Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Left that Left

Dear George,

The reason our corporatists not only cling to power but grow in stature and strength with every election is because both the left and right poles of the political spectrum are mired in delusive dream worlds.

True, our corporatists did let Pollyannas from the far right out of the nuthouse when you were elected. But they’ve screwed things up so badly that our corporatists have thrown their support to Obama as a safe, centrist candidate who will follow orders.

It was a tactical masterstroke. Obama’s candidacy has effectively neutralized the left who are now falling all over themselves to compromise their every ideal just so they can get Obama elected in anticipation of the radical changes he has no intention of making.

You see, the delusive belief that drives the left is that someday the Democratic Party will pay attention to them if they play nice.

It ain’t going to happen. There’s too much money to be made at the center-right, and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) isn’t about to give this up.

According to writer Sunsara Taylor, the Chicago City Council was ready to pass a resolution against an attack on Iran. But, Mayor Daley derailed it by contending that, “Passing a resolution like that puts a lot of burden on [Obama’s] candidacy and injects something that should not be injected.” No doubt that “something” was a principled stand, which is anathema to our corporatists.

The same writer tells us that the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) folks are discouraging massive demonstrations when Democrats convene in Denver. The UFPJ is afraid such a demonstration would be construed as being “anti-Democratic Party.” So they've given their tacit support to your colonial wars in the hope they will pick up some scraps from the DLC table.
It’s the same twisted logic that led Democrats to support your Military Commissions Act just before the mid-term elections so they wouldn’t appear “weak on terrorism.” They really, really wanted to take over Congress so they could change nothing.

So now the left is going gaga over Obama. They look at him and they see another Camelot in the making. They forget that Camelot was a public relations ploy that concealed an administration that nearly got us toasted in a nuclear holocaust and dragged us into that quagmire we now call Vietnam.

What the left still doesn’t fathom is that we have a one-party system, the Corporatist Party. The only thing our elections decide is who gets first crack at the pork.

Just pray that the left doesn’t wake up one day and realize that the only way it will have any impact is to start a second party.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Saying what he never said.

Dear George,

When one of McCain’s aides didn’t say what he denied saying he never said, that another terrorist attack would pump some life into McCain’s campaign, he uttered a truth that was never spoken.

There are two ways we can encourage a terrorist attack: piss off as many people as possible, or be so crushed beneath a sea of data that Osama could send a plain text message with detailed instructions for the next attack and we’d never notice.

After 9/11, the intelligence community was criticized for failing to connect the dots prior to the attack. What critics failed to mention was that it is difficult to connect dots when the paper you’re looking at contains ten-thousand dots.

George, I’m happy to report the situation is even worse than it was in 2001. Thanks to your recently legalized illegal snooping, the goddamn paper has so many dots on it that it’s a solid black. We can no longer find any dots to connect.

One writer summed the situation up when he wrote, “In 2006, the NSA was unable to analyze much of the information it was collecting. As a result, more than 90 percent of the information is was gathering was being discarded without being translated into a coherent and understandable format; only about 5 percent was translated from its digital form into text and then routed to the right division for analysis.”

But, it gets better. According to the above cited writer, inthe wake of 9/11, John “Love those Contras” Poindexter came up with a cockamamie scheme to use information technology to prepare dossiers on all 300 million Americans. Congress put the kibosh on it as being slightly unconstitutional. So the NSA did what it usually does when Congress says “no,” it farmed the project out to private contractors.

Our intelligence circuits are now so clogged with information that Osama could drive a sixteen-wheeler, emblazoned with the al-Qaeda logo, cross country and reports of his progress would be buried in the tsunami of data that floods the Beltway every day.

It’s the same old story. Every new technology inscribes a parabolic curve with an ascent, an apogee and a descent. Information Technology (IT) is no different. We’ve become so sophisticated at data gathering that we’ve reached a tipping point in which it is clogging our arteries

The bottom line is that the more data our intelligence agencies gather, the greater the probability that the terrorist attack the McCain camp denied it ever wished for, will happen.

Self mutilation is a beauty to behold.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Theater of the Commode

Dear George,

All politics is theater, a smokescreen built of empty words and third-rate stage sets. Your mastery of its illusion is why you’re sitting in the Oval Office.

Where once politics flowed from Aristotle, they now flow from MTV; where once image reflected reality, it is now conceals it. The music video with its rapid-fire cuts from scenes lasting no more than a couple of nanoseconds has given birth to the sound bite.

And this is where you have it all over the left. The left suffers from intellectual diarrhea, while the right suffers from intellectual constipation. Thank god tiny turds make the best sound bites.

The Democrats are suckers for the sound bite that comes at them like a spit ball. You let it rip and the next thing you know they are off balance, flailing all over the place trying to hit it back to you.

The sole purpose of the sound bite is to force your opponent into elaborate explanations. The more they expound and elaborate, the sounder the electorate sleeps. A public breast-fed on reality TV and celebrity gossip doesn’t want substance. They want spiffy phrases that are as empty as they are short and concise.

The less meaning a sound bite carries, the more it resonates with the electorate. I would like to suggest the following for the McCain campaign:

A wicker basket is weakest at its strongest point!

Have McCain repeat this over and over. Make it a mantra of his every television spot. Encourage the fringe right shock jocks roar it, their voices heavy with rage and indignation.

In no time, you would have a public incensed over the sorry state of the nation’s wicker baskets, and the Obama camp would be forced to declare their support for a strong national basket.

I mean, hell George, why waste time on substantive issues that require research and thought when a candidate can ride into office on a wicker basket.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, July 28, 2008

Preparing for the End Times

Dear George,

It’s time to tighten the screws ‘cause the shit’s about to hit the fan.

For over twenty years our corporatists have been successfully looting America’s middle and lower classes, which has enabled the elite to experience a level of prosperity unprecedented in human history. Money has flowed like blood down the gutters of Wall St.

It was a wild party, but like all parties, it’s coming to an end.

The miracle of it all is that even as their pockets were being picked, not a murmur of protest was heard from the proles. There were no mass protests and very few strikes. The most amazing thing of all is that the corporatists were able to convince the proles that it was necessary to gut their lives because austerity was needed if America was to maintain its competitive edge. All the time, nobody seemed to notice that even as wages fell, the salaries and bonuses of the elite were swelling to the point of bursting.

Normally, you would expect the peasants to grab their pitchforks and cudgels and storm the castle.

It didn’t happen.

The reason was simple. As the looting took place, the proles were conned into believing they were prospering as well. But it was a illusive prosperity resting on a sea of debt made possible by an artificial and unsustainable increase in real estate values. Who cares if their wages are flat and their benefits have been eviscerated as long as they can buy a big-screen TV and remodel their kitchen because their home is an ATM.

The subprime racket made it possible to sucker the poor into this scam with promises that they, too, could have big screens and new kitchens.

Well, George, the game is coming to an end. The bubble’s popped and the con is losing its luster.

Thank God, our corporatists anticipated this day of reckoning.

You know and I know that the War on Terror, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, FISA, and the Department of Homeland Security have nothing to do with terrorism. They were simply hedges against the day the proles woke up to the fact that they were being screwed.

Rest assured, George, that there will be no New Deal, no strikes, no mass protests and no march on Washington. Our militarized police state will quash this nonsense as soon as it raises its ugly head.

Our corporatists will continue to prosper; the military-security-industrial complex will thrive even as poverty and misery continues to spread.

Ignorant pundits help. They’ve failed to notice something unique about the current presidential campaign, and that is the absence of mud being slung from the right. There’s been a splatter or two, but nothing compared to the Kerry campaign.

That’s because Obama is the elite’s heir apparent. He’s been crowned, and this year’s campaign is little more than a Noh drama intended to delude the proles into thinking that democracy still lives.

One writer summed up Obama’s appeal to our elite by pointing out that:

At the time when the American military industrial complex is despised around the world, [Obama] is a front man out of central casting which will buy it more good will in the first 15 minutes after being sworn in than John McCain could in the next 100 years.

Barack Obama is in short order a far more reassuring prospect for the continued dominance of the financial elite than another four years of neo-conservative rule which in an almost historically unique combination of greed, ill will, incompetence and stupidity have brought the country to the edge of disaster.

With Obama in office, the Corporatist State will continue to thrive even as America goes down the tubes, and the good time will continue to roll.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Death of Free Time

Dear George,

The writer Sheldon S. Wolin must have been thinking of your administration when he wrote:

Inverted totalitarianism marks a political moment when corporate power finally sheds it identification as a purely economic phenomenon, confined primarily to a domestic domain of “private enterprise,” and evolves into a globalizing copartnership with the state: a double transmutation of corporation and state. The former becomes more political and the latter more market oriented.[1]

According to Weldon, this mutant’s favorite methodology is “the tyranny of efficiency and the subversion of democracy’s requirement that time be defined by the requirement for deliberation, discussion, reconciliation of opposing viewpoints, all of which suddenly seem ‘time-consuming.’” (pg. 233)

The quickest way to oppress a people is to demand an increase in productivity. The longer and more intense the workweek is, the less time people have for making trouble.

As Wolin points out, democracy requires free time—time to attend meetings, to get together and discuss issues, to engage in the volunteer work that is the lubricant of democracy. But if people return from work after the sun’s gone down, exhausted and drained, you effectively neutralize the democratic impulse. Whatever private time remains is spent in a state of drained numbness.

Corporatism flourishes when the public’s too exhausted to give a shit.

The disorder of the sixties was the result of too much leisure time. I mean, hell, the thirty-five hour working week was in, and people were getting up to four weeks of vacation time. This gave the public time to look around and ask questions, which led to discussion, which led to debate, which led to dissent.

The market state wisely responded to this disorder by demanding more productivity. Free time was a dangerous black hole that had to be filled. The movement to eliminate free time began by breaking the unions, which were so soft they practically broke themselves. They committed suicide when they failed to call a general strike the moment Ronnie fired the air traffic controllers.

Then the Messiah appeared in the form of Sam Walton. His Wal-Mart stores taught the world the virtue of bottom-feeding that sent manufacturers running overseas to meet Wal-Mart’s outrageous price demands. This drove wages down towards the minimum-wage level, which led to the golden age of productivity as downsizing began in earnest, forcing one man to do the work of three.

Corporate leaders well understood that stress doesn’t spark rebellion, it suppresses it. All a stressed-out drone cares about is the respite offered by booze, TV or bedtime.

Corporatism’s victory is the salient fact that had the minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be $18 an hour.

The beautiful thing is that the drones are too tired to bitch about it.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Wolin, Sheldon S. Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Pg. 238

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Learning unlearned lessons all over again

Dear George,

War is a farce in which the human instinct to fight or flee is systematized and elevated to the level of an absurd burlesque that is as entertaining as it is brutal. But, the greatest farce on the battlefield is the army so mesmerized by its technology and weapon systems that it believes itself invincible.

While such a belief doesn’t guarantee victory, it does guarantee wealthy defense contractors.

Air power is an example of this hubric fascination with technology. In 1921, an Italian army general by the name of Giulio Douhet published his book, Command of the Air. In it, Douhet argued that aircraft, and particularly the bomber, rendered the infantry superfluous because airpower, alone, could bring an enemy to its knees.

The cornerstone of his theory was the terror bombing of civilian populations, which he believed would destroy morale to the point that enemy citizens would rise up, overthrow their government and sue for peace.

One man who really bought into Douhet’s theory was RAF Air Marshall Arthur “Bomber” Harris who introduced terror bombing to German civilians during World War II. The Americans soon followed suit, both in Germany and Japan.

The lesson not learned by World War II was that Douhet’s theory sucked. All terror bombing did was to stiffen an enemy’s resolve, as the Germans learned during the London Blitz. (Be careful about dragging out that old chestnut about Hiroshima forcing the Japanese to surrender. The Japanese had sued for peace before we dropped the bomb.)

Fortunately, one of war’s great paradoxes is that armies are incapable of carrying the lessons learned in one war onto the next. So it was that we tried to bomb Vietnam and Iraq into submission, without success.

Douhet’s theory did have one salutatory effect: Up until World War II, civilian casualties in a war ran around five percent. From World War II on, terror bombing increased that slice of the pie to the ninety percent range. War is even more of a turn-on than ever. Now an old man can really feel pumped when he starts one.

The beauty of hubris is that it is a real shape shifter, ready to attach itself to an infinite range of delusions. And I’m happy to say that our military strategists are on top of the next generation of military madness.

It seems that the progressive forces of neoliberal globalization are creating sprawling slums that have attached themselves to the metropolises of the Third World. This has the Pentagon worried. As one writer explains it, “[A] racist discourse of ‘feral cities’ haunts the imagination of military theoreticians. Considered a ‘breeding ground” of subversion by ruling class economists, politicians and sociologists, the urban battles of the future are being ‘wargamed’ today.’

The wave of the future is to redefine a terrorist as anyone who is both poor and pissed off.

The raucous humor in all of this is the conviction on the part of military planners that with the proper technology, it will be possible for the army of the future to exercise command and control over favelas and other slums that have spread without planning or reason into complex warrens of streets, alleys, tottering high rises and shanties.

The truth is that in doing battle with the slum “terrorists” of the future, military thinking will come a full circle and Douhet will reign once again as our planners discover that the only strategy for neutralizing the favelas will be firebombing them into oblivion.

Wholesale slaughter is the ultimate end product of military technology.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, July 25, 2008

Building a better world through plastic

Dear George,

Technology is a thing of beauty. It soars with the angels as it lifts us up towards a golden age of peace and prosperity. Gone are the days when democracy and freedom were spread by an unruly mob. Today, the process has been sped up and sanitized. A backward country can now be freed in a decade or two, depending upon the thickness of the quagmire involved.

One would be hard pressed to name the innovation most responsible for democracy’s ascendancy. But if I had to pick one, it would have to be the invention of plastic shrapnel. What a shining example of American ingenuity! How much more secure the world is because of it.

The most efficient weapons maim. A carcass bears silent witness and is easily ignored. A maimed man, on the other hand, screams his fear and his agony into the hearts of his comrades. Our M-14 antipersonnel mine, no bigger than a marshmallow, makes very efficient use of plastic shrapnel and was deliberately designed to maim and not to kill.

Not only do you want to maim; you also want to keep the wounded from healing. Here’s where plastic shrapnel really shines. The big disadvantage of the old fashioned metal shrapnel was that X-ray could detect it, thus facilitating its removal, which allowed the wounded to return to action. Plastic shrapnel can’t be detected. Thus, it can’t be removed. The lifetime of pain the poor unfortunate suffers is an object lesson for others on the futility of resisting the greatest power on earth.

But there’s more! Plastic shrapnel is an effective propaganda tools in the war to spread democracy. It is most effective when it is splattered all over children. Their anguished screams are a warning to all who would impede democracy’s inevitable triumph. Their disfigurement is proof of the supremacy of the American Way; their scars proclaim our righteousness.

