Most Americans are saturated with pro-U.S. crap propaganda. This is natural, and expected, that Americans would be conditioned to believe their country is a most wondrous place and the epitome of freedom and righteousness. The following rants and essays cut through the haze, the patriotic fog which blinds millions. They lacerate pro-American dogma with acuity a laser would envy. They eviscerate the propaganda machine, and wash away the goatshit we've all heard, that the United States of America is the greatest country now and ever, past and present. These rants and essays on diverse aspects of American life are hopefully a counter-tonic for those oozing with praise and nostalgia. America's virtues are constantly extolled elsewhere; it's time for some alternate takes...
The first piece is satire in the tradition of Voltaire and Mark Twain. Reading about Jesus Day 2000, sponsored by Governor George W. Bush in the state of Texas on June 10, 2000, inspired me to write it.
HEAVEN CELEBRATES BUSH DAY 2005
The steady pace and everyday routines of Heaven were interrupted Friday, as the first annual Bush Day was observed.
God, Jesus, and the angels honored the 42nd U.S. president with a full dayís slate of festivities, as did the residents of Heaven, including many past presidents.
The Holy Spirit was not available for participation in the festivities, as he was out of his office with many revivals to attend, convicting people and filling them with percentages of himself, to enable himself to save more than one person at a time.
"We were flattered a few years ago when George W. Bush, as governor of Texas, added Jesus Day 2000 to the calendar," a beatific God remarked at the beginning of Bush Day.
"The fine citizens of that great state commemorated my one and only child with a special holiday, so we decided to reciprocate," God had earlier said in a press release e-mailed to the White House.
The citizens of Heaven came out of their mansions to join the revelry, which featured a marching band, a trumpet blast every hour, and a big-screen TV image of Bush, centered holographically above Heavenís Main Street.
The streets of gold were bordered by Christian soldiers in full military regalia. American army jeeps, Bradley tanks, and Ford Explorers led an hour-long parade, sporting flags and banners with Bushís face and the words "Blest Be Bush" on them.
"President Bush is well-known in Heaven," Godís public relations director and assistant chief executive officer Adolf Hitler said. "Everyone knows what God expects of them here, and one thing he expects is that the citizens of Heaven conform to the philosophy of imperialist conquest, rampant unimpeded corporate capitalism, and monarchical rule," Hitler continued. "George W. Bush has been as faithful a servant of God as anyone in the history of Earth in regard to these blessed doctrines."
"Not since the days of my faithful servant Joshua, has a commander-in-chief been so effective in eliminating those who oppose my divine plan," added God.
Former president Ronald Reagan delivered the keynote address honoring Bush.
Jesus, wearing a plain white t-shirt, blue jeans, a polka-dot bandana, and Nike hiking boots, was unusually reticent, humbled by the memory of Bush Day 2000, when 479,212 Texans prayed to him simultaneously.
"In my glorified state I look back fondly on my years in the White House, leading the greatest nation to ever grace Planet Earth. As I reminisce, I see amazing parallels between George W. Bushís agenda and my own administrationís. I am thrilled that George W. Bush is blessed by God to serve eight years as president of that most godly nation, the United States, which is the apple of Godís eye - well, both his eyes." The crowd chuckled briefly at Mr. Reaganís humor.
"George W. Bush is carrying on the legacy which began with my administration and continued with President Bushís father.
"One parallel I canít help but notice is that we both followed disastrous administrations led - or mis-led - by Democrats, who are, as everyone here today knows, the spawn of Satan. Itís not an easy challenge to rectify the damage wrought by Democratic presidents, but just as I did, President Bush has met the challenge with flying colors. And I am proud of him for that!" The attentive throng cheered. As the cheers increased in volume and number, many of the listeners stood. This turned into a full-fledged standing ovation.
"The current Bush regime," Mr. Reagan continued, "is outstanding in the way it perpetuates the legacy of killing infidels and unbelievers in Iraq and Afghanistan. By doing so, he is faithful to God, and his admonition to extinguish all unbelievers.
"After Mr. Bush finishes conquering Iraq and Iran by snuffing out the last bit of resistance in those Godless nations of Islam, it is my earnest hope that he will begin a genocidal campaign in the United States, until the only people left breathing are Christian Americans." The crowd sprung to their feet unanimously for another standing ovation and round of cheering, which lasted for several minutes. Reagan grinned broadly at their approval.
"Just as I did with Nicaragua and El Salvador, not to mention that small but nefarious cauldron of Communists - Grenada, and just as the elder Bush did with Panama, Mr. George W. Bush is exterminating all those who doubt our great God. His invasion of heathen Iraq is most instructive.
"On the domestic front, Mr. Bushís policy of polarizing the American labor force into line with the hegemony of corporations and their CEOs is equally laudable and meritorious. His stance in favor of the righteous will of business owners and against labor unions and the freedom of workers is utmostly praiseworthy. Mr. Bush's related policy of keeping the downtrodden down, and making the poor poorer with budget cuts to social services which are unnecessary to begin with, is the correct approach for blessing and enriching the rich Christian upper classes. George Bush has his priorities in order, and he knows what should come first. Letís all hear it for President George W. Bush!" A third standing ovation and outburst of deafening whistling and clapping followed.
After Mr. Reagan roused the crowd, former Senator Jesse Helms took the podium.
Though not fully dead yet, Helms, who spends half his time in Heaven and half of it on Earth, excoriated all non-Christians just as Reagan had, and proffered a remedy for strengthening America.
"As soon as we purge our evil president from the Oval Office and from our collective national consciousness, we will be on the path of righteousness once more, and become the great Christian nation we once were."
Helms winced and pursed his lips. He squinted as the bright sun of Heaven bathed his cricket-like, insectoid countenance.
"President - I hate to even say that word when I mention his name - Bill Clinton - and his evil hordes of liberals, must be driven out of Washington, which they are turning into a modern Babylon."
When his aide, seated a few feet away from Helms, whispered into Helmsís ear and reminded him that Clinton had not been president for nearly five years, Helms was unfazed.
"That blaspheminí, good-for-nothiní, titty-suckiní, flesh-mongeriní, depraved motherfuckuh, who has the gall to take the presidencih away from our godlih Rihpublihkun leaduhs, must be impeached!
"He even engages in fallayshuh with young bimbo secretarihs - should we call them suckretarihs? - and watches poenographuh in the conn-fines of the White House! In the meantime his lesbian wife is out preying on the lesbian harlots of Washington, D.C. - sheís a regulah carpet-muncher and a whore of Babylon, yes she is!
"Billy Clanton is a reptilian, spitting, liberalian who is ruining this country. He is a filthuh adulteruh who is serving his mastuh Say-tun. Heís a regyulah snake in the brush!" Helmsís aide quickly jogged the few feet to Helmsí side, to spare him embarrassment. "Thatís Ďsnake in the grassí," he whispered into Helmsís ear. Helms did not hear him, since the hearing aids in both his ears were turned off.
"May the Democrat bastud burn in Hell foh-revuh someday!"
An audible gasp flurried through the outdoor assembly. A few Heavenites in attendance were heard murmuring that Helms was losing his mind and probably had Alzheimerís but didnít know it yet. The shock and dismay at the ultra-conservative ex-Sunday school teacher blurting the words "motherfucker" and "bastard", albeit badly enunciated, temporarily broke the crowdís focus and concentration.
Helms finished his catharsis of anger at the defunct Clinton administration with a few more statements. "Evil fucks like Will Clinton must be stopped! I canít believe the American people were foolish anuff tuh uhlect Bill Clayton as president of our once-great nation. May they be cursed! Only when we choose anothuh Rihpublihkun tuh lead us will wih once more establish gloruh in thuh United States.
"After all, remember thuh storih of thuh Rihpublihkuns and sinnahs in thuh Holih Bibuhl, King James's version. Rih-call! Thuh Rihpublihkuns and sinnuhs both loved to be seen before men, but thuh Rihpublihkuns were there to perform righteousness! Thuh verih fact that Rihpublihkuns and sinnuhs were mentioned in thuh same verse was tuh show thuh contrast between thuh two groups - one good, one evil, one godlih, thuh othuh ungodlih."
"It was publicans and sinners, you fucking senile dumbass," Helms's distraught aide mumbled softly to himself.
"Evil knows as evil does," continued Helms in his torpid North Carolina drawl. "Ee-vill recognizes ee-vill. And Bob Clinton is ee-vill! All those who voted for a Democrat - uhspecialluh Bill Clifton - are headed straight tah hay-ell!
"They shall suck the cock of Say-tun! And Say-tun shall spew the spoiled fruit of his nutsack into their mouths. Their tongues shall be scorched as they swallow the putrid rotted seed of his loins, which is fueled by the fires of Hell itself!
"They shall lie with the whore of Babylon, and swim nekkid with her in the pools of her whoredom!"
The crowd was aghast. Hoping to restore order to the ceremony and regain the respect of the aroused throng, Helmsís aide whispered to him once more. "Senator, this celebration is for President George W. Bush. Donít you think you should say something about Bush?"
"What? Bush?!," Helms bellowed. "My wife ainít got a bush no more. I had her shave it clean off when it started showiní gray hay-ers. She does got this little metal thang pierced clean through her love button though. I thank peepuhl call it a clit rang."
As the flustered but patient aide resignedly shook his head and stared at the floor, the security guards chosen for Bush Day began walking toward the platform. The oblivious Helms continued his diatribe.
"The tobaccuh profits in North Carolinuh have dropped thurty-nine puhcent since Bruce Clinton took office. Gaw-awd-damn! I think that feller down in Texas would do a much better job preservin' the great tobaccuh industrih. He would make a real fine president. What was his name? Uh, yes - Bush! I worked closely with his daddy when he sat in the White House. Letís hope and pray we can git 'im tuh sit in the same bildiní in 2000."
After Helms had spake, and the perplexed crowd had dispersed, most of the attendees entered the City of Heavenís banquet hall. A magnificent buffet table of 615 cubits in length by 340 cubits in width by 2.43 cubits in height, adorned with fig leaves and betel palms and embellished with tapestries of copper, gold, silver, and beryllium, awaited them.
Many of the admiring Heavenites hovered around Mr. Reagan. Though cordial, Reagan appeared slightly miffed. One of the Heavenites asked him if something was bothering him.
Mr. Reagan met with God during the seminar recess, whereupon God signed a contract with the Republican Party.
Reagan responded to the concerned man. "Well..." Reagan paused. "When are they gonna have Reagan Day in Heaven? As much as I admire George W. Bush and his God-ordained conquest of Planet Earth, I'd like to be honored somehow too. Well, I guess you could say I'm just a little jealous."
Overhearing the conversation from his throne, which was 1,249 cubits in height, God answered: "Now thatís a grand idea! Yes, we should have Reagan Day. And Newt Gringrich Day - after Newt passes on and joins us here in Heaven of course, bless his heart. And Nixon Day! And Eisenhower Day as well. And Teddy Roosevelt Day! Wait - was Teddy Roosevelt an accursed Democrat or a God-honoring Republican?"
One of the attendees shouted back up to God at the apex of his throne: "What about Lincoln Day?! I thought Abraham Lincoln was a great president!"
The entire enormous banquet hall became instantly silent, as God glared harshly at the man who had blurted the question.
"Lincoln! You cannot be serious! Abraham Lincoln was a terrible president! You havenít ever seen him walking around the streets of Heaven, have you? Well, thereís a good reason for that, my son. He didnít believe in me, for one thing. He was one of those atheists who scoff at my existence. Plus, he freed those Nigg-ro slaves. Aren't you familiar with my word? Read the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus and the twenty-first chapter of Exodus, thou foolish one! I thought of slavery, ordained the blessed institution of slavery, approved of slavery, and even gave instructions on how my worshipers can be effective slavemasters in my holy Word. One more outburst of ignorance from you and down the chute you go!"
Everyone who was a Heavenite knew what The Chute was. It wasn't a real, old-fashioned chute down which people slide, but a wormhole through which rebellious Heavenites are sometimes dispatched by the CEO of Heaven. Their destination is a black hole which, as a confluence of matter and energy which cannot escape and is forever in a super-heated vortex rotating at nearly infinite speed, is a very hot place. God uses black holes as Hell, since heat likewise cannot escape their gravitational grip.
