Sunday, May 26, 2019

Waiting Out the Landlord's Clock In Iran

Quick hypothetical; Lets say you've been living in the same house in the same neighborhood for your whole life, generations in fact. There have been some minor squabbles but for the most part you've managed to get along with the neighbors. Then one day, some outside landlord buys the house next door. After several tenants come and go, a real loudmouth thug moves in, making threats, beating his wife and kids. Finally, the bastard truly breaks bad, tares down your fence and declares your backyard to be part of his property. After an epic battle in the courts, he finally returns to his property and eventually gets evicted. 'Great!', you think, naturally, and you even help the landlord clean up the place. Everything seems peachy fucking keen for suburbia. And then the landlord moves in.

Suddenly, this brash wealthy landlord is building shit up, putting up new outbuildings and sheds near the property line, erecting tall steel fences with razor wire. Suddenly, it dawns on you that the last tenant wasn't the problem, you were, and the last tenant was only removed because he wasn't trouble enough for you. And the threats start up again. Local street kids who you've helped out in the past are declared gangs and you get blamed for running them. The landlord accuses you of possessing certain weapons that your neighbors have and freely flaunt but you've never showed any interest in. Finally, after dealing with years of threats, you sign a deal with the landlord promising to stop procuring these fictional weapons if the landlord backs off. Things calm down for a tip. Then the landlord pulls out of the deal and shit gets nuts again.

The landlord starts telling you that you better not attack any of his installations on your property line, as if you've been the aggressor. He starts warning all of your neighbors how dangerous you are until even they start to believe it. Heavily armed men start stalking the neighborhood menacingly. A large armored vehicle parks outside your house at all hours. Whenever it shows up, you get a phone call from the landlord, telling you in a steely draw that you better not attack his truck. You call the cops. They agree with you that the landlord is way out of line but even they are afraid to get on his bad side. They tell you 'tough luck motherfucker' and hang up abruptly. The shit gets worse. Several vehicles in the neighborhood are allegedly vandalized and naturally you're the one to blame. Scared and isolated, you start stalking up on weapons which only makes the threats increase. Soon the armored vehicle is parking on your lawn, grinding it's tires into the sod and flicking lit cigarettes into your flower beds. And it dawns on you, as the phone rings with the landlord undoubtedly on the other end, 'these crazy fuckers want me to attack them..." What do you do? I'm not telling you, I'm asking you. What do you do?

In case you haven't guessed, this is a Straw Dogs-style analogy for America's insane harassment campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran. After a decade of fighting off the brutal attacks of America's Sumerian pit-bull, Saddam Hussein, Iran manages to put the little psycho in his place. The US finally turns on the maniac and overthrows him with Iran's help, only for it to become increasingly clear to helpful Iran that they were always the real target. You see, those damn Persians offended the landlord when they evicted his friend the Shah and got too close with their neighbors in the Kremlin. We strong armed them into signing a peace deal that kept them from developing weapons they likely never even attempted to acquire (though the Shah and Israel did), only to have us violate it and threaten them for not sticking to it even though they have. Over the last few weeks, Trump and his lunatic neocon death squad have stepped up the madness, repeatedly and menacingly warning Iran not to attack our imperial phalanx of illegal military installations surrounding them on all sides, blaming them for mysterious acts of vandalism that may or may not have even taken place and flooding the Gulf with cigarette flicking battleships and B-52 bombers.

So what did Iran do? So far nothing, which is the smartest move to make. Trump is literally begging Iran to strike and give him the Gulf of Tonkin he needs to justify the invasion he's been angling for since Sheldon Adleson paid him to do so. The only thing Iran can do is practice patience and allow the over eager warmongers of the administration-who-couldn't-shoot-straight to expose themselves for the fumbling aggressors that they are while China slowly bleeds their prolapsed empire dry. The so-called free world is still too petrified to stand up to that Helter Skelter ax murderer, Uncle Sam. But as his geostrategic failures begin to pile up higher than the corpses, from Korea to Iraq to Venezuela and beyond, it will become increasingly clear to these nations who have long been held hostage by this country, that it's days of primacy are numbered. We can only hope that Iran can wait out the landlord's clock and that Bolton isn't quite crazy enough to pull a false flag.

