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.

Sunday, July 21

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.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the John Holmes story...the article reminded me of the "Wonderland" movie from a few years ago, with Val Kilmer playing Holmes...a great flick by the way, way under rated. The summer of 1981 in LA sounds like a crazy time: porn, coke, outlaws..the crack epidemic about the explode...rough times, but definitely interesting.

Raven Mack said...

Yeah it's weird to read about "free-basing cocaine" instead of just smoking crack. It was a DIY time.