by Bruce Patterson, January 18, 2017
A people under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments… It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and for that it is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
— Anatole France (1844-1924)
I think “Tells” is one of the most beautiful words in the American Language. According to Professor Webster, the words “tell” and “tells” have sixteen commonly accepted usages. There’s also the Arabic word “tel” which tells you that the giant rocky hill you’re eyeballing isn’t a hill. It’s the accumulated debris left by abandoned or destroyed human settlements. Ruins that were recycled into new settlements to be abandoned or destroyed and then recycled again in a process reaching back thousands of years before Moses, with the help of a jealous, wrathful and homicidal God, defeated Pharaoh, the God King of the Sun, Moon and Middle Earth.
In the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, Euro-American settlers discovered inside forested thickets huge sculpted mounds of dirt that had been made by some long gone people. Nobody knows how many of the “Indian mounds” were entirely erased by settlers hauling off and recycling their dirt as landfill. Since, in the north, the glaciated terrain held plentiful potholes and sinks that could use some filling, you can bet the settlers were much obliged to the Ancient Ones (the Lost Tribes of Israel?) for their generous offerings. The ceremonial mounds that remain are often the most prominent terrain feature for miles around.
During the late 19th Century in Indochina, wherever the French colonial soldiers stretched out their telegraph lines, the local rice farmers cut them down and made them into ropes. Thanks mostly to this paper’s former co-editor, David Severn, some in Anderson Valley remember when along Anderson Creek near Philo a newly discovered “midden” (a “Pre-historic” village dump) was plowed under to make way for grapevines. Grapevines to be hung like crucifixes and stand in military ranks and files; drug-addicted and alcoholic, “hybrid” and inbred laboratory grapevines needing irrigation in one of the wettest spots on earth.
All cultures, you see, have standard-issue “traditions” meant to be used as moral compasses. Alhough most all of them boil down to seeing one’s own tribe as righteous savage innocents while the nearly identical tribe living over the mountain—plus your own tribe’s exiles, slaves, servants, dissenters and scapegoats—are branded as bloodthirsty animals.
Such inherited blind spots are called “Cultural Blinkers,” that being another name for the “blinders” cinched to the faces of flighty draft animals. Look at how outrageously profitable, destructive and self-defeating “Our War on Terrorism” is. That’s Fiscal Conservatism? If so, then so is pissing on your living room carpet to save water or you the trouble of having to walk outside. And if, in this already blood-splattered dawn of the 21st Century, you can still wrap your brain around the “American War on Terror” then you’ve gotta love the notion that our Plaster of Paris Masters of the Universe are patriotic “job creators” gifting us with “Automation” and “Conglomeration” sweetened with perpetual overseas “wars” being conducted by our friends at Predator Drones, Inc. This while we all know that when a robot slaughters humans, it ain’t war (leave it to us old gringos living off the fat of the land and the blood of the young to find a way to slander something as universally despised as warfare).
If domestic Counter-Intelligence is now our mercenary state’s primary mission—our senile and monomaniacal junta has been telling us lies to cover-up their lies for so long they’re too scared to come clean—what better way to totally degrade any body politic than to make them pay to be accessories to cowardly, gangland-style massacres magically transformed into Selfless Acts of Martial Valor in the service of National Defense? Get your subscribers to regard homicidal robots flying in formation as American Foreign Aid doubling back in the containerized Fatherland as 24/7 source material for inspired and inspiring Mass Entertainment for pubescent boys and girls and dirty old men—the possibilities are endless.
“What’s good for Coal is good for America. Here, here, I’ll donate!” America’s Business is Business and it’s only Business. Tax free Profits are Patriotic; open books subversive. Wet-nurse the rich, uplift the poor with pre-recorded promises of “education” while barbequing the alien boogiemen, women and girls where ever they be hiding and no matter how ironclad their alibis.
How about, as is happening now under that “Radical Leftist Kenyan Obama,” prosecuting “Drone Warfare” simultaneously against seven or eight war-ravaged peoples becoming our New American Normal? What better way to ensure World Peace than to kill everybody in sight? When old medieval White Men of Means who absolutely despise the ideals of Human Equality, Equal Justice and Democratic Commonwealth, get to call themselves “Patriotic Republicans,” and earth rapists “Conservatives,” and warmongering draft-dodgers “Born Again Christians,” why shouldn’t we make submission to our newly anointed Strong Man our children’s sacred rite of passage? Why shouldn’t all Honorable Men of Means seek an audience with the Big Guy to ease down on a knee and kiss his ring? (If you’ve been an ass-licking amateur or professional politician your whole life long, kissing rings ain’t no big thing). Public squalor, a generation’s dreams deferred, domestic discord, stinking injustice, unchecked petty tyranny under Hereditary Kleptocracy at home is a small price to pay for getting to brag about having the world’s sole Invincible Arsenal of Freedom, this planet’s various scabs of territory prospective Holy Lands reserved for White-eyes on Civilizing Missions.
Some deranged individual in this country walks into a church or a movie house, produces a sub machinegun, blows to bits twenty people and we rightly see it as an outrageous crime against humanity. Simultaneously our robotic overseas business agents are blowing to bits peasant women and children but that’s OK—shit happens along ones Path to Paradise. “Nobody said war is for sissies,” our sissies solemnly recite. Under Dark Money’s New American Normal, if a boy or a man is a “terrorist” then it’s our duty to blow him away. While we’re at it, we may as well rub out his wife, children and anybody else caught in our blast zones.
None of these people getting blown out of their front yards and their shirts are white-skinned, are they? They weren’t on the nightly news, were they? So relax. Human life is awfully cheap over there so don’t anybody be crying over some spilt milk. Folks over there just don’t value human life the way us Judeo-Christian, Caucasian Men of Means do; we and our groupies, allies, business partners and employees, of course. We all know that, within our “Exceptional” tribe’s most exalted and meritorious demographic, the End justifies the Means.
By the way, if you want to see an excellent Hollywood movie depicting how the Nazi’s rise to power affected one lovable family of Good Germans, check out MGM’s The Mortal Storm (1940).
As with big city syndicate corruption (which pales next to Southern rural corruption), when jingoistic militarism—transnational corporate mercenary government as loan shark, extortionist, button man, bookmaker, numbers-runner and neighborhood protection racket all under one roof—is mistaken for patriotism by those with the biggest sticks and loudest voices, it creates a flood of disillusionment and dehumanization among the young that cheapens society and eats away at its future. Like the blood of innocents, the malaise flows from the top of the pyramid on downward, spreading outward as the area expands and the bottom nears.
Today’s deranged electronic version of the “white voter”—the caged animal id, the needy ego and the self-sacrificing alter ego melded into a vote for a mythic past embodied in an Alt-Right Wall Street Slumlord Lobbyist’s moral universe. A bank vault Universe where tiny men cast long shadows, time is money, greed is godly, violence is sexy and white-skinned male privilege is a sacred birthright. Oh, and where the planes take off on time and all new brides are virgins.
The ascendance of the anti-American Alt-Right makes me wonder if, under the leadership of the young, the oppressed and the unbowed, this once would-be republic can rise like a phoenix from my generation’s spiritual prison camp being run for profit by Seven Deadly Sins, LLC. Or will our crumbling, ticky-tacky Autotopian ruins be the final gift of an extinct culture that began by believing everything is possible and ended by making everything impossible? Will our doom be perpetual imperial war crimes with God as our witness? Or, seemingly out of nowhere, will it be a global nuclear Biocide as some Titan’s temper tantrum, cowardice, vainglory, blind envy or stone cold incompetence? (Never has there been a lynch mob that wasn’t made up of scum-sucking cowards and sadists, it’s worth remembering in these dishonorable days of sorrow).
Or will it be human extinction, or something close to it, through a long and agonizing ecological collapse? A collapse played out like an endless gang rape taking place on the sidewalk in front of Trump Tower #222 while pedestrians wearing snow white face masks go about their business with their Smart Phones. Or maybe it’ll be our unending domestic war of all against one, and one against all that finally sticks the fork in us: dog eats dog till dogs no more. Maybe, for the young, the future is the promise of a hot shower and a fresh bar of soap at the midnight end of a long ride inside a freezing railroad boxcar. The warm reception they recieved at the gate of prison camp being the last bit of human kindness anybody would show them during their short visits to this once green earth.
While gamblers usually think of “tells” as rummy Poker players with their habits and tics unconsciously “telling” you the relative strength of their hands, the word probably originated with America’s first Confidence Men: the “guides” fresh off the boat that greeted the passengers arriving on next boat. You know, independent businessmen of the kind that specialize in “human greed and 14-Karat ignorance.” Like, if you think you’re a good judge of human character, a con artist might befriend you. If you let him know how you put great store in the value of your own impressions of people, he’ll be buying you dinner and drinks. He’ll be the best pal you’ve ever had until he figures out how to get you to hand over some of your money while graciously thanking him for the privilege. After he’s accomplished that, you’ll never see him again.
Not so with this crypto-fascist Trump Family Dynasty syndicate. They think they’re founding a New Age State Capitalist Renaissance and, at any rate, they’re all atwitter over themselves like their National Hero Caudillo is. I suppose if nearly half the voters (roughly 1/4 of eligible voters) in this last election were oblivious enough to invite the House of Borgias to come and join their pubescent daughter’s overnight slumber party, they shouldn’t be surprised when next morning their daughter and her guests are irate. You lay down with a hound dog and you get fleas. You lay down with a mad dog and you get rabies. Very elementary.
NEXT: Stepford surrogates gone haywire.