nebris: (A Guru)
~I don't believe I'm really being all that paranoid when I think that the timing of The Duggar Scandal seems rather 'fortuitous' vis-a-vis the whole Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast Track issue. I can certainly see a pair of Fascist PR Operatives talking about it.

FPRO#1: “We're getting killed in the Media and On-Line and I'm taking a lot of heat from The Main Office. We need a nice juicy scandal to distract people. And quick!”

FPRO#2: “Limmi see what I got in the hopper. I'll get back to you asap.”

~a short time later~

FPRO#2: [excited] “I've got a beaut here. You know the Duggar family?”

FPRO#1: “Those Christian breeder freaks with a TV show?”

FPRO#2: “The very same. Seems Josh, the oldest son, molested his sisters when he was like fourteen.”

FPRO#1: “That is fucking perfect!”

FPRO#2: “Oh, it gets better. There is a whole network of pedos involved in this from top to bottom.”

FPRO#1: [laughs] “Thank you, Jesus!”

[they high five]

FPRO#1: “Yeah, throw him under the bus. They always gave me the creeps anyway.”

FPRO#2: “Consider it done.”


Apr. 18th, 2015 04:22 pm
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
~I feel totally 'none-operational' today. Not in a bad mood or feeling poorly. I just don't want to do any of things on my To Do List; clean the litter boxes, take in the recycling, do a small pick up run to the store, bug Le-Le to do some paper work she needs to do. I didn't plan to do all of those things today, just to pick one of them and do it. *sigh*

Been in a weird mood since yesterday afternoon. I watched a four hour documentary on Frank Sinatra by Alex Gibney, the director of “Going Clear”. It was beautifully done, but was like looking into an alternate universe I once lived in, a universe which is now almost completely gone. And obviously, my head has been filled with his songs ever since.

It has left me feeling disassociated, though not really really in a bad way...just sorta 'not here' right now....
nebris: (Away Team)
"It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

“If everyone swept in front of their own doorway, the whole world would be clean.” ~Goethe

“There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem.” ~Eldridge Cleaver

~I found this linked on a friend's Facebook Wall:

“We're stoked to be finalizing our pranafying, culture-inducing retreats of yoga, art, music, gastronomia, ecstatic nature & healing waters... Registration will open THIS WEEKEND, (( 1st COME, 1st SERVE )) for: June ITALY (Tuscany/Capri/Roma), August BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro & Bahia), November Thanksgiving JAMAICA (Ocho Rios). We're offering these one of a kind 'yoga meets culture immersion' retreats hosted by locals in each country to 25 people per retreat max to ensure a deep and meaningful experience. Stay tuned!!”

I was going to go into a whole rant about the self-absorbed cluelessness of American's White Middle Class, but then the title of this post came to mind and I decided to save my energy for other things. The first three quotes cover it nicely I believe.
nebris: (The Temple 2)
~As an actor I play little games regarding media and such. There are very few actors out there who have not at least once played out their Oscar, Tony, Emmy award acceptance speech in front of mirror. Such behavior is innate to the profession.

One of the 'acting scenarios' I run intermittently through is being interviewed about The Temple on some TV talking head show. Lately however, I realized that such is probably not really a good idea. That puts Her Prophet front and center and The Temple needs to have a female face in Mass Media.

Yet I would be very good at that because I can answer all the hard questions with depth, frankness and humor. So a compromise must be created...and it is thus:

I shall personally train a small group of Sisters as Spokespersons. They'll need to be 'camera friendly', which means being physically attractive, though not too attractive, articulate, with a good speaking voice, and of course intelligent and fast on their feet.

This training would basically be 'interview trainings', first with them interviewing me 'toughly' and then turning that around were I and the others put each of them 'on the spot'. I have not doubt there will be tears. And that's okay. This will be analogous to Combat Training and better to cry in training than in front of the cameras...unless of course tears are what are required in the moment.

This group of 'Spokes Sisters' would be The Face of The Temple. I might grant interviews, but only with great rarity. Most of the time, our Spokes Sisters would be the ones doing the talking. That would consistently convey the proper and accurate Message that The Temple is about its Sisters and not some fat old man lurking out in the desert.

