The Liberals’ and Doomers’ Dilemmas

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[Our very own DA (Disaffected) has given us a worthy but otherwise wordy reflection on the political charade that has become the dilemma of the American dream.  It is a common ailment of that class of citizen-subjects presenting and self-identifying as American Dreamweavers, we may call it the American Dreamer’s Disorder, or shorthand it as  ADD.  Enjoy DA’s post.  Sandy (kC)]

How’s that for a catchy title fellow kulturCritic’s? This one came to me in all the usual ways. Mulling over comments made on Sandy’s post last week – one by our very own Heretick (HT) regarding a Chris Hedges post regarding our “liberal [patrician] protectors”, and then stewing over it for a few days over the customary few beers at night and early morning walks (aka, stumbling about in the woods) the next day. But the undercurrents of all the spew you’re about to be subjected to have been busy percolating upward through my now geriatric consciousness for a whole lot longer than that –pretty much nearly all of my 55+ years now it’s fair to say. My only somewhat rhetorical question, then as now, is, why would rich, mostly intellectual, what we in the working class would commonly call “effete, self-affected liberals”, deem themselves to be the protectors of anyone, and why in the world should the working class – the “heavy lifters” for corporate capitalism and American exceptionalism –  need protection in the first place? Aren’t the conservative political interests they (often blindly) pledge their allegiance to already filling that void?

So, let’s deconstruct that catchy title first of all. Liberals and Doomers are both distinct titles, and I meant them as such. Both, however, are highly pejorative and “polluted” terms, fraught with hidden meanings and subtexts to all who use and hear them (see my diatribe on this blog a few weeks back on War and Patriotism), but for this discussion at least, I’m going to wade right in and use them anyway. The term liberal is still preferable to the recently popular, although equally pejorative word, “progressive,” which itself seems to be morphing constantly, as those on the political left and right continue to redefine (read: disguise) themselves in a modern political environment that has itself now morphed into little more than pure smoke and mirrors (aka, political spin) all of the time due to its wholesale adoption of Madison Avenue advertising/propaganda techniques and the now all-encompassing ever-present electronic media hologram. The term doomer is likewise pejorative, especially when used by mainstream and/or right wing critics, a fact that most doomers like myself seem to be oddly comfortable with; one because we see it as inevitable in the current divide and conquer political environment where definitions are damning and lasting; second, because as a life-long contrarian I usually love to adopt the pejorative labels people try to smear me with, and three, because it’s… well… descriptively true.

 “Liberals” I’ll loosely define as the “old left,” nominally politically as belonging to the Democratic Party, as term itself has become anathema to everyone on the right. People who broadly believe that waging war on the entire planet just might be insane, who believe science generally provides better answers to practical questions than religious fairy tales or dumb luck, who like to think for themselves at least occasionally rather than tune into media personalities who do it for them, and who believe that social issues should be dealt with inclusively and with some amount of thoughtful understanding, rather than reactively and with bigotry and hate, but further, that they not merely be used opportunistically as political bargaining chips, in a system which, over time, has reduced almost all such issues to that category. With the further caveat that anyone professing these beliefs actually believes all this stuff and walks the walk at least occasionally,  not merely wear them as political advertising slogans, which in this day and age is definitely not a given. Pretty standard stuff I think.

Likewise, “Doomers” is even easier, and most (conservatives especially) would merely consider them to be the lunatic fringe subset of the aforementioned liberal class defined above. The readers of this blog and similar blogs – JHK, JMG, and the like. Pessimists, modern day Cassandras, and just plain old (often curmudgeonly) contrarians whose basic mantra is, “We’re fucked if we don’t change!” Doomers have seen the data, read the books, listened to the talks, and come to the conclusion that what we’re doing now just ain’t working, and that further, if we keep doubling down on it all as we’re currently doing, our outcomes will be every bit as predictable as they will be disastrous, not only for us, but for the entire planet. Doomers believe that unwarranted blind faith in capitalist fueled technology, as JMG has rightly pointed out of late, is exactly the same as faith in biblical or other religious tales taken out of context, especially considering both are “sold” to the unwitting by wily hucksters with hidden agendas galore.

So let’s get right down to it. In the past 15 years or so in particular, the charge “Liberals, what are they good for,” has taken on new meaning to both liberals and conservatives alike. And the answer, lest you think I’ve lost my ever-loving geriatric mind is a resounding, “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!” To the one or two remaining literate conservatives who might have wandered onto this board by mistake, your response is a knowing and sardonic chuckle and nod. To the rest of you “liberal” non-regulars who might have wandered in, you might ask, “WTF DA? We’ve got a two term BLACK, LIBERAL Prez presiding over continued American hegemony in all things great and small? WTF?” And therein lays the rub.

Even liberals – at least the conventionally defined political ones – have now bought into the myth of American exceptionalism, largely expressed at the end of a gun or smart bomb, and the wisdom and inevitability of global capital markets, ruled over of course by American Wall Street financiers, the newly, largely self-appointed, “Masters of the Universe.” More directly, liberals have been corrupted by the twin sirens of militarism and massive wealth, and the massive personal power they bring. However benevolent they may fancy themselves to be, they have fallen for the same power traps that their conservative opponents have long openly embraced. They have become the thing they despised the most. Conservatives by any other name, in word and deed.

