Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
One hardly knows what to make of some witness testimony: I for one become almost irate at the woman who says she heard a chilling scream, a woman's scream, which "made her flesh creep". Then, she says, she heard two sets of footsteps running over gravel. Ok, would this be a good time to call the police? Perhaps attempt to save the woman who screamed and is now bleeding to death? Nah, let it go, let the life drain out of her. If the scream was so chilling, why was it ignored?
Then there are the old faithful friends and family of Ms. Knox. Perception begins to make reality. Lines are blurred. Where does reality leave off, and wishful thinking take over? There is always a margin of error: All life is on probation. But certain evidence and facts paint a grim picture for Amanda. Time will tell, and the Italian court will speak definitively at some future point. Facts impose themselves upon illusory phantasms which come rising up from the psyche in defensive and desperate manouvering. Foul deeds will rise, tho' all the earth o'erwhelm them to men's eyes. . . Addendum: Oh, I do not like this! Pull one thread, and the whole fabric, the entire cloth, begins to unravel! Just was trawling some old news posts on this story. Seems that the club owner, Patrick, was not fingered by Amanda, but by the police themselves. They lied, claiming his cell phone traced him to that area. He would never have been released had this been factual. So Amanda was NOT vindictive against him! If this is all fantasy, then perhaps the rest is as well. And all the psychological analysis of Amanda in vain. . . If she is innocent, if she is innocent. . . But I do not really think so. Not at all. I think it is that I do not like holes in a story. This is very worrisome to me now. It reveals the police to be liars, and perhaps bullies as well. . .
In what some are calling an unprecedented government takeover, President Obama's move to control the two big wounded auto giants - Chrysler and GM - certainly is making some on the right cry 'socialism'. Rejecting CEO plans to turn things around, Obama has taken the reins. His ideology is in accord with the times; or rather, the times have given him an opening, and he has taken it. Ride out boy, and send it home solid. Fear of socialism is odd, given that most who fear it could benefit from a democratic, Americanized, quasi-socialism. Hard core socialist ideology had its heyday, and is not in danger of making a comeback. To demonize Obama, is to see him through the lens of paranoia. What distortions there are about him, and with what manner of probing do some on the right see all his darkness coming to light: Is this over reaction? Counterbalance and compensatory aid? I myself suffer from a bifurcated view of Obama, as these pictures illustrate. He is riding a historical moment which is pulsating with possibilities in all directions. "The handwhich writes the future as though it were the past": these words of an I Ching scholar depicts the writing on the wall, which is visible to those with historical sense.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
As his privileged American associate, I am pleased to announce that our London blogger, Martin Huxter, aka Hurlyburly , will be arriving in Times Square on April 12. He will be staying at the Hilton Hotel on 42nd Street. We who know this lovely and illustrious Londoner, film critic, and social satirist, are looking forward to his arrival immensely. Bravo to Martin!
There is so much alarm, on the right, over President Obama's GIVE Act: That it will be forcing volunteer work on the young ( but has not school attendance always been compulsary, and a violation of the right to free association? ) and that it is a seditious piece of legislation which aims to prohibit protest ( what about the '90s massive expansion of police powers, forcing people to take breathalizer tests and go into rehab "treatment" centers at the first sign of intoxication, even if the driving was superb, and one was stopped routinely?). . .
And does the GIVE Act really prohibit the right to protest proposed legislation? That does not sound right, and I will have to research. . .
I am an obsessive person. When something grabs my interest, I reflect on it extensively, often using I Ching or Tarot cards as a contemplative aid. An I Ching Analysis and Tarot reading on Amanda Knox reveals her as "among the overthrowers" yet somehow slated to be vindicated.
