Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taming Nature

Dear George,

It’s time we got the freaking tree huggers off our backs. They are nothing but latte-sucking Luddites slowing the unbridled growth that was once the bed-rock of our prosperity back when we had some prosperity to brag about. It is time we returned to the Calvinist vision of nature as one big animal potty. I mean, who can get excited over a place where bears shit?

Just look at how counterproductive nature is.

Wild land is a loser. A nature trail produces no revenue, a theme park does. Level and pave Yellowstone National Park and what do you have: democracy in action with open access to public land and a fortune in parking fees.

Mountains are downright dangerous. People are always falling off of them, and they are the leading cause of avalanches. They also create deserts by blocking the free flow of moist air. The mining companies do us a service every time they level one.

What about endangered species? Hell, George, if you can’t eat them, what good are they?

Nature must be sanitized! Its fecundity is offensive. Its wild unpredictability cries out for rational order. Asphalt is the great leveler.

God, how I miss the days when your environmental policy was summed up in two words—nature sucks!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stoned Vision No. (1+x)^n=1+nx/1!+(n(n-1) x^2)/2!+⋯


Stoned fucking stonedstonedstonedstoned, I see dark vultures in corkscrew descent bank and turn, spinning threads of golden rhetoric from their bloodied beaks, bead eyes rheumy from the dust of a falling temple as money changers flee in disarray groaning beneath the weight of their golden sacks, and I see Big Al G. chained to a slab of broken marble as vultures tear at his liver even as he sings motets of praise to their entrepreneurial spirit as the roiled blood of the innocent laps at his stone bier, blood choked with the spreadsheets of the damned, thick and heavy with the coagulants of imperial debris spend and drained, and the marble dust thickens until all are blinded by the vision of a glorious future stretching out before them into the fog bank of dust that slowly chokes the life out of them...

…then I fucking pass out…


Thursday, February 26, 2009

No More Liberal Arts!

Dear George,

There’s another upside to the downside other than enabling Wall Street to loot the public treasury. It was spotlighted by a headline in yesterday’s Times, “In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth.”

In other words, university Liberal Arts departments must demonstrate how the study of history, literature, art and music contribute to the nation’s GDP. To which I say, it’s about fucking time! The sooner we can turn America’s colleges and universities into high-end trade schools, the better.

The simple fact is that the Humanities are downright subversive to the interests of the Corporate State. As soon as a student starts reading history, he starts to realize that the “now” in never “forever”, and that capitalism is not an eternal product of destiny but simply part of an historical process that, like the feudalism that preceded it, will either collapse in chaos and ruin or piss itself out with nary a whimper.

In reading literature, he is able to give voice to the all of the vague discomforts and pains that lay dormant at the bottom of his soul. He learns to pay attention as he conditions his concentration by reading Dickens’ Bleak House, or Mikhail Sholokhov’s Quiet Flows the Don in their entirety.

All of this is inimical to the Corporate State. The State needs its proles convinced that there is no other “now” but the present “now.” It needs proles whose attention is measured in nanoseconds. They must be convinced that their manifold discomforts are best treated with medication and not articulation.

What our colleges and universities must produce are walking encyclopedias whose brains are crowded with discrete and disparate bit of data they are incapable of synthesizing into anything that resembles an original thought. They must teach a habit and routine whose staleness in blanketed by noble sounding rhetoric.

The intellectual cripples produced by our finest universities make up the imperial pogues who inhabit our Beltway. They are invaluable to the Corporate State because they create the policies that create the disasters that make possible the enrichment of our elite though juicy defense contracts and generous bailout schemes.

There is no way we can allow a vigorous Liberal Arts program to threaten this cozy relationship between ineptitude and chaos.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jindal's Jig

Dear George,

It is a truism that power destroys brain cells. The longer a party or organization is in power; the greater is the brain damage. Last night’s Republican response to Obama’s speech was a robust demonstration that this truism is still true.

It’s foolish politics to call a speech that fired up the public “irresponsible.” But then, the Republicans made the tactical error of taping their response before Obama gave his speech, thus denying themselves the opportunity to fine tune the response to adjust for the overwhelming acceptance of Obama’s vision.

However, it wasn’t just a response; it was the kick-off for Bobby Jindal’s 2012 presidential bid. The man is certainly qualified for the office in one respect: he, too, looks like Alfred E. Neuman, albeit with a pointier chin.

His speech reminded me of the drunk who polished off a pint of bourbon before smashing up his car. The next time he gets behind the wheel, he decided, by God, he’s going to stick by his principles and polish off another pint before he starts the engine.

Jindal is advocating the very “principles” that got us into the current economic dung heap Obama is trying to sanitize—tax cuts and small government. Now I agree with Jindal; small government is great because it is the catalyst that gives us the feral capitalism that has turned the top of the economic pyramid into the blinding glare of Liberty’s Torch.

I have one suggestion for the man: read some history before you tell your next anecdote. He told a Katrina story about a Louisiana sheriff who reamed out a government bureaucrat trying to stop the sheriff from dispatching a fleet of rescue boats unless the boats all were registered and had adequate insurance.

George, that was a bureaucrat from your FEMA trying to hold up the rescue fleet.

Not the best story to tell a public who remembers your fucked up response to the disaster. But then, given the corporatization of our government, what is the difference between a corporate bureaucrat and a public one?

