The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Saturday, August 29, 2009

That Dreaded T-- Word

This missive is directed, aimed, launched, at a select few. No names, mind you, children may read this. Or Them. They might read it. You know who I mean. Anyone else but thee and thine. Wink, wink. Get it? The sans culottes, have-not's, your worst nightmare, them.

OK, they're out of the loop, it's just us now. Listen up, there are two ways to approach this thing, the hard way and the harder way. Now the harder way first. This involves the dread T-- word, notice I didn't write it down. Children, remember? That's the harder way, then. But you're smart, can read and write and do simple sums so you understand. So the other way, the hard way involves the less dread but still loathsome R--k word. There, it's all out in the open. That's the deal. Make your choice.

Keep in mind that a few of you, you know you are, have been flooding the place with some hellish, hmmm...ordnance, politest way I can put it, for about fifty years now. With that in mind, on the last go-round, '29 to '39, remember, the bad old days, those benighted peasants were like babes in the woods back then. Not any more, guys. They've been blooded by WWII, Korea, Nam, that new bunch of MidEast horrors, on and on ad nauseam, and those guys don't fool around these days.

All that hardware you sold is still out there. Oiled and ready. So what I think is, the hard way is the easiest way. Take the R--K. Don't just sit on the dough this time. Put it to work before the, C-n-r-ss, decides to go the T-- Collector route. I know, I know, you'll fight them to the death but think about it. You got fifty percent of everything now and it's no secret ,so what makes you think you can keep it locked up indefinitely? That's a no brainer.

First of all there are simply too many of them. Lots and lots more than ever before. We talked about the heat they are packing now but keep this in mind: improved, way improved, communications; mobility, they've been to the moon and back, right, and the biggest, biggy, no such thing as loyalty anymore. Who ya' gonna trust? Which hired goons are the ones who will turn on you and become your worst enemies out there on those lonely islands you have staked out for yourselves?

So avoid the dread T-- Collector, (he will be getting his new instructions one of these days and it will be your turn to pay, anyway), get smart and turn it loose; the loot that is. Best insurance you can buy is the great unwashed asleep and contented again for a millennium. Cheap at twice the price and who knows, you might make a dollar or two while you're at it? R--k it, dudes, r--k it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Global Warming War

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The Castaways

Cargo Cult...from Wikipedia
...cult members worship certain Americans, who brought the desired cargo to their island the spiritual entity who will provide the cargo to them in the future...
prophets of cargo cults maintain ... foreigners have gained control of these objects through attraction of these material goods to themselves by malice or mistake...
Cargo Cult Capitalists

They pace for hours searching the horizon, waiting... hoping. It's their common lore, their very DNA calls out to them that the ships will come back, laden, oh so heavily, and it all will be as it had once been. A time of plenty. Masters once more of the universe. Wealth and power such as these natives sons once knew was their due. But time weighs heavily each day as they roam the shores, searching, dreaming.
Ritual chanting is heard above the murmur of the waves, "Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati", endlessly... piously. It seems to help.

On the beaches and at the spas along the coast, north to south from the Hamptons to South Beach, the tribes gather each dawn. At times the loss seems overwhelming but each lives with beautiful memories...of plenty. And the dreams, oh the dreams. 'Back in the Market, again. Another chance. One more big killing, just one.'

This time it will be different, they know. This time it won't be lost. Yes, mistakes were made. But by others, always those others. Our tribe was innocent, well mostly. It's true there was excess. Excess caused by everything happening too fast and by bad information and bad timing. Yes, the timing. When to plunge ahead and when to hold back. How much to bet but...nothing was said about risk! Who knew? We were innocents. School was no help; not there to learn anyway. The MBA was for the networking, always the networking. Wonderful bunch there at school, we thought alike! Hmmm.

We were sold out. That's it. Those tribes on the other coast knew it was happening and never warned us. Unfair! Sold us out. They saw the bubble. No, no, not the South Sea Bubble, our bubble. Started there on the other coast, didn't it? Those other tribes who thought they were so clever. Made billions didn't they, with all their high tech gadgets and puffed up real estate. They knew it was coming. They saw the smart ones pulling out years ago. Took the money and split, didn't they?

