Sunday, October 21, 2012


Please read this.


  1. Hi Tom, I've read it, on my own and after you posted this. And Ive read all the comments. And I'll tell you what I think. That whenever someone says, "what we need is ..." they're talking thru their ass. Not that I don't feel with them, totally.

    If we were at all capable as a species of "what we need" we'd already have it. After all, the problems we face have a long history, 5000 years minimum (it was with the rise of agriculture that we developed the first surpluses, and classes, and so on and so forth.) A great truly great book that doesn't go back quite that far is GEM de Ste Croix's The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World.

    Which is all why, when I saw the photo of the big demo in London yesterday, the one of the banner saying, "This March Is Shit. The Future is Shit. What I Want is Revenge" it really resonated.

    Sadly, very sadly, much more than Levi's lovely post did. These days, I find the three greatest obscenties "if only" and "we need" and "we should".

    Do you know what the military calls deaths from drone strikes? Bug splats.

  2. John,

    I wrote a long response to your wonderful comment and managed to lose it. Let's see if I can get something of its sense back.

    Justice always seems to be out of reach. Just as we always seem to reach for your three obscenities in our rhetorical need.

    I've never felt like I belonged on this planet, never really understood how to negotiate the planes of ideologically justified hatred that run like latitude and longitude lines across the globe.

    I'm not exactly naive. I'm not exactly stupid either. And I'm wary of philosophies which seem to exist apart from the world.

    But I'm moved by Levi's interest in achieving something like "a balance" in the world.

    The history of ideologies is daunting.

    That being said, I confess to still wanting something like socialism, something like a system that respects individual _and_ collective needs. How crazy is that? I confess, too, to wanting to be party to unspeakable crimes of love.

  3. Tom, true socialism is an unspeakable crime of love (not that there aren't others!). Even tho I am skeptical to say the least of our ever reaching anything like decent social/economic/etc etc relations, perhaps the best revenge of all (or the only possible revenge) is to be "party to unspeakable crimes of love." I don't think you're crazy at all.

    I too think Levi's post (and wish) is lovely, and I admire him for it. Tho I did note problems with it above, his heart is good.

    As far as feeling at home in this world, well, I have ALWAYS loved these lines from Lew Welch's Din Poem:

    "Years ago, somewhere inconceivably else, I could have been
    given a strange assignment.

    He was a short man, gray haired but mostly bald. He explained
    the thing to me in a homey kind of office.

    "I can fix you up to be, actually be, a Native of a World!"
    he said. "You won't be like them, you will be one of them.
    Think the way they do, see as they see etc with exactly
    their physical and mental equipment. You can see, of course,
    what this means! It means your data, for the first time, will
    be absolutely accurate. You will, in every sense, know
    what it is to be one."

    I have forgotten all he said about the reports I'd have to make
    on my return, but I can almost remember the taste of the
    potion I got. Brassy, but not too bad.

    And what is happening during moments like that on the Empire
    State building is simply that the potion's effect is flickering
    out. There are moments of wakefulness, and it all starts coming

    You see it on the faces of the others. They are all more or
    less drugged. Many are as straight or straighter than you
    are, but are pretending not to be. As you are pretending
    not to be.

    It is then, while watching the ones who are actually doing
    it (not like us, just looking around), that you realize there
    are only people more or less drugged into this vast, insane,

    There are no natives!"