The Fairytale Nightmare Continues

Hurtling wildly through space — a virtual hologram according to some new physicists — our vanishing earth continues to remind us about the limits to growth. While, at the same time, the inner-city youth in America (Baltimore, Ferguson, etc.) remind us about the limits on their growth. And, concurrently, Russia tries to remind our US hegemony on the limits to its growth. But, all seemingly to no avail; the words, falling on deaf ears.

Yes, we live in a shrinking world, but we do not yet have the shrunken-heads we desperately need. These egos of ours need to shrink, dramatically and now. The cumulative effects of the Curriculum of the West — a worldview well-grounded in objectivism, legalism, abstraction, anonymity and competition — are recognizable now on a daily, if not an hourly, basis: constant war, civil unrest, intolerance, greed, denuding the earth, and rampant climate change. These are some of the fruits of capital’s labor, its laborers and its lawyers. The fixed points on the compass have been well-embedded in the nervous systems of modern (civil-urban) humanity. And we are stuck with the consequences. There is no turning back the hands of time, because the clock is what we created to measure our progress; and we have no other way to understand the meaning of our lives. Therefore, progress is quintessential; we can never, at least not voluntarily, turn the hands back. That is forbidden.

This world we’ve engineered is now on autopilot; there are triggers that have been pulled, barriers breached — ecological, economic, social, political and psychological. Even deep in Siberia – “Coca Cola is the real thing.” I am a fatalist on this point. The human race was once flush with a certain comprehensive understanding (of the natural world, our origins, our place in the cosmos) and meanings that emerged with that understanding. These meanings were shared freely among the tribes, as was the food, and much else. We have lost a real sense of ourselves, caught within this gauntlet of urbanity. We have lost a vital connection to the earth and its real meaning. Everything is monetized, and then privatized, and then sold to those who can afford it. Monsanto tries to privatize food (through distribution of GMO seed, etc); Nestle seeks to privatize the waterways. What’s next? Air? Perhaps it already is. It is already too difficult for most inhabitants of this world to breathe easily. At least since the late part of the last century, lung disease, respiratory disease, chronic asthma, bronchial problems, and other pulmonary diseases have been on the rise.

But, in the meantime, we are executing war games and training exercises in Ukraine, trying to prove something to Russia, to Putin. Exactly what war are we practicing for? What are we looking to demonstrate there? Yet, let us look closer to home… at California, we’ve just completed a round of military riot control games in the streets of Los Angeles, if I am not mistaken. Again, what are we preparing for now here in the homeland? And what will be our full response to the rioting in Baltimore, not just in the poor neighborhoods, but at the Inner Harbor, that fashionable location near Orioles stadium?

The world today is no doubt a complex affair. We have helped make it that way. In fact, we are solely responsible for its current condition. But, we are not stupid, and we can learn not only from our mistakes, but from ourselves, from what we‘ve lost in the process of becoming civilized. The larger question however, might be, why did we become civilized? For, prior to that set of events there were no standing armies, no princes, kings or presidents, no abstract laws, no jails or jailers, no lawyers or legal institutions, no history and no propaganda. We spoke to one another and the earth spoke to all of us. Even the stones were not silent. But something tragic happened. We learned how to grow and harvest our own food; and suddenly slavery was born, alongside kingship and private property. We all remember what Rousseau said;

THE first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody. – Origins of Inequality

So much for Rousseau and the Enlightenment. But we are now living through the times of a rather strong and deep darkening. Societies have been cast in glaring opposition to one another, as they are merrily portrayed singing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” There is something desperately wrong with this picture folks, and it won’t be solved by killing the blacks or privatizing water rights, as the dimwit CEO of Nestle would do.

34 Responses to The Fairytale Nightmare Continues

  1. Disaffected says:

    Capitalism and the commodification of everything has indeed won the day, hasn’t it? I guess once the USSR officially bowed out as the chief cultural and political opposition our fate was sealed. Of course it’s also a natural by-product of resource shortages, so you have to admire the foresight of our “masters of the universe” in charge.

    Recent ham-handed police actions leading up to all the inner city protests have proved revealing too. Seems that many if not most American whites still staunchly support the police and presume guilt on the part of the “shiftless negroes.” The more things change it seems, the more they stay the same. The rapidly approaching American collapse is going to be just BRUTAL for all involved!

    Getting old and preparing to bow out of the circus is looking more and more like a blessing every day. Forget laying in stocks in order to survive it all. I’m thinking laying in much more modest stocks to end it all on a moment’s notice might be the better plan.

    • Disaffected says:

      But aside from my petty bitches, this paragraph really nails it:

      THE first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody. – Origins of Inequality

      The capitalist concept of “the ownership society” really is at the heart of the issue, isn’t it? I remember hearing over and over again in my economics classes about “the tragedy of the commons,” and its apparent lesson that what people could not own they would abuse. So we have all been taught, and so we do. In a world where everything of value has been fenced off by private ownership, what other choice is there?

  2. Ron McCafferty says:

    Sandy, if I were to imagine what you looked like while thinking/writing these articles. I would imagine you’d have spinal fluid shooting out of your ears. LOL

    It is sad to watch and waiting is horrible. Common sense should be re-stated as uncommon sense.
    I think it was Micheal Ruppert who said this- “We are the misfits of the universe and we were put here on Earth so that we wouldn’t fuck up the rest of the playground”. Not an exact quote but you get the picture.

    This world will rid itself of the human disease. It will heal after we are gone.

    Peace out, my brothers.

    • Disaffected says:

      LOL! We’re learning Ron, albeit not fast enough. Maybe that’s the point? Maybe we get infinite redos in parallel universes? Too bad we’re mostly fucked in this one.

  3. kulturcritic says:

    I suppose I got my answer to my question “What will be our response to rioting in Baltimore?”

    Baltimore, last night!!!!

    • Disaffected says:

      Baltimore’s latest troubles are particularly ironic, as just ten years ago it was the scene for filming of HBO’s iconic series The Wire. It was all the rage at the time among upscale liberal lefties (many of whom in the area no doubt profited greatly from its production) and inner city inhabitants alike. The series’ dour outlook on urban life offered no solutions, and indeed, its eventual final “resolution” came in the form of all the major characters accepting some sort of compromise and either moving up or simply moving on.

      All of which seems to be the case for the city itself these days. The police are still the police, albeit vastly more uparmored and weaponized than aven that post-apocalyptic vision could have imagined, while the inner city denizens – both “criminals” and “honest citizens” alike – remain as captive to their conditions and their captors as ever.

      Perhaps the only “tragedy” to this ongoing intergenerational farce is that it’s still only apparent to most based on the contrasting skin colors of the oppressors and the oppressed. The fact that poor American whites, in particular, continue to rubber-stamp this sort of brutish behavior against their darker-skinned economic compatriots, apparently never realizing that these same Nazi thugs would just as eagerly cave in their own skulls in an instant if given the order, just continues to amaze me. Don’t know what else to say, other than we Americans here in the hyper-developed west evidently just “ain’t all that” when it comes to emotional and empathic development. Industrial Capitalism and the selling of one’s soul will do that to ya.

      • Disaffected says:

        Just came across this apparently French(?) amateur video of perhaps the iconic song of Pink Floyd’s portfolio, which perhaps sums up the post WWII American/West ennui better than any other. It’s not great artistically, but it’s at least a stab at the true meaning and greatness of this song. Alas, we Americans, unlike our Russian counterparts, don’t normally do subtlety or resignation well at all:

        The gist? The post WWII land grab rush to prosperity was all a sham. 20th century prosperity and material and technological gains have brought us right back around on a flat circle to where we were before. Wish you were here!

        • Disaffected says:

          Although this modern visual version with Sir David Gilmour singing it live looks and sounds so much better. He’s lost a lot of hair and put on a lot of weight, so there just might be hope for guys like me yet!

  4. kulturcritic says:

    Interesting, now this video won’t play… wonder what happened. Or maybe just because Im in Russia.

    • Mer says:

      It plays for me here in the U.S. I wish it didn’t. Terrifying that no one in the U.S. seems to think this kind of military style presence is a problem….

      • DA says:

        The inverted totalitarian revolution slipped in the back door while no one was paying attention and now it’s apparently here to to stay. People prefer the illusion of totalitarian style “security” to the relative insecurity of actual freedom. Same as it ever was. We’ve been losing it steadily since the end of WWII anyway. 9-11 just ramped up the process.

  5. the Heretick says:

    To simply state the obvious, if you were to do a flow chart, what the chart would show is that mass production concentrates power, that’s all there is to it. From Rousseau’s simple proposition has grown the global monster we see today.

    • Disaffected says:

      Mass production expressed through hierarchical based organizational structures. Yes indeed, that does seem to be the main lesson of the 20th century, doesn’t hit? Turns out Hitler, Stalin, and the rest were little more than previews of coming attractions. In fairness, the UK was only benevolent because its massive empire allowed it to be; there’s nothing intrinsic to the English character that made them necessarily better. And now we know the same is true of American leadership as well, except they’re even more ideologically blind than their predecessors.

      • the Heretick says:

        At the center of the web of commerce and deceit is the USA, with 5% of the world’s population and using 25% of the energy resources, and spending more on “defense’ than the next 7 nations combined. the better to protect “freedom”, my dear. We must have the latest celebrity pap to tickle our ears, and a nice cool ICEE drink to tickle our senses.

        • Disaffected says:

          That’s the crux of the problem right there and why we here in the US won’t ever be the one’s to solve it, willingly at least. That’s what finally soured me on political solutions for good, even assuming we could ever elect a cadre of pols from either party that weren’t totally corrupt. The real message – that the US and it’s citizens and their lifestyles are the real problem – is not one that will ever play here in “the homeland” (God I hate that term! It’s straight out of Hitler’s playbook!). We’ll forever continue searching under every proverbial couch cushion in the universe for the source of our problems, when in fact they stare back at us in the mirror every day. But all that’s really a moot point now anyway, as I think the dire repercussions from all of our past decisions are already locked in at this point anyway.