Keep the peace and keep hope alive, dearest motherfuckers. For where an empire is bleeding, there is still hope for peace and sometimes hope is all we've got.



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Let's Lynch the Landlord by Dead Kennedys
*  Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones
*  The Crying Game by Boy George
*  I'm Waiting for the Man by the Velvet Underground
*  Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie
*  Grow Into a Ghost by Swearin
*  Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
*  Shitty Ballet by Bleached
*  Rock the Casbah by the Clash
*  Time is On My Side by the Rolling Stones

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pledging Allegiance to the Divided States of America

I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will

-Antonio Gramsci


When the individual's behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. Time to "drop out", "turn on", and "tune in."

-Timothy Leary



America, the indispensable nation. That old jingoistic canard gets tossed around like confetti in this country, while the rest of the world rolls their collective eyes and crack their collective knuckles. According to patriotic lore, America is some beige, color-blind, miracle designed by the greatest white philosophers since Socrates to free the world from its backwards indigenous ways with the magic of global capitalism. Naturally, this is all bullshit. The kind of sad pep-talk a date-rapist gives himself in the mirror before showering his glamour muscles in Axe body spray. There is absolutely nothing miraculous about America but that doesn't mean that it isn't exceptional.

America is an exceptionally cruel experiment in the outer reaches of colonial social engineering. We are a nation defined by the two greatest holocausts in recorded history, spanning three continents and an entire hemisphere. America as we know it was founded by an ambitious collection of European super-colonialists who found themselves and their nations increasingly depleted of the wealth they accumulated from the Crusades. So they traveled the seas in search of greener pastures to irrigate with more dark-skinned blood. They found their sainted killing fields of Shangri-La in the New World and with the superiority of their steel, they decided to take the Americas by force and slaughter anyone who stood in their way. But with an entire hemisphere half empty of its indigenous inhabitants, these European overlords found themselves with too much work for their feeble bourgeois fingers to handle, so they filled their new colonies with shiploads of slaves pilfered from the jungles of Africa to build a nation on their scarred shoulders, murdering millions more in the process and permanently hobbling another entire continent.

But even slave-driving proved too onerous for our glorious founding fathers, so they brought in floods of refugees from their more battered European neighbors to serve as a pauper class between the WASPs and their shackled human property. The result of this massive game of Red Rover was a badly cobbled together empire that lacked the royal blood and soil that usually held the illusion of the European-style nation state together. New races had to be constructed to justify their class division. Scores of seemingly incongruous tribes were lumped together into massive racial conglomerations known as White and Colored (later to be broken down into Black and Brown). Whenever the numbers of the people of color swelled to numbers that threatened the White master race, whole chunks were chiseled off and arbitrarily declared White. Irish, Italians, Jews; we were all niggers once until we became more useful as White insulation than dark fodder.

Eventually, however, these badly manufactured moving lines collapsed beneath the weight of their own absurdity and racism was traded in, at least officially, for a new imperial creed of neoliberal globalism and market order. And so yesterday's White supremacists became today's racial harmony loving progressive internationalists, using the racism which they once thrived upon to justify their existence in order to prevent others from engaging in the kind of genocides that made them pillars of international order. Appeals to good old fashioned White supremacy are still trotted out from time to time by the likes of Donald Trump to rally those still suspicious of the new order around it with the vestiges of the old, and the racist power structure remains largely untouched where it remains useful in the courts and prisons, regardless of the politically correct language they have adopted like menthol to numb their pollution. Never the less, by and large, globalization is the new White.

What we're left with as this strange bastard empire slouches towards Bethlehem to die in a hail of bullets is a colossal landmass of lost souls without purpose. As we cling to the wreckage of our manufactured mass tribes we descend deeper and deeper into nihilistic violence and self destruction. We are ravaged by plagues of mass shootings and narcotics addiction. While our mandarins continue to start unwinnable crusades in a sad attempt to revive their past glories, we stand as a nation on the brink of a societal collapse unlike any seen since the Roman Empire. But in this crisis I can't help but to see great opportunities. Every apocalypse presents an opportunity, however fleeting, for utopia.

