Becoming What We Defeat

days of destruction days of revolt cover.jpg

The chapters of this book are titled Days Of…

  • Theft
  • Siege
  • Devastation
  • Slavery
  • Revolt

Each chapter of this book takes place in a particular city or town of my beloved #americant. Each chapter goes deeper than the previous into the negative of what makes a once great country no longer great again. And each chapter features characters that were interviewed by Chris Hedges.  But before I get into the good, first this. The only problem I have with this book is 1) other than the chapter Days of Revolt, it doesn’t really inform (me) about what is going on back home that I didn’t already know and 2) the comics–or as others might put–the graphic novel sections of this book–felt to me to be more in the way than on the way. I guess I’m not a fan of comics–sorry, graphic novels. But I am interested in reading and/or owning the graphic novel Watchmen–and I already own Maus. But I digress.

I read Hedge’s American Fascist and Empire of Illusion a few years ago. Since then I’ve been reading his articles on truthdig.com. Unfortunately, not much from his books have stuck with me. That’s not because of Hedges, though. In fact, I’m a big fan of his speeches that are numerous on youtube. It’s just that, well, I guess I’ve started to lose my intellect. Either that or I just don’t give a sh*t anymore (about certain things). I suppose, in a way, I can easily blame such a loss on the frequency that I visit my beloved #americant or the amount of stuff I read about it (her)–which has been quite a bit since my step-father past and my mother isn’t getting any younger and #eurowasteland politics bores the krapp out of me. Indeed. Each visit to my beloved homeland has been scarier and scarier and scarier. My most recent visit, just last month, set new heights regarding what can come of a nation suffering from something that is no less than pathological. America really is starting to look and feel like a land of zombies. In fact, I bought Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to accompany the trip.

I managed to read two-thirds of the book on the flight to PHL and within the first few days of my arrival. Then I got sick as a dog as the weather in Maryland was worse than in Germany. I mean, I froze my butt off the first few days I was there. And it’s not that I’m not used to cold weather. I guess I’m not used to going from far north Germania, where it was warm, to somewhat southerly Atlantic coast Maryland and freezing my a$$ off. So. Yeah. I got sick. And then I got caught up in the all work I’m supposed to do when visiting my mom. It’s just that my sickness didn’t want to go away. Of my two week visit, I was out of it for almost ten days with the worst head-cold and flu that I’ve had in years. I ended up finishing this book when I got back to Germany. But, again, I digress.

By-the-bye, I got lost in Camden, NJ, once, which is featured in one of the chapters of this book, after I switched my Atlantic flight destination from Dulles Airport to PHL (from Frankfurt). Back then there was no GPS to guide me and I made a few wrong turns leaving PHL and the next thing I know I’m in NJ. Aghast! Other than the panic that ensued being a caucasian driving a rental car through Camden, I remember vividly the landscape of #americant that was nothing new to me. It was just another broken place. In fact, a city like Camden looked as familiar as the small coal mining town my step-father grew up in that has been decimated like any other with mine and plant closings galore. To me, these places are all part of Reganomics and neoliberal greed politics that #americants have been voting for–a world that I was able to get out of so many years ago. As I follow all the goings-on back home, it’s sometimes hard to have mercy on those who are obviously too stupid to see what they are doing to themselves. I guess, in a way, I saw it all coming–first hand! Camden, NJ, is everywhere in the US. It’s everywhere there’s an abandoned strip mall, more potholes than asphalt on highways, it’s in every dive-bar where jaundice drunks occupy the rundown churches as much as the rundown Walmarts and every–EVERYONE!–is screaming about making something great again. Yes. Everywhere.