Excited now. Lapsing into tongues..."CD' CMO'HBO'IBO'CDO' CD' CMO' HMO......", chanting and foaming, awfully sad to behold. On the beach,future doubtful. Sure to be different. Way different. Any way to game it? Hope so. Can't lose hope. Can't. Someday...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waking Up is Never Easy

"It's not easy being a minority; it's worse being a Native American, a remnant."
...Zero Gravitas
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In America-everyone, minorities, people of color, the poor, the disabled, all women and all non-alpha white males are the underclass. Which is something of a miracle in a classless society!

But we've done it. Pulled it off. For a short time it looked as if this would not happen but the American Revolution was won and it was decided. We lost. Property and privilege won and the folks were stiffed. A little noise at first; a few citizen rebellions here and there, but the troops were sent in and that was that. For two hundred years.

But why complain now? What's done is over. We're the best Nation that ever existed, everybody knows that. Don't they? We have been told this over and over. So, of course we are. Number one! Numero Uno! But I haven't heard that said in a long while. Hmmm. Why do you suppose that is?

Oh well, maybe we're not classless but we're still classy, right? We don't owe a dime to anyone and can hold our heads high throughout the world and,'s still August 1985 isn't it? Still a creditor nation. Big time, right? Admired by all the lessor breeds. No. Oh! My bad. Must have been a dream, I'm OK now.

So maybe we're not the top dogs we thought we were. Maybe a few big shot white guys run everything but they're doing a good job of it. They aren't? Since when? Oh, the party's over and the place is a mess! I don't like this reality one little bit, the dream was much nicer.

Okay, so we're all second class citizens pretending otherwise having been lied to forever. What do we do about it? Start another revolution? I don't think so, didn't help the first time. If we continue to look for guidance in all the wrong places nothing will change. Time to stop listening to all the old stories; the lullabies keeping us swaddled in infantilism. We need a new vision, one based on who we really are and where we really fit in the universe. No more pap. No more lullabies. We've all got to stay awake, that old dream is over.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Maybe It's Crazy Glue?

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
John F. Kennedy
We are slowly coming to the realization that the glue that holds it all together is drying up and losing it's grip. For over two hundred anxious years we have told ourselves that we, among nations, are unique. That elsewhere lies the "old-country",the great unwashed, those "lesser breeds without the law", and the hopelessly out-of-date.

This glue helped us to tame a wilderness, destroy one people and enslave another, fight our innumerable wars for property and/or money and made us rich. But it seems to be drying up folks, starting to let go and peel away at the edges...slowly, now faster.

The American Myth is the glue that binds us when all else is failing. But if we no longer believe the stories and legends, the sensed rightness of all that we are and do, does that mean they delaminate and fail? Or will new myths pop up to replace the old? Happened elsewhere, lots of time. Early Japanese Shinto v. Buddhist traditions, Fourth Century Rome, Berlin 1930's, come to mind. Got to keep those stories coming because, alas, No Myth...No Nation.

Now it's been a hundred years of ever improving propaganda from print, to radio, to movies,-TV and lately the web that have provided generations of slick liars and earnest boosters a high podium to dissemble and reinforce the American mythology. All terribly effective; sell soap, and sell the stories of nationhood with the same voice.

But they oversold it, folks, big time. Got caught up in their own success and went over the top. And now, finally, people are slowly, ever so slowly, waking up to the Big Lie.

We are not unique, never were. We are not all good and wise and noble. Too many pictures, too many reports have surfaced of too many nasty deeds done in our name all over the place for too, damn long. Too much money sticking to the hands of too few of us and too many lies about why that is. Folks are not as ready as they once were to drink the cool-aid or believe the half-truths and absolute fictions ever so slyly promulgated; about why things need to be this way.

On some level, mostly subconscious at this point in time, Americans know the game is up. That the powers that be are not leveling with us. The information sneaks in stealthily that everything is different from what we are told. That things will not be returning to what we've known in the past... ever.

All sorts are wild and bizarre statements and actions will be the new norm for the nonce. Without information free from spin and slant people will thrash around for guidance and direction. A lot of this will be frightening for many, certainly unpleasant, but not unexpected after several generations of disinformation serving as truth. Anything we are told these days, particularly on the very best authority, best forget it and keep digging around. Somewhere beyond the noise is the truth. So suck it up, friends, a new day is here and what hope there is will come from our own wise instincts of what's best for us.
" Nothing will see us through the age we're entering but high consciousness, and that comes hard. We don't have a good, modern myth yet, and we need one."
Robert Johnson

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rich Homies Start to Chill

or do they?

