The Artist as Schizophrenic Revenant

Cool Hand Luke Johnson, Merry Burial in Boomerville (detail), redigitalized  of the lost original found between the pages of remastered copy of the  Voynich Manuscript (assumed to be a product of Alien Intelligence who are about the only ones left with intelligence at this point), 15th Century BC plus or minus a few centuries

So, before getting on to hell proper let’s first look at Jung’s analysis of Picasso as a Schizophrene. As this webpage states (who knows or cares about its authority as all is fake these days except me, of course, at least for the time being here now, as the baba rammed assians said back in the Olde Days). :

This pronouncement was not a condemnation because Jung saw in Picasso’s imagery an important process taking place which he referred to as Nekylia–the descent into hell. To Jung this was very important, for only undertaking such a journey could an individual ever hope to come to terms with himself spiritually and psychologically.

I’ll say. That’s what Jung referred to as the Shadow side or what Dick Cheney referred to as the Dark Side where the US needed to work from in order to rule the globe into the 21st century and beyond. We can all see how that turned out. That is me and my shadow can see but we’ve been walking for a while on the wild and dark side so it’s pretty familiar ground. But let’s take a musical intermission because I know most readers these days are no doubt already tasked beyond their limited capacities already to follow this kind of run on sentence that so many far far far better writers then myself employed long ago in the way back machine to the Golden Age of the American Dawn where Henry James and Thomas Wolfe held forth at length to readers capable of even reading Marcel Proust.

But who reads anymore? As why read when you can listen to the white Irish Blues? These are my peeps. But we’ve gone beyond the Dark Side all the way to the Dark End of the Street.:

Oh, yeah. Forgot. First an RIP to my old friend and colleague Bob Silvers. Bob is dead. Yesterday. And so the era of American Intellectual Supremacy ends with a whimper rather than a bang. C’est la vie, as they say in Baton Rouge. In which direction did Maximum Bob depart. Ours is not to reason why. It’s not to reason at all. Bon Voyage, Bob! Keep it cool, dude.

Here’s a drawing I did from memory a few years after we parted company. He’s standing among the infidels waiting outside the Gates of Eden. What was that Kafka story? Speak, meme-ory! Ah yes, “Before the Law.” Bob studied law a bit back in the early days.  But he went crazy later on, around the day that he discovered a figure lurking in a Jackson Pollock drip painting. But my fondest memory of Bob will be the long evening we spent together following the chase of the White Bronco through the highways of byways of Los Angeles in numbed and respectful silence for the solemnity of the occasion.

And to round things out in the roundabout cul-de-sac of the empty underground white room where the secrets are buried here’s the mighty C. S. Lewis from the Screwtape Letters with an a propos (pronounced ahhh pro prose) description of the path to Hell paved with Godless intentions.  Gesundheit!

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you’re anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft, underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

Add media:

Voynich Manuscript page, factsimile and factmetaphor

I can’t go without a listen to the immortal Gangsta Bitch by Apache. Back when rappers had a sense of humor. You think life be sheee– it. Get yo a definitely fuckable Gangsta Bitch! Word.

And as der Mann spaketh, Ludacris mit Pussy Poppin!

That (above) would be Circle Two of Dante’s Hell. The Lustful. Oscar Wilde Style.

Posted in Bart Johnson the VIII | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

And then there’s the debt ceiling.

Ah. Finally some peace and quiet in which to think. Far away the ones who haven’t the foggiest definition or understanding or interest in understanding what art is and what it means outside of its function as a commodity in the capitalist system that is imploding all around us. That’s what’s so great about doing an art blog. It’s so debased a racket at this point that nobody at all takes it with any seriousness.

The last place left on earth where one is truly free to say or do whatever one likes. Too bad nobody bothers to take advantage of it as they’re too busy making art.

Henry Giroux, as he has no connection whatsoever to the art world, is one of the many tracking our demise. Depressing stuff. Don’t read it if here you’re in the art world as you are running the danger of waking up from your numbed out existence playing video games or getting shaped up or hitting your next botox injection or writing the Great American Novel. Or like me writing a really fun and interesting art blog that nobody reads. That’s how I get my kicks these days. At the end of a long day of wandering around talking to all kinds of wack jobs about anything else but reality I like to take a hit on my crack pipe and write another senseless column about the senseless job of being the last artist on the Planet of Doom.

Not really. There are many, many, many of us. Tomorrow we leave for the North Pole where we’re going below surface to our underground space station in anticipation of the collapse of the global financial system when the debt ceiling cracks like the levees under Hurricane Katrina.

Just kidding. I wouldn’t miss this for the world. As things get more real they get even more surreal. At least that’s what I’ve been discovering lately, talking to a few mountain goats, llamas, yaks and assorted other aficionados of the absurd in the Yasgur’s Farm of the Mind that only the few enlightened ones call home… home .. home on the range.

I don’t know about you, but I’m with the tattooed guys hiking in the mountains or doing extreme sports like jumping off a cliff and sprouting squirrel wings. Live for today is my motto. Life of Riley for me, baby. No more art. Free as a bird. See above. Me and the other two. No idea who they are. But they insisted I draw them into the “art”. We’re off to battle Fascism! And Racism! And Neo-Expressionism! Particular the digital variety. If there’s anything we’re sick to the gills over it’s digital expressionism. We just don’t get it. Who are we? Dorothy and the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion and the Axeman Cometh to Oz.

We’ve got a score to settle with that lying bastard of a Wizard. Not really. We like the Wizard. The Wiz… the one Whizzing all over us. Trickle down turning into a torrent as we’re swept away into the mystic.

Now I’ve seen it all. Or have I? Maybe not. There’s still the apocalypse. I was looking at some of the old stuff at the Getty a few days ago. See below. Haven’t got a clue who did it. Not that I care. What? God forbid I ever get confused with an art historian. Yes. I’ve sunk low, my friends. But not that low. Nor have I become an art teacher. There are some low professions available out there but being an art teacher is down there at the very bottom.

Actually, I’m going into the T-shirt business. Plus working on my Youtube How To Draw like the Old Masters on LSD series that should be out around the time of the Rapture. I’ve put out feelers to Kanye West and Bill Gates for funding and should be hearing back any day now. Will keep everyone posted. No worries.

Any of you literary types out there know who fits into the two deepest circles of the Hell outlined by Dante? Well, let’s look into that a bit in the next post. Most of today’s artists it turns out. Yeah. Hey. Don’t look at me. I didn’t write the Inferno. I just live in it.

The Disco Inferno. Hit it guys! Burn, Baby Burn! Burn that Mother Down! Burn that M’fuckin’ Debt Ceiling down!

Posted in Me | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Meister Eckehart

Bart Johnson, Sr., It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To, 1260

Meister Eckehart was born about the year 1260, a crucial period in the making of Germany: enormous natural catastrophes accentuated the social need, the ‘black death’ made its cruel procession, the Church experienced one of its severest crises, heretic movements sprang up eagerly turning against the rigid and sacrilegiously arrogant scholasticism, and fanatic holy wars were fought in the name of God. The people, suffering injustice, suppression and fear, stood face to face with the impermanence of human existence and yearned for a deep spiritual experience which would finally bring them security and foothold. –The Essence of Yoga, George Feurstein, Ph.D and Jeannine Miller

