Remember during the government shutdown…

Remember how the news media told us that some workers would receive back pay, but that contractors would not, thought they were obligated to continue to fulfill their contracts?

Yeah, am I a unicorn? Am I the only one with a question about why a contractor would sign a contract that gave one party the right to not fulfill their end of the deal? I don’t remember a single reporter or journalist addressing this. Why not?

What kind of racket is it they are running when their contractors are willing to sign “contracts” that only guarantee that they deliver, with no guarantee of payment for their products or services? How does that not sound improper to anyone else?

You people and your lack of honesty and strategic lack of curiosity. Christ, some days its hard to get out of bed and face this goddamn charade.

In case I haven’t rung my little bell, lately

Here it is: you are the highest and last moral authority in the world. You, and you alone, must embrace the icy cold truth that there is no objective morality, and that you, and you alone, are the highest authority over what is good and bad, right and wrong, or beautiful and ugly. No political movement or state power or mob of any kind, no church or synagogue can ever take that freedom away. You have to give it to them.

Partisans are idiots.

There are no Good People. The best you can hope for is to develop the courage to look inward and become familiar with your own consciousness and how your mind operates, reflexively. If you do that, you can develop a “monitoring circuit” that keeps an eye on your more negative mental habits, and that, in turn, may offer you the chance to do better than you would otherwise do when confronted with triggering stimulus. That means “the war” is actually going on inside of each autonomous individual, and that war is equivalent to growth and adaptation of the self. By contrast, the undeveloped individuals refuse to acknowledge and grapple with their shadow selves, and are stuck projecting all negative traits and motivations onto the Other. That’s why it doesn’t actually matter what country you are in, or what moment you are in. You will find people dividing into tribes because they are undeveloped; inferior. If you are looking for the causes for our division, they are baked into our biology. Any exploration of the root causes of political division will inevitably lead to the failures of the more numerous, less developed individuals, projecting all that is bad or painful onto the Other, and reserving all insight and noble intentions to themselves.

I’d love to sow the utter confusion of a new, political party and call it the Integrated Party, wherein the members all accept that the artificial dichotomy of “Left and Right” is pretty much useless except for the purposes of the reflexive Othering. The Integrated Party would be the party of those whose cognitive ability and conscientiousness inform them that they are not essentially different from anyone else and thus all petty politicking which isn’t solution-focused is beneath contempt.

My hypothetical, new party’s mantra would be “You can’t have integrity if you aren’t integrated.” And we’d make it an explicit goal to help others to understand that the question is “What do you want?” If you want actual positive change, we’ll help you to see that. If all you want is to project onto others, for the sake of an emotional purgative, we’ll help you to see that, too. I don’t mind helping you learn to hate yourself.

Learned Helplessness

Every single time they tell you a story about an injustice that you cannot fix or help to resolve, they and you are complicit in your thorough instruction and indoctrination into learned helplessness. This isn’t a matter of character. You aren’t immune to it. That’s how it works, when you’re language-bound.

Immigration

I am a blue-collar worker whose own bottom line is directly impacted by competition from immigrants who are willing to work for less than a livable wage, for skilled work that is already undervalued, underappreciated, and underpaid.

The Democrats and Republicans work hand-in-glove to maintain a gridlock that curiously allows in immigrants but disallows them any leverage to increase the rates of pay for the kinds of services they fill. That’s the real story, and you all refuse to attend to it, the way you refuse to attend to truth, generally.

So, yes, I resent that illegal immigration has cut into my rate of pay for decades, but I would gladly accept them as equals and rivals in the space if they were given full citizenship status and not some kind of delicate, exploitable status. THAT’S the goddamn truth no one wants to see, because it means you all have to face paying more for the produce and services you have taken for granted for so long, living lies, as you do.

The cost of farm work and construction has been kept down artificially for about as long as your willingness to avoid acknowledging it could last, bourgeois America. It’s not that no one is willing to do those jobs. It’s that no one who isn’t in a precarious citizenship situation can be exploited the way your illegal immigrants can be. If you cannot see this and say it out loud, then you don’t tell the truth.

I’m of a mind lately of dehumanizing liars and moralists, but then I realize that I’m always going to be vulnerable to the same charge, and it leaves me in exactly the same place, either way – alienated. I have seen the enemy and we is it.

To the young seeker

Your worst fears are true in that the grownups are all just pretending, unless they are still young at heart. No one is driving the bus.

On the other hand, there is a prize that awaits you if you court God for long enough, even “God” as a concept. Just keep digging and don’t stop digging, and most importantly, always be skeptical of the ready excuse for not following through on digging down even deeper. Be skeptical of every bit of story that your own mind hands to you. Observe how the Story of You always wants to cast you in the most flattering light. Observe how easy it is to go along with the narrative it provides you. Observe how I said “it” and not “you” there.

There is no “wise old man”, and no person or group of people has a special, inside knowledge of god or god’s will. Every claim to the contrary is an accretion of ideology, which is just whistling past the graveyard. This doesn’t mean there isn’t something to learn, it just isn’t what you think, and the way it works is kind of sneaky, frankly. I hope you find out for yourself, and you will, if you ever find out at all.

Roger Waters just never got over his need for approval and affirmation, I guess

We know that for every talented musician who makes it, 50 more who are just as good do not, and for a variety of reasons. The thing that pushes a Roger Waters or a Beyonce to work harder and go further is that unfillable hole; that bottomless pit of need for constant, never-ending approval and affirmation from strangers. It’s pitiful, and if you could see that need for what it is, and be rid of it yourself, you’d be morally disgusted by how people wear it on their faces like it’s a goddamn virtue. Waters has been on a non-stop tear, trying to play a concert at the US/Mexico border, interfering with a Pink Floyd cover band that played in Israel, and now he’s publicly standing with Maduro, trying to insinuate himself – desperately – into some kind of media situation that will give him global attention. Good lord, I’ll bet he’s hard to be around for longer than 5 minutes. It’s pitiful. It means that decades of fame and money has brought him no closer to looking inward and reconciling himself to himself and the world. Perhaps all of that fame and money thwarted any effort in that direction he may have initiated. Oh well. Life is a mirror, innit?