Sunday, May 25, 2014

different day, sos

Here's how they do it, straight from the textbook: you start with outrageous crimes purportedly committed by the people you want to whack.
The world's attention is currently divided between an outbreak of celebrity fisticuffs on an elevator (useful only to advertisers) and the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by a shadowy outfit called Boko Haram.

Over the next few weeks, that second item will grow fangs and claws, as "Boko Haram" becomes the most frequently-heard 4 syllables on your teevee. Good bye al-Qaida, hello Boko Haram.
By the time our managers in the Pentagon reveal to us that at least one or two of these missing, innocent moppets died under horrible circumstances, our fellow Americans will be whipped into such a froth that the boyz in the Pentagon couldn't prevent their invading Nigeria, even if they wanted to.
But of course, they don't want to. And by the way, did anyone happen to notice that Nigeria is 7th or 8th on the list of the world's top oil-producing countries?
That's all you really ned to know. By the time the American public figure out they've fallen for it again, the gasoline refined from Nigerian crude will have gone through their gas tanks and into the atmosphere as fumes.
Rather than remembering the Maine, or Belgium, or Pearl Harbor, or even 9/11, I would much rather my fellow citizens remember how they allow the brass hats to manipulate their emotions, and work them into a frenzy of war fever. It's not hard, and it works every time. Until it doesn't.
For all any of us knows, Boko Haram might be a fiction cooked up in the Pentagon basement. Please, let's not be credulous dorks again this time. Let's avoid having to confront the fact, one more time, that we were gullible enough to fall for the same old shit -- again -- and the result is tens of thousands dead from bombing runs and drone attacks, all because we got fooled one more time.

Monday, May 19, 2014

wonder bread

I got my DNA profile yesterday. What a disappointment.

3/5ths of my ancestors were Hinglish.

The remainder were from western Europe (21%, mostly French), Ireland (11%), & Sweden (9%).

I was hoping to find at least one or two Mestizo, African, or Native American ancestors, but no such luck. The great thing about DNA profiles is they're completely truthful, since wishful thinking and 

ideology have nothing to do with reality.

I've heard that one American in four has African ancestors, and since numerous among my (English) forebears owned slaves, I always assumed I had a little bit of Ibo or Fulani blood. Assumptions can't compete with evidence, however, and it would require a comprehensive DNA record of US citizens to determine whether this country is truly a "melting 
Pot" or simply a collection of ethnicities living side by side -- "multi-cultural" as we say these days.

 The anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski said that "When races meet, they sometimes fight, but they always breed." I'd say that's usually, but not always true.

Many of my ancestors were white supremacists. My paternal grandfather had a world history text on his shelf, published in the 1880's, which says "The only historic race is the Caucasian. The others have done little worth mentioning."

That's typical of the cultural blindness that informs the universal white attitude of that era -- a kind of racial "exceptionalism," dependent on a habit of studied non-observation -- which persists even today, and explains why my ancestors had no knowledge, carnal or otherwise, of nonwhite people.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

joe gets called in again

The air was thick and heavy in the summer heat, and sound was muffled, as if one's own footfalls were far away, when Pharaoh slept and dreamed, and saw Egypt, and then the entire world falling into pieces, as if the glue holding everything together had given out.

So Pharaoh called in his wise men and soothsayers, saying, "Say some sooth, you suckahz!" And they were all there, the Baptist preacher, the Pope from Rome, the "Proud to be a Mullah from the Umma" guy, chanting Mahayana monks, and the editorial page writers from the Wall St. Churnal, and none could say the meaning of Pharoah's dream.

And they said, "We cannot understand the meaning of it."

And then the Pharaoh waxed wroth, and little bricks shat he. And he saith, "Get rid of these fakers. It looks like we gotta call in Joe."

So in comes Joe, campesino, illegale, hombre muy sympatico, and hears old Pharaoh's dream. "Sounds like a money problem," say Joe.

"What you say?" the file voiced Pharaoh rasps.

"You're gonna reach that point where we don't even know what money is any more," says the seer. "At that point, things fall apart."

Ain´t nothing we can do about it this time, ´cause there´s been too much water under the bridge.