If we are to bring peace on earth and goodwill to men, we must be a tough country. We must not flinch from inflicting pain, and we must find meaning in the suffering of children.

Did not our Lord command us to suffer the little children unto him?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Understanding Obama and Loving Him for It

Dear George,

I finally understand what the Obama phenomenon is all about. He is not the new JFK; he is not the fresh wind of change that will sweep through the befouled corridors of the Beltway; he is not the smoldering torch that will unite America.

No, George, he is none of the above. He is the Judas Goat leading progressives to that slaughterhouse of progressive ideals, the “center”, a center that is not static but is constantly shifting to the right as it is drawn in by mighty vacuum that is our neocon ideology.

But his greatest coup is sucking the progressive blogosphere into the center.

Thousands of progressive bloggers convened on Austin, TX last week for the annual Netroots Nation convention. As one writer noted, “Liberal bloggers are notorious dissenters and critics of mainstream Democratic politics, but there there won’t be much of that on formal display in Austin…The singular goal of the Netroots Nation…is to emphasize unity and help win control of the White House come November.”

Do you appreciate the full implication of what happened in Austin, George? Progressives have dumped civil liberties and embrace Obama’s yea vote on FISA in the mistaken belief that once he is in the White House he will move back to the left.

It’s a sweet dream, and like most sweet dreams, it doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell of being realized. Obama has shown an amazing willingness to dump anything that may hinder his climb to power, be it a former pastor or his formerly progressive positions.

Once in the Oval Office, he will continue to dance to the tune piped by his corporate handlers, and his only “change we can believe in” will be to put a smiley face on the status quo.

Democracy went belly up when sophisticated marketing replace the political campaign. Obama is simply the newest and freshest manifestation of this trend. He is cleverly repositioning himself as a GWB lite.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

God Bless Gen. Turgidson!

Dear George,

The one movie I can watch over and over is Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Here is a movie that absolutely resonates with the martial patriotism that has made us what we are today. It is the cinematic manifestation of that inspiring war cry of the fifties and sixties, “Better dead than Red!”

Whoops, I forgot! The movie came out in 1964, during your stoner phase, so you probably don’t remember it. Allow me to give you a quick synopsis.

The patriotic commander of a Strategic Air Command (SAC) wing, Gen. Jack Ripper, rightfully concerned with the commie-sabotaged water that is diluting his precious bodily fluids, cuts through the red tape that hampers decisive action, and sends his bombers off to nuke the commies. In the end, the world is destroyed and the communist menace is cut off at its knees.

Ripper is a true American hero. But, in my eyes, the real hero of the movie is Gen. “Buck” Turgidson, brilliantly portrayed by George C. Scott. Turgidson makes an argument that should have been the bedrock of our foreign policy. He quite correctly points out that as soon as the first bomb falls, the Soviets are going to be really pissed, and World War III will be on, whether we like it or not. So, why not hit them with everything we’ve got and be done with them.

Sadly, he didn’t prevail.

So you can imagine the tears of jingoistic joy that streamed down my cheeks when I read the following statement from your minion, John Bolton

We should be intensively considering what cooperation the US will extend to Israel before, during and after a strike on Iran. We will be blamed for the strike anyway, and certainly feel whatever negative consequences result, so there is compelling logic to make it as successful as possible.

That, George, is the sound of America singing.

Just think of it, another big war in the making. As soon as the Israelis hit Iran, Iran’s going to sink our carrier taskforces in the Persian Gulf and we’ll have the Pearl Harbor the neocons have been pining for. (It’s time for a new one since 9/11 is starting to fade from the public’s memory.)

War is capitalism writ big. The Great Seal of the United States explains it all. There is a reason it shows a pyramid whose apex is the eye of God. That’s all the proof we need to convince us that wealth and power are signs of God’s blessing.

What is war other than sacrificing the proles at the base of the pyramid so its apex can enjoy the bounties of God’s multiple blessings?

War is the ultimate con. When the blood dries and the gore turns to dust, that is when the carnage is glorified in word and stone. As the paeans are sung and the monuments built, memories of the misery and suffering fade and the next generation is pumped to repeat the madness. Just as the teats wag the boar, so does war wag the proles.

This is why we need men like John “Buck” Bolton. They inflame and inspire, making sure that America will continue to enjoy the prosperity that only turgid defense contracts can bring.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Early Death and the Greening of America

Dear George,

Health care! Health care! Health care! That’s all people whine about these days (other than losing their jobs, their homes and their pensions.) All of this agitation for health care and health insurance is reaching a tipping point. If it is allowed to fester and grow, it could further undermine our economic prosperity.

Fortunately, you have two things working for you: an economic meltdown and the Shock Doctrine. Now that the public is all in a dither over inflation and plunging real estate values, the time is ripe for a bold initiative that would solve the health care problem once and for all.

Very simply, cancel health care all together. Close the hospitals and send the nation's physicians overseas. Keep just enough in place to care for the one-percent who matter.

It is time to step back and allow death to find its natural ebb and flow. Biologically, we are programmed to live into our forties. Anything past that is tantamount to giving God the finger.

Look at what is happening now: a poor fart is pumped full of medication that enables him to survive into senility so he can pass his golden years strapped to a wheel chair in the corridor of a run-down nursing home, screaming demented obscenities while pissing in his diaper.

Show the public the beauty of natural death. Better yet, call it “green death.” Put together an ad showing a man in his prime, passing over to the other side in the comfort of his own bed, the bed in which his children were conceived. Those children, now grown, surround him, their grief tempered by the prospect of an early inheritance, an inheritance made possible because his estate has not been sucked dry by exorbitant medical expenses. His dutiful wife sits by his side, placing cold compresses on his fevered brow. His dying body is pure, uncontaminated by harsh chemicals or medications. Soft music plays in the background; a spotlight illuminates his peaceful face as he quietly slips into the arms of eternal sleep.

Christ! It makes you want to run out and croak!

Early death is the American way. It is the ultimate exercise of personal responsibility. Only the selfish would beggar their families by clinging to life. And the up-side is that early death solves the Social Security problem. Cancel health care and you cancel retirement.

Ah George, life is sweet down here in the muck of apathetic detachment, supine in the shadow of the mountain of compassion. O brother, why bother going up?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dreaming Dreams of Delusion for Fun and Profit

Dear George,

Gotta love your neocons! Not only have they divorced the intellect from reality, but they have managed to sell their delusion as truth.

Their premise is simplicity itself: America was founded on universal principles. Therefore, it is our moral duty to introduce these principles to the world, whether the world is ready or not.

And they are so right. Greed and exploitation are universal ideas that resonate throughout history with the dissonant clank of a broken bell. The neocon genius is equating these virtues with democracy and freedom.

They believe the world sees our power as benign, just as the wife-beater believes his wife is grateful every time he blackens her eyes and splits her lip.

They believe nothing expedites policy better than force.

And they are right. Pirates need the cutlass and the twenty pounder to execute their policies.

Working through their missionaries in the World Trade Organization (WTO), they are teaching the natives all there is to know about the democratic exploitation of assets and resources. At the same time, the natives learn about freedom of mobility as they are forced off their land and into the urban slums with their manifold economic opportunities.

Being idealists of the highest order, the neocons have no use for the messiness of realism. They cling to their dream of a unipolar world dominated by the United States, even though history since the sixteenth century has shown that international politics are either bipolar or multipolar.