Like all good politicians, Jindal wants to ramp up defense spending at a time when the country is insolvent. He hewed to the official paranoia when he reminded us that, “…dangerous enemies still seek our destruction. Now is no time to dismantle the defenses that have protected this country for hundreds of years.”

It’s comforting to know Jindal is as ignorant of history as you are. America has had a traditional distrust of large standing armies. As least she had it until we became entangled in the Cold War.
I wish all the best for Jindal’s presidential bid. Just because he kicked in off by falling flat on his face will in no way hamper his ambitions. The public has no memory, so his speech will be quickly forgotten.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In Praise of Community

Dear George,

The sophisticated despot minimizes brutality against his subjects while maximizing it against perceived threats to his turf. The key to this sophistication is the decay of community. Brutality is necessary only against the close-knit tribe or extended family where violence is necessary to destroy ties that have existed for centuries. This is why we must bomb Afghan wedding parties.

If a community is already fragmented, violence is no longer needed.

It is because of its fragmented community that the United States is the world’s most sophisticated democracy. We are so sophisticated that nobody realizes that they live in an increasingly authoritarian country. Every time a politician says “freedom”, you can hear the screws tightening in the background. America is achieving that elusive dream of absolute rule without coercion.

Our leaders began this process at the end of World War II when they created the nuclearized security state. We were a world power, and we quickly discovered that power thrives best in an atmosphere of pervasive fear. This is why it is essential that there be a constant, unseen threat to keep the public anxious and on edge. We have maintained this atmosphere by waving the bloody threats of communism, Black crime and terrorism.

It was a brilliant strategy. The proles were so busy looking for external threats, they never noticed the one from within. Best of all, these threats kept them in their houses, which deepened their sense of isolation.

Even as this decay set in, politicians, movies and the media celebrated the village as the shining torch of liberty as they sang paeans to the “values” of Main Street. The louder they sang, the faster these values turned to dust.

All the while, community continued to melt in the hot glow of the television screen and the computer monitor. Both encouraged a love of the trivial that fed the public’s growing political apathy. Every celebrity breakup shores up the power of the state. The drone enthralled by Bradgalina won’t care if his phone is tapped.

We must give our statesmen a clear playing field, uncluttered by troublesome citizen involvement. Our leaders must be free to sell paranoia as realism and dementia as policy. This is how you bring freedom to the world.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, February 23, 2009

You have risen!

Dear George,

You are vindicated! Barack Obama is just another media event entertaining and titillating a public that has sucked on the media teat so long it has forgotten what reality is. The worst of evils is tolerated as long as it is wrapped in an appealing media package. (Your problem, Big Guy, was that your media package lost its appeal when it became tattered and faded.)

A cursory glance at the Sunday New York Times shows that Obama is you repackaged and repositioned.

Two items caught my eye. First, his administration is not going to allow prisoners held at our Bagram air base in Afghanistan to challenge their detention in court (too habeasy corpusy). And the Pentagon is still reluctant to allow photographs of the flag draped coffins of dead soldiers returning home. It seems they are afraid such photos might “politicize” the war, and politics have no place in a corporatized security state.

All the while, the Patriot Act sits quietly in the corner, smirking, while Obama mouths his platitudes to the media as the nation enjoys a feel-good moment because it elected a Black president who bombs brown skins, ignores habeas corpus and pursues two wars of aggression while continuing to buy into the War on Terror fantasy.

That’s the beauty of sin. Once it becomes habit it’s no longer sin.

The crack you heard right after Obama took the oath of office was his moral gyroscope breaking. In that instant, you rose from the dead and began your journey on the road to Emmaus, except, everyone thought they were making the journey with Obama.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thank God!

Dear George,

I have just released a protracted sigh of relief. In spite of all his rhetoric about “change you can believe in” and the hint that a Brave New World would be ushered in with his administration, it looks as if Obama in slowly sinking down into the black tar pit they call the Beltway. His soul may soar, but muck has his feet locked in Thanatos’s loving grip.

For a moment, I was afraid peace would break out, but, thank God, the Terrorist Production Program that you initiated has shifted back into fifth gear. Obama is increasing missile strikes inside Pakistan, aimed at a militant network seeking to destabilize the USA approved government, thus guaranteeing that the government will be further destabilized.

The Beltway’s intellectual yokels have prevailed and our institutionalized paranoia is safe and secure.

The paradox of your Eternal War of the Empty Policy is that is perpetuates itself by producing an unending supply of terrorists by fighting them. The more we destroy them, the more they grow and the more money we sink into fighting them so we produce more of them, which demands even more money to fight the ones we have produced.

It will never end.

Obama is learning a valuable lesson in leadership. There are four absolutes that govern a civilized society: don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie and don’t exploit. An enlightened leader must rise above these absolutes because he can only operate in an atmosphere of absolute freedom unhindered by either decency or morality. The absolutes are only to keep the proles in line.

It matters not that our economy is hollowing out. As long as we have a robust supply of terrorists on hand, the few will continue to prosper.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trash Talking our Way to Prosperity and Happiness

Dear George,

I see in the news that Billyboy Clinton wants Obama to talk nice about the economy. He wants more optimism at a time when dystopian pessimism would be more prudent.

