Category Archives: Social Commentary

Sorrow and Joy

[a poem by  ~burning woman~ ]

What do you look at
When you lie awake in the night
Eyes wide open watching
Tumbling clouds hiding stars and moon?
What keeps you awake, so restless?

I see Sorrow
Walking bent over
Along graffiti’d walls in some city street:
She wears a worn black coat
Broken shoes without socks
And hunger is eating her.

Her eyesight is failing,
With gnarled hands she touches
Doorways and stoops
Seeking a home to hide in,
Perhaps just a place to rest.

But though she is many,
For her there is no place
And she must wander on
To the end of her strength,
To the end of her reason.

She is so far away,
Why should you care?
Why lose precious sleep
Over such a pathetic vision?
What is she to you?

She is everything to me,
My sister, my twin, my heart.
We were separated at birth,
Rejecting her, they called me Joy!
I must recall her from her darkness.

Though we were destined
To live ever separate and apart
I will no longer allow this curse
To rule my life and ruin hers.
I will to share her fate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking under Rocks

[an essay from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

What would happen to society if no one except of course politicians, experts, billionaires, media talking heads and entertainers or actors, ever questioned the status quo? If no one ever “looked under rocks” as I read from one commenter – I think it was Hyperion – on one of my blog posts.

You look over a field in the hot sun with scattered rocks, or hey, cow pies(!) and you see nothing moving, nothing happening, except perhaps some flying insects. But if you’re a farm kid full of curiosity as I was about a thousand years ago, you turn over the rocks or cow pies and crouching there you see a life you didn’t suspect existed. You enter into a different and fascinating world.

What happens if you never stop turning over rocks and cow pies? That’s easy: you become a conspiracy theorist. You see aspects of your world no one else knows or wants to know. That makes you dangerous to the System first of all but also to the believers. It upsets things.

If you’re in church and the preacher says something you know is a lie and you interrupt the man to correct him, you may as well pack your bags: you’re outta there unless you put yourself under discipline of “the elders” and repent. The Preacher is the defender of the status quo and everyone in the auditorium is one of his body guards. No dissension allowed in the ranks. The Preacher cannot lie.  Well, guess what, this civilization is the church and dissenters are being increasingly marginalized. Ask yourself “why?”

Before we were labeled conspiracy theorists we were called rebels. We were those who rebelled against an authority we could no longer endure. We said… “Hell no, we won’t go!” and eventually we stopped one of this world’s grossest, most abusive, murderous and unjustifiable wars.

Without these very powerful protests how long would capitalism’s war against the people of Vietnam have gone on? If, instead of pulling away we had wholeheartedly supported the war criminals by giving them fresh bodies to throw into the fields and swamps; to cause mayhem; to use flamethrowers and Napalm against helpless women and children?

But who wants to be remembered of that now? Poisoned waters under collapsing civilization bridges! We’ve done worse, much worse, since Vietnam so let’s remind ourselves to be proud, very, very proud of the millions of innocents our acquiescence has exterminated as if they meant absolutely nothing.

Today I live in a society of dummied down sheep. The government says not to turn over any rocks, there’s great danger under there. People acquiesce instantly and happily convince themselves that it’s OK not to question dictates that come from “the leadership” – in the current case it’s mostly from medical dictators. But they can’t be wrong, they’re wearing WHITE lab coats. Why white, by the way? Because, well, white is pure and holy, black is dirty or evil. God is white, Satan is black. How could any one doubt who’s telling the truth?

Does it matter if it’s a Doctor Mengele* in the white lab coat? Not in today’s world. Can anyone question a doctor Mengele’s agenda in today’s society? Sorry, no. That would be engaging in a conspiracy and such people are dangerous traitors to the human race. Better the evil you know, or think you know, than the evil that lurks in conspiring minds.

…and that is how this current society of sheep has thrown away any right it may have had once upon a time to claiming it lived in certain democracies which not incidentally guaranteed freedom of speech and certainly freedom to express thoughts not garnered directly from the poisonous lies of bought-and-paid-for medical “experts”, equally corrupt politicians, billionaire ghouls looking to make their next quick billions and their lapdog mainstream media.

Do I sound angry? Yes? Good. But I’m not angry at the obvious evil doers, I’m angry at the fear-driven submissive collaborators who make their evil possible. I’m angry at the mind slaves who believe that by submitting they will save their own hides.

*Josef Mengele, also known as the Angel of Death and the White Angel, was a German Schutzstaffel officer and physician during World War II. He is mainly remembered for his actions at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he performed deadly experiments on prisoners and was a member of the team of doctors who selected victims to be killed in the gas chambers. Wikipedia

 

“Why worry about what can kill you tomorrow when so many things can kill you tonight?” 

 

(title is a remembered quote from the movie, “Lord of War”)

[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  ]

I’m sure that title and quote is also a paraphrase of something else I’ve read somewhere in my travels.  It is a line however that I have often thought about.  What does that mean to me?  Does it mean, in the hedonistic sense, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”?  Throw caution to the wind, live for the moment, and the Devil take the hindmost?

While I completely disagree with the common politically correct phrase, “we’re all in this together” (which is obvious bullshit in spades when you think about it seriously for a second) there is definitely one thing we all have in common: death.  Whatever we do to avoid it, and believe me that the amount of money people spend to try to avoid it is beyond staggering (well, OK, I don’t know how much, I just know it’s a whole lot more than “that”) we simply can’t.  Death is our constant companion through life.  We’re born to die, with a little lunch break in-between we call life. (We don’t get paid for that either, the opposite actually.)

I’m not trying to cheer you up, but I’m not trying to depress you either as both would defeat my purpose.  I haven’t (yet) said anything you don’t already know so if this feels uncomfortable, think of it as a reality check.

Why do we worry?  Why so many stressed to the max and depressed?  What happened to the pursuit of happiness, the verve, the “joie de vivre”?  What is this terrible darkness that is descending upon the planet which seems to increase every time some major man-made event is propagandized?  Why can’t we be infected by a beneficial virus for a change? Why can’t we have at least one major truly joyful man-made event of gargantuan proportions to celebrate ourselves within?  Since we can’t outgrow the need for leaders, why can’t we have smart ones? Why must everything of major import be sad, dreadful, horrible, hopeless, destructive, death-dealing, polluting and/or costly with no end in sight when we are sick and tired of hearing about it or experiencing it? Why must what we hope for be forever out of reach, more likely to recede from our grasp than approach it?  Why does the carrot always turn into a stick?

I think it all goes back to death.  Consciously we may choose to ignore the monster and try to live relatively normal, happy lives among those we love or the society we fit in, but subconsciously “it” is always there, just like *Joe Black, not always recognized for what it is but suspected, distrusted and feared; the entity with its own agenda over which no one has any control.  Death, the great equalizer it’s been called.  Well, I don’t know: I see a lot of death, I don’t see much equality arising from its presence, quite the contrary.  Death is like that bouncing ball that after it’s set a bouncing, every time it’s touched it bounces even more wildly and unpredictably.

In a moment of wild ecstasy I suppose, John Donne wrote “death thou shalt die.”  Literally or figuratively?  It really doesn’t matter “how” it matters more “when.”  Until now man has been the slave of death and the certainty of having to face that executioner has caused man to behave in quite irrational and contradictory ways.  For the average Earthian, the way to avoid death is to be the first to deal death to some whose existence is perceived as a threat.  This knee-jerk reaction is called survival of the fittest but is better defined as war, man’s most precious invention; the one he spends the most resources upon by far; his joy, his baby, his heritage, his great love.  Makes me want to write an ode to war, or a love poem:

O dear war,
How I missed thee in the dark days of peace!
How I praise thee now that thee art returned
To fill the aching void in my human heart,
To stop the aimless wander of my soul!

O dear war
Promise me from thine bloody throne
Thou shalt abandon me never again!
I could no longer bear the emptiness
Caused by your troubling absence!”

Well it’s a start.  Dark humour, but how far from the truth of the matter?  We kill remorselessly in vain attempts to save our own life, a life that was forfeit from the moment it was conceived.

OK, so I’m not looking for rationality among the species, I know such a thing is anathema to man’s thinking.  I’m just wondering if there is a cure to worry.  Let’s spread the reasoning net.  All animal life dies, sooner than later.  Do animals worry about dying?  I don’t think they do, although many animals experience powerful emotions when one of them dies, some more than others.  They know about death; about the end of the body, but they don’t seem to be worried about their own coming death.  It’s only when the predator appears that they resort to their fight or flight mode.  If they get sick they do not linger.  Either they heal themselves or give themselves over to death with hardly a struggle.

For whatever reason, Earth people approach the matter of death much differently than animals.  Animals don’t form armies to attack and decimate their enemies.  They may be territorial for naturally mandated purposes but they don’t try to expand their “empires” outside limits set by the Alpha male of the tribe or queen of the hive.  Those outside the limits are safe from attack and free of harassment.  Animals kill to survive, not to enhance their own personal power or “wealth” as the expense of others.  {Oh please God, make me into an animal this minute!  Amen!}  Animals gracefully surrender their bodies to the earth and shortly no evidence remains of their passage.

It is foolish to worry, even more so to allow oneself to get depressed.  Depression isn’t a disease, it’s the dirty diaper of the spoiled and entitled modern bratty Earthian who wants more than it’s willing to earn for itself; who is not willing to share.  Depression comes from a “I want it, and I want it now” civilization whose technology provided a lot of stupid, unnecessary polluting toys and continues to promise more toys while the natural resources that fueled that technology are wasted by misuse and war or vanishing from the planet in waves of entropic energy like climate change.  Depression from not getting what one feels entitled to leads to worry about more serious things, like losing one’s home or having no money to buy basic necessities such as food or losing one’s children through violence… Ah yes, the list of things that cause worry grows long.

I choose to live by my first quote.  I don’t worry about what could kill me tomorrow.  I think about the things lurking in the night of my mind, the things tonight, that can kill me.  I think about the dangers of reverting back to being a common Earthian; of waking up tomorrow morning worrying about food, clothing, shelter, money, sex, what’s been stolen in the night, etc.  I think about spiritual regression and mental devaluation from nightly visitations of “demons” from the darkness of the capitalist, consumerist Matrix.  I think of the horror of discovering I’m no longer immune to the foibles of man but rather fully back in establishment clutches.  I think about what it would be like to lose my sense of self empowerment, of knowing what I am; of losing sight of my purpose… in the night.  And I shudder.  That would be worse than any conceivable depression.

Ah, but I’m a witch!  I have spells to protect myself from demons who would steal my self-made personhood:  “I think my own thoughts, therefore I am my own person.” And spells also to protect me from well-meaning people who would destroy the essential me with their verbal weapons of fear-based mass distraction.  My simple response to all of it is “I choose me.”  Then I remember that death approached at through self-determination has become my greatest gift, my doorway out of a dying place to another I know of and look forward to – no: not heaven!

When does death die?  It dies when transcended every waking and awakened moment.

PS: this isn’t in response to the current Covid 19 pandemic. I wrote these thoughts some years ago but they do fit the moment.

*Joe Black: reference is to the movie, “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt as Death.

 

 

 

 

What to believe, Oh, what to Believe?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  ]

What to believe, oh, what to believe!? On one side sits my common sense and years of dedicated observation of man on this world. On that side, I smile, even laugh – but in hiding: it wouldn’t do to upset the believers in their fearfully self-righteous anger.

On the other side is the herd, man himself, with his accumulated force combined into a patriarchal civilization that has taken over everything and used it’s overwhelming power to rape, plunder and kill at will while running amok disgorging unsustainable numbers.

Now comes a crossroads, whether real or fake, and “man” the forceful (bad) predator, rapist and mass murderer demonstrates his innate fear of unknowns and his disgusting cowardliness in the face of an arisen “power” he does not know how to conquer and exploit.

A virus: imagine that! Something he can’t rape or plunder; something only the few know how to profit from.

How did this thing come about? Ah well, one could listen to man’s endless or contradictory explanations but they are just more excuses to hide superstitious ignorance and exposing the fact that “the great conqueror of nature” never did “conquer” his raped and tortured world; the fact that this world’s nature only went deeper underground to mutate and hide its lethal come-backs.

Are these “come-backs” surfacing in brute anger now? No, not yet, not yet. Earth’s revenge is a dish she does intend to savour cold and it’s not near cold enough yet. This is but a small test of one of nature’s many and deadlier weapons of mass destruction.

I am not concerned about this virus fear-demic. The programmed fear is just one more of man’s (read: Matrix) invented means to create chaos and additional control for the powerful over the less so, the proverbial storm in the teacup. There will be deaths during this period of panic, but it is already so obvious that most of those deaths ascribed to the “new and improved” virus primarily result from pre-existing pathologies. Ascribing these to a corona virus to create a global pandemic is a political gambit with serious long term goals.

Of course that is not what the hoi polloi want to hear. They have invested belief, feelings and tsunamis of emotions in this folly and they won’t be easily robbed of their new game. Suddenly they have become mindful of their corrupt, lying leadership. Suddenly they need to believe, even in blatant institutional lies. Suddenly the media’s non-stop talking heads are spewing the very wisdom of the gods. Suddenly we are existing under a new law called “The Six Foot Rule” or “The Two Meter Rule” (but not to worry, the virus knows both standard and metric systems.)  

There is something afoot the sheeple do not understand because they have no imagination, no personal power and no self-respect. They do not trust their own intuition or understanding, having sold that to the “group” – whatever the “group” be called – a long time ago when they chose their fantastic civilization over the rules of nature.

Suddenly they are faced with an instrument of comeuppance they know enough to fear but not enough to understand. Now they must turn to their “gods,” the promoters of civilization, for protection from the deadly monster. Suddenly they need to believe to survive the crisis of the moment, waiting for the morning when the great leadership declares business as usual.

Then the sheep will stop looking up, bleat a sigh of relief, drop their masks, gloves and “social distancing” and some of their newly-manufactured fears (but not all of them, the needed quota will remain). They will stop some of their war against each other and begin the rebuilding of the castles for their lords and masters. They will return to their happy fornicating and mindless defecating on the face of the planet.

Isn’t that how it’s always been in the world of civilizations?

On that glorious morning however this civilization will have taken one giant step closer to its final demise.  

Oh, and in case you are interested, there is one natural weapon of mass destruction that your civilization knows about. It’s even mentioned in some rule books of scientific magic. It’s called entropy. That’s the four horses of the Apocalypse riding over the face of civilization as one. On the final day of that ride, as the book says, people will hide in caves. They will crawl under rocks and cry to be covered over but nothing learned or known will avail. Nature will have the very last word… on that day. 

 

 

Covid-19 has taken away bread and circuses, laying bare the true American empire

This is a simple text copy. If interested and you want to see the original with picture and everything, go here:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483675-coronavirus-america-bread-circuses-illusions/

by Michael McCaffrey

Michael McCaffrey lives in Los Angeles where he works as an acting coach, screenwriter and consultant. He is also a freelance film and cultural critic whose work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog.

21 Mar, 2020 14:28

Regular Americans can no longer numb themselves with sports and gluttony, freeing them to clearly see the malignantly craven ruling class that exploits and despises them. If only they would open their eyes to reality.

Anyone who has eyes to see can clearly make out that America is an addled empire in steep decline that is firmly entrenched in its bread-and-circuses stage. This has been brought into clear focus due to Covid-19. Since there is now a shortage of bread, as supermarket shelves are bare, and the distraction of the circus of sports has been indefinitely removed from the culture, Americans are left with little to distract them from cold, hard reality.

Coronavirus calls US’ ‘world’s richest country’ bluff: Will it cling to busted myths or evolve under pressure?

With no brawls or ballgames to watch, and the fear of potential hunger gnawing at their bloated bellies and brains, and with social distancing leaving them isolated with little but their thoughts as company, Americans will now find it harder and harder to ignore the truth about their country and its deplorably corrupt media, financial, government, education and health care systems, that is staring them in the face.

As the old adage goes, crisis reveals character, and the coronavirus contagion is a crisis of epic proportions that is revealing America to be utterly devoid of any redeeming character whatsoever.

If America were a sane, healthy, and rational country this would be a great opportunity for change to occur…alas, it is not. America is an insane, unhealthy and irrational nation, and so any genuine change is inconceivable.

For example, this crisis has once again revealed the house of cards that is the smoke and mirrors American economy. The American economy has long been rigged through financialization, where stock buybacks and accounting shenanigans inflate the stock market but create nothing of substance for the masses except the illusion of prosperity. Here in America the economy long ago stopped working for regular folks, as evidenced by the fact that despite productivity soaring, for the last forty years wages have remained stagnant, while the cost of living has escalated.

The American Way has devolved into a bizarre reverse-Robin Hood world, where the rich steal from the poor and keep it for themselves. Proof of this is that this Covid-19 crisis will undoubtedly be used, just as the 2008 collapse, as a way for the malicious narcissists in Washington, Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms to come together to assure that all their losses are socialized and their profits privatized. Casinos, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and others are already lining up — including of course the scoundrels on Wall Street — for their taxpayer-funded handout.

Bailing out working- and middle-class Americans, though, is an absolute non-starter for the ruling elite. The upper crust will throw around vacuous catch phrases, like the deliciously ironic “moral hazard,” to make their argument, which is pretty rich considering the vermin on Wall Street and their cronies on Capitol Hill are so morally bereft, it is a hazard to all humanity.

Coronavirus is not nearly as deadly as the cancerous corruption that is endemic in our oligarchic corporatocracy. For proof of that look no further than Nancy Pelosi’s emergency “sick pay” bill, that exempts companies of over 500 employees from paying sick pay — and has a boatload of special exemptions for businesses below that threshold — which leaves all but 20% of workers eligible for benefits. The holes in Pelosi’s bill are bigger than the gaping void where her brain and soul should be.

This corruption of the elites is bipartisan, as evidenced by two Republican Senators, Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler (who is married to Jeffrey Sprechter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange), who allegedly took advantage of classified briefings on the impending severity of coronavirus in late January and early February to pull off some slick insider trading maneuvers so they could cash in before the public had any clue what was coming. Both, of course, deny any impropriety.

The egregious economic divide in America is further highlighted by the Covid-19 debate over whether to close schools amidst the crisis. The reason this debate raged on well past the rational time to act is that our education system is not a system of learning but rather a glorified daycare and food delivery service.

Proletarian parents are unable to stay home and raise their kids anymore because it now takes two parents — usually working multiple jobs — to make less equivalently than what one working parent did forty years ago.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 70% of all students are below the poverty line and rely on the school system for the majority of their meals. In the wealthiest country on the planet, that is absolutely disgraceful. The virus of structural economic inequality isa much more long-term and deadly problem than coronavirus, and the ruling class and their shameless lackeys in the press, have no interest in ever honestly addressing or acknowledging it.

The corporate whores in Congress and the White House (of both parties) also gleefully inform Americans that universal, single-payer health care, which every other industrialized nation in the world already has, is a pipe dream and impossibility.

How about help PEOPLE first? Boeing shredded for seeking ‘tens of billions’ in ANOTHER bailout amid coronavirus pandemic

They tell us they could never ever pay for something so decadent and luxurious as health care, but then they magically pull $1.5 trillion out of their gold-plated assholes in order to stave off a collapse of their own making. It is amazing how the Lords of Finance can make money miraculously appear in order to get things done when it is their exorbitant wealth on the line, and not ordinary Americans’ health and wellbeing.

Coronavirus is a crisis that is revealing the ugly truth about America and the malignant character of its ruling class. The crisis is going to get worse before it gets better, but it eventually will get better. America, on the other hand, will only get much worse, with no hope that it is ever going to get better.

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https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483675-coronavirus-america-bread-circuses-illusions/

Everybody Knows…

[some timely thoughts by  ~burning woman~ ]

Yesterday I had to go out “in the public” – sort of – on a job, and today I found some time to slip away and do some shopping. What I saw these last two days staggered my imagination, enough to make me “righteously” angry. I saw the programmed sheeple at their best, lining up at banks and stores, waiting patiently or walking silently between half-empty or blocked off shelves tossing frightened or angry looks when another violated the “6 foot rule” and got too close. Some had masks and gloves. Few smiles, just confused expressions as they contemplated the manufactured shortages and forced themselves to believe and trust. Surely, this is all legitimate. Surely there is a virus out there devastating the planet and killing thousands, soon to be millions, then billions. Surely one must obey the masters for do they not always know best? And who’s to question them? If we do not obey, will they not shut down even more, and will we not all die, if not of “the virus” then of starvation?

The story was being told in strange encounters. My particular clients yesterday are elderly (I’m 73 but I guess I don’t qualify since I am not playing the game by the new rules) and they have “compromised immune systems.” They couldn’t pay me in cash, so they had to place a cheque (yes, that is the proper spelling) on a chair outside for me to pick up, but only after they properly retreated back into their house, with their masks and gloves.

Signs everywhere announcing shut downs of various businesses. Restaurants only doing deliveries. Most government offices shut down, people working “from home”. Schools closed apparently until next Fall. I wondered if they’d shut down the wars?

So I listened to my anger and it told me things I am really not supposed to think. Why? That is always the first question and if followed through it explains much. What are the elites hoping to accomplish with this manufactured pandemic? I could immediately think of a few things. Take China, why not, we’re told it started there… their bubble economy was in shambles and ready to blow sky high bringing the rest of the global market place down with it. It needed stopping without exposing the lie and the massive corruption that is the viral capitalist system. Hide one man-made virus, predatory capitalism, with another! Another test: can the money system finally eliminate all cash transactions? Use the virus to scare the sheeple into going on-line or e-transfer; get them trained, then tell them cash is no longer available: too dangerous to health. Of course this means greater control by the banking mafia. Want another? Why not use the virus to begin the serious elimination of all no longer wanted nor needed older folk? Get rid of pensioners for one. Then kill off other undesirables, those that require health care but can’t pay for it and want “the government” to seriously go into the health care business and control Big Pharma and the entire medical malpractice world – get rid of the sick before serious profits are lost and keep the pressure on to hide the massive corruption threatening to destroy civilization in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile to sheeple are, as usual, returning to their blind faith. Believe those in charge, maybe even go back to believing in god. Believe the virus is deadly and can only be controlled by following mandated guidelines. Invest a maximum amount of emotion and fear in the process. Worry, worry, worry, about grandma and grandpa (or great grandma and great grandpa) and although they are already “compromised” and “sick” – if they die, believe it is because of the virus. Blame the virus, and blame whatever animal is supposed to suddenly, for no reason, have spewed it out upon innocent unsuspecting humans. Blaming always accompanies blind faith.

There are other thoughts going around in my mind about this massive scam job but I’m letting it go. It’s “your” story, not mine and I’ve decided not to spoil your fun and faith in a fabulous fantasy. If you cannot, or will not, realize that only a tiny minority of deaths are not caused by pre-existing conditions; if you do not or will not realize that “they” are blaming generic deaths from chronic conditions accompanying old age, heart conditions, over-drugging, collapsing lungs or whatever else (car crashes maybe next?) on this “virus” then go ahead, enjoy the emotional ride. While you’re at it, remember there’s a comet out there too  and comets have been known to be harbingers of “terrible” things. So let’s add that to the list while we’re at it. Maybe the comet caused the virus. More blame.

Yesterday I kind of blew up at my “boss” as she went on about the virus and I said, “There isn’t any f*****g virus! It’s a scam of such mega proportion that it’s impossible for the sheeple to even try to think. Exercise faith, obey, fear, take expensive precautions, and hope. Meanwhile this game is giving billions of quietly desperate lives something to “do” giving those lives a semblance of meaning. Suddenly the commuting, assembly line working, shopping, playing and praying system-slave discovers excitement outside the bland ordinary. A new game, and the rules aren’t all set yet: does it get better?

Remember this song?

Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

That’s the gist of it, but of course that is not how it goes: how it goes is, nobody knows because nobody wants to know.  What everybody does know however is that if the virus “grows” it will be my fault for not playing by the establishment rules. For not being “vaxxed”; for not getting medicated; for not doing the doctor check up; for not BELIEVING. That’s my crime: I’m an unbeliever. The proof is undeniable: I don’t get sick and I don’t carry around or feed a compromised immune system. So watch for the comet then put up the stake in the public square. Burn some unbelievers and the virus will die off.  It’s always worked in the past. 

 

We Improve but we do not Progress

[an essay by   ~burning woman~  ]

Time, or the lack thereof, has become my enemy. Of course I realize that from the larger picture, time is not relevant, but I also realize that as a physical entity possessed of an Earthian body, I have to reckon with the time constraint, a real pain! I exist in a mental cage, a Matrix-designed prison in which no “greater thought” is meant to exist. Time, or what Earthians like to call past-present-future, controls thought, awareness, expectations. Nothing here is expected to exist outside of time – that would be unthinkable. Think, how important have time-measuring devices been throughout man’s various attempts at defining itself through his so-called “civilizations.”

It is possible, however, for some of us to push our mental awareness through the bars of the time jail and see from infinity. It’s a bit like traveling several magnitude beyond the speed of light (time and light being artificially tied together in the Matrix) and feeling the mind stretch as she pushes out into the past in order to see the future she is going into – not, as is popularly believed, creating. I do not create the future (there is no such thing as “my” future – not yet!) but it is possible for me to see it take shape if I make the effort to “see” and understand some of the past, that which I have already experienced, forgot about and now must learn to recover in order to make use of.

The real past does not exist within the artificial boundaries imposed by an equally artificial time machine. It certainly does not exist in any “historical” recording, those being even less meaningful in terms of understanding what a human being was/will be. Only a recovered once-traveled and experienced past can have meaning.

I used to be fascinated by history, my favourite subject in high school and I kept on reading and studying history long after I escaped the academic world. Then I came to certain realizations about reality, what it is, what it isn’t. Man’s recorded history became about as valid as using Monopoly money to purchase goods and services: there was a credibility gap that could not be breached. Man’s history, the collectively remembered and the recorded, was not so much a lie as pointless. Pointless as an exercise in recording it, even more so in reading it.

How did I arrive at that? Simple: nothing, absolutely nothing, is learned from history and nothing is gained by having some knowledge of it. It is irrelevant. What is relevant is what I can personally “remember” of what I experienced of past events, how those changed me and re-made me and how, as I collected that awareness, it opened the only trustworthy and meaningful window on a future that my remembrances gave me to look out of.

This will be the third time that I have read Stephen Donaldson’s science fiction “Gap” series. The title of this “essay” is taken from book 4, Chaos and Order: the Gap into Madness. “We improve, but we do not progress.” I imagine that for a programmed entity, such a thought is, well, unthinkable. How could we not progress if we are improving?

The question is, what do we mean by improving, or do we even have a clue what it could mean? What does it mean, for an intelligent, sentient, self-aware being, to “improve”? Does it mean that as a society, better put as a civilization, we are palpably, noticeably improving, in keeping with our claim to be living on a human scale? Does it mean we are improving in terms of developing “new and improved” human values, as individuals?

Yes, technologically we are undeniably improving. Many of the things we surround ourselves with today and take for granted would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

But aren’t we existing as characters in a series of Marvel Comic books? Aren’t we in fact using Monopoly money to go shopping in our improved world? How meaningful to us as human being are any of our improvements? What are these improvements doing to us? Are they not stealing our minds and locking us in our “now” mental jail?

What is progress? What would it mean to progress? Wouldn’t progress mean becoming better people overall? More aware of our environment, of others? More eager to ensure that as we “improve” we are adding to the overall betterment of this world and all who live and exist on and within, it? Wouldn’t progress mean that we are breaking free of our killing rat race and our insane repetition of acts we time and again performed then swore we would never do again? Wouldn’t progress mean we strove to become more human by demonstrating our desire to display the quality of humaneness towards all life?

I will tell you, once again, what my window into the future is showing me. Think of the current baby pandemic called Covid 19, make it real and multiply that a million times. I see horror upon horror building up exponentially until the entire world is awash in desperation, violence, bloodshed and a total loss of humanity or humane expression. I see the utter end of this civilization and everything that made it possible – people and systems.

But then, at the end of all improvement, I see progress. A new beginning, none of it predicated on the old. I can see this future because I can see the past beyond historical/hysterical fake news and beyond collective memories.