Tag: fantasy

The Virtual Recovery or Major Structural Change

acquistare vardenafil Firenze Paul Craig Roberts is, in many ways, one of the most interesting political commentators of our time. I’m not going to say he is always right but he is very happy to think outside the box of our traditional political arrangements. He is on the left and the right–he is an example of the sort of thinking we need that will transcend the traditional “liberal/conservative” categories which have become just our version of competing soccer hooligans. My few years of commenting on Daily Kos showed me how vicious so-called liberals are when confronted with ideas that go beyond slogans.

follow Robert’s latest essay deserves some attention and is available here. What he is saying, essentially, is what he has been saying for some time that our “recovery” is not really a recovery if you factor in real inflation. He makes the point that current government announcements about the economy are similar to government announcement on the wars we undertake, i.e., they are false.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=free-levitra-canada-pharmacy I would go further I don’t believe we are in a long-term depression or recession in the traditional sense–what we are undergoing is a major structural change in our political economy and our society that reflects the current cultural reality.

The single most important thing to understand about the culture we live in is that it is now not based in creating a vibrant economy or even maintaining and expanding an empire. Its focus is on enabling most Americans to live in a world of custom fantasies because, for a variety of reasons, that is what most Americans want. Most Americans do not want to face reality or think beyond their daily tasks that put them in a position to watch reality shoes, sports, pursue various addictions and create their little interesting dramas. Larger-scale interests where we act in common are devalued. The source of meaning for us, increasingly, lies in fantasy role-playing because, without ever realizing it, the plutocrats have cut off our political legs by creating a system of propaganda and mind-control, sometimes using science and often just creative genius, to make people believe that they need product X or need to vote for candidate Y. The ability for the corporate state to control its subject population through capturing, not so much its consent, but its subconscious is what marks our age. Thus we do not question the phony statistics on inflation or unemployment or anything else. Thus we are unable to put two and two together to make four unless some authority says it’s so.  

Pique the Geek 20110703: Annual Fireworks Essay and a Fantasy

I have written pieces about fireworks in this space for several years now.  This year is no different, but instead of describing how modern fireworks operate, we shall, courtesy of The Doctor, take the TARDIS back to 1784, the first Independence Day after ratification of the Treaty of Paris, so for the first time the United States was a truly independent Nation on 04 July.

Unfortunately, my video camera was not working at the time, so I shall have just to describe what fireworks looked like at the time.  The Doctor told me that he would come again and that we would go to the 1785 one for next year, and make sure that I had a functional video camera.

Except for color, fireworks in that era were similar to some of the least advanced ones that we have today.  The complex aerial effects are quite modern, bright color is modern, and set pieces are also modern.

End the Farce at Least in Your Own Mind

Chris Hedges has written a book called http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=propecia-1mg The Death of the Liberal Class that says a lot just by its title. He is saying, essentially, that the liberal class which is the class of intellectuals, professionals and so on that are the cornerstone of any economy or ruling coalition, is finished and reform is impossible. Liberals in our context are people who have been able to “solve” the contradictions of capitalism by putting pressure on the oligarchs to provide reforms that can keep the system functioning. Liberals are and always have been anti-communist and anti-socialist, in this country at least, because they believe that capitalism can evolve into a friendly and progressive system through things like humane treatment of workers, social-safety nets, and universal health insurance (the last gasp of liberalism was the failure of HCR).

But let’s be clear here: liberals exist at the pleasure of the ruling elites. The minute liberal ideas threaten the system in any way liberals are crushed–and this goes for any society not just ours. Hedges is saying that this class in this country is finished as a class because it can no longer deliver reforms to the system. This is what I’ve been saying for some time. There was no need to put liberals in prison or assassinate them. Liberals have purged themselves by accepting cushy jobs in the system and learning to keep quiet all the while engaged in the illusion that they were “doing” something by voting for Democratic Party politicians who are designed and branded by Madison Avenue to keep the liberal class from facing reality or looking in the mirror.

Cross posted at Writing in the Raw.

Fantasy Fun 20101018: Let’s Have Dinner Together

Well, not you and me particularly, but with some historical figures.  This was sort of spurred by Keith Olbermann’s story about Michele Bachmann’s list of people with whom she would like to have dinner.  I could not imagine a dinner with only six to eight folks, including me, wherein I could meet everyone that I would want, so I have set up a series of dinners with diverse groups of folks that I would love to get to know.  By the way, K.O. will be in a future installment if there is enough interest in this series.

Tonight’s installment will include a dinner with physicists (or their historical counterparts) that are both living and dead.  Here are my rules:  1) I am not personally acquainted with anyone mentioned (a chance meeting, like on a flight does not count), 2) within certain limits, only a maximum of eight people can attend.  More than that would make highly interactive conversation difficult, and 3) there is no language barrier.

George Orwell, Time Travel, and Dinner Companions

Crossposted at Daily Kos

source link We’ve all, at some point or another in our lives, had this fantasy.  Whether we perceive modern life as too hurried, unsatisfying, devoid of meaning, or we see ourselves as slaves to the demands of technology, some of us yearn for a simpler time when many of the great political, ideological, and literary debates of decades gone by had yet to be settled.  Conflicts or movements of the past in which we picture ourselves an integral part of.  For we are confident that source link our presence would have resulted in an outcome to our liking.  Great ideas that we wish we’d thought of.  Music that we know we cialis generico 50 euro 10 pillole should have recorded.  Inventions we know we were destined to be associated with.  It is the inevitable ‘what if’ question we often think of.  It is the restless explorer in all of us.



RJ Matson, vardenafil originale 20 mg consegna veloce New York Observer, Buy this cartoon

Allow me to indulge in my fantasy below the fold.

The Seductive, Escapist Appeal of the Past

A fellow Friend told me the other day about one of her passions.  She is a skilled seamstress and designs her own ballroom gowns.  The clothes she makes are ornate and authentic, designed to be worn to balls which seek to re-enact social functions that date back to the 19th Century.  Part of the appeal, as she describes it, is to dress up, and part of the appeal is to participate in specific dances authentic to the period while socializing with others. I am conscious that recreating a Jane Austen novel has its appeal, but as a Feminist I am also aware of the gender inequality and sexism inherent as well in the practice.  British society of that day was rigidly stratified and effectively divided by a strict adherence to class distinctions.  I doubt many in the current day would care to deal with them or wish to feel marginalized and discounted to such a stifling degree.

Knowing this, the first question I have is why many feel such a strong sense of fascination with this particular time in history.  Every few years the same novel is adapted yet again for film and yet again it makes money.  I question if it is easy to brush aside the objectionable parts and still enjoy the experience.  If such films, books, or plays were, for example, full of racism or homophobia I doubt we’d be so forgiving.  We can tolerate that which effectively disregards the rights of women much more effectively than, say, a new adaptation of a minstrel show.  I doubt few would wish to go to social functions where participants dressed up in blackface, attempting to emulate Stepin Fetchit the whole night long.  

The past proves a respite from the daily grind, but we choose to see it in romantic terms, and really, squarely on our own terms.  Some would return to Austen’s day, but they’d certainly want to bring their toothbrush and modern medicine along, too.  Neo-cons and anti-feminists have done much the same thing in idealizing the Fifties, forgetting, of course, that those days were also full of paranoia and a constantly nagging fear of imminent destruction by way of nuclear war.  In those days, the average housewife had access to a car perhaps a few times a week, almost always at the discretion of her husband, and was predominately cloistered at home doing household chores.  This may be a very normal means of longing for simpler days, but some take it beyond fantasy and escapism.  When this does happen, then problems arise.

I wonder if we have truly come to terms with escapism and its role in our daily lives.  Most notably now it drives the Tea Partiers and those allied with them.  As many have commented before, there is really nothing especially authentic or historically accurate that points back to the American Revolution, aside from the occasional demonstrator in colonial militia costume.  Those who take the Second Amendment in its original context and apply it to today, arguing for the establishment of a well-regulated militia are the ones who scare us all; yet again it should be said that they are trying to use a document centuries old and make it fit exactly as justification for their own leanings.   We already have the National Guard and have no need for vigilante justice or a firearm in every holster.      

Some social critics warn of attempts by the powers that control society to provide means of escapism instead of actually bettering the condition of the people. For example, Karl Marx wrote about religion as being the “opium of the people”. This is to be compared to the thought of Saint Augustine of Hippo, who argued that people try to find satisfaction in material things to fill a void within them that only God can fill.

If nativist, xenophobic, reactive movements like these on the Right considered themselves wrought of honest religious dissent to the status quo, I think I would have less overall reservations.  Most likely I still wouldn’t agree with them, but religion practiced honestly has a leveling, moderating influence.  Without it, we quickly see rage and open hostility.  Taken to extreme we have the Westboro Baptist Church and its hatred towards LGBTs, but this is the exception, not the rule.  Tea Party groups thus far have cherry-picked passages from the Bible to suit their needs, but it is, by in large, a secular movement.  If these activists really are intent on turning back the clock, I think adopting a conservative Christian framework to guide them might not be a bad idea, since the days they allude to were far less secular than our own.  Here is another example of how many will selectively choose which parts of history agree with them while and disregarding the rest.  If it is purity which we are seeking, none of us passes the test.    

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

An important distinction to make here is that there is a difference between Utopia and Dystopia.  That may be the best encapsulation of what is on everyone’s mind right now.  I admit that I have my own bias and my own loyalty, but aside from a few misguided souls, I note that what we have been debating amongst ourselves in recent Progressive discourse are escapist means of imagining how government would run if our specific ideas were adopted.  As we scheme and ponder, regrettably some on the other side want to take the law into their own hands, while, regardless of how they frame it, wishing to take advantage of the government which agrees with them while seeking to dismantle the government that does not.  Our definitions of what constitutes active revolution are very different from each other, but regardless of it is phrased and by whom, one wonders what period in history or historical document will be cited next.  Doing so would seem to be inevitable.  And, as we do so, I hope we will realize that the past, consulted honestly, has no allegiance to Party or ideology.  Rather, as C. Vann Woodward noted, “there is too much irony mixed in with the tragedy for that.”

The Doctor is no More 2010102

Wow, what a sendoff for Tennent!  He saved the universe from The Master, and also booted the Time Lords from existence, since they would have done anything to continue to exist.  This new series, like the new levitra and 3 for free Star Trek, is a reboot.

I prefer the original timelines, but I also understand that to keep viewers, the story much change to be current.  But it does not mean that the original timeline has to chance.  Please keep with me to agree that I, Translator, should be the next Doctor in the series.

20,000 Years of Memory. 20091202

I have not told you very much about myself, actually.  But I will tell you what it has like to have been a woman for untold centuries.  It sucks.  Not because that I do not like my sexuality, in fact I really am comfortable with it (I would not be a man for anything), but how we as an important part of society have been treated.

With the gift, I have been able not only to be an historian, but actually wrote down much of it (we Neanderthals DID have the written word) and remember it.  Part of the gift is complete memory.  By the way, NEVER wish for that.  There are thousands of things in my memory that I would prefer to extinguish.  Give thanks for putting bad things out of your mind.  If you ever get the gift, not only will those memories come back, but the ones of those in my lineage, or of the half a dozen of my kind.

Twenty Thousand Years of Memory 20091127

I mentioned the memory thing.  That is the strangest, other than living for so long, thing.  Those of us who have been given the gift hold memories, or at least fragments of them, from our predecessors.

I have not been specific about how this gift is transferred, but suffice it to say that it is nothing like a “bite on the neck” that does it.  I requires hours of extremely intimate contact, some, but not all of it, sexual.

Twenty Thousand Years of Memory 20091126

I was intentionally a bit obtuse about the number of years of my life, because it is easy to lose count.  I do remember when it started to get a bit warmer, and my people stated to be born with less hair, but before that I can tell you that it was bitterly cold, and without our own hair, in addition to the garments that we could fashion, death by hypothermia would have happened.

Our people were very well adapted for the cold.  We were “chunky”, in that we did not have as much surface to volume area as you moderns have.  But that “chunkness” only expressed itself if we were subjected to extreme cold.

Twenty Thousand Years of Memory 20091125

You do not know what it was like.  What you now know of as central Europe was cold as cold could be.  My people lived there.  We were Neanderthals.  Most moderns think that we were stupid.  We were not.

Nor did we look “odd” to you.  The skeletons that you moderns found were from our elders, and after three or four hundreds of years, of course they look primitive.  I assure you that they were not.  They were our elders that passed on the genetic trait of longevity that I have.

Between Thought and Expression

The Australian actress Nicole Kidman testified yesterday before the House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee on the subject of violence in film, in particular the sickening amount of onscreen violence against women.  Kidman stated that many roles portray women as weak, as mere sex objects, or as both and that this permissive attitude of debasement contributes greatly to real life acts of violence perpetrated against women.  The actress’ intent was not merely to condemn the film industry for its excesses but also to advance the larger issue of unchecked, infrequently prosecuted violent acts committed against women across the globe.

The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence.  Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.

That notable stories like these get submerged underneath the incessant back-and-forth of partisan or even inter-party bickering surprises me not one iota.  Such stories are often pigeonholed as merely “women’s topics” or moved to the back of the soft news queue, with the tacit assumption that celebrities are incapable of advancing much beyond their own careers or the manufactured drama designed to garnish publicity.  As for this particular example in question, Kidman is notably treading cautiously here, not willing to assign full blame to Hollywood because of her stated belief that it has devoted committed and serious internal efforts towards self-regulation.  Forgive me for being skeptical, because I know that few major money-making industries do an adequate job of policing themselves from within.  Specifically regarding the celluloid conglomerate, it took the Hays Code and then the puritanical Production Code before Tinseltown ever strongly curtailed the content found in moving pictures.          

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