Friday, November 20, 2009

The snow globe

I don't even know if I can get this out of my head properly. The idea is a slippery silver scaled fish.

Corrente linked to this which linked to this and I fell down the philosophy rabbit hole.

The spectacle, the thing we watch, the thing we create, but that we aren't part of. It makes me think of a snow globe, a perfect, idealized microcosm. But in our case, we don't know that the snow isn't real or that the tiny people aren't people at all. We're like children, believing what we see but can't touch.

And then I think back to being a child and wondering how those people live in the tv? Which is actually relevant because the tv, internet, books, music, films, all manner of media reinforce the message of the spectacle.

The spectacle is the disconnect between power and the people. It creates the Overton windows and explains why what most people want from their government will be the last thing the government gives them. It's why we get distracted by celebrity. Oh shiny look over there.

It also explains the hatred of the poor. We are the furthest from that snow globe, closer to the earth, to things that are made and touched and felt as real. Real is lonely, hungry, tired, dirty, scared. The snow globe is shiny want, want of things. As if things are real. The real is not made up of shiny things.

But we are told by the snow globe that real is crisp and perfect, and you can buy your way into it. You can feel connected with the latest cell phone, you can feel less hungry with this set of pots and pans, you can feel less scared with this giant car.Feel less dirty with this body wash. Feel less tired with this kind of mattress. Feel less, be numb, that is the message of the snow globe. Dull yourself down. Feel less, want more.

Wanting is what takes reality's place. Those of us at the bottom have a problem though, we can't tune out the feelings. Can't tune out pain or hunger or fear, at least not for long.

(Dear Maude, I feel like I'm getting all zen here- is that the point? Do they have a point? Feckles)

Then I wanted to be all sanctimonious cause I own almost nothing and don't really want anything. Except I've skipped the whole needing to posses things because I have a computer and the internet and can see images of things that I want anytime. So yeah, I, poor person, suck because I am not separated from reality by stuff but by pictures of stuff.

That's what I got and I've only gone through the first chapter. Well, that and a long rant at Wonder about how I like technology and how stupid it was that BSG ended with them deciding to give up modern things like medicine so they can go "run around in the mud". And also a wee lecture on the development of societies and how surplus creates hierarchies.

See ya'll- slippery fish philosophizing.

(sadly, this is what it looks like in my head most of the time, this meandering mush. Usually I clean it up nice and pretty for you all, but what the hell, you might as well see how the sausage gets made).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The absolute worst thing that could happen

to fear mongering, foaming-mouthed, 24 torture porn enthusiast Neocons is that Khalid Shaikh Mohamed could be tried in criminal court with all the due process given to ordinary defendants and be found guilty.

Yep, you read that right. They are afraid that the justice system will work for terrorists just like it's supposed to for everyone.*

If the normal, everyday, non-extraordinary tools we use for justice work just the same for people who commit acts of terror, then all the excuses for torture and extraordinary rendition and unlawful combatants and denial of the basic rights that have been part of this country's legal system since it's infancy go out the window.

If the normal, ordinary, everyday tools of justice work for the most heinous of crimes, then how will they scare us into giving up our liberty in exchange for safety? Can a threat that is stopped by a judge in black robes and a jury and a couple of lawyers and a mountain of paperwork really be as much of a big bad as they say?

No doubt, 911 was terrifying. The threat of more terrorism is terrifying (by design, it's not called happy fun time, after all). But are they so bad that we can justify becoming a society that is less free and has less justice?


(* Understanding that justice is far from perfect in this country. Yes, a brown man with a foreign name and a religion that isn't Christian accused of terrorism is not likely to get a impartial jury, but at least he gets a jury and a judge and legal representation, which is a far cry from a waterboard).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The First Thing That Must Change

I've been thinking about what a post-revolution society would look like.

The first thing we have to do is value all lives. I know that sounds all sorts of forced pregnancy hypocritical, but it's not, really. Right now we value people based on how much money they have, what country they were born in, who they sleep with, how they look, what they produce, etc. That is not valuing life or people, that is valuing certain characteristics.

We have to value people simply because they exist, and not for any other reason. People, all people, regardless of any characteristics they may or may not possess, must be more important than money, or borders, or property, or ideas, or religion, or theory. No matter how different a person is from you, or how far from "ideal" a person's life is, they still have the exact same value as the ideal. They still have all the same rights.

Put people first, and suddenly the world will make a lot more sense.

Who we gonna hate on when all the smokers and fatties are dead?

My aunt once said (it's a day for Auntie sayings, I guess) "No social worker worth their salt will pick on a poor person for smoking and drinking coffee. They know poor parents use those things to keep them going while their kids get whatever food is available."

I am coming to have the same kind of contempt for the "Left" as I do for the Rethuglikans and Christian blow hards. I already hate the virtuous foodies bad enough that given half a chance I'd watch them choke on organic apples before I'd perform the Heimlich. Fair's fair, after all. They'd watch my family starve to death rather than see us eat "crap". (Of course they still buy their organic produce people who don't make a living wage and couldn't afford to shop in the places they work,but hypocrisy is not monopolized by the right).

You cannot backtrack on pure meanness once it is unleashed

He's right. The left has lost compassion. Worse than that even, they've lost the fucking good sense that got us out of the last Depression, the truth that Roosevelt knew was that when we all do better, we ALL do better. Call it enlightened self interest, but the constant squashing of the weakest segments of society is not healthy for any society. Maybe, like the machiladoras who only hire teenage girls because they are less likely to fight, we've let poverty become feminized and disabled in this country because they think we are less likely to fight back. But bougie left may want to check themselves, us poor girls fight dirty and I know more than a few disabled peeps whose trigger fingers still work just fine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The saddest thing about the health care debacle

From my Aunt today:

"What really pisses me off is that the health care bill is becoming the piece of crap, forced to pay but get nothing for it thing the teabaggers said it would be."

Thanks Dems!

(Perhaps the Stupak thing is a good thing in that case, if it means pro-choice dems have an excuse not to participate in the sham that is the Affordable Health Care Act or whatever Orwellian name they are calling it by)

Medicare for all peeps, medicare for all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spot the ridiculously overused movie plot

is one of my favorite games.

There's the white lady or brown man goes to inner city school and teaches brown and/or poor teenagers their worth. (Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds, Freedom Writers, Lean on Me, and of course the original To Sir with Love. I am fairly sure that a new one of these has to come out every few years so that "thoughtful middle class white people" can be assured that brown kids are being educated too without having those brown kids go to school with their kids.

Then there is the world is ending and my family is trapped somewhere else (Los Angles seems to bea common place, but New York too) like The Day After Tommorow, Independence Day. There's more but catastrophe action movies are my least favorite genre.

There's the most classic of all, the love triangle like Keeping the Faith, Bandits, and so many many others. But the all come from the original love triangle movies like His Girl Friday and The Philadelphia Story both of which were remade.

There's the sci fi memes- technology takes over (2001, Terminator, even Transformers) or Mutants as oppressed group (obviously the X Men series, but also Total Recall). And of course the aliens want to kill us all meme.

These are just a few examples. What overused plots can you spot?