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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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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Drive Me To The Occupation

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
– Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin’)

 

Back when I was a teenager, I remember being eager to reach the legal age at which I could take the examination for a learner’s driving license. It wasn’t that I really thought I’d be driving, but I wanted the license just the same. It signified some rite of passage to me, I guess. License to go and be free.

A friend was kind enough to give me his copy of the ‘Driver Handbook’ published by the ‘Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (read: road hogs) to help me study for the required exam. One of the first things I remember reading were the words “In the state of Florida, driving is a PRIVILEGE.” The words sort of jumped right off the page and blind-sided me (almost as unnerving as the way in which Florida Highway Troopers (read: stormtroopers) would suddenly appear, riding your rear bumper, their blue lights a blazing). Before even delineating how one attains this privilege, the handbook launched into a list of how said privileges could be taken away. Words like ‘suspended’, ‘revoked’ & ‘incarceration’ seemed menacing … purposely so.

I’m sure you will agree that teenagers quickly catch on to what the word privilege means, especially because they are always being threatened with having theirs taken away. It does seem fairly sadistic to teach children the value of ‘liberty’ by robbing it of them every now and then. It’s even more perverse when the exercise has less to do with education and more to do simply with authoritarian ‘control’.

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Pot Watching: Waiting For Fisher

Well I got a lot of patience baby
That’s a lot of patience to lose
– Laura Nyro (When I Was A Freeport And You Were The Main Drag )

 

It’s often been said that football is a metaphor for life. At the time of this writing, I along with all fans of the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams NFL football teams are anxiously awaiting some word of which team Jeff Fisher, the best coaching candidate on the market at this time, will choose to take over the reigns as head coach. Obviously, there is a good deal of negotiating, contract haggling, power vying and money dangling at stake.  For many fans, the future of their teams’ success rides on this one man’s decision. Word was supposed to have come over the weekend, then on Monday or Tuesday … and of course this limbo has now extended to the mid or end of the work week, leaving many fans pulling their hair out. Yes, suffice it to say that everyone is watching ‘the pot’ waiting for it to boil, even as all involved know that a ‘watched pot never boils’.

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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.

Artful Dodgers In The Blogosphere Mist

Spare us your wisdom
and send us your cash.
A twenty or a fifty …
… or something like that.
– Send Us Your Money (Judd Jugmonger)

Bloggers make for interesting sorts. Many start out as artists with their ‘craft’ in mind, and end up as marketers with ‘sales’ on their minds. The transmogrification of this species usually follows this pattern: I think therefore I am. I am therefore I create. I’m hungry. In fact, I’m starving. So, I create therefore I sell.

Today I read a post on another blog about writing. Well, actually it was about marketing under the guise of writing because no one with any flair for ‘the creative’ really wants to be a salesman. It’s true, isn’t it? If so, why do there seem to be so many blogging ‘artful dodgers’ in the blogosphere?

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