Don Dada (When Words Fail)

Hoch-Cut_With_the_Kitchen_KnifeEclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.
Ralph Ellison
Thought is made in the mouth.
– Tristan Tzara

I think the time has come to rewrite the dictionary. It’s not the words so much I have a problem with, as much as it’s the way we use or misuse them – some words as dictated by our standard dictionaries and so-called reference material, other words as dictated by the mainstream media (MSM). In both cases, we have established a penchant to parrot ad nauseam that which we hear or have been taught, very rarely taking liberty or poetic license with the same words, as I often do on this blog, more often than not in a wholly and ‘pseudolly suitable un-surreptitious’ manner.

Take for example the words ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. There are succinct published definitions to be certain, even in 10 words or less. Nevertheless, the ultimate application of their definitions is best defined by the actions of government officials, intelligence gathering agencies, the military, law enforcement personnel, and an entire legal profession of dark suited pontificators. Of course, Big Business interests figure into this conspiracy of terms, as well, but let’s not get paranoid!

So, it seems to me that no one really know what democracy means anymore. Countless definitions exist, but in reality the term has come to mean different things to different people. Perhaps it no longer matters, since the concept has very little ‘personally redeeming value’. In most cases, what you can count on, but can’t look up in your ‘Funk & Wagnalls’, is that both ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are defined at the street level … when they are lost.

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The USNSA: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

USNSA-No Room Transparency“Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience … We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”

– Barack Obama

 

Dystopia, Data-Mining and Distraction

This past week was a wake up call for many Americans living in the United States of the National Security Agency (USNSA) – a dystopia of their own making. Yes, yes, revelations came to light that ‘the powers that be’ had obtained a secret court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allowing it to basically gorge itself on tens of millions of phone records of Verizon customers. Surprise! Big Brother may not be watching, but he is listening. A short time later, information concerning the government’s PRISM program was revealed. It basically empowers the National Security Agency (NSA) to data-mine the emails and chat records of both Americans and foreigners abroad from some of the largest Internet based services, such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Google (SkyNet) and other web-based giants.

Of course, all of this should come as a shock to no one … except the obvious clear majority of easily led American ‘sheeple’ that believe the internet, or their phone lines, for that matter, are ‘private’, and that their personal data are protected under a supposed ‘right to privacy‘ guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution … (insert pregnant pause) … oh wait , sorry … such a right is not actually expressed in the Constitution. Chalk that up to yet another American collective misconception … or perhaps to good old Uncle Sam, an apparent trickster of sorts.

Makes you think twice about ‘cloud computing’, doesn’t it? Sure. Go ahead and back up all your data online. It’s safe and secure – and makes it that much easier for the NSA to access. And trust me, it’s not doing so for the Lulz. Similarly, you can understand why some folks stuff money into their mattresses; banks are neither safe nor secure. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and ask anyone that has ever had the misfortune of having the long-arm of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ‘beam into’ their savings accounts to settle a tax matter or two.

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The Power Games: Dancing With The Ringmasters

Young_man_with_the_whip“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

Such is life, often compared to a circus. Hoops to jump through are ever present while the snap and crack of a ringmaster’s whip are always an arm’s breadth away. And, like an abused Russian dancing bear, we submit to being shackled, tormented and humiliated … and all perhaps for the ‘entertainment purposes’ of some. In the circus tent of life, the power games have already taken center ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the greatest ‘sideshow’ on earth! Come one, come all! Come all ye faithful and join the procession of the people for the people … who are power-crazy. Two-step your mortality away and shuffle towards your salvation: a cold grave. ‘Til death do you part, dissatisfaction guaranteed!”

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Wake Up! Stay In Bed.

SeussNotGettingUp“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

– George Orwell, 1984

 

There is a profound children’s book written by Dr. Seuss titled “I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!”. It chronicles a society in shock fuming over a young boy who, upon waking, decides on a whim to stay in bed. He declares, “The alarm can ring. The birds can peep. My bed is warm. My pillow’s deep. Today’s the day I’m going to sleep!”.

The world balks. Incredulously, all manner of creatures, tall and small, come to call. They stare and parrot each other in disbelief. Concerned citizens in the form of friends, family, the authorities and the mainstream media, all flock together to voice their disapproval. Judeo-Christian cum Protestant work ethic laced moral outrage is expressed in response to the boy’s ‘Bohemic’ claims of free-will, “I don’t choose to be up walking. I don’t choose to be up talking. The only thing I’m choosing is to lie here woozy-snoozing.”

The horror of it all! The entire balance of modern of civilization apparently rests on the vagaries of this young boy who on an impulse defies the expectations of society by taking charge of his own destiny.

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Walking On Eggshells, Sticks And Stones

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.
– George Bernard Shaw
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
– George Orwell

Let’s pretend it’s kindergarten again and time for ‘show and tell’. Today, I’ve brought ‘my opinion’ to share.

Now, if that makes you nervous, so be it. However, know that I say that because only you can decide for yourself what offends you or incites you to violence. Hopefully, this post will do neither, but obviously it’s really up to you. Trust me, I understand.

These days, there is a rash of global protests, some violent, over a pretty lame anti-Islam film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims‘ produced in the United States. The zealous condemnation of the film by Muslims have triggered a rioting frenzy, including attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and consulates, and resulting in at least 14 deaths and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya. This morning I awoke to a steady stream of ‘Twitter tweets’ suggesting that the protests were spreading like wildfire … and so was discussion of another form of righteous indignation: censorship.

Oh, how some have forgotten their kindergarten lessons: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

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The High Art And Crime Of Limb Jerking: Free Pussy Riot

“Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.”
– Albert Camus
“I thought the church loved its children … It turns out the church only loves those children who believe in Putin.”
– Maria Alekhina

 

Running within my veins is an international blend of blood cells owing their existence to a somewhat mixed and muddied heritage that is one part American, one part European and one part Russian. These days, my blood – and not just the Russian part –  is boiling, especially after witnessing the conviction of 3 young women, members of ‘Pussy Riot’, an anonymous Russian feminist performance art group/punk rock band.

A few days ago, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, both young mothers, as well as Ekaterina Samucevich, were sentenced by a Russian court to two years each after being found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”.

If you haven’t heard the story, here are the basics: In February of this year, the artists performed a ‘flash performance’ of their song titled, ‘Punk-Prayer: Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away’, at the altar of Moscow’s main cathedral. The stunt lasted approximately 30 seconds or so before the group were forced from the church.

Yes, the impromptu politically charged exhibition obviously rubbed many folks the wrong way – especially those it was aimed at, namely Russian President Vladimir Putin and church leader Patriarch Kirill, a staunch supporter of Putin’s re-election campaign; strange bedfellows given the supposedly formal separation of church and state.

Incredibly, the Russian court chose to dismiss the obvious political and personal aim of the song, as well as the artists’ actual testimony, and instead categorized their actions as essentially a ‘religious hate crime’ and act of ‘social disorder’. In this last categorization, the court referred to “devilish dances” and ‘limb jerking” (insert long pregnant pause here to collect your dropped jaws).

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Standing Up To Shutting Down

“I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”
– Isaac Newton

You know what I hate? Going to the beach on a hot day and baking in the sun. You see the Sun has a funny way of defying every maneuver I make with my flimsy umbrella to shield myself from its searing heat that creeps ever closer towards me. As sweat pours through my blistered pores, each and every solar radiated fibre in my body screams ‘Help! I’m burning up!’ The grievous cacophony of cellular shrieking overwhelms me so … that I just lay there and allow sunstroke to set in.

So that’s what I hate. Unfortunately, it’s only a metaphor for what really has been bothering me lately: life overload. And trust me, I’m completely and utterly fried!

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