I can understand why you are so drawn to them. They have intellectualized and marketed fantasy. This makes you brothers under the skin.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, July 20, 2008

...and the beat goes on


It’s the deranged roundelay of rusted sabers glistening in the smog in which the lie speaks truth and truth lies as the lie becomes gospel while cackling old men snort oil dust by the barrelful by the dawns early light of blazing funeral pyres where children cry in hunger as their ashes float into the arms of their loving God who dips his thumb their ashes to smudge the sign of the cross on the old men’s forehead as they scream orders through their megaphones to empty drones circling the deserts, hunched over their game boards moving broken pieces from one shattered square to the next while in the basement machinery groans and shrieks as parts rust and break to the booming beat of martial music while troubadours screech in the background their cries muffled by the bored trumpets sounding the call to arms.

It’s a turnturnturn on, georgee.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farts, Bubbles and Finance Capitalism

Dear George,

It’s getting really tiresome, all this talk about bubbles: dotcom bubbles, housing bubbles, asset bubbles, commodity bubbles, equity bubbles, everyone of them no different than the bubbles blown by little boys farting in a bathtub.

All these little bubbles prove that corporatism is a form of dementia that stumbles from bubble to bubble until bubbles run out, and then it starts a war someplace to cut its losses.

Bubble pursuit is little more than mob psychology at work. The mob that springs up around a speculative bubble is like a class of fifth graders when a substitute teacher shows up. Discipline and order go out the window.

As Chuck Prince, the head of Citigroup, explained, “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will get complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to dance.”

Immaturity is habit forming, the easy money that pours from a bubble before it pops, addictive. Greed reduces the strongest of men to a babbling idiot. The result is the emergence of a capitalism that is more burlesque than rational asset allocation, a sad spectacle of an aged stripper bumping and grinding her distended belly in a vain effort to conjure up the eroticism of youth.

All of the bubbles must be constantly inflated to support the meta-bubble that depends on them all. According to one writer,

Consumer civilization is the ultimate bubble, the extrication of individual desires for growing material comfort from the Earth’s intrinsic ability to support billions—and then even additional billions yet to join us--addicted to scurrying around on four wheels to do some more shopping. All other bubbles are mere epiphenomena of this fundamental misreading.

Consumer spending constitutes seventy percent of our GDP. Red ink kept that one afloat. But with plastic maxed out and homes mired in negative equity, our meta-bubble is slowly deflating.

The beauty of this is that whatever lessons our corporatists learn from the current crisis will be quickly forgotten when the next bubble begins to rise in the east.

The child lives in the pinprick “now.” In this eternal present, experience is a dead albatross that is more curse than blessing. The moment the child enters the world of speculative finance, he sheds the corpse.

But when you get right down to it, George, life is a fucking bubble—you’re born, you inflate and one day, you pop.

So, why sweat it?

Your admirer
Belacqua Jones

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Piety of Violence

Dear George,

Last night the Angel of the Lord came to me during a hallucinatory episode and explained the symbiotic marriage between Christianity and violence.

In speaking of Christianity, we must distinguish between Christians and followers of the Way. Christians hide behind the ramparts of dogma; followers live their faith. Followers are dangerous for in their efforts to transcend the Christian culture of death they, like all madmen, seek clarity of vision. And as we know, violence curdles in the bright light of truth.

Wisely, history has marginalized these followers, allowing just a few of them—St. Francis and Martin Luther King—to gain prominence, thus giving the impression that the church is peopled with followers.

Were any attention paid to the followers, they could ruin everything. Here is an example of their negativity from one of their theologians:

The American churches more often than not have been among the most menial, manipulated and degraded vessels of the power of death.[1]

Fortunately, few people have read him.

As a servant of death, the church’s main function is to profane the Way by reducing it to a rigid dogma that leads people away from God. The Spirit is fossilized and rendered harmless while falsehood is recast as truth. Alexander Solzhenitsyn understood this when he wrote:

Let us not forget that violence does not exist by itself and cannot do so; it is necessarily interwoven with lies. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principle.

Christianity brings purity to violence. Slaughter is always easier when done in the name of God because lies taste better when flavored with scripture.

You’ve got a lock on it, George.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] William Stringfellow

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Imperial Inefficiency

Dear George,

What makes empire so much fun is its twisted logic. Most logic proceeds in a linear fashion from premises to conclusion. Imperial logic turns in on itself and devours its logic as quickly as it expounds it, like a snake eating its tail.

Our empire is a prime example of this circularity.

One of the factors that led to the creation of the Roman Empire was a need for grain, a need that became particularly sharp after the soil on Rome’s seven hills was exhausted.

It was here that we first see the paradox of empire at work: An army must consume the very resource it is out to conquer. Efficient empires keep this consumption to a level that does not impact on the flow of resources into the empires capital.

Well by God, George, wouldn’t you know that the United State would be unique among empires? That’s what makes us such an exceptional nation.

Our empire is driven by a need for oil, but our military conquests are burning up so much oil it is contributing to a shortage of the very oil we are out to conquer, so we are forced to burn even more oil so we can continue to seize it from our foreign subsidiaries. Eighty percent of the military supplies shipped to the battlefield is fuel.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, alone, our empire burns 3.5 million gallons of oil daily. This works out to 1.3 billion gallons a year. (At four buck a gallon, I’m afraid to do the math.)

Yet, despite this heavy drainage, the wars are bracing examples of capitalism at work. The longer the wars last, the more our oil companies are enriched. Not only are they making big bucks selling oil to the Pentagon so it can go out and conquer more oil for them to sell, but the diversion of oil to our war machine makes oil more expensive on the home front. It’s an example classic capitalism in which profits are internalized, and the costs (of waging the wars of conquest that provide the oil) are externalized.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Tonight before you crawl between the sheets, drop to your knees and pray that some wise-ass bureaucrat in the Department of Transportation doesn’t figure out that it would be a hell of a lot cheaper and burn a lot less fuel to fly a trade delegation over there to cut the best deal they could.

Not to worry though, such a thought is an example of common sense, and empires don’t do common sense. That’s why they end up self destructing.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Environmental Degradation and Man's Destiny

Dear George,

My, my, how the problems and crises are piling one upon another as the outlook dims and it seems as if homo sapiens is ready to exit stage right. There’s climate change, peak oil, over population, and a food and water crisis.

Quite frankly, George, the above are not crises, they are economic opportunities. Taken together, they represent the final triumph of capitalism. Each and every one of the above opportunities points to a single solution that will maximize their benefits: further environmental degradation.

Think about it. What is capitalism all about: it’s about the accumulation of capital through the maximization of profit. And profit is maximized by cutting expenses to the bone. This means that the more the population is reduced through resource scarcity, war and famine, the more expenses are cut. Wholesale extinction is the ultimate act of downsizing.

As resources shrink, they will become more expensive, which means they will accrue only to the few who can afford them. All others will be downsized. This and this alone, is the ultimate end point of history.

Prissy scientists are telling us that the only way the species will survive is if we reduce CO2 emissions to a part per million (ppm) of 350. They are currently at 385.

You and your cronies know this is pure bullshit. Man’s survival demands that we goose the CO2 ppm up to at least 1500. Rising seas, desertification, violent storms and death-dealing heat waves will cull the heard and will insure that only the fittest will survive (the fittest being, of course, those who can afford the shrinking resources.)

Let me tell you what man’s destiny is George; it is to congregate in the world’s greatest gated community that will sit atop the last remaining sea of oil in the Middle East. There the only sound will be the hum of air conditioners while the world’s last aquifer is used to turn the community into a tropical paradise.

Hard against the thick walls of this community will be the world’s last surviving favela where the few poor who survived mow the lawns and cater to the decadent desires of the wealthy. The only well-fed among the poor will be the enforcers who keep the poor in line. Booze and the women of the poor will keep the enforcers sedated and happy.

Few people realized what a visionary you were when you pulled us out of the Kyoto Protocol. Even now, environmentalists scoff at your advocacy of off-shore drilling. They scoff because they don’t share your vision of the ultimate capitalist society in which all that remains of life is a spreadsheet covered in black ink.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sameness we can believe in.

Dear George,

I’m glad to see that Obama is turning out to be one of “ours.” It was a little scary when it looked as if he would openly challenge the need for our imperial-military-corporate complex.

Our fears were groundless. For all his talk about “change your can believe in,” the only change Obama is interested in is putting a smiley face on the status quo. He fully understands that the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) has nothing to do with Pax America or US hegemony and everything to do with corporate global hegemony. And he’s behind it one-hundred percent.

Parts of his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, reveal a traditional Cold War mindset. He bought into the delusion that the Soviet Union was ready “to spread its totalitarian brand of communism.” What he touts as the spread of freedom to counter this threat was nothing more than the naked exercise of corporate power to neutralize an attempt to develop an alternative to the excesses of capitalism. Of course in the process all the Soviets managed to do was create a state-run capitalist order. An elite is an elite whether he works the state or a multinational.

Obama has nothing but praise for Woodrow Wilson’s messianic idealism that sought to bring corporate democracy to the world so the right sort of people could enjoy its benefits.

There is a beautiful irony at work in Obama’s admiration of Wilson. Wilson’s secretary of state, Robert Lansing believed that “the African race are (sic) devoid of any capacity for political organization [and] possessed an inherent tendency to revert to savagery and to cast aside the shackles of civilization which are irksome to their physical nature.”

Obama’s candidacy is actually a boon for the status quo. The public is becoming bored with all the pinch-faced righties skulking along the corridors of power. Obama will bring a youthful joy to these self-same corridors and in doing so, will create the illusion of change where there none exists, and our pundits will continue to go gaga over the seismic change Obama represents even though the earth remains motionless.

If Obama wins, we may rest assured that the Corporate State will continue along its path towards self-destruction.

It is truly wonderful how the media has reduced our elections to beauty contests that will be won by the candidate with the savviest consultants.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, July 14, 2008

Living a Dead Dream

Dear George,

In times of corruption and violence, the losers are the dangerous ones. Those who wield power can only do so to the extent that they are encased in a delusional bubble that magnifies both their strength and their superiority. Losers have no such bubble, hence they see with a clarity that ultimately becomes their strength.

Technological superiority blinds the powerful. They function under the mistaken belief that a laptop in an air-conditioned command center located in the American desert is sufficient to defeat a rag-tag insurgency. It believes the vanquished to be inferior to it even as the vanquished continue to tear at its flanks. What the great power dismisses as mosquito bites is really the introduction of the virus of defeat into its bloodstream.

The vanquished fight for their homes; great powers fight for the corporate bottom line. Eventually, great powers tire and go home.

Iraq is the last hurrah of a white-Anglo global domination that peaked in the late nineteenth century and has been in decline ever since. The white-Anglo mind set is the corpse in the room everyone ignores. So its wake goes on and on because nobody will admit that it’s dead, no matter how badly the carcass begins to reek.

Still, the dream of a Pax Americana continue to float heavenward as even more bombs fall from the sky, each bomb making of the dream a parody of itself.

Dreams of glory die hard, George. They need enablers like you to keep them alive, no matter how weakened their state. In the end, all that is left of the dream is a Hollywood soundstage on which the good guys in white hats vanquish the bad guys in their black hats, while outside freeways clog and children go hungry.

Help us live the illusion, Big Guy. It’s all we have left.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nobility and the America Way

Dear George,

It’s long overdue, this golden age of royalty we are entering. You have shown us that only nobility is fit to rule with its well-honed intellect and its impeccable bloodlines. And the best leaders are those who represent the endgame of a bloodline when the genes have weakened and the leader is a willing pawn his handlers can move across the game board with impunity.

We owe it all to our neocons who wax nostalgic over that golden age of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when nobility ruled and the peasants knew their place. It was a bracing time when the only beverage safe to drink was either fermented or distilled. I have no doubt this is what gave that era its verve and color. It certainly gave rise to those noble virtues like drawing and quartering, burning at the stake and breaking on the wheel.

It was an age of perfect order and stability when society wallowed in the peace and harmony only a strict hierarchical order can bring. It was an age of social harmony if one ignores the thousands of peasant revolts, such as the one led by Gyorgy Doza in 1514 in which thousands of the Hungarian nobility were impaled and crucified.

It was an age when personal responsibility ruled. War and famine culled the herd insuring that only the strong survived. There were no food banks or walk-in clinics. A man either toughed it out or he croaked.

And forged secularism; a man’s choice was the church or the stake.

It wasn’t like today when whiny-wacos weep over the state of the unemployed and the hungry. It’s time for America to get regal and real. The assembly line worker who followed his father and grandfather into Ford’s River Rouge plant is personally responsible when he loses his job because Ford cuts back on production. The fault is his for choosing that career instead of medical school.

You are the first in what will soon be a long line of hereditary rulers. England has its House of York and its House of Lancaster; we have our House of Bush and our House of Clinton, with the occasional interloper filling in the gaps.

O George! Let us put an end to the democratic charade we call an election. Heredity is a much cheaper way of selecting our leaders. Some worry over what our media would do without the nonissues a presidential campaign provides. Well, hell! That’s what you have wars for. They are the American version of bread and circuses.

May your reign be eternal.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Taming the Prophet

Dear George,

One of your legacies --one of the many legacies for which your name will live forever--will be your success at getting religion back into the barn where it can’t cause any more trouble.

It’s been a rough forty years since religion kicked down the barn door and fled the stable of propriety. Look at all the trouble it caused: civil rights, the peace movement and chants of power to the people,. It was running all over the pasture, creating instability and unrest everywhere it went.

The trouble is that the cross Jesus is always talking about taking up is a real destablizer. It brings the riff-raff to the table; it makes empire impossible; it has no use for power; and it loves diversity. The voice of the prophet raging against the injustice of kings is a thorn in the side of any leader.

Historically, the easiest way to silence a prophet and to get religion back into the barn, is to give the prophet political influence. As soon as he sits down at the table, the prophet is defanged as he begins to dance to the king’s song. His cries for justice become cries of bigotry and intolerance. Where he once embraced the unwashed, he now incarcerates or deports them. He calls for a Christian nation run by Christian whitemen and for the damnation of anyone who refuses to accept the one pure and true doctrine.

Make the pious powerful and they will stamp out the last vestiges of democracy in their zeal to manifest God’s word on earth. A dark spirit moves them, giving them a force and energy few politicians are capable of. The fire of fanaticism burns in their eyes, making of them avenging angels who will cut down all in their path.

Channel and direct their energy, George, while you stand in the background, your trademark sheepish grin on your face, mouthing your tepid platitudes.

May the Force be with you.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, July 11, 2008

Singing Anxiety's Praises

Dear George,

Last night, astride a wafting column of sacred smoke, I meditated on all you have accomplished over the last seven-plus years. At the same time, I contemplated the various dynamics that have made your machinations possible. And as I turned each one over in my meth-befogged brain, one stood out from all the others like the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Wise Men to the manger.

And that shining star, that beacon that has made your administration possible is anxiety.

Power belongs to him who can effective use anxiety as an instrument of social control. Because the proles cannot stand the persuasive non-threats that anxiety feeds on, they seek the stability of escapism. Disneyworld never changes, and that is their succor and comfort.

This same dynamic produces short-term thinking. When the future looks like shit, they stay in the eternal present that lacks both a past and a future. For the anxious, the world shrinks and is reduced to the mantra, “I’ve got mine!” as they try desperately block their ears to the coda that whispers, “…for now.”

Anxiety has a bracing effect on organized religion. In the face of it, the church jettisons God and replaces Him with a pathological need for a dogmatic fortress. This creates the siege mentality in which all that is different is seen as a threat.

Forget the Good Samaritan crap! Everything has changed since Jesus mouthed that fantasy. It’s a new world, with new challenges requiring new answers. In a world threatened by our over-heated imaginations, the only viable response is untrammeled aggression. It is a world that demands torture, not treatment. Our ramparts must be earthen works of violence. We must rain fire upon the earth, purging it of its impurities as we create for our Old Testament Jesus a sanitized world fit for His return.

Keep ‘em off balance, George. Let them have faith in nothing. Strip them of all touchstones of certainty that they might embrace the empty and the vacuous with greater vigor. Let their jobs be swept away; let their children seek meaning with the pierced and the inked in the Holy Temple of the Mall. Let them see in the evening news the many threats, unseen and unreal, that strangle their peace of mind.

Let them taste the truth that ours is a feral economy that does not hesitate to devour their children.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Visioning the Vision of a Brave New World

Dear George,

These days, the words "Congress" and "cave" are used in the same sentence so often, it would be easier to combine the two and simply refer to our legislature as the "Congcave." Thanks to you, we no longer have a legislative branch of government; we have an adjunct of the Oval Office. For all practical purposes, both the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader are members of your cabinet.

On Wednesday, the Senate courageously stood its ground and gave you the FISA legislation you wanted, complete with legal immunity for the telecoms that broke the law at your request.

I see Obama was right there keeping America safe by pissing away her civil liberties. Now, there’s change you can believe in.

Isn’t the threat of terrorism a gas? It’s got the Democrats in such a dither they squat and ask, “What Color?” every time you say, “Shit!”

Such a craven need for security is the norm for a nation taught to believe that body odor is a fate worse than death, and that bad breath is a form of leprosy.

You haven’t just killed the New Deal and democracy, you’ve killed the whole pain-in-the-ass Enlightenment. The flatulent swelling of your gut has replaced reason.

I recently read a piece that spelled out all the reasons Cheney won’t attack Iran. It covered all the standard reasons: the Joint Chiefs are opposed to it because our military is stretched to the breaking point; Iran would seal the Strait of Hormuz; oil would spike to somewhere between $200 and $500 a barrel; and America would be paying $12 a gallon for at the pump.

It is all true, George. It is also totally irrelevant. You are a man of messianic vision, and such a vision renders rational though irrelevant. All the factors the above writer cited as potentially destructive were we to invade are, in your eyes, benefits.

You’re an oil man, Big Guy. Of course you’d love to see oil at $500 a barrel! All your cronies would be in hog heaven. Of course the country would be plunged into financial ruin. What better excuse could you find to jettison what remains of our safety net?

You are our first transnational president whose primary loyalty is to the global multinationals that created you and put you where you are today. Your predecessors have all been chained to an archaic concept of America as a “land of the free” and a “home of the brave.”

You have broken those chains. America is no longer a land; it is a marketing tool that is invoked to enrich your plutocracy.

That, George, is the legacy that will engrave your face on the marble backsplash of the corporate urinal, which is all that is left of America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In Our Name

Dear George,

I give you Exhibit A:

At a moment of serious challenge, battered by two wars, ballooning debt, and a faltering economy, the United States seems to have lost its capacity to think clearly.

Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous shift in phrasing reveals volumes. But, I’m not going to point this shift out to you right away. First, I’m going to take you around the barn a couple of times.

Americans are go-getters, hard working and ambitious. They are fueled by a dynamic that knows only building and growth. To them, nature is a shopping mall waiting to happen; a forest is a future condo waiting for the financing to be approved. The American psyche knows only accumulation and commercial development.

This describes, at best, five percent of the population.

The remaining ninety-five percent are content to live quiet lives centered on friends and family. They could care less about empire or conquest and rarely bother to follow the ups and downs of the Dow. All they want is contentment.

Perhaps the greatest PR coup in history has been to conflate the actions of a rogue corporate state with “America.” To be accurate, the above quote should have said, “…America’s rogue elite has lost its capacity to think clearly.”

The brilliance of this conflation is that it makes it so much easier to accuse critics of our rogue corporate state of being “unpatriotic,” because their attack on a coterie of rapacious old men is spun as an attack on the fundamental American values that these old men are trashing.

We have reached that ideal state in which our government has completely severed its ties with the American people even as it commits act after act of evil in their name.

Granted, the public has certainly contributed to this situation. They have allowed themselves to be seduced by the need to work two or three jobs to keep their heads above water; they have spent too much time wandering he malls of America or sleeping soundly in the warm embrace of American Idol. Their conviction that they are free citizens has made their gradual enslavement all that easier because they mistake consumption for freedom.

It’s all high comedy, George. Especially now when we have a gaggle of old men engaged in a bureaucratic turf war that may end with our attacking Iran for no good reason other than a morbid desire on their part to court disaster. Once again, another bull turd will lead to another war crime.

And all of it in the name of the United States of America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feeding Freedom

Dear George,

Power wears a noble mask. The uglier its face, the thicker the mask must be. Ours is history’s thickest.

We have unleashed upon the world the monster of Freedom’s March. It is a unique beast that frees by crushing. It has a highly refined sense of smell that can pick up the scent of oil oceans away, even though it is buried deep in the bowels of the earth.

It is attracted to oil because oil is its food and its sustenance. Without a daily fix of copious amounts of oil, Freedom’s March would grind to a halt and the world would remain trapped beneath the yoke of an oppressive peace.

The monster is ordained by God to lift this yoke from the people’s shoulders and to usher them into a new age of economic growth and grinding poverty. (The monster feeds only its owners; all others, it consumes.

The monster loves striking from the air for it knows freedom marches best when it rains death, destruction and fire down upon the innocent, thus snapping the chains that bind them.

It is a messianic mission that makes straight the way for the Messiah of economic development to enter Jerusalem astride its M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle while the faithful shout their hosannas as they lay their dead children in its path.

Such a noble mission is possible only if it is supported by legions of ideological retards who have abandoned the sharp rocks of reality for the fuzzy fantasies of world domination.

It is a futile effort to visit an imperial upgrade upon a world that really doesn’t want it. This futility is the source of its nobility, because to the ideological retard, short-term self destruction is a stimulating addiction. As the descent picks up steam the stimulation becomes almost sexual.

Don’t let Freedom’s March die, George. Find another excuse to keep it well fed and fat. Monsters don’t do diets.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, July 7, 2008

...and a little cockroach shall lead them.

Dear George,

It’s all winding down. Creaks and groans are heard from deep in the machinery as screws pop and rods break. It fills the air with a blue haze and fouls the waters with its effluvia. The great human enterprise is grinding to a halt.

Some claim that man’s ingenuity will save us, and that we will find the technological silver bullet that will allow us to continue to merrily motor from mall to mall.


Cosmos to earth!

What in the fuck has technology done for us recently, other than create ecological destruction on a grand scale, slaughter millions and put mankind under the threat of nuclear annihilation? Hell, George, Auschwitz was a shining example of technical innovation.

Add to that the fact that in a corporate society, innovation and profit are so tightly bound together that the idea of technology taking a loss to serve humanity is absurd. As one economist observed, “It may not be profitable to slow decline.”

Then there’s another question: What has humanity done in the last 4,000 year to deserve survival? On the whole, we have a pretty shitty track record. Sure, we’ve made gargantuan advances in medicine, advances so sophisticated that medical treatment is becoming too expensive for an increasing number of people. But, I wonder if we compare the number of people saved by modern medicine with the number slaughtered by increasingly sophisticated weapons of mass destruction which way the scale would tip.

I think we might be in the red.

Religion reassures us that God won’t let us go down the tubes because He gave us dominion over the earth. And that is correct; we did have dominion, briefly. Then Eve went apple picking. If you read God’s curse on Adam and Eve, it’s obvious that we lost our dominion and became just another derivative species. For that matter, it is our deluded belief that we have dominion over nature that has gotten us into this mess.

As I have pointed out in previous letters, there’s no law that says the next Messiah can’t be a cockroach.

Samuel Beckett caught the spirit of our age when he said, “Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.”

In the face of pending human extinction, there is but one course for the enlightened leader to take—maximize profits. Spreading misery kills time while we wait for the final Fall.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Most Perfect State

Dear George,

The upside of the emergence of the corporate state has been the concurrent emergence of a corporate democracy that sanitizes and brings under control an unruly and unpredictable rule by the unwashed, of the unwashed and for the unwashed.

Corporate democracy elevates freedom from a diffuse force that focused on social welfare to one that is focused solely on corporate welfare. Citizens become employees who are rewarded to the extent that they hue to corporate policy and marginalized if they deviate from it.

Society’s rebels, artists and poets are reduced to court jesters who are allowed to insult and criticize royalty with impunity because they constitute no threat to the established powers.

Dissent is muffled because the state is able to maintain the illusion of prosperity through the inflation of a succession of asset bubbles, which give rise to the individual bubbles that embrace members of the underclass, thus making them unaware of the oppression under which they are living.

Multiple cars sit in the driveway and the central air is keeping the heat and humidity at bay. The plasma TV works and the electronic gadgets are scattered throughout the house. Each and every thing, each toy, each blinking light and beeping finger pad confirms that all is well, even though the only freedom the drones have is the freedom to enjoy their toys until they become bored with them and need a new set of toys to keep them distracted.

They are so free that they no longer need worry about civic participation. They can leave that to the experts who know better than they do what they need to be happy. A few of them might drag themselves to the polls to elect a new slate of “experts,” but most of them think an expert is an expert so it doesn’t really make any difference who’s in charge.

In a corporate democracy, an expert in no way implies expertise; it simply means one has seized the reins of power. An expert can be dumb as dishwater and still be considered an expert through the miracle of media spin, as you have so amply demonstrated.

It is thus that they are complicit in their own oppression as they exhibit the approved behavior patterns and thoughts implanted and embellished by school, church and media. Debate is dismissed as divisiveness because the one virtue the corporate state values is a total unity of purpose. Corporate goals, as set forth by the “experts,” are all that matter.

What makes the corporate state so powerful and so inured to change is that nobody is in charge. It’s not even a hydra-headed monster to conquer. This means there is no head to cut off, no battery to change nor screw to tighten. The corporate state is without direction or goal, other than maximizing profits. It moves with a slug-like momentum that slithers slowly over peasant huts, reducing them to rubble. Its nominal leaders are as victimized by the blob as are the peasants.

The blob is a malevolent mix of hubris, greed and stupidity that is forced to move because it is crushed beneath the weight of its own momentum. It sees neither sky nor landscape, but only the muck over which it slides.

Despite its size and destructiveness, the blob is completely invisible. Its victims never see it or feel it, so they attribute their misfortunes to fate or destiny, because, in their minds, there is no blob, and those who raise the alarm are dismissed as cranks and head cases.

It is, George, a most perfect state, one that is not even aware of itself.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Keeeping America Safe by Staking out the Local Starbucks

Dear George,

Future generations will have a real whoop and a holler over all the nonsense you’ve generated. The one thing a corporatized security state produces, besides oppression, is lowbrow humor.

Take the parasitic relationship between our defense policy and our tax code. America is bankrupting herself to pursue corporate goals overseas by launching unwinnable wars so we can secure oil, run pipelines and create a string of client (read captive) states. Meanwhile, as we drown in our red ink, the corporations we are helping are doing everything in their power to avoid paying the taxes that would help pay for our efforts to insure their prosperity.

It’s a case of the classic corporate one-liner: Privatize profits; externalize expenses.

However, all of this pales beside the sick humor generated by your Eternal War of the Empty Policy.

The newest comic to step up to the mike is the state of Colorado. Colorado is the latest state to sign on to a federal initiative to train Terrorism Liaison Officers, better known as snitches. The program trains firemen, policemen, paramedics and corporate employees to be on the lookout for “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence-gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism.”

Suspicious behaviors include, “taking photographs or videos of no apparent aesthetic value; making measurements, drawing, or taking notes; and conversing in code.”

Given the large Hispanic population in the state, I assume talking in code includes conversing in Spanish. There’s no telling what diabolic plots those brownskins are hatching.

Before they are turned loose on an unsuspecting public, Terrorism Liaison Officers are given twenty-four hours of training. I assume this training includes a crash course in aesthetics so the officers will be able to judge the aesthetic value of a retiree taking a picture of his wife standing on the plaque that marks the convergence of four states.

Once an alert officer notices this picture-taking retiree at work, he feeds the information into a local “fusion center” that is connected to a centralized government computer that is busily collecting similar bits of information about picture-snapping retirees and Spanish speaking suspects from all over the country.

This means that this government computer will be so clogged with data that a report from a TLO that Osama bin Laden was observed ordering a latte in a Boulder, Colorado Starbucks will be lost.

We will all sleep better tonight knowing that somewhere in Colorado a corporate middle manager is staking out the local Starbucks, waiting for Osama to appear.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, July 4, 2008

Freedom's Faith and the Corporate State

Dear George,

What a glorious day the fourth of July is as we celebrate freedom, democracy and liberty, those anachronisms that are the highly effective marketing tools employed by the corporate state to hoodwink the drones into thinking they are free.

Only in a Christian nation would this be possible, so I hope you will bear with me for a short meditation on the role of our faith has played in making us the hegemonic badasses of the world.

We have the teachings of Jesus; we have Christianitys; we have the corporate state. How do these three coexist?

The short answer is they don’t! The only way Christianity can shore up the corporate state is to lose the teaching of Jesus. What results is a nominal faith that skirts around the Sermon of the Mount with all its “love thy enemies” bullshit, and grafts Jesus onto a Bronze Age Hebrew God of pissed-off wrath and cosmic snits.

Some wonder how the church morphed love into hateful wrath. The answer is quite simple. The reason any organized religion is so easily corrupted is that all too often, the ego farts, and the soul thinks the Breath of the Spirit is upon it.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Art of War as the Art of Bullshit

Dear George,

I hope you appreciate all your neocon minions are doing for you. Without them, America could easily sink into a quagmire of mind-numbing peace. Thanks to them, this will never happen.

Your neocons may not be able to think straight, but by God, they can sure manufacture a threat where none exists, and that is what is important if we are to keep our economy from tanking altogether.

The military-industrial-homeland security bubble is the only one that is still inflated. A constant stream of threats, wars and preparations for war, missile gaps, and a dystopian imagination is the air that is keeps it inflated. Should that bubble pop, we would see the return of the Great Depression that never really ended; it was simply moved to the back burner by World War II, the War on Terror and your Eternal War of the Empty Policy.

Now your neocons are moving us towards an attack on Iran with their Goebbelian repetition of the mantra, “Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.”

Distort, distort, distort: that’s how we keep our economy healthy, George. All wars float on a sea of bullshit. It is your ability to bullshit that makes you one of the greatest military leaders of the twenty-first century.

Listen to what the corporate employees in our Senate have to say in SRES 580 IS that calls for a naval blockade of Iran:

Whereas, the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the Government of Iran has engaged in such covert nuclear activities as the illicit importation of uranium hexafluoride, the construction of a uranium enrichment facility, experimentation with plutonium, the importation of centrifuge technology and the construction of centrifuges, and the importation of design to convert highly enriched uranium gas into a metal and to shape it into the core of a nuclear weapon as significant additional covert nuclear activities;

Sounds scary as hell, doesn’t it.

The beauty is that it’s a complete fabrication.

It is fortunate that facts are relegated to obscure corners of the net. For example, one writer points out, “These narratives refer to the IAEA’s reports on Iran, yet turn a blind eye to those reports’ explicit references to Iran’s low-enriched uranium.” This is uranium enriched up to 4%, which is allowed by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Weapon-grade uranium must be enriched to 90% or better.

Commenting on one article that claimed that Iran has produced 500 pounds of low-enriched uranium, which is one-third of what is required for Iran’s first nuclear bomb, the writer says:

[It] is factually incorrect to assume that Iran’s low-enriched uranium is “one-third” what is required for a nuclear bomb. First, only through extensive and a painstakingly difficult technological process of re-processing and re-enriching uranium to substantially higher levels (90% or more), can Iran’s enriched uranium be utilized for manufacturing bombs.

Second, with the IAEA’s robust inspection of Iran’s enrichment facilities, any such diversion to “weapon-grade” enrichment would be instantly detected, simply because significant modifications, re-assembling and re-configuration of the cascades of centrifuges would be necessary and that could not possibility evade the IAEA’s watchful eyes.

That’s the truth, George, but who gives a shit? Truth never started a war, which is why it is such a pariah in the nuclearized security state.

I have this beautiful vision that gives me the incentive to get up in the morning. The October surprise will be an attack on Iran. Iran will retaliate and oil will spike to $400 a barrel. Iran’s anti-ship to air missiles, which can travel at speeds somewhere between Mach 3 and Mach 2.2, will destroy our carrier task forces in the Persian Gulf. You declare a national emergency and cancel the November elections since unity is called for in a time of war, and you cannot allow our resolve to be weakened by a divisive election.

You tell us that sacrifice is called for as you cancel Social Security and Medicare, thus introducing America to the bracing life of patriotic impoverishment.

God, how I love ruin! I spent just thinking about it.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Leaching the Gore from War

Dear George,

Go ahead and bomb the shit out of Iran. The fringe left will bitch, but the truth is that the general public, rather than protesting will be entertained, because in their eyes, wars aren’t real.

One writer[1] explained why when he said:

Virtual reality has about it the character of unreality, of transcending the ordinary world and its common smells and sights, its limiting rhythms of birth, growth, decline, death and renewal. For Americans, the chosen people of advertising, technology, capitalist orthodoxy, and religious faith, the greatest triumph of virtual reality is war, the great unexperienced reality…War is an action game, played in the living room, or a spectacle on a screen, but, in either case, not actually experienced (Pg. 12)

Rummy’s greatest legacy is the creation of the bloodless war in which our troops are neither maimed nor killed. Embedded journalists stay on message; there are no flag-draped coffins; we see no images of the wounded being carried out on stretchers. Photographs of our children with their artificial limbs are viewed as little more that media graphics that accompany an advertising campaign for the newest commodity. The war costs nothing and requires no sacrifice in this virtual world. (No wonder, you spend no time with the grieving families who have lost a love one. It would make for a shitty photo-op because it would be too real.)

Meaning is drained from a life of compulsive consumption. As a real world fades, a virtual one seeps in to fill the vacuum. Reality falls away and all that is left is a fragile ego fraught with a pervasive anxiety that can only be soothed by a new toy or a blinking screen.

The further one sinks into the virtual world, the more frightening the real world becomes and the greater the need for virtual security. So the nervous drone expects the state to provide a security blanket, which the state does by gradually stripping away the drone’s liberties in the name of this virtual security.

The drone doesn’t care as long as the screen soothes with its blinking imagery and the drone can find comfort in the passive numbness the screen induces. Who needs meaning when one has make believe?

Wolin speaks of the “limiting rhythms of birth, growth, decline, death and renewal.” These rhythms have to place in a virtual world. Nothing is born, noting grows, nothing dies and, most importantly, nothing is renewed. There is only a flat-lined void that is a virtual eternity moving with the split-second eternity of the image dancing across the screen.

Empty lives can only be filled with imagery and make believe. As long as this is true, you can start as many wars as you like, because none of them actually happen.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Sheldon S. Wolin. “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Prick Production and the Corporate State

Dear George,

Now is when we separate the men from the boys, the wheat from the chaff and the insane from the sane. It is now that America must keep its smiley face firmly in place as our world continues to collapse around us. It is now that we must drag out shop-worn clich├ęs, such as, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It is now that we wave the flag with increased vigor to draw attention from the water pouring over the decks of the ship of state. It is now that men possessing a unique talent must rise to the surface like turds in a toilet.

You ask, what type of men are we talking about?

Picture, if you would, a meeting of ten corporate executives who have sat down to plan strategy. The most powerful man at the table won’t be the one at the top of the food chain, nor will it be the one with the most income. The most powerful man at the table will be the biggest prick. And chances are, that prick will be a bean counter. Numbers make all sorts of mischief possible. That’s why, when Jesus trashed the temple, he went after the bean counters.

If the corporate state is to survive the assorted global catastrophes that are closing in around it, it will need an army of pricks. At any given meeting, the primary role of the prick is to quash blips of decency and morality as soon as they appear. It is the prick that raises evil from the slime that gave birth to it, polishes it up, and makes it the beacon that guides the corporate state through the rocks and shoals of disaster. It is the prick who makes sure that the ship of state does not rescue the multiple drones struggling to stay afloat in the stormy sea of free enterprise.

Prick production has been facilitated by the feral consumerism that has gripped the country since the corporate state hired Ronnie to play at being president. I know I am repeating myself, George, but it bears repeating: consumerism thrives best when it fragments both family and community. It is much easier to buy something you don’t need when you don’t have to discuss it with family members or peers.

A fragmented people is a self-centered people in which ego rules as the soul languishes. In most people, this pathology produces isolation and apathy. However, there are a few gifted individuals who thrive in their self-centeredness and grow up to be the pricks that turn the wheels of commerce and governance.

Traditionally, pricks have risen through the ranks simply by virtue their nastiness. The problem is that this process isn’t producing enough pricks. It is time the state went into the classroom and started earmarking those students who exhibit the personality traits that, if properly nurtured, will turn them into world-class pricks. In the past, such students have been referred to special education. This has to stop. We must realize that today’s emotionally disturbed child is tomorrow’s leader.

The health of the corporate state requires massive amounts of suffering. The pricks are best qualified to inflict this suffering because they simply don’t give a shit.

One final point, the most effective pricks are those who wear a smrky grin beneath stares that are as wide and empty as their souls.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones