It’s Not Cancel Culture. It’s Course Correction. And It’s Been a Long Time Coming

February 3, 2021

There are a lot of legends and myths being promoted at the moment in America. For a variety of different reasons. All of them selfish and none of them helpful to the greater good. We have to be careful about what we hear and how we allow it to affect us. Often times the most popular “celebrities” aren’t the most talented, the most celebrated songs shows and movies aren’t the best or highest quality. We live in age now where the most famous are not of any historic import. And the most important historical figures aren’t even famous

The popular memes and narratives propagated by the media are often temporary lobs they throw up to see if they stick, their primary goal being to get attention for themSELVES, in order to make more money for themselves. We make a fatal error when mistakenly assuming their goal is to inform or educate, or improve society in any way.

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What We Focus On Forms Who We Are

February 1, 2021
In the mid-90s just after Broken Spectacles broke up I felt a little lost for a while. We were all going to go solo from there. I wasnt quite sure what my “thing” was after being part of the “Eddie and Matt” monster for so long.
Caught a local Marilyn Manson show one night… Cant remember why. Brian was a fellow scenester, but it wasn’t our style of music. Just something to do. Turns out that show had a major impact on me and the direction I would go in over the next decade.
What I witnessed that night was similar to many other Manson shows thru the years. An onslaught of shock schtick pain hatred horror and extreme negativity. All in the name of doing something different to get attention. We were accustomed to it in the local scene, because we’d watched Brian and the guys come up since the beginning.
It was never about the music. It was more of a voyeuristic thing to see who he was going to hit or whip or torture or gag or what he was gojng to pee on or set afire. In the beginning, we were all so young, it was I suppose just another “thing” we did being part of the scene. It was a happening. Just like any other show.
But this night was a few years later. I remember standing there, as this loud pounding aggressive music raged against a backdrop of posters that read “your parents hate you” god hates you” etc. thinking to myself “well this is becoming a viable thing now, this kind of deep level negativity as an influence. Imagine the polar opposite of that. That… that could be YOUR thing man. That already IS your thing. You just need to develop it more overtly so it’s clear what it is and so it has an actual effect.
After hearing that in my head I left the venue. A song or two in. I got what I came for. I entered that show feeling a bit lost and without a mission. I left a half hour later with a very clear mission. I was the anti-Manson. The Ambassador. Ah hah! In any way i could i would use the albums and the shows as a positive influence to affirm life and joy and peace and love. It was simple.
True story. Hadn’t thought about this or even remembered it till seeing this story this weekend.

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Challenging Times

June 10, 2020

I don’t know about you. But lately I’ve been starting to break, physically beginning to feel the mental and emotional strain caused by an unshakable intuitive feeling of fear that we’re deliberately being f*^ked with by some higher power or unstoppable force from beyond. Can’t say for sure what specific event it was in the last few days….

One would think by the time we spiraled from unfathomable numbers of deaths from a global virus into 3 months of being forcibly locked in our homes into a Great Depression-level economic collapse simultaneously contrasted with a frighteningly imbalanced wicked-seeming illogically bifurcated financial market into black lives finally mattering a little but not enough revealing a disturbing innate national racism yielding masses of protests for weeks on end down into a very sudden and discomforting disappearance of national leadership into a gutter of inanely childish and crazy behavior coming out of the White House on an hourly basis with far too many stories about a deranged self-obsessed psychopath occupying the position of POTUS (once considered “the most important job on earth” but now unanimously viewed as a laughing stock by the rest of the world) much of it coming from his own fellow Republicans — with fear not logic or nobility being the only apparent impediment to the whole lot of them banding together to publicly concede they made a terrible and dangerous mistake, meanwhile the other side of the sinister corporate duopoly that controls the entire country of 360 million people are attempting to run a man who it appears may not make it to the election let alone through a presidency and they won’t budge on their pick despite the overwhelming disinterest in him — the pressing question being WHY?!? — reported simultaneously with stories of a rapidly deteriorating and corrupt justice system and “serious concerns that the current president may be the biggest threat to national security by top military brass” simulcast with eerily under-covered impending wars between China and India, China and Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, China and Japan, Europe considering banning Americans (?!?), “white power” competing with “black power” for slogan of the year in a democratic republic allegedly the most proudly culturally diverse “melting pot” on earth, statues coming down faster than can be counted, Americans with guns lots of guns, Iran (jeez, seriously guys, now?!?) and Israel (seriously guys, now?!?) global food shortages, global food supply poisonings, random fireworks and gun shots every night for hours accompanying a triple digit increase in gun deaths and a constant onslaught of pandemic deniers and conspiracy theories flooding social discourse every day by normally intelligent folks but which boggle the mind… The hope of reopening quickly fading as the deniers are fast-morphing into the walking dead claiming “there’s nothing wrong with us. Stop staring at us. We’re fine,” pulling out their shotguns and rifles as if to signal “yes we’re as stupid and crazy as you’ve always Imagined, now go on and git”

But frankly I was doing okay. In spite of it all. Just doing my thing. Trying to survive, keep my family alive healthy and happy, maybe make a difference here and there when i could. And then suddenly I start getting these random messages from various friends around the world, normal intelligent well balanced folks usually, sheepishly talking about their recent bouts with anxiousness and depression… my initial response being “yeah of course man… the world is on fire… it’s normal… just try to hang on…it’ll get better.”

And then suddenly it starts hailing at around 6 pm. Out of nowhere on a hot wet sweltering steaming summer day, frozen ice starts falling from the sky. The sound is piercing and deafening. I keep wiping my eyes, opening and closing them, assuming I’m seeing things. Maybe i took a nap and I’m dreaming. It’s 90 degrees outside. How is there ice falling from the sky?

But we’re still not talking about the insane fact that the US military quietly admitted that it’s been seeing UFOs in the skies for a few decades now a few months back.

The problem isn’t all the bad news. It’s the overwhelming quantity of it, combined with the new surreal strangeness of it all and the fact that it’s so damn alarming out of our hands and weird that most people are going numb to it. I get it. Eat sleep work eat sleep work. Invent a God because there’s no visible way out of this insanity at our level. Note to self: add prayer to eat sleep work. Maybe it’ll help.

And our kids. God our poor f*^king kids. That whole generation… All three of them really… I keep trying to underplay how bad everything is when they break down and cry and mention it… I try to play it cool, like we all had our problems. This is no different.

It occurs to me that none of this is new. What generation hasn’t felt this way since humankind first awoke to self awareness on planet earth? Frightened confused boggled overwhelmed terrified. Sumerian Babylonian Persian Greek Roman Jewish Christian Muslim Gods were all constructed from such base human feelings.

Compared to the Ice Age or the so called Dark Ages or the Plague surely we have it better… It’s become a daily meditation. But honestly… the thought though completely rational doesn’t make me feel any better. How is it for you?

The Divided States of America — The Two State Solution

November 3, 2019

Find the original essay

“Ultimately the only hopeful future I see for the United States is the end of the union. The East and West coasts should split off from the Midwest and the South and let them slide back into fascism on their own before they drag the rest of the continent down with them. You’ll have take in a lot of refugees, but at least you’ll know they’re people you want. The Civil War was a colossal waste of time. You should have cut those dropkicks loose while you had the chance.”

Duncan Kimball I summarily proposed this idea and seriously reviewed and contemplated the ramifications in an essay about 15 months ago. It is something that more people are talking about now here. I tend to agree with you on the idea in a general sense. It FEELS like a rational solution from the birds eye point of view.

A few things:

1. I don’t believe that either group would be opposed to the idea at this point as much as they might have 10-30 years ago. That gung-ho patriotism that Americans once purported to feel, 35 years ago for instance — exemplified by the tons of “yay America” songs that hit the Top 40, or even 18 years ago circa 9/11 – wrapped up in the once common idea that “we need to stay together to keep America strong” has long faded. People just argue and scream at each other now. From the comfort of their own private little niche groups of other like minded people.

2. The problem will come down to resources. Just as during the civil war these two disparate groups were really fighting over the fact that the North knew damn well it needed the agri resources of the South, the south will now argue that it needs the major industries of the Northeast and West Coast. Which is true. So both sides will be forced to have to negotiate a fair trade agreement and figure out how that’s going to work.

3. Do they separate as sovereign states but unified nationally re things like the military ala the EU?

4. Some opponents to this idea have pointed out that it wouldn’t be fair, because for example liberally leaning people would be forced to move, leave their families and jobs etc. And vice versa.

5. Wouldn’t these two already warring factions eventually wind up going to war over the various industries and resources that they both possess if they no longer have a federal mandate to stay together and get along?

6. Where do Independents like me fit in? I guess we’d be free to choose where we live….

7. Would we allow switching? If one is not happy with their chosen nation, would they be free to move a year or two or five years later?

8. How do we stop people from taking advantage of the system out of greed etc? People who will want to live in liberal America because those are “their people” but then want to live part time in “conservative America” for tax purposes etc? Or vice versa?

It’s a lot to work out. But THIS is definitely something I’d like to explore more.

Ability — Talented Versus Gifted

November 2, 2019

I wasn’t aware of this necessarily; but after seeing your post and contemplating it, what felt the most real and solid for me is that we (humans, not sure if it extends to all forms of consciousness) are born with a proclivity for heightened ability in some areas of being and doing, a “natural ability”; and limitations or weaknesses in other areas.

Not many people know or would guess this, but I love football. Everything about it. So it’s pretty common for me to casually walk around the house and comment “in my next life i am going to be a Super Bowl winning NFL quarterback!” Which makes my wife laugh. Because I’m a pretty small guy who doesn’t “appear” to be anything close to a football player. But I loved playing as a kid, like a lot of people. As we grew up it became clear that i wasn’t showing the “natural ability” for football thst one needed. Compared to other guys my age. In junior high our coach suggested i “try out for gymnastics or wrestling, because you’re too small to keep playing on this team son”. True story. I’ll never forget that day. I was bummed but not surprised. It was clear that “I” was not born with the same abilities that some of the other guys my age had.

(And perhaps comparing/sorting/categorizing goes along with this idea of “ability”. What we mean by “natural ability”… Versus what? Versus who?) We can see it. In others. In ourselves. Kids who are “just born with a natural ability” for something(s). As if they brought it with them from another lifetime.

Ironically for me it was this football moment at the age of around 10 that compelled me to start taking music more seriously. Not being allowed to stay on the team w my friends. I had always been great at music. Since we could remember. So I didnt take it seriously. It was easy. Not a challenge like playing football. Hah! Wow. Transparent belief!

Are there abilities that you possess so easily and naturally that you dismiss them? Overlook them? Underestimate them?

Reincarnation: being born with a natural ability st something. It’s fascinating to ponder 🤔… abilities perfected over lifetimes. If one is inclined to believe in such things.

Other theories say “it’s genetic”. It’s in the blood. Passed on genetically… Can all abilities be passed on genetically? Or just some?

Genetics we now know play a big role in what we’re good at, bad at, etc. But there are plenty of exceptions. Still plenty of missing pieces in our understanding. Both reincarnation and genetics could be true.

Still other theories posit that having an incredible ability at something comes from “practice practice practice”. Definitely plays a role. Doesn’t help in the “natural ability” department. Did Tom Brady become Tom Brady simply because he practiced a lot? Or Andre Agassi? Or Bob Dylan? (I’m not sure WHAT would or could help in the “natural ability” department — THAT is what I’d like to explore more… As a professional musician/recording artist who’s been around other professionals for the last 30 years I can state undoubtedly that some are just born with IT and some try really damn hard but just never quite get it. Referring to a wide variety of different skills, be it writing songs or playing lead guitar or being an incredible drummer. The key to our biz is KNOWING what you’re good at and perfecting it and not pretending to be good at things that you’re not. Because others notice it immediately. They see you. Because they are you. You’re not going to fool a room full of musicians that you’re an awesome drummer if you’re not. That shiz is born, not crafted, as we say.) But still yes practice is essential. In all my years of studying the greatest football players of all time, the one thing they all have in common is this never yielding dedication to practice. No matter what. Rain or shine. Sick or well. Every day for their entire life until that moment they reach the Super Bowl they practiced. It’s awe inspiring. All athletes seem to have it.

It seems to be a desire to be GREAT. Not just have ability.

So… were they BORN with a “natural ability” to be great at sports? And then perfected it through practice? What if they were never introduced to sports?

Will/does the person with an ability in something always eventually find that thing at some point? Regardless of whether it’s introduced to them or not?

Are there areas where you might have an incredible ability that you just haven’t discovered yet? 🤔

Something else just occurred to me: there are arenas/fields where one can learn and then practice to have a great ability in it. No “natural ability” necessary. There are other fields where it doesn’t matter how much one learns or practices; they’re never going to have as much ability as someone who was “born with a natural ability” in it. Categorizing those different fields would be an interesting experiment, to see if there is any collective alignment or corecept.

Sports, the arts, mathematics, ideation, mechanics, social skills, caring for others, oration? Interesting to contemplate 🤔.

Tired now. Peace and love to you all. Xoxo

Facebook Versus Twitter In An Existential Ethical Battle

October 31, 2019

If life were fair, we’d all be using Twitter instead of Facebook. But life is only fair in our imagination and the stories we tell ourselves through our movies and religions. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse in the ethically challenged world of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg just returned from a speaking tour to promote Facebook’s official policy to allow political advertising on FB that blatantly lies or promotes untruths, a fact the Trump re-election campaign had already been taking advantage of, which is what prompted the formal public announcement. Zuckerberg also reiterated they will not be fact-checking political ads, claiming that lying in political ads “is an issue of freedom of speech”. (Since lying and spreading fallacious statements is a constitutional right.) But no one is buying it. Facebook employees reacted by sending the CEO a petition of protest stating they don’t agree with the policy. A few well known money managers liquidated Facebook’s stock from their portfolios stating they couldn’t own the company in good conscience because “Facebook’s blatant lack of integrity and constant assault on truth is disgusting”. Even longtime FB haters have been shocked by this latest policy decision. Analysts on yesterday’s earnings call threw Zuck plenty of life preservers hoping he would adjust or clarify the decision. But before he could say anything, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey beat him to the punch by Tweeting and issuing a press release (at the exact start time of FB’s earnings call) to announce it would no longer allow any political advertising on its platform globally due to the proliferation of fallacious and misleading statements, stating “political message influence should be earned, not bought.” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff went on record saying that “Facebook is the most dangerous company in the world today” (though he may have temporarily forgotten about Lockheed Martin et al.) calling them “the Big Tobacco of our time”. (Mark is a good guy but has always been prone to hyperbole.)

So… all around bad news right? Wrong. For us, yes. For the world, sure. But not for Facebook. Facebook reported yet another stellar earnings report last night. Advertising revenue has not decelerated, but continues to grow. Monthly and daily average user numbers are still growing. Facebook is one of the largest countries on planet earth, for perspective, with DAUs of 1.6 billion. Compared to only 150 million for TWTR. The companies aren’t comparable on any metric. Some on Main Street have voiced their concern by stopping using FB and switching to Instagram. The joke is obviously on them since Insta is FB.

For some, yesterday was an existential line in the sand, the ethical battle lines clearly drawn between the good and the bad, the heroic and villainous, the helpful versus harmful. Dorsey didn’t just abstain from making a judgment call that harms the world community for a profit, he took a bold step for conscious capitalism knowing it would negatively affect profits. Likewise Zuckerberg didn’t just not take an action that could have helped the world, he made a decision to generate more profits knowing it would be harmful.

But does anyone care? That’s the real question. In a world where evils like nuclear weapons, royalty, the Catholic Church, big tobacco, big oil, big Pharma, political lobbying, live organ harvesting in China, etc. have been traditionally routinely ignored and allowed to exist, it is hard to imagine that humanity’s good conscience is what’s going to stop Facebook from doing whatever it wants to despite how harmful it might be. But that may be the cynical viewpoint. Or the realistic one. One thing is certain though: Facebook exists for one reason only, to generate money. If it’s user base started to decline and it started losing money because people didn’t agree with its policies, it would change said policies overnight. I personally don’t enjoy Twitter but find it useful if not essential for certain things. Though I wholeheartedly respect and admire the company and it’s executive team. On the other hand i thoroughly enjoy Facebook and Insta as a user. Though I loathe the company and it’s executives. It’s tricky for all of us I’m sure. I would love to see us as a community collectively take FB down or force them to grow a conscience. Just thinking out loud.

More Flying and Floating While Dreaming

October 12, 2019

PLEASE SHARE. (Prelude: I literally just woke up. (Late night.) So pardon the potential rough grammatical edges of this post, but if I keep my eyes closed after awakening from dreams I can still see and recall them vividly. So I’m deliberately staying half asleep at the moment.) Let me give you slight context and then ask you all for your experiences.

As loyal readers will know, I started dreaming of being able to fly in 2004. Though it started out as me taking running starts and then doing super long leaps thru the air, 200-500 yards at a time. It continued to evolve, in dreams, over the last 15 years. And now I easily float/fly around rooms, or through the air outside.

I just awoke from a dream where we are all at a big avatar course and I needed to get my books from the room so I just floated thru the room to go get them and not disturb anyone.

A FEW NOTES: yes it’s me, my physical body. I’m not ethereal or astral. I’m physically flying. People see me. I’m flat and parallel to the ground, about 5-10 feet in the air depending on what my goal is, with my arms outstretched. No it’s not “easy”, I still have to work at it in the dream, talk myself through it each time in terms of how to move and shift my weight to stay afloat and aim and get to where I want to go etc. It’s a method that I’ve evolved over the last 15 years. Maybe a few hundred dreams now. But only in dreams (I guess?). I can get afloat and parallel to the ground easily now. Ascend to whatever heights I want to. I usually get nervous or scared when I go too high in the air. So I tend to stay at about 5-15 feet. I can turn easily. I can descend and land easily.

When I began waking up this morning, it was the last thing I was doing in the dream, so it was still so fresh and real that I asked Princess Little Tree if I often flew in real life, or was it just in my dreams. She assured me I have not yet managed to do it in real life, but i dream and talk and write about it a lot. I tried anyway, not quite believing her, but alas i could not float up. F*^king gravity. Very frustrating.

Here’s where YOU come in: I am curious about others who frequently dream of being able to float through the air or fly or even leap long distances. Anything that defies gravity. I am more curious about you doing it physically i.e. with your body, not astrally (astrally we do it all the time in dreams. So it’s not… you know.) How do you do it? Are you parallel to the ground? How do you propel yourself? How do you ascend? How do you turn? How high can you go? Anything in this realm re flying or floating please feel free to share.

CONTEMPLATION: I’d like to first discuss the physical mechanics of the phenomenon, permitting I’m not crazy and the only one here, and then separately discuss the metaphorical ramifications. I’m more interested in the physical aspects of the paradigm, of your paradigm if you’ve experienced this… as i believe it is leading to our eventually being able to do this in real life. I’ve become quite convinced of it over the last 25 years. I’ve tinkered with designs for various body packs to machines that suck gravity out of large spaces, you name it. But to be honest i am now leaning toward thinking that we will do it using our minds. SO I’m curious what others have come up with.

Again, the metaphorical ramifications of these kind of dreams… we’ve covered that a lot… My wife, God bless her, has taken too many pages of notes on that subject thru the years while I lie there pondering it aloud while half-in-dream. My excitement is about YOUR physical mechanical experiences and what you’ve discovered. Feel free to share ANYthing you remember or that comes to mind.

Thanks, E

Junk and Stuff

September 21, 2019

Every weekend we attack the boxes and attempt to unpack a little more. But moving from a large house in the middle of nowhere to a small apt in the city entails abandoning most of your belongings. especially when you own at least one or more of everything in existence. You can’t think of a thing that’s not in these boxes. It’s an immobilizing endeavor. Entirely overwhelming. To pick and choose what to keep and what to give away.

After living out of just 4 suitcases for 4 years, we are absolutely stupefied and overwhelmed by how much stuff there is. We became very accustomed to not having anything. No stuff. Which affords a ton of free attention and creative energy. You’re free. And now we can barely walk from so much stuff. It feels as though the stuff is very important. You’ve collected it your whole life. Or it was gifted to you by people you love. It’s more than just stuff in that regard. It has incalculable value. Some of it. Yet now we question the true cost of keeping “things”. Versus living in a metropolitan city. That’s the core choice when it comes down to it. A very first world problem, granted.

It keeps occurring to me “what if a natural disaster just wiped all this out but we lived? Wouldn’t that make this all easier? If we just had no choice in the matter?” What’s ultimately important? This circling idea prompted me to give away my entire library of books CDs and vinyl. Tens of thousands. For those that know me well and knew my library, i did it…. every album ever released in the world since recorded music. Every book. Every movie. It was inevitable in the face of the new digital world we live in where we can access nearly everything from our cell phones.

Yes I know, it’s not the same. That’s true. It’s just not. Not the books, nor the albums. The experience leaves one cold and empty. Experiencing media digitally. Though I dont yet quite know why. But I gave it all away anyway. Because it’s an entire room of just a library. Of media. Hundreds of boxes. And rooms are preciously priceless in a city. If one has two bedrooms in NYC your friends exclaim “oh my God look at this place!” their mouth hanging open. Weird. But true. Kinda sad that we do it. Why do we do it? Who gives a f*^% if you live in a city or not?

I’m still mourning this huge release of my library. Palpable painful sadness. Shock. I keep reminding myself to consider the Russian oligarchs during the Bolshevik Revolution. They lost everything and fled with nothing. People do this. They endure much worse. It’s insane that that’s the thought that keeps me sane i think. I’m a monster. Stuff is just stuff. Who cares?

Life though… that’s everything. Living. Breathing. Pulsating. Life. Vietnam. WW II. Darfur. Syria. The images haunt me. I am brought to shame again and again by the wasted emotion and importance we afford to whether or not we keep a wedding present. Life is irreplaceable. But this… this is just a thing. The choice seems an essential one. City versus stuff. You simply can’t have both. One is forced to contend with it. It’s a private revolution. But self imposed. The importance imagined.

I harbor a secret longing for a war or catastrophe to come along and sort this out for us by destroying everything we own. To remind us what’s important in life. Which leads me to quietly acknowledge that I’ve already made the decision. I just haven’t fully integrated the emotional impact of the tradeoff. Which fills me with guilt and self hatred. Who mourns belongings in the face of so much chaos pain and suffering in the world around them?

I am reminded of Oscar Schindler. How much i related to him before his awakening. And how much i feared and dreaded the reality of his final day’s post-materialism. Post apocalypse. That raw flailing and unnerving humanity. Not getting it until it was too late. The Shakespearean tragedy of a life ill spent.

It’s not too late now though i think. It took me twenty-five years to get here. My god. Have i finally started to wake up? I have time to help more. To address more of the world’s pain and suffering. To be less selfish and shamefully material. To at least try. I am suddenly relieved. Lighter. More free attention. Priorities have fallen into place.

It is not too late for me yet. The war is not over. The holocausts have not entirely transpired. We’re in the middle of the film still. I can choose to change before the lights come up. Not wait until the very end. I’ve been terrified of this moment my entire life. But I’m not sure I can go back now.

The Politically Incorrect Generation — White Straight Non-Jewish Middle Aged Male Confused Lonely and Lost

September 19, 2019

So “they” as a singular personal pronoun to refer to people who don’t identify as either male or female, we’re calling them non-binary at the moment, was added to Webster’s dictionary this week. Not thst that matters much. The OED is still where it’s at. As any proper English Major will gladly tell you. Webster’s has always been for the scrabble playing mainstreamers and not the intellectual ivory tower set. But still. It’s official.

So yeah. Wow. There it is. It prompted an engaging exchange between me and our youngest girl this evening. She prides herself on being “woke” and is giddily willing to correct anything or anyone she notices might be the least bit politically incorrect. As any of us would and did in our early 20s. Although I remember the focus being more on what was cool or uncool. Not politically correct or incorrect. Perhaps it’s just the label that’s changed.

About “woke” for a moment. At first it’s easy to dismiss it as the Millennial’s and Generation Z’s version of being enlightened. They’ve just decided for whatever reason to stop using proper English. But upon further examination it does seem like there’s more to it. Whereas when we were in our 20s and life itself was dedicated to becoming enlightened, yes it was certainly about righting the wrongs of the world and correcting all the mistakes of the past and saving the planet and fighting for equality for all people, but it was also about the personal journey toward enlightenment. To connection with the Divine and self mastery. Woke seems a lot more focused on being politically correct. In an almost militant fashion. And enforcing political correctness. Less about enlightenment or connecting with the Divine Source of All That Is and more about political correctness. The problem of course is who determines what is politically correct? It’s tricky.

I still think, and forgive me for saying this, there will be a small group of us who will still use the terms he and she to refer to the person’s actual gender. Nor because we’re trying to be rude or mean or insulting. But just because that’s who we see. And we may never be comfortable calling someone they or them. But don’t worry, we’ll die off in another 40 or 50 years. So it won’t last forever.

We’ll probably also still use terms like gay and retarded in jest or in our humor. I saw Seinfeld and Bill Maher recently discussing it together. Alec Baldwin was there too. And they were hilarious. Absolutely refuse to give those terms up. I just think it’s an age thing.

They / we don’t actually use those terms in a derogatory fashion. More like when were goofing off with our friends. BUT I recently discussed it with my college boys over text. They were torn. They said we can do it amongst ourselves but not publicly. And then Matt sent us this hilarious clip of a Louis CK episode where it’s all about the word fag and where it comes from and it was actually very sad. But then he made a joke of it in the show. Slagged it off. We all agreed that word is off limits. I don’t know… just talking while thinking out loud I guess. It’s hard. Maybe it’s always hard for older generations. Like maybe WE made it hard for baby boomers. ??? Didn’t seem like it though.

It does make me think though. I mean Ali is gay. Or whatever we’re supposed to call it. And you’re whatever we’re supposed to call it. I mean honestly part of the problem is I think — and this is coming from someone who has always been way way ahead of the curve for 40 years — that things are moving so vast and so violently, radically that most people aren’t even sure what to call things in today’s world. Or tomorrow’s. They try… to keep up… but the next day everything’s changed again anyway… and of course there’s the issue of just feeling like we’ve gone way over the PC edge. Feels like a fad now. Especially if you’re a straight white christian male. You’re proper fucked. It’s an actual thing. An illness they’ve identified. Suicides and alcoholism and all this sad stuff due to their not having a “group” to belong to. Which is really fucking ironic when you think about it. Hah! But in reality it’s true.

As a straight white christian (not Jewish or Muslim) male I can honestly say it would be really nice to have just one fucking advocacy group to represent us or stand up for us or defend us in court cases or advocate for us when we have problems etc. It’s not like being Jewish or black or Hispanic or gay. There’s no help group to go to. No ACLU or ADL or NAACP etc. And at the same we’re incessantly vilified privately and publicly. So much so that we try to pretend in our own minds that we AREN’T that. But then we realize that we’re just kidding ourselves. We really are straight white non-Jewish/Muslim males. And we recognize internally at least that the last 2500 years have been royally fucked primarily by us. Or straight brown Muslim males. But still. It’s a HUGE source of self abasement and guilt to hang on to. Combined with the loneliness of not having any advocacy groups and the public lashing…

I think we cling to these comfort zones of the few fun politically incorrect things we have left in life, like calling each other gay or retarded. It’s pretty dumb. Admittedly. And yet….

fascinating to think about.

Hey I just wrote a freaking Transcendence Diaries post to you! Sheesh. Sorry about that. But I do want you to understand me. And maybe your dad and others. At least me. I love you and would never intentionally want to hurt you.

What the United States Government Doesn’t Say About Iran

September 17, 2019

Just did a refresher study on the exile and last year of the (second) shah of Iran. Was specifically interested in it’s effects on U.S. relations and global stability then and now.

As we already know, Great Britain and the the United States through the CIA with a little help from France perpetrate a coup d’etat in 1953 to topple the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, who had run on a platform of not giving away Iranian oil to Great Britain at below market costs anymore. These three western powers then reinstall the Shah of Iran’s son into power and reinstate monarchic rule in iran. Just what the Iranian people wanted. NOT. Great Britain, France and the US form a new big oil conglomerate from all this free oil they’re about to come into and call it BP, British Petroleum. In exchange they will prop up and support the monarchy in Iran militarily against the wishes of the people and keep down any revolts.

And so begins a renewed relatively stable alliance between Iran and western nations. Iran becomes more and more westernized. Brits move there in droves to run the oil plants. Iranian kids go to British schools and learn English. Highways and streets in Tehran are renamed Eisenhower Boulevard and Kennedy Street.

After a few decades of watching the so called “royals”, elites and western nations blow through all their wealth and natural resources the Iranian people begin to get angry. Like revolution angry. It’s the 1970s. The situation is not helped by the fact that a well educated and well spoken radical Islamic cleric named Khomeini is constantly preaching revolution from exile in France, encouraging the people to rise up against western domination. Protests in the streets begin, calling for an “end to control by America”.

In the late 70s, the presidents of the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany secretly meet in Guadalupe to discuss what they’re going to do about the Shah because their oil contracts are soon to expire and they don’t want to start paying more. Do they depose the Shah? Take him out? Support him and squash the protests and use their support to bargain their prices low for another 50 years? Before they can decide they’re informed that the Shah has cancer from one of their informants. Ah hah! Perfect! Let’s not support him during these turbulent times, we’ll force him into exile and put someone else in power who will give us even more control and lower oil prices.

It’s getting dangerous for the Shah now. He calls his US and British allies to ask for help and they inform him they won’t be able to help him. He should leave if he has to. So he does. First to Egypt. Then Morocco. Then the Bahamas. Then Mexico. By now Khomeini has returned to Iran as a revolutionary hero. Promising an end to monarchy, western rule and a return to democracy. He very quickly kills everyone ever employed by the shah’s government and names himself Supreme Leader for Life. He obviously had watched Star Wars one too many times.

By now the Shah is very sick. In his defense, US president Carter, though he ruthlessly betrayed his ally for his country’s selfish gain, did want to help the Shah in his illness. But the Iranian people were not going to tolerate the US harboring the Shah, healing his illness and then reinstating him again in a year or two. So they stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took a bunch of American hostages and demanded the Shah return to face trial and a return of all the Iranian assets that the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, American banks and American corporations had seized during the protests. (Some of this money was eventually returned to Iran by US president Barack Obama 40 years later, who also acknowledged and apologized for the 1953 coup, which is what created the current mess the Iranian people are still in today.)

President Carter at this point just wants those American hostages back. He realizes he made a huge mistake by ousting the Shah and allowing this Islamic cleric Khomeini to waltz in and take over Iran. But he cant get enough of his colleagues to agree to give Iran all their assets back. So the hostages are stuck as pawns there in a dangerous political game. The Rockefellers, who are holding billions of Iranian assets in their banks, don’t want to let go of all that money but they do offer to provide doctors and medical support to try to save the Shah’s life. So they secretly fly him to New York. An operation is performed. It’s botched. He gets sicker. They then become fearful the American hostages will be endangered if they continue to help the Shah. So they fly him to Texas and then force him on Panama, using the recently completed Panama Canal deal as a bargaining chip. But Panama too is afraid of retaliation by this crazy mad Khomeini. So they cut a secret deal with Khomeini to extradite the Shah back to Iran to stand trial and be executed.

But Egypt’s Sadat swoops In to rescue his old friend and offers him sanctuary in Egypt. So off they fly to Egypt. The Carter administration calls Khomeini and says “we’ve put the Shah on a CIA plane to Egypt. We’ll trade you the Shah for our hostages. Do what you want with him.” Obviously getting cheap oil is no longer a priority. And neither is loyalty to longtime allies.

The US suddenly brings the plane down on some Portuguese islands in order to secretly hand the Shah over to Iran without telling him (they tell him they have to refuel. They dont), but Khomeini doesn’t trust the U.S. so the deal gets broken at the last minute. The Shah ends up back in Egypt. He very soon dies from complications from his botched American surgeries. The Ayatollah Khomeini does eventually release the American hostages but waits to do it until Carter is ousted from Washington just to twist the knife a little and make his point clear.

He believes he may have found at least a frenemy in new US president Ronald Reagan, who very soon will militarily and financially support a newly American installed ruthless dictator in Iraq named Hussein who is immediately and secretly ordered by the US to attack and overtake Iran. Which he does. In the 8 year Iran-Iraq war. Of course, Reagan, not wanting to play favorites also secretly supports Iran by supplying them with weapons of war to kill the Iraqis, assuming that no matter who wins they’ll just become their ally and help them get rid of the other guy. They both have plenty of oil after all.

Eventually this plan backfires as both countries begin to realize that neither of them want to be subservient lapdogs of the wicked western imperialists. The US eventually takes Iraq out 20 years later. Along with a few other pesky Muslim nations. Only Iran remains, steadfast in their desire for self deterministic rule and autonomy, albeit under excruciatingly unhappy circumstances under a brutal authoritarian rule.

There’s more to the story. There always is. But it all goes back to ‘53 and ‘79. American greed, selfishness,

very poor judgment and ill advised strategy. And here we all are. Happy days.