Saturday, 25 February 2012

QQ : NUMBER TWENTY FIVE - February 25, 2012


There is a theme and there are variations on that theme.
As hard as I try, I cannot seem to veer from my increasingly abject horror at observing the bizarre farce represented by Cirque du Santorum-Romney. "We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”


I prefer my political clowns to be French or Italian. These passionate, Mediterranean macho men have no need to hide their hedonism in a cloister or a closet.

I like a French leader who enjoys a good Cuban cohiba, identifies with his Hungarian heritage and marries an Italian super-model-heiress.  My Italian presidents on the other hand take it one step further. They know how to party down and party hard regardless of party affiliation. Bunga Bunga.


There are other leaders we can only hold in unbrideld awe for their boundless chutzpah.

Stephen Harper, the benevolent dictator of Canada, holds the contents of one of the world’s largest quarries in his slippery hands. The proposed Keystone pipeline will transport Canadian oil across the USA to facilitate the more economically viable route to China. The issue is not the pipeline itself. The problem is the environmental repercussions of mining and refining the tar sands from whence the oil cometh.

The earth will pay us back one-thousand fold for this criminal incursion. If we thought nuclear waste was a problem, this takes pollution to a whole new level.

Beyond that 'Our Dear Leader' Harper promotes Canada's continuing export of asbestos; the defunding of Universal Health Care; the re-districting of electoral regions in his favor; the establishment of police with unfettered powers and the spying on all private communication. The fourth estate has failed us. Oh Canada!

Another exciting show to watch is the Shakespearian power struggle in Australia between sparring leaders Gillard and Rudd. Just like Canada, it's all about the stuff in the ground that they want to sell to China. Rudd even speaks the lingo.

One thing in Ms. Gillard‘s favor is the fact she is unmarried and co-habits with her male partner in Australia's ‘White House’. The Aussies don't see this as a problem. Could we ever imagine such a travesty in the good old USA?


France and Italy are predominantly Catholic countries. Australia's religion is beer and surfing. Canada's religion is beer and Hockey. Any time remaining is used to keep warm. In France, Italy, Australia and Canada, it occurs to me that the electorate is not concerned about the frequency of Julia Gillard's attendance at mass. In Canada, we would be much more disturbed by Stephen Harper missing a hockey final than his not showing up for church on Sunday, especially on a snow day.

What has happened in America that has made fundamentalist, religious affiliation to be such an enormous part of the political agenda?


If my only choice was to choose from a two-way race between Mitt Romney and Dickless Santorium, then I choose Newt Gingrich.

Calling these demented, mentally-deranged, power-addicted morons 'clowns' has ceased to be a joke.

There is something wrong in the state of the church, and these guys stand at the entrance leading the way to a hell of their design. We are presented with a choice between Bishop Romney and self-appointed Catechist Dick Santorum. These religious megalomaniacs have determined the universal moral code and will impose it on us whether we like it or not.

Let's begin with women's reproductive rights. They are an easy enough target. Clearly, condoms are a barrier to man's direct communication with the about-to-return messiah and must be left to the individual states to control. Some states will then determine that we will be closer to God if we ejaculate freely. Some states will embrace Satan and permit the unholy use of prophylactics, only, however, with a doctor‘s prescription. Imagine, it could be like Prohibition. Al Capone and Joe Kennedy could join forces to bring illegal rubbers across the Mexican frontier and sell them at speak-easy pharmacies where there's a sliding panel in the door and you have to ask for Vinny.


The most disturbing aspect of the Romney-Santorum circus is that it comes to us from a nation and a people who have given these guys their power, their support and their dollars to the tune of about half the voting population.

Romney did not become a state governor by decree. He was elected. Santorum did not appoint himself to elected office. He was voted in. Then again, Justin Bieber has about 60 million YouTube hits. Numbers like that could get him elected president.

I think I'll change my mind about the Gingrich alternative and vote for Justin.
I have a feeling he's OK with condoms. Although, there were recent rumors of a paternity suit. Maybe he’d consider adoption. I’d be willing to call him dad and he could call me John Bieber-Qapek.

The world has gone gaga.


The problem is not religious custom and ritual. We need these things to bring us together as community. We do not live in isolation on this planet.

The problem is clearly the literal interpretation of long-forgotten, tribal mandates as God‘s Word.
It is Written

I believe that we can express our gratitude for the earth‘s bounty and for all things good, without worship. Worship implies an exchange. It is a primitive, unscientific, baseless concept. The larger imperative, it would seem to me, is the need for acknowledgement.

As fleeting, human occupiers of the planet, we should absolutely acknowledge the fundamental aspects of life that promote our survival and the quality of that survival.

We should treat each other as we would like to be treated.
We should acknowledge our powerlessness over our mortality.
We should treat the earth with respect and leave it in better shape than the way we found it.
Our creativity is our most treasured gift. Honour that gift.

Maybe four commandments are enough. Qapek’s Quadralogue


What then explains America's reversion to a fundamentalist and primitive interpretation of ethics and morality. This step back into 'Dark Age'  rigidity is not just about Romney-Santorum. There are larger, cultural forces in place.

I attribute part of this cultural shift to a reversion to a territorial, circling-of-the-wagons mentality. We are afraid. We fear the unknown and our misinterpretation of the known. One could say that the Crusades never ended. The historical timeline tells us of the siege of Damascus in 1140 by the Crusaders that continues to this day, symbolically, by proxy and as a reality for the larger region. Damascus continues to be a headline one thousand years later and we are encouraged to intervene. Damascus is under siege.

The more damaging aspect of our reversion, I believe, is racially based.
I suggest that the Civil War was never really resolved and this country continues to be radically divided on racial and subsequent economic areas. These divisions are so severe they have led to the circling-of-the-wagons for protection at every level and strata of society. We accept the imposition of a racially based prison industrial complex.

This is not an America-centric issue. Europe and its underclass of workers from the East is equally implicated. Apartheid lives. Our segregated societies are separate and they are unequal.

States‘ rights are a great, idealistic concept when it comes to economic structuring. States‘ rights, pertaining to ethical and moral dictees have no place on the political agenda. The idea that a woman could get an abortion in New York, but not in Alabama is patently ridiculous. This concept plays out racially and economically. You can carry a concealed handgun in Nashville , but not in Chicago. I just can't decide. Mandating the teaching of creationism is beyond the pale. The Monkey trial happened in 1925. The issue is still undecided.

Let states figure out how to build bridges, fix highways and provide public transport that is unique to their geographical and urban needs. Let states determine how best to utilize and protect their natural resources. But the idea that you can legally hire a hooker in Vegas, but not Chattanooga should not be a state issue. We should not look to the State to dictate the moral agenda on any level. Either it is a crime or it isn’t. The larger issue is human trafficking and the exploitation of children. That is and should be a federal crime and not something to be determined piecemeal by individual states. What quality of human trafficking is OK in Alabama, but not in Nebraska? What aspect of child exploitation will be better determined in Texas for Texans?

Furthermore, we should not allow the State to impose an acceptance of slavery. Individual state-imposed legislation that bans worker representation;  accepts and supports the mistreatment of farm workers; restaurant workers and hotel maids is a state that has gone beyond fundamental human rights to the continuation of the battle of Gettysburg.

A state that imposes individual identity checks and imposes its own interpretation of federal immigration law has gone beyond its legal bounds.

"Your papers, please". Ring any bells?

“We’ll always have Paris”.


Super PACS, Iraq, Israel and the larger conspiracy are  worthwhile areas to explore.

Conspiracies do exist. Conspiracies do occur. The Holocaust was not some hidden deceit. Of course it was known while it was happening. Jews just fulfilled their traditional role of scapegoat. America's invasion of Iraq,  based on fake evidence was a blatant conspiracy.

Perhaps the current, threatened bombing of Iran could be a larger conspiracy of usually opposing forces for the purposes of political and economic expediency.

We are presented with an out-of-control, insane, warlike Iran with ambitions to rebuild the Persian empire. This scenario would require a larger military and economic basis that Iran could possibly muster. Germany, prior to WWII, and Russia during the Cold War had tremendous, viable war machinery with a powerful, economic base.

What if, hypothetically, there were other advantages for the current US administration in a conspiring partnership with the GOP Mullahs, Israel and Europe to take on the Iranian problem. There is oil, there is Greece and there is deep unemployment across the board. With the winterizing of the Arab spring, Israel needs to make a definitive statement of "do not fuck with us". In that statement, there is no other cohesive territory to take on with as much symbolic power as Iran. They make the perfect target.
And the economic bounty pays off at every level. The GOP Mullahs can support the crusade and the Israelis send the necessary message. Barry Obama becomes a war hero and Greece is saved by the thriving economics of war as we busily re-tool the German armament industry. I hear that Mykonos is up for sale.

The problem is that regardless of the Ayatollahs and media portrayed madmen who currently run Iran, there would be an unhappy Iranian populace. They are the ones we should fear and consider before unleashing the fire. We as primitive humans are fundamentally, territorial. The Iranian populace has marked its territory and will react regardless of the hats that their leaders wear.

I will not send my son to fight this Persian crusade.


Follow the money. The song says "Money can't buy me love". So where is all that dough?
The invention of financial ‘products’ has created an industry unlike anything that has ever existed. Money buys money that borrows more money that bets on borrowed money being lost in an investment gone bad that has insurance against that loss with more leverage.

The manipulators and algorithms move non-existent billions from place to place in nanoseconds generating bonuses and profits from mystical sources that have no solid basis or foundation. Where is this cash? Greece could use some, the employees of Foxconn could use some and so could I.

It was interesting to watch the dispersion of unlimited financial resources that were unleashed in Australia by BHP and Rio Tinto when their interests were threatened. They brought down the Prime Minister. The two biggest mining companies in the world are far beyond the vicissitudes of the democratic process. They have a larger agenda. There is money to be made.

Similarly, the superPACS currently distributing infinite mountains of coin in the USA to manipulate the outcome of the forthcoming 2012 election presents a fun piece of theater. There is a new currency in the USA. It is the Koch-dollar. K$1 = 1 GOP vote.

Oh, I get it. There's the money. I found it.


Ten Reasons to vote for Dick Santorum:

1  His endorsement by Megadeath's lead singer
2  His nickname is "Rooster"
3  His role in deregulating the World Wrestling Federation from federal drug laws
4  His support of a ban on the free dissemination of weather info
5  He supports enhanced interrogation.
6  He believes in an Islamic-fascist agenda to conquer the western world
7  He does not believe in the right to privacy
8  He supports the construction of a fence along the Mexican border
9  No amnesty for illegal immigrants
10 He believes that left-wing, liberal culture caused Catholic priests to abuse young boys

The word according to Dick:

We are in a war and theology is its basis. Just like we were in a war against Communism and ideology was its basis. We need to understand that.
“What must we do to win [against Islam]? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”

Revelation 2:23  “I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.“

Editing: Batsheva

Sent from FirstClass with my iPad

Monday, 13 February 2012

QQ : NUMBER TWENTY FOUR - February 14, 2012



These musings often describe an internal dialogue. This is the argument that I have with myself in my quest for an understanding of the larger unfolding. I promote and extol the virtues and value of art, creativity, innovation, education and culture as one possible answer to our increasingly dark expressions of existence. I look to the work of icons such as Bach, Homer, Mozart, Plato, Picasso, Gershwin, Michelangelo, Jelly Roll Morton, Marc Rothko, Shakespeare and Da Vinci as expressions of what is important, what is civilizing and what is bonding in our human existence. These mirrors of their times reflected and commented. They also expressed a common ideal of "goodness".

The argument I have with myself concerns the ethics and morality of the individuals who created work that is immortal; that transcends time and that has become, historically, iconic.

My goodness!

Was Johann Sebastian Bach a good person? Does it matter? Does his creative output transcend the person? The Goldberg Variations in their first recorded form by Glenn Gould are as much a universal, divinely-inspired, musical statement as can be made by a human person. At once, the score itself, and then the interpretation of that notation touches the soul.

The interpreter of this divination, Glenn Gould was a deeply flawed, troubled and tormented individual who never lived to accomplish his potential.


Perhaps the most powerful anti-war statement ever made in a two-dimensional format is the painting “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso. This work, as well as his line drawing of “The Dove“ have achieved monumental status as symbols of the tragedy and damage that war inflicts on the innocent.

These works convey compassion and a depth of feeling in a startlingly powerful and universal language for all eternity. This would seem to tell us something about the artist. These two-dimensional prayers convey an intense sense of empathy and understanding of human pain.
And yet:
Pablo thrived during much of the Second World War in France. He made his women and later, his children miserable; did not behave well on multiple levels and perhaps, according to some biographers, contributed to the pain and suffering of many of those closest to him.

If he was not a nice man, should we still idolize his work? Does the art survive as the man does not?

What kind of a man was Leonardo Da Vinci? Do we care?

Artists reflect what they see and sometimes what they would wish to see. What they see is not necessarily governed by ethics or morality. Some reflect what they see well. Some reflect only what they see or understand as good. Others only reflect what they see through the human torment of their individual existence. Van Gogh saw his universe as painfully beautiful, understanding that no amount of colour or texture could adequately describe the ultimate beauty of nature and human mortality. Monet's “Water Lilies“ perhaps reflect what is good about our human perception of nature and, therefore, of all creation.

However, we are deeply flawed in our existence. Goodness gracious, we have Original Sin.

QQ : 2.   i-SLAVE

I suggest that Steve Jobs, was for all intents and purposes, an artist.
Steve took an adding machine, gave it a Bauhaus-inspired cladding and a human, friendly interface that has changed the way the world functions on many levels.

Is this an ultimate "good". For that matter, was Steve a good man? His recently released FBI files would suggest that on a criminal level, he was a good man.

Media is revealing that the efficient package, this glorified, adding machine that allows our tweet, sharing and hacking, relies on slave labour. This has brought Apple to a price level that has now made it the richest company on the planet.

Should we sanctify Steve for his good works?
Take this tablet and call me in the morning.
Meanwhile, I will consult my i-bible and Siri regarding i-ethics and i-morality. They are currently worth about $500 a share.


Our new moral and ethical police are an alliance of the ‘GOP/Fascist-neo-Christian-Mullahs’ with the Radical neo-Muslim/Fascist-Ayatollahs.

What they hold in common is the value of human sacrifice and the subjugation of women. This is a profoundly dark and significant alliance that convicts and punishes, proclaims and relegates a fundamentalist, dogmatic interpretation of ethics and morality that has a basis in pure, unfettered insanity.

For the ‘GOP Mullahs’, the ultimate symbol of sacrifice is Christ. As evangelists, their agenda is ruled by dominionism. That is Christ at any cost, by any means, moral or immoral.

For the other ‘Ayatollahs’, the ultimate symbol of sacrifice is any death that communicates their truth either by designated martyr or of perceived enemy.

Historical figures who have found truth have, at a minimum, sacrificed their freedom, and often their lives in support of their beliefs. The concept of martyrdom can be traced back to the ancient Jews refusing to recant their monotheistic beliefs. Socrates drank poison rather than recant his beliefs, Jesus was the ultimate martyr to give his life. Countless lost youth in the Middle East have strapped dynamite vests to their bodies in order to convey their truth to the world. Is there a more powerful way to send a message?

The assorted Dicks, Mitts and Newts invoke their mythological truth as the basis of their political agendas. The premise is that if sacrifice is involved, then it is inherently, by their definition, for the ultimate good,
Sacrifice = Good
Suicide in the name of truth = Good.

Jesus, the ultimate martyr is thought of as "good" because he gave his life for our sins. This gesture was supposed to send us a signal. The signal has been incorrectly received. We deified the man rather than the message.
When the truth-teller invokes martyrdom, that does not make his truth any more true than the next martyr around the corner. It generally just makes for another really dead martyr. Is my martyr better than your martyr?


I vote for Lenny Bruce.

Lenny died for a bunch of words. Clearly, he had issues. He had original sin.
But the battle that he waged during his life as a comedian, commentator and entertainer was about the freedom of speech. The significant and important point about Lenny was that his bits were not a bunch of trivial joke telling cabaret entertainment. The content was a contemporary political commentary that predated Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and George Carlin by decades. It was important.

He was hounded and persecuted by the police until his life became impossible. He was a Martyr I could respect. He did not claim to be the son of God, he did not claim to have never sinned, he did not tie bomb vests around his followers and he absolutely did take the lords name in vain.

Was he brilliant? Yes. Was he good? That depends on what goodness means.


Popular music has suffered disproportionately from a lemming syndrome. Amy Winehouse, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Momma Cass, Karen Carpenter, Curt Cobain, Jim Morrison and more recently Michael Jackson and Whitney Huston.

All of these artists created anthemic, timeless music. Michael Jackson believed his truth. His truth made it OK to share his bed with children. Was he martyred for his truth? Is his music of a lesser value because of the conduct of his life? Perhaps there could be a boycott of his economic legacy. But then I would have to consider taking down the Picasso print on my bedroom wall.

Perhaps we could judge by degree. If in a hypothetical scenario, Adolph Hitler had painted the ‘Water Lily “series, would we still judge the art separately from the man?

On the other hand could our idealism of the artist have some basis in a larger truth? Perhaps Hitler was incapable of creating real art by virtue of his character.  Did the "Man in the Mirror" "Beat It"...the rap?


The GOP/Ayatollah conspiracy agree on one fundamental agenda.
They don't trust the Penis. When the Penis is out of control, the only possibility of restricting its behaviour is to build impenetrable barriers to every possibility of Penile expression.

The best way to do this is to imprison women on every possible level and for every reproductive right imaginable. The GOP-Ayatollas can then justify pointing their judgmental fingers at thinkers, writers artists and leaders who have found their flies inconveniently undone.

The ultimate contemporary martyr with his Eros exposed was John F Kennedy who represented the last gasp of American idealism. Bill Clinton balanced a budget for the last time, looking into the conceivable future of our planet while getting a blow job.

The sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the sanctity of life beginning at the moment of ejaculation, and the issue of women's reproductive rights has become front and center of our political debate based on the out-of-control Penis agenda.

Fatwas are imposed on the desecration of images without regard to the meaning of the symbol. Fiction writers and cartoonists are condemned to death and martyrs designated to carry out the sentences. In the name of a symbol, martyrs fly planes into buildings and kill as many infidels as they can.
And their motivation:

There will be seventy-two virgins in heaven.

Freud laughs.


These two thinkers agreed that we can have ethical moral lives without religion. We do not need God to tell us how to behave. Our natural human condition requires ethical behaviour for survival. We survive as family, as community, and as tribe in a manner that implies the simplest of concepts. Treat each other as we would like to be treated.

This fundamental concept is clearly not enough for us as we turn to our Truth Tellers.

There are two flaws, two deep, dark conflicts that cause all the trouble.
The first is the human male's sexual agenda. The second is our common mortality.

The largest, most formidable structure built by man, the pyramids represented a quest for immortality. But if we are mortal, we are compelled to attain immortality by any means possible. There are no rules other than those we can invent because nobody has come back from the unknown to tell us what the rules are.

Crosses, tall mighty and white tower above churches in the South where no non-Caucasian has ever entered. The flag symbol flies above Guantanamo. The Scales of Justice symbolize the SCOTUS where Justice is lost based on Political Expediency.

Contraception education and materials are banned from medical institutions who have a truth imposed by arbitrary truth-tellers based on nonsensical, unscientific insanity. Mythology dictates this agenda.

Albert Einstein was a thinker who saw beyond the infinite. He saw the curve of space and the flexibility of time. He debunked old concepts and allowed a vision into the future that opened up a multitude of possible advancements as well as the most hellish powers of destruction. Perhaps he saw God.

Albert had a dark side, His first wife would tell you stories. She was a formidable scientist in her own right. Al abandoned her and his child for his human male agenda. Second wife - second story. Does this behaviour lead us to judge his achievements in a different light?

Maybe...but light bends.


When it comes to martyrdom, I vote for another artist from my impressionable youth.

When Lee Strasberg of the actors studio dedicated his time and attention to Marylin Monroe, he saw into the future. Marylin was both actor and comedienne, but more than that, a pioneer in scratching the surface of who and what a woman could be in contemporary society, both on and off stage.  Her talent was formidable. Her life was a tragedy.

I watch her image on the screen, in awe of her skill and her timeless awareness of the human condition. That men at the very peak of their powers found her irresistible was no surprise. John Kennedy, Arthur Miller and Joe Dimaggio used her and destroyed her.

She was a martyr.


Our symbols define us. From the most ancient primitive cave paintings to the Eye of Providence depicted on the dollar bill.

Through the ages, we have created temples that house our treasured symbols. The architects of these temples are held in high esteem. They have created environments that have a deeply spiritual purpose connecting us with their contents in a reverential context for all eternity. These buildings are in fact Temples.

Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan; Gehry’s Bilbao museum in Spain, and the Pyramid at the Louvre designed by I.M. Pei are all edifices that speak to us in a monumental expression of all that is good in our humanity. These buildings are houses for the best, most skillfully-crafted expressions and reflections of life that we have been able to accumulate through recorded history.

The architects, the conceptualizers of these structures have created windows through which we can observe eternity. It could be suggested that their vision is heavenly-inspired.

Do we ask these men to behave in a required manner in their day to day lives in order to participate in the environments that they have created?


Perhaps the Messianic ideal could be the source of our human troubles.
The concept that a Messiah could become human and behave without sin is a concept that disturbs the psyche with its impossible ideal.  It creates damage.

In its name, bishops assault boys, Ayatollahs declare fatwas and Mitts demonize poverty.

Our human condition and the perfect ideal are a complete and total disconnect. We cannot be like Christ, Any amount of denial, chastity, vows of poverty and self sacrifice will not lead to the betterment of the human condition, nor will covenants with the old, bearded man in the sky.

Our humanity will not improve by censoring the reflectors of our condition. It is our job to live better lives. It is the job of the reflectors to show us what they see, what they hope to see and what is both good and bad in that reflection.

I despise the ethics and morality of Elia Kazan, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Does that make them bad film makers?

I continue my internal dialogue and only because of the media exposure, am more than likely to change the channel when a Polanski film is on. Woody, though gets a qualified pass with some reservations.

I etch my artistic line in the sand at Genocide and child sexual abuse.

etched on my stone tablet
edit : Batsheva

Monday, 6 February 2012

QQ : NUMBER TWENTY THREE - February 6, 2012


Are we better off today in 2012 than we were in 1812 or 1612? Are we happier? Is the world a better place, is there a universally improved quality of life and are we the beneficiaries of progress?

It occurs to me that the only absolute quantification of progress that we can identify today, is the extension of longevity. We live longer because of improvements in nutrition and hygiene. Superficially, the most basic elements of our improved knowledge regarding the transmission of disease, and the development of some outright cures could be argued as a formidable improvement in our quality of life.

Further, it could be argued that the economic aberration which temporarily created a middle class, could be considered in a context of progress. Therefore, proportionally, more people could be considered masters of their own destinies...within the confines of our limited, first-world experience.

I wonder, though in terms of quality and progress, what this really means?

We live longer and conduct our lives from a larger, more stable nest - that can be lit and heated ...if we can afford the utility bills.


As hunter-gatherers, we foraged for food and stalked game. Our lives centered around the quest for food. My favorite slogan from the recent past is... "There's a little McDonald's in everyone ".  Great. Now I don't have to stress about where I will get my next meal. If my inner McDonald's is wanting, I fill it with minimal economic impact. But, that is in suburban, any-town, first world.

We continue to observe a third world that does not have this luxury. More people are starving to death on our planet than at any time in history.

I seldom quote others, but this one hit me:

"Every three days more people die from malnutrition and disease than from the bombing of Hiroshima. Every year more people die from preventable hunger than died in the Holocaust. Somewhere along the line, moral reflection and outrage have lost their audience."

Dennis Ford
Sins of Omission

Estimates I have read show that about one billion people on the planet are malnourished with a further one billion undernourished. Two billion potential McDonald's customers deserve a break today... and aren’t getting one.

I wonder where this sad statistic falls within our measurement of human progress? I sit in my heated, well-lit cave and watch the televised images-aghast.

