Flint

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Speaking of quenching our thirst.

At least Dave Mathews Band's music isn't contaminated with lead, though it might be contaminated with truth.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

rs, same song, better link (for me, it could be a regional thing)

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Maybe Kofi Annan could bring charges against the USA:

They tried to discredit us researchers.” But it was too late. The scientists may have been vindicated, but not before close to 9,000 children under the age of 6 had been poisoned.

Historical Memory and the Politics of Disappearance

These acts of state-sponsored violence have reinforced the claim by the Black Lives Matter movement that Snyder’s actions represent a racist act and that it is part of “systemic, structurally based brutality” and that “the water crisis would never have happened in more affluent, white communities like Grand Rapids or Grosse Pointe,” asSusan J. Douglas has pointed out. Poor people of color suffer the most from such practices of environmental racism, and poor Black and Brown children in particular suffer needlessly, not just in Flint, but also in cities all over the United States. This is a crisis that rarely receives national attention because most of the children it affects are Black, Brown, poor and powerless. Some health experts have called lead poisoning a form of “state-sponsored child abuse” and a “silent epidemic in America.” As Nicholas Kristof makes clear:

In Flint, 4.9 percent of children tested for lead turned out to have elevated levels. That’s inexcusable. But in 2014 in New York State outside of New York City, the figure was 6.7 percent. In Pennsylvania, 8.5 percent. On the west side of Detroit, one-fifth of the children tested in 2014 had lead poisoning. In Iowa for 2012, the most recent year available, an astonishing 32 percent of children tested had elevated lead levels. (I calculated most of these numbers from C.D.C. data.). Across America, 535,000 children ages 1 through 5 suffer lead poisoning, by C.D.C. estimates. “We are indeed all Flint,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Lead poisoning continues to be a silent epidemic in the United States.”

This is a manufactured crisis parading as a cost-cutting measure under Republican and Democratic parties that supported neoliberal-inspired austerity measures and aggressive deregulation. For instance, Congress in 2012 slashed funding for lead programs at the CDC by 93 percent; in addition, lobbyists for the chemical industry have worked assiduously to prevent their corporate polluters from being regulated.

Poisoning 100s of 1000s of children by choice is behaviour OECD members do not engage in. Iran doesn't do it either. I think Israel only poisons Palestinians. Pres Carter has written of the Israeli apartheid.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

And america lays back uttering in it's last breath,

The horror! The horror!

rs allen
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Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

The rich own the country, they control the country, their stooge denied Michigan their elected leader, their stooge poisoned the denied people and their children.

90 years ago, Fitzgerald was chronicling the rich and their fissures within, old money vs new money, in Gatsby

He was reading The-decline-of the West-Oswald-Spengler-ebook, at the time. btw, that's a free edition in Kindle format, and a 99 cent version is available too if the text and translation in this one is wanting. Spenglers' Weimar perspective was probably an influence, but not enough to dilute his pov in Fitzgerald's eyes. Spengler is still a 20th century tome included on sociological reading lists.

A. Spengler, a westerner himself, constructs detailed accounts in describing the historical development of western Europe. One of his main theses is a distinction between culture and civilization, which he derives from a credible, if difficult to falsify model for a universal cycle of human cultural growth, followed by decline into advanced civilization. For those familiar with biological theory, Spengler's model is essentially a growth curve. The familiar biological model is the lag phase, then the log phase, followed by the stationary phase, and ending in the death phase; which repeats itself virtually ad infinitum. In Spengler's model he labels these phases, respectively, after the seasons, beginning with spring and ending with winter. The spring-time of a people is a mythical phase, where settled economic life grows from a rural peasantry. This is followed by the summer, or cultural phase of strong and dynamic growth in all important aspects of a people; of economic, religious, martial, and other relevant human impulses. Then comes the fall, where dogma forms. Where adult-like reason takes root from the innocent cultural phase and puritan oversight of national religion and government begin to set hard like concrete. Finally, the winter of a people is when the national personality and traditions lose their effectiveness. Civilized and urbane money and economic issues tend to become preimminent over the cultural issues. Technology and irreligion become rampant. This cycle is not a modern phenomena, but repeats itself as seen in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Aztec civilizations; and again, currently in America.

B. Spengler's style in elucidating a history of the west, and developing an hypothesis of universal and collective human behavior, is punctuated by the era in which he wrote: the early 20th century. Much of the historical analysis before and after this era lacks the materialist, psychoanalytical, and structural influence that typified thinking and literature when Spengler wrote. Published in 1926, The Decline of the West contains that biting air of criticism and structuralism so fecund in those times. This critical structural analysis gives Spengler's work a sharper contrast and greater depth of field than would likely have been possible for a writer from before or after Spengler's time. This is not to take away from Spengler's native insight and acuity, which was nevertheless, likely heightened by the charged literary atmosphere of early 20th century Germany.

C. The way Spengler psychoanalyzes the structure of history through art and architecture is almost wholey absent from the majority of standard historical analyses. Reading Spengler makes one aware of this common lack. This is one of the strong points of this book, since art and architecture express so much of what a culture is and why it thinks in the ways it does.

All in all, despite the typical fallacies of sex and race Spengler repeats, once could say this is a seminal work describing western development and thought which no student of history should leave unopened. An advantage of reading this book today instead of when it was originally released is the internet. If you lack truly comprehensive powers of recall regarding the art and architecture Spengler uses to analyze his subject cultures, then using the internet to pull up the various paintings, sculptures, and architectural examples is most helpful as an active part of reading this work; turning what could otherwise be a dry, boring read into something more alive that captures what the author is trying to convey. If possible, bring up the actual images of the art and architecture Spengler describes at the moment you're reading about it. This gave me a more graphic and focused perspective of the cultures he analyzes. Reading this book was like experiencing a kaleidoscope of mind candy.

What season is the US in now? A congressman brought a snowball into congress, it must be winter, or is it spring and that's old snow? Maybe he had it in his freezer, or was it just a leftover slurpee? The guy was a right winger so I bet he prayed over his slurpee before he sucked on it, and before he attacked scientific fact. Praying before you serve bullshit and eat crow must be a tradition.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

What season is the US in now?

While I think that was a rhetorical question I feel the urge to answer Doug. I think we're well into the season described by J. Steinbeck in 'The Winter of Our Discontent'. Hmmm, call it a rot from inside out if you like as we now expect venal to be the norm, even on the national stage meeting it all with a shrug, everyone does it. Everyone cheats, everyone lies and the best at it are celebrated.

I'm only a little ways into the Tainter's Complex Societies text you so kindly supplied to us all so I'm not ready to delve into Spengler just yet . I'll file it though, thanks again. If I may get back to Tainter, it's not hard to at least see one of what I think Tainter considers one of the biggest reasons for collapse in the dissolution of this empires internal socialpolitical center compact and in turn the resulting displacement and chaos on the outer edges of empire. The one looming problem facing this complex that none in the past have faced is that there's no where to go. All other peoples from broken civilizations when they weren't being murdered or thrown into slavery always had somewhere else to go. Today there is no over there because the entire nest we all depend on has been so degraded as to be unlivable or soon will be (imho). Kinda creates a very stark picture.

rs allen
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Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm
Quote rs allen:

The one looming problem facing this complex that none in the past have faced is that there's no where to go. All other peoples from broken civilizations when they weren't being murdered or thrown into slavery always had somewhere else to go. Today there is no over there because the entire nest we all depend on has been so degraded as to be unlivable or soon will be (imho). Kinda creates a very stark picture.

No matter how many different ways people may try to say it, I agree, that's where it is this time.

That's why I see our plight as a species so similar to so many others in lower level succession environments. The lemmings are iconic for me in that regard. I've tried to use a simplified form of representing their periodic population rising and falling to explain our own plight, usually to no avail. That's probably my fault. I lack the skill to explain it properly.

lemmings jumping off cliffs

Quote The Lemmings, from Wiki:

Lemmings have become the subject of a widely popular misconception that they commit mass suicide when they migrate, by jumping off cliffs. It is in fact not a mass suicide but the result of their migratory behavior. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. Lemmings can swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, many may drown if the body of water is so wide as to stretch their physical capability to the limit. This fact, combined with the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian lemmings, gave rise to the misconception.

For the lemmings, the tundra is their "planet" so to speak, they are adapted to it. When they overpopulate, they do so because their "planet" lacks the complexity to keep the population in check so it goes up rapidly, then the predator species all go up because the lemmings are their primary source of food (kind of like a monoculture), but when the lemmings over consume their food source, they have no where to go, so they die off. The predator population then dies dies off. Wash, rinse, and repeat. This cycle goes on and on.

Humans are quite adept at transforming complex eco systems into monocultures that benefit specifically them, eliminating other species that may threaten their monocultures.

