Archive for ‘Other Crap’

April 23, 2013

Mental Health – is America successful?

We Americans like to think of ourselves as successful. That sounds good and means we do well as defined by some pretty specific modern information age standards. So that makes us all subject to these standards of success in our society now, and for many its simply being able to get into the military, going to college, having children or getting a decent job? What if you are a young person who is over 21 and looking for a job today? And what if you also have a mental illness and need medication or treatment? How can you ever become a success.

That is what Jared Loughner faces and that is what many families are dealing with in their own homes. A child that has some problems becomes seriously debilitated because college, the workplace or the military don’t give the support they have had keeping them in balance. Some of our children have committed suicide or become serious addicts and many more simply live on the fringes with fewer and fewer friends and contacts. Often the diagnosis of the more serious mental health condition is not timely so treatment is delayed by years leaving the individual at risk of further harm. The young adult often falls into despair and their condition deteriorates leaving them unable to participate in day to day life.

Do many or more young people suffering this way buy a dangerous weapon and commit mass murder? No, this is rare and tragic.  But many of the young people are lost either because they become permanently psychotic or can not function unless extremely medicated.  So we need must start helping  people before they seriously harm themselves or others.  Psychiatry and mental health professionals must help us advocate for multiple therapeutic measures for the best mental health outcomes.

Please don’t blame Jared’s parents. There is a huge amount of pressure to keep the family members at home and take care of them so they don’t get abused by the state or go homeless. That makes home life difficult and unpleasant and family members need support and respite from these duties.  Jared is also legally and adult and his parents may have been afraid of him or completely in denial about his disease.  Either way – having a mentally ill adult child living at home is difficult if near impossible. I’m sure they are heart-broken for the victims.

We have to stop being such a superficial society and start making adequate provisions for our mental health care system. As a culture we must invest in the best medical, mental and food systems for the entire population. Allowing the current system of mental health care to continue is clearly is irresponsible – because it does not meet the needs of America.  Our children deserve better, if we can prevent a major psychotic break leading to murder or suicide it would be worth any cost.

April 28, 2011

Filling the Void

Why is it that modern life in the US seems to be so full? That is an illusion of course. There is space between everything, just ask any quantum physicist. The illusion is pretty convincing until you look closely.

Most Americans get up, drink coffee, get news and go to work. Or so it seems – all society caters to that illusion of busy, busy go forth and be productive. Contemplation is for sissys, those who cannot do – lurk. And the successful people are very shiny and clean in their new cars and clothes so it must be good to be a busy busy productive successful person.

So why are the prophetic voices, our psyches, the songs telling us another story? Words of discontent fill pages of books, and electronic waves of derision for the status quo are filling our e media screens. Hidden solutions are unveiled every day – and the path of evolutionary zeitgeist is burning its trail into our world without permission. Folks across the world protesting and going to jail, yes dying for their beliefs, recognition for all humanity, despite the marriage of William of England.

Where is all this non reality reality coming from? Our traditional sources of information play endless tracks of corporate propaganda portraying the shiny people so free from the conundrum of the working life or working lie as it should be called. The lie of work to be good is a worm in the brain of our souls. Yes there is much to be done, but there is much more done solely for the cause of greed, for and directed by the wealthmongers, for them rich is not rich enough.

Can you eat the worm? If you do it will come out the other end as all good meals do. Then you can wipe yourself clean and do the work, the life that can truly fill you. The void is waiting, bon appetit.

(Disclaimer – no scientific theories were harmed during the composition of this note)

April 19, 2011

Furious and Fragile

We must be convinced of our goodness.
Oppression thrives on our self doubt.
True freedom erases constant need,
denies the payment of our attention.
We become lively in our routines and
…the less becomes more.
Living a short magnificent life
we are as most creatures.
Furious and Fragile.

March 12, 2011

Manifesto for A Better Day: All people deserve to have their happiness served by the system

Can I make you happy? Well I guess I might be better to ask if I can be happy. But those questions are really the same – true happiness, belonging and love depend upon more than the effort or desire of one person.  True happiness requires a relationship, a deep connection.  So how does our consumer society tell us to be happy? They have a worldview: the ability to consume makes you happy.

True Happiness

The elite of our times have defined happiness as freedom to consume. But that feels hollow, because we know that the unlimited or unencumbered ability to consume is just gluttony. When we see an elitist person who is able to consume what they want and it is presented to us in the context of a happy life do we really believe they are happy?  Really why do we believe, think and feel that happiness, comes from stuff? From unabated, unconstrained consumption?

Let’s take the consumption = happiness assumption. First of all what is consumption? Is it inherently bad, or an innocuous verb that means to take in to eat, or drink?

Is consumption inherently bad or an innocuous verb?

Here’s how consumption is defined in the context of our economic system and how important you are the continuation of that system. Consumption is what a consumer does, and a consumer is a person or business that purchases goods and services in a market based commercial system. So when the market or commercial system looks at you, they see consumer. They see you only as a potential purchaser of their goods or services. And there are different consumers grouped by demographic but all are targets of the system. But ultimately the consumer is regarded as a path to profits. You need to consume so the producer can sell their goods and make that profit. Most products are carefully designed and marketed to get your attention, serve some stated purpose and keep you coming back to purchase and consume more stuff. Regardless of  what the product  or the goods may be; valuable, well made, cheap or shoddily constructed YOU are still the most important cog in their machine. To make money they must make you a consumer. How do you become a consumer above all else? You must learn to think about purchasing, think about acquiring, and feel compelled to consume when given the appropriate signal.

In order for you to act as a good consumer, you must be trained to recognize your purpose, your role in life. The system teaches us from when we are very young that there are things you want and that making a purchase and consuming the thing is how you achieve happiness. Everyone has been a child and most of us experienced growing up in the consumer culture. The system taught us to want toys we didn’t need – because someone told us to want it – had it never been introduced into your world, you could have remained blissfully ignorant of that toy and kept playing with your old toy. You would not have a particular want for a particular toy. Yes, you played pretend and all the kinds of play children gravitate toward. But did playing with the toy bring you greater joy or happiness than the make believe games and sitting in the grass observing insects did? Think about it for a minute.

You are told what toy to want.

Marketing directly to children is a huge business with significant resources and research committed to its development. The researchers have even determined how many times a modern child has to whine before mom gives in. I must admit my mom was super tough and rarely or ever caved.  Children are targeted to become consumers before they have the decision making powers to say no. The system makes some pretty worthless claims that their thing will make a child happy, but we all have witnessed how the child has more fun playing with the box than the toys they get at Christmas. Are they happy? Do you really believe our children are at their happiest and most secure in their role as consumer? Or do you believe as most rational people do that children are happiest in their parents or caregivers loving arms with their basic needs met? How could we let this happen to our children? Because we are consumers being told by billions of dollars in advertising and other television, print and internet images  to consume, images that show us smiling pretty seemingly happy people consuming everything from mass produced foods to high fructose corn syrup. We believe we will be like them as we act as they act.

We are encouraged to consume many times a day, not to meet a need, not because our lives will be improved, but because consuming will fulfill us, make us happy.  The claims are clear, McDonalds has their consumer state “I’m loving it” and Coke is the “Real Thing” and of course Disney can “Where dreams come true”.  These are just a very few things that we consume, we also consume sports, image and live vicariously through the lives of celebrities and reality TV stars, assuming they are happy (but secretly hoping they are as miserable as we are). This sales pitch keeps hope alive, that if we become free to consume without obstruction, we will free our happiness. When was the last time you felt really happy? Did it involve consuming a corporately produced product, thing? Did you feel love and the connection to all life after eating a McRib? Or were your dreams fulfilled at the plastic contrived place called Disney World?  Now think carefully, when was the last time you were truly happy?  Were you in your lovers arms, was your baby smiling at you, were you with someone? Probably, because our truest happiness comes at those moments when we fell connected to someone, to life, to an intangible God.  An intangible holy force is far more comforting than a Coach purse or titanium golf clubs . When we are in true need of healing or inspiration we turn to each other and our faith, our beliefs, our philosophy, our love.  At those moments we know who we truly are.

