Monthly Archives: May 2016

Defining Capitalism

thoughts from    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara

[Quote:  We have entered the looting stage of capitalism.  Desolation will be the result. – Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street journal.]

When something has always been, and you want to make a “new” point about it, a smart writer will say something like, “we’ve never seen this before…”   Look at the quote again, emphasize “entered the looting stage” as if somehow capitalism could have ever existed outside a looting stage.  Capitalism is totally predatory.  It’s akin to those great dragons of Tolkien lore that issued forth from Thangoridrim and Mordor to prey upon the worlds of Elves and Men in Middle Earth. 

It must be understood eventually, should man have an eventually, that capitalism is a debt concept.  Capitalism’s modus operandi:  “By whatever means, put the world in debt, then loot the world ostensibly to repay that debt.”  The trick for a less than bright mental human flame is to recognize the darkness that is capitalism; to call a spade a spade and admit that hey, we’ve all been royally conned, and are being even more royally conned with each passing day. 

Capitalism is a disease.  Hence the cure (should anyone with a half a brain cell want one) isn’t more of the disease.  It’s to actually call it what it is, and destroy it. 

How do you destroy capitalism?  That’s the simplest thing.  Stop going into debt, and stop putting others in debt to you.  Money doesn’t make babies.  When you are asked to pay back $15 for the $10 you borrowed, you’re being asked to either make some counterfeit money (as do those who lend it) or to steal it from your neighbour.  There is no other way under the sun that a debt incurred under capitalism can ever be repaid.   Few have any qualm about stealing from their neighbour, especially if that neighbour happens to be a total stranger, or better yet, a declared enemy. 

You don’t care?  You think that because you have a job, or your house is paid for, you can think, “I’m OK, you’re OK?”  You think that because that drone that just blew up an Afghan wedding party didn’t blow up your wedding party, it’s OK?  You think that the makers and users of the drone care more about you than about the Afghan bride and groom and their family?  You can’t figure out that the only reason you’re still alive is because you’re worth more as a consumer and you have nothing of value the predators can’t have for the taking without a fight?   

Under capitalism, anything that makes a profit is OK.  If that means perpetual war, then so be it.  If that means corruption, lies, cheating, buying the justice system, rigging elections, polluting land, sea, and air, then so be it.  If it means destroying nations and committing genocide, so be it.  This whole game has absolutely nothing to do with right and wrong; with morality; with common sense.  It has to do with dollars, yuans, rubles, and whatever makes those valuable to the psychopathic 1% of the population that has enslaved the 99% to do its bidding.

The USSR economy was collapsed because it had begun to build something that could be looted.  The Middle East is in a shambles because it has resources that can be looted.  The less-economically viable nations of the European Union (Ireland, Greece, Spain) are being looted.  Africa is  moaning in disease and drowning in bloodshed because it has natural and labour resources that can be looted.  Latin America’s democracies are being destabilized and destroyed because there are resources there the dragon of Wall Street needs to sate it’s insatiable appetite for blood and bone yards . 

And on Wall Street… or any other place where the 1% capitalist looters gather, there are hundreds of fake smiles baring blood-stained teeth when the psychopaths dance around the facsimile of the global debt cake.  And are these dragon servants to blame for the condition of the planet?  Not at all: they are performing according to their nature, and the 99% whom they have enslaved also are performing according to their own nature.  No one’s to blame.  A thing is what it is, and it isn’t something else until someone, some crazy individual says to herself, this is bullshit, I’m not following that agenda anymore. 

And when things change for that one individual, everything changes… but justice prevails: they only change for that one individual.  The rest must continue to fuel the destruction of their world by whatever means the 1% elites have chosen to exercise.  The rest must continue to pay, to fear, to worry, to harbour anger and resentment, and to die in hate and hopelessness.  

The Memory of Lavender

a poem dedicated to   ~burning woman~

Now everything that is known, or could be known, has a beginning, and nothing can be that does not begin.  There is no thought of ending here, just beginning.

And first, of what can be known of any beginning, there was the Void.  The Void was akin to nothingness, only it was not.  It was other than what we can “reverse engineer” through the past and back beyond our own beginning: we cannot go where no one has gone before.  We cannot return to the Void: one cannot return where one has never been.  We cannot go into the Void for it lies behind us, beyond a veil we cannot penetrate.

We can but look into the future for that which yet may be, but in looking into the past, however we stretch our minds to comprehend, the past remains veiled that lives beyond our own memories, or the memories of those inclined to impart parts of theirs unto us. Soon, give or take a few billion years, we come to remember only in circular patterns and we keep coming back, and back…

We have arrived “here” as evolved and adapted from that which first made us.  We were not always like this, but neither did we simply develop from a material fabric.  We were first made of thought.  Those thoughts were found within the minds of beings we cannot even begin to imagine the majesty, the power, the single-mindedness of.  These creator beings gave voices to their thoughts and sent those voices as music throughout their realms, realms which encompass not only universes but all manner of unimaginable scapes.

Thus from the Void came the Music that formed the Cosmos.  The Cosmos was imbued with Life and given the task of manipulating life in endless arrays of wonders that floated upon the Music of the Void.  Thus did the expression, “the music of the spheres” come into being among the people of this universe because in their beginning they could all hear the music, and they could all dance to it.

Such is my prelude to a greatly distant past life memory that still brings to me a vague and confused echo of the Music of the Void.

The Memory, in free verse poetic form…

Lavender
If you’d like to try your hand
at understanding Lavender
then you must be very sure
that life is not a game…
You won’t need a reason
just to be alone with Lavender
for her light so warm and pure
will draw you like a flame…
(From Approaching Lavender by Gordon Lightfoot)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I gave myself the name of Lavender
Oh, it was so long ago
in the very first meadow
among the fireflies and the honeysuckle
when no one else had yet awakened
from the dream we had shared.

I stood alone and viewed the world
as it looked before the first sunrise,
starlight reflecting from the waters
rippling gently upon swaying branches
of the as-yet unnamed trees.

In the wild unknown fullness of night
which others such as I still feared
where countless things had not yet appeared
I stepped forth sensing the land’s desire
and finally came to rest upon a hill
lulled by the call of a whippoorwill.

When I awoke from my sleep
the long night stretched forth beyond time
under a canvas of spinning stars
and a soft glow surrounded me:
the land’s open invitation to explore
all the veiled things she had in store.

I rose from my bed of sweetgrass
forever endowed with the fragrance of life,
and the soft touch of the flowers of Earth —
for such was the name of the world I beheld
when I was called to awaken from my dream —
and from the hill gushed forth a young stream.

Many years, long and short, have passed
and Earth, awakened under sun and moon
filled with light-seeking life blossomed wildly,
birthed in rash and spontaneous joy —
but came the starless darkness, and I cried
as in the endless burning so much died.

Though burdened now with cares and sorrows,
my earth body changed, aged, worn, broken —
in heart I remain true to my awakening dream
and still upon a hopeful earth I choose to wander.
I remain the same as on my first night, Lavender
whose breath retains the freshness of flowers
which now grow but between endless tombs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh, sweet Lavender
your smile is like the golden sun;
I’d love to see you laugh and run
as naked as the sea

Oh sweet Lavender
as fragrant as the name you bear
please cast away the clothes you wear
and give your love to me…
(From: Approaching Lavender, by Gordon Lightfoot)

 

My Thoughts and I – a poem

I have discovered that many bloggers like to communicate with poetry.  Now, I need to admit, here and now, that I’m definitely “poetry challenged” and most poems just zoom right over my head without even experiencing a down draft.  Oh, hey, it’s not for lack of trying, but if you’re left handed, there isn’t much you can do with that clumsy right hand.  So I’m a left brain poetry reader and I don’t think the left brain was ever designed for that.  Be that as it may, I thought I’d throw something in the pot, seeing as it’s a long weekend here and all… 

Trigger Warning:  not issue oriented, and contains no conspiracies.

My Thoughts and I, a poem

In a wild field I see flowers and a butterfly
And in my mind, many thoughts flutter by.
Some of those thoughts make me cry,
And of those I don’t need to ask why.
Then there are those that make me high
Not of a drug high but of a sky high.
There were some I could shape into a lie
And finally, the very last one, made me sigh.
In the grass we slept in peace, my thoughts and I.

(Whew… thank whomever, whatever, that’s done!)

A Day at the Race Track

       [a thankfully short imaginary trip down a twisted memory trail – by Sha’Tara]

I’m trying to imagine a place, first of all.  Then something special about that place.  Logically, what comes next, if this is going to end well, is imagining a story that has to be dragged out of a vision about that special thing from the very place.

Well, a place should have a name, shouldn’t it?  The question is, should the name be of some familiar, everybody knows, place, or should I imagine some kind of fictional place which would much easier lend itself to any sort of story, much as a stranger’s story is likely to be much more interesting, never having been heard, and possessed of a tangy doubt of credibility, than a friend’s whose stories we’ve all heard, often too often, and to which we now listen out of politeness, not bated breath.  Ah, a name, a name – Oh, the pain!  Eureka! I have it:  Cussack’s Corner.  But don’t worry, it’s not as small as it sounds.  Just imagine a very large corner that everybody has painted themselves into and can’t get out of, not particularly out of fear of messing up a still wet landscape, but for the much greater likelihood of being shot for trespassing.

If it’s to be imagined, that entails anticipation.  Not only from those who will read this story, but primarily by the imaginator.  What is an imaginator, you may ask, and why not use an already created word for same?  Well, an imaginator is an artist who not only creates a work of art, but who makes it come alive.  That makes me wonder if I have that in me – it’s a tall order.  Nevertheless, one’s reach should, ever and anon, exceed one’s grasp, so at the risk of finding out the painful truth, I think I shall attempt to imagine a story, then create it.  Thus, imaginator: dreamer, shaper, describer, writer, soul-giver.  As the imaginator it stands to reason I had to invent, or create, a proper term for myself.  “God” came to mind, and it is a good one, but dreadfully overused, and somewhat over the top in this case.  I’ll pass.

Not wanting to delve into science fiction I’m choosing earth as the place for my place.  After all, it’s already here, why not use it?  Now, I need a time frame.  I need a season.  I need a prairie, an ocean, a park in a city, a small village or town, something, anything!  Finally I need a drama, or a comedy.  Ah, so many delightful choices, so little time!  Give me time, or give me death!  I’ll let you guess at some of the above by delving into my unabashed creative genius while you thrill at my penciful descriptive powers.

Stanley McGuire was his name.  Until the day in question, and, I must admit at the outset that it shall remain a day in question, a rather unremarkable name, whose bearer was known locally at work, the huge tire re-capping plant on Industrial Road; at a couple of local pubs and at the stock car races where Stan spent most of his otherwise, non-pub, non backyard barbecue, non-bowling alley time as a sort of stand-in would-be driver.  Stan fancied himself quite the professional know-it-all of track activities, and thought himself a most accomplished driver.  His problem was, he didn’t own a car, and despite his earnest talk, was never asked to drive anyone else’s either except for test runs at which Stan also did not excel.  When you roll a rather expensive car on a test run, that’s got to take out a couple of gold stars from your driving record.

But it was the kind of place where Stan felt truly at home.  There was the burning rubber and fumes to inhale with gusto; the heavenly racket; the excitement of loudspeaker announcements of winners (and losers); the camaraderie of others like himself who all pretended to like each another, and most of all, the beer.  For Stan there was nothing like a six-pack of cold beers to give meaning to a Saturday and Sunday at the track.  For Stan, as you have readily surmised already, was quite the philosopher in his own mind, even if it was a one-track mind.  (Please excuse the pun – if you’re in the excuse mode.  If not, oh well, it takes some to leave some…)

Well, let’s see.  I’ve got my man, and I placed him in his own little paradise.  Truly Biblical.  Touching too.  But Stan is lonely, walking among the cars, winners, losers and wanna-be’s.  Among all these wonderful things, anyone can see that the imaginator is either artless or heartless.  Where be poor Stan’s mate?  Where his home where he goes nights to repose his tired head?  Who is there to praise him, adore him and comfort him; to assure him that he is the paragon of men and mates?  No one, it would seem.  Was that an oversight, or a deliberate writer’s trick to gain the reading public’s sympathy for an otherwise rather every-day sort of guy of the redneck variety?  Time will tell because time must.  That is, after all, time’s business and no one, nothing, can be counted on to stick to its business like time.  Time is always on the clock, 24-7.  You can bet the house on that one, take it from me.

Well, on this particular Sunday, with Goodyear, Dunlop and fat balloon man Michelin flags beginning to wake up to a late afternoon hesitant breeze after a somewhat murky, muggy day; with most of the racers already loaded in, or on, their respective trailers to be hauled who knows where and three-quarters of racing fans having left the field in one solid cloud of slowly settling thick brown dust, Stan, driving his Dodge “guts and glory” Super Ram followed the others out past the gate.  Stan, though quite the philosopher, you may have guessed wasn’t one to give much thought to natural surroundings, but he noticed that he felt lighter if he looked at the Entry gate rather than the Exit one on the way through.  It was a bit like re-living the expectations of the morning.  How he wished it was still morning, with his anticipations running wild or at least as wild as anyone with Stan’s IQ and imagination can run wild.  Alright, no one’s expecting a stampede.  Perhaps more like a race between two cockroaches across the kitchen counter to that overlooked dried up crumb of cheese still stuck to the plastic wiener wrapper.

Should we follow Stan as he makes the sweeping right-hand turn unto the lane leading to the bridge over the Tamarack river to Stan’s not-so-remarkable digs in a ubiquitous trailer park tucked for comfort and security under a projecting rock beneath Joseph mountain?  Sure, why not.  It isn’t like he will object since it’s only because of our curiosity that Stan actually exists at all.  With cliff-hanger suspense we follow and watch Stan pull into his driveway, deftly avoiding the two wrecks, a once-navy blue rusty Chevy Blazer minus a  hood and motor on the left side, and a dusty yellow nondescript once-pickup truck minus three of four wheels and a box, on the right.  Stan’s Ram stops inches from the sagging front steps leading to the yet-to-be imagined insides of a single-wide trailer that had seen better days over fifteen years earlier.

Are you still with me?  I wouldn’t blame you if you aren’t but there’s a story in store write here.  Yes, write here, right now.  What would happen if someone, some daring soul, were to say, “Left now” instead of “Right now”?  You’d probably get “the look” is it were, if said to someone who happens to know you, and your particular bent for corny jokes.  I like corny jokes.  It’s like popcorn at the movies.  It’s not the movie, of course, just popcorn, but if one were to judge by the number of folks who just love to get supremely ripped-off buying popcorn at the counter before entering the holy of holies to have their eardrums blown out of existence; their eyes lied to with special effects and their remaining strands of imagination utterly deadened, there has to be something to it.  I digress of course, but it’s my prerogative, I’m the imaginator, I own this computer, and those are my fingers running wild over the keyboard.  A slam-dunk, hey Stan!

Remember Stan?  We had him cornered up there.  I think he’s still there, opening the door to his own peculiar style of Eden.  Well, here’s a twist!  Out of the bedroom, languidly stretching, comes Dancer.  Oh, she’s beautiful, and not a stitch on, just her own particularly lovely russet fur.  With tongue lolling, she greats Stan with large soulful brown eyes and a couple of tail-wags, just enough to let him know that she appreciates his showing up for dinner.  After a heart-warming reunion over kibbles and left-over cold wieners, a couple of slices of white bread to hold the mayo and pickles and a couple of beers, the two friends sit side-by-side in front of the TV to watch re-runs of WWF.  Eventually, as always, they both fall asleep.

A fitting end to a beautiful day.  And a fitting end to six harrowing days of creation for the imaginator.  Tomorrow, even if promised to no one, is another day.  Perhaps a day of well-preserved rest.

Thank you again, my faithful reading public, for your stalwart support.  I shall never forget your heartfelt applause as I humbly accept the Writer of the Moment award, the Pullet Surprise and gaze at my picture as New York Times Best Seller for the nth non-time in a row.  I am blessedly dessicated and humblified.

                           The Trial of Earth
[thoughts from the mind of  ~burning woman~  ]

The verdict is in, from a jury of one: “Planet earth is…”

Wait.  Let’s examine some highlights of the trial before the verdict is revealed. 

The following is a caption of evidence presented, and closing remarks made, from both prosecution and defense in the great case called the trial of Earth.  Though only a mock trial, the final verdict will be recorded for future generations to ponder.

It’s wasn’t at all black and white.  I was swayed, here and there, by presentations and arguments, and of course throughout the trial I had problems with much of the evidence.  Problems of conscience, I guess you’d call it.  Perhaps problems with aesthetics, although that is not my area of expertise.  Problems of responsibility, certainly.  I would be deciding the “reputation” of a world that has been mine for several lives, and judging a people, some of whom provided me with parenthood, upbringing, guidance and the wherewithal for survival.  On the other hand I have to also remember that my life in many instances was terminated, often violently and painfully, also by some Earth people.  The dichotomy of earth: the giving and the taking, all with expectations, none with permission.   

From the beginning of the trial, it was obvious that the prosecution was going to focus almost entirely on man’s treatment of his world, and also wander through the whole concept of predation.  A whole lot of destruction; of blood and gore.  National Geographic videos of predators stalking and killing their prey followed by disingenuous arguments designed to “prove” that man’s predatory ways were rooted in his mammalian evolutionary past, arguments which the prosecution easily tore to shreds.  These were followed by old movies from various wars, and new ones from genocide documentaries in various parts of the planet.  Anecdotes were told about the Inquisition tortures, and the crusades; the conquests of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great.  Massacres by the British Raj armies in India and Pakistan.  More pictures of the Nazi holocaust of Jews and other “lesser races” in WWII.  My Lai, Wounded Knee, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Armenia, the American and Spanish civil wars… until my eyes were so wet I couldn’t see anymore, and my ears were drowned in pathos.

Yet those weren’t the worst events I was to be subjected to.  There came modern images of city landscapes; of overcrowding, inadequate public services and horrible conditions in jails and detention centers; of strip mining and logging; of the burning of the Amazon rain forest.  Then came pictures and videos of child slave labour in mines all over the world; of pornographic “studios” and child sex trade.  Many pictures of homeless people and refugees in hastily erected camps, without food, water or protection for women from armed male predators.  Pictures of bodies after man-made catastrophes like mine cave-ins and Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  Images and videos of massive crude oil spills, particularly the BP spill in the gulf of Mexico.  Videos of men killing women and burning them, sometimes while still alive; of cruelty to animals in zoos, on farms and particularly in slaughter houses.  Picture after picture of contaminated waters and lands with bloated bodies of birds, fish and animals; of skylines forever hidden in toxic smog and fumes.  And noise, noise so loud and ear-wracking as to make one want to slip away to some hell just for a break. 

I must admit the defense did its best to counter that avalanche of horror.  Obviously someone had gone on Google or Facebook or wherever and collected thousands of beautiful images of a pristine planet.  Birds flying through the skies, alone, in pairs or in flocks as in murmuration performances.  Birds in trees and fields, one particular field white with the presence of snow geese feeding.  Hummingbirds buzzing each other in amazing aerial displays and feeding from flowers and home feeders.  Lions and monkeys lazing around on the ground or in trees, yawning, or grooming each other, their young playing harmlessly around them.  Monarch butterfly swarms. Fish swimming streams on their spawning runs.  Antelopes running free.  I heard the beautiful cacophony of birds and tree monkeys in equatorial forests; the soothing sound of rain forest downpours through thirsty leaves; the thunder of majestic waterfalls and the vista of high, snow-capped mountains, their tops pink in the rising and setting suns.  The inviting swells of waves on the open oceans.  A clear night with a camera pointing at the stars and the aurora borealis. 

Another witness brought forth a varied collection of man’s art: paintings, drawings, music, plays, movies and various colourful and pleasing performances.  A new born baby in its mother’s arm; another suckling at the breast.  Naked children running after retreating waves on a beach somewhere.  A young boy sitting alone on a grassy knoll also somewhere, looking out over the land with a look of intense wonder in his face; a look of hope for a good and peaceful future.  Colourful dances; individuals tending their backyard gardens.  Many were the presentations and they were very, very good.

The case for the defense was almost over the top, but it just wasn’t enough.  I knew that if push came to shove, the defense had fired all of its guns whereas the prosecution had only touched the surface of the nightmare and was ready to launch more salvos.  It would not be needed. 

My verdict is unequivocal and final:  earth is a dump.  It is a natural, moral and social waste land. 

Roughly 90% of that is due to man; 10% due to natural violence.  According to the rules of this trial there are grounds for appeal but they are rigid.  Man must stop exploiting and oppressing; the earth must give up on her own violence.  Any appeal can only be granted upon these two conditions being met.