poetry

Victor

vectorpaint

The tongues we speak are oh so subtle things

One jumps to the fore as another fades

Words and things are oft the property of

Authors, Kings and those who tease poetry

From the cruel alphabetical maw

A word is a word, true, but a verse is

another entity altogether

A verse on the page is worth its weight in

Condemnation and illumination

What is it then that Vicar Victor did?

He took the words of the father and turned

Them into declarations of the son

Such a simple and insidious thing

The betrayal of so noble a tongue

And the coronation of the vulgar

Pretender to her glories and fortune

Can the world be the same when the name

Of Χριστόςis turned blithely to Christus?

In the end Victor made a fool of Paul

When he wrote in the new holy language

And made unwitting converts of us all

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2nd Amendment, Guns

Gun Culture Is an Outgrowth of Misogyny

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Another privileged, spoiled, foolish, idiotic, entitled and misogynistic young white man has gone on a rampage with a gun, this time his wrath was directed at women (because they “rejected” him…what bullshit projection). 7 people, including the gunman, are now dead. I have now seen this story so many times in the US that I am no longer surprised and shocked by it…and that in itself shocks me on an entirely deeper level.

What is the American obsession with the gun? I have some theories, theories I will seriously be working on in the coming days. For now I will leave you with these thoughts…

Gun culture as an outgrowth of patriarchally maintained misogyny i.e. men see an assault on “manhood” and see violence through the gun as a way to “regain” this status within the system. Also, guns are seen as a way to bypass equal rights or a discussion of privilege and rape culture; men do not need to change their ways or help reform society to prevent sexual violence, women just need to arm themselves! Violence thus begets violence and turns everyone into a victim in their own minds, a sentiment that justifies the worst sort of redemptive violence and hate. The gun is the redemptive phallus, the tool that makes a “man” (read violent, entitled, fearful, purposefully ignorant and crude) out of any person, the gun is seen as the key to a sort of libertarian freedom that is neither possible nor wholly understood even by its proponents. The idea that violence is the only thing keeping “society” together, that the underlying condition of the Social Contract is constant and universal armed vigilance, is both ahistorical and absurdly dangerous. 

***

I feel for the families involved in this tragedy, and I heap scorn on those who insist this had nothing to do with rape culture, misogyny, and gun hysteria. Fuck the NRA. Fuck Patriarchy. Fuck the Gun.

Here is one of the fathers of the victims speaking out bravely against the NRA and its enablers in government. This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen…ignore the last 30 seconds of CNN blather

“Why did Chris die?”

 

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Philosophy

A Brief Note on Saden Ethics

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Hypothetical—

Replace the the theocratic evil of the Abrahamic faiths, which uses as a standard free-thought, free agency, and pride in the human and temporal, and replace it with a Saden evil, which is represented by abuse of the powerless, the use of wealth and status as a means to achieving one’s desires, libertarian disregard for any rational authority, and rejection of the dignity of each living human. the human evil of the Sadean universe is the transgression and the violation of human dignity as understood in a material sense: suffering, pain, pleasure, need, yearning.

It is the manipulation of the human in order to realize the inhumane indulgence of the depraved individual. It is the capitalist force, the market force. It is an evil to be combated by the communal morality of humanity, an evil that is not rooted in metaphysics and an incomplete and perverse understanding of human intellect and origins. negation of the natural, the instinctive, the animal in man as both the downfall of morality and the key to understanding debauchery. Repeat until negation, impulses acted upon towards the furtherance of pleasure become an end unto itself. Negation is not achieved so one must negate the pleasure of others.

