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.

Friday, May 20

internet reading list of late

(triplicates of links that occupied my mind at *work* recently)

Unearthing the Secret's of New York's Mass Graves from New York Times
At my previous position in the great bureaucracy of research-related paper stacking (now with digital), I tended cadaver heads. I always kept it respectful and chill, even though I knew from the demo sheets that came with them that most of these folks likely were indigent (I guess that's not an "even though" so much as "especially because") but it was weird human bodies were donated to SCIENCE and just ended up having neurosurgeon trainees perform like 9 different surgeries on the head until it was a puzzled together chunk of human-ish head.
Anyways, reading this giant article about the island of unclaimed dead bodies for New York was not shocking at all, sadly. The immense bureaucracy is awash in too much to do combined with little incentive to be motivated so the fact bodies there were never claimed because ownership was never properly vetted by the assigned bureaucrat end up getting hauled off to an abandoned island to be buried en masse in trenches by prison labor is not really shocking at all. In fact, it's about as American as it gets. We like to think everything is working towards utopia, but our trajectory as a nation moving in that direction apexed probably 30 years ago (maybe longer) and the recent era of "things don't feel as hopeful" is actually noticing the sea level rise after the icebergs have melted - you can't freeze them back.
This is not to say we are doomed. Nation-states have an amazing ability to survive long periods of lethargy brought on by immense bureaucracies caving in on themselves partially. Just like an old plantation home left to rot, when it caves in on itself it doesn't do it all at once in a giant fell swoop, and then you haul it off and start over. It... takes... forever. Decades. Centuries. We can be this type of America for another 150 years, easy.
That doesn't change the reality we (living humans) put a lot of value on the humanity of dead humans (who don't care, so far as we know), so I'm sure people caught feelings reading this, or got pretty shook realizing their loved one was in a mass grave on an abandoned island. But hey - people got lost in the labyrinth of the immense bureaucracy every hour of every day! You just have to avoid the minotaur, and steal as much as you can without anybody catching you.

From Belief to Resentment in Indiana from Jeff Bezos Presents: The Washington Post
It is my belief that the Washington Post has become especially horrible and propaganda-like the past year. Like it's horrible. Those fuckers who write The Fix are the absolute worst. And just as it got more propaganda-like than ever, a paywall I'd never before experienced popped up. I love shitty propaganda news site paywalls, because they assume not only has their propaganda worked already, but it's worked so well that I'd PAY TO BE BRAINWASHED! Fuck you Washington Post.
But should you click this and it not open, try opening it in an incognito window (or tor, or whatever). It is a wonderful Apter mag piece. Apter mags were wrestling magazines in the 1980s that wrote these long, narrative profiles of wrestlers that worked to further the angles chosen by local promoters. It was all made up, even many of the letters to the editor, all of it. Likely there were two maybe three dudes who did the whole thing, and all one of them did was call the local promoters to make sure shit was cool they were about to do.
That's how this article read - like total fabrication, or at least written by that reporter from the last season of The Wire. It has some serious ass Dickensian aspects. So much so I actually googled Chris Setser to make sure he exists, and some Chris Setser from Indiana had some big surgery two years ago, so either he does exist, or I don't know it's not that hard to create a human internet footprint to support your articles. BUT WAIT A SECOND! I'm not trying to go down the path of All This Is Imaginary, because I'm sure it's based on reality. The point of misinformation is not to prove bad truths as false, but to cloud and fog up all the unwanted truths so that nothing seems true.
But even with the caveat this seems embellished as fuck, it's still funny to read, especially when you read it thinking, "Hahaha, the Washington Post propaganda machine is trying to put across a certain philosophy. What are they trying to implant in me?" as you read this.

Emptying the Tower of David from Vocativ
Speaking of doomed, check out this tale of various housing woe from Venezuela. Venezuela survived off of Hugo Chavez's cult of personality (and high oil prices) but New President Maduro is not nearly as personably cult-ish, which makes people less likely to turn a proud but blind eye to your corruption. But let's not blame socialism, because all governments are corrupt to various extents. You have to be adept at that shit though, keep the social contract honored by keeping things moving. That has failed in Venezuela, and seriously that shit could pop off into its own Arab Spring moment any fucking day now.
And at the same time, this article is very interesting due to the squatters movement that took over this abandoned skyscraper, which of course sounds like it too became corrupted. All things do. But people have moments where they help each other survive fucked up situations, then become predatory with each other again, and they alternate these cycles towards other tribes. Humans are fucking tribal apes still.
I live near Charlottesville, Virginia, and there was a BIG HOTEL DEVELOPMENT on the downtown pedestrian mall of expensive shopperies and eatings, and whoever was doing it went bankrupt so the shell of the building has towered there for years. People hate it, and there are often verbal condemnations given pretty much anywhere you go. I find the whole thing funny. It's a big giant unfinished and now ruined carcass of a building, and homeless people and drug addicts and danger teens all probably do sketchy shit inside of it despite all the proper authorities most proper efforts to stop that type of stuff, and that's the reality of the world. It's scary as fuck and yet also pretty damn beautiful. Humanity remains just barely humane, everywhere (but more obvious in some places - like Venezuela right now - than others).

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