What Billyboy wants is a return to that traditional Main Street virtue, boosterism. He wants a return to the days when small town newspapers were not harbingers of truth and objectivity, but were house organs for the local Chamber of Commerce. Unpleasant truths never saw the light of day.

He also is overlooking the fact that we’re in the age of the Presidential Prattle Paradox. Whatever a president says, the exact opposite comes to pass. You, if anyone, should know about that. Iraq was to be a cakewalk; we were to bring democracy and stability to the Middle East; the economy was in good shape.

Were Obama to trash-talk the economy, the Dow would be back up to 12,000 in no time.

So, let’s stay away from the happy talk.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Upside of the Downside

Dear George,

Now ‘tis the season when we reap the bilious harvest of seven decades of hubric delusion. It wasn’t just economic bubbles that kept us afloat, but a bloated military bubble that blinded us to the flaws that ran through our national psyche.

How we crowed when the Soviet Union imploded! With its collapse, we sank further into madness with the boast that we were now “the world’s sole surviving superpower.” The words were no sooner out of our mouths when cracks began to appear. We plunged into the twin quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan, Wall Street sank further into the wacky world of felonious behavior with its multiple Ponzi schemes, the drones entered into an orgy of debt-driven consumption while the rich got richer and the poor, poorer.

The man who believes himself invincible is a death waiting to happen. The same is true of a nation. “Superpower” isn’t a boast, it’s a death warrant, for once a nation buys into this fantasy, it proceeds to spend itself into bankruptcy just to keep up appearances.

As life as we knew it continues to collapse, a chilling truth is becoming evident. When the Cold War ended, there were two losers, the Soviet Union and us. The only difference being that the Soviet economy hollowed out right away. We managed to stumble along for another decade before ours started hollowing out.

However, there is an upside to all this. The rich may have to sell a villa or two, but they’ll still be rich while the poor will continue to get poorer. The threat of angry mobs wielding pitchforks and torches means we will have to speed up the militarization of our democracy, and that will be a boon to the defense and security industries.

There’s nothing like grinding poverty and brutal oppression to keep the masses in line. Bread lines and hob-nailed boots make for a stable society.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Star Wars

Dear George,

“Weaponized space!”

Doesn’t the idea send your follicles atrembling? Imagine it, a phallic thrust into space as we weaponize the final frontier. We must call it our Chicken-Little Initiative, for the sky will surely fall unless we put our testosterone into orbit.

Lasers. Mirrors. Sophisticated surveillance equipment. I can see it now: two terrorists sitting on a park bench planning their next attack, when Poof!, there’s a blinding flash and a puff of smoke as a well-aimed laser beam reduces the wedding party on the next bench to a pile of smoldering ash.

This is the great thing about the Chicken-Little Initiative; it will never succeed. This means dumping more and more funds down a rathole in order to guarantee a success that is doomed to failure.

Pork, thy name is Chicken Little.

The military-industrial complex is good for another generation or two because Congress is blind to a basic rule of poker: You don’t stay in a game with a lousy hand just because you’ve got money in the pot.

At the same time, our leaders are promoting a healthy mind-set. The purpose of any empty space, be it on earth or above, is as a future home for military hardware. After all, for the paranoid, unfilled space is a threat. The demons of Hell work best in a vacuum, so we must fill all voids with our toys.

We must weaponize the cracked closet door and the space under our beds where monsters lurk, for everything is a threat to our national security, and we must secure it all before it hurts us.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Illusion is all.

­Dear George,

The anchor that inhibits capitalism’s feral growth is the free market. Even though capitalism appears to worship it, the fact is it's simply a song and dance for public consumption. In truth, capitalism and the free market are anathema to each other.

The problem with freedom is inefficiency. In a free market you have too many plants manufacturing the same thing, you have too many merchants selling it and you have too many journalists covering the same story from too many different and diverse points of view.

The more fragmented and free the market is; the more growth is inhibited.

The trick is to enslave the market while maintaining the illusion of freedom. It’s the same problem the state faces, how to have a democracy without cluttering it up with too many freedoms.

Capitalism has solved this problem by elevating efficiency to the throne once occupied by freedom, all the while equating efficiency with the freedom it seeks to destroy. It is then a simple matter to convince the drones that the surest path to maximal efficiency is consolidation. Who needs hundreds of media outlets when a handful is much more efficient?

The beauty of efficiency is that as it increases, profits increase. Its irony is that as consolidation increases, efficiency declines. To expand, a corporation must go into debt; as debt increases, it is forced to cut costs through layoffs and reduced services. Consequently, the multitude of small enterprises that provided goods and services in an efficient manner morphs into a cumbersome dinosaur that groans beneath the burden of its indebtedness.

As size increases, so does the bureaucracy necessary to keep it functioning. Vision dims as it is replaced with computer generated goals and objectives. A bureaucratic momentum sets in that slowly takes on a life of its own and innovation becomes mired in red tape and countless meeting. Eventually, innovation takes a back seat to data. As one writer put it:

The hubris of the information society is that it imagines that data matter more than understanding and that we are moving closer and closer every day to completing the book of knowledge. The truth is that we are creating vast new areas of ignorance.

But none of this matters as long as the illusion of freedom remains.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Future

(Feeling lazy today, so I dipped into the archives—cw)

Dear George,

All politics are a death wish. This is especially true as the nation-state gives way to the market-state. The market-state exists only to maximize profit and to protect its interests. It can only do so by sucking the blood out of those with blood left to suck. The blood of the innocent is its Eucharistic wine. The merger of the corporation and the state has been a boon to this death wish.