God, dressed in a navy blue pinstriped suit, coordinated with a starched white pinpoint oxford dress shirt, a red tie with small white paisleys with a matching red handkerchief in the right breast pocket, and glossy, tasseled, black dress shoes and a black belt, smiled down at the throng.
"I'll forgive you this time, thou ignorant one." The question-asker dropped his head and shoulders in embarrassment. "But please, you must study my word and become more familiar with it. I didn't write it for my health, you know.
"Forget stubborn infidels like Lincoln! But it will be a wonderful and joyous day when George Bush - both the George Bushes - join us in Heaven. In case youíre wondering why he isnít in attendance for his own Bush Day this day, allow me to inform you that I declined to invite the president to Heaven for the festivities. He is too busy with so many important things, such as slaughtering innocent civilians, childrern and babies who get in the way of his brilliant military machine, and executing my divine and perfect will on my chosen planet. But he understands, and he knows his time here will come, when he will spend eternity reflecting on his good deeds on Earth.
"I remind you why weíre having this special day. To honor a great man. He praised my son here - Jesus - by calling him 'a great moral leader' on Jesus Day 2000."
"Thanks, I appreciate the compliment," Jesus quipped.
Jesus, wearing a plain white t-shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of dark-brown Nike hiking boots, was unusually reticent, being humbled by the memory of Jesus Day 2000 when a record number of 479,212 Texans prayed to him simultaneously.
Heavenites were offered several seminars to attend during the evening of Bush Day. The titles included "Chemistry Or Alchemy? How I Managed To Change Water Into Wine", "George W.Bushís Good Example: Pointers On Being A Good And Faithful Servant", and "Pulling The Wool Over Your Sheepís Eyes: How Bush Bamboozles Soldiers Into Thinking They Are Fighting For Freedom In Iraq And Iran, While They Are Actually Risking Their Only Lives For Bushís Oil Empire And His Stature As Big Bully Of The World".
Concluding activities included a half-hour audio and video presentation of Bushís speeches and campaign appearances, in which he spoke at length about the enemies of freedom. "Eye-rack, Eye-ran, and Red China, with its vulgar hordes of yellow people, are the evil axis on our planet, the un-holy Trinity. These nations have rejected the one true God; therefore we must obey the Bibleís command to eradicate them."
Mr. Reagan met with God during the seminar recess, whenceupon God signed a contract with the Republican party.
"A long time ago this was called a covenant," God mused. "Back then the Children of Israel were my chosen people. Now my chosen people to do Godís work on Earth is the Republican Party of the United States of America."
--Copyright 2005, by Christopher Douglas Edsall
O'er The Kitchen Of The Free, And The Home Of The Slave
The owner of the restaurant at which I was once a waiter called a pre-work meeting one afternoon.
He got political during the meeting, started praising America. Said if we didn't like the working conditions there we had the freedom to leave, because we lived in a free country. "You can work here if you want to, or if you don't like it you can quit and go work somewhere else."
Well, he left out one very important option: Change the workplace you're in.
Business owners must be challenged. Instead of rolling over dead, workers everywhere should practice workers' democracy. In Jim's little speech, where was the option to organize, unionize, collectivize, and improve the workplace? Why the omission of the freedom to make changes? He didn't mention those options because if exercised they might threaten his power as the ruler of the business. He subconsciously knew that his ownership of the business, which was attained with money, gave him all the decision-making power. He subliminally knew it was true that money buys power, buys control. His attitude was "Love it or leave it" and that, implicitly, every worker must work within his decisions' frameworks and not have input of their own into how the workplace is run.
His statements made me think of what Winston Churchill once said. "Every human has the right to choose what type of government under which they may live." Like the owner of the aforementioned, the celebrated Churchill neglected a very important option. How about the right to choose to live under no government whatsoever? He missed that one, yeah he did.
My restaurant boss's little speech brought to mind the travesties of the industry in which he was an owner.
The restaurant business is a huge scam - in Okla., for instance, you get paid $2.13 an hour plus tips. The owner of the establishment isn't worried about the tips; he's just concerned about doling out the two-fuckin'-thirteen. And you do a lot of sidework to earn that two-thirteen. And you often do a lot of opening and closing work during non-tip time (time in which you cannot receive tips because the rest. isn't open yet or it's already closed for the day).
In this fucked-up system, the customer pays your wages, but he doesn't have to. It's voluntary, so theoretically you can still make under minimum wage. This is peachy-keen for the restaurant owner.
All restaurants should educate their customers about tipping at at least the 15 percent standard and encourage them to tip their waiter or waitress. Restaurants should also allow waiters and waitresses to talk to the customers about the lousy tip they leave if they gratuitize less than 15 percent. Like when a little old lady digs two bits and four dimes out of her change purse and thinks she's doing something glorious by leaving those coins on the table. But food servers aren't allowed to talk back to customers. Only the owner/management and the customer have power in a restaurant setting. The food server has no rights at all, and no freedom of speech or expression. This needs to change.
One alternative to ensuring that waiters and waitresses receive fair compensation for their hard work (aside from raising their base pay to minimum wage, which should be done immediately in every state) is to mandatorily levy a 15% gratuity on every single party which dines at a restaurant, whether it be a party of one or 40.
Business owners must be challenged.
But back to freedom. Back to the propaganda...
This is a free country? Free for whom? How much freedom? What kind of freedom? Workplaces aren't free, prisons aren't free, the military sure as hell ain't free, schools sure the hell ain't free. You're not free while you're at work, so is America a free country only when you're off work? Freedom of speech and assembly are limited too. They must fit within the implied parameters of conformity. We don't have economic freedom in this country. We also don't have economic rights.
How free is the United States, really? During the Vietnam War men of age were compelled to either become soldiers or be imprisoned for refusal. Just where is the freedom in that?
Who dies on the battlefield? The privileged and the wealthy? They survive while others die for them, thereby preserving their freedom and their lives. How can you be free if you're dead? How can you enjoy the freedom of this free country if you sacrifice your life for it? Enough crapola about dying for someone else's freedom - noone should have to do that...That means freedom for some, not all...
The power of the people is largely situated in a sick variety of what I call "lazy democracy." People assume they have freedom and power, and a lot of both, because they get to occasionally take off work for half-a-day and vote. How much power of the people does voting entail? Not much. And in many communities in this country, you can't go buy liquor on Election Day because the liquor stores are mandatorily closed by law. So, you're given the right to vote but not to drink. Makes sense, huh?
If you're an American, you're born into a country with limited possibilities. As an adult American your options will be narrow. You'll either be an exploiter or be exploited. Either you'll own a company and exploit the labor of others, or you will be exploited by "working for the man" and thereby making him richer with your toil.
The norm is what 95 percent of Americans endure every day: the rigor of awaking and driving to a job in which they trade part of their life (their time and health) for money. This is also called working for wages. Even the lucky few who are their own bosses are slaves to the system. By working for the system they feed the machine. Where's the freedom?
To Exploit, Or Be Exploited...
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." These are the lines to a beautiful, melancholy song I sang at the piano as a boy. This is also the idea, ostensibly, behind immigrants coming to America for a better life. The richfucks who owned and ran America in the Industrial and early Post-Industrial eras welcomed the newcomers with open arms. Why? Because they wanted a large, varied labour pool. So, of course they invited European and Chinese emigrants to the U.S., and once they arrived the businessmen exploited them. If you don't believe me, see a history of the American railroad empire, how it was built largely on the backs of Chinese men.
The capitalist ruling class wanted waves of immigrants so those waves could work for them. I mean, if you don't have people to work for you, you have to do the work yourself, and that's the last thing most richfucks want to do: WORK. There's nothing mysterious about this.
Yes, the American legacy is rich with success stories of entrepreneurial immigrants who started their own businesses and became wealthy, and in some respects the entrepreneurs are admirable because they escaped pitiful conditions in Europe and improved their lives (even though in some instances they themselves became exploiters, even of their own countrymen who had traveled with them), but the richfucks don't give a damn if an occasional person new to the U.S. makes it on his own without working for them. As long as most people don't do that, it's alright. As long as their power, and more importantly, their CONTROL, is retained, the richfucks are happy. As long as the current system, in which the 99% of the people work for the richfuck 1%, remains intact, the status quo will go on forever.
What most people don't realize is that the United States was founded of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. It was also founded as an intrinsically capitalist nation. The dominant force in America is capitalism. This is the dominant force in the world, but it's more deeply entrenched into the American system and psyche. In the United States, it is the mother of all forces. It rules people's lives more than football rules small towns.
The "love it or leave it" attitude shows a contempt for freedom. It's a fascist attitude. What about the slaves? If they'd been told to love it or leave it, what could they do? They surely didn't love it here, and they weren't allowed to leave.
I wanna know what went wrong. Who made money the fucking king?! How did a mere medium of exchange get elevated to the lofty position of ruler of people's lives and very existences? It certainly shouldn't be this way, but the only way to improve this situation is to make people aware of it. Once they're aware of it, some of them will realize how evil it is. "Money makes the world go 'round" is perhaps the most accurate witticism ever coined, and at the same time probably the most understated.
The popular notion that the U.S. is a welcoming ground for ethnic groups to enjoy a new and happier existence for its own sake is true in regard to the perspective of the average working-class American. But in relation to the viewpoint of the richfucks who own and run this country, immigration has always been seen as an opportunity to lower labour costs and thereby increase profit margins.*
For example, in early 2003 Hispanics became the largest minority in the U.S., surpassing blacks as the biggest ethnic group here by population. Businessmen see this as a golden opportunity, and I guarantee you the trend for the next decade at least will be to take advantage of the Hispanics who come here looking for work. The richfucks will take advantage of them because they (the Hispanics) want desperately to get and keep a job (and from experience I know they take mostly unskilled-labor jobs like dishwasher and garbage collector) so they can stay here and not have to return to the countries they moved from. The richfucks know this and know they can get away with paying minimum wage to them, and probably wish they could get away with paying sub-minimum. The hiring of Hispanics will undoubtedly continue to be a prevalent trend in these United States for a long time. It will coincide with the ongoing hiring of teenyboppers, which has been a tendency for a decade or so.
Don't ever forget one very important fact about America. Its founding was accomplished by extinguishing one ethnic group - Amerindians, which refused to cooperate with the project of European conquest carried to a new continent. Once the skeletal outline of the nascent business power axis was blueprinted, more ethnic groups were invited and welcomed. Subsequently more were exploited, even enslaved. And once the hegemony of the richfucks was firmly entrenched, the richfucks continued to invite immigrants from any and every nation, with the tacit understanding that the new groups WOULD cooperate. They could not be belligerent as the indigenous natives had been.
The Floundering Fathers were just that. Fathers. How many women had anyfuckingthing to do with the birth of this nation? (oops - pun unintentional). Well, Betsy Ross may have sewn a flag together. Big whoop! All the movers and shakers were MEN. When he ridiculed the Founders, and what they said as opposed to what they really meant, George Carlin said it well: "All men are created equal - except Indians, niggers, and women."
A reversal of this ethnic cleansing, American-style, is recommended. In the mid- to late-70s - 1977 or '78 I believe, Paul McCartney wrote a song which thoroughly pissed off the Queen of England. The song was "Give Ireland Back To The Irish". I praise Paul for the courage to write and perform this tune. I also say "Give America Back To the Americans."
* See The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, for a stellar example of immigrant exploitation. The main character is an Eastern European immigrant who has high hopes for a good life in America then becomes disenchanted after ending up in the nightmare called the Chicago Stockyards. For the most part, the capitalist masters did not receive the new arrivals with a warm welcome. They did not try to house them. They did not try to educate them. Rather, they were licking their chops while eager to use them as pawns in the workforce.
David Vs. Goliath, Round 2...This Time, Goliath Wins
The Vietnam War was the worst thing one nation ever did to another nation. Actually, it was the worst thing one nation: the United States, did to a region, comprised primarily of three nations. The U.S. killed three million innocent people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for no good reason.
And it was a fucking WAR, not the fucking "Vietnam Conflict". Fuck those euphemisms. Fuck the "Korean Conflict" euphemism too. Then fuck the boldest euphemism of all: "police action". America's adventure in Vietnam was a war, pure and simple. A one-sided war, like the Gulf War, but still a war.
