Monday, June 30, 2008

The Decency of Indecency

Dear George,

If there is one thing history will remember you for, it is ridding politics of decency. You have deftly done this by making decency a personal virtue instead of a public one. When we say “In God We Trust,” we mean we trust God to keep the public so preoccupied with its personal salvation, it has no time for political issues.

Of course, there are public displays of “decency,” but these are strictly diversionary actions designed to direct public attention away from the real issues. Someone lathered up over gay marriage isn’t going to carp about our torturing dark-skinned aliens. The drive to bring intelligent design into the schools directs the drones’ attention away from a crumbling economy.

God is reduced to a marked deck of cards in a crooked poker game.

Encourage the drones to rail against pornography while you bomb women and children; let them damn Darwin while you shred their social safety net. Keep stoking the flames of moral indignation. You have a ready-made fire break in the name of Jesus that will keep those flames from consuming the Oval Office. Let His name keep rolling off your lips and the drones will never discover what a cesspool of corruption you have created.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Empowering Power

Dear George,

In an enlightened nation, power and authority are in perfect balance. Power never exerts itself until it has the authority to do so, be this authority constitutional or other. This is why enlightened states are so goddamn dull. When was the last time you were entertained by a Swiss politician leading his country into a losing war behind a pack of lies?

Superpowers become superpowers because they understand that while authority whispers, power roars, and any attempt to repress power leads to deep and profound psychological damage. Unfortunately, you can put a nation on psychotropic drugs, so the healthy nation gives its power free reign, and in doing so becomes a superpower. In the end, authority scampers to keep up with power. Ultimately, its sole function becomes justifying power’s destructiveness after the fact.

As the sole surviving superpower of the universe, we found our Constitution to be a tight fit. Since becoming the guiding light of the world, we have slipped out of our constitutional straight jacket and, thanks to a supine Congress, are now cavorting naked through the world. Like any streaker, we create chaos and confusion wherever we go.

What makes power entertaining it that those who exercise it are so blinded by hubris and an inflated sense of exceptionalism that they fuck up everything they try. Under their deft leadership, cake walks regularly turn into quagmires. The surest way to court defeat is to believe that one is entitled to victory.

Some say ours is a dynamic society that is on a straight-line ascent to total world domination. What our pundits mistake for dynamism is little more that an out-of-control momentum that, like all great powers before it, will inscribe a Bell Curve across history until it descends into oblivion,

The Swiss may be dull, but they’re still around.

When the Big Dick spoke of the need to work the “dark side” what he really meant was that, as a great power, we had to work the dark side of self-destruction. The beauty of hubris is that it blinds us to our decline and convinces us that suicide is life-affirming.

I am thrilled to see Obama coming around to your way of thinking. It means that the entertainment will continue even if he is elected.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Managing Fear

Dear George,

There is an inverse relationship between public fear and the threat used to generate it. The further down the scale of probability a threat is, the greater its potential for generating fear in the public's mind. It is known among political operatives as the Inverse Probability Principle of Social Management.

This is why terrorism has worked wonders for your administration. The probability of being wacked by a terrorist is about the same as being struck by lightning. Yet, as improbable as the threat from a terrorist attack is, the public has been quite willing to piss away their civil liberties. (Should you choose to market the lightning threat as skillfully as you have marketed the terrorism threat, you would see everyone venturing outside with lightning rods strapped to their heads.)

The more probable a threat, the less fear it generates. When was the last time you saw someone don a crash helmet and flame-resistant jumpsuit before getting behind the wheel? They really should, because driving is the most life-threatening activity we engaged in.

The mantra that drives your administration is simplicity itself: If you scare the chickens enough, they’ll vote for the fox. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating as the campaign begins to heat up.

Fear gives the GOP a crucial edge in the contest since the Democrats have a long history of cowering before the wrath of the neocon right.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Virtue of Evil

Dear George,

Because we are good, our evil is innocent. For evil to achieve the purity that makes it virtuous, it must be devoid of passion. Evil becomes a shining beacon of virtue when it becomes an ideology expressed in the prosaic prose of a policy paper.

The crème de la crème of this virtue is when policy is converted into neutral numbers on a spreadsheet. A well-formed spreadsheet gives a patina of respectability to the vilest of evils because quantified evil is no longer evil.

Beef is an excellent example of an evil made virtuous. Right now, the Koreans are raising all sorts of hell over the importation of American beef. It seems they’re a little put out because our Department of Agriculture (USDA) only inspects one-percent of our beef for Mad Cow disease, as opposed to those pain-in-the-ass Japanese who test 100 percent of their beef.

The fact that eight people have died from a disease caused by eating beef infected with Mad Cow is irrelevant. Our USDA has a policy that specifically states that only one-percent of our beef needs to be tested. Therefore, the untimely death of those eight unfortunates was not evil because their deaths fell within guidelines established by USDA policy.

Of course, there’s always a malcontent who is not willing to let a policy do what it is suppose to do. The Creekstone Farms Premium Beef Company of Arkansas City, KS doesn’t understand the fine nuances of policy. They got this crazy idea that it might be nice to test all their beef for Mad Cow.

Thank God your alert bureaucrats at the USDA were on the job. They made a beeline to the nearest courthouse and asked the court to enjoin Creekstone from testing all its beef because it would raise consumer questions and make other meat packers look bad.

Unfortunately, the USDA got an activist judge who turned down their motion. Naturally, the USDA is appealing the decision. No doubt the case will go to your cronies on the Supreme Court who will do the right thing.

Once again, a combination of policy and spreadsheet makes it all okay.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clinging to the Burden

Dear George,

As the country slowly sinks into insolvency, the need for innovative leadership has never been greater. What is needed is not innovation in the traditional meaning of the word, but a neoinnovation that innovates by not innovating. In other words, we need the illusion of change without change to conceal the radical change that will necessary if we are to maintain the illusion that we are the world’s sole surviving superpower.

