Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Civilization /
@ K. 2001 10 16
Terrorism: Politics of The Disenfranchised
We’re supposed to be a democracy. We’re supposed to have freedom of worship. We’re supposed to value “education”. …. But neither my minister nor my Sunday School teacher understood what was said to them. Their teaching and their pastoring was a farce. I don’t just mean they didn’t understand me: I witnessed other communications they were opaque to. My school teachers neither knew their subjects nor heard the occasional correction. I have never had one single successful communication with a political “representative.” My society has rejected all my suggestions by the simple expedient of never understanding a word. So long as the Church can castrate and burn heretics at whim, they’ll never have to address the hard questions raised by heretics. But Americans are far more sophisticated than the Vatican of Abelard’s day, or of Luther’s, or Illich … We just don’t hear. There’s no danger from laws against censorship so long as the public is utterly self-censoring: they just don’t hear whatever they decide is taboo. (And not hearing it: they don’t have to prove that it’s taboo!)
A few years have passed since I was assaulted: attacked from behind in the privacy of my own shed and I still haven’t finished listing the most elemental violations of law, constitution, and decency directly germane to that one incident. I’ll summarize them here, again pledging to establish them there. My park endangered its tenants. I told the police, the court system, a lawyer. Tenants agreed, but then did nothing. The police, the court, the lawyer … did nothing. I’d long before given up on trying to establish the simplest fact with official media. And I’m a “white” guy. We all can easily see how the n- being lynched couldn’t establish his lynching as a fact. And neither could his surviving widow, children, preacher … Et cetera.
[Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 02 To me a syncopated word is even more offensive than the straight vulgar term.]
The guy who attacked me was arrested. I was arrested. The court began a series of maneuvers trying to avoid a trial. It was impossible for me to establish a single fact other than the one documented at the hospital: that I’d been injured. The cops, the bureaucrats, the lawyers, the reporters … simply wouldn’t look: Here, I have witnesses that Mike threatened me. (Not if we won’t interview them you don’t.) Here, I wrote letters to the landlord, he tape-recorded my complaint at my insistence, won’t give me a copy, says he’s lost it. Like Nixon’s secretary. His letter as much as says that he refuses to discipline his manager or police his park and that if I’m in danger it’s my problem: no one else’s. (Paul, you don’t get it: if we accepted that evidence, it would mean that Mike was guilty, that the landlord was guilty, and that we, the society, were guilty of not doing our jobs. We’d all fall down the same hole. Therefore, you don’t have any evidence. Therefore you weren’t beaten up. You must have cut yourself shaving.)
I remember the idiotically naive 60s and 70s. We’d hear that the Weathermen wanted to bomb the Statue of Liberty “so that” people would realize “….” What? I don’t think Jesus got people to realize anything. I don’t think Kant got people to realize anything. What good is the best logic in the history of the world if no one can follow it for three seconds together? What made the Weathermen think that a bomb was more articulate than Emmanuel Kant?
Forget persuasion. How about just plain and simple revenge? I’ll gladly die in agony if I can only get you to stub your booted toe: even the tiniest bit.
The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. The Merchant of Venice
Listen: I didn’t hijack those planes. I didn’t commit suicide against the World Trade Center. I’m busy building Macroinformation: whether anyone understands more than two words of it or not. I didn’t. But on another morning, I could have. On some other morning, once my despair at communication is utter, I will.
How many others are there “like” me? just in any little town? In NYC, I personally knew hundreds. Last week I met a semi-relative who interrupted me to give one of my own lines. He said, “In twenty-five years, no one has understood a word I’ve said.” Did he know it was “my” line? I’d never met him before. But still he could easily have gotten it by direct descent from me: he lives with my sister-in-law, and though I hadn’t seen her in close to thirty years, she’d heard me say it often enough back when. She’d been happily chugging away in Columbia graduate school, bright enough but very glad that she wasn’t too intelligent for the faculty.
At Columbia I had felt far from unique. I knew there were people who didn’t understand me, but I also knew there were people I didn’t understand. Which of us made sense? There was no way to tell. There was no common language. At NYU I felt utterly alone. But that may have been merely because I knew the people there vastly less well. At Columbia, I felt that … ah, maybe 5% of the population were intelligent (disregarding my initial, quickly abandoned, impression of 100%). I revised that downward over the years, but still I’d concede 1%. At NYU I thought it was 0%: A single example, “just me,” is not a percentage.
Yet I can name peers even here in Dogpatch: backward Sebring Florida. I don’t mean they’re smart … I don’t mean they invented the internet decades ahead of the world, or Macroinformation decades after that … I mean they’re persecuted for their courage. (I’ll smooth the following prose once I’ve calmed down.)
After I was attacked, my friend Gladys Hungling, descendant of the guy we stiffed for the money he bankrupted himself loaning us so we could win the American Revolution, one Robert Morris, suggested that I contact her political guru, Willow Vance. I finally called Willow and she told me about her activity sympathizing with David Chapman, crushed leader of the local militia. I finally met David. Once. He and his father came to my studio. Since that time, David has spammed my email, phoned incessant chatter at me in the middle of the night … Still, I wouldn’t say that I know him. David may well actually be what the judges say he is: dangerous. (don’t misunderstand: I doubt that David with his finger on the bomb would be any more dangerous than the reigning judges with the gavels in their hands.) I’m not sure how “smart” or how “stupid” David is. But I’m convinced that he has something more rare than intelligence: a bit of courage. He’ll repeat himself while you hurl insults at him.
I didn’t always have that same courage. My courage has grown. It could evaporate more easily than it ever waxed. I could wake up one morning and be just as cowardly as the majority. But like David (like Jesus, like Illich) … at least we were brave once: if only for a moment or two.
Anyway, what little I know: David had his own church: of which he was like … Pope. His home was his church. It is I believe illegal for police in their official persons to enter a church uninvited. David’s church may be bullshit, but so long as there’s no non-bullshit standard for any church, there’s no reason to start inventing standards for David’s. So long as we have to take the Catholics’ word about their church or the Methodists about theirs, we should have to take anybody’s word about any church.
David reminded me a bit of my Uncle Charlie: my favorite uncle. What Charlie said may have been bull, sometimes hateful — like violent anti-Semitism — but when Charlie said it, it was vehement. Integrity and style can go a long way to make up for ordinary fallacies, even perhaps a bit of criminality. (If I am to believe my uncle, he actually assaulted Jews: him on his bicycle, them in their Cadillac.)
David had something to do with the local militia. I don’t know whether he founded it, revitalized it, funded it, belonged to it … It was something more than that he didn’t run and hide from it. Willow used to sit for sessions of court, see if the judges were following the law. (They weren’t.) David’s militia was supposed to follow the police around, themselves, armed, and see that the police were behaving. (They weren’t.)
As it’s come to me, the police arrested David: in his “church.” The police pistol whipped David: on more than one occasion. The police inflicted much bodily harm on several militia members. By the time I heard about all this, no one, not even David, would admit to militia membership. (That’s why I’d first contacted him: I wanted someone with experience in checking the behavior of police.)
I’m not sure whether David was charged with anything genuinely felonious let alone convicted. But in a let’s-have-it-our-way kleptocracy, you don’t have to. We’ve always got that old “elastic clause”: the loony bin. When my next door neighbor joined the many who take turns persecuting Paul and endangering my woman (in the name of protecting her), I told him to keep his lit cigarette away from blind crippled Catherine. He wouldn’t. I told him to get out of my chair. He wouldn’t. I told him to get off my patio and never come near it again. He wouldn’t. I told him I was going for my gun. That if he wasn’t gone by the time I got back with it, I’d use it. He left. I called the police. I demanded that the police officer hear what had happened. I demanded that the police officer make sure that my neighbor, who was exceedingly drunk at the time, heard and understood my pronouncement once sober: come near me or Catherine again and I’d kill him. I demanded that the police officer inform the landlord of my ultimatum.
I’ve since checked. The cop didn’t tell my landlord. I doubt if he told my neighbor. Someday I’m going to have to kill the bastard and no one will have any evidence that I’d gone out of my way to prevent the situation. But at the original time: I asked the cop to accompany me to my studio, where far fewer neighbors come barging-in to supervise me in my home. As we entered, I booted the computer to show the picture of me assaulted. I was explaining to him that in offering networking to the public in 1970 and discussing networking the networks, I as it were “invented” the “internet” in 1970 (my assault lawyer’s words). The cop sneered at me and offered to take me “to the LooneyTunes.” I’m sure that was polite compared to what some cops would have said to George Washington Carver if he’d said anything about peanuts.
The stupidity test one must pass to teach college must be nothing compared to the stupidity test one must star on to be a policeman.
I told my landlord. I have no evidence that he’s said anything to my neighbor either. Another neighbor’s threat to kill me, witnessed and reported to me by Catherine, has also been reported to the police and to the landlord. The first landlord, the one under whose ownership I’d been beat up, the one who had refused to protect either me or his other tenants, came by with the threatener to accuse me of threatening to kill him! (Different neighbor: not the one years later I did announce my plans to arm for.) All that was reported to the new landlord. I don’t see that he’s done a thing to see that either of those two neighbors are under control of either decency or the law. (But he has more than once joined the vigil to make sure I don’t scream too loud when injured.)
If you’re a n-, the lynchers have their rope and they have the cops. If you’re white, the lynchers have the Loony Tunes. No trial needed. Tame shrinks can keep the heretic there forever. For his good, of course.
The judge threw David in the jail, sent him to the shrinks, the gang drugged him up good, kept him drugged up. Finally they expelled him from Highlands County Florida. David’s last call informed me that he was running for office upstate New York somewhere.