At last count, almost forty-six million Americans currently use food stamps.
It could be said that their very availability is a symbol of progress.
I would suggest that their need is a social and economic disaster.


I stare at Van Gogh’s, “Starry Night” in wonder. The Mona Lisa continues to smirk at me and the Venus Di Milo touches my inner Eros. What is it about these images and icons that transcends time?

Glenn Gould's masterful interpretation of a Bach Fugue written in 1722 slays me. Bill Shakespeare's deep insight into the depths of the human condition touches the soul and King David wrote a psalm or two that reaches through millennia to describe human spirituality in a manner transcendent.

Have we in our contemporary, educated, industrialized culture created equivalent or better artistic statements? Is there a contemporary psalm worth singing? Will we peer at a glassed-in image of an Italian aristocrat with its curious smile hundreds of years after the fact? Is there a poet writing today who will connect with our ancestors five hundred years from now? Are there iconic statements that will resonate a thousand years from now being created in new media? Will we watch viral YouTube videos that transcend time and make universal, life-affirming statements lifetimes after the fact?

It seems to me we live in times that lack true anthems or themes of any value. There are no new universal stories, no connective tissue that binds us.

The old, toxic remnants do remain and they poison us. Religious and political dogma and fundamentalism still raise the spectre of primitive paganism that joins damaged people together in a destructive agenda. Perhaps the GOP and the new, Hungarian fascists have their anthems and their art.

I wonder what graces Newt Ging-Grinches walls? I have read that he enjoys the craft displays at Tiffany's. That sparkly stuff likely does have some lasting quality. Hitler attacked canvas armed with brush and paint. He also attacked my people. He murdered both.


Every day, around one hundred people die from gun shots in the United States. That averages out to about 30,000 people per year. That statistic has been consistent for some time. This devastation does not make the News; It is not a topic at the top of anyone’s agenda and is an accepted fact of life. More people are murdered on the streets of America than in any ongoing war or revolution on the planet. Is this not a sort of ethnic cleansing where poverty has become an ethnicity?

The acceptance of this devastation as a fact of life in the richest, most powerful country in the history of the world is not progress. It is a Dark Age, hellish, immoral and bankrupt catastrophe. The Second Amendment, my ass. Glock this. Rather than freedom, the almost universal arming of domestic America is demonic.

In a country that has abandoned the care of its mentally ill; made lethal weapons available even to the essentially psychotic and the deranged as a constitutional right, seems to me suicidal.

I'm told that Glocks have very little recoil. There is no background check at a gun show.
It's gun show biz.


News reports tell us that former Republican leadership candidate, John Huntsman's command of Mandarin was a detriment to his progress through the ranks of his party’s primaries. Newt had to hide his command of Spanish and his expertise in the intricacies of modern European history. It is likely that he has read a book or two. Knowledge, especially classical knowledge,  of language, literature, the arts and history is frowned upon by the new conservatives and regarded as a Liberal Aberration.

My father, like generations of classically educated bourgeois Europeans had years of the dead Latin language compulsorily drummed into him at high school. This gave him a useful command of French, Spanish, Italian and English. Beyond grammar and vocabulary, language is an entry point into understanding and communication.

English dominates and predominates our world, mostly in 48 character tweets, using acronyms , abbreviations and simplifications. Our communication has been dwarfed. WTF.
We are language infants communicating in ones and zeros. LOL.

Homer's twitter feed would have been a sad read 48 characters at a time and I am not referring to Homer Simpson. :)


An unprecedented phenomenon has occurred that is unique in all history to the extent of its size and popularity.

Our bards, our music makers, our drum messengers and our troubadours have embraced a unifying message. That message is Misogyny. They hate women. We sing about women as whores and bitches.

After we deal with the bitches, we sing and chant about violence and our most base, narcissistic, primitive, animalistic nature. Narcissism sells. Bling-Bling. As "music", this is a most unusual phenomenon. Sing along, bang a gong. Hit me with your disco stick Bitch. It's sick.

Art is generally a reflection of society. I don't like what I see in that mirror. More than anything else, it is a sad current reflection. Play me some Mingus. He was angry too, but, there was a beauty and a layered and mysterious aesthetic that went far beyond the superficial. Let me hear the torment of Beethoven or of Charlie Parker. They were angry, too.


Slavery never went away. It just has another name.
Indentured servitude becomes the norm when workers are banned from organizing. Without worker representation, we become a feudal society. That reversion to feudalism is more than a backward step. We have re-embraced slavery. Apple deserves our scrutiny of its current conduct in China. The worker bees who made this tablet have become our serfs. Apple’s current cash surplus at their Serf's expense is a satanic way to pocket the suffering of these unfortunates.

Decades ago, Fritz Lang's, “Metropolis” and Chaplin's "Modern Times" were sad prophecies of what was to come.

QQ : 7.   AARGH!!!

The Industrial Revolution that gave birth to our Modern Times, to our Metropolis has been a continuum of ‘progress’ since it began with coal power. There has been a steep price to pay. We still burn coal.

Which aspects of the industrial revolution have given humanity innovative, progressive, forward motion? In what ways are we better off with the burning of hydrocarbons? Have we reacted, or adapted?  With the explosion of human numbers to the tune of 7 billion currently, are we adapting or reacting?

A ‘reaction’ is not necessarily innovative or positive. A reaction can produce destructive energy.

Cultivating a crop that requires damming which results in the devastation and desertification of formerly, productive land is questionable progress.

The genetic modification of seeds that result in our bodies rejecting simple peanuts as lethal poison is not progress. Aargh!!!

Feeding meat to cattle is not progress. No wonder they get mad.

We have reacted, we have not adapted.


Who is ‘the decider’ when it comes to the Quality of our existence. Is it the Free Market? Whom should we trust to monitor true innovation?

We are in reactive times. We fight windmills as symbols of left-wing ideology. Even Cervantes can join Chaplin in a giggle at our audacious objection to wind-blown vanes.

If we insist on procreating at a rate that the earth cannot support, then we are compelled to react. However, we do have options.

Emancipation of women would be a good start. Perhaps they would choose control of their own bodies and their decision to bear children or not. The GOP mullahs, our moral police, think otherwise. The state of Mississippi nearly banned all forms of birth control. Clearly, that state needs more people on welfare.

Education at every level would also help. But the quality of education matters. We have longer lives. What do we do with these longer lives if they have no quality?

We breathe coal fumes, eat GM peanuts and procreate profusely.

Is this progress?


Teach your children well.

That is a very broad concept that can mean many things to many people.
I ponder the question of what kind of education will be of benefit to my children and their children?

We must function within the world as it is, not as we would hope it to be.
However, if we hope to leave the earth in better shape that how we found it, I believe we are failing... miserably. We deplete its resources; pollute its atmosphere; undermine its geological stability and dis-arrange its weather patterns.

All of this is reversible, if we recognize that we are in a Reactive era.

We google, tweet, blog and poke each other in impersonal, long-distance, pretend relationships with questionable love, compassion or true friendship.

We sell our souls, our privacy and our intimacy to an Algorithmic Ether that manipulates our data and narrows our experience.

This is not progress.

The old adage suggests that knowledge is power. We are entering an era of narrowed exposure to knowledge. We know what the algorithms allow us to know. And that has infinite quantity and zero quality.


Perhaps humanity is in a perpetually, neutral condition.
Like Relativity, Energy and Mass are always interchangeable.
For what we perceive as progress, we always pay a price that neutralizes that progress in the long term.

A re-evaluation of progress is essential for the survival of our species.
We used to be afraid of nuclear annihilation. That is not the thing to be most afraid of. We should be more afraid of  progress that is not vetted.

We should fear the regression to feudalism. We should fear repression, that comes in the guise of economic or technological “progress”. 

Perhaps we should stop fighting windmills and re-discover the original, genetic makeup of a pre-Monsanto peanut that does not poison us. Don't make the cows mad!

Listen to some Bach that has not been transferred via an mp3. It might make everything make sense and help bring us back into focus.

We have a lot to learn and it seems to me that we teach our children less and less about what really matters. Perhaps that line in the American Declaration of Independence that refers to the "pursuit of happiness" is a concept worth  re-examining for all Humankind.

Etched on my stone tablet.

Editing : Batsheva