Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Steady Mist to Recall Departures, a Bitter Downpour for Betrayal

Obviously I'm still conflicted or I wouldn't have opened that can of Alpo yesterday.

Lookit, I don't know if and whom Al Gore would have bombed and invaded if he'd been POTUS@ 9/11. I am saying he would have eagerly bombed and invaded the minute he thought it in his political interest. In immediate post-9/11 America, does any person here doubt it would have been in his urgent political interest?

The always implicit question here is my complicity. There are still enough hippies on my side of the seesaw we can still grrrr a knucklebone of cultural war out of Corporate to help us ignore the consequences of war war.

The second implicit question is, if empire is empire - if Demco and Gopco both kill with equal amorality in pursuit of Empire's perpetuation as first act - do I materially support the party that amorally markets towards my own (a)moral beliefs and prejudices when lives in a crumbling empire are at stake? If my vote for Babs

helps make gay marriage legal in Maryland in exchange for Bab's patronage of Fort Meade and the NSA, what deal have I struck if I consider the latter more important?

Holyfuck, Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas or Sam Alito or John Roberts needs to DIE! resign suddenly during the Presidential campaign (how great would it be if it was Roberts?). Make Corporate have to make that decision at the height of next year's campaign if for no other reason than to poke me and see if I'm alive.

It's true! and it's President is threatening the District again!

We continue to work on this in both D.C. and Baltimore. We’re looking at several sites in D.C. We’ve had several conversations with the District. There’s no specific proposals being discussed at this time, but I believe there is a general consensus in the Wilson Building [city government headquarters] that they certainly want D.C. United to remain in D.C. On the other hand, Baltimore will probably come forward with a pretty solid proposal. There’s certainly a great location in Baltimore and a willing developer. We’ll be deciding, I hope, sometime this year what our future is.

As far as which of the two cities, our name is D.C. United and we don’t take that lightly, but the Baltimore opportunity is a real one and we have to take it seriously and do our due diligence in both locations.

Fuck-me-jig, I'll grit my teeth and drive to Baltimore, though by this timetable (a decision this Fall) there's probably at least two more years at RFK.

One of my five desert island authors, Stanley Elkin, was born 81 years ago today:

Ben, everything there is is against your being here! Think of get-togethers, family stuff, golden anniversaries in rented halls, fire regulation celebrated more in the breach than the observance, the baked Alaska up in flames, everybody wiped out - all the cousins in from coasts, wiped out. Rare, yes - who says not - certainly rare, but it could happen, has happened. And once is enough if you've been invited. All the people picked off by plagues and folks eaten by earthquakes and drowned in the tidal waves, all the people already dead that you might have been or who might have begat the girl who married the guy who fathered the fellow who might have been your ancestor - all the showers of sperm that dried on his Kleenex or spilled on his sheets or fell on the ground or dirtied his hands when he jerked off or came in his p.j.'s or no, maybe he was actually screwing and the spermatozoon had your number written on it and it was lost at sea because that's what happens, you see - there's low motility and torn tails - that's what happens to all but a handful out of all the googols and gallons of come, more sperm finally than even the grains of sand I was talking about, more even than the degrees. Well - am I making the picture for you? Am I connecting the dots? Ben, Ben, Nick the Greek wouldn't lay a fart against a trillion bucks that you'd ever make it to this planet!
- The Franchiser

And it was wondrous in the negligible humidity how they gawked across the perfect air, how, stunned by the helices and all the parabolas of grace, they gasped, they sighed, these short-timers who even at their age could not buy insurance at any price, not even if the premiums were paid in the rare rich elements, in pearls clustered as grapes, in buckets of bullion, in trellises of diamonds, how, glad to be alive, they stared at each other and caught their breath.

 - Magic Kingdom


Lawrence Raab

Because so much consequential thinking
happens in the rain. A steady mist
to recall departures, a bitter downpour 
for betrayal. As if the first thing
a man wants to do when he learns his wife
is sleeping with his best friend, and has been
for years, the very first thing
is not to make a drink, and drink it,
and make another, but to walk outside
into bad weather. It's true
that the way we look doesn't always
reveal our feelings. Which is a problem
for the movies. And why somebody has to smash
a mirror, for example, to show he's angry
and full of self-hate, whereas actual people 
rarely do this. And rarely sit on benches
in the pouring rain to weep. Is he wondering
why he didn't see it long ago? Is he wondering
if in fact he did, and lied to himself?
And perhaps she also saw the many ways 
he'd allowed himself to be deceived. In this city 
it will rain all night. So the three of them
return to their houses, and the wife
and her lover go upstairs to bed
while the husband takes a small black pistol
from a drawer, turns it over in his hands,
then puts it back. Thus demonstrating
his inability to respond to passion
with passion. But we don't want him
to shoot his wife, or his friend, or himself.
And we've begun to suspect
that none of this is going to work out,
that we'll leave the theater feeling
vaguely cheated, just as the movie,
turning away from the husband's sorrow,
leaves him to be a man who must continue,
day after day, to walk outside into the rain,
outside and back again, since now there can be
nowhere in this world for him to rest.