Modern industrial agriculture is especially well designed to do this, and it does it planet wide, often destroying locally sustainable, diverse human cultural practices while doing so. It does this with all the help of our modern scientific methodologies to enforce monocultural practices in the place of eons of naturally-derived biological complexity.

Now -- and this may even be comically ironic to some humans some day -- complexly organized human societies, through a kind of mechanistic and almost mindlessly rational, certainly mechanistic institutional process, induce environmental non complexity for the benefit of its own species' survival.

In the short term, the managers of these complex civilized institutions recognize something called "profit" from the surplus production process of inducing non biologically complex, institutionally-controlled mono cropping, which includes now giant feed-lotting of the human species' favorite protein sources.

Then, quite rationally, using advanced statistical measures, such as GDP -- measures which often include their own destructive processes as a positive measurement value, profit being a measurement -- they buttress their instituted, expert-derived and culturally shared beliefs in their capacities to control the long-evolved biospheric natural urge for complexity. Whether that has anything to do with something people posit as "Godliness" or not is way beyond me.

Civilization's progress has arrived at its goal: technological mastery of the planet. Thus the managers of these civilized institutions conclude, if they bother to conclude anything at all, that they have finally achieved a degree of planet mastery needed for a long term human species survival. Doubt is no longer needed, furthermore not welcomed.

Like some of the lemmings in that video, not all humans agree with the mass institutions and their planetary domination strategies, and don't jump off the cliff with the others. In Roman times, many of those were the rural peasants who knew how to survive in a more intimate relationship with the land. Dmitri Orlov describes a similar scenario in the recent collapse of the Soviet Union (Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and the American Prospect). He elaborates with essays on this on his blog, Cluborlov, along with more recent books you'll find there.

I don't know if the mass of lemmings in their own little societies do anything like this. We can only observe their behavior and try to rationally explain it.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

I hope the following adds in a way that does not disrupt the flow of ideas here. Obviously, I think it’s relevant, even if the Flint water crisis had not yet come front center in the news at the time of Linzey’s talk .

Derrick Jensen admirers will recognize this guy:

Quote Thomas Linzey, executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, speaking at the 2013 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference:

...We’ve been working on something called the “Rights of Nature.” One of the components of those ordinances [local community ordinances across the U.S. spoken of earlier in his talk] contain Rights of Nature clauses, which recognize the rights of ecosystems and natural communities to exist, flourish and naturally evolve. Two-thousand communities from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire, to Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, other places, have adopted these ordinances into place which refuse to recognize that nature is ‘property’ under the law.

The controversial statement that we sometimes make is that there’s never been an environmental movement in the United States. And we say that there’s never been an environmental movement in the United States, because movements transform things that were treated as things under the law into being right-bearing persons. The Abolitionists were about a movement that transformed slaves/African Americans from being property into being persons...the Suffragists [same] ...That’s what movements DO. We’ve had an environmental movement that has been focused on treating nature as property to be regulated. Under our system of law you have a ten-acre deed to a parcel of land, it carries with it the right to destroy the ecosystems on that parcel of land. That’s the system of law that we have. These communities are beginning to adopt laws that refuse to recognize that nature and ecosystems are property under the law and that actually allow residents to step into the shoes of a river or a mountain to bring an action as the plaintiff to protect those rights of ecosystems

Now the work in the United States in 2001 to 2006— word carried down to Ecuador, which was beginning work on a new national constitution in the country. They found out about the work ...found out about the work in these small communities that were actually passing all these laws, and they asked us to come down to help them write new national constitution. That constitution, which had a whole committee of delegates working on a fundamental rights section of the constitution ...brought us in to help them fashion the law— because, they wanted to become the first country in the world to transform from a regulatory, property-based system of environmental protection to a rights-based system of environmental protection. They took the language from the United States communities, and they actually wrote it into their national constitution, which was ratified overwhelmingly in 2008, making Ecuador the first country to do that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DUGB-kmMoM

[apologies for gaps and any mistakes in transcription— Zenzoe, and emphasis mine]

For an article on the subject, co-authored by Thomas Linzey:

How Activists Can 'Occupy' Their Cities with New Legal Structures That Empower Communities Over Corporations - -

A bill of rights that protects the rights of people and nature, but removes them from corporations? Here's how your community could be next.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

connected to Zenzoe's link:Remember when the Chesapeak was dead for all marine life?

Chicken shit (real chicken shit this time, not republicans that are often chicken shits) and pig shit are not pleasant for marine life and the parties that introduced the enormous fecal load just kept dumping only not an ordinary dump like teenagers mean when they 'take a dump'. This was dump dump dump no let up not even a hump or a bump, all done without a sump but maybe a pump, Crabs were off limits due to the bacteria count. 22,000 different times one company was cited . Sounds more than habitual, sounds chronic, but I bet correlated to bribes (sorry, campaign donations) spent.

Chlorine, ammonia, and other wonderful noxious poisons were used, just as they are now all over the country as Erin Brokevich mentioned. Poisoning the citizens was accepted as normal as long as the elites had a clean supply. However, an EPA appointed bya GOP was also required, so SCOTUS fulfilled. And Cheney arranged even more exemptions for even newer poisoning techniques, in the name of energy. "We're going to kill your mom and poison your kids" What? You can't do that!!" " It's for ENERGY " "I'll pick out her favorite dress she always wanted to be buried in"

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Thomas LInzey, indeed. Thanks for that.

A discussion even suggesting the harmful potentional of turning what's meaningful to us into thingness with our minds, harmful to our way of being in the world, to our very societies, is pretty much beyond the scope of most social situations where discussion, dialog... any option for communicating together in a shared sense of meaning -- has been almost, maybe not entirely, but almost, impossible for me to find.

The very structure of our vaunted belief in a rule by law that I began to question when my own strong sense of right and wrong put me on the wrong side of this structure, a sense of lawfulness that relies so heavily on property and ownership as a fundamental to making sense of rights, is deeply embedded in our way of seeing the world.

One of the first books in the environmental discussion -- and I tend to agree, there's really no movement -- that struck me on this topic was Should Trees Have Standing? first published, and read avidly by me, in 1972. From the above link to Amazon:

Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations.

"a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement..."

...except no movement really evolved, it died in its infancy around the time Ronald Reagan was elected; I think yuppiehood and the Conquest of Cool as described by Thomas Frank was a kind of philosophical expression of the social forces describing how those fledging environmentalists voluntarily melted into the American way of being.

The question haunts me still, and my ponderings of its various meanings have been a part of developing my own sense of what we ought to be doing as a society living in this world, not apart from it, and my sense of horror at what an objectifying process does to the living nature around us, and to a living us within it, thus an integral part of it. A horror I found some sense of companionship in my own sense of feeling while reading some of Derrick Jensen's works.

if anyone is curious about how I connect with Saul's "dictatorship of reason" when I first read it, that's where it starts, for it is our rational, logical capacity that objectifies and commodifies the world around us. It's the very cold and austere opposite of empathetic recognition.

A couple of related terms for this thing-ification process that came to mind while reading that transcript: objectification, and commodification.

Two writers come to mind, completely at opposite poles in their thinking and treatment of the subject matter:

Objectification as a moral philosophy, including her infamous Virtue of Selfishness, brings up one of the conservatives' supposedly most read writer, Ayn Rand, and what I would tag as a fundamentalistic rationalism in the thinking of some of today's prominent politicians currently in the news.

Sen. Ted Cruz takes Ayn Rand to Washington

Quote Ted Cruz:

“One of my all time heroes, Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged described how the parasitical class would put into place arbitrary power. Standard-less rules precisely so the productive citizens in the private sector would have to come on bended knee to those in government seeking special dispensation, seeking special favors because that arbitrary and standard-less rule empowers the political class and disempowers the people. I couldn’t help but think about Ayn Rand’s observations.”

Parasitic politicians disempower the people.... a bunch of extremist politicians' sold that one it looks like, without a hint of irony, yes PT Barnum is laughing.... but objectifying themselves does not.

The other I've already mentioned, Thomas Frank; Commodify Your Dissent, What's the Matter with Kansas, The Conquest of Cool.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

What I found most relevant in the Lenzey talk and I think was not given enough emphasis was the connection in the use of language and how it manipulates the messages that are delieved to be processed by the peoples enre the biosphere it effects and there-by divorcing those most directly effected from any roots to that system of life that suports us all.

Does that make any sense?

ps.

I prefer the metaphor of cattle rather than lemmings for the human species. As if it makes that much of a difference.

rs allen
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Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

The children of Hamelin followed the /Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin. The children of River City bought band instruments, but didn't die or drown.

Heavens Gate liked their apple juice and Nikes but families ought to have had a clue when the guys started castrating themselves. Today they might call Joanie Earnst for that and make a YouTube, but might be stopped before the rat poison. (Pied Piper was a rat catcher, btw)

Jim Jones used arsenic, but most were forced at gun point and prayer.

