Bearing Gifts. As usual, I prefer to start a new year on a nice Sweetness & Light note. That leaves me with 360-odd days for the rants and the cursing. (In fact, there is one of those in the oven as we speak -so to speak). In any case, especially in these crappy end-days, love is always something to be pushed and promoted and spread and, if at all possible, practiced. Not easy, I know; almost everything else tends to make it challenging. The trends are towards hate and division, and quarrelling and emphasizing the differences. The Masters of the Universe become increasingly repulsive and their doctrines progressively more unacceptable. Let us combat them best we can. Have a good year. May a thousand little fishes fall in love with you.
New Year 2022 Have a brisk 2022. Love and maracas.
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
Solstice 2021 (the Real One, this time). There. This time I’ve got it right. Checked with 3 different calendars. All said tomorrow IS the Winter Solstice. So, have a good one of you can manage it at all, please do. (You know the drill, by now: it annoys Henry Kissinger etc.) Love, sunbeams and raised fists (or middle fingers).
Voodoo Poppet 2. Meet Amorosa, the Other Voodoo Poppet. She brings you the latest model of All-Purpose Gripe Indicator: the DIY APGI. Into her lovingly hand-crafted numinous blank vituperative speech bubble you record your beef of choice and Robert Balfour is your father’s brother. Metchik! Word to the wise. Think twice about what you register as your miserere du jour. Like her twin, Poppy, Amorosa she may be by name and by nature but stupid and/or non-discriminating she ain’t. You try and carp about, say, “the crisis of masculinity” or “the migrant problem” or some such shite and she’ll give you very short shrift, she will. You’re welcome.
This here doodle is for Ash’s 9th anniversary and for my lovely friend Ms. P.P.
Distracted Dragons. Here’s the latest APGI; an ambiguous one, potentially contentious in several directions. Does as it’s says on the tin. To be used as you see fit. Also, a little something for the weekend, a possibly even more controversial quote from the much lamented Iain; and a little companion coda.
Essentially, the contention is that our currently dominant power systems cannot long survive in space; beyond a certain technological level a degree of anarchy is arguably inevitable and anyway preferable.
To survive in space, ships/habitats must be self-sufficient, or very nearly so; the hold of the state (or the corporation) over them therefore becomes tenuous if the desires of the inhabitants conflict significantly with the requirements of the controlling body. On a planet, enclaves can be surrounded, besieged, attacked; the superior forces of a state or corporation – hereafter referred to as hegemonies -will tend to prevail. In space, a break-away movement will be far more difficult to control, especially if significant parts of it are based on ships or mobile habitats.
The hostile nature of the vacuum and the technological complexity of life support mechanisms will make such systems vulnerable to outright attack, but that, of course, would risk the total destruction of the ship/habitat, so denying its future economic contribution to whatever entity was attempting to control it.
Outright destruction of rebellious ships or habitats -pour encouragez les autres- of course remains an option for the controlling power, but all the usual rules of uprising realpolitik still apply, especially that concerning the peculiar dialectic of dissent which -simply stated- dictates that in all but the most dedicatedly repressive hegemonies, if in a sizable population there are one hundred rebels, all of whom are then rounded up and killed, the number of rebels present at the end of the day is not zero, and not even one hundred, but two hundred or three hundred or more; an equation based on human nature* which seems often to baffle the military and political mind. Rebellion, then (once space-going and space-living become commonplace), becomes easier than it might be on the surface of a planet.
Iain Banks. A Few Notes on The Culture
*Michel Foucault: Where there is power, there is resistance.
I’ll be reusing both these quotations. I like them very much and they give me hope, although I fear that they’ll soon become obsolete. But not yet. Some people are still out there, rebelling, fighting back, reinforcing and spreading dissent. Resistance might not be futile…yet.
Why is it easier for Bruce Jenner to change his gender than it is for Cassius Clay to change his name?
