Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Consider the Effects

I found a stream this morning and watched the announcement of Timmeh Geithner's "new" plan (details of which were "leaked" all through the weekend) this morning, and then spent my free chances throughout the day reading what some others had to say about it. Much of it was very, very silly.

(Not a single "bold and swift" plan goes by where I'm not amazed anew at the persistence with which people insist on continuing to frame these things in partisan terms, as though it's Bush's, Obama's, or hell, even Clinton's fault. These guys have little or nothing to do with anything unless it involves reading off a teleprompter, doing photo ops, signing papers that are set in front of them, and collecting their payoffs for the same.*

These are just the obvious and recent examples, of course.

Granted, Obama stil has to get through the next four years before he starts getting the real payoffs, but I'm sure the Executive perks serve to tide him over fairly well. Bush, well his payoffs have begun, but at a lower rate due not to "bad performance" as most are trained to think, but rather "bad performance" in that he was even more of an embarrassing and excessively drunken monkey than his handlers thought he would be. Clinton's performance has maintained (he was always very good at performing) and he continues to be rewarded regularly en route to deeper degrees of Elder Statesman status and prestige.)

Sorry about that digression. It's often difficult to refrain.

Oh yes, New Bold and Swift Economic Plans, by Timmeh. If you haven't gotten down and dirty with the details, I enjoyed Mish's roundup a great deal, and I promise you'll certainly get more out of it than reading the Serious and Respectable rags.

That being said, in thinking about the extent to which the public (and many, many future generations) are being looted and pillaged, along with all of the vastly silly partisan and/or generally false writing about the same--serving to further distract everyone taking part in The Great Circus-- I thought I might share some bits of truth from Jaques Ellul's The Technological Society.

From Chapter 5, Human Techniques:

Some effects of propaganda, however, are already clear.

1) The critical faculty has been suppressed by the creation of collective passions [see: Bush Hate, Obama Worship, blind partisanship in general--HH].


The suppression of the critical faculty--man's growing incapacity to distinguish truth from falsehood, the individual from the collectivity, action from talk, reality from statistics, and so on--is one of the most evident results of the technical power of propaganda. Human intelligence cannot resist propaganda's manipulation of its subconscious [focus on the use of the word "subconscious" here--this is what television programming speaks to directly, and how the opinions of the mass are formed--HH].

2) A good social conscience appears with the suppression of the critical faculty. [see, for example: Lowering your "carbon footprint"--HH]

3) Propaganda technique, moreover, creates a new sphere of the "sacred." As Monnerot puts it: "When and entire category of events, beings, and ideas is outside criticism, it constitutes a sacred realm, in contrast to the realm of the profane." [see: current widespread assertion that the "debate" on Global Warming Climate Change, 9/11, etc. has been settled.--HH]

As you consider these points there is one last thing that's worth mentioning, I think. These words were published in 1964.

The effects of our Modern Life must be considered. We ignore them at our peril.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Ides of Spring

Perhaps it's the increasing appearance of the sun as spring pushes its way to the forefront. The fact that I'm finally finished with this year's self-incrimination ritual (the climax of which is always the same--I get robbed), has surely played its part. The reasons abound, really, but whatever they are--real or perceived--the current state of affairs has me itching to jump back into the pool and start peeing.

So to speak.

The last 2.5 years have been a period of massive personal deconstruction and redefinition (think more Rising of the Phoenix, less Madonna), and while that process is (and should be) ongoing, it's time for the new to emerge and engage.

I've started on teh twitters. Follow me, all ye faithful.

I got on the YouTubez. My channel is here, if you're so inclined. I haven't really done too much with it yet, but it's where any future John Wayne Gacy and Naked British Guy episodes will appear, if they do, and I will continue to slowly but surely add clips I'm fond of or that I feel are relevant as time goes on.

I've also been dragged into the outer circles of the Facebook cult, although I rarely attend. For the most part, it's simply another way for the more active cultists to feel the reach of my mental tentacles (mentacles?) without having to leave their virtual enclave. I pop in every now and again, run around and say hello, and that's that; staying too long makes me feel like an indentured hamster and/or like I've just made the decision to begin dabbling in heroin. Just a little here and there, that's how it always starts.

Besides, I was obligated to jump on, really. How disappointed would you be to look for me there and find well, I dunno...not me. I know I'd be disappointed-perish the thought. Life has enough disappointments without having them heaped on unnecessarily. (Editor's Note: Warning--as evidenced by the last few sentences, newly emergent Human Head may unintentionally come across as a pompous ass.)


Life with a child continues to be a fundamentally surreal experience. As we approach Anna's 14th month on the planet, the Mrs. and I find ourselves continually challenged, amazed, and generally worn the fuck out. The current phase? Separation anxiety. And boy howdy, it's a sunuvabitch.

Despite everything, though, there's no joy in this world quite like it.

(My baby loves her some Outkast)

As an example, did I happen to mention yet that she's a carnivore of the first order? I made some pulled pork last week and she ate nearly as much as I did, and did so at an astonishing rate of speed. It was one of those Greatest Ever moments that come along every so often (Greatest Ever being defined by the fact that it was completely and utterly unexpected). It is exactly these kind of Greatest Ever moments that make the whole experience the joy that it is and carries one through the more torturous (and indeed, they can be torturous) aspects of corralling a LittleBigBeast.


The slow ramp-up method seems to be working so far. I'm setting modest goals, initially, in looking for one post per week. If it goes better, that's great, but regardless, it's time to get out. Spring is here.