Dire Prediction

Blue Skull

Blue Skull

When it came to close up, hard focus revulsion, nothing could beat the movies. The most recent item I’d seen at the Ritz ended with the mother of a graphically raped daughter just as graphically castrating the villain with her teeth. On all sides, hoots of delighted approval from an audience of teenage troglodytes munching big Macs and pizza.

Where did such fury come from? Such a vindictive rage? Almost resentfully, I told myself they don’t have the right to go so ugly-nuts. They haven’t earned it. That should be the privilege of age and much suffering.

Or was there, I wondered, some deeper human sensibility rising to the surface here, a thin-skinned, hair-trigger capacity for hurt that would no longer deny it self-expression? If so, hurt by what? These weren’t the casualties of atrocity, of historic horror, of which there were many tending their scars with quiet dignity. These were pampered suburban school kids, for gods’ sake, seemingly unscathed in their enclaves of affluence. Hurt, then, by life itself. Cheated by the act of birth, striking out, hitting back. Was that possible?

True, these tacky little films were a fringe phenomenon. But new growth, including rot, starts at the fringe, working in, and these days traveling at a dizzy pace. No more than a few years after underground and sexploitation films had pioneered the way, major movies at first-run houses were featuring glossier versions of the same sadistic capers, ghoulishness, kinky sex, diabolical obsession. All of which, once it penetrated the mainstream cinema, was apt to be heralded by leading critics as a bold stroke, a daring innovation, a breakthrough. As if everyone, even the best and the brightest, were just waiting for the barriers to crumble.

And here I was at the poisoned source of it all. In this audience, I senseed I was close to some privileged vision into the troubled soul of the time, a truth with a twisted face. The experience took my thoughts back more than a dozen years to a time when movies still largely belonged to an adult culture and the quaint phrase “art film” still held a bright promise. Clare, who was the product and still the game champion of that era, had offered me one of my most memorable lessons in film criticism. It might have been a review of the movie I’d seen that day.

At the time I was still an impressionable undergraduate; and with my film courses, we were using the famous shower murderscene from Hitchcock’s Psycho to learn some fundamentals of film editing. The movie was then Hitchcock’s most recent release, and this shocking sequence had quickly been identified as a stunning technical tour de force. Enthusiastically, I reported to Claire how my instructor was deftly combing through the 70/count them 70/separate shots that compose this sensational minute of film in which Janet Leigh is hacked to bloody ribbons in the tub. Claire greeted my report with a cold stare and total silence. The following week, she rented Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train and arranged to borrow a freeze-frame projector. Then she led me frame by frame through the tennis match sequence at the end of the movie. She did this quite expertly, delineating the thematic contrast between the sunlit tennis court and the murderers hand reaching down into the dark sewer.

I was deeply impressed by the analysis. Even so, I ventured to say that the effect in Psycho was better. Claire scoffed. With her typical perversity, she let me know she deplored much-praised Psycho and insisted that Strangers was Hitchcock’s last good movie before he turned psychotically self-indulgent.

“But more important then which film is better,” she went on, “is your judgment, Johnny, about what you saw/or think you saw. Sure, Psycho is razzle-dazzle editing. But did your teacher also call it to your attention that Psycho is sick thrills? Never take your eye off the ball, lover. Otherwise, any clever mechanic with a moviolas a lot will sucker you in every time. This is a mighty medium. It lends itself to such abuse. Look, I show you gorgeous sequence from Strangers on a Train has just as much tension, plus elegance, symbolic overtones, plus no blood. But you tell me Psycho is better. Why? It’s a crummy script, a contrived plot, badly paced, miserably constructed. So why do you think it’s better/really better? Admit it. You’re a man, sitting here in the protective dark, watching a naked lady getting knifed in all her private parts. That’s cliché porn, no matter how you slice it. Believe me, the guys who applaud such mayhem in the shower would be getting their rocks off if Hitchcock gave them the scene in one long take/in slow motion yet.”

Exasperated, she made a dire prediction. “Psycho is the beginning of something very bad. Mark my words. In another few years, every sadistic nut in the film industry is going to be grinding out mad slasher helpless female victim flicks, served up with fancy editing, the same types were praising Psycho will be saluting what they see as film art. Meanwhile, the women of the world will have to start walking the streets dressed in armor. And after that, it’s going to be straight ahead into new frontiers of mayhem. I wouldn’t be surprised if there comes a day when they hire disposable extras for guaranteed lethal stunts. Just remember, my dear, the pictures move/that’s a good trick. But either they move to tell the human truth or they’re just a trick. Movement that excites without personal contact/that’s a good definition of masturbation. And not caring how you fuck over the person you contact/that’s the rape of the mind.”

/ Theodore Roszak, Flicker, in chapter 20.

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Heads-Up World, a Rat Stew column for Tom Sadler’s The Reluctant Famulus

Rat Stew by Gene Stewart
“Heads-Up World”

I got a Nike wrist band for Yule. It is a watch, showing the time, and strongly water resistant. In addition, it collects a set of data on how much one moves and reduces it to a Nike number they call Fuel, as well as showing estimated steps and calories burned.

Having lost major weight using a food & exercise log, I understand the principles and like them. My experience of the Nike wrist band is interesting, though, because the first level of monitoring feedback it offers are color-coded dots. They appear under the time when you press the button to check it. They range right to left from red through orange, yellow, and green. Getting into the green is good. Means you’ve moved a lot.

It is a simplified, even simplistic, system but I find this child-like gold-star motivation works in ways more complex metrics tracking does not.

When heads-up displays first came into use they overloaded cockpits and helmets with hyper-realistic 3D HUD imagery and data. They were for a brief time essentially high-density video game scenes.