First, the U.S. picked a fight. The people of North and South Vietnam were minding their own business and the French then the U.S. intervened in Southeast Asia as early as the Forties and fucked everything up. The French were trying to preserve their colony, which they'd forcefully gained in their own little adventure in imperialist conquest a long fucking time before, then the Americans were trying to help their French buddies keep their property. I mean, one imperialist should always help another, right?
What a nightmarish experience it must have been to be a Vietnamese citizen peacefully going about your everyday activities and hear the roar of a bomber plane then have to run and hide from the 500-hundred-pound bombs falling all around you and destroying your loved ones, your livestock and your crops. In their language I'm sure many Vietnamese (the ones who were lucky, or unlucky, enough to survive the onslaught) kept screaming in horror: "Why are they doing this to us?!"
After the U.S. gov picked a fight and tried to preserve the colonial rule which the French had first foisted upon the area, it unleashed its fury for well over a decade. It poisoned the crops and the water, it pillaged the forests with napalm and Agent Orange, it raped the women and the children, it treated Vietnamese humans like animals, it carried out atrocity after atrocity and mass murder after mass murder, it relentlessly fucked up an area of the world like no area of the world has ever been fucked up. Laos is still suffering, as thousands upon thousands of land mines buried by U.S. soldiers there are a danger to Laotians. Vietnam is still suffering too, with deformed babies and children and a land poisoned by DDT and other nasty chemicals and a rice crop which still hasn't fully recovered. The U.S. has a lot of explaining and apologizing to do, but tragically the Vietnam War is starting to fade out of our consciousness. Governmental officials and private citizens have just about wiped Vietnam out of historical memory. One example is Jimmy Carter. This totally inept fuck and callous asshole said in a speech not long after he was inaugurated: "The destruction was mutual." He uttered those words while ignoring the fact that the French and U.S. had started the whole thing. Carter added that we don't owe Vietnam an apology. But at least Carter did one thing while in the White House. He pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers.
Several things about the Vietnam War are amazing, in regard to how it plays itself in the American conscience. One is that most Americans never even mention the fact that 3 million Asians were murdered. All Americans mention is that we lost 60,000 soldiers, and what a tragedy this is. Yes, this is a tragedy - any time someone dies in an imperialist war it's a tragedy, but surely people must realize there were casualties on the other side too! It's almost as if Asians are non-humans to Americans, and they probably are since this is a deeply racist nation. Not considering the victims and the dead in Laos, Cambodia, and North and South Vietnam is a tragedy in itself. Americans are so quick to mention the Holocaust of Jews in and before World War II, but they rarely mention the Southeast Asian holocaust. Sadly, most of them don't even know about it. Ignorance of history is a very sad thing. If you asked a group of random Americans how many Asians were killed during the war in Vietnam between 1960 and 1975, most would probably guess something in the neighborhood of 200,000 - at most. Few know the truth. I didn't know the staggering total until I started reading Noam Chomsky, one of the best authors on the subject.
I was at a John Birch Society summer camp in '85 (yes, I'm ashamed of it - this was during the ultra-Conservative era of my life), during which one afternoon a doctor who'd been a colonel in Vietnam started talking about his experiences there. Tears came to his eyes when he said "We lost sixty thousand good men over there." He continued with observations like "Militarily it was a slaughter." But, he said not one word about all the Asians who had lost their lives. Apparently only American lives mattered to him. This is lamentably typical of the American attitude.
Another astonishing aspect of this most terrible of wars is that the U.S. fucked up not only North Vietnam, which was the primary official enemy, but South Vietnam too! We were allegedly protecting South Vietnam, but JFK began to bomb the fuck out of South Vietnam in '62. JFK, LBJ and Nixon preached constantly that Ho Chi Minh was the main enemy, but the Viet Cong guerillas in the South who sided with him were also relentlessly hammered. (The real reason they were pounded by American bombs was their attempt at national liberation - something the U.S. has historically not tolerated, and, yea, has even punished harshly).
Civilians and peasants were hammered too. The North wasn't bombed until '65 however, as another Texas redneck in the White House: Lyndon Baines Johnson, used the impetus of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in which Congress gave him carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he wanted to Indochina.
The great JFK - that suave and debonair man, that revered man of peace, that leader of Camelot, that loverboy, that kind-hearted man - even started a program which rounded up thousands of South Vietnamese into "strategic hamlets" - aaah, there's another nice euphemism, this time for concentration camps. The ruse was ostensibly to protect the citizens from the North Vietnamese Communists. Now, wait a minute. Didn't someone say we fought against fascism and tyranny in World War I? I thought I heard that somewhere... So where in the fuck did Kennedy and his henchmen come up with such totalitarian ideas?
With friends like the United States, who needs enemies?
If the famous photo of the Vietnamese mother swimming across the river with her babies to escape American bombs in 1965 doesn't make you cry, you ain't even human. It's on the cover of Rethinking Camelot: JFK, The Vietnam War, and U.S. Political Culture, a dissenting, and correct, history and perspective of the Kennedy administration. This photo brings tears to my eyes. Nearly every time I think for any length of time about the Vietnam War I nearly cry, sometimes do. It was an adventure in imperialism sustained with a rage and intensity never before seen, by the Big Bully of the world (you know who). Sixty thousand on our side, and 3 million on their side, died unnecessarily.
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, two of the most evil men who've ever lived, kept it going beyond reason, and expanded the slaughter to neighboring Laos and Cambodia. Nixon's insane, brutal bombing and land-mining of both nations, though, was later admitted by him to have absolutely nothing to do with the Vietnam War. It also came out later, in 2001 or 2002, that Nixon had said he didn't give a fuck about civilian casualties in Vietnam (actually he didn't use the glorious f-word, but said "I don't give a damn..."). All he cared about was victory, at any cost, in any way. This attitude followed the legacy of Kennedy, universally misinterpreted as a dove who wanted to end the war. See Rethinking Camelot, by the ever-enlightening Chomsky, to shatter this myth and purge it from your consciousness.
The Jewish Holocaust is universal knowledge, but how many people are aware of the Southeast Asian Holocaust? In the Vietnam War, the Big Bully Of The World slaughtered between 3 and 4 million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians. If that's not terrorism, I don't know what is. And how many of those victims were soldiers? A rather small percentage. Killing civilians is nothing new to the U.S.. After napalming Tokyo in World War II and killing an estimated 150,000 innocent people in one night, the U.S. military machine napalmed, bombarded, Agent-Oranged, bayoneted, and machine-gunned the hell out of a hapless region in the 60s and 70s. It was like shooting ants with a bazooka. It's unforgivable, and something we must never forget, although our politicians certainly want us to.
Kennedy really got the whole thing started, got us deeply entrenched in Southeast Asia, got the American war machine bogged down, arrogantly disregarding the advice of a few sane men who warned him that once we got bogged down it would be a hell of a job, an impossible job, to step out of the quicksand. Kennedy was as much a hawk as any president who's ever served in the White House.
In one respect I feel sorry for the soldiers who fought in Vietnam. Let me clarify that - I feel sorry only for the ones who were coerced into going there and who didn't want to fight and who wanted out. I don't feel one fucking bit sorry for the redneck fucks who enlisted in the Army and couldn't wait to go overseas and blow up a bunch of gooks. The gung-ho soldiers who enjoyed it, fuck them. I knew a man in Independence, Missouri, who was bragging one day that he'd fought in Vietnam, and that it was worth it, that he was proud of it. He spouted: "One American is worth a hundred gooks." That's the kind of redneck assholes I'm referring to. Yeah, fuck 'em.
I have the utmost respect for the draft dodgers who fled to Canada and the conscientious objectors - the ones who had the foresight and courage to find an escape route from the horrors of war. These are the men I admire the most, for they thought the future through and they avoided slaughtering innocent people.
For the most part, though, American soldiers were forced to fight in Vietnam. The draft is a terrible dilemma for any young man. The government has you by the balls if you get drafted. You have two choices (besides being an objector). Either you comply with the draft and go to war and risk losing your life in battle, or you "dodge" the draft and tell Uncle Sam to fuck himself and you go to prison. This is a very tough predicament so I gotta give Vietnam vets a break. This is a free country? Who says so? Someone prove it to me... The American government makes you fight, and if you don't it takes away your freedom by imprisoning you. Now, that's what I call freedom.
The propaganda spewed by our government throughout the war was laughable. The North Vietnamese Communists led by Ho Chi Minh were portrayed as the most horrific menace which had ever existed in the entire history of the planet. They may as well have been of the legions of Satan. The American government is much more at fault than the soldiers - for spreading such lies and brainwashing America's young men into joining the battlefront, and for making the military decisions (which way too often involved bombing civilian targets). Soldiers have to obey and follow orders, so I gotta give 'em a break there too. I wonder if I'd been just a few years older if I'd gone to war to escape imprisonment.
Once they found themselves in the thick of the action, many American soldiers refused to harm any Vietnamese people, and they found ways to actually help them. Now those are the ones who deserve our respect and compassion, not the fucks like Bo Gritz and Oliver North who are proud of their role in the Southeast Asian holocaust. I sometimes wonder why Vietnam veterans are even invited to and welcomed at Veterans' Day celebrations. Unlike WWI and WWII, the Vietnam War had nothing to do with freedom. In fact, a lot of conservatives and libertarians will tell you that it eroded freedoms, that war in general erodes liberty and freedom. How ironic, then, that the heroes of a war which was against freedom (for Americans and for Vietnamese) are celebrated along with veterans of other wars.
Have sympathy for the boys who didn't want to go but went because they were afraid of jail time (I probably would have been in this category, because the horror of jail is as bad as the horror or war, and in both cases you have your freedom taken away by this allegedly free country).
Fuck the homicidal pricks like William Calley who committed atrocity after atrocity in Vietnam. Fuck John Wayne and his propaganda flick "The Green Berets" which glorified professional killers. But most of all fuck the commanders-in-chief - pusillanimous "men" like Richard Nixon and generals like asshole William Westmoreland and asshole Curtis LeMay (who said we should bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age) who carried out the war with sadistic glee. These conscienceless fucks believe(d) force is the first choice and the only choice for solving an international issue.
For anyone who lived during the Vietnam War era, it's an indelible, inextricable part of your grey matter, and a sad, sad, tragic episode in American history. But it was even sadder, more tragic, and even apocalyptic, in Vietnamese history.
FUCK JOHN WAYNE.
A Better Way To Fight
This is the year 2003. But in many ways we might as well still be living in the Stone Age.
For example, why do young men and women still have to die in wars? This is the fucking year 2003! Don't we have the technology to fight mechanized wars by now? Fight wars with robots, for goodness' sake...
Aaaahhh, now here's a good idea for a war: Send George DoubleFuckinYou Bush and all the members of Congress, and the president of the World Bank, for starters, into an arena with Saddam Hussein and Ariel Sharon and all their henchmen and let them fight it out with primitive weapons. Let the guilty - not the innocent, fight the wars from now on...Why do young men and women have to die? There's got to be a better way.
Which reminds me - why wasn't fucking Saddam Hussein killed during the Gulf War in 1991? We were told our military knew where he was and were awaiting the command from Commander-In-Chief George Bush Sr. to take his life. But Bush had no interest in killing Hussein. Hussein had utility for the planners. They wanted to keep him around for the next war, which finally happened in 2003. Having enemies upon which to focus is always useful to a government like ours. Not only useful, but necessary. This variety of dialectic is a tool. It sustains and increases people control.
As for the fighters themselves, we constantly hear rally cries and see signs: "Support Our Troops". Americans seem to have the attitude that soldiers are merely pawns, and therefore blameless. The folk rock troubadour Donovan expressed it more insightfully in his classic song "Universal Soldier", penned during the pinnacle of the Vietnam terror. He said the onus of responsibility is ultimately on the soldier. He's right. Soldiers can say No, they don't have to meekly obey every time they're given orders, they can learn more about propaganda and how they're bamboozled by the government when it wants fighters, they can take a stand against authority and authoritarianism.
Why support the troops? Why support killers? If they were killing for national defense I would, but no fighting has been done for national defense since World War II. I would have supported those troops but definitely none since then. The Korean War had nothing to do with freedom. The Vietnam War definitely did not. The invasion of Iraq did not...
Americans need to start thinking of themselves as citizens of the planet, not of a country. We can't help it if we born here; that wasn't our choice.
