Cow-joy and Wikileaks

12 03 2012

Cow Joy

Dear World, As Charles Dickens would have said,

It is the best of times,

It is the worst of times.

It is the time when heroism rose to its greatest pitch, as simple people, desperate for freedom, faced the mechanized might of treacherous dictators, armed by the world’s greatest power.

It is the time of greatest cowardice when the world’s great powers, by treaties, bribes, and diplomacy hid their complicity in war, terror, torture and murder, to assist in the suppression of those simple people in order to steal their gold, oil, gas and foods.

It is the time of greatest integrity when whistle-blowers faced the armed oppressors of people and told the world the truths they have found.

It is the time of greatest mendacity when leaders of mighty nations deliberately and knowingly, lie to their people in order to create war and mayhem for the profit of corporations.

And it is time to tell you of an apparently un-associated incident, Dear World, about how, as frequently happens when I am cruising along the gravel back-roads of my Canadian home, one day I turned a corner and ran into herd of some thirty to forty cows, ambling along and grazing, en passant, on the grassy edges.

Nature throws up some pretty wild combinations between one life form and another, and the cow is a prime example of one of the strangest –developmentally caught between animal and vegetable, a kind of downgraded grass that left behind it whatever vestigial traces of brain it might have posessed , before it hitched a ride on human’s meat- love, thus delaying its extinction for a generation or so.

This day, for awhile as I braked to a halt, this extended family, turned and with chunks of grass sticking out of mouths concentrated it’s idiot attention on the strange creature that had turned up behind it. My techniques, when these situations arise ,is to slowly edge forward as the rearguard opens up a little to permit me passage. That way I can usually squeeze slowly through and leave them behind.

This time however, something spooked them just as I had nosed about as far as the middle of the herd and the youngsters at the front began to run. In seconds the panic spread and hooves are flying in the air and the cows are crapping as cows do when they run, and the old cows are thundering along, their massive udders slapping their thighs from side to side, and they’ve got the road filled and up the banks and the air is full of road dust and cow shit thrown up in the air by the pounding hooves. The bulls are tagging along in the rear not wanting to be seen as too revolutionary, perhaps, and not having realized that I was supposed to be the chaser in this game.

The youngsters are hearing the pounding of the hooves behind them, and it is literally scaring them shitless. They weave from one side of the road to the other, up the banks and down again. I am trapped in the middle, unable to pass, and the ones on either side of me have quite forgotten, if they ever knew, that I was the cause of the panic. They are doubtless feeling “Dear Cow-Gods, if that spiffy little Japanese thingy is as scared as us, we are in real trouble” Out of my side windows I can see their eyes bulging with pure fear as their heads bob up and down. The ones behind me never knew that I was the Terror since I had passed harmlessly. But there is something scary somewhere.

And then a strange thing happened. In that spiffy little Japanese car I got caught-up in the enthusiasm. For awhile there, I couldn’t stop. If I did they would have run right over the top of me which was a frightening feeling. I couldn’t get past because the youngsters were dodging like Rugby full backs. And all the time there was a thundering vibrato of hooves that filled the air, and the ‘moos’ and the whole shit-kicking, dust-storming stampede was roaring down this little country road, heads and horns and tails and asses rising and falling . And there was I, in the middle of it all—a kind of temporary cow cousin.

It is a strange thing. That excitement can get to you and fill you up. You are part of a movement, a political demonstration, a be-in, an Occupy, and you feel it in every part of your body except your brain: the sheer joy of inclusion. It was part fear, part instinct, and part sheer Cow-Joy. For those ecstatic moments I was one of them, my brothers and sisters and relatives, the Mooers. We were pure Cow. And we were beautiful. We were all part of this family. But every cow in that herd had its own little bit of selfness wrapped up in that communal stampede, and doubtless had brief times of cow-importance, the faintest tickle of intelligence, to be considered some hot day lying down in the field and chewing the cud.

At last I eased into the lead, passed the final prancing calf and pressed the accelerator. At that moment I experienced my Revelation. It was not as elegant as that of Paul of Tarsus and I deeply hope it won’t create another Christianity. One is more than enough for awhile. But if it precipitates some profound social changes on a global scale, the dreaming will have been worth its time. For I suddenly had the vision that this stampede I had just emerged from was to all intents and purposes the perfect metaphor for Western urbanized civilisation.

I saw my own entrapment in rush hour traffic as the spiritual manifestation of a great, terrible stampede, of a spooked species; all of them, billions, leaping out of their beds, gobbling coffee, and roaring down the highways to workplaces to pass their lives in utterly meaningless activities. I saw the factories like that; and I saw the armaments industries, and the whole great maddened war machine, a Blakean Terror crushing all and everyone before it. I recognized herd-madness at its apogee; its mindless brutality and murderous rage. And I recognized that nothing could halt this stampede except a powerful revelation—a mirror held up to us all to show us in our primitive and mindless madness.

In practically every big city on earth one can witness a stampede like this that mimics the Cow Joy crowd. Beginning early in the morning, long before the kids are awake, millions and millions of people pouring down super-freeways filled with a communal terror of being too slow, and losing their tenuous positions, which, they have absorbed as truths, are the sole rituals that legitimize their existence. They hoot, and bleat at each other like the Cow-Joy crowd. They munch slices of toast as they go because they haven’t the time or control to have proper meals. They are filled with an existential fear; and they are dangerous. The most unlikely and slightest rumours of that new great terror, ‘Terror’, can cause them to attack other breeds and slaughter them mercilessly with super technology’s weaponry, made with the tax money they should have been spending on Food, Health, Education and Housing for the poor and under-privileged.

They have forgotten in their panic that the causes of their panic are right inside themselves in the middle of their stampedes, like my car in the middle of the Cow-Joy crowd. They occasionally kill each other. Being innovative cows they have even exported their Fear to other herds, and this has proved to be a good business, since it serves to increase ‘The Terror’ and, since they have cut adrift from the moorings of Morality and Ethics, they have no hesitation whatever about lying, cheating, thieving, and conniving and even murdering at the highest governmental and corporate level: so that at present the only thing one can predict about any government, elected from any party, is that they will serve the interests of Corporate Greed and the one percent with whatever Malfeasance, and Treachery is necessary to sustain the present levels. This must all be conducted with the highest degrees of secrecy, because the slightest hints of transparency can cause the fears of a Mass Moo, and that catastrophic change of crooks called ‘an election.’

But every man and woman in that urban stampede has brief times of cow-importance, the faintest tickle of intelligence, to be considered some hot day lying down on the sofa watching the T.V. and chewing the cud. And in finality they actually like The Terror, which they have created by systemic brutality and crookedness towards other herds. It gives them all a sense of togetherness and inclusion and belonging and shields them from the excruciating pain and shame that The Truth causes them when, like rain on a leaky roof, it drops in uninvited and spoils their comfort.

Inevitably, Dear World the disparities between the currencies of the world will stabilise and level out, because that will be the only way to stem the unstoppable pressure of illegal immigration, caused by poverty with all the discomforts that it entails. For it is that which is the result of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and that which will daily push us towards a revolution that no one wants. This flattening out of currencies will occur even though the wealthy will kick and scream all the way to the fleecing sheds and, in the long run, it will be for the benefit of us all.

In the interim, militarism, madness and murder prevail and appear unstoppable. But one man, has stepped forward. From our global population of eight billion, only one man with the intelligence and I.T. sophistication combined with the global vision, humanitarianism plus the indominatable courage to stand and confront the United States of America’s formidable and ruthless power. One man, Dear World. One man out of Eight Billion, and only one man!

And at the moment, he is in check to two mindless radical feminist women, a feminist Swedish prosecutor who swears the legitimacy of a rape charge for a broken condom, and seven supreme court judges who have heard the bizarre appeal for his extradition to Sweden and have been deliberating for weeks about the effect of refusing this extraordinary unjust demand. on the EU catch-all protocol for extradition across EU in future cases,– as though such hypothetical cases had anything to do with the inhuman treatment of an innocent man ,who cared too much about humanity, to protect himself from its barbaric institutions.

While they sip port in the super exclusive Club Of The Isles, and mumble about legal precedents, Assange, who has had no charges laid against him , basically waits to see if he will be shipped via Sweden to Guantanamo for life imprisonment, or death, for holding up a mirror for the world to see the rampant brutality and evil of Israel, Western governments in particular, and the corporate world of the super rich.

One man, Dear World, stepping forward to protect eight billion! Let that thought rattle around your heads as we stampede to work! Another Jesus kicking the money lenders out of the temple again and this one totally documented? Mooo, Moooo Mooo? Where’ s the AVAAZ team? Where are the endless legions of motherhood-issue campaigners—protectors of dolphins, fish, rodents etc., ad infinitum who dog my in-mail to enlist my support and signature and money? Not that I oppose most of those issues, but many of them are quotidian and will be with us forever.

But if we are not careful, if we are not active, if we are not determined, we could lose this man forever. America didn’t hesitate for one second about bombing the Chinese embassy, or dropping a Predator robot on Anwal-al-Awlaki an American citizen —charged with nothing, living in another sovereign state. It didn’t hesitate about invading Bermuda. It didn’t hesitate a second worrying about the ‘blow-back’ from invading Ecuador and grabbing Noreiga- a man who was their employee and ally until his and their politics diverged. And where are all the Christians now that we need their support? Mooo! Mooo! Mooo! America doesn’t worry about ‘blowback.’ ‘Blowback’ is the perfect excuse and rationalization for more domestic restriction and suppression of human rights. It is the rationale for Homeland Security, America’s most powerful department. Murdering Julian Assange would tell the rest of the world to keep its interfering mouth shut. It would be a global message to every critic of America or its ally Israel , that the U.S would break every law or protocol it chooses and crush him like an insect.

Now ease out of the daily stampede for a moment to consider this picture and put yourself in Assange’s place. Ask yourself whether or not you would have the cojones to maintain the legitimacy of truth and justice in the face of your own imminent destruction if you do. This is a scenario that has stirred up the most scurrilous and gutless league of lying knaves ever to tread the boards since Shakespeare’s time, and they are nobody’s friends except their own.

One Man. One highly intelligent and highly principled man has stepped out of the crowd of eight billion to tell us how wrongly we were behaving and we have not the intelligence and courage and integrity to support him? One Man stepped out of the teeming multitudes to tell us how drastically we have strayed from the visions of humanity, divinity and love: to tell us that it is evil to machine gun innocent unarmed civilians and children from a helicopter, and to expose the thousand and one conspiracies of governments and corporations, the gluttonies of corporations,the astonishing greed of bankers and stock traders ,the murderousness of the industrial military complex. Imagine YOU were alone.

“How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?
[How does it feel, to be on your own” as Bob Dylan sang.

Have you not enough money to put a $20 note in an envelope to the address below. Are you going to let him stand there alone, Dear World. What will you tell your kids if this is the case. What will they think of you? Moooo! Moooo! Cow Joy to you all and power to Assange!

Let me recommend this link and the address it includes to use to send money to Assange to pay his lawyers etc., an address that doesn’t use Pay Pal,Bank of America, Amazon and all the other corporations who have blockaded Assange’s expenses. And by the way try not to use them in future. They are hardcore Cow –Enemy. Moooo~! http://redress.cc/global/cking20101208

Copyright. Laurie Payne .March 12th 2012

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OCCUPY

21 01 2012

Well Dear World, sometimes I fear

The Turning of The Wheel.

Time’s ill.

As science puts on Moses moral garb

And leaps towards the stars,

I hear again the hideous squeak

Of high and polished boots

Gain strength beneath blue business serge.

Love lives by name and dies by deed,

While madmen, holding scapels

In their bloody hands

Divide and re-divide

Their kingdoms made of mud.

I hear the turning of the wheel

Pause brief on young and tender bone.

I grow afraid, with a child’s fear

Of the long and silent falling

Through the night to come.

(excerpted from my poetry book ‘Glimpses’)

With my news hound’s muzzle, Dear World I was foraging around the garbage bins of the media when I came upon this tasty morsel. “Millionaires and billionaires urge Congress to tax them more” it said! Well, I could scarce believe my eyes and ears. Was this a clerical error or a practical joke, I wondered. I mean, these gentlemen probably have the highest I.Q. for a group in our world and all of them have dedicated their lifetimes to the science of wringing pennies from the poor. So I was—what word can I use, Dear World? Perplexed, perhaps. That’s it. I was thoroughly and utterly perplexed!

I got to wondering—what on earth could be going through the minds of these kings of finance, that induced them, collectively, to run to the castle battlements and throw a few chickens to the astonished hoi polloi standing there, gape mouthed, on the other side of the moat. And then it came to me—I could faintly hear, from the deep keeps of the castle mortuary, the sinister rumblings of the ghosts of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin having a party with the Egyptians in Tahir Square, the Libyans the Syrians, the Tunisians and there were faint shouts from the 99 percent from Wall St and Oakland, and nasty uncultured Cockney voices muttering “We are the Cultural Revolution. Send ‘em to the paddy fields.” And “America! Vote Communist for the freedom and safety of our country.”