    • Disaffected says:

      Nice! Although it’s still just usn’s talking about poverty as if we actually lived it or had any proposal to stop it. Truth is, we’re just afraid of falling into it for real ourselves. We’re all such hypocrites!

      • the Heretick says:

        I have lived close enough to poverty to have at least an idea. When you live in abandoned servants quarters and sell all your possessions to buy food, you get a glimpse. Old friend of mine died on the street a couple months ago due to exposure, didn’t know until yesterday, yeah, I’m as close as i want to be.

        • Disaffected says:

          Wow! Sorry to hear that HT. I tried taking it to the road for a short time after high school. Bummed accommodations or stayed in flea bag hotels paying by the night when I could. Worked as a day laborer for a temp agency and operated some petty scams with a friend of mine for cash. It was a sad existence. I was a piss poor hobo. Got my fill of canned tuna and crackers real quick.

  6. the Heretick says:

    The worst, most depressing part is that yesterday i asked a young man who was playing Rage if he knew who Tom Joad was, and he responded in the negative.

    • Disaffected says:

      Hell, I didn’t either, right off the cuff at least. Familiar with the Springsteen song, and yeah, I’ve read up on the whole ‘Grapes of Wrath’ thing before and even seen the movie. But never really paid that much attention to it really, just like so many of us rich affected folk, which is what most of us living appreciably above the poverty line here in the USA are these days. Poverty, for Americans still living above the waterline? An economic experience that happens to others, and which those of us who haven’t yet experienced it DO NOT EVER want to experience upon pain of death! Or is it? Stay tuned…

      • the Heretick says:

        Brush up on your Steinbeck my brother, when you sop up the burger grease to stay alive, then you are on the edge.

        Jesus, Americans and their low fat diets.

        • Disaffected says:

          The recent AMC Mad Men finale, set in 1970, summed it pretty well. The lead character Don Draper, a Madison Avenue advertising savant, serial womanizer, and alcoholic, discards all his worldly belongings and takes to the road hobo style in the midst of a final existential crisis. His catharsis? The realization that we’re all alone seeking love from one another, which he converts to the iconic Coke “Hillside commercial,” before presumably returning to his Madison Avenue life once again. Zen through a Coke commercial. Who’d a thunk?

  7. Malthus says:

    Yes America is beautiful if you are talking about nature as is the rest of the world although I do have a tough time in the desert. From a distance it is really beautiful, but up close for me at least it is terrible, dry, windy and? Meanwhile the civilization as we are supposed to have is morphing into a money grubbing bunch of mutant, zombie idiots stabbing every one else in the back justifying all this under the guise of individualism.

    • Disaffected says:

      It’s The Race for What’s Left, as a popular doomer book a while back called it. We humans can get along pretty well as long as everyone has enough. Failing that, we’re as ruthless as any other animal, probably even more so. And our western deserts have only bloomed by exploiting our reservoirs and damming our rivers. Cadillac Desert. Those methods will only work for so long, and then the populations they enabled will be up the proverbial shit creek (which will be dry by then as well) without a paddle.

  8. Disaffected says:

    Want proof that 9-11 was an inside job in easy to comprehend layman’s terms? Proof positive that there’s a monstrous evil afoot in the world today.

  9. Disaffected says:

    Well, what’y’a know, John McCain does the right thing for once!

    John McCain seeks end to defense spending on NFL, pro sports teams

    U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) proposed an amendment on Thursday to ban the Department of Defense from entering into contracts with professional sports teams in appearance to honor the military at games and events.

    This is in response to news that the Department of Defense spent millions of dollars over the past three years to sponsor military-related promotions with NFL teams. McCain, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, proposed the amendment with a statement on the Senate floor.

    “Along with sports fans across America, I was appalled to learn last month that many of the ceremonies honoring members of our armed services at NFL games are not actually being conducted out of a sense of patriotism, but for profit in the form of millions in taxpayer dollars going from the Department of Defense to wealthy NFL franchises,” McCain said. “In fact, NFL teams have received nearly $7 million in taxpayer dollars over the last three years from contracts with the Army National Guard which include public tributes to American troops.”

    The amendment, H.R. 1735, is being co-sponsored with Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

    • Disaffected says:

      All that said, how much do you want to bet this all gets quietly put to rest and continues on as before? But it’s good to know that McCain at least still has the capacity to act in the public’s best interest occasionally, it’s just too bad it had to come at the end of his political career when he no longer has any political bullets left in his gun. He’s little more than a ceremonial figure in the mold of Strom Thurmond at this point. A political anachronism elected by the equally anachronistic sun-baked Arizona geriatric crowd to satisfy the delusional ravings of the far right pro-gun, pro-imperialism, anti-immigration crowd. He sold what little remained of his dwindling credibility in 2008 when he sold his soul to the GOP devils to get the nomination, only to find out he was used as a patsy in the wake of the Shrub’s two term fiasco, with Obama already being anointed to carry on the phony 9-11 War on Terror subterfuge from a supposed “liberal” slant.

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