The 200K Challenge
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By Mark Mason.
There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. ~Mark Twain
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. ~Mark Twain
We are creatures of culture. We are culture creatures. We humans are products of culture: first. With struggle, much work, we can become less commanded by the local and transitory habits and customs. We are contingencies. Happenstance. I cannot speak Japanese because I am not Japanese. The Superbowl is not super to Mongolians.
What we do is not random, not senseless, not arbitrary, not good or evil. There is logic in our machine; the challenge is to understand the computational paths manifesting as human acts.
The return of the repressed. The explosion of the oppressed. The madman mimics the king. The madman does not understand the rule: do as I say, not do as I do.
The unintentional dissident: the bank robber, email scam artist, high school dropout, car thief, drug dealer, “documented gang member,”and the vaguely suspicious vagrant. The criminal. Then, the fumbling card-shark W. C. Fields and the sophisticated Wall Street derivatives trader Jamie Dimon (((where the underworld and the elite meet as cultural wormhole interchangeable units))). The Un-Criminals. The truth waits for us if we look in the right direction. Truths reside, not with the powerful, but follow as invisible companions of lawbreakers and the legions of disaffected.
Anti-success, the anti-particle of politics. Annihilation. Civilization and it’s discontents is not about class struggle, about money, or even power, but about visibility. The Bicycle Thieves.
The Stockholm Syndrome: identification with the abuser: The term child abuse did not exist prior to the 1960s. It didn’t exist. No matter how much physical and psychological suffering of the child, at the hands of parental authority---it didn’t exist. When will the term adult abuse come into existence? Child abuse is about power relations and the abuse of power, and only tangentially about children and parents. Child abuse is abou visibility. The state and the individual adult are in the same power relationship as the parent is to the child, and the state vacillates between claiming to be a necessary parental authority (George Will), and claiming the people condone the violent authority of the state. The Stockholm Syndrome is a response to abuse of power between individuals, and also between individuals and the state-as-individual.
We need more national disunity. We know we need this because we need the opposite of what the politicians tell us we need. They tell us we need austerity, when we need abundance. They tell us we must feed the banks when we need to feed the hungry. They tell us we will achieve prosperity through the Transpacific Partnership Agreement, but the TPP will bring prosperity only to the prosperous. They tell us to kill Afghani, when we need to love them by leaving them alone.
We learn nothing from centers of power. They lie because lying is necessary to protect illegitimate power. If we want to find cultural truths we should look toward the underclass, the cultural subconscious, the cultural repressed, the violently oppressed. The madman mimics the king, missing one instruction. The madman does not learn the rule of power: do as I say, not as I do.
Miscreants carry the missing, repressed truths, but we cannot look directly at painful and shocking truths about the collective self. The truths of the miscreant Medusa turns people to stone. Cultural myths, and therefore cultural identity rest upon the stones of deception. American Exceptionalism. American Deceptionalism. Stoned out of our minds.
Perseus could safely cut off Medusa's head without turning to stone only through the clever device of looking at her reflection in a shield. Collectively and individually, we cannot look directly at truth without preparation and the support of community--the validation shield, protecting against the loss of cultural-spatial-identity. Who am I? The Stockholm Syndrome is one path out of the bind when the necessary collective support has not materialized. ‘Tis much safer to identify with the abuser than to take the existential risk of visibility. Visibility is death. The Subterreaneans. The Outcasts. David Jansen and The Fugitive. James Holmes. Who shall cast the first stone inside the glass house of nation-state?
Aurora, Colorado was a manifestation of cultural pathology, a symptom of cultural dysfunction that some individuals, many, are disconnected from reality. Washington DC is Hollywood East: a manufacturer of myth. The Great American Myth. The pathology of empire is miserable pathos.
Nothing human is random or irrational. Every human act has its own perfect, computational logic. Our challenge is to understand the logic of violence, whether it’s individuals outside or inside the state apparatus. That Obama claimed the massacre of Aurora was senseless, was concrete proof profound, sensible truths lie ahead.
Every person is a product of a specific, concrete culture. No one can do anything that they did not learn from somewhere at some time during their biological and psychological development. We are products of culture. I don’t speak Japanese.
We are the killers. We showed up here on the east coast of North America, and right off, started killing people and we haven't stopped yet. We kill each other, and not being sufficient, we kill them across the globe. The killed and the yet-to-be-killed are Orwell’s un-people.
The Return of the Repressed. The Revenge of the Un-People.
The Return of the Repressed. The Triumph of the Oppressed. Polydectes, as with all centers of power,claimed power through physical violence. All the soft power propaganda about the divine right of kings or the claims to legitimacy by the parliamentarian presidents and prime ministers, ineluctably fails. The physical violence, too, fails. Corporate tyranny or king, power knows no end to violence because it knows it is doomed.
The task assigned to Persius by King Polydectes was completed. Medusa, then pregnant by Poseidon of the underworld, was slain by Perseus. Medusa, pregnant with Un-People. When Perseus returned to the court of the King, he presented the head of Medusa for all to see, whereupon the King and the entire court turned to stone. Petrified by the Return of the Un-People. Fear is known by all centers of power. They know they possess illegitimate power, and they also know that they are doomed. They know these truths. It makes them crazy. It drives them to do crazy things such as attack Filipinos and Vietnamese, bomb the people of Libya, and swoop drones upon Pakistani. Centralized power is paradoxically---powerless. They know this to be true. Orson Welles’Citizen Kane was a cinematic triumph, and professionally self-destructive, because the film addressed the untenable internalized structural demands inherent in authority. No Exit. No Sane Exit. No Exit within the real world. The transparent theme could not be tolerated by the modern-day American Polydectes, and thus Welles was driven (back) into the realm of Poseidon--the unconscious.
No Exit by way of the real world. We move now, inescapably, to Anaheim, California: The home of Disneyland and the home of the deadly violence of Polydectes manifested in the dark uniforms of the Anaheim police. It is fitting that the two ends of the spectrum should meet, as in a mobius moment, in Anaheim, California. My parents took me to Fantasyland shortly after it opened. I cannot say my family took me, or that my family went to Disneyland because Americans post-World War II did not know what a family would be. We were un-families. Pretend families. Unfamiliar and Uncommunity. The superficial is the portal to Poseidon,the Underground, and to the un-people. Police shot and killed an Un-armed man, Manuel Diaz. Executed. The community protested the killing, whereupon the police fired rubber bullets and sicced a police dog on the men, women, and children. The next day, the police shot and killed another man, Joel Acevedo.
The Return of the Repressed. Greek tragedy; American tragedy. In the city of the American farce, the American lie: Disneyland.
Aurora Borealis Coloradensis
Now is the Time.
What a curiosity! Two men appeared in Colorado: James Holmes and Barack Obama. One from Poseidon’s domain, and the second was Polydectes no less. The Un-Person killed a dozen and wounded 58 people. Polydectes is known to have killed tens of thousands. Who keeps count of the deeds of kings?
We are a nation of unintentional dissidents--the most dangerous kind. The ownership and control of the mass media takes us directly into Poseidon’s realm. Powerful people deceive through the mass media with intent to dominate and control, but the goal is tragically futile. People suffer indignity, yet know not why they suffer. Some drink from the invisible propaganda Kool-Aid. Some drink from the glass, anesthetic alcohol. Some (((having forgotten the Rule of Power))) drink the violent elixir of kings.
Headline: Spanish Miners Battle Police Over Austerity
By candlelight silent, miners marching out of stony Earth,
The death of Medusa does witness to birth,
Chrysaor, King of Spain.
Pegasus, free of chain.