This confused the pilots and tank drivers. Simple shapes and basic colors worked far better to impart needed information. Making the displays abstract and simple was the key to increasing efficiency and decreasing distraction and blur. Color-coded circles, squares, and triangles on X-Y grids worked better than photorealistic depictions of terrain.

This is the effect I’m experiencing. I’d much rather see red, orange, yellow, and green dots in a line to mark basic progress than continually monitoring numbers and complex data interplay. That they’ve reduced it to a glance lets some criticize Nike but it is intended as an aid and support system, not a substitute for the genuine data tracking needed for in-depth analysis.

Diabetics almost always stop monitoring their blood glucose levels after the novelty and doctors’ scare-tactics wear off. The medicos even call it Diabetic Fatigue because to label is to be able to charge for in our commodifying world.

I’d bet more diabetics would stick with it if the system dropped the numbers and adopted colored symbols. Eliminating the need for blood samples would help too; there exist finger-tip light sensors that measure blood glucose the way they do O2 levels, by how the light refracts. These passive sensors are not widely available yet; the whole diabetes support equipment industry is still too profitable, with all the flechettes, stick pens, monitors, monitor strips, (each with gold in them, which is why you see roadside home-made signs for people wanting to collect them), and so much else for them to keep peddling.

There are also light sleeves that show phlebotomists where veins are ripe for drawing blood, eliminating multiple sticks, pokes, and rooting around under the skin. Hospitals catering to the rich have these; the rest of us can wait or do without. Did that hurt?

Rich folks can also afford and are afforded complex blood/medicine analysis perfectly to adjust doses, med mixes, and to eliminate unwanted drug interactions. Insurance won’t cover this despite the many lives it would save and the reduction of unnecessary meds prescribed (sold).

Profits would fall, so forget it, and if poor people die, well, who’s gonna notice, right? Repeal Obamacare! More guns!

As my 56th birth month draws to a close my wife is flying back from business in DC, her ears messed up by cabin pressure, airplane flu making her miserable. She said it was a bumpy flight with weird, glowy high-altitude fog, possibly a layer of warmer air higher than usual.

I nearly wrote “temperature inversion”. This put me in mind of the 1948 smog disaster in Donora, Pennsylvania. It was blamed on a freak temperature inversion, one that happened neither before nor since. Turns out that explanation was bullshit. Most likely industrial malfeasance caused it, as we’ve seen recently so often in situations such as the West Virginia Freedom Industries water-destroying toxic dump or North Carolina’s Duke Power devastating the environment for decades with untold violations of EPA rules and basic common sense.

It amazes how so much we’re taught and taught to accept as fact and reality is really a tissue of lies screening crimes and horrors. Unsolved crimes are often kept that way to protect powerful interests. Mystery bleeds into mystification to keep the masses ignorant of how things work. This keeps them docile.

We live on the set of a movie we’re not being paid to act in, set-designed and directed by 1% shadows.

Stories about those who look past the movie set or seek to escape the studio altogether are a staple kind of thriller. All this kind of thinking as we’ve traversed above was used well in Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, ostensibly the account of a search for a mysterious movie director but really an exploration of our existential plight. His films are so upsetting they are repressed, shown only in informal gatherings in places such as the Paris or Rome catacombs or in NYC’s layers of sewers. People go mad at them.

Echoing almost the same thematic structure is Flicker by Theordore Roszak, about a director of horror films who may have depicted the genuinely uncanny. The deeper one tracks down the movies, the less real reality becomes.

There is a Paul Theroux novella, Half Moon Street, about a beautiful college girl who finances her schooling at the very best economics courses in England by becoming a high-priced prostitute. Call girl, she calls it. She caters to the powerful, wealthy men in her father’s circle of business ‘friends’. In this way she gains access to people who run the world, the 500 or 5000 who count, who matter, whose absence or death would have world-wide consequences and repercussions.

She fancies her chances of attaining such stature herself until, at a dinner party, a bit tipsy, she lets her aspiration slip out into general conversation. A man who is a member of the coveted elite scoffs and belittles first her lofty ambitions, then her. “You’re nothing but a rapidly-aging, slightly tatty peasant who makes her living with the little patch of fur she sits on,” is more or less how he puts it.

It shatters her confidence and she realizes she will never be anyone who ‘matters’.

In EYES WIDE SHUT, Tom Cruise’s character, a restless successful doctor who senses, and wants, more to life, realizes in the end that, although he’s had a glipse of the makers of the world he inhabits, he will never be invited, or tapped, to awaken to it, and so must return to the mundane sleep of a lesser life.

In Night Film the protagonist, reporter Scott McGrath, realizes he must stay no only on set in the studio but in the shadow-play of life’s flickering movie. He will never direct.

All the same theme, essentially a cry of angst.

Debussy wrote music, some programmatic, some metaphorical, on similar themes. He was a Rosicrucian and of the Golden Dawn, among other esoteric groups, as were many 19th Century composers, artists, and writers.

Are there such artists today, seeking to pull back the curtain to see the little man behind the great and powerful illusions?

A few might name Kubrick or hint at Hitchcock, even as they think of Cocteau and certainly Ingmar Bergman. Among the living, Thomas Pynchon might qualify, or Neal Stephenson perhaps.

PKD is dead, alas, and no one has yet taken his place, if anyone ever can.
Perhaps the modern age’s visionaries who see past reality’s false theatricality are scientists. Hawking, Penrose, and that ilk come to mind. Maybe they will be recognized as visionaries, as Einstein was, only in later times, after their Tesla-like advancement is caught up to.

Or could there be none today breaking on through to Jim Morrison’s other side?

Numinous art exists; we find it all the time. It is spread via internet along with all the dross and it’s our responsibility to see it if we can, to find what we can of it and draw others’ attentions to it.