Is it possible that she was in fact not the ringleader, nor the knife wielder, but a bystander in a game which had gotten out of control? This is the irritating thing about consulting oracles: One does not know if this is truth being revealed from the collective unconscious, or simply a chance reading, or an aspect overlooked. If one takes, as I do, the philosophical stance, then oracle consulting is just the mirror to one's own subconscious. The acausality of which Jung speaks would account for the way in which the reading is somehow connected to the question, but outside of empirical and causal facts.
One possible scenario is that Rudy Guede was the ringleader, or became it. Or Sollecito. But all of this muddies the waters. It does not resonate with spirit and intuition.
The I Ching replied to the question, What is Amanda's true role in the murder? with Hexagram 23, Splitting Apart , with "movement" in lines 3 and 6. Line 3 reads: The line shows its subject among the over throwers, but there is no mistake. He splits with them. Line 6 reads, There is a large fruit yet uneaten. The superior one finds support again, and is carried by the people; but the inferior is overthrown. Fresh impulses to a deteriorated situation.
Some truth has not been uncovered. Might it be that Amanda really left the room, and covered her ears at the sound of Meredith's scream, as she had asserted? Could Rudy be the true rapist and killer, with Amanda and Raffaele playing only the part of instigators? And this will all be made clear in time? The Tarot reading (using Hanidl deck) for Amanda was: The Past : Empress, Reversed - Difficulty with one's mother and in expressing one's emotion. The Present: Daughter of Swords , Reversed - loss of confidence and strength; depression and futility. The Future: Father of Swords, Upright - a strong, intellectual judge predisposed to fairness.
Or could Raffaele be indicated in the readings? Sometimes one does a reading with a question in mind, only to receive an answer to a different question, lurking in the recesses of the subconscious mind.......
Another possibility: The "bad" Amanda may have come out due to drug use. Now that she is imprisoned and no longer polluting her brain chemistry a "good" Amanda may emerge. This is the strong and fair judge, when viewed this way. She may be "splitting" with her old self, who DID in fact act as knife wielder and ring master.
I find myself desparate to know who Amanda really is. Why is this so important to me? Do I see my own youth in her; what might have occurred to me also? Why is it that I do not fear, in retrospect, having fallen into Meredith's fate, but into Amanda's? Does she symbolize some part of my adolescence which from which I escaped, only by sheer luck, unscathed?
I ask once again, for the I Ching to clarify regarding Amanda: Jealousy and anger are disruptive. Action taken is dangerous. Testing times. Not remaining committed leads to shame. SIGH. Now I am getting the impression she "backed out" after having begun the whole thing. Better let it go, I have a migraine headache now............Let the courts figure this one out, I am "Amanda-ed" out.....
Thursday, March 26, 2009
My editor at GnosisArts Multimedia Communications , Eric Bryant, often writes - in OpEd pieces - critical analytic commentary about some important political or cultural matter, based on consulting the I Ching regarding it. He is a Philosophical Practitioner, and a member of the American Philosophical Practioners Association. This movement was spearheaded by philosophy professor and renowned author, Lou Marinoff, of City University of New York. I am not a formal practicioner, but I am a philosophical scholar, and have read Marinoff and attended some of his conferences. I became intrigued in the late '90s with his advocacy of the I Ching not only as a book of ancient Chines philosophical wisdom, but as a serious contemplative tool; and have studied the Legge, Wilhelm, Lynn, editions, among others. During the 2008 Presidentail election season, I consulted it often regarding Barack Obama, and was stunned by its accuracy ( posts regarding these consultations are in this blog's archives).
So after some hesitancy I decided to consult it regarding the Perugian murder of Meredith Kercher, allegedly at the hands of Amanda Knox, Rafaelle Scolocitto, and Rudy Guede. Below are the hexagrams and lines I received, with commentary. Once again, the received answer was eerily applicable to the situation.
