Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Murder of the Gulf and the Death of the World

1. A Knife in the Planet's Jugular

The blood of the Earth is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world's largest deposits draining as fast as it can through one of the biggest holes we're capable of drilling. This is like the Titanic of oil 'spills', much worse than the Exxon Valdez because at least a supertanker only spills once. This wound is pumping out a supertanker every four days or so and it just keeps coming. It's a fair bet that with the amount that's already spewed out, the Gulf of Mexico is already dead. The Caribbean might not be such a hot vacation spot this year, either. I've heard some people speculate that this might completely wreck every ocean on the planet, and given the state they're in - what with the islands of plastic in both the Pacific and Atlantic, the blooming dead zones, the decimation of fish stocks due to overfishing, fertilizer runoff, and heavy metal toxicity - given all that, who knows? Maybe they're right, and this one event will be enough to push the oceans over the edge and if the oceans go down so does everything else. It'll be the end of the Permian or the end of the Cretaceous all over again, and maybe the biosphere will bounce back but it could take a few tens of millions of years and if anything 'intelligent' manages to evolve again it will have no idea we ever existed ... the thin layer of the Anthropocene will have been erased by the compression of geologic time, and all that will be apparent to the avian scientists of the future will be that the mammalian age came to an abrupt end for reasons no doubt controversial.

Coincidentally enough, right around the same time the Deepwater Horizon blew up a water main broke in Boston, rendering the city water supply unsafe to drink. This was a trifling problem in comparison, and in the end inconvenienced the poor people of Boston for only 72 hours as the pipe was repaired in record time (ordinarily it would have taken weeks, apparently.) The concern for some bacteria was almost touching in its childlike earnestness, given that Boston's water is almost undoubtedly contaminated with the same admixture of drugs - both the legal drugs and the good ones - that have accumulated in every other water supply in the Western world, as well no doubt as some measure of heavy metals and of course, everyone's favorite ingestible tooth-balm, fluoride. Whether the decision of nearby Concord, Massachusetts to ban bottled water had anything to do with the fortuitously timed water supply scare remains a matter of speculation.

However disparate in magnitude, the temporal coincidence of these two incidents, both revolving as they do around sudden mechanical failure and massive pollution of the water, are what Jung might have termed a synchronicity. I'm sure others out there have noted it. Such things are said to be messages from ourselves, to ourselves, interpolated back in time through the medium of the cosmos. It's interesting to speculate along the lines of what, exactly, the message is meant to convey, and certainly there's a lot that could be said about water and our relationship with it but I'll leave that for you to think about (as these synchronous messages are meant personally, for all of us) and move on to some other interesting coincidences such as Gold in Sacks apparently shorting not everything Gulf of Mexico (as originally claimed), but TransOcean's stock (the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon) mere days before the event.

Along similar lines it seems Halliburton bought the company that got the contract to complete a crucial step in the drilling process or something just a couple of weeks before the malfunction. I understand there's lots of money for America's signature disaster capitalism corporation in the capping and the cleanup, as well, which is good I suppose as the rent on office space in Dubai is just outrageous I hear. I'd be tempted to congratulate them on their good fortune but as we all know (or are at any rate endlessly told by those with fortunes) a successful man makes his own luck and you know, when companies like Helliburton and Gold in Sacks get lucky like that real close to one big motherfucker of a disaster well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

2. Demon Kings and the iZombie Horde

And you will, of course, right or wrong, in accordance or not with all of the observations or, should we say, the more pertinent ones. I have none to share at the moment as relates the Deepwater Horizon incident specifically, nor I think does it much matter. Even if there were a smoking gun somewhere, some proof of deliberate sabotage - and this is highly unlikely, given the ease with which the Deep Horizon could have been sabotaged as it prepared to cap the well and disengage - it would be visible only to those who can bring themselves to entertain the notion that humanity might produce the sort of monster who could do such a thing without blinking. And not just one of them, oh no: a whole horde of demons masquerading as people could be the only possible explanation for an act so foul as to murder an ocean.

That's a scary thing to contemplate, an army of demons, and really it's much easier to just switch the channel on your big screen plasma TV, settle back into your comfy pleather couch in your echoing McMansion and zone out for a bit before you have to get in the car the next day and drive somewhere crowded so you can stumble around amongst the other bloated iZombies. It's been fun but for how much longer is anyone's guess. Say, do you own that car, that home, that couch, that big plasma TV? You do? Congratulations! You're in a very tiny minority.

I'm betting you're leveraged to the hilt to afford this lifestyle. Most everyone is and no shame there, so's the whole country, damn near every country is it's true but yours (if you're an American iZombie) more than any other. You want to look at it geopolitically, America just ran a scam whereby financial institutions like Gold in Sacks auctioned off your garbage paper to the rest of the world in exchange for vast quantities of their stuff and labor, which they credulously gave thinking they were getting rich. Now the fairy gold has turned into sand and they are pissed, although for now they're keeping their seething displeasure as quiet as they can under the theory that it is best to move cautiously when the object of your disapproval has thousands upon thousands of nukes, and that's just for starters.

Of course once GlobalPop cottons on that their temperance hasn't stopped the Hexagram's Pentagon from unleashing a Foursquare Armageddon of Famine, Pestilence, War and Death, well, I don't think they'll hold their tempers much longer from that point on because they will have nothing to lose.

Even as the real economy is in flames, the Pentagon's unholy war machine grows on, unchecked, and even picks up steam. It's keeping the world's anger in check, for now, but it's starting to run out of fuel: the iZombie lifestyle that makes humans so usefully docile also makes them useless for military service, by and large. The military-industrial complex has sucked the heart and soul of America dry so it could demon-strate demonocracy all over the world, or at least in the shittiest parts of it, parts that might have a 'democracy' now, sure, but sure as shit in an open sewer don't have clean drinking water or sometimes running water for that matter, even where they used to.