The extremely wealthy among us are incredibly, almost intransigently, ignorant of how things came to be the way they are for them. Their ignorance is a luxury we, and they, can no longer afford, as it could result in the downfall of us all. It's difficult to determine if naivete or hubris has contributed most in rendering this exalted class nearly uneducable in a contemporary sense. Perhaps this bizarre form of social deprivation is a direct result of living in a Golden Ghetto, within a miniscule gene-pool, in a informational cull-de-sac,with similarly afflicted peers.

(We are known by our friends so you should have been more choosy about those you hang with, homeboy.)

What has happened is that, once again, the few who have so much of everything are panicking and are sitting on the loot. This has occurred plenty of times in the past, remember 1929, so how can they be convinced it is not in their own long term interest to give in to this money panic... again?

The actions of a few thousand families, who possess so much, say about 50% of all private wealth in the US, by panicking and drying up their vast resources are forcing all of us, by way of our government, to make up for the loss by desperately spending what we don't have now and may never have.

How can the wealthy be convinced it is counter-productive to give in to their fears and shun the many in distress. That without the support, indulgence and protection of countless others one turns out to be powerless, vulnerable and mortal. That there was no place that was safe for long even in bucolic early nineteenth century France. In today's wired, speedy and heavily armed society depending on distance and hired help for protection works in theory only.

Picture if you will the wealthiest individual you can bring to mind. Imagine his day beginning badly with the failure of his chauffeur to arrive as scheduled and the piqued search for a hire car or taxicab to take him to the airport. Imagine further the distress caused when his personal airplane is not available because the flight crew is not on hand. Thence the sullen quest to book an alternate charter flight or, perish forbid, fly commercial. Quelle bore!

Now these two incidents, although somewhat vexing, are not enough to disturb the composure of a reasonable, albeit highly privileged adult. But arriving at his attorney of record, a generational retainer,and being ensconced with underlings in the absence of the trusted principals; well, this really begins to take a toll on our candidate's good humor.

His day is further stressed by learning there of a potential money dilemma and finding his financial advisors are not making themselves available to him This is starting to be seriously annoying because never, ever have so many combined to thwart him so in his desires or needs.

None of these incidents have made significant inroads into his psyche as yet. Nothing that has happened has altered deeply the processes that result from years of privilege and a legacy of entitlement. What happens next does however.

A message from home advises him of perceived distress and requires his presence as soon as possible. He begins preparation for a return home not terribly concerned because a very reliable security force has always protected them all. However arriving at the front gate he finds it unattended and locked The ever present security person is not ever present so he must leave the car and make his way to the house afoot. Not a small undertaking since the house lies at almost a mile from the gate.

He learns from family members that his security force has bolted en mass to a nearby estate at double wages because of additional protection needed there. He decides to not further alarm his kin with news of his distressful day as they are very fretful, feel vulnerable and are looking to him for assurance.

One by one the props and familiars he has always known and taken for granted are
falling away. He begins to realize he alone stands between his loved ones and the world and he feels for the first time in his life... very, very ordinary and very, very mortal

He is also for the first time aware of the role played by fawners, toadies and ambitious enablers in his life. And how they, and they alone, made his life what it had always been: privileged, unexamined, barely tolerated by the masses and surrounded by equally deluded peers. We'll leave our chastened imaginary tycoon now, with this heartfelt plea.

(Give it up, homie. Venture from that Golden Ghetto. Be cool! You can do it.)

Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

All I know, all any of us know, is what we're told.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

If it walks like a depression, talks like a depression, and looks like a depression; it's a recovery.

...Zero Gravitas

Nice paint job

Nice paint job
Watch your step!

Quoth the Raving

Full scale War in Korea; we called it a Police Action
Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

...Zero Gravitas


Gene Pool?

Gene Pool?

Quoth the Raving

Ecology is an impending Black Swan quagmire therefore incorporation is anathema to Economists.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional.
....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

We are now a nation of middlemen. What becomes of us if the center cannot hold?

....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving


Why not use some of the red ink to make things Green?

....Zero Gravitas

"Ashes to Ashes"

"Ashes to Ashes"