Jangling the Mystic Chords of Memory

Just by the by: I think the most worrying trend in American politics is not Donald Trump but polarization. This polarization is destroying all possibility of a single standard for judging behavior. Everything is becoming a matter of who did or said a thing, not what was done or said. Such standards are the only…

Blue Pill Joe

You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more. That’s the opposite of what that old snake…

The Pied Piper of Civil War

I’ve just realized the Pied Piper strategy for each party. You might recall back in the run up to the 2016 election, during the primaries, that Hillary’s chief of staff John Podesta wrote an email suggesting that the Clinton campaign prop up the Trump campaign in the media, so as to hopefully push the Republican…

Redemption Song

Watching this morning I am left wondering why people have been raving about Elijah Cummings closing remarks. I am truly curious. In case you missed it, the keyword of the Democratic majority as regards Cohen is “redemption”, and these closing remarks were just a rambling improv on this consciously held theme, by someone well-versed in…

Tulsi or Bust

Tulsi Gabbard is by far the best candidate on the Democratic side. No doubt she’ll continue to be smeared as we get railroaded down into a Culture War on Steroids election in 2020. Best case scenario, as I see it, is Bernie stays out and throws his support behind Tulsi. This has nothing to do,…

Why the Left is No Longer Funny

Way back during the last Bush administration there was a short-lived political comedy show on FOX called The Half-Hour News Hour. It was an attempt to create a conservative answer to The Daily Show and Colbert, and was short-lived because not even FOX viewers could deny that it was abominable. At the time, I was…

The War Against Reality

I think ultimately what we are all at war with is reality. War, as General Smedley Butler famously wrote, has more or less always been a racket, but here in America, I think it became most fully so during Vietnam. By that I mean to say that it was during the Vietnam War that American…

The Serpent in the Democratic Garden

The New Democratic Mantra of “Thou Shalt Not Criticize a Democratic Candidate”is an instrument of establishment power. It isn’t about “unity”, regardless how many well-meaning people say it is. Or rather, it is the means of defining who is included in this unity and who is not. It is also a projection of the narrative…

Seth Rich Must Die

Operation Gaslight Triumphant Operation Gaslight has been successful in at least establishing the appearance of a dominant narrative, according to which the fundamental problem with the Democratic party in 2016 was not that they ran a sham of a primary, intent from long before it began on handing Clinton the nomination, and used that nomination…

Facebook Drives Me Crazy

Honestly, and not that you’ve asked, but Facebook drives me crazy. It did lead me to think that “moral omniscience and historical ignorance go hand in hand”, and I do love a pithy phrase. Still, it’s depressing to watch, and I’ve just about bitten my tongue clean off. It’s also fascinating, and hard to look…

The Antifascist Who Cried Wolf

Turning a parable on its head I remember nearly two years ago, when friends were sharing a video of Yale professor Timothy Snyder encouraging his students to take to the streets to save democracy. Snyder had shot to prominence by declaring, from his lofty perch of wisdom, that America had less than a year to…

It’s Always You

The Beloved is in the Blood. -some Sufi or other It may be that you have appeared to me in more dreams than any other person, aside from my dead father. It hadn’t happened in some years, and I thought that time was past, till it happened again this morning. This ‘you’ doesn’t always look…

Ashes to Ashes

Fleet, It’s convenient that you don’t check your email, as it allows me to write to you as if you were an imaginary friend, without having to go through the delusion involved in constructing an actually imaginary friend. I’ve decided to call my non-imaginary friend “Fleet”. I had been dreaming this morning of working in…

Maybe I’m Not Cynical Enough Yet

For what it’s worth, I don’t think we share the same estimation of ‘the problem’. I gather you see the problem as a lack of Democrats in power. I see the problem as a lack of reality within our culture. Further, I see the weakness of the Democratic party as a function of this. Maybe…

The Jack Ryan Psyop

Amazon, the CIA, and the dream of American Exceptionalism For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body…

In Search of an Honest Critique of Jordan Peterson

With the exception of Donald Trump, is there another person in the English-speaking world subject to more harsh critiques than Jordan Peterson? Not that I’m aware. Peterson’s meteoric rise to prominence has come with something close to an equal descent into infamy, which is as much a statement of the polarized nature of our times…

This is America(n Propaganda?)

A friend of mine has been championing the idea that there’s a difference between Art and Propaganda. We have differed over where to draw the line between the two, but I have been considering the idea of the distinction. The difference between Art and Propaganda is a subset, or a consequence, of the difference between…

The Zen of Marx

If you know how there’s this scene at the end of BLADE RUNNER, where the replicant Roy – in the moment of his programmed death – says to Deckard – the replicant built to kill him, whose life he has saved: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder…

The Pros and Cons of Resistance

“To successfully comprehend and deal with changes, it is best to know the times; to know the times, it is best to understand principles; to understand principles, it is best to be open and tranquil.” – Book of Balance and Harmony I find it helpful to consider the opposite case, of unsuccessfully comprehending and dealing…

The Root of Ideological Conflict in the Subject/Object Split

Ideological conflict is rooted in the fact that our existence depends upon the dynamic interaction of two apparently opposite truths. According to one truth we are matter; according to the other, mind. Ideologies are attempts to reduce this duality to a unity. According to the first truth (that we are matter), we are ruled by…

The Mind Reels

I’ve been mulling over what seem to me foundational issues for as long as I can remember, and it’s a funny thing, because all of this mulling has nothing whatsoever to do with how I get money to live. The nightowl moonlights. Thinking of it that way, I am struck by a way of understanding…

The Utopian Part of Utopianism

I am stuck now that that oft-quoted summary of Marxist utopianism – From each according to his gifts, to each according to his needs – (gendered language aside) contains within it the most utopian of all ideas. An idea so utopian as to be absent from lesser versions of that ultimate ideal. In fact, dystopias…

A Letter to the Young Dude

The topmost NINE, undivided, shows the king employing its subject in his punitive expeditions. Achieving admirable awareness, he breaks only the chiefs of the rebels. Where his prisoners were not their associates, he does not punish. There will be no error. Young Dude, The point that I’m trying to get across to you is that…

To Be or Not To Be: Hamlet and the Chakras

Muses open doors in unexpected places, without trying, or even being aware. My most recent muse, codename:FLORIDA, texted me the other night to suggest the problem I am having is that my third chakra isn’t opened. I think she’s right, and told her so; but beyond feeling a strange combination of uncomfortably exposed and grateful…

The GOD Problem

The problem with confronting ideological delusions is that for whatever these delusions get wrong, however maladaptive they are, they are performing a deeper function of keeping existential anxiety at bay. In short, all practical ends, all external problems, are secondary to the true purpose of ideology, which is psychological comfort. What’s worse, as all practical…

MUSE EFFECT #7: the Desert of the Real

What is the connection between the Sandworm and the Spice? This is what the Fremen know. Perhaps the Guild know it as well; but no other group of which we are aware. Of course we, as the readers, also know. But it is overwhelmingly likely that we don’t know what we know. We know it,…

The Talking Cure

Verily Self-explanation is a bid for immortality, or at least, perpetuation in the moment. We know ourselves to be limited, and incapable of self-perpetuation, at least relative to the cycles of generation. We live within the box of our own mortality, with the strange awareness – usually dim, or blindingly bright, but seen through layers…

Microdosing Venus

I’ve been largely off Facebook for a few weeks. A friend’s death – oddly enough, one of the friends who indirectly prompted me to get off – has drawn me back on. Fortunately, a wonky Internet connection has kept me from getting involved in another argument. People tend to become idiots when thinking big picture….

MUSE EFFECT #5: END OF LINE

Somewhere in his sprawling Exegesis, Philip K Dick wrote of grieving every time he finished a novel over losing touch with the characters he had created. While he was writing, he was involved in the most intimate and fascinating of friendships. When the story ended, the friendships went away. PKD wrote how he’d be cast…

Museophilia as a Disorder

My most recent muse asked me to describe when it is that our relationship becomes a problem for me. She wanted to know what, to put it in my own terms, I am trying to avoid. I think the short answer is shame and frustration. I don’t want to get caught wanting a fix, and…

Thinking the Unthinkable

A couple weeks back I showed up at the usual watering hole, at the usual time, but the usual crowd wasn’t there. Or rather, the usual crowd was only partly there – and the part that was there was all male. Usually, the crowd is female dominant, not just in number, but in organization. It…

The Triumph of Poetic Truth

Listen Up Normies, Your World is Ending I’m still trying to understand the pussy hat. I’m familiar with Trump’s grab ’em by the pussy remark, and I understand that pussy might also refer to a cat. So, ok, a pink hat that vaguely suggests cat ears. But what the fuck does it mean to wear…

Contra Subjectiva

I’m back momentarily to rail against subjectivity as a doctrine. Yes, it’s useful, and necessary. It’s just not in and of itself sufficient. The idea that all truth is subjective, and therefore all equal, is what we used to call sophistry. Sophistry is the derivation of faulty conclusions from valid premises. It is characterized by…

Museophile

To paraphrase Rumi, who would be a lover cannot have but a single head. This, because loving well requires one to lose one’s head; and considering this, we might draw an analogy between the lover and the transmigratory soul. Whatever we do, we will lose our heads in the end. Or, as John Hiatt put…

The Age of Universal Deceit

I’ve been preparing, in my usual willy-nilly and summary fashion, for what will be the first High Horseman of the Apocalypse podcast, scheduled to be recorded early this afternoon. The topic of this first podcast, I’ve decided, will be The Age of Universal Deceit. This phrase entered into my lexicon at some point in the…

Progress, for Better and Worse

I was at a wine and poetry gathering the other night, where a young woman of Jewish descent offered a traditional sung blessing. She prefaced it by saying that the meaning of the Hebrew was to offer thanks to God for the wine, but that as she didn’t believe in any sort of external divinity,…

Fear of Flying

Dreamed last night that I was either in Wings with Paul McCartney, or else I was Paul McCartney during the Wings years. The music part of the dream is mostly lost to me now, and I have the sense that it wasn’t that long, anyway. My recollection gets more clear as we were headed off…

We Say YES

Joseph Campbell used to tell a story, about how he had met some famous Yogi, a Guru, in India, when he was a young man. He got an audience with the Guru, and as is customary, arrived with the deepest question brought to him by exposure to the Vedic tradition. If, Campbell asked, all of…

Back to the Hall of Mirrors

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Facebook about how, if the Mueller probe didn’t produce an indictment to validate the long-standing belief among the #Resistance that Trump was a puppet of Putin, the whole thing would prove a disaster for said #Resistance. A friend of mine commented that even if Trump were…

Dangerous Humor

To Whom it May Concern: I must object to your savage parody of self-absorbed feminists, appearing in the March 7 edition and titled “These Are Our Demands.” Granted, it was hilarious at times, and pitch-perfect throughout. Still, it does damage to the legitimacy of serious issues, like guns and domestic violence, by grouping them in…

Rise of the Russian Bots

Russian bots are so devious!!! Not only did they hack the Clinton campaign emails, and – by means of their cutout, “Wikileaks” – expose us to ugly, deceptive, truth. Now they’re making memes that expose our impolitic hidden desires! This, after all, is the heart of the #Russiagate narrative that has been established in fact….

MUSE EFFECT #4: And in the End

Time’s knife slides from the sheath, as a fish from where it swims. Being closer and closer is the desire of the body. Don’t wish for union! There’s a closeness beyond that. Why would God want a second God? Fall in love in such a way that it frees you from any connecting. -Rumi, tr….

The King’s Business

Here’s one for all you Oxfordians out there: Consider this bit from the Richard Wilhelm translation of Confucius’ commentary on the moving lines of I Ching: Six in the third place means: The third SIX, divided, shows its subject keeping in the old place assigned for his support, and firmly correct. Perilous as the position…

MUSE EFFECT #3: Till Death Do Us Part

Just now, I’ve been searching the Internet for a quote by Rumi that I only half-remember. If you are to be satisfied, it’ll have to be with the gist of a fragment of it, which runs something like this: Pay attention to which birdcage your’s is brought next to I’m tempted to say that nothing…

The Red Menace

Terrifying Enemies and Opiates of the Masses To start, consider the link between anxiety and addiction. In short: an addiction is a means of controlling anxiety. The addict reaches for the needle, of whatever sort, in response to awareness of powerlessness relative to some internal or external circumstance. The alteration of awareness holds out the…

Fever Dreams

In seeing people jump on Trump for his stupid comment about America maybe someday trying a president for life, I was moved to wonder how many of them would have gladly given Obama that title, if they could. Even closer to reality is the habit, well-established among the elite and roundly defended among the people,…

MUSE EFFECT #2: Love in the FriendZone

The Essential Classical Liberal Critique is as follows: Beware the creation of a ‘complete safety’ culture. Such a culture only pretends to that omniscience necessary to the task and hence deserving of the authority. Wishful thinking and all the good intentions in the world will not make up for the fact that human understanding is…

Muse Effect #1: In Search of the Last VCR

There is, and always shall be, a debate over whether or not the Muse Effect is for good or ill. That’s what the story of Adam and Eve is all about. The Muse brings chaos and creation, and who can say, exactly, whether this is a Good Thing. The Garden World he created was Good,…

Principles Are Dead

Watching the PBS News Hour I can’t help but think that propaganda has become so normal in our society as to be virtually ubiquitous. It’s in the very air we breath… and not as a trace element, either. The atmosphere is, to look at it from the other way around, Authoritarian. Of course, one of…

THE MUSE EFFECT

I Met a Girl. She started me thinking again about Astrology. Incidentally… i am similarly at cross purposes with myself. in fact, i’m looking at myself through the mirror of you. A little after i wrote that character description it struck me that I could not sum up myself so coherently. Or not really sum…

The Heart of Jordan Peterson’s Critique

Politics and Psychology Meet in the Canadian Doctor’s Diagnosis of the Madness Sweeping Universities in the West The video above is a part of the precursor discussion to what I have found to be the most interesting interview of or with Jordan Peterson yet undertaken. I found this interview uniquely interesting because the interlocutor attempted…

Talking Shit to Power

EW’s Molly Templeton is the perfect reviewer for movies like the new ‘Star Wars’. Perfect, because she takes the relentless, transparent, and utterly contrived moralizing of these films as if they were deep expressions of eternal truth. She has the willing naiveté of a good childhood playmate, except she’s an adult, and this movie is…

Thoughts on the #Memo

I read the Memo, and you can, too. Here are my thoughts: It mainly asserts that the Steele dossier was material in the attainment of four FISA warrants, but the court was not told where the information came from (ie, opposition research) or that at the time it was used the FBI and DOJ considered…

An Integrated President

“…even a campaign seeking to shatter glass ceilings can play host to old-fashioned harassment. On campaigns, if complaints arise, they do so in an environment where the candidate’s public perception is an inherent priority.” Sharing this BuzzFeed report partly as a follow-up to my post last week asserting that had Hillary become president, the #MeToo…

Why We Can Thank Trump for #MeToo

Had Hillary won, the movement wouldn’t be happening. The Lord moves in mysterious ways; or, as historian Gordon S. Wood might put it, history is ruled by irony. So it is that the most powerful and fast-acting revolution in women’s liberation in some decades has not only come about under the administration of Groper-in-Chief Donald…

The Bitter Pill #9: The Phantom Menace

Dismantling the Fascist Takeover of Eugene If you’re a resident of Eugene, you might not have noticed that your home town was a “hotbed of emboldened white nationalism”, “overcome” by neo-nazis summoned into being by the shocking election of Donald Trump. Don’t let the thousands of people who showed up in support of the second…

Artistry and Social Construction

Reading an article in The Atlantic just now I am struck by an idea of two different sorts of obstruction that it’s easy to confuse for one another. I’m going to call them: What Other People Think Aesthetic Quality They are not one and the same, but it’s hard to tell the difference. It can…

It’s All in the Crawl

I watched BLADE RUNNER 2049 this past weekend, and knew from the opening crawl that it was going to be a travesty relative to the original. To explain why, here’s a point-by-point comparison of the 2049 crawl with the original. BLADE RUNNER Early in the 21st century, the Tyrell corporation advanced Robot evolution into the…

Alchemical Dreaming

Dreamed last night that I was in what we might reasonably call a wonderful relationship, but the whole time I had this feeling that something was wrong with it. It wasn’t till the end that I realized that the thing wrong was that I was asleep. It was one of those rare instances where I…

Addicted to Hill

Once again, CNN has shown me the light. This time, they helped me to realize that I’m addicted to Hillary Clinton. I credit CNN, though it wasn’t one of their usual luminaries this time, but a guest commentator: Professor Isaac Bailey, James K. Batten Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College and interim member of…