Friday, September 26, 2014

Hippies' Despair

I think I've got another case of Hippies' Despair.  I first noticed this syndrome years ago while pondering how my good friend, comrade and compatriot, Woody Konopak, could possibly be so dramatically, completely and thoroughly stuck in a vortex of doom.  Woody finds a reason to say "Ba Humbug," at just about everything, while most people can look at things like a parade of liberals carrying home made signs down Central Park West and see all kinds of positive developments.

Pinko always finds something to celebrate in all sorts of endeavors most people would consider absolutely futile, but he's had a special training that emphasizes how socialists, communists, etc have a better chance of winning friends and influencing people among the liberals than among the teajadists, for example.  I suppose that makes sense, and as the world slides even further down this trajectory to hell in a hand basket, maybe more USers will start thinking they were lied to about communism just like they were lied to about the reasons the US has bombed so many innocent bystanders to kingdom come in our recent wars.  But honestly, when white people across this nation still have a hard time admitting that Whites and Blacks have a different cultural experience of the police - even after all the videos of cops shooting innocent bystanders like John Crawford, Levar Jones, Michael Brown and countless other brown men - it looks to me like we have a country filled with people desperately looking at anything other than the facts in order to maintain their comfortable, consumerist lifestyles just like Carmela Soprano pretended to believe merchandise fell off trucks and into her living room.

But back to Hippies' Despair.
I originally defined Hippies' Despair as a persistent, pervasive pessimistic outlook brought on by the overwhelming realization that there is no way the social changes your generation fought for back during the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement will come to fruition in your lifetime.  And maybe they'll never come to fruition at all given that war criminals of the past are leading the way to the future.  What gets me is that so many people can watch Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger admiring each other all the time without hearing echoes of The Who singing, "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."  That's how the people keep getting fooled over and over and over again.

I will admit that the climate march was kind of like a pleasant block party where everyone had an opportunity to connect with new people which is a good thing.  When you're going to hell in a hand basket, it's always nice to know your neighbors.  Pinko even managed to coax me out of my bad attitude:

I had fun chanting with a lively group from ILPS (International League of People's Struggle), but I still ditched the march at 66th Street and went home for some peace and quiet.  I also enjoyed meeting a Fellow Worker named Bennet the next day.  He had suggested heading up to the UN to the folks who could hear him at Flood Wall Street.  Pinko, his friend Paul, a fellow worker from Reno and a young fellow from Ohio were the only ones who came up there, and since I was in the neighborhood for a dentist appointment anyway, I occupied the UN for about an hour.

Meanwhile, down on Wall Street, the cops changed shifts once the closing bell rang and the traders all went home.  All the Officer Friendlies went home for the day, and the new guys showed up in Riot Drag.  Over a 100 people were arrested that evening, and the episode was as neatly choreographed as a production number on Broadway since Occupy apparently had bail fund money for everyone who had signed consent forms indicating that they were willing to be arrested.  Unfortunately, Fellow Worker Elliot, who climbed on top of a phone booth to address the assembled crowd in a time-honored tradition among labor activists, was not among those receiving bail money.  Pinko took a photo of him with his phone:

The Huffington Post showed him getting dragged off to jail a little while later.  I see he took off the blue t shirt.

I am glad that Pinko didn't get hauled into the pokey in solidarity with his Occupy buddies.  I'm all good with him getting arrested peaceably - once he gets a job - but you never know when cops will withhold someone's asthma medicine until they die.  Cops are tricky that way, even with white people.

Tonight we are going to a forum sponsored by Pinko's friends at the Solidarity Center - which is a common office space shared by organizations like Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), People's Power Assemblies, and International Action Center.  I think Workers World Party is in there too.  Someone will be reporting on what's happening with immigration and the National Caravan to the Texas/Mexico border.  I'm sure it will be informative and enlightening for me since I don't know much about what's been happening with those bus loads of kids coming up from Central America.

As someone with a confirmed case of Hippies' Despair, however, I will bet that somehow the United States Government put the whole thing into motion through the enduring clusterfuck we call Foreign Policy - which is essentially us trying to covertly manipulate the economies of other countries in order to enrich the plutocrats at the top of the food chain (see photo of Hillary and Henry).  
Henry Kissinger's work in Chile during the Nixon Administration is well documented (Democracy Now).

It's easy to see how those of us who actively remember the Nixon White House would have Hippies' Despair.  The same motherfuckers who fucked things up back then continue to fuck things up now - and that includes the supreme rat bastard, Dick Cheney, and his offspring.  But the trouble, for me, isn't really about how a bunch of sociopaths and dominionists are continually trying to run the world.  That's what imperialists do.  What bugs me is the way so many well-intentioned liberals honestly and sincerely believe that electing Democrats - like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren - will make the world a better place, as if our entire national existence hasn't been one long exercise in Manifest Destiny.

People think China is the worst polluter, and depending on how you calculate statistics, that is mostly true.  However, the US Military Industrial Complex, aka The Pentagon, uses more fossil fuels and emits more C02 than any other institution on the planet (Flounders, 2009).  Sadly, when discussing environmental impacts, hardly anyone ever points to our own military.  It's much more comfortable and convenient when China is the bad guy.

If I've got to hang out with people in my free time, I much prefer to hang out with folks who already know and acknowledge this kind of shit.  In ordinary social situations, like weddings and cocktail parties, I can't manage the small talk anymore, but hanging out with activists all the time can make your head explode, or at least raise your blood pressure.

I wonder if anyone knows how many activists it takes to change a light bulb.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Climate Marching

Everybody in the world is supposed to be going to the climate change march tomorrow, and that's probably why I don't feel like going.  I feel a little guilty because I don't feel like participating in a march that some people have traveled uncomfortably for days to attend, but facts are facts.  I'm sick to death of all this talking, talking, talking.

I'm particularly sick of idealogical nitpicking, too.  At the moment, I can't think of any examples of nitpicking in the climate change community, but we find a clear example among certain groups of pinko commies who label each other as Trotskyites or Leninists. Really, what the fuck difference does it make in a country that is so completely dedicated to corporate fascism?  That's not a rhetorical question.

Tim DeChristopher, my activist hero, is part of a panel discussion that begins 45 minutes from now.  I had every intention of going to look at him because, you know, he's tall, strong, passionate - basically gorgeous and stimulating in every way.  But when it was time to get dressed, I couldn't see getting on a noisy subway to go to a crowded lecture hall at a university campus downtown just to hear more talking and talking and talking.  Clearly, I have an attitude this morning.

I don't mean to minimize climate change - but honestly, that ship sailed decades ago when Jimmy Carter delivered the malaise speech to a country that elected Ronald Fucking Reagan.  Then Ronald Fucking Reagan completed the mission outlined in the Powell Memo which Richard Nixon and his buddies Rumsfeld, Rove and Cheney implemented.
So whatever with this climate change march.

It's nice that people are coming together and all that.  Maybe more people will become convinced that we need a global systemic change that puts people and planet before profit.  But this morning, as I was pursuing some of the gatherings scheduled for tomorrow and saw Anti-War, Anti-this and Anti-that, I just can't get excited about hauling my ass down to the Museum of Natural History in the morning.

I imagine that when Pinko and his Wobbly friend from Reno get back from all the workshops today, they'll be jazzed and I'll wind up being glad to go to the march with everyone else in the world.  However, I'm not going over to the UN with a more radical group of demonstrators who will be agitating in front of the UN, as opposed to following a route that mimics the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the authorized Free Speech Zones clear across town from UN Climate Summit.

Popular Resistance and them are right about going over to the UN - but really, if all those rich guys gave a flying fuck about what people think, they never would have promoted and facilitated endless war and ecocide in the first place.  Remember these douchebags who were watching Occupy from the balcony on Wall Street three years ago?  No doubt they'll be toasting the Climate Marchers too, secure in the knowledge that the paramilitary police force is armed to the teeth and ready to do their bidding.

In my current state of mind, I'm thinking that the Climate Change march will get about the same amount of attention as polar bears floating on ice rafts.  Liberals will send money to various mainstream environmental organizations and industrialized society will continue on this downward spiral toward global environmental and economic collapse.  And so it goes.

The truth is that I feel like I'm already doing my part for the revolution by supporting Pinko's activism and training in Revolutionary Theory.  I need some peace and quiet to tend to family and work responsibilities like completing the necessary documents for open enrollment in the bullshit festival this country euphemistically calls Health Care.  These responsibilities are getting me down. I'm trying to wrap my head around increasing deductibles and decreasing medical coverage, and the fact that so many people respond to this pervasive situation with comments on how the coverage isn't so bad instead of demanding heath CARE instead of better health INSURANCE, so the climate change march is simply reminding me that we're drowning in a sea of futility - kind of like the day that Sarah Palin sneered, "How's that Hope-y Change-y thing working for ya?"

We're stuck in a world ruled by John Birchers and other Dominionists, and the only thing that will change that, in my view, is the devastation brought on by the very climate change the 1% pays "experts" to deny. At the end of the day, when the inevitable collapse comes with mass die-offs, crumbling infrastructure and everything else that Richard Duncan brought up with the Olduvia Theory, somebody is going to have to pick up the pieces.  That's where Pinko and Revolutionary Theory becomes important.

If I'm remembering correctly, economies go from slavery to feudalism to capitalism to communism, and it looks like the world is in the final stages of capitalism where the system implodes on itself.  The survivors will finally be able to build the better world we all know is possible once the old order finally gets out of the way.  All the violence we're seeing now - whether it's on a national scale like in Gaza or locally, like in Ferguson - represents the last desperate grasp of Imperialists trying to hang on to their empire.  I'm pretty sure we're going to have to pry that empire out of their cold, dead hands - but I'm trying to be optimistic.

On Monday, Pinko is joining the flood on Wall Street to emphasize the connection between capitalism and the climate crisis.  I have to go to work, but I feel a little better after reading Naomi Klein's piece in The Guardian: Climate Change is a global emergency. Stop waiting for politicians to sound the alarm.  And I certainly feel a little better knowing that Pinko is out there representing the family.  I just hope he doesn't think it is his duty to be arrested along with his comrades.  Recent arrests don't look good on job applications, and as much as I appreciate and support his activism, I'll feel a lot better once he has a part-time job.