So how did this come to be? The conventional wisdom holds that this was all inevitable in the aftermath of Reagan, that Saint Ronnie and the Neo-Con revolution (itself a backlash against the wimpy, “blame America first” liberalism of Jimmy Carter, itself a response to the American political meltdown of Nixon’s Watergate and defeat in Vietnam) that gave him his political birth in the 1980’s, completely redrew the political map in America for generations to come. [For an excellent examination of the subject I suggest readers check out James Mann’s Rise of the Vulcans. Future superstar neo-cons such as Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, and Jack Abramoff, as leaders in the National College Republicans (aka, “Reagan Youth”) were already busy formulating and applying grassroots political strategies that would allow them to continue to dominate American politics long after demise of their newly adopted saint, who curiously (and fittingly, typical of icons everywhere), would become an even more exalted figure in death than he ever was in life. Even then, they already knew and were applying what high-minded intellectual liberals would only haltingly and ineffectually accept over the next 30 years: that American politics is a full-contact sport, and money, which enables professional, broad spectrum “messaging” (aka advertising, or more honest still, propaganda), is the key to winning such fights. And that money, residing as it does in America’s “winner” class, is, not surprisingly, highly drawn to messages of American exceptionalism and all its trappings, a message which, as it turns out, is also highly attractive to America’s “loser” classes, who are often likewise desperate for something larger and more successful than themselves to be a part of.

Which brings us to or current dilemma in the aftermath of the twin abominations (obaminations?), Clinton and Obama. The former a back country hillbilly huckster-shyster, who succeeded a Bush (with the help of midget cretin named Perot), who, try as he might, was never a neocon true believer; and the second, a smooth talking multicultural shape shifter who also succeeded a Bush (with the help of worthless housewife cretin named Palin), who, try as he might, was (and remains) a fucking dilettante idiot. Neither have been or will ever be patrician protectors of the working class in any shape manner or form (and only the latter even tried to minimally portray himself as such), so much so that the very idea of liberal democrats ever doing so in the first place now seems rather quaint and dated. Add to that Obama’s exceedingly duplicitous yet wholehearted support for all things military, corporate, and big financial, with which he has completely eclipsed the Clinton legacy and seemingly permanently repositioned the Democratic Party somewhere to the right of Reagan in 1980. All of which leads me (in my customary roundabout way) to the existential question for liberal (presumably) democrats going forward:

In a system that is now dominated (and populated) by wealthy interests who fuel broad spectrum messaging (propaganda) in which the dominate message has proven to necessarily be American exceptionalism and “progress,” defined by exponential growth capitalism driven technologies, can the party/class that has in the past at least nominally defined itself as the political counter to such extremes, but which has long since sold its political soul in the name of merely getting elected, EVER be taken seriously again? Indeed, has political messaging and liberal surrender so completely corrupted the American political system that party positioning on the traditional left-right scale is no longer even a reliable or relevant factor? In short, are we not now a virtual one party rule, inverted totalitarian, state?

As I said earlier, doomers are almost always identified as liberal, although many these days are perhaps disaffected thinking conservatives, or even more likely, those who resisted party branding in all its guises all along (and to who I heartily salute). Hardly surprising, since the modern conservative movement largely marches in lockstep to the guiding lights spelled out above, all of whom devoutly worship the revealed, albeit largely imaginary at this point, truths of the aforementioned St Ronnie of Reagan, and the subsequent revelations of his loyal disciple, Cheney the Dick. “We doomers”, if I may, are a rather more eclectic group, ranging from the few remaining 60’s dropout counter culturalists  to the disaffected and disillusioned modern day nay-sayers like myself and most on this board, many of whom were at least marginal believers in the current system at some time in their lives. In spite of well-reasoned and researched scientific evidence, most of us – including even those of the highest credentials and (formerly, at least) professional repute such as Guy McPherson and James Hansen – have been dismissively labeled as kooks and modern day Cassandras, victims of the same smear machine techniques used to discredit liberalism in general. And even though the doomer message ranges from such moderate and mainstream ideas as JHK’s – suburbia’s going away sometime soon and it’s going to be back to the land again – to Guy McPherson’s – the world as we know it is going away soon so we’d better start getting ready for whatever’s next – as liberal politicians could have told us all along, a message of American stagnation – never mind demise – ain’t one that’s ever gonna win you many supporters, especially not in today’s highly polarized and sound bite oriented media debate. Americans may be a lot of things, but patiently thoughtful, attentive, and reflective don’t rank high on the list. Most of the working class poor are busy full time dealing with the catastrophic effects of “economic Darwinism” imposed on them by a global capitalist death machine that, in the cruelest of ironies, they themselves continue to support.

