Or you may like it for superficial reasons.[Up, Down]
Or (most likely) it may tumble down the well and make no splash.
Or (most likely) it may tumble down the well and make no splash.
Where to begin? OK. Let's see if eight months (almost a 'term' or a 'gestation') of Chris Hedges' trajectory sheds any light - three points on the curve.
1) We can start with Abby Martin & Chris Hedges just after the People's Climate March last fall:
Thought provoking. Regardless of the presenters or the format, the scenario of massive civil disobedience seems preferrable to ISIS, Boko Haram &c. (and preferrable to what came before these extremities) on the one hand, and stunned complacent inaction on the other.
2) In February he delivers 'The Rules of Revolt' at SFU (Video):
It's a barn burner! Literary an' all. (Turns out it's a set-piece he's delivered here-and-there since at least 2013 but that doesn't diminish the power of it. Nor, necessarily, do the bogus references to Melville as Shakespeare, Nietzsche's 'molten pit' & what not.) The tall fellow on the left is Stephen Collis.
3) Then, towards the end of March he's back in Vancouver again (over the objections of Stephen Collis this time, the fellow pictured above who was praising him only a month before):
There is a video of the event on YouTube, and three related articles: Recalled to Life, March 23 2014; The Whoredom of the Left, March 8 2015; and, No One Is Free Until All Are Free, March 29 2015.
He starts out with large scale integration, unification - bringing all of it in under the environmental catastrophe umbrella - this is good.
He then he segues into talking about the abuse of women by men. He doesn't like either pornography or prostitution (but then, he didn't find the Charlie Hebdo cartoons funny either). He reminds me more and more of a preacher I used to know who when he used 'concupiscence' or 'incontinence' (and such like words) would screw up his mouth into a perfect imitation of someone sucking lemons. That's not to say there's nothing to be learned from listening and hearing what he says.
But ... then he says abuse of women is not under the umbrella after all - the issues are separate and explicitly stand-alone. And it becomes ... confusing. The pimp/cunt/abuse/slavery stereotypes he employs are painted entirely dark. Anything subtler, even vaguely gray, is immediately lumped with the capital 'E' Evil. And the confusion becomes overwhelming.
Toghestiy is driven out into the hallway, apparently by personal demons, and then returns with a more-or-less inarticulate 'final question' (which is not consistent with what I have seen of him previously around the Unis'tot'en blockade). Hedges comes back with "all of this is better out in the open" which is, of course, true.
(Here's Toghestiy in Muskrat Magazine with videos: 1, 2, 3, 4; in 2013.)
What has been proven is that the process of bringing out difficult experiences is fraught with fugal reactions which can turn the exercise nasty sometimes. Digging and delving in the ol' compost heap almost always releases odours, many of them (apparently, initially) unpleasant. Best done on a breezy afternoon when you've got lots of open-ended time, or when you're experienced and have a glimmering of what to expect and how to deal with it and the resources to deal with it (you don't need professionals but you do need lots of willing ears).
To my mind all of this, while undoubtedly important, is a large-ish red herring, a distraction, a diversion, a source of division. When Stephen Harper sees us hareing off after it I am sure he rubs his hands in glee.
It's the environmental catastrophe! THAT's the EXISTENTIAL part of this! Doh!
Hedges has been railing at Canada's Terrorism Bill C-51 too: Rabble: C-51 - They have won, and it is up to us, March 17. (Four points on the curve now.)
[Note: Some of these articles originate at TruthDig. I find the site annoying because the text is chopped up into more-or-less arbitrary lumps - presumably to boost the numbers of ads and a traffic counter somewhere - but especially because when I browse there my computer is regularly attacked by phishing and what appear to be malware invitations. So the links in this post go to a safe archive - where the original TruthDig links may also be found if you're determined to go there.]
An old friend once told me he'd gotten addicted to pornography. At the time I thought the realization had something to do with a woman he took up with who had strong opinions. He said he'd absolutely given it up and I believe he did. Other old friends have told me they're alcoholics and gave up drinking. The mantra of addicts seems to be that the condition is permanent with constant resistance required to withstand temptation. Pornography is not a shared pastime (at least not in my experience) but drinking often is and I always wished my alcoholic friends had found another way so we could spend more time together.
