Archive for October, 2011

don’t much care for our in-house mercenary overlords

October 29, 2011

Lockheed Martin, by their own admission, is run by a cabal of satanic zombies. The below picture (untampered!) of top executives appeared in the corporation’s 2009 Annual Report. Ahh! Just look at those bloodless motherfuckers!

Like all real monsters, these ghouls try relentlessly to break into my house (through the radio).

Every morning I am subjected to Lockheed Martins’ slogan, slavishly read by NPR announcers:

Lockheed Martin: We never forget who we’re working for

And… umm… who exactly is that? The highest bidder? Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Chile, or any other of your dozen-plus foreign government warfare? Maybe the United Arab Emirates, to whom you leaked classified information and tried to arrange illegal arms sales? Or maybe you mean the American government, the source of 80% of your revenue? But that’d be a little weird considering you’ve been convicted of fraud by the federal government in each of the last three years and rank #1 in the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database with 57 legal violations since 1995 and nearly $600m in fines. So maybe you just mean the American people more generally. That’d make some sense. After all, as the largest ‘defense’ contractor in the world and hyper-siphon of public moneys, Americans essentially pay an annual Lockheed Martin Tax. Dag, in 2009 alone you received upwards of $125 for every man, woman, and transgender baby in the Union.

And as war profiteers/mongers, it’s very cute of your marketing department to devise a slogan that incorporates never forget. I bet you do hope we never forget! The Globo War On Terror has been an un-small boon for biz. Snap, since 9/11 shares of your stock have nearly quadrupled in price! Congrats, you’re making a killing! I hate you!

I’m just saying, I reserve a special Fuck You for Lockheed Martin. I rank my personal Lockheed Martin Fuck You above even my Goldman Sachs Fuck You—I mean, shit, Lockheed Martin got bailed out too.

But anyway! this is old news! I only bring up this dirty [blood-stained] laundry because of some ripe bullshit I And I heard on the Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday. Apparently, the Montgomery County Council passed a non-binding peace resolution that mildly suggests the federal gov’t should reassess its spending priorities in this Era of Austerity; that our nation would be better served by investing less in war and more in education & health & infrastructure. VERY KONTROVERSIAL, I KNOW!

But Lockheed Martin no likey! They dispatched their $10m/year lobby team to dress down the peacenik council! And there is talk of Lockheed leaving Maryland altogether if Marylanders are going to be so unhelpful to the war cause! Waaaah! The Chair of the County Council sympathized with his bros at Lockheed and warned the Council against passing the resolution, stating that it is “a dagger pointed directly at the heart of Montgomery County”. Sweet murder imagery, you tool! And I like how weapons manufacturing is “at the heart” of Montgomery County… I told you these dudes openly admit to being satanic zombies.

Grim Peeper

October 26, 2011

Leontius, the son of Aglaion, was coming up from the Piraeus, close to the outer side of the north wall, when he saw some dead bodies lying near the executioner and he felt a desire to look at them, and at the same time felt disgust at the thought, and tried to turn aside. For some time he fought with himself and put his hand over his eyes, but in the end the desire got the better of him, and opening his eyes wide with his fingers he ran forward to the bodies, saying, “There you are, curse you, have your fill of the lovely spectacle!”

Plato, Republic, Book IV

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Number of the ten most popular prime-time television dramas that regularly feature corpses: 8

Harper’s, March 2011

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Everybody Loves Raymond Looking Qaddafi’s Slain Corpse! True, prime-time drama gives us a good sample-spoon of necro-gawking, but on special occasions we get the real thing! Sci-fi distopianists/CNN have long promised us live war & death as entertainment, but it’s hardly as regular or often as we might like. But what a feast for the eyes we’ve had lately in Libya! And where’s his body now?? In the industrial fridge?? In the desert!! I hope bedouins don’t exhume his shallow grave because they’re only likely to have lo-res cell phone video capability, which is good for that authentic snuff film vibe, but the blood hues and depth-of-field for deep gashes are well nigh of satisfactory.