All of which leads me to the even more imposing dilemmas imposed on the doomer community:

Can a message of American/world-wide stagnation or demise, vital as it may be, EVER be effectively communicated in such a highly charged environment, and if so, are current messaging techniques ever going to be even remotely effective? And further, and more pointedly and personally, how do we ourselves remain positive and upbeat going forward (doomer authors’ admonitions to garden and get back to nature in a modern environment where that will plainly just not be possible for most, notwithstanding), and indeed, SHOULD WE, in the face of a message that can essentially be summarized as, “We have met the enemy and it is us?” All of which goes doubly true for those of us who lean toward the extreme end of the spectrum with the predictions of Guy McPherson, who believe that 7B people residing on terra firma at any given point in time ain’t even remotely sustainable for much longer, and that the answer is painfully obvious – elimination of many, and the sooner the better at that, and renunciation of the industrial technologies that allowed such massive overpopulation and it’s now pervasive knock on effects to ever occur in the first place? Talk about inconvenient truths! I have met the enemy, and he or she is staring right back at me in the mirror!

Answers? None here, I’m afraid. Only more questions in the same key. But what I can say for sure is that sugarcoating the truth as we see it – liberals and doomers alike – in the name of personal gain, be it book sales, gaining political office, or whatever else the self-serving motivation might be, ain’t serving anyone, least of all our own dwindling senses of sanity. But reconciling all that with the fact that, for most of us at least, opting completely out of a system that demands our increasing reliance on and subservience to its demands, even though it clearly no longer serves the interests of more and more of us to do so, is likely to remain a bitter and lifelong unresolved dilemma. In the end, in a world gone clearly mad, the insane are now firmly in control of the asylum, and the sane are very, very afraid of what lies just ahead.

82 Responses to The Liberals’ and Doomers’ Dilemmas

  1. Fido says:

    DA,

    What a crock of crap we have as liberals and conservatives both. AS DA has admitted so truthfully, the enemy is us. So what is a man supposed to do about it. Well, the so called thinking man is here trying to cut thru the smoke and mirrors that even Obama seems to have put in place. Trayvon Martin’s murder was used to stoke the fires of an angry sullen urban underclass to frighten an already paranoid middle and working class. The cry for Justice is perverted to be seen as threatening and menacing a stressed out burb class. The hucksters do not actually want to see justice of any sort to be performed as the cause celeb seems to roll its way to distract the public from the real issues of the day. President Obamas remarks about he himself being profiled and how he could have been Martin 35 years ago is a crude, useless and counterproductive effort to divert the public from the real and present danger that his own presidency has posed to millions of US citizens. The real losers in this whole fraud is the liberty interest of the citizens.

  2. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    The answer my friends is meltin’ in the seas
    The answer is meltin’ in the seas.

    The earth is busying itself adjusting to the new facts in the air and takes no cognizance of our sanity issues. Politicians of all stripes are demonstrably incapable of doing anything useful about it, even if anything could be done. Doomers have been chosen by fortuna to play the Cassandra role. We can make sermons about it, but only the choir can understand. The insane majority thinks we’re speaking in tongues. I would never expect otherwise.

    • Disaffected says:

      Agreed. The fun begins when the insane finally realize that they really are insane. Won’t that be fun?

      • Malthus says:

        Fun is the optimal word here. Have it in anything you do and keep doing it. As Mailer said fun is the salvation of society. we know that soon the great experiment is about to take a header and then those that know what fun is are going to be the only ones still laughing although manically at first. There of course are more than just doomers, and liberals. There are those that can forget time and space and know in their hearts that it is all one big cosmic joke and all we are in the long run are cosmic apparatuses that change food into energy and waste. The sole purpose of life. All this other balderdash is just that. We can rant and rave and waste our time trying to solve the problems we have created and end up creating more problems that none will ever be solved. Meanwhile the greedy among us fool themselves into as you say in calling themselves masters of the universe which shows just how very, very stupid they are. The mirth is that the vast majority want to so badly believe in all this fairy tale they are willing to stomp anyone who does not agree with them. Those I stay away from.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Malthus, I like it! Sagan used to carry on about how “we are made of star stuff.” About the simplest truth one can say about the cosmos is that it is all about energy and waste. We’re just a tiny cog in the cosmic wheel. Laughter is the best medicine.

          • Disaffected says:

            Agreed again. In the end, fun and laughter is all there is to look forward to in this existence. All else is delusion. When we can finally laugh in the face of our own impermanence and realize that it happens equally to us all, then and only then might we finally consider ourselves advanced in any sense of the word. Til then, we’re just the same as we always were. Hairless, large brained apes who’ve foolishly convinced ourselves that we now *command and control* our natural environment. Silly rabbits! Tricks are for kids!

    • Way to Go Phlo! I love it:
      “The insane majority thinks we’re speaking in tongues”.
      My 2 cents:

      And unto Dust

      Madness in Great Ones submerged
      Percolates and brews from under the World.

      Soon to flow over and through,
      Often between but never again behind,
      It sings dirges sweet to Self but dreaded
      By those it purposes to depose.

      Oh how wretched are the ones that were,
      Thinking they still are and always will.
      But once begone new worlds will yawn
      In memory of kings who never were,
      But dust.