My credentials include three up-to-the-elbows home births. I'm an old man now but if it came to a pinch I might still be able to help bring another babe into the world. A-and, (I hesitate to say it but) some of my best friends are garotas de programma - I know something of the landscape they inhabit.
Old men, coroas and viejos verdes, like looking at young women - this is a fact of life as I know it. Maybe it helps keep the young bucks sharp and on their toes in some evolutionary way - I don't know. Sure, some get carried away (though generally it's the younger and middle aged ones), hurt people, hurt themselves; but the same goes for bog-standard courting, bringing up children - any and every intimate human activity includes some possibility of getting it wrong. Does this mean I support, or accept, or condone or countenance the violence Chris Hedges is talking about? No.
I like quotes taken out of context. "Something there is that doesn't love a wall," says Robert Frost, and for me it also covers all of the so called 'zero tolerance' oversimplifications that pass for public morality these days.
The curve (remember the curve?) I see here is flying high and crashing into contradictions in one's own fundament. Others may see it differently.
Cut to the chase.
If the project of avoiding the potential for extinction in the unfolding environmental catastrophe depends upon perfecting human ... substance along moral lines, then I'd say we don't stand a chance. (With all respect to divinity school graduates and socialists who like to keep such progress myths going.)
Emily Dextraze is 12 years old. Sharie Farina is her mother. Emily has been competing in beauty pagents since she was 4 years old.
The photographs come from a recent NYT article based in turn on a project by Ilana Panich-Linsman (unfortunately her site does not work very well, for me at least).
|In Brasil there is a well known spike in births nine months after Carnaval. Children born in late October through early December (being Spring in the Southern Hemisphere) are received with a knowing "Ah, aproveitou Carnaval, né." The complementary forces of illegality and poverty make abortion less frequent in Brasil than elsewhere.|
So here we are. Carnaval, Fat Tuesday, Lenten reflection, Maundy Thursday, and Easter are all past. Like it or not April showers are bringing May flowers. Lobster season gives way to trap time in Placentia Bay and the old make-or-break Atlantic gas engines thump in and out of harbour. That's if there is still anyone engaged - I am told there are very few to none.
[This space left intentionally blank.]
Sargent, I need love. I'll assemble the troops and get a volunteer. I don't believe in
Yes commander. No! No! No! voluntary love.
Idea. It's an incredible idea - Off you go, idea. Look, the world changed!
it will change the world I don't recognize it!
through the simple fact Who did this?
of someone's having had it. We have to look
at everything again.
Convoluted Bastard: Certain words and phrases set me off: 'Mitigation' when it is used to mean stopping CO2 emissions; 'Mother Earth' when the person using it appears not to understand that it is a metaphor not a fact; ... there's a list. Certain attitudes as well - particularly the notion that natives, indigenous peoples, first nations, have inherently closer links to nature and sustainable living than say, old white men. This list goes on too.
In the 70s sometime two ex-professors of mine financed a prototype, what I called a 'renaissance yurt' to house the then numerous Afghani refugees living out in the snow and rain of northern Pakistan. It wasn't a big investment - maybe $300, time was unpaid, I think they used it on an R&D tax credit. We built one, and then nothing happened. I met with them one day and it became clear that their involvement was over. I was now to somehow parlay the prototype into a CIDA contract or whatever on my own. I said, "But I don't now how to do that and you do." They had framed one of my design sketches and hung it on the wall of their office in which we were meeting. The conversation turned ugly and one of them shouted at me "You are such a convoluted bastard!" And I said, "Sure I am, but you knew that from the get go."
And that's the end of it. The next time I'm in the area Jim Strutt is already dead and I'm told Bill Dawson is 'very old'. My informant declines to give me his email address. Who knows? Maybe he's already past being able to read emails.
It's not just the kids slaving in sweatshops making cheap sneakers for other kids living marginally better in big cities around the world who are in Hell. We are all in Hell. And I don't mean some after-death cauldron you get pitched into when you die if you've been bad - I mean here and now and no judgements.
The whole object of this post (and all of the posts in all of the blogs for that matter) is to wonder if we are thinking ... properly. Humans mostly (myself included) don't think at all but it is at the point now where we'd better. (Heaven being no more than the thickness of a thought away.)
So, a convoluted bastard I remain. It's an honorific. Be well.