You'd hope the Yanks would've been smart enough to spend all the wealth they looted from the world on something useful: infrastructure, for instance. But no. Like every other conqueror drunk on their own indomitable success, everything they didn't spend on military hardware they pissed away on a bunch of big useless homes and a plethora of baubles. The baubles will mostly be broken in a couple of years, by which time you'll be too broke to afford replacements, and as for the homes? Hah! You never even really owned them anyways, remember?

It's a good joke, really, though generally people don't laugh much when they get it. Here's the punchline: you (the collective 'you' of the Western world) unleashed your demons upon the world and gave them your blessing to do what needed to be done to keep you well-fed and entertained. They kept their end of the bargain and in the meantime did what demons do, that is to say, murdered, tortured, subverted, seduced, raped, pillaged, and defiled everything in their path. Now those demons have come home to roost, they're turning their beady little eyes upon you and you can almost see their nictitating membranes flickering in excitement as they imagine what they'll soon be able to do with and to you for fun and profit.

3. Unplugging From the Simulation, Awakening into the Dream

Personally I think it's time to unplug. Take out those earbuds, turn off that TV, put down that cell phone, walk away from the screen and re-engage with the world as it is, rather than as it's projected at us (I'm a hypocrite in this as in many other things (when in Rome, after all) so don't beat yourself up over it.) I know we all have our own little subjective views on the world but you can at least care that there is an objective world, a world that we all share and ultimately, are, and while I understand how comforting it is to populate your particular subjective window primarily with colorful entertainment it is time, my friend, to wake the fuck up.

I could say that's because the world's about to eat you but that would be playing off your fear and also, it's probably not going to happen. Not just yet. Who knows? Maybe it can be averted. I suspect enough people regaining possession of their faculties might be able to accomplish that because in the final analysis there is no force so powerful as the finer human faculties. The likelihood that the timestream can be steered around the various oncoming catastrophes is raised considerably for those who harness those faculties, individually, and en masse? Could be quite the trump card.

But really, it's not fear that should motivate us to re-engage with the world. Fear is what has made us disengage from it: separating ourselves from nature as much as possible, going so far in the end as to almost wholly isolate our minds from any direct and unmediated contact with reality itself.

What should motivate you is love. Love for everything that's been, everything that is, everything that is yet to be. The world ends every moment, only to be recreated again, as the whirling vortices of energy and charge called matter oscillate in and out of existence. Each step in time is unique unto itself, and eternal in its way, for it inhabits the only moment of time that is real, the now, and now always is. Every moment is logically dependent on the moment preceding, though the outcome can never be predicted and it is this uncertainty - the knowledge that what happens next is influenced by what we do now, but with wild cards thrown in - that leads to the possibility of a creative influence in events.

4. The Improbable Taste of a Strawberry

Things can happen in a more or less deterministic fashion or not. Kick a rock off a cliff and it will fall to it's smashed doom, but kick a man and maybe he'll manage to grab a branch or a ledge on the way over or down. It's not likely but the possibility remains open, as is shown so often in the final crisis/confrontation scene of so many heroic action movies. Of course a rock can't choose to kick another rock over a cliff, or a human either, but a human can and therein lies the nub of the whole free will, good-and-evil thing that has afflicted our species since its inception.

You can look at the whole development of our species as the ascent of a mountain, an ever-higher peak of improbability as our knowledge, technology, population and resource base have grown to what just a few generations ago would have seemed epic proportions; taking the long view, our species has been engaged in a sweeping epic stretching back into the dim, forgotten epochs of prehistory. So far back as we can look, we see that the narrative is festooned with a wide variety of recurrent themes and dramas, acted out by recurrent historical types or archetypes manifesting in the personalities and behaviour of individual human beings. This is the basic folk wisdom which has been used for prophecy for millenia, embodied in oracles such as tarot or the various astrologies.

The set of archetypal human dramas and personalities is what lends history its self-similar, fractal structure. Self-similarity is likely a property of time itself, expressing itself as it does not just in human history but in the memory of the animal kingdom from whence it came, itself a product of the chemical memory of cells and the photonic memory of matter itself. At all scales, a set of archetypal behaviours and types present themselves, each progressively simplified from the last until ultimately we come to the fundamental on/off oscillatory heartbeat of exists/doesn't exist which underlies the continual happening of every subatomic particle in non/existence. That dichotomy flavors everything that flows out of it, like yin and yang; it expresses itself in new ways at every point in the chain and if you're looking for how some people were able to predict the End of the World with startling accuracy, well there's the mechanism.

And now here we stand, at the top of Mount Improbable or so it seems, and just as some of us are starting to suspect that 'there is more in Heaven and Earth, Horatio....', and that the skies are nothing like the limit, we've been collectively drop-kicked off the edge by an unseen assailant in the dark. Many still think we just tripped and fell (assuming they were sober enough to notice), and just how many will manage to grab on to something on the way over or down? Even if it's just long enough to pick a single strawberry? That's still up in the air. Where there's life there's hope and you're alive yet, aren't you?

I won't lie, it doesn't look good, but remember which mountain peak we're on. Anything can happen up here ... and most of it probably will.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Implicate Astrology

"As long as you still experience the stars as something "above you", you lack the eye of knowledge."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Have you ever looked up at the stars, so impossibly distant and mysterious, and wondered what it all has to do with you? If anything? If you're of a scientific or, at any rate, materialist bent - and I certainly have been, off and on, for a good fraction of my life, so: no one's judging - then outside of the idea that we're all ultimately made from star-dust (and that connection, tenuous as it is, is only to long-dead stars, gone supernovae billions of years before the Earth formed, let alone you) your answer will no doubt be, "Not a whole hell of a lot." The stars are a long way away, after all: so far that these inconceivably huge, blazing cosmic furnaces are reduced to infinitesimal pinpricks of light. Their gravitational force is far too weak to affect us; their magnetic fields, likewise. Aside from sharing our universe with us, and decorating our night skies, the stars have nothing to do with us.

