Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What Is There To Say?

I was ranting on Facebook recently. Earlier that day, I had driven 150 miles through the city and the suburbs, for my job maintaining houses for the profoundly autistic. The last few miles, through Minneapolis during rush hour, cursing urban planners, "if the plan is to get us to sit at the lights as long as possible..." When I arrived home, I thought I would take a nap. Three hours later I was still on Facebook, ranting. Later that night I posted a mea culpa.

It wasn't just Facebook, with my ranting. I was on other sites simultaneously, back and forth, reading this and that, commenting, back to Facebook with a plan to share what others had posted, back and forth, site to site. I wanted to post a dozen articles I read elsewhere - see, see what I have been saying! But I restrained myself. I don't mean to act like a mad man. ODD, what? LOL

Seriously though, if the country had any heart left, we would think about violence less, and more about how institutionalized the country has become, how dependent we have become upon institutions for our survival. By institution I mean any collective group ordered according to a strict hierarchy: Corporations, banks, health care, food production and delivery, water delivery, fuel, military, law enforcement, education (public and private), government in all it's myriad forms.

Institutionalized. It seems to me, consumer, whatever the case for the great achievements of the modern age, institutions are increasingly efficient at de-humanizing people. The corporation as a person? If to dehumanize is to be sociopathic, the three most sociopathic persons I ever worked for were two S & P 500 corporations and one of the biggest banks. Government? Does government make you feel like the sovereign citizen of a Republic? Like an equal voice in a Democracy? Government is better at sustaining itself than it is at checking the will to power in corporations or banks or individuals. The will to power rules. Who rules what? Whom?

What is Washington DC? Republicans decry the dictatorial powers Obama assumes with Executive Orders, and then prostrate themselves with delight, handing him the divine right of kings, with TPP and TAFTA trade pacts, or drone bombing whatever "terrorist" or "violent extremist" the President decides has to die. What is a beltway Democrat? A neo-liberal, neo-con true believer in the power of the State to hand over the reign of power to corporations and banks, warmongering her way to prosperity? Obama asks Congress for another war in the Middle East, he taunts Russia, and the primary message out of the levers of power is summed up in gladiatorial drama to distract the masses from their economic troubles, American Sniper to draw on American Christian mythology of Armageddon to feed the military machine and globalist demands for world domination, and oh how we love the middle class. 

An "investor" told me recently he has claimed 12% annual gains the last six years, in bonds and stocks. That's QE, international banker money, building asset bubbles for investors. Trickle Down? When? Who among the non-investing (because they don't have any money to invest) middle class, the working poor, have seen even 1% gains, all of the last six years combined, the last 40 years? How many have seen their wage decline?

I don't blame that investor. He's just a "middle class guy" who was a good local business man, who grew up poor with a working class single-mom, born during WWII, a true believer in the American dream. What he achieved, most people want for their family. He just doesn't see how fewer people have access to that dream every day.   

Meanwhile, the American Dream is become like the dream of every one who has ever desired to rule the world. Radar exists to see into any building, where the people are, what they are doing; we are building the infrastructure to track license plates, to keep a record of everyone's travel; they can track you with your phone or new car; we have the drone technology to track any movement; every digital communication can be recorded and saved; we have the ability to access anyone's digital life - there is no firewall that cannot be breached.

That doesn't bode well for freedom, for anyone.   

What is there to say, when even the keystrokes of this computer can be watched, monitored, recorded by government or gov contractors (corporations), anyone with the skill and the tech?

Whatever it is, speak up :)


What was this blog supposed to be about? A friend messaged me on Facebook recently, saying I sounded angry and cynical, and that he was worried about me. He admitted he might be projecting, feeling his own sense of being overwhelmed about the state of the world. I assured him that if I merely sound angry and cynical, I need to take a look at that; because that is not what this blog, or any of my online activity, was supposed to be about.

A woman I love told me, if she had met me through my writing she would have thought I was an asshole; she added that my writing sometimes made her feel stupid. I told her that a lot of people do that, they encounter an unfamiliar or uncomfortable idea and they shut down, and then criticize themselves for not being smart enough. But how do people change when they need to, or learn about what they don't understand, if they don't ask questions?

