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Monday, April 21, 2014


robert rauschenberg

Every day I see links to articles about inequality in America and today a video of Paul Krugman talking about inequality with Bill Moyer. It's like the latest new thing everybody talks about for a spell, then the subject changes to something else. Nothing gets solved, nothing gets done to correct a situation. Articles are written, pundits speak with the authority of movie reviewers. They talk like it came outta the blue, nobody ever heard of it, though I've seen the inequality my entire life, have lived it throughout my life from ww2 to present. I went to school with black kids who lived in shacks. Not plugged into Propaganda Central I don't have voices in my head telling me what I see is not the case. I look at the world television portrays us inhabiting, upper middle class and middle class, which may be so in some big city neighborhoods. The rest of us cannot afford a Lexus advertised on football, golf, etc. Prices are going way up really fast and we don't hear anything about inflation rates. Wages for working people are going down, not up, because of the freeze on wages over the last 30 years of inflation. The Bank is draining us to the point it has become a Blood Bank for the vampires that drink our blood, corporate CEOs and execs buying legislation to funnel our economic life energy to them, and by now have rendered Democracy illegal. When something like Democracy goes away, it doesn't come back any time soon. After all the American wars in my lifetime, seeing the beginning of rock n roll, women's liberation, sexual liberation, the drug world, the most significant turn of events I've witnessed is the popular end of Democracy in America, the popular diminishing of individual rights, the progression into popular police state. My feeling is the obsessive American passion for money attracted the demons from the dark side. An entire nation that worships money and rules the defenseless countries of the world with aggressively arrogant rudeness is a magnet for evil (hate) and cannot stand. This isn't prophecy. It's simply natural law, like gravity.
alex katz
As I read it thus, it doesn't mean I blame anything or anybody. I've come to see it a process, the wheel of fortune, turning, turning. We had our peak at the end of ww2. It's the nature of American government never to make an intelligent decision. A couple centuries accumulation of money-informed decisions is where we're stranded now. A kid I knew cheated his way all the way through jr high and high school. By the time he made it to the 12th grade, he didn't have what it took. He hadn't learned anything. It came time to produce and he had nothing. It's racism that has us stumped. Persecuting racists by making issues of them gets nowhere. It only makes them mad. The civil rights period got some laws changed, but didn't change American WASP racism. The decision makers in the corporate towers are far more racist than the redneck with a confederate tag on his pickup's front bumper. Nobody is pointing the finger at the corporate towers for racism. We don't provoke the ones that rule us. What's new about inequality? What's new about nothing done to change it toward the good of all concerned? It is at this point in seeing the landscape around my world, the grid my world lives on without recourse, something I cannot participate in attached to it. I cannot care anymore. I'm told not caring is neurotic. So I'm neurotic. Duh. I confess. Now let's get on with it. I came to the mountains because I saw police state coming, didn't know how, didn't know when, but definitely inevitable as a fighter jet flying in a straight line at the side of a mountain too late to steer away. I wanted to be living comfortably on the least possible, intuiting that hard times would be here before my spirit abandoned this old house. I'm detaching myself from concern about American Democracy, what there was of it, about the corporate coup that bought our government from under us, a hostile takeover. I can't care. It's the same as hearing about 16 sherpas snuffed by a surprise avalanche in base camp. What can my concern do about an avalanche on the other side of the earth a week ago? I can send a prayer for their families, can't send them money.
rene magritte
It's not my world. I can't worry about the refugee camps in Darfur. Had to stop watching a documentary about half way through. I couldn't help, nothing I could do, not even an opinion, not even a prayer. It's way bigger than me. I have to leave that one to God. It's God sized horror. I can't even afford to go over there to bury the dead. So why am I agonizing myself watching these people who have been through suffering beyond the realm of my imagination? This is for God to sort out, not me. I cannot wring my heart completely dry over horrors all over the earth all down through time since before the hairless ape left the trees. I believe we brought it out of the trees with us. God telling us to settle down and get used to each other, see if you can like one another, over and over, and all it does is make a new religion to go to war with the other religions. Killer is in us deep. It is slow to grow out of, a habit, a tradition. This time we're in is stirring it up to the surface to be dealt with. I see it something like the psychiatric couch. Bring the knot up from deep within, talk about it, think about it, understand it and, poof, the knot is gone. I don't want to be a participant in a belief system that believes killing solves problems. So I live outside society. I've withdrawn from paying attention to politicians. I wonder every day why anybody pays attention to Ted Cruz, wonder if anybody really does pay him any mind. He makes Sarah Palin look like an intellectual whiz-bang. It's a television circus show, a cluster of bubbles blown by a child, drifting on the breeze, popping one at a time until the last one. It floats on and by surprise goes pop. It's slow to break the mental habit of paying attention when Clarence Thomas and the Supremes decide against democracy again and again. I tell myself this old democracy didn't work anyway. Like when it's time to erect a bigger building, the old building needs to be torn down first. Maybe a new enlightenment is ahead that will save us from ourselves. To hell with it. I'm going to sit on my mountain, watch donkeys graze, read Henry Miller and Naguib Mahfouz, be as vacant to the world out there as Blanche DuBois. It's asking an awful lot of myself. Comical to think about, but that's it. I listen to five minutes headline news on the hour once a day. I still like to keep up with the fiction to see how it unfolds day to day. No more documentaries about suffering I can't fix.  
henry miller
This has been a good week of not paying attention to anything in Washington DC or the world. I know about the Korean ship sinking. I can feel sympathy. But there is a disaster someplace every day, just like there is a baby born every day and somebody dies every day. It's the nature of this world. Pull my attention in closer to home, get my head out of the cloud of disinformation and misinformation called news, read more, relax more, let the players have at it. In jr high and high school I hated it I was required to go to football and basketball games, parents hated paying for it too. But it was better than being at home. I don't want to participate in that world anymore. I want to stay at home, read, watch good movies, make things, watch the squirrels and birds outside the window. This morning I heard the first bluejay. Clear sharp ring. I love the sounds they make. Felt good to have them back. Yellow finches are passing through. I step out the door and squirrel tails dart off in different directions and vanish up a tree. The birds scatter all at once, the doves most dramatically. The donkeys see me step out the door and start walking to the gate. Jack brays, Jenny wheezes, I greet them by name. Jenny is different every day. This morning she deferred to Jack to let him have first carrot. She'd been demanding it for herself. They're doing their mating routine recently. I'm seeing that Jack has spells. First two days, she is kicking him all the time, big power kicks. Third day he kicks her all day long. Fourth day, he takes her by the back of the neck with his teeth and breaks her down. She sprained her right front ankle 4 days ago. It got bad, then better. Today she's walking like before. It was from all their jumping around. Whatever is going on between them, Jack is Alpha donkey the last few days. He walks like it, too. He's a big proud bull donkey. It cracks me up to see mild mannered Donkey Jack whose temperament is even all the time turn into a bull and set his ears just right like tv antennae called rabbit ears. He transforms from Donkey Jack to Alpha Donkey. It's not like he struts his stuff, but like he's a bull with feet firm on the ground. Jenny walks around with her head down more than usual. Jack I see with his head up. I'd guess that inside a week Jack will be keeping his head lowered and Jenny will be Alpha Donkey again. They go through this cycle periodically.    
zhang ziyi in the house of the flying daggers

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