Scribe’s Note. Till a few days ago I had no idea who Bruce Jenner or Brother Chappelle were. So I looked them up. Young Caitlyn did not arise my interest. Young David on the other hand I can take or leave, like most comedians these days, but I’ll say that for him: he makes sone outstandingly spiffing points on some of the most vexed subjects currently making the rounds of what passes for thought these End Days. A bit like J.K. Rowling, whose books I find unreadable and whom I blame for those bloodyawful Harry Potter films, but she did tell it like it is, no holds barred, and took her flack and DID NOT recant or even apologize. Well done, folks! Resist, bite and annoy the mealy-mouthed self-righteous bigots of any kind or description. Have a splendid week.
Poppycock 2021. Here’s an idea: since we seem determined to neither learn nor change, we might as well have a Remembrance Day (aka Shame, Shame, Poppy-Shame Day) for the future generations of both canon fodder and, most especially, “collateral” damage -i.e. all the countless innocent civilians who will neither vote for nor take part in whatever new carnage our darling leaders will be organizing shortly. This is it. Have a nice life, if you can get it.
PS. The quotes are from Julio Anguita’s now famous outburst and from a very old Celtas Cortos album.
Snap. (This is for W.B. “Pretty Boy” Yates -who else?). The focus is getting smaller and narrower and meaner with each passing day. Perspective is lost and subsequently obliterated. The centre cannot hold because it has disappeared down into its own myopic microscopic asshole; therefore things fall apart and fall into a black hole of various vulgar solipsisms. The true substance of Anarchy is but the thin, starved ghost of a vanished memory and what is loosed upon the world is the shrill cackle of hysteric dribblings and superstitious ravings and the spasmodic gusts of whingeing wounded entitlement. A Great Reset is much needed, verily, yeah! But not the great reset “They” have in their poxy, tired and geriatric minds. Snap, snap! Snip, snip! We need to get out of our self-inflicted prisons, break our self-imposed chains, renounce our voluntarily assimilated impotence, stop trying to explain the world and come out into the streets to welcome the R-Evolution, before the slouching beast gets us all. There. Have a fab weekend.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Floating Tittle-tattle. We all live, knowingly or otherwise, entangled in a maze, a cat’s cradle of lies, virtual realities, fake news, vapid fairy tales and mutually contradicting, periodically shifting party lines. It might come as a surprise to some to know that not all -not even all that many by a long long chalk- of these bogus premises blow in from the so-called Axis of Evil but actually suppurate from the self-styled Free World, which is the true progenitor, developer and main spreader of that most insidiously sophisticated and useful of tools of manipulation and control of the masses, contemporary Propaganda. Which recently has reached truly hysterical levels of efficiency. One day The Orthodoxy (and its indentured minions) says one thing; the next day it says the opposite; and the day after that it shifts once more, perhaps with an ever so slight variation, so that the flock will think it really different and even new. Thus the Governance by Idiots, or Idiocracy, perpetuates itself, assisted by a herd ever anxious to be led and told what to do (anything-for-a-quiet-life! free of the precarious labours of independent thought). Only the Floaters (& Co.) know what’s what but they are very small, very few and their voices very faint amidst the shrill din and clash of all the tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I like the Floaters. They take me with them in their frequent sorties and they tell me things. Have a splendiferous week.
Open Ends. A very merry Solstice to you all, in spite of the possibilities of having a really jolly one being rather slim. Stay stubborn. Stay sane. Dance for as long as you have legs to dance with.
Acknowledgment of Senior Moment. 22/09/21 This goes well beyond a mere “senior moment” and accelerates very hard from plain embarrassment to utter bewilderment. The worse is that I remained unaware of this fuck up for the whole of three days. Exhaustively checking my temporal sub-routines -which have bee somewhat maladjusted, lately- and doggedly backtracking the course of circs that led to it. (I suspect the clocks going back next week has played a not insignificant role in this gaffe) Nearly there although I won’t bore you with the results. All that remains is to say, like the Mi-Go would, is ‘Mozt zinzere apologiez, folkz. Ignore the zilly capzion and have a zpoinditiouz weekend”. Do. And be lenient with gross absent-mindedness.