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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Skiing in the Rain in Vancouver: February 2010

Maybe it's been fun, who knows?

From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs, and hers, dig it, because Gandhi hit the nail smack on the konk when he said:

"We must become the change we wish to see in the world."

Or, in words everyone knows:

"Tag.   You're it."

I've recently started volunteering one day a week as a mentor at a daycare center for children of homeless families run by the Salvation Army in Central Square, and I can't begin to tell you how pleasurable this is, what a relief valve for the psychic pressures screaming for change and progress in one's brain. To have stepped out of the Negative Comfort Zone in which one endlessly gripes and complains and moans AND DOES NOTHING and in which one has been trapped since, it feels like, the beginning of time, has been one of the best things that has ever happened to one.

Michelet wrote:

"In the end, the primary actor is always the people." And why is this? Because we have the numbers. We are the country. We are its life and its soul and its heart, and when we act, history is shattered and social justice is born.

U.S. foreign policy as a whole? Morally revolting, economically unsustainable. Question: How has "a government of the people, by the people, for the people" morphed, grotesquely, hideously, into "a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich." A PBS broadcast a couple years back mentioned in passing that 1 percent of the American population (the people who prefer to have their bread buttered on both sides) possesses approximately 40 percent of the nation's wealth. Since hearing that, one's life hasn't been the same. What serious social ill that we struggle with as a people can't be traced to this disproportionate and irrational distribution of national assets and power? It's disproportionate to a freaking extreme. ABC News reported in April 2006 that when Exxon/Mobil CEO Lee Raymond retired that year, he received a retirement package, including a pension, stock options and other perqs, worth $400 million. $400 million to one man. Question: what is it this one man does that's so valuable that he's entitled to that kind of cash? His paycheck for 2005, ABC reports, came to $51.1 million. That works out to $6,000 per hour.

Think he's worth it? Think anybody's worth that kinda pay, when we have people living in the streets in cardboard boxes and kids dropping out of high school at the rate of 50 percent per year in major cities and a suicide rate among the general population of one every two minutes?

Most serious undiagnosed problem in U.S. society? Fragmentation of consciousness by digital technology, fundamental reason this weblog is hereby brought to an end. The average person has lost the ability to investigate any given single issue in depth. And if we do not individually and collectively investigate the custom/institution/"right"/fraud of property, which is fundamental in the extreme because it determines the relationship of human beings to material reality, determining where one may walk and what one may touch, among countless other issues, we will destroy ourselves. As we may in fact be doing.

What will cause the United States, a country steeped in the viciousness and irrationality of capitalism and property, to take global warming seriously? Snowstorms in Florida? No. Widespread destruction of lives and property by hurricanes? No. Rising sea levels? No. Resource wars? No. Permanent U.S. economic recession due to sequential climate-related crises in international commerce? A little. (Cf. Paul Grignon's documentary Money as Debt, Pts. 1 & 2.) Disruption of the five oceans' single, primary circulatory current due to melting ice caps and consequent catastrophic loss of sea life? A little. Famine and starvation in the U.S. caused by persistent atypical droughts? Yes.

Is climate collapse a possibility? Prefer not to answer due to concern about the effects of defeatist thinking.

Is there anything, any social antidote, any social movement, anywhere in the world, capable of detoxifying capitalism and halting its international over-the-cliff momentum? If there is, I don't know what it is. A free, non-corporatist press is probably the only phenomenon standing between human beings and species suicide. (Cf. Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic.) Over evolutionary history, the vast majority of animal species that have existed, homo sapiens being but one of many, are today extinct. Cf. Stephen Meyers The End of the Wild which is the most recent Greek tragedy available in English: The battle for biodiversity has been fought, and it is over, and we have lost."

Quote of the day, from W. Whitman: "O despairer, here is my neck, / By God! you shall not go down! Hang your whole weight upon me."

Greatest cause for optimism? Freedom of speech has not yet by eliminated by a totalitarian police state.