Remember my Sisters, we are dealing with The Hologram and we must abide by its rules if we wish to Prevail.

And that's the name of that tune...

After Thought: many of these Spokes Sisters would also be perfect as Training Leaders for The Sisterhood Training.
nebris: (Away Team)
From The New Inquiry
May 26, 2012
By George Scialabba

Pretty bad. Here is a sample of factlets from surveys and studies conducted in the past twenty years. Seventy percent of Americans believe in the existence of angels. Fifty percent believe that the earth has been visited by UFOs; in another poll, 70 percent believed that the U.S. government is covering up the presence of space aliens on earth. Forty percent did not know whom the U.S. fought in World War II. Forty percent could not locate Japan on a world map. Fifteen percent could not locate the United States on a world map. Sixty percent of Americans have not read a book since leaving school. Only 6 percent now read even one book a year. According to a very familiar statistic that nonetheless cannot be repeated too often, the average American’s day includes six minutes playing sports, five minutes reading books, one minute making music, 30 seconds attending a play or concert, 25 seconds making or viewing art, and four hours watching television.

Among high-school seniors surveyed in the late 1990s, 50 percent had not heard of the Cold War. Sixty percent could not say how the United States came into existence. Fifty percent did not know in which century the Civil War occurred. Sixty percent could name each of the Three Stooges but not the three branches of the U.S. government. Sixty percent could not comprehend an editorial in a national or local newspaper.

Intellectual distinction isn’t everything, it’s true. But things are amiss in other areas as well: sociability and trust, for example. “During the last third of the twentieth century,” according to Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone, “all forms of social capital fell off precipitously.” Tens of thousands of community groups – church social and charitable groups, union halls, civic clubs, bridge clubs, and yes, bowling leagues — disappeared; by Putnam’s estimate, one-third of our social infrastructure vanished in these years. Frequency of having friends to dinner dropped by 45 percent; card parties declined 50 percent; Americans’ declared readiness to make new friends declined by 30 percent. Belief that most other people could be trusted dropped from 77 percent to 37 percent. Over a five-year period in the 1990s, reported incidents of aggressive driving rose by 50 percent — admittedly an odd, but probably not an insignificant, indicator of declining social capital.

Still, even if American education is spotty and the social fabric is fraying, the fact that the U.S. is the world’s richest nation must surely make a great difference to our quality of life? Alas, no. As every literate person knows, economic inequality in the United States is off the charts – at third-world levels. The results were recently summarized by James Speth in Orion magazine. Of the 20 advanced democracies in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. has the highest poverty rate, for both adults and children; the lowest rate of social mobility; the lowest score on UN indexes of child welfare and gender inequality; the highest ratio of health care expenditure to GDP, combined with the lowest life expectancy and the highest rates of infant mortality, mental illness, obesity, inability to afford health care, and personal bankruptcy resulting from medical expenses; the highest homicide rate; and the highest incarceration rate. Nor are the baneful effects of America’s social and economic order confined within our borders; among OECD nations the U.S. also has the highest carbon dioxide emissions, the highest per capita water consumption, the next-to-largest ecological footprint, the next-to-lowest score on the Yale Environmental Performance Index, the highest (by a colossal margin) per capita rate of military spending and arms sales, and the next-to-lowest rate of per capita spending on international development and humanitarian assistance.

Contemplating these dreary statistics, one might well conclude that the United States is — to a distressing extent — a nation of violent, intolerant, ignorant, superstitious, passive, shallow, boorish, selfish, unhealthy, unhappy people, addicted to flickering screens, incurious about other societies and cultures, unwilling or unable to assert or even comprehend their nominal political sovereignty. Or, more simply, that America is a failure.

That is indeed what Morris Berman concludes in his three-volume survey of America’s decline: The Twilight of American Culture (2000), Dark Ages America (2006), and Why America Failed (2011), from which much of the preceding information is taken. Berman is a cultural and intellectual historian, not a social scientist, so his portrait of American civilization, or barbarism, is anecdotal and atmospheric as well as statistical. He is eloquent about harder-to-quantify trends: the transformation of higher (even primary/secondary) education into marketing arenas for predatory corporations; the new form of educational merchandising known as “distance learning”; the colonization of civic and cultural spaces by corporate logos; the centrality of malls and shopping to our social life; the “systematic suppression of silence” and the fact that “there is barely an empty space in our culture not already carrying commercial messages.” Idiot deans, rancid rappers, endlessly chattering sports commentators, an avalanche of half-inch-deep self-help manuals; a plague of gadgets, a deluge of stimuli, an epidemic of rudeness, a desert of mutual indifference: the upshot is our daily immersion in a suffocating stream of kitsch, blather, stress, and sentimental banality. Berman colorfully and convincingly renders the relentless coarsening and dumbing down of everyday life in late (dare we hope?) American capitalism.

In Spenglerian fashion, Berman seeks the source of our civilization’s decline in its innermost principle, its animating Geist. What he finds at the bottom of our culture’s soul is … hustling; or, to use its respectable academic sobriquet, possessive individualism. Expansion, accumulation, economic growth: this is the ground bass of American history, like the hum of a dynamo in the basement beneath the polite twitterings on the upper stories about “liberty” and “a light unto the nations.” Berman scarcely mentions Marx or historical materialism; instead he offers a nonspecialist and accessible but deeply informed and amply documented review of American history, period by period, war by war, arguing persuasively that whatever the ideological superstructure, the driving energy behind policy and popular aspiration has been a ceaseless, soulless acquisitiveness.

The colonial period, the seedbed of American democracy, certainly featured a good deal of God-talk and virtue-talk, but Mammon more than held its own. Berman sides emphatically with Louis Hartz, who famously argued in The Liberal Tradition in America that American society was essentially Lockean from the beginning: individualistic, ambitious, protocapitalist, with a weak and subordinate communitarian ethic. He finds plenty of support elsewhere as well; for example in Perry Miller, the foremost historian of Puritanism, according to whom the American mind has always “positively lusted for the chance to yield itself to the gratification of technology.” Even Tocqueville, who made many similar observations, “could not comprehend,” wrote Miller, “the passion with which [early Americans] flung themselves into the technological torrent, how they … cried to each other as they went headlong down the chute that here was their destiny, here was the tide that would sweep them toward the unending vistas of prosperity.” Even Emerson and Whitman went through a phase of infatuation with industrial progress, though Hawthorne and Thoreau apparently always looked on the juggernaut with clearer (or more jaundiced) eyes.

Berman also sides, for the most part, with Charles Beard, who drew attention to the economic conflicts underlying the American Revolution and the Civil War. Beard may have undervalued the genuine intellectual ferment that accompanied the Revolution, but he was not wrong in perceiving the motivating force of the pervasive commercial ethic of the age. Joyce Appleby, another eminent historian, poses this question to those who idealize America’s founding: “If the Revolution was fought in a frenzy over corruption, out of fear of tyranny, and with hopes for redemption through civic virtue, where and when are scholars to find the sources for the aggressive individualism, the optimistic materialism, and the pragmatic interest-group politics that became so salient so early in the life of the nation?”

By the mid-nineteenth century, the predominance of commercial interests in American politics was unmistakable. Berman’s lengthy discussion of the Civil War as the pivot of American history takes for granted the inadequacy of triumphalist views of the Civil War. It was not a “battle cry of freedom.” Slavery was central, but for economic rather than moral reasons. The North represented economic modernity and the ethos of material progress; the economy and ethos of the South, based on slavery, was premodern and static. The West — and with it the shape of America’s economic future — was up for grabs, and the North grabbed it away from an equally determined South. Except for the abolitionists, no whites, North or South, gave a damn about blacks. How the West (like the North and South before it) was grabbed, in an orgy of greed, violence, and deceit against the original inhabitants, is a familiar story.