      —-GF Sutton

  3. Gosh, I read Sandy, JMG and JHK. Guess that makes me a doooomer, too;) *passes out the drinks*

    • steve beck says:

      I read Sandy and JHK _ But who pray tell is JMG? I appears that I would enjoy him?

      • Disaffected says:

        John Michael Greer – aka the Archdruid. He’s a pretty decent weekly read, whether or not you agree with all of the particular groove he’s putting down. I find him a bit aloof and “been-there-done-that all-before-ish” most of the time, but there’s no denying he’s smart, well-read, and well-intentioned for the most part. He does help bring some of us more extreme doomers down to earth on a weekly basis and make us sharpen our arguments, so I guess he’s providing a public service in that regard at least.

        But for real fun – if you’ve got a mainstream friend that you’re trying test to see if they’re ready to be introduced to the alternative culture that is loosely and broadly labeled “doomerism,” tell them about Greer first and the fact that he actually wears the title Archdruid and just leave it at that. Never mind that his actual message is pretty tame, the name alone will usually drive them bat-shit. If you never hear from them again or your conversations suddenly become distant and oddly formal thereafter, you’ll know that they weren’t. Sort of a doomer initiation rite, if you will.

      • kulturcritic says:

        J Michael Greer… The ArchDruid

    • Disaffected says:

      Marlena,
      Pass out the drinks wearing that icon and I think I might just be a follower, whatever the persuasion, too!
      DA

  4. Disaffected says:

    Rendered nicely on the browser. Thanks Sandy. Sobriety doth make me loquacious.

    DA

  5. the Heretick says:

    “effete, self-affected liberals”? you mean the kind that drive commie cars? like Volvo? Sweden is, after all, a Socialist country.
    geez, DA, i dunno anymore, if we were to establish social justice and the underclass were to have access to more resources, would they not just have more children? more mouths to feed?

    for a man with a plan we would need to go to here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booker_T._Whatley
    and here.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/small-farm-plan-zmaz82mjzkin.aspx#axzz2aLiiJZ6R

    i blame it all on the Sears catalog, what are they going to think of next. how you going to keep them down on the farm?

    the bipolar madness of the cold war forced the conversation into a great debate between the two bumbling superpowers, completely ignoring the good true socialism was accomplishing in smaller countries. meanwhile, back at the ranch, the american left confused the issue by injecting every imaginable issue into the framework of the class struggle, whether it fit or not, leaving those of us who actually knew what it is to struggle saying, “what the fuck?”.

    as with Alexander and the gordian knot, and perseus with the real thing, you can’t defeat the many headed hydra just chopping around the edges, you have to take the head off of the beast, said head (how nice, alliteration?) would be this.

    “constitutional protections to corporations as well as to natural persons”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Southern_Pacific_Railroad

    this is how vested interests have been able to buy our govt. if you want a cause, there is no other.
    nothing will get fixed in our country until the 800 pound gorilla of corporate citizenship is dealt with, just saying. but what the hell do i know? i didn’t never have no college, never read any sylvia plath, james joyce, or f. scott fitzgerald for that matter; that kind of stuff being for effete eastern intellectuals…………..

    but we’re locked in now baby, kind of like on a merry-go-round going real fast, or a bullet train, you step off you’re going to take quite a tumble.

    we could mitigate some of the effects of the coming catastrophe by following Whatley’s advice on a massive scale, but you would probably have to draft (as in Selective Service) the people needed to do it, why go to work when you can make up some disability and get a govt. check for sitting on your bum? that’s the problem with these modern day namby-pamby “progressives”, they think you can appeal to people’s better nature when such a thing is pretty rare after thousands of years of aberrant social conditioning.

    but then that’s just me, having lost the true faith, and becoming yours truly, the ……………

    • the Heretick says:

      and oh yeah, JJ Cale died.

    • outsider says:

      @ the Heretick – My theory is that ‘true’ socialism (as opposed to the welfare state) would never, ever work in a warlike country as delusional as the US. How could socialism ever hope to work in an obese, multiethnic, corporate controlled empire of over 300 million alienated souls. It might still be working at least somewhat in small more homogeneous countries like Sweden and Switzerland (oh to live in such a small permanently ‘neutral’ – but well-armed – country that even Hitler dared not attack). Although Western Europe, in general, is feeling the great strain of too many third-worlders moving in to partake of overly generous benefits enacted before the austerity age of permanently high unemployment.

      As to the underclass having more children if they had more resources, I have some experience with this having worked most of my sad career as a welfare caseworker. In this upside down LBJ-created ‘Great Society’ world, you get more welfare and food stamps for having more children. Not to mention the goal of many welfare lifers to get as many ‘disabled’ children as possible on SSI (supplemental security income – another name for federal welfare). They call it crazy checks. Let’s see – SSI is over $700/month tax free. All ‘disabled’ children are eligible for the full amount if their parent (there is usually only one in the home) has little or no earned income. If you have 4 kids on SSI, that’s over $2800/month, not even counting the parent’s SSI (believe me, I had such families in my ever expanding caseload). A minimum wage peon working full time earns around $1256/month gross and they have taxes withheld. You see, only the ‘entitled’ poor are rewarded for having more out-of-wedlock children. That sucking sound you hear (with apologies to crazy Perot) is the sound of a bankrupt US going down the toilet. Only in America!

      • the Heretick says:

        the scenario you describe is exactly while the war on poverty has failed. this is a truth that many people do not want to voice for fear of being labeled as some kind or another of “hater”. we were kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, while we jettisoned what is commonly thought of as traditional morality, we had nothing with which to replace these social strictures. don’t think i’m making a pitch for a return to where we were, i’m not, just that it’s plain to see that our world has become a much more dangerous place.
        there is also the argument that the “lower” classes (i use this terminology only because it is commonly accepted), have only begun to behave as the upper classes always have, essentially sloughing off their responsibilities off on someone else, in other words, the various liberation movements have liberated people to behave just as monstrously as our “betters” always have. we are where we are. i didn’t make it the way it is, i just live here.

        over at Clusterfuck this week, someone proposed a reconstruction corp, much the same as i have proposed, but JHK fobbed it off as fascistic, but that’s the rub isn’t it? forcing people to do what is good for them, and all of us. the eternal conundrum, govt. vs. the individual.

        FIDO has it correct below, the economy has been in freefall since 73, since the first oil shock, the long emergency started before the phrase was ever coined. globalization further tightened the screws, but it was going to happen anyway. since it seems that speaking of people in terms of racial identity is the way all this stuff is talked about, with quite a bit of validity i might say, yes, white people are now feeling the weight that people of color have borne for a long time. maybe once the pain reaches it’s tentacles far enough change will happen, it obviously hasn’t reached as far as the chattering classes, the talking heads are still able to afford their $1,000 suits, if they are even that “cheap”.

        our problem is obviously dealing with the dysfunction created by the way we have lived for thousands of years. as stated earlier, if people are subjected to a predatory system then they themselves become predators. the welfare state was never anything but a big lie, the hierarchical, capitalist nature of the system never changed, a very few maybe clawed their way out of poverty, but he rest stayed in a kind of stasis.

        so we are where we are, those of us that work go into our boring repetitive jobs, i know of no other way of making a living, just like most other people. we voice our frustrations on forums such as this, and go along to get along. just the way it is.

        i think it will be better for all of us when the juice does run out, more honest, more elemental, more real. yes, people will suffer, but people are suffering now.

        .

      • Disaffected says:

        Outsider,

        I won’t fault you for trying, But you’re WAY off base in all of you points here IMO. Point by point.

        TRUE socialism, wherever it is ACTUALLY applied (northern European countries mostly) seems to work very well. They arguably have more homogeneous populations, so there’s always that, but otherwise TRUE socialism seems to be working very well for them.
        How could TRUE socialism ever work here? In a word or two, it couldn’t. Why? Because we’re rabid capitalists, bought and sold by our capitalist masters every day. TOTALLY bought into the idea that ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY is our holy mantra, when in fact, it’s only economic masters’.

        Blaming the poor for our current plight? REALLY? Why not just blame yourself and cut to the chase? Believe me, you and/or yours will be one of them soon enough.

        Bottom line: Capitalism is a WINNER TAKE ALL game in the end. Are you REALLY stupid enough to think that YOU’RE gonna be the last winner standing?

        DA

        • the Heretick says:

          DA, note that he said socialism could work in some countries, plus, he did say we are warlike, he just didn’t point out the reasons for this state. a typical tactic, using half-truths, not giving the rest of the story.
          he does have a point about the welfare state, i have known people who gamed the system, bipolar disorder being a favorite among alcoholics, developmentally disabled, the sort of disorders which are hardly provable but which generate a monthly check.
          i know, i know, all right wing talking points, but here’s the bitch, some of their points are correct; and isn’t that our problem? both sides demonizing the other, dealing in half-truths, spinning, and never really getting anywhere.
          having given up awhile back, realizing that monopoly capitalism was having its way, and that neither party will cahnge anything, well, it frees one up to observe in an impartial manner. that and the NPD. 🙂

          • Disaffected says:

            he does have a point about the welfare state, i have known people who gamed the system, bipolar disorder being a favorite among alcoholics, developmentally disabled, the sort of disorders which are hardly provable but which generate a monthly check.

            Agreed. But how many of “those people” does it take to equate to even one of the capitalist owner class scions who has likewise learned to game the “other end” of the system/tax code? Answer: we’ll never know, because even though welfare cheats’ scams are fairly easy to track, document and understand, even in the aggregate; wealthy capitalist mavens’ are most definitely NOT (surprise, surprise)!

            i know, i know, all right wing talking points, but here’s the bitch, some of their points are correct; and isn’t that our problem? both sides demonizing the other, dealing in half-truths, spinning, and never really getting anywhere.

            From The Exorcist:
            Father Merrin: Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.

            But you’re right of course HT. Spin is the long game. The short game is irrelevant, focus on the long. But I DO continue to find it amazing that the poor continue to attack the poor so freely. And therein lies the TRUE victory for the powers that be. The poor will NEVER attack us, as they’re too damn busy attacking themselves for their OWN failings! But thanks anyway, you’re REALLY helping me shape my next blog post!

      • GF Sutton says:

        I’m sad to say I must countenance your remarks true, dear outsider!

    • Disaffected says:

      I’m thinking our very own HT actually has a blog post or two in him, but just won’t admit it. What do ya think Sandy and crew?

      • the Heretick says:

        i’m just not really sure anyone is interested in hearing about the beast within, we see enough in our everyday lives.

        • Disaffected says:

          The beast within is perhaps THE ONLY THING worth hearing about these days. One thing about the beast unleashed; it invariably speaks the truth as it sees it, occasional distortions and false perceptions notwithstanding. And in the speaking, clarity emerges.

  6. izzy says:

    Well, what’s left to do is just what we see here – howling at the moon and cackling at our own jokes. And I don’t mean that facetiously. The problems are huge, but ultimately self-resolving. It’s just unlikely that the solutions will be to our satisfaction. Times such as these make me glad I’m already on the downhill slope.

    • Disaffected says:

      You and me both. Never would have dreamed that getting old would feel so good. Some of us just might have timed it perfectly. But I’ve got another one brewing that will address that very subject in few weeks time.

  7. Disaffected says:

    A fellow Okie too I see, eh HT?

  8. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    In case any here are uncertain as to what I meant in my plagiarism of Mr. Dylan’s hit song in a prior comment, maybe this video interview of a noted Russian climate scientist will shed some light on it. Though I was referring of course to all forms of ice melting. Her expression at the end says it all.

    • Disaffected says:

      Very nice! Me thinks Mr Dylan can withstand a bit of plagiarism or two, especially if no money’s actually involved. As to Ms. Shakhovah’s face. It’s a GENUINE PLEASURE to see a fellow northern European’s face betray what their lips cannot say directly. And a freaking BEAUTY at that, I simply MUST say!

      • Disaffected says:

        An additional note: both the scientific and artistic communities are under pressure for funding now due to the now ubiquitous nature of the corporate capitalist money machine. Step out of line even slightly and your funding stops. Imagine that! Phantom findings as a result? NO WAY!

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Yeah, they do have their grubby hands on the long end of the lever, but they happen to be a few days late and tons of nickel short. Enough science has already leaked out that we know which way the wind blows. It won’t matter all that much. One thing they can’t hide from us is the weather and it will keep on changing.

      • Malthus says:

        Plagiarism. What a great word. As Picasso said good artists copy, great artists steal.

  9. FIDO says:

    Howl at the moon all you want however, the bogeyman is here at the door and I have a theory about the way that the focus is going to change and rather quickly. With the recent report that 4 out of five white families experienced poverty or near poverty in the past 12 months and that the economic recovery has stalled ( haha < it never existed and the economy has been in freefall since 1973-74. ) 19 million white people have joined the underclass since 2010. The report said the issue of white alienation has burst into the scene finally. Well as a doomer, I can say without reservation that the LONG EMERGENCY has started. The social decline that is coming down the road is going to abrupt and shocking. The purge is coming and I don't mean the movie. Great cullings will take place in our society.

    • outsider says:

      @ FIDO – I just looked it up. The study you reference says that 4 of 5 families in general (not just whites) have experienced poverty at some point in their lifetimes, not just in the past 12 months. Still a disturbing trend.

  10. DrCiber says:

    I’ve been wanting to jump in here since this morning, but being yet another temporarily embarrassed multimillionaire I have a day job I must attend to. Nonetheless DA, I agree with every point in your post, but resist letting myself get caught up in the details of the madness by even permitting an internal rage to boil up into an argument with even an imagined opponent. The people on the other side, the dark side, are religionists, and if there’s one thing I learned from several decades of involvement with religion before chucking out the baby and the bathwater its this: you can’t argue with true believers, they’re not open to it no matter how much they protest to the contrary. Now I gotta go again, so I’ll just let Bobby D. complete my thoughts:

    Darkness at the break of noon
    Shadows even the silver spoon
    The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
    Eclipses both the sun and moon
    To understand you know too soon
    There is no sense in trying

    Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
    Suicide remarks are torn
    From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
    Plays wasted words, proves to warn
    That he not busy being born is busy dying

    Temptation’s page flies out the door
    You follow, find yourself at war
    Watch waterfalls of pity roar
    You feel to moan but unlike before
    You discover that you’d just be one more
    Person crying

    So don’t fear if you hear
    A foreign sound to your ear
    It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing

    As some warn victory, some downfall
    Private reasons great or small
    Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
    To make all that should be killed to crawl
    While others say don’t hate nothing at all
    Except hatred

    Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their mark
    Make everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
    It’s easy to see without looking too far
    That not much is really sacred

    While preachers preach of evil fates
    Teachers teach that knowledge waits
    Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
    Goodness hides behind its gates
    But even the president of the United States
    Sometimes must have to stand naked