The blunt fact of the matter is that the Pentagon is bankrupting America, and it must continue to do so or the loss of our self-esteem will be devastating. It is now time for the brave leader to make radical cuts in our social programs so we can continue to finance our bid for world conquest.

Many people are under the mistaken belief that we seek hegemony to control the flow of oil, or to protect our corporate interests overseas, or to open new markets, or simply to feed the nastiness that is the core of our foreign policy.

It’s none of the above, George.

It has to do with a tradition that started in 1415 when the Portuguese discovered that the African coast was a great revenue stream, with the gold, ivory and the 175,000 slaves they were able to wrest from the continent.

When the first Portuguese caravel touched the African coast, Europe took upon itself the Whiteman’s Burden to bring peace and civilization to the savages of the world. And Euromericans, since then, have found this burden to be a major source of their self esteem.

We are doing our duty, George. We have hacked, racked, burned, decapitated, shot, bombed, shrapnelled, diseased, starved, tortured, oppressed, jailed, exiled, displaced and gutted countless natives in the discharge of this burdensome burden.

Too much White blood has been shed in this effort to give it up now. We must honor the sacrifices made by those who have given their lives to civilize the natives by sacrificing even more lives in its continuing pursuit. Blood sanctifies blood.

Were we to shuck off this burden, it would not only be a major blow to Euromerican self esteem, but it would demonstrate to the world that the West has lost both its character and its resolve.

We have a reputation to live up to, George. And we can only maintain it by turning out weapon system after weapon system until we show the world that the Whiteman’s Burden is one we are prepared to carry straight to the nearest poorhouse.

The truth is that we are this burden's last hurrah, and like all last hurrahs, we are both its endgame and its parody.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gut Justice

Dear George,

We are in a clash of civilizations with barbarians who are intent on destroying our American way of life. Our only hope for victory is to enter a new age of barbarity in which we out barber the barbarians. Such an age needs a tough society that does not flinch from the manly virtues of cruelty and rapacity.

This is a religious war, and such a war demands a higher level of barbarity than is demanded by a war fought for political or economic reasons. When God is on our side, the gloves can come off.

Our counterinsurgency experts speak of Population and Resource Control (PRC). Religious warfare demands both domestic and international PRC, because when we are doing God’s work, we need a unified country behind us.

A barbaric society must be lean and mean. Coddling, be it children or criminals, is a thing of the past. Justice must come from the gut—literally.

And I am ready, George. Last year I completed a correspondence course with the London School of Surgery and Retributive Justice and am now a licensed disemboweler.

Granted, business has been a little slow for the last couple of centuries, but as we become nastier by the decade, I expect a sharp uptick in the market. Gutting a person while he is still living makes a powerful statement.

Our CIA seemed to understand this when they were training the Guatemalan death squads that were instrumental in overthrowing the country’s leftist president, Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. One of the squads’ specialties was cutting the fetuses from pregnant women. To their credit, they were humane enough to do so while the mother was still alive so she could have a glimpse of her new-born child before they killed her.

The key to a successful disembowelment is to slice and dice the body into quarters and put them on display. Hanging a couple of body parts from the White House portico would speak volumes about America’s commitment to world peace and stability, and it would add a new depth to state visits by foreign dignitaries.

Just give me my marching order, Big Guy, and I’ll start sharpening my instruments. Run the idea by the Big Dick. I’m sure he’d jump right on it.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stoned Freedom


Fucking stoned and flying as refrains of freedom’s song resonate through the smoke-haze of hell, its muted reverberations smothering the shrieks of the newly liberated, heady on the sweet smell of burnt flesh, as children sing shrill songs of freedom for mothers missing or sacrificed at freedom’s altar, lost amid the rubble of its monuments as the guns of democracy spit pellets of depleted uranium and liberty is carried on the uranium oxide dust inhaled and ingested that the oppressed may die on land scalded and leveled, ready for the development that brings the prosperity of indebtedness to the unlettered living in the glare of liberty’s phosphorescent torch. O, sing loud, freedom, that the world may hear your song and quake in anticipation of its joyful liberation.

…or something like that


Monday, June 23, 2008

Repositioning the Nonhistory of History

Dear George,

One of the major challenges a strong leader faces is leading the public down paths that threaten its self interest. Self interest is simply a convoluted dream born of weak egos. There is only one interest, and that is the interest that benefits the Homeland. It is towards this end that the public must be directed. But what should be a stroll towards destiny often becomes a tug of war as voices of dissent abrade the surface of the path that leads the Homeland to its greater glory.

There are various strategies to deal with dissent. Unfortunately, these address the problem after it appears. What you need is a strategy that will remove the root cause of dissent. Once you dig beneath the surface, you discover that the root cause of dissent is history.

Think about it. Dissent is grounded in a memory corrupted by history. Those with a strong sense of history are more likely to view progress as decay and decline than those who are ignorant of it. With history, one gains a sense of continuity and of place, and with this sense comes a hostility to all that threatens it.

Some scholars have addressed this problem by announcing an end to history. This is an error. It would be far more productive to declare that history doesn’t even exist. Those who think the War of 1812 was fought in the twentieth century would have no problem believing this.

We need a history that isn’t history. This new nonhistory would resemble the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales with each tale a self-contained entity with no connection to the tale before it or the tale after it. Just as you have discredited biological evolution, so must you discredit the idea of historical evolution. In this new-age nonhistory, the Civil War and the civil rights movement would be treated as separate and discrete events. In short, we need to reduce history to a series of Super Bowl commercials rather than a coherent narrative.

Decades of rabid consumerism has narrowed the public’s vision to the eternal “now,” so the battle is nearly won. All we need do is cull our schools and libraries of volumes that preach an evolution vision of history.

Do this in the name of tradition in which we return to the days of a golden past when the barbarian tribes of Europe lived in a pastoral bliss, free of a linear sense of time. Instead of an historical narrative, they had a cycle of free-standing sagas.

Without history, what is, is. There is no past to measure it against. Whatever is has always been, since there is nothing from which it could have evolved. Since there is no past, there is no future to strive for.