I adhere to Carl Jung's theory that although the "moving" lines one receives are of paramount importance, all of the lines apply as part of the overarching theme of the hexagram. My question was: What were the true circumstances involving these suspects on the night in question? The I Ching ( Legge, Wilhelm, and Lynn Translations and Commentarys applied ) replied:
Hexagram 62 : Preponderance of the Small
The flying bird brings the message that it is good to stay low, it is dangerous to fly high. The flying bird is losing its voice. ( eerily, the Lynn version has these words of Wang Bi: "this denotes a funeral.")
Changing lines: 3 and 5
Line 3: The third line, undivided, shows the subject taking no extraordinary precautions against danger, and some in consequence finding opportunity to assail and injure him. There will be evil.
Line 5: The fifth line, divided, suggests the idea of dense clouds, but no rain yet from the western border. It shows the prince shooting his arrow, and taking the bird in his cave.
[Line 6: The sixth line, divided, shows a bird exceeding its proper course, and flying far aloft. There will be calamity and evil. This is disaster and self-injury. ]
Analysis: The idea of the hexagram is a warning to stay low, to not fly high. This to me bears on the fact that Amanda and Raffaele were flying too "high"; not only on drugs, but on a wave of exhiliration and a feeling of wild rebellion. Line 3 is eerily relevant to Meredith's lack of awareness as to the danger Amanda posed. She believed they could argue and have differences in a reasonable way and with no grave consequences. She was completely oblivious to the dangerous anger building up within her "friend".
Line 5 is difficult to decipher. I believe it is either pointing to what the prosecution's theory would later be (i.e., grasping the underpinnings of Knox and Raeffaele's dangerous dynamic) . The western border would point symbolically to the law, courts, the light of facts and the ethics of reason. The cave appears to be that which is hidden and submerged. The prosecution has taken the "bird", but in a sub-textual manner.
Line 6 was not a changing line. However, as per Jung's theory, the top line of the hexagram is often a warning of a potential outcome if current trends continue. I think the "self-injury" was the calamitous evil brought down on their own heads (AK, RS). Perhaps it also indicates the innocent Meredith, still unaware of just how out of control and capable of evil were the characters of her "friends", that she may have "provoked" the fatal knife thrust (i.e., saying (quite reasonably, but she was not dealing with reasonable people) something such as , "I will definitely report you all to the police.".
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
At first glance, the sweet -faced college coeds, the all- American Amanda Knox and upper middle class Italian Raffeale Scolocitto, seemed the least likely of all suspects. But as details of their dynamic unfolded, together with the addition of Rudy Guede, all began to emerge and form a picture, like a slowly spreading ink stain on a white tablecloth.
As an analyst once said of the infamous murderers of the Clutter family, Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith, "Neither would have committed the murders on his own. But together, the two men created a third "person"; "he" is the one who did it. So too of the three that night in the Perugian cottage : They created a fourth, who was everyone and no one. And was able to carry out the horrific events which would otherwise have remained locked within the dark recesses of the psyche.
Additionally, I now believe that her inner problems - coped with by her in solitary mode over the course of many years - metamorphised into a sociopathic personality which has become her "mask". Very little honesty is likely to ever be forthcoming from her. In a sense, she probably has convinced herself that she is innocent. A journalist mentioned that there is something "odd" about Amanda's smile in the courtroom: Not only is it inappropriate in such a situation, but it seems incongruent and at odds with her eyes. I would wager that this is a symptom of her disocciation: From herself, and from aspects of reality which she never had a chance to cope with and to incorporate.
Her family does much to further the disingenuousness of her presentation: Filling her with terror that if the "real Amanda" were known to them, they would have her locked up and the key thrown away. It will be interesting to see if the actual truth of the events of the muder will come to light in this trial; not from her, but from her lover, Raffaele Scolecito. It would appear that he presents as far more reality based: Serious and scared looking, as though the full implications and consequences of the night are fully comprehened by him. Amanda looks to be like a little girl watching a story unfold.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
As details emerge about the childhood and teen years of accused killer Amanda Knox, I am beginning to feel very sorry for her. Two excellent posts I found - one on a blog called, Lies Our Mothers Told Us, and one an Enneagram analysis of Knox's personality type - were so in-depth in their analysis of the facts that I now feel I know Knox, and strongly identify with her ( although not with her alleged violent crime).
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It is insane to think that mass mentality has not been the shadow always of free enterprise. The expanison these last 3 decades, of social services, and the courts; of police powers and homeland securtiy, has been invasive as nothing this nation has seen before, or will see again.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
It is a shame that Italian police do not videotape their interrogations. I have read an interesting analysis on a foreign blog, in which the author feels that Americans do not seem to grasp the risks entailed in students going abroad. If they are living "wildly" - drinking, using drugs, coming in at all hours of the night, and experimenting with sex - they will be highly suspect if disaster suddenly occurs in their proximity. Students should be warned, cautioned the blogger, to adhere to community standards where they are residing. Otherwise, one's credibility may be reduced, which certainly seems to be the case with Amanda Knox. addendum: Just read a press release for March 21. It seems they have proven - through an eye witness and a receipt - that Amanda was buying cleaning supplies hours after the murders; and that police say there had been an attempt to wipe up blood. Perhaps there was more darkness in these two sweet looking youths than was immediately apparent.
Friday, March 20, 2009
As far as Barack Obama's "gaffe" on Jay Leno - comparing his bowling to the Special Olympics - I think it is folly to point it out. My son has played in the Special Olympics, and believe it or not, the disabled are in fact capable of laughing at themselves. He thought the President was funny, and in good form. For some reason I was also reminded of the story in the Old Testement, where King David is leading Israel to war, and the enemy cries, "the lame and the blind will hold you off.". " And David's heart turned cold within him, for he hated the lame and the blind.".
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Such is the way of death: No one knows the time or the hour. British author Anthony Peake - with his theory of binary mind, and his eidolon-daemon dyad - would say that the daemon does indeed know the time and hour. The deeper, eternal aspect of us embraces the fate. And the those left behind to grieve must try to as well.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Millions of people are far less concerned with the visions of the founding fathers or what the role of government ought to be, and far more occupied with addressing their rage at the dire straits they never dreamed they'd be in. Obama has a wide berth here, a very wide berth. An excellent piece to read, here is the link: http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/the-bigs-vs-the-working-class/
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Let’s open those neural floodgates!
—Nicki Brand, Videodrome
Joan Smith writes, in “Speaking Up for Corpses,” “There are men for whom female terror, experienced at a safe distance, carries an erotic charge.”33 As one of these men myself, I would—for obvious reasons—feel more comfortable amending the above statement, and saying that there are men who are aware of the erotic charge that results from vicariously experiencing (or causing) female terror. And then, there are those men who, through denial, ignorance, fear or saintly purity (this last seems the least likely) are blissfully unaware of this sadistic streak in themselves. Then, among those of us (men) who are aware of this streak, and don’t mind admitting it, there are varying degrees to which we accept it, fight it, strive to understand or overcome it, indulge it or, God forbid, act upon it. Personally, while I’m in my confessional mode, I can say that I have never in my life come that close to striking a woman, much less terrorizing or brutalizing one, and I can honestly add that (be it virtue or sentimentality) I am incapable of killing an insect—one that’s minding its own business at least—without feeling pangs of regret. So—am I a violent person? Am I an evil, sick, depraved, and aberrant man? The moral majority and legions of decency would say, Yes, and resoundingly. But am I to be judged for my thoughts or by my actions? And if judged I am to be—who exactly is to judge me? Who among us is fit to cast the first stone?