Death is best facilitated by an innocent aggression that is divorced from the consequences of its actions. This innocent aggression is most prevalent in the arrested adolescent, a subspecies of Homo sapiens found in the corporate corridors of power. In the arrested adolescent you have an energetic dynamo untainted by the weariness of morality. They are able to facilitate death because they deny its reality. It’s all a video game to them.

They seek the fountain of youth in their gyms and health spas, drinking their imported water as they rub oils and ointments into their faces to restore the faded glow of their youth. Here are the fifty-somethings who leave their wives or thirty years for their twenty-something secretaries, their Viagra tucked away in their briefcases, desperate to keep their vital fluids flowing through their clogged and decaying channels.

Maturity is anathema to the market-state, because it too often turns to questions of good and evil, a counterproductive activity if there ever was one. What we need is the exuberance of aged youths who care more about the rush of the “now” than the consequences of any given act.

This is why the infusion of corporatism into the halls of government is such a boon. There you find burnt-out frat boys who will order destruction for the youthful excitement it offers. To destroy with state sanction is the dream of every arrested adolescent.

Let us open our arms to them, for they are the future of America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, February 16, 2009

Whose Happiness?

Dear George,

That red-neck Socialist Joe Bageant recently mused:

In any case, it causes me to wonder why is there enough pain and alienation to sustain America’s umpteen-billion mental health business and its 400-plus specialties, not to mention the inner self-help industry and Deepak Chopra’s royal court.

It seems Joe has sunk his teeth into a half truth. Our misery is not the product of “pain and alienation”; it is the product of our sense of bored entitlement that has corkscrewed its way to the very core of our beings.

Thomas Jefferson told us that God wants us to be happy, and we become distressed when we are unable to achieve the happiness Madison Avenue promises us. The problem is that Madison Avenue’s idea of happiness and Jefferson’s are two different things.

Madison Avenue tells us that the path to happiness involves buying more and more things that we don’t need. So we buy and buy, and can’t figure out why we’re still miserable.

Jefferson, on the other hand, equated happiness with the common welfare, or what was once known as the common weal. According to him, no community could be happy as long as one of its members suffered want.

This explains why America’s elites have been waging a 224-year campaign against Jefferson’s subversive thinking. Taking the point in this campaign have been our Protestants who consider a smile an inappropriate display of emotion.

Max Weber once defined a Protestant as one who lays awake all night worried about the sins he hasn’t committed.

For decades, Protestants threatened us will fire and brimstone, and their efforts culminated with the introduction of prohibition. When that experiment went bust, the Protestants doffed their clerical robes and slipped on white lab coats. What had once been sinful became unhealthy.

They had struck gold! Hell doesn’t frighten many people; sickness does.

Now Americans lay awake nights worrying about the tumors they don’t have.

The beauty of this obsession with health and personal well-being is that it has reinforced the myth of the fictive ego. Ego is nothing more than the sum total of the tales we make up about ourselves, tales that encourage us to hide in the middle of the herd where our fiction is nurtured and encouraged. And while wallowing in our ego-obsessed egos, any idea of community goes out the window along with the concept of the common welfare.

Jefferson’s happiness that was to give us a community in which all prospered has been reduced to a marketing tool that fragments the very community he once dreamed of.

That’s progress for you.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrating Darwin

Dear George,

Here we are, at the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. All over the country, fundamentalists are gnashing their teeth and rending their garments in despair. For our elite, however, this anniversary is a cause for quiet celebrations, and I say quiet less their celebration upsets the religious right that worships them in the mistaken belief that Christ was a capitalist.

The reason for this celebration is that the upside of Darwin’s Origin of the Species is its bastard child, Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism takes his theory of the survival of the fittest and finds social implications in it. If only the fit survive, then it follows that those who don’t survive are unfit.

The leading proponent of this theory was Herbert Spencer. Spencer was to Capitalism what de Sade was to sex. He believed that because fitness equaled money, lots of it, it followed that the poor were unfit, and that the feeding and housing of the poor was a mistake, because it only allowed them to survive and pass their unfitness on to their offspring.

He was your kind of guy, George. But where you and he really have a lip-lock is in his belief that the Caucasian male capitalist of Northern European descent stood at the apex of social evolution, and that on the Great Chain of Being, the Anglo-Saxon Protestant was right there at the top, tucked into God’s belly button.

Poverty is the product of a flawed character. The problem with welfare is that it nurtures and encourages this flaw. If you pull welfare and all other services for the poor, you facilitate that outburst of energy that is the beginning of all conversions, the existential scream.

This scream encourages the poor to take the first step towards financial independence—a life of crime. This is a real plus since all of capitalism is grounded in crime. After all, today’s crime is tomorrow’s law.

So, let us pause to honor Darwin. Our country was forged by the fittest who survived, and our future leaders will be those men who claw their way to the top of the heap. And if a man’s family fortune allows him to purchase his survival, then that is proof positive that he is indeed blessed by the Almighty.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tales of Danger and Threat

Dear George,

When you get right down to it, reality is a mess. It’s an erratic, undisciplined, unpredictable, nonlinear, contradictory, raucous, ribald, jarring, traumatic, grating, discordant, unstable, fitful, inconsistent, volatile mess.

