Judging pk this week

The judge is scheduled to hear me this Thursday, July 28.

I put this menu on K.’s top page for easy reference.

Someone would have to read it though, someone would have to know how to read. I was fleshed out of the universities in the 1960s to make sure that I couldn’t teach them: how or what.

I’ll be back to summarize the summary.

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Cute as Nails

/ Movies /

Emilia Clarke as “Sarah Connor”
thanx sneekpeek

I’ve been writing about mankind’s imminent demise for half a century. I’m not the first, and another five minutes of life on earth may be all we need for me not to be the last, new writers sprouting every minute, personalizing as they force-meat their inheritance. And I’ve been bitching that our demise is way overdue. Meantime I still love music, women, food, sports, movies. And right now I so love this amazing actress, Emilia Clarke, that I hope the universe lasts long enough longer to grant her an all-time-stellar career. You didn’t want me, at least you’d still have her.

The Terminator series which debuted in 1984 sets a number of bars for a number of themes regarding a number of themes. I’ll select some for a tossed salad here. I’ve been false-starting these comments for several days now under titles such as Fickle Female Fashions. I’m unposting it all and starting again: again it’s a salad, this time I know it’s a salad: the logic can jump all it wants.

For those thirty-odd years Arnold Schwarzenegger has immortally provided its defining images: bravo, the greatest poser ever. Give drawing materials to a little boy and an the man-god Hercules is what you’ll get back. Push for a female, from a girl or boy, and Barbarella, or Barbie, is what you’ll get. Arnold may have given us the Terminator 800 in 1984 but he’d already given us Conan in 1982! And with Conan Hollywood had give us the loving loral Amazon, Valeria, immortally played by Sandhal Bergman. I’ll bet that Ms. Bergman had been doing ballet and acrobatics since girlhood.

thanx wikimedia

bk and I celebrated her manual of swordsmanship. The swords may be have cardboard, but the sound track made them steel. What a wonderful change of pace for an actress, to seem to be actually no only competent but lethal. She matched Arnold’s absurd masculinity with a worthy female mythology. In my life non-helpless females had been taboo. In my parents life the cinema had heroines galore, but they were all helpless, Lillian Gish cringing In the closet under the boots of her father, a guy who makes his living in the ring as a savage. Pauline had adventures but she was passive: she needed rescuing by a hero, or by God, or by Fate: don’t expect her to punch her way out.

Now: women are women. Women have been women since Eve, seventy-five to one-hundred-fifty-thousand years ago. Eve could defend herself on the savanna, of course she could. Still, she didn’t mind a little help from Adam. In fact Eve(‘s body) had figured out a way to enslave Adam to her. He didn’t just go out to find his meat: he found meat and brought it back to her! Cain and Abel got some of the meat! That was a novelty: at the time and since. Good. But how are women portrayed? (and how are men portrayed? as Jesus? as Einstein? as Hercules? as the father with his boots in the closet?

Broken Blossoms
Vulnerable Lillian Gish
thanx ferdyonfilms

1984 had had two years to digest Valeria. Arnold we’d already digested.
Understand, I’m talking about what we are, but more immediately I’m talking about how we portray ourselves. Movies are a good place to look, so’s the tennis court. We were lucky that Susanne Langland had a genius cousin with a camera. Then came Billy Jean, chubby and tough. Justine Henin was skinny as a rail, but she hired a merciless trainer, ordered him mercilessness, beefed up: until the real Serena Williams showed up and put them all to shame. Lengland and Williams are real; Sarah Connon is fiction, but she covers the diapason. In 1984 Linda Hamilton was cute as cute. In Terminator-2 she was tossing Rambo-scale weaponry like flipping pancake spatulas. She was still cute, but now she was a mythic level of tough. Now here’s Emilia Clarke: cute as cute, and tough as nails.

Just last week I was bitching about the ridiculous bleach job on the frozen-faced girl in Thrones.

Emilia Clarke
thanx nme

Same actress? Gotta be. But as Sarah Connor she’s dynamic; in Thrones she’s static: not her fault. The last episode I saw she’s scripted to throw her repellant brother: but it was done by mirrors, tricks. She stood still while the camera did the judo. Well, it does prove that she’s got a great face, join the club: but contemplate her Sarah Connor. You can’t know from the above still, war on the Golden Gate Bridge, but her acting in close up is as good as Julia Roberts, good as anybody’s. Savor her final closeup in Genisys, her love for Reese is palpable. Contemplate her arm. Gorgeous, perfect: gold-plated DNA, worked out, tuned. We get view of this and that leg, just as good. Her bosom is stunning. It may be been inflated, maybe since she was twelve, but it’s stunning. Her hip, her bottom, we get only a hint here, but in the movie we see plenty of prime butt.


She reminds me of my college girl friend, Naomi. Both remind me of Ana Kournikova. Worthily. Both those gals are prettier than Naomi, but not by that much. All three are petite fireballs.

Below I’ll work in a comparison with Kick-Ass. Killer-cute, Chloë Grace Moretz setting the bar high.
Which reminds me of vulgar slang, especially vulgar slang from silver screen beauties.
Is there any girl with a face more beautiful than Emma Stone? Those big blue eyes? in Birdman she’s on the roof of a theater mezzanine. Someone passes, she yells, “Eat me!” When I was a kid not even Talullah Bankhead would yell that on Broadway. Here Sarah Connor, and finally the Terminator too, are forever saying “Bite me”. Really.

But obligatory obscenity has really taken off with adorable females shouting “Cunt!” everywhere: Hit-Girl for example.
But Bite me: I never hear that: do you? Cunt even my son won’t say aloud.

Too Buff

Back in his Pumping Iron days Arnold made other body builders look pasty. My nextdoor neighbor was Mr. Universe second place thre years running. He was due for first, but Arnold entered. Arnond won, big. It was clear that Arnold would win every year from then on. My diamond merchange friend, Franz, wisely retired. (Meantime Franz’s wife (swimming gold) and daughter were jaw-dropping females. Anyway, Linda Hamilton was cast, correctly, as cute. Then she buffed up. She was still cute, but she could knock out the pushups, wow. In Genisys Pop Terminator throws Rambo guns at Sarah, she catches them: snap of steel against flesh: or they bounce off her biceps: the flesh is there for it, tough, taut: this girl is serious. Pint-sized Amazon. Arnold’s bod isn’t world-class: it’s way beyond world-class, Arnold is the all-time champeen. So Kyle Reese has to be some kind of an athlete, and Michael Biehn fit the bill nicely. Ah but now Jai Courtney plays Reese and plays him as buff as Stalone. Gracious. So this Sarah Connor is doubly surrounded by muscle.

Movies Movies Menu A — L
Movies Menu M — Z
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Predator Priests

/ Survival / Evolution /

I watched a docudrama yesterday on a Boston Globe exposure of sexual predation among Roman Catholic priests in Boston. Rachel McAdams has such a round hip and cute bottom I kept watching it, but there was good work from a large cast: Michael Keaton, Lev Schreiber … Anyway reporters stumble on evidence that the church may have worked to cover up a case of sexual predation. The team doesn’t release the story because they then discover that there may have been more than one, more than a couple of instances. Then they don’t release the story because they come to suspect that some Boston cardinal knew about it. … They also see that the church seems to have been shuffling offenders around: not getting rid of pedophiles but shuffling them among different parishes.

When did the president know what he knew? or the cardinal? or the public?

On it goes, Rachel McAdams appealing to me more and more as we proceed. (I’d seen her before, but in silly roles, costume dramas.) There’s a point at which the Globe’s “Spotlight” team comes to suspect that the number of predator piests over the past decade or two is huge: staggering: 80-something, 90-something … 100 pervert priests getting awa with rape! They settle at 6%. Stick to their guns, “prove” it to be “6%”. But well before that time I’m thinking: no, too cautious, too conservative, too whimpy: 8%. The number of deviant priests would be 8%: 8% is the standard proportion of predators, deviants, homosexuals … left-handers, color-blind people …
A decade or two ago I was reading a lot of demographic apportionings from this and that good scientist: Jared Diamond, Leonard Shlain, Wood … OK, here’s a stretch coming: this morning I’m scanning the news. Everyday there’s a terrorist attack, a bmombing, a mass shooting, and a recrudescence of police shootings, seemingly race-related. And I think I bet all that’s “8%”-centered too.

Here’s a story of a black guy lying on his back in a parking lot, he’s got his arms over his head, and another black guy, a physical therapist, is trying to help him, and the cops come along and shoot the guy trying to give medical assistance three times in the leg! Don’t you feel safer with such triggers around? I’ll bet the numbers relate.

