Monthly Archives: June 2012

Military Prostitution

pros-ti-tute

1.  One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts.

2.  One who sells one’s abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose.

The way I see it selling your body to another to use or abuse how ever they please and for whatever purpose they decide upon is prostitution.  Accepting money, clothing, food and shelter in exchange for abdicating your own control over the use your body is put to, no matter who, or what, you surrender that control to… IS PROSTITUTION!

Now I fully expect to get grief for this opinion, but, I just don’t “buy into” this politically correct BULLSHIT that anyone wearing a uniform is automatically a hero AND to be supported in what ever activity they happen to find themselves engaged in [read: ordered to perform] and/or “up to”.   As a matter of fact, more and more each day, I become sickened when I see, or, am informed of another recent High School graduate signing up for the military.   Take it from me, this is not a popular opinion in my neck of the woods.  Here in the “New South” where property taxes are considered Gub-ment theft we pay our teachers and fund public education as if it were the equivalent of flushing good money down the toilet.  [Except for Football]  As a direct result, once again this year we graduated an army of young people about as close to UTTERLY UNPREPARED to make it in the world on their own as a person can be.

As a result the children of the no-counts [read: Black, Brown & poor] who are unable to get out of town with a sports scholarship, and therefor unable to afford an escape, fall prey to the “Recruiters” in their sharp, well tailored uniforms.

We will teach you a trade.

We will pay for your college.

Serve your country and join the “few, the proud…. the HEROS”.

That is the basic line of shit sold to our foolish youth.  That is how they get “hooked” into prostitution without really understanding what they are getting into.  That’s how our Corporate Kleptocracy fills the uniforms and supplies the meat to insure access to resources and markets and, most of all, profits easily convertible into MORE political power.

And what do we do?

We congratulate the parents of these newly minted prostitutes and admire their bumper stickers  [My Daughter is in the Air Force] ..  [My SON is a MARINE].  No matter how much it may turn our stomaches to think about just what this still wet behind the ears kid has gotten themselves into…  No matter how much we HATE war and the ENDLESS WAR our corporate government has in store for us….  We wish them luck and say incredibly stupid things like… “You must be proud.”

I’m done with that officially today.  From now on I’m calling them prostitutes.  It is hurtful, I understand, but, I see no other way out of perpetual war and never ending human misery than to tell the truth, no matter how hard, or unpopular that truth may be.  We can NEVER stop an immoral activity by ignoring it.  We can NEVER stop our children from ruining their lives if we fail, or are afraid, to tell them the truth.  We can NEVER put America on a path to health and prosperity on a diet of lies and unquestioned “patriotism”.  John Lennon asked…. “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

It’s time we found out before it’s too late.

 

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ECLECTIC

E-clec-tic

1.  Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of systems, sources, or styles.

2.  Made up of or combining elements from a variety of sources.

[Redneck definition]… A whole bunch of shit that don’t match.

This whole concept fascinates me.  It is probably why I am so interested in collage.  Eclectic is how you would describe how my home is decorated, as well as the inside of my head, my library and my list of friends.   “A whole bunch of shit that don’t match.”  I have always, it seems, had a fascination with facts and odd bits of knowledge that, in and of themselves, have been of little use.  My wife has always called me “The King of useless knowledge”, but, she says it with a smile knowing that knowledge can never be useless and, I think, with a little pride in her voice.  If you have ever seen old episodes of “The Adams Family” you could not help but conclude that we must have employed the same decorator.

I’m concluding today that an eclectic view is one of the keys to happiness.  I’m concluding that “specialization” is a form of poison that kills you slowly, from the head down.  That learning more and more about less and less is not how we fulfill our destiny.  Rather, I am concluding today that our only hope of ever being capable of making the ongoing repairs so necessary to keep our minds and bodies on the path of happiness is filling our toolboxes with everything, every tidbit of knowledge, every fact and curiosity we can lay our minds on.  Making of our minds Swiss army knives rather than scalpels.