Best of all, with neither history nor memory, there is no catalyst for dissent.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Systemic Stupidity and the Corporatist State

Dear George,

The Corporatist State flourishes because it is populated by spectators instead of citizens, spectators whose idea of political prticipation is to be entertained by the antics of their leaders and celebrities.

A basic right of every free person is the right to piss away their freedom, not deliberately, but passively through their silence and apathy.

The greatest danger the Corporatist State faces is that its spectators will morph back into citizens. But this will only happene when they rediscover the poetry of democracy as in the poetry of a Whitman, a Guthrie or a Seeger. Fortunately, all of our contemporary minstrels are capable of little more than inarticulate screams, so there’s little danger of that happening.

Ours is a new-age democracy described by one writer[1] as:

[A] new type of political system, seemingly one driven by abstract totalizing power, not by personal rule, one that succeeds by encouraging political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, that relies more on “private” media than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda reinforcing the official version of events…[It] is largely independent of any particular leader and requires no personal charisma to survive: its model is the corporate “head,” the corporation’s public representative…In the inverted system the leader is a product of the system, not its architect; it will survive him.

It is a system that is a serendipitous aggregate of forces and events that represent, not a conspiracy, but a blind momentum driven by ego, greed and stupidity.

Its entertainment value lies in its stupidity. What other than an exceedingly stupid hierarchy would spend $100 billion on a missile defense shield that one commentator described as “a system that won’t work, against a threat that doesn’t exist, paid for by money we don’t have.”

Lord Acton didn't get it entirely right. Powerdoesn’t just corrupt; it rots the brain.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Wolin, Sheldon S. Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2008.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prissiness and Power

Dear George,

A man can’t achieve power unless he’s a priss. Slobs don’t cut it. Adolph, Benito and Joseph were all well-tailored and coiffured. The man who would rule must be manicured and moisturized; his neatness must shine when the media spotlight is turned on him.

The great leader is the man who eschews dirty fingernails. For him, the slightest disorder is anathema. A dust mote on a dung heap attracts no attention; a dust mote on the highly-polished lens of a telescope screams for attention. Power is obsessed with keeping the lens dust free.

However, the problem with prissiness is that’s its boring as hell. The one thing perfect order never does is stimulate. This is why powerful men live for the adrenalin rush that comes with leaving a wide swath of destruction in htheir wake, with the proviso that the actual destruction is contracted out to the slobs.

This means that power is in constant need of an enemy to destroy. Some suggest that those in power can only define themselves by what they hate and fear. It goes deeper than that. Rather, they become what they fear through a process of mimesis in which power is actually transformed into its enemy.

On April 14, 1950, President Harry S. Truman approved a document whose impact was as great as, if not greater, than either our Declaration of Independence or our Constitution. It was the NSC-68: United States Directive and Programs for National Security. The document accomplished two things: It gave birth to the Cold War, and it tolled the bell that proclaimed the death of our democratic republic.

It created of a government by the prissy, for the prissy and of the prissy. The document emphasized that only an efficient country could fight the fictive threat presented by the Soviets, and that freedom, unfortunately, is very inefficient. Only a totalisticly well-ordered society could rule the world.

The republic’s death was barely noticed because superficial appearances remained unchanged. America was still the land of the free in spite of McCarthyism and HUAC. We still held elections in which our leaders were democratically chosen through the deft use of media manipulation.

Proudly, you have borne the torch of prissiness for the last seven years, carrying the doctrines set out in NSC-68 to new heights. The death of our republic that it proclaimed in 1950 was largely symbolic. Your have made it increasingly real.

The successful wielding of power requires more than just a change of uniform. It requires a complete prissification of the soul.

George, you were born to leadership.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Sameness of Change

Dear George,

To be powerful is to be hated. This is particularly true of the United States because we bring more mythic baggage to the table than the other great powers that have made such a charnel house of history. We cling to the myth that we are the “city on the hill” and a beacon unto the world. And if that beacon has turned toxic, it is because power, once acquired, must turn nasty to survive. We trash our morality that it may grow and spread.

We have been able to continue living in our fantasy world because, to the American public, history is a tabula rasa upon which our elite inscribe their fairy tales, while pretending that our sins never happened. As one writer explains it:

It is this control, this organized forgetting, that has always intrigued me both as a film-maker and a journalist. Described by Harold Pinter as a great silence unbroken by the incessant din of the media age, it assures the powerful in the west that the struggle of who societies against their crimes is merely “superficially recorded, let along documented acknowledged…It never happened. Even while it was happening it never happened. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

This amnesia is aided and abetted by the timidity of the Democratic Party, which has been thoroughly cowed by the right. Another writer, speaking of the Obama campaign, tells us that, “There are nuances of liberal thought in the Obama campaign, but that is overshadowed by the ‘though police’ in his campaign that don’t want to give the McCain people any ‘talking points’ that they can use against him.”

By denying a vigorous public debate that might bring into sharp relief the folly of our empire, Obama’s hacks are guaranteeing the continuance of the historical amnesia that is keeping our the elite in power as our elite.

Pray to God, George, that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) never suffers an epiphany in which they would deliberately provoke outbursts and attacks from McCain so Obama could tear him to shreds, because the truth is that Bomb-Bomb has little to offer other than warmed-over Neocon rhetoric.

If the Cold War warriors of yore beat the bass drum of communism, our new-age warriors are tapping the tin can of terrorism. They has only succeeded because the American public is so conditioned to fear and hate that it will buy into any Manichean fantasy, no matter how vacuous it is.

The truth is that the more a politician speaks of change, the more things will stay the same. Don’t you just love the madness of it all?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tangoing the Tango of the Mad

Dear George,

Put on your dancing shoes and join the Tango of the Mad, a ditzy little dance whose cacophonous racket muffles the screams of a world slipping and sliding into Hell. It’s a patchwork of spastic steps and unbalanced twirls all executed to the discordant notes of a stoned bandoneon player.