Only then can a tipping point be reached, a threshold passed, leading to a greater awakening that might, if we’re lucky, let us see things more clearly as they are, rather than as they’ve been arranged for us in this simplified heads-up world.

1414 words
Fri 28 Feb ’14
14:14 Central Time

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Some Recent Culls From the Flow

Deer

A Warm Touch In Cold Woods

Ink is text juice
Wrung from blood

Tracks untrue
Lure to traps

Spring is pounce
Fall is over

Winter loses
Summer calls

Hidden in leaves
Clinging to branches

Oral sex in a
Swaying tree’s embrace

Prayer works only to
Raise and focus one’s
Energy and effort.

There are things
We cannot do

Miracles are anomalies
The mechanism for which
We do not yet know.

Lightning rods draw strikes
Inducing anomalies
Because we grasped the mechanism.

Before lightning rods
Bolts from the blue
Symbolized random.

Now is always the time
To honor ancient deities

A season of mysteries
In times of swirling abandonment

Travel the spirit world
Walk with your boon companion

In words, by streams of
Endless thought shapes.

/// /// ///

/ W B Kek

#

When nothing is left
But blunt reality
We see
We stand on rocks
Slick with slime
In a tidal pool
Warmed by a
Bloated sun, the air
A dance of humidity,
Our sky electric with
Lightning, dark with smoke
From birthing volcanoes.
We cry
Our cries
Subsumed by
Roiling seas, flying spray,
Wind lashing in fitful slaps.
We grow toward
Light and stillness.
Entropy just laughs.

/ W B Kek, “Hephaestus In Despond”
66 words, 20 lines

#

In the Alcove

It’s funny, what one is worth, isn’t it?

You know the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind”
but you never know how painful it can be.

A masterless samurai is a ronin.
What is a knight errant with no scarf?
Does errant cover that?
What is he worth?
Where is the light?
No sun, no stars, milady Moon a sliver caught in scud.

I know why knights went on impossible, suicidal quests.
Slaying dragons keeps you busy.

Fat is my dragon.
More widely, health.
This alcove is snug though.
Could easily be a grave.
I hear Procol Harum’s “Conquistador”,
“Under Cover of the Night” by the Stones,
So many more cries of anguish, despair, and defiance.

Some muses wander.
“Are you leaving me?”
“Don’t you trust me?”
Yes. Oh yes, milady, yes.
And then nothing.
No words.
Not a touch in passing.
Not a smile across a crowded room.
Not an instant spared to say ‘I’m here, all is well.’

One is left to kindle faith from damp twigs in a blizzard.
All one wants is the sun’s return.
Light and warmth, that bright regard.
Yet echoes in the wilderness ask questions.
Echoes of those echoes kindle the smoke of doubt.
It is worth it, after all?
Is it foolish tilting at a windmill giant only you can see?
Is it you doing all the work to build a castle of clouds?
Is it you alone holding one end of a rope tied to air?

Dignity in the fall remains a choice.
Become stone stood in barren land.
Stone can roll downhill only to the flats.
Stand up to catch what light may fall to you.
Gather shadows as your due.

Iron filings fly without will.
Draw; do not be drawn.
A lodestone’s boulder be.

/// /// ///

#

Cthonic Plea Sans Divinity’s Grace

Spectral stone, striations gradient of shadowed truth
Split flat, fashioned into stained stone majesty,
Our window into frozen hearts bequeaths us colors
Buried under unseen time, uncovered, happy accident,
In violent strikes against a stock-still earthen mound;
In artifacts lie evidence of erstwhile tragedy,
Mere proof we sang before unheard in time’s wilderness.

Dig deeper down to find me.
Pull harder now to raise me to your light.

/// /// ///

#

I heard an echo
Turned
Looked back at
Myself peering
At me in the dark
Because he
Heard an echo.

/ W B Kek, “Only”

#

How you enflame me
How you endgame me
How you reduce me to toy

How you entice me
Once, twice, and thrice me
How you induce me to buoy

With our words

How you engage me
How you last page me
How you produce in me joy

With your words

/ W B Kek, “As She Plays”

#

A star and the Sun are the same
Distance intervenes
We see them so differently
Perspective is our trap
We are One
No Separation
Sun Moon Stars Ourselves

/ Ayujen Tetari, Tenshin Monastery

#

Careful writing is faceted work.
Layered writing adds depth, like animation.
Layers fed pane by pane, cell by cell,
Through a single hungry lens.
Ferocious, desperate writing
Leaps chasms, often sailing into fire,
Diving into lava, seeking magma
At the heart of story’s core.
It can also soar above the fray;
What soars, plunges into chaos.
Height echoes depth, yearning to ignite.
Intensity births a cosmic reach,
Engenders calamitous falls.
How we write when left to discover self
Determines which worlds choose us.

/ W B Kek, “A Dream’s Stumble Into the Trenches”

#

Marks Made By Existence Upon Reality’s Stone

Mysteries impose and reinforce
Order upon the chaos of crime.
Horror reverses that formula,
Taking order of all sorts apart,
Scattering it, leaving us stranded.

Science fiction imposes order
On the future and, more generally,
On the unknown in any form.
Fantasy orders dreamland’s swirl
Of change and unpredictability.

Romance orders affairs of the heart,
Flames of the loins, cascades of passion,
Tames sex into a managed, mannered
Dance of sinuous ballroom slithers.

Mainstream describes literary chaos
Without regard to order being imposed,
Celebrating direct experience over thought,
Or cerebration’s victory over mere flesh.

Erotica puts our id in handcuffs,
Puts in order our disheveled bed of bitten nails,
Describes libido’s fevered lusts,
Imbues words with a glistening gloss of need.