The witches that burned in Salem wanted to be burned because they believed the whole nonsense and that they must really be a witch so must be saved, so "Light My Fire, Light My Fire". The villagers really loved the ones they were burning alive, or they wouldn't have done it.

Heavens Gate were excited to take poison, not sad. It was their ticket to board the Hale Bop comet. I wonder if they were worried about their carry on. Plus, Nikes on a comet's surface might be too hot, some hiking boots with lead soles would be better. (and UV eye protection and sunscreen). Cows and lemmings as metaphors, but real life examples might be better. Religion gets people to do irrational things all the time. Did Traumata believe in his mission, or was he just an ordinary sadist?

I forgot about "The End of The World" religious nuts that give their life savings away before tomorrow and are so happy. Then tomorrow comes and they see their car driving by with all their clothes and CDs in it and their house locks are already changed. Next time they might ask questions, even though conservatives are not supposed to do that.

Another gullible soul was a pentagon colonel or general that believed in psychically agitating his inner cellular activity so much that he ought to be able to pass through a concrete block wall. He tried it and kind of bruised his face (if not his ego). He was in a position of authority, like W and his bible motivation for war with Iraq. Homo Sapiens has another century, then lights out.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

But, y’all, you must remember:

“...Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred…” http://poetry.eserver.org/light-brigade.html

And only in America will you find an inverted, butt-plugged Jesus on display in front of some well-deserving city hall.

And yours is not to reason why or how I happened to find that one. Hey, it’s called the internet.

Anyhoo, yes, rs allen, your noticing Linzey’s observations about language and the use of it —euphemisms— I assume, by the “property-based” legalisms of our time, did make sense. For example, how the corporations managed to reframe “factory farms” into “advanced modern farms;” or all that chicken and pig shit Doug referenced —”the enormous fecal load just kept dumping only not an ordinary dump like teenagers mean when they 'take a dump'. This was dump dump dump no let up not even a hump or a bump, all done without a sump but maybe a pump”— which, conveniently for the corporations, becomes “bio-solids.”

Someday, maybe we’ll all be taking-trumps, rather than dumps. After all, it’s a living language and new additions to it do arrive, especially when there’s a particularly remarkable human phenomenon, one deserving a proper place in the lexicon.

Quote .ren:

"a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement..."

...except no movement really evolved, it died in its infancy around the time Ronald Reagan was elected; I think yuppiehood and the Conquest of Cool as described by Thomas Frank was a kind of philosophical expression of the social forces describing how those fledging environmentalists voluntarily melted into the American way of being.

This brings to mind language, again, at least for me. Not to dismiss or ignore Conquest of Cool, which looks like yet another good book to add to the reading list, my sense of the devolution of the environmental movement —as well as other anti-thingism movements, other rights-based movements that brought outside-the-materialist-box consciousness into consideration (women’s rights, children’s rights, animal rights, for example)— finds lots of manipulative, verbal put-downs as push-back against the kind of challenge the environmental movement brings to the table. I see it more as the Tyranny of Cool. That is to say, once you start asking questions such as, “should trees have standing,” you’re no longer a cool guy— you’re a “tree hugger,” and deserving of a chuckle behind your back. Once you decide animals have rights of personhood, rights that should disallow their being tortured in factory farms, then you’re just yet another “bleeding heart,” which is code, again, for uncool. In short, you’re a soft-headed, hippy-dippy, silly romantic everyone gets to feel justified in ignoring.

I could find all sorts of links to evidence in the media and in culture, to show the prevalence of such manipulative push-back against rights-based consciousness, but right now I’ll just assume you know what I’m talking about. I mean, it’s everywhere. Especially in comedy. Apparently, there’s nothing quite so absurd as an environmentalist.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

I see it more as the Tyranny of Cool. That is to say, once you start asking questions such as, “should trees have standing,” you’re no longer a cool guy— you’re a “tree hugger,” and deserving of a chuckle behind your back. Once you decide animals have rights of personhood, rights that should disallow their being tortured in factory farms, then you’re just yet another “bleeding heart,” which is code, again, for uncool. In short, you’re a soft-headed, hippy-dippy, silly romantic everyone gets to feel justified in ignoring.

You got a chuckle out of me with that one.

I think you are quite reasonably raising doubt of this sort: What is cool? And what did Thomas Frank mean by it in his tome? To understand his meaning would involve delving as deeply into the very concept of counterculture as he does. Being cool may very well not mean being the mass media imagery of cool, which nearly everyone works from in judging others around them in order to justify ignoring an idea that is not mass media mainstream. Kind of the tyranny of cool as you put it.

On pages 7 and 8 he writes a very long paragraph, with a shorter summation paragraph to follow, that offers a kind of thesis for the remainder of the tome. In the main and very complex paragraph, Frank is setting himself apart from a long developing theory of co-option (intended at least in part to explain the failure of the sixties to carry on, the "hippies to yuppies" co-option) that looks to identify corporate marketing as an intentional subversion of the threat that "true" counterculture (whatever that might be, and he recognizes how difficult that is to determine) represents. A typical example of co-option theory is reflected in this line:

"If you can't beat 'em, absorb 'em."

I won't produce it all, it's a bit complex and thus needs all the supporting paragraphs around it, but I'd like to share the parts that I feel reflects your "tyranny of cool" concept:

Quote Thomas Frank:

Unfortunately, though, the weaknesses of this historical faith are many and critical, and the argument made in these pages tends more to stress these inadequacies than to uphold the myths of co-option. Apart from certain obvious exceptions at either end of the spectrum of commodification (represented, say, by the MC-5 at one end and the Monkees at the other) it was and remains difficult to distinguish precisely between authentic counterculture and fake: by almost every account, the counterculture, as a mass movement distinct from the bohemias that proceded it, was triggered at least as much by developments in mass culture (particularly the arrival of The Beatles in 1964) as changes at the grass roots. Its heroes were rock stars and rebel celebrities, millionaire performers and employees of the culture industry; its greatest moments occurred on television, on the radio, at rock concerts, and in movies. From a distance of thirty years, its language and music seem anything but the authetic populist culture they yearned so desperately to bbe from contrived cursing to saintly communalism to the embarassingly faked Woody Guthrie accents of Bob Dylan and to the astoundingly pretentious works of groups like Iron Butterfly and the Doors, the relics of the counterculture reek of affectation and phoniness, the leisure-dreams of white suburban children like those who made up so much of the Grateful Dead's audience throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

This is a study of business thought, but in its consequences it is necessarily a study of cultural dissent as well: its promise, its meaning, its possibilities, and, most important, its limitations. And it is, above all, the story of the bohemian cultural style's trajectory from adversarial to hegemonic; the sory of hip's mutation from native language of the alienated to that of advertising.

Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool, 1997, pp 7-8

I was (still am, for that matter), when I stumbled across this first tome of several of Frank's I'd eventually read, exploring the very nature of institutions and how they form culture by their own deeply influential structural characteristics to which most civilized people adapt nearly every day of their lives. Much of it's so taken for granted it's influence is invisible to most. Frank's argument in Conquest is about that influence, for me at least. I know others that see his work in a different light, and many are much more impressed with his What's the Matter With Kansas tome, which I feel is less theoretical and more accessible as a political statement. But Conquest of Cool speaks more to my interests.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

These are cool: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/random/ If you get the humor in these, you are cool, too.

You can play the whole gallery if you scroll down to the 'Next' button. Or just click on the cartoon, another will follow.

'Steve invalidates his wedding vows through the clever use of homophones'... "Eye Dew"

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I guess the question for me is this: did the counterculture merge into mainstream culture of its own accord, or did mainstream culture shame it into submission? Frank may be absolutely correct in his analysis, seeing —if I’ve read your quote properly— how the 1960s representatives of “cool,” having originated out of a spoiled, privileged class, most naturally gave up the ghost, to return to their “proper place.” Conservatives might say, simply enough, they grew up. However, I imagine lots of factors contributed to a socialization counter to counterculture, or, more specifically, counter to environmentalism as a movement, not just absorption into the corporate mainstream via osmosis.

Another factor has to be the tactic you mentioned of “if you can’t beat ‘em, absorb ‘em.” And what a successful tactic it was. If you look at the adoption of the counterculture “look,” for instance, as in jeans & T-shirts as normal wear for the super rich, you can’t avoid seeing the power in the disappearance of a distinction between culture and counterculture, at least on a purely visual and symbolic level. Well, not all of that was part of an odious plan on the part of culture to disempower hippies; fact is, that informalism just happened to be cool, and who doesn’t want to be cool? But still, how does the original power of in-your-face rejection of middle-class norms in fashion recover, after such widespread acceptance by the enemy?