There is the amague of the Carter Doctrine which said that, by golly, we’d kick ass to keep that Mideast oil flowing. So we twist and twirl, turn and pirouette to get the oil to feed our military machine so it can procure more oil to enable it to secure the oil it needs to defend the oil it has so it will be able to get even more oil to protect the oil it needs to protect the oil it needs.

This is followed by the media vuelta of the elitist populist shuffle that sheds crocodile tears for the common man to divert attention away from the simple fact that impoverishment is not a byproduct of corporatism, it is its raison d’état. The upward flow of capital is necessary because their ain’t any left! The vault is empty, it’s floor littered with irredeemable IOUs.

The tempo picks up as our elites execute a deft desplazamiento by striking out the “political” in political economy. Yes, George, by removing the economy from the political arena where it would be subject to the whims and wishes of the public, our elite were able to ensconce it in the ivory tower of academia where it became an arcane discipline complete with incomprehensible jargon and meaningless formulas that look really good on paper.

The dance comes to a crashing conclusion with a swift engache as the state and big business copulate on the dance floor to produce the Corporatist State which celebrates its birth by shooting the bandoneon player and burning the dancehall to the ground.

It is a dance that will usher us all into the eternal bliss of oblivion.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Ode to Dick Cheney


Christ, what a trip! One hit on the pipe and there was the Big Dick dancing naked save his wingtips, screaming into a dead phone, “Level it! Level it!” Spinning, spinning to keep the spattering pus off his wingtips while bloodied children sat staring in a circle, waiting for Uncle Dickey to tell them a story ‘til the earth cracked and the eternal flame charred and scorched their skin even as they sat silently waiting for the story to begin ‘til only the black dust of their bones remained and natives fled the dancing wingtips in a rustling, undulating swarm like lice leaving the cooled carcass of the newly dead, and my heart sang songs of potency and power ravaging the dead and breaking the weak to the thrumbulation of fife and drum piping and pounding the cadence of the damned.

Your Prophet

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

God is still hungry.

Dear George,

How many minutes does it take to cut the heart out of a living man with an obsidian dagger? How long to plunge it into his chest and saw the rib cage free of the breast bone? How high is the geyser of blood as the heart is torn free of its arteries? At what point does death close the eyes of the victim?

The Aztecs knew you could only placate the god of empire with human blood. So they engaged in continual warfare just to take prisoners for the sacrifice.

Nothing has changed. The god of empire is just as greedy; he still demands his victims. But, instead of the blood of individuals, he wants the souls of Third World cultures. The Aztecs sacrificed their victims on altars atop pyramids that reached for the heavens. Sacrifices to the contemporary god take place in the favelas of the Third World that fan out from their metropolises.

How long does it take to carve the soul out of a culture?

The Aztecs grounded their bloodlust in the worship of their gods. The contemporary bloodlust is grounded the worship of papier-mâché realities created by academic policymakers. Superstition drove both. An obsidian dagger could kill only one person at a time. A well-formed policy can destroy millions.

Every empire is a culture of death, a culture that puts military and economic supremacy ahead of human life and well-being. The bones of the poor feed the furnace of our prosperity. It is thus that God has blessed America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dreaming the Real

Dear George,

What gives power its bite is its naïve belief that it is grounded in realism when it is actually a supreme act of self delusion. Take, for example, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) that was certain we would fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union, thus enabling us to impose a pax Americana on the world. That was when the expression “sole surviving superpower” became the cliché de jour.

The PNAC underscored another characteristic of power: a complete ignorance of history. Since the Peace of Westphalia, international politics has been characterized by a constantly shifting balance of power. Once one power center threatens to monopolize the scene, other powers, or combination of powers, rise to challenge it. So it is that this balance is being restored by the ascendency of both Europe and Asia.

This shift reveals another characteristic of power: the moment power comes to believe in its own invincibility is the moment it begins its slide into irrelevance.

There are those who claim that both globalization and multinationals have rendered the nation irrelevant. This delusion arises out of a failure to make a clear distinction between power and influence. Multinationals wield influence because of the liberality of their bribes. However, power still resides with the state. The difference between the two is that a political leader can legally execute a CEO. The best a CEO can do is to illegally assassinate a political leader.

Firmly ensconced in its fantasy world, power proceeds to develop its own vocabulary to sugar-coat its malfeasance. Decency is relabeled as appeasement, social justice becomes Neoliberalism and freedom is defined as feral corporatism.

To court power is to court fear, for power ascends only when it leaves enmity and anger in its wake. Kill a man and you live in fear of his children. So you must break and oppress them because with the death of their father they become a potential threat. The more you break and oppress, the more you fear and, consequently, the more you must break and oppress.

This is why the oppressors are such great wall builders. Our contemporary outbreak of wall building represents an unprecedented act of historical regression. Walls are so medieval, yet they are necessary because the industrial warfare that peaked with World War II has descended into irrelevancy. To its horror, the American military has discovered that its industrial war machine is impotent against a popularly-supported insurgency.

This means every dark-skinned “other” is a potential threat and can only be kept out by a wall.

This brings me to power’s greatest paradox: the more powerful a nation becomes, the weaker it becomes. This is why great powers need a constant stream of bullshit and bombast to pump themselves up, and the easiest way for a waning power to pump itself up is to initiate a string of unnecessary and futile wars that can never be won.

A dying power accelerates its self-immolation when it has a simpleton at the helm. So, you were right, George, God did called you to lead America at this time and in this place in history.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Herbicides and Hegemony

Dear George,

I would like to share a few disparate thoughts about our oligarchy.

Our country rode to world domination on the back of an oligarchy composed of our business and political elite. It was they who discovered the paradox of international politics—a weak nation gains strength by devouring other weak nations. Therefore, it is in our national interest to protect our oligarchy and, in doing so, maintain America’s strength and credibility.