I have come to accept, over the years, that imagination is not action, and that the rules and laws are different for thought than for deed, and that those who would most quickly judge another (either for his fanstasies or his acts) are generally those most reluctant to judge themselves, or even to look too closely at their own feelings—for fear of what they might find there. The easiest way to deal with the unpleasant truths about our society is to condemn them as “evil.” The easiest way to live with unpleasant truths about oneself is simply to ignore them, to whitewash them over with positive affirmations about decency and goodliness. Both these “methods” are based on cowardice—they depend on avoidance of the issue through self-deception, and in fact, they serve to reinforce the problem. The more “evil” the other guy is, the safer we can feel about our own souls (we’re pure enough to judge other people, obviously); the more decent and wholesome we pretend to be, on the other hand, the more we can puff ourselves up and point our fingers at the corruption around us. Society—decent, god-fearing society, that is—is made up of such fakers: it’s very maintenance depends upon fraudulence and facades. And so there’s nothing more terrifying, more dangerous, more “immoral,” to these pseudo-saints, these self-appointed guardians of the good and the right, than the possibility of evil being something common to us all. The slightest doubt in the immaculacy of their moral front and the whole thing collapses. And so the notions of compassion, of understanding, of tolerance, charity towards “sinners,” and the moral freedom which such charity implies, become unthinkable. And yet these qualities or virtues or concepts are the blood and soul—and the vocation—of every artist worthy of his station. To enhance our awareness as to the nature of life means being human, which is being fallible, which is succumbing to temptation once in a while, which is sin—the whole, murky question of evil.
A film that causes us, or at least helps us, to identify with a killer—whether to increase our compassion for evil or merely to diminish our pity for the victims—is not an immoral work, but a deeply moral one. For it forces us to assume responsibility for this evil (instead of simply feeling pity for the victim), which is the first, essential step towards understanding it, and perhaps, in time, correcting it. At the very least, it may force us to question our eagerness to judge and condemn what we cannot understand; and maybe, just maybe, it will cause us to pause in our moral outrage for a moment, and lay down our stones.
Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion.
—David Cronenberg, Cronenberg on Cronenberg
In the above interview from Chris Rodley’s book, Cronenberg continues:
Suppressing everything one might think of as potentially dangerous, explosive or provocative would not prevent a true psychotic from finding something that will trigger his own particular psychosis. For those of us who are normal, and who understand the difference between reality and fantasy, play, illusion—as most children do—there is enough distance and balance. It’s innate. . . . It’s an endless struggle between those who are basically fearful and mistrustful of human nature—and they have ample proof that their version of humanity is right—and those who feel that a truly free society is possible, somewhere. It’s conceivable that in the near future there won’t be anything approaching a free society anywhere. That’s more than possible. Which is why I resist, in any small way I can, any attempts . . . to increase censorship.
Marx wrote somewhere that the fight against capitalism begins with “the weapons of criticism and the criticism of weapons.” If so, then the triumph of totalitarianism begins with the censorship of crime and the crime of censorship. One wonders about the mass hysteria of the so-called “moral majority” over the “dangers” of violent movies and their effects on children; how they cry out to protect the little ones from “exposure” to such evil, corrupting material, such vile and pernicious images. Where is all this hysteria leading? Is it really motivated by a simple—if misguided—urge to protect the innocent; or is it that old wolf in sheep’s clothing again, crying “wolf,” in order to distract the sheep’s attention from its own lascivious designs? To blame the world’s ills and the corruption of our children on a handful of “nasty” movies seems to me to go beyond mere idiocy, and to approach dangerously close to totalitarian thinking.
Obviously you can’t stop crime by censorship, all you can do is limit the public’s exposure to it, and by extension, its awareness of it. In which case—seeing as how awareness is the only defense we have against crime, and seeing as how aberrational activity (or “evil”) is notoriously wont to thrive and bloom—like fungus—in the darkness of ignorance and denial, then this “protection” policy is worse than useless—it’s downright deadly. Censorship is crime, then, of the most pernicious and indefensible kind—crime against freedom, against truth, and our right to possess it, no matter how “harmful” it may be (and, as every poet knows, truth that’s worth its “salt” is the most dangerous thing there is).