Americans should also realize that the best thing for the world would be for the United States to lose a war. Not the best thing for the United States, but for the world, and the world is what counts.
The Crime To End All Crimes
How much sense does it make that suicide is a crime under American law? Can it be prosecuted? Can the person who committed suicide be brought back to face "justice"? Can that person be chased into his or her afterlife and tried for the crime there? Will the Devil cooperate when the authorities want to extradite a suicide "victim" and pull him back out of the flames of Hell?
Give me a fuckin' break! Any crime for which it is not possible to proceed with a subsequent prosecution should not be deemed a crime. Therefore, all law codes at every level everywhere, including in our free country, should instantly decriminalize suicide.
The legacy of the United States as "a Christian nation" makes the stigma attached to suicide even more puzzling. Christians are afraid of dying, even though they believe they will live in bliss and happiness forever after perishing. Their lord and savior committed suicide yet they decry self-murder as a grievous sin. How strange these Christians are...
And how did the stigma begin anyway? I mean, does anyone have control over the fact that they were ever brought into existence to begin with? Nobody has any power over where they will be born, when, who they will be born to, in what condition they'll be born, or even THAT they are born.
Rules Be Enthroned; People Be Fucked
One day I was late for work because the water was turned off at my apartment complex and I had to go to my mom's house to take a shower.
When I arrived at work about 25 minutes late I was called into the department manager's office and written up and warned that if I was tardy one more time I'd be outta there. Of course, it wasn't important that I had a good reason for being un-punctual. All that mattered was that I was late. As if my lateness of arrival would fuck up the company's profit margin and send it into a downward spiral toward bankruptcy.
The manager of the department in which I worked - shoes (this was a sporting goods company) was a very unlikable little weasel named Mike Testa. In the office he told me: "Chris, we've lost a lot of good people because of their tardiness."
I thought: "How fucking retarded! If they were good people, why did you fire them because they were late for work? Who cares if you're late as long as you're not outrageously late? Being there is more important than being there early. How fucking stupid to terminate a good employee because of tardies." These reactions raced through my mind then and later.
But Testa was fucking stupid, so I wasn't surprised he said what he did. He'd lost a lot of good men because of their lack of punctuality but he STILL could have had them if he hadn't fired their asses! American business, or any other area of the business world which involves employer-employee relations, should put the employee above the rules, but it does the reverse more often than not. In this case, dumbass Testa was indeed making the workplace rules more important than the workplace's people. He was fulfilling the prophecy of The One-Dimensional Man, by neo-Marxist Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse correctly pointed out that workers become automatons in their jobs. They're also treated as such, treated like robots, by American companies. Their work subsequently suffers from lack of attention and quality.
Testa's buttfucked-up attitude and robotic accommodation to his masters' rules are examples of why people detest corporations.
Corporations, with their distaste for and discouragement of thought, squelch attempts to galvanize co-workers, to educate them about unionizing and sharing the power, and to communicate with them outside the standardized "interoffice memo" boundaries and protocol.
A corporation for which I recently worked (reluctantly) had around 400 employees. Broken down, that would entail, roughly, 10 independent thinkers and 390 corporate zombie-drones.
While working there I couldn't help but think about how corps are fascist dictatorships which believe in concentrated authority and not diffused authority, which would not be authority at all, but a sharing and balancing of power, which is not the American way and is instead considered Communist.
Corporations hate it when non-management employees "speak out". They want everything to reside in the proper channels. Even when they have "town meeting" style gatherings for employees to express their disgruntlement, the final decisions are still ultimately made by the kings of the company.
Thoughtful readers may consider this a strange paradox, since America is "the land of the free". It's not necessarily a paradox, though. The Founding Fathers never promised anyone that American business would be egalitarian. This is understandable, since the same Founding Fuckers were far from egalitarian themselves. They were businessmen who exploited the labor of their employees, and they were slave-owners. They were capitalists through and through.
Freedom ends at the office door. As Noam Chomsky and others have so insightfully written, American businesses are dictatorships. They are top-heavy and anything but democratic.
Those who work for corps and who are servile to them, trade their individuality for a paycheck. They nestle within the polarization corporate policy dictates. They suck the corporate cock and lie with the corporate whore. Those who want to slay the corporate whore must often bide their time while abiding the skank and stench of the whoredom.
At the corporation I mentioned, our job was to troubleshoot for Sprint cell phone customers. I was in the Internet technician department. One night 15 people, from five or six different teams, staged a walk-out all at once. That's admirable, to shake shit up like that, but that isn't the answer. A mini-coup is but an infinitesimal spasm in the corporate fabric. A disruption such as 15 employees bailing out does nothing to wrinkle the space-time continuum of the corp. The corporation knows it can quickly pull 15 replacements out of the job market within days and get back to the pre-coup equilibrium.
The answer is to stay within the system and change it, not just abandon it and allow the corporate gods to tighten their death grip on the next batch of souls who step into their chambers.
How About Some Execucide?
Executives, and even middle and lower management personnel, often get bonuses added to their salaries. Sometimes the bonuses are paid out after an exceedingly large profit is reaped by the company, and/or on a quarterly or yearly schedule. What's wrong, though, is paying the bonuses only to the management, and not the workers. This is so wrong! The workers do most of the work, so they should be rewarded along with the managers, but how often does this fucking happen? Rarely, sadly. In America, businesses pay well for responsibility, but not for actual labor. The higher you go in the corporate hierarchy, the less work you do, but the greater your responsibility is, and its corresponding pay-out.
One solution I recommend is execucide. We need a mass slaughter of executives in this nation. We need a wave of a new crime: execucide. Yeah, a massacre of business owners would be nice. Very nice. Then the workers could fill the vacuum and overtake the corporations and the smaller businesses.
Why in the fuck do CEOs average an income of 300 times more per hour than their wage-slaves? This is absolutely fucked! Do CEOs ever get laid off? Fuck no! Instead the lowly workers get axed. Companies always use the excuse that they need to cut costs, including their never-ending pain-in-the-ass labour costs. If they mean what they say why don't they cut the fucking salaries of the goddamn assholes at the top?! Give me a fucking break! Who needs to make 5 million bucks a year, like the president of Southwestern Bell made in the early 90s? Why not cut these bastards' salaries and redistribute the money to pay the wage-slaves more humanely? I mean, you could still follow the maxim of paying management for their responsibility and pay the fuckers a hundred grand a year, which is still a nice income. But millions of dollars annually is insane. We need a redistribution of wealth, and we need it sorely. And if the heartless fucking CEOs who buy and control presidents won't initiate the redistribution, well, we'll just have no choice but to foist it upon them.
I'm talkin' revolution here.
Do executives ever do any fucking work? I doubt it. What's a typical day for an executive? Get to the office around 9:30, drink a gallon of coffee, fuck your secretary, fuck over your employees, play a round of golf with your rich-fuck cronies at the 50,000-dollar-a-year country club, then speak at a school career day or a luncheon or banquet in the afternoon and evening.
Fuck executives! Who needs 'em?
One reason companies make hefty profits in the first place is that they minimize their payroll. So the employees get fucked twice. They get fucked by not being paid enough, then they get fucked by not getting their fair share of bonus pay. Yeah, yeah, a lot of corporations dole out great benefits. But be cynical and realistic like me. The CEOs of corporations don't lavish their employees with great benefits because they're kind-hearted. They do so because they're always trying to out-compete other corporations to attract and retain the best personnel available. And benefits have been won by the struggles and determinations of workers of the past who had the courage to strike and demand better working conditions and recompense. Be not deceived - the only reason employers pay their employees at all is because they have to. I guarantee you - if employers could get away with having workstaffs of only slaves and volunteers who didn't get a penny for their work they'd do it.
Condemning this inequity is one thing. Correcting it is another. It is the responsibility of working people everywhere to make changes. Unions are a start. Even though the Ronald Raygun administration pretty much wiped out the power of unions and they still haven't recovered and even though many unions have sold out to management and ownership and even though many unions are fucked up in their actual operations, they're still conceptually valuable. They're also valuable as a tool of leverage, as in threatening to turn potential energy into kinetic energy by unionizing. This is often the best strategy when ownership and management are fucking with the workforce.
The idea of a union terrifies a CEO, makes him wet his Calvin Kleins, because of a union's potential for igniting unrest. This is one reason monsters like Ronald Reagan had union leaders murdered in Central America.
A union is a good thing, but it doesn't go far enough. What we need is a complete overhaul of the corporate hierarchical structure and its replacement with companies which are owned by the workers, in which all the workers share equal responsibility, and in which there is no boss and therefore everyone is boss. Managers are simply not necessary. All you need in any good company are people who care about the company and who are responsible and who are not lazy and therefore do their job. Company owners and managers have no idea how much they interfere and how much more smoothly everything goes on their days off.
American business needs a radical overhaul, just as the American legal system does. The WORKERS should own the companies. They do all the work. Yes, that's what I said. Another thing that needs to go is private ownership of companies. Marx and Engels were right about that one.
Division of labor is a curse naturally favored by elitists. There's nothing wrong with specialization, but dividing work for hierarchical reasons is wrong. It is purely capitalistic. Wouldn't it be nice, instead, to see a CEO taking his turn scrubbing toilets and scraping a grease bucket?
Chomsky writes of the Fifth Freedom - the freedom to rob, exploit and plunder other nations. This ambiguous and unannounced freedom enjoyed by the gov is certainly facilitated in our country as well. I remember when I was a John Birch Society member how I was told that the word "peace" meant absence of resistance to the Soviet and Chinese Communists. Well, I say "peace" and "freedom" are codewords for the power structure in America. These words refer to their peace - absence of resistance and rebellion such as those nasty labour unions and the strikes they bring, and their freedom - freedom to continue exploitation of human labour pools to produce profits.
Success Ain't What Ya Think It Is
Americans are bombarded with the exhortation to be successful. Seminars are given at the cost of several thousand dollars per person on how to be successful. Books on success are displayed everywhere, even in unlikely places. "Grow up to be successful" is taught in schools, beginning in the lowest grades.
But what is success? The term itself is never defined! Seminars on success never tell you what success is. Isn't this a little fucked up? Shouldn't a conference on success begin by defining what the topic of the seminar is?
The seminar presenters don't define success because they assume that everyone knows what it means. They also assume that everyone has the same idea of what success is. They believe success is making money and lots of it. Pukes like famed motivational speaker Zig Ziglar charge thousands of dollars for seminars on success in sales, success in owning and running a business, success in becoming a millionaire. Ziglar and his ilk thereby prove they are successful. Successful at hoodwinking people into paying thousands of dollars to attend a seminar! Anyone who needs to pay that amount of money to get motivated by another person is obviously pretty insecure.
Ziglar and idiots like him miss the mark completely. Ziglar, who cares about money only and nothing else, and his kind preach the "positive thinking" that brings success. And they tacitly and implicitly define success as out-competing the competition, be it in door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales or selling trillion-dollar defense contracts to the Pentagon. One thing they don't tell you is that when one person or one company wins in a business competition, another one loses.
What these materialistic, mammon-worshiping, money-mongering buffoons don't know is what real success is. Success is not making money, and it's not winning the competition between businesses for a customer or a market. Success is knowing how the world works. Success is learning the secret. Ziglar has probably made a million dollars in revenue in seminar entry fees alone, and deep down he knows he's taken advantage of a lot of suckers. But this corny asshole will probably go to his tomb without ever being successful. For one thing, if he hasn't become an atheist before he dies, and hasn't concomitantly realized that Nature is everything and that God is a construct of the mind and a political necessity, he'll never be successful philosophically. If he doesn't ever learn that America is a corporate dictatorship, he'll die ignorant of this crucial fact and thereby will be very unsuccessful. Success is knowing how the world works, and Ziglar doesn't know. So he is very unsuccessful. Who cares how much money he's made with his goofy books that command people how to win in business, if he dies with a trillion fucking dollars and is still in the dark he has failed, and sadly so have millions of other people who live superficially and materialistically, worshiping the dollar bill and building their entire existence upon it.
Ziglar preached a "sermon" in my church in 1982. He was extremely cocky and told very bad jokes during most of his talk. Then he suddenly became solemn, saying how nothing was more positive than being a Christian, how nothing could encourage positive thinking more than trusting in Jesus. How in the heck could this bozo say that something so hideously negative (Christianity) could help you live a positive life guided by positive thinking? He evidently hasn't read much of his Bible.
