Saturday, October 20, 2012

Political Words and Non-political Music

Is That all there is? by Dan DeWalt at This Can't Be Happening: a very good rundown on last Tuesday's presidential debate,

"The media often tell us that because of our short attention span, need for instant gratification, disinterest in complex/subtle/foreign affairs, we get the politicians that we deserve, but it's more complicated than that. In fact, the media have contributed mightily to the dumbing down of questions and the simplification of issues the more easily to cast the election merely as stories abut the horse race, or to simply pit the candidates against each other. While Obama and Romney postured on stage to see who could give the best swagger display Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala were being arrested for merely trying to enter and watch the debate as observers.

The inclusion of Stein, or Rocky Anderson, or any number of other serious third party candidates in that debate would have expanded the conversation to include many issues that really matter to people. Instead, courtesy of a conspiracy by the two main parties, we are led to believe that we only have a choice of two corporate toadies and that the only issue that matters is paying less for energy and lowering taxes."
And a song - same title as the article and a little advice ("If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing, let's break out the booze and have a ball") - Peggy Lee with Leiber & Stoller's Is That all there Is?:

Excellent brief assessment of socialism and attitudes to even the word socialism in the USA, a piece by David Glenn Fox at The Leftist Review:

"If you would want to demonize something in the United States of America, simply tie it together with socialism and before long, you too could raise an angry torch-carrying mob or small army of ministers on phone-trees calling up the faithful to fight back the Red Menace.

Do you want to know what socialism is about? I mean, do you really want to know what socialism is about Charlie Brown? Socialism is a traffic light; it says the traffic stops for three minutes going this way and for three minutes going the other way. It doesn’t care what kind of car you drive or where you live. It divides the usage of the intersection fairly without standing or class. It is really a very simple solution to some very complex problems. Of course to conservatives, I suppose it does carve into that blessed freedom of theirs, which they are always so concerned about.
I imagine to a libertarian traffic lights must appear to be an abomination......."

And from Clusterfuck Nation, by James Howard Kunstler: Heretics Unite

If you look closely at the artifacts of the centuries pre-dating the Renaissance, you detect a long-running mood of severe psychological depression when the human race dwelt in abject hopelessness and poverty, with only the hocus-pocus of the church promising better times beyond the mystery of death as the Zoloft of the day. Poggio was not alone in his enthusiasm for the lost world of the ancients, and eventually the rediscovery of a realm of ideas beyond the drear preoccupations of a corrupt church turned on a light for humanity that has burned for five hundred years.
I mention these old and arcane matters because the mood of humanity lately seems to be darkening again, and to some large degree for understandable reasons. Between the melting of the polar icecaps, the destruction of all edible life in the oceans, and the vulgar spectacle of the paved-over American landscape with its clown monuments mocking all civilized endeavor, and a long list of other insults to healthy life on earth, there's a lot to be depressed about.

And a song written and sung by John Conlee - it suggests what we might need if we are to remain (almost) sane during these "interesting" times: rose-coloured glasses!

I own an old creaky pair - but a smart newer version is on order! They do make one feel better- I'm not kidding!


mike said...

The essential principles of communism, socialism, capitalism, libertarianism, etc, are all founded on benign intent and common good. It's only when humans enact those principles that it all comes undone at the seams. The adage that we get what we deserve seems to apply to the current politics of the US.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ So very true!
There's something just slightly out of kilter in our communal human nature isn't there?

When in astrological-mode I put it down to the position Earth holds in the solar system.
I like to surmise what would happen (sci-fi alert) if humans were to find a human-friendly planet somewhere out there, begin to emigrate and reproduce there. Over centuries would the nature we share on Earth change radically on the new planet home in accordance with the new planetary configurations found there?
Maybe it would bring about an even worse strain, or maybe a more benign variety of "us".

Rossa said...

Off topic T, but do you know if anything's happened to Robert Phoenix? He hasn't blogged for over a month and I used to drop in at least once or twice a week. If he's given up I'll archive his link.


Twilight said...

Rossa ~~ I've been wondering about him myself, Rossa. He has gone AWOL from his blog in the past, then returned.

I'll pop a comment under his last post, and see whether he responds.

Twilight said...

Rossa - My comment is "awaiting moderation" which has never happened before - so Robert is probably too busy to deal with the blog just now. At least, I hope that's the reason, rather than that he's too sick to do it.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~ I've just received an e-mail from Robert. He's fine but is in the midst of moving. He says he'll be back in a couple of weeks.....and thanks us for thinking of him.

Chomp said...

Absolutely true, Socialism has nothing to share with the kind of model of the car you drive, the huge misunderstanding in America, the thing I always laughed for, that, if they want to demonize you, they say you are a socalist..., the great misunderstanding in America is born from this incomprehension of the nature of socialism.

On the contrary, socialism has nothing to share in discussing of the models of cars. It has to share in discussing the traffic and the lights necessary to **rule** it!!

Its vision is systemic, what lacks today in this world...

And Bolshevok Russia, you may ask me... But they arrived at the point of discussing the model of car you had to drive because they had the basic to maintain their power after the Revolution... If thay had made some real effort to let socialism win they would have arrived at the point of leaving their power, precsely what they did not want to do...

And now Russia is under dictatorship again, in a way or another ...

Twilight said...

Chomp ~~ I agree!

Greed could not live with socialism (socialism proper). Because humans, or some of us, have the urge to possess more, and more, with the attitude that more is better, and "devil take the hindmost, socialism cannot work. It's a pipe dream. The very sad thing is the way the very word has become "dirty" in the USA.

Chomp said...

Yes absolutely, the very term has become in some way “bad” due to a basci misunderstanding.

But unfortunately a systemic view is hard to be maintained due to the need too many men and women have, that is to have increasingly more.

So the ones who rule the world have one goal in mind: In order to maintain their power (like Bolsheviks? Yes!! Are you joking saying so Not at all...) they have only let that instinct to explode beyond any control...

The whole world goes bad but “you” can still eat and buy and so, what the heck...

I signalate you this link: Milton Friedman and the Rise of Monetary Fascism (

Twilight said...

Chomp ~~ Thanks for the link. A depressing article, and a warning which ought to have been pushed forward decades ago, but the population was too busy enjoying new-found comforts. Hard to blame them, easy to see the pattern with hindsight.

It seems that we're heading back around the cycle towards a modern form of feudalism. From the article you linked:

...we have become chattel. We are conditioned to the service of those with money

Rossa said...

Thanks for the update about Robert, Twilight.

Busy here too with a new project, well a couple actually. Less time to read blogs though yours is still on my usual favoured meanderings through astrology and others.