Defining moment of our time? 9/11. Cf. Peter Joseph's documentary Zeitgeist.

Best available book of political science? Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's What Is Property? available from Cambridge University Press, UK.

Marriage equality? A fundamental human right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If it makes sense to persecute people like John Maynard Keynes, Walt Whitman, Proust, Wittgenstein, Henry James and Michelangelo, then witches deserve to be burned at the stake and the moon is made of green cheese. To interfere with a person's sexual development is to drive a nail into her skull. Or his.

Recommended diet: More plant food, less meat (including milk, which is liquid meat).

Water conservation? More deodorant and one shower a week in winter; state-of-the-art flushless urinals.

Energy development? Immediate and full-spectrum government support of green technology; that is, if we take the issue of survival seriously, which is debatable.

Transportation? High-speed rail drastically needed and long overdue due to pernicious influence of oil companies and automakers on Congress and the White House.

Rational response to widespread and persistent unemployment due to 2009 crisis of capitalism caused by moral depravity and professional incompetence on Wall Street? Government- managed public works projects to rebuild national infrastructure in the tradition of FDR. How are the people of America bearing up under persistent 10 percent unemployment and the various other benefits of globalism, including but not limited to the wholesale export of jobs by transnational corporations, which has all but obliterated the manufacturing jobs the urban poor relied upon for a half-century or more? According to the weblog of Ryan Crofts, M.D.: "Between 1987 and 1997, the percentage of Americans in outpatient treatment for serious depression more than tripled. The 1985 the total annual sales for all antidepressants was approximately $240 million. Today it is approximately $12 billion."

The truest majority? The dead. They outnumber us by so many votes we don't have a chance. And their number gets larger every day. They're winning.

Best current novel? Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole. Far better than Gravity's Rainbow.

Best current film? Brooklyn's Finest, an entertaining portrait of what capitalism's profit motive, and the artificial scarcity it creates, can do to otherwise rational human beings. The Inferno at a theater near you. Necessary viewing. Delicate viewers should bring a friend whose hand they can hold, desperately.

Control? After Burroughs--Control is never a means to an end. Control leads to one thing and one thing only--more control, like junk.

Best treatment for catastrophic depression? Therapy with a course of medication, lifetime maintenance commonly necessary to prevent relapse, my person favorite being Effexor XR.

Autoerotic diversions? Without improved sex education in public and private schools, the U.S. rape and venereal disease epidemics will go on forever. The current issue of the Boston Phoenix (3-12-10, p. 9) reports that Boston University, a single college, "reported five forcible rapes in 2008 and 22 forcible sex offenses on its Charles River campus in 2006-2008." Down by the water indeed. The Boston Rape Crisis Center is currently sponsoring a billboard above the C. Saloon with the headline: "Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted."

Meditation? A zen monk is reported to have sat and stared at a blank wall for nine years. Cf. Alan Watts on zazen in The Way of Zen. Highly recommended, along with TM, for detoxifying netheads.

Best diet: All plant food, no meat, the ironic part of this being that one eats better after making the switch because one is forced to rely on one's innate creativity and ends up eating a greater variety of foods, most of which one overlooks as a consumer of animals. Consider eating your favorite pet. Not appetizing. Why do we treat certain animals with love and care, and eat others? Strange. Are animals alive? Do they actually have lives? Or are they just so much walking trash, walking hamburgers? They don't feel pain when they are slaughtered, do they? And they probably don't mind spending their entire lives sleeping in their own excrement in confined pens, indoors and out, on factory farms, which produce 99 percent of the U.S. meat supply. Ever see a picture of an animal in a grocery store? Not too often. Ever watch a YouTube hidden-camera video showing what goes on in slaughterhouses 24/7? Ever see a live cow dangling in the air by one leg, attached to an overhead conveyer by a chain? Factory farms consume 50 percent of the U.S. fresh water supply, account for 50 percent of total U.S. fish consumption, and their waste is an enormous source of fresh-water contamination, since it goes into rivers and lakes raw, Congress graciously exempting meat producers from treating this sewage, at all, in any way. The major source of current U.S. fresh-water contamination is simple runoff from rainstorms which washes the drippings of industrialism and the chemicals of agribusiness into our streams, lakes and rivers. This contamination may be poisoning us and causing a good deal of cancer, but at least somebody's making a profit off it.