    An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
    And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it

    Advertising signs they con
    You into thinking you’re the one
    That can do what’s never been done
    That can win what’s never been won
    Meantime life outside goes on
    All around you

    You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice, unclear
    Startles your sleeping ears to hear
    That somebody thinks they really found you

    A question in your nerves is lit
    Yet you know there is no answer fit
    To satisfy, insure you not to quit
    To keep it in your mind and not forget
    That it is not he or she or them or it
    That you belong to

    Although the masters make the rules
    For the wise men and the fools
    I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

    For them that must obey authority
    That they do not respect in any degree
    Who despise their jobs, their destinies
    Speak jealously of them that are free
    Cultivate their flowers to be
    Nothing more than something they invest in

    While some on principles baptized
    To strict party platform ties
    Social clubs in drag disguise
    Outsiders they can freely criticize
    Tell nothing except who to idolize
    And then say God bless him

    While one who sings with his tongue on fire
    Gargles in the rat race choir
    Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
    Cares not to come up any higher
    But rather get you down in the hole
    That he’s in

    But I mean no harm nor put fault
    On anyone that lives in a vault
    But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him

    Old lady judges watch people in pairs
    Limited in sex, they dare
    To push fake morals, insult and stare
    While money doesn’t talk, it swears
    Obscenity, who really cares
    Propaganda, all is phony

    While them that defend what they cannot see
    With a killer’s pride, security
    It blows the minds most bitterly
    For them that think death’s honesty
    Won’t fall upon them naturally
    Life sometimes must get lonely

    My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
    Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
    At pettiness which plays so rough
    Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
    Kick my legs to crash it off
    Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?

    And if my thought-dreams could be seen
    They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
    But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

    • Disaffected says:

      Deserves a musical interlude, don’t you think?

      And another by another guy who came along a few years later who sang in the same vein:

      and

      • DrCiber says:

        “Deserves a musical interlude, don’t you think?” -DA

        “this video contains content from SME, who have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” -Youtube

        “Apparently not everybody thinks so” -drciber

        • Disaffected says:

          It’s always nice to think that someone is thinking of us. Heaven help us if some profit opportunities on a free board were missed.

  11. Ron McCafferty says:

    If the predictions about our future are true and most everything shuts down. It will be interesting to see what happens to those millions of Americans on psychotropic medications. Home made alcohol and home grown weed will be the next bubble for those left alive on Wall Street?

    • Disaffected says:

      Ron,
      I’m gonna take a stab at that again in a few weeks, Sandy permitting. As my recent and ongoing attempts to kick alcohol completely have taught me OH SO well, it ONLY gets tougher with age. Just like possessions, the habits you establish in your youth end up owning you in the end. It’s a tough lesson to learn, at the end of your days especially, but it’s one I think a whole lot of us are about to experience the hard way. Not to mention the fact that we’re all “overliving” our natural lifespans anyway due to transient modern technologies. The retreat is not going to be pleasant for many of us.
      DA

    • Malthus says:

      Check out this article on alternet. “Why Life in America Can Literally Drive You Insane.”

        • the Heretick says:

          we weren’t cut out for this kind of life. as the article states, the use of drugs is way up, drugs which all come with all kinds of warnings, most of which are a worsening of the very symptoms they are supposed to treat. the definition of insanity.
          then there is the question of how many people who twist off and go postal are taking some cocktail of these various mind-altering substances. and weed is still illegal. once again, the definition of insanity.

          and yes, these ADHD kids, i know a couple who have been so diagnosed, i have often wondered, if they could run free in the woods, would they make good hunters? or if they had to get up before dawn to milk the cows, and then baled hay all day, would their supposed affliction be a benefit? or, would having one’s attention continually grabbed by one thing another be beneficial for survival in a hostile environment? so many questions.
          looks like Eric Fromm gets proved more correct as the years roll by.

            • the Heretick says:

              i can’t tell if you are being facetious or not. you see KC, me being such a non-conformist, i was reading Fromm while still in high school. there are many classics such as “Beyond Freedom and Dignity”, “The Naked Ape”, Orwell and such, that while being somewhat sophomoric, still have a bearing on our situation.

              imho the most overlooked book id “Brave New World”, Huxley nailed it pretty squarely, especially with the use of SOMA, drug use being one of the main points of the Alternet article.

              like I said, can’t tell about your mood sometimes, me being so sensitive and all.

              • kulturcritic says:

                Not facetious whatsoever. I read Fromm in first year of college, 1971… along with T Roszak, Marcuse, and others…. great stuff back then, Heretik… and still great!

              • kulturcritic says:

                Also read Orwell in HIGH SCHOOL… 1969!!

                • the Heretick says:

                  yeah, well, well, i read Orwell in the 8th grade!!! so there!!!!!! but seriously, the Scholastic Book Club was one of the best things that ever happened to me, one of the good things i spent my paper route money on. is that ending a sentence with a preposition? upon which i spent my paper route money?

                  Vietnamese guy who runs the local store told me yesterday that English is an elitist language, said that in Vietnamese they just say a bunch of ducks, not a “flock”. his nephew is having to take some more English courses because he’s not doing well in college.

                  yeah, the other guys would laugh at me for reading stuff like “The Return of the Native”, man, i really got the last laugh on them!!! they’re all dentists, lawyers, accountants and such, while i am just a peon. guessed i showed them. i’d rather be thinking free than have their lives, just ornery i guess.

          • Disaffected says:

            I think the Heretick needs to get busy and write another blog post for us all to chew on. How about it HT?

        • Disaffected says:

          Great article. I can definitely identify with most of it. “Mental illness” is also becoming more and more “normalized,’ in that if you’re feeling at all out of the norm, you’ll likely be diagnosed, all the better to “treat you,” and get the insurance dollars flowing. It’s certainly no wonder why big alcohol does so well on the fringes, I just wonder why the Feds don’t cave on big marijuana as well. It’s increasingly a small time fringe product for the cartels, while it could easily be turned into a mega-billion dollar cash cow for big pharma (let’s face it, most Americans are just too damn lazy and too damn stupid to grow their own). AND, it would likely aggravate the obesity problem even further, (ka-ching, ka-ching!), prompting increased follow on sales in over the counter stimulants and diet pills. From an economic standpoint, the continued resistance to marijuana legalization makes no sense at all, with one small caveat. It would cannibalize drug sales for other psychotropics, aka anti-anxiety meds. But overall, I think that would be a very small price to pay, and I think that the overall result would be increased revenues for everyone. I think our capitalist masters have missed the boat on this one.

          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

            DA, methinks you do not understand how our capitalist masters go boating. Taxation is a completely moot point. What matters is that anyone CAN produce marijuana and big pharma hates any drug they cannot patent and monopolize production. The Feds will never cave because they are big pharma’s enforcement arm.

            • Disaffected says:

              Phlogger,

              I guess I didn’t make my point well enough. Just like cocaine, ANYONE CAN theoretically produce marijuana in the raw easily enough, but the BIG money (for now at least) is in the connoisseur products (which, of course, will gradually trickle down to the masses once their profitability is assured); the designer THC pills, lozenges, sublinguals, etc. Gradually they become baked goods and other confections, and then, ever so gradually, even the “health food” industry gets involved by selling us “all natural organic” cannabis sticks to chew on (“HIGH in Fiber!”)

              Lo and behold, in 30 or 40 years, Phlogger the 3rd is advising Phlogger the 4th to “Just eat it Phloggey! It’s good for you!” to the tune of some inane future marketers’ jingle.

    • Malthus says:

      It certainly is.

    • the Heretick says:

      perhaps the real liberal’s dilemma is convincing themselves they are not fascists, themselves and everyone else.
      it’s odd, the great worry is fascism from the right. it’s not fair to say this is coming from the left, as the Democrats aren’t really left.

      • Ron McCafferty says:

        Yes, Sandy. That was a good article. I find it hard to understand why people are so gullible, so easy to manipulate. Is it that hard to fight against the propaganda? We just have to turn it off. I think people are afraid to think. They would have to look at themselves and think “what have I been a part of”? I know I do. And it bothers me sometimes. Struggle is not easy but it is necessary. We can only become better human beings a little at a time when we have been so deluged by the money changers/masters with the propaganda that makes people conform. But it is very true, for me at least, that once your eyes are open they are very hard to close.

      • Disaffected says:

        I think the real liberal’s dilemma these days is convincing themselves (or anyone else) that the word actually has meaning anymore, other than as an obvious pejorative. I’m convinced it doesn’t.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          In my view, the liberal’s dilemma has been resoundingly decided against them. My perception of the liberal mission was to hoist The Golden Rule onto political platforms. It happens that there is an alternate version of that rule, which says them that has the gold gets to make the rules. In reply to the liberal mission, the followers of the alternate rule hoisted a Golden Calf (or was it a giant bronze bull?) and it was game over. FWIW, Moses experienced the same outcome. It didn’t help that a large minority and probably a plurality of the potential followers embrace a third alternative reading that says do it to others before they do it to you.

          I believe the lesson is that slipping a camel through the eye of a needle is child’s play compared to convincing all humans to live in a mutually beneficial society.

    • Disaffected says:

      Sadly, that post shouldn’t even need to be written or posted. Disobedience and rebellion were our founding principles once upon a time.

  12. Frank Kling says:

    Beware the beast Man, for he cometh from hell as Lucifer’s spawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport, and lust, and greed. He will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Without conscience, he wrecks total devastation upon the good end plentiful Mother Earth. Shun him: If he is permitted to breed in great numbers, he will make a desert of his home and yours. For he is, The Great Destroyer, The Angel of the Abyss.~~~~~Planet of the Apes

    • Disaffected says:

      Yep! Even way back then, a few of us got it. Kind of ironic (to the modern Christian mind anyway) that just about all of our “evil” religious imagery is simply referring to our own baser instincts. We are indeed our own worst enemies.

  13. the Heretick says:

    scroll and explore, life is better at the top.
    http://www.itsbetterupthere.com/site/

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