Sunday, 30 August 2009

EMPIRE BURLESQUE, PART TWO.

EMPIRE BURLESQUE

AN ENQUIRY INTO POWER. PART TWO: NOW

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A SHIP THEY CALLED THE MAYFLOWER.

Soon – shortly – none will live who walked the Moon; it’s as though the Pilgrim Fathers had landed at Plymouth Rock and said Fuck Thee, O Lord, This Shit, Thou Canst Keepeth It - and sailed back to the other Plymouth, the real one. Captured Nazi techies had enabled NASA to make good on JFK’s windy bluster and in 1969 land white men on our sattelite, set them down precisely, a quarter of a million miles away. In vehicles using less computer power than a 1980s BMW, coming in on a solar wing and an Anabaptist prayer, Uncle Sam, greedy, boastful and belligerent, had finally done something beautiful, something magnificent, a new imagery filled our eyes and our consciousness, shattering and awesome - Earthrise.

And then he abandoned it.

Maybe the making habitable of near space would have blurred the focus of America’s Earthside wars of economic subjugation. At around the same time as the lunar magical mystery tours, the US Army Air Force was busy deploying Puff the Magic Dragon, an airborne Gatling gun, capable of putting a .45 calibre round into every square yard of a US football field in a little under three seconds, or to use technical language, wasting shitloads of gook villages.

EAT SHIT AND DIE, MOTHERFUCKERS

JFK’s Man-on-the-Moon rhetoric had been about smoothing US imperialistic feathers ruffled by the Commies putting Yuri Gagarin in near-Earth orbit and not about a Brave New Off-World future – mouthy, big-haired. kicking ass, and mistreating women, Kennedy was an archetypal Democrat millionaire senator; no visionary, he, even if he’d had the chance. And after Apollo fizzled-out, the closest America got to space was in the form of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, sermonising, in his cardboard starship, a prototype Obama, Yes-we-can gabshiteing from here to the Crab Nebula. There has been NASA stuff, of course, but it's been remote, telescopes and probes, artificial ambassadors, silicon pioneers, micro-processor frontiersmen; here, on the MotherShip, Uncle Sam has, instead, explored the nuances of Detention and Torture and Rape, boldly gone into civilian massacre, Shock and Awe Blitzkrieg his prime directive, first thing we do is kill all the civilians.

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WARCRIME, THE FINAL FRONTIER

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PATRIOTISM, THE LAST REFUGE OF THE SCOUNDREL.

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FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

The miltary expenditure – on his apparatus of global terrorism - of the United States has been and continues to be mind-boggling, had he not spent those sums on oppressing the entire world, Uncle Sam might, instead, have freed us from her gravity shackles; had his swarming satellites been deployed to something other than paranoid espionage who knows what we might have made of natural disaster, local and planetary. But he went angry and fretful, self-righteous and suspicious, God-bothering and sanctimonious to the New World and with those attitudes he seeded her. He stands today, sermonising with a big stick, his pockets empty, praise-singing his stupidity, implacable in his pig-igorant, bullet-headed, waterboarding brutishness. Uncle Sam was ever an arsehole. And yet, a man of constant sorrow, once he walked the Moon.

OOH BABY, OOH-WEE, IT'S THAT TRILLION DOLLAR BASH.

The acknowledged US spending on what it calls defence is half of the world's total military spending at one TRILLION dollars. A trillion this, a trillion that, it's the sort of figure bandied about by innumerates, like British premier, Gordon Snot, a man who couldn't twice count the change in his pocket and get the same sum. Snot understands neither language nor number, only soundbite, gibberish validated by repetition. Dubya was the same, Obama as bad, neither has any real need of and therefore no understanding of the value of money. But a trillion dollars is a fuck of a lot of money. In hundred dollar bills, the only sort, sweetheart, a million dollars looks like this:

$1,000,000 (one million dollars)


A hundred million dollars looks like this:

$100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)

And a billion dollars looks like this:

$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars)

What is a trillion dollars? What does it look like? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros.

This is what it looks like, a TRILLION dollars:

$1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars)

That's the man/comparison, there, tiny, in the bottom left of the illustration.

From wiki:

The military budget is that portion of the United States discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense. This military budget pays the salaries, training, and healthcare of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms, equipment and facilities, funds operations, and develops and buys new equipment. The budget funds all branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

For the 2009 fiscal year, the base budget rose to $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion.[1] This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production (about $9.3 billion, which is in the Department of Energy budget), Veterans Affairs (about $33.2 billion), interest on debt incurred in past wars, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which are largely funded through extra-budgetary supplements, about $170 billion in 2007). As of 2009, the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.

These are not just a trillion dollars of expenditure, these are a trillion lost opportunity dollars, which could have been spent on better shit. And they are a trillion dollars, and more, which America simply cannot afford to spend, he no longer has the capacity to remain a global hegemon.

Uncle Sam maintains nerly 800 military facilities worldwide, these are, to all normal intents and purposes, lawless enclaves populated by brutes, racists and bigots. In nearly all of its bases America has bullied from the host nation a special legal status for his warriors.

GANG-RAPE, IT'S A MAN'S LIFE IN THE US MILITARY. BUT NOT A WOMAN'S

In March, New York Times, yes, New York Times op-ed columnist Bob Herbert noted, "Rape and other forms of sexual assault against women is the great shame of the US armed forces, and there is no evidence that this ghastly problem, kept out of sight as much as possible, is diminishing." He continued:
New data released by the Pentagon showed an almost 9% increase in the number of sexual assaults - 2,923 - and a 25 percent increase in such assaults reported by women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan [over the past year]. Try to imagine how bizarre it is that women in American uniforms who are enduring all the stresses related to serving in a combat zone have to also worry about defending themselves against rapists wearing the same uniform and lining up in formation right beside them.





"The problem.,"writes Chalmers Johnson in the Asia Times, "is exacerbated by having our troops garrisoned in overseas bases located cheek-by-jowl next to civilian populations and often preying on them like foreign conquerors. For example, sexual violence against women and girls by American GIs has been out of control in Okinawa, Japan's poorest prefecture, ever since our soldiers, marines and airmen permanently occupied it some 64 years ago. That island was the scene of the largest anti-American demonstrations since the end of World War II after the 1995 kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by two marines and a sailor. The problem of rape has been ubiquitous around all of our bases on every continent and has probably contributed as much to our being loathed abroad as the policies of the Bush administration or our economic exploitation of poverty-stricken countries whose raw materials we covet. The military itself has done next to nothing to protect its own female soldiers or to defend the rights of innocent bystanders forced to live next to our often racially biased and predatory troops. "The military's record of prosecuting rapists is not just lousy, it's atrocious," writes Herbert. In territories occupied by American military forces, the high command and the State Department make strenuous efforts to enact so-called Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) that will prevent host governments from gaining jurisdiction over our troops who commit crimes overseas. The SOFAs also make it easier for our military to spirit culprits out of a country before they can be apprehended by local authorities. This issue was well illustrated by the case of an Australian teacher, a long-time resident of Japan, who in April 2002 was raped by a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, then based at the big naval base at Yokosuka. She identified her assailant and reported him to both Japanese and US authorities. Instead of his being arrested and effectively prosecuted, the victim herself was harassed and humiliated by the local Japanese police. Meanwhile, the US discharged the suspect from the navy but allowed him to escape Japanese law by returning him to the US, where he lives today. In the course of trying to obtain justice, the Australian teacher discovered that almost 50 years earlier, in October 1953, the Japanese and American governments signed a secret "understanding" as part of their SOFA in which Japan agreed to waive its jurisdiction if the crime was not of "national importance to Japan". The US argued strenuously for this codicil because it feared that otherwise it would face the likelihood of some 350 servicemen per year being sent to Japanese jails for sex crimes. Since that time, the US has negotiated similar wording in SOFAs with Canada, Ireland, Italy and Denmark. According to the Handbook of the Law of Visiting Forces (2001), the Japanese practice has become the norm for SOFAs throughout the world, with predictable results. In Japan, of 3,184 US military personnel who committed crimes between 2001 and 2008, 83% were not prosecuted. In Iraq, we have just signed a SOFA that bears a strong resemblance to the first postwar one we had with Japan: namely, military personnel and military contractors accused of off-duty crimes will remain in US custody while Iraqis investigate. This is, of course, a perfect opportunity to spirit the culprits out of the country before they can be charged." The US, along with Israel and India has also refused to sign international agreements on the commission of war crimes by off-base armed forces. Dubya, the great Christian patriot has also made provision for his own immunity and that of his partners in crime, the legislature, should anyone in future question their conduct. Not that they would.