In the case of a post-racial/post-colonial America, I see the opportunity for a thousand utopias. Cleaved from the chains of more traditional national identities, American's and the citizenry of other vast neocolonial experiments like Canada and Australia have been granted the ability to redefine themselves however they goddamn please. What race do you want to be? What gender feels like freedom? What do you want to call your new species? We can choose to cling to our past as prisoners of a horrific imperial experiment, we can wallow in aggrievement and victimhood and go down with this rusted hulk of a slave ship, or we can rise above it, wipe the slate clean and create new tribes around the more abstract and less constraining concepts of love and community, family and kinship, anarchy and liberty.

There is no reason why hillbillies can't live on trout and moonshine in Appalachia while hippie dykes macro-may rainbow flags in New England and Mormon Fundamentalists build a new Zion in the deserts of Utah. There is no reason why we cant have Mutualism in Kansas, Syndicalism in Pennsylvania, Communism in Vermont, Paleolibertarianism in Oklahoma and Agorism in Florida. Hell, there's no reason we can't have them all in one city block. Ultimately, the only way to save this thing called America is to break this thing called America. This nation was a hideous mistake but it doesn't have to be our prison. All we have to do is embrace the endless possibilities of a voluntary society by dropping out of this broken involuntary one.

United we fall, divided we stand, dearest motherfuckers. Now lets Balkanize this bitch before the Chinese get a chance to pick at the bones. Viva la succession!



Peace, Love & Empathy- CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Rush by Big Audio Dynamite 2
*  Severed by the Decemberists
*  Read My Mind by Boygenius
*  Sit Down by James
*  You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders
*  I'm Free by the Soup Dragons
*  Private World by New York Dolls
*  Come Together by Primal Scream
*  This Must Be the Place by Talking Heads

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Trump's War In Venezuela Could Be Che's Revenge

Che Guevara had a dream. After decades of chasing the American Empire into guerrilla street fights from Guatemala to the Congo, Che dreamed of drawing that dreadful beast into an unwinnable quagmire on the graves of its first victims in the heart of Latin America, the treacherous mountain forests of Bolivia where the Conquistadors first struck it rich with Indio silver. Che dreamed of revenge for centuries of violence, of rape, genocide and colonialism. He dreamed of creating another Vietnam in the Western Hemisphere that would spread across Uncle Sam's indentured colonies and liberate his people, all of his people, from Tierra del Fuego to Tijuana and beyond. Che chased this Quixotic dream into the rugged highlands of Bolivia in 1966 where he got more than he bargained for. Less than a year later he would be dead at the hands of a CIA death squad. But his dream remained, festering just beneath the flesh of a thousand banana republics.

Flash forward to a half century later. Just a few jungles north-west of Che's grave, in the embattled nation of Venezuela. May 1st, May Day in this year of our lord Satan, twenty-hundred-and-nineteen. Everything should have gone perfectly. Everything was in place for Washington's latest Latino coup de tat. After softening up the oil rich left-wing pariah state with decades of crippling sanctions and economic sabotage, the stage was finally set. Uncle Sam's latest camera-ready caudillos, Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez, a couple of scrumptiously fuckable brown choir boys who appear to have been hand plucked from Manudo by the School of the Americas had secured the loyalty of a score of Venezuelan power brokers from the Supreme Court to the Presidential Guard. The night before, Guaido announced his final triumphant putsch in the form of a march to his master's house at the American embassy in Caracas. A profound publicity stunt in which the entirety of Nicholas Maduro's fiercely loyal army would join him in overthrowing their own democratically elected government. His Employer in Chief seconded the motion vis a vis Twitter. It all should have gone perfectly, like a thousand times before.

To say it didn't would be an understatement to say the least. To say the most, Guaido's latest recital of counter-revolutionary puppet theatre became the geostrategic equivalent of Donald Trump shitting his tux on prom night. Guaido's little victory march turned into a laughable pity parade, with Kid Pinochet joined only by a handful of rent-a-thugs in military cosplay. His calls for open revolt fell on deaf ears in all but the toniest barrios of the capital where the entire spectacle was epitomized by the sight of bougie rioteers in Dolce Gabbana, chucking Molotov cocktails. The Supreme Court and the Presidential Guard may have played hooky but the peasants didn't. Upon word of Uncle Sam's latest plan to pervert their nation, even Maduro's enemies flooded the streets in rallies for his defense and, more importantly, the defense of the Bolivarian Revolution. If it wasn't for the cowardly actions of one role-crazy tank driver in Tienanmen mode, the whole flopped coup may have been a virtually bloodless affair.

Naturally, the Administration Who Couldn't Shoot Straight excepted defeat with all the honor and modesty of the Bad News Bears. Trump's troika of tyrannic twats, Mike Pompeo, Elliot Abrams and Lucifer's favorite mental midget, John Bolton, went berzerk scrambling for excuses to explain their complete and total humiliation at the hands of a porno-stashed ex bus driver nearly universally despised by his own people. It was Russia! It was, it was China! No! Hezbollah! No Cobra Kai! John Kreese himself coaxed Maduro off the tarmac with a hardy pep talk and told him to sweep the leg. Yeah, that's it. No! It was those wily Cubans again, just like in Grenada. According to Satan's push-broom, half their goddamn army blocked a sure thing without firing a bullet. Stealthy motherfuckers, those Cubans. Like goddamn ninjas, not one naked eye saw them coming or going. Anything, any excuse, any explanation other than the simple fact that Trump got punked and shit the bed. How did this happen? Latin American coups are supposed to be America's last growth industry. We use to overthrow another democracy every other week back in the Dulles days. What have we become? What went wrong?

The most painfully obvious reason, at least to anybody outside the swamplands of the Beltway, is that the American Empire has become a joke and Trump is the punchline. Lets face it, somebody should, after Ahmed Chalabi and the boys from Tel Aviv convinced the indispensable nation to hand half the Middle East over to Al Qaeda in a doggy-bag we became a little less indispensable. But aside from the inevitable decline of the west, the best answer for why the Bolivarian Republic couldn't be flipped like Honduras or Ukraine is the simple fact that it is indeed a republic, a democracy who's foundation predates even Maduro's far more honorable predecessor, Hugo Chavez, with the creation of the grassroots council communist experiment of the Barrio Assembly of Caracas in 1991.

Over a decade later, this movement was consecrated with its own popular revolution, not with the election of Chavez but with his defense in the streets during America's most successful or rather least unsuccessful modern Venezuelan coup attempt in 2002. Revolution is the original direct democracy. Once a people have fought and bled for a republic or any cause for that matter that they can call their own, it becomes very hard, even with state reinforced poverty, to convince them to sell it up the river for a song, especially if the lyrics are in English. This is why Cuba still stands firm as a viable anti-colonialist boogeyman after decades of Yanqui skulduggery. If anything, Trump made Maduro more powerful, which leaves him with all out war as his last option.

This is where Che comes in again. That's right, dearest motherfuckers, full circle time. Chances are, Trump is simply flexing his flabby glamour muscles for those decomposing fossils back in Little Havana. But if Bolton has his way, and never count that sick fucker out, every bluster will end in a ground war and a ground war in Venezuela would be a complete and total unmitigated disaster for the world's last superpower, an Iraq sized black hole in the heart of Bolivar country. This disaster however could be an unexpected gift from the devil himself to Latin America's flagging anti-imperialist left, from the fearsome collectivos to the resilient Shinning Path. Che spoke at length about the strategic value of creating two, three, many Vietnams to sap the American Empire of its resources across the Third World. With Afghanistan, Syria and possibly Iran, a costly war south of the border could be the final Vietnam that Che dreamed of and died for in Bolivia. Trump's war in Venezuela could be Che's revenge.

Call me a communist, dearest motherfuckers(we actually prefer Kropotkinite-American), but I can't think of a more fitting end for a more despicable Imperial experiment. Death by greed on the stoop of Potosi, in the dark heart of where it all began, with Che's wicked laughter hanging like cigar smoke above the ruins. I hate war, but with any luck this could be America's last.



Peace, Love & Empathy- CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Every Body Here Hates You by Courtney Barnett
*  Police Truck by Dead Kennedy's
*  Tough Enough by Ex Hex
*  Fake Empire by the National
*  Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells
*  Ahead by Wire
*  North American Scum by LCD Soundsystem
*  Mousetrap by Some Velvet Sidewalk


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Boredom and Suffering and Safety and Liberty

I'm not going to lie to you, dearest motherfuckers. My life is kind of a dumpster fire right now. In fact, it's been kind of a dumpster fire for the last few years. Even aside from my clinical crosses to bare: anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, IBS, Lyme disease, dysphoria, bubonic plague, etc: The last few years have felt like a Macy's Day Parade of Ballardian car crashes. My grandmother gets dementia and has to be moved through fifty different fucking homes because none of them can be bothered to treat her like a goddamn human being unless their paid in speed boats. My cat and loyal companion of nearly twenty years loses both thyroids, shits everywhere and slowly dies on me. Then my best humanoid friend since high school up and moves to a different goddamn continent. Then my father gets run over by a sleep deprived paper-man and finds out he has cancer in the emergency room. Then some sick fuck shoots a geezer and blows his brains out next door to my loony Nana's latest nursing home. Then the cops murder another friend in cold blood for being autistic while black. And then and then and then and then....

It's gotten to the point where I've begun having weekly panic attacks reducing me to sobbing jello thrashing violently on my bathroom floor. It didn't use to be this way. Its times like these I actually miss being a shut-in. During the agoraphobic half of my twenties my days were typically structured around doing whatever the fuck I felt like whenever the fuck I felt like it. I could binge watch a half dozen French horror movies or completely lose myself killing cops on Grand Theft Auto and sink a week into researching the finer points of Wilhelm Reich's Orgone Therapy. I had no friends, no blog, no job, no obligations whatsoever. When the outside world got too menacing I could just make myself disappear like a ghost in my parents basement where they'd never find me. I had nothing to fear and that was the point. The universe had grown too goddamn big for me to cope with, so I chose to make the universe go away and become a hermit with no worries. No worries, that is, except my crippling loneliness, my total disgust with my biological sex, my fear of dying alone in that goddamn basement and my downright terminal boredom. And that's the trade off.

Madame de Stael once mused that, in life, one must choose between boredom and suffering, and I've spent the better part of the more stressful half of my twenties learning this lesson the hard way. My life in isolation may have been safe but it was also totally unfulfilling. As terrifying and painful as the last few years of my life have been I have fucking lived them and I've lived them my way. I've turned my little blog into a genuine menace to society. I have embraced the Lokian spiritual chaos of my fluid gender identity. I have made friends with everyone from single-black mothers to neofascist wack-jobs, the two most dangerous kinds of people on earth. I've also become a contributing editor to the worlds most dangerous website, Attack the System, not to mention a regular contributor to the vanguard of the Fifth Estate, CounterPunch. I've found my place in a tribe that I've been searching for my whole life and I volunteer handling diseased piss and blood for my people at a free AIDS clinic. Not only have I embraced my participation in the joyful suffering of the world but I've embraced outright danger. I have embraced anarchy, not just as a philosophy but as a lifestyle, and those things are very much related.

In life, one must chose between boredom and suffering. Similarly, I've come to believe that in politics, one must choose between safety and liberty. As a shut-in, I embraced safety, not just as a lifestyle but as a philosophy. I was a dutiful state socialist and the idea of a well regulated egalitarian society was as appealing to me as the shelter of my parent's basement. As a recovering hermit in the mad world I've come to find my past affection for benevolent statism to be almost as stifling as the mask of my former gender identity. The truth is, that a world of strict gun control, Scandinavian style welfare and the prohibition of victimless crimes probably would be safer. But it would be as boring as living in a human zoo. Sure, we'd all be well fed and taken care of, but we wouldn't be free. Like my former existence as a shut-in, it would be safe but totally unfulfilling. And for some people maybe that's enough, but I simply can't bare to live that way anymore. I didn't choose the terrifying liberty of the outside world to be a part of a society that's just as safe as my parent's basement.

So I've decided to embrace suffering, even with all its heartbreaks and panic attacks. And I've decided to embrace the liberty of anarchism even with all it's overdoses, border jumpers and active shooters, because, like another quotable corpse named Zapata once quipped, I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Come hell, dearest motherfuckers. Come hell.



Peace, Love, Suffering and Liberty- CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  This Is Why We Fight by the Decemberists
*  Human Zoo by Built to Spill
*  The Running Styles of New York by the Tallest Man On Earth
*  Me and My Dog by Boygenius
*  Neat Neat Neat by the Damned
*  Wild One by Iggy Pop
*  Wedding Singer by Modern Baseball
*  My Way by Sid Vicious
*  Imitations of Life by REM
*  Shades of Blue by Yo La Tengo
*  Free at Last by PUP
*  Float On by Modest Mouse