[The Rude Guy Podcast #80 June 15, 2011]
This is Rich Zubaty and we’ve got lots of ground to cover so I’m gonna leap right in.
Keep this in mind: Art is dangerous. If it’s not dangerous, it’s not art. If it’s bronze beer cans and glop slopped on canvas and silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe, it’s not art. We haven’t seen real art in America for so long we don’t know what it looks like any more. Art is not making techneeky new things for rich people to show off at parties. Art changes peoples lives, and if it doesn’t change people’s lives, it’s not art.
This just in:
A coalition of organizations and prominent individuals has announced a plan to begin a people’s occupation of Washington, D.C., on October 6th, this fall, and to build it into something larger on the 7th, 8th, and 9th, and to NOT leave until something changes. Just like Egypt. Not leave until something changes. For more info go to: october2011.org
Says the coalition: there is absolutely no reason that our government should be permitted to continue functioning on behalf of Wall Street and the war machine. In Afghanistan, the people protest our bombing of their homes. We sit inside our own homes complaining about our economy, our banks, our schools. Instead, we now have a chance to have a say, in solidarity with others around the world, with success just as likely — if just as shocking to those in power — as with past U.S. people’s movements, like the Populist and Civil Rights movements…and like the recent populist explosions in Tunisia and Egypt. Ladies and gentlemen, this is America’s Tahrir Square. Be there.
This will not be another rally and march on a Saturday, where we make home movies, pat ourselves on the back, and go home. We are coming to Washington to stay. Today’s announcement is an open invitation for all kinds of organizations, national and local, to join in the early planning stages of this campaign. We need not agree, on political ideology or political party or much else. We need only agree that nonviolent resistance to a government that routinely ignores the will of its people is appropriate in our nation. If you’ve had it with Obama and the Wars and Wall Street then saddle up and be there. Go to October2011.Org
OK. That’s really really exciting news. Hope I can get there. More to come on that topic, later.
I just read something so stupid in the Washington Post I made an online comment, and the fuckers wouldn’t publish it.
The article was from free-market cheerleader Robert Samuelson, who was saying how we just need to stop being depressed and elevate our confidence in order to climb out of the Great Recession. Listening to him and Larry Summers harping on this same theme is like listening to Tony Robbins talking about derivatives. It’s so stupid. It’s so naïve. It’s so putting-the-cart-before-the-horse that I wrote this. Which they refused to publish.
This nation is depressed because we have seen Wall Street get away with economic murder, and no one is doing anything about it. Which means they’re just gonna do it again. So why work and save and be good and think positively? We want blood. We want to see someone punished. We want to see Lloyd Blankfein’s and Jamie Dimond’s still-beating hearts thrown down from the top of the pyramid. We want Wall Street to begin associating greed with death. And until we get that, we are NEVER gonna recover from this. We are NEVER gonna feel like putting in a good days work again. We are NEVER gonna stop believing that we won’t get robbed again and again and again by an out-of-control banking system. Tax securities transactions NOW! Prosecute Wall Street fraudsters NOW.
I want to read some excerpts from a June 2nd, 2011 article on Truthout.org called:
Gar Alperovitz: The Prehistory of the Next Possible Progressive Era
by: Keane Bhatt,
Gar Alperovitz is an establishment scholar who favors protectionism and worker owned businesses, and who, like me, can’t help but point out how the civil rights and feminists movements fought to bring blacks and women into corporate board rooms, but did not fight to rein in corporate greed. That’s why we have Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder refusing to prosecute Wall Street fraud. With them we just got more corporate colonialism gussied up in darker skin color. Like Africa. For fuck sakes. We’ve finally fallen to the geopolitical level of Africa. And if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, it would have been no different. Cosmetic change in a time of generational national crisis.
Says Alperovitz: …protectionism is a strange term. The term I normally use is planned trade – and actually, many economists have been moving quietly in this direction, including people like Dani Rodrik and even the late Paul Samuelson.