Each writer imagines choice in what is written
Choice there is, as form and genre, line and shade
Choose us, as muses in their glory smile.

/// /// ///

11:56 Wed 12 Feb 2014

#

You hear about these terrible things.
You think people don’t do that, do they?
But they do, they really do snatch kids,
Women, anyone to use in unimaginable ways,
To keep hostage in dungeons, root cellars;
To rape, to murder, to mutilate.
They really do such appalling things.
Their atrocities masked by easy smiles,
Kind voices, generous gestures.
These monsters can be great neighbors,
Good friends, cherished relatives.
they can be respected community members,
Pillars of society, even celebrities
Whose mere presence draws attention,
Whose charisma excites crowds.
Most are average, though.  Most your gaze
Passes over without hitch or snag,
Never catching on the sharp hooks
Kept so well-hidden behind their nothingness.
Unless you are one of the unlucky ones.
If you are unlucky, you get a lesson
To last the rest of your suddenly shortened life.

///  ///  ///

Samael Gyre, “Atonement’s Lament”

#

Thoughtful people know they’re alone in a hostile world.
Too many are content to accept what the world dishes out.
Some decide to fight back by whatever means possible.
These are not so easily satisfied by accident’s share.

They demand more, Oliver Twisting their leveraged bets,
Scrooging to get what they want in the face of all ghosts.
They arrange things so accident, if it happens at all,
If it can find a way to weasel into the clogged pipes of planning,
Will benefit them with concentrated, not diffused, effects.

Among such people are a few who choose to ignore society,
Abandoning rules entirely, shrugging off constraint and scoffing
At restraint, humility, or modest gains as they live an
Autonomous life, doing as they wish and sloughing off
Consequence and responsibility as burdens of fools
Less aware than they of life’s grand lack of design.

Sociopaths, they’re called by polite society, despite
Being unable to see their path, perceive their view.
Precipitous, their path, so steep it dizzies and appalls
Mere human beings, one that invigorates the psychopathic few
Who imagine themselves strong enough to blaze trail there
On the isolated peaks and crags of utter isolation.
For such are often mistaken for leaders.

Monsters, they’re called in the dark by shivering huddled children.
This because the mundane call anything they cannot grasp,
Anything that scares them, monstrous and profane.

You’ve now taken the first tentative steps along the monster’s path.
Are you stern enough, dauntless of risk, daring to pursue your shadow?
How far does your inner vision reach into backlit darkness?
How far will each of you go in the footsteps of wilder beasts?

///  ///  ///

Moonlit Drop Trembling  /  12:50 Wed 12 Feb 2014

#

Headlines called him The Invisible Billionare.
His fortune flowed from music, TV, documentaries, and movies;
Real-estate came next, high-end resorts in wilderness
Where the rich could relax without leaving a footprint.

He insisted a third of the guests be drawn from those
Who could pay only a token of the exorbitant usual fee.

He was in the media as regularly as breathing but
Moved from entertainment to hard news
When a woman vanished while visiting one of his resorts,
A mansion in London, England’s different wilderness.

Police suspected him of wild party accident, the wages
Of sinful excess, and public opinion’s kangaroo court
Hopped to its usually vicious conclusion, calling for blood,
Mad for revenge on behalf of someone they’d never met.

Missing person case shifted to murder with political pressure
The hand on the hidden gear shift of power, vrooming toward
Offering up another sacrifice to insatiable public lusts,
Each worth a vote in sham democratic processes, each
Sealing a leak in the hull of the political ship of cash.

He vanished before any evidence could be cobbled against him.
Media howled that he’d fled, was in hiding, proof of guilt, yet
No sign, trace, or clue of him bubbled up from the muck they stirred so well.

He surfaced thirty-five years later in Omaha, Nebraska, USA,
Working as a volunteer investigator of cold cases for the police.
He declined all interviews and kept helping solve stalled, stale cases,
Bringing a measure of calm to families left in free fall for so long.

///  ///  ///

Split & Splice
13:39 Wed 12 Feb 2014 C.E.

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Lorde’s Suppressed, Censored Grammy Acceptance Speech

lordespeechmw01

Lorde:

Thankyou soo much everyone for making this song explode because this world is mental. (Laughter). Planet Earth is run by psychopaths that hide behind slick marketing, ‘freedom’ propaganda and ‘economic growth’ rhetoric,[1] while they construct a global system of corporatized totalitarianism.

As American journalist Chris Hedges has identified, a corporate totalitarian core thrives inside a fictitious democratic shell.[2] This core yields an ‘inverted’ totalitarian state that few recognize because it does not look like the Orwellian world of Nineteen Eighty-four.[3]

This corporate totalitarian core is spreading outward from America. Planet Earth is being rapidly militarized by the world’s major and significant states, including their police forces.[4] Meanwhile, state surveillance is becoming universal[5] and torture is outsourced to gulags.[6]

Can we not imagine that in past times, simple folk found it hard to work out exactly how they were being manipulated by the Royal monarchies, and the Papal monarchy, who claimed a ‘divine right to rule’? Ordinary people from classical times through to the demise of Ancien Regime could not see how the rivalrous network of elites and oligarchs were linked, not least because the illiterate masses were indoctrinated to believe in their humble lot, to obey divinely-endorsed authority and to live in fear of damnation.