I swear, if it weren’t for all the iPads lying around, I might think the 21st Century wasn’t too modern. Hunting down Arab kings and killing them like village dogs? Am I reading all this on a boastful parchment scroll brought back from Antioch in the Lord’s Year 1245? Are we bringing back desiccated heads from battle and hoisting them on pikes in the town square? I’m glad that the New York Times has found its calling in the digital age! The more things change, the worse they get! It’s also cool how the hard-learned lessons/rationale of the international tribunals at Nuremburg or Tokyo or The Hague are not even garbled side-chatter in the national conversation… forget we ever learned 1 thing about transitional justice/salvaging an teensy slice of humanity from carnage… everybody just do that right-dark urge!

How quaint a disposition, that young Leontius! How passé to be conflicted about staring at the gory result of public executions. Don’t worry, history won’t frown on your grim-grave voyeurism. In a few short centuries the Romans will spread gladiatorial arenas about the realm and institutionalize blood-sport death-entertainment. In Libya even? You bet! Shit, about a hundred miles from modern-day Sirte they built a massive arena at Leptis Magna where archaeologists recently uncovered an huge mosaic depicting a gladiator “resting in a state of fatigue and staring at his slain opponent.” Like Pee-Wee said: Take a picture [make a mosaic], it’ll last longer. This gazing-at-gazing-at-corpse art—esteemed by scholars as one of the finest examples of representational mosaics extant and a “masterpiece comparable in quality with the Alexander Mosaic in Pompeii”—originally graced the walls of a dang swimming pool at a Roman villa. Ah yes, spare no expense to capture in portrait the unfortunates of mortal combat… an glorious ting to ogle whilst splish-splash chillaxin in my roman play-tub.

Joyce Carol Oates, an aficionado of face-punching, wrote in On Boxing (1987) that the allure of the brutal contest is the dramatic arc of the fight and, ultimately, the satisfaction of “a final and incontestable judgment”. The spectators enjoy vicariously the struggle and share in the triumph. And when this spectacle is geo-political we all get to play at Empire and share in the kill, the final judgment. Now, as with the ancient arena, once the opponent “lay prone on the sands, everyone regardless of status or age could indulge in a short-lived group fantasy of being a dominus, a master, with the power to grant life or death.”

And what better way to play empire than dress-up?! This Halloween, go gung-ho for country and show the whole neighborhood that you, too, have internalized the sociopathic ideals of constant global warfare and that you are on trend with Arabphobia.

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Oh yeah, we got him! And now that the death-image trophy is beamed real-time to all our glowing screens we can recline & glib-smug-chuckle at the distant death of our imperial villains.

The satisfaction of “a final and incontestable judgment” indeed!

I like how the Late Night Show, which has nothing to say on any weighty matter, weighs in on the metaphysical terrain of HELL. Y’know, our show doesn’t have any religious affiliation, and we don’t really condemn or endorse anything of consequence, but from time to time we like to venture a lil’ divine judgement on the passage of souls in the afterlife. In jest of course.

It gives the show real backbone! We are not wishy-washy; we take absolute stands on matters of moral gravity! Reminds me of how the Washington Post editorial board recently took a bold, courageous stand against the inscription on the MLK memorial you’ve got his meaning all wrong! — while never pecking one lonesome keystroke for anything resembling MLK’s message. This, of course, the same editorial board that championed the Iraq War with red spirals in their eye(s). e.g. See Section A1 for our coverage on Fuck Peace; See the Style Section for our beloved annual contest Fuck Peeps.

LET’S BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES AND JUST BLOW UP THE WORLD. WITH A MIRROR AFFIXED TO THE MOON SO WE CAN HAVE ONE LAST FRONT ROW SEAT FOR DEATH!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Friday Blues Pt. 3

October 22, 2011

Should have better known

October 19, 2011

You know that sinking feeling you had during the big bank bailouts when you realized that the public rescue packages came with no strings attached? You know, that moment when the banks were panicked & desperate and the government had the golden opportunity to say, “if you want this money, it comes with serious reforms”? But instead, nothing was done and we let them dust off, regain their footing, and now they’re back 2 dem kool old wayz… almost as if no one learned anything! The expression of frustration that always comes to mind is: we had them on the mat.