…genuine conservatives, such as Milton Friedman’s teachers at the Chicago School of Economics, knew that the large corporation was anathema to genuinely, free-enterprise capitalism. So, if you read people like Henry C. Simons, founder of the Chicago School, and Friedman’s most revered teacher, he says small business is good; community decentralization and democracy are very important, and many corporations are too big to be regulated – they will control the regulators. And this ardent conservative then calls for nationalization of certain large corporations as the best way to preserve a conservative, private enterprise society. Absolutely fucking right. So, sez he, if you read the serious conservatives as opposed to the modern hacks, there is much to learn on the questions of liberty, and even nationalizing companies.
The modern hacks have imbued the discipline of economics with a patina of high-level mathematical rigor, so that economics appears to be more a mathematical science than a social science…foundational concepts like “efficiency”, are so narrowly construed, that models promoting unfettered capital mobility, often overlook very serious inefficiencies native to capitalism.
I was trained as a traditional economist, and this is one of the greatest weaknesses: not to recognize the power relationships and the inefficiencies of the traditional system. So, for instance, take the financial and banking structures now. From a technical, economic point of view, it is inefficient to regulate them; that would be the argument of many neoclassical economists. But in the real world – taking into account the institutional power questions, that are the focus of serious political economists, from Adam Smith to Karl Marx – it is obvious that leaving our economy up to the “efficient” free market, may lead to trillions of dollars in losses, because free market capitalism produces regular massive recessions. That is a massive inefficiency, so we need to calculate and integrate that into the analysis of “efficiency”, rather than look at it as something of an occasional phenomenon, when we know it’s a regular phenomenon. It’s not efficient to destroy the entire economy every ten years.
… I have been doing a lot of work in the Midwest, and there is devastation in cities like Cleveland, which has gone from a population of 900,000 to less than 400,000. Detroit has had even larger losses. There is either going to be new development from within the local base…or further decay. So, we’re seeing all sorts of experiments and very interesting innovations at the local level, and even sometimes using state policy.
In Cleveland, we’re drawing upon the hospitals and, to a certain extent, the universities. They buy $3 billion dollars in goods and services a year, and we’re trying to focus some of their purchasing power on community-owned and worker-owned cooperative businesses, on a much more significant scale than has been done in the past.
So, for instance, the Evergreen Cooperative produces green laundry services, using three times less water, on a very large scale. There is also an industrial-scale greenhouse for food services, which will be on-line shortly; it will produce five million heads of lettuce a year. Another part of the complex is Ohio Cooperative Solar, which installs solar panels on the roofs of the city’s largest health, education and municipal buildings, and weatherizes them as well.
… over a period of the next ten years, we expect that workers in the Cleveland effort will accumulate a personal stake of about $65,000 in personal assets for each worker. And the wage structure is above the minimum wage, and it’s also above the wage structure at other comparable institutions. So, this in an important distinction: it’s an attempt not simply to create jobs; it’s an attempt to create wealth in individuals, and wealth that will stay in the communities. Not get extracted to Wall Street. The profit stays at home, with the workers.
Skipping ahead to: … A land trust is simply a nonprofit corporation, or a government agency that owns land, so that when development occurs, the profits of that development accrue to the owner, which in this case is either the public, in the form of the government, or the nonprofit. And that’s very important in the context of gentrification, because if there’s a housing boom and the prices go up, poor people are kicked out because the prices are too high. So, if the land trust owns the land under the housing, it can stabilize housing costs. They already do this in many parts of the country, and in Western Europe, because they founded nonprofit corporations committed to low- and moderate-income housing.
Another example: when a city builds a subway system, land prices go up, and the land becomes very valuable around every exit, because it’s a high-traffic area, and commercial development is possible. So…who should own that land? If the city gives it away or sells it, then profits are made by the real estate developers. That’s the old scam. Politicians give it to developers, and developers give some of it back to politicians, in the form of campaign contributions. Democracy for sale.