Would mention that beer is fully allowable under the Best Diet protocol.

Fox News and AM talk radio? Essential to the political process because a healthy democracy cannot function without clowns, mental defectives and attention-whores.

Crucial sources of news? and

Most serious problem that America, a country that at times has done truly magnificent things and has a peerless documentary foundation, faces today? Profound social irrationality. Why does one say this? One says this because 1 percent of the U.S. population, today, possesses 40 percent of the nation's wealth. Heard it on PBS last summer.

Joke of the day: What's an Irish shishkebab?
Flaming arrow through a garbage can.

How do you sink the Irish Navy?
Put it in the water.

And that will do it.

As a wise person said: "Do something. Do anything."

Aimons nous les uns les autres, aidons nous les uns les autres.

Saying farewell from cyberspace . . . .

- Rick

© negative, R.McN., 2010. Free use to all.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The End, Pt. 4

In the end, nothing matters. It counts. Cf. Being & Nothingness, then Macbeth V:v:26. Dark matter and all that funky stuff that exists but doesn't exist.


When I was a young Roman Catholic I was taught to pretend one's sexual needs didn't exist, or to crush them like a violet under the heel of a motorcycle boot. And above all else one was forbidden to talk about them. Perfect conditions for the flourishing of neurosis and despair.

Not anymore.

Friday, March 5, 2010

In the Dark: March 5, 2010, Passim

Movies are faked experience and we can't get enough of them. We "groove on them." We swallow them like alcoholics on a final drink-yourself-to-death, the-more-the-merrier jag. They represent a Nation of Typists's almost deepest, most uncontrollable desire.

Two high-grossing commodities for export produced by the United States:

Movies and weapons. Fantasia and premeditated killing.

Is there anything harder for a citizen of the United States than keeping the spirit of optimism alive? Yes. Maintaining allegiance to rationality.

Nothing sacred but the truth.

Healthcare Reform

Letter from a friend on healthcare reform in the U.S.

"Dawg, saw this article in the Globe's Metro section the other day and thought you might be interested. I know you're a strong advocate of a single-payer system. But that'll never happen. It’s too simple and effective.



BY Tony Clifton
Globe Staff

State Rep. Chalfont Adonadio collapsed at his home in Brookline on Friday night after a dinner of All-Natural Cheese Puffs and sautéed pigs feet and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital with strangulated intestines, perforated ulcers and peritonitis. The emergency room was overcrowded with undocumented aliens and jewel thieves and he was bedded in the men’s room. When he was examined at noon on Saturday, an immediate operation was necessary and the Greek surgeon goofed and sewed up a live monkey in him. Then he was gangfucked by the Irish-Arab attendants, after which one of them—one Seamus bin Abdullah-Abdullah, according to the preliminary police report filed by Boston Police Department’s sergeant Nicky “The Loser” Cantwell--stole the penicillin ordered by the surgeon, substituting Saniflush, and fled the premises.

Mr. Adonadio is not expected to recover.


This "clipping" is from a friend who thinks he's funny. But the question lingers: "Funny ha-ha, or funny weird?" And story seems somehow familiar. Gotta be a lift from somewhere. One is reminded of today's Word of the Day from

"Self-defecating--To unintentionally demean oneself. To unthinkingly place oneself in an unflattering light. (People who minimize their genius are self-deprecating. People who eulogize their ignorance are self-defecating.)

The Dating Game

N.O. Ting: "Men are interested in women for one reason and one reason only--when the sun goes down, it gets dark."

George Lopez: "I'm a bad man. I'm a bad man."

Time Factor

Martin "The Nazi" Heidegger says there is no statement one can make about modern civilization that says more than:

"I'd really like to do it, but I don't have the time."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our Miss Brooks, and Mr.

Usta be that only secretaries typed. Now everybody types. Who taught all these people to type? Back in the day a male executive would have died of embarrassment if anyone ever caught him at a keyboard. Now you see nothing but men typing, clickety click, no compunction. Guys in five-hundred suits typing like their lives depended on it. And they do.

We've become a nation of typists.

God am I wasting time today this weblog is out of control gets more ridiculous by the day I hope I can sleep tonight this has gotta stop.

Penniless? I own the fucking copyright on penniless.

Scoop clear water out of the heart of the fire.

Cultural Evolution Imperative

A kind of documentary on local community-access TV, an indispensable source of candor and depth-journalism. Buncha weird sci fi stuff mixed with persuasive consideration of the military-industrial complex and the U.S. program to militarize space. Clips from old movies and TV shows, with voiceover dialogue that didn't come near synchronization with the lips of the actors, a Woody Allen special, edited in with original material, so you're kinda snickering as it unwinds and then it lays down:

"Two thousand years of God, morality and patriotism and what has it gotten us? Horror, hatred and suffering beyond description."

Enough to drive a person into dysteleology.

But one has to think positive, without that all is lost.

Appalled, but not giving up on democracy.

Didn't catch the title of the show, surfed into it, emailed TV station to ask but no reply, thing was on for more than two hours, title cards after each set piece, Part IV, Part V, etc.

And these Homeland Security guys constantly trying to force their way in the door here, what a pain in the ass, I use rolled up newspaper to whack them as they barge in on me and drive them back outside. Then they start on the windows. I can't leave the house for more than 15 minutes at a time or something goes missing.

Since when is serial home invasion and burglary patriotic? Why can't they be satisfied with the phone and computer taps?

Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

And how's the recovery from the recession going?

Subway poster at Central by, a human services non-profit:

"A suicide is attempted every minute of every day." One assumes they're referring to the U.S.
I'm no mathematician, but my calculator tells me that comes to some 500,000 per annum. To think of all the movies those people are missing. But that's an unfeeling thing to say. I take that back.

The scary thing about this figure is that one knows it is tip of an iceberg. If 500,000 actually go through with an attempt, five or ten or more times that number are thinking about it. And scientific studies have shown that modern healthcare, whether covered by private insurers or public revenues, is ineffective in treating people who have killed themselves.

Land of opportunity.

An article in the Boston Globe of March 15, 2010 reports that according to Harvard associate professor of psychology Matthew K. Nock, more people die each year by suicide than by homicide or war. "We're all more likely to die by our own hand than we are by somebody else's" says Nock.

Well, there's always the movies to take our minds off things. But cf. M. LeClerc:

"The more we love movie stars, the more they don't love us back."

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Abyss of 'The Negative Comfort Zone'

Who was the terrible person who said, You can't believe anything's true until the government issues an official denial?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

By the Sea, By the Sea . . .

In "Suicide Off Egg Rock" Sylvia writes:

Sun struck the water like a damnation.

In "Voyages I" Hart Crane writes:

The sun beats lightning on the waves . . . .

Someone pointed out (Acharya S?) that the path sunlight makes on water may have been the origin of the story of Christ walking on same.

In 1926, Crane ended a poem with the line:

The bottom of the sea is cruel.

In 1932 he drowned himself, going off the stern of a ship en route from Mexico to New York, his expenses having been covered by a Guggenheim fellowship, the boats lowered to look for him coming up empty.

And reading Sylvie is a gas. Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven. She could have been a warm writer had she wanted. She wrote:

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

She had no match.

- R

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Genre Question

In The Devil's Guide to Hollywood Joe Eszterhas writes:

"Screenwriting isn't about language. It's about character and action."

So why, then, is one writing screenplays?

- R

The Prophetic Works of William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?