One of the functions of the oligarchy is to protect America from her citizens. It must do so because the average American is too decent a human being to be trusted with formulating policy. It takes a tough dreamer to do policy. Your most brilliant policymakers are articulate sociopaths who, had they not risen to the top in business or politics, would have ended their lives as serial killers.

Those who would criticize our oligarchy forget that it serves humanity. It does so by sanitizing nature. Nature is a hotbed of fecundity, chaos and germs. The oligarchy follows in the grand tradition of the nineteenth century Protestant missionaries who civilized the savages by clothing their nakedness. Today, we civilize nature’s savagery by paving it over. As one poet so eloquently put it:

A feral bed of ivy
Is pissing on my grass
Making of my lawn
A cesspool of creation.

The ascent of Man demands a powerful herbicide, and our oligarchy is the one to apply it.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Life is sweet when men rule.

Dear George,

There are two reasons men rule. The first has to do with the talk every mother has with her little girl in which she explains that girls develop faster than boys. What she forgets to mention is that the guys never catch up, to which I say, Thank God!

The world would be a sorry place, indeed, were it not for the eternal adolescence of the male. There would be no capitalism, no corporatism, no conquest, no empire, no porn, no bombs, no navies, no armies, no air forces, and no wars in which the emotionally crippled male could find glory in carnage.

In other words, life would be a monotonous succession of days stripped of the untimely death only conflict can offer.

The bottom line is that peace is a drag queen mincing across the stage, singing discordant songs of love and community. The peaceful life is the empty life lived in a somnolent state in which the greatest challenge is staying awake. There would be no rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in the air. There would only be spacious skies and amber waves of grain as far as the eye could see. Gone would be the stimulation of explosions and the aesthetic chaos of ruin and rubble. No longer would the motherless child pull at the heartstrings.

Were a permanent state of peace to break out, it would spell the end of our prosperity as the machinery of war rusted and went to ruin. There would be no call to sacrifice, no medals or ribbons and no more war movies that glorified, even as they sanitized the face of war.

No, George, we don’t need men touching their feminine side; we need men grabbing their gonads and going out to kick some ass.

Which brings me to the second reason men rule: we’re the poor bastards who have to get it up, and that leads to an awful lot of posturing and bullshit.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lead us, O leader. We fall as you fall.

Dear George,

For someone as jaded and bored as I am, the descent of our empire into hell is the only thing that makes life worth living. How I love to see our idealism curdle as it is distilled into the black bile of decay. How wonderful is it to be lead by leaders so stark raving mad they believe they are on the cutting edge of reality. How stimulating it is to be kept informed by elite pundits whose servility is rewarded by access to power as long as they mouth the approved platitudes.

Liberty’s torch is now a sputtering smudge pot that sends its black murk across the face of the earth choking and blinding all that it touches, while your minions try valiantly to persuade the world that its darkness is the light of freedom, illuminating their shattered lives.

Famine and pestilence stride the land singing your praises as the very god of want and despair. The cry of a hungry child is freedom’s song; the wail of the widow its polyphonic motet. The water board and the hood are its teachers.

You have brought America into a new age of integrity and honesty. The evils of the 50's once committed in silent denial in Iran and Guatemala are now openly broadcasted and bragged about. Evil is now good, and worn as a badge of honor.

And as the crushing boredom of impoverishment closes around the America public, they turn a blind eye to your dark visage and see in you, themselves, for you are an extension of the public’s fear and loathing. Their pathological consumption has eaten away their souls and all that remain are empty shells rattling in the icy wind that blows from the north, so cold it freezes the marrow of their bones and turns their hearts to stone.

Lead us, O leader, and we will follow you to the precipice over which we will find the ultimate freedom that only death can offer.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Musing

Hear, O George, the prattle of my meth-poxed brain:

To wantonly kill for the sake of wantonly killing is evil.
To wantonly kill for the sake of wantonly killing to bring democracy to the world is noble and just.

So, come on America! Let's get out there and kill a haji kid for Christ!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Evil is good when a spokesman speaks

Dear George,

For evil to prevail, those who perpetuate it must be convinced of the fundamental goodness of their acts. They must be adept at sopping up the gore that evil produces with the sands of euphuisms mouthed with a monotone drone that conceals even as it purports to inform.

If properly repositioned, evil becomes a common place banality that is fully integrated into the mundane sameness of our daily routines. With the passage of time, evil acts, no matter how horrendous, lose their ability to shock and move us.

Oh sure, you still have your do-gooders who are unable to adapt to the dynamic changes our culture has experienced over the last seven years. They are Luddites who have dug their heels in against the unstoppable march of progress.

Their latest effort was to gather 110 nations in Dublin, Ireland to hash out a treaty banning cluster bombs. Anyone who thinks America is going to go down that road is sadly mistaken.

The cluster bomb is not an instrument of war, it is an instrument of diplomacy, and diplomacy is all about persuasion. For example, let’s say we want a country to do things our way, and that country refuses to do so. Can you think of a more effective argument to change their minds than maiming their children when they start playing soccer with unexploded bomblets? It sends a powerful message.

Anyhow, 110 nations signed the treaty. We were not one of them.

Some might think us evil for refusing to sign the treaty. Thank God we had a military spokesman on the scene that effectively deodorized our decision. He explained that, “Well we—the number one priority of any country’s military is to defend its country. And if our military planners are determined that these are necessary to protect America’s interests, we—it’s not something were going to unilaterally get rid of (emphasis mine).”

What a wonderful smokescreen he threw up! He didn’t fall back on the old cliché that the West has a long and noble history of bombing natives into submission. Instead, he evoked that most bland of individuals, the military planner. There’s a poetic phrase for you. It is a phrase that reduces evil to the humdrum boredom of endless meetings and thick position papers that dull the mind with the monotonous flow of their syntax.

Our intent isn't to maim children even though we do; we simply want to be prepared for any contingency, such as maiming children to make a point.

What was fascinating about the statement was that embedded within it was a seismic shift that was so subtle the mainstream media missed it altogether. The spokesman didn’t speak about defending “America”; he spoke of defending “American interests.”

Resource wars, we have arrived.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Doing Empire 'cause it Looks Good

Dear George,

It makes no difference who will be our new president; there are certain constants that will remain unchanged: the Corporatist State will thrive and our empire will remain untouched.

The Corporatist State will continue as the Corporatist State because the oligarchy says so!

Our empire, on the other hand, must be preserved even though it is bankrupting us. Ours is a unique empire. Historically, Empires have been profit centers for those who ran them. Ours in the first empire in history to operate at a net loss.

Just as an impoverished society matron refuses to hock her mink coat because it the only status symbol she has left, we cling to our empire because we are a hollowed-out parody of what we once were.

Consumerism has made us a nation of things, not vision. Racism is weakening our economy by driving out the immigrants willing to take the shit jobs Anglos won’t touch. We are a nation of functional illiterates mesmerized by a dumb-downed pop culture. Our economy thrashes about in a St. Vitus’s dance as another bubble pops and we discover that we have no soap left to float another because we are insolvent.

Common sense says dump the empire, but common sense never won an election. No president wants to go down in history as the president who lost our empire, because we are convinced that to lose our empire would be to lose our soul even though holding on to our empire is slowly rotting it away. But when you stand for nothing, appearances are everything.

Sure, we mouth our platitudes about democracy and freedom. But these words have no relationship to their original meanings. Both have been reimaged to mean, “Do as we say, or else!”

Another reason we cling to our empire is that is an important revenue stream for our Corporatists. There’s money to be made in decline. Defense contractors bloat as America shrivels. This is why Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson spent four days touring the Middle East, tin cup in hand, looking for money to keep us afloat.

So, rest assured, George, that whoever takes the oath of office in January will continue the madness. We’ve been mad so long it looks like sane.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, June 9, 2008

History Comes to a Screeching Halt in the Executive Suite

Dear George,

The reason the Corporatist State represents the end point of history is that history is nothing more than the struggle by the elite to control the unwashed masses, and the Corporatist State represents the perfection of this control.

Over the decades the State has subtly, but gradually, created a collective mindset that believes that prosperity and comfort are available to all on an equal basis, even though the exact opposite is true. This illusion of prosperity for all through the obscene availability of easy credit is the blanket that concealed the gradually increasing bifurcation between haves and have nots.

Such a split is necessary for the well-ordered State. With the Corporatist State, we have an ideal situation in which we have a small pustule of the superrich who are serviced by an upper middleclass cohort made up of senior and middle managers who have just enough disposable income to support the illusion that they, too, are among the rich and famous.

It is this cohort and feeds and supports the system. According to one sage, this cohort consists of the five percent whose annual income is over $100,000, but well below the millionaire/billionaire percentile.

The key members of this cohort are the economists who keep alive the theurgy of the Neo-Platonists of yore. They are to Corporatism what the early church theologians were to the rise of a politicized and oppressive Christianity. Like the Neo-Platonist, our economists believe that Corporatism represents the Devine Mind emanating from the World Soul.

Like all the oppressors of history, misery feeds our Corporatists. As the above cited sage puts it:

When factories are closed, or relocated to cheap-wage regions, when pensions are slashed, or stolen, when laws to protect the workers or the environment are defeated, when whole industries are taken over by opportunistic raiders…in sum, when human and planetary misery increase, or promise to increase…corporate valuations jump off the charts and a merry choir of mavens come out of the woodwork to celebrate the good news and help break out the champaign.

The drones, the proles, the ignorant, and all the other oppressed demographics are kept in line by working them to death, driven as they are by the threat of the economic ruin that will be their lot if dare protest their condition.

And singing the praises of our Neo-Feudal society is our compliant media that either marginalizes or ignores dissent even as it praises its oppressors as the benevolent gods without whom the world would sink into a cesspool of freedom and creativity.

Truly, the Corporate Way is the only Way, which is why we are doing all in our power to bomb and slaughter it to the rest of the world, so they, too, can wallow in our illusive prosperity.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Unifying Unity in the Name of Unity

Dear George,

There is a simple sound bite that tells you all you need to know about holding on to power: unity, not community. On the surface they appear to be one and the same. In truth, they are mutually exclusive.

Community is able to deal with diversity; unity deplores it.

Community needs neither symbol nor slogan; unity needs both.

In community, people see things they’d rather not see, hear things they’d rather not hear and smell things they’d rather not smell; unity is scrubbed clean of all that is offensive.

Community is comfortable with debate and dissent; unity demands that we stay on message.

Community is consensus that ascends from the ground up; unity is ideology force-fed from above.

Under no circumstances must a gaggle of proles be allowed to coalesce into a community! Keep them fragmented; bombard them with wedge issues and with real and imaginary threats. Season these with empty platitudes about freedom.

Nothing fragments a community faster than angry patriots with their magnetic ribbons asking God to bless America as we rape, pillage and torture. Every flag flapping from a car antenna is a nail driven into democracy’s coffin.

Both symbol and slogan reduce life to the infantile question of who's with us and who’s against us. In doing so, they sound the death knell on the process of compromise and conciliation between conflicting groups in a pluralistic society that is the foundation of community. It is this pluralism hat must be crushed beneath the dead weight of unity.

One word of warning: Strength is grounded in humility; destruction is grounded in hubris. Since your Neocon handlers are leading you down the path of hubris, remember that your objective is not to achieve victory but to court disaster.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Effecient Mindset of the Efficient Leader

Dear George,

Let’s chit-chat about leadership. It will be idle chit-chat because you are the very personification of the efficient leader. The key word, here, is “efficient.” Not all leaders are efficient. Some, such as those who lead by consensus, are downright inefficient.

The efficient leader is he who gets things done quickly, no matter how dire the consequences of his decisiveness. His unique gifts allow him to take quick action without becoming bogged down in complexities and nuance.

The efficient leader is efficient because of certain force fields that bubble up from the bowels of his soul. It is these force fields that pump him full of the psychic steroids that allow him to transcend the arbitrary social restrictions that bind and imprison the masses.