Anyway, I don’t doubt that Cool —do we agree Cool stands for progressive movements in this context?— has been conquered by business interests via clever co-option tactics, whatever those may be (again, if I understand the idea, which I may not, since I haven’t read the book). My only incidental point had to do with culture’s collective agreement to stigmatize “Cool,” according to culture’s co-option of the original idea of being cool, as in, “nonchalant, calm, unperturbed, unemotional, relaxed, laid back, never be freaked out about anything, don’t make anybody uncomfortable,” and etc., so that one would feel socially pressured to appear “cool,” rather than risk the humiliation that comes with being its opposite— uptight and going around making everyone uncomfortable by bringing up unpleasant realities, or “whining” about what’s wrong about things nobody wants to be reminded of. So, that’s what I mean by the tyranny of cool. It’s just damn hard to stand up for an ethical world, if you get ridiculed in the process. Ridicule is such a powerful tactic, you see.

To relate this to the Flint water crisis, consider comments on the subject by Rick Snyder and Jeb Bush:

Snyder: “Spending time on blame-placing has no value. Spending time on taking credit for anything has no value. The only thing that has value is actually accomplishing results that solve the problem.”

“Bush said that instead of ‘blaming people,’ we should be doing what Snyder is doing, creating a strategy to fix it.” http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/01/24/3742264/jeb-bush-flint-caused-by-too-much-regulation/

I infer from those attitudes the notion that to “blame” is to be uncool. I have to wonder if that tendency, one Obama engaged in when he stated we should “look forward, not backward” with regard to the war crimes of the Bush Administration, the tendency to avoid accountability is a phenomenon of these neoliberal times.

Quote Mary Mapes character in the movie “Truth”:

Our story was about whether Bush fulfilled his service. But nobody wants to talk about that. They want to talk about fonts and forgery and conspiracy theories. Because that's what people do if they don't like a story these days. They point and scream. They question your politics, your objectivity - hell, your basic humanity - and then they hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum. And when it's finally over, they've kicked and shouted so loud we don't even remember what the point was.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Great links, Zenzoe, re Occupy and nature, etc. and well said. I hate to be the bearer of bad news re Ecuador but according to Paul Craig Roberts:

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/02/24/the-evil-empire-has-the-w...

The Evil Empire Has the World in a Death Grip
by Paul Craig Roberts February 24, 2016

In the original printing of his book, Perkins tells the stories of how jackals arranged airplane crashes to get rid of Panama’s non-compliant president, Omar Torrijos, and Ecuador’s non-compliant president, Jaime Roldos. When Rafael Correa became president of Ecuador, he refused to pay some of the illegitimate debts that had been piled on Ecuador, closed the United States’ largest military base in Latin America, forced the renegotiation of exploitative oil contracts, ordered the central bank to use funds deposited in US banks for domestic projects, and consistently opposed Washington’s hegemonic control over Latin America.

Correa had marked himself for overthrow or assassination. However, Washington had just overthrown in a military coup the democratically elected Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, whose policies favored the people of Honduras over those of foreign interests. Concerned that two military coups in succession against reformist presidents would be noticed, to get rid of Correa the CIA turned to the Ecuadoran police. Led by a graduate of Washington’s School of the Americas, the police moved to overthrow Correa but were overpowered by the Ecuadoran military. However, Correa got the message. He reversed his policies toward American oil companies and announced that he would auction off huge blocks of Eucador’s rain forests to the oil companies. He closed down, Fundacion Pachamama, an organization with which a reformed Perkins was associated that worked to preserve Ecuador’s rain forests and indigenous populations.

Since both the Venezuelan and Argentine elections have brough long-sought after reverses sought by Washington, these results and what is said on this thread indicate that the destabilization of governments via assassination and so forth are not the only method of Washington getting what it wants but also the control of people's minds and actions through various forms of pressure and manipulation of propaganda and social life.

nimblecivet
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

I infer from those attitudes the notion that to “blame” is to be uncool. I have to wonder if that tendency, one Obama engaged in when he stated we should “look forward, not backward” with regard to the war crimes of the Bush Administration, the tendency to avoid accountability is a phenomenon of these neoliberal times.

Basically, right? You don't want to look "angry" if you are an activist because people have been trained to look happy all the time or be ostracized. But the establishment has its own network of "activists" and "consultants" who are part of the system which serves the unprincipled interests of the cynical elite and who, you know, 'don't complain and instead get things done'.

nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

I guess the question for me is this: did the counterculture merge into mainstream culture of its own accord, or did mainstream culture shame it into submission?

That's a good question.

What I tried to present in as few of his own words as possible was Frank's extensive argument, which is to say in simpler words, neither. Thus, if talking on his terms, we have to move past that very notion of something radical having been defeated and taken over, and see that the radical itself may have already been incorporated into the corporate, capitalist culture by the time Dylan and the post bohemian culture moved on in the early sixties. Television, radio, and film, and what gets on it, is already trans local in nature, and the immediacy of cultural context as a direct, democratic expression of revolutionary thought, is thus transformed. As Pogo said, and he may well have had an inkling of just that, "we have met the enemy, he is us."

The idea, then, incorporating another round of doubt, might go something like this: what we think of as counterculture was a result of business subsuming it rather than reacting fearfully to its structural threat and trying to control it. Which, again, raises the question: what is counterculture, and why do we think that the Sixties was an instance of it?

Here's another person's (besides mine) perspective of Frank's thesis: The Conquest of Cool - The Sixties As Advertising Gimmick

There is no reason to assume that Frank has it right. This is very much up for the application of our intelligence (Saul's interpretation of doubt), and the longer and more leisurely it lasts the better this human capacity is served, in my view. But just to try to clarify Frank's argument, I'll include the first paragraph of Dan Geddes review and if you want more, read his review, read Frank's book, and so on.

Quote Dan Geddes:

Thomas Frank's The Conquest of Cool successfully reframes the traditional perception of the Sixties counterculture: that it represented a rebellion against the consumption-oriented values of "mass society." Frank's purpose is to demonstrate that Madison Avenue and consumption-based industries such as soda bottlers and men's wear welcomed the counterculture, realizing that the cult of instant gratification would make the Baby Boomers better consumers than their thrifty parents. Frank even suggests that the Creative Revolution in advertising anticipated and in some ways precipitated the counterculture. Historians of the Sixties have long described the "co-optation" of the movement by the advertising industry: its use of countercultural symbols. Frank's thesis that Madison Avenue's critique of "mass society" predated later critiques of the countercultural can warm the hearts of critics of capitalism: That capitalism could could generate a critique of itself in order to fashion a more turbo-charged consumer becomes as satisfying as any conspiracy theory, especially in light of Frank's meticulous scholarship.

On a personal note, I never felt part of the so-called sixties counterculture movement. I was drawn to the beat generation before it. While still in high school I was reading literature from that cultural environment, and especially French existentialist literature, like Camus; also I was drawn to writers like James Baldwin here in the U.S who moved in those Greenwich Village beat circles. Virginia Wolf is credited with playing an early role in the formation of the much analyzed bohemian counterculture movement of the first half or so of the last century, and she was certainly one of my early reads.

I strongly suspect that if the Vietnam adventure hadn't been forced on me through the "liberty and freedom" of the military draft, I'd have been roaming the cafes of Paris looking for figures like Camus and Sartre instead the Gulf of Tonkin during those sixties years. But I was in the Gulf of Tonkin and other ports of call in that arena for the four years from 1966 to 1970, so I did not get to participate in much of that culture. I was very much a Stranger in a Strange Land when I got back. Some of what it had developed into in the early seventies I enjoyed, and embraced, but as ever in my wierd existence, I was an outsider looking in.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

I think it's very hard to actually define just what 'the counter-culture' was and what it meant in retrospect because there were quite few under tow cross current forces that were driving the roiling paper thin surface almost everyone envisions (and I believe, as experienced) of 'the counter-culture'. I mean, really did anyone ever think the Monkey's represented counter culture, seriously, I find it hard to even entertain the idea. And in turn affected accent or not Dylan did put to words a much deeper search for truth in what was going on around us than say the Beatles. Then in the end even the Beatles went off in seeking their own visions of truth and split as they found it each for themselves. But I never considered music as any kind representation of what the counter-culture was or still is any more than say a tie dyed tee or a Che silk screen print. For me the counterculture was the Snyder (s), Ferlinghetti, Ginsburg, Mailer, Baldwin, the Panthers, the sit ins at Berkley, Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog fame along with the Mother Earth News later.