Many, many cities do NOT do that now. They own the land and lease it, so that they can make the profits from that form of land trust, and pour it back into the community, usually, into support for the mass transit system. That’s conventional now. What’s interesting about these various forms of democratizing ownership, is that they’ve spread around the country in the last 15 years, and their numbers have gone from just a handful, to hundreds. They solve a problem nothing else can. So, land trust development is an interesting example of what happens when there’s great pain. Traditional answers don’t work, and democratizing ownership, in one way or another, very often becomes a pattern. Sez me: It’s also known by that dirty word: socialism. Where wealth is managed for the benefit of the community. Not for the benefit of Wall Street.
Sez Gar Alperovitz: Income inequality has gotten worse over time. But wealth inequality has become horrendous over time. The richest 400 people in the United States own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population.
Just think of those numbers: 1 percent owning just under 50 percent of the productive assets of the society. This means corporate stock, bonds and privately held businesses.
1 percent of the people owning 50 percent of the wealth is literally, a medieval structure. I don’t mean that figuratively. It is a feudalistic structure of extreme power and wealth. Where the lords, lord it over the peasants. And it’s anathema to a democracy, to have that kind of concentration of wealth. I think many people are beginning to realize the vast amount of control that corporate power, and the rich people who own the corporations, exert over the rest of us. The Koch brothers get a lot of publicity, but as a general phenomenon, there is extraordinary ownership concentration by the rich in America.
Sez me: historically that’s when revolutions occur. When the gap between rich and poor becomes too extreme.
Sez Alperovitz: If we’re interested in the question of democracy, then at some point over the long haul, wealth distribution – or as I call it, the democratization of wealth – needs to be one of the basic principles. Worker-owned cooperatives are one way to do that, land trusts are another, municipal land-ownership, and public ownership of services, like Medicare, are others, among the various strategies to democratize ownership. There are likely to be many more in the future.
Skipping ahead…There would be no nuclear facility built anywhere in the world, including in the U.S., without some form of a government-guaranteed insurance or liability-limiting program. And both are classical interventions in the so-called free market that people shy away from mentioning, but they are there. Corporate welfare. Corporate Communism. Tax payers insuring private companies against loss. That is NOT a free market and should not be sold to us as such.
Skipping ahead: … There are literally thousands and thousands of various forms of community-building efforts. But you wouldn’t find that out from the U.S. media conglomerates. This includes 4,000 to 5,000 community development corporations, and something like 13,000 worker-owned companies. There are more employees involved in worker-owned companies, in one way or another, than there are members of unions, in the private sector. Astounding. There are 120 million members of cooperatives; 20 percent of the American electric system is either co-op or municipal…essentially socialized. Land trusts are developing at the local level. At the state level, there are many strategies going on, like investment of public pension funds, for example. California’s is the most well-known, but the state of Alabama is strategically investing its pension funds, and even investing in some forms of worker-owned companies.
The pain and anger that resulted from the financial crisis, have also already produced efforts to move beyond regulatory policies, in the direction of institutional change. Thirty-three senators voted in 2010 for a proposal to break up large Wall Street investment banks, and, for the first time in history, legislation was approved to audit the Federal Reserve Board. Here the long-term question is obvious: even if efforts to break up big banks were to one day succeed, the history of antitrust, in general, as well as that of modern banking, strongly suggests that, over time, major banks would likely find ways to regroup and reconcentrate their power over the market. This ultimately implies that some form of more, far-reaching, change will be necessary – some form of public ownership would likely become the only serious option for dealing with too-big-to-fail banks.
There are many precedents, both at the state and the federal levels. The Bank of North Dakota is a good example, and there are nine other states, that are considering establishing such state-owned banks. At the federal level, there are about 140 precedents, operating today, that are essentially sector-specific banks…operating in agriculture, cooperatives, environment and energy. And there are a lot of precedents which I believe are going to expand over time, as the pain increases. For example, there is the current National Cooperative Bank…a bank co-op that lends money to community co-ops. Lots of room for growth there.
