the new normal. Whether it’s all the tie-ins for the Lorax movie–in contradiction to the story–or how FB and Google ‘mine’ your data to serve up ads that we catch only in our periphery–the manipulation surrounds us, is becoming the solvent in which culture is dissolved. In terms of Earth abuse, here’s a version from Common Dreams that I hadn’t heard of before: “The (Burn) Pits of Hell” (

    • kulturcritic says:

      Yeah, it is a different place in every respect, JC. And the mind-control, sales pitches just keep coming. Tha is an incredible article about the burn pits. my very best, sandy

  7. javacat says:

    Just read this quote:

    How would you describe the difference between modern war and modern industry — between, say, bombing and strip mining, or between chemical warfare and chemical manufacturing? The difference seems to be only that in war the victimization of humans is directly intentional and in industry it is “accepted” as a “trade-off”. -Wendell Berry, farmer, author (b.1934

  8. Malthus says:

    This provided a really good laugh Sandy, So true, so true. Scary, no not really. Predictable yes. What a cartoon this species has become. Sometimes a very dangerous cartoon and most of the time surreal. Watching the experts on most everything are so predictable it is actually possible to know what is coming next out of their mouths. Mostly prescribed linear bromides spoken by automatons all the while thinking we actually believe them as they really say nothing at all but words always full of hot air that can be smelled even from the TV they are coming from. Perhaps Mr. Gurdjif was correct when stating that humans were “cosmic apparatuses for turning food into waste.” I am not certain he used the term waste but that is how I have remembered it. No now that I recall more of the quote it was “cosmic apparatuses for the transformation of food.” Anyway have fun digging in the dirt.

  9. Modernity was fun while it lasted.

  10. xraymike79 says:

    Boy that Hillary pic is creepy… her pasty white skin, cold blue eyes, upturned regal collar with her royal pearl necklace

    … reminds me of this video:

  11. kulturcritic says:

    What is this, some sort of secret hand signal among the world’s petty dictators?? Wow!!

    • xraymike79 says:

      I agree with this commenter’s explanation of the video/song:
      “…for me this song isn’t about childish conspiracy theories or such things, but about humanity itself. It’s Perry’s most direct song with a clear message. It’s about the greed, bogus and deception of humans who came into power and their abuse of responsibility. The Bogus Man is a fundamental criticism of politicians and our society.”

  12. craig moodie says:

    Scary and despicable! Sorry, could’nt resist.

  13. derekthered says:

    “It seems that most of us were misinformed about the reasons for the American financed execution of Gadaffi in Libya.” indeed, but what else is to be expected? one can simply search google for “media consolidation chart” and you come up with this,
    click a few links and you will find all the usual suspects, GE, Westinghouse, and right on the first page, Bain Capital. it does look like neo-libealism is the same old feudalism’colonialism decked out in a new suit, one of those $10,000 ones bought at the type of store where yours truly would be allowed in the front door. the more things change. of course since the collapse of the evil empire socialism has been out of vogue, which leaves true believers such as myself out in the cold.

    i must agree with you about the abrahamic faiths, but the japanese did manage to turn shinto buddhism into a kamikaze cause, but that is the past, we live in the present.

    now, the govt. collaborating on a film depicting obl’s death? this is some scary shit, and i guarantee you will not hear a peep about it from the supposed left; nope, the dems will be good with it, as they usually are with the aims of empire, just as long as it is an all-inclusive, gender neutral, kinder, gentler fascism. make no mistake, this film will be nothing less than a high tech “birth of a nation” or “battleship potemkin”.

    you are right on point about, “In reality, it is no more than another mechanism controlling both thought and behavior, and it extends to the very perception of our own freedom to choose and act. We are allowed a certain amount of ‘living room’ that provides the illusion of both knowledge and freedom.” the mass media, and the internet are closed sets for the most part, what is there is there, what is not is not, the truth may be beyond the horizon, but it is virilio’s third horizon, the phantom zone. all the discussion of mass medias effects beggars the fact that these systems are controlled by multi-national corps. and anything objectionable can be flushed down the memory hole. i would laugh about the techo-triumphalist belief in the leveling power of the web if it were not so transparently tragic.

  14. Brutus says:

    I don’t react quite at reflexively as most to pics of Hillary Clinton. Like other Secretaries of State (not all females, but Madeleine Albright and Condi Rice make good comparisons) before her, she is merely the handmaiden of the Curriculum, searching and spreading the gospel, as it were.

    I really like Javacat’s term “thought-pushing for profit” as it captures the propaganda-as-commodity machine quite well. Through careful and concerted management, marketing, and manipulation, the substrate of truth upon which epistomology rests has been superceded by illegitimacy, not that anyone cares. We love our lies, no?

