All there’s room to sketch upon the back of an envelope. I am calling it a self-referential study of the characters who seek to measure the confines of their world.
It’s about yay long…or is it about yeigh long?
I like to start a sketch by landing a squiggle, from that point it lets me know how to proceed by itself in some fashion. This one began with the eyes of the fellow to the right. Somehow, he became enclosed by a house-like thing that was too narrow. His hands burst through the wall in such a way that his left arm must be longer than the right. This led to another character who has her hand passing through the wall. There appear to be individual beings who make eye contact with various things in their proximity. The theme evolves from each pencil stroke.
Yesterday, Derek Chauvin made history in Minneapolis. He may as well have volunteered for a conviction or three for manslaughter, but he didn’t beat a single charge. Derek is the star of a motion picture filmed by a teenager on her phone, Chauvin was doing a job on someone he had known for many years. He followed the book to the nearest fraction and he had a lot of support from his fellow officers of law and order. This could have been his tenth knee to the neck operation and he would have walked at each encounter with a black whose life does not matter to the men in blue or to the citizens who vote for law-and-order judges. The only thing that varied was the only thing gets a notice from the viewing public — a snuff film where Derek was the star. He knew he was being captured on video, perhaps he would be recognized by his superiors as a man of valor, determination, and courage. His knee to a perps neck, the stuff that dreams are made of.
We live in a society where law and order has driven blacks into prison, into the grave, into a lack of respect that has followed from the wild-west sheriff of a militarized and disciplined system that follows the unwritten law of a white supremacism that protects itself from control by a constitution that is mere words on paper, including the poorly written Second Amendment. Get the job done and you get the respect of the gun-loyal second-amendment militia, where any white with an assault rifle commands a large amount of respect anywhere, including the public square. Apparently, this includes the Capitol buildings of the federal government. See January 6, 2021 for videos that document the matter quite well.
It is called lynching, but that word is never used to describe its true measure in a white-supremacist society. Derek Chauvin is a lyncher, but he is not credited with the power of that word. Lynching is a highly respected form of enforcement. Lynching has followed blacks throughout the history of de facto acts of control, wielded by control freaks. The practice traces back to 1619 and it continues to this day with increased frequency. The number of weapons that may be carried on the street is not limited, the Second Amendment is as powerful a document as ever. Despite the ambiguous language, it is the law that gets recognized on the public streets, within the homes of blacks, wherever a white citizen decides that a lynching fits the bill. Control freaks include any white with any number of weapons and with any amount of firepower. As uncontrolled as it has been since 1619. 421 years and counting.
In 1975, when foreign language lessons appeared in textbooks and on vinyl, I decided to learn Russian as a complement to the German that I had just learned with some fluency. The Cyrillic alphabet provided interesting and confusing sets of letters — enough to keep a learner engaged in sounds and texts that looked familiar to the under-aided eye. It appeared to resemble Gellarese in many ways, cobbled together in a manner that seemed intuitive to the 1970s Cold War setting, an interesting series of words that deliberately resembled a code and a language history that included the drama of Tolstoy and a presence that made it seem like background music in a Soviet department store.
Intrigue comes across between German and Russian as it is cast against a background that the geography of post-war Europe provided. However, German and Slavic speakers would not yield to translation with any degree of ease. Russian uses neither the definite nor the indefinite article, whereas German conveys the meaning and usage of every noun and pronoun. The German language spoken by a five-year-old in Berlin provide all the parts of speech, every inflection, and every nuance of meaning. Stack Russian next to German and you arrive at that enigma wrapped within a mystery that Russia represented to Churchill. The Slavic and German ways seem to play out like a spy thriller, where the similarities may lie somewhere between the butler and the wrestler. God help the translator maintain any measure of surety and sanity in such a world.
My German and Russian proceeded along these avenues of restriction. Of course, the tools available on the internet were yet decades away. It is difficult to imagine how any new language can be approached without Google and YouTube: an assuring set of mouse clicks away. Hence the heightened curiosity that is aroused upon employing YouTube and Google to assist the learner who arrives to answer the question posed for this post — what gives?
Somehow, languages once learned to any extent seem to stick onto various brain cells and cortexes. I still remember much of the Russian that I heard on those 1975 records, language segments that blended together like a fermenting beverage. Somewhere between beer and vodka, I believe.
Yesterday, Representative Jim Jordan and progressive epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci met to meet on the absence of civics in the marketplace. Jordan represented the wealthy sectors who depend upon the Republican Party to keep the markets pumping gilded wealth to the capitalists who count on cheap labor and fossil fuels to remind their purchased politicians in D.C. that the chains must continue to keep the marginalized on the margins and to keep libertine liberty to pass the laws that keep the 99% to the whims of the marketplace. Jordan called on Fauci to give a date for opening the economy to full-throttle openness. Unlock the American economy that he had unfairly held hostage for so long. Just give us a date Dr. Fauci, just name the date. That was all he required of a country that had simply had too many chains imposed upon economic miracles, in the view of Mr. Jordan. Need I mention that Jim Jordan was standing for his Ohio constituents, that among those participants were those who called on the execution of Anthony at the earliest possible moment.
Dr. Fauci, don’t tread on me!
Freedom and Liberty, as understood by the comfortably wealthy beneficiaries of unfettered capitalism, keep cash flowing from the most productive participants of our economy to the least productive members of that economy. Jim Jordan wants to know when the most decimated groups would be permitted to simply return to the mills, when the most protected can see the invisible finger pry the economy fully open. These are the billionaires who multiplied their gains the most at the expense of individual working for a minimum wage that has not increased since the 1970s.
There appears to be no shame at wearing the tiniest fig leaves — call it a fig-leaved futures market. Freedom and Liberty are always fobbed off in this way. The Evangelical Right feel themselves the victims of a new brand of persecution. Churches seem the last bastion in their mode of thought, the progressive elements of our society are battering at the door. Mind you, it is a metaphoric door, not the kind of door bludgeoned open at the Capitol Building on January 6th. The legions who followed every word of their Emperor God flew in on private jets, in muscled pick up trucks with all the flags of MAGA “free” to flap in the breeze, to fuel their need to vandalize and to plunder. The leader was on his way up Pennsylvania Avenue, wasn’t he. No, he was bunkering in a room reserved for friends and family, the kind of nice people you could find on the town square, the kind who were debating the form of execution. A predilection for the mighty noose, a more “scary” beheading of a guillotine. Any form of execution that would provide the most theatrical moment, guillotines and noosing devices started to appear. The would be a reign of terror not seen on any scene, but long longed for. A gentle return to the lynchings that so very well conveyed the spirit of law and order that called for the bloodiest of theatrics, a return to the perfectly proper white-supremacist call to revenge by the most highly armed. Strange fruit would once again be found dangling from the branches of trees to affirm a new spirit of magical madness that would mean a return to the great white way by those who had been denied the true meaning of the Second Amendment and who wanted the removal of the Fourteenth.
A massive mob to redress the wrongs inflicted by the Marxists upon the spirit of American manliness, a return to family values, an America First point of view solidly anchored to the Holy Bible of the founding fathers and based on freedom and liberty.
Yesterday, I researched the word etymology of the word “Demigod” in the light of a monotheistic religion that offers explanations eternal. The European belief in their Western Civilization, a product of solidly imperial traditions, casts all other faiths in terms of a Western White Supremacy that infuses explication in terms that treat European imperial histories as special institutions constructed by a disciplined God that acts in very mysterious ways. Missionaries who bring their propaganda to “lesser developed” cultures do not require any additional explication. They already retain an eternal truth bestowed by an eternal God. Eclectic Orthodoxy.
Demigods are described by those Western institutions as driven by a higher level of beings who are capable of explaining miracles and completely inexplicable to a system of beliefs that must be explained as totally explicable. The Easter season seeks to explain the death of a God that was predicted by a Judeo-Christian testament that began with Genesis, a break of testaments within a coherent system commanded by a trinity of three Gods that already existed since that Genesis in their flawless Bible. That system does not include any room for alternative beliefs. The monotheistic faith relies upon the reality of a single exalted being that simultaneously act(s) as distinct entities of a miracle accepted by faith alone. Any belief system that does not accept the monotheist terms exacted by the “wiser” Western Civilization is a pagan threat to a God’s intent.
The concept of a couple demigods acting on a triune stage is made conceivable by dint of revelation, a revelation that may only be ascribed to a Bible that is accepted without qualification and without question. Their God works in mysterious ways, whereas the idea of a couple demigods to explain the impossible is unforgivable heresy.
The Judeo-Christian concept is commanded by a jealous deity that does not suffer the idea of a separate reality — actually a deity that is explained in terms of something else that it does not suffer: heresy. Heresy is understood in terms that draw distinct lines to separate the pagan heretics from the enlightened West.
This Easter Season tells an annual tale that distinguishes the Judeo-Christian understanding of how things work from the perspective of European systems that maintain a church militant to bless the faithful with eternal life while consigning all other “false” faiths with a punishment that exists eternally, meted out with a fidelity that relies upon the enforcement of a faith that leaves no room for alternative explanations. There is no evidence that Apostle Peter ever came within a thousand miles of Rome, but the concept of “tradition” wipes all inexactitude to the side as utter heresy. Saint Paul was a product of the institution that developed out of the remnants of the Roman Empire. Any discovered throne could be declared the seat of Christ revealed by Peter, bones found among the millions of skeletons could be exalted as springing from the bones of the first apostle. Infrastructure left by the millennia of Roman rule makes the propagation of the “faith” speedy at each corner of the former middle-of-the-Earth: the Mediterranean, Middle Earth if you will.
Here I focus on the roots of the US Empire, the genocide of indigenous cultures, the settler-colonial imposition of White-Judeo-Christian beliefs on the conquered, and the white-supremacist presumptions that permit slavery and the brutal caste system that keeps the poor living in poverty as inevitable.
The US Empire began ethnic cleansing at the same time that it began populating the stolen lands of North America with European “immigrants seeking unlimited opportunity and liberty.” Again, I focus on the methods learned from the British Empire’s skill at subjugating people planetwide. The Mandate for Palestine was not relinquished until 1948, when the Zionist white supremacists of Europe brought that geography under its wings. At the present time, US Imperial power continues to provide military armaments and intelligence strength to keep them among the most wealthy and powerful world strengths. Mossad is one of the most intelligent agencies in the business, it has been funded by the US since 1948.
Islam is a world faith that traces its monotheistic religion to Abraham, however the white-supremacism that underlies the Judeo-Christian sides of the triad is a mortal foe of the third side. The rightwing hegemony of Judaism bound with Christianity makes it a powerful geopolitical juggernaut in North Africa and Asia. Recently, formal negotiations between Zionists and several Arab governments keep the Palestinians subjugates of Israel in every geopolitical question.
The white-supremacist groups who sought to bring the Capitol to a Trump regime that believes in conspiracy theories that insist that the presidency was stolen in 2020. They comprise a dangerous rightwing set of true believers that wish to keep Trump president indefinitely.
Any political forces that are even slightly left of center are mortal enemies of traditional America-First ideals. The recognized leader of these forces presently resides at Mar-a-Lago, Florida. An electoral system that has kept loyalist allies in their desire seeks to reconstitute the Confederate States of America. A Trump-approved dynasty intends to maintain and to redefine the electoral system to become subservient to the ruling dynasty. I am going to refer to them as the die-nasties, their victory over democratic principles is without compromise, the means they intend to attain their aims are irreconcilable.
This weekend becomes the shortest of the year Sunday at 2 AM. I have to stay up until that hour to celebrate a milestone on the March toward Spring. So, I shall take these shortened moments to check the benchmarks as they appear. A second jab of Pfizer marked the placement of a vaccine stone, with a notation that my system is less prone to the velcro-armed tentacles of COVID-19. I now wear my Lil’ Bub mask with some assurance that my bodily organs are less prone to destruction by pandemic. My long-suffering intestinal remnants receive an injection of something called a biologic, the trademark is Humira. I shall try to inform you if a total system collapse precipitates.
We’re hardly more wise at believing that this pandemic will end soon, never to return. Viruses are patient mechanisms that learn from their errors, expect them to jump from the cesspool of wild, wooly, and wicked animals cells. To leap back and forth with abandon at the most precocious moment. They don’t waste time and they learn the lessons of their history, we just facilitate the process by never learning the lessons of our history. We’re more likely to leap at something as wise and as helpful as Qanon, an affliction that many leap at to explain the inexplicable in terms of the impossible. Where one leaps off the cliff, there leap them all — “Where go one we go all” as the coiled snake has it. Where? Well, over the cliff, of course!
Our insistence on blazing fossil fuels fast finds us climbing into gas-guzzling megavehicles to make it likely that we’ll reach the abyss first. Unity is the new MAGAnity, so let us proceed with inanity. Watch out for coiled snakes along the path, assign a shotgun to the individual riding shotgun so that they can shoot the driver at the first appearance of a coiled snake.
Question coiled snakes, but give them accurate directions to the nearest available abyss.
By curious coincidence, Sunday is also Pi Day. May the 3.141592 be with you too.
Perhaps you will want to calculate the distance that the Earth has traveled on its orbit since 1 January. Whatever your measures for celebrating this wondrously wise day, may your vision be unencumbered by the false promises and misinformed machinations of short-sightedness.
Hoping all is well at your respective manors, all and one!
I consider myself to be a citizen of and for the world, a world threatened 24/7 by the refusal of its most wasteful and its most wealthy to stop fueling its death machine with the concentrated biomass ripped from below the skin of the planet, a biomass from a previous extinction event. There have been five such events, but this one is entirely responsible by Earth’s most irresponsible — the wealthiest and the most wasteful.
The capitalism that began what is now called the anthropocene refuses to yield to a worldwide civility. Civilization has created a monster that is sufficiently powerful to build an Evilization that is capable of destroying all living things on the planet.
A pollution of this shared planet is comprised of the industrial, chemical, and nuclear companies that have claimed world citizenship for the CEOs and for those who continue to invest in the behemoths that continuously pollute the environment and to pollute the minds of their customers and stock holders.
Capitalism is misidentified as an economic system that thrives on freedom and liberty — the freedom to form hegemonies and the liberty to steal and destroy. The more that is stolen and destroyed, the greater is the gross global product. Indices that indicate ownership in the system become the measure of its progress. The lungs of the planet, the rainforests, provide a market value that becomes greater the more that they become diseased by the cancer that is capitalism.
The means of production include the ability to eviscerate all life on the planet at the same time that the capitalist lords of industry convert the carcasses into saleable product. The more they destroy, the wealthier they become and the more capital do they have to eviscerate ever more for evermore.
Civics is a concept that has long been removed from many curriculas. The responsible global citizens among the too many (8,000,000,000 and counting) bring the likelihood of a hideous extermination event closer with every passing second. Capitalists must be identified as the criminals that bring about the destruction of the innocent. How many billions of homeless individuals does it take to make a billionaire? How many billionaires does it take to make a trillionaire?
I first heard about the 1898 Wilmington Race Riots (also known as the Wilmington Massacre) soon after moving to this North Carolina coastal town in 1984. I was drawn there by the lure of working in the movie industry during the early days following Italian director and producer Dino de Laurentis’ establishment of his namesake film studios just north of town.
At the time, Wilmington was a small sleepy city steeped in Southern charm with beautiful beaches located nearby, but as I discovered during my two years there, the town and its people featured prominently in a particularly dark chapter of North Carolina history.
As I tend to do, I gravitated toward spending my leisure time with other local artists. One such character was Claude Howell, a noted seascape painter in his 70s, who held a weekly salon in his penthouse apartment in the historic city center. Claude was not…