Skipping ahead:…The liberal achievements in civil rights, women’s rights and the environment in the 1960′s, stopped short of confronting economic power…Every one of those efforts, with the exception of the environmental movement, was essentially an effort to, get into, the economic and political system. This guy doesn’t know jack shit about the hippies and peaceniks but we’ll let the old fart get away with it this time.
For better or worse, the civil rights movement’s demand was, “Let us in” on an equal basis…and the same goes for feminism. “I want mine!” None of those movements attempted to address the problems of the structure of power of the American corporate system. In fact, they diverted us from thinking about that. Sez me: They wallpapered over the REAL problem. We paid TOO HIGH a price for civil rights and feminism. Blacks and women got jobs, including the presidency and the secretary of state, and we now have the biggest depression since the 1930s. There is a greater proportion of Americans out of work, for a longer period of time, now, then we had back then! For fuck sakes. And we got a black president. Whooppee fuckin Dooo.
Sez: Alperovitz: The environmental movement is the only one that zeroed in on the real problem, briefly, and then the reaction set in. Sez me: You can rob America of a million dollars a day through computerized stock trading, which achieves absolutely nothing besides extracting wealth from the American economy, and as long as you give money to polar bears, or Israel, or the opera, or blab about global warming, you’re a good guy.
Martin Luther King Jr. attempted to confront the real issues with the Poor People’s March, and of course, he was assassinated.
Skipping ahead…I view this current period as the most interesting period of American history bar none, because we’ve run out of options in the traditional models. I think that means we’re in for a major, major period of debate, experimentation and ferment, about how to run the richest political economy in the world. This is more interesting than the American Revolution, because the principles on which the system is run, are being challenged at every level, and how that will play out is by no means obvious…but there are many, many places where progressives can build.
Organized labor has drastically declined, but many of the people who lost those jobs are participating in, employee stock ownership plans, which advance the notion that workers should own their own companies. To use more radical language, Marxist language, workers should own the means of production. This is as conventional as apple pie in America today. Sez me: Welcome home Karl. Let’s put you up right next to Milton Friedman and see who’s predictions are right most of the time. I KNOW it’s not Friedman.
There are millions of workers who own their own companies – a much overlooked fact of modern life, given all the goddamed propaganda about free markets.
Sez: Alperovitz: And within the employee stock ownership plan structure, there is growing participation, though flawed and faulty. These, however, are preliminary experiments from the point of view of a historian. From a historical perspective, they’ve reached a stage where they are very widespread, and they’re becoming more democratized, and that may lay the groundwork for big changes in the future. So, that’s one step that’s very important, as are the cooperatives and community development corporations. They’re all demonstrating new models – somewhat flawed as they develop – but that’s only their first stage. They will be fine-tuned. Social science. The art of evolving.
One poll I saw recently said that people under 30 find themselves evenly divided, over whether capitalism or socialism is a better system. That’s very encouraging. The hunger for change is evident.
Sez me: Ten years ago socialism was a dirty word in America. Now millions of employees belong to worker-owned businesses. Yabba Dabba Doooo!
OK, I wanna press the reset button and replay an excerpt from an earlier show: Podcast 34. It’s from my novel: Your Brain Is Not Your Own. And for a short while, you can get a free PDF of the whole book by going to my website…happyfool.orG…and clicking on Your Brain Is Not Your Own, and clicking on the free download.
This book is much more interesting when you read it yourself, than when I read it to you. It has something to do with the difference between how our brains process images, versus sounds, and then reimagine them inside our heads. Also, the best parts of the book are the last parts. But we can’t start off there, because you don’t know anything about the characters or the plots or subplots or situations or ideas, that were painted onto the reader’s mental canvas, in the earlier chapters.
Any good book is cumulative, building ideas and personalities from chapter to chapter. So just keep in mind, this is not a dumb book. In fact it’s quite an intelligent book. A thinking man’s novel. A novel about ideas, not feelings. Like Alice in Wonderland, which was written by a mathematician, and was mostly about mathematical puzzles. Your Brain Is Not Your Own was written by an idea junkie, me, and it’s mostly about ideas. And it’s pretty damn funny. A belly laugh per page. Maybe more. And I personally think it should have sold a million more copies than it has. Anyway, lemme give you a taste of it.