The Global Capitalist ethos IS Sadean, the constantly ramping-up of greed and exploitation that is always and will always be justified by a perversion of the scientific reality of natural selection in nature to make it apply to civil society. The shredding of the Social Contract

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opinion, Sports

Michael Sam: Human Being

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Michael Sam is a talented, good-looking, by all appearances sweet man in his 20’s. He also happens to be primarily attracted to men. He also happens to be black. This bothers some people…ok, it bothers a lot of people. Why? I mean I know why: years of religious fueled bigotry, a US culture consumed by men who do not know how to express their emotional and sexual feelings, and of course just general lack of education and stupidity. What I mean is…why? I watched the video of Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and I saw Mr. Sam passionately and happily kiss his boyfriend Vito Cammisano while his friends and family celebrated his achievement with joyful abandon. The first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the video? Michael Sam is freakin’ enormous. My second thought? These two people are insanely good looking. 

I never grew up thinking that being gay was “different”…I actually had (and still do have) much more prejudice against religious people, especially Christians. That is partially because my parents were liberal agnostics who homeschooled us and allowed us to drive our own education. I do not see LGBTQIA people as different…I just don’t. This annoys and confuses many people I know, while others could not care less what I think. I could not care less about what people think about what I think, but it does fascinate me when people so viscerally react against people based on who they kiss, love, and make love to. Call me naive but I just do not understand that sort of fear and prejudice. It baffles me and angers me.

I never saw myself as gay, straight or otherwise. I have always been attracted to women and I have only dated and slept with women but does that mean I would never, or could never, be attracted to a man? Not at all. I don’t put limitations on my feelings. I just have not “found” the “right” guy, so to speak. People are people, and I enjoy people for the most part (as least as much as an autistic writer with a Type-B personality can!) Most of the important people in my life (my best friend, relatives, my wife and many of my in person and online friends) are gay, bi or otherwise a member of the LGBTQIA community. But I do not think of them according to these labels. They are just the people I lvoe. That is it. BUT, that being said, I will not be your friend if you do not treat LGBTQIA people with respect. I will not be friends with you if you judge people based on who they love or how they love. I am a bigot when it comes to bigots!

Am I prejudiced? Of course I am! Everyone is. It is a human trait. I probably have internalized prejudices that I am not even aware of. BUT I try not to treat people by how society chooses to label them. Perhaps some of this has to do with my autism; I see all people as a sort of warm, neutral, blank face attached to a body. I can really only appreciate two or three emotional expressions and I am not able to comprehend most emotional complexity in a conversation. I spend much more time worrying about whether a person is angry at me then I ever would worrying about who they slept with or the melanin content of their skin. I understand that I benefit from my society’s inherent racism and bigotry against blacks, women and LGBTQIA people, even if I wish I did not. I try my best to not let that privilege color my view of the world and the people in it but of course that is an impossible task to fully accomplish…but that does not mean I do not fight every day in big or small ways to make the world a little more fair.

People need to let other people just live. Everyone has the right to try and be happy. As long as you do not hurt someone (without their consent at least) you should be free to do as you wish. I do not and will never understand why a natural expression of human love and affection would offend anyone. Being Gay is not weird no more or less than it is weird to be straight or anything else. People are gay because they are people. That is a fact of life. We should appreciate that and respect it. I was lucky enough to be raised in a home that valued people and did not try to judge them but that does not mean that upbringing alone excuses behavior. We must not be cruel, we must not judge, and we must remember that sometimes two very good looking people kissing is just that…”even” if they are both men.

I wish Michael Sam good luck on his training and I hope he makes the team if only for the inspiration it would give to people who have been told their whole lives they cannot aspire to be the best because of who they are or who they love. Michael Sam is not the best football player in the world and he is not the worst. He is not the first gay man to play professional football (he is the first OPENLY gay man to be drafted) and he will not be the last. But he is a man and a person and he can play ball. That should be enough for everyone.

And goodness gracious is he freakin’ enormous.

 

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Ukraine

Voting in Eastern Ukraine

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Today the referendum asking if Luhansk and Donetsk wish to declare independence from/autonomy within Ukraine is being held (it is still unclear what the actual intention of the referendum is supposed to be) and both sides are out in full force smearing the other. The West (EU/Kyiv/US) is of course denouncing the vote as more Russian interference and as illegitimate (particularly rich when you consider how fast the West embraced the government of the leaders of the violent coup against the corrupt technocrat Victor Yanukovych…maybe because this new center-right government wishes to expand free trade into Ukraine and integrate with the capitalist West?) while the East is breathlessly denouncing the new Kyiv regime as “fascistic” and “anti-Russian”. Both sides are of course playing to their bases; Russia wants to keep control over the eastern regions of Ukraine and expand its economic sphere of influence and the West want a “stable” unified Ukraine that is ready for corporate and capitalist expansion and market liberalization. What do the people of Ukraine want? That is less that clear. Many in the east seem to want some form of federalization or at least recognition of their Russian heritage and language as well as a share of the prosperity promised by an increasingly Westernized and corporatized Kyiv. Some want independence, some want unity with Ukraine and some want to join the Russian Federation like their compatriots in Crimea. There is no clear cut answer to the question “who is in the right in Ukraine?” Everyone has their own agenda and the increasingly propagandized media (corporate dominated in the west and state dominated in the east) is happy to play each group off of the other. What is clear is that the people of eastern Ukraine want some measure of respect and the ability to control their own destiny. It remains to be seen whether this latest scheme will do that or just propel Ukraine ever closer to the brink of all out civil war.

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Philosophy

Philosophical Musings

Ariadne_Draper

1. What is terror? The system you live (and die) in is an evil, destructive one, what we may have once have defined as terror, political or socially motivated violence, may now be understood better as the natural expression of creatures who wish to be free from this evil. All terror, all conflict, all action leads to the dissolution of the Capitalist order and its Imperialist system. All these anti-human forces have left to them is reaction against the boiling anger and yearning of the People. Reaction is terminative, a political expression of the scientific tendency of all things to eventually collapse into chaos and disperse back into the mixture of existence. This is a truth understood since at least Democritus that has influenced humanist thought in what is so stupidly, but now all but unavoidably, called the Western World for at least 1000 years. All things tend towards their most natural state unless prevented by another force or happenstance. War is a force that takes societies, cultures, landscapes and most importantly people and grinds them down to a bloody nub approximating the raw and painful animal state that tortured and terrified 99% of our forebears. This, though, is not the natural state of humanity as a political animal, as homo philosophicus. We can only live so long as creatures before we grasp desperately at what surrounds us so that we may craft a less galling existence.

 

2. I see the People as the greatest moral precept. The individual is it’s most profound and terrifying expression and the community is its greatest potential. This precept is not derived from a metaphysical source. If philosophy has taught us anything the past 200 years it is that metaphysics are anything but a universal basis for moral thought and exercise.

 

3. The nation state is the the cause of much of the strife the world has undergone during the past 150 years. The nation state serves to prop up and justify corporate and imperial power, and exists as a focus for the people’s anxieties, irrational passions, and urge to belong to a community. No nation state, no matter how liberal in outlook, is without xenophobia and jingoism, no state exists without the idea that one is inherently an object associated with an established type: the Englishman, the Brazilian, the Russian. The nation state creates barriers against unification of the people and causes the people to fight against the common good in order to preserve the empty dignity of national expression. Nationalism is a religion, a creature of irrational belief, and like all religion it is an opiate, something that dulls the senses and the ideals of a people and persuades them not to pursue revolutionary change.

 

4. I think our place is as a side-effect of natural processes that make up the universe. we have to understand our feelings and our needs and our minds as extensions of a physical universe that has laws, and limits, but that is still changing and expanding in so many ways. We limit ourselves be seeing ourselves as unique or as separate from the universe and nature. we are no less natural processes than a quasar or a black hole…we are a manifestation of physics. we are self aware, but that only means we are capable of contemplating the forces that made us and as we slowly move towards a greater understanding it will bring is into closer contact with the forces that brought us into being. we have to allow ourselves to explore, and to feel, and to destroy at times. we are a small part of the universe but the smallest thing is no less than the universe in a nutshell. As to what makes us unique…I think it is the decisions we make and the individual experiences we find in the world. Each person is essentially a variation of the same animal, but there is that strange quirk in each of us that allows us be unique. In the end we are all animals and, if we want to find individuality, it must be in our thoughts and deeds.

 

5. Daniel Dennant, in his great book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, persuasively argues that Darwin’s conception of evolution by natural selection is an algorithmic process wherein the raw elemental matter of the Universe is formed, without a teleology, into ever more complex and fecund forms. As an indisputable member of the animal kingdom, homo sapiens are not excused from this process and our emergence as, and our progression towards, our not at all inevitable place as the dominant mammal on the planet demonstrates that our agency comes about directly as a consequence of evolution by natural selection. Humans and their special talents, skills, genius, and deficits are a stamp of our origin in nature and its elemental building blocks. There is nothing human that is not natural, of nature, and there is nothing supernatural or metaphysical in the construction or operation of our remarkably powerful, albeit often confused, minds. Hume, in A Treatise of Human Nature, wrote

What we call a mind is nothing but a heap or collection of different perceptions, united together by certain relations and supposed, though falsely, to be endowed with a perfect simplicity and identity.

Hume, who as a man of the 18th century should be forgiven his lack of technical expertise regarding neurology and brain chemistry, outlines the telelogic fallacy that beguiles the human mind and ego; we believe we are more than the sum of our parts, that nature had our emergence in mind when beginning the process of bringing life from chemical chaos. Without evolution as explained by Darwin nature becomes the last of all possible gods and one that makes human beings the apex of an erroneous pyramid of progressive animal inevitability.

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News, opinion, Ukraine

Some Thoughts on Ukraine (As of 1:37AM Central Standard Time)

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Major fighting has started in eastern and southern Ukraine between Kiev’s national armed forces and separatists and possibly Russian controlled elements. A battle between the two sides led to the over-running of a pro-Russian camp in Odessa. The  separatists and activists fled into a building that was later set on fire, possibly by accident, possibly by Ukrainian forces. 30+ are confirmed dead. This may be the misstep that Russia has been waiting for in order to justify a full scale invasion of the East and South. Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down in the east as well and scores of pro-Russian/Anti-Kiev separatists have been killed by the Ukrainian military forces in their attempt to regain control of the east of the country, a region the acting President had recently said they had “lost control” over.

Who is in the “right” here? No one.

Russia is just as craven as EU/US when it comes to exploiting its neighbors. That being said EU/US have corporate interests in mind in Ukraine. With what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Central and South America over the years I do not see how the US can claim any moral high ground here though. If we posit that US has the right to interfere in Central and South America then why shouldn’t Russia be able to interfere in Ukraine, especially considering US/UK/EU’s historical betrayal of their former Russian ally on many occasions in the past? We must stop looking at Ukraine as a East vs West conflict and start looking at what is best for the people of Ukraine. Economic servitude to Russia is not in their interest but neither is economic exploitation and corporate raiding by the EU/UK/US. The Maidan movement may have had some true believers taking part, and the late President surely was a corrupt thug, but to replace it with a flimsy cobbled together group of rightists/corporatists and nationalists is not the answer. The people of Ukraine need to take their destiny into their own hands. ALL the people. I fear this will not happen until a war with Russia and/or a civil war has taken place. I do hope I am wrong though.

Here is some good reporting/updates on the situation

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23449-the-economic-plans-of-the-kiev-government-will-spell-ruin-for-a-great-many-in-ukraine

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/02/police-38-dead-in-protes_n_5255399.html

Also look into reporting by Interfax-Ukraine for some up to date, albeit heavily pro-west/Kiev slanted, coverage.

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