Let us examine each of these force fields.

· You need a pumped up ego. You can’t lead shit if you don’t believe yourself invincible.
· You gotta dream big dreams of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and all that other bullshit.
· You’ve gotta believe you are “special.” It really helps if you are certain God called you to your leadership position.
· You love being loved unconditionally and have little patience for those who fail to exhibit this love.
· An excessive sense of entitlement permeates your inflated ego. You are who you are because you are entitled to be who you are.
· You are deft at manipulating others in order to fulfill the big dreams you’ve dreamed.
· You are so focused on your mission, or the lack of one, that you don’t give a shit about others.
· Because you are so gifted, you are justifiably haughty and arrogant.

Now, some shrinks might point out that the above force fields are the symptoms of a narcissistic personality disorder as found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-R).

Don’t let it throw you, Big Guy. Just listen to one writer who catalogs all that this disorder has accomplished though history:

Class structures of rich, middle, and poor class; capitalist economic structures which privilege a wealthy few and disadvantage the masses as well as pillage, plunder and seek to master the natural environment; religious hierarchies which promulgate gender inequalities based upon a superior male deity and human male superiority versus female inferiority…(and the list goes on and on.)

The simple, historical fact is that efficient leadership is a malignant mindset, without which the world would be a poor place rift through and through with a freedom bordering on anarchy.

Not everyone with these force fields throbbing through their glands achieve positions of leadership and influence. Some of us who are touched by this force fail to achieve leadership roles because of our love of controlled substances and a casual approach to personal hygiene. For consolation, we turn to our whores, as discounted as they are washed out, upon whom we void our fantasies of power and domination.

And as we pass out on our filthy mattresses, we send a prayer of gratitude up to God, thanking him for those of you atop the pyramid who give order and meaning to our meaningless lives.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, June 6, 2008

Why We're a Nation of Really Great Guys

The Soviets had developed the most modern arsenal, and the 9/11 hijackers were
armed with box cutters, so how could we justify spending more to defeat al-Qaida
than we ever did to combat the communist enemy? That is the third-rail
issue that politicians and the media dread touching because of the national
security hysteria generated after the 9/11 attacks.

--Robert Sheer

Dear George,

The above quote explains why your Neocon minions have a lock on power and will continue to wield it, no matter who wins the election. There ain’t nobody who dares ask why we are bankrupting ourselves with a trillion-dollar defense budget that is giving us weapons that either gather dust and rust or are sold overseas so that when the world blows up, it will do so in style.

It is a truism that the America culture equates strength with military hardware. No matter how frightened we are of our imaginary monsters, we will be strong and resolute as long as we are up to our asses in weapons systems.

Defense spending is a Neocon dream come true. Frail men chained to meaningless jobs in meaningless offices who lead meaningless lives can experience a rush of power and potency when they watch a formation of F-16s cutting the sky with their roar.

The more prosperity weakens them, the more their moral fiber frays in the cluttered boredom of their lives, the more meaning do they find in the slaughter of innocents. The carcass of an infant eviscerated by shrapnel, the screaming mother drenched in the blood of her dead child and the father bound and blindfolded give purpose to their empty lives.

This is why they defend their turf with the frenzy of a wounded animal. It is this frenzy that has the democrats paralyzed. To dare ask why so much money is being wasted on the unnecessary and the useless leaves them open to accusations of “weakness.” In twenty-first century America, a man isn’t a man unless he supports the stockpiling of martial boy-toys.

And the beauty of these boy-toys is that once you got ‘em, you’ve just got to use ‘em. And if there are no real threats out there to justify their use, you make ‘em up.

Iran must not be allowed to develop the bomb! It is meet and right that we be the only threat to world peace. That is the very foundation of our national security strategy. If anyone destroys the earth, it will be us.

So we rattle our sabers and strut the world stage with our hard-ons flapping in the breeze as we drown out the scathing silence of our emptiness with threats and bombast.

The truth is that we are a nation of nihilists who believe in nothing except empty slogans about freedom and prosperity; only fear and hate make our lives worth living.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Ode to Greatness

Dear George,

Greatness always sweeps south, driven by Northern hearts with souls burnt by the ice winds that roar down from the pole; with eyes hardened by long winter nights spent dreaming dreams of glory.

Greatness is drawn by the lush foliage of the south peopled by an indolent brownness that knows neither the value of work nor the value of a dollar nor the value of the wealth buried beneath huts of grass.

Nor does their indolence worship the pinch-faced God of the North with his mighty sword of righteousness that denudes the land to make way for the economic expansion that is his Will.

The Northern heart is drawn to the sands of Arabia flushed green with the petrodollars that pour forth from its barren earth.

The Noerthern mission is a holy mission to baptize the heathen in the ice waters of free enterprise and unhindered capital flow. With the blood of their women and children they make the sign of the cross on their foreheads, and from the pools of blood that coagulate in their decimated villages mighty pyramids rise resting on the shoulders of the poor and the downtrodden who refuse to accept icy baptism from the North.

Our greatness our ability to view the world through the cracked lens of an ideology run amok. We destroy cultures that they may rise again from the dead ready to compete in the open market even though the deck is forever stacked against them.

Long may the north wind freeze our hearts and steel them for the destiny that awaits us as we trod the thorny path of economic suicide in our quest to create the world in our image, which is the only image worth creating even if doing so reduces it to dust.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You light up my life.

Dear George,

You are the shining light that illumines the black miasma of my soul. You are my teacher and my guide, my refuge from the lousy shit I smoke. You are Viagra™ for my soul.

How firm is your grasp of evil. You and your minions realize that pure evil requires a supreme act of self-delusion. A man becomes capable of evil as soon as he convinces himself that God, history and destiny are on his side.

This is the great intellectual shell game that periodically purges the earth of its surplus population. In truth, God doesn’t take sides, history doesn’t give a shit and there is no destiny, only a blind momentum driven by ego, greed and stupidity. But, we are not concerned with truth, only with results. Truth never won a war or an election.

