Category Archives: Satire

Who are the Real War Criminals?

The following is a comparison list of countries attacked by bombing, sabotage or attempted government overthrow since world war II.

The attackers are:  Iran (bad guys all around)

North Korea (deadly danger to global peace)

and the USA (the good guys, naturally)


International aggression:


Let’s start with Iran:  None

North Korea: None

The USA:

China 1945-46;

Syria 1949;

Korea 1950-53;

China 1950-53;

Iran 1953;

Guatemala 1954;

Tibet 1955-70’s;

Indonesia 1958;

Cuba 1959;

Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960-65;

Iraq 1960-63;

Dominican Republic 1961;

Vietnam 1961-73;

Brazil 1964;

Belgian Congo 1964;

Guatemala 1964;

Laos 1964-73;

Dominican Republic 1965-66;

Peru 1965; Greece 1967;

Guatemala 1967-69;

Cambodia 1969-70;

Chile 1970-73;

Argentina 1976;

Turkey 1980;

Poland 1980-81;

El Salvador 1981-92;

Nicaragua 1981-90;

Cambodia 1980-95;

Angola 1980;

Lebanon 1982-84;

Grenada 1983-84;

Philippines 1986;

Libya 1986;

Iran 1987-88;

Panama 1989-90;

Iraq 1991;

Kuwait 1991;

Somalia 1992-94;

Iraq 1992-96;

Bosnia 1995;

Iran 1998;

Sudan 1998;

Afghanistan 1998;

Yugoslavia-Serbia 1999;

Afghanistan 2001;

Iraq 2002-03;

Somalia 2006-07;

Iran 2005-present;

Lybia 2011.
This list does not mention Syria, Argentina or Yemen among more recent additions to the overthrow or attempted overthrow of legitimate governments and destabilization of sovereign countries scenario. Nor does it mention Israel and Saudi Arabia as aggressor nations fully dependent on US Military “aid” in their murderous overthrow efforts and successes.

After reading this list no doubt remains in my mind that the bad guys are clearly Iran and North Korea, with the US a victim of aggression caught in the crossfire between those two major aggressors.

My personal op-ed: It is my opinion therefore that the US should immediately reinstate the draft and get serious about overthrowing all governments of all nations threatening the peace of the world, beginning with Russia and China, with the EU on notice to behave and solidly support NATO, with Britain as the policeman of the EU, then just keeping that ball bouncing until Washington is the unchallenged imperial seat of the entire planet.

Mr. Trump, it’s time to really think biggly and make America, not just great again (anyone can do that and surely your ego demands more) but greater than ever; greater than any empire ever was; the very last empire to rule planet earth until Jesus returns to remove this burden from you and place you at his right hand on his heavenly throne. Can’t you already hear the angels singing, Praise to Donald Trump and God Bless America…? Of course you can!

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Desperate Times

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. Undoubtedly another of those truisms bandied about but not really well understood. That’s not exactly a surprise, that, is it.

The problem for mankind caught in the clash of civilizations, such as, for example, the onslaught of the European empires upon Africa, the Americas and the Far East, and even for many European nations, is the inability to recognize the coming of desperate times thus remaining wide open to any better armed or more hypocritical predator. By the time the people realize they’ve been conquered, it’s too late for any “desperate measures” short of committing tribal suicide in bloody battles that have no hope of succeeding.

But desperate times do not come only in times of war. They can arise in times of economic oppression conveniently labelled “depression” as if it was somehow a natural event. If the oppressor is able to hide his intent by fomenting hate, fear or greed (the basic formula for any conquest), those being economically conquered will be so busy hating, fearing and exploiting one another they will only realize their real plight when it’s too late to do anything about it; when “desperate measures” will no longer work because they can no longer be enacted.

It is my contention that both, the USA (and satellite or militarily dependent nations) and the European Union have now reached this “desperate times” condition. Predatory capitalism has firmly established itself over these lands and their benighted occupants. These occupants are now boxed in; incapable of coming up with any viable way out of their occupancy. In a very real, para-military way, all those nations reeling under unimaginable debt loads and sucking off the hind tit of international banksters are in fact occupied nations.

They are more firmly controlled and being systematically plundered than were conquered nations under the Third Reich. Banksterism is far more deadly than Nazism yet very few actually recognize this danger. That’s why the growing hype about resurgent Nazism: keep the hate and fear going, hide the plundering.

Banksterism is the traditional snake that ensnares with its eyes before it strikes. The victim is incapable of movement, unable to realize the death blow is coming. “You know this is being done for your own good now,” say the snake eyes. The victim remains hopeful until after the death strike.

It’s not that there was no warning. The “Desperate Times Ahead, Use Extreme Caution” signs have been posted planet-wide for generations, if not ages. It’s not as if there never were mass victims of desperate times which should be a warning for those heedlessly plunging ahead thinking only of the next pay check, the next purchase, the next “fuck” if you will.

The problem is, who is it that’s going to get royally “fucked” this time around? Will it be the “dirty Indians” or the “soul-less blacks of darkest Africa”? Will it be the “godless Arabs” sitting on veritable gold mines of black gold? Will it be the last tribes of the Amazon or the Malayan jungles?

Well no. Civilization has run out of those. Massacred, enslaved, bought out into hopeless poverty and refugee status, they no longer matter. They can no longer feed the banksters of predatory capitalism. Since the System can only feed itself on living flesh that produces, reproduces and reduces, the new victims are Americans and Europeans, and following that, those of China and India. All those who now depend entirely on the World Bank; the IMF; the Fed, (or any other similar agency, regardless of the name it uses) for everything, even in increasing instances for the very air they breathe.

Few ever saw the warning signs of long ago (it’s called history, for those who think studying history is so very boring), fewer yet can sense the perilous condition they’ve willingly let themselves be ensnared into. There are no desperate measures being talked about or even considered, just same old, same old, (replace the Conservatives with the Liberals, the Republicans with the Democrats, the “This” with the “That.” Add a touch of icing on the cake, like alternative energy sources and such, pathetic and pitiful handouts to the clamouring who suspect something’s about to seriously go south… to shut them up, to keep them believing and voting and consuming, even when they know they are believing in a pathocratic deity, voting for a deadly enemy and consuming each other.

Sure, fine, have your “climate change” meetings. Have your Tesla technology and pretty (or ugly) electric cars. Have your windmills of your mind. Feel better? That’s what was intended, that you feel something is being done, by somebody, about something important so you’ll remain compliant. Suck on that nipple. We don’t mind you fussing when less and less milk squirts from it, just suck harder.  It’s that trickle down thing.  It works for us, make it work for you.  Read those self help books we keep grinding out to keep you believing.  Pray to the Universe: it’s just one great big wish granting machine  eager to satisfy your every whim.  Buy the book.  If it works (guffaw!), it’s just more taxes in our pockets.)

 

Society, the Homeless and Bleach

 [Thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]          

Certainty precludes certainty.  [Synopsis of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty]

Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. [Robert Heinlein]

The realm of the possible is infinity; the realm of the likely is confined to pre-existing conditions. [Sha’Tara]

Become a believer and you no longer have to be an achiever.  Become an achiever and you no longer need to be a believer. [Y-Lea]

Love is a feeling.  Like all feelings it is an effect requiring a cause; is short-lived, easily perverted and burns itself out as emotion. [Erin WilloWitch]

Corollary: If it is true that “God is love” we have the answer to the toughest question regarding God: The Great Silence.  As “love,” God is an effect, not a cause.  The effect was experienced when nature required its presence as creator, mover, judge and ruler.  Man has arrogated divine prerogatives in all these areas thus annulling the God effect.  Strictly speaking, “God” has become an idol for those who need to believe in something greater and external to themselves, external to human powers, external to nature and the human mind, external to everything they can conceive.  Now ask yourself: Is it any wonder no one can agree on what “God” really is?  Who could ever agree on what’s external to “me”?

I woke up angry this morning.  Good angry.  Dreams can do that.  They can toss you around, flip you, leave you begging for mercy.  Dreams can be terrible reflections in the mirror of the mind.  What brought on the anger?  The growing “problem” of homelessness in this burgeoning and mushrooming area.  The growth boom is attracting many people to Canada’s concentrated, cooler, wetter, socially dysfunctional version of California.  As always, a growing society also grows social “problems.”  That’s how it is.  Gradually, a population boom leads to overpopulation.  But it’s a  comfortable disease, one that kills the body in time but for the moment brings many benefits — or should I say gratification — at least for those who hope to profit by it. 

Human society has always been a sick animal.  A mindless predator that feeds on parts of itself for its own survival.  It’s the nature of the beast and nothing any dis-empowered individual can do about it.  Since it’s made up of individuals, individuals provide society’s fodder. Society is cannibalistic (it can also go ballistic, but that’s another topic.).  So in a greedy and narcissistic aspect of society you end up with those elites who are served and those teeming numbers who serve them body and soul because they don’t know any better than to stand in front of the steam roller when it comes to town. 

Enter the homeless.  Which are they?  Interesting question.  At first glance they appear to be victims of society.  A deeper look says, “No, they are not victims.  They are that ugly image of what a selfish and self-centered society portrays to itself in its mirror.”  Metaphorically they represent a cancerous zit showing through society’s cheap make-up.

The real victims of society are those who are truly helpless, sucked dry to serve the higher needs.  The sick who become the guinea pigs for the medical “profession” and legal drug lords.  The part-time, less than minimum wage drones in the fields of dollar store commodities, shoes and clothes, fast foods, accommodation, travel and the vast network of the underpaid so-called service industry.  The expendable and starving poor, those who happen to subsist on lands that contain resources the greedy desire.  These are the real victims of society, the slaves and martyrs who make society “viable” for those on the higher rungs of the ladder.  This is a real societal problem and for this there is a very simple solution available.

But homelessness, the kind we see in the affluent society, is different.  It has no apparent solution because it’s not actually a problem per se.  Homelessness results from society looking at itself in the mirror.  When you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, the solution does not lie (!) in the mirror.  Nothing you do with, or to, the mirror, will change that.  The “solution” lies with you.  If you cannot do anything about the way you look, then maybe it’s better not to look in a mirror.  Turn it to the wall, break it, remove it.  Whatever.  What confronts you in the mirror is not a problem, it’s an image. It is you who is the problem.  

It’s easy to look at a negative situation and label it a problem.  Once that’s done, society can create another bureaucracy to look into the problem, and another to solve the problem.  Enter a new government department.  Enter the “benevolent” organization.  Enter another curse upon society, another tax burden.  And who notices that as the costs of government and benevolent societies mount, so does the so-called “problem” these were set-up to resolve?

Were I installed as dictator tomorrow and the problem of homelessness brought to my attention, I would, as absolute ruler of said society, dictate the immediate round-up of the homeless to be forced into shelters (using currently vacant buildings with proper heat and sanitary facilities installed.)  I would dictate that they be fed properly and given necessary clothing, etc.  Then I would dictate that since society is looking after them, their time belongs to society.  They live by rules as applying to everyone else, and they are put to work in areas now lacking workers due to lack of funds.  Case closed.  The  problem is not solved since it wasn’t a problem, but the situation is resolved.  And I don’t want to hear about this again.  Next?

As an individual, which thankfully I am, and not as dictator, I have a solution to the situation of homelessness.  Since it is a mirror image of a selfish and decadent society, let’s change what is being reflected, not the reflection.  Let’s deal with the real problem, not the symptom. Let’s change “us” as individuals.  Let’s turn from our narcissism and selfishness, our sickening greed, and teach ourselves to look at our neighbor with compassion. 

Lets no longer accept that “God’s in his heaven, the CEO in his penthouse, the bankster on the phone with the CEO, the President robbing the poor to pay the rich, and all’s well with the world.”  The self-centeredness creating that ugly image in the mirror has to go.  We want beauty to reflect back to us, so let’s become beautiful, in our hearts and minds.  The rest will take care of itself.

It only seems impossible because it hasn’t been done.  Let’s move from the realm of the “likely” into the realm of the possible.  By doing it.  Now.  If we become achievers, we won’t have to be believers.  Another relief.  Another burden removed from society as a whole.

Speaking of God, a downtown church’s billboard proudly announces that God is like bleach because he removes the toughest stains.  Which tells us that God has a name: Javex.  Makes sense, that being the Modern Greek translation for the old Israelite name of Jehovah.  I have used a lot of God in my bathroom and laundry over the years without ever realizing we were so close.  

Le Theatre de l’Absurde

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I’ve figured something else out from interacting with the world in the last few days, and from watching my own thoughts: we are all actors in…

(the) Theatre of the Absurd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Theatre of the Absurd (French: théâtre de l’absurde [teɑtʁ(ə) də lapsyʁd]) is a post–World War II designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work focused largely on the idea of existentialism and expressed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.[1]

Critic Martin Esslin coined the term in his 1962 essay “Theatre of the Absurd.”[2] He related these plays based on a broad theme of the Absurd, similar to the way Albert Camus uses the term in his 1942 essay, The Myth of Sisyphus.[3] The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and/or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces. This style of writing was first popularized by the 1952 Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot. Though the term is applied to a wide range of plays, some characteristics coincide in many of the plays: broad comedy, often similar to vaudeville, mixed with horrific or tragic images; characters caught in hopeless situations forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions; dialogue full of clichés, wordplay, and nonsense; plots that are cyclical or absurdly expansive; either a parody or dismissal of realism and the concept of the “well-made play“. These plays were shaped by the political turmoil, scientific breakthrough, and social upheaval going on in the world around the playwrights during these times.

While absurdists believed that life is absurd, they also believed that death and the “after life” were equally absurd if not more, and that whether people live or not all of their actions are pointless and everything will lead to the same end (hence the repetitiveness in many of these absurdist plays).

In his 1965 book, Absurd Drama, Esslin wrote:

The Theatre of the Absurd attacks the comfortable certainties of religious or political orthodoxy. It aims to shock its audience out of complacency, to bring it face to face with the harsh facts of the human situation as these writers see it. But the challenge behind this message is anything but one of despair. It is a challenge to accept the human condition as it is, in all its mystery and absurdity, and to bear it with dignity, nobly, responsibly; precisely because there are no easy solutions to the mysteries of existence, because ultimately man is alone in a meaningless world. The shedding of easy solutions, of comforting illusions, may be painful, but it leaves behind it a sense of freedom and relief. And that is why, in the last resort, the Theatre of the Absurd does not provoke tears of despair but the laughter of liberation.

There’s no Beer in Heaven – Time to get Serious

[off the cuff by   ~Sha’Tara]
It’s time to get serious.  As most know by now, I was once a very religious person.  So religious, in fact, I became religious twice.  In politics that would be called going from a liberal stance to a conservative one, or is it vice-versa?  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is, I need to confess the real reason I left religion.  Starting at the start, we do religion because we want to go to Heaven, just like we go to work because we want a paycheck.  Pretty basic.

All was well until one day, thanks to radio, I heard a song so devastating, I never recovered – I even went to an upholstery repair shop, they couldn’t help me.  (Oh, aren’t I punny!)

Here’s that infamous song by Frankie Yankovic

In Heaven there is no beer

That’s why we drink it here
And when we’re gone from here
All our friends will be drinking all that beer

The moment I heard that song, I was convicted of its utter truth.  I knew then, and still do, that people who sing these songs never lie because they are the ones the corporations use to sing commercial ditties for them, and we all know, based on their success rating that commercials absolutely NEVER LIE.  So there I was, halfway through my Heineken and my heart didn’t just sink, it plummetted.  No beer in Heaven.  They still hold to prohibition there.  Of course I was in the Christian camp so slipping on a hijab I snuck in the Islamic side to see if Allah was more open than Jehovah on drinking.  No luck, except that Allah was willing to provide a number of nubile virgins for his chosen heroes (they call themselves martyrs but all fundamentally religious people believe they are being constantly persecuted so that doesn’t mean a whole lot).  Obviously virgins, particularly of the female kind, wasn’t what I was looking for, so I excused myself, said I was just browsing, and made a rapid exit – you might understand why.  But back to my side of the fence.

After the shock, and a very satisfactory emtying of my Heineken beer, little knowing it wasn’t bottled in Holland, but at the beer plant in town,  I began to think about this.  So I’m in Heaven. Let’s just say I spent the day looking after a kindergarten bunch of rowdies and I want to retire to my “mansion” (everybody has to have a mansion in Heaven, that’s the rule, it’s in the law book – it’s for the higher tax bracket but I’m not supposed to know that), pop open the fridge and draw out a first class beer.  It’s Heaven after all, would I be sold after market crap?  But according to this song I just heard, no such luck.  It doesn’t help that I can hear the groaning and moaning along with the odd girlish cries of protest coming from the other side of the partition where the Muslim boys are going at it full bore.  In fact, it makes my blood boil, or would, if Iwas already there.  But I’m thinking here. That cheapskate Jehovah.  Here’s Allah providing seventy virgins, count them, that’s right: seventy for each one of his hero-boys to rape and pillage, and I can’t even have one lousy beer?  I mean you believe in the guy.  You serve him all your life, which can be reasonably long if he doesn’t decide to have you burned alive at the stake at nineteen as he did for Joan…

There are lots of reasons to leave one’s religion.  You’ve been fondled after Sunday school by the assistant pastor, and later on, raped by the main pastor.  That’s one reason.  You’ve been passed over for a promotion to choir leader.  The church bus left without you that day the church team was playing a rival team and they won.  You can’t become a “real” pastor ’cause you’re a girl and girls are designed by God to serve their men masters.  If you don’t believe that just ask a judge, specifically you could ask Judge Roy Moore – he’s the expert on this at the moment.  Just don’t get too close, his hands are still quite active when he’s not holding a gun in the right hand and a bible in the left.  You might be unpleasantly surprised where those fingers land.

But this song, that was the very last straw.  What’s wrong with God, anyway?  Isn’t it enough he feels women’s lives should be made hell, physically, morally, socially, financially and in any other “ally” possible?  Now he’s going to deny me my one consolation at the end of the day?  I’m committing apostasy, over beer (I said to myself).
Over beer? You ask somewhat shocked.  You bet.  So that was it.  It’s my understanding that Hell has an ample and unrestricted supply of beer.  OK, it’s raccoon piss, i.e., Canadian and American beer, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ll close this with the old truism on life.  In life, there are only two things to worry about: either you’re healthy, or you’re sick. If you’re healthy, nothing to worry about.  If you’re sick, there are two things to worry about: either you’re going to live or you’re going to die.  If you’re going to live, nothing to worry about.  If you’re going to die, there are two things to worry about: either you’re going to Heaven or you’re going to Hell.  If you’re going to Heaven, nothing to worry about (well, except the beer thing of course) and if you’re going to Hell you’ll be so busy entertaining and being entertained, you won’t have time to worry.

Confessions on War Day

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Have you ever had those moments in time when you just can’t get out of your own mind?  It’s like those dreadful days at the corporation they call “stock taking” where the business is literally shut down and everybody is expected to become, if not an accountant, at least a counting machine.  The word “boring” doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Fortunately for some of us, we were the “cutting edge” of techie support, always on call and if Lady Luck was in the mood for granting us a boon, we’d get an emergency call, preferably from some McDonald restaurant with a problem that would take at least a day or so to resolve.  We’d make sure to call in the reserves on that day, make friends all around… I digress…

In the many pigeon holes that make up the mind, there’s one large one, generally and thankfully covered over with cobwebs where we file personal information we’re not so fond of, memories of less than scintillating performances among kin, clan, fellow and fellowette students, co-workers, and drib-drabs of conversations held after mass on the church porch while our priest walked around the disappearing crowd shaking hands and soaking up congrats on his sermon.

Taking a huge leap here: I’m in one of those “stock-taking” phases, so I may as well clear the cobwebs and start pulling out the scrolls, rolls and polls.  If you already know even just a little bit about me, you know I’m inclined to tell stories.  I’ve always been able to do that and convince myself that a well told story passed off as truth isn’t a lie, it’s a skill.  It’s art.  I figure that as long as I’m not using it to suck money from the unsuspecting, no one’s hurt.  Mostly it makes it easier to live with myself, whoever that is, I’m still looking for whomever stands behind the mirror.  I don’t like surprises so I cling to my stories so that I never realize that the character behind my mirror is a crazily grinning rattling skeleton.

Be that as it may, if I have to be honest here, after scanning through some of the memory rolls I have to admit that for about half of my life I was an insufferable egotist.  I enjoyed being “in charge” and calling other people short on their performance.  I’m being truthful now, the stories will resume again later.  For the second part of my life unto this day, well, despite a lot of life changing moves, I remain a driving bitch.  I get an idea, see?  I put it through the meat grinder, observe what’s left and woe unto my immediate world if anything remains that shows it’s a valid thought.  I say what I mean and mean what I say.

I did learn this though, and that is to not impose a “new idea” upon the world until I’ve fully tested it.  If it’s going to blow anyone up, it should after all be me, not some poor unsuspecting victim.  So, you’ll ask with bated (baited?  Nah, let’s stick with the other spelling), what’s the new idea then?

I’m going to close off the memory hole now, having taken stock and looking a bit green, and let’s talk about that new idea.

In keeping with the “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God” here, this isn’t a story.  The new idea isn’t new at all.  I’ve already been bashing all and sundry with for quite some time, and I call it compassion.  “Oh yeah… (yawn) don’t we know it.  All that stuff about compassion being the great idea to save the world, and how it is incompatible with love.  Can’t you talk about something else?”

I suppose I could but remember I said, “No story: the straight goods this time.”  Yes, I am being annoying.  Yes, I am proposing a world-changing concept that people in general will do all in their power to deny, refuse outright or insist on mixing with a whole lot of sugar so it tastes basically the same as any other world changing concept ever presented to be played with and dog-fought over and thankfully amount to nothing more than establishing another money-sucking group or collective with a colourful title and great mission statement.

The sugar in this case is called love.  A cornucopia of beautiful white granules that can be spread over, or melted in, just about any other idea confection to make it palatable or even a delicacy.  Love, man’s greatest of all feel-good drug.  A spoon-full before sex legitimizes a terribly taboo performance and makes it feel even better.  A meal or two of it just before plunging in the battle of the Somme or the Gallipoli campaign.

Yes, of course love is the great sweetener of war.  No one goes to war just to kill an enemy, or just to be killed.  There aren’t that many outright psychopaths out there, or assisted suicide hopefuls.  Of course not.  And we have, at least in the West, November 11 to be reminded that our wars were and remain wars of love.  Love is what made those “fools” rush in where angels would never tread.  Love in defense of the home land and to keep our loved ones safe from a barbaric enemy.  Does it matter if your commanders, your leaders, are themselves obvious psychos and often the real aggressors?  Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die.  We do it for love.  Then we die in love, in heaps and heaps of love.  What I don’t understand is, why are these heroes of love mourned when they should be cheered while we do all that we can to ensure we too get to embark upon another warring love adventure and die for love?  Could it be there’s something not quite right with the picture?

My father, for all his faults, was a veteran of WWII.  He participated in the complete defeat of the French army in 1940, was finally captured and sent to a German prisoner of war camp.  There, despite unbelievable conditions and near starvation, he survived, met people from all over the conquered world and interacted also with German soldiers.  Surprise: they were no different than he was, if only better fed and better educated.  He rubbed shoulders with other Third Reich slaves: gypsies, not yet slated for the slaughter, communists, homosexuals, writers, philosophers, any sort the Reich saw as dangerous enemies and would squeeze to death in the war effort.  Dad, being a great communicator, made friends where it mattered and basically talked his way out of the camp and returned to Brittany to work the fields growing food for the German army holding the coast.  From there into the underground (tracer bullets, he said, are really scary shit) and from there to become a landless and penniless recently married family man forced to emigrate to Canada to try and make a living.  Love was in short supply in the real war and post-war world so maybe I learned to function without much of it myself.

So you see, I’m not the one who’s spreading bullshit stories by proposing we give “love” a break, cast it adrift, and look for something a bit more realistic upon which to build a future.  We’ve already spent all the love we could through our endless wars, and we’re expending a whole lot of that sugary nonsense in the Middle East right now.  We’re eager to cover North Korea with war-love sugar and those crazies don’t understand and want none of it.  Can’t they see how well our love has worked to this day?  Can’t they marvel at how our love wars have made the world a wonderful, humane, free, clean, safe, world where no one need ever again worry about waking up starving, to be blown up or on the wrong side of some great big beautiful wall?

Assuming I’m being just a tad sarcastic, do you see why I would propose we look at something else, something other than, something we’ve never, ever tried in its unadulterated state?  It’s so simple.
a) stop defending love as a legitimate form of interrelationship.  Admit it doesn’t work.  Let it go.  Don’t worry, it won’t go far.  It will keep braying at the barn door day after day to be re-admitted and fed in the hope of engendering new conflicts.
b) just think about compassion, nothing else, as the means to change the world.   Define it for yourself without, just this once, throwing a pinch of it in the mixing bowl amongst a heaping pile of sugary love and calling it compassion.  Try it raw, show your mettle.

That’s the challenge from this honest certifiable bitch.

The alternative is simple: find another means of change that can accomplish the same thing without all the bother of self empowerment, detachment and willingness to give to all who ask; or declare that it is preferable to stick with the tried and failed because, well, it’s what you’re used to and it’s comfortable this way.

Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted (a Tomgram article)

The following is a copied article from Tomgram (see links), there being no “reblog” button on that site.  It is an introduction to a book that sounds very intriguing.  ~Sha’Tara~

Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted
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[Note for TomDispatch Readers: If you’ve never read a book by Eduardo Galeano, believe me, your life has been lacking. Read his first book, read his last book, read something he wrote anyway. I offer you the Engelhardt guarantee: you won’t regret it. Start, if you wish, with his final volume, Hunter of Stories, featured in today’s post and then work your way back through a writer to remember.  Tom]

I’m 73, which means that saying goodbye for the last time is increasingly a part of my life.  Today, with the deepest regret, I’m bidding a final farewell at TomDispatch to one of the more remarkable writers I’ve known, Eduardo Galeano. I initially got involved with him in the early 1980s. I was a young editor at Pantheon Books and, on some strange impulse, decided to publish Genesis, the first volume of his Memory of Fire trilogy, based on no more than a few sample passages translated by the remarkable Cedric Belfrage. Call it intuition when it came to a book that had already been rejected by a number of U.S. publishers. (Admittedly, at the time I proudly thought of myself as the “editor of last resort” in New York publishing.) That modest decision launched me on the print journey of a lifetime.

This was back in the days many of you won’t remember when a book was translated and edited, often over long distances, without benefit of the Internet or email.  Belfrage had been exiled to Mexico during the McCarthy years, so he and I worked together in the old-fashioned way: by mail. (I wouldn’t meet him until years later: a little grey-haired gent with a cane who — I was still young enough to be staggered by the thought — had covered Hollywood for the British press in the silent film era.) It took forever to produce Genesis, though the process had a certain beauty to it. That first volume came out to modest attention and reviews, but its life and influence and that of the whole Memory of Fire trilogy would continue to grow in a way that only books could in those years and perhaps even in these. Eduardo was the most dramatic and beautiful of writers and he caught history — the history of these continents and of so many of the half-forgotten figures who struggled for what truly mattered — in a unique fashion, often in little passages of hardly a page or more. (I can still remember reading some of the more wonderful of them to my children as they were growing up.) I once wrote of him, “You somehow take our embattled world and tell its many stories in ways no one else can.” How true.

It took me years to meet Eduardo, since I travel nowhere, though he voyaged endlessly. (A friend of his once told him, “If it’s true what they say about the road being made by walking, you must be the commissioner of public works.”) Never have I met a man of more charisma who seemed less aware of it. Being with him was an experience because people regularly approached him to tell stories about their lives that were… well, there’s only one word for it: Galeano-esque. I saw it happen.

I’ve featured his work many times at this site, always with the deepest pleasure. This, I suspect, is the last time for both of us. The passages below are from his final, touching volume published by Nation Books, Hunter of Stories. And so, let me take this opportunity, one last time, to say goodbye, Eduardo, and thank you for everything, especially for the worlds you captured forever in words. Tom

A Visit to Heaven and Hell
Mapping Planet Earth
By Eduardo Galeano

[The following passages are excerpted from Hunter of Stories, the last book by Eduardo Galeano, who died in 2015.  Thanks for its use go to his literary agent, Susan Bergholz, and Nation Books, which is publishing it next week.]

Free

By day, the sun guides them. By night, the stars.

Paying no fare, they travel without passports and without forms for customs or immigration.

Birds are the only free beings in this world inhabited by prisoners. They fly from pole to pole, powered by food alone, on the route they choose and at the hour they wish, without ever asking permission of officials who believe they own the heavens.

Shipwrecked

The world is on the move.

On board are more shipwrecked souls than successful seafarers.

Thousands of desperate people die en route, before they can complete the crossing to the promised land, where even the poor are rich and everyone lives in Hollywood.

The illusions of any who manage to arrive do not last long.

Monster Wanted

Saint Columba was rowing across Loch Ness when an immense serpent with a gaping mouth attacked his boat. Saint Columba, who had no desire to be eaten, chased it off by making the sign of the cross.

Fourteen centuries later, the monster was seen again by someone living nearby, who happened to have a camera around his neck, and pictures of it and of curious footprints came out in the Glasgow and London papers.

The creature turned out to be a toy, the footprints made by baby hippopotamus feet, which are sold as ashtrays.

The revelation did nothing to discourage the tourists.

The market for fear feeds on the steady demand for monsters.

Foreigner

In a community newspaper in Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood, an anonymous hand wrote:

Your god is Jewish, your music is African, your car is Japanese, your pizza is Italian, your gas is Algerian, your coffee is Brazilian, your democracy is Greek, your numbers are Arabic, your letters are Latin.

I am your neighbor. And you call me a foreigner?

The Terrorizer

Back in the years 1975 and 1976, before and after the coup d’état that imposed the most savage of Argentina’s many military dictatorships, death threats flew fast and furious and anyone suspected of the crime of thinking simply disappeared.

Orlando Rojas, a Paraguayan exile, answered his telephone in Buenos Aires. Every day a voice repeated the same thing: “I’m calling to tell you you’re going to die.”

So you aren’t?” Orlando asked.

The terrorizer would hang up.

A Visit to Hell

Some years ago, during one of my deaths, I paid a visit to hell.

I had heard that in the underworld you can get your favorite wine and any delicacy you want, lovers for all tastes, dancing music, endless pleasure…

Once again, I was able to corroborate the fact that advertising lies. Hell promises a great life, but all I found were people waiting in line.

In that endless queue, snaking out of sight along narrow smoky passages, were women and men of all epochs, from cavemen to astronauts.

All were condemned to wait. To wait for eternity.

That’s what I discovered: hell is waiting.

Prophecies

Who was it that a century ago best described today’s global power structure?

Not a philosopher, not a sociologist, not a political scientist either.

It was a child named Little Nemo, whose adventures were published in the New York Herald way back in 1905, as drawn by Winsor McCay.

Little Nemo dreamed about the future.

In one of his most unerring dreams, he traveled to Mars.

That unfortunate planet was in the hands of a businessman who had crushed his competitors and exercised an absolute monopoly.

The Martians seemed stupid, because they said little and breathed little.

Little Nemo knew why: the boss of Mars had seized ownership of words and the air.

They were the keys to life, the sources of power.

Very Brief Synthesis of Contemporary History

For several centuries subjects have donned the garb of citizens, and monarchies have preferred to call themselves republics.

Local dictatorships, claiming to be democracies, open their doors to the steamroller of the global market. In this kingdom of the free, we are all united as one. But are we one, or are we no one? Buyers or bought? Sellers or sold? Spies or spied upon?

We live imprisoned behind invisible bars, betrayed by machines that feign obedience but spread lies with cybernetic impunity.

Machines rule in homes, factories, offices, farms, and mines, and also on city streets, where we pedestrians are but a nuisance. Machines also rule in wars, where they do as much of the killing as warriors in uniform, or more.

The Right to Plunder

In the year 2003, a veteran Iraqi journalist named Samir visited several museums in Europe.

He found marvelous texts in Babylonian, heroes and gods sculpted in the hills of Nineveh, winged lions that had flown in Assyria…

Someone approached him, offered to help: “Shall I call a doctor?”

Squatting, Samir buried his face in his hands and swallowed his tears.

He mumbled, “No, please. I’m all right.”

Later on, he explained: “It hurts to see how much they have stolen and to know how much they will steal.”

Two months later, U.S. troops launched their invasion. The National Museum in Baghdad was sacked. One hundred seventy thousand works were reported lost.

Stories Tell the Tale

I wrote Soccer in Sun and Shadow to convert the pagans. I wanted to help fans of reading lose their fear of soccer, and fans of soccer lose their fear of books. I never imagined anything else.

But according to Víctor Quintana, a congressman in Mexico, the book saved his life. In the middle of 1997, he was kidnapped by professional assassins, hired to punish him for exposing dirty deals.

They had him tied up, face down on the ground, and were kicking him to death, when there was a pause before the final bullet. The murderers got caught up in an argument about soccer. That was when Víctor, more dead than alive, put in his two cents. He began telling stories from my book, trading minutes of life for every story from those pages, the way Scheherazade traded a story for every one of her thousand-and-one nights.

Hours and stories slowly unfolded.

At last the murderers left him, tied up and trampled, but alive.

They said, “You’re a good guy,” and they took their bullets elsewhere.

***

Quite a few years ago now, during my time in exile on the coast of Catalonia, I got an encouraging nudge from a girl eight or nine years old, who, unless I’m remembering wrong, was named Soledad.

I was having a few drinks with her parents, also exiles, when she called me over and asked,

So, what do you do?”

Me? I write books.”

You write books?”

Well… yes.”

I don’t like books,” she declared.

And since she had me against the ropes, she hit me again: “Books sit still. I like songs because songs fly.”

Ever since my encounter with that angel sent by God, I have attempted to sing. It’s never worked, not even in the shower. Every time, the neighbors scream, “Get that dog to stop barking!”

***

My granddaughter Catalina was ten.

We were walking along a street in Buenos Aires when someone came up and asked me to sign a book. I can’t remember which one.

We continued on, the two of us, quietly arm in arm, until Catalina shook her head and offered this encouraging remark: “I don’t know why they make such a fuss. Not even I read you.”

Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015) was one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers.  He was the author of many books, including the three-volume Memory of Fire, Open Veins of Latin America, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, and The Book of Embraces.  Born in Montevideo in 1940, he lived in exile in Argentina and Spain for 12 years before returning to Uruguay in 1985, where he spent the rest of his life.  The passages in this post are excerpted from his final book, Hunter of Stories, translated by Mark Fried and about to be published by Nation Books.

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Excerpted from Hunter of Stories. Copyright © 2017 by Eduardo Galeano. English translation copyright © 2017 by Mark Fried. Available from Nation Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, Lamy, N.M., and New York City. All rights reserved.