According to the results of testing of my DNA my oldest ancestors were Ashkenazi Jews and Yakut Eskimos. After that they moved around a bit and by the thirteenth century or so it looks like they were in Germany along with Meister Eckehart. Perhaps I’m distantly related the the Meister? Wouldn’t surprise me given the closeness I feel to his situation in the late 1200s. “Enormous natural catastrophes accentuated the social need”? Check. “The ‘black death’ made its cruel procession” or prescription and illegal drugs and other plagues long since thought extinct showing up all over the globe. Check. “Heretic movements sprang up eagerly turning against the rigid and sacrilegiously scholasticism.” I read this as alternative societies tuning out of the arid art critical nonsense that nobody in their right mind reads or follows, i.e. the “sacrilegious scholasticism” of Freudianism, Marxism, Neoliberalism, Duchampian Nihilism and Art for Art’s Sake along with New Age Guru self-help babbling by “traditionalists” who are as far from the religious traditions they proclaim to derive from as Stephen King is from Herman Melville in philosophical depth.

And so here we are in our new dark ages. And I think it would be well for those interested in saving their souls during times of social disintegration along with immoral decadence and terminal bullshit flooding into everyone’s brains and turning them to mush that they might take to reading some of the old wise men who lived through similar periods.

Much to be learned. I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the various texts and will be turning to posting passages for my readers to reflect on should they care to come back to reality and leave off their dreams of artistic glory in the Post-Modernist sewer.

Along with that I’ll, naturally be staying abreast of breaking developments as they arrive somewhat obliquely in my parallel universe where I witness our tragic demise as a once great country now living entirely in fantasies of power while we bankrupt ourselves to pay for meaningless vanity items. It’s a rugged journey down into the heart of hell, but Dante made it and he made it out alive to tell his story containing a truth that’s undiminished down through time. And down to the present hell of the present we all so uncomfortably occupy. So here we are now a few months into the term of the Orange King as the legions of hardened veterans of the march on Washington are no doubt reassembling for their next foray against the Menace to Civilization.

The man who is bound to take us back, all the way to the way back in his way back machine to the Golden Days of our youth when our brave boys stood tall against the Vietnamese while the young stallion of Real Estate was wining and dining the beautiful ladies of those days (who you can see in the video below) while he mastering the Art of the Deal. So let’s all stare into that abyss for a bit as we move back in time and then forward, taking a little journey to the center of the mindless mind.

Prediction: Once Trump is through with his eight it’s going to be Ted Nugent taking over the reigns of power and raining down more bombs. If you don’t think Ted can keep the New World Order in order just look at the next video.  Also note that Michael Jackson stole the moonwalk moves Ted puts on display early on.

You don’t think Ted can keep ’em in line? Next we have a scintillating debate with the highly articulate and intellectually dazzling Roseanne Barr. Ros has the inimitable talent of being able to make Ted Nugent rational by comparison to Liberal thinkers, an extraordinary achievement if you think about it. But why bother to think? It’s so old fashioned. I never fail to be amazed to see the liberals make the Tea Party appear as the party of reason and clarity. I’m hoping they’ll run one of their great minds against Ted when the time comes to find another paragon of moral purity like Hillary Clinton to take on these vile bastards.

New York Post cover for Thursday, July 19, 2012. Front page

 

Posted in Me | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I Know

above: Adolf Shickelgruber, Sheriff Bartington Checking to See if He Still Has a Pulse (detail), 1865

When I USE the word artist below I’m referring primarily to Contemporary Art \ PostModern Artists

 21st Century Epistemology Swimming in an Ocean of Bullshit

or

Memoirs Found in a Urinal

or

HOW I KNOW

 

Because unlike so many other “artist ” I’m not staring exclusively at my own navel or my reflection in a mirror thinking I’m an artist.

Because I’ve been looking resolutely at the world around me for more than three decades and drawing what I see. It ain’t a pretty picture, folks.

Because I rarely bother to go onto a computer to read about art since I find everything written a combination of fantasy, bullshit, fakery and naked self-promotion written by people who don’t say a single meaningful thing as they’re trying to sell their “art”, whatever that is.

Because I could give a rat’s ass what anybody else thinks of me or my work after having it attacked since art school by nothing but retarded assholes who don’t know the first fucking thing about art. That’s why they teach. And all they teach is conformity to their, and society’s sterile and absurd notions about what art is.

Because I realized drawing is nothing more than a way to access the reality that underlies the transient material plane and outside of that it is useless and worth nothing whatsoever.

Because like Leonardo before me I stumbled long ago onto the fact that drawing is not a preparation for life it’s a preparation for death.
Because I think all art critics are babbling morons who don’t know their ass from their elbow about anything  whatsoever, much less about “art”, which is a completely meaningless word.

Because I have little interest at all in art and even less in artists, particularly after spending years trying to talk to the dimwits. 99 percent of them are totally humorless people who actually take what they do seriously. Unlike me, a dimwit who takes nothing I do seriously. Look up the word narcissist in a dictionary and you’ll find a perfect definition of the contemporary artist.

Because unlike the rest of the art world I realize my shit stinks and am willing to admit it when I sit down to the drawing board.

Because I listened long ago to my old and wise mentor, Paul Pavel, when he told me that Sisyphus was a happy man.

Because I know that anything written about art is complete nonsense including what I write.

Because a little birdie told me.

Picture of little birdie who told me (below):

John Bartman, The Little Birdie Who Told Me (detail), pigmented opium, 2052

Posted in Me | Leave a comment

Morning in America! Go Big Donnie!

pop-quizPop Quiz. Who did the etching above? Multiple choice:

  1. It’s not an etching it’s a woodcut. The artist is the Baron von Richthoffen, one of the greatest German artists of the 8th century.
  2. It’s the label on a 19th century bottle of hair cologne used by Marie Antoinette and for sale on Ebay for 5 bucks.
  3. I can’t remember the artists name but it begins with a P I think. Paul? Perry? Something like that. It’s about this guy who is sick and there are women praying for him to recover. The birds on the shore represent Death. Those in the sky represent the transformation of the Soul and its journey after Death into the Afterlife.
  4. It’s was considered for the cover of the Blodwyn Pig’s first album featuring Jethro Tull as the Blodwyn Pig. It was rejected for something the record buying public would like more as it’s easier to understand. Much better don’t you think? Get the pun? It’s deep. It’s a Duchamp reference. The target is a homage to Kenneth Noland and Jasper Johns.

blodwyn_aheadfOK. Somebody else figure out the answer. Maybe one of you people can tell me something for a change. It’ll practically be a first at this point. I mean something besides Eric Wayne telling me that Andy Warhol wasn’t a nincompoop but was a person with normal intelligence. I know. Maybe one of you can tell me what normal intelligence is. For art world people I mean. Is it like normal intelligence for members of the public and the officials they vote into public office? As for me, I have abnormal intelligence. I’m not normal at all. Perish the thought. I’m a living guitar legend. You should hear my version of Jimi Hendrix playing Purple Haze. Even better than Zappa’s. My lyrics are better too. I’ll post them in a little bit after I get a chance to write them. Meanwhile, listen to this as I’m sure you’re bored by now with all the writing. That’s me on bass guitar in the video recordd back when I was a young and well-behaved pseudo-intellectual:

Well, well well. Wasn’t that a rousing speech before Congress last night has left the veteran commentator for the last (what fells like 30 years or so) for NPR, McNeil Lehrer Report, New York Times Editorial page, numerous best selling books, etc. …. speechless! As David Brooks splurted on PBS to Judy Woodruff (another ace reporter though lacking in best selling books) “I give that speech an A+ at least. Or something along those lines. Later on, of course, giving the folksy democratic rebuttal from some nobody we’ve never seen before an A+ as well.

Brooks is the Andy Warhol of the American intelligentsia, and like Warhol in his profession, David is at the top of his. Everybody’s great! Everything’s great! The stock market is up 200 points so Wall Street couldn’t be more thrilled. Seems everyone will be employed in the Bringing Greatness Back to America effort. We’ll be stepping up production of military weapons. Threatening everyone on the Planet that ain’t with us as if they ain’t with us, they’s aginst us! Plus we’ll roll over those Injuns up in North Dakota what’s gittin in the way of the Pilgrim’s Progress … right into oblivion.