So, in today’s mental world, it should become clearer now that Planet Earth is ruled by super-wealthy people, who use their outrageous fortunes to steer the trajectories of whole societies for their own material and political gain.[7] These oligarchs are, in fact, colluding for economic gain and conspiring to augment more political power.[8] Armies of professional, political, religious and military elites serve them.[9 Together, they comprise a highly-networked transnational capitalist class that has been traced in studies by: Peter Phillips and Brady Osborne;[10] William K. Carroll;[11] David Rothkopf;[12] Daniel Estulin;[13] and Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter.[14]

As Canadian journalist Naomi Klein has argued in her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, ‘free markets’ were slickly marketed in the 1980s and 1990s with the idea that they would deliver individual freedom and prosperity for all.[15] Klein also wrote that the use of military violence to facilitate the spread of ‘free markets’ in the field-testing stage from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s has continued into the 2000s. Her view is supported in Eugene Jarecki’s documentary Why We Fight (2006), which compellingly showed that America fights wars to make the world secure for its corporations.[16] So, get reading and viewing! (Lorde giggles and half the audience rises to their feet applauding. The other half remain fixed in their chairs. Some reluctantly clap).

Thankyou soo much everyone for giving a shit about our song, ‘Royals’. May you all find the balls to help construct a world based on resilient community, bona-fide freedom, and peace. To do that, we will need to redeploy the psychopaths that currently run the world to the planet’s prisons.[17] Peace cannot happen with reconciliation. That was Nelson Mandela’s mistake.[18] The first step to peace is justice firmly served.

========================================
See the full story “Clipping Queen Bee’s Wings: Lorde’s real Grammy speech suppressed” at

http://snoopman.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/clipping-queen-bees-wings-lordes-real-grammy-speech-suppressed/

And also:
The inside story behind Lorde’s meteoric rise: “Queen Bee Mentor: The professor who fed Lorde’s mental buzz”

http://snoopman.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/queen-bee-mentor-the-professor-who-fed-lordes-mental-buzz/

Speech Source References

[1] Snoopman. (2013, August 31). A Poorly Understood ‘Bargain’: How Democracy and the 60s Movements became Orphans in the ‘Free Market’ Era. Snoopman News. Retrieved from http://snoopman.net.nz/2013/08/31/a-poorly-understood-bargain-or-how-democracy-and-the-60s-movements-became-orphans-in-the-free-market-era/

[2] Hedges, Chris. (2014, January 6). The Last Gasp of American Democracy. Truthout. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/21052-chris-hedges-the-last-gasp-of-american-democracy

[3] Orwell, George. (1993). Nineteen Eighty-Four (5th ed.). London, England: Compact Books. (Original work published 1949).

[4] Chossudovsky, Michel. (2014, January 29). Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity. Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/imperial-conquest-americas-long-war-against-humanity/5364215

[5] WashingtonsBlog. (2013, December 18). Former Top NSA Official: “We Are Now In A Police State”. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/former-top-nsa-official-now-police-state.html; World Socialist Web Site. (2013, December 18). “Almost Orwellian”: US Judge indicts NSA spying. Retrieved from http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/18/pers-d18.html; Burghardt, Tom. (2013, November 10). The U.S. Secret State and the Internet: “Dirty Secrets” and “Crypto Wars” from “Clipper Chip” and ECHELON to PRISM. Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-u-s-secret-state-and-the-internet-dirty-secrets-and-crypto-wars-from-clipper-chip-to-prism/5357623

[6] Lendman, Stephen. (2013, November 12). America’s Global Gulag: Challenging Wrongful Convictions Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-global-gulag-challenging-wrongful-convictions/5357796?print=1; Lendman, Stephen. (2013, July 19). US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture. Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-courts-approve-indefinite-detention-and-torture/5343269

[7] Engdahl, F. W. (2009). Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century.Wiesbaden, Germany: edition.engdahl; Rowbotham, M. (1998). The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery and Destructive Economics. Charlbury, England: Jon Carpenter; Winters, J. A. (2011a). Oligarchy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

[8 Edwards, Steve. (2012). It’s the financial oligarchy, stupid: A study of Anglo-American news coverage during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and bank bailouts Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/5536

[9] Winters, J. A.(2012, February 27). Oligarchy in the U.S.A.: The wealth defense industry protects the richest of the rich. In These Times. Retrieved from http://inthesetimes.com/article/12698/oligarchy_in_the_u.s.a/

[10] Phillips, Peter & Osborne, Brady (2013, September 13). Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class. Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/exposing-the-financial-core-of-the-transnational-capitalist-class/5349617

[11] Carroll, W. K. (2010). The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class: Corporate Power in the 21st Century. London: Zed Books.

[12] Rothkopf, D. (2008). Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. London, England: Little, Brown.

[13] Estulin, D. (2009). The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (North American Union ed.). Walterville, OR: Trine Day LLC.

[14] Shoup, L. H. & Minter, W. (1977). Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

[15] Klein, N. (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Camberwell, Australia: Penguin Books.

[16] Jarecki, Eugene (2006). Why We Fight. [Motion Picture]. Sony Pictures Classics.

[17] Snoopman. (2013, August 31). A Poorly Understood ‘Bargain’: How Democracy and the 60s Movements became Orphans in the ‘Free Market’ Era. Snoopman News. Retrieved from http://snoopman.net.nz/2013/08/31/a-poorly-understood-bargain-or-how-democracy-and-the-60s-movements-became-orphans-in-the-free-market-era/

[18] (2014, January 28). The Audacity of Obama: A Black Wolf in Corporate Clothing. Snoopman News. Retrieved from http://snoopman.net.nz/2014/01/28/the-audacity-of-obama-a-black-wolf-in-corporate-clothing/

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Panning Gold From Life

Gold Life

As a reader, I have known that good writing is really all that matters. Even when I was a kid. As a writer, I know that market category forces us into a Procrustean deal with the devil. Warping our work so that it conforms to a certain artificial standard is the surest way to ruin it.  The devil of it is that it won’t sell to most editors or publishers unless it conforms fairly closely to established market categories. And so the dance to the death of decent writing begins.

Freeing one’s self from the gatekeepers allows one to write in whatever way is natural and supportive to the story being told. In this way, writing can prevail over market considerations. In this way, we can begin educating  readers to appreciate good writing rather than anticipate given sets of approved tropes and topoi.

Another aspect of commercial fiction that should be examined more closely is the effect movies have had on the way stories are told, and the type of writing considered acceptable to deliver such stories.  Essentially, every movie you have ever seen follows very closely the same pattern. The success of any given movie is directly tied to how closely that pattern was followed. It is so precise one can actually use a stopwatch to predict when certain types of scenes will arise and in what order. This is not because of some conspiracy, but, rather, because moviemakers have over the years refined the elements that work most effectively to communicate story information to the audience in a pattern most human minds find accessible and gratifying. Consequently, there is much to be learned from cinema.

In literary writing, which means simply stories told in words, commercial success is often fairly accurately predictable by examining how closely a story or book adheres to the established movie patterns. One consideration is what Isaac Asimov called up front invisible prose. By this, he meant writing that delivers information without drawing attention to itself. A plain style. A direct, blunt style. Kurt Vonnegut said to forget all about suspense because it is based on withholding information. He advised young writers to say simply and directly what they need and want to say, and to give the readers all the information necessary up front. This was his golden standard for writing. Elmore Leonard boiled his writing advice down to, “Leave out the parts people don’t read.”  By this he meant descriptions of things they already know from their lives, lengthy explanations, fancy or complicated phrasing, and other things people tend to skip over to get to either the next story point or the next character point. Be concise. Mark Twain advised using the correct word and avoiding dollar words when penny words sufficed. Cut out boring stuff. Write like Hemingway, not James Joyce.

As to quality, that is usually judged by how pertinent, relevant, and insightful a given piece of fiction is to our human experience. This means good fiction is clear, means something to us, and gives us what other writers have characterized as the cool stuff. Vivid scenes and brief dialogue exchanges tend to be the basic things people remember from reading fiction.  It is the same with movies. “Go ahead, make my day.” If you deliver those scenes clearly and directly the readers appreciate it. They enjoy the movies in their heads that good reading gives them.  Be Hitchcock, not Kubrick if appealing to the widest number of people is your goal.

Of course, Hitchcock was known as the master of suspense. He achieved his brand of suspense less by withholding information and more by leading the viewer’s eye to telling details that informed the reader of things the protagonist might not at that moment know or realize. He hinted at dark possibilities, ulterior motives, or sinister plans. He suggested rather than showing blatantly and made certain to offer unambiguous reaction shots conveying the emotional content as well as the action in each scene. Scenes were put together with clockwork care and intricacy. Each step led inevitably precisely where he wanted the viewers attention to go.  When an action was set up, consequences followed. Many times, anticipated consequences would be delayed, permitting more detailed examination of the potential disaster awaiting, the effects on people’s daily lives of the consequences of the anticipated event. In this way he grounded even the most outré of plot events in our common human experience.

Writers of literary fiction can learn a great deal from our best film directors.

More important than source, however, is the constant alertness to observing how good fiction works and why bad fiction fails. To be a writer is to be a reader. To be a writer is to read everything from short stories, novels and newspapers to magazines, essays, and poetry and, yes, movies. In fact, learn to read life. View any and all observations made in real life in terms of writing fiction. How to use that, how to present it, how it matters are the kinds of questions to ask. Attempt to read everything as story.  Life itself is fiction waiting for a writer to grasp it in words.

Be soon and write well.

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“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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You Don’t Even Have Time For Only The Best

Take this seriously: Read only the absolute best you can find. If a book or story begins to fail you, toss it over your shoulder and find one that compels you to keep reading. You think you have all the time in the world but you do not. You do not have even a fraction of enough time. So read only the absolute best, and apply this rule to every facet of your life. If you do not you will deeply regret it before you die.

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Oblique Obligatory Observations

Aliens

9/11? Demolition. Obviously so. Now drink the fucking Kool-ade and shut the fuck up, you crazies, you conspiracy nuts, you freaks with tin-foil on your head who’d rather believe your own eyes, your own thinking, and physics than us, your government.
It all just magically did what no other building ever did for any reason whatsoever. Oh, wait. THREE buildings did it. Not to mention the amazing disappearing plane and body parts that made a tiny hole in Somerset, PA or in the Pentagon, which exploded OUTward before being struck by a cruise missile. If there were a 757 there it flew over and continued on, but hey: Ignore those lamp posts.

Cite a building that collapsed into its own footprint without being demolished. You can’t. There are none. Not even high rises on fire for days. None. Ever. And Building seven was not hit by a plane and if there were fires they were in wastebaskets and so forth.

No plane hit Bldg 7. None. Nada. So, no. It was pulled, as Larry Silverstein admitted on camera. He decided to. The story of small, scattered fires the fire chief himself on the scene dismissed as easily put down by one team of firefighters so weakening a building that it fell is ludicrous.

Now take a 757 full of passengers at as fast a speed as possible and fly it directly down into a field. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think a tiny hole 20′ x 10′ is going to be made? Do you honestly believe the plane, its engines, its tail section, all of it, along with every trace of the passengers all “vaporized”? No, it would make a crater, and the resultant explosion just from kinetic energy alone, let alone fuel igniting, would spew body parts and debris over a tremendous area. Think of a meteorite. None of that happened. None of that was found.

Satellite photographs from Google Earth from a couple weeks before 9/11 show the farmer digging that hole with a small bull dozer or back-hoe that was still parked there on the fateful day when lies fell from the sky. He admitted as much. Said he’d dug it to burn brush he’d cleared to expand a nearby field for tilling.

Alleged cell-phone calls from the plane in the days when it was not physically possible to make cell phone calls from planes, there being no satellite coverage, only a string of towers for the signals to reach if the plane were low enough, were offered by the government. Obvious fakes, but why? And where did those people on the planes go?

Cleveland’s airport was evacuated, the people being forced to leave on foot. Many reported seeing a plane land and taxi to the end of the runway where a large white hangar operated, turns out, by NASA, stood. Witnesses saw the plane’s passengers unloaded into this hangar. None were ever heard from again. The plane itself it still in service flying the South America routes, it is later discovered.

Were the passengers herded into the hangar and forced to make fake recordings? Were they then taken to some deniable place like Area 51 or some GITMO dark prison or black ship to become shark chum? Just asking, don’t mind me.

The physical evidence does not agree with the absurd, conspiratorial official version. 9/11 remains unexplained to this day.

Google some citations for us of buildings falling down spontaneously into their own footprint. Go ahead, show us the citations. You will discover there are none.

No one argues planes did not hit the twin towers. However, no plane hit building seven. As to the Pentagon, that was a cruise missile. It was not a 757. Eye witness testimony contradicts physics all the time. Every forensic scientist and lawyer knows this.

Planes hit the twin towers it seems. That did not bring the buildings down. Cheney prevented interception of the jets yes. As a Senator testified.

Was thermate, a stable form of thermite, painted onto the support beams in the weeks leading up to the Bush brother resigning a day before 9/11? Oopsie. Guess he didn’t want to go down with his plot.

So the buildings came down, yes, but is a plane impact sufficient to cause this, let alone pulverize the entire structure to concrete dust while paper was not burned? The paper was exploded out is why, perhaps.

I’ve no clue whom 9/11 would be traced to, but it’s obvious who benefited from it. Dicks Like Cheney. As to conspiracy, it would not take much of one to pull it off under everyone’s noses. People ridicule conspiracy as if doing covert things requires huge numbers of people to be in on it, when in fact one or two people misdirecting certain things can cause or allow to happen a range of useful disasters to be exploited by the 1% types. Naomi Wolfe I think it was wrote about Disaster Capitalism, and it was nothing new but the label, really.

The fact that such a huge, historical crime scene was clamped down and cleared away as fast as possible is a tell-tale. They did NOT want pools of thermate found, they did NOT want the physical evidence examined.

Those who deny conspiracies ever happen obviously made LOTS of money in the Wall Street bankster conspiracies and the housing bubble and energy scam and so on. Or they are duped by those who did. Psychology’s tricky and people easily fooled.

Apply my methods, Watson.

The official version contradicts experience, logic, and physics. Talk about an probable conspiracy theory. Yes, unsophisticated ragheads with box cutters and no connections accomplished what Mossad would be hard-pressed to do. Right. Sure.

To be clear, while I suspect Dicks Like Cheney were behind this, I do not know who planned and executed it. It may have been allowed to happen or it may have been an internal plot or a bit of both. No one knows. The evidence is lied about and the crime scene was quickly destroyed. Even asking basic questions of physics gets you immediately swarmed by defenders of the official version and labeled a Truther, as if seeking the truth makes one crazy but blindly swallowing a version that makes no sense is the only acceptable behavior allowed. What’s all that tell you? Tells me a lot of people work very hard to lock in a story while fending off genuine investigation. That alone is indicative.

Read history. False flag operations are standard procedure, as are coverups, obfuscation, and sneering denials, along with demonizing questions and bullying a conformity to one official version. It’s all standard.

Warren Commission behavior, in short. Remember when Oliver Stone’s film JFK came out, how crazy the right wingers went over what was after all only a movie? Recall too how frenzied the Vatican became over The Da Vinci Code, an obviously fictional entertainment. All that had to happen in either case was silence and the movies would have passed by as mere movies. Instead, guilt and shame and paranoia stirred up very revealing denials and demonizing that no innocent party would ever have thought to bother with. Again, revealing. See the obvious folks.

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Nightmare Color’s Origin

As a child I had a recurring nightmare. I’d find myself crouched in a ditch or trench in eerie teal darkness.  It was always hellishly hot.  Silence held me in suspense for reasons I could not fathom but it felt like something was coming to get me.  I was not safe.  I was exposed.  Danger swarmed invisibly.

With no warning or transition I was between warring armies, the sky above me a chaos of light, noise, and explosions, as if their missiles and bullets were all colliding over me. I’d huddle in a fetal position and it would stop. I never saw fighters, only explosions and fragments flying.

More dreadful silence struck like a hawk striking, then another random round of conflict and chaos would be around me, neither with any sense of transition.  I went from being stranded dead in the middle of dread-filled silence to caught in the midst of mad violent conflict.  It was terrifying, exhausting, and left me trembling and jumpy. One of the worst things was, I had no idea which side I was on, or belonged to, if either; no notion which direction to crawl for refuge.  All I could do was stay huddled, hoping nothing came down on me but light and sound, which was bad enough.

This affected me in many ways, not all of them evident. One lingering mark is my abhorrence of my “nightmare color”, a particular shade of teal. Makes me shudder to see it, like a whispered threat of secret devastation.  It has shaded my view of existential angst and existential isolation.

As a child I always felt watched, too.  That has never left me.  My entire life has been performed for an unseen audience with malign intentions toward me.  They might erupt into chaos and violence at any moment.  So the nightmare promised, and taught.

This nightmare tended to hit me when I had fevers, which I had often as a child.  A part of me took it as a glimpse of elsewhere, as if I’d astral traveled to an alien planet and could not get back.  This nightmare dates back to before Kindergarten and I had it regularly through my childhood and into my adolescence.  It remains vivid and vertiginous.