If I wake up dead before I’ve ever taken revenge on even the first of my long list of enemies (God, where would I start? offenses from before I was ten? just the offenses that cost the society at large the most? the ones that hurt me the most physically? or the most morally?) … well: you escaped me. But will you also always escape David? How many David’s are there? Surely not millions and millions. But just as surely, thousands and hundreds of thousands. And if you escape every goddam one of us in America, even the minorities, the Black this and the Chicano that, there are still always the Muslims. David and I are told by the kleptocrats that we’re the problem: when Jesus beats on the temple whore, it’s Jesus’ fault. When the Romans torture Jesus to death, it’s Jesus’ fault. … The Muslims in contrast are told that everything is our fault. They’re told they’ll go straight to paradise if they die killing us.
Can we really live another hundred years without a plague? I doubt it.
And I hope not. The world would be so much better a place if humans were trimmed under control. More wars could well lead to nuclear winter: we’d be trimmed as would everything else also be. If only some nice villain would carry his bacilli onto some airplane like the smiling red head in The Twelve Monkeys and do it before we have any more nuclear temptations. [note]
I don’t want control from some human polity. No: just by nature. Just by the Random. That would be more than control enough.
Let me restate that all important point. Once upon a time, like all civilized men, I believed that man was improvable if not perfectible. I believed that man indeed had improved, the civilization represented progress; not the mass delusion of addicts, junkies telling themselves that their degeneration is ecstasy. I believed that problems had solutions: man-engineered solutions. I believed man’s claim to know sacred from profane, good from ill, right from wrong …
I proved my belief by offering civilized solutions in a civilized vein. Any of the early files at Knatz.com should illustrate: skim my Chronology. The fiction may be the profoundest example: also, my doctoral thesis, my 1970 offering of interlinked networks … even now, my discovery of Macroinformation … If 1% of what I had done had reflected back to me not totally distorted, I might have continued to believe that society was an assemblage of rational men: not an illusion-willed dementia, an audience of puppet-puppeteers, manipulating their manipulators toward preferred delusions: an audience of Clevingers, all believing what their Lieutenant Scheiskopft is telling them, the better because all the Yossarians have been hurled bleeding into the back alley.
Now I believe the latter, not the former. Should my belief in itself convince you? Of course not. Let me influence you in this only: look with your own eyes. The truth is the truth: independent both of the genius and the majority. (It is our maps of the truth which are both genius- and majority-dependent.)
Still, I’m the one doing the writing here: so I’ll emphasize this: emphasize it hard:
Now I believe that there’s only one thing that could save earth’s rich biosphere: a massive failure of mankind: a huge pruning. I don’t know the number dead to recommend and I wouldn’t trust of consensus of biologists. But I believe the culling would have to be severe, the number of human survivors modest. I’ll just pick a number. One hundred million. Lop another 90%? Ten million.
There were ten million humans in North America in 1492: wiped out by European diseases before Europeans ever saw them. But then the Americas were grossly overpopulated with humans by the Late Pleistocene. Try that number anyway, but spread it over the whole world. Ought to be enough to survive, but not enough to reorganize: for a while. Give the planet a break. Let it lie fallow for a few millennia. Level the playing field.
That’s what I want. I don’t care how it’s done. If there’s a God, God could do it: if he wanted to. If I trusted the Mafia to do it, I’d support the Mafia. If I believed it was Stalin’s or Mao’s true purpose, I’d support Stalin: or Mao. Don’t confuse the issue with irrelevant blather about wheat farmers machine-gunned …
Actually, I believe it is nature’s purpose, biology’s purpose: lull man into a false security by an illusion of success, then bag him and haul him away. Thus I don’t believe it matters a hill of beans whether the Christians win or the Voodooists, The Communists or the Republicans. All will have the same end: the disenfranchisement of man.
What does it matter if I’ve been disenfranchised from birth in the land of blather about equality? I’m among the first disenfranchised. Soon you’ll all be disenfranchised. See? I’m a leader after all.
The Twelve Monkeys: I hope you know that wonderful movie. The giraffes and the zebras would have a wooded Philadelphia to enjoy: with no competition or grief from people.
For one period of years I believed that Michael Palin was the greatest of the Pythons. Then for many years I believed that it had to be John Cleese. The Python I could have done without the whole time was the graphics lunatic: Terry Gilliam: till I saw Brazil. Then all opinions reversed. Funny thing now is that Twelve Monkeys haunts me even more than Brazil: with its billboards screening the ruined earth. Yesterday I tried telling Catherine about the scene in the airport once we see it complete: at the end. A boy sees a man shot. The man knows the boy sees him: because the man is the boy: grown up: and tormented down: to a stub. The boy sees a future. The man has come back from a further future. The man’s far future doesn’t believe that the man can be hero enough to actually stop the assassin of civilization that’s now boarding a plane with a new designer disease. Yet suddenly the man sees the assassin: dares to dream that there may be time. The police sees the hero chasing the villain. The villain is well groomed; the hero looks desperate, crazy. The police gun down mankind’s savior, letting mankind’s murderer escape to do the murder.
It ain’t fact. But man is it truthful.