But no matter. Things might look a little bleak. As if there’s no opposition to any of this. You think not? Really? You think the Democrats are taking this lying down? Forget the down but they’re sure ready to keep lying. I was moved to tears to see Nancy Pelosi was dressed in white as a homage to the suffragettes (whoever they were). She also made disapproving faces when Trump mentioned dismantling Obamacare, which drew applause from everyone else visible on screen. If Nancy and the Ne0-Suffragettes don’t stop this runaway destruction of everything Republican Express I can’t imagine what can stop it.

Oh yes. There’s Rosie O’Donnell, super articulate and deep thinking spokesman for the Liberal Left Dems and a defiant enemy of the fascists. You have to love a woman who will speak truth to power even though the Republicans control pretty much every branch of government (or are about to). The Dems apparently have the CIA and the liberal press on their team. Should be an interesting matchup.

I think Rosie’s got the right way to win back American hearts and minds to the Democratic Party who they abandoned in droves in the late election (that Democrats don’t seem to have remembered other than that it needs to be reversed  since the Russians stole it from them). It’s rousing words like this that have made Rosie one of the top picks of Hollywood to be their spokesman:

NO ITS U DONALD!! U SEXUAL PREDATOR!!! U ABUSER WE SEE YOU!!!

U STUPID LYING ARROGANT ONE SENTENCE SNIFFER—U R A BAD BAD PERSON DONALD.–snifffff snifff

Whoops, I forgot. Only right wing fascist types who scream mindless nonsense can be satirized.

Not the Liberal saints and the pussy hat marchers who with their impeccably mannered behavior while listening to Madonna, who I imagine was trying to recover from the stunning rebuke of offering blowjobs to whoever voted for Hillary and finding no takers, leads everyone into politically correct thinking that is so wonderfully effective politically.

So while some of you are worried that the Dems will continue to act with all the savvy and strategic planing of the Tea Party members wearing their NASCAR caps, I have no fear myself that by appealing to the lowest intellects in the American public using deranged language and lots of booty shaking celebrities to get across the message that we’re mad as hell and are ready to take these white male fascist bastards down a peg or two ,the Dems will be back in office is no time.

Then the great Obamacare can be restored to everyone and I can rest assured that after a 5,000 dollar deductible, a percentage of  the next payments for my medical care will be covered by the US government. If it hasn’t collapsed under the debt burden Obama put it under over the last 8 years. Illegal immigrants will be welcome once more. We can attack Russia. The right of Transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice will be upheld. And Anthony Weiner will have his rights restored to send pictures of his dick around to teenage girls. This repression of the Free Speech rights of Tony Weiner to advertise his sexual gifts to the ladies is an impediment to economic growth. If girls and guys can’t send pictures of themselves fucking to each other half the traffic on the internet would vanish overnight.

Hm…. what else? Can’t recall. Could some of my artist readers remind me of the other talking points on the Democratic agenda to get them back into office? Right. I forget I’m talking to artists. They don’t keep up with the news as they’re too busy seeing all the sexy and cool new art and movies. Plus making great art on the burning topics of today. Lines around the block at the next Bruce Nauman and Cindy Sherman retrospectives I imagine. Or perhaps some of the great new talent the Whitney and various International Biennales will reveal to us in the new exciting season of Art Stars fighting the Fascists who have taken over the country.

Posted in Art and Politics | 4 Comments

Meanwhile….