The thin veneer that is 'characterized' as the counterculture of the 60's is easy enough to take down and apart but really if one is going to deconstruct that time and place a much broader view and deeper dive is needed than music, tie dyed tees and drugs.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Yes, NC, thanks for that sobering reminder. It’s a sad, sad story— our government and its damnable doings in South America. And it certainly looks like Ecuador’s constitution’s “Rights of Nature” clause has not had the power to thwart neoliberal policies that would destroy the environment. http://www.democracynow.org/2015/12/23/headlines/ecuador_opens_chinese_owned_copper_mine_despite_resistance

Still, it’s a mixed picture, apparently, in Ecuador. http://www.democracynow.org/2015/12/11/indigenous_group_brings_canoe_of_life

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/20/headlines/ecuador_indigenous_people_opposed_to_oil_drilling_drive_out_soldiers

And one has to wonder about Ecuador’s assistance to Julian Assange, as evidence of its independence from Washington— or, a poke in Washington’s eye?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote nimblecivet:
Quote Zenzoe:

I infer from those attitudes the notion that to “blame” is to be uncool. I have to wonder if that tendency, one Obama engaged in when he stated we should “look forward, not backward” with regard to the war crimes of the Bush Administration, the tendency to avoid accountability is a phenomenon of these neoliberal times.

Basically, right? You don't want to look "angry" if you are an activist because people have been trained to look happy all the time or be ostracized. But the establishment has its own network of "activists" and "consultants" who are part of the system which serves the unprincipled interests of the cynical elite and who, you know, 'don't complain and instead get things done'.

Well, to look angry, to complain and point the finger at government officials who have implemented austerity policies and in the process poisoned a whole population, is to violate basic neoliberal dogma, where, as Thatcher famously insisted, ‘There is no such thing as a society, there are only individuals.” Blame —analysis of who/what’s at fault— is heresy, plain and simple. It’s to shout, “It’s the system, it’s neoliberalism, Dummy!” And we’re not supposed to go there. It’s not cool.

Be happy, don’t worry.

Well, if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the neoliberal pudding fails the test. Time to spit it out.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Ren, while it would be correct to say that the celebrity representatives of the counterculture we’ve come to know and love have not, in some cases, practiced what they preached, it would also be correct to say that the 1960s changed a generation for the better, in terms of raising awareness about, for example, the Vietnam war and other egregious wrongs of the day, as well as consumerism and materialism. After all, war protests manifested hugely in those days, and nobody dare claim that wasn’t real, or was the result of manipulations by advertising.

One would also be hard pressed to ignore the impact and influence of film industry contributions to political consciousness, movies such as, for example, Dr. Strangelove and, later, Hair, which was an adaption of the 1968 musical of the same name. Yes, those are commercial enterprises, yet still, they’re significant indicators of a lively, organic and authentic counterculture. How it went from there to here, today, is possibly a story about pushback against the movement— seems to me it scared the freaking hell out of the powers-that-be, and so then the likes of Ayn Rand, Reagan, and Thatcher moved in for the kill. So much for the revolution.

Many of us were outsiders looking in, Ren. Though I lived through the period of the 1960s, present and aware, I certainly never participated in hippie culture, certainly not in the “if it feels good, do it” mentality so popularized at the time. I wish I could say I was wonderful and wild like Janice Joplin, but I can’t. My non-conformist inclinations always kicked in anytime the opportunity to feel a part of it all arrived. After all, I married in 1965 to an MIT grad, and the two of us were about as straight and conventional —at least by surface appearances— as you can imagine. I, for one, despite my being an art student in the 60s, was rather prudish about drug-taking, not for legal concerns but for concerns about health; please don’t ask me to “pollute my body,” thank you very much. I remember visiting his school pals in Berkeley and a party there, where we were offered marijuana: “Thanks, but Nope.” Boring and uncool, I know. But there it is.

I also never felt I need to play the role of artist in the way I dressed. You would never have witnessed me trying to look the part. Book/cover, blah blah blah.

I think lots of us have resisted, in our uncool way. Quiet Counterculturists, maybe? We don’t watch the commercials; we don’t like shopping; our buying habits could crash the economy, truth be told; our homes express creativity, not over-consumption.

Hm-m-m. Maybe it’s time to get wild, make some noise?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rs allen:

I think it's very hard to actually define just what 'the counter-culture' was and what it meant in retrospect because there were quite few under tow cross current forces that were driving the roiling paper thin surface almost everyone envisions (and I believe, as experienced) of 'the counter-culture'. I mean, really did anyone ever think the Monkey's represented counter culture, seriously, I find it hard to even entertain the idea. And in turn affected accent or not Dylan did put to words a much deeper search for truth in what was going on around us than say the Beatles. Then in the end even the Beatles went off in seeking their own visions of truth and split as they found it each for themselves. But I never considered music as any kind representation of what the counter-culture was or still is any more than say a tie dyed tee or a Che silk screen print. For me the counterculture was the Snyder (s), Ferlinghetti, Ginsburg, Mailer, Baldwin, the Panthers, the sit ins at Berkley, Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog fame along with the Mother Earth News later.

The thin veneer that is 'characterized' as the counterculture of the 60's is easy enough to take down and apart but really if one is going to deconstruct that time and place a much broader view and deeper dive is needed than music, tie dyed tees and drugs.

Well said, rs allen. Very well said.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I find myself struggling to define counter-culture as well. In the main because I find any definition of culture on a mass scale to be problematic. If I can't get a good fix on culture, how can I see its counter taking place? I think all that really takes place as a counter occurs in pockets, disconnected from the whole. Which was why the question Thomas Frank raised in his critique, with his somewhat unique exploration of the key economic aspects of society -- what we call business -- intrigued me... well, make that present tense, intrigues me, because it still raises clouds of doubts I that won't settle when I think about it.

In essence I find that I can talk a kind of counter-culture dialog with others, as if we all knew of something monolithic taking place, but your call for a broader perspective rings true, and makes that conversation more a ritual, using common, agreed upon motifs, symbols and metaphors. But then, if a broader perspective's what's needed, then in my perpetual doubting I wonder if, as a subjective, experiential human being who is inevitably to be working entirely with abstract ideas on a larger and broader scale, if I am not in for some form of self delusion if in my conversations I am willing to believe we are talking about anything substantial, because I doubt it even possible to achieve that perspective in relation to what is really going on. So the conversation becomes a kind of entertainment.

This means for me that dogma must ever be rooted out and neutralized before it becomes some sort of ritualized belief system. And maybe that's all counter-culture as an idea really ever can be... a ritualized belief system.

A Ted Kaczynski, for instance, who both tried to live outside the system that I find it impossible to escape, and then attacked what he considered to be key individuals involved in the technological aspects of it, however misguided he was in that view, represents just one story in an anarchistic attempt to free oneself from the grips of the system we all take part in one way or another. And the thing is, how could he not be misguided without an accurate broad vision to work from? How could he have any other than his own subjective existential visionary creation of the world?

I think the question of what an actual culture would look like that would move to act in a countering way to the pervasive system we all live in is worth the trouble to ask.

I am troubled that this system appears to be unable to adapt to the very changes it causes by what it does as economic survival activities. But I don't have any way of knowing for sure. It just looks bad from the perspectives I look from. I would be willing to consider a cultural development that could truly address this dire observation of impending complex societal collapse, that a number of us share, to be a counter culture movement.

Culture, to me, from an anthropological perspective of culture, is what we do together to survive. Determining how that actually works when you begin to add in all our different ways of expressing ourselves in our individual yet ultimately shared circumstances, through literature, art, music, work and play, is mind boggling to try to organize into something coherent, and I appreciate those who valiantly try. But I'm well aware they are only trying.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote douglaslee:These are cool: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/random/ If you get the humor in these, you are cool, too.

You can play the whole gallery if you scroll down to the 'Next' button. Or just click on the cartoon, another will follow.

'Steve invalidates his wedding vows through the clever use of homophones'... "Eye Dew"

It has been said that every New Yorker cartoon is made funnier by changing the caption to read, "I think I'm going to kill myself" ~ known as Dave's Law

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stwo
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Ren, while it would be correct to say that the celebrity representatives of the counterculture we’ve come to know and love have not, in some cases, practiced what they preached, it would also be correct to say that the 1960s changed a generation for the better, in terms of raising awareness about, for example, the Vietnam war and other egregious wrongs of the day, as well as consumerism and materialism. After all, war protests manifested hugely in those days, and nobody dare claim that wasn’t real, or was the result of manipulations by advertising.

Whenever I have expressed doubts about what people consider to be correct, what transpires has seldom gone well for me.

A young (just turned 50) friend of mine is finally feeling trapped by the circumstances of his life. He's been talking to me about moving off the grid. For him, moving off the grid means downscaling his cable and internet use. One thing he must have in this off-the-grid mode is access to live football games. He has no skills to build and maintain his own domicile. He has no skills to provide electricity to run all his high tech instruments, but he's talking about the idea of living off the grid. I guess that's a start.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

Ren, while it would be correct to say that the celebrity representatives of the counterculture we’ve come to know and love have not, in some cases, practiced what they preached, it would also be correct to say that the 1960s changed a generation for the better, in terms of raising awareness about, for example, the Vietnam war and other egregious wrongs of the day, as well as consumerism and materialism. After all, war protests manifested hugely in those days, and nobody dare claim that wasn’t real, or was the result of manipulations by advertising.