But , if we can, for a brief spell , wrench our imaginations from the Monty Pythonesque vision of the Occupiers sheltering under umbrellas against a hail storm of Kentucky Fried Chickens, a rather somber vision emerges. For if Congress needs the permission of a cadre of billionaires to increase their taxes, there can remain little doubt about which way the power is flowing. The most venerated, guarded, discussed, legislative institution in our world, our ideological darling, DEMOCRACY, that has been rammed down the throats of Islam at gunpoint (not to mention ours) needs the permission of the wealthy elite to tax them more fairly! Does that not in fact mean that our Democracy is really a Plutocracy? Governance by the Rich. If so, in the light of that understanding, isn’t the Occupy dream of closing the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, a bit like standing waist-high in the Niagara River wondering how to make some of the water flow the other way? Is there nothing short of the guillotine capable of bringing equity to our faltering economies world-wide? And I use the words ‘world-wide’ because the Occupy movement has already gone global.

Then lets us think strategically for a moment. Occupy has made a point of respecting non violence in their Occupyings, and this has served the purpose of temporarily de-fanging the police. Being violent is what police are trained for these days but with all those cell-phone cameras the sights of armed cops beating up on pacifists in the crowds, really does not look as acceptable as they would like themselves to appear in their role of protecting society. In a parallel manner, the act of having no appointed leaders also de-fangs the media, who have been trained to display the lead feet of Mob Gods. The Occupy movement cannot thus be stigmatized by some alert snoop on Fleet Street discovering for example that the demotic leader was sexually reprehensible.

However from a chess strategy point of view, the positions of the two sides—the 1 and the 99, is that of stalemate. The great gentle cows on the local farm when I was a kid came and waited at the gate, each evening, to be led into the dairy to be milked, and to munch on the hay in the racks. One must ask this difficult question. Since Occupy is a pacifistic movement and has therefore forbidden itself the leverage of violent insurrection and mayhem, how long will it take the capitalist system to compensate for disruptions by, perhaps, taking out more insurance, and simply carrying on as before? Will Occupier’s roles come to resemble those of the cows who according to the farmer, liked being milked? One could almost hear them saying “ I like my job.” “A hundred thousand years of human evolution has climaxed in my adroitness in sewing zippers on Levi jeans eight or nine hours a day.”And in fact I once heard an interview on C.B.C.by Peter Gzoski of a woman who had worked 35 years in a sardine factory putting the little fish in those neat packings. She told him she loved her job and would do it all again and wouldn’t know what to do without it. God bless human adaptation!

At present the global nature of Occupy can also be seen as a primitive random poll of the vaguely politically disaffected. For it to earn serious consideration therefore it will have to show its colours, its intentions and its causes. Which is to say that at some juncture the Occupiers will have to say what they want, which will lead inevitably to discussions of the potential means of satisfying those requests; or refusals to even countenance them. And here lies the rub that makes calamity of long life. Because we are all, every single one of us who ever uses any amount of money, complicit in the mayhem, that is resulting from the tendency of money to polarize, thus creating the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. It was Aristotle who said that the problem with money was people’s belief that it multiplied on its own, so that if for example, you lent someone a cow you expected a cow and a calf in return. But that is precisely what we have created in contemporary capitalism. Even if billionaires did absolutely nothing whatever in the way of work, they would still get richer and richer every day. The poor, in some cases can literally work themselves to death and get poorer every day on their way to the grave. And it is this disparity that lies at the root of some of the discontent among the 99%.

1) The icon of capitalism must surely be the ATM machine, which does nothing to help unemployment because it employs no one, thus contributing nothing, to the taxation that working people must pay as money passes through their hands. But not the hands of the ATM. Money passes through it, amorally. It doesn’t care how or where the money was made. All it asks is that money keeps moving so that it can siphon off some of it as it passes, and send it to the immensely wealthy. The immensely wealthy lend it to banks and corporations and thus facilitate the construction of the major material constructs of our civilization –hospitals, Opera houses, bridges, highways , airports, airplanes, railways and on and on-in short the things that we love about ‘civilization’. It is vital that big money can accumulate for big constructs. At that stage of its manifestation no one asks if it is legal or illegal money, drug money or armaments money. It’s just the good old dirty paper that the world runs on and everyone is happy to get a bit of it as the infrastructure grows.

2) But it also vital that hyper successful individuals do not accumulate so much money that they are capable of assembling instant private armies to do their biddings, as ex-prime minister Thaksin almost did in Thailand. When we have an ambient unemployment rate hovering around 8% it is plausible to imagine 6% of the most desperate and hungry being seduced by billionaires to privateer forces against us all. Since we live fairly comfortably with the existence of a minimum wage, how about a maximum wage above which all earnings will be redirected to distribution by the state? ( Did you notice the sneaky way the state sidled into this idea? THIS DISCUSSION IS COMPLICATED!) So while we have the state on the mat let’s also insist that its police forces be strictly limited on a per capita basis and the weaponry of those forces also strictly limited. Let us demand that there must always be independent reviews of all extra judiciary killings by police, unlike those of Canada who investigate their own killings in the style of a Mafia. As the rebellions in Syria have so cogently illustrated , it is all too easy to loose the dogs of war on pauperized civilians. We have enormous tasks to accomplish, possibly totally reconstructing constitutions, firing governments .Frankly the problems are mind boggling.

So merely for the sake of imagination, lets enumerate some of the problems that are appearing as the modern state adapts to new technology and general scientific advancement and examine some of the most problematic aspects. What would we want, Dear World and what would we not want? Let’s just make a little make-believe list.

3) . We want a final, absolute end to warfare, period. Since the beginnings of collectivism our “leaders” have involved us in murderous warfare that has slaughtered our young men by the millions and, as our technology evolved, killed more and more civilian men ,women and children as ‘collateral damage.’ We now recognize the munitions industries as the murderous juggernauts they are. We are totally disabused of the rationalization that manufacturing the means of murder is for our collective safety from the threatening ‘out there.’ We know that the threatening ‘out there’ is code for financial profit and that the danger is not out there it is ‘in here’, in our own domestic profiteering. Let us take a lesson from the Swiss all of whom have firearms and regular defensive exercises but have never had a war. Let us note that two of the most successful economies in the west –Switzerland and Germany have no standing armies and no national alliances with the U.S. It can be done; it must be done. We must learn to have good relations with all our global communities regardless of religions, and not permit oligarchs to sour our international relationships for their profits. I hereby declare in public that any legislation designed to force our children into warfare ipso facto alters our paternal relationship from that of defensive patriot to active anti-state terrorist. I invite everyone to join and to pass on the ideology if they feel it is appropriate. No more kids for Moloch.

It is vital that we don’t commit the mistakes of Communism by inhibiting entrepreneurialism. But it is equally important that every child has an equal and full access to as much education as it can use. We use the terms ‘natural resources’ to apply to metals, oil. lumber etc. But there is only one natural resource. That resource is young educated intelligence. We may be sitting on a gold mine, but it is useless without the young trained intelligence to show us how to use it. Intelligence does not equate with wealth. The most successful State is the one that most successfully accesses its human intelligence and facilitates its development regardless of gender or the wealth of parentage. It is vital that all education at every level should be free. This is an aspect of Communism that is more advanced and wiser than in capitalist countries. Should we not emulate this system?

So perhaps here is a starting point for the OWS movement. We need to tell the system that it is cruel, unfair and finally counter-productive to demand that our children surrender the golden years of childhood, in order to submit to educational indoctrination for the sake of a mythical piece of paper —a certificate–alleged at first to be an open sesame to success and wealth, and then, when achieved after twelve surrendered years, revealed as a prize that is useless without the addition of a university degree, which will necessitate the pupil submitting to deep and crippling debt during a further four years without the possibility of escape by bankruptcy from the indebtedness. Our laws permit financial institutions to declare bankruptcy of billions but students of nothing. This is what street con-men in the Morocco markets call ‘bait and switch’—now you see it, now you don’t: is it not utterly reprehensible, shocking, and counter-productive?

What a disgusting way to treat our children, England and Canada and America: to propagate a system that stultifies the development of our brightest in a welter of indebtedness. Here’s my advice to students. Don’t pay student loans. Before you begin your final studies incorporate yourself. The government owes you for twelve years unpaid wages for your first stages of education. To those who say “ But the education is the prize, the payment” may we not ask ”Why then is it not equally rewarded? And why compulsory?” If apprenticeship is not paid during education why is it paid in commerce? It is YOUR intelligence and ability that is needed by government to make this inequitable system work. It is not THEIR covert economic slavery that you need in order to be a happy and free individual. There are other modes of existence than the urban rat race. Cuba demands that graduates work for two years to pay for their ‘free’ education during which time their higher tax rate reimburses the State. It is not really free, but that doesn’t seem an onerous bargain. So here’s a beginning, Occupiers. FREE EDUCATION.

4) The tendency for ‘developed’ countries in the last century has been for the State to demand to know more and more about the lives, desires, ambitions and earnings of the people while insisting that the people know less and less about the policies and negotiations of the States. The incursions into the privacy of homes and communities has become far too intrusive. The prime example of this Police State aspect is, of course, London. Canada is racing towards the same anarchy. We in Canada are on the edge of a State totalitarianism. All that is required for the state to become utterly repressive of individual rights is for some ‘crisis’ real or imagined, to rationalize State terrorism and use legislation to justify police repression and imprisonment.

5) Parliaments and other constitutional bodies constantly make new laws without deleting obsolete ones that no longer have justification. Thus they enclose the citizens of their countries and communities in an ever-contracting noose of control that put citizens at mercy of police power. Any cop can find infractions with which to harass somebody whose face , race or attitude doesn’t please him or her. .The‘wisdom of the law’decrees that it is the citizens responsibility to acquaint themselves with all laws governing them- a task that is simply impossible.Even lawyers specialize.

6) Though the institution of the prosecutor’s office stands as a partial guard against misuse the fact is that arrest or charging immediately place a citizen at a disadvantage. The cumulative effect is that the citizenry is intimidated by the police and the growing numbers of extra judicial killings by police are both growing and un-addressed. A man living in a state where the legal structure is so comprehensive he cannot move either for good or bad unless permitted by the state is a man living in a Police State. To be free is to be able to act without restraint.

7) Canada is a good example of a deeply over-regulated society and although the majority of the laws are sold as safeguards protecting the lives of the citizens, in fact they are strangling the entire culture , justifying the adage “Canada is the Great White Mediocrity of the North. “ Working people trying to enjoy their inadequate two weeks annual holidays are hounded by police who pursue them even on lakes, searching boats for alcohol and at their camping sites by game wardens seeking a fish larger or smaller than that dictated by the Great Bureaucracy, or park wardens looking for a broken branch used to roast a wiener. Canadian politicians have the astonishing hide to get up on their hind legs and castigate the Chinese for the proscriptive nature of their governence when in many instances Canada is worse. We elected politicians to free the people, not to enchain them. SO,FREE THE PEOPLE!

8) So we need a radical lessening of the power of the state over the individual. We need regulation to force parliament to delete two old laws for one each new one proposed before the new one can be considerd by parliament: the object being a society that has the minimum possible number of restraints upon its constituents, consonant with efficient social interaction.

9) The Internet.

Governments such as the Harper government of Canada and the U.S.are moving to control and invade the internet and to make it legal for government and police and other ‘authorities’ to access the private internets of citizens and to force ISPs to open their customers computers to police and government. No! Mister Harper. No! No! No! No Obama! No,No,No! The internet is the growing World-Mind, the international cerebrum of an evolving species. It is intrinsically private and therefore international. Legislation by any government to invade the World-Mind privacy therefore instantly invades the privacy of the internet users of all countries and is therefore beyond he jurisdiction of any government. All snooping agencies such as the NSA are criminal violations of our superpsyche. All means of frustrating them,e.g.hacking, sabotage are legitimate and moral.

10 Family justice courts systematically rob children of their fathers by giving sole custody of houses, cars and even the family dog to the mothers. The overarching motivation is to enchain males into the work force doing the killing professions by state enforced financial obligations. The result of these policies, even ignoring their cruelties, and un-naturalness, is that in puberty kids combat Mums for power and almost invariably win, from which stage they are ripe for gangs and street crime. Two parents are needed to raise children. Parenting must be paid by the state and shared equally between genders. This is the only way that will reduce the global disgrace of our disenfranchised and alienated street people and homeless who break our car widows and steal for drugs. So, OWS, DISMANTLE THE FAMILY LAWS SYSTEM AND REWRITE IT . The objects of procreation are the miracle and joys of families, not the supply of indentured industrial work slaves nor the feed troughs of the legal profession..

Let me end this rant by pointing out that although the future may appear hopeless with people having no leverage against the hyperwealthy, IT IS OUR MONEY THEY ARE PLAYING WITH AND WE CAN ALWAYS WITHDRAW IT! The leverage the OWS has is the new power of instant global communication . A global withdrawal of money from banks is a very very powerful tool. But don’t forget our complicity. Things will stop happening when money stops moving—nasty things AND nice things. Be merciful and good, Dear World. But firm—for our childrens’ sakes—and ours.

Copyright by Laurie Payne. No reproduction permitted with the exception of short passages for quotation purposes or with the authors express permission.Thailand January 11th 2012.





Laurie Payne’s Tomorrow Theory and the 99/1 declaration

22 11 2011

Payne’s Tomorrow Theory, The Birth of Change and the 99 to 1 Movement

Dear World, it is minus one Celsius here on the mountain-side. Autumn’s exquisite palette of yellows, reds, oranges, and greens now lies on the ground changing day by day, into a brown carpet that rustles around my feet as I walk. My kids and some friends had come up at Thanksgiving and helped me bring in the wood to heat the house. For awhile the woods rang with the sound of chainsaws and laughter and the maraca–like ‘chok’sounds as logs were thrown into the piles. Now the logs are stacked in the woodsheds. My visitors are gone and I am alone in my funny old home.The solitude is deep, and makes me thoughtful in ways that I don’t find in myself during spring and summer, for now change manifests itself more strongly. While splitting some logs I remembered this poem ‘Axework’ that I wrote a couple of springs ago.

Axework

The winter hangs on,

The snow coming and receding

Like a flirtatious girl,

Over the eager buttercups,

Wearing down my resistance,

Long besieged by winter.

April the twelfth already!

The juncos back and the robin,

Shuffling and rattling

In the early morning as she

Shapes a nest to her body

Beneath my eaves. But I,

I followed a woman

Into the groves of love

Where she changed her mind image

Along our way, and now that closure

Saps my vitality and joy

As I go out to the woodshed

For another log.

 

There is a flaw in every log,

A sometimes invisible divide

Where the shaping stresses of the winds

Pushed too hard on tender wood,

Until the lignin ripped

And tore before healing,

Never to be as strong again,

Though the tree poured sap into the wound

And halted its growth,

As the tissue welded.

It is strange to think

Of the trees apparent serenity and strength

Being suffused with the amber glue of suffering.

 

There is that flaw in every log,

And when the adze finds it as I strike

The bolt separates with a loud “tock”

And is ready for the fire, where matter

Will turn into energy, heat,

In that endless cycle.

And I will sit here, empty,

Warmed by the trees amber tears,

Waiting, until my own solidify;image  

Until they too shine  CIMG2217

Amber and brittle,

Holding torn nerve to torn nerve.

Strange to think

Of peoples apparent serenity and strength

Suffused with deep pain’s desperate epoxy.

 

There is a flaw in every mind

A seldom visible seaming

Where young emotions buffeted by grief

Ripped and bled before scabbing over,

Leaving a place where laughter cannot tread.

There are those wounds in every soul

And when the sharp edge of words finds them

During the axe-work of loving,

The heart splits with a silent scream

And sudden aging takes place.

And then in every single human heart

Throughout the world, minutely unperceived

A Rupture of the soul takes place

And the amber glue pours in

To hide what no one acknowledges

From the sight of friends and children.

The bleak winds of tissue, tearing.

—————0—————-

 

 

 

 

 

 

You see, Dear World, as we grew up in our families , and tribes ,we came to realize that any joy or pain that happened to one of us was shared by all of us. But for some reason that is difficult to understand, we find it hard to realize that we share a global family, and all of its pains and joys eventually form our individual realities and comfort. But the advent of the internet—the growth of our global cerebrum—is daily showing us more and more that we live in a small room; that everyone and everything in our universe is connected. If I stamp my foot the far side of the furthest star begins to send the message back. Things are that tight; that tight. Slowly I came to realize that alongside the absurd folk-mythology of religions seeking an answer to the question “Where did it all come from” they carried crude ethical patterns initially designed to guide us in our search for understanding how to live life happily-the basic wisdoms of the forebears. This gave rise to rules—themselves flawed and needing refinement-about which behaviors produce smooth transfers and passages through this life thing, and which caused us grief, hardship and danger.The religions were antiquainted, corrupt, incompatible with science ( a new religion ), and oppressive and had to go. But we threw out the baby with the bathwater and forgot that certain parts of the religions creeds were useful—some of the moralities of Christianity, the Sermons on the Mount, the understandings of Buddhism on about how holding on to things and ideas causes us pain, and a few from Islam and other beliefs. We forgot that we live in a small room and that unkindnesses, unfairnesses, dishonesties, aggressions, cupidities etcetera resound through our human matrix and discomfort us all. This understanding, which emerges more strongly as we age, swerves the speeding car of material ambitions to the unfamiliar road of learning to be good men and good women. For we human beings achieve our supremacy through our unique intelligence and our unity as a collective co-operative species. Any culture which fails to maximize human intelligence, ability, inspiration, and energies of ‘the lower classes’ is a failing culture. Human talent does not run along the same lines as class and privilege. Geniuses trapped in silence because of financial inequality are an injury to the entire human species. We need and must educate and facilitate the emergence of all abilities in all people. We need it for our survival. Thus the competitive nature of capitalism is destructive, but remains an indispensable tool for material development—hospitals, health programs, opera houses, roads, homes, bridges and a million other aspects of our civilization that need amassed monetary funding. How to equalize the flow of money amongst people without injuring existing brilliance and meritocracy is the major problem we face, and all of our states without exception have failed to solve this problem. If we are lucky, as I was lucky with a hallucinogenic experience of hungos santos in the mountains of the Mazatec Indios of Mexico, we experience a spiritual death and become, like Jerry Garcia, another one of the grateful dead; for in that death we can, for seconds ( or perhaps it was eternities) understand how we and the universe are all causally interconnected. And we can see irrevocably, that the only thing that truly matters is the energy we call “Love”. But we are all human and are all born in eggs of which capitalistic competitiveness ,with that energizing ethos we call meritocracy ( i.e. over- rewarding our brightest) are part of the tessellated pieces of our cultural eggs from which we must emerge to grow.. ( see my previous post ‘Out of the Egg at Last’).

This leads inevitably to our present problem which can be loosely defined as the 99 to 1 problem—the maldistribution of money that is innate to capitalism and threatens to shatter democracy in revolution and replace it with some dangerous form of greater and more destructive state control, such as communism. Politically we are in a condition of inverted totalitarianism at present, but the signals are open for change and I can see them. What are those signals and how can we predict loosely where we are going? Let me introduce you to Laurie Payne’s Theory of Predictable human progress, thus:-

If you, by means of a magic carpet, went back to visit your great great grandfather or mother you might begin chattering to them something like the following “ Grandpa/Ma I read on the internet on Facebook that there was a really great movie on at the moment and I phoned my friend and he/she is going to pick me up and we are going to fly to Nice ,France ,and watch it there.” You glance at your great great grandparents. There are looks of terror, horror and shock on their faces. They are convinced that the family DNA has hit the wall and produced an idiot who must be sent to the lunatic asylum. The more you try to explain the more convinced they become of your lunacy.

What has happened.? No substantive change in the physical world has taken place between their time and yours except these:- All of our languages such as words, thoughts, mathematics, physics, chemistry, technology, and so on have extended themselves like the creepers of vines or more understandably perhaps like parts of a nervous system. As they extended they interacted in places we can describe with the simile ‘synapses.’ When those synapses met they manifested multiple potentials whose number no one can know. But at that point certain things happened. Lets simplify an example for the purposes of illustration. The language of chemistry says “ I have discovered that saltpetre, sulphur and carbon when lit will burn at an amazing speed and produce great heat and gas. The technology language says “When I tried to contain that process in a metal sphere it exploded and killed my lab attendant.” The metallurgist said, “When I made a more powerful flask for the chemist and technologist and they heated it, it blew the metal filling-lid clear across the street!” The blacksmith said “I made a long steel tube for them by wrapping a ribbon of steel around a brass rod and welding it and those other languages used it to direct the lid or lead balls across space.” The carpenter said I have an idea, I will make a wooden handle to hold the rod with, so they wouldn’t hurt their hands when the bang happened.”

A gun had been born. Why a gun and not many other potemntial combinations of the same languages? Because, waiting in the wings of change an artist, a dreamer , a Michelangelo, designing for a warring patron had envisaged the idea before it was born, perhaps in different form but distinguished by the potential of the advancing language synapses to materialize his dreams. Thus, although the physical world of Grandpa and Ma remained the same until today, OUR LANGUAGES DIDNT! When the synaptic connections advanced to the necessary connective synapse state. Spencer Tracy’s T.V wristwatch for example appeared and is called the ‘I Phone.’ The cathode ray tube morphed into television and thence into minute cameras that can enter and travel along our veins and report on our arteries and heart. There are possibly a million other scientific advances that are potentialized at present but we don’t manifest them because no dreamer, artist, futuristic comic editor, science fiction writer has imagined them. When they do it will appear in some form or other. Thus, to simplify Payne’s Theory we can say “When tomorrow arrives it will be dressed in today’s languages.”.Briefly that is Payne’s Tomorrow Theory. Simple enough. In brief, today’s talk becomes tomorrow’s reality. Grandparents, listen to what your children say. They are changing your world!

So where am I leading with this complex thought today in this blog?

Well, as I, an artist/writer, survey our present visions, I see the air stirring with thoughts of revolution. I know that above all we must beware of radicalisms that beget warfare. Alan Watts, as reported in the fascinating book the ‘The White Hand Society by Peter Conners ‘which talks about the 60’s LSD revolution said “I have found in practice that nothing is more violent than peace movements, you know when you get a pacifist on the rampage , nobody can be more emotionally bound and intolerant and full of hatred. And I think this is the thing that many of us understand in common, that we are trying to take moral violence out of all those efforts that are being made to bring human beings into a harmonious relationship’

I was raised during the bombing of London during WW2. I watched and even as a child realised that the entire country had caught that highly contagious and addictive disease called ‘Hate’. I was conscripted into the military and served in Korea in 1950. All of those conflicts were distinguished by epidemic hatred and its fatal distorting violence. I watched in Canada as this disease contorted the Quebec independence movement and then I also witnessed the establishment’s hate war on Hippies in the 60’s and 70’s. More recently we have all seen the women’s movement in the hands of the radical feminists captured by the energising power of hatred that ended with two decades of ruinous gender wars that has left our male/female relationships in ruins.  It is a concurrent human failing. So we must avoid wars and hatred of all manners.

But now I see the rapid advance of the global cerebrum which we call ‘The internet’. I see entrenched and opposed political sides and the beginnings of strong conflicts. I see capital inequality pressing on the needy. And so, I see my children and yours and I want to ensure that the languages we design for the appearance of their tomorrows are more pacifistic, beneficent, more productive than today’s; more co-operative and less competitive: more transparent and above all more understanding that the only value that is worth more, eternally, than any other is the one which we must sustain and preserve at any cost. That value is global LOVE.

Since I appreciate that the global attention span is shortened by the plethora of endless important ideology, I will shorten your suffering by closing this rant with the promise that I will soon continue, and when I do so I will consider the phenomenon of the 99 to 1 movement, the Occupy movement, the Flash demonstration phenomenon and the London Riots. Until then, My Dear World, my love to you. Be kind to each other, Love, Laurie.

.





Requiem for a Traveller

27 07 2011

Ruins

I’ll visit no more ruins.

Ponder no more vanished time’s

Sliding second’s shadows.

Today’s dancing vaudeville

Has me entranced,

And the umbrous shapes

Of scimitars upon the walls

Hold no thrall: Today’s

Kettle is tomorrow’s antique.

I’ll enjoy the future’s antiquity

Today! And to hell with the past!

Is this street , this sunlight

Not enough? And here, in this dream

I move, as lightly as a feather

Blown by this wind or another,

Or sit, crushed like antipasto

Against the shattered windows

Of rickety buses with bad breath,

Buses that never knew the meaning

Of "Full"–tired old buses

That have spent

Too many drunken nights

Upon the town to be loved,

But can still giggle

At every hole in the road,

And who lead,

To darkened streets of mud.

There, where the frightened

Streetlights dare not walk

I wander, finding those

I have come to meet–

Quiet uncomplicated people

With calloused hands.

But then, just as I am

Becoming known, just as voices

Begin to call from

The patient doorways,

"Aye Lorenzo! Lorenzo Que tal?"

The wind picks me up

And I am gone again

Never having realized

When I began this journey

Within the self, this drug

Called travel, would lead me to such

Isolated places; would change

Me from my fellow humans to become

Such a strange incomprehensible

Animal. And now

The walls are shrinking,

Reality is thin, so thin;

The future is echoing

Like a dog in an alley

And only the bamboo

Of the flute understands me.

It is vision that sets a person apart. Every day is full of imperatives—quotidien necessities of sheer survival that drag us into the fight for food, shelter, rent, taxes, money; during which, unobserved, the dogs of time run away with minutes, hours days and eventually, our lives. But what paean can we sing for those who merely survive and plod their weary ways to death? It is to the great cathedrals, the opera houses, the art galleries, to great architecture, to Stonehenge, Ankor Wat, Borobodur, to Shakespeare that we make our pilgrimages. For the rest of the dazzling constructs of our pullulating species, we recognize achievements of survival. This is the distinction between high-rise developers and Antonio Gaudi, between the craftsmanship of Mozart, and the driven ecstasy of Beethoven. The name we give to that difference is Vision. For those creators show us all how we could be if we had what it takes.When we surrender our existences to survival, necessity, we have traded our spiritual lives for bread. Every person has a death. Some of us have a life. Some people eat too much. Some of us are driven by an insatiable hunger called Vision. Then we wander the world searching. This post is an obituary for an extraordinary woman who wanted to see and understand it all.

                              CIMG2159

Patricia Kessler.Swiss mountain bicycle tour guide and intrepid traveller.

I too have wandered and searched, and in 2002 find myself in the tiny Lao village of Muong Ngoi which has one road half a mile long that goes nowhere, and is accessible only by river-boat. During the Vietnam War American bombers of the Secret Airforce scattered cluster bombs across the countryside which, to this day continue to kill and maim children and animals. It was an exquisite and serene little village nestled between the karst mountains through which the pristine Nam Ou river runs on its way to its meeting with the Mekong at Luang Prabang . The gentle country folk whose lives had never changed for thousands of years have now forgotten the war years, which they never understood even when they survived only by cowering for years in the caves in the limestone mountains. There is still no electricity and no phones. But now great unexploded bomb cases serve as gate posts for their houses, or, split in two, as fishing boats. They feed us travelers and make us welcome for pathetically small sums, and never discriminate between world travelers and the young of the pilots who crippled so many of their children. In the evenings the young Western travelers gather around fires, smoked ganja, drink Beer Lao and local whisky, which cost less than beer, and chat. Muong Ngoi has not yet been ‘discovered’ by tourists – a process which invariably destroys such small destinations. And there, one night, I meet a personable young woman in her mid to late thirties. She is at the end of a relationship with a young Thai man though later I came to realize she was still under his spell because Patricia was not one of the modern young and beautiful for whom new relationships are like Thrift store hats , to be discarded after trying them on. And though I rapidly realize where her heart lay, I am attracted to her, and she is very friendly with me despite my age. We hang around the fire pits and talk for a couple of weeks before she told me she was going to Chiang Kong, in north Thailand to meet up with her ex. I too am fresh out of a relationship which is still hurting a lot. But in truth I guess, we both did our best. In any case it was painful and I am feeling beaten up. My self esteem isn’t any kind of esteem at all. When Patricia left I feel sad, and the endless backpacker chatter about directions, destinations and dysentery, is suddenly more than usually boring. Our accommodations are tiny wooden rooms with thin wooden partitions in larger huts. It is hard to sleep. My neighbours on one side, a young French couple, made love all night and talked loudly. Sometime before dawn I drop off and wake to the sounds of the morning- three walls snoring, ducks chuckling and laughing uproariously at some fowl joke, a short muffled drumbeat of wings on feathered breasts, then a hammer blow, followed by its echo from across the river; a motor coughs, falters and then dies. Voices rise and fall. Pots bang in a nearby kitchen. A child cries gently- a plaintive mourning for sleep disturbed. Then more motors start on the riverboats and generators rattle into life as a tranquil village, hooked on tourist money, springs to the task of destroying the peace the travelers with their poisonous money, have come to enjoy. Suddenly I want to see Patricia again. I pack my tiny rucksack, pay my bills, farewell my friendly hosts, and go down to the landing.

It is a sweet river morning, the water flowing like a silent dream of jade. The night mists are lifting off the mountains that rear up on either side, revealing first the fluffy plumage of the slopes, the drooping sweeps of the bamboos between rosewood, and dead teak’s white stripes, and then, seriatim, the sugar-loaf peaks. The local passengers and a few travelers board the boats and after much shoving and shouting two of our boats leave , radically overloaded- I with no desire for early morning swimming, though the Nam Ou is a pricelessly beautiful and pristine river. All too soon we arrive at Non Khiew.

The Toyota pick-up (songthiew) is, as usual, packed. I have standing room on the tailgate clinging to the metal canopy as it swerves through exquisite countryside. After two and a half hours the road becomes more and more pitted until , at last, it is nothing but a strip of crushed rocks under perpetual construction. Twelve inch boulders dot the surface as the curves are redefined as frantic swerves. I brace with both hands to the canopy. The sun drops and it becomes cold and dark.

Finally we arrive at Oudmoxai (pronounced as Oudmacai) a straggled mix of peasant wood homes and more modern, shabby concrete ones. The entire place has a destitute appearance of ultimate urban poverty. Street lighting is non existant. An occasional single 40watt light burns in stores. If Pat is here there is no way I will be able to find her. I doubt if there is a single person in the town who speaks English or even French. I check into a clean slightly expensive little guest house, drop my rucksack and go out to find somewhere to eat. There appears to be nothing attractive in the food stalls. I walk through the darkening night to the end of the town and then turn back. I feel lonely, convinced that I will never see her again and irritated with myself, for not deciding to accompany her when she first announced she was going to meet her ex-boyfriend in Chiang Kong. As I cross back along the darkness of an unlit bridge someone comes the other way.

patricia

                      patricia in blue

 

When we are a few feet away I realize it is Patricia. I cannot imagine another western woman intrepid enough to walk alone in the dark through such a strange and forbidding foreign town. My heart soars. She has booked a bed in a dormitory at the rear of a restaurant. I agree to join her and we go and collect my bag, pay for the room ,and eat a wretched meal in the restaurant.

 

It turns out to be a Chinese-run restaurant/massage/ brothel/gambling den. In the foyer is a T.V. on full volume showing Chinese swish-and-miss kung-fu movies. In the room next door to ours on one side is a gambling table at which five men and four women talk, play cards and argue vociferously. We buy a bottle of Lao whiskey for the equivalent of U.S.$1.50. There is no lock on the door to our dormitory. The switch for the single 2ft neon tube is on the wall of the room outside. In the room on the other side of us, two men sit among the desolate mess of their belongings and smoke a bamboo water pipe. I jam a chair under the door-handle to serve as a lock. Fully clothed we turn in into separate cots. The noise from the gambling den on the other side of the cardboard wall is intense. But we are both very tired and I fall asleep at last, only to be woken by a rat which has scampered over the ceiling and found a sounding board to rasp his teeth against. I get up, stand on the bed and pound on the ceiling. The rat stops. I go back to sleep. The rat returns . This game continues intermittently for some hours. At 4a.m. it wakes me again. I repel it one more time and go outside to pee. The toilets have been locked. We are completely locked in. If there had been a fire we would have been trapped. The filth of the place is difficult for a Westener to imagine without seeing it. I smashed the lock with a shovel head, used the toilet and went back to sleep.

Now, at 7a.m. we are in the bus for Luang Nam Tha standing in the dirt compound that serves for a bus station. The bare ground is covered with plastic garbage. Apple and orange sellers line one side. The songthiews and old Chinese Lanjian trucks that serve as buses line the other side. As the sun rises above the morning mist the Buddhist Wat (temple) on the hill above Oudmoxai appears, its golden spires shining above the tacky city below. The bus fills and fills and fills with tribes-people and their bundles, and children, and bags of bamboo shoots, eggs, oranges, live chickens and piglets and vegetables. Pat, in the seat behind me is almost covered by an old tribeswoman with a face like a crumpled brown-paper bag. She holds two tiny mice-like infants. At last the ‘bus’ moves –one and a half hours late –and begins the five hours of linked S-bends up into the highlands, passing dozens of simple primitive villages of tiny bamboo houses on stilts, like hen houses. Beneath each one the locals are squatting in the dust around small fires, eating, talking, searching each other’s hair for lice. The increasingly bumpy road is lined with men hauling wood with Chinese three-wheel tractors. Crocodile files of women carrying large firewood bundles with head-tumps walk the roads to their daily work in the paddy and vegetable fields. These are scenes that take one back thousands of years of simple subsistence living, and it is difficult to understand the mentality of the American bomber pilots dropping cluster bombs on them simply because their government was Communist, especially when their targets didn’t even know what a government was.

At last we arrive at Nam Tha, tired from bracing through hours of endless curves and badly in need of a shower. We take a room together, and go out to explore the paddy fields on the town’s skirts, and finally stop to eat in an attractive wooden restaurant with a wide roofed terrace. The floors are a mix of mahogany, rosewood and teak. The ceilings are made of tightly woven bamboo matting. We share a som tum( green papaya salad) and a dish of fried vegetables with sticky rice, accompanied by a couple of bottles of excellent Lao beer. We get a little drunk on the remains of the whiskey and talk about her relationship.  Her anxiety not to avoid missing him gives her story the lie. Then we turn in. In the darkness I reach out and find her hand, which she clasps. At sometime because of the fatigue of our long brutal journey, our fingers slide apart in the night.

We wake in a rush to clean up and catch the bus which is alleged to leave at 8a.m.for Houay Xai (Why Sai). The organization at the bus station is non-existent except for a man behind a window in a shack who takes money, has no English or French, and knows nothing. With painstaking interrogation I discover that there are no buses capable of taking the road. Twenty five foreigners and as many locals mill around one beaten-up old Toyota songthiew with no trace of tread on any of the tires. It is already packed. Patricia is tense and agitated. She has her heart set on reaching Chiang Kong in Thailand by the evening. After a lot of milling about, another pick-up arrives. We install ourselves in the back, our packs on the roof. Then we wait. And wait. And wait. More foreigners arrive. One of the ‘officials’ orders us all off the Toyota. Some get off. I refuse. No one has any common language to make any comprehension of the situation. A French lad and I sit tight until another pick-up arrives. This one is newer and actually has some tread on the tires. We disembark and transfer our luggage to the roof of the new one- and wait and wait and wait. Pat, normally sunny, is uptight and her anxiety to get to Chiang Kong tells me about the still hot relationship, even though, when talking about him she adds “He may not be there. Its not important.” The pick-up doesn’t move. Once again we are told to get off and surrender the space to locals and once again I refuse. Another pick up is found after the ‘official’ goes off on a motor-bike to look for one. This one is a decade older with infinite rust and tires that are utterly innocent of tread. On a promise that it will depart ‘NOW’ we again disembark. At least, by this time almost all passengers have left and we only have seven people in the back. Finally we leave but head off in the opposite direction—but it turns out it is merely to gas up, and to everyone’s relief, it leaves and begins to negotiate the appalling road of broken rock and unavoidable potholes, some of which are large and deep enough to accommodate a wallowing water buffalo. In the back we bounce and jostle and cling to the stanchions of the canopy.

The road winds uphill, diminishing in quality as it rises. It is sporadically lined with the same stilt legged bamboo ‘chicken houses’of the local’s bedrooms. In contrast the scenery improves until we are passing through magnificent virgin forest of teak, rosewood, mahogany and bamboo clumps with its elegant, drooping tips. A large area is national park. Huge looping liana vines give the forest the feeling of a Tarzan movie. We ford thirteen creeks and mini rivers, occasionally with water up to the tops of the wheels, pausing to drop off bundles here and there, and once everyone has to disembark to help push out a Chinese three wheel tractor that is stuck in the middle of a creek. At another the current begins to slide us sideways. After 70 kilometers or so, which take four and a half hours, and after it passes a coal mine, the road surface improves a little, but high clouds of dust obscure most of the scenery, covering what was visible, including us, with a dreary coating of sepia dust, that swirls through the open back of the pickup like a desert storm. Finally around five thirty we pulled into Houay Xai. It has been more like a nine hour bull riding session than anything I can imagine. We unload; all the farangs ( foreigners) helping each other to pass down the luggage .

“Will you try to cross tonight if the immigration is open?” I ask Pat. She says that she will. I sense the urgency she has concealed , the strength of her attraction to her ‘ex’. Perhaps its best you go tomorrow” I console her to mollify her for the delays that she feels I caused —perhaps if I had not stayed at our breakfast restaurant to buy us an en-route meal we would have caught the first pick-up to leave.

“Why?”

“Because then you will be able to shower, and meet him fresh and clean. She considers this briefly and then strides off to the Lao immigration office at the edge of the Mekong. The sun is just dropping behind the distant horizon laying a blazing carpet of shifting vermillion across the river. I accompany her to the immigration office where her exit visa is stamped . She hands me some spare change of Kip.

“ I wont need these”

“For the boat.

“I have enough, take it.” I take the two notes of Kip.

“Can I have a drink of whiskey before I go?”

`“Of course.” I unpack the whiskey and she takes a long swig.

“Take another.” She takes another. I put the bottle back in my bag. She comes towards me,

“Goodbye.” I know it means ‘If he is there I won’t see you again.’ We exchange an awkward pre-lovers kiss, swerving at the last minute from cheeks to lips, but only half touching our mouths.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at twelve o’clock.”

“O.K. I say “I hope everything goes in the way of your heart,” I add untruthfully. In my own heart I want her to find her own comfort with mine, but fear keeps reminding me of the improbability of this, even though , at Luang Nam Tha after half a bottle of whiskey we settled into our twin beds entwining our fingers. She runs down the slope to the longboat where a Lao examines her visa and tells her she needs another stamp. She walks up to the office where it was confirmed that she was indeed stamped.

“Want another hit?”

“O.K.” She takes another mouthful of whiskey, turns back down the ramp and then, abruptly, returns and hugs me.

“O.K.” I say as she walks away. “Every cloud has a silver lining” I call tritely pointing to the West where the dying sun has outlined a jagged cumulus in a border of shining gold. She boards the boat and once again I wonder why I wasn’t going with her.

The motor starts and the boat pulls from the dock. She waves. I wave back. I take out my little bamboo flute to play for her, but my face is distorted by the immanence of tears, so I cannot make the correct embouchure. Still, I make a few inept notes. She waves and I return it. The boat heads across the Mekong. By now she is an indistinct gray shape in the bow of the boat, but I can see the wave and again return it. Finally she passes beyond vision. I pick up my bag and walk up past the immigration office. I have to acknowledge a strong feeling of desolation. I walk back along the main street of Houay Xai and check in at the clean cheap Friendship Guest house. In the room I regard my image in the mirror. The dust has rejuvenated my hair, hiding the gray beneath a dusty sepia. I shower, turning the water to mud, change into my only other clothes, shorts and T shirt, and go back to the main street Chinese restaurant, where there is enough light to write. I think of their meeting and lovemaking and a deep sense of loneliness invades me. The remains of the whiskey bottle beckons me. I return to my pure-white ,insipid room at the Friendship and eat half a triazolam tab.There are times when anesthesia is friendly. And I remember that this is the third time that I have come to the banks of the Mekong to deal with love-pain. It is almost as though this great muddy river is an emotion drain into which I can pour all my suffering and let it flow slowly downstream. Early in the morning I cross over to Chiang Kong in Thailand.

The Mekong is a sultry lover, rising late and clothed in a filmy dress. On land the people are up and about by seven, but the river slumbers on and even in the afternoon at times the hills are misted, and the sounds of boats comes muted through fogs. Then at night, suddenly the frogs sing.

I check into a beautiful Guest House on the banks, its cabins staggered at different heights and connected by wooden steps beneath the massive sweeps of banana trees. Above my bed is a little photo of Leonado de Caprio and Kate Winslow. Their forheads are touching. Beneath them is the word “Titanic.” Pat’s ex has not shown up. She has decided to go to the South. I am the sole occupant of this beautiful rustic place crouched beneath the banana’s great, green paddles. In the evening I sit and watch the river and sip at a bottle of Lao whiskey ($1.75 a bottle ) and play my harmonica. I play a sweet and soulful song for my female life- companion I now know will never be: a song of regret at my unaltered inability to know what a woman wants in a man; a song of sadness for my blindness, for the hole in my heart that will never be filled, a song for the paradox that the nicer I become in life the less attractive I appear to be. It is a song for the deep aching hospital of the human heart. And it is a song for Patricia.

                   ICIMG2168

Patricia and me at the Riverside Guest House

 

After she leaves I get a little drunk, or maybe more than a little, and re-enact my life’s past journey. I am thrown then into a whirlwind of people moving in all directions, touching each other momentarily, sometimes with repulsion, sometimes with a pathetic attraction, doomed to be broken by the force of our movements.Thus we recognize each other suddenly as being the ones we are all searching for–the deep mate of the starving soul. But the movement is too strong and we cannot cling. The whirlwind takes us all and scatters us like fragments of paper in a fan. There is really no holding on, the velocity of our energies is so great.. But we recognize in these brief moments of touching and separating again, the possibility of that searched-for one—and the impossibility. Oh God! How much joy there is and beneath it, how much sadness, For to know that The Someone is indeed out there but ungraspable is worse in some ways than being convinced of the opposite. Nothing is as cruel as hope when it is so hopeless, nothing so desperate as our clinging hands and the flashes of energy made, as our outstretched fingers slip from the other’s. Yes, we are marshaled like a determined army of pilgrims, eyes resolutely fixed ahead and around us, despite the knowledge we all have that the goal of our pilgrimage lies, somehow, in the other direction—nowhere less than within us all, the one place we fear to look, because of our inability to regard the inscrutable, and merciless gaze, of a terrible solitude. So we cling together in groups and affirm, collectively, the value of our communality, whilst all the while inwardly acknowledging, the terrible sovereignty of that solitude of our souls. But what a brave show we make of that pathetic denial! How brightly our voices sing! How well we play the game of eternal togetherness even as the energy of our search, scatters us further and further. We are islands of love, growing closer and closer apart.

What are we doing there, whatever it is? What is the nature of the force that causes us all to enter this shifting velocity? These and a thousand other questions haunt us and preoccupy us in those long nights- that and the tears we shed as our desperate bonds sunder. But no answers surface from our vortex of movement, though we talk about the nature of our diaspora as though it was controllable, could we only name and categorize it, or perhaps even publish it in a book. All of which preoccupations are hopeless; there is no surcease of the pain, no cessation of the flow, no escaping the inevitable centrifugal drift towards the perimeter over which seriatim, those before us, disappear. Oh God! We called to the darkness beyond. Help us Help us! But no answer returns from that edge. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us . Teach us to sing in that solitude, Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!

Later Patricia and I became fast friends who met each year in Bangkok and went deeper and deeper into the most remote places of Asia. She was the ultimate travelling companion, fearless, indefatigable , democratic and happy to crash for the night in any welcoming peasant’s hovel. She would trek all day through wild country and primitive civilizations, haggle with and befriend any local and at night, wolf down a whole chicken, grasping it in both hands like the hungry, healthy animal she was. Last spring Patricia died of cancer at age 41. During her last night our spiritual fingers slipped apart again. Happy travelling Patricia. This post is my requiem for you. Laurie July 19th 2011. Requiiescat in pace

Copyright. No part of this post may be reproduced in any medium except with permission from the author,and remains the intellectual property of Laurie Payne.





Pat-Pong Rd

15 05 2011

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Well Dear World,

Do I have your attention? Hold on a moment. I have just been reading about nuclear fusion–or rather trying to in between my computer crashes. I have to confess that these concurrent glitches e.g. ( ‘Gmail cannot display this page:’ or ‘Internet explorer cannot display this page. It may be down or have  moved somewhere else!’) (irresponsibly*) (my asterisk) These glitches have definitely put a dent in my faith in that wonder machine the confuser, that is already in charge of running seemingly unreliable nuclear reactors, murderous flying drones with their ‘collateral damage’, our international financial systems that crash and overnight transform the savings of remote peasants into debits and, of course, nuclear weapons with their computerized safety programs designed to prevent our blowing our world to ratpoo. At times, it appears that we have so deeply delegated survival to scientific mechanization, that tactical speculation about how to live, what to do for a living, what to eat or drink, where to raise our young, and even what to teach them, have all become so compromised that the mere consideration of considering is utterly pointless.

We live in the post-physical age beneath the merciless shadow of the mechanical Moloch, which, whether we like it or not, will consume a certain proportion of our children, and whose scientific omnipotence has made our very bodies obsolete, beyond the responsibility of keeping the fingers sufficiently agile to hit computer keys and press buttons.

So what should we be learning to survive in a world where only eight and nine year olds know how to get into adult-proofed food packages, open bags of potato chips, get the caps off bottled drinks, manipulate computers, learn their lexicons sufficiently rapidly to keep up with the pack until a fresh generation—this time in their sevens and eights– supersedes them on the technological learning curve, and leaves the rest of us doddering on the brink of utterly useless obsolescence?

Am I feeling my age? Well, yes, Dear World. I am. I do think I might have a wee touch of post-physical-age-obsolescence-syndrome coming on, and it isn’t comfortable. Is there anything that I can take for it that isn’t vacuum wrapped in impenetrable plastic, and does not require that I learn an entirely new language of technical jargon and acronyms to understand the microscopic instructions in seven languages, written in red ink on a black background?

Robbie Burns, the Scot’s darling poet said “A mon is borrn wi his cods in a cleft stick and maun wise ‘em oot as best he can” –another dystopian worldview! It is perhaps pointless to imagine what he would have said had he lived in a time when radioactive power plants, were seeding the heavens with radioactivity, and the internet page warning people down-wind about it ‘might have ‘moved somewhere else permanently’- whilst the inventor of this software system was now a billionaire and had no intention of telling us where they went. By the bye, I really get off on that ‘permanence’ that is seducing my web-pages. I find it quaint, to say the least, that in this age of Buddhist impermanence, there is a little ‘somewhere’ that Bill Gates and company know about, crammed with fugitive web-pages, (many of them mine) locked perpetually into pristine immobility, like quaint and frozen mammoths from prehistoric pasts. And Mistah Gates, Suh, he doan feels no obligation whatever to tell me where my web-pages may have gone to, or how to escape his mazes. He even has the effrontery to ask me , when I hit ‘Help’, if I have paid for my Windows!

Listen Mister Gates, you arrogant young nerd. Give me back my web pages that I have paid you and yours so frigging much for, or I’ll sic the bikers on you and have them break all your Windows. Have I paid? Have I ever paid! Grrrrrr! Forgive me World. I am usually a pacifistic, gentle man. It must be my existential impotence getting to me. It isn’t merely the fact that our world is becoming daily more complicated and difficult to evaluate, and that that difficulty informs our self knowledge in a progressively evolving manner. It is also because the way in which we grade our life efforts is not only vastly different from that of our grand parents, encompassing activities, professions, and callings, which didn’t exist before; but also because our moral and ethical value systems are also in a constant state of flux.

A modern air-space controller is looking at a totally newer field of evaluation than anything that ever happened before, when he is deciding whether or not, his has been a life worth living. The only common factors with yesterday’s world, apart from moral precepts, is how much money has been earned. For it appears that today the entire world runs on the paper we call money— dirty paper most of the time. The world runs on dirty paper. People do the most incredible things in exchange for dirty paper—robbery, rape, murder, prostitution, labouring and on and on—a universality that confers the status of magic on what are , frequently in emerging countries, truly filthy little pieces of paper, given in exchange for a most extraordinary range of activities.

And so it evolves that a man who has, by means of high energy or intelligence or both, hoarded a great deal of this trash, can regard himself as successful. Isn’t that strange! Providing you have enough dirty paper you can get away with just about anything and regard yourself as a successful being. You can be a mercenary soldier and for years shoot other humans for dirty paper and with it buy all that your spouse and offspring need or desire and the world will approve you .There are, of course certain moral limitations, but they are few and flexible. The people you shoot shouldn’t be nationals of a friendly state or children of someone more murderous than yourself. Apart from that it’s Rafferty’s rules.

That being said, some things never change. Though a person may break every man-made law and still have a significant and enjoyable life, there is one cosmic law which cannot be ignored by everyone without human life ceasing for ever on the planet. That law is simple; reproduce. Fortunately in this task humanity has an ally in Ma Nature, a devious old manipulator who has designed females to be in oestrus once a month, and males to be in oestrus permanently, and in so doing created what has been described as the world’s oldest profession: prostitution.

The interplay of buyer and seller in that dance, manifests in an almost endless variety of exchanges from hyper secretive and covert, to brazenly ostentatious and outrageous. It morphs into its most ugly, surreptitious, counter-productive and destructive modes, under the hands of religions and governments attempting to eliminate it. It is highly exploitative of males and females alike and simultaneously highly profitable for some men and some women, who are capable of earning very high quantities of that dirty paper, without feeling injured by the Puritanical prejudice, and vilification of their peers-who sometimes are themselves both ‘whores’ and ‘pimps,’ (both of which labels are sexist and unfair, and should be avoided by kind people). Furthermore, with little imagination, some members of both genders find a solace in the oldest profession that is otherwise denied them by unattractive appearances or mental handicaps. Others of both genders are injured. Like drugs the oldest profession penetrates the highest levels of society and the lowest. Whether we like it or not, whatever our opinions, it is. It is us, always has been us, and always will be us.

One of the most colourful markets for sex in the world is in Thailand on Pat Pong Rd in the heart of Bangkok. At this stage I must point out that although there is prostitution in every large capital in the world, Pat Pong is not typically Thai. In fact Thais are a very conservative and restrained people who strongly disapprove of any egregious display of any emotion whether it is love, lust, anger, or excitement. Historically prostitution was restricted to massage parlours. During the Vietnam War the Americans used Bangkok as a Rest and Recuperation centre and Pat Pong’s raunchy sex centre grew in response to American money, combined with the unrestrained sexuality of the West.

That lengthy introduction having been said, let’s get on with the interesting account of my night on the town down Pat Pong, with my good friend Carey and a new friend George from Sydney who was spending ten days in the city. And so it was that the three of us, whom we named the The Three Muskytears came to be walking along Pat Pong Road one evening after watching a whole street morph in little more than an hour from a nondescript side road linking two city streets. It became a crowded boulevard of stalls down its centre, selling literally everything, with open door’d night clubs on either side emitting loud music and the soft blandishments of extremely attractive and scantily clad young women. Above the doors in garish stuttering neon, the logos of the establishments signalled to us to enter. Unsurprisingly we chose the door beneath a large circular neon saying “Super Pussy and passed into a living exegesis of the expression ‘culture shock.’

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Impressionism

It was like a reverse time warp into Paris during the Impressionist period. For awhile, because of the light change it was difficult for my eyes to identify form. Everything melted into a swirling cloud of bright red and blue. Heavy hip-hop music from massive wall to ceiling speakers, extinguished all other sound. It was a chemical explosion, an aurora, a street riot, it was Gauguin, Monet, Van Gogh, an East Indian wedding. It was sensory rape. And as my mind cleared slightly I made out a long room with chairs along the sides facing a raised platform down the middle on which, clad only in very skimpy bikinis, designed to emphasize the camel hoofs of their mons, were about a dozen exquisitely beautiful young Thai women, who couldn’t have raised an ounce of fat between them all.

Now let me tip-toe as lightly as I can through the bone-yard of the Western gender wars and try to position myself as kindly as I can in a neutrality . I am a white male—guilty by my birth and hormones of relentless attraction towards beautiful young women. By my age guilty also of being ‘too old, ‘ and dammed in perpetuity by the insatiable ache of desire and hunger. They on their part are not condemned for being ‘too young’ but are socially censured for their profession. I am not among their critics. Their bodies belong to them absolutely and without reservation. What they choose to do with them, providing they don’t injure anyone else, is entirely their business.

At one time, when I was a soldier in the front line in Korea, I slept with a professional girl who was procured for me by the military, before I was sent back into combat. I think both she and I liked each other—in fact I fell in love with her, romantic youth that I was. I have no doubt that she and her family were all hungry as were most young women and the men in Korea at that time . And I too was hungry with the savage need of young romance and the adumbrant fear of death that combat can generate. If there was any guilty party in that relationship it was undoubtedly the military, who conscripted me into the ranks of murderers, fed me amphetamines that generated a post combat habit, hired the girls as hookers to furbish the British Commonwealth Military Division’s Rest and Recuperation Camp, and then discarded all of us.           

The reasons why some women get into prostitution are as  IMG_5339-1_thumb

numerous as there are players in that game. Some of them, especially in developing cultures, are sold into prostitution—sometimes by their impoverished parents- and these women are victims of our ruthless societies. Some enlist because they like the money and clothes and affluent lifestyles, and some get into it because, like me and ninety five percent of all humans , they like sex, and are impatient with the protocols and dances that surround human mating with so much frustration, hypocrisy, guilt, fear, and deception.

I do not go with prostitutes for a variety of reasons. I am an older man who, as an infant, was subject to the brutal sexual mutilation which we call circumcision. Bereft of his protective foreskin, a man’s penile sensitivity has diminished from constant chafing of clothing by the time he is around fifty years of age or later,  with the result that achieving an orgasm while wearing a condom is frequently impossible. He then has the choice of asking for ‘unprotected’ sex, which is now considered criminal in some strongly feminist cultures like Sweden, or having sex only in monogamous relationships, which makes the already difficult mating game harder than ever. This is like condemning a woman who has suffered a clitorectomy because she doesn’t have orgasms. But no one wants to look at it like that. It is easier to condemn men than try to reform the atavistic practices of the medical profession.

I have other reasons for not availing myself of these lovely women. Since the advent of AIDS unprotected sex is dangerous anywhere and doubly so in Asia. Then again when I mentally change roles I don’t think I would like to have sex with some people I was not attracted to and, also, I have a daughter whom I love very deeply. I must treat all women with the same love I have for her and I would much prefer that she did not walk that road, it is far too dangerous. There are men ‘out there’ whose minds have been messed up by religions; foolish, unkind men. There are less conflicting and less risky ways of surviving in this world.

All this to explain to you why, when the lights began to clear in my head and I took a seat in the Super Pussy club, I had no intention of buying. There is, however, since feminism, no neutral ground around things sexual and males carry a baggage of conferred culpability merely for being male; this translates into feelings of guilt and awkwardness. As with most other men since puberty, a large part or my mind has been occupied with thoughts of females, femininity, sex, romance, love, and sexual hunger. If there is any one quality that distinguishes men from women, it is men’s inexpugnable sexual hunger and conflicting emotions. Oh Dear World! How that hurts!

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The girls were truly lovely to watch as they wriggled their hips and bums so I sat contentedly with my hands in my lap as George and Carey bought drinks which were, of course, outrageously expensive. The hip-hop rattled around in my head like boulders in a barrel. After awhile of protracted eye contact the girl closest to me on the stage stepped down into the recessed path between the chairs and the stage. She hooked her thumbs into her bra and popped her breasts into my face. Well, beginning, I guess, at birth, I have seen a lot of breasts in my life, though not often so close or so soon after meeting . But I have never shared the North American mammary fixation. So I rested my hands in my lap and occasionally looked up into her face. Perhaps I was not registering enough interest or excitement, because after awhile she took a step up so that her crotch was right in my face. . Hmmm! Now what? Where should I look now? A prepubescent child in the back of my brain was nervously eyeing the door, preparatory to cutting and running for it. But too late! She hooked her thumbs into her bikini and pushed it down to her knees. Oh My God! What do I say, do, now?

Here I was , with slight variation, delivered of the dream my starving mind had fantasized so many years, now a mere six inches away, and suddenly I didn’t know what to do with it. Was this the Perfect, the Super Pussy? Should I abandon all civilized protocols, scoop her off her feet , gather her up and pack her off to a room out of the back somewhere? Or should I play safe and pretend I hadn’t seen anything and, kind of, you know just casually look away? Who me ? What pussy? Did she really? No! that wouldn’t wash. Perhaps I should just brass it out and stare right at it as though I was a porno movie director checking one of his stars. No. Not very plausible. And the reason I am so red in the face as a matter of fact, is just the harsh red lighting in here. Anyway I am Gay. And why was I sitting in a Thai brothel called Super Pussy if I was Gay?…No , O.K. so I’m not Gay it just—-hmmm, um,

Well , yes, it probably could be quite pleasant if it weren’t for all the other people in the room. I turned to my right. George was in a similar situation to me except he was getting a gynaecological display that was pure second year Med School . So I just sat there like some open mouthed country hick and yes…I did look at it . Well all right , maybe I stared— a bit. I guess I did stare a little. Just a little, you know. All right! I stared at it. Goggled at it. Dammit it might have been the perfect one leaving me with a lifetime of regret that I had ignored it.

Perhaps I perved at it. All right, I leched at it if that’s how you want to describe it! What the hell was I supposed to do? It occupied eighty percent of my visual field. But I kept my hands to myself—politely resting in my lap. I am a product of the eighties and nineties. I know how easily a charge of sexual assault can be slapped on a man, and how prejudiced the justice system is in these cases. I’m from Canada, dammit; the country where a mere look can earn a guy ten years hard. Maybe I did look a long time—a little long time . But I didn’t touch, O.K? At all! I didn’t touch!

But then, after a small time, my lissom dancer swivelled round and, bending over, displayed the same treat from behind and, to ensure that I understood the nature of the transaction we were enacting she sat down on my hands. Which was more than my beleaguered brain could handle. “Mr Payne” a cold voice snarled in the back of my brain. (It was the judge). “You say this scenario was not of your making or desire. Did you, at any time, attempt to escape, physically or verbally? My terror must have registered with my dancer. She stood up, pulled up her bikini and re-ascended the stage. Real men were hard to find these days!

Well Dear World. I thought about all this a lot. I had walked into the club fully aware of the nature of the bait and I cannot complain about what followed. My dancing girl did not in any way or form attempt to deceive me. On the contrary:, in evaluating the way she was conducting her business, she must be judged as absolutely fair and honest. There are many incredibly beautiful boy-girl transvestites in Bangkok where there is far more tolerance than in the West, and many of them, like the girls, and every employee in the west, sell themselves for a livelihood. The nimble little twist and duck of my dancing girl left me no doubt about which gender I would have been choosing, had that been my wish. The advertising had not been deceptive and, unlike the makers and vendors of candies, cookies, and a hundred other commodities, globally marketed in miniscule portions in large semi-void containers by ‘respectable’ retailers, “what I seed would have been what I got.”

Furthermore the vendors of watches, and jewellery and leather goods and trinkets and souvenirs, that filled the hundreds of stalls each night along Pat Pong, enjoyed a busy market that owed its popularity entirely to the dancers of both sexes. The following night George regaled us with a lovely story. He had taken three of the dancers to his spacious room in a nearby high-end hotel. The girls had a wonderful time, jumped into the massive bath together and soaped and splashed and laughed and helped themselves to the extensively furbished bar. When they left giggling they took every bottle of Johnny Walker and other drinks, all the bath robes and towels and even the soap. They had a marvellous time. We all agreed that it was good to hear for once a story about the oldest profession, that wasn’t darkened by the sere clouds of Western religious Puritanism. And the Super Pussy?  Dear World, every story of human attraction seems to have those thoughtful endings that touch upon our loneliness, and our  failure to grasp the vital moment that leads to perfect happiness.

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought

And enterprises of great pitch and moment,

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action. Hamlet.

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Madonna

Was that the Perfect One, the Super Pussy, who, bored by my passivity, turned and re-ascended the stage leaving me with the scrubbed visions of Madonna. I’ll never know. She was very very pretty.

Photos by Carey Linde. www.Linde photos.coms

Copyright Laurie Payne. May 11th 2011. reproduction with request.





Out of the Egg at Last

9 02 2011

paintings by Salvador Dali

 

Water

The expression "Whoever first discovered water it was almost certainly not fish" is a way of saying that our ambient culture is invisible to us until by chance, shock, magic, chemistry or rigorous exploration, we get beyond it and are able to examine it from without. It is seldom a rapid process. Moreover escape from the confines of our own culture usually has a sequential combination of causes with those  "aha!" positions along the way.

The progress of this journey which I call the emergence from the cultural egg is the perennial subject of artists, poets, dancers and writers, who depict the magical entrance into a hitherto unimagined understanding of the world, a totally unique vision of reality, and hence a new self-understanding. From this new viewpoint the Archetypes to which we conform are suddenly apparent with all their inherent weaknesses.

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The Cultural egg is a tessellated shell composed of myths, religions, moralities, community values, prevalent attitudes, songs, stories, children’s fables, legends, literary heritages, family histories etc., It is articulated in commonly agreed upon attitudes which are highly resistant to change…"You can’t change things on your own…that’s the way things are…it’s natural…everyone knows it.. you may be right but who is going to listen to you? It’s common decency…it’s genetic!…nature!.. you have to have respect for others…it’s your duty…if you had an ounce of guts." These are all examples of the kind of fragments which make up our eggs. They are all used to make implausible positions rational. So, in this sense, we are all fish living in an unexamined environment, our communal water. And though that water may be so contaminated that it is making us ill. it will not be examined because we can’t see it.

Thus, despite the fact males in our society are doing so badly, supplying, as David Shackleton pointed out in Everyman No 41, males supply 95% of the incarcerated, 82% of all suicides, 80% of the homeless 66% of murder victims, 75% of victims of criminal assault and live seven years less than women, societally we can’t see it. Even though the suicide rate for young men is skyrocketing while those for other sectors of society remain constant, even when adolescent males are falling behind in school and university we not only can’t see it but won’t see it–and this mere years since a totally fabricated statistic about girls losing self esteem in the school system, sent the entire continent into an earthquake of compensatory system change.

Why is it invisible? It is part of "The water". More astonishingly, even when these things are pointed out to men they refuse to do anything about them or even admit the slightest concern. Why? And why is "The Water " different for different genders? My researches into the men’s issues have generated a seemingly endless stream of questions. Why are we so unconcerned about the health and well being of males? Why have we called the seventy million young men murdered in their prime in wars over the last century and a half "heroes", when we all know in our hearts they were victims? And why have we continued to select our best young men, test them for quickness of limb, mind and eye, and then shoot them, leaving the rejects to propagate the race, when we know that a rancher who killed each generations best bulls would soon be bankrupt?

Why did that regiment of British soldiers in WW1….one thousand and one men…walk at a slow march into the German machine guns until all lay dead? And why did we call them heroes when they were obviously irrational since, faced as they were with the manifest evidence of their leaders insanity, they failed to protect themselves from certain death . Why have men failed to countenance Radical Feminism when it became obvious that it had strayed from the original high ideals of equality into hatred and Fascism? And a hundred other " whys". The answers, I believe lie in that part of the world which was , two thousand years later , to produce Jesus Christ, and deep in the history of western civilization,  which dead-ends around the second to third millennium B.C .

At that time, to judge from surviving artifacts and myths there is little doubt that Southern Neolithic Europe, Asia Minor,(Syria) and Lebanon had a remarkably homogenous system of religion based on the worship of the many titled Mother Goddess. The concept of fatherhood or men’s biological contribution to reproduction was little understood. Women were thought to be impregnated by the wind or by standing in running water. Men, who were not respected, adored feared and obeyed the matriarch, whose three stages of life corresponded to the three seasons of the Mediterranean–Maidenhood ( spring), Nymph (summer) and Crone ( winter).

It is here, right back at the dawn of civilization that we see the first unmistakable outlines of the archetype of modern men– the disposable male. For the priestess of the virgin Upright Artemis, the three in one Goddess, each year took a new lover and the old one was ritually murdered. Sometimes he was torn apart by horses, sometimes burned, sometimes he was shot with a sting-ray spear, and sometimes he was torn apart by the Priestess’ nymphs–women who had intoxicated themselves by consuming laurel leaves. His flesh was eaten and his blood was sprinkled on the ground to fructify crops, plants and animals, trees and seeds.

Without this sacrifice, people were convinced that Demeter, the summer manifestation of the Goddess would not produce the crops and young animals on which the entire community depended. Thus it was not an act of random cruelty but, in their eyes, a pious religious insurance against what they believed would be certain starvation. The king, or more accurately the consort, for he had no power except when, wearing false breasts and dressed in the priestess’ robes he delegated for her, eventually extended his survival time to one hundred lunations. The seasons were marked by a lunar calendar and the Upright Artemis was also the moon goddess, the twenty eight day menstrual cycle rationalizing that relationship.

However, since the crops needed to be fructified annually, a boy, called an interrex or pharmacon, was tied to a stake, whipped until the pain caused an ejaculation and then killed as a tanist ( surrogate) in place of the king. The name given to the Priestess’ annual sacrifice was—The Hero!

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance and the nature of that relationship. For he was the most important man in the land, the consort of the Priestess herself, showing that the highest articulation of male aspiration was to die in order that the crops would be granted by the goddess. How could he refuse, anymore than millions of soldiers called upon to die to save their communities, could find a rationality sufficient to justify their refusal to fight and die? This was his cultural egg. Nor could his society, other men, fail to attempt to dignify this outrageous ritual murder, by adorning it with the trappings of dignity, of glory, of courage of selflessness. Just as we today dignify with the same characteristics the ritual murder of young men in war and industry; and with the same title. Hero–the name we gave to the 1001 young men who marched into the German gunners; the name we bestow on all male sacrifices.

The Hero died to save everyone else. And as the power of the virgin Artemis declined with the dominance of the patriarchal Hellenes, and the consequent cessation of sacrifice, there appeared in the same territory after a short historical time a man named Jesus Christ, who died, it is said, in ritual sacrifice, to save us all–the ultimate Superhero, and the Ultimately Disposable Male.

Thus in a straight line of progression the male archetype– that is the symbolic representation of the most elevated male a society can envision, moves from pre-Hellenic Greece and the Mediterranean to Christianity, through the Renaissance and the troubadours –who were allegd to have died of mournful unrequited love–to the knights in shining armor in the Court of King Arthur– men sworn to die in the protection and service of women, particularly beautiful ones, to cowboys like John Wayne defending ‘po’ lil squatter gals, especially purdy lil squadder gelz. …to male crew members of the Titanic gallantly standing back to confront death while women boarded boats.

The archetype enters into and is propagated through our music, our art, our movies. The Hero is Big John, Big Big John holding up the mine roof so his buddies can escape the fate he chooses. He is Bruce Willis in Armageddon –the Big Daddy voluntarily dying in place of the lover of his " little gel", his daughter. Remember the final soupy shot of the dead man’s grandson frolicking with mum as the violins play? A charming scene, touching , tear-jerking; and deadly. Remember The Deer Hunter– the vet putting his life on the line for money to send to his friends and lover in the Vietnamese Russian-roulette gambling casino? Remember "It’s a Beautiful World " with Guido the comic Jewish concentration camp prisoner who dies saving his son and wife, and once again, the woman with the son in the final shot, happy and alive and — the violins— always the violins? Remember K19, Kathryn Bigelow’s movie about the Russian nuclear U Boat with the leaking cooling pipe that threatens to cause global nuclear war, until one man stays in the murderous radiation chamber to weld the pipe— and dies; followed, of course by shots of surviving spouse and child—and violins. Hollywood produces a steady stream of variations on this theme.

Look at the metaphor of Dali’s magnificent crucifixion painting. The male ( Christ), naked , vulnerable, agonized ( look at the hands) and dying, and here, in the foreground, sumptuously dressed in magnificent robes, passive and contemplative, a woman( Mary ) STANDS ON A PEDESTAL. Mary who, if she had an ounce of jam should have been tearing him down from the cross, healing him; if she too were not portrayed in her own cultural egg, just as he was. A cultural egg where such absurdity can be seen as rational. and acceptable; while violins play.

Look at the newspaper clipping in March 2003, four thousand years plus after the period of the Upright Artemis, where the Pope– the highest functionary of one of the most powerful religious organizations in the world, whose churches all feature, in the most prominent position, the effigy of a virgin–Mary( Artemis) –is seen embracing the crucifix at St. Peters Basilica; The effigy of the man who died to save us all. Our Hero. Jesus Christ.

                           mail.google

But the violins don’t play for the men in mine disasters. They aren’t even dignified by gender in media reportage–just "miners". They don’t play for the 87% industrial deaths which are male in our society. That’s their job. Their duty. They don’t play for the men worn out and dying seven years before their womenfolk. They don’t play for the alcoholics on their slow march to premature death as they try to drink away the stress, absurdity, loneliness, anxiety and pressure of trying to meet society’s demands, that they support two, three, four, five other human beings. They don’t play for the eighty five percent male homeless who have given up and have sunk. Can you imagine our society tolerating a female eighty five percent homeless rate? It is only because they are male that we have such a homeless rate. The violins don’t play for the men in the construction camps, the drilling rigs, the hardrock mines where men do work which , it seems, only those who have been indoctrinated by violins can endure.

And doesn’t all this suffering add up to a communal reservoir of grief which, little by little, with small portions in every life, drags us down from our potential as an exotic, happy, loving and above all an equal society. For each of those victims is someone’s son, someone’s lover and is deeply missed when he dies.

But having understood the modern male archetype a lot of things fall into place. We can understand why, of the 12,941 homeless in Mexico city, which is Christian, 80% are male. We can understand that just as young men imitate sports Heroes, so they imitate social and religious Heroes. Only one man in each village or society was called upon to die each year, but as the archetypal Hero he embodied the attitudes and behavior that all men who wished to be admired must imitate. They must exhibit a defiance of death ..a recklessness and a headstrong courage. They must demonstrate a willingness to die protecting women.

It is the immediate and strongest message for young males growing up and searching for those qualities which will qualify them to be called men. Thus they will go rock climbing, mountaineering, car racing. What more classic example of the archetype could there be than the toreador in his suit of lights standing in a dusty ring mano a mano with an eighteen hundred pound bull which has been bred for its ferocity and aggression. If this suicidal battle to the death is successful and he is rewarded the symbolic ears and tail of the beast by his peers, he will take them and present them to the pretty young woman sitting in the shade at the ringside watching. He has proved his preparedness to die for her. This token of affection must be the most perverse courtship drama in the entire animal kingdom . And the entire world of humans applauds.

On the mundane level men will do the dangerous jobs society requires, closing their eyes to the fact that although equal gender representation has become the rule of the workplace. society has closed it’s eyes to the fact that females have, by and large, been “excused ‘ the killing professions. Men will abuse their bodies and neglect their own comfort. The vision of the Hero is one which disposes men to alcoholism, injury, suicide, suffering and a host of other social degradation’s. They will volunteer for combat. They will batter each other in sports.

And many of those young women who are moving into the unfamiliar world of traditional male activities will be constrained to emulate them. Seen beneath the shadow of the Upright Artemis the self-destructive behavior of males becomes comprehensible: as does their refusal to defend themselves against feminism’s rancid political abuses. And their simmering anger at the inhumanity of their roles which occasionally boils over into violence. They are like the bulls in a bull fight. The enemy is always insubstantial. It is their own invisible Archetype. Their Eggshell.

And we can see why contemporary society , locked inside its own cultural egg is indifferent to the plight of males. As we were 4000 years ago in the time of the upright Artemis, we are still a gynocracy– a society where males may wield most executive power but the benefits flow primarily to females. And, whether rapidly as in war, or slowly as in industry, males are acculturated to die. It might now be genetic. Which doesn’t necessarily make it desirable. The dumbing down of the species requires a firmer rationalization than loyalty to pre-historic cult ideologies. Time to change!

So, surely, the long range vision of us men in the men’s movement isn’t to bicker with Radical Feminists , those badly hurt humans, for control of the toys of our grown up playpen— power, money, position, prestige, but to discover our limiting Archetypes and change them; to unite with all willing men and women to expose and challenge the exploitative nature of the system and the anti-male feminist-driven legislation, which all of us, men and women have made, and change them, driven by the clear understanding that the idea of an attainable individual happiness is primitive and atavistic, since total happiness can only be a condition where everyone is happy .

The vision is to show us that though we live in a high-tech age of computer technology we carry the archetypes of Pre-Hellenistic Greece, and, in order for the magnificent harvest of technology to bloom, the king no longer needs to die. The crops will bloom without his blood. The universe is benevolent and sends no bills. The belief in the necessity of sacrifice can finally be laid to rest, and its death celebrated by the honoring of our male children, their health, their safety, emotions, success, and comfort equally with our female ones. It can be celebrated by the lifting from women of the insupportable debt of men’s sacrifice, and the lifting from men of the agony of their own death and suffering so that all of us, men and women, can understand the terrible ghosts swimming in our own cultural water and like newly evolving beings emerge from it to the dry land of a new paradise, hand in hand. Out of the egg at last.

Copyright Laurie Payne

Feb 3rd 2011. reproduction upon request.

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NOBLESSE OBLIGE final

31 01 2011

Well, Dear World,  according to Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, whose professionalism astounds me, Obama is daily looking more and more like Bush. The rationalization being that, chameleon-like, his world-vision has morphed from one of an inexperienced and idealistic candidate, to that of an informed realist who understands, that there is more ‘safety’ wearing the colours of the U.S. foreign policy status quo, than those of a humanitarian pacifist. And you, World are being asked to think that‘safety’ means not ‘political safety’ but ‘world safety against the Demons of Islam.’

Well, the realists among us knew from the beginning that no one attains the U.S.presidency without the support of the New York and Washington Jewish organizations, and  the military industrial complex, the financial sector, the C.I.A, and the newly over-empowered Homeland Security, and a hundred other such constraints all attached like the strings  to a puppet. We did not expect too much; but getting into bed with Dick Cheney with a bedside reading copy of George Bush’s anti-terrorism manual, is an act of promiscuity we were all dreaming couldn’t happen. Does it not evoke memories of the trials of Frodo trying to divest himself of the addictive and character-melting powers of the ring? Except that daily, Obama, more and more, resembles Gollum. Poor us!

We should all have been aware of what was developing when Hilary Clinton started off on a world apology mission, that she estimated would take years to complete. But when she apologised to all the wrong people—to the diplomatic community, to business, to military, to politicals  and in fact everyone except the relatives of the people invaded, injured, wounded, murdered, bullied, imprisoned, tortured or insulted  as a result of U.S. militarism, we should have realized her total lack of humanity and class. For this, if for nothing else, she should be indicted.

The relatives of every one in the developing world killed by the U.S troops or drones instantly become lifelong enemies of America, determined to avenge their loved-one’s murder by any and all means. In other words they become, in U.S. eyes , ‘terrorists’. It truly beggars the imagination that the people  of the U.S could remain so ignorant of this dragon’s-teeth reaction to their politics! Or not realize that with international air travel and multi-ethnic communities, America could become as threatened daily as Pakistan with suicide bombers proliferating.

Such naiveté and lack of imagination is astounding, but shouldn’t be if we remembered the amorality and addictive nature of money, and realized that behind Obama a global billion humans or more on a smaller scale of consequences, are all, daily, like us, engaged in Frodo’s struggle and, mostly, losing, as we consent to self enrichment via activities that are exploitative of others, and make life worse for other humans at a greater remove. Perhaps we only make cartridge cases or shape the front sights of a rifle, or fail to check to ensure that our pension funds are not invested in munitions. Unfortunately we are all  complicit now. Outside of nursing, medicine, NGO work and various charities and religions like the Quakers, a survival lifestyle, entirely innocent of the possibility of making life harder for some other traveller on this planet, is as rare as hen’s teeth. Most of the time in our intensely interrelated occupations, we are not presented with the possibility to ensure our activities are harmless.

When I consider the intensity and complexity of the job Obama has volunteered to do; when I strain towards the impossibility of  comprehending the thousand and more national emergencies that confront him daily,with their interlocking and conflicting compulsions, my mind spins out of control. It would be so easy to join the thoughtful, articulate,informed army of critics, and thus absolve myself of responsibility. But in all honesty I simply cannot. The world is in many ways a mess, agreed. But the chain of causality is so infinitely complex that all I can feel sure about is that almost the entire world is now governed by money, and it is in many ways out of control.I feel sympathy for him.

Nonetheless Obama’s 180% turnaround is truly astonishing. Cortez the conquistador conquering Central American tribal warriors, achieved instant  allegiance to the Holy Bible when they saw those who refused to kiss the holy book lose their heads to Cortez’s sword. Has some mafia syndicate that even |Wikileaks hasn’t got a leak on,  gained access to him, and shown him the rifle that killed JFG? This is frivolous perhaps. But searching for the prime, causal source of international ailments, even if futile, does not mean we cannot identify some of the links in the chain of madness and badness. Nor does it mean we have to accept them as inevitable and necessary. 

Horrendous events like Mai Lai, and the newly leaked Chopper Massacre, arising in American military actions, dovetail too tightly with U.S. domestic events to be accidental. A deranged gunman alleged to have been inspired by media hysteria shot an estimated eighteen people, one of them a congresswoman. The country went into paroxysms of shock and judgmentalism. Obama’s speech of condolence, his appeal to the better side of the American people, to tolerance and understanding, created a counter-wave of goodness, compassion and restraint. It was a trenchant demonstration of the mob changing positions; of America showing its better sides. Obama was swamped with  praise from all sides of the political spectrum, and  deserved it.

So what was wrong with that? Well, only that the entire nation was drawn into this homeland drama and utterly forgot to do anything about the Chopper massacre, and the brutal murderous mayhem of Fallujah in 2004 by U.S. marine hit forces, commissioned to bring ‘shock and awe’ to a rebellious Sunni population.

Six armoured columns drove into the heart of the city under the umbrellas of AC 130 Spectre giant flying artillery platforms and Bush’s ‘Surge’ began by taking out of commission three of the four of the city’s hospitals and severely damaging the fourth ’because they might provide places for people to congregate’ and killing twenty doctors and patients and children in an air strike.The water supply was severed as was the electricity.The effect of this murderous action on active ‘terrorists’ was negligible as they were appraised of the scheme and left days before. But the effect on the civilian population was devastating and horribly long lived. Thirty six thousand houses were destroyed, sewage lines were severed and sewage flooded the streets. An estimated one hundred thousand people were killed. Finally the city was labelled a free-fire zone which meant that any weaponry could be used in any amount. Depleted Uranium shells used in Fallujah in 2004 left a rising rate of birth deformities that was fifteen times the normal level. The International Journal of Environmental research and public health, a leading  medical journal, published a study which showed that the rates of cancer , infant mortality and leukemia exceed those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same weapons used in the 1991 campaign in Basra  in the gulf war caused a birth deformity rate to increase from 27 in 1990 to 254 in 2001. So no one could say they didn’t know about the mutagenic effects of DU weaponry. What was that you were saying about Weapons of Mass Destruction, George?

These actions and a whole litany of similar atrocities from Iraq and Afghanistan were common privileged knowledge. Any one of them makes Tucson look like a kindergarten. Yet the elite that had previously enjoyed the secrecy of ‘confidential’ correspondence about such matters railed against Wikileaks because, they alleged, exposing these facts and ‘diplomacies’ might endanger a few lives. 

 Why were  they forgotten by Hilary Clinton on her collective grovel to the international power elite?  Because they were plebian and because they were foreign. So why do these atrocities of mass brutality continue to disgrace America’s international reputation? Well, a significant part of the answer lies in the nature of militarism itself-the training of morally immature young men into the practices of killing. And it lies in the nature of the propaganda machine that indoctrinates  the nation to regard the target  nation of any  current conflict as less than human. In this instance the media must accept its share of the blame as must Hollywood with its interminable history of violent, bang bang movies, that venerate brutal killers. But the final blame must rest on the military industrial complex.

Why  this enquiry is so important for America’s and the world’s destiny is perhaps answered in part in Arnold Toynbee’s brilliant History of Western Civilization, which is an exhaustive overview of every known civilization. Each is examined to discover the causes of its rise, stagnation and fall from the viewpoint of geography, agriculture, politics, religion, economy, philosophy and global positioning etc.

With the exception of those that merely stagnated, In every single instance the only concomitant cause of a civilizations’ decline shared with all the others was warfare.

In any sustained combat the opposed forces come to resemble each other.

When the victorious allied troops returned from Europe at the end of WW2, they brought with them the excrement of Fascism on their boots in the form of militarism, obedience and governments, entitled as never before, to hide their doings from the ordinary people under the rubric of communal safety.

But Nagasaki and Hiroshima had changed the nature of combat forever, and justified any restraints whatever on civic freedom if hiding information prevented any other countries getting the bomb, or even pretended it did. At the same time the world and the German people in particular confronted in Belsen, Dachau and Auswich the shock and horror of the gas ovens. Thus the world was simultaneously motivated to demand transparency and not demand it. To look and not to look.

Germany took the high road of defeat and individual responsibility for the concentration camp executions , even though the majority had no idea what had been going on. They apologized as a country and took steps to ensure that never again would they permit a government secretly to lead them to such horrendous policies. The allies, having no comparable motivation towards transparency, slid further and further into totalitarianism, to such an extent that England, once the global paragon of civil liberties and home of Magna Charter,  goose-stepped so deeply into fascism, that Margaret Thatcher abolished Habeus Corpus during the Irish rebellions of the seventies and eighties, and got away with imprisoning people without trial. Now the city of London and many others in England are festooned with surveillance cameras. England has governments that want to watch every individual  and be seen by none.This is where Wikileaks finds its niche.

America meanwhile had developed such dependency upon the military industrial complex, and become so paranoid about the perceived dangers of Communism, that the Korean war was followed by Vietnam, with the result that demilitarization never occurred. At the end of the cold war, the U.S. found itself with an empire of some seven hundred resident American troop outposts, scattered at great expense across the globe, a five and a half trillion dollar armaments industry, an internal invasion from Mexico it can’t afford to countenance and massive debt.

It would be hard to imagine a closer parallel to contemporary America than to Byzantium, the seat of imperial Rome in the East,  at its nadir, which was beggared by the cost of the foreign mercenaries that maintained its colonies, riven by religious factions, and choked by a bureaucracy that frustrated the commands of even the highest officials. A hungry world, outside its walls, awaited its sacking by the Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem  to discover the true cross of Christ.The superpower that was Rome was over forever. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.(speak nothing bad of the dead) It had had its bright pages.

Meanwhile, in our modern world  in a laboratory in Switzerland an accident occurred that was to strike the heart of America like a cosmic 9/11, and will  come to be seen as a second Renaissance. In 1962/3 a scientist investigated  the strange case of an entire village in France that experienced hallucinogens after eating a rye bread contaminated with ergot. The  research resulted in the discovery of a chemical named lysergic di-ethylamide24. It made the researcher, a man named Hoffman, as high as a kite when minute amounts of  it got on his hands and into his mouth. He got on his bicycle and rode home. The following day he returned to the lab and ate some more. Once more he was very high, and very excited. He wrote up his experiments and released them—a document that was to change the world—a chemical Wikileaks  that divided the western world by generations, and was the most subversive message ever passed hand to hand through what was to become a subculture. L.S.D had arrived. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

Two Phd., lecturers in the Psychology  dept. of Harvard, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert wrote away for some of this strange chemical, received it, tried it ,and began giving it to students. Leary and Alpert were subsequently fired and then became the siphon bringing Hoffman’s Acid to the U.S. The macro culture went into panic shock. The ghost of St Augustine’s Manichaeism,  that lives on in the Anglo Saxon culture, produced the predictable result that any pleasure evokes in  U.S Puritanism. Panic! Sheer total panic! It made no difference that L.S.D. was non addicting and harmless except when taken by schizophrenics, it was pleasurable! It had to be stopped! In the latter months of 1966 L.S.D. was illegalized. There are now many many thousands of people languishing in American prisons costing billions of dollars annually having done nothing more harmful to their fellow Americans than eat or smoke a pleasurable substance.

They are prisoners in an undeclared war against Americans of a certain age who have made themselves egregious by belonging to a subculture, which is outside bipartisan politics and far to the radical left; a subculture which declares that absent irrefutable evidence that society is being injured by the ingestion of a substance, an individual’s skin is a boundary beyond which no state may have jurisdiction. The state cannot tell us what we may or may not eat. But it is determined to do so.

But by this time it was too late to stop.The subculture was in exponential mode. Furthermore every youngster who went to his local dealer for a baggie of pot or some acid got an education in left-oriented  anti-war politics. “Never  trust anyone over thirty” defined the cultural divide which still exists today except that it is now rewritten “Never trust anyone who hasn’t taken hallucinogens.”

The progress of the Vietnam war was changed by the anti-war movement, and after the Kent State killings by government troops and the trials of the Chicago seven, the subculture never again trusted the State.

The internet was also in exponential growth, and the power struggle for its control centered on the military industrial complex and its supply empires, and on the other side, the growing demand for more transparency in government. In this scuffle, document leaks began to appear.

Into this tumultuous world of crashing economies, global warming, pauperized populations seeping like osmosis through porous borders while multinationals jump all fences , destroy natural resources, and manipulate national  governments with economies that dwarf them. America continues to pillage and destroy, under the pretense of searching for the man responsible for 9/11,when in fact it is oil money that rationalizes their mayhem. Never in the history of the world have so many been killed in the search for so few; never, since Ghengis Khan’s murderous hordes swept through Asia and into western Europe, have so many innocent men women and children been blasted like dog-meat into the garbage bins of Iraq and Afghanistan by the Ac 130 Spectres, the aerial slaughter houses of the American army, whilst back in Iowa the Good Folk are convinced that Their Boys are bringin Deemocracy to them Raquis.

It is to this international tragic opera that Wikileaks has opened the back door by publishing thousands of hitherto private documents, agreements, and the schemes of the wealthy, the powerful and the terminally bad. Unsurprisingly these actors were not amused. And it was into the red carpeted Salons of this elite that Hilary Clinton entered to apologise to the cast for the unexpected audience of a horrified world.

In Basra where in 2001 ten years after the Gulf War the congenital malformations had jumped to 254 from its previous 27. And in Fallujah which showed fifteen times as many infant birth defects since 2004 there were no ceremonial receptions for America’s second in command.

It is time in this post for me to admit what you have already perceived—that I am deeply biased. My heart goes out to all those women, lovingly stroking their bellies during the nine months of eager expectation of a wondrous and beautiful child to brighten their advancing years—to nurture and love and protect; big bellies to talk to in private and sing to as they prepare special places for the child to come.

And my heart goes out to the papas who dream of vigorous and brilliant boy children to share with them the burden of familial support and eventually bring grand-children home. Only to discover at birth that Uncle Sam, in his endless scrounging for money has twisted their limbs, made too many or too few fingers or toes, created hideous cleft palates and faces of circus freaks with terminally injured brains. No happy beautiful laughing children. Just horribly injured little human freaks who will require a lifetimes patient, unrewarded care. 

And I say to Mz Clinton. It is to these women you should be apologizing; and  to these husbands. You should be crawling flat on your belly, your expensive clothes dragging in the mud, to beg of these people that they try with all their energies to forgive and forget what has been done to them and their children. And then you should go home to the Great United States of America and with all the attentions of the papparrazzi tell your people that their government, their military, their industrial tycoons have gone horribly, terribly wrong. And then you should apologize publicly to Julian Assange who has showed you the way towards a possible redemption, and then go home and pray to understand Nobless Oblige.

 

The term ‘Noblesse Oblige’is an ancient admonition to the Ruling Classes, that along with their wealth, status and fame comes the obligation to maintain  moral and ethical standards that are higher than those of the ordinary citizen. It is the essential concomitant of privelige that, as the I Ching maintains , manifests as‘The superior person is always on the side of the poor and lowly.’ By extrapolation the ethics and moral values of the state must always be higher than the citizens’-a precept that prohibits the death sentence.  It is furthermore an advice to those in political power, which if followed by the masses, will produce a benign and elevated society where good manners,  democracy and justice are enjoyed by the least powerful members, equally with the most powerful. It’s watchwords are compassion, empathy and kindness.

Noblesse Oblige is a code of conduct according to which, unfortunately, Ms Clinton, if she fails to recognize and apologize to the victims of U.S military adventurism, will have shown herself to be unqualified for the office she holds. There will then be only one thing she can do that is fully commensurate with global humanitarianism and decency. Resign.

For now, ‘nuff Wikileaks, dear World, until next post, Love and peace to you.Laurie.

copyright. Laurie Payne Jan 24th 2011

republication with permission.