Tag Archives: freedom

I Like Thinking

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

I like thinking.  I think it’s quite my favourite occupation.  Much of the time spent thinking, I even think about thinking.  I wonder too, while thinking, what thinking really is.  I know what it does, but how has that incredible ability develop so that “I” could have it, and for free too? 

You don’t get much of any value for free these days, and what remains the powers that be are sitting in board rooms, and expanding R&D facilities to find ways and means to steal that from the general public and sell it back to them, drugged and artificially flavoured.

I’m wondering, which is a sibling of thinking, if they are trying to find ways to steal our thinking freedom to sell it back to us in the form of pills, propaganda, brainwash and blatant stupidity?

Oh, what am I saying!  They’ve always done that.  They brainwashed you with Religion since the infancy of the species.  Then came the “short fingered vulgarians” (a term I am borrowing from Emma in https://goodmarriagecentral.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/our-positive-disintegration/ )which she used to refer to Donald Trump, but which also serves equally well for all the BadBullyBoys of our past and present who have masqueraded as rulers, leaders and general psychopathic mayhem makers and thieves of gargantuan proportions.  Otherwise known as government, and banking, of course.

In this last century, half of which I slipped through unseen but observing, we experienced much more intense brainwashing in the form of ads from newspapers (remember those?), magazines (ditto?) radio, TV, and now the Infernet.  Some have the brainless gall to think of it as informational.  Gag me!  “Ads by Google” and “Rate this Ad.” – Rate an ad?  Are they serious?  Are people so unthinkingly, utterly brain dead that they would consider rating an ad as “good”?  “Please rate our slap in your face: was if effective?  Like it here.” “Rate this lie, here.”  “Tell us how we’re doing.  Are we stealing enough of your money or can you find ways to help us improve our Corporate Thievery? Click here to participate.

Then, in case anyone got through all of that and is still capable of an iota of free thinking, they lathered society with sports and various entertainment and entertainers to make up your mind for you.  Here you cheer for the reds, and here you’ll get clobbered if you don’t support the blues and oh, don’t miss this on YouTube: rapper JarPlixBop was interviewed and gives a brilliant analysis on the coming election.  If you’re still hesitant on who to vote for, listen to that interview: just brilliant!

There’s a whole Walmart super store of other prepackaged thinking that’s part and parcel of civilization.  Most people like shopping, enjoy wasting money on stupid stuff and stunts.  It’s all there, on the shelves, in the bubble packs, hanging by the checkout counters.  Buy, buy, buy and say goodbye to your own thinking powers.

The only problem with pre-packaged thinking is, a pile of feces freshly dumped can appear shiny and even brilliant in the proper light, but I’d still advise not to get too close. Look at it the next day and you’ll notice that much of the sheen has gone and the “shit flies” are having a field day on it.  That in itself should be food for thought, and thought, which arises from thinking, is what I was going to write about.

I like thinking.  I like linking thinking, stringing it out as far as I can make it go, wondering, which is another aspect of thinking, how far I can think it.  Did you know you can’t out-think thinking?  It just keeps on.  All you need do is follow, and open doors and gates as you get to them, keep following.

There’s all sort of thinking.  There’s directed thinking, like when you want to participate in an open discussion and try to stick to the subject at hand.  There’s recreational thinking which is a lot of fun, especially if you happen to be alone and need someone to play with.

Nothing however beats wild thinking.  That’s my favourite type of thinking.  Suddenly you encounter it, as if out of nowhere (which as everybody knows, is left of everywhere and what’s left of everywhere) and you decide, heck, I’ll follow him today.  So you think-track your way through a wilderness of thoughts you had never even dreamed could have existed.  You realize that all your life it was this close, so close you could have been a thinking wanderer lo those many years.  But never mind, you’re now tracking the Sasquatch of Sasquatches.  You’re swimming after the Loch Ness monster and practically holding it by the tail.

Wild thinking knows no boundaries, none whatever.  The more you track wild thinking the more of societal dummied-down, drugged sluggishness oozes from your mind.  You begin to feel your freedom and before you know it, you really are free.  You realize you can exercise your own thinking in an increasingly pristine wilderness of thinking where free thought meets free thought and the greatest love affair of all times begins to coalesce.

From the heights of the wildest mountain imaginable you look back upon the smog-filled valleys; you remember the noise, the commotion, the hates and fears and doubts that polluted both mind and body, and you know you’ll never go back down again.

I think of a simple ladybug.  It finds a blade of grass, or a finger pointing up (it doesn’t care if it’s the middle finger), walks up to the top… and takes off but only when it reaches the top.

I can think whatever I want.  There is no power in heaven, on earth, or in hell, that can force me to think otherwise.  If I say to myself, I think so, or I don’t think so, that is the one thing I can totally rely on to be true.

“I am therefore I think.”  (Sorry Mr. Descartes but that is the way it is.)

 

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The Problem with Freedom, by George Monbiot

Comment to this “reblog” article:

We, as a word species, possess some great buzz-words we love to use as much as possible.  They are “feel good” words that are so deeply traditional that they require no thinking at all…none.  That they are a Pandora’s box of confused meaninglessness doesn’t enter our mind in the least.  These are feelings and conversation boosters prescribed by our Matrix to explain everything that evidence, observation and common sense would have the nerve to tell us, isn’t so.  Enter the fix-it words: love, family, nation, God, democracy, motherhood, freedom.  Claim to be in league with any of the above, or on a mission to uphold these concepts, and shut up, or crush, all opposition.  Great words, until you set them down, one at a time, and start examining them, their meaning; your relationship to any one of them.  Of course we’re not supposed to ever do that.  If we did, it would indicate that we actually doubt these great concepts, we’re not sure that they are truly absolute in value.  “Do Not Enter” says the Matrix sign.  Believe, don’t think. 

But what if you do think about them?  As George Monbiot points out here, what is the real meaning of freedom?  Well, it depends who is talking about it.

The Problem With Freedom – monbiot.com


The Problem With Freedom

Posted: 07 Apr 2017 01:05 AM PDT

Freedom is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 5th April 2017

Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it. Today the value is freedom. Freedom is a word that powerful people use to shut down thought.

When thinktanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean. Freedom for some, they suggest, means freedom for all. In certain cases, this is true. You can exercise freedom of thought and expression, for example, without harming other people. In other cases, one person’s freedom is another’s captivity.

When corporations free themselves from trade unions, they curtail the freedoms of their workers. When the very rich free themselves from tax, other people suffer through failing public services. When financiers are free to design exotic financial instruments, the rest of us pay for the crises they cause.

Above all, billionaires and the organisations they run demand freedom from something they call “red tape”. What they mean by red tape is public protection. An article in the Telegraph last week was headlined “Cut the EU red tape choking Britain after Brexit to set the country free from the shackles of Brussels”. Yes, we are choking, but not on red tape. We are choking because the government flouts European rules on air quality. The resulting air pollution frees thousands of souls from their bodies.

Ripping down such public protections means freedom for billionaires and corporations from the constraints of democracy. This is what Brexit – and Trump – are all about. The freedom we were promised is the freedom of the very rich to exploit us.

To be fair to the Telegraph, which is running a campaign to deregulate the entire economy once Britain has left the EU, it is, unusually, almost explicit about who the beneficiaries are. It explains that “the ultimate goal of this whole process should be to … to set the wealth creators free.” (Wealth creators is the code it uses for the very rich). Among the potential prizes it lists are changes to the banana grading system, allowing strongly curved bananas to be categorised as Class 1, a return to incandescent lightbulbs and the freedom to kill great crested newts.

I suspect that the Barclay brothers, the billionaires who own the Telegraph, couldn’t give a monkey’s about bananas. But as their business empire incorporates hotels, shipping, car sales, home shopping and deliveries, they might be intensely interested in the European working time directive and other aspects of employment law, tax directives, environmental impact assessments, the consumer rights directive, maritime safety laws and a host of similar public protections.

If the government agrees to the Telegraph’s proposed “bonfire of red tape”, we would win bent bananas and newt-squashing prerogatives. On the other hand, we could lose our rights to fair employment, an enduring living world, clean air, clean water, public safety, consumer protection, functioning public services and the other distinguishing features of civilisation. Tough choice, isn’t it?

As if to hammer the point home, the Sunday Telegraph interviewed Nick Varney, the chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, in an article claiming that the “red tape burden” was too heavy for listed companies. He described some of the public protections companies have to observe as “bloody baggage”. The article failed to connect these remarks to his company’s own bloody baggage, caused by its unilateral decision to cut red tape. As a result of overriding the safety mechanism on one of its rides at Alton Towers, which was operating, against the guidelines, during high winds, 16 people were injured, including two young women who had their legs amputated. That’s why we need public protections of the kind the Telegraph wants to destroy.

The same ethos, with the same justification, pervades the Trump administration. The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, is seeking to annul the rules protecting rivers from pollution, workers from exposure to pesticides and everyone from climate breakdown. It’s not as if the agency was over-zealous before: one of the reasons for the mass poisoning in Flint, Michigan was its catastrophic failure to protect people from the contamination of drinking water by lead: a failure that now afflicts 18 million Americans.

As well as trying to dismantle the government’s climate change programme, Trump is waging war on even the most obscure forms of protection. For example, he intends to defund the tiny US Chemical Safety Board, which investigates lethal incidents at chemical plants. Discovering what happened and why would be an impediment to freedom.

On neither side of the Atlantic are these efforts unopposed. Trump’s assault on public protections has already provoked dozens of lawsuits. The European Council has told the UK government that if it wants to trade with the EU on favourable terms after Brexit, companies here cannot cut their costs by dumping them on the rest of society.

This drives the leading Brexiters berserk. As a result of the Pollution Paradox (the dirtiest corporations have to spend the most money on politics, so the political system comes to be owned by them), politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have an incentive to champion the freedom of irresponsible companies. But it also puts them in a bind. Their primary argument for deregulation is that it makes businesses more competitive. If it means those businesses can’t trade with the EU, the case falls apart.

They will try to light the bonfire anyway, as this is a question of power and culture as well as money. You don’t need to listen for long to the very rich to realise that many see themselves as the “independents” Friedrich Hayek celebrated in The Constitution of Liberty, or as John Galt, who led a millionaires’ strike against the government in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. Like Hayek, they regard freedom from democracy as an absolute right, regardless of the costs this may inflict on others, or even on themselves.

When we confront a system of propaganda, our first task is to decode it. This begins by interrogating its sacred value. Whenever we hear the word freedom, we should ask ourselves, “freedom for whom, at whose expense?”.

http://www.monbiot.com

Innocence finds her Freedom

[a poem, by Sha’Tara]

Innocence, what is that,
that anyone should care?
What does it produce
but chatter and silliness?
Innocence, how wasteful
of a life in need of direction.
We are here, we are here,
bring the child to our doors,
we’ll take her from here.
We’ll mold her character 

and teach her the Way.

Innocence flew off
frightened by the noise,
the angry words, the tears,
the blows that fell upon
that soft helpless flesh.
Farther and farther it circled,
rising up to the windows:
finding a broken pane
it slipped out and flew away.

On the cement walk
three floors below
the old school yard
a small body lies
battered, bloody, dead.
Innocence has broken out,
free at last, and happy
once again laughing
among the blue and the white
where the free winds blow.

What price freedom?
Don’t ask why: you know
there was no better way.

 

Walking Barefoot and going Naked

[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  ]

There’s been quite a bit of talk out here in blog planet about walking barefoot.  It is even said that walking barefoot on the earth is healing to the body.  A dangerously revolutionary concept in re-awakening awareness and consciousness of what it means to have a physical body that is meant to be connected to the earth, not to a rising megalith of technology.  So let’s look at man the civilized technocrat as he proudly stands today, master of his earth domain, and let’s look at an alternative lifestyle, a what-if when man encountered a fork in the road of his evolution and chose the path of civilization and technology over the path offered by nature.  At the start of man’s right-hand path choice he didn’t realize that his civilization could only proceed to the degree that he conquered, denigrated and systematically destroyed all vestiges of his natural roots.  Man’s new world would be an artificial one which in the end would enslave him completely.

Technology has made man less and less sensitive to the natural environment.  It’s given rise to several generations of whiners, bitchers and complainers about “the weather” even from those whose sole contact with the great bane of “the weather” consists of a dozen or so steps from a centrally heated or air-conditioned building to a heated or air-conditioned vehicle.  But it’s not just modern technology that has made man into an unnatural borg-like creature: it’s all of man’s civilization right from the beginning.

Archaeology demonstrates that man’s civilizations arise spontaneously as if out of nowhere and from nothing, without natural or rational explanation for their sudden appearance only to fall prey to destruction and decay over and over again.  Our great global capitalistic-technocratic civilization today is poised on the edge of its own irrevocable downfall, the “sword of Damocles” hanging over its raison d’être.  And here we go again, and this going is being accompanied by horrendous loss of human life, of indigenous species and this time may well result in a planetary eco-environmental disaster making current non-mutated biological life as we know it impossible.  I’m not saying anything new here and it’s all available to anyone who still doesn’t get it. 

So let’s go back to that famous fork in the road; the great bifurcation.  At the time, most Earthians chose to ignore the lure of civilization and quietly took the left hand path leading to the fair, sweet, unspoiled empty lands and wilderness for which man and his fellow earth wanderers, were made.  They walked away in their innocence, naked and unafraid, to pluck juicy fruits dangling from healthy trees and vines, roots and herbs growing along the path for the digging and the picking. 

Oh, and here’s a tidbit of information most, if not all, “civilized” Earthians are blissfully unaware of, and deliberately so: on that left hand path into the untamed frolicky wilderness of earth there were then no predators.  That’s right, and I can just hear the intake of breath, see the snide smile and the shaking of the head: nuts!  Yes, there were lots of nuts, also for the picking, and free as everything else.  But seriously, those terrible predators that get so much mileage in Disney movies and corny virtual reality shows, and so much bad press from children’s tales… they lived side by side with man and his children and everybody was… vegetarian.  There was no killing; no bloodshed and very little pain.  Death came about naturally, was accepted, and nature continued to offer her bounty as that which died returned to the soil to become part of that which lived on. 

For those who think they really know the “Bible”… here’s a quote to make anyone think:

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

I imagine a world where the choice of paths had not materialized; where “normal” was not interfered with.  What would earth look like today if man had not become civilized and had not “discovered” technology?  Let’s look at the obvious and let’s try to determine if man made the correct choice in not only making an idol of civilization and technology, but forcing those who had not, into it’s polluting, deadly melting pot, and if they would not, enslaving them and killing them outright. 

What happens if you don’t wear shoes, but must walk barefoot?  You are basically guided by your feet: you cannot go where the terrain would destroy, burn or freeze your feet, so you remain in foot-friendly zones.  The rest remains for the livelihood and safety of “others.”

What happens if you don’t learn to wear clothing?  Again, your body dictates where you may live.  Any area too cold, too wet or otherwise too harsh for “the naked ape” body would be naturally eschewed.  So those areas would remain the domain of others who could live there and man would never become a threat to them. 

What happens if you don’t learn to make heated shelters?  Again, your species is limited to those temperate zones where sheltering or sleeping comfortably on freshly strewn grasses and leaves can be done.  You stay within zones nature says are suitable for you and you leave the rest alone.  And again, the “others” can find their own life in non-threatened areas of the planet.  

What happens if you don’t learn to make and wear armour in battle?  You remain much more vulnerable to sticks and stones and choose to avoid pitched battles with strangers, instead making attempts to live in relative peace with them.  You don’t become “warriors” in any case because you really have nothing to defend.  You can always move on.

One can see by the above that “overpopulation” and the Earthian species overrunning space naturally reserved for others would not have happened without civilization.  Also man would not have developed the incredibly stupid hubris of inventing weapons of mass destruction to threaten not only his own civilization, but all others and perhaps the living biosphere.    

And here’s one more: what happens if day in, day out, everybody around you, from baby to oldest remains naked?  Well surprise, surprise but you don’t notice such a thing as unusual.  So you don’t become a misogynist male; you don’t rape your women or young boys.  You don’t need books of laws of sexual taboos with attached punishments for violating those laws.  When you need sex, which in non-civilized societies isn’t the driving sickness it is in crowded, controlled, stifled city-type living, it is easily and simply satisfied for both sexes. 

In conclusion I want to repeat a teaching I got from one of the Teachers, Phaelon.  In his list of attributes that define a true human being, was this one:  “When you find you can walk naked among others of your own species and feel no shame, know that you are a human being.”

Which closes this essay:  Why do Earthians feel ashamed to be seen naked by each other?  Why do they experience the need to measure themselves by how their bodies look to others through pride or shame?  Why do they associate nudity with sexuality?  And why does this shame persists even among those who have deliberately rejected organized Religions and the gods who purportedly made those arbitrary and unnatural rules regarding sex, gender identity, and the type of clothing a male and a female may wear?

I am completing this sitting at my back yard computer “desk” under a bright, clear autumn sun… totally naked and feeling wonderful.   Want to join me? 

 

 

Thanya of Norda

While Roger at Woebegone but Hopeful (https://heroicallybadwriters.com/2016/09/05/a-true-history-of-the-isles-part-12-the-vikings-arrive-a-aaa-a-ha-a-eeya-a-ha/#respond)

is entertaining us with his hilarious history of the British Isles, his 12th part with the arrival of the Vikings reminded me of this story I wrote some time back, based on a past life remembrance.  Unlike Roger’s stories however, this one is not humorous.
____________________________________________

Thanya of Norda
          a short story – by Sha’Tara

My name is Thanya.  I live on the coast of Norda, in a poorly fortified village.  My people are woodsmen, fisherfolk and farmers.  We constitute one of the main centers on the coast and my father and mother are considered to be the Chiefs.  I have an older brother who is a great hunter and whom I admire.

This part of my story begins when I am fourteen years, according to the Christian calendar.  In the late Summer the feared and hated Norsemen raid our village.  Our men are overwhelmed and put to the sword.  I see by father and brother die.  I pick up a sword to defend myself but I cannot handle the weight of it.  I’m quickly disarmed and brought to the leader of the raiders.  I can hear the cries of the women and the children, some being raped and killed, others rounded up, tied and put aboard the boats to be sold as slaves down the coast.  I can see and smell the smoke as our homes are systematically destroyed and burned.

A tall, red-haired and red-faced man stands in front of me.  He tears my clothes off and has me put to my knees, my wrists pulled back and tied to my ankles.  He straddles me and lifts his sword.  Laughing, he brings it down as if to cut me in half but swings it aside.  I curse him for letting me live.  He rapes me.  I scream a “prophecy” at him:  “I will have your son and when you return here he will kill you!”  He laughs again, has me untied and held away from him.  He says to me: “For that I will let you live and go free.  If indeed you have my son and if indeed he lives to defeat me in battle, I shall freely confer my title and properties to him.  I am King Garthul.  If you survive, remember that name, wench.”

They rowed off the shore, then sailed away with their spoils.  I found some rags to cover myself and tried to cover the bodies of the dead.  I covered my father and brother.  I found no trace of my mother so assumed she had been taken prisoner.   I did not have the strength to drag them onto a pyre and burn them, so I left and entered the forest.  I found shelter in a cave made from a hollow windfall and survived my first winter on nuts, roots and dried husks of fruit hanging from branches or lying in clumps of grass.  I gave birth to a healthy son in the Spring and took him deep into the forest, not knowing what to do.  I found other survivors and eventually convinced most of them to return to the coast, to my village.  We gathered the bones of the dead and burned them, then performed the ritual of cleansing for the land.  Then began the task of re-building.

Throughout the years I directed the re-construction based on villages and strongholds I studied during inland wanderings.  First an inner fort made of stone, not of material that could burn.  Then an outer palisade made of strong timbers and deadly stakes.  Finally, near the beach another fence made of non-burnable materials, whatever we could find.  I trained the people, young and old, male and female, to bear and use arms of all kinds.  I designed new weapons, especially for the females.  Shoes were basic wooden sandals equipped with a sharp spearhead at the front and sometimes at the back.  Armbands made of wood were equipped with a deadly dagger that could be flipped and locked in a forward position, the tip of the blade extending past the hand.  We made bows that were longer than hunting bows and much more accurate, using longer arrows.  I made them leave crenellations in the walls, and holes that looked natural but through which arrows could be shot.  And I trained the tallest men to use long spears that could be thrust through cracks deliberately left in the walls but concealed from anyone looking from the outside.

As more and more survivors and disgruntled serfs from other parts joined us our village grew and surpassed the numbers and strength of the past.  My son became a fearsome warrior, I made sure of that.  He was tall and had red hair.  There was no doubt who his father was.

Among those who joined us came two Christian monks.  They claimed they had special knowledge they wished to impart to certain chosen people among the village.  I asked them to share their knowledge with all of us, offered to give them a special place at our regular meeting day, but they insisted their knowledge was only for the chosen.  They also insisted that we give up worshipping our gods and learned of their one god and accept him as our only god.  This I refused to do.  I gave them a hut and made the people aware of their offer.  Anyone who chose the Christian god over the land’s gods was free to do so.  Some did but it did not matter.  Christians made good warriors too, there was no conflict among us.

In time my prophecy was fulfilled.  The raiders returned and an older Garthul still led them.  As soon as the alarm was given all the people who could not fight and all the younger children with as many goats and fowl as could be taken, were sent deep into the woods in preselected hiding places.  Then we waited.  My son was then eighteen years of the Christian calendar, and eager to fight this Garthul.  I had not told him this was his father, just what he had done to his family.

Yelling their taunts, the raiders rushed our first slender defenses.  We killed several of them before we retreated to the next defensive position.  The raiders crashed through our first wall only to encounter a much more effective defense.  They had no place to hide and we defeated them there.  Garthul gave the signal for surrender and my son jumped forward to put a sword to his throat.  I ran behind him and stopped him:  “Well Garthul, we meet again.  Remember the prophecy of the young girl whose parents and brother you killed.  Remember her taunt, “I will have your son and he will kill you!”  Well here I am, and here is he, your son, Garth.”

He remembered, and believing he was about to die, he called his second and swore that his title and lands were now the property of his son, this son, my son, Garth of Norda.

And this is where my life turned.  For Garth said, “He is my father, and I cannot kill him.  Therefore, since he has so grievously harmed you, mother, here is my sword.  You must avenge your parents and your village.  This is not for me to do.”

I took the sword and held it aloft unflinchingly.  I could have easily cut his head off, but instead I laid the sword on his shoulder and said, “Life has taught me this, Garthul: That there comes a point where it becomes necessary to let go of the past and to forgive.  For as heavy as the burden of loss is, the burden of vengeance is twice as heavy.  I have reached that point.  Today I have redeemed what was lost.  I have defeated you and I am your master, I, a mere woman.  Furthermore, I have something of yours that I know is more precious to you than your own life: your son.  So here’s my proposal – listen to me well.  I wish that you should take Garth with you.  Make him into a sailor and take him back to your own land and train him in the arts of being a King there, as you are.  When the time comes, I wish for you to pass your power on to him.  Further, I wish that your country should enter into a  permanent peace with us.  We have much to trade with you, especially of hardwoods.

And it came to pass.  Garth became ruler of both Norda and his father’s land.  There were no more raids on our coasts.  We remained at peace until a new trouble began to brew from the hinterlands.  But that is a story attached to a future that is not mine nor Garth’s.

 

In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

                [a short story by   ~burning woman~   ]

“Don’t mince words: come right out and tell us!”  There is much anger in those voices, but more, it is a challenge, a challenge to back up my words; to prove myself.  Funny part is, that’s the very last thing I want to be able to do, but “they” don’t get it.  How many times do I have to say it: “I don’t want to be right.  But you have to prove me wrong!”

But instead, they shuffle back onto the porch of the old honky-tonk  – well, so to speak – and with hands in pockets, slouch forward, looking down at me standing in the mud of the partially thawed parking lot.  The garish red neon sign casts its bloody glow upon the surface between pickup trucks; bits of frozen soil reflect the light like rubies.  Thousands of fake rubies on top of ruts, a dozen rubes glaring from the porch.  Angry, upset, confused – dangerous in their abject destitution, desperate to strike out at anything that creates an unaccustomed chafing.

Of course the “argument” had been political.  Did I start it?  I don’t know, I may have mentioned the fact that international treaties were responsible for over half of these people being unemployed and having to supplement their welfare stamps with illegal activities, selling pot and hooch and their women, while those who work garner such pitiable wages from the mining corporations they can never, ever hope to make any of the endless ends meet. 

The sad thing is, there’s a tradition of this sort of thing here, long before the great depression of the 1930’s even.  Beating the “revenuers” and their women and children, is more than tradition or a way of life, it’s how these people measure their independence and freedom, even if on the long run the law wins and all of them have served, or will serve, long prison sentences.  The sad thing is, the women and the children play this game too, having no idea how to change the system of abject oppression they have to survive within and struggle under; having no idea there could even be a different kind of way. 

So there they stand, promoters of drugs, booze, prostitution, managing a prison designed by their elites, a self-serving dystopia maintained through a totally dysfunctional society feeding upon itself in an ever-shrinking loop.  Observe with me: through the open doors of the metal-clad rickety building, behind the bar is the country’s flag.  Of course.  And the money enriching the tills says, “In God we Trust.”  And every time a cash register rings its bell an angel gets its wings, isn’t that right?  

I see these things as a matter of course ‘cause in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is a visionary.  I see these people, staring at me, daring me, itching for a fight out here, in the mud of the parking lot.  And these men are proud!  Tell them their pride is the final nail in their dying world’s coffin and they will tear you to shreds.

So, friend, do as I do.  I lift up both arms, open my hands wide and wish them all a good night, walking slowly backward to my truck.  But when I finally get in the cab, lock the door and put my hands on the steering wheel, I notice they’re shaking.  I won’t deny it, I’m scared half to death as I drive away slowly, carefully and as quietly as the beast will let me, expecting headlights to flare up behind me and start following.  The parking lot remains dark.

You, sitting here in the bouncing cab, secure in your seat belt and staring at the winding road bordered by snaggy, leafless bushes, after witnessing the above, remember this: if you think you have some wisdom to impart to this world, be very circumspect because sharing wisdom to the average Earthian is casting pearls before swine.  Do not think that teaching wisdom is worth the price of martyrdom.  A society such as this cannot raise martyrs, your death would only serve as bloody entertainment to supplement its meager fare of pleasures and feed its desperate lusts.