Monday, September 29, 2008

Smith and O'Brien

In 1984, George Orwell showed us his vision of the future. A lot of this was achieved by the chief protagonist, the oxymoronically named Winston Smith, going through the motions of his life. But given that a major aspect of Orwell's dystopian future was the ignorance of outer-party members like Smith, we'd have only gotten so far with Smith alone. In order for Orwell to reveal more, it was necessary that Smith travel upwards. Thus would further 'realities' be revealed. The immediate vehicle for this was the character of Julia. In passing him a note bearing the message 'I love you' she ended his world such as it was.

His relationship with her brings them both to the attention of the inner-party as personified by O'Brien. (Does anyone know why O'Brien has an Irish name? It's not an accident. Orwell would have chosen it with tremendous care). Anyway, in this meeting of Smith and O'Brien the full horror of 1984 is revealed. Smith, the man who lacks knowledge, is enlightened by O'Brien, the man who possesses it. Me, I wonder at this relationship.


At the back of my mind has been the possibility of ending up in a windowless room having to answer the questions of an anonymous federal officer. In the US this would have happened already. In Oz, it's unlikely. But I push it. I never pass up an opportunity to disabuse customs officers, police, and security guards of the nature of whatever it is they're doing. I've had a variety of reactions from anger, to boredom, to shock. Invariably, whenever I start in on the subject of bullshit liquid bombs, bullshit terror attacks, bullshit al qaeda, etc. whomever it is I'm addressing tends to hurry up so that the whole thing will be over as quickly as possible.

Curiously enough, I find this disappointing. And I have no idea if anything results from me telling them they shouldn't believe me and that they should just put it into google and have a read. "It's your job, mate. I just thought you might be interested in knowing if what you're doing is real or not. If it was me, I'd rather not be on some wild goose chase. But that's just me, you know..." Maybe they look it up, maybe they don't. I have no idea. Otherwise, I don't know how many times I've heard people utter some variation of, "Yeah, well, I don't make the laws, I just carry them out." The reply to this is always the same, "Sure, we're all good Germans, mate". One female customs officer's eyes went wide when I said that to her. I had a smile on my face, but whatever...

I always keep it consistent. I am always friendly and cooperative. I never raise my voice. I never get angry. I let them do that. I merely tell them they are free to do as they wish - search anything. "No mate, go for it. You won't find any explosives. But you never have, have you? No? Yeah, and you never will, you know..." They are trained to deal with angry people, violent people, nervous people, but they have absolutely no training for cheerful, chatty, cooperative people like me. I do their heads in.

I confine myself solely to thought-crime. My purpose is always to screw with the thinking of people who have no idea what they're doing. They think they do, sure, but only because they've never encountered an opposing view. Welcome to me, ha ha. I am the man to ruin their day.


You know what it is? I want to meet O'Brien. I want to meet the creature who knows that he's bullshitting me. All I ever meet is Smiths. But I thought about this - I will never meet an O'Brien.

Orwell's meeting of Smith and O'Brien is an impossibility. In this world of bullshit, a man who does not know will never meet a man who does. In reality Smith would only ever have met more Smiths. Obviously this wouldn't have suited Orwell. Kafka perhaps, but not Orwell. Orwell wanted to tell us of his vision. This could never have been achieved if Smith had only ever met people who knew as little as he did. In reading 1984, it's worth keeping in mind that, genius though Orwell was, he was still subject to the mechanics of telling a tale. Thus the meeting of Smith and O'Brien is better viewed as a plot device rather than some kind of real world likelihood.

But that doesn't mean the collision of these two characters isn't instructive. As far as 1984 is concerned these two differ in knowledge. One has it, one doesn't. They also differ in power. Knowledge equals power. As I've said elsewhere, the root of the word 'know' is the same root as that for the word 'nobility'. This is an unarguable acknowledgement that the basis of power, of viewing oneself as above one's fellow humans, is the possession of knowledge.

All of the Smiths I've met had power, albeit of the tiny customs-officer variety. Their imagining that they are some variety of O'Brien is a trick that they fell for. They possess a false knowledge, a false nobility. The true O'Briens of this world, the possessors of closely guarded occult knowledge, are few and far between. I'm going to pull a figure out of the air and say that there's probably less than a thousand of them in the whole world. Their knowledge must be closely guarded or else their 'nobility' will be challenged.

And here's the thing. Their knowledge can be challenged. In much the same way that this 'nobility' must control the media in order to ensure that their Smith servants never have access to an opposing viewpoint, it's important that they too never be so challenged. This is because the knowledge they possess is not the truth. Their ultimate occult knowledge is merely a clever self-serving arrangement that ensures their access to 'stuff' - stuff like caviar, jewelry, mansions, and slaves. Clearly a self-serving truth is not true. Truth is not subordinate to the self. If this nobility was presented with a truth that didn't serve their desires they would have to look away.

So it's all very well, me screwing with the heads of the various petty Smiths that I encounter. But what I burn for is to smash the understandings of the O'Briens. I want to show them that their desires are a delusion. I want to show them that their fear is a delusion too. Desire, fear, same thing. I want to embrace them to my bosom and show them the joy, the love, the truth of selflessness.

Ha ha ha, what a fool's errand! But I don't care. That rabbi who bested God in the Talmud had it arse-about. If only he'd put his cleverness to use explaining to the devil the error of his ways. God is fine, he needs nothing from us. It's the devil who doesn't understand the world. It's the devil who needs is to be clasped to one's breast.

Who but a fool would do that? Ha! Hey nobility! I'll be your huckleberry fool! I have nothing to lose. You want to join me? You too can cast off fear, desire, delusion. We'll bow down to each other and dance a pas de deux. For no reason beyond the simple joy of it. We'll marvel at the tomato growing from the compost, we'll enjoy a long drink of water in the heat of midday, and then laugh at the lorikeets hanging upside down in the casuarinas as the setting sun turns their feathers to gold. None of it will belong to you, but it doesn't matter. You'll be astounded at how free you feel. It'll be innocent. It'll be beautiful. It'll be the best you'll ever feel.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Orwell and Warburg

It was an appearance of John Hurt on television that set me off. There he was in my head as Winston Smith. And next to him was Richard Burton as O'Brien. Spooky casting.

I've read the book and seen the movie three times each I'm pretty sure. But not lately. What with my understanding of the world being in a constant state of flux (particularly lately with events steaming in the vertical part of an exponential curve), I found myself rolling 1984 around in my head and wondering at it anew.

No mistake, Orwell was a genius. His name entering the dictionary as an adjective is a fitting and proper testament to this. But he didn't get everything right. 1984 can primarily (arguably so, sure), be considered a discussion of Stalinism, which is to say a betrayal of the revolution. But what did Orwell know of Stalinism? Hell what do we know even now?

1984 is a tricky beast. Its protagonist Winston Smith (John Hurt's character in the movie of the eponymous year) is 'enlightened' by inner-party member, O'Brien (played by Richard Burton) in two key scenes. But are the revelations he is given real? Might they not be more propaganda? We will never know. The only 'truth' of 1984 is to be found in its narrated actions. Thus it's entirely possible that there was no Emmanuel Goldstein, no Eastasia, no war even. The rats on the other hand were real.

But that aside, Orwell didn't put these explanations in 1984 for no reason. He had points he wanted to make and parallels he wanted to draw. Take the Goldstein character. Orwell didn't pull him out of his arse. The possible apocryphal aspect of Goldstein aside (and his immediate plot function sure), Orwell was clearly referring to Leon Trotsky. But who was Leon Trotsky? Did Orwell really know? And who was Stalin? Who was Karl Marx? I expect that Orwell understood pre-Stalinist communism in the terms laid out by Marx, Lenin, and the Bolsheviks who founded it - the ownership of the means of production, the bourgeoise, the proletariat, blah blah blah.

I wonder if it ever occurred to Orwell that perhaps Marx and his buddies were bullshit-artists? Certainly, Marx's work was really something. To write a treatise on class struggle and macro-economics and leave out ownership of the money supply is an astounding effort. It's like re-writing Romeo and Juliet, but leaving out the two lovers and still having a story that not only makes sense but goes on to become everyone's favourite play. You'd have to be impressed wouldn't you? That's not to excuse Marx of course. He's a motherfucker.

So when Stalin seized control and threw out Trotsky, the banker's friend, who was the bad guy? Okay, everyone, sure, ha ha. But Orwell would vaguely have us understand that the Emmanuel Goldstein character didn't deserve his 'villain' status. And thus nor did Trotsky deserve his. Or so Orwell, and everybody else thought (even me at one point). Perhaps the greatest truth in 1984 was one unintended by Orwell. Insofar as we have no idea if anything that is revealed to Smith by O'Brien is true, so it is with communism as told to us by communists and their banker backers. Remember how communism was all about the 'means of production'? Where's the means of production now? Who gives a fuck? It's all about the means of exchange, which is to say the ownership of the money supply. If you have that stitched up the means of production is neither here nor there. Mills and lathes ain't going to save anyone now. Only smashing the banks will.

Meanwhile it's acceptable to dip into 1984 for metaphors and analogies for this, that, and the other. Hell, they teach it in high-school. But I wonder what would have happened had Orwell written 1984 with not just the proles and the outer party being deluded, but the inner party too. What if he'd had a tiny number of families occupying the tiniest pointy bit of the pyramid with the ownership of the means of exchange as their ultimate control mechanism? Do you think his publisher Frederick Warburg would have still put 1984 into print?

This is the bit where I roll my eyes and say, 'Sure why not?' Ever the comedian, me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A darkness at the end of the tunnel

I look after my father who has cancer, amongst various other things. His physical ailments are one thing, him losing his mind is another. My life has officially become a tough gig. I wondered if this madness might not be a metaphor? The speed of his descent into incoherency has been something to behold. Same-same, the world. Or is that too simplistic? And really, the world was always thus. Even the 'good war' was bullshit. Certainly every war he ever fought in was - white people v coloured people, hip hip hooray. But then I wonder, with my eyes adjusted to the glare of new stark relief, if he wasn't always mad then too.

Perhaps his madness isn't a metaphor so much as simple cause and effect. As we sit and watch the SBS news (the only thing we watch on the TV that isn't sport, sport, and more sport) and I explain the enormity of the endless lies we're told, everything he took as certainty crumbles beneath him. All of it, everything, even Pearl Harbour was bullshit for chrissakes. If everything you knew was false, why not abandon reason and behave like an infant? Mad in a sane world, or sane in a mad world. Who can tell the difference?

Or perhaps this smashing of understandings has nothing to do with anything. His mad watching of Fox Sport's fifteen minute recycles forty times a day is only a small step from his previous never-miss-a-game. It's just that back then he knew what he was watching. He now longer knows now. I've ceased asking him who's playing or what the score is. He has no idea. And I'm now given to thinking that the sneaky wilfulness in what he does, and doesn't do, remembers, and doesn't remember, is just a red herring. Alzheimers does that.

But courses are being plotted here and the curves match too well for me to ignore them. Parabolic accelerations match and multiple end-points are all nearing simultaneous arrival. The timing is spooky. I know what the end point of Alzheimers is. My maternal grandmother had it. She ended up a gibbering vegetable who would spit out anything that wasn't chocolate custard. My father is nearing this point and then he'll die. I won't describe the world-as-we-know-it doing similar things. You all get it, I'm sure.

But then there's us too. We the sane in the mad world, the mad in the sane, whatever. Our arc is accelerating too and as the madness and lies reach new dizzying heights, the clearer we become. And then what? We all die? What sort of crummy metaphor is that?

I admit I'm muddying things here, but how about this - We've been travelling through a mad labyrinth, with every step taking us further into absurdity. It's been dream-like hasn't it? Our disillusion (I use this word with great care) has brought us lucidity, but not to the point where we can control anything. All it's done is made the absurdity clearer. And whilst the endpoint is sharpening it's still fuzzy. But the end of the tunnel is in sight. Forget Tricky Dick's bullshit analogy. There was no light then, and there's no light now. What we see is the darkness at the end of the tunnel. And how we all fear this thing! The nightmare isn't over - just its prelude. God help us all.


Going sideways momentarily, did anyone see a piece linked by WRH that pivoted on a poker game metaphor? It caught my eye because I briefly mentioned poker myself in the last piece. The writer compared poker to capitalism. A poker game can only continue whilst some of the players still have chips. But if one of the players takes all the chips, the game is over. He asked, how will capitalism continue? Ha ha ha ha. Is this a difficult question? I thought the answer was obvious - it won't continue. The poker game was not the end in itself, merely the means to it. The end was to render everyone penniless, put them in debt, and make them slaves. The guy whose game it was, will own them. He no longer needs the game. Medieval slavery is way more fun than capitalism poker.

Now the losers need merely stagger out of the smoke-filled room, and into the alley filled with garbage and the stink of urine. Where did the hookers go? And the free drinks? Iggy Pop's I want to be your dog kicks in as the penniless losers crash through the door and vomit. And as they're doubled up, a pitiless thug tells them their future, 'We own you.'


And so we will all arrive. And me. And my father. Arrival, Departure, it's hard to tell the difference. Same helvetica signage, same blue/green decor, same announcements over the loudspeakers, 'Attention. Passengers. Departing. Arriving. Please. Proceed.' Either way, we'll all leave where we are and be somewhere else.

That's that darkness at the end of the tunnel. I don't know that struggling to stay in the labyrinth will serve any purpose. Like the writer above who sounded like he was going to miss the poker he'd spent his whole life playing. Boo hoo. Sure, we don't know precisely what the darkness is. Conrad's horror, maybe? But let's not be so clever. Let's be simpletons. The darkness is the night. Shifting cloud cover aside, the stars are still in the firmament, as beautiful as ever. Certainly the self-proclaimed gods would have this moonless dark last forever. They are without doubt creatures of the night. Perversity's natural element was always darkness. But this eternity they dream of is a fool's errand. The only certainty is change. No night lasts forever. Paraphrasing Hemingway, the sun always rises.

Me, I am prepared. I have shed nearly everything. I quit whatever this bullshit game was years ago. The only thing I have not shed is my father. Buddha left his wife and kids you know. Happily they were in a palace, so no biggie. But what if Siddhartha Gautama and his family had been living on the footpath with him as their only hope? Would he have gone on to become Buddha? Who knows? He didn't have to answer this question. Nor do I need to. And I ain't Buddha, ha ha. But me as Buddha wannabe aside, my father will die soon enough. His deterioration is quite rapid now.

When this happens my last tether will be gone. I will become a 'slippery little sucker'. It's alright for me, sure. Many of you reading this have children. Me, I have no kids. This breaks my heart, sure, but it's a blessing too. But then again, having kids is both of these things as well. Kids was the first objection I heard against my plans of having my friends and I quit the city and make a collective farm. The precise words were - 'We have kids in school'. Sure. I still think pulling them out and taking them to the country was a good idea. Kids are tougher than you think. Some of these kids are my nieces and nephews. Not literally, but I love them just the same and they break my heart regardless. But I'm not their parent, and far be it from me to say what's best for them. All I can do is speak for myself.

And me, I'm going to step into the dark, into that fresh unknown. I already barely exist in this labyrinth. The only piece of paper with my name on it is my passport. In this bullshit white man's world I'm an impossibility. I'm only here for, and because of, my father. His name is on lots of pieces of paper and he enables me to live in this fashion. (For the record, I qualify for a carer's pension. God knows how many people have told me I should take it. I tell them that I don't need it. There's nothing I want to buy and I don't wish to jump through government hoops or otherwise be controlled. This is a bit of a conversation stopper.) Anyway I wondered if having my food and shelter provided by my father was parasitic of me. But this was driven by me wondering what I would do without it. Sure enough, if I want to live in this white man's land, not being ensnared in the web of money, bills, taxes, debt, and enslavement is impossible. Living under a bridge and trawling the garbage is your only option.

This was the darkness at the end of my particular tunnel. Or so I imagined. But lately an answer has presented itself. And it's so fucking obvious. The answer is to quit the white man's world. I shall step out of the labyrinth into a place of my own choosing. To the north of me here, not far away, are 25,000 islands. I have friends who've lived there and plan to go back. They tell me it's do-able and I'm the man to do it. They tell me it's possible to live there for pennies. It's not dangerous, or scary, or any other thing the bullshit media would have us believe. In these places, the end of the world will be met with a shrug. The rain will still fall. The fruit will still grow. And the kids will still run around laughing their heads off. Anyone untethered can do this.

And yeah, I get the double meaning. Yoroshiku.

Friday, September 19, 2008

hey shoe-shine guy

I'm in amongst a collection of tedious family issues at the moment and subsequently don't have so much time. In the middle of last night's sibling argument about what's happening in the stockmarket, I found myself restating things I wrote a while back that never saw the light of day here. I rejected it for reasons I can't now recall. Anyway I went back and read it and thought it was pretty good. I admit it's not precisely germane to right-this-minute, but it's broadly there and will do until I'm back to my life of nothing-better-to-do-than-write.

In the meantime, friends of mine (who don't know about this blog, shhh!) are getting in touch with me, newly keen to hear my thoughts on the current crises. These are the people I tried to talk into cashing out of the city and moving to the country to set up a farm collective thing. So much for that idea. The ridicule and opposition I got was total - Cassandra ain't in it. And now here we are. As always. The strangest thoughts float through my head, all coloured by me being past caring. Anyway this was written for my jet-set friends who thought they'd get rich playing the stock market and are now being taken to the cleaners.

You know that American cautionary story about poker? The one that says - If you're sitting at a poker table and look around and don't know who the patsy is, it's you. That's one story. And then there's that Rockefeller story. You know the one.

Rockefeller was having his shoes shined out the front of his building and the shoe-shine guy asks for stock tips. Or offers them? Whatever. Rockefeller presciently decided that if the shoe-shine guy is into the stock-market then the whole thing is overheated and it's time for him to get out. And that, boys and girls, is how Rockefeller cashed in all his stocks the moment before the crash of 1929.

Ha ha ha. Did we really buy that story? Whatever - let's pretend it's true. What Rockefeller is saying is that the stock-market is not for little people, which is to say, you. By the time you have joined the market, it's going to come down, says he. According to Rockefeller it doesn't matter how many of those unintelligible magazines you read. Bloomberg Dow FTSE Stock-Ticker Market Report - all that stuff. You will always be the shoe-shine guy.

I wonder if someone thought to track down that shoe-shine guy? Verify the story, kind of thing. Maybe they couldn't find him? Maybe he was so distraught about his stock portfolio crashing that he leapt to his death from his shoeshine box, ha ha ha.

But seriously, no such event happened. Rockefeller's story is crap. It's just a variation of an alibi in case anyone thought to look for the culprits, ie. who pulled out just before it all happened. He needn't have worried. His friends in the media ensured everyone understood the crash was a force of nature. An act of God, as it were. I expect Rockefeller would have agreed with that description.

And yeah, I understand punters do make money on the stock market. My father once made enough money to buy my mother a jazzy little French car. She took it, the furniture, and all his money, but never mind. He had a brief dabble and came out ahead. But of course there are guys who win. If no one ever won at the casino who'd bother going? A casino can't make money without punters. Those stock reports are just brochures with instructions on how to play each game. But the house always wins, doncha know. The house is the Reserve Bank. When times are good they win small. And when times are bad - as in Grapes of Wrath bad - they make out like motherfuckers. Or like Rockefellers, ha ha.

I'd like to offer consolation to those getting taken to the cleaners right now. But I can't. You're fucked. Alan Greenspan had your number years ago. Those insane house prices - did you ever wonder what that was all about? Housing shortage, mumble mumble. Huh? Were you or any of your friends living sardine-like, thinking, if only there were more houses? Hardly. Your house is (well, was anyway) worth all that money because there was too much bullshit money sloshing around looking for somewhere to go. Now there's so much money it's worthless. Welcome to Weimar Germany. BYO wheelbarrow. Greenspan and his very good friends printed all that monopoly money. Know that they made this crash with malice aforethought. Act of God my arse. Act of pitiless hubristic motherfuckers more like.

Oh well, never mind - easy come, easy go, eh?

PS Anyone who hasn't seen The Money Masters over at googlevideo, do it. Or don't do it. I'm past caring. But if you watch it you'll understand why this crash is happening. It won't allow you to rescue your money and assets. It's too late for that now. But at least you'll know the make of the truck that hit you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How to go directly to jail

Just yesterday a friend of mine was arrested for possession of marijuana - one ounce. Fingers crossed she gets off lightly. In the meantime my head was filled with mad, windmill-tilting thoughts. Perhaps this is best viewed as comedy, or if you'd rather, as proof that smoking marijuana renders one imbecilic.

Your Worship,

May I have a few minutes of the court's time to express an acknowledgement of my crime? Yes? I thank the court. Because it is clear that I have failed. That the police have spent time and money bringing me here, and that the court has devoted its own very valuable time to my case, is proof of this.

My prime failure is my inability to reconcile two understandings. The first is an historical one, to wit, America's prohibition of alcohol in the thirties. This famously failed on account its criminalising of otherwise law-abiding citizens and its enrichment of true criminals, who in turn, unsurprisingly, used this wealth to corrupt those ordered with enforcing the law. Not forgetting the debasement of the law in the eyes of those citizens newly deemed criminal. And all of this to no useful effect.

And the second understanding is that the prohibition of marijuana seems barely to differ from this.

Any decent citizen would be able to hold both of these thoughts in their head simultaneously and think nothing of it. That I am unable to do so reflects poorly on me and renders me as (how shall I put it?) 'the wrong sort of fellow'.

I do not wish to lay blame on others for my failure. It is not the fault of my education, nor of my parents, nor of society. The fault lays entirely with me. Numerous people, including the police, have, in a spirit of helpfulness, attempted to correct me in this matter. But perversely I have refused to concede to the rightness of their thinking - the rightness of holding two contradictory thoughts at once.

Clearly this renders me at odds with decent society. I appreciate that were everyone in society as wilful as me, things would quickly degenerate. In this mad dystopia I would have us live in, the law under which I am charged would be done away with, and criminals like me would be able to openly walk the streets, wander into a liquor store and purchase two joints of a Friday evening. Dreadful - that I, a criminal, should be rendered law-abiding, that the criminals who profit from marijuana should lose their income (indeed that the government would derive tax from these sales), and that everything taking place here today should be made unnecessary, is a mad thought from which all here rightly recoil.

Except for me, Your Worship. In this I fail. Further, that I should choose not to be fearful of the repercussions of holding to such views is condemnable. May I say, that the police have done the right thing and attempted to impress upon me where such thinking leads to. As one constable said to me (if the court will forgive me for quoting directly) - 'You fucking smart-arse cunt, see how fucking clever you are when you're in Boggo Road copping it up the arse!' I thank the police for this lesson in fear and apologise for my obtuseness in learning it.

As I apologise to the court also. That the court should have it's time wasted by jumped-up nobodies like me who imagine that they should determine the rightness of a thing by means beyond those prescribed by statute, is criminal in and of itself. That I obey all other laws, and concede their rightness, and otherwise qualify as a law-abiding citizen (and have done so for my entire life), is no excuse. Indeed, I have no excuse, Your Worship. I have failed and I admit it. I ask nothing for myself and submit to the court's better judgement.

Your worship, I thank the court for its time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Darwin and the Bowerbird

It's easy being a social darwinist. The strong destroy the weak. Confirmation for this is found throughout nature. The most successful creatures are the bloodiest. The kings of the animal world are those at the top of the food chain, which is to say the predators. How we admire them! They are the most perfect examples of the undeniable proof of Darwin's dictum about 'survival of the fittest'. It is only right and proper that we should emulate their behaviour. God forbid we should emulate their victims.

And you won't find a bigger fan of Charles Darwin than yours truly. I am privileged to have him sit on my left shoulder and whisper in my ear. And I always listen. His explanation for human behaviour (amongst other things) is never wrong. But what's that Charles? You never used the phrase 'survival of the fittest'? Apparently it was some other fellow's words. Apparently Darwin put it in the foreword of his second edition of 'Origin of the Species' and regrets it. Had he known that it would come to encapsulate, and misrepresent, his description of the behaviour of species he wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole.

Darwin does not extol particular kinds of behaviour. Certainly he demands that any species (or indeed any entity) that wishes to self perpetuate must ensure the viability of its offspring. Viability here means that its offspring must be able to do what it just did, ie. produce more offspring. Beyond this he ceases to care. If humans, say, have a tendency to go mad after the age of forty or so, and this does not screw with the viability of their offspring (whom one presumes are already adult), well that's fine with him. Alternatively, if humans can better assist their offspring by living to old age, Darwin gives this his blessing too. It's all good, provided each generation is capable of ensuring the viability of those they in turn give birth to. It's as simple as that.

So where does the 'fittest' come in? To be perfectly honest, it doesn't. If creatures can ensure the viability of their offspring and yet somehow fail in the 'fitness' stakes (whatever that is) Darwin doesn't give a shit. Under Darwin they are successful, regardless. A few years back, scientists discovered a mushroom-like fungus that lived underground and occupied an area so large it spanned several countries. Belgium was one I recall (Hey Miraculix, you're probably standing on it mate). The scientists declared that this was, in all probability, the largest living creature in the world, weighing in at thousands of tons. It leaves the blue whale for dead. It is also the oldest living creature, having been there for countless millennia. That this entity has persisted, in spite of ice ages, warm spells, you name it, means that Darwin gives it his blue ribbon for excellence.

Indeed, every creature that copes with environmental depredations and ensures the viability of its offspring gets this blue ribbon. Darwin has no favourites. He is no more interested in the 'food chain' than he is in my motorcycle's drive chain. If Darwin was the judge of a beauty contest he would declare that any of the contestants who can get laid is the winner. Can you dig it? Darwin has no favourites. He does not say that this is better than that. Thus if lions can avoid having their jaw broken by the flashing heels of a springbok, and go on to catch one and ensure the viability of their offspring, Darwin pops a champagne cork. And likewise, if springboks have the ability to break a lion's jaw and bring about its death then the lion's depredations will be kept to a wary minimum. Thus, the springbok's continuance is assured, and Darwin jams a cigar in its mouth (not that the springbok would care for it, but you get the idea). The lion and the springbok are equal in the eyes of Darwin. They both get the blue ribbon and 'fittest' ain't nowhere to be seen.

And then there's the bowerbird. Ha! You thought I'd forgotten. The bowerbird is really singular. He's so called because he builds a 'bower' - an elaborate structure of twigs, variously decorated with flowers, leaves, berries, rocks, shells, and, lately, bits of modern plastic detritus (blue straws and bottle tops being particularly popular). The bower serves no purpose beyond appealing to the female. It is not a nest - the female builds the nest separately and lays eggs there. Nor does the bower provide shelter. It is merely, believe it or not, the male's expression of artistic intent, for no purpose other than impressing the female. It is literally a work of art. Astoundingly no two bowers are the same. Each is a unique expression of the male's sense of the sublime (I avoid the word 'unique' like the plague, but here it is true). The female likewise will choose the male by means of her own artistic taste. And Darwin? He claps his hands and laughs with delight.

Where's the 'survival of the fittest' here? What sort of 'fittest' consists of being the greatest artist? The truth is that 'fittest' is bullshit. Social darwinists are dimwits who utterly fail to understand Darwin. Predators, such as lions and tigers, represent the tiniest fraction of the uncountable number of creatures every single one of which receives Darwin's unconditional blessing.

We humans differ from the rest of creation insofar as we are able to choose how we behave. We may choose the means by which we obey the truth of Darwin. Neither lions, nor springboks, nor any other creature can do this. Nor can they influence others to wonder at themselves and how they might fulfil Darwin's imperatives and make the world a better place while they're at it. Only we can have a discussion as to how this might be done. It's what sets us apart and makes us singular. To those social darwinists too dim to appreciate the spectacular array of possibilities the world presents us, I say - be that stupid four-legged beast red in tooth and claw. Just leave Darwin out of it. Darwin does not think you're special. He has no more time for you than he does for a happy, little, art-mad bowerbird.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Laugh? I just about shat myself!

Oh man, it was just too beautiful.

But first an explanation. Regulars like Kikz and Tony know this story, but newer arrivals might be somewhat unfamiliar. This blog was not so long ago plagued by a one-note racist arsehole called Apollonian. He would endlessly urge us to embrace racism and 'Jew expulsion', whatever that is. He had two 'either/or' modes - sycophancy or character assassination. Me, I said lots of things to Apollonian. I told him he was mad. I told him he couldn't write for shit. And I told him that if he didn't exist, the Jews would have invented him anyway.

Anyway I banned him. He didn't care for this and spent a great deal of time and energy heaping shit on me over at Les Visible's smoking mirrors and Curt Maynard's blog. Finally Les banned him as well. Curt however embraced Apollonian to his bosom and would regularly post his mad unintelligible gibberish on the front page. Curt is a white supremacist doncha know.

Every now and then I google myself. It's not that interesting. When Mike Rivero used to link to me it was a blast but lately it's dull and I don't bother much. But I did it the other week and there seemed to be a link I didn't recognise. It was to Curt's blog, but, lo and behold, there was no Curt's blog. Curtmaynardsblog had been disappeared. Blogspot had blitzed him on account of, gee, I don't know... ugliness? Ha ha ha. Not that I was upset or anything, but I had intended to pop a note in the comments here just in case the people who'd been shat on there were interested.

But there he was back on WRH yesterday with an article entitled 'Why if they can censor Curt Maynard, Nobody's safe.' Chronically bad grammar aside, you'll be completely unsurprised that I thought this was brilliant. I headed straight over and, to hell with the article, piled into the comments and wrote how much I loved his headline. Well you can't blame me can you?

The article itself was dreary. It was him telling us how brave he is. Only he has the cojones to use words like 'nigger' and 'wetback'. Racist filth aside, it did have its lighter moments. To make his case for the rightness of calling black people 'niggers' he used the best analogy since sliced bread was run up the flagpole without a paddle.

Apparently, Curt is an adult and when he needs to urinate or defecate he doesn't say 'number one' or 'number two', therefore why should he use euphemisms when discussing 'niggers'? Surely I'm not the only one who gets the beauty of this analogy? (Curt mate, a word of advice - when you use analogies it pays to think them through. Had you done this you would have realised you just compared your use of racist language to you shitting and pissing. Not that I'm complaining. I reckon you precisely described your contributions to making the world a better place.)

But it gets better. The piece linked by WRH is the fifth in the new blog. Below it, the first post briefly announces his return and ends with the following passage -

"One thing you'll never again see at my newest blog are any "apollonian" articles, if that's what you can call them. When I have time later, I'll write up an expose revealing what a kike this guy is. In the past when I was posting some of his unreadable essays, I've had to reject many of them based upon threats he inserted in them out of concern that the threats would enable blogger to censor my blog. I'd bet money that I missed a few of these threats and that the bastard himself reported his own essays to blogger and had my last blog shut down.

No matter, apollonian won't be missed by me, or anyone else."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Crack me up!

And Curt thinking that Apollonian's task was to shut him down means that he still doesn't get it. Apollonian's task wasn't to put out the fire. It was merely to pour more petrol on it. And here's Curt announcing he can do this perfectly well on his own. I shake my head.