  1. Used to love that JW bit when I went to movies at the Senator in Baltimore.

  2. The ad still plays at The Charles Theatre. Babs supports Social Security and wants Bawlmer United, so your complicity grows ever complicated.

    But to your excellent analysis of picking a party based on social/moral issues knowing full well that the 2 of them are going to do the functional equivalent of the same fucking thing, it seems to me that the anti-gay, anti-choice, anti responsibility, pro-state murder, anti-furriner, etc. folks are just as convinced as you are that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Not that their complicity is worse than yours or that it absolves me of my complicity either.

    The funny thing is that some people actually believe that some fraud of a hair splitting motherfucker is going to change the course of the nation by convincing 8 other hair-splitting, motherfucking frauds through legal reasoning. I would appoint a hypnotist.

  3. I think waiting for jack's solution amounts to waiting for us all to be fighting for the last dog of Alpo.

    If that's our hope, I'd be better off just leaving the country now while I can afford to. After all, I don't have a daughter to worry about (or a job, for that matter).

    There is a side that wants you to give up and not bother voting. It's the same side that honors the principle "one dollar, one vote".

    I'm not saying that the Democrats aren't horrible (and getting worse!), but I am saying that 1) Republicans are in fact, worse (and have been at least since they figured the Southern strategy was a handy tool, and 2) what's your answer to the problem (waiting for us all to be fighting over the can of Alpo, when the poor will finally solve it?)

  4. Speaking of DC's professional soccer team... recently I got a new video game, FIFA 10, and started career manager mode -- for the uninitiated, that means I choose a team and act as its manager. You know what team I chose? The one with the VW logo! Yeah buddy!

    I finally understand why you call him St Benny of Olsen.

  5. Meanwhile, arguments that the GOP is "worse" remain as ill-considered and rooted in nostalgia for a Noble Donkeyparty That Never Really Was.

    When you vote Dem, you vote for their rhetoric, not their acts.

    When you vote for NOT REPUBLICAN, you're not voting FOR anything.

    ("you" above is generic, not accusatory)

  6. And as to the SCOTUS, please... don't imagine those Justices are moral paragons for EITHER morality (i.e., Team We Love Gay Marriage, or Team We Love Stopping Abortion). They are Career Politicians. The Law --especially Fed laws/regs/policy at the SCOTUS level-- is a political hot potato, not an architecture for social benevolence.

  7. Oh, believe me, I've no illusions about SCOTUS. I just want Obama to have to replace a far right justice in the heat of next year's election for no larger reason than my amusement.

    Corporate loves the 5-4 alignment. Obamapologists claim the strongest reason to support Obama is realigning SCOTUS. I want him to have to make the decision while his political survival is at stake. Might be fun! even educational!

    Well, at least fun.

  8. When you vote Dem, you vote for their rhetoric, not their acts.

    Yeah, who cares about that Civil Rights Act of 1964, anyways?

    And as to the SCOTUS, please...

    The Citizens United stems directly from Bush, rather than Gore, becoming president and appointing the likes of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Would you care to argue that Gore would have done the same thing, or is it that the C.U. decision simply doesn't matter?

  9. Thunder, that's precisely why I want Obama to have to nominate a replacement for Alito or Roberts or Thomas or Scalia during the heat of the election campaign, to see what Obama would do. I think I know what he would do (nominate a safe centrist who digs executive and Corporate power); I'd like him to have the chance to prove me wrong.

    As to your first point, I agree, but I'd also point out that the president that worked the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also brought us an escalated Vietnam.

    As for answers, I don't have any. That's why I keep asking the same question in as many different ways I can think of.

  10. Thunder,

    I'm not offering a solution. Just a description of a what I believe to be an observable trend. The Reagan revolution is coming to an end. What replaces that revolutionary transitional state will be much much stronger than I think many people can currently comprehend. It's not like the Republic was ever a good little beastie, but the coming "Imperium" (for lack of a better word) is going to be hard to resist because it will be lean and efficient.

    Conservatives are wrong about small government. It's not less likely to do harm. It's more likely, because it has fewer encumbrances. It carries less weight. The Nazis (oy, Godwin!) spent their first five years reducing the size of government, consolidating departments and eliminating wasteful or redundant positions of mojo and power. They emerged with an efficient beast, whatever its other problems.

