Cool Hand Gipper (The Great Hustle) and What the 1% Would Still Have of Us: The Great American About Face – Context of The American Awakening
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Thirteen:
The Great American About Face
Once Upon a Time, Kindness Was a Noble Thing
Why Insist on the Same Mistakes That Led to the Great Depression?
You don’t know what I’m getting at. But this is the indicator of the gradual change in our country that would be missed by those younger than myself. I only see this glaring discrepancy because of having lived many years in an America whose values were different, and who thought differently, more compassionately than today. I know of an America where even that last big word that I used, compassionately, wasn’t the dirty word that it is today…or the certain game loser, deal breaker if uttered.
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
No. See, what’s happened today is that it’s not even society at large that is supposed to benefit. Compassion is not a goal, or even a value, when negotiating. The scornful repetition of those words, “bleeding heart liberal,” has had its intended effect. No, no, it’s not the function of government to care about anybody anymore.
It may be hard for you to realize what a huge change this is from, like, Roosevelt days. The Great Depression went on for a long time, crushing hopes and aspirations, shortening lives, increasing suffering. People lived beneath this yoke for a time that must often have felt interminable. They came out of this darkness only slowly, and with great effort.
There Was a Time When Kindness Was a Noble Thing.
So, yes, in those days, the easing of suffering was a value, compassion was a noble thing, not indicative of weakness like today. This is the way it was then and for most of the decades afterward, not much changing. Even Eisenhower, a Republican… he wasn’t, y’know, at war with the common good in the Fifties; he didn’t think government was not supposed to be compassionate, that it wasn’t their job or anything, that they couldn’t give anybody a helping hand or anything like that. But starting with Reagan and slowly since then it has become that.
People Suffering, People Dying…And This Guy Thinks It’s a Card Game!
Perhaps you’ve heard it too. At the time of it, you would see it discussed all over. There was Rick Santelli on CNBC. This was at the time when it first got out that Obama might just–with millions of foreclosures, people living in tent-cities and everything–might just present as part of his overall policy to deal with the problem something to help…ok, there’s one of those words (help), a certain game-loser; so you know what’s coming next…something that might “help” people who are heading into foreclosure, people losing their homes. The idea was to renegotiate deals with the bank, to recalculate the terms of their mortgage to make it workable to both sides again.
Don’t forget the banks had before that been given huge amounts of money by the American people. So in this plan, instead of proceeding with a foreclosure the banks were asked to be willing to accept slightly less money on the loan than the original terms called for.
It was thought, what would that hurt? After all the banks aren’t going to lose. At the expense of the American people they’ve made out like bandits…in fact, they’ve been bandits…they used extortion to get that money out. With this policy they would get some money out of the loan instead of none in the case of the foreclosure; they would even still make a profit. The only thing they wouldn’t be able to do is to add that note to the pile of losses they would be claiming as part of the government bailout. An aside, that last part — making less money than if they could claim it a loss—is the key to understanding the uproar about Obama’s plan to help financially strapped home owners.
So we saw Rick Santelli, a highly visible financial commentator for CNBC, someone I saw everyday for years. He stood in front of the camera on the floor of the stock exchange; CNBC broadcast it to the world. He was against Obama’s plan to “help” mortgage-holders…they should probably have used a different word than help. As he put it “In America, a card laid is a card played.” He said, “This does away with contract law!”
Yes, We’ve Made This Mistake Before.
Well, yea, yea, they used to say those things back in Hoover’s day too, alright? And then when everybody was hurting, and there was thirty to forty percent unemployment and nobody was making any money including the rich fat cats and they were losing their shirts in investments and no longer making money in the stock market, then…then…all of a sudden, ok, then it was ok to help out people who were starving.
But Why Do We Insist on Making It Again?
Well, why did it have to get to that? And why has it gotten to that again, even to where it’s back to where it was…again…at the beginning of the Great Depression: No compassion allowed.
What is that? It’s like “Oh, these people are all deadbeats here.” Oh, yea, all those millions of people? Doesn’t have anything to do with all that money that went to the rich people? Nothing to do with the fact that over the course of all these years we’ve seen the tax rates for the very wealthy go from eighty-some percent in the Fifties to where it is down below thirty-five percent now?
To offset those huge cuts in revenue, did we get any more prosperous in that time? Did those increasing cuts in taxes for the wealthy increasingly stimulate the economy? I repeat, did we get any more prosperous in that time? Did the tax cuts work the way the fat cats said they would?
Compassion = “Hippie.” Mean-Spirited = The “Real” Reality of The Game
Kumbaya—You Value People Over Rules? You’re No Doubt a “Hippie”
Well, I was there. No, they didn’t…and we didn’t…didn’t get more prosperous. We’re a lot worse off. Y’know, when I was growing up in the Fifties and Sixties my father was poor. But only he had to work! He might bring home fifty dollars a week, with six kids. But my mother didn’t have to work. Believe me, fifty dollars in that day, it wasn’t like it was worth a thousand dollars or something; there wasn’t that much difference.
Kumbaya. My Lord!
So there used to be this idea of benefiting society-at-large. There was this thing put out–even though it was a sham on the part of Republicans–that if you could somehow convince the Democrats that what you wanted was going to benefit the “society at large” they might come over to your side. Republicans still found it useful to promote the idea that they were representing the people.
What “Extra” Kitchen?
But no, no, no. If you say now that something is going to benefit somebody…. Like Rick Santelli said, “Well, a card laid…contract law’s all important…blah, blah, blah…. Does any of you people out there…” He was talking to the stock exchange people; he said, “Does any of you want to pay your hard-earned money so that the guy next door can have that extra kitchen that he put in?”
Now, where the hell did that come from? I hardly think that many of the people losing their homes were out there spending all their money on “extra” kitchens. So what’s the implication? The implication is that we’ve got a bunch of losers, spendthrifts, who are throwing their money away and they don’t deserve a break.
More Likely It Was Your “Extra” Kitchen, Rick. And, Thank You Very Much but We’ve Already Paid, and Dearly, for It.
Duh! Doesn’t that sound like the banks? “Extra kitchen”…Doesn’t that sound like the stock broker people, doesn’t that sound like the people who are talking about the other people this way? Wow.
Anyway, it was played over and over again. There were even people, even some pundits and governmental folks in public who were saying, “Yes, he was expressing what lot of people are thinking.” What the hell is that? That nobody can catch a break unless you’re rich? See, that’s what happens when something is repeated over and over and over again… Self-benefiting mean-spiritedness like this can be spoken of as being, somehow, reasonable.
A Broken Person Is Preferable to a Broken Rule in This Game.
And what is it that was repeated over and over and over again? Well, let me just put it this way…because I was there. You know the real issue here…when you say that it’ll benefit “society at large” or you say it’s going to help or benefit real people, or you indicate in some way that it’s gonna ease the suffering of a lot of people… The real thing insinuated has to do with that thoroughly maligned idea—”bleeding heart liberal”—and things like that.
Worse than that, these days, is that when that human touch somehow gets in, it’s no more considered a game! “It’s supposed to be a game,” that’s what they’re thinking, now. And it’s like, “Aw come on you’re trying to benefit people instead of playing a game.” That’s where that contract law comes in, it’s like, “No, that’s breaking the rules.” Well we’re supposed to be running a government for the people not for the rules, aren’t we?
You Value People Over Rules? You’re No Doubt a “Hippie.”
So you don’t even hear goodness coming in anymore. Or if you do hear the word compassionate it’s at most the naive utterance of someone that’s wet behind the years…some newbie or hippie…some “soft-headed” person who might have used it in a question in a town meeting, or the like.
And that’s another thing. A hippie? What the hell’s a hippie? Well this hippie can tell you. That is a definition I’ve watched change over the years. The definition in these strange days and among these current cold-hearted people is way different than originally.
In looking at this change in the meaning of hippie we bring into view another aspect of the overall argument I am making. I can tell you now that at the end you will see it all comes together neatly.
It all makes sense because of some basic human feelings, which are even present in large groups. Unfortunately those widely shared feelings are completely at odds with another set of commonly held basic human feelings that can be present and shared in another large group. That might sound complicated.
Compassion = “Hippie.”
Mean-Spirited = The “Real” Reality of The Game
What I’m trying to say is, who might that hippie be? Basically, these days, if you are one of those that uses words like compassionate…you‘re a hippie!