Even more than in Beard, Berman finds his inspiration in William Appleman Williams. When McKinley’s secretary of state John Hay advocated “an open door through which America’s preponderant economic strength would enter and dominate all underdeveloped areas of the world” and his successor William Jennings Bryan (the celebrated populist and anti-imperialist!) told a gathering of businessmen in 1915 that “my Department is your department; the ambassadors, the ministers, the consuls are all yours; it is their business to look after your interests and to guard your rights,” they were enunciating the soul of American foreign policy, as was the much-lauded Wise Man George Kennan when he wrote in a post-World War II State Department policy planning document: “We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population … In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity … To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives … We should cease to talk about vague and … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

As a former medievalist, Berman finds contemporary parallels to the fall of Rome compelling. By the end of the empire, he points out, economic inequality was drastic and increasing, the legitimacy and efficacy of the state was waning, popular culture was debased, civic virtue among elites was practically nonexistent, and imperial military commitments were hopelessly unsustainable. As these volumes abundantly illustrate, this is 21st century America in a nutshell. The capstone of Berman’s demonstration is a sequence of three long, brilliant chapters in Dark Ages America on the Cold War, the Pax Americana, CIA and military interventions in the Third World, and in particular U.S. policy in the Middle East, where racism and rapacity have combined to produce a stunning debacle. Our hysterical national response to 9/11 — our inability even to make an effort to comprehend the long-festering consequences of our imperial predations — portended, as clearly as anything could, the demise of American global supremacy.

What will become of us? After Rome’s fall, wolves wandered through the cities and Europe largely went to sleep for six centuries. That will not happen again; too many transitions — demographic, ecological, technological, cybernetic — have intervened. The planet’s metabolism has altered. The new Dark Ages will be socially, politically, and spiritually dark, but the economic Moloch — mass production and consumption, destructive growth, instrumental rationality — will not disappear. Few Americans want it to. We are hollow, Berman concludes. It is a devastatingly plausible conclusion.

An interval — long or short, only the gods can say — of oligarchic, intensely surveilled, bread-and-circuses authoritarianism, Blade Runner- or Fahrenheit 451-style, seems the most likely outlook for the 21st and 22nd centuries. Still, if most humans are shallow and conformist, some are not. There is reason to hope that the ever fragile but somehow perennial traditions and virtues of solidarity, curiosity, self-reliance, courtesy, voluntary simplicity, and an instinct for beauty will survive, even if underground for long periods. And cultural rebirths do occur, or at any rate have occurred.

Berman offers little comfort, but he does note a possible role for those who perceive the inevitability of our civilization’s decline. He calls it the “monastic option.” Our eclipse may, after all, not be permanent; and meanwhile individuals and small groups may preserve the best of our culture by living against the grain, within the interstices, by “creating ‘zones of intelligence’ in a private, local way, and then deliberately keeping them out of the public eye.” Even if one’s ideals ultimately perish, this may be the best way to live while they are dying.

There is something immensely refreshing, even cathartic, about Berman’s refusal to hold out any hope of avoiding our civilization’s demise. And our reaction goes some way toward proving his point: We are so sick of hucksters, of authors trying — like everyone else on all sides at all times in this pervasively hustling culture — to sell us something, that it is a relief to encounter someone who isn’t, who has no designs on our money or votes or hopes, who simply has looked into the depths, into our catastrophic future, and is compelled to describe it, as Cassandra was. No doubt his efforts will meet with equal success.
nebris: (FemJihad)
By Lynn Parramore, AlterNet
Posted on December 7, 2011

"Melancholia," Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," and "A Dangerous Method" explore dark passions, along with remembrances of death, violence, and dangerous female sexuality.
nebris: (Hazmat)
"The appellation "situationist" refers to one who engages in the construction of "situations" or specifically a member of the Situationist International. In adjectival form, the term means relating to the theory or practical activity of constructing "situations." Situationist theorist Guy Debord defines the term "situation" as "a moment of life concretely and deliberately constructed by the collective organization of a unitary ambiance and a game of events." According to Debord, the Situationist International is so named because the construction of situations is the central idea of their theory, a process he describes as "the concrete construction of momentary ambiances of life and their transformation into a superior passional quality." In other words, any method of making one or more individuals critically analyze their everyday life, and to recognize and pursue their true desires in their lives. The experimental direction of situationist activity consists of setting up temporary environments that are favorable to the fulfillment of such desires.

The Situationist International strongly resisted use of the term "Situationism," which Debord called a "meaningless term . . . [t]here is no such thing as situationism, which would mean a doctrine for interpreting existing conditions." Situationists considered themselves highly opposed to all ideology, and the suffix "-ism" would to them improperly classify their body of theory as an ideology. In The Society of the Spectacle, Debord asserted ideology is "the abstract will to universality and the illusion thereof," which is "legitimated in modern society by universal abstraction and by the effective dictatorship of illusion."

The concept of the "situation" may originate in Sartre's concept of a Theatre of Situations. What Sartre calls a situation in a theatrical play, is what breaks the spectator's passivity towards the spectacle." ..from the Situationist International Wiki

~What leaped out at me is the phrase "to recognize and pursue their true desires". The brutal irony here is that mirrors the goal of The Hologram, aka Modern Corporate Marketing Culture. "We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed...Man's desires must overshadow his needs." ~Paul Mazer, Lehman Bros ca 1930's

And brings to my mind what I said here; "Liberal Humanism had once been a vital force and had changed human affairs for the better. But it inevitably fell victim to the Cult of The Individual and then fractured into ideological factionalism, individual narcissism and intellectual decadence. Its absolute rejection of Hierarchy doomed it to impotence." Her Prophet Explains: Addendum C [The Individual and The Hive]
nebris: (A Dark Boy)
I have an active addiction. It drives me nearly every single day...and I don't care. I am addicted to Read more... )
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
ganked from [info]def_fr0g_42

Odds it’s been a day of tragedy pr0n for you.

Odds are you need a chaser.

If Debbie Harry and the Muppets dressed as Frog Scouts and punks doesn’t put a smile on yr face, there’s nothing we can do for you.

[Via Space Ghost Zombie and Here Kitty, respectively]

Scout’s honor,

This is dF

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
nebris: (Away Team)
~I watched the pilot episode of “Harry's Law” this morning and was really surprised at how awful it was. Banal plot lines. Hamfisted voice-overs. Twee dialog. Screechy preachy courtroom scenes. Seemingly phoned in performances.

Maybe I'm a bit spoiled after watching the first two seasons of “The Good Wife” back to back, but I do expect much better from David E. Kelley. And what a waste of Kathy Bates.

But somebody must like the damned thing because NBC picked it up for a second season. *shrug*
nebris: (Default)

~Today is the middle day of the forty second anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, August 15th through 17th, 1969. This marks the moment when the true and complete version of Modern Corporate Marketing Culture was truly born. Before Woodstock, there were still some socio-cultural restraints, basically of the Rock and Roll Is The Devil's Music variety. But after Woodstock, after hemming and hawing for two decades, Corporate America finally and fully realized the vast sums of money to be made from the so-called Youth Culture.

The other element was the advance of Mass Communications Technology. This had be underway for a while, vis radio, movies and television. But by the late 60's the level of development was accelerating exponentially. All that was needed was a marriage of the two to truly begin the construction of what has become The Hologram, the seamless 24/7/365 Media Juggernaut that now consumes all our waking hours.

I'm old enough to remember when television stations actually signed off around one or two in the morning and didn't come back on until six or seven. Such a thing is almost unthinkable at this point. And if you're reading this, there is no need to expound upon the ubiquity of The Internet.

The Hologram was born in the sea of mud around Max Yasgur's farm and it has now grown to engulf us all, hence the image above, which yields the title of this post: *"in this sign you will conquer"

And no, I didn't got to Woodstock. I knew it would be full of Hippies and I fucking hated Hippies. I thought they were full of shit. I was right, too. Most of them became Yuppies and Yuppies are fucking evil. They made Consumerist Consumption 'hip'. And now The Corporate State is fucking them in the ass.


nebris: (Default)
The Divine Mr. M

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