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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Romney Shambles: A Sham For The Lambs

“Who let the dogs out? Who, who.” (Martin Luther King Day parade, 2008)
 
“I love this state. The trees are the right height.”
“I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
– Mitt Romney

 

 

Today in the USA is Labor Day, a public holiday. Most Americans are taking the day off and celebrating. Of course, many aren’t really sure what they’re celebrating … but shucks, who cares anyway, right? Let’s not sweat the details! After all, ignorance is bliss.

Mind you, many Americans are lost in a ‘glitterfried’ parade of gleeful ethnocentric sentiment, spoon-fed to them daily by neoconservative concerns and multinational corporations. The main designs of these true ‘powers that be’ are to make money, to consolidate ultimate power and to defend their assets, financial or otherwise.

Sound familiar? Glory be! It’s the new American Way! And, judging by the debt the average American carries, you can tell just how close to home these yearnings have been embraced by the asses … sorry, I meant masses.

Yes, it’s obvious these ‘controlling interests’ are doing their best to keep the gravy train rolling. They’ve done a fine job of ensuring that their ‘passions’ have ‘trickled down’ to the ‘average Joe’, as well! In fact, there’s even a clique called the ‘Republican Party’, aka The Grand Old Party (GOP), to which any feeble-minded conservative zealot can swear his, her or its allegiance. All are welcome, even Libertarians and Teabaggers! The party’s message is simple: feed the rich! Dig a bit deeper and you find the usual subliminal command, as well:  consume and conquer; the one with the most at the end wins … death is just a minor detail.

But of course, this is why organized religion (read: the extremist Judea-Christian bible humpers) has been recruited, to prod the sheep and lambs into believing there’s life after death for them … and that for the right donation (read: tax-deductible contribution), true believers and card-carrying conservatives can buy their way into heaven. Amen! Hallelujah! Charge it! Praise the Lord … and don’t forget to pass the ammunition, chimes the National Rile Association (NRA), another transmogrification of American right-wing political ideology, like the KKK and other white supremacist groups. Oh Lord, please let those ‘boolits’ from heaven rain down on us! Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect …

Speaking of ‘trickling down’, I guess you heard that Mitt Romney is now the GOP’s ‘de facto’ candidate for the President of the Unites States. Yes, this would-be ‘Emperor’ was duly christened in the pomp, romp and circumstance of the Republican National Convention (RNC). As promised in my last post, here’s a little more about good ole ‘Mittens’.

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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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Reason’s Greetings And The Poop On Festive Poop

Come To Holiday Inn
If you’re burdened down with trouble
If your nerves are wearing thin
Park your load down the road
And come to Holiday Inn
– Irving Berlin
Twas The Day After Christmas …
It’s the day after Christmas and I’m sitting here reflecting on the holidays as John Lee Hooker sings “Blues For Christmas”. In England, today is ‘Goodwill Day’, formerly, ‘Boxing Day’, a day set aside for  ‘boxing up’ money or unwanted gifts to donate them to the less fortunate. Nevertheless, it’s more than likely that for many people, especially back in the ‘States, boxing up unwanted gifts is merely a harbinger of prancing down to the mall to act on the ‘many happy returns’ sentiment, laughing all the way.
Truthfully, it’s all too easy get up on a soap box and rant about the holidays and commercialism. The often heard lament of Christmas and consumerism is echoing like Carol of the Bells, “Alas, the spirit of the holiday has been lost in the the glitter and tinsel laced marketing salvos designed to trigger both economic growth for the country and increased personal debt.” You’ve heard that one, right? Puritans and Christmas zealots admonish us annually that the holiday season should evoke feelings of ‘Peace on Earth’ and ‘Good Will to Men”. Even stories like ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas‘ remind us that “maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store” and that perhaps the holidays mean something more. Yet in reality, the one thing that most people indeed seem to share this time of year, at least the ones still standing following the Black Friday crush, are over-bloated credit cards and indigestion. In light of this, members of the Westboro Baptist Church would like to remind us that Santa Claus will take you to hell.

Better A Living Dog Than A Dead Lion

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse.
It’s a bum’s life.
Quitting acting, that’s the sign of maturity.
– Marlon Brando

 

 

 

Preface:
The following is not a conversation. It is an introspective monologue with accompanying commentary, perhaps spoken by a chorus, a collective I’ll call ‘Rael’. If you can figure out who the ‘Id’ is, you’ll understand at least half the story.

They say that discretion is the better part of valor. They also say that “the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11). Actually, they say a lot of things, but these days, I try hard not to listen anymore, and in the end, I’m glad that I have forgotten probably more than I ever knew.

Id:
Once upon a time there was me. Some years later I was taken away from whom I was in order to live a life I did not choose, or want.

Rael:
Choice is an illusion. Your path was chosen for you long before you were even born. In fact, it’s in your blood to be who you are supposed to be. As far as ‘wants’ are concerned, you need not want for anything, for wants will be your downfall.

Id:
In fact, it was less a life, and more an existence. I say ‘existence’ in that I was existing, but it really wasn’t a life, at least not the one I had previously imagined for myself.

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Doomsday: The Day After Nothing Went POOF

Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we: For such as we are of, such we be.
– William ShakespeareWell, it seems as if following the warnings of ‘End Times’, we are all still here. In fact, the only things that went ‘POOF’ yesterday were my popcorn maker and Harold Camping’s false prophecy of Judgment Day … again. Yes, he pulled this back in 1994, too. But hey, I guess the media would prefer we not buy into that old saying ‘once a joke, twice a dope’. News ratings were up, twits twittered and tweeted their brains out on Twitter, and all in all a good time was had by all, except perhaps for the new age Mayans who are still holding out for the apocalypse on Dec. 12, 2012.

Nevertheless, let’s be honest: as you nodded and laughed with the skeptics, how many of you worrywarts with sweaty palms and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) clenched your butt cheeks together while you feigned smiles and expelled hearty guffaws that would put Santa Clause to shame? Yes, in the comforting isolation of your own homes, how much hand writhing and skin shedding was really going on?
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Doomsday: Wop Bop Baloo Bop A Wop Bam BOOM!

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me

– The Doors

Hark thee heathens! I’ve been told that this will be my final post, especially since I probably won’t be able to post again until after May 21st, the advent of ‘End Times’. Oh, you haven’t heard? May 21st is Judgement Day. The doomsayers want you to trust that this time they have done the math. OK, but don’t panic because it won’t really be the end of the world, at least not yet; that won’t come for some five months. Yes, the end of the world, and technically speaking the entire universe, will come to an end on October 21st. Mark that day on your caledar for the foremost forecast is for fire, lots of fire… the ‘hell on Earth’ kind.

Now in all honesty, I really don’t want to make light of some folk’s fervent beliefs, but I do have to admit that in terms of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic prophecies a lot of us have been there and done that already. Many a false prophecy has come and gone, and many a bible thumper cum humper has reset his abascus and cancelled his Ebay listings.

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