How I Subverted The Sedition Act (Of 1918) Or Re-Read Chris Hedges’ “American Fascists”

American_Fascists

Thoughts after first read of this book here.

Obviously I’ve subverted nothing. I mean, come on. How can worst-writer, leader of the uselesseater union of the world and advocate for forced early retirement (as long as the women-folk and their feminism pay for it), subvert anything? Unless, of course, subversion is defined by how one throws stale German Brötchen against an unfurnished wall in order to measure the velocity of freshness. But all über-seriousness aside.

There has been another exuberant display of bat$hittery in my beloved #Americant. The display, for whatever worst-reason, made me re-read Chris Hedges’ book. The exuberance? A nineteen year old pre-perpetual man-child, i.e. a teenager with an AR-15, is yet another example of growing up in consume-to-survive meaninglessness run amok. Never before has born-to-die been so obvious. It’s what #Americant provides. Nothing. Nothingness. Nothing else. And then death by an almost cult following of the act of killing. Considering future perspectives of so many man-children and their trigger fingers, the new measurement of achievement in their useless lives corresponds to under-achievement. Which raises this question: what’s it like to live in a cult-of-death run by Haves so spiteful towards Have-Nots? Or. Put another way. The only way a man in #americant can find meaning is if he subjects himself in a slave-like manner to the whims of both biology and greed. Biology and greed, if you don’t know, are the main ingredients of mindlessness and/or WWE-TV.

Enter Religion.

When I refer to a nineteen year old, I’m obviously referring to the latest mass shooter in my beloved #Americant. As usual, the dumbed-down voting populace of the united mistakes of #americant will be no better informed about WHY these types of killings take place so it really means little to go beyond there being a nineteen year old with a military-grade weapon who can run around like all deplorables should. I, for one, am still asking questions about what the hell happened at the last mass shooting in Las Vegas. Not many answers there. And so. We’re all deeply ill-informed about HOW-WHY these things happen. Yet we are overwhelming informed about AR-15s and the fatness of Kim Kardashian (she is so disgusting looking I’m worst-surprised I could type her name). Btw, it’s never about how one can buy an AR-15 or gluttonous ammunition or extended magazines, etc. Nea. It is about something else. Go figure. But I digress.

“The decline of America is described as the result of the decline of male prowess.” -Chris Hedges, American Fascist

I guess I decided to re-read American Fascist because, well, criticism of the political right is the only way I know how to deal with this stuff. Indeed. After every mass shooting I blame republicans because of how they’ve perverted conservatism. I mean, I hated conservatism back in the day of W. Buckley. But at least Buckley & Co. weren’t totally bat$hit. Of course, without Buckley & Co. there wouldn’t have been Dubya & Co. and now President Stupid Comb-Over. Also. I don’t blame republicans because they’re the easiest to blame–especially when it comes to the free-for-all of mass shootings. I blame then because they are sore winners of the worst type. And when I say “winner” I mean winning in the race to the bottom. Congratulations, suckers.

Religion loves all.

For those stuck in the world of #americant bothsiderism, i.e. blaming both the Democrats and Republicans as equals for #americant’s ills, there is no rational discourse. These are the people who would like to be republican but are unable at a minimal level to see through all the craze. I suppose bothersiderists have speck of rational thought left–I’ll give them that. Yet, when I question bothsiderists I’m invariably faced with the issue of religion. Specifically the perversion of religion–which is best exemplified in my beloved (and missed) #americant through eyes of utter terror and fear and an ice-cream cone filled with pistachio banana chocolate and briefly named Daisy by the child carrying it. With that in mind, three things seem to intertwine in my worst-writer brain when I search for the blame.

  • Money
  • Power
  • Religion

Pretty simple list, eh? Keep in mind that the above list is not in any particular order. Also, obviously, the other side of the political spectrum lusts after the elements in the list, too. The difference, though, is that in my lifetime taking each one to new, higher levels via über-greed is the result of so much complacency or, as I like to put it: consume-to-survive. Of course, in the context of this post, the only item from the list that is truly relevant, and that which drove me to re-read this book, is religion. Not unlike the radicalised issue of abortion (or forcing women to be subjects of wannabe men-Gods), these people are not different than a mob with torches trying to hunt down a monster they don’t understand and will kill everything to get to it.

And so.

The man-boy that shot-up the school, killing seventeen of his peers, obviously wasn’t near money or power. But he was very and most certainly near religion. Now, I’m not saying that he was religious. I have no clue if he was or not. It’s just that when you don’t have money or power (or even if you do) then all that’s left for you is belief, faith, blind-will. To me, these mass shootings are all intertwined with the three elements listed above as utilised by men-boys who govern. When considering all the hate I feel for right wing politics, religion is the one that gets under my gander the most and it should not be given a free-pass just because someone saw a painting of a bloodied Jesus standing with a slit-throat lamb.