    Our own former expansive managerial behemoth was capable of any number of ills (especially using its fast adaptive instruments, such as the federal police and the military), but it was slow to move, especially domestically. Its many fiefdoms and competing electoral receiverships made it a contest ground for petty political disputes and patronage. It was stable, relatively tolerant and benignly corrupt, at least for most White Americans. As it has become leaner and meaner, it has become more revolutionary, and subsequently more dangerous.

    As for solutions - those are not fit to publish or print, what with the expression of them being utterly illicit, never mind seditious.

    Mr. Red,

    Thanks link and kind, as always.

  11. Posted for Richard:

    "Yeah, who cares about that Civil Rights Act of 1964, anyways?"

    This is just offensive. First of all, comparing the social climate of the mid-1960s with that of today should make it easy for you to see what is wrong with your set of arguments. Instead, you give Democratic politicans credit for progressive social change (I don't like the word progressive, or the telos of progress, but I'm using it here for the sake of expediency). The Civil Rights Act, a, does not exist without the previous two decades of movement from below, and, b, arguably undercut the forward
    progress of that movement. (Politicians don't initiate what we would think of as positive change, they react, they try to contain--the Civil Rights Act was a containment, as was the New Deal. They do initiate negative change, because they are beholden to power and Capital. That's why they're there.) Second, you are implying that such legislation would never have
    happened with Republicans in the White House. But Republicans respond to public pressure, too. Where do you think the EPA came from? Who was president then?

  12. K'mpec, we hardly knew ye. Which is a shame, because there was a potential 2012er.

    Re: answers, if there are any, and since it's an equation involving humans, highly unlikely, Jack's unspoken ones are probably the only ones, not that that would solve long-term because, again, humans.

    But since I couldn't ever see myself Molotoving or popping caps in asses (do kids still use that?), not being an asshole (I always reserve the right to be a fucking jerk) to fellow shlubs is about as solutiony as it gets.

  13. Politicians don't initiate what we would think of as positive change, they react, they try to contain--the Civil Rights Act was a containment, as was the New Deal.

    Thanks, Richard.

    I'm actually saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have happened without Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House. Maybe something like it would have happened at later. It did lead to the ongoing Republican Southern Strategy, which shows that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans (*sarcasm!*).

    As for speaking against the New Deal, you'd best hope that my mom's ghost doesn't find out where you live. (For the record, I consider believing that my mom has a ghost that might haunt Richard as plausible as believing that Al Gore would have invaded Iraq. It leads us to this.)

  14. O, Gore, Supremes: Strawmen burn nice. Fire! Huh-huh-huh. Fire!

    If it's two years to Charm City, at least we'll have the ICC. Hah! Suck on that complicity!

    And OMFG, font size? Do I actually have to teach you how to use the chickenlips button? Techtard.

    Prussian Charles: Have you tried Football Manager? It's computer, not console, and it's a totally different emphasis, while the first-person nature of EA/FIFA may be what attracts you. Being a man of many gaming textures (yeah, yeah, okay, I have the same attention span as my autistic 10-year-old), I have/like both.

    (It's freakin' AWESOME to discuss gaming in His comments section. Next up: a cogent analysis of why people are slow to give up D&D 3.5 for the 4.0 edition. Hah!)

  15. If FIFA10 has Al Gore running around in a Fredsux 27, sheeyit, I'll play.

  16. Oh, and one of those for you, too, Thunder. But careful--some of our friends here think that you and I might be facing the wrong way with the wall at our backs one of these days. I mostly don't bait them, just in case that charms them into not Punching This Motherfucker, comes the time.

    Oh, and I have trouble competently linking here (because, y'know, I'm as willing to call myself a techtard as I am to call Him one), but there's an fabulous take, one I think we can all agree on, linked from a brief post over at my place. Not to blogwhore or anything.

    Lessee...anyone I missed? Right...hey, Randall, how do, Fuck the Steelers.

  17. The Citizens United stems directly from Bush, rather than Gore, becoming president and appointing the likes of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Would you care to argue that Gore would have done the same thing, or is it that the C.U. decision simply doesn't matter?

    Citizens United is nothing. You well overestimate its effect. What it "sanctified" was practice already. You seem to think it momentous and horrific -- I say it is no change whatever.

    Civil Rights Act? I laugh. A vehicle to push racism under the carpet. It's still there, even though the carpet lays atop.

    You think legislation and court decisions are the landscape.

    I say the landscape is human behavior, not the supposed "authority" residing in parchments.