Monday, 2 January 2012

QQ : NUMBER TWENTY - January 3 2012


Havel, Hitchens & Skvorecky:
It's hard to be pithy and witty when people I care about die.
On the other hand, I can't resist the edge.


The recently departed year 2011 was the year of the Clowns.
Clowns deliver the news; Jon Stewart.
Clowns stand for president; Herman Cain.
Clowns perform our musical anthems; Kanye West and Lady Gag Gag.

I nominate my favourite sad clown to a position of prominence.
RIP Christopher Hitchens. Hitch was after all, in the entertainment business, and he was a masterful although pathetic clown. He was a textbook case of self hatred who wore his heart on his sleeve and demonstrated his internal battle to everyone but himself. Irony of ironies, that this anti-Semitic, anti- Zionist atheist and possibly sexually conflicted individual was the son of a Jewish mother, and left behind (amongst others) a Jewish wife and daughter. I loved his brilliant rhetoric, his wit, his intellect, his debating skills, quick mind and his idealistic though perhaps superficial striving for a subjective interpretation of humanism. In the end, he only exposed an alter ego who was a bigot, a racist and a self hating destructive sad clown.

That said, he still spoke to me as an intellectual athlete. I got what he was trying to do.

Look, up in the sky, it's super-Hitch, able to heap tall barbing in a single round.

I mourn his passing.


Vaclav Havel was the son of privilege. That is an irony. There is a strong Czech cultural tradition of black humor and irony. I am a product of that tradition, as was Havel, Karel Capek and Milan Kundera.
Havel's very life was ironic.
Ironically, Havel believed in a force greater than what humans can perceive. He attributed our violent century to the breakdown of organized religion and the ascendancy of atheism. Despite that belief, Havel was no fan of organized religion. He rather had a faith in the larger, philosophical concept of the mystical.

Hitchens would argue alternatively that historically, more corruption and more violence has occurred in the very name of organized religion.
In fact, Hitchens would point to religion as mankind's greatest historical evil.


Hitchens argued that Rabbi Hillel’s one sentence summary of the entire Torah also encompassed the fundamental principal of humanism. That one sentence, transcended all organized religion. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Havel argued that this was not enough. We need to formally acknowledge that there is a larger spiritual concept beyond our comprehension encompassing the mysterious, the absurd, the infinite and the un-explainable. Although individuals may aspire to function according to Rabbi Hillel's precept, entire societies cannot. They need more.

Beyond ethics and religion neither Hitchens, nor Havel came even remotely close to answering the larger question.  What is consciousness?
Perhaps the only absolute is not our consciousness, or that we exist, but rather, that once we are gone, we once existed.
Bach existed, Picasso existed and Shakespeare (in some guise) existed. Our consciousness may be irrelevant and un-understandable, but what we leave behind, may be significant and meaningful.

Havel thrived in his thinking, on the absurd and the un-understandable.
I can dig that. That is the creative consciousness.


I do a dis-service to Hitch by not acknowledging his balls. He was a brave warrior who stepped off the edge to get his story. He reminds me of the CNN crew who shared my cabin on a night flight to Johannesburg to cover Nelson Mandela's historic release from jail. These videographers and on-camera personalities traveled from crisis to crisis around the planet, never sure if it was them or the plane that was fueled by Johnny Walker Black Label. I was the musical warrior and melodic commentary at that time.

I envied them their adventure but not their stress. Crisis was their bread and butter. Hitch clearly also thrived on adventure and risk. He suffered for it.


Havel also had balls. He and Hitch shared an affinity for the same substances and for the hormonally induced, testosterone fueled pursuit where penis runs the show. This is the male tragedy.

I fantasize a debate, a conversation or a drunken rant between these two giants. They were both humanists. They behaved bravely and badly. They came at life from such ironically similar perspectives that they should have, and could have, co-existed as mutual forces for good. I wonder if they ever met? They shared one commonality. Havel and Hitchens were both adamant America-Philes. They both believed that America symbolized the so far, best example  of a historically free and emancipated society


Hitch made one repeated and consistent fatal error in his perception of nationhood.

He became an American without a clear understanding of the historical perspective that he was embracing. America was constructed out of a War of Independence, a Civil War that is not over, and an ethnic cleansing process that more than decimated the aboriginal population. The very economic foundation of the country was based on slavery and the repercussions of that continue to be all-pervasive.

Therefore, Hitchens, demolishing destructive and bigoted criticism of the very fundamentals of the existence and foundation of the state of Israel, is an ignorant point of view which I believe to be without historical foundation or relative perspective. It has occurred to me that there may be a traumatic basis for Hitchens distorted Israel hating stance. Self hate anyone?

All nations are built on struggle and violence. The Jews have been history’s traditional scapegoat. They are history’s easiest target. After all they killed God. But then again Hitch didn't believe in God. He did however believe that there was a Jewish problem that needed a solution. Adolph had the same ideas and tried to follow them through with some success. Get rid of those pesky Jews and all the world’s problems will be solved. Palestine will be free and terrorism will end.

After 5000 years, isn't this concept getting a bit old?
Are these people really that powerful?


Jews after all have their own clowns. There is Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Howard Stern and Bill Maher and Anthony Weiner. Collectively, they have so far not taken over the planet or destroyed the world as we know it.

Jews have their political leaders. Rahm Emmanuel, Michael Bloomberg , Gabriel Giffords and Madeline Albright all seem to have not done too much damage to humanity. Perhaps they were not part of the Satanic, Masonic, Nights of the Templar Jewish conspiracy to conquer and dominate the world. Or I could be mistaken. Maybe we have all just been fooled. Jews are clearly much smarter than everyone else and there is a larger agenda. Ultimately, that is the 5000 year old story, along with the recipe for making matzoh with the blood of Christian babies. And of course Anthony Weiner was personally responsible for the crucifixion. There's the rub. Rub-a-dub-dub


What if Hitch and Havel were both right?

Religion has in fact caused more death, pain and suffering in all of human history that any territorial, tribal or ethnic conflict.

Yet, the elimination of organized religion was policy in Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany. Together as atheists, these regimes destroyed a significant portion of humanity.

Is it all a neutral concept? When we genuflect, face east, wear fringes, wail, pray, bow, chant and beat our breasts, does this move mountains, cure cancer and save children?

Pakistan and North Korea both have nuclear weapons. Pakistan is deeply religious. North Korea is not, in the traditional sense. Did Jesus die for their sins? If the leaders of both of these nations experienced baptism, would we be saved?

I am told that my family who perished in Hitler’s death camps has been secretly baptized. Can I claim Utahn citizenship? The record of that baptism lies in a cellar under a golden idol topped monument in Salt Lake City. A certain later day saint, and self proclaimed King, Joseph Smith may well be guiding the path of the free world in 2013 by proxy, through his agent on earth. In which direction should I kneel, beat, cross and fast, light candles and bow three times in order to save myself from an eternity in hell?

Apparently president Mitt Romney has the answer and perhaps the final solution. Based on his absurd beliefs, he is one scary dude.


The Arab spring is perhaps the saddest, most ironic movement in modern history.

Statistics estimate that 90% of Egyptian women of all classes and segments of society have been subjected to FGM. We use this acronym as the reality is too painful to acknowledge. Female genital mutilation. This was not Mubarek's fault. It is not israel’s fault. Is this islam’s finest hour? This is not by any means the largest issue that motivated the Muslim brotherhood to action or the Iranian sponsorship of fundamentalist reactionary activity. This issue is a back-burner cultural issue that is swept under the mat. In the shoes of a Hitchens, with his reach, with his audience and his influence, in his place, I would address this issue beyond all others. In fact Hitch did address this issue forcefully, but not specifically and contextually related to the rights of women. What is it that is so threatening about a clitoris that it must be removed in the millions? What does humanity lose when it loses a woman's voice, a woman's power, a woman's compassion and a woman’s sexual gratification?

More than we can begin to comprehend.
When will we witness the Egyptian women's spring?

Like with Isaac and Abraham, perhaps God was just kidding.
Ismael! Leave the Vulva alone, it's perfectly fine the way I made it!

QQ : 10   STUCK

I have yet another plea, maybe a prayer. Bessie Smith lay dying in a roadside ditch waiting for a black ambulance that arrived too late. She sang about "some sugar in her bowl" and pre-empted Madonna and Lady Gag Gag by about 100 years.

There is plagiarism and just unpleasant cultural mining that is unforgivable. Lady Gag Gag's latest is a great motivator for cultural censorship, or if she had balls, then their removal. "Stuck on Fuckin You" Gag Gag's latest single release, or "drop" as they call it these days is a monument to exploitive poor taste, a cultural crime, and an example of offensive puerile excrement without art, artifice, drama, poetry or of value of any kind.

Bessie Smith had this genre down one hundred years ago and made it art, made it sexy, made it erotic and made it fun. Contemporarily, Cee Lo Green said "Fuck You" with finesse. Gag Gag makes it an insult. Speaking of vaginas and their value, Gag Gag's release of this tune is a cultural hole. In fact, I'd rather listen to Hole with its sonically dark and dangerous underbelly. At least Courtney Love is a fantastic actress. She should do more movies.

So sue me.


Dick Cheney, Dick Santorum. Dick Nixon, Dick Perry, Dick Helms, Dick Lugar and there are many more Dicks where these came from.

Etched on my Stone Tablet.

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