Ponder this in relation to Dr. Marcus Dusotoy’s The Code, check the BBC, check Netflix.

Nixon knew. Cardinal Law knew. And Jared Diamond and Dusotoy knows.

Now, separate question: how many of the cops disciplined for shootings in the future will be left-handed Muslim sexual predators?

Healthy Numbers
No, that’s just a rude joke; here’s a real question: would the human population on earth become sustainable if it were reduced to 8%?

One thing I found interesting: the child-molesting priests preyed on girls as well as boys, it wasn’t 100% homosexual, but overwhelmingly they preyed on the poor! Because apparently poor ignorant boys could be best relied on to suffer and shut up about it! Maybe you love the little girl, but your safe bet is the little poor boy whose mom’s a whore and dad’s a drunk.

A day or two pass and I recall a choice of movies where victims of horny priests grow up and track down and confront their boyhood confession molesters. I note that in such plots the victims have typically themselves become homosexual, their identities skewed in any case. One stars Keven Bacon, one is an oeuvre by the great Pedro Almodovar. Been a while but I’ll venture titles: Sleepers, Mystic RiverBad Education.


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Government and Overpopulation

/ Social Order /
@ K. 2006 08 09

What my anarchism comes down to really is a perception that government didn’t exist before societies settled into cities and became overpopulated … educated, full of answers. We have so many answers, our education, our answers are killing us: but not to worry: when enough of us die, we won’t live in cities and won’t be overpopulated: and won’t need government. If we’re lucky that is. If we’re unlucky, there won’t be any way left to live even for small, scattered, wandering populations. Goodbye mankind.

Start again: Humans emerged on grasslands in Africa. We were and are a social species, competing or cooperating among ourselves as called for, and sometimes as not called for. Previous Homo species had been vegetarians, others carnivores; humans could be both, or either: eat the fruit, or the veggie, or the bug, or the carcass, or the bleeding meat. Individuals would have had a hard time surviving, but a pair, a trio, a quartet, a dozen, forty … two hundred … might function just fine.

A band of humans eating a berry here, catching a bird there, ready to fight, ready to run, depending on circumstances, made a nice species: resourceful, sexy; no need for Hamlet’s praise or damnation. I envy the humans who ran over the savanna. Two million Londoners in 1830, eight million New Yorkers in 1940, those are different stories. The dozen humans on the savanna needed no government. They needed no leader, no priest. They needed no God.

They didn’t need to be told what to do. They didn’t need to be told what not to do. If they were hungry, they looked for something to eat. If it was getting dark, they looked for a place to hunker down. If the lions were coming, they’d back into a defensive circle. If the hyenas had a carcass they might circle around to invade the meal as a team of parts. City living, overpopulation, stored wealth, mass leisure … are all different. Two hundred people could use the London Bridge, 24/7 no problem. There could be nobody on the bridge, or all two hundred, all going in different directions, still no problem. But when traffic congested into the thousands, something had to give. Traffic lanes were invented. Somebody had to teach the invention. The rule had to be enforced. Still, bearing right (or left) can be almost spontaneous.

But what if those on the bridge in London decided to bear left while those on a bridge in Manchester decided to bear right? What would you do when you got to Brooklyn? or Sydney?

2011 11 18 The straightdope.com give a fuller history.
To raid the hyenas at their meal Og had to coordinate with Bor. Pack hunters have worked well without spoken language, but speech in addition to those other skills certainly can’t hurt. But to send an army across the ocean and have this battalion bear clockwise and that battalion bear counterclockwise, something complicated, something I find ugly, repulsive, has to happen. An improvising species has to become more hive-like. I’d rather be a wolf, or a hyena, or a human running the savanna, than a worker bee, or a queen ant, or a soldier termite.

Meantime, what should those of us do who would rather be one of a dozen, ganging up on the hyenas with a prize, than one of six billion, ganging up on the countries with the oil? Call in the nukes? Hope for Armageddon?

Master a sniper rifle and randomly shoot strangers hundreds of yards away?
[2016 07 20 The FBI arrested me two months after posting the above. Another judge may take a dim view of me next week without knowing anything about the federal arrest. Kleptocrats are less likely to get anything right in 2016 than they did in 2006: or 1966.]

I believe we would have been much better off if Jesus had given us an Armageddon two thousand years ago where people could hit each other with rocks and sticks and swords rather than nuking us into winter. With rocks and sticks and swords, even though this ant hill and that bird’s nest might get crushed, this creek bloodied, that tree mangled, the damage would be mostly species specific: the harm would be done to humans; it wouldn’t also have to wipe out the trout, the tigers, the red cockaded woodpeckers. King’s The Stand imagines a world with only a couple of thousand people left but all of the buildings, roads, cars. How would our ancestors on the savanna have fared if they’d emerged into Watts or Bed-Stuy instead of into grass?

It ain’t easy. But let me advise that nothing has to be done, nothing at all. Leave it alone, it will fix itself.

There’s no reason to believe that nature will tolerate a runaway pathogenic species for long. The bison, the horses, the chickens, the passenger pigeons didn’t stick up for themselves in time, any more than the tree defends itself against the arsonist. But the whole will drop the misfit through the trap door in time.
I just hope it happens while there’s still a little greenery left somewhere, at least one nice coral reef; something other than just roaches and crabs.

Needed No Government
2016 07 20 Notice, whether we needed a god or had a god are separate questions. We could have a god but not need one. There are things in my closet, in my drawer, in my shed that I have but don’t need. And how much God needs us is a separate question from now much we need him.

Social Order

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Anarchism Scrapbook

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Anarchism /

Leaders are a liability, not an asset.
Stephen DeVoy

2004 03 16 Every day that summer the girl came over. We’d climb the tree and sit on the garage roof, embowered by maple leaves, talking. “Wouldn’t it be great,” she said, “if one day we woke up and everybody was dead. Then we could do whatever we wanted.”

Amen. My own thoughts exactly. Carol and I had just finished the sixth grade. I’d been wishing the world away through every one of those grades and then some. Carol though was the first person I ever heard express it. Just the two of us, male and female: having the earth to ourselves.

2004 05 30 Evening before last I noticed that that’s the exact image the movie Fight Club ends with. I never finished the novel (however much I loved the beginning) (a library conflict still not resolved), so I can’t compare. But in the fictional scenario, Jack and Marla were adult wackos, dysfunctional; Carol and I were only just beginning to sniff puberty, were neither of us yet dysfunctional (and since I’ve never spoken more than a dozen words to her since, I don’t know how dysfunctional she became) (Knatz.com is my indictment of my society, my testimony as to how intelligence, honesty, imagination … are banished from human society: any human society).

Notice: those of you who know either book or movie (or both): Jack, the Edward Norton / Brad Pitt tag-team, blew up his condo: now they want to blow up the corporate world. Norton blows his face off, then stands with his Eve as all of downtown razes to rubble. In my Carol’s scenario, seconded (or firsted) by me, downtown goes away by itself. (See a
favorite joke on the subject.)

(When we wanted to get stark naked Carol and I would go down into the garage itself, but mostly we just sat on the roof.)

Anarchists argue until they have no allies at all.

One point I must make when I can, speaking of Babel, is how anarchists divide, disagree, and divide again as much as any other group. Communists, Republicans … Jacobites … find political bed-fellows, however strange; anarchists argue until they have no allies at all.

The Superbrights were too brilliant for community; they demanded the world-shattering anarchy of supermen.
Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix

Do any two anarchists agree on what they mean or want? Yes. Do any three? The larger the number, the more any ism resembles any other ism. Opponents of the ism will be less endangered by the ism’s Sampsons than its own adherents. The allies could have played Pinochle while the Nazis assassinated each other.

I don’t believe that Hss has any special “rights” or privileges. Oh, we have power, but power is distinct from rights, no?
I don’t recognize white men’s right to gang together and give away Cheyenne territories: especially not where the claimants will then pay revenues to the gang.

I don’t recognize government’s right to exist let alone to give away or sell air space, cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum.
I don’t recognize God’s right to give Canaan to the Jews: or to me.
Satan offered Eve this and that? Was is Satan’s to trade?

Brooklyn bridge
Highlands Co promised me a trial. Actually, it did have trials to give: but it didn’t deliver. Neither did it hold itself responsible for its broken promise.

2006 03 09 Civilization distributes errors cybernetically, ricochet – ricochet, between sacred and secular. The secular can’t understand the numinous and the sacred can’t understand sense. Thus human society will always have two different types of excuse as to why it crucified Jesus or ignored Ramanujian till it was too late to tap more than a drop of his genius. The people who crucified Jesus, just say Oh, well we won’t do it again. The people who couldn’t pick Ramanujian from the slush pile just say Oh, well we won’t do it again.

That’s why I’m an anarchist (and NOT of the property party): The sacred believe they’re competent to run a church, the secular believe they’re competent to participate in government, in management. My anarchism simply has no executives, no mass actions, no mass decisions. No hierarchy that’s not utterly natural and divorced from our influence.

In other words, I see that humans are capable of organizing; I just don’t trust a single such organization: not an inch.

2006 07 08 Here’s some related scribble, replete with logical enthymemes to be filled in and nuggets to develop:

Humans are social. Humans are mortal. Therefore we need traffic rules, we need ordering algorithms over a series of generations. Abraham comes before Isaac comes before Jacob. In our stories God passes messages to Abraham, Abraham passes messages to Isaac. Then, in our particular Judeo-Christian story, the message gets mis-passed: what’s supposed to go to Esau, according to the rules, goes to Jacob: and the rule-maker, God, accepts it. But who keeps the records? Who tells these stories? God? Abraham? Or the sons, and daughters, of Jacob? and Rebekah! (she who brought disruptive gods into the (falsely-ordered) household.)
In a centralized culture, hierarchical, ordered from past to present, ordered from top to bottom, the past and the top control who keeps the records. Who keeps the records necessarily means also who discards which records, which records are showcased by the entrance, which are enthroned in the central chamber, and which are let fall through the cracks: and which are deliberately hidden in the basement.

If the bowels are poisoned, and the bowls break open, the whole creature will die.

The world is occupied by a majority which believes that the top is sane, the body healthy, and the bowels undiseased. Then there’s pk:
The top is insane, the body is diseased, the contents of the bowels need to be aired for the good of all. Bypass the hierarchy and the head will find its natural level, downward: before which a new creature, a healthy creature, can’t get born.
Thus: my anarchism.

And the mechanism for my anarchism was to get the body to take control of the records from the record-keeping sons of Jacob. Deregulate information. Get the body to get itself out from under the usurper head.

And that, that precisely, is why you don’t, and can’t, have accurate records of who I am, what I offered. Your view is occluded by the mis-labelers, the shufflers of records, those who will do anything to make the news look good, the Pretender look legitimate. to mask the disease, to mis-report the dangers.
The new society can’t be born while the old society still lives: lives by monopolizing cheating, by mis-reporting the dangers.

Scientists are now acknowledging that all people lie, especially where self-esteem is involved. Men lie to shore up their self-esteem, women lie to avoid challenging the shorings-up. pk started FLEX to show the Library of Congress, the Times — paper of record — what they should have been. But society wasn’t ready to allow that evolution to occur.

2008 06 23 The movie Aeon Flux shows a near future humanity rescued from extinction at the hands of an “industrial disease,” by a totalitarian scientist-savior. Everything looks neat and efficient. Of course there’s a faction that doesn’t care if the trains run on time; they want liberty. And the younger brother of the savior doesn’t believe that older brother should continue in his plans of dissolving the tyranny and restoring liberty (as though liberty is something that can be bestowed by a tyrant). Young Lucifer plots against both liberty and against the senior savior.

Then the shit hits the fan. No one contradicts the alpha survivor who says, “We’re not anarchists. There have got to be rules.”

Now, me, pk again: of course there are rules. There don’t “have to be” rules; there ARE rules. And a sane species, social or not, would endeavor to learn what they are. Theoretically that’s the role of science. But science, like the bulk of the universities, has been taken over by government. That’s like putting science in the hands of the Inquisition.

Meantime pk insists: learning what the rules are, the rules found in nature; not rules imposed by kleptocrats, should be part and parcel of the survival apparatus of every sentient creature.


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Core Onomatopoeia

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Scholarship / English /

Some changes in our being come staged: drum roll, blare of trumpets; some slip in on little cats’ feet. And some come cats’ feet plus a drum roll. I remember the precise moment in grad school when my confidence in the gods’-guts-marrow type of belief fell away, leaving me on the brink of going over the falls. My linguistics professor, Howie Berntsen, a favorite guy (with a Brooklyn accent no less) blandly announced that thinkers used to believe that meaning resided innate in the core sounds of words, but that of course we know today that there’s no core meaning: it’s all custom, habit, knee jerk: and onomatopoeia is 99% coincidence.

The moment held force. I hadn’t realized that I believed in meaning deep in my belly button. That Yeats, and Shakespeare and Keats too, breathed on stable faults of essence. If I could think deeply enough I’d surely be able to “prove” it to Bernsten. I thought about it, I prayed about it, I reasoned it drunk, and sober. Time passed: and my deep certainties became less and less clear. Then they simply faded way. Drum roll, hesitant drum roll: then cats’ feet, Sandburg’s fog.

This all comes back to me this morning as I read and love and nearly adore Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure of English.

I’ll develop further in a bit.

Tangential Notes Meantime
Dr. Howie if my memory is being fair or accurate announced current assumptions as though they were true, proved, fact. That’s the habit of any intellectual age. I remember a challenge from John Hurt Fischer, boss of the MLA, mid-1960s (spelling?). He said he would buy a bottle of Dom P. champagne for anyone who could prove that communication was possible without words. Again I was ready to jump on it, get drunk, contemplate my navel: prove it as a voice of God. At least Fischer was treating his assumption as not-proved!

2016 07 19 I’m recalling another Howie Bertsen story. I’d run into the good doctor in the West End, on Broadway up around Columbia turf as well as down on Washington Square. I never drank around NYU, I drank at home, at Columbia. Howie drank both places: and who knows where else as well. So I see Howie in the West End. He’s tickled pink, he’s just obtained his dream, he’s acquired a Morgan: beautiful car, long hood, leather belt over the hood! Oh, my God, a Morgan. Howie lets me drive! I whip us up to Grants Tomb, take us around the curve at its north point on two wheels, holding the steering like I was Fanzio. Howie, erupts, goes crazy, stop, stop, his is not a race car, this is not a sports car.
Poor Howie, And I’ve never seen him again since.
Poor guy, and he had thought the world of me, wrote me a wonderful recommendation.


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Promises, Promises

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Theme Buds / Democracy / \
@ K. 1999 10 06

More pk on Democracy

France promises liberty, the US freedom. Or is it that the US says we already have it? How narrowly is the term defined? Is it true by any definition?

I recall a graduate paper on Milton’s Paradise Lost in which I pointed out that in promising Eve this and that, Satan was selling her the Brooklyn Bridge: Satan didn’t have any of those things to sell or give. (Unless you consider realizing that you’ve “lost” “immortality” to be “knowledge.”) (Satan seems to be immortal: does it do him any good?) In any case, in those days I believed that God did have those things to give: Excuse me, God, are we immortal? Do we have knowledge? Of good and evil? Do you? Should we want it? Why not? (How could you verify his answer?) (And how could HE verify his answer?)

Ggovernment by Empty Promises

These days I see God as just as much of a fraud and con man as Satan: two con men vying for the same marks. Of course these days I also see that God and Satan are just ways to talk about things that concern us. (Some of those things are “real,” some eidetic, most pathological.) What’s particularly striking to me now (I’ve already noted here the coincidence between the age of God’s creation and the birth of kleptocracy as “civilization”) … is that God and Satan are kleptocracy: government by theft, government by fraud, government as a con game, government by empty promises. Freedom, liberty. Government can take my freedom away, but it can’t “give” me something that belief/god/nature already allows. How is government different from Satan? The lion, the thieves, the street gang … can also take my freedom away. How is government different from a street gang? How is government different from God/Satan?

The courts promise justice. Do they have it? Do they give it? Do they know what it is? No, the courts can deny justice, can frustrate justice … The courts are there to prevent you from trying to take it yourself.
(The courts are there to palm little justices off as justice. Oh, poor boobie, you spilled hot MacDonald’s coffee aw’ on ‘oorself? That’s the cover. The real purpose is to make sure that no real justice gets done: the Mohawk lose their land permanently, we steal the Lakota gold from their Black Hills, we steal New Helvetia from Sutter, pretending we “won” it from Mexico. The courts are there to see that none of it ever gets reclaimed.)

Segue: Thanks

Bureaucrats act as though they’re due thanks for doing their jobs. If the law says you’re entitled to justice, welfare, protection … and you happen to get it, what “thanks” should be due? Aren’t they merely complying with the law? Isn’t that their job? Does the cop thank you for driving within the speed limit? If the court orders your husband to give you the damn alimony and he finally does, should you thank him? (And if you do, is it sincere? ironic? or rote behavior?)

How did government and law ever get confused with courtesy? Courtesy, charity … must be voluntary to have meaning. There must be a choice. The president should thank the supporter who puts $X in his reelection fund, but not you for your taxes (assuming you’re craven or conventional enough to pay them). If the legislature decrees that junkies are entitled to methadone, $900 a month, two years at the community college, a condo with a swimming pool, and a vacation in Aruba … (and that you pay your taxes (as usual) or go to jail (as usual)), then the junkie doesn’t owe any thanks and you shouldn’t think that now you’re charitable enough to satisfy the prophet.

But notice, before I drop the subject: notice how just like their kleptocratic origins professions are. The profession of teaching promises education. Are teachers educated? Really? Even if they are, can they pass it on to you? What teachers do give for their pay is time in a classroom.

Ask the same questions about any profession. You went to the doctor for your health. Did you get healthy? Did he have health to sell? (That won’t make sense to you unless you know the statistics: health depends more on nutrition and environment than on medical procedures, and exposure to doctors, drugs, and hospitals is a leading cause of disease and death.)

People were superstitious before kleptocracy. People were stupid before kleptocracy. But superstition and stupidity weren’t so damn well organized. Superstition and stupidity may have “owned” the individual, the family, maybe the whole tribe; but superstition and stupidity didn’t own the whole damn universe.

1999 10 09
Power Poker

Harry Truman is famous for a number of things popular among which is his utterance “The buck stops here.”
As a child that made no more sense to me than much of the stuff we heard at school. But that was OK: I was a kid. Kids are supposed to be stupid. Adults had to be really smart, genuinely superior, since they walked around posturing as though they did understand all that stuff. The trouble with growing up is that sometimes, some few really do come to understand bits of the ubiquitous informational flack of our human environment.
Don’t peek ahead now. On your own: what does Truman’s announcement mean? Well, as we grow up, that particular one is occasionally explained. It was supposed to mean that he was taking responsibility. This kleptocrat, unlike his hordes of bureaucrat employees, would not “pass the buck.”
OK. Heroic. But what does “pass the buck” mean?
I was probably thirty, maybe thirty-five, before I learned. It’s a poker term. The buck was passed around the table with the deck. The receiver of the buck then dealt the cards until some rule was satisfied, and then someone else got a turn. Maybe there’s a card sharp, a “mechanic,” a false dealer, at the table. Maybe there’s more than one. None of them get to monopolize the deck. The cheating can’t always be the same. The buck sits at the dealer’s place, so that no matter how distracted you are by your hand, by your pile of chips or cash, by size of the pile of chips or cash in the middle of the table, by discrepancies between your ambitions and the various piles and the cards in your hand, you can remember who to ask for more cards.
In a casino some flunky of the house always deals. There is no buck to pass.

At his coronation as emperor, Napoleon took the crown from the archbishop that the rules had designated to place the crown on his head. Napoleon arbitrarily abridged the rules and placed “his” crown on his head himself. What Truman actually said, regardless of what we were expected to hear, was that he, Napoleon, was turning Washington into a casino where the house always deals.

Gee? Hadn’t it already been?

See the letter to Nixon [Election Time] where I suggested that he too abridge the rules, cancel the election, and just keep the deck.

2006 03 30 The magician, the house, keeps the deal, controls the deck. The magician can use a straight deck, the magician can switch in a trick deck.

It must always be up to the player to know when to shoot the magician between the eyes.

Though the player should always realize that the reports of his actions will always be recorded by the remaining house magicians:
Until there’s a revolution. Trouble is revolutions so far have always just substituted another house with its house magicians, house dealers. I want a revolution with no house. I’d like to believe it’s possible short of extinction. With no humans, there’d be no human house.

Kleptocracies are hierarchically organized: top down. Modern kleptocracies like the US employ the full magical arsenal — illusions, tricks — to make the opposite appear to be true. American democracy is top down organization parading as grassroots: bottom up.

But the trick is so feeble. Who would go along with it were it not for the police, the H bombs, the jails … the concerted wrath of those who do go along with the illusion? When one agrees to be fooled, one doesn’t tolerate party poopers.

2006 01 24 I have to redo this file in a broader and deeper context. It isn’t just democracy that makes unkept promises; democracy is part of a more basic pattern: culture generating unkeepable promises: from magic, to God, to salvation, to human-central order … That latter one actually we have realized; but don’t like any manifestation we see of it.

keywords democracy, promises


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