Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why Trees Dance

Dear George,

Have you ever noticed how a tree dances, even on the stillest of days? The dance begins quietly at the base of the trunk and curves slowly upwards until it explodes as the leaves catapult into the sunlight.

Trees dance because they snookered humanity. When Adam ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, he swallowed a seed. The seed took root, germinated and became the label, the epithet, the sobriquet, the designation and the grouping with which we mark, classify, categorize and dub the “Other”.

Without the label, there could be no slaughter or oppression. We can’t oppress Marilyn, but a “bitch” is easy. We’ll think twice about murdering Sam, but offing a “nigger” is a cakewalk.

If the state commits an atrocity against a label or a category, it is not an atrocity; it’s policy.

As Zappa’s talking dog once opined, “The crux of the biscuit is in the apostrophe.” The apostrophe makes the denial of our denial possible. Never say “don’t” (as in, we don’t murder, we only defend) because a denial is a tacit admission that what is denied might exist, but since we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of its existence, we cannot allow the possibility of its denial. (Have Laura explain that one to you.)

I mention this because the state is going to have to do a hell of a lot of labeling as we enter the Deindustrial Revolution.

You’ve heard all the talk about bubbles, housing bubbles and asset bubbles. Forget them all! They were mere blisters on the mother of all bubbles, the Industrial Revolution. Yes, George, that great outburst of human ingenuity and technological wizardry was little more than a bubble facilitated by cheap oil and a population that lived is sod huts and log cabins.

The tremor you feel under your feet is the mother bubble deflating. The markets are saturated, the consumers are tapped out, the oil wells are starting to run dry, and refinflation is a pipe dream. There ain’t no more return on investment other than funny money expressed as the numbers that dance across the financial world’s computer screens.

As one writer puts it:

It seems normal to most people that they should be able to invest their money and, as a matter of course, get back more than they put in. This reflects the dynamics of an expanding economy; if the production of real wealth is increasing, investments on average will increase in value over time to match the growth in real wealth, and the payback on investments reflects this. Outside of the special conditions of a growth economy, though, that logic no longer applies.

Guess what, Big Guy; the days of an expanding economy are no more, and that’s going to piss off a lot of people. So when granny straps a bomb to her chest and heads for the nearest Duane Reade because her drug coverage has been cancelled, she ain’t granny no more, she’s a “grey terrorist” whom the state can gun down with impunity.

And all the riff-raff that rises up and begins burning and looting are no longer our neighbors; they are “insurgents” who can be strafed and droned in the name of national security.

The tree did us a great favor when it gave Adam that seed. That’s why it dances; it got rid of it.

Have you ever seen a policymaker dance?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones


Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Great letter, Case!

During the recent ice storm I suppose all the limbs falling (cracking and plunging) from all of those trees were the "trees" ridding themselves of a useless "currency"...?

Or they, the trees, were afraid that the branches could produce another "shitty seed" leaving the tree "dance less"...?

Or the dancing trees in order to make a buck in this economy had become strippers...?

Case Wagenvoord said...

I thnk maybe they were throwing the branches at us.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Ha! I never thought of that one! Of course that's what they're doing. It's a sort of slam dance, eh?

Case Wagenvoord said...

...or a revolt.