This is why cultures erect a firewall between themselves and reality. This firewall is the narrative that is used to bring an illusion of order to reality’s cesspool. In traditional societies, this narrative was a slowly turning cycle of myth, legend, saga and song.

For the modern corporate state, it is different. The narrative is an instrument of social control. This is especially true in the United States where the narrative sings of a linear march towards a grand destiny. This narrative sings not only of destiny, but of threats and dangers from which the citizen-spectators of the state must be protected.

Up until recently, this mythical threat was a monolithic communism. The state got a lot of traction out of it. Tragically, the Soviet Union vaporized, China went capitalist and Cuba lost its cache' as a viable threat.

Praise God, Islam rose to the challenge as the corporate state was able to mount a narrative of monolithic Islamofascist terrorists bent on destroying Fortress America.

A Belgian commie summed it up very nicely when she said, “Another cause of the paralysis of the Left in the anti-imperialist struggle is the fear of being associated with terrorism.”

See how a robust narrative can control dissidents and troublemakers.

But, leave it to the Brits to take this to a new level. It seems Britain and Iceland are having a little dust-up over Iceland’s economic collapse. A lot of Brits had deposited money in an online bank domiciled in Iceland, and Britain didn’t think Iceland was doing enough to protect its British depositors.

So Britain invoked Part 2, Article 4 of its Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act and declared Iceland a terrorist state, thus enabling them to seize the assets of an Icelandic bank on deposit in Britain.

Doesn’t it sent chills up your spine, the thought of the entire population of Iceland, all 319,756 of them, strapping bombs to their chest and sailing their fishing boats up the Thames?

I do hope our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is paying attention. The Brits are pioneers in making creative use of anti-terrorism legislation. If someone becomes too critical of our imperial corporatism, all DHS has to do is declare them a terrorist and seize their assets. Just the threat of that will be enough to shut them up.

He who controls the narrative controls the world. That was about the only thing you understood during your presidency.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spiritual Fasting

Dear George,

I don’t care what they say about you, if anyone understood compassion, you did, and the nation is all the poorer for your departure.

Genuine compassion looks at the big picture in an effort to put issues and events into their true perspective. No tears. No bleeding-hearts. No hand wringing. Just a dispassionate look at what’s best for the country. It’s a rational approach, a clear vision grounded in a value-free assessment of a given situation.

Emotions corrupt compassion; clarity of vision liberates it from the syrupy morality in which it is too often mired.

There are those who criticize you because when you left office, there were thirty-four million Americans living in poverty. In their delusional thinking, they believe the government should eradicate this poverty with a wave of its legislative hand.

To them I say: You stupid shits! You vomit solutions in an orgasm of teary-eyed sentimentality. So clouded are you by your care and concern that you fail to recognize what poverty tells us about our society. So, take out paper and pencil and write this down for future reference.

Thirty-four million people in poverty means, simply, that there are thirty-four million people our economy is unable to absorb. And that number is growing as our economic meltdown continues. And given even the most optimistic of forecasts, it is doubtful our economy will ever absorb them. What we have here is a write-off.

“But children go to be hungry,” weep the do-gooders, because they are blind to starvation’s upside. Starvation is the most cost-effective method we have of bringing populations into alignment with resources. The human animal is wonderfully adaptable and is quite able to adapt itself to starvation.

But let’s be clear about one thing, George. There is really no such thing as starvation. There is only sacrificial fasting.

Yes, those who starve do a tremendous service to humanity. They waste away so we may grow. They deserve our admirations, not our pity.

There is also a transcendental element to starvation that the bleeding-hearts overlook. Starvation is spiritual. Here’s why: spirituality rests on a total rejection of all things of the flesh, including food. The act of letting go and surrendering is the very foundation of spiritual growth. To starve is to die happy, for in starvation the physical snare of earthly existence melts away and the soul is freed to begin its heavenly ascent.

Why should a Christian nation like America allow food stamps and welfare to stand between the poor and their spiritual union with God? So turn your back, ramp up your iPod and leave the poor alone to bask in the heavenly glory that is their entitlement.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Protecting State Secrets

Dear George,

Ideology is a loving straightjacket that gives us the brutal madness that keeps the boredom of our empty lives at bay. It tells us what to think, what to say and how to act. It keeps us pissed off and primed for violence as it fills our lives and gives us the illusion of meaning.

Here is an example of how it works. Let us say that my ideology is one that demands complete control over time. This requires that I remain constantly aware of the correct time. Imagine, if you would, a situation in which all the clocks and watches in the world have succumbed to a fatal, temporal virus except for two. One is broken and the other is fast. Which one must I choose if I am to remain true to my beliefs?

Ideologically, the answer is simple. I chose the broken watch because I know it will give me the correct time at least twice a day, while the watch that is fast will never give me the correct time.

There you have the logic that governs the Beltway. Once those good folks sink their teeth into an ideology, they don’t let go.

Now, let’s understand one thing, the Global War on Terror is not a war, it is an ideological mindset. It is one of the sweetest straightjackets the Beltway has ever worn, and it’s not about to give up the security that it offers.

We saw an example of this straight thinking Monday in a suit involving the kidnap and torture of terror suspect Ahmed Agiza (the name sounds foreign, so why not). It seems he, and other defendants, are suing a Boeing Corp. subsidiary for providing the planes that flew them overseas to be tortured.

Silly fools.

Right away Justice Department lawyer Douglas Letter jumped to his feet and demanded that the suit be dismissed on the grounds of national security. Yes, George, that doctrine of “state secrets” that you pulled out of the air to conceal your nasty little machinations still lives despite Obama’s rhetoric about change we can believe in.

Letter went on to warn the court that, “Judges shouldn’t play with fire,” by which he meant they shouldn’t dabble in Constitutional law.

The news report of the trail did mention Obama’s campaign promise to “reform the abuse of state secrets.”

People who try to throw Obama’s campaign promises back in his face forget one thing: A campaign is simply a quest for power, and all the promises made during the campaign vaporize as soon as power is achieved. Those who take them seriously deserve the disillusionment they experience.

Ideology is indeed a straightjacket, and it is only a matter of time before the country finds it to be a comfortable fit.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Preserving the Center

Dear George,

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should test the air in the Beltway. There has to be trace amounts of a toxin that snuffs out the idealistic fire many newcomers bring to its environs. This would explain the presence of a dysfunctional center, that sodden lump that drags down the middle of the political spectrum until it reaches a state of paralytic equilibrium.

The center is a middling swamp, born of a middle class on steroids, where creative thinking becomes mired in the quicksand of habit. (Habit differs from tradition in that tradition evolves; habit doesn’t.)

Obama started inhaling this toxin the moment he was sworn in. Right away, he started exhaling the fetid breath of bipartisanship. He’s making the same mistake Clinton made: believing that if he plays nice with the Republicans, they’ll play nice with him. It’s kind of like playing nice with a serial killer in the hope he’ll spare your life. The killer, like the Republicans, can help being what he is. Any attempt to play to the center ends up drifting to the right, because the right has the loudest mouth.

The Congressional center plods because it is an exclusive club where old men slumber in overstuffed leather chairs while the country self-destructs. The only requirement for membership is that you be a loyal corporate employee.

Bipartisanship is the stake that is driven through the heard of democracy. The Nazi Reichstag was a study in pure bipartisanship.

As school children we learned that good citizenship meant "getting along with others," which requires us to smile politely and nod in approval. Good citizens don't rock the boat, and they are never, never "uncooperative".

I’m glad to see that Obama is keeping this tradition alive.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Praise of Language

Dear George,

Language is a whore, willing to sell her services to the highest bidder. And like a whore, she wanders the corridors of power, looking for well-heeled Johns. She is welcome in there because the Johns have much to hide.

It is there that language glorifies violence, concealing the gore-drenched blade with the velvet prose of God, freedom and glory. She gives a moral cache to evil and corruption. She sees the shinning torch of destiny in the running sores of society. In her delicate fingers, slime becomes a silver thread, evil becomes sophistication, and stupidity becomes down-home earthiness.

Language is the duct tape that muzzles the cries of the victims; she is the venal perfume that fills the air when policy farts.

But, the wise leader must beware! Like any whore, language will be as quick to slice you as to fuck you. Allow language to slip the collar of “that’s the way things are” and she turns deadly. She creates manifestos that enflame the masses. She can loosen the tongue of the Goddess and spread the contagion of love and compassion. She can cast her burning spotlight on the suffering of strangers.

Socrates knew what he was talking about when he condemned the poets and artists, for they can destroy a “just” society. The only way to deal with them is to flood them with grants. Then, if they get out of hand, threaten to cut off their funding. It worked beautifully with PBS.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Illusion of Leadership

Dear George,

Make believe is America’s unique dynamic. It spawns prosperity and empire, because all power is grounded in fantasy; we always think our balls are bigger than they are, until somebody cuts them off.

Our greatest strength is the fantasy born of a delusory belief in entitlement. We are born; therefore we are entitled to love, happiness and power, any one of which will transport us to an eternal euphoria in which life will be a Technicolor symphony, played out to the sonorous moan of the strings and the triumphant blare of the brass.

The wise leader encourages the dream. He encourages the masses to believe in the eternal dawn, in the sun streaming through a break in the clouds, in the primacy of beauty, truth, justice and the operative ideology of the day. He sings of the happy ending that is eternally just around the corner.

All oppression is born of attempts to make the dream real. It makes no difference whether it is the oppression from within, born of narrowing one’s vision to an obsessive quest for “happiness”, or the oppression imposed from above by those who would force society to “live” the dream.

To dream is to court disillusionment, which is the core of our prosperity. The shards of a shattered naiveté become the embers of a glowing discontent that sends the ego bouncing and careening from station to station on a mad pilgrimage that embraces the illusive, which glows briefly before turning to dust. And at each station, they buy and buy and buy!

When you were in office, you were our role model. The fantasies you spun before the camera legitimized illusion. Your failure to embrace reality shored up the American spirit. Your personified all that is American in your role as the cowboy who never was in a West that never was.

God, how I miss you!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Unity is All!

Dear George,

There’s a simple sound bite that tells a leader all he needs to know about holding on to power: unity, not community. On the surface, they appear to be one and the same. In reality, they are like oil and water.

Community accepts diversity; unity deplores it. Community needs neither symbol nor slogan; unity clings to both. In a 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 should a leader allow the public to coalesce into a community. He must keep the drones fragmented. He must bombard them with wedge issues, imaginary threats and empty platitudes about “freedom”. Nothing destroys a community faster than angry patriots 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 sign reduce life to a question of who’s for 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 that must be crushed beneath the dead weight of ideology.

However, there is one thing great leaders must remember: Destruction is grounded in hubris. When the wind is right, you can smell this hubris wafting from the Beltway. Therefore, the sole goal of the leader is not to achieve victory, but to stave off disaster.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dominant Species?

Dear George,

The reason religion rocks is that it’s a classic bait and switch scam. A faith that espouses love and humility is often the catalyst for violence and hubris. The reason is simple: The Bible is not what it says it is; it is what we say it is.

Let me give you an example. Humans are destroying the planet and each other because of the belief that the species Homo sapiens is the dominant species. We know this is so because God told us so. It’s right there in Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

There you have it! If we want to turn the earth into a global parking lot, God has green-lighted the project.


There’s one little problem, here. God gave us dominion before Eve went apple picking.

Things went downhill after that. Talk about a pissed off deity, check out Genesis 3:17-19:

And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the
voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
“You shall not eat of it,”
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil shall you eat of it all the
days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring
forth to you;
and you shall eat the plants of the
In the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

It sounds to me like God sort of outsourced man and demoted us to a derivative species rather than a dominant one.

However, thanks to our ingenuity, we have elided over that passage and remain convinced that we are still the dominant species. The world hasn’t been the same since.

I’ll give God credit for one thing; he has a wacked out sense of humor. Look at what he said to Eve in Genesis 3:16:

To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply you pain in
in pain you shall bring forth
yet your desire shall be for your husband…”

With that little stroke of genius, God gave woman the stronger sex drive, and men have been slaughtering and enslaving ever since in an effort to compensate for this deficiency.

God didn’t make us the dominant species; he gave us the hubris that will facilitate our ultimate self-destruction because we continue to operate under the delusion that we are the most blessed of all species.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Big Dick's Back!

Dear George,

Praise God! The Big Dick is back in his bunker actively marketing his unique brand of paranoia. Already, I feel safer from threats that never were.

And he’s telling us, by God he is telling us, that if Obama starts doing thing like restoring the Constitution, outlawing torture and closing Gitmo, it’s only a matter of time before the terrorists strike again.

He called the new administration “naïve”, even though we must parse that word to appreciate its full implications. Obama reflects the naiveté of the pragmatist, while the Big Dick reflects the naiveté of the ideologue. The only difference between the two is that pragmatism is boring. Ideology rocks!

He reminds us that, “If it hadn’t been for what we did—with respect to the terrorist surveillance program, or enhanced interrogation techniques for high-valued detainees, the Patriot Act, and so forth—then we would have been attacked again.”

And, goddamn it, he’s right. Let me give you an example of preventive paranoia. I have a paralyzing fear of a steer wandering into the front yard of my New Jersey home. So, I’ve place a steer skull in the yard to scare them off. Because I’ve taken this decisive action, I’ve never had steer one set hoof on my property. That’s all the proof I need that my approach worked.

Let me tell you why I love the guy so. He was the object on one of the sweetest stoned visions I ever had. I’ll never forget it! I took one last pull and the pipe; it shattered and suddenly I saw:

…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 Dicky 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 the outraged rushed towards the wingtips in a rustling, undulating swarm like lice leaving the cooled carcass of the newly dead, and my heart sings songs of power and potency, ravaging the dead and breaking the weak to the sound of fife and drum beating out the cadence of the damned.

Is that a turn on, or is that a turn on?

In closing, let me say that I was thrilled to hear that the Big Dick is going to start on his memoirs as soon as the statute of limitations expires.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nation vs. State

Dear George,

Sit up and pay attention Big Guy, I’m going to get a little thick here.

Any given country is made up of two components: the nation and the state. Many assume they are one in the same, but they are not. In truth, they are mutually exclusive.

“Nation” is an umbrella term that refers to the groups and subgroups that make up a country’s culture. The diverse values of these groups constitute the warp and woof of the nation. The nation is chaotic, disorderly and lacks efficiency, for it requires constant bickering to achieve the compromise and conciliation that are needed for effective action. In general, the outcome of this bickering is an obsession with the common welfare.

The “state”, on the other hand, seeks power and authority that it may bring order and stability to the nation and impose upon the nation its own values of conquest and submission.

Traditionally, Constitutions and common law are in place to protect the nation from the state.

The state achieves supremacy over the nation by co-opting the nation’s values, corrupting them, and using them not as instruments of welfare and peace but as justifications for oppression. It recasts the nation’s values and reduces them to wedge issues that are propagandized to produce anger and hate.

The nation thrives on community; the state thrives on fragmentation.

The nation represents the chaos of a life force that maintains itself in a constant state of tense equilibrium, while the state ultimately expresses itself as death by sacrificing of the flower of its youth in constant wars that advance its interests. The end is always the same: the enhancement of the state’s power. There is no other rationale for its existence.

To thrive, the state must twist Christianity, with its message of love and universal brotherhood, into a message of God’s wrath and retribution that turns the state into a wagon train drawn into a circle and surrounded by a dark, alien force. Church and state work hand in hand to undercut freedom to protect “people of faith” from the corruption of a secular humanism that believes in the common good.

The state achieves its ends with a rhetorical arsenal that includes “inversion of language, verbal inflation, libel, rumor, euphemism and coded phrases, rhetorical wantonness, redundancy, hyperbole, such profusion in speech and sound that comprehension is impaired, nonsense, sophistry, jargon, noise, incoherence, a chaos of voices and tongues, falsehood, blasphemy.”[1]

To succeed, there must be a disconnect between the state and its citizens. These citizens must be reduced to a passive horde so wrapped up in itself that it could care less about the antics of the state.

A good citizen is one who mistakes the fiery sword of conquest for the shepherd’s crook.

Your admire,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Stringfellow, William. An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Economic "Stimulant" Package

Dear George,

The sound you hear is the sound of my teeth grinding in anger and frustration. The Beltway is abuzz with all this chatter about and economic stimulus package, as once again our plutocrats act like a bunch of retards.

Our economic recovery is a nostril away, but both Congress and the White House are oblivious.

We don’t need an economic stimulus package; we need an economic “stimulant” package.

Every year, $322 billion worth of illegal drugs enter the country, and not a bit of it is grown or manufactured domestically.

George, it is high time we eliminate our dependency on foreign drugs and started producing them here. We’re dependent on Latin America for $47 billion in cocaine and grass. Sixty percent of Afghanistan’s GDP comes from opium production. That’s a hell of a lot of money to leave on the table.

Think of the possibilities if we started producing our drugs domestically. Just imagine what Monsanto could do with a genetically modified opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Couple that with America’s marketing expertise and we could easily increase drug sales by thirty-five percent giving our economy a shot in the arm to the tune of $435 billion.

Put that in your GDP and smoke it.

Instead of heading for the mall, America would head for the nearest Head Shop, and the economy would be humming again. Drugs would become our new bull market.

There is, however, one caveat to all this. Under no circumstances should drugs be legalized! If we did so, the bottom would fall out of the market. Keep the laws, but cut the enforcement. That, in itself, would save the taxpayers millions which could be used to purchase bongs and syringes.

The political and social benefits of a booming drug market would be manifold. Our government would be able to do whatever it wanted because the country would be too stoned to give a shit. Social Security would be saved because the majority of the population would OD before they reached retirement age. War would come to an end since pilots would be too stoned to find their F-16s, which would work, anyway, because aircraft workers would be too zoned out to assemble them correctly. Enemy armies would deal drugs instead of fighting.

Turn our DEA agents into marketers instead of enforcers and by the fourth quarter Liberty's torch will shine again, even though the torch would be the glowing tip of a fat roach.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our National Softness

Dear George,

America’s influence in the world is shrinking. By whatever metric you use, political or economic or military, we are not the nation we once were. Both the Beltway and our Punditocracy look for causes, and both miss the point entirely.

The problem is that America has gone soft, but. let us get this clear from the get-go: the softness of which I speak has nothing to do with character, morals or resolve. The problem, I fear, is gastrointestinal.

You see, a successful empire requires one important dynamic: constipation.

You hear me correctly, Big Guy. Show me a man whose gone two weeks without a movement, and I’ll show you a mean motherfucker who can oppress an indigenous people without breaking a sweat.

It’s all documented is Sir Arthur Sitsbalther’s seminal work, The Iron Colon: Colonialism and Constipation in Fifteenth Century Europe, published by Oxford University Press.

Here is the gist of his thesis: When Europe embarked upon its colonial expansion in the fifteenth century, its diet was grain-based. Meat was a rarity and fruits didn’t exist. These people were bound up and loaded for bear.

Unfortunately, there was a gastrointestinal dialectic at work. As Europeans expanded into the tropical climes, more fruit was introduced to their diet. More fruit means more regularity. And the more regular a man is, the softer he becomes, both figuratively and literally. This is what led to Europe’s decline in the twentieth century.

We get the same pattern with the Romans.

Now these guys were empire builders. Everywhere they went they took a stack of two-by-fours and a box of nails. Look at them wrong, and they hung you out to dry.

In the beginning, they travelled on bread and grain. It is an established historical fact that a single two-holer could service an entire legion. The world never stood a chance.

But, look at what happened. The empire spread into the Middle East; dates and figs entered the diet, and before you knew it, hordes of bound-up barbarians were pounding at the gates of Rome.

George, it’s time to bind up the country. That’s the only way we’ll get our mojo back. The nation that doesn’t grunt when it shits will never cut the cheese.

Fruits will be the ruination of America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Creating Credibility

Dear George,

Credibility is like a handful of sand. The tighter you try to grip it, the faster is slips through your fingers, until only a few grains are left.

“Credibility” was plutocratic buzz word that enabled us to sink blood and billions into Vietnam long after the troops knew it was a crock of shit. Now it’s the magic incantation that is spilling the blood of our youth on the sands of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan.

This is why the corporatization of the media has been such a godsend. I know you were a little zoned out during Vietnam, but there was quite an uproar over what people called the “credibility gap.” This was the gap between what the Washington was telling us and what people were reading in the press and seeing on television.

Notice, if you would, that no such gap exists today. This is because the nature of the media has changed. They no longer give a shit about facts. The House of Murrow is now The House of Dreck, and we are asshole deep in the age of stenographic journalism. This enables us to maintain our credibility by lying through our teech.

It makes the arrested adolescents in their Beltway gameroom feel good knowing that they are shoring up their credibility even as it drains away.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones