Saturday, June 30, 2012

government explained

h/t the facebook page George W. Obama (recommended):

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

failing to prevent oneself from actively damaging kids

Even as it struggles with the revelations of sexual abuse and the failure of top officials to act, the Philadelphia Archdiocese, long considered an eminent stronghold of Catholic power and tradition, is being battered from several sides [emphasis added].  NYT
To act or not to act is not the question. The failure to act in this case is an action, ethically speaking. A person who watches someone burn when they could save them is acting. Lying in bed all day is an action. To exist is to act and the active/inactive spectrum by itself tells us little or nothing of these actions' ontological or ethical character but rather speaks to an everyday sensibility that may or may not have something to do with energy, movement, vegetation,'s a distraction relying on semantic confusion...

Ah, but this discussion isn't even necessary here because it's quite misleading to say that "top officials" chose to let child abuse happen when they could have easily prevented it, which would have been horrible enough. They were not put in an unfortunate position, their options limited, victims of circumstances and third parties. They were not caught in the crossfire. They didn't try to do the right thing but gosh-darn everyone makes mistakes. They were not victims. They were causes. They were active in any sense you can think of, normal, weirdo-philosophical, or whatever. They created the problem, as is clear from the same article:
[T]he searing trial...ended Friday with the conviction of a senior Philadelphia archdiocese official, Msgr. William J. Lynn, on a charge of endangering children by placing a known pedophile in an unwary parish [emphasis added].  
The pedophile priests, almost all of whom went to Catholic schools or at least were raised in Catholic homes, are products of the Church. They were vetted by the Church. After demonstrating their predatory habits, they were set up by the Church to "sin" again. (And, come to think of it, this is telling. With the focus on sinning, wrong actions hurt God first and foremost, while victims' pain is always part of a test. Strike that "first and foremost," because this is only about God -- maybe this is a good time to mention that God is an authoritarian parent substitute? Victims' pain can't even be called "secondary" because without God, pain, pleasure, and humans don't matter. Nothing matters. This is why Catholics are so confused when non-religionists argue for humanist ethics. "Why do you care?," they wonder.)

Anyway, where was I? I guess just bringing attention to this propaganda technique: "failing to prevent bad things from happening [that were actually the predictably horrible consequences of one's own behavior]."

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The alcoholic wants to drink and the authoritarian wants to control. Ask either to stop and watch the struggle. The pretense that discipline is for the disciplined embarrasses itself when the authoritarian tries to stop but can't. It's an addiction, you nipplefuckers. You do it because you want to.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

what's good for the pederast is good for the pentagon

‎"The jury also heard from a psychologist who testified that Sandusky has a personality disorder that might explain the "creepy" letters he sent to one of his accusers. The defense also offered more testimony touting Jerry Sandusky's reputation as a family man and community stalwart."  link

X is absolutely perfect all the time. Angelic, ideal, unreal.

If you think X has done something non-perfect you're wrong, and how dare you!

It doesn't matter if you think X has done something horrible or something trivial because this is a dichotomy (when convenient) and, as in baseball, all ties go to the runner.

If you can't prove it beyond a ridiculous doubt, it absolutely didn't happen, and, again, how dare you! Perfection sustained, move on.

If you can prove it beyond a ridiculous doubt -- dichotomy, what dichotomy? Time for hairsplitting: It's not as bad as they say. It was only this much money X stole. It was only this number of people X killed. And they weren't even real people, just semi-sub-people.

Next, of those split hairs found to be slightly ungood, they're not X's fault. Something non-X was doing that, a personality disorder, perhaps, or a bad apple or uncharacteristic mistake now removed or corrected and forever unrepeatable. Forever!

X's perfection has been established. This never happened. Delete. What never happened? As you were, X.

(This defense works better for perps like, say, a massive empire, which can make sure the prosecution's/critics' message is never properly heard and in any case has been in the jurors' homes and schools from early childhood establishing itself as an unassailable part of the jurors' own self-image. Sandusky, on the other hand, is in a bit of trouble here.)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Miller's takedown of Freud

Freud had his famous id-ego-superego triangle. He changed up his terms often, contradicting earlier selves but simply: id is raw, shapeshifting drive. Left alone, it's a tornado destroying everything in its path. Ego is the conscious self. The superego is conscience. The superego can go too far and get people hating themselves for no good reason, but a healthy superego is a good cop controlling the id's harmful tendencies. The superego is the result of early childhood discipline. The child is scolded and the parent's voice gets stuck in their head. While super-puritanical parenting forces the child to repress too much sexuality and is responsible for mental disorders, a good parent scolds mildly for the right reasons and a healthy superego develops.