With that in mind, this book didn’t do much for me on the learning front. Except for the last chapter. Indeed. The last chapter, Days of Revolt, saved this book because I haven’t read enough about the Occupy Movement that, to me, seemed to come and go as fast as a rational thought on #americant cable TV news.  On top of that, Hedges manages to make a connection that has been lingering in the back of my mind for years. When people ask me “why Germany” I usually just tell them it’s because of the girls and the beer. But sometimes I’ll break down and give them the real reason. It was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that brought me to my expatriation–because I was right in the middle of it. And it was not just the joy of living in the end of the Cold War. It was the fact that the idear of authoritarian rule was finally gonna end. In those days I never thought in terms of America being the centre of the universe–whether it’s great or great-again. To me, the idear of how the people in Eastern Europe were able to discard the authority of The Soviets without violence was beyond mesmerising. Never in my wildest childhood Cold War dreams did I think it could happen. And even though the whole movement didn’t start in East Germany, the fall of that Wall will forever be my beacon. And then there’s the connection I started to make–not unlike Hedges makes in the final chapter of this book.

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Neoliberalism is rampant and unabated in the western world not unlike an opposite ideology was rampant in Eastern Europe thirty years ago. The result of having gotten rid of the authoritarian rule of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union hasn’t quite turned out to be what it should be. Or? In my worst-opinion, the west has become the thing we defeated. Hedges manages to see this in the last chapter of this book. And so. I’ve always wondered where are the revolutionists that would call out the West for what it has become. Is that revolutionist Chris Hedges? It might just be. Or was it the movement that came and went with the Wall Street Occupiers in Liberty Square, NY, in 2011? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that there is a heavy irony when considering what #americant has done to itself and subsequently the world since the fall of the Soviet Union. Just look deeply at our response to September 11, 2001, including the subsequent largest government expansion since… And check out those bank bailouts and the amount of consumer credit run amok. And then there’s the recent election that has given the world Trump & awe….

Why has no one been able to see the connection to a not-so-distant past with all that has happened in this still somewhat young new century? Ok. At least Chris Hedges has seen it. I think I have too. So. What the heck. Let history repeat itself.

Good luck suckers.

Rant on.

-t

May “Deplorables” Haunt Her Forever

“College educated elites carried out the neoliberal assault on the working poor and now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity embodied in politicians like The Clintons and Barrack Obama succeeded for decades. These elites, many from east coast ivy league schools, spoke the language of value, civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class, while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended. There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower class whites, rightfully enraged because of what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies imposed on them by college educated elites. The democrats foolishly anointed Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomised the double-dealing of the college educated class, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women who hold up the bible, of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working poor to corporate power. And unless there is a resurgence of left-wing populism, which can only occur outside the democratic party, to defy the neoliberal order, we will cement into place an American fascism.” -Chris Hedges

Rant on.

-t

Yacht Fantasy, Retractable Keels And Why #Americant Is The Dream

keel forces
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Segeln_Gewichtsstabilitaet.svg

Woke up hot and bothered this morn. While walking the dog a local informed me that he’s never experienced temperatures like these in Bangelore at this time of year. As I worst-write this weather.com is saying it’s ninety-nine degrees fahrenheit outside. It actually feels cooler now than a few hours ago because there was no breeze at 8:30am. Oh well. The only thing that has kept me going since arriving here and sweating my ass off most of the day is that there’s plenty of cheap, cold beer, we have three A/C units in our apartment and I know that what I’m doing is for the betterment of humankind. Well, maybe not all human kind. How so, you ask, dear worst-reader? Well, helping humankind according to Tommi goes like this. A three year well-paid stint in India might just push me over that savings figure where I can actually afford to buy the thirty to forty foot sailing yacht I’ve been dreaming about for so long. The only problem is, I want/need a boat with a retractable keel. For whatever engineering reason, retractable keels are extra expensive. Why is that? Nomatter. The dream of a Seaward Hake 32RK continues. §Enjoyed yet another wonderful commentary by Chris Hedges during my post dog walk morning read. This piece (see link below), more than any other–including a few books of his I’ve read–communicates not so much the dire situation of #americant but instead a level of hidden, subtext-like optimism from Hedges that I’m not sure I recognised before. Perhaps Plato can have that effect on someone. What Hedges fails to grasp–or is unwilling to accept–is that there is a huge majority of people who have lived long or short lives for the greed disguised as The Dream. As someone who found a way out (The Dream) perhaps I’m also not one to comment about the morons and automatons that stayed in (The Dream). What is clear to worst-moi is that it is not a matter of the system crashing due to the behaviour of the few but instead the compulsive-behaviourism that lead the majority to a system that is The Dream. How do you correct this massive orgy of error that obviously gets so many people off? By quoting Plato? By blaming the 1%? By failing to grasp the reality of globalisation? I’m not saying that Hedges doesn’t get all that. Obviously he does. I, worst-writer, don’t deserve to wipe my nose with the tissue scraps this man throws away. Yet, for the first time, I think Hedges might be leading us (believers) astray. And that’s ok. He can lead me anywhere. Such admiration though doesn’t mean that the man might get a few things wrong every once-a-once. America is fucked because Americans have fucked it. All Americans have done this. We don’t just have a system of trickle-down wealth but also a system of trickle-up stupid. In my life time, I have yet to meet a person that was able to get out of all of this stupid, i.e. The Dream. By “out” I mean really, really out. How many generations of Americans–how many Americans–whether politically right or left–have participated in this system of stupid–of The Dream–to make it become what it is today? Gazillions? Countless? Your mother? Your uncle? Your once favourite sibling? This is not just a problem with banks and politicians. Americans had a chance to do something about everything for the past fifty f’n years. But the powers-that-be seem to always come up with something to divert any real chance of change. Whether it’s supply-side economics (Reaganomics) or an economy based on real-estate speculation. Every time the cycle goes to shit Americans fall for some other form of stupid. Whoever is running this show, if you ask me, give them a fucking hand. The greatest nation in the history of humanity is nothing more than bunch of greedy dickheads who all want to be kings and queens and inheritors of golden stupid. I mean, come on. Let’s get real here. Only stupid could fall for Reaganomics, Dubya, the patriot act, banking reform, etc. Things are so bad that you can’t even see it anymore. So close your eyes. The Dream’s better that way. Why should you care about anything else? How could anyone with a conscious since the 1980s actually participate in fixing what’s so obviously broken? If you have a job/career, if you work for the government, if you have a mortgage and kids… You’re colluding. And so. There is no fixing The Dream. There is only starvation while government or policeman or credit collectors come to your abode and force you to know that you’re no different than the poor around the rest of the world. As sad as it is to consider what happened to the small towns and cities in America (see article below), it all pales to the reality of the people that shop at walmart, that watch faux newz, that voted for Dubya twice and now are confused by Trump, Cruz and Obamacare–or what war really, really is. I guess, what I’m trying to get at here is that there are forces at play in The Dream not unlike the forces that act on a sailboat under (wind) power. This is why it’s so difficult for Americans to realise what they’ve done. The system has been heeling wildly since the 1980s throwing off the willing and unwilling sailors of The Dream. But the boat still looks good. So does the blue water. Even if the boat finds some calm it eventually heels wildly to the other side. Water is pretty blue, look at those horizons and a sunset is half of Mickey Mouse! The forces that act upon a boat are the forces that should have been studied–but only I studied them–but instead you watch reality television, charge up credit cards because it’s the only way to show that you are part of The Dream, consume en masse legalised narcotics in the form of prescription drugs, etc., etc. Hedges knows all this and I’m probably nit-picking at this point–and getting to personal. So let me close with this. Hedges believes that somehow people might be able to right a wildly heeling ship–if he explains it all to them. And he may be right. But here is what he doesn’t get, what he misses. Nomatter what you do to keep the ship sailing there’s always the issue of its direction. With that in mind. Keep sailing to The Dream #americant. You’re almost there.