BUDDDY CAN YA SPARE A DIME?

Johnson continues, "According to a growing consensus of economists and political scientists around the world, it is impossible for the United States to continue in that role -of hegemon - while emerging into full view as a crippled economic power. No such configuration has ever persisted in the history of imperialism. The University of Chicago's Robert Pape, author of the important study Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House, 2005), writes: There is something absurd, even Kafkaesque, about our military empire. Jay Barr, a bankruptcy attorney, makes this point using an insightful analogy:
Whether liquidating or reorganizing, a debtor who desires bankruptcy protection must provide a list of expenses, which, if considered reasonable, are offset against income to show that only limited funds are available to repay the bankrupted creditors. Now imagine a person filing for bankruptcy claiming that he could not repay his debts because he had the astronomical expense of maintaining at least 737 facilities overseas that provide exactly zero return on the significant investment required to sustain them ... He could not qualify for liquidation without turning over many of his assets for the benefit of creditors, including the valuable foreign real estate on which he placed his bases.
In other words, the United States is not (even) seriously contemplating its own bankruptcy. It is instead ignoring the meaning of its precipitate economic decline and flirting with insolvency. Nick Turse, author of The Complex: How the Military Invades our Everyday Lives (Metropolitan Books, 2008), calculates that we could clear $2.6 billion if we would sell our base assets at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and earn another $2.2 billion if we did the same with Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. These are only two of our over 800 overblown military enclaves. Our unwillingness to retrench, no less liquidate, represents a striking historical failure of the imagination. In his first official visit to China since becoming Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner assured an audience of students at Beijing University, "Chinese assets [invested in the United States] are very safe." According to press reports, the students responded with loud laughter. " Well they might. Without counting-in the cost of the two so-called wars -in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan by 2010 the US will be burdened with a budget deficit of at least $1.7 trillion; the total deficit is equivalent to 13% of US GDP - the recommended EU target is three per cent - and will take generations to straighten, if ever. The monstrous, gibbering, incoherent criminal Bush, wife-beater, drunkard, coward, draft-dodger, coke-fiend and born-again arsehole has carried off the crime of the millenium, pulverising ancient civiliastions, exporting WarCrime abroad and entrenching EarthCrime at home, ordering kidnap, rape, torture and murder whilst fabulously enriching himself and his friends and pardoning one-and-all in advance. Gordon Snot has called him Britain's best friend - although he would mean Britain's best friend after himself. There is not a snowball's chance in Hell that the new God Emperor, the impossible narcissist and God-fucking-awful Speak-Your-Moral-Weight Machine, Obama, will prosecute Bush, Power didn't arrange his election in order to stir-up any of that nonsense, fuck me, no, decent white men like Obama aren't supposed to behave like that and he won't. Given the rape and pillage at home and abroad, the American Empire is pissing in the wind, its citizens, narcotised by porn and beefburgers, too stupid to strike another match, go, start anew.

In Afghanistan, the UK and the USSR have both failed to suppress the Pashtun tribesmen, the UK tried for a century. Pakistan cannot enforce its own writ, hooked as its military and intelligence services are to the Mujahadeen, the Taliban which they, themselves, finance, control and with Uncle Sam, created, in order to piss on Ivan’s worn-out boots. It’s all bollocks, all of it. John Bull, along to wipe Uncle Sam’s foreskin, as he pisses on the natives and ejaculates over his own women, can neither supply or wisely direct enough troops even to maintain an effective police presence in this benighted wilderness, successive chumps at the MOD and in the Army claiming that every new pile of British corpses is evidence of our victory betray their men and enhance their careers. 'Twas ever thus. It’s all bollocks, all of it, a child of five could see that, bluster as that prick Obama might, it’s not his sweet, coffee-coloured ass getting blown off. And it’s not the stooge, Kharsi’s, arse getting elected either, apparently the justification for all these flag-draped coffins.

SUNDOWN ON THE UNION

Colonial wars abroad, Patriot Act oppression at home and the whole fucking country enslaved to the New Trickle-Up Economy beloved, here, of von Fawkesians and other scabs and in the States of the self-flagellating Creationists, the gun-toting, fat slobs and the bighair Rentboy Senators- the poor simply must give their money, via taxation, to the rich, so that they might borrow it back at huge interest and anyone who says different is a filthy communist; Jesus fucking wept, that is the best which the New World Order can come up with - and with the self-interested connivance of skymadeupnewsandfilth, that'll do nicely. Jump down turn around pick a bale a cotton, jump down turn around, pick a bale a day. Doesn't sound half so bad coming from a good ole JimCrow niggerboy like Obama.

Marching to the drums of Paul Revere and George Washington, America's finest slaughter multitudes,
men, women, children, the elderly, the hospital patient, Bury My Heart at Fallujah, at Baghdad, at Helmand, at Guantanamo, at Khe San, at Wounded Knee; the ever blood-thirsty military-industrial complex now feasting in support if what it calls Globalisation; GI Joe, when he's not raping his comrades or napalming wedding parties, consoles himself with the thought that he's punishing the culprits of nine eleven, the worst thing, bet your sweet gang-rapin' ass, that ever happened, even though it wasn't and even though the culprits were nurtured by friends of the Bush familiy in Saudi Arabia, not the infants of Baghdad. And we wonder why it is that, wherever we are, we feel on our cheek, the hot breath of the Jihad; it isn't, though, on examination, the Jihad which should stir and offend us, but the fetid fart of a collapsing empire.

Atlanticists will argue that all this is unfair, denies America's greatness, our shared culture, Uncle Sam's belated participation in the Hitler War, omitting to mention his early fondness for the Nazi, that Decency on his part would have stopped the war in its tracks. Oh, fuck me, they cry, as though they fought there themselves, I have visited the US graveyards in Normandy so you can't say anything bad to me about the US of A. Well, we can. And do. Must.

Since the start of its bloody, disgusting, inhuman ethnic cleansing, the continent of North America has produced writers and painters and composers in a European tradition, facsimilised; it has delivered us mass production and pre-fabrication and skyscrapers and nuclear energy and a technology
which sailed beneath the North Pole and to the Moon. It is interesting, then, and illuminating that the only original cultural form, the only new art to emerge from this blasted, bloodthirsty, repressive, greedybastard empire is a culture of Despair, Enslavement, Exploitation, of unimaginable, sustained sadistic violence, degradation and cruelty, of Hope and Solace deferred beyond the grave, of fathomless Sorrow; it is the blood-curdling song of America the Foul, rooted in filth not freedom; we know it as the Blues.

It permeates even this:




Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

(Chorus)
The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million free men more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although he may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love best,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

35 comments:

Caractacus said...

My compliments, Mr. Ishmael, on another excellent piece of work. As I've mentioned before, I think this should be read by a wider audience.

mongoose said...

Mr Ishmael,

While agreeing with almost all of that - and certainly completely so with its central tenet - it isn't just Mr Yankee Doodle Pornandpopsickles. Everything is broken. They are still a little confused by the fact that they control an entire, and almost unexploited, continent. (Well, the inhabitable bits of a whole continent anyway.) This alone makes them extremely and almost effortlessly rich. But not the people, no, no.

Because it is an immature but extremely big playground bully, this power and money is still controlled by just a few pairs of hands. Yes, they have lots of little millionaires with their shitty little heaps of £100-bills but a handful of bastards control those trillions. Bloody Hell, the Kennedys are screwed and they still have their own private State. And, in principle, it is the same over here too. It's just that there are a few more hands to hold the dosh and, now that Calamity Prudence has done his worst, a lot less dosh to be held.

I was once err, talking to a certain company over this side of the pond. Scoundrels. Vilest of the vile. The fucker has its snout deep in the trough of public and military expenditure. Deep, Ishmael, me old lad. Like burying its frigging face up to its piggy ears and sucking in the ooze of money. That deep. Men who with their fingers cheat and who lie with every breath.

Having reached an age when I need to be able to sleep at night and, 'tis true, having just about enough dosh to be able to not get involved and still be sure of feeding the kids, I did it. "Thank-you, gentlemen, but on reflection, no." They looked at me like I was bat-shit bonkers. "But, but don't you know that we double in size every four years? That we win 50% of new bids and 90% of rebids?"

Just think on that... 90-fucking-percent of so-called competitive bids and for mind-bogglingly huge chunks of money. How do you go about doing that then? And they boast about it instead of keeping it quiet. The oldest trade was ever this one.

Anonymous said...

A trillion dollars? Chicken feed I have a perfectly good 100 trillion dollar note issued by the Reserve bank od Rhodesia oops Zimbabwe that an English friend sent me before he left that country that had been his home for donkeys years and retuen to the UK.As for the septics and their "empire" they are dead in the water but don't know it yet. I have just come back home, here in Thailand from China and Maylasia. All empires come and go but from where I sit its Asias turn to have a go now. 20 years ago before I saw the error of my ways by working as an engineer I was employing people to dismantle equipment and machinery from recently closed factories in the UK shove it in containers with China marked on them. As for the military might of the US try to keep away from Pattaya during the Cobra Gold exercises. Pattaya by the way is probably the only city in the world given over to industrialised fucking. Full of warships and US military personel for weeks on end, a credit to uncle Sam.

With God on our side said...

The paradox of life.For every force,there is an equal and opposite force.The people that brought us those unforgettable images of spaceship earth,did so in a spirit of "first response". Conflict produces technological progression,whilst peace produces stagnation,as Harry Lime observed. In our age,the US is only following in the footsteps of the previous top dogs,all secure in the rightousness of their crusade. How does mankind move beyond the basic belief that might is right,and humanity is for wimps? We saw the Earth as one,as long as one was with US.

Uncle Joe said...

A dollar is a dollar,a trillion is just a statistic.

woman on a raft said...

At least now I'm not struggling so hard visualize the debt. I may have gone in to shock, though.

This is an important article, Mr Ishmael. Caratacus is right - a wider audience needs to know this material.

Elby the Beserk said...

FUBAR.

And, indeed, as Mr. Dylan noted, everything is broken. Look after your loved ones first, and watch the wolf at the door.

Dick the Prick said...

Cheers Mr Ishmael. I think we can perhaps draw some inspiration from the fact that they've completely skinted themselves and, unlike Blighty they have this mental notion that the USA is the paragon.

I guess we're lucky in that few of us would call ourselves British first but Yorkshire or English. That we have a monarch and should in theory be able to oust our leaders (present cuntitudes excepted). And thank fuck we're all alcoholics and have gun control - what's the mentality of being tooled up to buggery and with Baptist zeal call liquor evil??

black hole sunset said...

Brilliant.

Agree with others here about deservedness of a wider audience.

lilith said...

Brilliant and harrowing.

I always wondered how so many Americans were persuaded to fight in their rapacious army...no wonder they are nervous about social medicine (apart from the cost)....they provide medical care for life to anyone who signs up. Quite an inducement in a country where they check your wallet before offering you the heimlich manoeuvre.

The Dyer's Garden said...

Strange that you should take "earthrise" as your contrast, for its sublimity is akin to the sublimity of the atom bomb - shattering and awesome.

But if one is a displacement of the real business of living (who the fuck cares what is on the moon?) the other is central to it: we can't live without conflict, we can't (generally) resolve conflict without force, and we can't have civilization without continuity.

The Iliad (say) is full of violence and death, yet life has never been more vital than it was then. The truth is those who have nothing to die for inevitably end up with nothing to live for either.

Obsessing about physical death obscures the far more serious business of the spiritual death that surrounds us. For whereas people are endlessly replaceable the ideas without which they are nothing are not. America's "cultural" army is a far greater threat than any physical power it can assemble against us - we have, in any case, capitulated to it already.

Tell all that to the mother whose kid has been blown up, you will say. Well, a death is a death, whereas a functional lobotomy - what US culture gives us for free - is both a death and the stillbirth of a spiritual invalid in its place.

call me ishmael said...

There was a stylised image of a mushroom cloud in part one which I felt spoke for itself and which was paired, I thought a bit archly, but obviously not archly enough, with Earthrise. I can't, Mr TDG, spell everythubg out, not in a short piece like that.

The Dyer's Garden said...

Yes, it would be a good exercise for someone, to look for the rest of what I say implicitly embedded in your text. The death of irony is one more thing to be lamented, another gift from the americans.

call me ishmael said...

Not implicit, not embedded or hidden, they are there, the points you raise, the imagery of the bomb given as much value as that of Earthrise; a fairly consistent lament at the squalidness of US cutural imperialism runs through the writing.

(Obsessing about) physical death may be as nothing to you compared with the disuetude of Euclidean geometry but I think you would be in a decidedly non-ironic minority there, physical death's avoidance and postponement being our most powerful instinct, bar none.
I don't know what your evidence is for life being more vital among the Stoics and Epicureans, it was all a very long time ago. It is true the Greeks, enjoying the luxury of slavery, developed logic and geometry and proportion and drama but as with the moon, who, really, gives a fuck about that, when the football is on; how is that more vital than, for instance, being engaged in the Crusades, wholly illogically.

I approach the willing-to-die conundrum from a different angle. If appears to me that the UK is increasingly unwilling to accept any level of fatalities in these escapades, that getting Mr Kharzi re-elected is not widely deemed to be worth a single Tommy's life, it is not there yet but it is approaching that and a monstrous slew of fatalities might bring about a total, mutinous revulsion. Might it not be that as a nation we eventually say If this shit isn't worth dying for, it's not worth killing for ?

Finally, the idea that people are endlessly replaceable is, forgive me, too Stalinist for me, people replace themselves by breeding but individuals are irreplaceable. Ask anybody.

call me ishmael said...

Nowhere near harrowing enough, Lilith. One runs out of forms of emphasis, italicisation, bold type and one can't paste-in an infinity of clips but if Mr elby is settled with a bottle of wine and a joint and a copy of The Pretender playing, spend half an hour googling or youtubeing rape in the US military. Make your shiny hair stand on-end

The Dyer's Garden said...

You may well be right. But the points I raise are not there because you do not agree with them, as you very clearly explain.

(Obsessing about) physical death may be as nothing to you compared with the disuetude of Euclidean geometry but I think you would be in a decidedly non-ironic minority there, physical death's avoidance and postponement being our most powerful instinct, bar none.

So what of those who willingly risk their lives? Are they mad? What of those who used to risk their lives merely to avoid perceived shame (e.g. duels)? Were they mad? Do you not see the obsession with survival at all cost is an extension of the autophagic self-obsession that will consume us all? If mere existence is the highest attainment in life you are quite right Euripides may as well be a Brazillian forward, and each individual will be as irreplaceable as any of the louts in the terraces.

call me ishmael said...

Nowhere have I proposed much less obsessed about survival at all costs, people give their lives -ot their lives are taken - in defence of their families, their turf, their faith, their sexual preferences, their politics, their trade unions; some of these events are unavoidable and noble, some foolhardy and pointless. What I have said is that the institutionalised slaughter and enslavement of innocents in the pursuit of commercial interest is indefensible, that the preservation and extension of the miracle of creation, individual and planetary, should be a priority and that the meek and mild and simple are as valuable as the haughty, the great and the good, indeed, in my experience, moreso. Fuck Aristotle, fuck Plato's Republic; rather, let the wee boy keep his limbs, what is so fucking complicated, so errant, so facile about that idea that you marshal all your considerable wits in its derision ?

Elby the Beserk said...

Socrates the Brazilian footballer, and a true philosopher of the game.

Mr. Garden - you also wrote

"The Dyer's Garden said...
Strange that you should take "earthrise" as your contrast, for its sublimity is akin to the sublimity of the atom bomb - shattering and awesome.

But if one is a displacement of the real business of living "

The real business of living? Well, for me, anything that makes my heart leap and my soul cry out for joy is most definitely part of the real business of living, and serves to inform all I do; but then, I'm a fucking hippy.

Ish. You are - and this is no hyperbole, the Swift of our time. Huge tip of a huge hat to you.

spark up said...

what is your opinion, mr ishmael, on whether guido fawkes is mr obama's plaything, owned by obama-confidantes via the messagespace parent company, global and general nominees, and used, prior to the president's election to smooth his path to victory, primarily by talking the financial markets into a conveniently opportune slide?

mr b obombaklaart (junior) said...

09:50

wooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

i love slides!

call me ishmael said...

Thanks,mr spark-up, but I don't eat Pizza, especially not with blood on it.

spark up said...

15:09

i wasn't offering you any bloody pizza, now stop playing at being a bloody politician and answer the bloody question.

jeremy pastaman said...

but I don't eat Pizza

that isn't entirely truthful, is it?

call me ishmael said...

No, it is entirely truthful, I don't eat pizza. And I don't think that Col. von Fawkes is important enough to be of concern to any or all of the president's men, le philophie de maison at order-order, the last time I looked, having merged with those of Messrs Kelvin McCunt and Dirty Desmond, the former one of Rupert's rentagobs, the latter proprietor of Filthy Asian Granny Spunk Gobblers and the Daily Express and friend of former prime minister Tony & Imelda Blair.

It is, of course, true, that the Colonel is a Trickle-Uppist, adores the rich and worships money but in that he would be in communion with all politicians, not just the God Emperor Obama.

The Dyer's Garden said...

The contrast I am talking about, Mr Smith, parallels that between Aristotle and Plato. But fuck them, as you say, let's leave it at that, and enjoy the scenery.

spark up said...

18:52

thanks for that current perspective, mr ishmael - i just cannot understand why, if he believes in trickle-up theory, the proprietor of guido fawkes strains to shove his head down into the gutter to get a gulp?

Edgar said...

Alas, even the 'earthrise' is a lie, Mr Ishmael. At the risk of being derided for geekishness, the Moon does not rotate with respect to the Earth, therefore the Earth always maintains the same position in the Moon's sky. No rising, no setting.

As for Mr TDK's question "who the fuck cares what is on the moon?", I can answer that with reference to the grammatical first person and count no person cultured who cannot.

The Dyer's Garden said...

"I can answer that with reference to the grammatical first person"

You poor thing, Edgar. Let us hope you are either very old and your companions will not have to suffer you for long, or very young and there is still hope you might grow out of this kind of thing.

call me ishmael said...

I am sorry to report Mr TDG that I am equally unfamiliar with the works of Mr Socrates and Mr Plato, if works they be. I studied mythology, it is true, in the first form, but things at King Edward's were ordered such that I did not take up latin in the second and lack even the rudiments of a classical education; indeed, English, History and Music were the only subjects for which I had any noticeable aptitude. I must agree, therefore, that we cease that part of our discourse, you from weariness, I from inability to respond in kind.

How other Old Edawrdians, like Mr David Two Dicks Willets and Mr Simon Heffer must sneer at we of Ishmaelia, the lesser products of such a grand educational foundation.

call me ishmael said...

I think I knew that, Mr Edgar, thanks. In these cloisters we talk, sometimes, not of Sunrise but of EarthTurn, the Sun not actually rising or setting but this literalism can go too far and I liked, still like, the poetic useage of Earthrise, even though it is inaccurate it opens new perspectiuves on existence.

call me ishmael said...

Mr spark-up, it is true that once Colonel von Fawkes rode higher in my estimation than he does currently, the reason for that being, well, just as you say and for that you must seek explanation not here but at the PizzaHouseOfBlood.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, Mr Elby but Swift was a proper writer. No-one could ever accuse me of that, just a busker, tomorrow's cyber fish and chip wrappings. Nothing wrong with busking, though, watching it or doing it.

The Dyer's Garden said...

King Edwards? And to think it produced classical scholars of the rank of Enoch Powell. Perhaps that was what turned you off.

An ancient university thereafter? Strange how common it is to hear ill spoken of elitism by those who would be mute without it, no?

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