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Steel Sky

Steel Sky

 

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Cliff Ice by Ginni

There are days when love is not enough, when you need justice, too.  Those are the hopeless days when it’s best to hole up in solitude so you don’t hurt or kill anyone you might later regret having hurt or killed.  When such days become frequent, it’s time to find wilderness.  Wilderness can be inside or outside and is full of dangerous beasts, toxic plants, and hostile terrain either way.  Tread lightly near us on such days.  We will pounce.

–Samael Gyre, opening of “Nightmare Days On Autumn’s Cusp”

And me on the inner ice, out where it’s thin enough to see the hungry whales under me.

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Every woman knows those who look at her want her. Every man knows no one wants him. Therein lies the dichotomy of our desperation to connect just once, even for a single fucking second.

#

Hey GOP and 1% psychopathic corporate fascists: Ebenezer Scrooge, with his, “Are there not workhouses, are there not prisons, are there not graves?” and Snidely Whiplash, twirling his mustaches and tying widows and orphans onto railroad tracks for sadistic fun, and Mr. Potter, head of the bank that hounds George Bailey to suicide with smug greed and visions of owning the town so he can reduce everyone to being his lackey, these and Simon Le Gree and so many other robber baron and industrial era caricatures were vicious satires, not ROLE MODELS.
Bankers took farms and houses during the depression to consolidate the devalued-on-purpose properties so as to increase the wealth of the rich. It’s the cycle they have us locked into. Disaster Capitalism only worsens the practice. No longer content with merely manipulating stocks and financial instruments such as insurance policies and mutual and hedge funds, they manipulate disaster response to weather catastrophe, (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc) ensuring human and property devastation in order to snap up and cash in while clearing away the riff-raff. Look at New Orleans.
/ Brother Butch
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“Close to the Edge” by Yes. The opening. Right the fuck now. Oh yes, it’s how I feel. “Ahh.” That frenetic guitar figure repeating as the bass plays lead, the interjected harmonic shrieks of existential pain. Damn.

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In my rock&roll youth I wrote a song called “Friends”. It had a lovely Biercian quality, with lines such as: “Friends pour your drinks, then they watch you drive…” and “Stay clear of me, I’ve got friends…” Naturally, I cannot find a copy now, it being, what, 40 years down the noose. Wish I could peg it. Hell, I think I still remember the chord structure.

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“If you want them to do something, put it in terms they can understand and motivate them with greed, fear, and hate.” / Monty the Pith’

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Asked what the most romantic tale ever was, I said: It will be one of impossible love across immutable barriers, unrequited love, or some other bittersweet thwarting of the lovers involved. Oh, and according to Poe, it must involve the tragic death of a beautiful young woman.

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Most of all to decoy our attention from the looming maw of darkness.

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“…the world always presents the next diversion, the next elaborate distraction from the problems that vex.” / the ELEMENTARY Holmes.

— I find it does not, and have no drug addiction to fall back on.

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What every writer feels:

We have spilled much ink, you and I, in our discussion of human connection, and we’re no closer to understanding than we were when the correspondence began. I feel as if I am standing on one side of a wide chasm, shouting across, and wondering if the response I hear comes from you, or if it is my own voice echoing back to me. It seems to me, on my side of the canyon, that the search for unity with another is the font of much of the world’s unhappiness. I watch as Watson, eager as ever to extract some meaning from prevailing societal conventions, endures a series of curated mating rituals, it seems to me that she is incrementally less content each time she returns from one.

I conduct myself as though I am above matters of the heart, chiefly because I have seen them corrode people I respect. But in my candid moments, I sometimes wonder if I take the stance I do because love, for lack of a better word, is a game I fail to understand, so I opt not to play. After all, if I truly had the purity of all my convictions, I would not regret so many of the things I have done. Nor what I persist, against so many of my better instincts, in this correspondence. I find you a challenge, one that, in spite of all what you’ve done, continues to stimulate. So the conversation, futile though may finally be, continues, and we are left to wonder: have we simply failed to find the answers to the questions that preoccupy us, or can they not be answered at all? Fortunately, for both of us, the world always presents the next diversion, the next elaborate distraction from the problems that vex.

/ Sherlock Holmes in ELEMENTARY, episode 212, The Diabolical Kind, opening voice-over.

All is One, No Separation

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I cannot think of a circumstance in which I would not want to be with you, no matter where I go, no matter what I do. I would always rather have you there. I’m not speaking of co-dependence. I’m referring to us standing side by side, held in each other’s gaze, able to touch and usually touching. That strikes me as myself being whole, and I don’t want to be partial or compartmentalized, contingent or a thing of convenience. No barriers./ Certain Dogs to Specific Humans

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Here’s a hint: Satan’s Christian. Still on your knees?

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We scattered my father’s ashes at a lake that he loved in the western Pennsylvania hills. It was a rainy and overcast day. We did not get there until dusk. Mist was rising, making everything ghostly. We scattered his ashes in a field near a woods. Out of the misty wood stepped a stag, to watch us. Then a doe stepped out to stand beside him. That is where we had scattered my mother’s ashes a few years earlier. All of us faintly heard bagpipes. It was a magical mysterious moment.

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Cthonic Plea Sans Divinity’s Grace

IMG_0126

Spectral stone, striations gradient of shadowed truth
Split flat, fashioned into stained stone majesty,
Our window into frozen hearts bequeaths us colors
Buried under unseen time, uncovered, happy accident,
In violent strikes against a stock-still earthen mound;
In artifacts lie evidence of erstwhile tragedy,
Mere proof we sang before unheard in time’s wilderness.

Dig deeper down to find me.
Pull harder now to raise me to your light.

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