Rant on. -Tommi

Link that motivated this post:

Batsh*t Blue Collar WWE And Failupwards College Grads. A Love Story.

american flag wwe

As the GOP deservedly cracks and crumbles this holiday election season, I’m wondering if liberals or those still capable of thought should take a stand on all this hitlerism and fascism krapp that’s being thrown around like a volleyball at a sorority party where new recruits are required to prance around for frat boys with big cars and new iPhones so that once the girls get their degrees they can stay home and raise brats. But on a lighter note. Obviously #americants are screwed and Chris Hedges nails it by putting blame on the elite college educated post-Reagan that have turned a once great nation into a crapshoot. But there is one thing Mr. Hedges leaves out of his article–and worst-writer is here to provide. The GOP that has been supported by voters since Reagan is not comparable to Weimer Germany or the tribal craze that lead to WW1&2. The GOP has been supported by big and little people who want one thing and one thing only: to buy krapp. That’s why I call it: #americant the land to be free to be stupid where you can consume-to-survive (among a few other things) till your entrails pop out from which you can clay-animate your favourite unicorn. Of course, there is a problem in the unicorn pastures these days. Since #americant can’t make krapp any more, what’s left for it to do? Well, according to Reagan and supply-side economics… this is what’s left. I mean. What’s going on right now is what’s t left–it’s what happens when you elect batsh*t. Yet, it’s so much more than a batsh*t election year, isn’t it? Now that Reagan batsh*t has run its course and there’s nowhere left to go, i.e. religion’s not the answer, neoliberalism’s (as answer to the failure of supply-side-econ) not the answer, and we can’t afford furthering wars-of-choice, is it appropriate to bring #eurowasteland’s recent history into the fold? Keep in mind, what is it exactly that all those college grads that Hedges mentions actually learned? And so. Enter… the consume-to-survive WWE-TV crowd plus all those angry college grads that have to eat their shoes for breakfast. Talk about a batsh*t! Or. Talk about unicorn pastures of mindfuck galore. What you have right now is a stupefied voting constituency that is so clueless to anything–especially world history–that I am not afraid to ask: is #americant really capable of embracing one of two things #eurowasteland ever gave humanity, i.e. fascism? (The other, btw, in case you’re confused, dear worst-reader, is communism; both of these are a subcategory to the main thing #eurowasteland gave the world: greed. But I digress.) And can this embrace happen all because the WWE-TV crowd plus angry college grad numbskulls and their purchasing power has been diminished by their own doing? Seriously? Maybe, just maybe, there should be some level of consideration to what Trump is doing to the political party that gave rise to this situation, which, as far I can tell, comes out of one of the two parties. With that in mind, worst-writer does not make false equivalencies. And one more thing. Lewis CK’s sophomoric attempt to communicate to his audience (college grads?) is just more proof that this crowd is probably not capable of underachieving at the level of past #eurowastelanders. All-in-all, this craziness might turn out to be a godsend on account what Trump is really doing is bringing down the republican party–that gave us Reagan and the minion/morons that follow(ed) him and subsequently the political mindfuck pastures unicorns are drowning in right now. And so. In conclusion. I say let the freak-show election process play out because I still have faith in #americant–WWE plus college numbskulls n’all. Just saying’. Rant on. -Tommi

Link that motivated this post:

Feminism vs Emancipation

eat cherries
“You can leave your hat on.” -Randy Newman

Today a few thoughts on another movie (Fifty Shades of Grey) I won’t see. This post is NSFW. Or maybe not. Good luck.

Every generation has to have its own mainstream how-to fuck film. I say mainstream because the porn industry isn’t really a how-to fuck industry, although that’s probably a shame on account it does provide a lot of obviously needed information on The Carnal. (Seriously. Where would #americant be without porn? Childless? Fewer lost boys? Women walking around with donut glaze on their faces? Etc.) But then the question becomes: since so much porn is being consumed why is it that most young people still don’t know how to fuck and thereby, for all practical purposes, require how-to films? Could the answer have anything to do with misconstrued morality? Puritanical shame? Or how ’bout this:

Romantic-love should die?