[Got to bottom and record ending now:]
YEARS LATER, as the pirates shoved him onto the gangplank, Doctor Odysseus Tyme thought back to the day his father told him, plants could talk.
The revelation of consciousness in plants had crashed the hallowed Petri dishes of Biology like a rogue comet – splattering gum agar across the desks and couches of psychologists and social scientists, from Tallahassee to Tokyo – smearing their brainpans with blood nutrients, stimulating the growth of brand new thoughts. They’d made a mess of understanding humans. Why not try plants? They were simpler, more basic – weren’t they?
Almost overnight the media was deluged with pseudo-scientific reports on “Lettuce in Love”, or “I was a Toxically Shamed Geranium”. One could dip, into the mind, of a potato, discoursing on “Arrested Development in Rocky Soil”, or hear why “Real Manure, is the Cure”, by a panel of tulips. It was a whole, new, MINDscape.
Once scientists turned their computer-ears to the most commonly used plant frequencies, they could hold running conversations with any vegetable, moss or tree. “Human Odors and Lunar Cycles” made TIME magazine, as did “The Eco-Advantages of Urinating on Your Bushes”, a fascinating portrayal, of exactly, how lilacs transformed pee, into perfume.
Within months the new research set off an epidemic of suicides among vegetarians. For centuries they had claimed the high moral ground on the assumption that what they ate, did not think or feel. They had based this fantasy, on the idea, that plants didn’t have a central nervous system. But, said the New Science, the spine has to do with locomotion, not thinking or memory. Plants, as it turned out, were suffused with emotion – every cell bathed in an electro-chemical dance of life – JUST like us. In fact, by the time the full truth came out about how plants entertained emotions, and modes of communication, beyond the scope of human sensitivity, it was ALready too late.
Some grant-hungry grad students at the University of Chicago started the uproar in Psycho-Botany when they performed a seemingly bogus experiment on two tanks of brine shrimp. They set the first shrimp tank, in the corner of a dormitory kitchen, and shielded it, with empty egg cartons, to baffle all sound. They placed the second shrimp tank on a table 30 centimeters from the stove, fired up a frying pan with hot oil, and sat around in shifts talking about how they were going to fry up the little brine shrimpies, and eat them in sandwiches, with mayonnaise and onions. Within three days all the shrimp in tank number two, were dead.
The political fallout from this cruel experiment, earned the grad students an appearance before the student tribunal. They were barred from university sponsored social functions, through the influence exerted on the administration by Animal Rights activists, who censured the killers for, “emotional violence to fellow animals”.
No one has ever been able to reproduce the brine shrimp experiment – it was rumored that some drops of carbon tetrachloride, may have found their way into tank number two – and the hoopla might have ended right, there if someone hadn’t noticed that the seaweed in tank number two, had begun taking on some fire-resistant qualities. Very odd properties in an underwater plant.
This discovery was made by Apollo Tyme, Odysseus’ biological father. Late one night, when his girlfriend had kicked him out of her room, because she needed to study for a Sexual Strategy exam, Apollo was having a problem with matches. He’d managed to light his cigarette just fine, lounging near the radiator in a back corner of the kitchen. But as he struggled repeatedly to light the burner under an opened can of spaghetti, which he had artfully balanced on the finger tips of the stove rings, his matches simply would not ignite. He went through a book of matches, swore, spilled the spaghetti all over the stove, and then noticed the body language of the seaweed, hunkering in the tank of dead brine shrimp, 30 cm to his right. The seaweed had organized itself into a replica, of a hook-and-ladder truck, and was emitting some kind of GAS. Apollo dashed upstairs and woke up Punky Epsteeen who was majoring in Molds and Spores.
Apollo never got any credit for his discovery. By the time the reporter from the student newspaper arrived at 11 a.m., he had fallen asleep in a chair near the radiator. Punky filled in some gaps in the story, with a few terse hallucinations and the die was cast. Epsteeen apologized later to Apollo and, to his credit, even offered to retract, some of his hallucinations, but Apollo didn’t care. Epsteeen’s mom had already appeared on national TV, taking all the credit for her son’s genius, and Apollo, majoring in Women’s Studies, couldn’t imagine how his accidental observations, on fire-retardant seaweed, could possibly advance his career. Little did he know.
Within one month some red-eyed, long-haired, U. of C. undergrads, had soldered together an electronic eavesdropping device, tuned to the bio-electric frequencies emitted by plants. They named it the “Door”, after their favorite rock band. And suddenly there it was, in all its everyday horror. Plants talking to plants. A brain-shift that made the discovery of fire, seem as insignificant, as the mass-marketing of granola.
“Do Plants Think?” was the headline in the New York Times. For ten million Americans and 900 million Hindus, the angst was enormous. This was a paradigm shift of stupendous proportions. Suddenly, one day, you woke up, and looked out your window, and all you saw everywhere, were eentsy green “people”.
Eating lettuce became an act of cannibalism. Nobody had yet figured out how to talk to a chicken or a mackerel, but tomatoes and cucumbers were spewing out the raciest details of their lives. You ever wondered what it was like hanging around in a bunch of bananas? Now you knew. You ever wondered what trees do? Now you knew. America was more emotionally immobilized, than when the Space Shuttle blew up.
Other, older, cultures took the news in stride. Expensive European restaurants even invented sick little games, of talking to your vegetables, right at your table, before you ATE them. Aficionados said it was a more intimate experience, than eating live monkey brains, in Bangkok.
And then, of course, came the backlash. When one enterprising young journalist pointed out how large the trees grew, around cemeteries, the Washington Post clamored, “Do Plants Eat US?”… What a question.
Senators, congressmen and pop-scientists, choked the airwaves, with dippy proclamations and florid nonsense, stoking the engines of publicity, and confusing everybody within electronic earshot. And then the draft horses of academia put on their overalls and went to work. REAL work. Out of the Petri dishes and back into the bushes they went, knee deep in mud – botanists, zoologists, journalists, and ozone-brained mushroom-eaters – vying with each other, spying on plants, spying on each other, each hoping to nab a breakthrough. It didn’t take long.
After a few brief weeks in the field the gold diggers and sleuths compared tape recordings, and mud-splattered notes, in stunned disbelief. They triple-checked their data, scoured the facts for any contradictory evidence whatsoever, merged into a Group Mind, and finally issued a preposterous statement to a shaken world:
People don’t grow corn. Corn grows people!
A conspiracy of corn?
Could it possibly be true that thousands of years ago corn had embarked on a conscious agenda to propagate itself by training people, to sweat their behinds off, planting it and weeding it and fertilizing it? How else could this over-sized Meso-American grass, have spread itself to every country on every continent, in less than 500 years? It was a dazzling proposition, and to understand the whole thing, all you had to do was roll down your window and listen.
It was their attitude, more than anything, that struck you – like listening to the Watergate Tapes. Yeah, all they were really doing, was gossiping about new fertilizers and pesticides and the price of oil to run the combines; but darling, the way they looked at it, men and machinery were just interchangeable parts, invented to serve THEM.
Corn, in fact, was a mutant – a genetic deviation long-ago earmarked for extinction. With its thick-husked cob, it had very little chance of reproducing in the wild. Sure, a few deer occasionally tossed some ears around, and trampled some seeds into the ground, but corn’s probability of success had been quite limited – until it trained people to admire it and cultivate it…
And… there was MORE.
Corn was not a single corn plant. Corn meant all corn. Similarly, a cow was all cows. A person was all people. To corn, the progress of agriculture meant the overwhelming success of corn, at the expense of everyone else – millions of other plant and animal species. That’s how they looked at it. That was the Conceit of Corn.