Whenever I have expressed doubts about what people consider to be correct, what transpires has seldom gone well for me.


Me too, at least sometimes. Other times, just the opposite.

Should I take your feeling of “what has transpires has seldom gone well” for you as meaning, in this case, I missed your point, or points? That would be okay with me, given that I am not infallible, and given the often esoteric, meandering nature of this discussion. One could be forgiven.

Quote .ren:

A young (just turned 50) friend of mine is finally feeling trapped by the circumstances of his life. He's been talking to me about moving off the grid. For him, moving off the grid means downscaling his cable and internet use. One thing he must have in this off-the-grid mode is access to live football games. He has no skills to build and maintain his own domicile. He has no skills to provide electricity to run all his high tech instruments, but he's talking about the idea of living off the grid. I guess that's a start.

By that, do you mean to offer an example to illustrate the point I missed?

Whatever, the inference I receive in that example refers me back to your Pogo quote, ”We have met the enemy and he is us.” That is, should I assume you’re feeling some disdain for any delusions we might have about being “outside” the mad, neoliberal system that we all would disavow allegiance to, if anybody asked. So, if one disavows “The Machine” —we really should find a word that fits best— while enjoying its comforts, conveniences and entertainments, then “we, ourselves, IS the enemy?”

I’ll hold off on a comment to see if you want to let me know whether I get your point this time or not. (I need a smiley face here, dammit, but I promised myself!)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I don't have any points, just my doubts and questions. I'm just noting where I may have gone too far here and it's time to step back.

I do not feel disdain, that would imply I think I'm above it all, and I am certainly not.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote .ren:

I don't have any points, just my doubts and questions. I'm just noting where I may have gone too far here and it's time to step back.

I do not feel disdain, that would imply I think I'm above it all, and I am certainly not.

Okay. So, let me rephrase: Would you say you’re doubting, with regard to our current destructive social and economic system —Derrick Jensen’s “dominant culture”— whether one can claim a position of integrity, as long as one’s living, one's entertainments, education and etc. depend on it so very intimately? That’s what Jensen says, at least as far as I can tell.

In line with that kind of thinking, I sometimes hear myself saying, “If you’re a human being, you’re a part of the problem.” And yet, I must forgive us. We’re here. We’re doing the best we can, at least some of us are.

My sister, a Hillary supporter, recently said this to me, with a self-satisfied smile: “I LIKE capitalism.” So I said, “Oye, what’s to like? It’s killing the planet.” And we're still talking.

We can have these conversations. It’s a good thing.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Here's an excerpt from 'Conquest of Cool' I found, it puts those noted missing paragraphs around the points you're trying to make .ren.

Excerpt pages 1-9 and 26-32:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/259919.html

.........still digesting.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Kudos to you Zenzoe, and ren, and rs, this is a very good discussion and I love it!. The wisdom of the elders reins sometimes,

I'm an old curmudgeon, rs might not be but his posts hint that he is at least mature, not to mention bitten with an artistic bug sometime in his life.

I saw a Rachael show where she highlighted Goldwater's mantra "Strength and aggression in pursuit of liberty is no vice" He wanted clean small nukes, like Cruz does.

To paraphrase with some history thrown in, the current neocon mantra "Genocide in pursuit of capitalism is no vice" Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua are only a few The Hague has ruled suffered genocide. The people's choice to rule themselves like the Scandinavians, which had been proven to work, was crushed and death squads, compliments of Nixon and Reagan ruled,

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

And please forgive me .ren, I'm just more reactive than you but not necessarily less self-reflective. If at times what I actual mean as my own questioning comes out sounding confrontational it's inadvertent on my part.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Okay. So, let me rephrase: Would you say you’re doubting, with regard to our current destructive social and economic system —Derrick Jensen’s “dominant culture”— whether one can claim a position of integrity, as long as one’s living, one's entertainments, education and etc. depend on it so very intimately? That’s what Jensen says, at least as far as I can tell.

No.

I feel my doubts aren't much different than the ones rs expressed. I've tried to use the concept "counter-culture" as a basis. I tried to expand on them in my post #126. I'm finding it difficult to express what I doubt. I certainly feel I have a right to claim some sort of integrity in my positions against the dominant culture. But I'm not sure what exactly it is that we think that culture actually is.

Right now we are having a local weather related crisis and I have to go out and help some friends, so I can't take the necessary time to try any further at the moment.

Thanks rs, I'll look into that when I have some time. Looks good.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

For the record Doug I'm pushing 70, but young at that! hahahahahaha.

Life will be better once these damn cataracts are taken care of and I stop being blind.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm
Quote rs allen:

Here's an excerpt from 'Conquest of Cool' I found, it puts those noted missing paragraphs around the points you're trying to make .ren.

Excerpt pages 1-9 and 26-32:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/259919.html

.........still digesting.

Thanks for that, rs.

At one point in that excerpt, I began expecting him to use Apple Macintosh's first big TV ad, an ad I do believe corroborates everything he says there. I would also be guilty of experiencing some anti-conformist satisfaction in having been a big Apple consumer and fan from the beginning. Of course, now Apple has become the practical icon of consumer culture and conformity, big time. A Watch, anyone?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote douglaslee:

Kudos to you Zenzoe, and ren, and rs, this is a very good discussion and I love it!. The wisdom of the elders reins sometimes,


Thanks, Doug, though I'm not sure I dare own "wisdom," especially since I can't seem to get right Ren's comments surrounding Thomas Frank's book. "Elder?" I guess so. That's one I dare not try disowning.

Anyway, I'm loving the discussion too —very comfy— though I am wondering how we got from Thomas Linzey —his work and ideas about replacing property rights in litigation with the rights of nature— to counterculture issues. I kinda forget and will have to go back and re-read the thread here and there, though now I'm not sure I can trust myself to comprehend anything. I guess it went from just how environmentalism got lost as a movement, and so forth, to how the "dominant culture" affected that outcome.

Quote douglaslee:

I'm an old curmudgeon, rs might not be but his posts hint that he is at least mature, not to mention bitten with an artistic bug sometime in his life.

I saw a Rachael show where she highlighted Goldwater's mantra "Strength and aggression in pursuit of liberty is no vice" He wanted clean small nukes, like Cruz does.

To paraphrase with some history thrown in, the current neocon mantra "Genocide in pursuit of capitalism is no vice" Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua are only a few The Hague has ruled suffered genocide. The people's choice to rule themselves like the Scandinavians, which had been proven to work, was crushed and death squads, compliments of Nixon and Reagan ruled,

How they sleep at night is beyond me. Hm-m-m. Maybe they don't. Scalia had trouble sleeping, apparently.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Lest we forget: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrOZllbNarw

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Nerdy =s Cool now?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan puts the fall from grace directly, exhorting readers of a recent volume of conservative writing to "remember your boomer childhood in the towns and suburbs" when "you were safe" and "the cities were better," back before "society strained and cracked," in the storms of sixties selfishness. Former history professor Newt Gingrich is the most assiduous and prominent antagonist of "the sixties," imagining it as a time of "countercultural McGoverniks," whom he holds responsible not only for the demise of traditional values and the various deeds of the New Left, but (illogically and anachronistically) for the hated policies of the Great Society as well. Journalist Fred Barnes outlines a "theory of American history" related to him by Gingrich

in which the 1960s represent a crucial break, "a discontinuity." From 1607 down till 1965, "there is a core pattern to American history. Here's how we did it until the Great Society messed everything up: don't work, don't eat; your salvation is spiritual; the government by definition can't save you; governments are into maintenance and all good reforms are into transformation." Then, "from 1965 to 1994, we did strange and weird things as a country. Now we're done with that and we have to recover. The counterculture is a momentary aberration in American history that will be looked back upon as a quaint period of Bohemianism brought to the national elite."

The conservatives' version of "the sixties" is not without interest, particularly when it is an account of a given person's revulsion from the culture of an era. Their usefulness as history, however, is undermined by their insistence on understanding "the sixties" as a causal force in and of itself and their curious blurring of the lines between various historical actors: counterculture equals Great Society equals New Left equals "the sixties generation," all of them driven by some mysterious impulse to tear down Western Civilization. Bork is particularly given to such slipshod historiography, imagining at one point that the sixties won't even stay put in the 1960s. "It was a malignant decade," he writes, "that, after a fifteen-year remission, returned in the 1980s to metastasize more devastatingly throughout our culture than it had in the Sixties, not with tumult but quietly, in the moral and political assumptions of those who now control and guide our major cultural institutions." The closest Bork, Bloom, Gingrich, and their colleagues will come to explanations is to revive one of several creaking devices: the sixties as a moral drama of millennialist utopians attempting to work their starry-eyed will in the real world, the sixties as a time of excessive affluence, the sixties as a time of imbalance in the eternal war between the generations, or the sixties as the fault of Dr. Spock, who persuaded American parents in the lost fifties to pamper their children excessively.

I can't stand Noonan, she appears on sunday talk shows and repeats selected parts of speeches on the right with exaggerated facial expressions and audio affectation to accentuate how bad the points made about Obama and his side were. She didn't fake walking in dogshit, yet. A reagan speech writer, and obviously a frustrated actress, but writing for a b actor that reached a pinnacle, by acting.

btw, I do not and never have worn a baseball cap backwards, counter culture ? nah just ignorance, baseball bills are to keep the sun out of your eyes, or baseball player's eyes. I have never said 'dis' as a verb or anything else. I did use 'cop' as in 'cop a lid', 'cop a feel' when it was important to cop those things. ftr, a lid was 21 grams.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

This wayward uneducated street urchin wants to thank the resident literati here for suffering through and entertaining my ramblings.

I think these latest meanderings are quite my fault zoe. Somehow I thought in my odd way that the Thomas Conquest treatise was connected to the hows and the whys in the dilution and fracturing of or for any sustained movement of any kind.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

Okay. So, let me rephrase: Would you say you’re doubting, with regard to our current destructive social and economic system —Derrick Jensen’s “dominant culture”— whether one can claim a position of integrity, as long as one’s living, one's entertainments, education and etc. depend on it so very intimately? That’s what Jensen says, at least as far as I can tell.

No.

So I’m still confused.

Anyway, you must have had something in mind, when you posted this: “A young (just turned 50) friend of mine is finally feeling trapped by the circumstances of his life. He's been talking to me about moving off the grid. For him, moving off the grid means downscaling his cable and internet use. One thing he must have in this off-the-grid mode is access to live football games. He has no skills to build and maintain his own domicile. He has no skills to provide electricity to run all his high tech instruments, but he's talking about the idea of living off the grid. I guess that's a start.”

I don’t know how to read that, without seeing an implied irony between “living off the grid” and “he must have...access to live football games.”

So, that’s a start for me, perhaps in beginning to comprehend what you’re saying there about your doubts (as expressed there and below, as well as at #126). Perhaps you’re asking, “How can we realize our resistance to our ‘dominant culture,’ if we don’t even know what its replacement would look like, or if the replacement looks a whole lot like the original?” And besides that, “we can’t even define the original.

Assuming I’m getting closer, perhaps the thing to do is to stop treating the “dominant culture” as a monolith. Perhaps to treat it as such is to commit some logical fallacy, say, either the fallacy of composition – “assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole;” or the fallacy of division “– assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts” (so many ways one can be wrong in one’s arguments/thinking). Perhaps the system we find ourselves living in and by has many features and is a complex, multi-faceted mix of good and bad, strong and weak, corrupt and whole, etc. Perhaps it might be best to understand that “living off the grid,” as in “dropping out,” or developing some anti-culture alternative, one with pure politics and perfect social institutions, has no basis in practical reality. Perhaps it would be delusional to keep imagining we can find such a thing.

Don’t know. Just wondering, just flailing around, trying to make sense of these things for myself.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I'm just a country bumpkin, rs.

Because my father was a piss poor salesman, we had a library of classics in the house, and I was hungry to read stories. They included the wonderful stories of Jonathan Swift (I had no idea I was reading great satire, I just wanted a story before bedtime, something my mother stopped doing after they put her in a mental institution, so I had to do it myself), Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and many more. Then, when I ran out of the good story stuff, I tried to eke some stories out of Bacon, Voltaire and the like. Way over my head at twelve. I may've got something out of it, but I'm still finding out what that might have been as I read all these other intellectual people and listen to what they got from it.

Anyway, if, as Saul suggests, being literate means reading to join in with your culture in some way, anybody can read and be literate, even a country bumpkin.

Doubting and thinking for oneself...? Well, I don't know if being literate is sufficient to stimulate that. I think it just gives one a lot more thought toys to play with that are more or less shared in some sort of reference-able capacity. That's essentially the nightmare of intellectual scholarship I've delved into from time to time.

I see it as a kind of nightmare because trying to determine anything substantial about these kinds of issues doesn't necessarily mean speaking authoritatively about it has anything to do with being able to think and live in one's own immediate circumstances, and that's what really matters most to me. That's where the culture we share really matters.

It's also why I'm stuck at the moment with the realization that my own sense of doubt about all that is so hard to express. I'm stuck because what I see is too huge, too filled with clouds of doubt, and too amorphous to even begin to express what I have always found troubling about making up stories about the past. In other words, the whole idea of counter-culture as it has been handed down through our own story telling is a kind of reconstruction of what we actually experienced into a kind of myth. I also think of it as recreation. Does anyone else see how that word works there? Re-creation. Myth, here, in the Joseph Campbell sense.

That's what I am trying to say when I write some gibberish like:

This means for me that dogma must ever be rooted out and neutralized before it becomes some sort of ritualized belief system. And maybe that's all counter-culture as an idea really ever can be... a ritualized belief system.

I'm just a guy who likes words. James Baldwin was more like me than someone like Thomas Frank would be, who is one of those intellectuals who seem to take being intellectual seriously. While I appreciate intellectual ability, I don't particularly revere it.

All that really happened in my early life was I happened by luck to develop an appetite for reading and a love of playing around with words. It's not that serious. Serious is knowing how to keep my house from rotting away from underneath me, growing food, being in nature, things like that.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote rs allen:

This wayward uneducated street urchin wants to thank the resident literati here for suffering through and entertaining my ramblings.

I think these latest meanderings are quite my fault zoe. Somehow I thought in my odd way that the Thomas Conquest treatise was connected to the hows and the whys in the dilution and fracturing of or for any sustained movement of any kind.

I sure hope you don't mean to include me in "resident literati." I feel myself to be humble in my position too, but I refuse to let that silence me. And I'm glad you don't allow it to silence yourself, either, because I totally enjoy your contributions, as does everybody else.

Anyway, I enjoy the meander, so there's no blame here. Especially since you made more sense and comprehended that part of the discussion better than I apparently did.

Let's raise a glass to meandering!

Now to break my fast...

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

Okay. So, let me rephrase: Would you say you’re doubting, with regard to our current destructive social and economic system —Derrick Jensen’s “dominant culture”— whether one can claim a position of integrity, as long as one’s living, one's entertainments, education and etc. depend on it so very intimately? That’s what Jensen says, at least as far as I can tell.

No.

So I’m still confused.

I am not doubting whether one can claim a position of integrity.

I believe anyone can take the trouble to see that the system we live within is heading in a direction that could be very detrimental for most of us, and for the many species who share this planet and its potential for life. However, it's also difficult to live in a way that is counter to what the total system provides as an opportunity to live as humans, sharing our cultural process of survival. I have no problem seeing that the seeing and recognizing of potential danger and all the horror that this culture produces can be a form of integrity. So taking an intellectual position against the entire culture's trajectory in what appears to be a deleterious direction while doing what's necessary to live within it can also still take place with that intellectual position of integrity. That's my position.

I'm well aware that raises an issue of hypocrisy. I don't want to get into that right here, but it is worth some thought. Maybe later.

And this is where I think the issue of integrity becomes a kind of subjective judgement call. And remember, you're asking me what I'm doubting. A purist might see integrity in one way, while I, a practical person who recognizes from personal experience that survival may involve not taking a purist position even though one values it, tend to see integrity for myself in a different way. No doubt I will be judged harshly by some for daring to comprimise, by others who've been in a difficult survival situation, probably less harshly. Thusly, I see that because we cannot extricate ourselves from our shared culture and live off the grid, even if we are more serious and have taken a great deal more trouble to figure out what that might entail than my fifty year old friend has. Let me also mention that he gets irony when I drily point it out to him, and he is well aware of the struggle he's undertaking.

Quote Zenzoe:

Anyway, you must have had something in mind, when you posted this: “A young (just turned 50) friend of mine is finally feeling trapped by the circumstances of his life. He's been talking to me about moving off the grid. For him, moving off the grid means downscaling his cable and internet use. One thing he must have in this off-the-grid mode is access to live football games. He has no skills to build and maintain his own domicile. He has no skills to provide electricity to run all his high tech instruments, but he's talking about the idea of living off the grid. I guess that's a start.”

I don’t know how to read that, without seeing an implied irony between “living off the grid” and “he must have...access to live football games.”

Have I made any more sense of it yet?

Quote Zenzoe:

So, that’s a start for me, perhaps in beginning to comprehend what you’re saying there about your doubts (as expressed there and below, as well as at #126). Perhaps you’re asking, “How can we realize our resistance to our ‘dominant culture,’ if we don’t even know what its replacement would look like, or if the replacement looks a whole lot like the original?” And besides that, “we can’t even define the original.