Indeed, dear worst-reader. The reality is, romantic-love has run its course and it’s time to move on. Seriously. It would help humanity a great deal. Just drop it. Get rid of it. Be done!

That said. I have nothing against romance (and sex) as a transaction–which is all love is these days as defined by its culmination: marriage. But I do have a problem with going against nature. And. Fucking is nature. Making love is… anti nature. Or maybe not.

Which brings me to this part of this attempt at opening a can of worms: What’s with the debate on marriage rights? You know. We shouldn’t be debating whether or not one group can marry and another can’t. What we should be doing is getting rid of the institution of marriage outright. Obviously, in the wake of the past hundred or so years, as an institution, it is an utter failure. Get ride of it. By doing so, we can kill two birds with one stone. Offing marriage’s head could finally save the children. It could also save females from themselves. Be done!

Oh yeah. I was worst-writing about romantic-love in the context of feminism vs emancipation vs porn all motivated by silly films. Wait. Or was I…? Nomatter. The how-to fuck film of my day was called 9 1/2 Weeks. A silly bourgeois cinematic romp where a female couldn’t decide what to do with the confusion that arises between (her) biology and the inevitability of husband hunting–which often gets confused when the libido takes the first step off the cliff (great job Kim Basinger). And when I think back on that movie the only thing I can remember is the confused look on my then girlfriend’s face regarding her puritanical upbringing juxtaposed with being raised in the wake of 1960s flower-power and being fed cherries on the kitchen floor while wearing fancy pyjamas (or the like).

Did you know that romantic-love has no purpose? It used to have a purpose. Back in the day when Das Volk loved feudalism, birth entitlement, aristocracy, monarchs. Oh wait. We still live in those times. Nomatter (again.) Something about getting daughters from wealthy houses to marry into other wealthy houses where the groom wasn’t the best match or vice-versa was the only way to play the patriarchs game. Today that game is the same but played in the vein of the same-difference. Marriage, and by default romantic-love, as an institution, still provides the patriarch rulers the mother teat. And he sucks joyously upon it. So go and fight about your silly marriage vows. When you give-in to institutions it doesn’t matter what you suck on. Doom is neigh.

Ok. I’m confused. And I’m way off subject. The subject is how-to fuck films and why they are so stupid. It has nothing to do with porn and exploitation as Chris Hedges so rightfully points out (see link below). What it is about is what Mr. Hedges misses. The reality is how-to fuck films are about something much deeper. They are about the mindset of the indoctrinated human female who is either Barbie or August Ames*. The confusion the female, the child bearer, the mother faces today, now that porn is mainstream, must be horrendous. Yet so few females voice anything above and beyond what they themselves have trivialised by exploiting romantic-love which can only lead to the transaction of marriage which ultimately leads to the mass silliness we have today–half of which all end in expensive and child ruining divorce. And so. Maybe there needs to be an alternative to the fiction that we are forced to make real that is romantic-love and maybe that alternative is buried deep in the subtext of how-to fuck films. Or maybe not. Whatever.

And on a side note. Even though worst-writer doesn’t believe in much, you know, as in gods and mysticism, there is something in me that does believe in nature which means that there is a slight thought or three regarding the validity and/or possibility of reincarnation which in-turn makes me shudder at the thought that I could come back as a female. Aghast!porn cheap

Links:

Chris Hedges: ‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’ – Chris Hedges – Truthdig.

Oh Look! People Are Going To See It Because They Don’t Know How To… | HuffPost

Rant on. -Tommi

*For kicks I googled something like “popular porn star” and her name came up. Seriously. I’ve never heard of her or seen her before. Really. Wow.

On Facts

The insistence on the primacy of personal opinion regardless of fact destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all fact. -Chris Hedges, American Fascist