I've since re-read some of the writing in this blog, and have cringed. I think a lot of the time, I sound exasperated, like I can't figure out why people don't get it. I think some of the time I sound ignorant. I think some of the time I sound crazy. A lot of it is not attractive or constructive. Bad form. Not worthy.

I didn't post much in 2014. I was distracted by love; and overwhelmed like a lot of people, with economic concerns, with the volume of information, with the tragedy of so much of the news. I needed a re-set.

I started this blog, because I was squatting in this house without utilities or money, and no job. I had blown up my middle class life, returned destitute, with a dream to take the house off the grid, to make a model of it, for a time when people need it.

I'm still on that path. It's not easy. But there is the shell infrastructure of a greenhouse installed, plans for a rocket mass heater and solar heating. A bio-gas burner. Fish tanks. More brewing. More singing and dancing. LOL

I'll keep posting. Thanks for reading.


Jason Heppenstall said...

Welcome back! I was also re-reading some of the things I wrote on my blog a while back and it seemed clear that I was angry. There was a lot of sarcasm, a lot of blackness.

I don't think that's wrong BTW. As they say "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."

Still, it takes a lot of staying power. It also disengages people - they sense the anger first and foremost. I find it impossible to write dispassionately, though.

William H Duncan said...


Thank you.

Anger is necessary as a spur to action, but it cannot be all, as it would burn us up.

Too much anger, and it turns off those who are conditioned to fear it. I'm thinking of the petty tyrant (many parents) who explode over little things, keeping others in a state of fear.

Too little anger, and right, you probably aren't paying attention.

What is the right amount? I don't have an answer to that, I just know about myself, when the anger starts to seethe into rage, I need to take a step back and think. And if I write in anger, sit on it a bit and revisit.

What it really comes down to is, I think, the strength of one's character.

As for writing dispassionately, if I could I might be able to make a living at it LOL.


John D. Wheeler said...

On The Long Ascent, I make a special point not to blog when I'm angry.

My most recent post was in March of 2013.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for speaking up!

Luciddreams said...

It's good to hear from you. I wrote a blog entry two nights ago and have been sitting on it. I guess for the same reason as the title of your latest blog. To much cognizant dissonance floating around in the ole duder's head. BAU continuing seemingly unabated and with all of the force and fury of the imperialist corportocracy and it's endless dehumanization. Nobody needs anybody else and it's all about money. Money as the highest moral good. We're expected to chase after at and to spare no cost in it's pursuit. Anything else is considered a waste of time.

I had the urge to start reading "Brave New World" today for the fifth time in my life. I haven't read it in a couple of years, but I thought that maybe it would make me feel better. My feelings about things would make more sense if we were living in Huxley's Utopian world. Or distopian...depending on your perspective.

Anyways, it helps to hear your ranting voice. It helps me feel a bit less alone. Winter is always so hard for me. I'm trying not to drink myself to death out of boredom. I make money landscaping these days and the grass ain't growin' this time of year.

By the way, I wrote the majority of that blog on Ogham that I promised, and then I just forgot about it and moved on.

William H Duncan said...


Speaking of love, you just helped birth a bundle of distraction. Blessings :)


You too ;)


Speaking of bundles of distraction...

Yeah, I think a lot of us have been in re-set mode, waiting. It's good to have such distraction.

Speaking of reading, I'm reading Marx and Engels Manifesto. It is astounding, the contrast between the seer like apprehension of capitalism, unleashing forces it could not control, and the naivete about self-interest, how dependent upon petty self-interest his ideal communist society would become, how his ruling proletariat would inevitably bleed the people of their capital until the State collapsed.

I'm trying to put it all in perspective. I was reading The Prince last night. I was thinking I would read the Art of War. Interspersed with posts about transforming the house :)

Anyway, Blessings to you and Wendy and the boys.


Ien in the Kootenays said...

OMG. Your Facebook behaviour sounds all too familiar. I came across your name in an old Archdruid post. I love that man. In this post you mentioned you were about to lose your self sufficient home which would be my worst nightmare. I had to go see what happened. I think your anger is entirely justified. As for the whole institutionalisation of everything, that is part of the collapse syndrome. I call it Hawtch Hawtcher Bee Watcher syndrome, after a favourite Dr Seuss poem. While we have this blessed internet, carry on blogging, please, you have an extra reader!

William H Duncan said...

Blessings, len in the Kootenays

I'm working on a post now :)