Archive for June, 2005

turn on, tune in, drop out…NOT!

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, I dropped out of the system, and I took my family with me. In 1976 I took my wife and two children to live in a commune, where my other two children were born. Dropping out and moving to an apocalyptic “spiritual community” was the biggest mistake I ever made. It is only now, in my dotage, that I have come to realize it. It took the shock of 9/11 to open my eyes to the truth that this system, the United States of America, is the best there has ever been. The alternatives pale before it. Of course it is flawed, being an organization of human beings. But so flawed that the only recourse is to drop out of it entirely and work towards its demise? Not even close. As a result of my adolescent foolishness, my children were handicapped. Unnecessary obstacles were placed in their paths. My long-suffering wife, now divorced, was coerced into following me into this dead-end. I lost a promising career. We never owned a house. My sons were not able, later, to thrive in the straight educational system, not to mention the soybean diet they were forced to grow up on.

My comrades and I, back in the day, were oh so proud of our revolutionary courage and perception. Many of them still indulge in these absurd arrogant delusions. And many others, while acknowledging that mistakes were made, are still proud of their youthful idealism. Idealism is OK, in very, very small doses, but the kind of idealism that takes you completely out of the game, is dangerous, and is easily manipulated by smarter, more experienced people, for their own ends.

I’m not complaining. I am happily remarried, and working hard on the cutting edge of the information age. We just bought a house. Life is good. I always put an American flag out front of our house in Tennessee on Memorial Day and Independence Day. I am grateful and proud to be an American. I accept the struggle to make my way in a corrupt and unfair system that is less corrupt and unfair than any other human system that exists, now or ever. It is a system that is indifferent to my youthful indiscretions. Whattaya got? That’s the only question I have to answer.

I’m as opinionated as ever of course. Obviously. Just read some of the Greatest Hits on the sidebar. But my opinions now all take place within the framework of the American revolution, the over-arching political and, dare I say it, spiritual revolution of the millenium. As Stephen Daedalus says in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken.” And America is a child of history. We have much to answer for: the native American holocaust, slavery, segregation, Japanese internment camps, CIA support of fascist regimes, etc., etc. As a life-long charter member of the blame America first club, I am well aware of the youthful mistakes of my country. But all of this is trumped by the incredible vision, practicality, and ongoing realization, at great sacrifice, of the constitution of the United States of America. Love it or leave it. You are not going to find a better deal anywhere.

True Crime

Monday, June 27th, 2005

Posted by Harcamone

This Aruba story is creepy and fascinating, don’t you think? A girl is missing. Three local boys, a Dutch kid and the Dutch kid’s father played some role or have some knowledge, or so the cops seem to think. Nobody’s saying where the girl is. Maybe stories don’t match.

You can bet a few crime writers are awaiting every development. To them, this story is red meat. I knew a TV writer, he used to cut this kind of stuff out of the paper and put it in a scrapbook. Crimes are the raw materials of writers. Nobody makes up the plots of novels or TV shows completely from their imaginations. High tech robberies, bizarre murders, ransom-money strategies … ingenious forensics … crime writers love crime.

I have a friend, another TV writer, who wrote an episode of CSI Miami. I was so curious — how did she know all this stuff? What was the relationship between her story and real-life details of crime-scene investigations and forensics? Indeed, she had read a dozen books, and even hired professional police people as consultants. She couldn’t just make all that shit up.

Another thing this Aruba situation forces us to think about: people have to raise their children right. It is very very difficult in these times to do that. But you don’t want your daughter going to some Paradise Island and getting into a car with boys she doesn’t know, and “kissing in the back seat” with one of them, all fucking stoned, driving to some club, or to the beach. That’s unacceptable, you can’t allow it as a parent.

Did you read Jaimie Glazov’s interview in frontpagemag with the kid who wrote the book Porn Generation? OK, the kid goes overboard. But here’s what people don’t understand; maybe Jaimie Glazov doesn’t get it, either: this is a Porn Generation. It’s true. It’s a fact. Pornography of an entirely new kind is only keystrokes away from anybody, anywhere, anytime. People like that girl’s parents have NO IDEA of the sexual imagery that is now common in the world their daughter inhabits. She might look like a cheerleader. Maybe she used to be a cheerleader. But what is she today?

Can you believe that there are new genres of sex acts? Oh, you say, people have been having sex for a milion years, there is nothing new. Well, maybe not. But Sexual acts that might have been fantasies on the far fringes of disordered minds years ago, or sexual acts that might once have been seen only in forcible rape scenarios, are now consensual and common, at least as pornographic imagery. People our age cannot dream of some of these things, no matter how promiscuous we might have been in our youth.

Liberals — I’m not making this up, check out Michael Parenti’s writing in The Nation — see Howard Stern as a kind of anti-corporate warrior. Have they ANY IDEA what he is really talking about? Do they know the beast that he is a tentacle of? Do they wonder why ordinary-looking young women come on his show to be degraded in front of a million people? Have they thought much about this? Do liberal parents understand what’s going on in some of the college classrooms? Or do they think the alarms are just Horowitzian repressive ravings or the nightmares of “born agains?”

Maybe liberal parents hesitate to draw lines because they saw goofy Michael Moore-type newsreels of thundering sermons in Southern churches about miscegenation and devil music, and people burning rock ‘n roll records in the 50s. Or had fun with Reefer Madness, which, because it’s so iconically camp, makes it look like being against pot is for crackpots and prudes. Refrigerator magnets, even.

Too many parents don’t understand the real world their kids live in. They don’t understand because they rely on media instead of doing the hard, painful, disgusting research to find out for themselves what’s going on. And if they are relying on progressive media … they’re fucked.

And in any case, that poor girl from Alabama had no business getting into a car with those boys.