For Alice Miller, instead of id and ego, there's simply a body; and what Freud called the superego is precisely the problem, the main cause of destructive behaviors. That voice in Catholics' heads, for example, telling them they're worthless shitbags is parents, priests, and nuns torturing them. In its absence they'd just be healthy people doing things like not becoming mass murderers and giving cupcakes to their neighbors for no damn reason. In fact, says Miller, they'd be far less likely to be violent. Violence is not in the body per se, it's in the pedagogy; it gets passed down, by way of pedagogists' behavior, from body to body. The desire to hurt people does not come from any essential aspect of the body, it comes from poisonous pedagogists.

There are clear advantages for the scolders and manipulators to induce subservient behaviors. Sociologically speaking, poisonous pedagogy helps the group live on, for example, by way of a lifetime of donations to the Church. The scolders' hatred gives the ultimatum: donate and be loved or don't and be rejected/killed by your parents. At the same time, the scolders avoid having to face the fact that their own parents abused them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

i believe in symmetry

Some plans were made and rice was thrown

A house was built, a baby born
How time can move both fast and slow
Amazes me
And so I raise my glass to symmetry
To the second hand and its accuracy
To the actual size of everything
The desert is the sand
You can't hold it in your hand
It won't bow to your demands
There's no difference you can make
There's no difference you can make
And if it seems like an accident
A collage of senselessness
You weren't looking hard enough
I wasn't looking hard enough at it

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who makes love to the flower bed
And dies in the first freeze
Oh I want to learn such simple things
No politics, no history
Till what I want and what I need
Can finally be the same

I just got myself to blame
Leave everything up to fate
When there's choices I could make
When there's choices I could make
And now my heart needs a polygraph
Always so eager to pack my bags
When I really wanna stay
When I really wanna stay

When I wanna stay [4x]

The arc of time, the stench of sex
The innocence you can't protect
Each quarter note, each marble step
Walk up and down that lonely treble clef
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who never thinks 
Not to accept its fate, that's faith
There is happiness in death
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line

The levity of longing that 
Distills each dream inside my head
By morning watered down forget
On silver stars I wish and wish and wish

From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line
From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line

You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

death games

Dying is not as radical a change as it's made out to be. The body does not cease to exist upon dying. Even when it decomposes and becomes unrecognizable as a body the effects of its effects of its effects are felt...forever. Death is the ceasing to be of a unity, a self, and a shift to a different operational principle for a bit of world which, when alive, is called "human".

In any case, as human selves, death is the ultimate either/or because world is fundamentally either/or, from every moment to the next, what repeats and what doesn't, what's created and what isn't, what world comes into being at the expense of what other worlds.

I assume the zebra feels an adrenaline rush upon escaping the lion. It is arguably the highest experience for any self to avoid death, to be right at that edge and see the other side and come back to this one.

Games make sense in this context as an attempt to replicate the rush of death avoidance without actual risk of death (note: except for games that involve actual risk of death). War happens when games are not enough. Every game is predicated on either/or for a reason. Games are sublimated death matches with human rules mimicking life/death certainty. You win or you lose. You get six points for a touchdown, three points for a field goal and so on. There's a fake sort of clarity you get with these human-devised parameters. A tie score lets radical egalitarians like me pretend death doesn't happen. Games without winners and losers are called practice. Nobody wants to watch practice, except as it relates to game performance. Judging is added to figure skating to make it interesting. Art gets jammed into human hierarchies by critics and rankers and American Idol judges. Death is everywhere in human cultures.

more of the same

World has been doing whatever it's doing for..., approximately, ...ever, give or take, or how the hell should I know?, so I hardly think that whatever carbon-based life is, or even whatever human intelligence is, is some radical departure. The main part of being anything at all is existing from one moment to the next, a remarkable struggle that looks easy because no one has ever experienced not-it; it's hypernormalized, "the air we breathe" taken to another level. Humans will tend to look at life/non-life and human/non-human distinctions under a microscope and see huge differences in kind and this is valid, but there's an equally or in some ways more valid picture -- the big picture -- in which one can see all earth-specific developments as more of the same. So when someone makes statements of the form "world wants X," it needn't be panpsychism -- the belief that the non-human world follows human processes; properly understood, it's the opposite -- the belief that human processes are world processes.