    Lest we congratulate ourselves too earnestly for seeing through the BS, however, let me remind that the Curriculum, with its soul-, water-, earth-, and sky-destroying effects, is still (for now, at least) the only game to be played in our global industrial-capitalist style of social organization (indigenous peoples excepted), and few of us have taken any steps to really, truly isolate ourselves from the Beast. We continue to earn and spend fiat money and consume resources well in excess of need. Even taking steps to grow one’s own food and fortify against the zombie hordes (which is what I expect the next stage will look like as people come to resemble the walking dead) is undertaken by only an intrepid few. Most of us are still happily (or unhappily) in the bosom of civilization, about which I’ve written the the past, and can only contemplate riding the Beast through to whatever ends obtains.

  15. It is what might be called the ‘allowed liberty’ that is provided to the modern person in pursuit of material gains, as long as there exists a contribution to the overall plan of the ruling authority. Liberty, then, is an expression of mobility within a pre-described system: it does not denote liberty external to the system.

    Well that kind of says it all, now doesn’t it? Thousands of TV channels, millions of YouTube videos, 31 flavors of ice cream, dozens of clothing boutiques at the mall, custom skins for your i-device….but only one System, one way of being. ‘Choice’ is manifestly not the same thing as ‘freedom’. We get to pick our poison; nothing more.

    And no, I ain’t buyin’ what they sellin’.

  16. javacat says:

    OK, I need a reality check. I just read 2 articles that should have encouraged and uplifted and got bupkis. One was by L. Hunter Lovins called “Reframing the Global Economy to Include Happiness” ( and the other, Beyond Corporate Capitalism ( Somehow, they both felt empty to me, as if they were missing the point. I’d be curious to get others’ reactions.

    And I may have to rethink my back-up plan to escape to Canada: In reaction to student protests over exorbitant tuition hikes, the usually more sensible gov’t to the North has passed Law 78 (, which basically dismantles right to assembly and protest.

    • kulturcritic says:

      JC – not much to get excited about in either of these articles, it seems. Of course, I knew about Bhutan from when my brother, Cliff, was invited to the country two years ago; interesting story in that kingdom. However, it seems that the world leaders (some) are grasping at straws in the eleventh hour to save the system. And the nationalized ownership of the second piece simply slips us back into a quasi-soviet mode. In any case, the case for cities, hierarchy, technology run rampant, etc. etc… still remains even in these ‘progressive’ pieces. Of course, the real problems are much deeper than politics or economic. They are philosophic-anthropological questions, epistemological questions, linguistic and psychological development questions that still refuse to be addressed.

    • Malthus says:

      Having met Lovins and know something about his concepts you are correct in your assessment. He somehow has convinced many that the way he and his group of idiots at the Rocky Mountain Institute are on the right track to bliss with a big C-apitalism. His ex wife Hunter is much more attuned to what is going on. I do wish we could hear from her. There are many in the Aspen Institute that do Lovins promotion for him. What those idiots did to the Aspen Institute after Mortimer Adler and Bob Craig left is really sad. A point in mentioning is the book written about by the CEO of the Institute (I always forget his name as I dislike his leadership so much) about Steve Jobs that glossed over all of the rotten stuff Apple has done to its workers and the unbelievable greed that permeates that company. What really gets me going is the so-called Aspen Idea Festival. The roster of that clusterfuck is astounding. One of the Clintons is usually there.
      So after all that yes Lovins misses a lot of things.

  17. javacat says:

    Thanks for taking a look and confirming what my gut reaction. I felt the first was offering superficial feel-good with no substantive change in the structure that created the mess, and the second was simply swapping one set of controls for another. Yet both were offered up as evidence of reform & change. I thought I was getting too cynical. 😉

    Cool that Cliff was invited to Bhutan.It sounds like an interesting story.

  18. NIce piece. I’m of the opinion at this point, the only thing that will save the biosphere from being effectively sterilized by Homo sapien sapien, is an abrupt, broad scale collapse of civilization. At 38, I realize now, without even really knowing it, I’ve been preparing for it all my life.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Welcome William – 38 is young for such revelations. Job market must be tough, huh? ps. I dance with my 3 year old boy every day… and I will be 60 in January. best, sandy
      p.s.s – next time try just one link 😉

      • Sandy,
        Thank you for saying so. The job market is tough, but mostly I am indifferent. You strike me as a young 60, and will continue to age well if you keep dancing. As to the dual link, no problem, that’s the first time I ever have. Just an introduction. Blessings,

  19. Disaffected says:

    Good gawd! Is it just me, or is HillBillary beginning to resemble more and more some sort of macabre real life version of Jabba the Hut? Or, just add some snakes to that do and she’d make a fine Medusa. Bad enough that she’s become an old scold who completely sold her self-respect to remain hitched to that no-account idiot of a husband of hers purely for the access to power his name provides, but that face alone would scare an unrepentant sinner straight (well, in my case, ALMOST). I guess shilling full time for the US financial industrial war machine – aka the Beast – will do that to you. The Great Whore of Babylon maybe? Ahh, ya gotta love them Biblical allegories. Too bad they’re lost on the merely religious.