It is impossible to protect children from certain cultural artifacts without, on the one hand, restricting and censoring the culture itself, and, on the other hand, restricting the behaviour—the freedom—not only of children but of adults as well. To go to such plainly fascistic extremes on the off-chance that a movie once in a while causes a crime would strike me as criminally insane, if it wasn’t part of an apparently all-too-sanely-motivated “madness” (though nonetheless criminal for that). How is it that these irate and indignant persons can get so worked up about a few bloody videos—or even a few savage crimes—and be apparently indifferent to the war, starvation and encroaching social tyranny which are an instrinsic part of this very order which they are striving to protect? Never mind that their measures look set to make such ideas as free speech and right-of-choice just faded memories of the past; how is it that these spokespeople can pretend to know, beyond any doubt, what no psychologist or social scientist in the field has been able to establish: namely, the exact manner and degree to which violence in the arts encourages, or even causes, real violence? And why is the question never raised as to the possibility of actual violence—as mediated through the news and other documentary programs—also having such effects? Or children’s cartoons; or Budweiser commercials? How come no one suggests banning TV itself, and going straight to the root of the problem?
The “video nasty” is the bugaboo beloved of the kind of partiarchal, literal-minded petty tyrants that thrive on expressions of moral outrage and the feelings of self-importance which they derive from them. It’s another scapegoat, and the skapegoat is like the patsy—it really doesn’t matter what it is, or does, or says, so long as it is there, available, for the sacrifice. It seems to me that those who “do battle with the devil” are really doing the devil’s work—pouring gasoline on the blaze, as it were. The indignation, the audacity, and the degree of arrogance which this interfering mob displays strikes me as a kind of violence itself, equally as reprehensible and as corrupting as the kind they claim to be opposing, as well as being every bit as “nasty.” In its own way it’s even nastier, because it hides its meanness and small-mindedness behind false smiles and troubled frowns, and words like “decency” and “innocence” and “morality.”
When a film like Child’s Play III or Natural Born Killers is somehow found—however tenuously and spuriously—to have some fleeting connection to a real-life crime, the media, like one single rabid beast, pounces upon the chosen scapegoat and proceeds to tear it to shreds, with all the slavering, sadistic relish of Hannibal Lecter. But when a film like The Lion King is established, more or less conclusively, to have incited, or at least inspired, a child to commit suicide, this same beast barely stirs from its slumber. The boy in question (the case is described in Karl French’s Screen Violence) was Imtiaz Ahmed, and wrote in his farewell note: “I am going to die because I want to be a Lion King. Mom and Dad please put The Lion King film in my grave with me.” He was found hanging from a tree near his home in Stoke on Trent, England; the parents honored his last wish. It doesn’t matter whether or not The Lion King really did drive a boy to kill himself (I’m every bit as inclined to doubt this as all the other claims)—the point is that the evidence here was far stronger than the evidence for any video nasty-related crime, but seeing as the proverbial scapegoat was not involved, and it would be pretty hard for the moral majority to get all puffed up and indignant over a Disney film without looking exactly like the facile dunderheads that they are, the mob kept quiet, and waited patiently for the next scapegoat to come along.
The hysteria over video nasties and movie violence in general is the worst kind of false alarm—it’s not only crying wolf (because when an actual case does come along, who will believe it?), but a deliberate attempt to blind the public to the true dangers facing them, dangers represented not by the forces of anarchy or artistic irresponsibilty, but by the forces of censorship and control. The “mob” wants to rule not only our actions and our decisions, but our thoughts and feelings and our desires also. They want to protect our own children from us, and in turn protect us from ourselves, from our own negligence or faulty judgment or bad taste, or whatever is they consider us guilty of.
The obvious question here is—who asked them to? The worst kind of tyrant is the tyrant that elects itself to rule. And the majority that declares itself to be moral simply because it is legion, the people’s own consensus of tyranny, amounts to nothing less than the rule of the mob.