That's the consensus, and until recently, I would have agreed with it without reservation. The alternative, the notion that there might be some connection between the stars and us, strikes the modern mind as a curious superstition; that so many persist in a belief in a astrology strikes the scientifically educated as one of those regrettable and incomprehensible atavisms ... much like the belief in God, spirits, angels, chakras, what have you. There is, they say, no scientific support for such notions; and so, in rationalist circles, it is impermissible to broach the subject unless one's intent is to make fun of it.

And yet ... here's the thing. When you take a closer look at science, at the real bleeding edge of it, the truly scientific mind - open and unclouded by dogma - starts to see something quite different.

Since the 1950s physics has been grappling with quantum non-locality, the so-called Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, which Einstein referred to as 'spooky action at a distance'. Amusingly, EPR began as an effort to discredit quantum mechanics: Einstein and his collaborators had hoped to point out a reductio-ad-absurdum in quantum theory, by showing that the equations implied that two particles (electrons, say, or photons), once 'entangled' or connected by means of their wavefunctions, would mutually affect one another over arbitrary distances: a measurement of one would instantly determine the state of the other, seemingly violating the speed-of-light limit on the transfer of information.

A more careful analysis later revealed that general relativity and its iron-clad speed of light remained safe: no information could be transmitted through this mechanism. Nevertheless quantum non-locality itself remained very much a fact, as has been verified time and again in the laboratory. This has led some to speculate that, given that all particles must have been co-located at the time of the Big Bang, all particles may in fact be mutually entangled with one another, sharing a sort of 'universal wave function'.

There are now many variations on this idea. David Bohm, a physicist who ran so close to the bleeding edge he went right off it (in the view of many of his colleagues) postulated what he called the 'implicate order': that the universe might in fact be analagous to a hologram, with each element within it in a sense containing the whole. This idea has been expanded on by others, with some physicists even suggesting that the universe of space and time that we (seem to) inhabit isn't just like a hologram, it is a hologram, projected inwards from the boundaries of the cosmos: just as a holographic image is a 3-dimensional illusion encoded into every segment of a 2-dimensional photographic plate, so the universe is a 4-dimensional illusion encoded into a a 3-dimensional surface. Interestingly, there are observational consequences to this idea: a year ago, those predictions were borne out at a gravitational wave observatory in Germany. If this discovery turns out to be genuine - and I expect it will - those involved will most certainly win the Nobel Prize, while the rest of us (and science especially) will have to turn our conception of reality inside out.

Of course, science moves very slowly: it will likely take years for the results of this experiment to be verified, and years more for it to be accepted. As a scientist I would have it no other way; as a mystic, I could care less.

Now, in my day-job - when I'm not moonlighting here at Moon Food - I am a scientist, or at least a scientist-in-training. My field is astrophysics, stellar astronomy in particular; in fact at this very moment I am sitting in the control room of a hulking beast of a telescope, a scientific instrument the size of a bus with a giant mirror polished to a precision that staggers the mind, an impressive and expensive piece of engineering meant for measuring the spectra of giant stars. As an astrophysicist I find it endlessly puzzling that although we have known of quantum non-locality for over half a century, our discipline has failed entirely to assimilate this idea. But then, to truly tease out the implications of the implicate order would obligate them to admit that, these past several hundred years, they might have been very wrong indeed and ... how embarrassing would that be?

Several months ago, at the beginning of my astrophysical career, I came across a very interesting and quite scholarly volume: Cosmos and Psyche, by Richard Tarnas of the Integral Institute. Anyone who's ever had their sense of reality, mind, and self exploded by Ken Wilbur will recognize the Integral Institute; for me, that affiliation alone was enough for me to give Tarnas' book a second look. In it, he lays out the reasoning and methodology behind astrology in a very logical fashion, examining the last several hundred years of history through the lens of the transpersonal planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (while touching also on Jupiter and Saturn, the more slow-moving - and thus more easily analyzed - of the personal planets.)

It was a fascinating and compelling read, but the scientist in me felt the need to put the theory to the test. "If there's anything to this," I said, "Then I will have Neptune in prominent aspect." Tarnas compared Neptune to Orpheus: it is the planet of dreamers and poets, of high ideals and head-in-the-clouds illusions, of mystical dissolution of the ego in the sea of consciousness and dissipation of the spirit at the bottom of a bottle of spirits. All of these have been powerful forces in my life; ergo, I reasoned, Neptune should be somewhere in my chart.

And so I asked my bemused mother the time of my birth, calculated my natal chart and, lo and behold, there was Neptune: in almost perfect conjunction with the Sun (go to the bottom of this page, where my chart is on display for all to see, and you can verify this for yourself.) The hair practically stood up on the back of my neck.

I was convinced.

Not that I'd ever admit that to my colleagues, of course. They'd think I'd lost it! And maybe I have but ... over the past several months and especially with the help of the fantastic text Astrologik by Antero Alli I've given the subject a deeper study, at the expense (I freely admit) of my formal studies and I have yet to be disappointed. Analyzing not just my own natal chart, but those of friends and family members, has consistently revealed an endless series of correspondences between the messages written in the sky at the time of birth and the personalities I know them (and myself) to have.

As a postscript, not so long ago I was adding some of the asteroids to my natal chart, and discovered that Eros - goddess of eroticism - was also in perfect conjunct with Neptune and the Sun. This made sense: I've always been a very good lover, practically by instinct (for no other reason than that selfish loving strikes me as not just rude but dull). Mere days after discovering this, on a whim I googled 'quantum astrology' for the very first time, wondering if others had made the same connections between Bohm, the implicate order, and astrology, and was led directly to the website of the fascinating and beautiful Kim Falconer: martial artist, mystic, fantasy author, and astrologer. Her speciality? None other than Eros.

I don't know where this new doorway into synchronicity will ultimately lead. To enlightenment? To madness? One thing is for sure, however: my conception of the world has been radically expanded, yet again, and if scientists scoff?

A fig for their narrow ideology. This is fun!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stacking up the Pieces

So it's just edged past the witching hour and for a variety of reasons I've slept little these past few days. Around 10:00 or so, after a day busier with the cognitive busy-work of academia than I've been in a while I finally had a chance, in my bleary, bug-eyed state to check up on the headlines at which point, of course, I saw that some crazy retard had just flown a small plane into an IRS building in Texas.

Only a couple of people were killed in the resulting fire, out of the 200 or so who were inside at the time, which good fortune we can attribute perhaps to the building somehow failing to fall despite the aerial impact event. You may argue that a Piper Dakota is no 747 but neither is a little IRS office block the World Trade Center. Physics is physics, people: if a big plane can take down a big building, a small plane can cause the collapse of a small building. QED.

But hallelujah we're beyond the realm of physics and dealing with miracles here. Emergency services were there in minutes, preceded only by a fully tricked out hazmat unit that was fortuitously there in advance, having deployed to the city the previous night and, with even greater luck, just happened to be setting up - oh for an exercise no doubt - right near the IRS building the very morning of the event. It's nice when things just sort of work out like that, don't you think? When all the pieces are in place.

Oh, and did you hear yet (I'm sure you did) that the pilot was a disgruntled software engineer who - having been tossed aside by Corporate America and facing the prospect of his financial carcass being picked over by their government - apparently went off the deep end of Tea Party-dom, posting a suicide note cum rambling anti-government rant that (I'm sure) will be full of conspiracy theories. Those conspiracy theorists, I tell ya: dangerous lunatics they are. No telling what they might do and some of them might, just might be terrorists. Right?


And that's scary, isn't it? I mean it's one thing if it's just a buncha sand-niggers and we can bring the fight to their heathen haji asses over in their medieval moonscape countries but ... white Americans turning to terrorism against their own kind? Why that might lead to open martial law by the by. Only way to keep things together in such a situation is to bring the fight to them, you know, and this time that'll mean bringing the fight right to your doorstep.

And this will justify and maybe even encourage just a bit more of that nonsense. You can almost hear the law-goblins skittering around in the great machinery of our legal code, getting ready to set the cyclopean gears grinding that will result in Firewall America. All sorts of petty, silly new restrictions will be put in place as a result of this: the police state will clamp down a little more tightly, the propaganda will get yet more shrill, and for now the majority of the population will shrug and figure it's all for their own safety. Like frogs who think that nice man's turning up the temperature in the pot because he's concerned about their comfort.

Well, my reaction to this isn't so much one of fear. I'm certainly not terrified of the Tea Party-errorists nor (as one of the erstwhile conspiracy nuts who gets lumped in with them by the lumpen proles and those in 'control') am I particularly frightened of a clamp-down on my civil liberties. I long ago decided that no matter what laws they pass, I do not have liberty. Liberty is what you're allowed to have. No, I am free simply because I am me and they aren't, more or less. Everyone else is just as free for the same reason, but figuring that out, that's the trick. I wish people would and ... I think they will.

No, what I'm getting off this right now is more annoyance (for whatever small hassle I will no doubt indirectly incur along the way as a result actions justified by this), as well as amusement: that those who did it believe they will get away with it.

They pulled this stunt in Austin, Texas. Let's pause over that: they had the colossal hubris and gall to try and put something like this over on a city with more tinfoil hat-cases than probably any other part of U.S. (except maybe the Texas back-country). What most people think is, "Yeah, Texans are crazy retards," but no, this isn't going to be like that. Think about it: I bet you the Texas police, emergency services, government, not to mention the general population, they're so shot through with exposure movement sympathizers that not a single step in this drama was taken, that was not observed. Such people keep their eyes open, they keep notes, and they keep in touch. This small army of swarming info-warriors will collate their numerous observations on the blogs and the forums of the Free Internet, they will throw a blinding spotlight on this story, and whatever the shape of the truth that takes form in that light it will devastate the plans of those who planned this.

This is going to be fast and brutal, but not in the way it was meant to be. Brace yourselves. And remember "First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti: You Did This

Oh, those poor Haitians, so unfortunate, their city destroyed, tens or hundreds of thousands dead and now the survivors are dying one by one from injuries, thirst and starvation ... or by the hands of their maddened machete-wielding countrymen, desperate to stave off that fate for themselves. Road blocks made of dead bodies, constructed, we're told, by enraged Haitians protesting the lack of aid are littering the streets, which doesn't make sense except in the sick sort of way in which everything Haitian must be understood. About the only doctors on the scene are either from Cuba or sans frontiers, but never fear for the US military has already secured the airport and a carrier group is en route.

I bet you feel so, so sorry for those poor blighted bastards down on that smashed cesspool of an island. Yeah, I'm sure you do, and you can take your self-righteous preening pity and swallow it like the poison it is. Truth is this is your fault. This happened because you let it happen. I don't care whether your name is John D. Rockefeller or Joe S. Shmoe, I don't care if your name is spelled with Chinese characters or printed in CAPITA DIMINUTIA MAXIMA on your birth certificate, I don't care who precisely it is that you are: this is your fault.

It is all our fault, but don't let that distract you from the very personal and immediate responsibility that you have for it. Sure, some are more responsible than others: the reason Haiti's an open sore on the planet is that it suits certain, ah, international entities that it remain so. The cheap labor is a nice bonus but I think it's a fair guess that the main thing is to have a nice, hollow, corrupt failed state as a way-point for the drug trade. If keeping things that way has meant enforcing the most desperate of conditions on an entire country full of people, well I guess that serves them right for making that voodoo pact with the devil way back when in exchange for helping them cast of the chains of the blancos and their bloodthirsty God. Can't let those heathen niggers get ideas, understand: an example must be made, pour encourager les autres.

Ever wonder why it is that Liberia's so fucked up? But I digress.

So, sure, some have been more responsible than others, but even if you were never on a UN peacekeeping mission in Port au Prince, never worked for the CIA or the IMF, or never even bought a Haitian baseball sewn in a sweatshop by a scrawny slum-rat whose dead-at-30 peasant father moved to the slum looking for non-existent work because he couldn't survive by farming anymore, even if you are completely clean on all these levels you still turned a blind eye. Don't be coy, now. You could have made more of an issue over the way Haiti was being systematically raped by the global order but, hey, it's a tough world and it's just one, small country, right?
Just a few people, and they're black, and besides, look at the Dominican: they're fine and it's the same island, so it's gotta be the Haitian's own fault for being a bunch of savages, after all.

Yeah, you thought it. Admit it. I did, many times over the years. It's the sum of such thoughts, over many moments, over many people, that enables the sordid behaviour of those who claim to act for us (and if we do not stop them, they do act for us) to continue all the way to its inevitable denoument: a land sucked dry by vampires where the daybreakers bring catastrophe with the dawn.

So that's how we got here. The question that now confronts us is where do we go from here?

You know the script the Obamanoids will unleash: the same one used in Katrina. Private disaster relief firms will descend on Port au Prince like vultures. The survivors will be warehoused in toxic, controlled pens, with the streets patrolled by foreign mercenaries enforcing curfews and no-go zones while the US military and the UN hover nearby, ready to cruise missile any objections that get too organized. Of course the country's broke, so to pay for all this their shell of a government will be armlocked into selling off what's left of its country's soul in perpetuity. In practice this means the people will be put to work as slaves rebuilding their island not for themselves but for corporations, and this time the slave collars (now made of silicon rather than iron) will never. Ever. Come off.

This is all symbolism, see. Haiti was the first slave country to free itself; its brutal history since then has corresponded to the fact that while slavery per se might have ended, the oppression of the colored races never really did. The planned (and you know it's planned) re-enslavement of Haiti by the disaster capitalists will similarly symbolize the re-enslavement of the whole rest of the planet. More disasters, natural and not, are sure to come this year, perhaps in staggering quantities. Each one of these emergencies will present an opportunity to reconfigure the local order into the New World Order and ... I'm sure you know where that ends.

Well, that's the script.

It's not what's going to happen. I'll get to that.

I imagine things are well in hand. I mean 'imagine' literally, in the sense of 'this is what I'm creating within my holographic reality projector'. For the past few days, ever since Haiti got Acted by God, I've been putting Haiti into my meditations: seeing the people, the land, reaching out to them with my soul and becoming them, becoming all of them, feeling their hearts as they chose to cooperate and help one another rather than turn on one another like wolves, to face the fear the world has thrown at them with courage and clarity rather than cowardice. Last night I called down a loa for a chat, offering it some sex magick in exchange for its help in helping the people who now call on its kind with a fevered desperation they haven't projected since perhaps they summoned the strength to fight off the French. This time, I asked it, help them for free. If you must have payment take it from us. From me.

So, I've been visualizing Haiti's recovery. I expect a lot of other people have been doing the same thing; I expect, in fact, that
as I write these words, all over the world there are thousands of people doing exactly that. If there's any truth to the notion of intention having an appreciable effect on outcomes within unfolding reality, well, this is all to the good. For all the stumbling and shame I have a feeling the aftermath of this will turn out a whole lot better than now looks possible.

Yes, well, nice thoughts are all very good but they'll do no good at all without actual action.

Here is how it is going to go down.

Soon, probably within a couple of weeks, there's going to begin a Haitian diaspora. The fact is Port of Prince was marginally inhabitable as it was: now, it's a death trap. Rebuilding will take generations, and in the meantime there is absolutely nothing left for those people but rubble. They have to get out.

I don't much want to wait for our governments to volunteer to take in a massive influx of shell-shocked, unskilled, uneducated immigrants from a deeply troubled culture whose idea of religion strikes the more conventionally minded as a particularly queasy form of black magic ... just doesn't seem the sort of thing the Harperites here in Canada are likely to latch onto. This means that, much in the way my grandparents sponsored Vietnamese boat people into the country back in the seventies, there has to be a volunteer immigration sponsorship movement of some kind.

Yeah, those boat people lived in their floating hell for years, though. We don't have years. We don't even have weeks, although weeks is what it will take. We have to get on top of this thing now.

It's not enough just to send nice thoughts, any more than it's enough this time to send money. We have to let them into our countries, all over the world, because their country isn't there any more.

And we will. I've seen it.

It won't be nearly enough to make up for what we've done. It never is. History can't be atoned for: it can only be acknowledged, learned from and moved past, into the past where it belongs, so that we can point the Now at a better When. One where, maybe, we don't let countries like Haiti happen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Smash and Grab

The image of Berlusconi's smashed face, the newly gap-toothed shock with which he clung to the car door, knees buckling as he stared about him in wide-eyed bleeding terror and confusion, that image is burning itself into the minds of people around the world. A primal thrill is rippling through the collective psyche at the sight of one of their lordly rulers reduced to a quivering wreck. Many will make the connection that if this can be done to one of them, it can happen to others, too. Amongst that many there will be some few who decide to take a shot at whatever targets present themselves.

Make no mistake, this incident marks a tipping point.

There seem to be a lot of those recently. The unfolding Climategate debacle has now grown beyond the damning e-mails and rigged source code with which the long-anticipated Copenhagen conference was kicked off, to now include massive corruption in the flagship Danish carbon market, complimentary hookers for the elite to enjoy as they wipe foie gras off their chins and get chauffered around in fleets of carbon-belching limos, departing at top speed back to the swank hotels to escape from enraged brown delegates who got an early look at the racist and exploitative treaty they were to be prodded and tricked into signing. No doubt the limos are too fast, or the free blowjobs just too fantastic, for these compassionate statesmen to notice as they race past streets closed down so thousands of shackled protestors can be sat down in ordered rows in puddles of their own freezing piss while the anonymous storm troopers we used to call 'cops' patrol the ranks with tasers, clubs, pepper spray and snarling German shepherds, their armour no doubt doing more to protect them from the weather (itself, as ever, howling its disagreement with the whole notion of global warming) than from the non-violent men and women of conscience they're tasked with shutting the fuck up.

The world is taking a long and hard look at the proceedings in Copenhagen, and I have my doubts that it much likes what it sees. Climategate has swallowed the Copenhagen conference whole, and when the Warmistas return to countries in the grip of what will no doubt be a savage winter Climategate will eat their stillborn agenda, their reputations, and their careers.

It appears that the American establishment now openly accepts that Osama (rhymes with Obama) Bin Laden has been dead since Tora Bora. Hundreds of dead spec ops troops (and how many in the crossfire?), no doubt hundreds of millions of dollars, squandered to keep up the pretense of tracking down Rahm Emanuel ... I'm sorry, Emanuel Goldstein ... and all those tapes with which they periodically prodded their dumb American beast protective-territorial circuit ... all of that now more or less admitted to be a giant psy-op.

People are taking note.

The elite knew this was coming. They knew, past a certain point, that they wouldn't be able to keep the lid on all those secrets and crimes, that eventually the scuffling and moaning of the mutant they've been keeping in the attic would become impossible to explain away as mating raccoons. So they've been planning to let things out on their own schedule, have their trusted minions and pet mockingbirds release the shocking truth in that special way they have, so can weave their neurolinguistic hoodoo on your minds one last time.

That's why you've got Alex Jones with his megaphone, with his boiling bellyful of rage, his megaphone-ful of descriptive truth and prescriptive nonsense (same as Chomsky! But aimed at a different psychological type.) It's why you've got Jesse 'Muscles' Ventura moving into position, with an all-new show in which the fearless action star will investigate all the conspiracies on prime-time mainstream television. They throw larger-than-life figures like these up there to give it to you straight-ish: they're big and strong and loud and take no shit from anyone, which is not at all like you, little man, which is why they can do it and you can't. So just sit there on your couch and get helplessly scared and impotently mad as the Big Boys let you in on just how fucked you are.

The game-plan for the elite right now comes down to one thing: one great big almighty Ooga-Booga with the starring monster as no less than themselves. Done right, this will stun the mass mind into the learned helplessness of battered wife syndrome on a huge scale. The spirit of the human species will be broken so thouroughly that even if the elite raised their boots from their faces and opened the door to the electrified cages (neither of which they have any intention of doing) their slaves won't make a move to rise (unless explicitly ordered to.)

Our game-plan is rather simpler. The conspiracy movement as a whole has been plainly stating their case for a long time. History is now cooperating in showing the world, in unambiguous terms, that we've been more or less giving it as straight as it gets the whole time, in stark contrast to the dissembling leaders who (it's turning out) really have been guilty of more or less everything they're charged with and (we'll no doubt find) a whole lot more we didn't know about, too.

This unveiling is tramautic thing for most people. I know it was for me. It probably was for you too. This is going to be much faster, much more intense, a roller-coaster ride into Chapel Perilous that will smash a great number of souls. What we have to do now is guide the species through this trauma: to let them know that all is not lost, that we are merely awakening as a species from a terrible nightmare, and that it is possible to awaken inside a dream of breathtaking beauty. While the elite panic and the masses freak out, we must remain calm and alert, so that as the Leviathan smashes its world we might grab whatever opportunities present themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Culture and Cosmos I: Out of the Big Black Dark

One by one and in their billions they move through the world along recurring paths they are powerless to change. The span and influence of their lives is decided entirely by their birth; and those lives are of no meaning, nor in truth of any importance save to that which immediately surrounds them, for each is separated from the other by a vast and unbridgeable gulf, one which - but for the most tenuous of connections - they are able to cross only with their deaths. Their common center is a yawning bottomless maw, whose inner workings are impenetrable yet whose indomitably fierce appetite is undeniable, for it is that hunger around which all else takes shape. As to the shape that is taken, it's origin is ineffable: impossibly distant, beyond any hope of observation even in theory, an invisible hand that reaches down from everywhere to ensure everything is kept in its place. Meanwhile everything is flying apart, on an inevitable slide into emptiness, dissolution, and a total isolation where in the end there is nothing left but that endless appetite, and that distant invisible hand.

What is it we're talking of, here? Is it our society? Well of course it is. It has an economy driven by rampant consumerism, while its communities are dissolved by a misunderstood notion of individualism that has left the individual alone before the State and the Market. Whatever appearances may be, everyone knows that all real power is in the hands of the financial interests, for there is no argument with their massive concentrations of wealth, nor with the insatiable greed at the heart of those concentrations. At the same time there is the shadow government, permeating the institutions that give society form, ensuring that a certain script is followed as events unfold.

But it's not just society, for the description above could as easily be the cosmos as it is today described to us.

Stars form when a certain quantity of gas collapses under its own weight. However large they happen to be when they are born in their nebulae predetermines every characteristic of their lives, from how brightly they shine to how long they live: those lives will be long and dull or short and glorious but either way, one day, they will end in an entirely predictable fashion. Some will fade to embers and some will explode, showering the cosmos with the fruits of their death in the form of newly created heavy elements and a certain amount of their energy. Those that explode will then become either neutron stars or black holes: immortal, invisible, and indomitable concentrations of gravitational potential. Most are small and of relatively little importance, but at the center of every galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, its gravity the center around which every star in the galaxy revolves. Surrounding every galaxy, meanwhile, its influence in fact dominating every large structure in the universe, is dark matter: an invisible, undetectable substance that takes on nebulous shapes for unknown reasons but by whose gravity the behaviour of everything in the cosmos is arranged.

For some time now we have been told that the universe started with a Big Bang, an event so full of infinities that it is impossible, even in principle, to make any meaningful probe beyond it. Ever since then the universe has been expanding, every point in space rushing away from ever other point according to a strange metric whereby those points that are furthest away recede from one another the fastest. More recently we've been told that the future of the universe is at the mercy of a mysterious new dark energy, under whose influence everything shall (some tens or hundreds of billions of years hence) fly apart so far and fast that atoms shall be separated by light years and nothing will remain save black holes and their invisible, cold halos of dark matter.

It's no surprise that dark energy has become all the rage, cosmologically speaking. More or less coinciding with it's 'discovery', the world began its inexorable slide into the thicket of interlocking existential crises that now confront it and indeed seem to define what we've seen so far of the 21st century. Which came first is up for debate but if you take 9/11 as a rough signpost of a shift in the collective panic factor, it's distinctly interesting to note that dark energy seems to have first cropped up just a few years beforehand, in the late 90s.

It's no accident that there are such striking metaphorical similarities between our cosmology and our culture. The story we tell about the world, after all, is fundamentally a story about us. This is the case in any culture you care to examine. Whatever their particular cosmological mythos happens to be, it is both a reflection of that culture's inherent nature, and simultaneously a justification of that nature. Whether the cosmology is true (and it never is), the archetypes expressed within the story are every bit as real, at the level of the cultural imagination, as anything else. This is every bit as much the case for Modern Western Techno-Corporatocratic Materialist civilization as it has been for every other civilization in history.

Of course, it's not so explicit now as it has been in the past. The Catholic Church adopted the Ptolemaic geocentric cosmology early on for the precise reason that it provided an additional leg of support for both the papacy and the system of hereditary feudal kingship, themselves also both mutually reinforcing: the divine perfection of the heavenly crystal spheres reflected both the temporal order of the monarchy and the divine rule of the papal throne. Cosmos, kingdom and Church formed an ideological Holy Trinity that stood unchallenged for a thousand years.

Until, at a certain point, came a small group whose members possessed the independence of mind, industriousness of spirit, education and means to pursue a different idea: that it was in fact the Sun that was the common center of the solar system's planets. They were ignored, ridiculed, and persecuted without mercy by the Church, for the Vatican well understood the danger posed by a competing cosmology, yet they held fast and as evidence accumulated it grew ever harder for educated people to deny the heliocentric solar system. That the Church took centuries to admit its mistake, that intermediary models were put forward in which the Sun for some reason still orbited the Earth even as all other bodies orbitted the Sun, that court astronomers continued to calculate orbits with Ptolemaic epicycles until the 19th century ... all of this was immaterial to the inevitable and total triumph of those scientists who made truth rather than sociopolitical expediency the star by which they navigated.

The changes wrought to the culture's cosmology have echoed through every aspect of the culture itself. The authority of the Church in temporal matters was ultimately shattered; the primacy of kings, steadily diminished. With the heavens liberated from the impenetrable crystalline spheres, the story of the world from the Renaissance on through the Enlightenment and into the present became one of heady freedom, of expanding possibility as man ascended through history.

This triumph of science over superstition was achieved through evidence: the theories of the nascent astronomers more accurately described the observations than those taught by the Church philosophers. With this crucial battle won all else followed. Because of this, the modern heirs of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler adjudge that their own theories must be if not true exactly, the closest we have yet come to it, for after all has not the whole point of scientific astronomy been to describe the cosmos as accurately as possible, without consideration for political interests?

And yet now, as at every other time in history, with every culture that has ever been, there is a striking metaphorical similarity between the entities that populate our heavens and the institutions that rule our lives.

It is not surprising that this is the case. Given the wider societal context, especially the power structure on which astronomers inevitably depend for financial support, no other situation is possible. The influence a cosmology exerts over the cultural mind has not been forgotten by the elites. As ever it is desirable to those who fancy they own the world that the cosmology justify their order, thus they will fund whichever cosmology best accomplishes this aim and nothing else. In this there is nothing new or different, save perhaps the subtlety with which the manipulation is performed.

As for the academic mainstream of scientists, perhaps some have learned this and keep their own council, while others have perhaps cynically sold out and gotten in on the gag (as we've all seen most recently in the climategate scandal). In all likelihood most are simply hypnotized by the Big Bang and its credulity-stretching cast of shadowy characters for the simple reason that, at a deep level, they sense the resonance between the theory and the human world out of which it has arisen.

That world has lately been characterized by materialism, greed and deceit on every scale from the personal to the global. It is a world divided against itself, and the consequences grow more apparent with every day's headlines. It is not a world that can last, nor was it meant to. As above, so below: what once seemed solid and dependable is becoming as tenuous as smoke. Just as the cosmologist's dark energy is pushing the universe apart at an ever-accelerating pace, so it seems that some mysterious force has taken hold of every institution that underpins society, dissolving its structure, flinging what remains into the outer darkness and leaving behind only the concentrated power of finance and the fist of the security state.

It is ever more obvious that something new is required: our society must be recreated, based on new assumptions about the world, or perhaps rather an updated understanding of the underpinnings of very old assumptions. There are many who understand this, who know exactly which directions society must change in and from which axiomatic truths those changes must proceed. Yet as long as the cosmology remains unchanged, these new cultural narratives will remain uncomfortably shoehorned within a wider theoretical meta-context that could not be more incompatible. The result will be that every attempt to spread the new ways, to teach the new truths, and to form the new institutions will meet an almost invisible but pervasive resistance from the very depths of the cultural imagination.

Conversely, if those assumptions about how and why the universe is can be changed - not on a whim, not on fancy but with a scientific theory more compelling than the alternative - that subtle resistance can be removed, even reversed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What the Health Minister of Poland Had to Say About the Swine Flu Vaccine

You know, it would be nice to see this kind of candor in our own media.

For anyone who wants to get this the fast way and just read it, I've provided a transcript below. There are subtitles but the translator's English is a bit rusty, (though broken English does have its charms. Personally I wouldn't have it any other way.)

I would like to start by saying that throughout my 20 odd years of practice as a GP, my priority was: first, do no harm. I took that rule with me to my office in the Ministry of Health.

In a situation in which I was to recommend a medicine for anybody, I would ask, as would any other practitioner I believe, would I give this to my elderly mother? To my child?

And exactly such a thought makes me very cautiously double-check the information regarding a medicine which the Health Ministry is to recommend for every Pole, for millions of Poles who do not have the education that a Minister has, that an expert such as Professor Brydak has, an expert that has been working with the flu for over 40 years. There are 189 flu research centers in the world and Professor Brydak works in one of them. Can we today be accused of lack of knowledge about the flu?

Can one question the opinion of a professor who has been working on the flu for over 40 years, and not just on one type of flu, and who has published hundreds of articles on the subject?

I have just one fundamental question: do we want to fight the flu pandemic?

Today we have knowledge of clauses in agreements that many other governments of wealthier countries have signed with vaccine producers. We also know what was proposed to Poland. Due to continuing negotiations I can't tell you everything today, but I can tell you one thing: our legal department found at least twenty points of contention in the contract.

So what is the Health Minister's duty? To sign contracts that are in the best interests of the Polish people, or to sign contracts that are in the best interests of pharmaceutical corporations?

I know there are three vaccines available on the market today, from three different producers. Each have different quantities of active ingredients yet strangely enough, they are treated the same. So isn't it fair enough that the Health Minister and the experts have the slightest doubt about them? Maybe the one with only trace amounts of the active ingredients is just Holy Water that we are supposed to think will cure flu? Are we supposed to pay for that?

We have for an example Germany, which bought 50 million jabs, of which only 10% has been administered so far. Only 13% of Germans want to take this 'miraculous cure' today. But this is peculiar because Germany has a very high percentage of vaccine takers, so when in Poland of a thousand people only 52 will take a seasonal flu jab, in Germany there will be 238 of a thousand, 23%.

So what has happened that only 13% of Germans want to take the swine flu vaccine, and not 23% of the population as per usual with the season flu? Their government bought the vaccines and offered them for free and they don't want it? What happened?

Can those facts make us have second thoughts about buying the vaccines or not? Second thoughts about introducing a medicine that is kind of secret?

There are websites on which vaccine producers have an obligation to publish so-called post-vaccinational unwanted side effects. The vaccinations in Europe started on the first of October, 2009. I would like you to visit any of these websites and find any unwanted side effects. Even the slightest thing, just one, like an allergic skin rash. That can happen even using the safest medicine.

There are none on those websites. A "perfect" medicine.

So since it's so miraculous, why don't producing corporations want to introduce their medicine to the free market and take responsibility for it? Why wouldn't they say, "It's a wonderful, safe medicine, so we'll take full responsibility for it, we'll introduce it to the market and everything will be clear and transparent."? Instead of dropping the weight on us, the buyers.

We have no clinical test results, no detailed lists of ingredients and no information about side effects. The vaccines are now in the fourth stage of tests, very short tests, and we still do not have that information. Additionally the samples are very low: one kind of vaccine was tested on only 160 volunteers, ages 20-60, all healthy, none infected. Another kind of vaccine was tested on only 600 volunteers, 18-60, all healthy. Is this good enough, especially for we doctors present in this room? It is not good enough for me.

I want to be sure when I recommend this vaccine. While we are not out of the line for the vaccine, during negotiations we want to take that time and use it to find out as much as we can about the vaccine. Then, if the pandemic committee will accept this vaccine, we will buy it.

Additionally, there are one billion people who catch seasonal flu worldwide every year, and one million die of seasonal flu worldwide every year. And it hasn't been going on for a year or two, but for a very long time. Has anybody anywhere announced a pandemic because of seasonal flu? And the seasonal flu is much more dangerous than the swine flu, there are deaths and severe complications. Were there any pandemics announced?

To those who are pushing me to buy vaccines, I ask them: why didn't you scream and shout last year, two years ago, or in 2003? In 2003 1,200,000 Poles caught seasonal flu. Has anybody shouted, here in this room, "Let's buy vaccines for everybody!"? I can't recall such a thing.

And finally I would like to say one thing: the Polish nation is very wise. Poles can tell the truth from lies very precisely. They can also tell what is a serious situation, and what is just a game.