  20. cpopblog says:

    “…while the enterprising businessmen of India were seeking to enlighten, not consciousness, but their own women’s darkened treasure troves. Concurrently, all of us continue to suffer under the yoke of an inflexible taskmaster (the Curriculum), while Gaia (the earthly feminine) herself moans and buckles wildly under the final grasping attempt of our corporate elite to unearth and ravage the last bits of her own darkly hidden riches.” Edward Said would be proud. Something tells me Gaia isn’t buying any of it either and may soon buck the cowboy.

  21. john patrick says:

    Let’s pretend for a moment that we can wipe the slate clean and start over. And then what? We will do what we KNOW. Create plastic gods, and give them their due if they promise to take care of us and keep hidden the lessons meant for us, individually.

    If we start over, we will do what we know.

    What we have right now is the normal-and-right evolution and word-made-flesh illusions of what we have created by hand (JHK). Disagree? Give someone a million bucks (or infinite power) and explain how they will obtain (instantly) the wisdom to use it. Unless they dream they have the ability to do so. And everyone else co-dreams permission for them to go on stage.

    When the dream is small, it is hard to imagine the nightmare that grows with additional sleep. But when the nightmare takes control, the only solution is to wake up. And face what we had to begin with–empty space. Unless each of us bends light into matter.

    We like to dream. But we forget that we are dreaming–even thinking that a dream within a dream is a solution. How can one awake when darkness is called light? How can one use a mirror in the dark. And then argue with others over what they see? And then create laws to make things right?

    To wake is a frightful sight. But even the moon knows it is only clay in a vacuum without the sun. Our feral origin (KC) knows this, as well. It cannot be tricked with a dream.

    Give to the dream, what belongs to the dream…

  22. Owen Griffin says:

    Interesting post, its the first of yours that I’ve read. I agree with almost everything you say, except for your opinion on the Libyan conflict. Have you ever talked to anyone who actually participated in the conflict? I’ve been lucky enough to meet many young Libyans who were unlucky enough to have to participate in a civil war. However, from speaking to them, what I take away is that they sincerely wanted the disposal of Gaddafi. The fall of a dictator like Gaddafi and the simultaneous fall of his aspirations for a new currency and firmer control over Libya’s oil fields was beneficial for the United States and its allies, but it was purely coincidence. Where is the evidence that United States was in any way behind the Libyan Civil War? The U.S.A didn’t even lead the air missions to maintain the no-fly zone. I’m pretty sure France and Great Britain were in charge of the air-combat missions… Regardless, claiming that the United States facilitated the revolution to profit from the resulting discord and regime change is like claiming that the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 were an “inside job.” The claim is baseless and inflammatory.

    Believe me though, as an American, the NDAA 2012 frightens me. I technically am defined as a potential terrorist threat in my own country now (for several reasons). Its an intimidating piece of legislation.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Owen – no country in NATO does anything without the USA making the decisions. Don’t ever kid yourself, on that front, or on others. I have no idea if 9/11 was an inside job or not, the evidence is too sketchy in parts. But, there are some very persuasive pieces of evidence as well. What the few people you spoke with from Libya, expats I would guess, says nothing about US motives, Western intervention or otherwise. I am supportive of no political head. But, our dictators are no less threatening than theirs… NDAA (as you mention), drones anyone, Marshall law in Quebec over student protests?? Interesting that you consider yourself ID’d as a threat; I am sure many of us are. all my best, sandy

      • Owen Griffin says:

        Well, I think we can just agree to disagree on the 9/11 issue… Regardless, I feel that if it were an inside job, those behind it would be powerful and intelligent enough to completely cover their tracks.

        Anyways, my friends from Libya were not expats. They were young (in their 20s), and studying with me at the Universita’ per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) in Siena, Italy. We were taking Italian language courses. They are all currently Libyan citizens, most of whom reside in or around Benghazi. One of my friends lives in Dubai, but joined the rebels in Libya when the war started.

        The point I was trying to make was that sure, there are always multiple reasons for foreign involvement (or lack thereof) in international affairs. Essentially, the evidence you cite for a US-backed intervention in Libya is purely circumstantial. I don’t see any real way the Libyan Revolution could have happened with such force without the momentum provided by the Arab Spring movement, and that started in Tunisia. Did the United States plan that as well? The chain of events leading to Gadaffi’s downfall is missing a link called the United States.

        I think

  23. waitaminuteplease says:

    Cannot disagree with a lot being said here.
    Just one correction….Saddam Hussain was threatening to sell his oil in EUROS and the usa was not happy about that at all as the world is run on the lingua franca of PETRODOLLARS. This contributed to the invasion of Iraq along side the wish to control the Iraqi oil reserves and of course to feed the military industrial complex, which was rather hungry at the time.

  24. Kenuck says:

    Me thinks you are gettin’ tired Sandy…there is never an answer to the wrong question…

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