MyGoodDeed :: Groundbreaking National Service Legislation Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives Advocates Establishing September 11 as an Annually Observed National Day of Service
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Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
That there would be a "pre-war" feeling and tone to this ascension is to be expected. FDR and his Civilian Conservation Corps fused with 21 st century globalism: A formidable mix, one capable of much good and only to a lesser degree, ill. . Barack Obama is in accord with the time and riding the change he spoke of. One is very wrong to presuppose that Obama is a 90s-style Democrat, or a throwback to a '70s one. In many important senses, he is the antithesis of a Clinton; even more so, a Carter.
He is the Democrat of the historical apex, and his style will be a decided, even a radical, break with all that has come before. This seeming antagonist of conservatism, this agent of liberal change; he with the sparkle in his eye and the lilt in his voice, and the determination in his stride, has many features which are far from liberal. At least not in the 1990s glitzy and laissez faire meaning of the term. Conservative scholars like Gertrude Himmelfarb and Patrick Buchannan could scarcely have hoped for more; least of all from a Democrat. What was mere talk from W Bush is becoming earnest in Barack Obama: A framework and an underpinning are already in place, like the foundation of a house, built under the guise of Homeland Security. Note, too, that the expanded Presidential powers enacted under W Bush did him very little good, but may have set the stage for the breadth and scope of an Obama undertaking.
It would be one more mistake to expect this uniformity to flare up all at once; surely it will build under some smokescreen. But come it will. Later to gather force and speed, it now rolls and builds like the onset of a silent , creeping fog. The aforementioned blogger took due note of the fact that overseas deployment, first used in the Clinton directive regarding the civilian security , issued in the early '90s, had vanished from the 2009 directive. Didn't Howe and Strauss prophesy of civic resurgence? Didn't they predict a cultural cleansing? And looking to our inner cities and our suburban schools and the splintered chaos of a million cable channels , one wonders if this is perhaps not long overdue. . .
The fact of the matter is, a culture as individualized and fractured, and riddled with competing and conflicted identity and grievance groups and trivia and economic disparity as ours, stands in need of a good dose of uniformity and unity in service. Anyone who recalls our great American philosopher of pragmatism, William James, and his piece, The Moral Equivalent of War, should see how clear, how palpable, is our need of such.
when the blast. . . blows in our ears , then imitate the action of the tiger,
stiffen the sinews, disguise fair nature with hard favored rage. . We few,
chosen few, the Band of Brothers . . . from now until the end of the world,
we and it shall be remembered. . .
Charles Freeman's Victory - by Justin Raimondo
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Using the Howe and Struass model of the historical saeculum, this was always my intuition regarding Barack Obama: That he was not a third turning candidate (as was Hillary Clinton), but a fourth turning one, and thus would be an old-fashioned Democrat, opposed to the neo-feminist agenda which wreaked havoc from the 1970s up to now. Nothwithstanding the negative comments about his Youth Corps, this idea always struck me as a conservative one. It is wholly different from the day care feminist mentality. It would strengthen families, and not the reverse. My intuition is also that Obama , being a Democrat, is having to play into some of the leftover feminist ideology and agenda. My hope is that he is biding his time, waiting for the moment when he will break from them, and distinguish himself as no friend of their agenda.
He has been compared to Geroge Washinton, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, James Madison, and many others. Obama is the receiver of projections. Jung called this talent for serving as the canvas for others to paint on, numinosity. This makes him very special, and beloved of millions in America and around the globe. From Shepard Fairey's famous Hope and Progress poster art, to a myriad of street artists and journalists, Obama has received the projections of hope and excitement from the collective well of the consciousness of the new millennium. One could say without exaggeration that President Barack Obama is the archetype of these changing times, with all the good and ill which that implies; the Hegelian hero, seizing the kairos, that moment where all seems possible again, where "everthing is new and yielding"; where things reach the apex and reversal, and a new era is born within the baptism of fire.
