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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

WAITING FOR THE WORMS

Most of my blog entries are political in nature, and I guess ultimately, this one is as well.

Last night I attended Roger Waters’ concert performance of the classic Pink Floyd album The Wall.  As I don’t really want this to end up being an in depth concert review, let me just say that it was an experience to say the least.  The staging, effects and imagery were very impressive, with the only possible exception being a remotely controlled dirigible swine that hovered above the crowd for some time, which struck me as a little cheesy.  Although to be fair, the anti-corporate imagery adorning the flying pig was pretty humorous.

Anyway, the concert did a few things for me.  First, I was impressed by Roger Waters’ activism.  He made bold statements on capitalism, fanaticism, fear, violence, and religion.  I was also reminded that the Wall is a powerful work addressing the effects of war, economic despair, and xenophobia and is striking in its relevance to the current social and political climate in the United States today.

“Would you like to see Britannia
Rule again, my friend?
All you have to do is follow the worms.
Would you like to send our colored cousins
Home again, my friend?

All you need to do is follow the worms.”

Sounds like some of the stuff we hear today, doesn’t it?

There are those who lament the supposed loss of this mythic notion of American Exceptionalism and want to see America ‘rule’ again.  The say it’s illegal aliens and their anchor babies. They say it’s Sharia law.  The say it’s entitlements.  They say that there are people with a deep seated hatred of white people trying to destroy ‘our’ way of life from within.   The say all that while denying all of the evidence that corporate greed is what is destroying the nation.

Waters pointedly depicts the armies of Capitalism as demanding our blind trust, while literally dropping religion and materialism as bombs, dividing and enslaving the people. Trust us; keep spending what you don’t have.  Keep giving us more, it will trickle down.

And just like the Worms, there are people in America who are wear their nationalism like armbands on their sleeves.  They’ve also been rallying and marching around with their answers to America’s woes; send our colored cousins home.

People like Mark Williams, Franklyn Graham and Frank Gaffney, and politicians like Michelle Bachmann and Steve King are all Worms not so subtly disguised as humans. Their plans read just like these lyrics.   They’ve been ginning up the fear and loathing non stop since the President took office, and now they are waiting for their Worms in Tri-Corner hats to give them the power to implement their plans.

“Waiting to cut out the dead wood.
Waiting to clean up the city.
Waiting to follow the worms.
Waiting to put on a black shirt.
Waiting to weed out the weaklings.
Waiting to smash in their windows
And kick in their doors.
Waiting for the final solution
To strengthen the strain.
Waiting to follow the worms.
Waiting to turn on the showers
And fire the ovens.
Waiting for the queens and the coons
and the reds and the jews.
Waiting to follow the worms”

There’s no shortage of blame being thrown around, except in the mirror.  The Worms don’t accept any responsibility for any of our problems.  They blame the queens and the coons and the reds and the Jews.  The Muslim has been replaced as the scapegoat du jour, but don’t think that the Jew isn’t privately assailed too as being too dominant in business.  Jews are, of course, historically tried and tested fall-guys for a nation’s economic woes.  David Duke must be bumming.  But most good fashions come back into vogue anyway.

But the queens and coons and the reds haven’t done so well in the current climate.  The Worms talk about regulating homosexuality. They talk about prohibiting homosexuals from marrying, adopting children or for serving as soldiers and teachers.  African Americans are labeled as lazy, shiftless, self entitled dead wood, fouling our cities.  And the catch all accusation for any white person who believes that the nation has a responsibility for providing a level of social services to its less fortunate regardless of race is calling them a Socialist.

The Becks and the Limbaughs and the Palins and the Boehners, Canters, DeMints, and McConnells spew forth about purity and pledges and bloodoaths just like Worms;

”We’re gonna find out where you fans really stand.
Are there any queers in the theatre tonight?
Get ’em up against the wall.
And that one in the spotlight, he don’t look right to me.
Get him up against the wall.
And that one looks Jewish, and that one’s a coon.
Who let all this riffraff into the room?
There’s one smoking a joint, and another with spots!
If I had my way I’d have all of you shot.”

So, where do we really stand?  Are we marching down the road with the Worms or is there a way to defeat the irrational fear of the weakening of the American strain?

 

 

MSNY  100710

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CONFUSION, OBFUSCATION & CLARITY

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LUTHER’S CONCEPT OF CLARITY

There is confusion at times:

It was inevitable. A millionaire Russian politician who claims to have been abducted by aliens, and also happens to be president of the World Chess Federation, has offered $10 million to buy the site of the proposed Cordoba House Muslim cultural center in downtown Manhattan. Like we said, inevitable. …

“I believe that religious conflicts are extremely dangerous in complex times such as ours,” Ilyumzhinov wrote in his letter to Bloomberg.”

There is obfuscation most of the time:

We have all had a taste of this Christine O’Donnell and her insanity:

Meanwhile, reporters are still combing through Lexis-Nexis. O’Donnell thinks of homosexuality as an identity disorder. Homosexuals are “getting away with nudity.” And, yes, she once warned Bill O’Reilly about mad scientists creating human-mice hybrids.

salon.com

Yeah? Well her web site has vanished

She has ‘matured’ and all those crazy things she said ‘years ago in my twenties’ have gone by the wayside:

Oh, and don’t worry about Big Brother monitoring what you do alone in bed. O’Donnell, who is on videotape denouncing masturbation, cleared that up in response to this question: “You have taken a strong stance as to people’s private sexual behavior. What do you think is the role of government in regulating that?”


“It’s personal,” a woman in the audience called out. “I agree, it’s personal,” O’Donnell said. She said her 1996 comments on the issue came when she was in her 20s and excited about her “newfound” faith. “But I assure you my faith has matured,” she said. “And when I go to Washington, D.C., it’ll be the Constitution on which I base all of my decisions, not my personal beliefs.”

AND BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

But once in a great while there is clarity. A repub actually stands up and says exactly what is on his mind:

It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition,” Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. “Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.”

A moment of candor from the evangelical former Arkansas governor. Hard to say how that comports with voting on values, though.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that the health care law’s individual mandate is in large part meant to make sure people don’t wait until they get ill until they buy insurance. But Republicans want to do away with that part of reform as well.

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ETHNOCENTRISM AND BO DIETL

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BARBARIANS AT THE GATE

The word ‘barbarian’ comes from the ancient Greeks. It simply meant anyone who is not Greek.

There once was an award winning historian by the name of Richard Hofstadter. Evidently the powers that be are reprinting a book of his. I read this quick review at Salon today-

That said, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” (along with most of the essays in the collection) never seems to get old. The John Birch Society, the state of the art in anti-Communist fringe groups in 1964, was, as Hofstadter pointed out, merely the latest iteration of a mentality that cropped up every generation or so, each time with a new supervillain. Over the centuries, America’s political paranoids have fomented scares about the Bavarian Illuminati (a European anti-clerical movement — “it is uncertain whether any member of the Illuminati ever came here,” Hofstadter remarks), Catholics, Freemasons, Mormons and international bankers (often characterized as Jews) before finding the ideal antagonist in international Communism

The reason I cite this book review today is because I witnessed all of this; that is the development of the right wing talking points over the years.

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