Friday, August 31, 2012

Clownshow 2012: Of Hubris and Hurricanes

As longtime Secret Sun readers are aware, there was a lot of semiotic horseplay among both parties in the previous Presidential election. For reasons that probably have to do with some kind of quasi-Masonic association that high-placed members of the Washington elite belong to, there were a lot of in-jokes dealing with Sirius, the fabled star of Egyptian mythology (among other traditions) that the Freemasons had absorbed into their catch-as-catch-can symbolic stew during one of history's periodic Egyptomania periods. The one in question was inspired by the dawn of a new age of European imperialism, an age that brought none other than Napoleon himself to the banks of the Nile.

The Masons had originally built their rituals around Judeo-Christian esotericism: bits of Old Testament lore, the Kabbalah, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Templar mythology. And to most practicing Freemasons, that's more or less where their focus remains.

But their appropriation of Egyptian iconography has become notorious in many circles, most especially the pantpisser set, who erupt into fits of existential terror whenever they see anything vaguely ancient Egyptian. Through a daisy chain of misinterpretation, malappropriation and downright stupidity, a perfect innocent ancient civilization has been identified with relatively recent phenomena like the Freemasons, the Bavarian Illuminati, and so on and so forth.

Time is the Great Clarifier, however, and it's becoming increasingly clear that pantpissers aren't merely over-excited paranoids, most of them are either closet or unconscious fascists. They run around dropping talismanic codewords like "freedom" and "liberty" but in fact they want nothing more than for a convincing strongman to rise from the chaos and take all of the uncertainty away. This shouldn't surprise anyone- all of the anti-Illuminati propaganda is merely old Fascist secret police agitprop dusted off and dressed up for the YouTube generation.

The last wave of Fascism was all about uniting the working class against strawmen and scapegoats to build up powerful national industries and armed forces. But what is the endgame in the age of Globalism? Corporate overlords are much more interested in exploiting developing markets and workforces in countries that don't have these bothersome ideas of liberty and individualism, even if they're rather hollow. They look at the American working and middle classes as an impediment to ever-greater profits. They see the American working class as a particularly bad bargain; overpaid, overfed and undereducated.

So the further to the right the Republican Party moves, the more it finds itself in an untenable position. The interests, beliefs and attitudes of its elites are diametrically opposed to its voting base, and all of the scapegoats in the world can't paper over that gulf. Party mandarins like Grover Norquist twirled their mustaches in glee over the Libertarians marching behind Ron Paul, until they realized that a good deal of them signed up for eccentric ideas like marijuana decriminalization and weren't much interested in the GOPs pet agenda of religious authoritarianism. Even if that agenda was actually Paul's dirty secret as well.

This has been the summer of bad mojo, and you can't help but wonder if all these shootings in historically Democratic congressional districts (the latest in Rush Holt's) aren't just a weird coincidence.

But bad mojo cuts both ways. It probably seemed like a great idea to have Blue State Republican Governor Chris Christie give the keynote speech at the convention until everyone realized that his policies have led to nearly 10% unemployment. He waited 17 minutes to mention his party's nominee, which may or may not be more semiotic hijinks, but either way said nominee had his spin doctors on the floor badmouthing the speech not long after.

The spin doctors were working overtime when Clint Eastwood- suddenly looking every one of his 82 years and then some- took the stage to deliver a bizarre and rambling dialogue with an empty chair. That stunt overshadowed Romney's robotic speech and put the capper on a bellyflop of a convention for the Republicans.

The largely Republican heartland has been battered by a scorching heat and a record drought approaching Dust Bowl levels has ravaged states all across the Midwest. But the kicker for me was when Hurricane Isaac blew into town and settled over Florida, delaying the start of the Convention.

In ancient times such an event would have sent planners into fits of panic. The whole purpose of an event like this is purely ritual, purely ceremonial. Political conventions have no practical purpose in this day and age. And a party that is nominating two men who follow religions that tens of millions of their party's staunchest voters see as nothing better than occultic witchery really needed to put forward a flawless ceremonial display, even if they're running against a black man and a collapsed economy.

But these people are so unimaginably rich, so pampered, so untouched by pain, despair or poverty that they don't know any better. They subscribe to the God of the peasants because it's politically advantageous to them, but in fact they worship no one but themselves. They see themselves as virtual Olympians on the earth, born into wealth and privilege, given to cruelty and deceit, and blessed by the Archons to rub our noses in shit for the rest of our lives.

Or maybe not. Isaac is a very interesting symbol in all of this, since it was he whom Abraham was called to sacrifice. When his life was spared at the very last moment, Abraham then adopted a new god to serve, forsaking all others. Isaac was in fact the linchpin of a wave that swept the globe and continues to do so to this day.

But often revolutions turn in on themselves and lose sight of their original meanings and become exactly what they set out to replace. This is a kind of hubris, a sense that the laws no longer apply. It's at that point that they collapse. More often than not, messages are sent, warnings are proffered, omens are revealed.

Almost always they are ignored.

It's very difficult for me to write about all of this because I don't see much of an alternative at the moment. I don't pay any attention at all to the Democrats because I think they're largely weak and ineffectual. By design.

No one wants to lose out on the jackpot that powerful politicians hit in the private sector once they leave office. Stand up for the working stiff and you won't be seen as a team player. So just make a bunch of vague speeches about inclusion and diversity and you'll do just fine. You can play good cop.

But forces are at work that are beyond human agency. I know that might be hard to accept but history usually bears it out. I do believe the arc of history is moving towards a brighter day, the only question is just how dark it will get before the dawn.


  1. "But forces are at work that are beyond human agency."

    Please clarify and expand. I'm genuinely interested to hear what you mean by this.

  2. Chris, about the capitol rich thinking the u.s. workforce being over paid and over fed, the American manufacturing base has continually bested its productivity over many quarters since the 2008 meltdowne. As a nation we are producing much more with less workforce. Overall, your essay is spot on. I see the demo crats as dysfunctional because of the immense problems it faces with governing with a opposition that is possessed with fascisiatic design. Obama did get us out of Iraq, for that I will vote for Jack shit if it will keep us from militarism and such tomfoolery. Dennis (shine forth by day)

  3. speaking of being rich, pampered, etc.

    usa today front page

    romney and ryan

    "We Deserve Better"

  4. Is anyone picking up on these veiled death threats to Obama? Clint Eastwood symbolically slits his throat (I've actually seen some people mentioning that) but also can't the empty chair represent death? Obviously Obama is in no way a rebel or threat to the system, but it just seems like his assassination would add to the spectacle of violence we've had this year.

  5. EXP/LAB - As far as "forces are at work that are beyond human agency," I'm not sure I'd want Chris to clarify or expand on it. That sort of statement can relate to anything from heavenly guardians to the Marxist dialectic -- and in the end it all amounts to much the same thing. Namely, that we don't know shit, but we're not the masters of our own destinies, and that this is way better than the alternative.

  6. I definitely picked up Eastwood's subtext--if you can call it "sub" and that huge image of his vigilante Man with NO Name character plastered behind him brandishing two pistols as he takes to the lectern positioning his body directly in front of the trigger finger. The creepiest by far was the empty chair-akin to the riderless horse to signify dead heads of state.

  7. These things tend to cut both ways Chris. There are those who are trying to make anyone who talks about freedom and liberty look like a right wing fascist nut or a racist. This idea of associating freedom and liberty with fascism and racism can be used as a weapon against freedom and liberty. It's yet more use of minorities as a weapon. On the other hand this can also create anger that drives people to the right! So take your pick as to what it's ultimate intent is.

    Oddly the desire for a strong man can be driven by a real desire for freedom because the person desiring this really wants their strong man to give the elites a good bashing and put the house in order. Once this is achieved they envisage a return to business as usual. The strong man is an extension of themselves and their fear of elite machinations. It is the idea of a good strong man who will do the right thing. But again this desire can be manipulated. The strong man usually turns out to be working for the elites.

    I also don't think that the American elites are impoverishing Americans because they see them as less economically valuable. There is a much greater geopolitical agenda at work here. Economic hardship can be exploited in all sorts of ways. The Nazis came to power on the back of economic hardship. Generally speaking, real economic hardship combined with some other manufactured issue such as immigration/multiculturalism tends to equal fascism. In a sense this is only natural. People will only put up with so much. We will have to wait and see what transpires but if you observe past history the omens are not good.