Assuming I’m getting closer, perhaps the thing to do is to stop treating the “dominant culture” as a monolith. Perhaps to treat it as such is to commit some logical fallacy, say, either the fallacy of composition – “assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole;” or the fallacy of division “– assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts” (so many ways one can be wrong in one’s arguments/thinking). Perhaps the system we find ourselves living in and by has many features and is a complex, multi-faceted mix of good and bad, strong and weak, corrupt and whole, etc. Perhaps it might be best to understand that “living off the grid,” as in “dropping out,” or developing some anti-culture alternative, one with pure politics and perfect social institutions, has no basis in practical reality. Perhaps it would be delusional to keep imagining we can find such a thing.

Don’t know. Just wondering, just flailing around, trying to make sense of these things for myself.

I think you're getting what I mean.

I think, too, that if we can understand when and how we are deluding ourselves, that understanding can help to remove a lot of noise from the thinking proces if we are serious. Other than that, noise can just be part of a form of entertaining ourselves as we are Waiting for Godot, which I have no problem with anyone doing.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

Okay. So, let me rephrase: Would you say you’re doubting, with regard to our current destructive social and economic system —Derrick Jensen’s “dominant culture”— whether one can claim a position of integrity, as long as one’s living, one's entertainments, education and etc. depend on it so very intimately? That’s what Jensen says, at least as far as I can tell.

No.

So I’m still confused.

I am not doubting whether one can claim a position of integrity.

I should have prefaced my “I’m still confused,” by saying I got that you didn’t necessarily doubt the integrity of a person who doesn’t take a purist, anti-culture position. (anti-culture might not be the word you would choose; it works for me.) Still, I appreciated your expanding on the subject as you did in that post.

Quote .ren:

Quote Zenzoe:

So, that’s a start for me, perhaps in beginning to comprehend what you’re saying there about your doubts (as expressed there and below, as well as at #126). Perhaps you’re asking, “How can we realize our resistance to our ‘dominant culture,’ if we don’t even know what its replacement would look like, or if the replacement looks a whole lot like the original?” And besides that, “we can’t even define the original.”

Assuming I’m getting closer, perhaps the thing to do is to stop treating the “dominant culture” as a monolith. Perhaps to treat it as such is to commit some logical fallacy, say, either the fallacy of composition – “assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole;” or the fallacy of division “– assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts” (so many ways one can be wrong in one’s arguments/thinking). Perhaps the system we find ourselves living in and by has many features and is a complex, multi-faceted mix of good and bad, strong and weak, corrupt and whole, etc. Perhaps it might be best to understand that “living off the grid,” as in “dropping out,” or developing some anti-culture alternative, one with pure politics and perfect social institutions, has no basis in practical reality. Perhaps it would be delusional to keep imagining we can find such a thing.

Don’t know. Just wondering, just flailing around, trying to make sense of these things for myself.

I think you're getting what I mean.


Yay.

Back-and-forth clarifications satisfy one’s desire for understanding and communication. Too often we see people making assumptions, without asking for clarification. That’s when things get noisy in a bad way. Perhaps that’s implied in the following too:

Quote .ren:

I think, too, that if we can understand when and how we are deluding ourselves, that understanding can help to remove a lot of noise from the thinking proces if we are serious. Other than that, noise can just be part of a form of entertaining ourselves as we are Waiting for Godot, which I have no problem with anyone doing.

“...entertaining ourselves as we are ‘Waiting for Godot’”— brilliant. Funny. As to whether Godot will ever arrive here on this thread, well, I have my doubts, but then, just to mix the metaphors, as Lao Tzu said, "a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

A meander but not a my ander is also a digression and Swift wrote of them in A Tale of the Tub

Section VII. — A Digression in Praise of Digressions.

I have sometimes heard of an Iliad in a nut-shell, but it has been my fortune to have much oftener seen a nut-shell in an Iliad. There is no doubt that human life has received most wonderful advantages from both; but to which of the two the world is chiefly indebted, I shall leave among the curious as a problem worthy of their utmost inquiry. For the invention of the latter, I think the commonwealth of learning is chiefly obliged to the great modern improvement of digressions. The late refinements in knowledge, running parallel to those of diet in our nation, which among men of a judicious taste are dressed up in various compounds, consisting in soups and olios, fricassees and ragouts.It is true there is a sort of morose, detracting, ill-bred people who pretend utterly to disrelish these polite innovations. And as to the similitude from diet, they allow the parallel, but are so bold as to pronounce the example itself a corruption and degeneracy of taste. They tell us that the fashion of jumbling fifty things together in a dish was at first introduced in compliance to a depraved and debauched appetite, as well as to a crazy constitution, and to see a man hunting through an olio after the head and brains of a goose, a widgeon, or a woodcock, is a sign he wants a stomach and digestion for more substantial victuals. Further, they affirm that digressions in a book are like foreign troops in a state, which argue the nation to want a heart and hands of its own, and often either subdue the natives, or drive them into the most unfruitful corners.

They are also known as tangents btw.

Contents:

Section III. — A Digression Concerning Critics.Section IV. — A Tale of a Tub.Section V. — A Digression in the Modern Kind.Section VI. — A Tale of a Tub.Section VII. — A Digression in Praise of Digressions.Section VIII. — A Tale of a Tub.Section IX. — A Digression Concerning the Original, the Use, and Improvement of Madness in a Commonwealth.Section X. — A Farther Digression.Section XI. — A Tale of a Tub.The Conclusion.The History of Martin.A Digression on the Nature, Usefulness, and Necessity of Wars and Quarrels.

If you digress from a digression are you back on track or just full circle to the beginning? How about a Mobius digression? No beginning or end in that one. One target in Swift's Tub was Hobbes' Leviathan along with Churches and schools.

Another way of seeing digression might be "On the other hand".

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I'm with Lao Tzu.

I've discovered I never know what I'm going to find when I'm not looking for anything in particular. Quite often wonderful surprises. Sometimes that's the best way to find what I've lost. Especially in my house, which is hardly a study in orderliness.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

I still wonder what Swift might have embedded in my mind reading him as a twelve year old. I mean, is that why I react against today's bastards of Hobbes?

Thomas Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is best known for his political thought, and deservedly so. His vision of the world is strikingly original and still relevant to contemporary politics. His main concern is the problem of social and political order: how human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. He poses stark alternatives: we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign (a person or group empowered to decide every social and political issue). Otherwise what awaits us is a "state of nature" that closely resembles civil war – a situation of universal insecurity, where all have reason to fear violent death and where rewarding human cooperation is all but impossible.

Deservedly so? Says you!

This faction of the Age of Reason hearkens back to those who believe we are born sinful (Augustine), thus as social aggregates must be controlled (Hobbes), or some such Garden of Evil nonsense. Neo Con-ish Manichean authoritarianism thus does not tolerate doubts on the matter of this struggle between good and evil, and there is thus no question that the Americans are good and the evil horde in the Middle East are bad and must be controlled by the American MIC.

In some way or another this relates to Governor Snyder and the Flint water debacle.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote .ren:

I'm with Lao Tzu.

I've discovered I never know what I'm going to find when I'm not looking for anything in particular. Quite often wonderful surprises. Sometimes that's the best way to find what I've lost. Especially in my house, which is hardly a study in orderliness.


After my meander into the land of divorce, I happened onto a silk screen class taught at SDSU by the now late, great Walter Cotten. What a find that was! Anyway, our final assignment meant to free us from intentionality, that is, to —now that I think about it— “travel,” i.e., do art, without fixed plans and without a fixed idea, a fixed attachment to arriving at some preconceived destination. He told us to begin by using an object we just happened upon, a found object, and proceed from there.

Well, it’s hard to get an assignment like that, then forget about it so that you don’t go around consciously trying to “find” your “found object;” but, as a mother dealing with all sorts of distractions and duties at the time, it wasn’t long before I came across a polaroid my young son had taken of a hole in the ground, one he’d taken of the hole after producing it by shooting at the ground with his bow and arrow. So it then occurred to me to put the photo on the ground and take a photo of the photo, but with a few grains of gravel hovering around the hole and appearing to slide into it. But that wasn’t enough, apparently. For the silk screen image, the photo of the photo had to be, graphically speaking, stuck by push-pin onto the image of a wallpapered wall. I don’t know if you can imagine that, but it came off quite well, if I do say so myself. Walt liked it very much. His only question was about the title: “The Sanctity of the American Home Must Be Preserved,” attributed to “B.B.” Who’s B.B., he wanted to know. Well, who else but Bugs Bunny, Sir.

Sigh, but if only I were as clever as Bugs.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

America: Meet Your Overlord Rupert Murdoch...

Thom plus logo The main lesson that we've learned so far from the impeachment hearings is that if Richard Nixon had had a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch with a television network like Fox News behind him, he never would've resigned and America would have continued to be presided over by a criminal.
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