And to hear this startling elitism in revolting detail, all you had to do was park your car next to any cornfield, roll down your window, tune in your hand-held decoder-receiver, and just LISten. Cornism. In time it came to represent something more sinister than Stalinism. Mothers used the sheer menace of the word, to scare two-year-olds, into peeing inside the round white hole. “If you don’t do what mommy tells you, the corn will get you.” Cornism. Evil stuff.
Corn was a big supporter of beef and chicken production. You didn’t have to be able to add and subtract inside your head, to figure out why. People couldn’t possibly eat as much corn as cows or chickens, so the more people who ate cows or chickens, the more corn they had to grow.
In a murky sort of way, cows and chickens were in on the conspiracy too. Clearly, there would never be so many cows or chickens, if they hadn’t trained people, to feed them and protect them from predators – or to prefer them, over such other species as grouse or elk, which had suffered devastating declines, in the onslaught of agriculture. Chickens had gone from being a scrawny Indian forest bird, to the third most widespread vertebrate on the planet – behind humans and rats. And all because of corn.
It was decades before anyone figured out what the wild animals had to say about any of this, and by then it was WAY too late. By then the ego-blinded pimple of consciousness, humans called “civilization”, had devolved into the backward-running nightmare, of a Puerto Rican street gang leader in Chicago, named Cha Cha Lobotomowski – an INhuman being if there ever was one. A fast-spreading gangrene on the toe of higher “culture” – a psychosomatic mushroom cloud irradiating “shopping”, “journalism” and “education” in one garlicky sneeze – a peppery pork sausage jammed up the nose of the “American way of life.” But we are ill-prepared to meet this street tyrant, this Cha Cha, just yet.
For now, it is enough to understand that corn and cows, would have gone the way of the giant tree fern, and the wild buffalo, had they not been capable of tricking humans into breeding them and feeding them – tilling the prairies, trudging through thigh-deep snow, lugging bags of grain, scooping the do-do out of their barns. Some deep, mysterious, existential magic, must be afoot, when someone, can induce someone else, to weed her and feed her and clean up her poop, wherever it happened to drop.
Yes…HER. Civilization was overwhelmingly “HER” – from Mother Nature to Mother Earth, the Mother Church to the Mother Lode, Mother Russia to the Mother Tongue. Everywhere modern man looked, what he found was WOman.
Despite the fact that Mater, the Latin word for Mother, was the root word of Materialism, popular mythology insisted that men were more materialistic than women. Men were object-oriented, and women were people-oriented. That’s why men played team sports, and six times more retail shopping space was devoted to women. Women demanded equality. They wanted to be senators and judges. But they saw no reason they should register for the military draft, or mine coal. Men were labeled as the “oppressors of women”, but 19 out of 20 people who died on the job were men. “Common knowledge” had been warped into a psycho-social disconnect. People were being trained to believe things, that bore no relationship to what they saw, when they looked out their windows. It’s as if 50 years of media propaganda had imbued us all, with the “fact”, that elephant’s ears, were really wings – and we, believed them!
As human civilization drew nearer, The End, newscasters and social pundits couldn’t even muster the mental wherewithal to ask the right questions any more. They were lost in abstractions. They talked about the “economy”, while buildings crumbled around them. They talked about the need for improved “day care”, while armed gangs of day care graduates prowled their streets. They talked about “free trade” as huge corporations squashed competition, by buying politicians, who gave them special government hand-outs and tax holidays.
Ever since the last food-hunter put down his bow, civilization had become obsessively materialistic – judging its success by its ability to control and reformulate nature, rather than to improvise and cooperate with it.
BLAME IT ON CORN.
Blame it on television. Blame it on men.
But at the end of the day, the MOTHER of all questions remained… WHO… was controlling… WHOM? huhmm
If you can, send money. Go to therudeguy.com or happyfool.orG and make a donation, or buy a book. If you can’t, that’s OK. Tell a friend about the podcast or the web sites. Or tell you library to order the books. That might help.
And tell your friends about october2011.org America’s Tahrir Square. America’s Liberation Square. Coming to your national capitol on October 6, 2011. Be there, or beware.
[RG: no more bullshit]