“Fundamentalism is the religion of those at once seduced and betrayed by the promise that we human beings can comprehend and control our world. Bitterly disappointed by the politics of rationalised bureaucracies, the limitations of science, and the perversions of industrialisation, fundamentalists seek to reject the modern world, while nevertheless holding onto these habits of mind: clarity, certitude, and control” -Karen McCarthy (as quoted in American Fascist by Chris Hedges.)

I’m betting that the WHY of these shootings is being systematically suppressed because the powers-that-be know full well that if words gets out about the true state of affairs of a once great nation that has so many mass shootings there will be mayhem of an apocalyptic scale never seen before–but wished for by religious $hitbags. Just read the last chapter of the New Testament. The difference to Biblical apocalypse, though, will be that the rich will finally have to pay. That is, Money and Power are tolerating Religion right now because the latter provides a brilliant filter, screen, airport security check–for the masses of Deplorables #Americant has become. For you see, dear worst-reader, by controlling the story, the narrative of a world where EVERYTHINGISWRONG, you control the meek, i.e. Deplorables.

“Since life has a way of not respecting these artificial lines, since ambiguity, inconsistency and irrationality are part of human existence, the only way believers can push forward is to pretend that these troubling aspects of our internal and external reality do not exist. They create a parallel reality, one that allows them to escape from reality-based world into world of their own creation.” -Chris Hedges, American Fascist

When you live a life of EVERYTHINGISWRONG where do you turn when the guns start slinging? Money. Power. Religion. You pay your money. You subject yourself to power. You fall for the Deity standing above you with his shinny halo and birch leather seat and a cock the size of your best mind. He tells you to contribute to his church and you do so. You reach in your wallet, digging into the forest within and you find a small toy out of your childhood that reminded of how things once were. How simple they were. Of a time when ice-cream didn’t feel so bad after it was consumed and excreted. The world you’ve created in your hiding place isn’t enough so you go deeper. Your wallet is big enough, it is empty enough. The green forest now brown within is a lost place and when you go to the next window to ask for direction you meet another salesman who tells you your credit cards aren’t full yet. So you switch from your wallet to your credit card. The forest within isn’t as greedy but it is as blinding. And the next methamphetamines fix is good.

“The hierarchy fears romantic love. Love, especially eroticism, in its most passionate, romantic form, threatens the iron control of the church leader. In Freudian terms, romantic love allows the id or the “it,” to be unleashed in a drive to satisfy uncontrollable passions. Restrain and self-control over these desires and passions are disarmed by romantic love.”. -Chris Hedges

I know it make no sense to go in this direction, but one thing that really struck me from my first reading of this book was Chris Hedges POV of love. Through out the book he refers to the act of love as an extension of God but also of people. He writes about how his father was accepting of gays and how homosexuality is not something to fear. I got the feeling that true love is embedded in Hedges’ religion as means of acceptance and tolerance. What a nice thing, eh! Indeed. Love. The way it should be treated/used/accepted. Of course, if one spent any time at all with deplorables, one also knows the vehemence against gays or even a wrong look at one’s wife. The insecurity of sexuality is rampant among conservatives. It’s as though Biblical fig leaves have become brain cells. And so. Perhaps there is a fourth element, sexual repression, that should join Money, Power, Religion. But for now I’ll leave it out.

Rant on.

-T

Links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Act_of_1918

Another Night Of Not Finding You-Know-Who Or How I Beat It Before Turning Sixty One Last Time

Ok. Obviously there are better things to be done on a Friday night before flying to my beloved homeland Sunday morning. The only question that remains is: what the hell to do Saturday night? In the mean time, here another fabulous quote as I re-read a book.

“When individuals are finally emasculated and alone, bereft of the help of competing collectives, they cannot defend their rights or question the abuses of their overlords. When there is no other place to turn for help other than the world of miracles and magic, mediated by those who grow rich off those who suffer, when reality to an ideology becomes a litmus test for individual worth, tyranny follows.”

-Chris Hedges, American Fascists – The Christian Right And The War On America.

Rant on.

-T

Speculators Be Hanged?

Speculators at megabanks or investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the vulnerable from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their shareholders. They are parasites. They feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They just manipulate money. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. -Chris Hedges

Source: Truthdig

Hyperlink in quote from moi.

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 batsht. Yet, it’s so much more than a batsht election year, isn’t it? Now that Reagan batsht 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 batsht! 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: