Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zoo Life In Modernity: the Rage of Declawed Cats.

"A pig, in a cage, on antibiotics."

What more to speak of progress than wildness behind bars, crumpling into it's own confusion, and losing instinct in place of chow lines? We have, for long enough, seen the crippling effect of society, no matter the scale, in the loss of freedom so necessary for our  experience of living that what would be screaming at us, is now only a whisper. Drug dependence is a norm, and for every qualm our bodies have with the comfort of social existence, there is a Procrustean prescription shoved into our throats, beginning with children before their first year.  Half of Amerikkkans are now on a daily dose of prescribed drugs, mimicking with great tenacity A Brave New World-like society; where a gram a day keeps the blues away. We have perfected the prison bars, and all that we know now resides within them. Debord's spectacle has unmasked from the margins, showing it's wicked teeth, as we stand in front of this great beast, snapping pictures on our smart phones.At what point do we stop watching? At what point is there an awakening of instinct that never dies, but struggles behind the walls of morality and conditioning? The ingrowth of our imprisonment bulges at the seems of anxiety, anger, confusion and has boiled into the rage of violent life, dependent upon the subjugation of others and self for it's own survival. But when? How? Who will bring this reckoning about? What answer, of the millions we see offered in the political scree that decorates the landscape of the spectacle, will be the one? None. There will be no "one" answer, and there cannot. The singularity mindset of the civilized rests on the notion of the saving grace. Technology points to this for it's own means as well.  The social contract of mass society requires our total submission to the whims of machine. Changes within the mass society have no intent of breaking this contract.

The turning point is not one that is orchestrated, or even welcomed, but one that is spontaneous and requires, possibly for the first time for many, the use of our animal instincts. The fight or flight is not a binary, but a flowing river, and for too long our domesticated mind has hidden from us that we are fleeing. So, as the social constructs which reinforce the controlled mind dissipate, the control itself slips. The flight ebbs towards fight, with a fierceness that is at once alien and more natural than anything we have felt. It is within these moments that we come alive. It is upon making a stand that we begin the breaking down of the borders of what is wild, and what is domesticate. We are not what we have made, but what we will destroy. It is a series of choices that we participate in daily, and nightly, to submit or refuse that creates for us a space of confinement, where-in perceived comfort and false security is the soup du jour, or wildness, where we see ourselves cast off the yokes of society and break towards freedom. The kettling of the herd of cats is weakened with every scratch at it's fake plastic net, likewise, it is strengthened by heeding the warnings of consequence. Will the jails we built hold us all? This jail could be our cemetery, if we wait for the walls to crumble. This brings out the question of collapse.

Many circles today are in bright discussion on the collapse of this civilization. We have a notion that the worsening of life equates to the fall of the empire, that these pains are the death throes of the body of civilized life, and the awakening of the masses is imminent, sure to rise up when discomfort overtakes their lives, and the pain will be the breaking point towards all out war against the masters. We have, for so long, lived in such great pain that it is only rivaled in scope by the amount of distraction we use to numb it away. This pain has great outpouring in the daily insanities we encounter in ourselves and in others. Workplace homicide is so frequent that most corporations have insurance policies sheltering them from lawsuits in the aftermath. Workplace homicide is the number one threat to US businessmen two years running. (Sorry anarchists, we'd be lucky to be in the top twenty threats at this rate) Some point to these incidents as aberrations from civilization, where-as others show these elements as the failure of the experiment. The idea is that it does not work, has not worked, and will not ever work. Perhaps the definition must follow the question: For whom? Whom does it work for? What we know of class analysis is that capitalism does work, socialism does work, communism does work, all economy works for the benefit of those on top, at the massive cost of the lives of the rest of the planet. But it works. Most of the world will feel great pain and loss, but that does not bring about the collapse of economies. That is economics. A series of strategic losses for the gain of those in control. Civilization is the birthing place of massive scale economics, and will surely not flounder at the mere discomfort of it's servants. Collapse is not evident in the pains of the many, but civilization is. Civilization requires the subjugation of wildness to propel itself into total domination. This is a painful process, on any scale, but imagine the pain of loss you experience, on a global scale, and you will not see the collapse of civilization, but the process of it's growth. There are, of course, stages of loss and levels of oppression suffered. Some will never know the promise of civilized comfort, and can not, for this promise is only kept through the diminishing of external beings, beings outside of the construct of the civilized experience. It must have a feeding source from which to pool it's massive amount of reserves. This is not going away with the technological information explosion, as was promised, but a revived form of vulgar voyeurism replaces the spectacle of fiction, just in time for the news feeds to buzz with controlled outrage. This is not collapse happening. This pain is domestication deepening it's grasp.

Waiting through what we see as collapse may not prove to be the best strategy, as I am certain that the fall of empire has been prophesied since the beginning of empire, and the world has not seen break from it yet. Whether the wrath of a vengeful god, or the collapse of economy, the end has been near since the beginning. Doomsday is not what comes to slit the throat of the leviathan, doomsday is everyday in the grasp of it. Some part may collapse, some cog come loose, but the machine, left to it's own, will devour with haste, and will not crumble in it's own time. This is not to say that the machine is all powerful. No. It is very open to dismantling. The only thing that has slowed society in it's conquest has been resistance to it. If not for resistance, be it federations of tribes of Celts or tribes of Indigenous of the Americas, fire bombings by the E.L.F. or sabots thrown to the gears, resistance has been the force against civilization. Simply waiting for collapse is a symptom of our domestication, but also a point of reference for the wildness within that rages below the surface. Our bodies know they are in great pain, our minds are confused and bombarded with distraction, and our spirit is stifled, but not dead. We must take cue from our bodies, who rage mercilessly against the diseases which are wrought upon them, many times losing, but never passively allowing for the disease to take over. Resistance is biological though not merely material. Our spirit is in constant revulsion of the chains of enslavement as well. You must temper and tame it to create domicile creatures, hence the term "breaking" of a beast. You break a wild horse, take away it will to fight back, replace it's instinct with comforts, but lying under the surface, the wild animal exists. It may have grown too faint to hear, or too weak to fight, but the spirit is there. You can see the devastation in the eyes. We are not so far off. Consider two million years, and look at our timeline of control, and you will see that wildness is not out of reach, but may be lying in repose, waiting for it's opportunity to spring forth and destroy the chains.  Collapse will not happen to us or around us, but within us and because of us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occupation, the Other Word For Work.

The latest aggregate upheavals only seek to admire this system, using what is already available and safe as a means of displaying it's unrest. What is not, is no matter, but what is, is of great importance. We have lost sight of anything beyond the prison grounds, and now look to redecorate our cells with pictures of a pretty future.  This is the doldrum of engagement within the confines of acceptability. To view this as progress may be exactly correct, but to what end?

The current list of demands includes this statement. "Opinions do not help our cause.
The numbers in the polling will naturally resolve your feelings democratically.  If you strongly agree or disagree with proposed Demands,  lobby your cause and get the votes up to represent your opinion.  This is what democracy looks like."
All "demands" are kept with a 2/3 majority vote. Those voicing opposition to any demand must "lobby" to have them removed, and must do so within time allotted. One vote per IP address. Okay, where to begin?

We ARE NOT political bodies. We are human beings, animals, individuals and livers of our lives. We have taken it as given that we must represent ourselves as a cog in the machine of progress through benign measures of voting and lobbying, while those that destroy the worlds are watching from above, sipping Brandy and smoking cigars, taking pictures on their smart phones for their facebook updates. The "occupations" are spreading though, and in Portland, the rhetoric on the page is a bit more than disturbing. "As with most protests, this will be non-violent. Certain members of the group will cover what and what not to do. Where to be, how to behave, as well as where to go." So, who are these "certain members" and how the fuck did they obtain this power? Are they voted in as well? Well, it seems we are disregarding the hook for the worm. The reason this is so popular could be that it is no different than what we have. We are not looking for change anymore than we can vote for it. Sound familiar?

As a recovering leftist,  there is a large part of me that thrills at ideas of occupying city streets with a thousand of my closest friends and taking on the systems of controls. Having had my time as a reluctant submissive to leftist controls, a time which shall never repeat, it is painfully obvious that allowing for control, in the battle for our lives, is little more than shitting with our pants on. We are left with the vile stench of our own making, and revel in the shared notion of it. Meanwhile, while the masses scream of 99%, the indigenous of every land are displaced, murdered and the way of life that sustains them, the world, and us, is snuffed out for the prospect of more jobs and "shared wealth" for all. I was recently berated by one calling themselves an anarchist for believing more in Salmon than in humans. What trite bit of racist sense of entitlement we see here. The slanders came at the assumptions: one, that I am a follower of Derrick Jensen, a writer with a few works I have a certain amount of respect for, but whose person is inconsequential to my existence, and two, that Salmon are simply Salmon, and are lone casualties of dam structures and river destruction. This person claims that human lives are far more important, without ever once looking at the hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples whose lives and life-ways are stripped for the benefit of the dam to commerce. The argument set forth is that there is inherent value in certain lives, and certain luxuries (if you call poisoned water, slave labor, animal exploitation, marketing and commercials luxuries, which many do), that does not exist in other lives. We, as "workers" have every right to enjoy the wealth of our labor, and not be content with old shoes and box T.V.s, but to have what the rich also have. They have stolen our money! All the while, the struggle of colonization and OCCUPATION of this land is once again put on the back burner of leftist thought, if not ignored completely. The river is a life, and it gives life to forests, to uncountable water species; fish-eating animals, bug-eating birds, shit-eating bugs, and, ready for it, HUMAN beings. The humanist argument of shared wealth of labor ignores even the human cost of labor, let alone the massive ecological destruction that is also hazardous to all life, because it IS all life. Leftists asking for democracy and work. People of the earth, stolen from and ignored.

It does not end there, by any means. The simple act of demanding reform is akin to providing condoms to rapists. Reform is the means by which power re-forms itself, the saving grace of control. As people take to the streets to "occupy", there are more and more harsh restrictions placed upon their behavior, but not by whom you may be thinking (oink oink) but by the protestors themselves! As the trend spreads, and gains a foothold in the media outlets all seeking capitalize on the spectacle, the list of rules grows. "Wear polo and khakis please, so as to better represent our image." OUR image? So we are all now kinko's slaves? We are all upper middle class yacht club attendees? The blanching homogenization rings of crusades. Why are you wearing black? Are ye witch, or anarchist? Burn em! All the while, wearing fossil fuel plastic masks trademarked by Time-Warner. The pitchforks are on back-order from till they get more Amazonian trees for handles.

Then, to speak of the utter lack of courage of the imagination. The list of demands, decided by 2 of every 3 people with the ability to speak out, is ever shifting. I would normally consider it a good thing to have a flux of demands, as whimsical as the smoke from burning cop cars, but this is not the case. The idea is to whittle it all down to "One Big Demand!" What a slap in the face of desire! There should be more demands than people, more demands than cars, more demands than cell phones! There should be no demands, only good riddance! Good riddance to the system that stole us from ourselves, and sold us back on credit. Welcome to the days spent calmly walking hand in hand with lovers, or running chaotically alone! Good riddance to the time of time itself, and hello to a life lived without regret, without history, without schedule. The death of the imagination is the coffin nail on freedom. How can you say you fight for a better life, when you can hardly imagine one? In the meantime, you wile away the hours catching soundbites of Michael Moore shouting down capitalism so loudly that only your subconscious picks up the ad for his soon-to-be-released best seller about eating the third world...for his lunch. This is madness, madness all around! Yet still, there is a the creeping Hope. Hope: that dreaded abusive lover that always leaves you feeling worse than the time before. There is Hope for the spark in the powder keg of ambivalence to erupt into a Bacchanalian riot/orgy of star crossed warriors, flinging off their clothes and bringing down the tent poles to feel the rain. Why, hope, you filthy bastard, do you curse me so? So I watch, and I listen.

I watch videos of more people swaying to the left and right in a shadow dance of Mezmer motion, being beaten into submission by the other half of the "99%", those paid in thirty pieces of silver to keep you in line, not just today, but every day. Every last day on the job, the cameras are telling you that you are not alone, and you have become so lonely that you wish it so. Every day in the school, as you prop your head to stay awake through the single story of domination. Every night in the bar, as you drop your senses for a rush of numbing lubricant to ease this alienation. You sit, and you wait, because inside, the wildness screams. It does not beg, but defies you for life. And there you are, watching, listening, participating in the roles, while I sit here, and writhe in myself for not knowing how to ask. For never knowing how to say clearly, and calmly, so you will understand and not be threatened. But I'll try...

Hello. I am dying, inside and out, and I need wildness. I need freedom. I need resolve to this life long battle for acceptance of myself. I need to know the feeling of an unlit night. I need to adventure. I need to return to the place where I was born. To be attached to life at every moment. To be wild and free. I need to come alive! I cannot do it without you. So, put down your sign and raze the buildings to the earth with me...the whole world is waiting.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Create relationship.

Seldom do we have a chance, in this ever widening gap of relationship and communion, to form bonds of trust and love with one another, based not on political ideals, but something much older. I have rarely found it anywhere the way I have with direct action, and the temporary but unmediated experience of taking part, becoming part of. There is a chance, not only in Cascadia, but all over the world to take part in a direct action that calls for no compromise. Take your life, and resist.

Cascadia Forest Defenders

A Tactic for Urban Awareness and Coalition

A Tale of No Cities