O how beautifully you’ve joined hands with the church to cripple Christianity by reducing Christ’s teachings to happy talk about the “Good News.” Let the people associate Christianity with “happiness” and they will never bother plunging into the pain-in-the-ass work required for redemption. Christ didn’t offer good news; he demanded we destroy our fucking lives by turning ourselves inside out! Thank god nobody listened!

Crusades, George! That’s what we need, scads and scads of crusades! Flogging wedge issues is better than bread and circuses. It distracts the masses and blinds them to the many injustices you have turned loose upon the land.

May God bless you and your manly efforts to exploit the faith while your minions empty the public treasury.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Detroying Stills to Protect Freedom

Dear George,

All too often we find ourselves hoisted by the petard of our buzz words. “Democracy” is an example of this phenomenon. If ever there was a word that has been abused and misused, it is that.

The problem is that the drones are constantly misinterpreting its meaning. Lincoln wasn’t serious when he spoke of “government for the people, by the people, of the people” at Gettysburg. It was pure spin. The Civil War was growing increasingly unpopular and Lincoln saw the speech as a way to rally the public.

Our democracy is the democracy of a paneled men’s club where leather lounge chairs embrace somnolent old men who doze their days away while their servants drive the unwashed mob from its doors with clubs and cudgels.

Ours is the democracy of fine brandy aged for decades in oaken barrels. It is not the harsh, strident democracy of uncut moonshine.

It is our mission as a free country to destroy illegal stills the moment they appear. We didn’t overthrow Mossadegh in Iran or Arbenz in Guatemala or Allende in Chile because they were Marxists, which they were. We overthrew them because they were bootlegging shine.

Now we have Chavez and Morales to deal with. I swear to god, I don’t understand why the ignorant peasants of Latin America insist on setting up their illegal stills. Were it not for the historical amnesia of our citizens, we’d have the same problems.

This amnesia is what makes us such a badass nation. There can be no guilt over past misdeeds if you can’t remember them, and without guilt, there can be no redemption.

Thanks to our poor memory we are able to continue along our imperial path to ruin, while our old men doze in their leather loungers secure in their belief that they are the center of the universe while outside the doors of their club the mob increases in size and the servants grow weary of cracking heads.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, June 2, 2008

Joe Lieberman protects us from reality.

Dear George,

America is a little safer today because Jolting Joe Lieberman is on the job. It seems the good senator took exception to some videos posted on You Tube that depicted, among other things, gratuitous attacks on America troops.

What makes this even more galling is that these videos were posted by Islamic organizations, some of whom were associated with terrorist organizations.

Apparently You Tube has forgotten that the Iraq enterprise is a Hollywood production in which visuals are carefully orchestrated to convey an image of American power and invincibility. It’s bad enough that the Pentagon is forced to list the American dead. We sure as hell don’t need some terrorist group showing our soldiers being killed.

According to You Tube, some of the videos “depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech.”

I only hope that nobody tries to use this criterion to muzzle our right wing pundits or, for that matter, shut down CNN.

Of course, the difference is that the violence and hate we advocate is righteous, while theirs is evil.

Censorship is always selective.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Disarticulating Art for Art's Sake

Dear George,

The well ordered state is one that marginalizes art. Plato knew whereof he spoke when he banned poets from his Republic. The poet inspires, and all too often, this inspiration becomes the soil in which the seeds of rebellion and revolution germinate.

Art grows in the clammy cracks that form on a nation’s fringe where, like a fungus, it takes root and begins to spread its toxins throughout polite society. The successful leader of the corporatist state is he who can neutralize Art before it becomes dangerous

And Art is neutralized when the moment the fringe is commodified. In this, America has been more than successful. One writer laments, “We’ve seen the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness, as Alan Ginsberg put it. The madness of materialism—owning things, possessing things, caressing things in a world or shrinking resources, “peak oil,” water shortages, food riots.”

Things, not thoughts, that’s the answer.

Nothing corrupts the artist faster than the grant and the sinecure. Let our artists earn big bucks for creating esoteric works that define space rather than meaning and our stability is assured.

Concurrent with the commodification of the fringe is the dumbing down of our language. The key weapon in this campaign is the simple sentence consisting of no more than one byte of data that is devoid of nuance and metaphor. Both compound and complex sentences must be consigned to the dust bin; the monosyllabic word must rule!

Literacy endangers. A literate society is one that is exposed to unsettling and dangerous ideas. Here, again, America has a track record of which it can be proud as we have produced a generation of functional illiterates who prefer the mundane images that dance across their screens to the harshness of black print on a white page. One never turns off a television because an idea has caused one to stop and think, but one will sure as hell do so with a book.

Without language the angry songs of the rebel are reduced to inarticulate screams and incoherent lyrics. Because they lack the language to analyze they are forced into a state of drug-induced withdrawal.

Another writer describes the benefits of our functional illiteracy when he says:

Because protest in America has become more symbolic than effective, those in
power can afford to ignore it. Even when the participation in protest is
great, it is of short duration; it does not cause serious economic or political
disruption, and it does not pose a real threat to the established
orthodoxy. After a few hours of peaceful marching, the people pack up and
go back to their lives and everything remains as it was before they came.
Effective protest causes economic and political disruption

Pray that they never learn to compress their anger until its fire becomes a crystalline ball of ice. Fire dissipates; ice radiates. Ice is hard and clear; fire blinds with its heat and smoke.

The Art that no longer expresses no longer endangers the state.

Should the public ever discover that, on the grand scale of geological time, our era of technological wonders will barely register as a cosmic fart made possible by that geological fluke known as the Age of Oil, all hell would break loose. And it is the artist or the poet who will make this connection.

So, let them continue to chase after their sinecures and grants, let them drown their anger in the shriek of the electric guitar, let the young equate rebellion with a fashion statement and you may rest assured that our corporatist state can continue merrily along its path of depraved corruption.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones