Archive for the Critical Commentary of Civilization Category

French Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized, Politics, History, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2017 by Drogo

la_liberte_guidant_le_peuple

By 1780 French commoners were angry with their ruler, King Louis XVI; and the way nobles ran their country. Although the government economy was suffering, nobles still lived in luxury and paid no taxes. Meanwhile the peasants and workers had to pay high taxes, relative to what they made, and there was not enough work or income for them all because the upper classes were keeping all the money. By 1789 the economy was broken, and the nobles called a meeting with the middle class. The middle class demanded that nobles pay taxes at least, but the nobles refused. This made the French masses of commoners furious. A crowd of poor people helped by soldiers, attacked and captured a large prison called the Bastille. After the storming of the Bastille, many other lower classes rebelled in other areas, the middle class took control, and most of the nobles were executed in a period known as the ‘Reign of Terror’. The military rage needed for the revolution, led to years of war campaigns and promoted war mongers like Napoleon, as greed and power was transferred and allowed to remain unchecked by humanitarian ethical philosophies. This is why revolution is never enough, if the natural tendencies of abuse and neglect are not addressed.

 

 

 

 

US SECRET AGENCIES

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2017 by Drogo

I got a stack of non-fiction history books from the library about all the ‘plausible deniability’ branches of government (aka secret agencies). we are still feeling what people started realizing in the 60s; war mongers rule the sheep; and it is up to us if we want to change it. FBI is our step-mom and CIA is our step-dad, playing us. NSA is our nosey neighbor, watching and listening to us in our private places. Our government exhibits all the worst attributes of ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’, in large part due to secret agencies working with corporations and the Pentagon to take and keep money from lower class Americans, on behalf of plutocrats that put on a 2-party puppet show that promotes war.

FBI  –  ‘The Bureau, Secret History of the FBI’; by Ronald Kessler

NSA  – ‘Body of Secrets, Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency’; by James Bamford

‘Secret History of the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency’; by Joseph Trento

CIA  –  ‘Legacy of Ashes, History of the CIA’; by Tim Weiner

‘Devil’s Chessboard, Allen Dulles, CIA, & the Rise of America’s Secret Government’; by David Talbot

Homeland Security – I was at the opening of their head-quarters, so I got the tour.

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American Dream Fallout

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, POB Audio, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2016 by Drogo

In the Wake of the Great Recession the American Dream Dies

“The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country’s tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture. Though the phrase has different meanings to different people, it suggests an underlying belief that hard work pays off and that the next generation will have a better life than the previous generation. But three years after the worst recession in almost a century, the American Dream now feels in jeopardy to many…” “Economic statistics validate those feelings. According to the Census Bureau, an average man working full time made 10 percent less money last year than he did a decade ago.” [Read full story at NPR – American Dream Faces Harsh New Reality]

“New economic research shows Americans are no longer as likely to make more than their parents did at the same age…The American dream is harder to attain than it used to be. People may have felt that for a long time. Now there’s a body of research to back that up. One definition of the American dream is that your children will make more money than you did. Now economists have charted the percentage of people who make more than their parents did at the same age, and the picture is striking…” (adjusted for inflation) If you were born in 1940, you had a 92% chance that you would make more money than your parents did, because of national economic growth. For those born in 1980 it has fallen to 50%. Besides changes in educational and industrial labor, the main economic reason most people are not out-earning their parents is that corporate productivity gains go disproportionately to the few people at the top. Income inequality between the poor and the rich is the main problem. [Read full story at NPR – Economists Chart ‘Index Of The American Dream‘]

“Income Inequality Impairs The American Dream of Upward Mobility.” [Read and Listen to the full story at NPR – Debate: Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream?]

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Like a phoenix we can rise from the ashes and co-create a new American Dream!

 

Racism

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2016 by Drogo

My Thoughts on Racists and Racism

This will not take long. ‘Race’ is an artificial term that we use to stereotype or ‘vaguely identify’ physical differences between the same human species, from different ethnic and genetic regions. The fact remains we are so closely related to apes, that these distinctions among our own species are more opinion than fact. Cultural pride is not the same as hateful bigotry; when the two concepts are combined to promote intolerance of differences, humanitarian self-defense must apply social pressure to limit the hostility, or fascist regimes come out of the closet and run governments and kill those that do not obey their domination. History has shown this is true; with all empires and dictators that imposed their belief that their culture is superior to others and deserves to enslave the others.

History has never frozen in time, according to the records. Things are always remixing; cultures, families, animals, plants, inanimate objects comprised of matter, etc. etc… Yes we all have our own biased or bigoted tastes or preferences that are racist because they are based on our own cultural or personal perspectives; that does not mean that being hatefully prejudice against ‘them that are other’ is a good thing in a World where we should be evolving to be more harmonious and cooperative, even with our minor distinct differences and bio-diversity. Death will come to all soon enough, and life has plenty of other challenges that we can spend time on.

Identifying by superficial features is well, superficial. Fear, greed and jealousy are at the heart of Racism, where love should be.
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ps – Trump has the same New England style racism as Lovecraft (HORROR author). They are not as violent as the KKK or Nazis, but New England racists want to be the last immigrants; and want to stop cultures from mixing in the melting-pot of liberty. In the South, the KKK mainly focus on attacking blacks with psychological terror and physical violence. The KKK supports Trump, and consider Nazis to be too socialist. The Alt-Right is led by white nerds that want to justify their weak hatred with pseudo-intellectual rhetoric (words). 

2016 Media Black-out @ Standing Rock

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Interviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2016 by Drogo

DAKOTA Pipeline – Mass Arrests and Hostile Police Action Against Natives

I have not heard any major news source reporting substantially on this, and few people talking about the arrests weeks after it happened (until now). Not that there are any respectable news companies out there anyway. Our media and governments are being run by the Corporations directly. Blessings to these independent protest journalists. Please share this with everyone, only we can change things.

Oct. 3, 2016 NEWS: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/10/standing-rock-five-dapl-work-sites-shut.html

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Protest Lawyers website:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/37795-lawyer-s-view-recent-days-at-standing-rock

 

 

 

Why Critics Can Fuck Themselves

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Critical Commentary of Civilization, Film Reviews, Interviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2016 by Drogo

If I have any genius instead of talent (see one of the last reviews* a critic gave Edgar Allen Poe), then my luck will not make me rich and famous during my lifetime; as with Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, or George Martin. If I truly have the amazing artistic potential or merit that a true fan might believe, then to the rest of civilization I will most likely end up poor and infamous when I die; as with Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Van Gogh, or HP Lovecraft. In fact I realize I am no better than Henry Darger.

The real-life mystery of the death of Edgar Allen Poe makes clear how art imitates life, and life imitates art. Furthermore, there may be some problems with society, that makes the life of an artist such a torturous hell throughout history. Perhaps artistic and autistic handicaps are more similar than government support allows. Indeed Capitalism itself seems to be the enemy of human rights for those cursed with an excess of artistic mental ‘gifts’.

I create art, books, and music because I can do nothing else as well. For those that doubt whether I have tried to work paying jobs, see my resume. Yes I can socialize, exercise, and invest in the stock market; but none of those guarantee a living wage. I am lucky that I am smart enough to tie my shoes. I am lucky I can walk. I am lucky that I can enjoy food. I am lucky that I am alive, so perhaps the fact that no one can put a price on it, means that perhaps life is priceless. If life is priceless, and if all human life is worth funding to maintain (as many claim), then perhaps we should not only see the worthlessness of critics, but also we the people should contemplate whether government should direct an economy towards these ends?

 – Drogo Empedocles

*EAP’s last lecture review was sympathetic to a dying poet “…no other writer in the USA has half the chance to be remembered. Had Mr. Poe possessed talent instead of genius, he might have been a money-making author; but his title to immortality could not be surer than it is.” – Charleston newspaper editor

References: Wikipedia

Edgar Allen Poe – In 1849, Poe was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, “in great distress, and… in need of immediate assistance”, according to a stranger who found him. He was taken to a hospital where he died after a few days. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. He is said to have repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds” on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say that Poe’s final words were “Lord help my poor soul”. All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate. Newspapers at the time reported Poe’s death as “congestion of the brain” or “cerebral inflammation”, common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. The actual cause of death remains a mystery. Speculation has included beatings, alcohol poisoning, delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, cholera, and rabies. One theory dating from 1872 suggests that ‘cooping’ was the cause of Poe’s death, a form of electoral fraud of forced voting, sometimes leading to violence and even murder. The author of his critical obituary hated him.

Vincent Van Gogh – suffered fits of despair and hallucination during which he could not work, between long clear months in which he did, punctuated works of extreme visionary ecstasy (like bi-polar). He was often too depressed and unable to write, but he was still able to paint and draw a little. In 1890, aged 37, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. The bullet was deflected by a rib and passed through his chest without doing apparent damage to internal organs – probably stopped by his spine. Doctors tended to him as best they could, then left him alone in his room, smoking his pipe. The following morning Theo rushed to his brother’s side, but Vincent was dead within hours resulting from the wound. According to Theo, Vincent’s last words were: “The sadness will last forever”.

HP Lovecraft – Throughout his life, selling stories and paid literary work for others did not provide enough to cover Lovecraft’s basic expenses. Living frugally, he subsisted on an inheritance that was nearly depleted by the time of his last years. He sometimes went without food to afford the cost of mailing letters. Eventually, he was forced to move to smaller and meaner lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by the suicide of his correspondent Robert E. Howard. In early 1937, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine, and so suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death in 1937, in Providence, RI.

Henry Darger – Famous only post-humously. Darger’s landlords, came across his work shortly before his death. No one seemed to know or care about his art or writing before, because he kept them secret. His book ‘Realms of the Unreal’ may be the longest book known at over 15,000 pages. He was known as a poor old crazy janitor.

Medusa sculpt

2 Students, 1 Gun, 1 Murder

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by Drogo

A few years ago I was mentoring 2 friends younger than me, both adult males in their 20’s, both intelligent savvy talkers. One was a troubled local youth that glorified gun violence and gangster resentment because he was too cowardly to face his own demons. The other was a family friend, and star student of mine at the college where I taught, who I loaned money to, and donated to help to renovate his idea for a coffee bar at the motel where he worked.

The troubled ‘boy’ and I had a disagreement about cooperative attitudes, and we stopped talking; and then one day my car gets vandalized. When i went to visit him unarmed in my casual attire at his grandmother’s house, he pulled a loaded gun (auto-pistol) on me and threatened to shoot me because he was “insane”. The story unfolds from there, where I informed the police that a felon was in possession of a fire arm and claimed to be insane. All of which I wrote about in my report to the Court, which I submitted to the State Troopers along with video tape of his rants for my SCOD Post-Apoc film.

The Troubled Student, soon after threatening me and others, went into a bar and opened fire, killing Nice Student instantly and wounding others. Troubled Student is currently in jail, but i like to check to make sure every year. I am sure that if I had encountered him a second time after that, I would have had to defend my life with extreme violent prejudice. This story is about the failing of a government and social system, to save people from the dark cracks of life, and about 2 young students, that made different choices, and how those worked out for them. Finally, this story to me is about my failure to save either one of them from tragedy.

At some point I hope to be able to write about this story as fiction, with fictional names, to be able to tell it more fully with personal detail and emotion. I still struggle with understanding why it happened, or even what lessons can be learned from it. I have my own thoughts about it, and they weigh heavy on me.

– Drogo