Uncategorized

What Does Memorial Day Mean?

vietnam-war-01

“Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.”

—-Howard Zinn

There has been a campaign on social media to promote something called the “Go Silent” campaign. As to this “Go Silent” campaign to ask for a moment of silence on memorial day; I will not be taking part because I find this request insulting and condescending to the people of the US. We The People have the right to free speech, we have the right to speak out against the injustice being perpetrated against innocent people all over the world by the US Military in the service of US Government/Corporate interests. I will use tomorrow to speak out against the glorifying/deification of war dead, which only serves as a way to silence and shame discontent and dissension from the people against the crimes being done in their name.

No war or military operation the US has fought has been just or warranted, not since at least WWII, and since the end of the Vietnam war we have had a volunteer force so anyone who has died since then has died because of a choice THEY made to be a part of an armed forces in services of a government that has perpetrated slaughter on a massive scale, especially in the Middle East. Why, why does the “protection” of our “freedom” and “liberty” and “way of life” seem so often to require the wholesale destruction of other nations and peoples?

This memorial day I will be honoring not the US war dead (they have plenty of people celebrating their cause) but instead the victims of US imperial brutality in the name of “freedom”. Also remember, the best way to honor the war dead, veterans, and those who are still serving is to make sure they are never again sent to fight a war of aggression in the name of national security, corporate interests, or plain old fear. The holiday has also become yet another excuse for Americans to self-righteously congratulate themselves, to worship the military for the sake of it being the military, and also an excuse for retailers to sell cheap foreign made goods to eager consumers. I am not asking that you believe what I believe or act how I act, but I am asking that you take a long hard look at what it is exactly that we are memorializing this day, and why.

Standard
Religion, Satire

A Letter From Jesus to Josh Duggar

pissed jesus

Mr. Duggar

It has come to my attention that you are using my name and my ability to cleanse the world of sin with my holy blood to excuse and explain away your horrific crimes against little girls. I would just like to say: stop! Consider this a cease and desist notice. My lawyers (Darrow, Hand & Hand) have informed me that I am not allowed to reach down from heaven above and smack the ever-loving evangelical shit out of you, but I can do this: please stop worshiping me. Your status as a believer in my words and deeds is rather, well, let’s just say it is not in the interest of me and my followers. I am aware that you claim to be an ardent believer in my power and my love, but even I have my limits. Your SISTERS? REALLY? And your Dad brought you in to confess to a fellow child molester? Then again, I have never understood your family’s view of my “message”…If I had wanted to to procreate like rabbits I (or rather my dad…who is me…but let’s not get THAT started again) would have made you rabbits. Let’s put a hard limit at, say, six kids? 19…For the love of me…

Anyway, I hope you understand the position you have put me in as a savior. I don’t like having to cut people out of the whole “forever saved by my grace” thing, but, I mean, come on…your SISTERS? If you continue to find a need to believe in something I have heard that ISIS are recruiting and there is always the catholic priesthood…they tend to be understanding of people with your…proclivities.

Yours in Me

Jesus Christ

p.s. Tell Mike Huckabee to shut the fuck up already. He’s already on my bad side, and I don’t want to have to send my friend Lucifer after him…Job didn’t like that very much and I don’t think Mike would either. Just sayin’.

Standard
Philosophy, racism

The Bronson Fallacy

death-wish-charles-bronson

The Bronson Fallacy: 1. That “The Streets” and the “thugs” that populate it are more dangerous and more likely to do you and your loved ones and your neighbors harm then your neighbors or your loved ones are, though the opposite is statistically and practically true. 2. Believing this as fact, and acting on that belief, often by arming oneself with weapons seen as “equal” to the “firepower” of the perceived threat from “The Streets” and the “thugs” that populate it. 3. A priori belief that one is not safe, not sensible, not serious unless one is armed, and that that the presence or use of a gun is what “keeps crime at bay” or “keeps us safe/protects our rights”. 4. Any argument or system based on a belief in the preceding. 5. Named for Charles Bronson, star of the cult Death Wish revenge/true crime film series of the 1970’s & 80’s.

Standard
Philosophy

We Are the Evil Empire

us-bombing-bagdad-march-21-2003

This Essay is Dedicated to the victims of Imperial Violence everywhere, and throughout time

I realized the other day that the Invading US Military, controlled by Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and nominally George Bush II among others, appoint a AMERICAN MILITARY/COLONIAL DICTATOR to rule Iraq, a nation of over 20 million independent, living, breathing, worthwhile people. His name was L. Paul Bremer and he was aided by Gen. Ricardo Sanchez and they were no different than General Iwane Matsui in Nanjiang in 1937, or Lucius Flavius SIlva at Masada, or Nathan Bedford Forest at Fort Pillow or Field Marshal Walter Model in Warsaw in 1944…they were functionaries, brutal ones, of the imperial/fascistic order of their national/ethnic system of power. We are no different than any other violent, expanding, brutal, greedy, ambitious empires in history. The scale of the violence inflicted upon Iraq, for no reason other than petty revenge by the ruling Bush family, profit and for Dick Cheney, the then dictator of the US, and out of shear myopic xenophobic rage against anything that challenged or even irritated US imperial authority and economic control, is on par with the violence inflicted by the Mongols on Baghdad in 1258, or the IDF in Palestine since 1948, or the Germans on Spain in 1936.

The only objective differences between our empire and any other in history is time, distance, technology, and professed ideology. We are convinced of our moral superiority to, our difference from, the “others”, these “truly evil” empires. We killed at least a million people in war in Iraq, surely if we count the death toll from starvation and illness caused by our invasion and occupation and the sanctions, that total is closer to 2 million. We would count these deaths as part of the war victims if we were analyzing the Soviets, or ISIS, or Imperial Japan in their imperial debacles. The founding imperial myth of “American Exceptionalism” notwithstanding, a US Sniper killing a child in Baghdad because he “may have been a potential terrorist” is not different morally from a Soviet Private running a Berlin shopkeeper through with a bayonet, or British Regulars gunning down women and children at Amritsar. Iraqi lives are no less valuable than American lives, or Jewish lives, or Tibetan lives. Iraqis are no more or less prone to “evil” or “savagery” then any other arbitrary grouping of peoples in the world. How is a US soldier killing an Iraqi civilian in Anbar Provence any different than a Chinese Communist beating a Nationalist Sympathizer to death in Xian? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. We are no more or less evil than any other empire in history. Our belief in the righteousness of our moral/political/philosophical/economic/religious systems are not unique, every empire has its self-sustaining myths and belief in its own self evident superiority. I mention Iraq because it is the most egregious recent example of our imperial brutality, but I could also mention the fire bombing of Tokyo in 1945, the nuclear obliteration and slow radiation poisoning of 500,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ideological motivated and justified genocide committed against the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, the wholesale slaughter of Indians over 200 years of Manifest Destiny warfare. China occupies Tibet, and Russia occupies Chechnya, but we occupy the Najavo Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Iroquois Confederacy. There is no moral difference. Only the cast of characters, the slogans, and the justifications are different. We are what we condemn. We are the evil empire. We are the most dangerous and violent empire now existing on Earth.

Standard
Film

Quality Town

factory

The following is from the first scene of a screenplay treatment I have been working on, on and off, for the past few months. It is still very much in the early stages but I thought I should put some of it out there to see what sort of response I get. I’d love as much constructive feedback as possible Thank you, and enjoy!

***

[The screen is black. A quote from Marx appears on the screen in white lettering: The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. The devaluation of the world of men is in direct proportion to the increasing value of the world of things. The words “the world of things” linger on the screen a few moments before the screen goes black again. There is complete and unnerving silence after the quote disappears. Suddenly the sun rises. The orb takes up almost the entire horizon but the light is diluted and dulled by the smog and pollution in the air. As soon as the sun appears Vivaldi’s Winter begins to play. We suddenly look down at the world below from what seems to be the sun’s point of view. We see the light spreading out into a great darkness that reveals itself to be an enormous field of factories one after the other, each more messy and ugly and decrepit then the last. The camera pans over them as they continue to appear and take up the entire frame. There are thousands of them, millions even. There is not one speck of green for miles and miles. The camera finally comes to a stop above a not particularly interesting clump of factories. The camera slowly closes is on one of the buildings getting in closer and closer every passing moment. The ceiling of the factory disappears as though we are seeing through it and within we see masses of machinery and filthy looking people working. We are now looking down a long stretch of conveyor belt as though we were sitting upon it ourselves. Thousands of hands reach onto the belt and grab small little pieces of miscellania as they travel down. Each does his particular task and places the object back on the belt. These little widgets travel down the path into a vast vat filled with clones of themselves. We see a woman come up and grab one at random. Her name is Violetta. She inspects it under a magnifying glass of some sort and then tosses it back into the vat. Her face is sad and covered in oil and dust. She is beautiful but not in a conventional way, her eyes are large and bright green and her black hair hair is covered up underneath a headscarf. She is perhaps hispanic or middle eastern. She turns and walks towards a room on the far side of the factory floor. She leans against the heavy door and it opens slowly. Inside we see a man seated on a basic bunk whittling away a piece of wood with a penknife. His name is Hans. The woman enters and walks up to the bed. She takes a seat next to the man. He is older and thin and has grey hair. He looks almost skeletal. She grabs ahold of his hand]

 

Violetta: A month ago today I was jumped and assaulted by Gregor Mendev and Cecil Tonks over from Factory #676. I was afraid to tell you until now. I thought you would be angry at me for some reason. I really don’t know why I thought that…you are not the sort of man to buy into that victim blaming bullshit, you never have been. God…Hans, I don’t know what to do. I see them every time I go on my afternoon shift. They just…leer at men, and laugh to each other like I am some sort of joke. It hurts, it burns like acid in my chest, Hans. I can’t deal with it anymore.

 

[Hans stops whittling immediately and places his arm around the woman She leans her head against his shoulder and we see a trail of tears running through the filth on her face]

Hans: Violetta, why in the world would I ever be mad at you for something like that? I am so sorry…so so sorry. No one should have to deal with that, ever. It is terrible…and then they have the gall to look at you? And laugh? No…no…no more.

He does not say another word before getting up from the bed. His knees crack and pop and he grimaces a bit as he walks towards the door. He opens it and heads out onto the factory floor. He walks by the lines of people working and they salute him with slights nods of their heads. He walks across the room towards a tunnel that leads to the neighboring factory. He is silent. He comes to another large door, this one guarded by a large and mean looking fellow brandishing a large pipe. The large man nods at Hans and lets him pass through the door onto another factory floor. Hans walks along the lines of men and women working near yet more machinery, this time a large amount of presses and cutting machines. He walks along for a bit until he reaches a station with two men standing side by side cutting bits of metal into even smaller bits of metal. He walks up behind them and pauses. He taps the shoulder of the man nearest him, Gregor]

 

Hans: Are you Gregor Mendev and Cicil Tonks?

 

Gregor: He’s Cecil, I’m Gregor. Who’s asking?

 

Hans: A friend of Violetta. She sends her regards.

 

[The music starts up again as Hans jumps forward and plunges his penknife into the side of Gregor’s neck. Blood shoots out like water from a punctured hose and he falls to his knees gasping like a fish out of water. Before Cicil can even react Hans is upon him and forcing his face into the cutting machine. He fights back but is not able to overcome the older man. Hans uses his free hand to push a large red button. A blade slices right through the neck of Cecil and severs his head. He grabs the head by its longish hair and turns to walk past the now prone Gregor. As he walks by he steps on the penknife will lodged in the man’s throat. He stomps down and the man is dead. He walks away as though nothing has transpired. The entire work floor stops for a moment as he walks by them head in hand. He comes back to the door to the tunnel and talks through. The large man with the pipe stares at him with his mouth agape. He walks back onto the floor of his own factory. The scene on the floor is the same as the last factory. He walks to the door leading to his dorm. He goes inside and finds Violetta in the same place he left her. Her hand is over her mouth when she sees Hans covered in blood and holding the head. He drops the head at her feet and falls to his knees in front of her. She jumps from the bed and runs to him, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing his face ferociously. She is soon covered in blood as well. She pushes him to the floor and tears open her shirt. The begin to make love right there on the floor. As they go at it a filthy dog comes by and sniffs the head before grabbing it in his teeth. He growls and then runs away with the head. He exits the factory and runs into the street where he is surprised by two men walking towards the factory. The dog yelps and drops the head at their feet. The two men look at each other and back down at the head. The taller of the two shrugs. His name is Jose and the other man is called David]

 

David: What a nice place this is.

 

Jose: Yeah, Quality Town tends to be a little rough around the edges. Let’s go in and find the factory foreman.

Standard
history, Short Story

The Gexoterra

de_las_Casas_p71

“The Gexoterra” is a draft of a short story from a collection I am writing on the cruelties and physical tragedies perpetrated and faced by people throughout history. “The Gexoterra” is about the life under the Spanish in the “West Indies” after they were “discovered” by Columbus (Cristobal Colon) and his men, and as such it depicts some harsh, unpleasant moments. If this bothers you then don’t bother reading but, remember, I try to depict what happened as realistically as possible, and the event depicted here is based on evidence from Columbus/Colon’s own journals. Make of that what you will.

***

There is little, if anything, the Colombian expedition could have done to mitigate the blight Eurasian microbes brought upon the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean Islands off the coast of the Northern segment of the equator sprawling North & South American landmass (Canal Zone notwithstanding). Though, one suspects that if Colon (and he was Cristobal Colon, not this Columbus tomfoolery) had any conception of what he was bringing with him on his journey, he would have tried to find a way to make it an even more deadly weapon then it already was. As it was he did not know which part of the planet he was on.

These people were animals to him, a natural resource, like gold or silver or spices, another check he could put in his ledger. The males could be worked to the bone clearing the land and mining for the precious ore that would make this horrid trip worth the while, the women could be used as concubines and as washerwomen, cooks, and agricultural labor. Even the children would serve a purpose; they could be used to clear rubble and debris and could fit into the places in the mines, the female ones could be used as concubines if they had seen their first blood, and the stupid ones could be used to feed and entertain the dogs. A few had to be kept alive so they could be taken back to Spain, to show off to the investors and to prove that he had in fact reached the orient (or wherever this was). The poor beasts were so frail, though, and not at all used to the rigours of proper labor. They broke like Cathay porcelain, and they were so very sickly (again, if only he had known what caused this frailty…) that each worker usually only lasted a week, two at most, before he expired in a sweaty, bloody heap. The dogs were starting to grow fat off of this excess of heathen flesh.

The Basques were having a gay old time of it, running about the beach, prancing about in the surf like silly little children. There was nothing for them to do that the Indios (that is what they were calling these people…it certainly wasn’t Japan, where they had landed so India would have to do. They did have a similar skin hue…) could not do for them. Every man was now a lord, or else what passed for one in this new world.

The poorest of the men, some son of a dog from Getxo, even he had slaves now, three of them, two women and a man. The man was put to work doing the most menial and stupid of tasks, emptying the latrine, fetching water, cleaning his master’s boots. The Getxoterra had a short, leather strap that used on the dogs when they misbehaved, and it was with this that he administered his orders to the Indio wretch. As the savage could not understand Basque or whatever it is they speak, he would point at what he wanted the Indio to do, and then punctuate the order with a blow to the head with the strap. the poor savage looked as though he could not believe he was being so ruled and by such a lowly sort of fellow. The Getxoterra paled in comparison to the men he now treated like a dog. Where the Indio was lithe and trim the Getxoterra was flabby and round, where the former was beautiful and young, the latter was old and ugly as a Frenchman’s sin. That the Getxoterra ruled over the Indio and not the other way around was merely an accident of history and circumstance. There is no justice in nature, because there is no intellect, no mind. There is only a living mass acting and being acted upon. If there were any justice, it would be the Getxoterra of the world who would be slaves…but then again would that not just serve to make the Indio the Getxoterra? The Getxoterra was not endowed with a mind that was able to contemplate such lofty questions. All he knew was that now had property for the first time in his life. And like most people, when they are given exactly what they always wanted, they misuse and squander it all.

It took only a few days of labor under the lash of the Gextoterra before the Indio expired from exhaustion. The dullard Getxoterra had neglected to feed and provide water to the Indio. He was left with the two female slaves, one old, perhaps 50, the other young and quite beautiful. It did not take a debauched mind like the Gextoterra possessed long to find a use for the young woman, but the elder was really more of an annoyance to the Getxoterra, with her constant weeping and screaming. The young one tried to calm her elder but the Getxoterra would not leave the poor young woman alone long enough for her to be really effective. He defiled her and abused her brutally, satisfying the the stunted and profane desires of a brute, and it was not a week before the young woman lashed rocks to her ankles and swam out into the surf.

The Getxoterra was now left with the old woman and having no use for her and growing tired of her weeping, he cut out her tongue and tied her to a stake out side of his tent, leaving her to starve. Blessedly this did not come about. Another Indio soon came by and brazenly, in full view of the entire encampment, caressed and kissed the old woman before slashing her throat with a sharp shell. The Getxoterra did not mind, as he had already moved on to a new pursuit: taking a flaming brand in hand he terrorized and deprived Indios of their trinkets and idols, thinking that they were somehow transformed by witchcraft from gold to dull stone and could be turned back the other way again.

The Getxoterra had been a tanner’s apprentice back in the motherland, and a slovenly, slothful, and stupid one at that. He had spent all of his weekly stipend on booze and cheap women and so had to sleep on the floor of his master’s shop. He had what he would have known as the French Disease but what we would call syphilis. He was a wretch of the worst sort. Now he was master over the fates of hundreds of people who had only been going on about their lives before the three ships appeared on the horizon of their world.

Standard
Uncategorized

A Petition on Behalf of the Heirs of James II, the Last Rightful King of England

His Royal Highness, King James II of the House of Stuart, Last Rightful King of England

His Royal Highness, King James II of the House of Stuart, Last Rightful King of England

To the Secretary General of the United Nations,

Your Excellency,

In furtherance of my correspondence regarding the continuing unlawful regime now holding claim to the Crown of my Nation, the One, True Kingdom of England (enough of this “United Kingdom” nonsense). I do send my congratulations, in a purely personal sense mind you, as I am a father myself and aware of the joy a child can bring to ones life, to William Windsor and his wife Catherine Windsor nee Middleton on the birth of the second child Catherine Windsor. I hope that this young lady and her brother George have a long and healthy life. They are but children and are no conscious or deliberate party to the ongoing political crisis that has gripped my nation for over 300 years. My complaint, if it must be said, is not even with the current usurper on the Throne of England, Elizabeth Windsor. The ascent of the Windsors, or more accurately the German family Saxe Coburg Gotha, is merely an accident in history. The Windsors benefit, but the original sin, as it were, is not on their conscience.

No, Sir, my quarrel is with that heretic, though rightful, King Henry VIII the conspirator Henry, 1st Earl of Romney, and that damned Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange! I will address my charges chronologically, and though the subject matter is worth his excellency’s attention, I will be brief.

King Henry VIII

This King did knowingly, as the result of a surreptitious affair, and betrayal of Catherine, Queen of England, bring about the expulsion of England from communion with the Roman Catholic Church. This great crime against God and the souls of the People of the Kingdom of England is one that will forever stain the reputation of this rightful King of England. While this alone would be outrage enough this crime was but the motivating factor for the calamity that was to come!

The Conspiracy

After 120 years of heretical rule and influence upon the population James II of the House of Stuart, the last rightful King of England, a good Catholic, and practitioner and champion of religious toleration, was topped by a conspiracy of anti-catholic fanatics known as the anglican clergy, protestant MPs and treasonous nobles. This perversity, which the propaganda books in our schools would have us call the “Glorious Revolution” (the gall!) was nothing more than a anti-Catholic panic and pogrom that led to the toppling of the legitimate King of England (and France as far as I am concerned…but that is a subject for another letter). This coup led to the end of religious toleration, the banning of Catholics from the throne of the Kingdom of England, and the instillation of the Usurper William III of the House of Orange and King James II hateful heretic daughter Mary Stuart as monarch of England. This succession went on from the heretical branch of the House of Stuart through blood and marriage to the House of Hanover and from there on to the present day.

THIS INJUSTICE MUST BE REMEDIED! 326 years of intolerance, heresy, and unlawful governance! I petition his Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations to bring to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly a Resolution calling for the IMMEDIATE and IRREVOCABLE restoration of the Crown of the Kingdom of England to the Rightful, Catholic, Royal House of Stuart and in the person of the rightful King of England Francis II, Duke of Bavaria, a direct descendant of His Royal Highness King Charles I of England. As a gesture towards reconciliation to the Windsor House and their supporters, who have no fault in the matter, the Windsors may continue to reside at the properties built after the usurper William took the throne. The revenues and title, therefrom and thereof, however, will revert to the Stuart House as the Royal House. I do hope this is done in haste, and with as little to do and bloodshed as possible. There is no reason this must get ugly.

Sincerely and With Respect,

Sir Hubert Stuart IV, Esq., By Right Duke of Cambridge

Long Live King Francis II, rightful King of England!

p.s. I do hope you stop burning my letters

Standard