We know who we are in these moments

So why do we over consume even though it is not bringing us happiness, is probably harming us or at least causing us unnecessary difficulty navigating the economic system set up to make us its indentured servants. My hypothesis for why we act so poorly in the face of fact is that their system has invaded our brains like the zombie ant fungus, or they have implanted some kind of chip and we are cyborgs,  or by using the mind bending techniques of subliminal messages, NLP and post hypnotic suggestion we have become their slaves.  The system intentionally softens our will and subtly appeals to our desires. The TV and advertising industry have created an alternate reality reflecting virtually none of the daily of life for most of the planets 6 billion people. More than half of the planets people live on less than $2 a day.  In the face of that fact American television is truly a fantasy world, an illusion to distract us from facing our enslavement to the system.  Accepting this illusion causes us to become disconnected from our lives and one another, we are seeking happiness but the system is a lie, we have yet to escape the bondage of consumerism.

True happiness and oneness really can’t even be compared to consumer happiness. True happiness requires the ability to be vulnerable and open to more than you can see physically – not just a desire to transcend the world, but also the practice of mindfulness, sweetness and compassion. And from this practice we begin to achieve deep and meaningful connections with others and our God, and we stand in trust and love even when our experience tells us the consumer world is a lie thriving on sadism.

We know our happiness despite the world

There is no proof, no way to empirically prove that happiness of love or faith is better for us. But should we demand proof of our hearts tells us is good and wholesome? Or should we believe that a transactional society that reduces us each to consumer, a society which sells everything, children and women into sexual slavery is good, happy or even ok? Or why is it acceptable for a few powerful individuals make all of the rules of engagement weigh heavily in their favor, to crash the world’s economy and ask us all to pay their bill, when desperate poverty and death is the reality for billions as a consequence of their actions?  How can we be consciously happy when the west is largely responsible for the oppression of billions so that we can cheaply consume natural resources to make stuff that we consume? When the citizens of Saudi Arabia are executed as a matter of course, when the Chinese government practices forced sterilization, when the US incarcerates millions of our own citizens effectively disenfranchising them our silence is truly acquiescence.  Yes this is enough evidence that the current system is inherently inhumane as it depends on an increasing pool of expendable labor to maintain profit levels. But seeking and achieving happiness is not a system, it is a state that is preferable to consumption as a purpose.

To move in the direction of happiness we should be focusing on the kind of activities within systems that honor each human and allow autonomy and freedom of self expression in organization. There is more potential for happiness in a values driven life, community and economy. This kind of values driven economy will automatically reduce consumption for its health and maintenance. Focusing on the well being of one another and the health of our planet will force us to change our commercial and organizational structures.  And it is more likely that true stability can be achieved when we adopt practices that are complimentary to ecological and evolutionary growth. Happiness is also a choice, a choice to be happy denies much of the post modern apocalyptic narrative repeated by the elite as they play upon the literal mind of the working and poor classes. But that assumes that the poor and working people can not be rational players well situated and ready to lead their own destiny. Inherently we are all capable of making happy healthy decisions but the elite oppose transparency and rationality for the masses. They want to hold all the cards as it were, they have rigged the game. So we must catalyze a  spiritual and personal revolution deny their system of participants – in favor of awakened consciousness seeking happiness working together for the common good.  Potential for our evolution is always perched but we must act upon that potential to unleash our power – Love is our capital, Peace is our wealth, Happiness is our legacy.

Together we will be happy

January 23, 2011

Competitiveness – prove you are no slacker now boys

Ok, President Obama has really gone over the edge. He has named the king of outsourcing to be the head of the US Council of Economic Advisers and also given a policy directed economic speech titled, “We can out compete any other nation.” Really? Is that what we think our stagnant job, manufacturing and innovation sectors need to recover? But to be fair, lets actually look at what he says, you know I’m a fan of the Pres, he’s a brilliant thinker and politician. He talks about how we are going to create 235,000 US jobs with China for $185 Billion. That is a drop in any bucket of investment and job creation, but we can expect another 72 thousand jobs from deals with Korea and India. Still these are not even approaching the millions of jobs needed to get people back to work. So really what is the point? That the US is the face of global capitalism and our competitors will end us and we’ll loose it all unless we get in the game now. That is all he’s really saying.

His speech is kind of a pep talk and an infomercial for GE. Pardon me, but I thought that the government was not supposed to favor any particular corporation or business. Oh right,  that’s a myth because from the DuPonts,to Haliburton and many others including JP Morgan Chase, the US govt is the best corporate customer ever. We buy their services, their goods and their line about how what is good for corporate America is good for Americans. Thanks Madison Ave and other corporate marketing leaders who have spent the past 100 or so years getting their message out so most Americans never even consider that life could be good or better without our corporate giants. They lead, they create, they crush and they collapse. Even the mightiest companies have come and gone – we should not let them drag the rest of us along anymore.

Well where many of us come from in the US big corporations and the financial elite are the minority. We don’t know them and folks like the good Pres seem the same, all rich, all educated all far, far away. But what regular people are mad about is that decision making by the elite seems to have nothing to do with the getting by day to day and taking care of folks that need care life we live here at home, you have all heard about Main Street right?   According to the Pres countries around the world are upping their game, and we can win the competition and outcompete other countries. Opening new markets to US products, that’s funny since we outsourced all our good jobs over past 30 years that will now be brought back to the states as poor broken down jobs and folks are desperate enough to take them. Cleverer and cleverer.

Much of this framing the imperialist position as some kind of game is an attempt to trivialize the unhealthy and inorganic nature of control by the elites. The elites believe what is best for them and their class and their ability to achieve such a vaulted status is a reflection of their intrinsic worth and goodness. What  a delusion, that life is a game – there are certainly game like aspects to life, but for the majority of souls on this planet life is a drudgery, a burden, filled with poverty and loss. And for many Americans who lived and expected to continue their middle class lives that is gone for them, a nice memory of a time when the many shared a piece of the vast wealth created by those who could.  In the 2011 age of who can – the race to create fortresses of wealth and power are driving the elite to capture more of our income and control the debate about that through the crappy world of sports metaphor. That is how the liberal elite attempt to make their own elitism more egalitarian, yes they can talk about sports. Regular people and their betters can discuss football stats and baseball trades and college hoops. That makes it better right, we are all in the game of capitalism together and our empire depends on your desire and ability to get out there and compete for what? For Democracy? For Freedom? For Human Rights? For Food?

But don’t think me just an outsider, a poor done well type naysayer, I”ve been in this debate most of my life. Well at least I came to the sports metaphor as life very young because my Dad was a jock and school coach. So I spent time in and around sports from birth. Yes I like to say that growing up in my home was kind of like a gym locker room. Naked people walking around, I saw more dick growing up than most girls. There was no sexual issue – that’s just how guys are and you guys know what I”m talking about.

Wow but now we are living in a great big man cave of a world. Not only do we have another man to tell us how best to run our economy, we also are being forced to listen to the sports metaphors ad nauseum. Great job guys – we went from Hope and Change to Afghanistan and Corporate Authority wrapped up in the language of games. I suppose one thing we can say for the new international financial elite, they haven’t yet invoked the right of kings again, but I’ll be expecting a version of that to appear soon.

January 11, 2011

Mental Health – is America successful?

We Americans like to think of ourselves as successful. That sounds good and means we do well as defined by some pretty specific modern information age standards. So that makes us all subject to these standards of success in our society now, and for many its simply being able to get into the military, going to college, having children or getting a decent job? What if you are a young person who is over 21 and looking for a job today? And what if you also have a mental illness and need medication or treatment? How can you ever become a success.

That is what Jared Loughner faces and that is what many families are dealing with in their own homes. A child that has some problems becomes seriously debilitated because college, the workplace or the military don’t give the support they have had keeping them in balance. Some of our children have committed suicide or become serious addicts and many more simply live on the fringes with fewer and fewer friends and contacts. Often the diagnosis of the more serious mental health condition is not timely so treatment is delayed by years leaving the individual at risk of further harm. The young adult often falls into despair and their condition deteriorates leaving them unable to participate in day to day life.

Do many or more young people suffering this way buy a dangerous weapon and commit mass murder? No, this is rare and tragic.  But many of the young people are lost either because they become permanently psychotic or can not function unless extremely medicated.  So we need must start helping  people before they seriously harm themselves or others.  Psychiatry and mental health professionals must help us advocate for multiple therapeutic measures for the best mental health outcomes.

Please don’t blame Jared’s parents. There is a huge amount of pressure to keep the family members at home and take care of them so they don’t get abused by the state or go homeless. That makes home life difficult and unpleasant and family members need support and respite from these duties.  Jared is also legally and adult and his parents may have been afraid of him or completely in denial about his disease.  Either way – having a mentally ill adult child living at home is difficult if near impossible. I’m sure they are heart-broken for the victims.

We have to stop being such a superficial society and start making adequate provisions for our mental health care system. As a culture we must invest in the best medical, mental and food systems for the entire population. Allowing the current system of mental health care to continue is clearly is irresponsible – because it does not meet the needs of America.  Our children deserve better, if we can prevent a major psychotic break leading to murder or suicide it would be worth any cost.

December 13, 2010

Griftopia and Complicity

lambert's picture

Sun, 12/12/2010 – 10:46am — lambert

A guest post at Yves’s place on Taibi’s Griftopia, and other recent books on financialization and its discontents:

Griftopia” begins with the story of the rise of the Republican Tea Party movement. Mr. Taibbi sees the rise as a diversionary tactic, focusing the attention of the populace away from the real issues – the grifters, bankers and people that the author dislikes – towards tangential issues – immigration, foreigners and the role of government. But the book itself is diversionary. In resorting to crude “blaming” and “flaming” even the correct targets without a thorough and accurate understanding of the true issues, “Griftopia” cheapens its case and ultimately allows the hated “system” to continue unhindered.

“Griftopia” may fall into its own trap. Its rage and blame perpetuates a lack of understanding of the real causes of the problem. The Roman Caesars understood that the crowd needed bread and games. They also knew that when things went wrong, an occasional sacrifice and crucifixion was the key to maintaining power. The clever vampire squid may have suborned Mr. Taibbi into its service. ….

“Griftopia” and “All the Devils Are Here” do not acknowledge the complicity of everyone in the body politic in the essential financialisation of modern life and the reliance on economic growth. They do not acknowledge the fact that while the grift worked and everyone got richer, everyone remained sanguine about the “system”. No one cared as long as his or her stock portfolios and houses rose in value. No one cared as his or her living standards improved or there was the possibility of improvement

I guess I have problems with the “everyone is complicit” as an analytical tool, because it puts kings and lords on the same plane as peasants and artisans. “If only the peasants would die for the cause, kings would be more just.” Well, who says? And is tu quoque truly fallacious when a claim of complicity is an implicit demand for action? Then again, perhaps it’s not the peasants, or not only the peasants, who need to be willing to die to make the king more just, but the barons and their retainers, as in the Magna Carta or, for that matter, the American Revolution. I don’t know.

Anyhow, if complicity is getting at you, you can always practice slow politics by withdrawing from the system of rents; and in New York, you might consider joining the Empty Plates demonstration this afternwithdrawing from the system of rentsoon.

September 22, 2010

Sick of sick

another day in the trance of materialism, the dominance of capitalism, the abuse of power the disenfranchisement of our selves from our selves, from each other from the planet triteyess

no i’m irritable and hopeful, kinda hateful and a little agitated between the OM peace and visual hallucinations auditory stimulations and rude awakening lack of REM again

pardon the president be there you faggot and nevermind the rest over the purposeful into the manipulator and out of the best, the democratic, the self determination the abyss of soliloquy

Monologue and monotheism and monotone but don’t be an idiot and conform to teaparty patriots on the cover of SPLC reports, my country where are you, where where where

A stroke of unconciousness and loss of function then hobble hobble slur slur deovoid absent and empty refill the cup of gladness

My never never Peter kept up at night constant constitution and shipwrecks treasure and ever pertinent facts to enlighten, and facts and facts and facts and facts and facts and facts……

After then we parted and wholed but always dancing and glancing stepping and circling and ever ever ever ever ever your leg behind mine

So long then and now we know is there yes we made is and we take was and we live we live we live we live we live in notes and strokes and clicks and then and then and then and then and then

And then.

May 4, 2010

OIL spill hate

It is May 4th,  a few days since the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico blew up. Now it looks like we could be facing one of the most horrible environmental crises of our generation. In fact it could be the end of us – if the oceans die we surely will die also. How does that make me feel? I’m fucking pissed. Watching corporate America fuck up the world is just the last straw.

In case you didn’t notice the corps as I’ll refer to them have already collapsed the economy once this decade. They have no values, no sense of responsibility, no accountability and now nowhere to go. Yet they are allowed to go on business as usual. This may collapse New Orleans, and other areas of the Gulf that depend on fishing and tourism. Who wants to go to an oily beach? What are people who’ve spent their whole lives living off of the ocean supposed to do?

So the oil gas and financial corps have kept renewable energy technologies from getting the funding they need so we can keep pumping. We must demand that they change now – We must change now! @#$%!!!!

April 7, 2010

The Era of Greed and Entitlement is Over, thank God

We’ve heard a lot of rubbish from these financial emperors who continue to make pronouncements about the state of our economy. When Lloyd Blankfein made the infamous “doing God’s work,” I nearly spontaneously combusted. Did he wink while saying that? He’s got kind of an impish quality right? Maybe I’m confusing impish with pimpish or wimpish.

I’ve noticed something during the past few weeks, the financial emperors and corporate elite have tried out some new material on the hypnotized masses. That is us, in case you were wondering. Yes they are heralding tidings of great joy.  Anxiously we wait for the patriarch CEO of GE to tell us more about their goodness, change of heart. He is the genius who made up the title of this post for me. They make our appliances and the news.

When the going gets tough, the pr campaigns get going. Image is an artificially created construct that we relate to as the other, but there is no substance in image, it is a pure representation of the creator. American business has mastered the manipulation of consciousness for their gain, well for a very long time. Way back, companies just made outright lies about their products like cigarettes, hey smoke this it will give you energy or make you sensual.  Cigarette and other kinds of products would say anything to make you want it, and then came along the nasty issue of product liability. Well that put the kabosh on straight up lying so they had to start using sophisticated mind control techniques.

They made up that shit you know. Banks and Companies want to be trusted, so they can keep you as a loyal customer, brand loyalty they call it.  Somehow sometime banks and corporations stopped caring about getting large numbers of loyal customers, they began to focus on a smaller number of extremely wealthy clients. If they are doing “God’s Work”, its the God of the wealthy, am implicit  rejection of the public general.  ” But even people close to Goldman acknowledge that as long as the bank is making a lot of money, public opinion does not matter all that much. ” NY Times As Goldman Thrives, Some say Ethos has Faded. Jenny Anderson, Dec 15, 2009.

Perhaps they will rethink their recent understanding of the masses, that is gun permits for GS staff and ripping off the teamsters all at once.  The most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history “is actively soliciting bond trades for clients and underwriting credit-default swaps to benefit from a failed exchange and resulting bankruptcy,” Hoffa, the union leader, wrote in a letter authored in Dec. 2009 to Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

But I jumped the gun in believing the CEO of GE. There is no abatement of the greed or entitlement, Goldman is like butter, everything just keeps sliding off of them. Over the past months since Hoffa penned his letter the accusations of Goldman’s practice of betting against clients to lose has made big news. Oh and there’s that Greek scandal a la Enron that has not blown up yet.

In the mean time the banks and financial are doing quick time on the pr end Jamie Dimon once again is publicly bemoaning the bad rap bankers are getting, and GS  just issued a letter to their shareholders denying that they bet against their clients.  Naked Capitalism, and ECONNED author Yves Smith skillfully takes the GS letter apart but she’s only one woman and it takes a village to rain the needed kind of justice down on them.

As the Pecora, er Financial Crisis commission has Greenspan on the hot seat we still find our bankers living the high life. Not a one has given back the money or agreed to use it for something better. And the Dow is above 11,000 again, barf bags anyone? Alas greed and entitlement are alive and well. The reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.