The problem with what we call “education” today is that it is anti-eclectic.  Education, as most see it, is nothing more than a way to get a job and the list of things to memorize so that you can, in conversation, sound like you deserve the job.  You could say…. Education is seen as a whole bunch of shit that DOES match.  The SOL tests that American children must take to successfully pass from grade to grade is the epitome of the anti-eclectic world view.  Telling children what to think rather than how to think.  Feeding them stones rather than letting them graze out on their own on diamonds.

How many times have I heard the question…  “Why would you want to know that?”

You can only smile.

How many times have you heard a person say about a piece of artwork… “So what’s that supposed to mean?”

You can only smile.

The Swiss Army Knife is the reason Switzerland has remained an unconquered country and a bastion of freedom for so long.  Whenever someone tries to attack and conquer Switzerland the first member of the Swiss Army to come in contact with enemy forces shouts out…..

“Stay where you are and be warned… I have a toothpick.”  And if, by some chance, you happen to get by me… my comrade has a spoon.”

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Island Hopping

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. 

John Donne, who died at the age of 59, in 1631, wrote this famous bit of prose as he was recovering from a serious illness. He was, as they say, born a Catholic at a time when Catholics in England were persecuted for having wrong ideas in their heads.  His brother Henry was  a university student prior to his arrest in 1593 for harboring a Catholic priest whom he betrayed under torture.  Henry Donne died in Newgate prison of bubonic plague, leading John Donne to begin questioning his Catholic faith.  (I should think so.)  In 1610 and 1611 he wrote two anti-Catholic polemics: Pseudo-Martyr and Ignatius his Conclave.  Although King James was pleased with Donne’s work, he refused to reinstate him at court and instead urged him to take holy orders.   Donne acceded to the King’s wishes and in 1615 was ordained into the good old C of E.  One can not help but conclude that his conception of reality was befuddled by all manner of supernaturalism and religious tomfoolery.  [this goes to motive Your Honor]

He married a nice girl named Ann and lived off her dowry generously providing her with 12 children in 16 years.  She kicked the bucket 5 days after the birth of the last.  Five of the kids survived their tenth birthday.   Donne noted that the death of a child would mean one less mouth to feed, but he could not afford the burial expenses.  Interestingly enough, he wrote something called Biathanatos  in 1608.  It was published after his death and contains a defense of self-homicide (suicide), listing prominent Biblical examples including JesusSamsonSaul, and Judas Iscariot.   [it goes to credibility Your Honor, if it please the Court?]

In short I think Johnny was bullshitting himself (and us) with that “We are not islands” malarky.  OK, sure, we can build causeways to each other and pretend this makes us a continent, but, the causeways can only be constructed with material we dig out of our tiny bit of allotted turf, leaving us tenuously connected, but slightly less massive as a consequence.  The more causeways we build, the more other hands we hold, the more we can convince ourselves we are all one and not all alone.  But the sea is a persistent landlord.  Time washes all causeways away, as do storms and, in the end, life in the final tsunami.  Then and only then the bell really tolls for thee!

Another way off the island has been talked about quite a lot lately.  It’s one of thousands.  I read last night that Francis Crick of DNA (double-helix) fame is widely believed to have been flying on LSD when the structure of the Holy molecule came to him.  I bet Steve Jobs and at least half the “Lords of Silicon Valley” get a big kick out of that.   I get a kick out of knowing that [SANDOS] Pharmaceutical had been marketing, and making available to scientists for experimentation, LSD, under the trade name Delysid since 1947.  Try to think of it as little space ships in a pill guaranteed to get you off the island.  No guarantee on what planet you will land on, or, what you will find there, but, for those with a curious nature at least is WAS off the island and better than pretending you weren’t really an island at all.  At least it was honest when you come right down to it.  And, you did go there and back alone, openly.

So what was The Buddha on about with his “Life is suffering and suffering is caused by a grasping desire to make permanent those things that, by their very nature, can never be permanent”?  

Wouldn’t The Buddha have told Johnny Donne that he was full of shit?  That of course we are all islands and that this… If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,… nonsense is an illusion in his own head that he had manufactured, as part of a system, to not feel so lonely?   Wouldn’t he have told him to “Buck-Up” and when confronted with three doors, always pick the one in the middle?

Johnny Donne and his wife Ann, King James, The Buddha, Francis Crick and Steve Jobs all went into a bar.  Francis, a notorious womanizer, tried to slap the make on Ann, who was between pregnancies at the time.   The King ordered a sloe-gin fizz and Johnny praised the Lord for, in His infinite wisdom, creating the blackthorn bush and providing mankind with sloe berries for their nourishment.  The Buddha rolled his eyes and sat down in the middle of the floor, in a full lotus position, of course, and pointed one finger toward the ceiling.   The bartender, who was thinking to himself, get a load of these characters, had no idea what a sloe-gin fizz was, but, perceived that the guy on the floor wanted him to turn the fan on.  So he did.  Steve Jobs gasped as he gazed at the spinning fan that had melted into a rainbow of colors.  The world would never be the same.

The End

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Goodbye Ray

With the passing of Ray Bradbury this week the list of the most influential writers of my youth, still left alive, has grown short.  It’s hard to believe Isaac Asimov has been gone 20 years.  Arthur C. Clark 4 years and Robert A. Heinlein 24.  When I think back and reflect on all the long adolescent weekends and dark nights I spent enthralled with the tales of wonder and possibility these men, and others, painted on the inside of my damp skull, like frescos on the walls of a newly constructed chapel, I must thank them and thank my luck for the crossing of our paths.

Ray Bradbury wrote many wonderful things, but, today I am struck with a little bit of wisdom he kind of swiped from Nietzsche when he wrote…  “We have our Arts so we don’t die of Truth”.

     If you are just hanging around today, not doing much, you should probably reflect on that.  How, in the end, ART is such a BIG word.  How it underlies and properly defines not only all of mankind’s greatest achievements and triumphs, but, curiously enough, remains such a Terra Incognita to so many humans in spite of the fact that it is foundational to so much of what it means to be human.

     Isn’t that curious?  What are those of us who paint, collage, sculpt, string beads, create gardens, play music and dance our way through life and around its pitfalls and roadblocks supposed to make of this gaggle of Harvard and Yale graduates who would call themselves our leaders today?  These self promoting deal makers whose egos and limitless greed, in the end, create nothing but ugliness and artLESSness.  These masters of the financial universe who purchase million dollar artworks for their weekend homes with one hand and cut funding to teach art to children with the other.  Who are these people?  Are they artists too, but, of some darkest of the dark arts kind where promotion of themselves at any price, for power alone, IS their performance… is their art?

Kurt Vonnegut used to have an all encompassing name for the Harvards, Yales and Princetons of our world.  They were all “Plantation Owners Tech”.   They still are famous for teaching the acquisition and maintenance of large amounts of money and power.  They are, in the end, their own particular “kind” of Art School.  The art-form they teach is Bullshit and the High Art of mistaking money for happiness and power as an antidote to ever having to honestly self reflect.  The darkest of the dark arts indeed.

You know, if we as a species had any sense at all we wouldn’t ever have Presidential Primaries and debates.  We wouldn’t be dumb enough to give such buffoons one minute of air time.  Instead, we would have Art Shows!  We would test the worth of our future leaders by observing and experiencing THEIR WORK!  We would taste their fruit and walk in the gardens they dug and weeded with their own hands and by so doing we would all become enriched…. instead of befuddled, impoverished and ashamed of what we have allowed ourselves to become.

In Rays memory and in respect for ALL the starving, but blissfully engaged, artists out there, living and dead, make some art today.  Make an art of your life!  Fry an egg in an artful way.  Wash your dishes as if you were painting the Sistine Chapel.  Open yourself to what it is to be human and let the art that is in you come out to play.  Don’t have one care for what others may think of you, or, how they may judge you.  You are not here for them.  You cannot understand these things for them if they don’t understand them themselves, as you do, like a screaming in your bones.

Goodnight Ray and Isaac, Robert & Arthur, Picasso & Vincent van, Andy & Jackson P.  and those guys dressed in animal skins who did those great horses and bulls on the cave walls…. and thanks.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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