And on the other side of this, the side that is presented to all, promulgated to everyone, and the only one considered “real,” we’ve got these mean-spirited feelings. They are at war with the idea that we have government that’s there to at all benefit, be on the side of, or even be for its citizens.
Like earlier I brought up the example of the Food and Drug Administration as something that benefits everyone, actual people, though it puts constraints on businesses. Government seen this way exists to protect American people in situations where they would otherwise be powerless. And that is based on this old-fashioned notion that it is a good thing to save people from dying or from suffering in situations where a single individual is helpless against a cultural or societal wrong.
Government could be seen this way because one preeminent value was that life was precious and good, that people dying was not good, that it was important to prevent that to the extent one could…more important than money or profits or the comfort and pleasure of people with riches. Those turn-of-the-century “hippies” valued life over arbitrary rules, people over profits, the common good over the capitalist game.
But I guess nowadays they’d say, “No, no, no…those people paid for that food!” And, you know, let the buyer beware. A dollar laid is a dollar played, after all.
Cool Hand Gipper (The Great Hustle) and What the 1% Would Still Have of Us: Context of The American Awakening
American Awakening and Cool Hand Gipper—“Obvious Truths,” an Overview
“Obvious Truths” Parts One and Two Reprise
This is the third and final part in this series delineating the history of the American Republican’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive … seemingly coordinated … nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “Filthy Rich” through totally concocted untruths.
All in the Family
We are seeing here revealed the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality, and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.
I am showing how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the “Filthy Rich”—the 1%—and their Republican puppets to SEE American People, who were the recipients of these attacks. Together these reveals, displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich”… and before the entire world…disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.
“They’re so cute when they jump for their treat.”
As this Awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the “Filthy Rich,” and been trained then to forget that.
“From here, they look just like ants.”
It is clear that the “filthy rich” had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the “Filthy Rich”…which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World…absolute inability of the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich” to actually notice, let alone view or act towards, Americans as any thing even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.
All We Have to Do Is Dream.
And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos, if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around, which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view, and the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence, and to this series of expositions, which delineates the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in American’s lives, and the processes of control, and the things in their lives that were determined for them by the “Filthies,” though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.
What The 1% Want to Do With Us
And the last aspects of this series delineates the real factors in your life and the outlines of the real intentions for our lives these puppet masters have had, and have even now in mind.
Processing the Populace
In Part One, I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time, the opposite of the truth. It is a pretty amazing story of a campaign involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice.
Part Two elaborated on these parts of the campaign, which together resulted in an erosion of reason among Americans. I discussed how this erosion of reason resulted in an erosion of action as well and why this would be desirable by the societal puppet-masters. Next, I discussed the means of the manipulation—the media, the puppet strings employed by the masters.
The Great Hustle (Cool Hand Gipper)
After that I talked about the way our lives were focused away from human concerns and reduced to the level of a game, contrived by the elite and which was geared toward their ends, suited to their abilities, and in which they dominated. This game was most of the time camouflaged in positive, civic sounding phrases and terminology that made it seem that it was an endeavor for the betterment of all, but I explained how it actually was played and what the motives and ends really were.
$$$ 666 The Great Religion
Last, I bring out how even this ruse of societal welfare was ever more let go of, as the puppet-kings gained in strength and in success in converting mass minds to a belief in the dogma of the game that they controlled.
Dogma Keeping Out Pesky Saviors
They channeled people’s inclinations away from their own priorities and from human concerns to be in alignment with the overseer’s non-humanistic, alien ones. Human concerns such as life, easing of suffering and the like were seen as silly and laughable.
And Then The Awakening
As they gathered power, they became more blatant and reckless in their machinations. The game was successfully installed as the focus and preeminent value of life itself; but in this headiness of accomplishment they became complacent about their subterfuge. Reckless in their maneuvers and ever more careless in concealing it, they risked being exposed.
Aspects of their self-benefiting game play and the cockiness with which they pursued them are further disclosed here in Part Three. We see how this creates a condition of such extreme suffering in the populace that stimulates them into awakening from the dream. The matrix is glimpsed. How the masses awaken and behold in horror the shackles and blinders upon them is described beginning here and in subsequent parts of Culture War, Class War.
Parts One and Two are intended to be read before this one, but if you haven’t done so this review will gave you a platform from which to view what follows.
“Brother, I Do Not Know Thee.”
Part Three continues from the end of Part Two where I was describing how the brouhaha around Rich Santelli’s callous comment revealed a wholesale and disturbing change in American’s sensitivities toward each other and in particular a callousness about each other’s suffering. Part Three continues from here:
Foolin’ the People About History: Reagan’s Great Ruse and The Face of the Enemy, Ours
Foolin’ the People About History…Reagan’s Great Ruse and The Face of the Enemy, Ours
Foolin’ the People About History
- Reagan “saved” America.
- Reagan saved Americans from an oppressive tax burden.
- Reagan brought down the Iron Curtain, the Soviets, Berlin Wall.
- In America we were far better off than the Soviets were because… We are the richest country in the world. In America we only get better.
- don’t have to work as hard.
- can take better care of our children.
So these days you have the attitude, “A dollar laid is a dollar played”; people’s suffering is irrelevant to the game.
Reagan’s Great Ruse
We have seen a lot of change over the last five decades. And many new thoughts have become truisms that are actually not true. In the real world they’re nonsensical.
The Eighties Changed Everything…The Great Swindle.
Unfortunately they abound because of the cultural change initiated by Ronald Reagan that lowered the standard of living for everyone except for the rich who were the beneficiaries of that switch. It was the greatest shift of money upward, to the higher classes, in history, at that time. Bush in the last decade outdid him though.
The Republicans pulled off this transfer of wealth under the banner of capitalism. The huge tax cuts for the seriously rich, which was how this relocation of money was accomplished, began with Reagan. When it was proposed during the 1980 presidential race Bush the Elder called it “voodoo economics.” This was before he was invited on the ticket with Reagan.
Voodoo economics gradually brought the highest marginal rate of taxes down below thirty percent from the seventy percent it had been when Reagan took office. This should be compared with the ninety-some percent it was under Democratic and Republican presidents—Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy—in the 1940s through 1963. Reaganomics took corporate tax rates down to forty percent from the fifty percent that it had been previous to that beginning in the Forties.
Keep in mind that these were times—Forties through Sixties—when America’s economy boomed, turning the US into the wealthiest country in the world. Remember also that the last time, previous to Reagan, that marginal tax rates were below forty percent was in the Twenties, prior to the Great Depression. Not coincidentally at that same time, preceding the Depression, corporate tax rates were also at their lowest and were down in the teens. History records how well those low corporate and private marginal rates worked out. This did not stop the Reaganites from opting to repeat the previous debacle.
The Face of the Enemy, Ours
Overall, this bonanza for the rich–along with union-busting and other anti-worker practices by Reagan–had the effect of gradually lowering the standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. The result could not have been more ironic. These pro-capitalist, fervid anti-communist Republicans like Reagan and his supporters began the process that would make us mirror images of Soviet Russia in several hugely important ways.
At One Time, “Women Don’t Have to Work”; At Another, “Women Are Free to Work.”
Reaganomics brought in the two-salary family. This had been one of those major propaganda points for the anti-communists in the Fifties: We were horrified finding out that behind the Iron Curtain both parents had to have jobs to support their family. It was thrown out as one of the ways we were superior in our capitalist way of life—American wives and mothers did not have to work and were able to spend their time instead raising the children.
The anti-communist Reaganites also brought in institutional child care, for now this was needed because both parents were working. Someone had to take care of the children, and they would begin that at earlier and earlier ages.
At One Time, “Strangers Take Care of Their Kids”; At Another, “Child Care Teaches Social Skills and Enhances Multicultural Awareness.”
Again, extramural child care was one of those elements of Soviet life that in the Fifties was pointed out to us disdainfully and which we were grateful not to be subject to. It would be thought inhuman, if not barbaric, for children to be cared for by strangers, while the mother was working. There was something dangerous, if not lascivious, insinuated to us by propagandists, about pre-school children not being with their mothers, not receiving her protection and love during that vulnerable and needy time, but being instead “in the hands of strangers”…(god forbid!)
But after Reagan this dreaded feature of Soviet culture became the norm in American culture as well.
So Reagan’s economic policies pushed Americans into a lower standard of living—fooling them in all kinds of ways that this was not the case—which was evident in major changes in American culture which mirrored that of the Soviets such as the virtual requirement of two-salary families and along with that the necessity of child care outside the family at earlier and earlier years. But these Soviet-like changes did not also bring with them Communist benefits of job security, free child and medical care, guaranteed lifelong support, and so on.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fourteen:
Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago?
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twelve: Only The Game Remains
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,”Part Two – an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
The Rise and Fall of Obvious Truths, Part 2. by SillyMickel Adzema
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Three – an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Three,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’ Part 3”
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fourteen:
Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago?
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twelve: Only The Game Remains
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Giving the Finger to Armageddon – Some People Are Just Tougher Than Death … Or So They Think: A Conversation on the Eve of Apocalypse
Conversation on the Eve of Apocalypse Between a Boomer and a Gen Xer:
An Anatomy, in Story Form, of the Machismo Attitude Toward Our End
Facing Apocalypse, People Are Becoming Zombies
People are becoming zombies in the face of their death, their own upcoming suffering, not to mention the death of all life on this planet. Do an internet search on apocalypse and note how little, if anything, is posted about the urgency or emergency of our current situation.
It comes across as a big party on a South Pacific Island in a hotel that everyone there knows will not survive the incoming tsunami or killer hurricane. But in the meantime they’re drinking themselves silly, drugging…gonna party their way to the end. That is not a rational response to the end of all life.
Other responses on the apocalypse have machismo aspects to them. In fact, most sites about apocalypse have a macho message in common.
Macho, Macho Man
You are not going to believe it, but check it out: The theme…now look deeply, if you’re not used to picking up on people’s motives off hand…the theme goes something like this:
Well, folks, we’re all gonna die. But big deal. I’m so fucking macho, I laugh at death! Here, let me prove it to you. Come here, death, right up to my face!
See, everybody. How I look directly into this face, this face of death! Now watch. Watch as I spit, spit directly into this face. Ptoo! (spits) See that? So who cares!? Not convinced? Then watch and I’ll show you. See the face of death that I’m holding and facing? Watch as I laugh in its face, laugh directly in its face. HA! Hahahahahaha! See? Told you.
Doing it, Tron style
Well, that is the way it comes across: “Apocalypse? Let me show you how tough I am.” Not, “What can we do about it, to stop it?”
So, dear listeners, are you able to make out the distress beneath such pronouncements? Granted, this bravado is worthless as to either reversing apocalypse or even showing some sort of inspired vision in which it can be made acceptable or noble if not avoidable. For those who do not see it yet, in this chapter and its accompanying video I try a little fantasy dialogue to bring out what I think is going on, much of the time, and keeping us from acting rationally about this imminent emergency of all dire emergencies possible.
Witness me as I trip over in cyber-land to something I call Amalgamated Macho-Apocalypto-dot-com. I’m about to go over to the webmaster of that site, in imagination and, well, just run a question or two past him. Tune in and catch what ensues. It should be revealing. So you click on the gadget above, while I fly myself over. See you there!
Ok, I’m here. “Hey, yo dude! Deathface spitter and laugher!”
“You… You know me…?”
“Hell yea. You’re in Google, you know. I understand you’re surprised because, believe me, tagged with apocalypse, like you, well, let’s just say I don’t have to lock the doors either. But there’s probably more interest in you than what I do.”
“Really, more interest in me? I like that! What do you do then?”
“On my site I tell the truth: you know, tell them that it’s very very bad and looks impossible unless people wake up on a massive scale and decide unequivocally to live. Stuff like that.”
“Ok, but just no spittin. I’ve seen your routine.”
“No, no. Nothing of the sort. No, really, I thought that kind of stuff died in the Sixties with all the ‘kumbaya’ and ‘we shall overcome’ baloney.”
Why’s Everybody Hatin’ on Kumbaya?
“Well, not that it’ll make a difference on you, but yeah, I’m that old and have had many high moments of unity in among the angels of humans coming forth to reunite—what you refer to as kumbaya. And by the way, I like the song, I like the Lord, what’s everybody pissed at? As for the other, we overcame. I’ve really dug being me because I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the things that made the world better; and I can’t imagine a better high or feeling of fulfillment.
“But I’m not here to dispute with you. I’m an old fart who got to live in rich times and participate in them. You’re a young, well, younger-than-me person, who was apparently born at around the time all the things my kind were working for were deemed a threat to the status quo. And so the powers-that-be created the misinformation, scapegoating, and slander of my generation. Then they delivered to generations following mine the machismo cynicism with its connotation that it was better to have that than feeling life. They seeded you with the idea that those who experienced life…as opposed to those who accepted their prepackaged attitudes of cynicism and mean-spiritedness…well, we were wusses, saps, effeminate, feminate, and all that.
“So, sorry, that my generation’s threat to the moneyed powers was so scary to them that they reacted with the all out effort to create a generation that would be the opposite of us, and so you were brainwashed and misinformed and lied to. So, so very sorry. I wish I could say, “my bad,” but well it was “our good” that resulted in “their bad,” and I don’t want to be like them and continue to uphold their matrix of misinformation. So, anyway, sorry.”
“Well, I shoulda Tivo’d that for later. That was waaaay too much and too many twist and turns for me to follow. But you called yourself an old fart. That part I got. So since you’ve placed yourself below me, I guess I’m at ease with your being here, whatever it is.”
Who Ya Talkin to, Dude?
“Well, your Dudeness, your Fearlessness Most Strong and Mighty, I have a few humble questions to ask of you,” I say.
“Ok, old fart, go ahead.”
“I see clearly that you’re showing the world you don’t fear death. But how is that going to help the world any. I mean if everyone felt like you…let’s say that was your aim…well then we’d all go down, patting each other on the back on how it doesn’t matter, but never to be heard of again!”
“Your point?” he says, irritated.
“Are you saying my site isn’t offering anything to the world? So who the hell says a site has to be doing anything for anybody or anything? Let alone this world…
“This is me! I’m expressing me! What else is there to do?”
“Ok, thank you. That explains a lot. But something comes to me. May I?”
“Sure,” says he.
“You say that, ‘this is me.’ Number one. Right?”
“Right.” Annoyed again.
“Ok. Now, you know there are not a lot of people watching. But your intention is not to influence any people. Number two, right?”
“Yep, that’s right.”
“But you wouldn’t be putting up a website if you didn’t want somebody to know who you are. I mean, you could say it in the mirror, or in your bedroom. You wouldn’t be making it available unless there’s somebody, persons, that you hope would hear you. Would that not be number three, right?”
“Well, you old farts really are big on this self-analytical crap, aren’t you? Well, I ain’t no pussy, but I am man enough to say that I couldn’t escape that logic that…yea, I am, inside, wanting to share, and share myself to some, to some…well, I guess, I just wouldn’t mind if, uh,really by accident of course, some people, who never got to know me this way, might see me and understand…well, uh…”
Let’s Play a Mind Game.
“Oh, understand. Nothing wrong with that. But, uh, how ’bout you indulge an old fart and just try out something that I think will be a real gas for you, er, perhaps I should say, phat, er, uh…. Look, you can trust me to take the time to play a little, let’s say, mind-game. It’s lots of fun.”
“Haha. Suure, ok. You crack me up, ya old fart. Gonna be a real gas. Ya can bet your damn asscrack that you’d lost me for sure until you’d made real quick to explain that one, hehe.”
So, I say, “Yep, that’s a little mind-game prank that was played on me. Well, anyway, uh…. Well, uh, I just want you to allow yourself to open your mind to the greater intentions—intentions you have for doing this, the greater visions. Now, don’t think just yet, you’ll only try to make things up. This is easier than that.”
“Ok, now. You say that…being honest and only rational after all…that of course you wouldn’t be doing this expression of yourself on the internet if you didn’t have some desire to share or show this part of you with somebody or somebodies in the world…right? So far?”
“Yea, get on with it, I’ve already said that.”
“Ok, fine. Now, here’s the fun part. I want you to have that desire…to have it clearer…the clearer you can make it, y’know, the more likely it will happen. So let me help you a little here. Now just clooose your eyes. No, no, don’t look that way at me, nothing fishy going on…. You just ain’t going to be able to see your desires with all the distractions that the sights around us present. Give it a chance. Believe me, I’m not trying to lay any trip on you….”
“Ok, that’s better.”
Who’s Your Real Audience?
“Now. On the internet, we never see our audience. But we all imagine and wonder who they might be and what kind of people they are. Don’t you, too?”
“Well, we’re gonna try do something like that. Instead of an internet with no audience, well, imagine you’re in an auditorium. It can still be an internet to you…and you’re making the same points…and you’re really getting into it, like: I SPIT (ptoo!) in the face of death…and I LAUGH uproariously in the face of death.”
“How’s it goin?”
“Yea, I’m doing it, really into it…like it!”
“Ok. How does it make you feel?”
“Strong, fucking strong, damn fucking strong.”
“Greeeat. You’re feeling strong, real fucking strong. Feel as fucking strong as you can!”
“Great, yea, all right, I’m so fucking strong, ain’t no mother-fucking dudes as strong as me…I spit, I laugh….”
“Very, very wonderful. Enjoy, enjoy that! … Now… add one more thing…. One more thing, make it even better…. Remember, you’re in an auditorium, and here you can see your audience. Stay with that ‘spittin at death’ strength. You’re strong! … Now, containing all that strength…all that bigger than death power…cast your eyes down below you to the people in the audience…you’re at your peak!…the people that you really wanted to show. You’re strong, you’re powerful, more powerful than death, right?”
“Fucking right, I am.”
“Ok, now. Show them, and tell me who they are…one by one…look around…slowly…who do you really…really want to show who you really are…who couldn’t see this before in you…but now, they wouldn’t be able to miss it? Take your time….”
“No need to take time! Ha! I’m fucking really strong now. And there’s my bitch ex-girlfriend. Ha! Now, she doesn’t seem so high and mighty. She looks scared now. Ha! She left me. Took off with some some guy who did some kind of daredevil or motorcycle stunts. Sorta like saying to me, that, I wouldn’t be there for you…. Well, she didn’t get it then, but she’s gettin’ it now…how much braver it is to stare down death than to face some motorcycle risks. Ha! Yea, I’m gettin’ it. This is fun. You’re an old fart, but you got some tricks…good tricks….”
“Ok, now,” I say. “Look around, who else?”
“Well, there’s several other girlfriends. Wow! How great to see the look on their faces now.” (chuckling) “And there’s my two older brothers. I really wanted to be like them, and…hang out with them. But they made it like I wasn’t big or tough enough. Boy, am I showing them now. How fucking glorious. Even they are scared; they are tooo chickenshit to do what I’m doing. Ha! I’m showing them…he he he…..”
Those Damn ‘Ghostly’ Others
“Keep looking,” I say.
“Ok, well, there’s…there…. No. No…what the fuck, what the fuck’s he here for?”
“Who’s that?” I say.
“Why my dad…and my mother too. My dad always made me feel like I was weak just ’cause I was a kid. Why wouldn’t I be weaker than a grown man!? That bastard never gave me credit for having the strength I’ve got. Yet how strong is he? Just because he can put down my mom and…who would never fight back….”
I say, “Look into his face. Did you show him? Does he finally see?”
“Not sure…. He’s, he’s kinda lookin’ down….”
“Look more closely. Zoom in.”
“OK…. Oh my god, that mother-fucking bastard, that prick!”
“What’s going on?”
“Well, he’s even angrier now. He’s thinkin’: ‘What kinda pussy son he’s got who’s play-actin’ all over the internet about how tough he is…but that’s not bein’ tough,’.he’s thinkin’…. Why that fuck! He never did understand anything I did, he put down everything I did. I tried, but no matter. I could never be man enough…in his eyes….”
I say, “That’s rough, dude, rough. That’d be hard for anyone to live through….”
“Yea.” Beginning to choke up. “Yea…” he says…he’s sobbing now.
“That mother…. All those years I had to live with that fuck! hope and try and not getting anything back….my God!…except… scorn! Gaaa! Scorn! Scorn and Hate! It’s you who’s face I spit in, you‘re the fuckin’ death, I hate you!…. I’m bigger than you. I survive you. I laugh! Ooooh…” Openly crying.
And, he broke off crying.
You’re never gonna win, pal, give it up already.
Well. I did what I could for him…and stayed with him and hung out with him for a while…. Really not a bad guy at all. He seemed to really get it, too, that he didn’t need to do things to prove to his dad anymore, because he could clearly see there was no extreme he could ever go to or ever go through that would make a dent in his father’s attitude of despising him.
I explained that while it is hard to accept that his father really did despise him, that he will find it easier than most, because he at least knew it…and didn’t try to pretend it wasn’t true. But that he just hadn’t gotten it out of his craw that even in some imaginary way he could get something that he just wasn’t meant to get in this life. And I explained that, that is the way with all of us. There’s always something that’s not part of the perfect family portrait, or there’s some elephant in the room.
I explained that, while he didn’t have to prove anything anymore to his father that, while he was doing it, it led him to learn a lot about the internet and such, and he could apply that to something new.
So when I was leaving, he said something. It gave me a happy thought. He said:
“You know. Now I don’t need to show anybody anything. What a waste of time that was.”
What to Do, When You Don’t Have to Do
And he continued, “It occurs to me, then…’What the hell to do’? Then it occurs to me, ‘Well, if you got nothing to prove, and you really don’t want the world to end, actually.’ In fact, it is pretty scary.”
“And I’m thinkin’ of all the innocents…like my mom…being put down by big scary men whose only strength lies in putting down little kids, and their wives…so they can feel strong. Hmm….”
“So I think, ‘No, there’s no changing my dad.’”
“But the next thing I have is…while my mother isn’t here anymore, ‘There’s lots of helpless innocents out there, like her, who aren’t being helped…about what’s coming down.’ They’re even being prevented from knowing, by other chickenshit men like my dad, who are only out for themselves and it doesn’t matter who they hurt…s’long as they get their profits.”
How DARE They?
“So, I’m thinkin’ this, and I’m real surprised because I feel myself breathing deeper. And I feel some anger coming, like, ‘How DARE they?!’ “
“And then some strong feelings of manliness…my heart crying out…like to my mother. Even choking up a little, thinkin’ like, ‘I’ll take care of you, young mother, little sister, little brother, little baby child. I’m bigger, I’m stronger. I’ll protect you from harm’…like no one protected me. And now I know how horrible that was. And, how I could do nothing to…and how I would do anything to stop that from happening to others. I really would. And I got all psyched! Y’know?”
Guaranteed to Bring Out the Best in You
“I’m sorry for putting you down about wanting to help the world. Cause I see that’s the best place to put your strength and to be a real man…. Y’know? To have a just cause…put all your strength into it…whether you win or not. Just to be on the right side! And in the meantime to stand between any hardship and those innocents…and to comfort their sorry hearts. It seems like there’s no other worthy thing to do.”
Well, I expressed how that was really wonderful. And I said, to confirm for him, I said how this is the biggest struggle this planet has ever faced.
And, he’s right. It is the worthiest effort that one can imagine. And guaranteed to bring out the best in us…and to make us better…as well as the worst in us…which we can at least know and struggle with to keep those things from undermining the good in us.
Freed From a Prison
Well, after that we talked about how we individually and together could do things in the future, and…. It gladdened my heart to see him freed from the prison of striving forever for a love that would never be and…to be learning, already, that true love is in giving.
That true love is in giving.
Finding love, in giving love
No doubt, if he continues like this, he’ll soon learn that in giving love, he finds more love than his heart can contain, coming his way, without his expecting, asking, or even seeing it coming. I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes over to my site to contribute, share, and even join in solidarity.
Could Be Real Men, Instead of Performers for Phantom Puppeteers
Well, that’s one take on why people are not reacting to the seriousness of the end of all life on this planet. I think it’s a rather pervasive one. And I’m sure there are others. And I just wish it would be that easy to turn these people around to see how they could be real men, how they could be real heroes, how they could be really strong. Instead of performing for some “ghostly” others…who aren’t there, and…who aren’t going to be impressed anyway.
Take my word for it or not. That’s the way I see it.
Other Takes on This
Other irrational responses and reactions to the end of all time are discussed in the next two chapters, “Death Wish — Zombies and Sad Proselytists,” and “The Will to Die — Thanatos Walking.”
Continue with Apocalypse – No! Chapter Four:
Death Wish – Zombies and Sad Proselytists
Return to Apocalypse – No! Chapter Two: Love’s Wake-Up Call – Apocalypse Emergency
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