Like any Christian capitalist preacher in Oklahoma would do, he strayed to the subject of football while delivering the sermon. Not surprisingly, he was a fan of the putrid Dallas Cowboys. This was no surprise since the Pukeboys were long regarded as America's Team and even God's Team. Ziglar told the story of how Drew Pearson caught Roger Staubach's famous "Hail Mary" pass against the Minnesota Vikings, which subsequently led to a Super Bowl appearance by the Cowboys. Ziglar used this miraculous football victory as an analogy to succeeding in business and in life. But he never said a word about how Pearson committed offensive pass interference on the play, and that therefore the play should have been negated by a penalty. But to Ziglar, even if he noticed it, it wouldn't have mattered, because cheating in football or business is no doubt just fine for him, as long as it makes your business Number One.
I had the horrible misfortune of experiencing the annoying, gnat-like whine of Ziglar again, indirectly, in 1989 and 1990. While selling 24-karat-gold jewelry, every morning the owner of the jewelry outlet would make us sit down and listen to Zig Ziglar cassettes before going out into the streets of Oklahoma City to sell our asses off (oh yow, and the cheap-ass jewlery too). Ziglar's voice alone just about made me puke, but what he said was even more nauseating. And it was nothing original, nothing ingenious. The jewelry distributorship owner was a cocky little banty rooster much like Ziggler, so it wasn't surprising Ziggler was one of his heroes.
If only Ziglar knew how blinded he is by the fake and shallow money-machine known as the United States. This obnoxious prick has probably never known what true success is. He's probably never read a book by Karl Marx or Noam Chomsky and thereby been enlightened. He's probably never realized that success is not making money. Success is learning how the world works and doing your part to improve it.
This is the same asshole who charged people $60 - yes!, 60 fucking bucks - to have breakfast with him! (certainly not the first time he's charged admission for the privilege of sitting within his radiant aura and listening to him spew...). Charging 60 dollars for breakfast is bad enough, but this was in a church! A Baptist (what else?!) church about 10 miles east of where I live had a big advertisement on its marquee for the Zig Ziglar breakfast, for which the admit cost was only 60 bucks per head (head without a brain, that is).
Considering that Jesus got pretty p-o'ed when he caught moneychangers in the temple, I wonder what he would've done to Ziggler. He drove the moneychangers out of God's building with a fury. It would be hilarious to see him crack the whip and put an end to Ziggler's little ego party. The pile of shit known as "Zig Ziglar" already has millions of dollars from dupes who are stupid enuff to pay him, but he still has the gall to charge 60 bucks per for a fucking breakfast!
In addition to being a goofy and obnoxious egomaniac who flaunts his wealth, Ziglar is one of the biggest hypocrites ever. Instead of selling all he has, as his alleged Lord and Savior commands in the Bible, Ziggler sells as much as he can to make more money to brag about. Jesus said "Sell all your possessions", but Ziglar doesn't give a fuck; he writes and sells millions of copies of a book on selling! Instead of eschewing material possessions as Jesus commanded as a prerequisite for salvation, PukeZiglar is a materialistic bastard who is always looking for ways to get even more material. Instead of obeying Paul's admonition to stay single and celibate, Ziglar bred his own offspring and writes books like "Raising Positive Kids In A Negative World". How fitting that this richfuck, who is all about money, lives in PukeDallas, a city which is all about money. (All American cities are, but Dallas is extreme - people there exist for cash and think about little else).
If Hell existed, it would be hilariouis to see the look on Ziglar's face when he landed there after expecting to end up in Heaven. The Bible's commands are clear and stern, but sanctimonious men of power and wealth (a/k/a richfucks) think they can mold and alter the message of Jesus to fit their opulent 20th/21st-century lifestyle. No dude, you can't, so give up the delusion. Either be serious about being a Christian or admit that you use it as a convenience and a way to slither and prosper within the comfort zone of capitalism.
The asswipe is also on the Presidential Prayer Team. Uh, hello, the president should not even have a prayer team!!!! Ziggler is always too busy running his mouth to have heard of separation of church and state, but he wouldn't give a fuck about it even if he did know it should be an esteemed and vital principle of the United States. Presidential Prayer Team? I'm sure Ziglar is proud and boastful of being selected to that prestigious group (unconstitutional as well, but who cares, huh Ziggler?).
This capitalist pig wallows in his own pigshit. He rolls around in it, savors the flavor. He wipes his ass with hundred-dollar bills then sucks the shit off, then swallows the cash and shits it out to start the cycle all over again. His entire existence is a cycle based on ingestion of money.
What a fucking prick. Ziggler is the lowest, most pitiful lifeform ever to exist on Planet Earth. He's lower and more rancid than primordial slime. He's the curdled ooze which lies 12 feet under the rotting defecation of a brontosaurus swamp. Ziggler is the seething slop splashing around a pig sty; he's the most toxic writhing of all the most vile and virulent bacteria, viruses, and pathogens which poison the waste vats in a slaughterhouse. He is a primitive lifeform which has adapted perfectly to the niche he inhabits: the materialistic, no-grass, no-trees, all-concrete, all-money, all-about-me, seething toxic wastedump shithole called Dallas-Fort Worth, in the putrefied state of Texas.
Fuck him in the ass. Hard.
Raise Your Hand If You Wanna Own The World...
If there was an award called Capitalist Pig of the Year, the president of Walgreen's would win it. When I worked there - part-time, graveyards, four nights a week, for four months in 2000, Walgreen's had 3,000 stores worldwide. Their goal was to double that number by 2006, then to again double it by 2012, or something like that.
Capitalist aggression has got to stop! Karl Marx was so right, so on-the-mark when he said capitalists are never satisified. They want to keep expanding and expanding and expanding, always grabbing new markets, forever settling into new economic niches. The epitomes of capitalist expansionism are Walgreen's and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart offices probably have trophies on their walls awarded for the engulfing of thousands of smaller old-fashioned mom-and-pop businesses in towns all over the globe and lists of those victims hanging next to them. Neither Walgreens nor Wal-Mart will be satisified until one of them finally buys out the other one and has 9 stores on every fucking block in America. What greedy fucking capitalist assholes. They remind me of pro athletes who aren't satisfied with 10 million a year; they want 20 mil. Charles Walgreen doesn't want a billion a year in profit; he wants a fuckin' trillion.
A man buys a manufacturing plant which makes baseball caps. He employs 150 people. While they're working in hot warehouses on rock-hard cement floors every day, the business owner sits in his comfy air-conditioned house reading the Wall Street Journal. A couple of times a week he shows up to push paper. He signs a few forms, double-checks the payroll to make sure noone is overpaid, gives orders to his top manager, then goes home. After a couple of years of hefty profits, he vacations in Tahiti. While he's enjoying the clear water and tropical paradise, his serfs wait in vain to be paid a decent hourly wage. This is exploitation. This is the essence of capitalism. This is wrong.
It's like manifest destiny of a different kind. Economic imperialism carried to all continents. Instead of the white man's burden it's the businessman's burden.
And everyone should keep in mind an inescapable truth. Capitalists are elitists. You think a business owner is going to encourage union activity, or any kind of organizing in the workplace? Of course not. Business owners want things to stay just the way they are. They want to preserve and perpetuate the status quo forfuckingever. They aren't about to give more power and authority to you the worker. Union activity is always done against the grain, in resistance to the power structure. The capitalist owners hate it because it makes them feel insecure. Your autonomy threatens their hegemony.
American businesses are run like the military. Like a fascist dictatorship. From the top down. The men with the money make the rules - be-CAUSE they have the fucking money. In this country, money is power. Democracy is very very rare in the business world. Workers have little freedom and very little input into workplace decisions. This needs to be changed. We need a transformation out of the current system, which is essentially neo-feudalism, in which the serfs work for the lords and barons.
Don't ever forget the nature of capitalism. Capitalism is all about capitalizing. It's all about taking advantage of people's basic needs, making them work for food, shelter and water. Like I said before, if business owners could get away with having slaves who work for nothing, they would. The only reason they pay you is because they have to. You know this is true, so don't make excuses for the rich bastards The only reason they pay minimum wage is because it's required by federal law and they don't want to get busted.
When I was a teenager I first heard the phrase "workin' for the man." I never realized what it meant 'til I was in my 30s. "Workin' for the man" is right next door to slavery. As a teen in the mid- to late-Seventies I didn't ever think about the phrase's significance; I just thought it was some jive from the Black Panthers or some such counterculture group. But for the last several years I've realized "workin' for the man" is much more than a phrase. It's an integral component of capitalism...
If captitalist pricks could somehow get a monopoly on air, then bottle it and sell it, you better believe they would. Fortunately air is something you can't capture. It's free to all but it would have a cost just like food does if the capitalist overlords had their way. You betcha it would.
The United States is a plutocracy. Carrying on the tradition of the Founding Fathers, it is a nation by the rich and FOR the rich. It is a corporate dictatorship. Corporations rule our lives, whether most of us know it or not or want to admit it or not.
Everything depends on money - American capitalists charge you for your very existence - you must pay for your water, shelter, food...Why not air as well? Again, I guarantee you that if capitalist pigs could capture air - bottle it, control it, sell it, they would. The problem for them is that air is diffusive and too abundant to control.
People will condemn greed all day long, but refuse to condemn capitalism. What they don't see is that capitalism is equally: a creation of greed - and its mother lode. Greed and capitalism have a symbiotic relationship. Greed may be innate, an impetus archived into man since the first day of man's existence. Or, it may be like capitalism: not an inherent trait of humanity, but "artificial", developed during a later phase of evolution, and created to satisfy man's survival instinct and stimulus. Either way, greed feeds on capitalism feeds on greed.
Capitalism is not difficult to understand. It is essentially using capital to capitalize. That means capitalizing on, and taking advantage of, people and people's desperate needs, for food, water, and shelter.
It's Not "How Do You Do?" But "WHAT Do You Do?"
Americans are preoccupied with jobs. When you meet someone for the first time, usually the first thing out of their mouth is "What do you do?" Sometimes I sarcastically answer: "I play tennis. I ride a bike. I listen to music." My sister suggested I should retort with "I'm a pimp and I sell crack and have several whores who work for me."
A job does not a person make, but to materialistic Americans whose tiny brains are preoccupied with money it does. Sadly. Very sadly. The norm is that you work for 8 hours a fucking day, not 24. So, why is everyone so concerned with the one-third of a day when you're at your workplace making your money so you can enjoy your time away from work. Why instead don't they ask you what you do for hobbies and similar questions like that? Or maybe how's your health how are you feeling how do you do? This attitude pisses me off. "What do you do?" It gets old...
Time For An Overhaul
Cops in America have way too much power. No wonder nearly every one of 'em is corrupt. And cockier than shit.
Let's start with what they wear to work. A uniform. A uniform alone makes you feel special. Makes you feel superior. But we ain't talkin' about your ordinary, everyday uniform. This is a uniform with a fucking gun! Let's see cops walk around and do their job without a fucking gun. Let's see how eager they are to leave the comfort of the pig sty every day and patrol the streets and dark alleys. Take their pieces from them then let's see how tough they act and how much better they do their job. Why can't American cops be like the cops in other countries, like Great Britain for example, that is, unarmed (except with a fucking stick of some kind in the case of British cops)? Let's disarm this country by disarming the cops. That would surely attenuate the climate of violence here. It would most likely decrease crime, not increase it.
Another problem with cops is that, to a man, and to a woman, they're blind. They follow orders blindly. Toy soldiers, yeah, that's what they are. "We are duly sworn to uphold the laws of our nation and our town." No you're not. You don't have to follow stupid laws. If a law is stupid, don't enforce it! Prostitution, for example. Why is prostitution illegal? It shouldn't be. But cops enforce it. They arrest hookers and johns alike. And why is possession of marijuana illegal? Don't get me started.
The American legal system is always praised as the greatest or one of the greatest in the world. But I dissent - again!, and say it's one of the very worst.
It is seriously flawed and needs a radical, complete, total overhaul.
One of the major flaws in the legal system (and the overlapping justice system) is the common practice of arresting people upon suspicion. Too often, way too often, several people - called "suspects", are arrested for one crime, even though by logic only one of them can be the guilty one. Sure, sometimes the right person is arrested but what about the others who weren't the guilty party? Their lives are fucked up as a consequence of the arrest. They lose their jobs, the love of their loved ones, the respect of their friends and fellow citizens, and so on and so forth...
Police have way too much power, and in a better system they would be allowed to arrest only when they have absolute proof, not just evidence and not just suspicion. The powers of arrest must be diminished! Someone call a grand jury about this. Write your state and national congressmen about it.
How would you feel if a cop came pounding on your door and told you you were under arrest and you told him you didn't do the crime in question but you have to go to jail anyway and if you don't you'll be pelted and pummeled into submission but not just this one cop at your door but a few more burly and stubborn reinforcements who won't quit wrestling with you and pounding you until you're in the back of their squad car? You think they're gonna listen to ya or even care when you tell them you're not the guilty party they're looking for? You think they're gonna say "Okay, we believe you sir, sorry to bother you" and walk away? You think they'd listen to me if I told 'em I don't approve of our system of having police maintain law and order and that I don't acknowledge or yield to their authority?
The concept of bail is fucked-up too, and needs to disappear. I thought we don't have debtor's prisons in this country, but I guess I was wrong. You don't have the money to be set free, you stay in. You got the bread, you're sprung. How can you be allowed to pay your way out of jail? That's totally fucked. What if you're innocent? You still have to buy your way out. Like with anything in this materialistic fucking country, money is what it's all about.
Another thing that needs to go is the bias against poor people. Most people in prison are poor (most people in prison are Christians too, but that's another rant for another time). And poor people don't have the money to buy the lawyers they need to defend them. Sometimes they're given a public defender instead. But rich people can normally buy their way out of trouble by buying a good attorney. The idea of public defender is an excellent idea, though, and I extol it as one of the very good things in our legal machinery, and I'm certainly not implying the rich-fuck big-shot lawyers do a better job than public defenders do; I'm just suggesting that a legal machine which is oiled and greased and lubricated by money, yea, which runs on money as its fuel, is not a good legal system.
And what about the celebrated "jury of your peers"? A good concept, yes, but it distracts you from the judge. The judge is certainly not of your peers. He's way above you and them. The judge has something you and your peers don't have: authority. America is big on authority. It may allow you to be reviewed by a jury of your peers, but it will do anything to retain the final authority: the judge.
God is a unilateral judge.
There are no attorneys in Heaven, no jury of your peers. You can't have your attorney with you in Heaven. You can't have any legal counsel at all - not even an angel who's not doing anything at the moment and can assist you by speaking for you in your behalf. No public defenders to help you out in your time of need.
On Judgement Day you'll have no opportunity for cross-examination. When you're standing in line on J. Day with millions of other humans awaiting God's decision on where you'll spend forever, you're fucked! No recourse, no re-trial, no due process of law. The God who wants everything only one way - his way - holds your destiny in his hands. The American system of jurisprudence with its checks and balances and right to representation won't mean a fucking thing in Heaven...
"I'm An Anarchist Non-Smoker And I Don't Vote"
"Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves." - One-Dimensional Man, by Herbert Marcuse
The problem with majority rule is that the losers - a/k/a "the minority,", get fucked.
Okay, so in an election the majority wins. What most people want, even if it's by the slightest 51-49 ratio - what they show they want when they vote - is subsequently made law. But what about the minority? They don't get what they want. The losers who vote at the polls and don't get their way are forced to obey the prevailing will of the winners. This isn't right, is it? I say "Why vote if you don't get what you vote for?" The people should have more power than to occasionally vote at their junior high school or church anyway. The power of the people in America is very limited, and the choices they get to vote for are also very limited.
Revolutionary-era philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau highlighted this in a different way by addressing the "paradox of democracy." Although the minority is allowed to vote, it is still the loser and therefore must comply with the majority's will.
What is the difference in the minority being forced to conform to the numbers and a tyrant or czar or emperor forcing all his subjects to obey his edicts? Either way, many people are disappointed. Many people must obey. This is one reason the direct action principle of anarchism is superior to the representative democracy theme of Western republics.
Voting for a president has a further shortcoming. Once the polling sites are emptied, one man - one man! - has the power. Again, no difference from a dictatorship of the Soviet or Third World variety, in my view. Fuck checks and balances. When so much power is concentrated in the executive branch, in one person, our nation is essentially a monarchy. Why do people vote for monarchs in this monarchy called the "United States"?
Of course, voting for senators and congressmen makes more sense, and I feel less aversion to it than to presidential vote-casting. Senators and congressmen, at the state and national levels, represent their constituents. They are, at least in theory, the voice of the people. In this respect, representative democracy is indeed "an improvement over monarchy" (Howard Zinn). A disenchantment, though, is the real, not theoretical, system of influence extant in these United States. In that system most representatives of the people represent and pander to state interests and big business. Nearly all are pro-business; few are pro-labor.
Voting occurs at several levels, of course, but I'll focus mostly on voting for president, since that's what gets everyone's panties in a wad.
Thousands of times a day throughout this nation people refer to "the lesser of two evils" in presidential elections. This universal cynicism isolates a sad truth Americans face: limited democracy (should we call it quasi- or pseudo-democracy?). Our democracy is lame and sickly, in need of extensive repair.
The Lesser Of Two Evils. At once I see problems with this concept, which is, regrettably, very real. Of course, "two evils" is convenient for a new dialectic, and voting ballots always list more than two candidates. There are of course the minor-party candidates who don't have a snowball's chance in Hell, or even an icicle's chance in Equatorial Guinea. The 2004 ballot, for example, included Green Party and Socialist Party candidates. And of course, Americans are free to always submit a "write-in", like maybe Fidel Castro or Peter Pan or Vlad The Impaler.
It would be nice if minor-party nominees had a chance to allay the long-running dominance of men financed by elite money. However, under our current two-party system tyranny, which is more accurately a two-branch system of one party which has been called "the Republicrats", these minor choices are not viable.
Must we live under a system in which the Republicrats always present for the ballot two very wealthy men who are financed mightily by megacorporations and never give us a lower- or middle-class candidate?
Another problem with the "lesser of two evils" conundrum is that both of the "evils" are indeed evil. (A couple of Americans have actually told me I should vote for someone even if I don't care for either candidate. How lu-dick-rous is that reasoning?).
A third defect of this quagmire is that we never have an option of good vs. evil in presidential elections. So why vote until we do?
Paranoia and dis-logic accompany the cult of voting. When people who don't vote let their non-voting status be known, many who feel voting is a blind, patriotic duty often argue with words like: "What if everyone had that attitude?" or "If everyone felt that way, we'd lose our right to vote." Pro-voting people assume that if we didn't have the right to vote we would have a dictatorship. Their thinking is disingenuous. Dictatorships are not products of degeneration by passivity (non-voting). Dictatorships are always imposed from the top down (the Bolshevik Revolution was an exception, since its victors arose largely from the lower rungs of Russian society; however, once victorious, they imposed their "dictatorship of the proletariat" from the newly achieved "top").
Moreover, as long as state-capitalism is the prevailing mode of socioeconomic control in the United States, the United States will never be a dictatorship. After all, "they" (the owners and their corporate welfare receptacles) are making way too much money off of us and having way too much fun doing it. They love having a huge labor pool which they can exploit (see the classic The Jungle by Upton Sinclair - a sterling example of exploitation of the indigenous and the immigrant). Businessmen love having an abundant supply of citizens who will work for them, trading their time for money (also known as "wage slavery".) Likewise, the military-industrial complex's overlords love having a deep lode of eager soldiers who are willing to fight their wars for them. We won't be seeing George Double-Fucking-You Bush or Dickless Cheney begging to go to Iraq to strap on a rifle and jump on the battlefield any time soon. Why do that when someone else will be there in your stead? Why die for freedom when some other sucker can die for you?
And another thing - a dictatorship would be no fun at all. An open society is much more fun and challenging to these capitalist assholes.
But, on the other hand, we already do live in a dictatorship. A corporate fascist dictatorship. But not to go astray, I realize the pro-voters' usual arguments involve a hypothetical dictatorship of the conventional, Third World type. These pro-voting types are the same people who believe the U.S. suffers from a plague of "liberal media" even though they never distinguish between print media and broadcast media and never realize that our media especially of the broadcast category are exceedingly and consistently conservative, so they're easy to confuse.
If we didn't vote for the clowns who end up in the Oval Office, a council of "industrialist capitalist scumfucks" (comedian Bill Hicks) would appoint a president, just as the prez currently appoints Supreme Court judges. Without a doubt, such a council would be a dozen or so very powerful and influential men, just as a board of directors for a bank or school or corporation features solely big-wigs and not fast-food workers or taxi drivers.
Speaking of Supreme Court judges, do we get to vote for them? Hell no, we don't. Did we get to vote on NAFTA? Did we get to vote on GATT? Did we get to vote down Nixon's bombing of a million Cambodian civilians? Do we get to vote on the president's everyday decisions? Hell no, we didn't, and we still fucking don't. Democracy is sorely restricted in this country which boasts of being the greatest democracy ever.
What about the pay raises which Congressmen have voted for themselves many times over? Did we get to vote on those? Fuck no! The fuckers wouldn't dare let us vote on their own pay raises, because they know we'd vote against them!
And what about crucial issues in our national history which by default were never considered for change by voting? I'm thinking of two big ones: slavery and workers' rights. Without direct action, from anarchists and socialists and average Americans all united including slaves themselves and even from apolitical Americans, slavery would have lasted much longer. The same is true of the struggle to improve workers' rights and workplace conditions. It was a mighty, prolonged outcry against slavery which forced Abraham Lincoln to finally do something about it. It was the impetus of bloody labor struggles and protests and strikes which won us an eight-hour workday and other improvements in the labor arena.
The Founding Fathers, many of whom owned slaves, incidentally, were very clever. They were smart motherfuckers. They probably realized that voting was a means of appeasement. Of course, they didn't invent voting, but surely thought it a necessity because England, the paragon of democracy in the Revolutionary era, utilized it.
"Shut up and vote!" This is what the ruling class wants us to do. "Vote then shut the fuck up because your work is done. Your participation in American democracy is finished for another four years. Let us the big boys handle everything from here on out. You can go back home now. See ya in four years - you can come back to your church and vote for a few of us to rule you in the next election. Until then, keep your nose out of running this country and this world because that's for us smartfucks and richfucks to handle."
As elitists, they were concerned with preserving their own power and with squelching rebellions in their nascent republic (hence their encouragement of a militia to shoot and kill rebels if the need ever arose). They probably deemed it best to let the common man (emphasis on "man," since only male property owners, and not females, were allowed to vote in early America) cast his vote, as a method of transferring power to the "proper class of men" and the "more capable set of men" (see classical Enlightenment philosophers like Adam Smith and the Fathers themselves, as well as the political sage Noam Chomsky).
"Shut up and vote!" was surely a mantra they hoped would be effective. Vote then shut the fuck up because your work is done. Your participation in American democracy is complete for another four years. Let us the big boys handle everything from here on out. You can choose a few of us to rule you in the next election. Until then, keep your nose out of running this country because that's for us smartfucks to take care of...
If the assumption that voting is a tool of appeasement is true, we've been deceived by our Machiavellian rulers, yet again. Considering this formidable strategic probability, voting is largely a farce, excepting items like state questions, because when you vote on those you're casting a systemic vote. Voting on a man and not the system he works for, though, is useless because you're voting to install him into a system which largely involves non-voting. Once elected, a president's actions involve no votes whatsoever from the general populace.
Once again, a more healthy democracy would allow its citizens to vote on the president's daily decisions. Such a system would diminish the secrecy and deceit of White House administrations. It would also make hiding behind the abstract facade of "the will of the people" and the physical facade of the voting booth curtain less convenient for Oval Office denizens. Daily or more regular voting (author Robert Anton Wilson has brilliantly suggested the Internet as the preferred venue instead of the voting booth), would effectively unify the people and the president, helping both entities feel less isolated and dichotomized.
As it is now, though, when you vote, you are merely transferring your power to another person. You are merely transforming your potential energy of direct action into the status of indirect action. You are dis-empowering yourself. You are succumbing to the monarchy. You are cheating yourself. History has proven that direct action is much more effectual and beneficial. Voting for prez once every four years then switching him to automatic pilot mode is no answer.
Think not that your power is granted you by the fedgov. Don't wait around for the fedgov to do special things for you. Don't wait for the fascists who rule America to give you the muscle to oust them.
You have power and rights as a human. Power comes from your status as human being, not from God and not from being born an American. You have the power to take direct action to improve the world. Everyone does, in every country.
People vote on the man, not on the system. They vote every two or four years, depending on the type of election, to retain the incumbent or shove a new man into a slot. They almost never consider voting, or revolting, to change our political system.
Since we live in a plutocracy, voting is attenuated to merely illusionary status. The rulers give you the illusion of power. They let you think you have some power when you occasionally cast your vote. This is indeed a "necessary illusion" (see theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and Chomsky's analysis of the power structure's Orwellian magic trickery entitled Necessary Illusions).
In a plutocracy, the elitists will end up ruling anyway. And that's what they do - they rule. We need leaders, not rulers. Anarchists are not always necessarily against voting, as they sometimes find it has a utility. However, they are always against rule. Tell me, why should men rule other men? Leadership, however, is something anarchists can embrace.
It's ironic that those who vehemently support voting also support the American executive branch's power to appoint judges, veto Congress, and perform many other actions which never involve voting. They essentially give the President carte blanche powers of decision-making. Rather than decision-making being achieved by millions of people collectively making a decision, a monarchy-parliament system entailing one man and one Congress makes decisions for its masters - without the consent of the governed. The core problem is, the masters are the ultra-elitists, not the governed. In a plutocracy, the plutocrats, not the people, rule. They rule, but they rarely lead.
Moreover, until a salient distinction exists among candidates, why vote? There really never has been much difference between Dems and Repubs. George Wallace was a Democrat but extremely conservative. Richard Nixon was a Republican but rather liberal (Nixon was "the last liberal president," according to American policy analyst Chomsky). Neither party challenges the core issues, which are, crudely, how the world is run, who runs it, and who owns it. Until someone has big enough balls to challenge and dismantle our evil state-capitalist system which thrives and prospers on rich-vs.-poor and class war and class-consciousness, I refuse to vote.
In 2000, George Bush and Al Gore were both pro-death penalty, both were pro-World Trade Organization, both were pro-big business, both were pro-status quo, both were pro-corporation, both shared the same opinion on the intrinsic issues regarding how this country is ruled and run by the wealthy and privileged elite sector.
In 2004, both Bush and John Kerry were pro- all-of-the-above, and both were pro-war on Iraq (actually, "violent aggression" and "home invasion" are more accurate phrases).
So, as long as we're given two arms of the same corporate-capitalist party to choose from, and as long as only two parties dominate the political scene, why vote? I might vote if we ever get to the point where the United Kingdom is, with a over a dozen parties to choose from during each general election. (Assuming at least one of the candidates would be voteworthy and I wouldn't be choosing from a contingent of evils).
James Madison feared the common man. He stressed that the newly formed republic must always "protect the minority of the opulent from the majority", the majority being, of course, the public, or the great masses of non-elite commoners.
Alexander Hamilton shared Madison's aversion to everyone but the Inner Circle of elites. More antagonistic than Madison and not as polite, Hamilton called the public "the great beast".
These key Founding Fathers of the American republic expressed a fear all elites and elitists have: a repulsion at the ordinary citizenry. This repulsion is expected from the top rung, hell, it's even natural. Its legacy has continued through decades of presidencies. President Polk felt it necessary to deceive the American people about the beginning of the war with Mexico. President Johnson (Lyndon) deceived the public with his Tonkin Gulf exaggerations to accelerate the Vietnam War. President Nixon deceived ordinary Americans continually about the same war. Ronnie Raygun deceived everyone, and thought it needful to go behind Americans' backs to exact genocidal campaigns and trample democratic developments in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
The theme of elected and non-elected elites deceiving, mistrusting and deriding the American public prompts me to believe that voting is merely an elitist tool to appease that public.
Non-voting as a philosophy has plenty of very smart people on its side. For one, comedian George Carlin spoke of "this voting bullshit" and very glibly observed that voting for prez every four years is like rearranging the furniture. He also keenly noticed something most people never think about: The Founding Fathers were unelected richfucks who germinated our country with no votes from anyone (certainly not from the Native Americans they had an eye on eradicating). Furthermore, the founders of our fascist republic were slave owners and hated the idea of slaves or women or anyone but the property-owning controllers of destiny being allowed to vote.
The bloody history of American foreign policy, with its predilection for interference in other countries and its anti-democratic legacy of rigging, aborting, reversing, and otherwise fucking with those countries' elections, suggests further that voting is a somewhat tenuous mechanism for the elites who dictate that foreign policy. (See Deterring Democracy by the great Chomsky).
Anyone who studies, deeply or casually, American foreign and stateside policy discerns the Orwellian nature of the upper, ruling class in how it looks at the lower, working classes (the non-intellectuals). If anything, voting is the zenith of the democratic bell curve, the point where democracy maxes out. The alternative of direct action is viewed as hazardous by these elites. It is a danger because it is trans-voting, hyper-democratic, and therefore, anti-Establishment. The Established resent and isolate any option which might topple them.
Samuel Huntington, who happened to be one of those elites, wrote in The Crisis Of Democracy in the early Seventies that direct action goes a little too far, that Americans were getting carried away by exercising an "excess of democracy". He was undoubtedly referring to the anti-elite energy of the Sixties, which didn't actually end until the mid-70s. Huntington and his comrades were pissing in their pants when the common man - millions of him and her - began to challenge elitist hegemony. The haughty professor, a typical Harvard man, was concerned that the structure of the elitist edifice was being hammered upon. He was also being a good Orwellian by giving "democracy" a double-meaning: the power of the people in the one sphere, and the power of the elite sector to rule, pillage and plunder in their own sphere of operations, which must be protected by deception of the average American.
Another tendency of the elite corporation heads, industrialists and politicians who own and operate this country and this world is using a set of separate standards for themselves. Elites and elitists like Huntington, Bush, and the Rockefellers don't believe they have to play by everyone else's rules. Naturally, this is a byproduct of our class-divided, class-conscious world.
But it would be funnier than fuck if our rules - the rules they force us to live with, were their rules. It would be hilarious if the upper-class richfucks who have a superiority complex were somehow compelled to incorporate policies the common man must obey into their world of power politics. I would shit laughing if, for instance, the doctrine of affirmative action was applied to presidential elections. If it was, instead of an ultra-wealthy, obedient, compliant cocksucker and bootlicker of the Evil Corporate Empire being bankrolled and chosen for office, we could have our first black president. We could also have our first female president. How about a black lady for president? Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't that be the ultimate dark irony? Wouldn't that shake shit up? Wouldn't that make all those richfuck assholes who live for money and power and get a hard-on from running the world shit in their pants and stick a revolver in their mouths?
It would be a beautiful thing if the elites and rulers were consistent enough and democratic enough to extend affirmative action beyond the American workplace to their protected little ivory-tower realm. But since that's not going to happen, I refuse to vote for either of the candidates which are winnowed down to the final vote-off every four years.
I reiterate: Voting is a scam, and a farce. It's ridiculous that we even have a president. I don't believe in consenting to let any man or monarch rule over me. Short of doing away with the monarch, which is the ideal, I do believe that if American citizens got to vote on presidents' everyday decisions, democracy would be alive and well. But voting to give power to a monarch once every four years and to congressmen once every few years are pitiful alternatives. Forfeiting the power of the people - ceding your own personal power to someone else - is even more wretched and sacrificial, and shameful.
Nation Of Sheep, Nation Of Clones
When I got into punk rock in 1998, one of the very first CDs I bought was Shit Edge And Other Songs For The Young And Sentimental, by a band called Christ On A Crutch. This was bluesy, melodic, hardcore punk. But the best thing about it was the lyrics. I'll never forget one song called "Nation Of Sheep". It was all about how Americans are blindly obedient, how they conform to unvarying conformity. When I think of the phrase "nation of sheep" I can't help but also call this country a "nation of clones."
Yes, the United States is a nation of clones. A vast wasteland inhabited by replicating automatons with a heartbeat. Originality is scarce here. Creative and original thinking are also rare, about as plentiful as nine-dollar bills. For instance, go to any town in America. Not only are these towns boring (America is a very boring country), they're all the same! The people are the same. They drive the same cars, their houses look the same, their front yards look the same, and most significantly, they think the same way. Where is dissent? Where is non-conformity? Where is independent thought? Where is courage?
Go to any town in America, just about, and you'll find the same set-up: a mayor-council form of government, a Main Street with the older established stores, and a retail hell on the fringes and outskirts of town with the newer and less traditional businesses. The townfolk are generally concerned with getting through the workday then going home and being entertained with DVDs and garbage like "Survivor" and "Friends" and "The Bachelor". They care more about how many state championships their football and basketball teams can win than they do about labor issues, the air they breathe, the rampaging American military machine and other things that matter. As long as Americans are entertained, they're happy (or they think they are). They could be slaves in chains but as long as they got to watch fucking "Seinfeld" or "The Simpsons" being slaves would be fine!
Can't anyone come up with something new ?!!!!! FFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get so sick of clones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clones who just replicate each other and duplicate each other and fuck each other and pop out babies who grow up to be more clones who do the same thing over and over and over. Please, somebody, think of something new! Sssshhhittttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We suffer in a nation of clones. Would that we were a nation of visionaries. Would that we had people of vision who want to fuck up the status quo and get radical and make our world a better world.
It just makes me sick how everything is the fucking same all across America. The U.S. is a nation of copycats and clones. Conformity gone too far. A country of people who not only fall into conformity, but crave conformity. For example, every town in America has a mayor (I might be wrong - a few exceptions probably exist). Why doesn't someone try a different system? It's time to shred the fabric of orthodoxy and weave some diversity, for goodness' fucking sake!
Why do Americans feel traditions must go on forever? When, for instance, are we going to stop celebrating Christmas?
A precipitous drop in its amount of conformitarianism is what this nation desperately needs.
Socialism At A Lower Level
How sick that most Americans and Christians, and Christian Americans, decry socialism and condemn it as evil yet practice it at the local level. I don't mean the socialism is sick, because socialism is a good thing (especially the voluntary socialism which would exist under anarchism - but state socialism is a practical alternative 'til that day when anarchism arrives).
Think about it. How does it all work? You live in a municipality. You have a mayor-council form of government. You have the city, with its various and sundry departments, which levies sales taxes to take in revenue. The city then re-distributes those tax dollars. This is socialism. I'm not saying this is wrong. I'm just saying that Americans are so fucking ignorant and that they don't think about shit. Shit that happens right in front of their face all day long every day. Maybe they don't see the shit because they're deep in the middle of all of it. They bitterly oppose socialism on a national scale but condone and practice it continuously on a smaller scale at the local and state levels.
Walking The Line In A Land Of Car-Whores
Buying a new car is so fucking stupid. For a number of reasons.
For starters, it's a strain on the budget, and the strain causes stress And yes, stress still kills. And purchasing a new vehicle is stupid even if you have a lot of money.
This country has millions of car-whores. It is a nation which actually worships automobiles! Is that fucking depressing or what? - that we worship a mechanism which takes you from Point A to Point B.
This country is also littered with millions - literally millions! - of cars already in existence, already polluting the air and the roadways and the house garages and the parking garages, not to mention the salvages and junkyards and auto auctions. But millions more vehicles are manufactured every fucking year anyway! When will this fucking insanity ever end? Will it ever end! If we ever go to an economy based on a fuel other than oil and thereby change the style of the vehicle as we know it, we might get lucky and see a mass suicide of thousands of car-whores across America. Yes! - that would be a good thing. No more car shows and no more car whores!
Instead of buying a newly manufactured automobile, everyone should do what I do: Save your money and pay cash for a used car. This is better for your pocketbook, better for your health, and better for the environment, which is raped continually for metals and plastics to be put into new vehicles. And when you refuse to buy a new car you forego making the rich asshole who owns the local dealership even richer. I will rejoice on the day that all new car dealers and salesmen in this country go fucking bankrupt! That will be a glorious day indeed. Then we'd be bombarded by a lot fewer of those horribly obnoxious car commercials all over the radio and TV.
Think about it...you pay cash for a used car. Even if it has a lot of problems you still save a hell of a lot more money by making improvements on the vehicle than you would by making stressful car payments for five or six fucking years!
Materialistic Americans' obsession with new cars is sickening anyway. Who gives a fuck about cars? Why do so many people LIVE for cars? A car is a way to get you from Point A to Point B. It's a means of transport, like a camel or a canoe. As long as it looks reasonably decent and ain't too much of an eyesore, who cares what year it is and all that irrelevant shit which contributes to class-consciousness and snobbery? The snootery involved with vehicles in this fucking country would disappear if only people's attitudes would change! A close relative of mine said very recently: "You are what you drive." I asked her well what about the people who don't drive, who just walk and ride the bus everywhere? She said "They don't count."
See what I mean?
And speaking of car-whores, isn't it sick how women (and some men too) will date a member of the opposite sex just because of what they fucking drive?!
Is this the epitome of materialism or what? God-damn it makes me puke!
Why don't these bitches be logical, admit what they're really after, and just fuck the car itself!
That's right, you car-loving cunt. Rub your pussy all over that leather interior, warm up that cold chrome and metal. Stimulate your vulva on that hard vinyl dashboard, bitch! Warm your whoremongering ass on that radiator. Pretend that antifreeze is jizz then swallow it! Suck off that wiper blade. Stick that gearshift knob up your cunt! Get that fucking car all juicy and wet, then fuck it! Fuck that steering wheel, hump those hubcaps, fuck the shit out of that dipstick, fuck that goddamn FM antenna and that motherfuckin' hood ornament!!
Go for that prick with the plastic personality and the plastic wad in his money clip. Suck the life out of his credit cards, if he has a nice ride. That's all that fucking matters, isn't it, you mindless materialistic whore? Who gives a fuck if he has no class, no character, no excitement, and a 2-inch pecker. I have a '69 Yugo but I have a 12-inch cock and I can fuck you and love you way better than that plastic fuck you dig for his '05 Corvette. So who do you want, AutoBitch - me, a man with a cock and some personality, or that prissy little lawyer who has a 2-inch prick but a bank account and a brand new car.
Fuck you, you goddamn fucking car-whores! You know who you are. Get out of fucking denial now. The sooner the better. Fuck you goddamn idiot Harley-whores too. There's millions of you stupid cunts in this fucked-up cunt-ry...
NASTYCAR: The Scourge Of Western "Civilization"
One unfathomable mystery is why millions of Americans like automobile racing in general, NASCAR in particular. I will never understand this. What's the attraction?
Along with diesel trucks, NASCAR should be outlawed. Both diesel trucks and NASCAR cars are serious noise pollution. And both are normally occupied/inhabited by hillbillies, rednecks and cowboys. How anyone can want to go to a track and watch cars go around over and over and over while sucking in the exhaust fumes and enduring the hellaciously loud, annoying engine noises is an insoluble mystery to me. How anyone can want to watch the competition on TV is even more of a mystery. How anyone can want to listen to auto racing on the radio is even more of an enigma.
NASTYCAR is nothing but a bunch of hillbilly fucks inside vehicles trying to outrun each other. What's the attraction? I'd understand if you were in a car racing, because that would be a rush. But to watch someone else race...I just don't fucking get it. I might understand a little better if races were held on actual highways and roads, like bicycling's Tour De France. But an oval track?!...Isn't that a little monotonous?
NASTCAR is nothing but glorified rednecks in cars. I rejoiced when Dale Earnhardt was killed. A little less nast in the world. One fewer redneck on this planet. But how millions can pollute their own vehicles with bumper and window stickers commemorating Day-uhl and buy soft drink mugs and model cars in his memory is one nut I'll never crack.
Not only is the fact that glorified rednecks in race cars are worshipped and paid millions of dollars sickening, the fact they represent corporate hell is equally sickening. Their nastycars are uglier than fuck, all littered with corporate decals and logos. The lime green ones have to be the worst - we're talkin' serious eyesores.
One of the executives at my company was asked one day if he works on Sundays. He replied "No, racing is on on Sundays, so I don't work on Sundays." You can't be joking. You want to spend your off-day watching NASTYCAR racing? Okay whatever dude...At that point I knew the guy's intelligence level was seriously low, and I'd never want to move up high enough within the company to have to work closely with him. Anybody could think of a million things better to do on a Sunday/off-day than watch NASTYCAR, surely!
A few years ago a co-worker announced during an ice-breaking session that he was a NASCAR fanatic (I think he used the word "freak"). A couple of weeks later I asked him how he could possibly like it, and he said "A lot of physics goes into it." Well, dude, I got news for ya. A lot of physics goes into everything.
In the mid-nineties baseball legend Pete Rose was raving about professional auto racers on his radio show one day, a few years before NASCAR was all the rage. He kept saying they're great athletes. Since when is sitting in a car a mark of athleticism? How much exercise or physical exertion is involved in that? Give me a fuckin' break, Pete.
An e-mail penpal from the UK sent me this pre-race prayer and scenario after I told him that NASCAR is the only professional sport I know of that has prayers before each event.
TAP TAP TAP....."WhheeeeeeOoooooooo!!! Testin' folks, testin'. Before we-all get on with the inspirin' site of thes fine veeheekles chasin' eyach otha roun' this fine dusty track, ah know you-all are gonna wanna put yore han's together an' join me in a prayer to the Almighty Lawd who gave us the godly scrap from so many divinely arranged car-wrecks for to build these wunnerful Naz-kars - lemme hear it! (faint crowd cheers)
"For Nazcar and th' Lawd!!
"Gawd awl fuckin' mighty...sorry folks, jus' got a shock off'n th' wirin'...Gawd awl mahty, who gave us this fine land and the guns to clear the godless injuns offn' it, bless these holy Nazcars and the saintly drivers that drive 'em! We praise thee an' the jeans-soaking excitement o' seeing the fuckers wreck and the bloodied bodies get pulled outa the win'screens, as decreed by divahn decree, without which nuthin' in tha world happens, Yessah! God watches over every car smash and saves his elect, aint that so folks? Yeah. (more faint cheering) OK Folks! now you just put ya beers aside an' take yo' hands offn' them white-trash sluts and bubbaloo babes that you a-gropin' an' pay 'tention to the endless clouda dust within which - ah do assure ya - these fahn Nazcars are following each othah mos' excitin'ly round this godly dirt track. You enjoy now, y'heer???!!!..pour us another beer Emmy, and get ridda that top."
Forgive the ludicrous attempt at a redneck (Rednek co. Alabama) accent. It's the best a Lime-sucker can do.--David
(Actually, I thought he did an awesomely accurate job of detailing hick accents and epitomizing NASCAR-grubbin' redneck fucks!! A day before he wrote his hilarious prayer, he'd never even heard of NASCAR and asked me to enlighten him! I told him I envied him for not knowing what the curse of NASCAR is and wished I lived somewhere that it didn't exist! NASCARlessness is one of the best reasons to envy non-Americans.
However, I was surprised when he mentioned that monster trucks are a big thing in merry olde England! It's hard to escape shallow redneck dis-culture no matter how far you travel away from the United States of Redneck America.
After I e-mailed David my own interps of the acronym "NASCAR", such as Nasty-Ass Sports Cars Amusing Rednecks, he sent a couple of even better ones!...
NASCAR: North American ShitCars and Rednecks
NASCAR: Nearly As Stupid as Christianity And Republicans
What more can I say? Unfurling acronyms so masterfully does a better job than paragraphs upon paragraphs could ever do.)
I'd love to see a presidential motorcade in which the president gets out of the big-ass 90-foot limo which gets 12 gallons per fucking mile and fucking walks! Walks or rides a bicycle. Or doesn't take a limo to the big parade in the first place...
Presidents talk shallow talk about the environment, about ecological concerns, about how switching to alternative fuel sources will help the air and the water and our lungs, but they still, in the year 2003, ride in gas-guzzler cars! Why don't they get a little more down-to-earth and be men of the people? But, then again, if the president walked or rode a bike like he should, it wouldn't be called a MOTORcade, would it? Knowing what a Redneck Nation we live in, probably by the year 2012 the president will drive one of those ugly, decal-littered NASCAR cars and wear a racer's helmet to his inauguration. The car will be plastered with corporate sponsorship decals - the company that gave him the largest amount of money for his campaign will have the biggest decal, the second greatest contributor the second biggest decal, and so on down the line in descending order. Fuck, the next president will probably BE a NASCAR driver who's encouraged to run for president because he's so beloved by Americans. The way things are going, he'll win by a landslide, to the delight of Skoal-dippin', rodeo-goin' cowboys everywhere. Unless he runs against a wrestler, like Hulk Hogan or another of those "professional" wrestling clowns. Any country where rasslin' and racin' are king is a doomed country.
Yep, How It All Started Does Matter...
The U.S. might be a Christian nation in some ways, but in the most important area of all: its origin, it is anything but Christian.
The very beginnings of the United States were a consequence of violating one of the Ten Commandments: that one against covetousness - yeah, that's the one.
British imperialists who fled their own oppression lusted after the resources of the United States and foresaw it as a venue in which they could become the oppressors. They coveted the richness and abundance of the "new" land so much they became hellbent on taking it for themselves (also known as stealing). They coveted their neighbors across the Atlantic. They coveted their neighbors' wives. They coveted their neighbors' asses. They coveted their neighbors' wives' asses...
This drive for material gain and an economic fresh start on a new continent continued for 100 years, at the expense of the Native Americans in the path of its bloodlust. By the time the nation and the West were finally conquered, 10 million indigenous inhabitants of the captured prize had been killed, beautiful forests had been erased, and a pre-Industrial form of pollution had poisoned the air and water. And, yeah, it only got worse...
Any nation which begins by breaking a commandment of the Christian God is not a Christian nation.
And what a nightmarish experience the conquest must have been for the natives. White men stormed into their pueblos, burned their tepees, and basically carried out all kinds of home invasions. They raped their women then killed them. They even killed their little babies.
What would you do if someone came to your door and said: "Okay, you have to leave now. Get your family and get the fuck out! Right now! I am now the new owner and inhabitant of this residence!" That's a perfect analogy for what British settlers and colonizers did to Native Americans. They outright robbed them of their homeland and their homes. This is inarguable. No onslaught of euphemisms or distortions of history or justifications of covetousness and conquest will nullify this sad, irreversible reality.
How it all started, how this nation began, does matter. Just because something happened a couple of centuries ago doesn't make it irrelevant. What, are we supposed to forget the past and forego history? If that's our attitude, we wouldn't have any historians.
This nation's very foundation was based on two forces: rebellion and conquest. First the British who were pissed off at their own government moved here to begin their own. Then they conquered the new territory by removing what was in the way, physically and politically. That is, human beings. That is, the people who already lived here, who lived on this nation's land.
I suppose nearly every nation has origins of conquest of which it can be ashamed. But that doesn't make conquest right. It's still a heinous act, no matter what the outcome is.
This country allegedly has a separation of church and state. So what's up with swearing on the Bible in courtrooms? In the three times I've been in court in the last year-and-a-half (twice as a witness and once as a plaintiff in a small claims case), I did not have to do this and I saw no Bibles in the courtroom, so evidently it's not as common as it once was. But I'm sure it still happens at times. And I admire the hell out of Marlon Brando for that time he refused to swear on the Bible.
The Bible has absolutely no place in a court of law. Courts of law should be entirely, absolutely secular. Two reasons come to mind. One, Yahweh's idea of law is barbaric, authoritarian, and totalitarian - it entails no due process and no juries or attorneys. Two, the law of the Old Testament is Jewish law, and if we follow Jewish/Bible law in American courts, we are a Jewish nation, which we don't want to be!
To keep American courts non-religious and secular, a new ritual for swearing on oath is needed. Instead of the traditional swearing-on-the-Bible, here's what I'd like to see and hear in a courtoom instead:
"Mr. Douglas, place your hand on the National Geographic, Volume 47, Issue 17...Do you swear on National Geographic to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
"Is this the issue with the article on the imminent extinction of the pygmy rhinoceros and the feature on Ubangi villagers adapting to modern conveniences such as refrigerated huts and sunglasses?"
"Yes, that's the one."
Dark haikus to sum up "All About America":
"Suicide of human race Only hope for Planet Earth.
You go first."...And...
"Feed the machine
Its hunger never wanes.
Appease the Corporate Beast."