I think a lot of Egyptians had a similar feeling in the months after Mubarak fell, when the remnants of the old regime were disoriented and defeated. “Now is the time to change the old institutions,” an activist told me. “But I see nothing happening.” The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) had the chance to fundamentally re-shape the country’s security sector—that monstrous body that propped up the old regime—but it wavered and did nothing, for whatever reason.

Now after the sinister attack on Christian demonstrators this month at Maspero in downtown Cairo I wonder if even SCAF itself is beginning to regret letting the old, corrupt security apparatus up from the mat? Yasmine El Rashid’s new piece at NYRB suggests some of the culprits behind this recent massacre in Cairo:

Then there is the matter of paid thugs who seem to have taken part. Official government memos obtained by local newspapers in recent weeks indicate that there is a network of some 165,000 thugs who worked for the State Security apparatus and who have been used by agents of the former regime in various assaults over the past six months. Within army ranks, it is believed that destabilizing SCAF itself may be one of their targets; a plot orchestrated from within the existent and underground remnants of Mubarak’s security apparatus. Indeed, amid the violence of Maspero, plainclothes state security agents and thugs seemed to have played more of a part then the soldiers themselves as the night wore on.

What is it they say happens when you make dealz w/ the devil?

RHETORIKAL KWESTION

Occult Pie, Walls Treat

October 18, 2011

Mr. NYT scribbled an article yesterday, “Protesters Debate What Demands, if Any, They Should Make“—another in its WHAT DO THEY WANT? series. 1 ting absent from this ongoing Ballad-of-a-Thin-Man coverage is that the initial call to action in Adbusters explicitly urged demonstrators to coalesce around a single, simple demand.

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

I’m not arguing one way/the other re: protest strategy, I’m just saying: do a lil googlin, journalists!

BTW, the co-author of that original pitch, Micah White—Adbusters wunderkind & pal of this brog—is establishing himself as a pen to watch. His brog is Blackspot. He dreamt Occupy Wall Street as a refutation of clicktavism. & his magazine bio speaks to this posture.

Micah White is a senior editor at Adbusters. He gained an insider perspective on the folly of clicktivism after a brief stint with the Citizen Engagement Laboratory. He resigned in disgust.

Ha. Always good to include “disgust” in your bio blurb!

Autumn Rivulets

October 7, 2011

The weather to-day is pristine. Yet we must resist temptation to cling to these fleeting sun-streaked days of early Autumn, and instead take comfort remembering that the most delectable inning is yet upon us—that is, according to our “theoretician of decadence”, Charles Baudelaire, that mixer of “the grave and the gay”. As Baudelaire’s contemporary Paul Bourget wrote in an appreciation of the grim dandy’s sensibility:

His beloved season is the end of autumn, when a melancholic charm seems magically to fill a lowering sky and a heavy heart. His hours of delight are the evening hours, when the sky is as colorful as the background of a picture by da Vinci, with its nuances of a dying pink and a nearly fading green.

Ah yes, that fine, dying season when occasion calls to curl up under a ruined blanket and nod in approval as we trace our slender finger over a few morbid lines.

A great bell mourns, a wet log wrapped in smoke

Sings in falsetto to the wheezing clock,

While from a rankly perfumed deck of cards

The Queen of Spades and the dapper Jack of Hearts

Speak darkly of dead loves, how they were lost.

True.

A question updated. Susan Sontag wrote 45 years ago that “Camp is the modern dandyism. Camp is the answer to the problem: how to be a dandy in the age of mass culture.” Now that Camp itself has been subsumed into Trash Culture we might ask: how might we recognize a dandy in the age of ¡¡¡¿¡¿¡ culture? (And don’t say crisp suits.)

 

Bonus Track: T. Rex “Dandy in the Underworld”