Thursday, October 28, 2010

Homer and the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

this is an excerpt from a dialog on fb.

> It is the pungent smell of Homer in the morning that continues to draw the heady smoke enwreathed ethos consecrating the fallen warriors on the haunted battlefields down the centuries. Homer is the root cause of all this . It is the Homer in all of us who still sucks in the rife napalm rising off the burnt remains of the noble soldier strewn across history. War is simply the grossest of human conduct, period. Though sometimes necessary, in defense against venturing despots who propel their cannon fodder through stirring tear rending orations on the "fatherland," and the like, war is the single most abominable and anomalous of human behaviors. All this romance bequeathed to the progeny of the Homeric ideal, speak of the violent hegemonic gene that has been portrayed as the dominant expression in the human allele. If we do not war, the reasoning goes, we are reduced to a feminized culture, neutered of the male gamete sack. This has been a long standing Homeric refrain sung for hundreds of generations. Well, fuck Homer and all his idealistic progeny wrought of his epic poetry. Fuck all his warring honor schlock the Western canon has swallowed and mimicked through all the descending ages hence. What andocratic taint we have codified into human nature erroneously because of the power and cascading influence of his poetry.

It's high time for us to just get over it!

It is high time to associate masculine qualities with the “peaceful gene,” departing from the sheer mass inertia of history, w/ all its emphases on the glory, honor and valor of the masculine warrior; the romantic warrior carried in all these hymns de la guerre, these epic blood drenched poems; these noble statues and masterpieces of literature and history that weigh so heavily upon the virtue-less decline of an emasculated culture if we do not war. This is an inherited madness we as a species are simply too underdeveloped to imagine. We are still The Ancients if we do not begin to see this. This is not an apologist's position for pacifism either. Pacifism in a world where despots like Saddam Hussein still thrive, is madness. But to glorify and romanticize war only perpetuates its continuing legacy.

The real Glory and Purification that is our due after three thousand years of trial and error, is the ultimate transcendent mind of humanity when collectively it decides that there is no just cause that can possibly impel a nation to venture an offensive war. And if this ever comes to pass, there will be no cause ever to fight a defensive wars either. The essence of the true masculine to protect through peace might finally be realized. If we begin for this mark, the other recessive allele of peace might finally be seen in a masculine light. The seeds to this ultimate logic can only be planted by deconstructing this past ethos spun by Homer first, but then all the succeeding cultures who have carried the torch of war as a defining element in human nature and of the virtuous citizen. This is the Kool-Aid we have been drinking for nearly three thousand years, totally unaware that we are even drinking it.

So fuck Homer and all his glorious epic poetry of violence,valor and death and sacrifice!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gettyburg Oration
Quantifying and calibrating by order of greatness in anything is a difficult order to fill, especially in the arts. Lincoln's address, however, stands alone in many ways.It is both high rhetorical art combined w/ an acute sense of the historical moment. Word for spoken word, there is little doubt that the Gettysburg Address, as a public drama, has no peer in American history. It fills the bill on all the measures of sublime oratorical composition. As recited here by Mr. Rapoport, it approaches an operatic splendor. In euphony, austerity of word, and pitch perfect composition, it has no match. Lincoln's only lacking, and this is probably why the speech was so lost on his audience at the time, was his high vocal register and un-resonant vocal timbre.

Part of its indelible mark in time has to do w/ this precise compositional architecture as it coincides w/ the perfect historical moment to which the address met in/ exquisite proportion. What truly marks Lincoln's genius, though, was that he was as much a dramatist in the highest tradition of the Greek tragedy as a poet with a gifted ear at the same time. And what distinguishes him, almost exclusively among world leaders in all of history, is that he was writing and acting his own character upon the real dramatic stage of history in real time. In this sense, reality imitates art in its most transcendent form.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do We Live In The Best Of All Possible Worlds? I imagine not.

part of a conversation on fbook.

There once was a philosopher named Liebniz who maintained that we live in the "Best of all Possible Worlds." His logic ran like this: God would not create and then perpetuate through eons of time anything less than a perfect world. This seems a plausible rationale in the diorama of a thinking man's mind where religion, guided by a single diety, informs his thinking and his behavior.

I think I would agree w/this position if the prerequisite of a single God creating the universe was a known given. Not having this luxury though,one simple yet sublime facet of the human character-imagination- renders us incapable of accepting that the world we inhabit is the best of all possible ones. The genius of the imagination constitutes my refutation of this proposition- a position that prevailed in many philosophical schools of the Enlightenment trying to reconcile God and Science during the 17'th and 18'th centuries. A position even the great Enlightenment thinker, Voltaire, considered plausible until he witnessed the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755.

It is pretty simple argument I make here w/ only one principle in my camp. As follows: We do not live in the best of all possible worlds precisely because we are vested w/ the burden of trying to imagine ways to make it better. Lichens, fungi, mosses and molds live in the best of all possible worlds simply because they cannot imagine a better one. We are the tool making specie Homo habilis. But I would like to coin a more precise way to describe us..... ta daaa Homo- Imaginus! Descartes said, in effect,"I think, therefore I exist"
Me says; We imagine, therefore we [still exist]... we still survive..

Recap: To imagine is to aspire to a "conscious" bliss but never attain it.... Therefore, w/ the sweet burden of imagination, we can never attain the "Best of all Possible Worlds."
Thoughts on the Financial Crisis, Campaign Finance and Echoes of Jefferson, Lincoln and Eisenhower.

Jefferson and Lincoln warned of finance and banking "corporatization" during their times. Such prescience from these guys way back when. These now threaten the very roots of the democracy still so early in its development.

Combine these warnings w/ what Eisenhower said more recently about the military/ industrial complex, and you begin to see that learned people of common sense have cautioned about these dangers for more than 200 years. Why can't these wisdoms prevail in a more governmentally regulized industry today, where human nature itself is the most likely culprit to fall into moral hazard? Why is it that more regulation can't occur w/out it being feared as "socialism," or worse, "communism?" When will the specter of Joseph McCarthy finally go away?

These regulating measures, in light of what has happened over the last 10 years, should only be seen as baseline pragmatism devoid of ideology. If left to their own devices, it is these corporatized/ finance industries that are at most risk of moral hazard because they deal in the pure commerce of money itself. Legislators become legislators because they first learn the arts of politicking. And the art of politicking today depends on money coming from large vested interests. Large vested interests care more for the machinery that generates their profits, not the social good for the greatest number. And it follows that slowly, over time, the corporate ologarchy buys the democracy. And when the democracy is totally bought, it ceases to be a democracy. We are rapidly approaching this terminus in my mind.

Publically funded political forums, equally distributed among competing politicians, of course, would be the ideal forum in the best of all possible worlds. And it is precisely this model that will have to happen at some point in order to save the liberal democracies everywhere. The problem is the titanic inertia of the staus quo corporate and big money lobbies. It has become intractably entrenched in our system of government.

We need a soft revolution in thought to occur. It will take a transcended sense of self -seeing for the democracy to see that this is happening right now. Not enough people are seeing it and therefore it continues unchecked.Maybe one day there will come a principled cadre of legislators, dems and republicans alike, who will be willing to sacrifice their personal careers in the short run by passing laws that prohibit any kind of private funding for political candidates. It would take a totally non-partisan revolution in the house and senate to accomplish this though. Can this, will this ever happen? Are we near the point of no return? Is the fat lady clearing her throat? And,of course, this legislative revolution would be seen as a socialist coup to stifle free enterprise and all that. Can you imagine the kind of leadership and the open commerce of new ideas that would come from such a radical and righting course change like this?

To me,the single most dangerous factor thretening the liberal democracies today, is the slowly seeping, insidiouis and relentlessly creeping malaise of the corporate/ finance mind.It, like Rome in its demise, is a narrow oligarchy of the few who are passively subjugating the many. This American experiment will be over in 50 years if this corporate mind continues unchecked.