Sunday, September 2, 2018

Thickets Darkening, Ravines Ugly

  • The Religion of Whiteness Goes Suicide Cult.
  • Nothing kicked my remaining stupid Liberal theological belief in progress to the curb more than the oohs and aahs at Obama's eulogy for motherfucking McCain in particular and the orgiastic beatification of McCain in general
  • since the last time til the next.
  • Capitalism is working as designed, is suicide cult.
  • Labor's Day, more or less?
  • Here is a paragraph from an article by a Nobel Prize winning economist: The Obama administration made a crucial mistake in 2009 in not pursuing a larger, longer, better-structured, and more flexible fiscal stimulus. Had it done so, the economy’s rebound would have been stronger, and there would have been no talk of secular stagnation. As it was, only those in the top 1% saw their incomes grow during the first three years of the so-called recovery
  • Dumb motherfucker, it can't be a mistake if it's what Obama wanted to do. 
  • Honest question - does Stiglitz honestly believe Obama ever considered any other option.
  • UPDATE! Link fixed, thanks Nathan! Lifting Up a Bloodstained, Lying, Venal Servant of Capitalist Empire.
  • Read Gray's Straw Dogs again, and while I don't disagree with his thesis his thesis can be used to excuse any and all human shittiness, which of course proves his thesis that progress serves the same theological purpose of neutralizing human shittiness (shittiness in serfs, that is) in service of an elite shittiest.
  • The death by fracking of southwest Pennsylvania.
  • Zombie Manifesto
  • Maggie's weekly links
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Gmail asking me to take a survey explaining why I deleted ads unread is fuck you unto fine metaphors abounding.
  • Straw Dogs, however, does support my pantheism, I'll enjoy visiting rocks and trees today, squirrels, chipmunks, crows, snakes, wild turkeys, maybe a bear if I'm lucky.


Theodore Roethke

In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.


  1. I remember there was hue and cry from the opposition party, or obstruction party I should say, for AUSTERITY. Cut everything, no stimulus. There were pressures to compromise. Not sure Obama—or any US president—had the authority to implement a stimulus by FIAT, which is apparently what many believe. Stieglitz is correct in assessing the shortcomings, but to ascribe intentionality to a complex, multi-party, negotiated policy program seems logically fallacious and informationally shall we say impoverished. Could he have gotten more? If he'd tried, would Republicans shut down government altogether to prevent it? These are political questions which are, tbh, outside his bailiwick.

  2. Regarding the employment rate quoted by Steiglitz this is, as I understand it, the result of the government playing games with statistics. They decided not to count the millions of people that had given up on finding work which skewed the employment rate. Then there are the jobs themselves, mostly service industry jobs where you see people who have two or even three jobs and still unable to earn a decent living. How can you call this a recovery?

    Then there's the consideration of the impact of industrialization on the environment. I don't think that anyone would argue that the bipartisan so-called free trade agreements, along with the rise of robotics, have decimated good paying jobs in the US resulting in highly educated people working for peanuts flipping hamburgers and taking orders from teenagers. The real question, it seems to me, is that can we still afford to have an industrial economy like we had after the end of WWII. Are high paying jobs compatible with mitigating the effects of global warming. It would seem not. To make matters worse human populations are growing exponentially. And with the decimation of agriculture due to global warming along with growing populations it seems like a vicious circle that cannot be contained mainly because we actually live in a state of anarchy that is incapable of doing anything concrete for the greater good. So-called civilization is just a highly stylized version of nature red in tooth and claw, a dog eat dog world where the weak go to the wall and the most aggressive and vicious rise to the top and those that are born into money like Trump have all the advantages.

    When President Drone bailed out the banksters ignoring the victims it should have been clear that government is merely a façade, a fantasy created to mollify the masses. Policies are the result of the wishes of a few extraordinarily wealthy oligarchs, certainly not the wishes of the general population where a majority supports a single payer medical system but who will likely never live to see that happen here in the US. Capitalism is a total fraud that rewards the already few super-rich oligarchs as is the US Constitution created by the wealthy land owners of that era in order to ensure that the rich will stay rich and the peasants will remain peasants. You can't fix what isn't broken as they say.

