Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


Fastened to a Dying Animal

By Phil Rockstroh
April 29, 2008

Editor's Note: Campaign 2008 is taking on the distractive qualities of so many previous campaigns, with the American people hypnotized by shiny baubles of false patriotism and discombobulated by phony outrage over some designated bad guy linked to this or that politician.

Someday, historians will have to dissect this decaying carcass of a political system like medical examiners autopsying a rotting corpse. But for now, poet Phil Rockstroh offers up what he calls "a short jeremiad regarding that affront to the nation's dignity known as the U.S. election process":

Here in this crumbling empire once known as the American Republic, here in a nation that, at present, for all practical purposes, only produces Cheetos and killer drones, whose architecture is being winnowed down to thriving rural meth houses and foreclosed upon suburban mchouses, whose corrupt corporate culture has bequeathed upon our suffering planet dying oceans and the hyper-caffeinated tsunami of Red Bull Capitalism -- the essential question confronts us -- how does one retain (not retail) one's humanity amid the catastrophic machinery and inane accouterment of our age?

"Show your wounds," exhorted the late 20th Century artist Joseph Bueys. The wound becomes the womb, poets tell us.

Out of painful truth, beauty is born. But, antithetical to the orthodoxies of consumer capitalism, there are no shortcuts.

According to legend, Faust sold his soul for a glimpse of eternal beauty and the hidden knowledge of the world. Sadly, we've done likewise (but worse, pathetically) for a glimpse of Paris Hilton's privileged (but hardly gated and guarded) cooter.

Here, now, sprawled upon the detritus of our dignity, we are confronted by the exponential dynamics of decay known as the U.S. Presidential Election cycle. In this, all three corporate candidates are of little use to us.

Although all three have done very well for themselves by the present and prevailing arrangement known as Disaster Capitalism.

What motivation do they have to change the system by which they've thrived? McCain, Clinton, and Obama must serve the interests of the corrupt corporate class -- or else they would be marginalized.

Paradoxically, as we have witnessed, as of late, if they make even the most minute rumblings to the contrary -- as for example, blundering into a steaming pile of the obvious such as the observation that the battered laboring class of the nation might be embittered by their lot --- they risk political immolation by being labeled an elitist.

Of course, Obama is an elitist. (As are Clinton and McCain.)

And he has been put on notice by the Powers That Be that they have no problem with him being among their ranks, as long as he doesn't go rattling off at the mouth about those the rigged system benefits and those it kicks daily in the gut.

Because in a political culture as far down the rabbit hole as is this one, the surest way to be branded an elitist is to refuse to serve the elite. (Not that Obama threatened any such thing.)

This is the modus operandi of the lacquered, autoerotic dudes and dolls of the corporate media and the K Street cash-flushed phonies of the American political classes: Pose as protecters of the beer-bleary multitudes, as, all the while, carrying vintage Cabernet for a privileged few.

This is not a situation fraught with layers of ambiguity in which any deeper meaning can be mined: Below the corporate media's electronic cloud of nebulous phoniness lies a dense core of calcified phoniness.

Thus it is difficult not to harbor contempt for this cartel of narcissistic strivers who have networked the nation into a perpetual state of cataclysmic ignorance.

Seemingly, their creed is: Let the ignorant multitudes languish on the low nutrient, junk news we serve them from the drive thru windows of our corporate media outlets, while the political and business elite cannibalize what is left of the republic.

The ongoing tragedy in Iraq and the ecological and economic turmoil roiling the globe are consequences of the domination-driven mindset that the mainstream media protects. Ergo, increasingly violent responses from outside forces, both of the human and natural variety, are rising across the planet.

America, many shocks and sorrows are coming soon (probably sooner than you think) to that vacuous bubble known as "your way of life."

It should be increasingly clear to see that the corporate media's job has never been to be unbiased chroniclers of the events and circumstances of a free republic.

Rather, they are active agents serving to protect and promulgate the pernicious myths of free market capitalism. And they are a highly partisan lot.

Moreover, they have been highly successful in their mission. Hence, our lives, both inner and outer, have been conquered and colonized by the corporate empire, and a resultant forced occupation dominates our days determining the trajectory of our brief lives upon this earth.

"[S]ick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity."
-- W.B. Yeats

Yet, we, against all evidence, believe we are free actors in a spontaneous, unfolding democratic drama. When, in reality, we have been cast as dehumanized supernumeraries in a lethal farce that renders all concerned both oppressor and oppressed.

This is the central paradox that binds us. And it is why the average American cannot see our imperial occupation of Iraq and our increasingly dangerous belligerence towards Iran for what it is.

How can we have a modicum of empathy for the people of Iraq when we refuse to even glimpse our own degraded condition and our complicity therein?

"God Damn America," the people of Sadr City must rage, as the bombs shake their homes and tear the flesh from their friends and family.

"God Damn, America," I mutter, echoing the good Reverend Wright, as I witness the indifference of the American people to the war crimes committed by our nation's leaders.

By the insidious technique of propaganda by omission, the public has been manipulated into a state approaching criminal obliviousness.

"What is this crazy talk about the calamity of class stratification that defines and divides the nation, and what sort of demented, leftist loser would even raise the topic among decent company?" our present mandarins of media scoff when the topic of class inequity is broached.

Add to that, the ongoing ruse of the ceaseless dissemination of fear perfected by the right-wing media noise machine and then parroted in the mainstream media that goes something like the following:

"There are evil entities afoot in the nation known as radical liberals who scheme to take away your guns and give them to islamofascist terrorists so that those agents of Satan over at Planned Parenthood will be free to rip fetuses from their mothers wombs in order to expose the unborn to porn."

This is the reason for the cacophony of inanity that dominates the coverage of the political events of our time: It serves as white noise that drowns out unpleasant truths. It is the mood music piped into our national bubble.

Accordingly, trivial and specious narratives drive and dominate our national political debate and it has, as a consequence, rendered the nation's public too shallow to even apprehend the extent of the damage inflicted by official treachery, professional cupidity, and the degree of their own degradation therein.

Otherwise, the collective psyche of the nation would be shaken to the core. Tragically, there is no longer any core to be found.

There is merely the surface sheen of the American bubblescape ... its surface taut with inner tension as it is stretched to its limits, as, all the while, reality bristles ever closer to its over-stretched skin.


Juan Cole
Informed Comment

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 21:46 EDT

Axis of Evil
Disturbing Stirrings - Ratcheting Up For War On Iran
Hezbollah foiled US coup bid?
Call for US to show evidence of Tehran weapons link
Why Big Media Needs Propaganda to Survive
Nightmare At Guantanamo Bay
Flashback: The Torture Drawings the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to See

The Democrats are blinking and taking out of proposed legislation a provision that would have forbidden Bush to take military action against Iran without coming to the Congress first (i.e. without acting in accordance with the Constitution). I'm not sure why you need a statute, anyway, to ensure that the Constitution is followed . . . Except that it has been so long since presidents have paid much attention to the Constitution. The Imperial Presidency has overshadowed it, just as Emperor Augustus overshadowed the Roman Republic.

Those who said that such a provision would take the military option off the table with regard to Iran are simply wrong. It just required that the president make the case for a war to the legislature, which declares war. The option was still there if the legislature wanted it to be.

But after the Iraq fiasco it is amazing to me that Washington is still talking about going to war against Middle Eastern countries that pose no threat to the US mainland. The US got where it is after World War II by mostly avoiding direct military campaigns and occupations. The US does not have the resources to occupy two Middle Eastern oil states, and trying to do so will break it as surely as imperial overstretch broke its predecessors among the great powers. Those who think all this is good for Israel are being short-sighted. If the US spirals down into a non-entity over the next 30 years as a result of over-stretch, Israel will be left without a great power patron and might well not survive. <shrewd point -pandering to CZs -- yet Z's of course can manipulate Russia with ease, even the Saudis - a tyranny bolstered by another foisted 'creed' that inculcates servitude to a 'pious' monarchy; @Juan: Hey - you are not a global or globalist simpleton! / js zog > The Europeans are fed up with its militarism and itchy trigger finger, and it hasn't made any friends in its own region.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on the US to keept its troops in Iraq for the time being and only exit "responsibly." He also egged the US on to confront Iran.

Iran hasn't threatened to attack Israel militarily, and in fact has denounced the killing of innocent civilians. The Iranian regime doesn't like what it calls the Zionist occupation regime, and hopes it will dissolve the way the Soviet Union did. But Tehran hasn't threatened an attack. Olmert's insinuations to the contrary are typical of rightwing Zionist propaganda, in which aggressive and expansionist intentions are always dressed up as defensive in nature.

Olmert--that great military genius--isn't someone Americans should be listening to on the subject of war. And, he should be careful in seeming to try to influence the US government to stay in Iraq, since such a stance is extremely unpopular and getting moreso over here. Sooner or later the American public is going to rebel against the hold that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has over the US Congress, especially if they < get a brain cell and realize / js zog > think it is getting their children blown up halfway around the world.

Oh, and of course Olmert offered the US $3 billion a year to help defray the costs of the Iraq War, which he says is benefitting Israel. After all, the Saudis gave the US billions for the Gulf War in 1990-1991. But no, not really. Olmert isn't offering any actual help to the US of any sort. In fact, we're each being taxed personally to help pay for Olmert's creeping colonization of the West Bank and his vast land theft from the poor displaced Palestinians, which in turn provokes hatred of Americans and puts us in danger. So too does the American attempt to occupy militarily an Arab country like Iraq. If we don't get out of there soon, it will bring a horrible retribution on us.

In Iran, former President Mohammad Khatami urged the Iranian government to find a way of allaying North Atlantic fears over Iran's civilian nuclear research program, which Khatami said is not aimed at producing a bomb. He said he recognized legitimate concerns about all this in the West, but believed that they could be allayed if handled properly. Many Iranians are worried about UN Security Council sanctions, since they saw how such measures turned Iraq into a fourth world country in the 1990s. Khatami was president for 8 years and tried to reach out to the US and Europe, but was consistently blown off, including by Cheney in 2003.,+Khatami+Calls+on+Iran+to+Allay+Western+Fears

By Anart

"In fact, we're each being taxed personally to help pay for Olmert's creeping colonization of the West Bank and his vast land theft from the poor displaced Palestinians, which in turn provokes hatred of Americans and puts us in danger. So too does the American attempt to occupy militarily an Arab country like Iraq. If we don't get out of there soon, it will bring a horrible retribution on us."

I am forced to give up a quarter of my earnings to help pay for this psychopathic global regime to kill completely innocent human beings. I'm beyond sick of it. I can only hope that the hundreds of millions of normal human beings in the States can stop watching American Idol long enough to care about what happens - to actually notice that they're being led, literally, to the slaughter house and paying for it to boot. It's already seemingly too late - but, gee, sure would be nice if we actually tried to stop them 14MAR2007

By Irini

if you want to watch the world be destroyed, why are you reading this anyway? I know LOTS of people who will give their ALL doing what is in their hearts to do: fight the lies and disinformation for Truth to prevail. That's why i read SOTT, because they do that.
And guess what? They might be the ones who actually get to live the Better future they together created through their actions. The rest will have to come back in the same situation, in order to learn the lessons not learned. Life is a school. You fail a lesson, you repeat it. 01JAN2007


made me feel: grateful, blessed, fortunate... [what's often taken for granted]

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in
their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry
Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies
who can't be comforted. This is for all the mothers who show up at work
with spit-up in their hair, milk stains on their blouses or diapers in
their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes, and all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see, and the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collection are hanging on
their refrigerator doors...and for all the mothers who froze their buns
on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from
the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see
me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the
world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yelled at their kids in the grocery
store when they stomped their feet and screamed for ice cream before
dinner--and for all the mothers who counted to ten instead, but realize
how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and
explained all about making babies--and for all the (grand) mothers who
wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.
For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a
year--and then read it again "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their
shoelaces before they started school, and for all the mothers who opted
for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their
daughters to sink a jump shot. This is for every mother whose head
turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even
though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach
aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to
get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please
pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the
words to reach them. For all the mothers who bite their lips until they
bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the
mothers of those who did the shooting. For the mothers of the
survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror,
hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad
hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a
shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear
down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The
jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to
put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want
to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you
hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying? The emotions of
motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers
stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...and mature
mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers, single mothers and
married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for you
all -- for all of us.

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray for them.

Please pass along to all the Moms in your life.
"Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall."

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