  8. @ Dennis

    The idea that the Democrats are any less controlled than the Republicans is a fantasy Dennis. The Democrats have deeply fascistic overtones to them but their fascism is extreme political correctness. Political correctness is the favourite weapon of demagogues everywhere. Think Mao's China, the Soviet Union or Hitlers Germany. The Democrats are the left wing that sets up the chess board for the right wing.

  9. Both parties are controlled by same interest but I take issue with it being called left wing and (especially) progressive. The so called "political correctness" is con game--a way of using identity politics to sucker minorities and women to believe some of the powerful actually care about them, while exploiting them the same as brand B. The language is a distraction--using the modern nomenclature Eisenhower would be considered a raging communist. Words have no fixed meaning. Every current governmental entity (The US and most of Asia and Europe) is simply facilitating THE Corporation. FDR, Ike, Truman and Kennedy-regardless of what you think about them politically--tried to warn us about the creeping plutocracy. Are Obama or Mitt good men? It doesn’t matter they (and the other branches) are not our true leaders. Having said that, I must admit that the recent injection of pure hatred and the the GOP’s extreme shift to the right is extremely troubling to me. I keep telling myself that it is just a matter of time before we will wake up but then I (a member of 2 groups that historically make for good scapegoats) don't want to be driven off in a cattle car--and it makes me sadder still that the one-way trains ARE running: gitmo, civilian lives lost in war, our troops being sent off to protect money, and so on.
    Incidentally I have been a Facebook Sunner for a few years and just recently decided to put my more serious comments directly on the blog --because in the last 6 months I have had strange threats and anti-semitic/anti-gay slurs from strangers that seem to have no connection to the group but are clearly referring to posts I made on the Sun. Perhaps it has to do with the new privacy setting but it is making me a bit paranoid. I feel at times the hatred has become so palpable that people are just waiting to be given the permission to begin the full-on sacrifice--this impression, and only this is the reason I will be casting a vote this year--even while still believing that whoever is supposed to win has already won. I guess that is my role in the drama.

  10. "I'm not sure I'd want Chris to clarify or expand on it. That sort of statement can relate to anything from heavenly guardians to the Marxist dialectic"

    Cory, I'd like to know exactly what *his* meaning of the statement is.
    After all, *he* said it.

    I'll wait for his answer thank you.

  11. I think my readers know my thinking pretty well.

  12. it took a long time for me to realize that politicians were not self promoting idiots making incredibly dumb decisions that seemed to be contrary to anything they were elected into office to facilitate. It used to confound me to no end how many poor choices could be made. Now sense has kicked in and I realize, of course, that they, albeit still self promoting, do not make decisions that serve the general population, they make decisions that serve a certain section of the population.

    Okay, understood, but how to change things, hmm...

    I researched and found that there has never really been a time in recorded history where this has not been the case. Never. There have been moments of revolution but it isn't very long before the new regime starts looking like the old regime. In fact, I kinda get the feeling that revolution, like war, might be in some way be orchestrated to serve a purpose. Wow, that book I read in grade school, Animal Farm, actually had some relevance.

    Now I'm thinking something that's been in place that long isn't soon going change. The players will change and groups of people that serve a purpose will enjoy moments of elevated importance, but, for the most part, things aren't going to change.

    Right now, we serve a purpose, that's why this overpaid and overfed workforce exists. Otherwise it wouldn't. I can only guess at what that purpose might be.

    In spite of all of our fist-raised, lofty calls for change, we are rather ineffectual - fettered with a handy psychological mix that includes stuff like self doubt, fatigue, confusion, paranoia and guilt.

    Oh yes, guilt. It's hidden but deep down every time I sign for a tank of gas I know I'm signing my name to a chunk of depleted uranium lodged in some iraqi mother-to-be's womb. Can't get away from that. And don't think you can either. "Hey gov, you can have your tax money but I am in no way responsible for how you spend it."

    Delusion - should have added that to the psycho-brew.

    You want to change something in a political fashion - stop paying taxes!

    Oh, no...that's too scary! That's too contrary!

    Well, anyways, to debate what you posited in your post, I believe that for the moment WE are the pampered few. Not as pampered a some, but, oh man, certainly more than others. And the reason - we serve a purpose.

    ps. Don't vote. Voting is stupid.

  13. Chris have you ever read anything by John Michael Greer? You should check out his blog The Archdruid Report. He's really got a level headed approach to the coming collapse of industrial society. I highly recommend his book The Long Descent which is an expansion on many of the things he discusses on his blog.He is also a Druid, and he wrote a very good book on Polytheism called A World Full of Gods.

  14. Looking forward to more Clownshow.

  15. 17 sync - Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources reported that... "17 major newspapers ran the Clint Eastwood story as their lead... Overshadowing Romney's speech at the Republican convention."

  16. @JohnnyBebop
    What makes looking at history problematic is that it is history--a recorded and agreed upon document of failure and success by the winners and losers of conflict. Yet it does appear that all forms of large, national governance and attending rebellions follow the same trajectory. However, alternative communities, small and large, have been at times more free and equal than at other times—but their stories are footnotes if not altogether ignored. The examples that spring to mind are the certain egalitarian tribal groups outside of nations and alternative economies/cultures that exist within nations-the only way we ever hear about them is if something goes horribly wrong or when some anthropologist takes us on a trip to ogle them. Living free is like attaining enlightenment, when it truly does occur- it doesn't exactly make the nightly news.

    Anyway, I won’t be a cheerleader for Obama--who I think is just a puppet in that classic Bill Hicks routine sort of way. The only reason that I find the GOP particularly repugnant this year is I feel on a gut level that a blood sacrifice ritual is being prepared. It may not be a literal assassination -it may be a symbolic one. These days of Spectacle often the symbolic one are even most exciting and entertaining to the masses. There are hundreds of tiny allusions now—Clint “make my day” soft-shoe being just one example. Why would this be allowed and to what end? Well for starters it would wake a sleeping nation—not in a good way-- but only in the most violent and destructive way. It will rip what is left of this country apart--racially, politically, and economically. I think this is what the theatrics of the Republican Party is all about: "we will get our country back--one way or the other” never mind that they never lost their country-and that the Dems are simply a slightly less fascist alternative who own the country as well-there will be millions of pawns and lackeys (us) who will line up to become soldiers/martyrs on both sides. It is an effective and clean way to pare down an unsupportable population.
    What will the narrative of Clownshow part 2 be like…I know that James Shelby Downard was most likely a hoax but talk about prophetic…

  17. Hey Chris,

    Great stuff, as always. All this craziness does seem to be reaching some kind of threshold. I'm glad you still believe in a brighter day for humanity - I do too. But like you I wonder how dark it's going to get before that dawn. As a researcher of fairy-tales I know that sometimes the price for Gnosis is a descent into the Underworld; a willing oblation. I'm not sure if that is what's occurring here though. Are we willingly plunging into the depths, or are we simply being forcibly dragged into Hell? My point being that the Underworld and Hell are qualitatively different. I feel like maybe we as a society are at a point where we're about to lose sight of something, or conversely about to see something. All this Clownshow stuff is just the poisonous icing on a very disturbing cake. But like you, Chris, I still believe in the potentials of humanity, and I still persevere.

    If you'll permit me, I think these words are rather fitting here:

    The lore of elders passes judgement on this waste
    And finding me or them does lack accepting fate
    And as the moments pass another face arrives
    We watch them come and go with speed of passing clouds

    Forbidden fruits of dreams that rule our thoughts my love
    Of lands untouched and ways to come always maybe
    But choking on promises meant for the deal
    Thinking again the darkest hour before the dawn

    Confirming fears that from the dawn of time have been
    Retracing footsteps in dark chambers of grey lands
    And through the madness through the terror we must pass
    As if awaiting sunlight that may never come

    In time we face ourselves with all our faults and fears
    Now that i know the final conflict is within
    I recognise the faces of my friends and hear the call
    "Come journey, journey with me through the darkest hour"

    --Killing Joke, Darkness Before Dawn