1212161655

Bart “the Swede” Johannson, Abstract Painting No. 1.865 (Memories of My Third Acid Trip), oil on something or another, 1977-2017

Meanwhile while I wait for the next Eric Wayne to write in to tell me that I have no followers because I’m an asshole and a maggot, I just thought I’d get back to reading an article by one of the few journalists who isn’t totally nuts or a hack writing for the mainstream media. While it’s a great pleasure to read the material designed to keep the population all worked up about one thing or another, be it Eminem’s rallying cries for the Left Wing Revolution or David Brooks telling us the problem with the economy is lazy white males who are ignorant and lazy and sit around watching imbecilic TV shows, I sometimes like to see what is going on back in reality. David Brooks is quite illuminating when it comes to telling us why the economic problems we’re facing are due to lazy and ignorant white racists and the like who instead of attending NASCAR rallies and watching Bill Maher should be launching innovative internet startups that will get the economy back up and humming along like the sleek machine it was during the dotcom days of Bill Clinton. Ah. Those were the days… of wine and Monica Lewinsky and Madeline Albright keeping Saddam Hussein in line by starving half a million Iraqi children to death.

Madeleine can also be commended for telling women that whichever of them didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton for President deserved a special place in hell. Right next to her I imagine. What a sweetheart. Just look. I also imagine Hell looks something like the video below at the moment Madeline gets the rousing response.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/06/madeleine-albright-campaigns-for-hillary-clinton

How in the world did Hillary lose with rallies like this and women of the caliber of Madeline Albright supporting her with great campaign admonitions like that one? A Vote for Trump assures you’re going to Hell if you’re a woman casting the ballot. That 53 percent of white women voted for Trump indicates none of them believe in the Hell that Madeline Albright will cast them into.

If only Hillary had won and we could have made America great again as we were during the reign of slick Willie bombing the be-jeepers out of Bosnia. As our political leaders have shown us time and time again there are no problems to intractable that they can’t be solved on dropping as many bombs as possible on the bad guys. Hillary had a great plan to fund all these wars for the liberation of the people of Iraq, Syria, Libya and many other unfortunate countries by getting the lazy sods off their asses and into an Uber driving people around from one place to another in their car. It’s innovations like these that Hillary and her team can get moving again with her inspiring rhetoric, just like Barack Obama before her.

So every once in a while, between talking to nutters (or rather great artists as there’s little difference anymore between the two) like Eric Wayne about the significance of nutters like Andy Warhol and Bruce Nauman I check back in on reality with one of the few journalists that are still connected to it.

Yes, I’m quite aware that Patrick Cockburn’s piece on the Coming Decline of US and UK power and his ludicrous comparisons of Donald Trump to Boris Yeltsin are typical far-left  exaggeration. Not to mention his insinuation that the biggest march in American history against the Washington establishment wearing pink pussy hats last month is lowering our credibility with European, Russian, and Chinese leaders (just to name 3 out of hundreds other other countries where rationality still prevails).

What Cockburn seems to be leaving out is that the glass is not half-empty it is also half-full and that when life hands you lemons you make lemonade and that an optimist is the person who makes the best of things when life hands him the worst of things. And I still have faith that a positive attitude by people with faith in the system, and who are rallying to get Trump impeached will succeed in their heroic efforts to do so.

Just as long as I stay on my anti-depressant medication.

And I’m quite sure that pretty soon in the near future we’ll be witnessing some really fantastic impeachment hearings where we establish this Yeltsin-like buffoon is unfit for the office of Commander in Chief. After all, who knows what he’s doing in the late sleepless evenings besides staring at the nuclear codes wondering who needs to be taught a lesson. This guy has to be sent packing so that a more fit leader like Mike Pence can run the country and put us back on track.

And when the meds start to deflate I sit back in my old chair in front of the computer and cue up a rousing patriotic number to restore my spirits.

If this isn’t a rousing number I don’t know what is. And this by  one of our greatest legal minds of our time, who also turns out to be a talented lyricist and songwriter. Who says America doesn’t got talent to burn? Here he is, ladies and gentlemen and others somewhere in between, Attorney General John Aschcroft singing a piece he wrote himself. Hearing it brings a tear to my eye. I like to alternate between Attorney General Aschcroft and the great Bruce Nauman to experience the full spectrum of American artistic genius, from right to left wing And I let the tears flow. Or in the prophetic words of the mellifluous mentally ill metaphysician Philip K Dick “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.”

Don’t hold back. Sing along with John and keep right on going with Brucie the Clown Nauman.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Interrupt this Blogcast

We interrupt this blogcast to bring you the following public service link to Patrick Blanchfield in the Baffler on the New Praetorianism.

“But the New Praetorianism runs even deeper, and is baked into bipartisan dogma of American exceptionalism. It manifests in David Brooks’s arguing for America as the fulfillment of human destiny and freedom like a half-pint Hegel praising Hohenzollern Prussia as God’s gift to man. But it is also revealed in ugly statements that, formally speaking, leave ostensibly #woke liberals looking indistinguishable from unreconstructed reactionary racists. Gasbag-at-large Keith Olbermann rails that “the military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum who are beholden to scum, Russian scum,” “anti-racist educator” Tim Wise pronounces that “when your contribution to the world is Faberge eggs, autocracy and pogroms, no one should much care what you think,” and MSNBC’s Joy Reid invokes the threat of “Comrade Vladimir” and marvels that “for most Americans it’s shocking to see an American presidential candidate openly touting authoritarian, communist Russia” a word-salad, history-free composite of scary ideologies as coherent as any Tea Partier’s jeremiad against “Islamo-Fascism.” If such idiocy is meant to steer us away from Trump’s supposed threat to international peace, we might as well just throw a switch and go to DEFCON 1 already. After all, CNN breathlessly reports, there is a Russian ship “lurking” off the coast of Connecticut right now.

Here’s the hard truth: There is a fundamental synergy between Democratic chauvinist exceptionalism, GOP clash-of-civilizations dogma, and Trump’s grotesque strongman antics. The Democrats may prefer a reboot of Cold War apocalypticism; Trump, for his part, looks eager to tear up global treaties, toss international law aside, and throw American weight around in building a new twenty-first century order of Great Powers. Maybe he will get his way, maybe he won’t. Maybe one of the parties will produce a more telegenic, more reasonable, and more “moderate” leader down the line. Any of these scenarios, though, skirts ever closer to disaster, and all take as unspoken that the essential business of the American state is a fundamental orientation toward war.

This is something other than some enigmatic ancient prophecy. It is an all-too-modern self-fulfilling one. We have already crossed the river with Croesus, and though we may refuse to admit it, our empire is already lost. The question is only whether or how we will burn.”

That’s a summary I’m in whole-hearted agreement with. If the people on both sides, Republican and Democrat, don’t pull back from the political correctness simplifications of complex problems on one side and simplistic authoritarian fascism on the other we’ll go right over the cliff, perhaps taking the entire world down with us.

It’s no joke. It’s no laughing matter. This isn’t late-night comedy and it isn’t reality TV. This and the final destruction of the planet’s resources in a gluttony of corporate avarice in the service of consumer avarice in all countries face us with near certain extinction without a sharp change of course.

That’s the way it is. The entire Neoliberal structure has to come down and we need to enter a new era with an entirely new set of values. Survival of the planet as opposed to survivial of the fittest. Because the fittest in the Neoliberal model are total sociopaths along with the corporations they run.

My prediction is that those who believe in a Deus ex machina that saves us (as we are brought to our senses by the Second Coming or ET and his enlightened alien buddies) are in for a big surprise and the joke is going to be on all of us if, on the single individual level we don’t take some kind of action, any kind at action in whatever way possible, that is in every way counter to all this anger and rage and power lust driving us all to destruction.

As I see it from my lone outpost here we’re either all going to hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately, to quote the words of Ben Franklin.

 

Posted in Art and Politics | 3 Comments