  3. 1)speaking as someone [self]diagnosed with bipolar disorder, i can resonate with roethke's description of how difficult and dangerous the trip he's talking about is

    2)nevertheless, i also think of peter gabriel's song, particularly as a duet with kate bush, 'don't give up'

    3)this poem by red hawk appears as the prologue to Self Observation: The Awakening of Conscience: an Owner's Manual

    The Teaching

    It is as old as the stones.
    It came with Humans to the Earth
    and it offers them a way out
    of the web of sorrows
    but at a price:
    we must observe ourselves,
    our behavior, our
    inner and outer responses,
    objectively. This means
    without taking a personal interest
    or doing anything about
    the horror
    which self observation uncovers:
    like a bad boy with a stick
    overturning a stone
    and finding a mass of crawling things
    beneath, but
    he refrains
    from stomping on them.

    4)the process discussed in red hawk's book - self-observation - is noticing what's going on around you, and what you are doing, and also how you are feeling - is paying attention to what's happening WHILE it's happening - NOT chewing the cud of one's earlier life or one's ambivalence about this, that or the other thing - and as the poem states, one aspect of this paying attention is the attempt to do so dispassionately

    5)a couple poems by james tate with self-observational metaphors are in the comments at

    6)and now for something not so completely different - a nytimes story about a man given up for adoption by his teenage mother, whose search for his birth parents (when he was about to have a child of his own) eventually resulted in his officiating at their wedding -

    6a)he did so as a licensed minister of dudeism - see

    6b)and do look at the dudeist logo - although based on the bowling ball, it has a face-like aspect

    6c)and again turning to something less different than it appears - also this weekend i have been reading john patrick willmett's doctoral dissertation about maurice nicoll (university of edinburgh, 2017) - "Maurice Nicoll and the Kingdom of Heaven: a study of the psychological basis of ‘esoteric Christianity’ as described in Nicoll’s writings"

    this, in combination with being reminded about john gray's contribution to the argument about "humans are special animals/ordinary animals/particularly terrible animals"

    reminds me of the "justification by faith/justification by works" theological disagreement so relevant to nicoll's father, a presbyterian minister

    these are issues that can only be resolved at a higher level of analysis - or with a greater amount of slack, to use a dudeist metaphor

    7) one more poem - from edmund falconer, born edmund o'rourke - 1814?-1879


    By Killarney's lakes and fells,
    Em'rald Isles and winding bays,
    Mountain paths and woodland dells,
    Mem'ry ever fondly strays.
    Bounteous nature loves all lands,
    Beauty wanders every-where,
    Foot-prints leaves on many strands,
    But her home is surely there.


    Angels fold their wings and rest,
    In that Eden of the West,
    Beauty's home Killarney—
    Ever fair Killarney

  4. The adoration of monsters like McCain by liberals is nothing new. For example take Truman (or leave him) who is adored by many liberals even though he dropped two atomic bombs on Japan even as Japan was trying to surrender. The typical answer to criticism of this is that it saved lives (meaning American lives mostly). However there is strong historical evidence that the bombs were used to impress Russia. And indeed Russia was impressed. So impressed in fact that they soon had their own atomic weapons, and the world was a much happier place. Confront liberals with this and they will adamantly reject it completely. To them Truman was a hero, which I suspect is mainly because he was a Democrat. So all this brown nosing of McCain by liberals doesn't surprise me in the least.

    I don't know for sure if liberals have always been hypocrites or if they have changed over time but it matters little as they are what they are now. They want to be seen as patriotic as the conservative right. They support wars as long as said wars are led by a big D democrat like President Deporter (Obama). They delude themselves by believing that there is such a thing as humanitarian interventions completely dismissing what militaries have done for thousands of years which is mass murder, rape, and pillaging. I cringe at my own complicity in considering myself a liberal for many years thus making myself a total hypocrite and a moronic fool.

    I suppose I could excuse my own utter stupidity and ignorance by saying I was fooled by the opposition to the Vietnam War and the opposition to the Jim Crow south (as if there was no racism in the north) by liberals in those glory days of my youth. But I really can't. My views were a product of lazy thinking (or none at all) and my own naivety. Then, of course, there is that human inclination to want to believe that the we are good people. This is not confined to liberals but is also true of conservatives. None of it bears close scrutiny.

    1. see Dennis Perrin's book Savage Mules

    2. I've got a copy, an excellent book. It was Dennis Perrin who helped me see things more clearly for which I am grateful. It's people like Dennis Perrin that sometimes I think there may be hope for the human race.

  5. I came across this twitter page via Jonathan Schwarz and found this great really short video. Enjoy: