RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, July 29

what I read in bed last night

Today's cavalcade of links is depressing, and yet uplifting, or at least I hope so. Individual results may vary.

WILDCATTING: A STRIPPER'S GUIDE TO A MODERN AMERICAN BOOMTOWN from stupid Buzzfeed
Perhaps this has already made the circles with you, but if not, you should check it out. All too often in our condemnation of the corporate kleptocracy, we tend to dwell on shit like the environment or how the earth will be unlivable and shit like that. But forget the future - in the here and now, for most everybody who breaths oxygen and is an upright human being (in physical sense, not moral sense), life can be a pain in the ass. And the wonderful promises made by the Demon Beasts of Capital very rarely add up in the end.
Williston, North Dakota, freaks me out. I was contemplating a bus trip out there earlier this year, just to vibe on the vibe, because I know a few people who have justified to themselves working there. And this article by this stripper chick is a good example of that as well. She was drawn by money. (By the way, any overarching condescension displayed by me the curmudgeon known as Raven Mack, is in no way a negative perspective on this article - this is one of the more enjoyable reads I've had in months, and it's always nice to read a writer that I don't think I'd want to stab in the fucking laptop if I sat across a kitchen table from them.) She was in the trenches of trying to make money in an American way, albeit along the edges of what is acceptable and proper. The thing is, pretty much all of us are operating along the edges of what is acceptable and proper. And the fact this article does nothing with regards to arguing against fracking or corporate systems, and just lays out the realities of getting by as a stripper in Williston, it's a much stronger argument against capitalism. We're all spinning our wheels nowhere. And the author is right - the CEOs of these corporations extracting oil will never live in North Dakota; they'll never have corporate headquarters in Bismarck; this is an extrapolation of resources that will tax the area (literally at times, figuratively mostly), then leave it a battered mess. It's like a game of musical chairs, but as an economic policy, as all these people roll in looking for easy work, many get it, and at some point the shit will dry up and boomtown will go bust, and there's going to be a sad batch of fuckers stuck in North Dakota, begging for bus fare back to parts unknown. The author is right (her name is Susan Elizabeth Shepherd, by the way, and she's some sort of stripper blogger) - this is more like the Grapes of Wrath than people would have you believe. This whole fucking deal is exactly like the Grapes of Wrath, and it's getting more like the harshest parts of that book every month.
Economic indicators keep telling us shit is kosher - profits are way up and consumer confidence (aka desire to use consumer credit) is on the upswing like a motherfucker. But actual people - if you bother talking to them - are kinda fucked right now. People are pretty fucking tight at the time. Perhaps you are tight right now; I know I fucking am. Stretched thin, and one bad accident is gonna fuck my family right over. This is the actual American way - living check to check, hand to mouth, and hoping the worst doesn't happen. If it does happen? Oh well, you probably won't have internet any more so nobody will know about you.
It also is interesting to note how the stripper is already losing its luster by the time the public knows about Williston, or has seen the CNN story where strippers allegedly (meaning no they don't) make $3000 a night simply stripping. This is the nature of what we live - prospectors and those tapped into what's going on (often times in nefarious ways) get in on things in the beginning, and by the time the public is made aware of it, it's already peaked and shit is going downhill. Look at Facebook stock. Shit, look at Facebook. Look at anything. If you are not tapped in so as to know beforehand, you will find out afterward, and you will be fleeced, chasing last year's American dream. Or you will be crushed by it moving onto the next thing.
There is this accepted notion commonly used by our leaders that when you allow for economic growth, those who build that growth and are the corporate structures that benefit from it happening then spread the wealth and "create jobs" that give the rest of us great benefits to our weekly lives. We all allegedly (meaning we don't) have an overall increase in our quality of life by these job-creators and economic heavyweights. Any maybe that's how it happened at one point - I don't know, I only live at this point - but that's not what happens nowadays.
Look at this shit...

A SHUFFLE OF ALUMINUM, BUT TO BANKS, PURE GOLD from The New York Times
In a nut shell, this article lays out how investment groups bought up aluminum companies, sat on aluminum, shuffle it between warehouses in Detroit, and drove up the price, all of which happens unnecessarily but creates billions in additional wealth, spread paper thin across the entire planet, so that when it's a tenth of a cent per aluminum can, the individual doesn't notice it. This is called skimming, and it does nobody any good, at least no living person, other than those sitting at the top of the pyramid scheme called capitalism as it is known in 2013. These efforts are expanding into our mineral resources, and were a major contributor to food price spikes a few summers ago. In fact, similar hoarding of the seed industry by Monsanto has led to rising food prices rather than increasing efficiency and making everything more plentiful for everybody. I understand making an honest dollar off what you are adding to the overall pile of bricks called civilization, but when you get into establishing rules of law and ways of doing things that don't actually add to the overall pile of bricks, and instead are shaving an unfair sliver off of everything, simply because you have figured out how you can, well that's not right. And again, illegal and legal have little to do with right and wrong at this point, and there's a lot of wrong shit happening legally, and a lot of right shit being outlawed, all so some corporate citizen motherfuckers can fleece the fucking human race of their abstract wealth built off the plunder of the earth ball's limited resources.
"But wait Raven Mack, these rich assholes give back to us in many ways, and aren't actually rich assholes but great men of vision who help out all the rest of us." Oh yeah, motherfucker? Well look at this op-ed piece by Warren Buffett's (he's the rich old dude who knows everything and is tapped into it all more than anybody else who makes themselves publicly known) son...

THE CHARITABLE-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX also from The New York Times
Basically, charity makes the ultra-wealthy feel better about their ultra-wealth by fooling themselves into thinking they are making things better for the less fortunate. And ultimately, whether you are signing up to work in North Dakota oil boom or a billionaire giving out a couple of inner-city scholarships, we are all trying to justify the fucked up ways we make money. I mean, that's what it comes down to. We've been completely pushed into this philosophy of capital at this point - because even if there are people flying different flags, the Russian oligarchs or new Chinese businessmen or whoever is considered an alternative to American capitalism, they are all buying into (pun intended) the same philosophical system of wealth and how it is distributed (or not). It's fucking weird.
Real talk: when I was a house painter, I ended up going into business for myself because I had a ton of work to do at John Kluge's Virginia estate. Mr. Kluge was at one point the wealthiest man on Earth, and even at that point he was still high as fuck on the list. I met him a number of times, and was very impressed by him, even in his old age. He was not an outright evil person, and thus, he did a ton of philanthropic work with his money. In fact, in his death, that's where most of it went. But he still was rich beyond any human necessity, and I can imagine might have found philanthropy as a way to potentially do something with all that money just laying around breeding itself into more money like abstract rabbits in a vaulted hutch.
The help - meaning contractors like myself as well as estate staff - were regularly cycled at his place, and that tends to be the case, because the wealthy assume the non-wealthy are trying to take advantage of them. And they're right a lot of times. The reason I did well for myself before the economy bottomed out was I tended to be honest. I charged more than most painters, but I did complicated work (as complicated as painting a fucking house can get, granted) and could be trusted. Still though, I had to work my ass off in order to make money. Hustling was easier. Hiring a few dudes to work where you bill more than you pay, and you also make money off the completion of projects, that makes more money. But the quality was less, so I never could roll that way. And thus if I wasn't working, I wasn't making money. It was honest, but it wasn't the American dream.
As a worker, whenever I'm not working for myself, I assume my employer is taking advantage of me. And I'm right a lot of times. The business of business is to make money off of everything, increase the efficiency of how shit works so that you can smoothly skim off the process. If you can shave a nickel and two dimes off of material costs, you make that as profit. If you can shave half a dollar off labor costs, that becomes profit, according to our thinking now. That does not get returned in lower cost any more. The price of gas went up astronomically after Hurricane Katrina. The price of gas after Hurricane Katrina is still cheaper than it is today, or where it's been at its lowest in the past six months. There's a reason corporate profits are higher than ever - they've squeezed nickels and quarters off processes and dollars off labor, and the price has not fallen. On top of this you have speculation and profiteering by investment groups that make the price even more arbitrarily northward. It's fucked up.
So philanthropy is basically the perverted capitalism version of socialism. The wealthy give back to the poor through charitable deeds, instead of everybody having what they need to start with. The wealthy take all they can, and then look around them to see where shit is most fucked-up, and then hand out some token payments to make those things more improved, though still broken, and get their name on something associated with good.
Peter Buffett is very right in this op-ed piece when he says we don't need a 2.0 or 3.0 of this system - we need something completely new. This shit is fucked. But we still try to convince ourselves that we can progress our way out of how fucked up it is...

O.K., GLASS: CONFESSIONS OF A GOOGLE GLASS EXPLORER from The New Yorker
So what has bothered me a ton after this whole Edward Snowden leak thing is how people are clamoring to be living in a benevolent panopticon. How so many people have been so trained to be afraid of a non-existent terrorist threat that will dirty bomb all your babies forever that we willingly cheer on being watched, and even manipulated (propaganda being disseminated by government was legalized on American soil for first time starting July 1st, although with the blurred lines between corporate influence over government and corporate media's influence over people, it can probably be argued this has already been going on... still though, giving themselves legal approval to do things makes them less self-stifled in how they do it).
This Google glass article is no different, and honestly, fuck this guy. I know he's being clever and whimsical and shit, but fuck him, and fuck what he's doing, and fuck Google. This is a process of making self-surveillance seem cool and trendy. In fact, there's even a Cuban lady in the article taking part in the fun of using Google glass so that you can contrast that with the real evil of having lived in oppressive evil ass Cuba. Fuck these suggestions and insinuations and straight up propaganda. I know this is a real author and all he wrote about is most likely real shit that happened, but being it COULD be straight up propaganda but is real doesn't mean it's not fucked up. We are basically being conditioned to accept our own stifling ass, domesticated ass, wage slaving ass, bullshit. We are being trained to think being stifled and domesticated and operating hand to mouth is a great thing, and we should wear fucking CCTV cameras on our forehead and gladly not only live in the panopticon but be a living breathing snitch as part of that eyeball. Fuck that. Mother fuck that.
But hey, people know the deal I guess. It's easy to feel lost and crazy with the way the world is full-court pressing up upon our collective hearts, but there are comrades. And even though there's a lot of banter in this thing, check this out...

QUESTION IN THE FORM OF AN ANSWER: AN INTERVIEW WITH RUN THE JEWELS from Passion of the Weiss
Run the Jewels is Killer Mike and El-P, and though I've had stylistic qualms with El-P over the years, I enjoy what these two are doing together. And reading this interview, I enjoy the mental make-up of the two dudes doing what they are doing together. There's a ton of great parts to this interview, from both guys, so I just suggest you read it (which is the point of all these article links anyways). But between these guys, and the stripper writer in the first article, I feel a little at ease even amidst the worry that, you know what, motherfuckers recognize the bullshit. People will always recognize the bullshit, no matter how hard the bullshit propagators try to explain away your doubts. You can fool most of the people for a little while, but you can't fool them forever. You can engineer diet and media and systems of propaganda and patriotism to have them believe the unbelievable and unsustainable and non-true for a long ass time, but people - by way of living their life and seeing the real every day shit they see - realize when you are full of shit. And a lot of people realize what's going on right now is full of shit, even if we can't put our finger on it more specifically or even figure out a way to do anything about it. You don't have to do anything about it in any grandiose way though. Just live your life as right as you can. Don't justify bullshit actions on your part as making a dollar to do something else. Don't complicate your morality to incorporate immoral behavior that is justified by a more complicated long-term plan where the ends justifies the means. The ends doesn't justify the means. The means could be the ends, none of this is permanent, and what you are doing today is who you are. If you don't like it, do it different. Today, even if only in little ways. Unfuck the world however you can.

Loungers

Mimosa trees grow wild in our back yard, all over, and the ol' lady makes medicine from them. I pick the flowers for the medicine, and last year tuned into which flowers to pick by watching the bees buzz on them motherfuckers. This year, we've had a second late cycle of flowering that's brought tons of butterflies up on this bitch, fluttering around in the mimosa flowers. I took a film of it with our shitty digital camera and then put a Prolo song called "Long Haired Lounger" which is basically just Boogie Brown being Boogie Brown, screwed and chopped.
On my shitty commute to work, there's this old lady who lives at a crossroads and has a sign about how she sews shit if you pay her. I always see her out there spraying Round-Up on shit. Her ditch is a brown wasteland now as is the periphery around rock piles and other dumb shit where she doesn't want "weeds" to grow. It's disgusting, just outright killing off everything. The thing that trips me out about this is if companies are of the mindframe you can just kill off plants that are invasive or deemed as useless or not beneficial, or companies will just blow up a mountain to scrape out the coal, why the fuck are we so naive to think there are people systematically killing off poor motherfuckers? Why is one not to question that the Gates Foundation immunization of a bunch of broke motherfuckers in Third World countries might have less-benevolent goals than just keeping people from disease? I mean shit man, look around you, there's absolutely nothing to show you that man has some sort of high motive for all he does, to benefit man. There's zero proof of that so if you don't question all this shit, you're being naive. It's not paranoid to recognize there's tons of fucked-up shit going on.
And yet the way of the lounger is to not stress on it too badly. You can't change the world, only your life, and even that you can't completely change so much as arrange as best you can according to your own limited power. But you can effect change on your own life, without forcing your bullshit onto everybody else, and I hope you do. And as you gain power over your own life, and start to effect change around you, I hope you will unfuck the world however you can. It's been fucked enough already, so don't try to change it. Everything has already been changed two or three times over. Just try to unfuck it up a little bit.

see you in 2030 cicadas

grey overcast morning with
cicada soundtracks, idle
in plastic Adirondack

River pic gambleraku 005

River is my solar flare;
she is charged on different
coordinates than the rest

River pic gambleraku 004

cheap ass plastic drain pump broke
on our front loader, so we
waste quarters at laundromat

ONE THOUSAND FEATHERS SUPPORT PACKAGE

Haha, oh man I hate those SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ALTERNATIVE RADIO STATION/NPR things, but I guess I’m about to do exactly that, although I don’t feel good about it, at least not on the internet. I’ve built an online presence more than once over the years, and have learned that it’s something you have to constantly attend to, constantly respond, constantly provide free content, click refresh, click refresh… it’s a pretty demanding beast, to be honest. I don’t get as much out of that as physical interactions in the real life. I used to, perhaps because I had less of a sense of self, less confidence in my own identity, so the online attention meant more to me. Now, the effort feels like yelling into a void, and the returns of actual quality interaction are so few and far between, it makes the effort feel not worth it.

Mostly, I’ve been enjoying the One Thousand Feathers pamphlets, which are physical not digital, because I can leave them places, send them to people who I’d like to build connections with, which then gets physical not digital things back to me, and hopefully infuses my life with the little bit of soul I fucking need, because goddamn it feels like it’s not there a lot of times. Problem is these little pamphlets cost me a lot more than I have to print, especially when I – like many of you – am in the slow-draining process of bailing out half of what floods in on me each time I get paid. It’s a process I hope to escape one day, but that’s gonna have to happen through cultural change, not my own financial exploitation. I am not a marketable commodity, and don’t get along with the program well enough to ever be able to be turned into an actual professional writer. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in following my writing or knowing me, but I’m pretty fucked up, but honest, and good-hearted, and doing what feels right.

So I’m putting this offer up, asking for support of One Thousand Feathers/Rojonekku, to build my physical presence, to print up these pamphlets and leave and send them to all corners of the world. The offer is this: for $100, you get a 12-issue prescription to the One Thousand Feathers (or an extension of a current prescription, if you are already on board). You also get a 12-issue prescription for a friend (or enemy, or anybody really, just another human). You also get to go to MY WORKINGMAN SHOP and select a railroad haiku spike. Being I’ll mail that to you in a flat rate priority box, I’m sure I’ll stuff some additional trinkets and treasure in there as well, but that’s hard to predict or promise. Unfortunately, at this time, I can only offer this $100 support offer to people in America. Overseas shipping of packages is too expensive since they moved to flat rates. If you are non-American and want to subscribe, you can still do so, RIGHT HERE. Normal American prescriptions can be established there as well.

For every one of these support packages I can get, I’ll be able to print one pamphlet. It doesn’t cover mailing them, as I scrape that together however I can. I’m moving the circulation and display of the haiku spikes and photography offline as well, because there’s no real interest in those things digitally. It’s hard to see the power of the railroad spikes unless you actually see them. But I’m hoping putting all these physical things together can entice some digital action in my direction. If you are fluent in Paypal enough, I’d prefer you login to their site, and send the $100 marked as a gift to ravenmack at gmail.com, which will avoid them taking their skim. But if that’s too hard within the digital realm, there’s a button right below you can click too. This post will only be up if I’m back up on printing and need the support to make those things happen in a timely fashion.


We all struggle for validation in what we are doing with ourselves, and unfortunately the online world just flips that struggle into hyperspeed. I can’t promise to give you anything online other than my silly gambleraku poems and pictures, and even that will ebb and flow. But I know if you get this One Thousand Feathers in your hands, and you hold a railroad haiku spike, you’ll be good with what I’m doing. And I’ll be thankful to you for enabling me to spread it, just a little bit more, instead of accumulating it in piles inside my dilapidated house, to be burned or curated – depending on merit – after my death. It’s easy to think we are sharing online, but that sharing doesn’t manifest into physical presences that can hold power and occupy positive psychic space in our lives as easily. Let me occupy a positive psychic space in your life.



And thank you.

Friday, July 26

Thursday, July 25

Building & Destroying Something Real

Sometimes I do videos because it's all I can really do anymore. The fog is closing in, and I run away as much as I can but unfortunately my day job is in the same place every week so I can only run so far before I have to go back. Thankful for my day job, thankful for a new way once this shit all falls apart.

infinite Strathmore styles

Senor Strathmore's scribble script
traverses distances by
train the dude himself did not

end times garlic bulbs

leisure gardens will become
survival gardens; who will
have land left to till and fight?

Sunday, July 21

power idle

been decorating this mad
monkey for decades; it sits
at my desk, contemplating

what I read in bed last night

This is actually from the last two nights, but whatever. There's a lot to talk about in these articles, since the first one is the Rolling Stone article of great false indignation this past week...

JAHAR'S WORLD from Rolling Stone

This caused a lot of controversy because Rolling Stone chose a picture of a soft-looking kid to use on the cover story about a soft-looking kid who got implicated in a bombing that killed I think three people (and injured hundreds of others). First off, I'd just like to point out that I would bet three people got killed in Chicago this past weekend, though I didn't look it up. I don't need to look it up. Three people get killed, at least, every weekend in Chicago, but that's just dirty negroes in their dirty negro cities so people don't give a fuck. Or it's poor fuckers. We'll give a fuck when it's time to gentrify the neighborhood and turn the Korean corner stores into wine shops. But already I digress.
We live in a time of false indignation, where people know they could get pissed off about something, so they go ahead and pretend like they are pissed off, although most of the time it's false dramatics. Except, much like how I teach my children to not play mean girls or dramatic games because how you pretend starts to be how you live, I'm sure there are people who are legitimately indignant about all the dumb shit that becomes trending news, like this Rolling Stone cover. The cover itself does nothing. I saw some quote from some dumbass politician who was like, "They should've used first responders for the cover," because I guess we're not actually talking about news any more, we're just going to share pictures and quotes from people who do kayfabe good shit, like the entire world of journalism will now just replicate Snitchbook (Facebook) memes (which themselves imitate earlier 4chan memes).
But then that Sgt. Murphy (lolol... a Boston cop named Sgt. Murphy? No fuckin' way!) dude released his own pics to counter the Rolling Stone one, which included a sniper's view of the boat, as well as Jahar coming out the boat with a sniper's red dot on his forehead. I'll be honest, that fucked me up. Am I supposed to cheer snipers having their sights set on a dude? Am I supposed to be stoked that snipers can target people like this? I mean the post-bombing environment around Boston was screwed up enough, with essentially martial law going into effect, the streets shut down, and SWAT teams rolling door-to-door. Go watch your anti-communist '80s movies again bros, that's called a police state. So for them to roll out pics glorifying the police state afterwards, and have people cheer this action, I don't know man, that really fucks me up. I guess I sort of grew up thinking cops were supposed to protect us from snipers, not be snipers. But shit has changed. America is not what it once was, or maybe it never was, but at least the gap between claim and reality used to be a lot smaller. It's a pretty wide gap between the American mythos of freedom and actualized America at this point.
The story on the Jahar kid itself was a decent article. He was just another lost kid, except he was lost without a nation, without his parents, just lost as fuck. His lackluster college environment seemed to be lesser than his high school environment in terms of challenging or stimulating him, so he became lost. The article sort of leads one to speculate that Jahar fell under the spell of his elder brother, which may or may not be true. I know I've done some pretty fucked up shit in my lifetime helping family so that seems likely, especially when the angle was pushed that the culture they grew up - Chechen - familial respect for an older sibling was huge, especially a brother.
I think within the context of Sgt. Murphy's picture leak though, this article sort of made me more afraid of what's ahead. There's a lot of lost kids nowadays - go fucking talk to them and see. I don't need a goddamn internet story to explain this to me; I can chat them up and see shit is not as hopeful for your average 17-year-old as it was when I was 17. And shit is also not nearly as challenging to stimulating. Schools are straight trash. College education is watered down. There's gonna be a lot of idle hands where the devil can find play time in the coming years. And you have a bunch of youth who have nothing challenging them, no hope being offered to them, and you leave them standing around looking for shit to do, that's a recipe for problems.
But then at the same time I hear people actually cheering a police state, and snipers and shut-down streets, and proclaiming these things as the acts of heroism. I don't get that. But you also have this very clear, "You are not one of us," mentality being pushed out at others. This is being done to immigrant kids like Jahar, to immigrant Mexicans, shit the Zimmerman trial was basically a case of this. We have this very huge somewhat ignorant class of people (look at Zimmerman - that motherfucker looked dumb as fuck, and I don't say that to be like, "Fuck Zimmerman," because when people are raised to be ignorant, it's not their fault entirely) that are convinced the police state is some extension of freedom. The American notion of freedom has been perverted from "come on in and make something of yourself" to "hey, this is for us, not for you, get out of here you fucker."
The ol' lady and I have talked many times in recent months how today's America feels like that time you look back on and wish you had gotten out before it was too late. And it may be too late if you don't have the money in the bank to do so (which we don't) because there's really two choices to go here:
1) You go back to the open borders, send us your tired and hungry and America will whip some super dope awesome shit up for that ass, and we allow immigrants in and we make our country more conducive to small business and entrepreneurship and we see how shit shakes out.
Or 2) We double down on the "you're not one of us" bit and the police state expands and eventually the sniper's sight turns from alleged Muslim terrorists to environmental terrorists to libertarian terrorists to fucking me and you, because we're not one of us. It all goes back to that Bush quote after 9/11 where he said "You're either with us or against us." That's the mentality.
I don't know man, shit is fucked up. If you condemned the cover without reading the article, I suggest you read the article. I'm not saying it'll change your mind, because yeah it's fucked up as shit to just leave a pressure cooker bomb laying around to blow up whoever the fuck happens to get blown up. That's bullshit. It's also bullshit to be a sniper cop. It's also bullshit to drone bomb motherfuckers in other countries. It's also bullshit to take a beautiful religion like Islam and get stuck on this sharia bullshit and want to start killing motherfuckers. There's a lot of bullshit going on, and so much of it is based on ignorance of others, ignorance of what culture's actually stand for, and there's not much going on - here or there, us or them - in the way of trying to make people more aware. We're all just circling our wagons and saying, "Man, fuck those people." It's disheartening.
Then again, at least I'm not an Indian...

PAIN ON THE RESERVATION from the New York Times

Native Americans, still fucked. That's basically what this story reminds us, that the cuts of sequestration - though emergency funds are used for things like welfare or food stamps - have deeply cut special funding to native projects. And sure, an extension of the mentality mentioned above, that follows the American mythos that if you want to be something, make something of yourself. (This is perused thoroughly in an upcoming Primordial Traditionalist issue of One Thousand Feathers, by the way.) How the fuck do you say that to Native Americans though?
Look, I am no native-wannabe, fetishizing how the Earth would've been if indigenous people had been left to remain indigenous. But I do have the sensitivity to feel bad about people being fucked in life simply because of where or what they were born to. Natives, to a large extent, and especially in places like Pine Ridge, are fucked. To become successful in life is a lottery, not a matter of merit. Merit affords you a better shot - more lottery opportunities at success, but a kid with the exact same natural-born merit born on Pine Ridge as one born on Long Island or in say Orlando, Florida, is not going to have the same success. Ever. I wrestle with this in my own life. I was born fucked, though not nearly to the extent someone on Pine Ridge is, by any means. But there are many people with equal merit who are achieving so much more in life, by way of what they were born into, the connections and advantages they are already tapped into. And by the same measure, there are many with less merit than me who are achieving far more than I ever will, because of those connections and advantages as well. I am starting to come to terms with that, to be okay with that. For a large part of my adult life this has been a huge chip on my shoulder, something that makes me really angry. But I sort of realized the cause of this anger was my naive assumption that America was actually a meritocracy. So essentially, I was making myself angry by believing a lie. Now that I am working to accept the fact it's not a meritocracy, I can more easily feel pretty good about the things I've accomplished in my life, because from where I was born, I've done pretty goddamned good. And this has set things up for my children to start at a more advanced position than I did. Thus perhaps one of my children could be a successful writer, or successful anything they want to be.
Capitalism has gone through this weird phase where corporate entities have allowed individuals to justify very anti-humanitarian philosophies in the name of benefit for the corporate entity. And they are rewarded well for doing so. But that shit, though it has run rampant for three decades, and the corporate kleptocracy has pretty much occupied Congress on an exclusive basis (as opposed to people occupying Congress) for the past 12 years for sure. But natural history has a way of auto-correcting, as we will see...

THE WASTEFULNESS OF AUTOMATION from Pieria

If people ain't got shit to do, they can't consume, and then become dependent on the state (which is kind of where we are just about at in America right now). If the state - acting through elected representatives (or appointed) who most likely (at this point in America) represent the wealthy - decides to stop supporting those who are dependent upon the state, what do you think happens next? Well, you can try to put them all in jail I guess, or you can beat them into fear (aka terrorism, which is what actually won 9/11 - as motherfuckers are so afraid of alleged pressure cooker bombs they're cool with sniper dots on everybody's head), or (and often times even if you do those previous things) the people will rise up and just fuck shit up. They may or may not have something in mind to take its place, but they definitely will fuck shit up in hopes of the next thing being better. Look at Egypt.
This wastefulness of automation article is nice piece that sort of lays out one of the ways the capitalist economy, or the free market, eventually caves in on itself and is not the forever-growing entity of masterful benevolence that our corporate kleptocracy keeps trying to tell us it is.
But once we do bust shit up, you have to be careful what gets put in place, because sometimes shit ain't as great as it looks to be...

AMERICA'S ARTIFICIAL HEARTLAND from Aeon Magazine

This article attempts to explain how the American heartland is an illusion, and there's some sort of cloud to American life, and it talks about Hamilton and Jefferson and uses a few thousand words and seems like it might be smart, but actually it ain't saying shit. But just as there's a false indignation about shit like the Jahar Rolling Stone cover, there's also this false worship of things that seem like they might be smart. Good writing is way different than "good writing" because all you have to do is talk forever using big ass words and reference manager-type shit like "clouds" and "modification" and shit like that, and everybody will go along with thinking it's smart. Nobody fucking actually thinks any more. Like, you don't have to think about cloud-based applications to think. Fucking sit outside and think about termites. Think about anything. Everybody just thinks they know, or thinks they can look it up and "know" but nobody fucking thinks. We should be thinking and re-thinking everything. Nothing is true.
Anyways, this article is dumb as fuck, and granted it was written by a foreign dude so I'll give the benefit of the doubt and figure he was not writing in his first language, and he probably does a shit ton better at writing in English than I would in Spanish, but still man, this is passed off as intelligent discourse, on the American Heartland? It doesn't even say anything.

Finally...
THE DEVIL AND JOHN HOLMES originally from Rolling Stone, reprinted at Longform
John Holmes was famous because he had a big dick. This article is about the end of his run, so to speak, when he had fallen from grace, if being a porn star can be considered "grace". I find shit like this so interesting because this underbelly is what is there on the other side of the plywood at the foundation of American excess - creepy crawling drug-addled worms and parasites. I don't know, sometimes I wonder why I quit drinking and don't just drink and pop oxys and ride out the rest of my life in buzzard bliss. It's not like the wi-fi constancy of interweb manipulation isn't doing a similar thing anyways. Can you truly be a free range, organic minded human any more? We're living in feed lots, our psyches eating the GM-corn and soy-pudding made to zip into our minds. It's a strange fucking time. I take solace in writing words though, so I guess I'll just stick with that until that fails me too. At that point, I don't fuckin' know, bro, I just don't fucking know.

burning the candle on false ends

not even the satisfaction
of digital worlds melting -
they'll just up and disappear