Of course he has also served as the slate on which paranoia and suspicion are holding a rendezvous with bigotry and hatred. There is always the underside, and the human shadow will also have its dark contents come to expression. Fears of facism, socialism, covert ties to Islam and terrorists and a mysterious birth and fatherhood: These have also been projected onto him. But thus far, he has received all in that elegant and understated way which distinguishes him in all things.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
From the Wilderness, A Voice of Reason: Mass hysteria is not a constitutional crisis | Obama Conspiracy Theories
Mass hysteria is not a constitutional crisis | Obama Conspiracy Theories
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Progressive Eruptions: FEDERAL JUDGE CALLS OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE CONTROVERSY A WASTE OF TIME
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AP Blasts Obama 'Hope' Artist in Copyright Flap | Threat Level from Wired.com
The Revolution Has Already Occurred
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Who's Afraid of Socialism? - The Plank
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You invited this wrath, you opened the door to the coming anarchy; you beckoned to this fate, by fiddling like Nero while Rome burned, and you have no one to blame but yourselves. Howe and Strauss - so astute, select, subtle and profound - way back in '97, in The Fourth Turning: An American Prophesy had clearly envisioned such a moment. A return to the middle, with a vengance: a radical reform, a turning on all that was previously tolerated, a frightening uniformity ( the rise of the Obama Youth Corps). Where were all when they were speaking, warning of such a moment? As in the days of Noah, they ate and drank and married, until the flood tides rose, and swept all away; so it will be with this generation. . .
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Earmark hypocrisy? - First Read - msnbc.com
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The biological essentialism which stemmed from the Aristotlean substance form ontology was a pre-scientific theory. In the medeival synthesis, Aquainas distinguised the individual from the form. This trend would continue, until in the 19th century Nietzsche advocated the negation of essentialism, reversing it (yet he clung to it regarding gender).
Social construction ideology of gender proports that all gender roles have been hoisted on us by social norms. Essentialism would say the opposite: Social norms arose from observing these essences. The belief in an underlying and fixed, unchanging essence is the conservative world view, while the postmodern liberal view would seek to falsify this in order to transform society. Evolving essentialism would be the moderate view, combining both aspects. This would be the reconciliation of essentialism and anti-essentialism, to admit that the underlying essences can partially evolve and shift, while leaving an intact core. Many people intuitively adopt this middle stance.
In feminism and the gay community, essentialist arguments have been posed, and have largely eroded. Particularly in the latter, the biological and genetic essentialims of LeVay has caused many gays to feel boxed in by such a "born that way" definition of their gayness. Although thought to be conducive to their vicitm identity, it has actually caused many to see their sexuality as an anomoly rather than an expression of individual liberty. Williams and Stein in Sexuality and Gender, ( 2002, Blackwell Publishing) attribute many conflicts within the gay community to essentialism. Those who would be natural political allies have been split into warring camps, the main conflict being whether one has adopted an essenitialist ideology or its opposite. Conceptions about one's place in society, and the meaning of behavior are affected by the lens through which the world is viewed.
Proponents of individual liberty cannot wholly adhere to essentialism if they are to maintain a cohesive perspective. False universalisms regarding gender, race, and ethinicity can obscure the individual who forms the nexus of his own actions and will. Reductionism is bad; relativism is worse; what is a philosopher to do? Compatiblism, which fuses essentialism with a margin for free will and adaptation must surely be the most reasonable and least counter-intuitive of stances.
From the field: Is a serious discussion of U.S. policy in the Arab-Israeli zone possible in Washington? Chas Freeman's exit
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Froth at the top, dregs at the bottom, but the middle, excellent.
I have never made but one prayer, and it was granted: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.".
Illusion is the first of all our pleasures.
Injustice in the end produces independence.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
It is not love, but self-love, which is blind.
It is lamentable that to be a good patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.