Friday, December 09, 2005

Moonbatman Begins.


This comes out of an interesting discussion around “Peak Stoopid” last month, about the shape and scope of the future.

And sleep-deprivation.

To wit, is “hope” merely butt-dancing in a pair of Pollyanna Panties as we fall to our doom? Is despair warranted, or a self-fulfilling prophecy? One what firm plot of land can a thinking person plant their feet and make a stand that is at once pragmatic and principled?

You may or may not have seen “Batman Begins”. I have. I liked it, and Liam Neeson quibbles aside, it works as an origin myth, action movie and superhero flick.

And if one were inclined in that direction, one could also see it as a Lost Liberal Parable for the 21st Century.

Thomas Wayne, who “nearly bankrupted Wayne Enterprises fighting poverty during the Depression” as the only-dimly-remembered Good Liberal Father (or perhaps even a genuine Compassionate Conservative, a species long gone extinct in our dark lands.)

A city that has lost faith in its own vision of itself.

A government where good men still exist, but corruption has so riddled its bones that even if the wanted to clean it up, “in a town this dirty, who's there left to rat to?” When the President and all of his Men are rotting this nation from the head down, that sentiment could not be more apropos.

A child left orphaned by murdered Liberal Father, lost and insane with rage at a world beset on all sides by bad guys, who control everything and who killed his ideals.

A villain whose WMD is Fear, and whose seductive ideology is familiar to every Neocon, bigot, Fundy and witch-hunting pimp, and every other mutant strain of Reality Rejectionist, Cheney Regime Dead Ender, and self-hating, closeted GOP Sodomite.

It’s sold to children under without a warning label or an NC-17 rating at GOP Media outlet stores everywhere the trade name of theological or cultural imperative. It is pumped into our groundwater like fucktard fluoride by Regnery Press, the AFA the Murdoch Empire and a hundred others.

Stripped of its pink BoBo icing, its nothing but a brutal philosophy that demands a holocaust. A civilization-purifying auto da fe. The same, shopworn drivel that every closet-fascist keeps on the bedside table for inspirational, pre-dozing-post-wanking reading after he’s done jerking off to the Turner Diaries and Photoshopped Ann Coulter porn.

That a Higher Order demands that Gotham and everyone in it perish as a necessary sacrifice to preserve the precious bodily fluids of the Righteous.

Here’s what it comes down to: Do you believe our Gotham – our nation -- can be saved or not? If you don’t, your heart and words will move in one direction, and if you do you will find yourself on a very different path.

A new America won’t exactly take the same form that it has taken in the past – our profligate use of our natural bounty has seen to that – but even without a looming oil crisis, we would be changing. Every few years we get to itchin’ and bitchin’, burst our seams and change; it’s in our DNA.

It is, on some level, a matter of faith, but emphatically not a Creationists cowering fearful superstition. This is a matter of informed faith. Of looking at our problems and knowing that the way to fix them is the way problems usually get fixed; by saturation-bombing them with smart, passionate people.

So where do you find such people? By the million?

Locked in the shabby minimum-security passion-flattening factories called Public Schools, that’s where. Human beings genetically identical to the men and women who founded and built this country – voluntarily and at under the bondsman’s whip. As the saying goes, the weak died along the way and the cowards never came.

And these are their grandkids.

If the resources to save our Gotham were gone, or if a meteor were screaming unstoppably down from heaven to kill our planet, then I’d relax into a nice, boozy fog of hopelessness. I’d get out my “Better Dead” list, start with a certain grade school teacher and work my way down chronologically.

But all is not lost.

Far from it; the tools of our salvation are all around us.

They pack our schools, begging to be taught how to be heroes. They work in our factories, eager to innovate and create a magnificent future with their hands and heads. They turn off the teevee and sigh and wish their nation could be a great and good place, and are afraid they have lived to see the first days of our long and ugly fall.

We will change and morph and become something else, and it will be painful and frightening and terribly hard work, but to misquote a science fiction writer whose name eludes me at this early hour, it’s raining soup and we don’t yet have enough God damned sense to make buckets.

Yes we’re flawed. We do bad things. We have several million idiots and bigots and Christopaths who really, really, really want to turn us into a lawless oligarchy run by Jesus Christ, CEO.

So what?

Almost every problem we face is man-made, not some inexorably glacial force of God or Nature that is driving us to extinction and which we cannot stand against. We worked our way out of a Depression. We rose up, crossed oceans and crushed fascist empires that were on the verge to cover the Earth. And no man is owned as a slave here anymore.

We can make buckets to catch the future as it pours down on us.

And we will.

88 comments:

Douglas Hoffman said...

Great post -- very interesting take on the Batman mythos, and a stirring call to arms.

My favorite mythic hero/crusader: Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. Clearly schizophrenic (based on his dialog and actions) yet ultimately lauded by the people.

Quote: "All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."

Loveandlight said...

I guess I'm kind of torn in terms of the optimism/ pessimism paradigm. Spiritually, I know that the optimism is better, but I also know that fossil-fuel-fertilized-and-powered industrial agriculture and its attendant "Green Revolution" has resulted in a planet that is three times over its absolute maximum carrying capacity for human beings. Such a situation tends to lead to a rather unfortunate condition known as a "die-off", in which about 90% of the population of a species bites the dust. I know, we're an intelligent species who should be able to manage our die-off in such a way that it won't be a catastrophe, but sometimes it really seems as though we are acting in deliberate defiance of that intelligence in these the final days of cheap fossil fuels. And I worry that a lot of those bright kids who could help us pull through the harsh and scary future will just end up as canon-fodder in pointless resource-wars that everybody will enthusiastically support as the PTB engineer more "terrorist" attacks to whip up that good ol' red-state fascist patriotic frenzy.

Douglas Hoffman said...

I hope you don't mind, but I've linked to you this morning, and included a brief quote from your post. If that's not okay, let me know, and I'll yank it.

driftglass said...

douglas hoffman,
Be my guest and many thanks.

loveandlight,
All valid concerns & I worry about them too. I just worry that too much worry causes a paralysis that stops us from preventing some of the worst that is coming and saving what is best about us.

Joe Max said...

I have a 10 year-old daughter who struggles to understand why children have to die because of our "stupid President." You'd be amazed at how much a child of ten understands what goes on around her.

I tell her that her parents are trying very hard to change this horrible thing our country has become, but that she and her generation will have to pick up wherever we have failed and finish the job. She nods gravely and says, "don't worry, Dad, we will."

It's hard to teach a child to love her country -- and her world -- in such a poisonous atmosphere. But we have to try. She attends our neighborhood public shcool, because I believe in neighborhood public schools; while they may be passion-flattening places, I refuse to abandon them. Private schools produce snobs and teach nothing about getting along with people in the real world.

But yes, there is still passion to make things better among these children. They get it from the same places we got it: art, literature, music. We had John Lennon and 'Lord of the Rings', they have Green Day and 'Harry Potter'. Fantasies, yes, but also inspiration to fight against Evil and Oppression and to do What Is Right for the sake of a better future.

I hope I'm raising my daughter to be among their leaders to get this done. I hope they will be the ones to dance upon the grave of ignorance and suffering in the light of a new golden dawn.

I'm not ready to give up yet.

Dammit.

Phoenix Woman said...

Mithrasmas!

Malacandra said...

Great post, yet again.

Of all the things about the Movement Conservatives that piss me off (and they are legion) the one thing that drives me most to despair has been the relentless undermining of faith in our public institutions and our ability to believe that our problems are tractable through government coordination and planning.

We are surrounded by miracles of heroic stature: everything from the Constitution of the United States, to the Hoover Dam, the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo project moon landings, and the Golden Gate Bridge testify to the vision and will of a people who dared to strain at the limits of the possible and a build a better future for their children... employing brains, brawn, blood and dollars. Hell, even the Mephistophelean Manhattan Project, in all its satanic majesty, testifies to our ability to make wonders - even nightmarish ones - happen as a people.

And after this efflorescence of American positivism, for the past 25 years we have had to witness a revolution of lowered expectation, foisted upon us by ideologues who profit mightily whenever the government privatizes its rightful function, asserting that "government is the problem, not the solution"... despite the evident successes of daringly conceived, and well planned and administrated government programs all around us.

So here we are, left reading David Brooks' columns about the erosion of faith in public institutions, and by golly, how simply horrible that is...

After years of pooh-poohing the notion that we can use the machinery of government to engineer solutions to the mounting problems around us. After placing faith in the invisible hand of a private sector that at every opportunity for profit betrays and abandons its employees, pensioners and communities, after sucking at the teat of the taxpayers.

And after years of willful mismanagement of the instruments of government. Republicans regard government the way a tick regards its host - using it to enrich themselves upon the moneys paid into public coffers for the public weal, by appointing unqualified cronies and yes-men at every level of office. By appointing cats to regulate the canaries. But there's no real sense that they can make the government work for the people - the idea is inimicable to them.

We've got to keep fighting these bastards.

I won't give up until I'm dead.

jurassicpork said...

I've just made what is perhaps my last blog entry. Please go to my blog to read why. I guess this is what they call sharing grief.

So to anyone who cares, there won't be any assclowns of the eeek this sunday or for a while. I just don't feel like being funny or critical of anyone or anything. Which is a shame because there's a lot of good shit going on right now but my heart just ain't in it.

Sentient Lemming said...

Driftglass - you have a fantastic gift. Thankyou for sharing your words so generously.

Are the PTB purposefully steering this Titanic for the iceberg because they presume that they control access to the lifeboats and can thereby shed the great majority of steerage passengers and afterwards enslave the rest?

Could they be as wrong about this as they were about Iraq?

BitterHarvest said...

"It is pumped into our groundwater like fucktard fluoride by Regnery Press, the AFA the Murdoch Empire and a hundred others. "

Hilarious.

Regnery Press is my fave. The printers of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant," "The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House,"
"Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?," "Leftism Revisited: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot," "The Myth of Heterosexual Aids," and the best of them all:"Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry."

Loveandlight said...

sentiment lemming:

Yes, and yes.

Drifty:

I grok. I wish I could agree completely.

US Blues said...

Positive Vibration!

June Doe said...

I often blog about my day to day silliness, my memories, and whatever else comes to my mind. There are a few of us, very dear friends that watch and read other blogs. This is our history unfolding and being recorded in waves of 0's and 1's. I have often discovered that I get a certain amount of shit for some of my posts. My friend sent me your post on why we should never fuck with writers. I've been reading ever since. Thank you for your smarts. I feel better knowing that you are out there, too. Talking. That's good. That's a man-made solution. Yeah, it sure is.

1MaNLan said...

First time I've been to this site. Thanks, Driftglass. This needs to be talked about. "Has America changed forever into something dark and dangerous?" "Can it be "fixed"? "What do we do?" And, of course, "Should we choose to be fatalistic or retain idealism and optimism in the face of apparent decay?
The other blogs don't pay quite enough attention to this..."soul" aspect of political awareness. We have seen the US sliding down, down, down, away from Morality, from Justice and from basic, sound policy to something more akin to an Imperial wet dream. And you don't have to be American to feel diminished by it. We are pretty interconnected, after all.

To give up or not give up. I myself have much education regarding systems and how they opreate. I understand how system dynamics begin to drive people and not the other way around. The larger the system, the greater the power of the system to regulate everyone, even in a state of chaos. Change certainly won't come in the form of sudden sunshiny epiphanies. All will depend on the American people.

It will come down to time, as much as anything else. Americans HAVE TO become FAR BETTER consumers of economic, political and cross culural information than they currently are. IF they are not savvy enough to read between the lines of the politicians pitch or the media's spin, we are lost.

In the end, Hoplessness is death, though. So therefore, I am with Joe Max. I have my own little 11 year old daughter who sounds like Joe's girl. She KNOWS that the government's actions are immoral and it bothers her. And she wants things to change. That is what I will cling to. Faith and Hope sounds good to me.

Tuli said...

Time will ease your pain. It will not eliminate it, only ease it. As I read your post I started to tear up and think of Camilia Cat who died over 25 years ago.

She was the runt of the litter so I knew that her days were numbered when I brought her home. Though no one else would buy a runt Bluepoint because of her life expectancy, she and I shared eleven wonderfully close years. She knew I was sick before I knew I wasn’t feeling well. She talked me to death, bad choice of words, as only a Siamese can. She never left my side. I miss her to this very day.

And you will miss Shana forever as well.

Family is Family and Life and Death are existential, which I happen to think is actually rational.

Come back when you can.

Tuli said...

My previous comment was meant for JP.

Driftglass, as more often than not, is right on target. I have taken my stand in Gotham. I am seriously depressed, and outraged, and will not give up. That is why I started blogging. It gives me the opportunity to not only get it off my chest, but hopefully pass along information.

I am a fan of Paulo Freire who wrote "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." Information and critical analysis based on our own experience is essential to learning and changing our lives. It is also essential to contributing to the changing of the lives of our fellow citizens and country.

Yes, “We can make buckets to catch the future as it pours down on us.”

Thank you Driftglass for making my day more positive.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you here it is unbelievable. However, I must imbue a CAVEAT; I do not believe in this country and furthermore don't believe it's technological might makes it the best choice. I do believe in the children of this nation and all nations to overcome our simplistic world view.
They are the ones that will clean up our mess; indeed. I have faith only in this. I have no religious faith, no nationalistic faith, no faith in my fellow "grown-up." I have faith in one spot and one place only; our children. If we have done our job educating them then we will be redeemed. I despise my generation and the generation before; "the good generation." Fucking twits thought beating Hitler was the best thing since sliced bread. I abhor these assholes.
They should just die off. Strutting monstosities of a failed economic system. If we don't perish because of universal armeggedon or environmental meltdown we still have these clowns to contend with.
I hope my children and yours will be prepared...

Bob

jurassicpork said...

Thank you, Tuli.

vicbastard said...

Where do I buy that comic book?

rah.

BadTux said...

The deal is that democracy, if it is to work, requires that the majority of people give a shit. And in general, the majority of people don't. As long as it's not an utter disaster immediately attributable to the folks in Washington D.C., the majority of people simply don't care who rules them. I mean, c'mon. Richard Nixon was elected not once, but *TWICE*. You're tellimg me that a vile, evil little man like Richard Milhous Nixon (to quote the late Hunter S. Thompson, "Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning") could get elected not once, but *twice*, if people really gave a shit? Not no, but FUCK no.

The only thing -- the ONLY thing -- that ever makes the sheep look up and start participating in democracy, is national disaster. That's it. And the good news, or bad news, if you will, is that we are swiftly approaching that point. The federal government is printing money with all the fervant abandon of a Weimer Republic finance minister in order to cover the bills, the massive sucking sound of jobs being outsourced have hollowed out our economy into an unsustainable real estate Ponzi scheme, the health care system is at the point of collapse, and then there is the freakin' 500 pound gorilla of all national disasters going down in Iraq right now, sucking our nation's wealth and power into a tarpit of death and destruction without end. So it looks like, any moment now, the sheep will look up.

The question, then, is whether we will be ready when they do, ready with a dream, a plan, that can move this country forward, instead of a dream or plan that is just enough to put the sheep back to sleep but not enough to take this nation to the next step in its national destiny. The tired old Democratic party hacks in 1976, the last time the sheep looked up, had no real dream to move the country forward, meaning that the evil vile people took over again in 1980. If we are to avoid a repeat of that, we must start, *today*, to talk about the dream that is America, to dream big, dream mightily. Alas, I fear we have forgotten how to dream in these past thirty years of blindness...

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

MAC said...

Thanks for the ray of hope.

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I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.
A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.
We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.
The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". personal-development.info

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Anonymous said...

If a "hot" real estate area cools off, who's going to argue that it does not have larger implications? , Florida, may have some valuable lessons for the real estate industry as a whole. Read more ....

Anonymous said...

The No. 1 sellers' complaint on the is the "showing" process ... the line of people trudging through their home, inspecting their lives, in search of who knows what .

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Cyber-wandering and looking for something that might help my own real estate business. Stumbled across your blog and enjoyed the visit. Thanks for the read. Visit my site if you have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Even if you sell your home "as is, subject to inspection" � you can do a lot to . A top-notch Realtor� will probably hand you a list of at least a dozen things you can do to help improve your sale. If they don't, well, maybe you need to .

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Anonymous said...

Nothing beats a good blogging trip, but I think I have to get back to work on my own real estate sites. May as well stop on a high note, which your blog seems to be. Thanks for the read. Visit my site if you have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Hint #4 for . Fix That Faucet! Dripping water suggests faulty plumbing, one of the greatest fears that savvy buyers have.

Anonymous said...

In this "cooling off" real estate market, suggest that the average residence is shown about 4 times a week during the first 3 weeks of a real estate listing. After that, an unsold home goes "stale" ... it gets shown less .

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I don�t really have a useful comment on your site, but it was a nice break from my own real estate work. I just weanted you to know I enjoyed the visit and hope you can visit my site if you have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Potential buyers have to say "yes" many times to purchase your home ... but a single "no" over a seemingly minor item can kill the deal. You can do something about this.

Anonymous said...

. Noise does not sell well. Let the Realtor� and buyer talk, free of disturbances. Background "soft playing" music is okay, but the wrong sounds will turn buyers off. Noisy children and animals are roadblocks to a contract � and traffic, trains, and planes must be dealt with honestly, if they are part of the deal. Go here for more ideas.

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