The Talking Dog

June 21, 2015, Happy Solstice (Part Deux)

June 21, 2015, Happy Solstice

As Druids dance around Stonehenge, and Americans celebrate Father's Day, Roy Edroso gives us this taste of "heritage" from the American experience, in response to the recent racist horror of the murder of nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C.

Roy's inimitable take pulls no punches. Of course, the premise in which one can pull no punches these days is humor. People of goodwill have now been trapped by their own sense of fair play, which has metastasized as if a cancer into the premise of "everyone is entitled to their opinion," which in turn has morphed into the concept of what was once known as the "fairness doctrine," and in turn is a media that simply "presents both sides" of a given issue, as if each has equal truth value (or if one side has any truth value). Which, of course, is nothing other than an excuse for no one to believe anything they are told, because the one thing we do know is that much (if not virtually everything) of which we are told by politicians and the media and corporate America is complete nonsense.

Maybe, on this, the longest (and hence most sunlight-filled) day of the year, it's time we look at reality in the daylight, for a change. Dylann Roof is a hardened racist; his own web-site says so. And yet, it is necessary that, since Mr. Roof is White, that a hate crime directed at a historic Black Church and Black victims by a White man is anything but a hateful act of racist terrorism. Fine. Just fine. And the Confederate battle flag flying over his state's capital... is just a "symbol of heritage." Fine. Just fine.

Hey, not even someone with the authority of His Holiness Pope Francis, apparently, can
tell us that we are destroying our own planet's ability to sustain us,
without being attacked by the usual suspects. And the result, of course, is more cognitive dissonance, because why should anyone believe anyone?

Meanwhile, in seemingly more mundane news are areas we are not really being told about much, such as the coming financial crisis which will result from a failure to resolve Greek debt issues, next step, a "summit" tomorrow.

Some snapshots.

So many things are fraying at the same time; the only response to this, or to any survival threat, is mental clarity. And yet, as Americans (or indeed, anyone in the industrialized world, or at this point, just about anywhere), the prevailing ethos is the exact opposite: self-delusion, preferably on a profitable-to-someone-else electronic device providing the latest media nonsense. And if too much reality sinks in, we have pharmaceuticals. This has been a good answer for quite a while to getting along in a largely delusional society that, at least, was apparently functioning. It's getting clearer that now even the functioning is more delusion than reality, for more and more people. But the response is simply to double-down on the delusion.

Well, everyone has their own choice to make. You can choose to live in the ever smaller box in which our minds have been placed (and the attendant nonsense rules that go with it), or you can stop a moment, realize that some undeniable truths just are, and that those who are paid quite well to deny it because it's in someone's very real pecuniary interest to do so are probably a threat to your very survival, and at a minimum, you should at least recognize that fact.

I have no answers to anything right now. But at least I know the wrong questions.

June 7, 2015, Sunday Sunday

We'll start with the immediate solipsism, and note my finish in the Retro Four-Miler in a faster pace than last week, but still... not... fast. Ran the first mile with my friend E., who finished about eight minutes faster than I... all in all, her (10 min. mile) pace picked up after the first mile, and mine slackened. A tough year running-wise... but, now I have my nine, and hence, have automatic guaranteed entry for the 2016 NYC Marathon, and am already entered in the 2015... if I complete both, that will be fifteen in a row, and life-time guaranteed entry... just saying.

It seems, alas, that Vladimir Putin did not have life-time guaranteed entry to the economic summit recently known as the G-8 but now known as the "G-7" (the eighth, Putin's Russia, having been, in a schoolyard style pique, kicked out for not sitting still after the coup we staged in neighboring Ukraine)... and the remaining leaders of "the seven" (US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and Italy... but not Russia, let alone China) are meeting at a Bavarian resort.

The agenda will include, presumably, more schoolyard pique directed at Russia, possibly a discussion of how well things are going in the Middle East, and maybe some talk about the looming default by Greece, and its possible "bad" implications for the euro, the EU, and what's left of the global economy. Meanwhile, it seems that Russia and China are upping the business they are doing with each other (Russia's largest bank will now price some instruments in Chinese yuan), and the same report notes possible support for Greece from those sources, possibly as part of the not-yet-formed "BRICS" bank (BRICs standing for Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, together representing an immense share of the world's land, people, economic might and resources... and conveniently not invited to the G-7).

Good times. I'm going to do what may prove to be one of the most effective political acts I can think of... I'm going to buy some soil, and then mix it with my backyard compost, and plant some vegetables in the backyard, and then plant some more on my roof, and then water them. Change is going to have to originate "bottom up": Bernie Sanders is a nice thought, but he's not going to be elected, and we can expect business as usual. As business as usual is doomed (see above), insofar as the hierarchical complexity and the insanely high transactional costs (financial, environmental, social, etc.) associated there with are bringing down our system in front of us, the best we can do is generate a little resiliency in our lives, even if only at a small and symbolic level.

Again... just saying...

June 6, 2015, Happy D-Day

On this, the 71st anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, the Grey Lady treats us to this account of the newly declassified saga of torture absorbed by so-called "high value [Guantanamo] detainee" Majid Khan. Rather than paraphrase, I'll just give you the gory details from the report:

Soon after his capture, Mr. Khan said, interrogators waterboarded him twice, a contention that contradicts the Central Intelligence Agency’s claim that it had already named all detainees who were subjected to that practice. (The C.I.A. has denied that Mr. Khan was waterboarded.) As he was moved among a series of C.I.A.-operated “black sites” over the following months, Mr. Khan told his lawyers, the torture continued. He was beaten repeatedly. He was hung naked from a wooden beam for three days, shackled and starved. He was taken down once during that time to be submerged in an ice bath. Interrogators pushed his head under the water until he thought he would drown. He received what he called “violent enemas,” and was anally assaulted in a process the interrogators called “rectal feeding.”

Yes, this is what the brave men who risked (and all too often, gave) their lives fighting the Nazis on the beaches of Normandy were fighting for. Comments? I got nothing.