Tuesday, July 10, 2018

POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUMP ARTICLE EVER WRITTEN

Download it. Read it. Clip and save it. This Johnathan Chait article for New York Magazine is causing some stress among the leftier-than-thou pseudo-intelligentsia of the Glenn Greenwald-trusting, RT-paycheck-cashing variety, but let those puppies whine, as this train rolls past them into the history books of the future.

It begins thusly:
On June 14, 2016, the Washington Post reported that Russian hackers had broken into the Democratic National Committee’s files and gained access to its research on Donald Trump. A political world already numbed by Trump’s astonishing rise barely took notice. News reports quoted experts who suggested the Russians merely wanted more information about Trump to inform their foreign-policy dealings. By that point, Russia was already broadcasting its strong preference for Trump through the media. Yet when news of the hacking broke, nobody raised the faintest suspicions that Russia wished to alter the outcome of the election, let alone that Trump or anybody connected with him might have been in cahoots with a foreign power. It was a third-rate cyberburglary. Nothing to see here. 
The unfolding of the Russia scandal has been like walking into a dark cavern. Every step reveals that the cave runs deeper than we thought, and after each one, as we wonder how far it goes, our imaginations are circumscribed by the steps we have already taken. The cavern might go just a little farther, we presume, but probably not much farther. And since trying to discern the size and shape of the scandal is an exercise in uncertainty, we focus our attention on the most likely outcome, which is that the story goes a little deeper than what we have already discovered. Say, that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort told their candidate about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer after they were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton; and that Trump and Kushner have some shady Russian investments; and that some of Trump’s advisers made some promises about lifting sanctions. 
But what if that’s wrong? What if we’re still standing closer to the mouth of the cave than the end?
 Here's the unroll of a great Tom Nichols Tweetstorm about this article. You'd do well to read both.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"I DON'T REALLY CARE. DO U?"


I find it odd that there hasn't been more discussion about what possibly could have been floating through the minds of either the FLOTUS or her handlers regarding her decision -- if indeed it WAS her decision -- to wear a garment adorned with a great, big, block-letters message that could not have been more inappropriate, at every conceivable level, when visiting one of those shameful "tender age detention facilities" near the border with Mexico.

Is there not something distinctly and disturbingly "Trump" about it? About how free of subtlety and nuance it is? About how insultingly direct it is in its rhetorical brutality? And coming straight from one of the most visible representatives of America's commanding heights.

This should be a bigger deal, it seems to me, but it's almost as if it was so wrong, so disgusting, so utterly beyond comprehension for most non-demented people, that nobody in the media, mainstream or otherwise, seems able to get a handle on how to approach it. 

It was actually kind of amazing, watching them try, and then give up, because... what's the point? This really is a case of "it is what it is"... any commentary beyond just playing the video seems... unnecessary? Confounding? Insufficient in every way? It's a real head-spinner, the likes of which has no analog in recent memory. As far as faux-pas go, "Now watch this drive" pales in comparison.

To me, this incident represents a clear moment of escalation in both the New Fascist International's use of pseudo-magickal meme-war, and also in their willingness to "go there" when it comes to confirming the worst fears of right-minded people -- and the hopes and dreams of Trumpnik True Believers -- about how deeply this movement is committed to its spite-sculpted core values (destroying the postwar consensus to own the libs) and how far they're willing to go in service to those values. The latest step down this stairway to hell being the establishment of concentration camps for brown babies.

Am I making too much of this whole jacket thing? I don't believe that I am, and I think it may well be a demarcation point of sorts in historical hindsight, looking back on this era. A friend over at the Rigorous Intuition discussion board brought up a popular slogan in Mussolini's Fascist Italy: "Me ne frego", which loosely translates as "I don't give a fuck". While I currently doubt there's any conscious referencing going on, maybe it's just one of those times when history, while not quite repeating, rhymes. On the other hand, with the likes of Bannon and Miller still in the White House orbit, one can never fully discount the influence of obscure Far Right luminaries like Gabrielle D'Annunzio or Julius Evola.

Another point to keep in mind with all this is the fact that Zara, the company that produces the jacket in question, has a history of marketing apparel of a politically disturbing nature.

If any of you have come across any analysis or explanation that you've found satisfactory, I'd really, really like to see it. So please forward it along, either to my email or leave the link in the comments section.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A POEM TO BE READ ALOUD

KNOW THOUGHTS BELIEVE
by Shalam Yamean

A​ll the world trauma
The fires, shootings, flooding
The travesty, police brutality
The lack and spoil of heart
The smack of the Haarp and foil of theory
Truth will never fear
Some things remain
Like Black Men and Women
Still arguing over identity
In agreement over disunity
Taking sides on shades of skin
Of course they took our names
Can't hide that hand forget the idea of hating White people
Hand over your anger
Don't forget we overstand
Forget even the idea of Whiteness
Just remember their plan
Reassess the assimilation success breeds, overstand
Know the Most High
Leave the idea of Whiteness alone
Unite, ascend to your throne
How many other races have been fighting for this long
Dying
For reparations, real reparations for our children too, how many
Just how many have fought for us too, I mean as well
As well as I am with you, I know not everyone who looks like you is
I'm just as tired of seeing Blacks sick and tired
Going hard for everyone else and not us too
It's we love everybody and we still ain't free
I feel when I read Colossians 3:15
For that alone one cannot hate
Peace has been in my heart
Since I've been awake
You know, this neo-colonialism can't stay up
You know, Sierra Leone
Aint that in Africa G
Is that one of those shithole countries
I'm not sure
The third world, ain't poor by happenstance
Kids dying....' young blood' from red white and blue
Yet the majority of the world’s diamonds come from the mining there, I know that's true
True as mind your business boy, there now
Now isn't that there why you don't know about the Coltan in the Congo
Those conflict Minerals
Older than the bones of Ishango
Do the math, the knowledge
How can we be Black and powerless
And somehow dismiss the idea of innate Black power
Nah, nah no pseudo, my brotha
Whether you Hebrew, Yoruba, Israelite, Jew, Moor
More so Christian, skinny, fat, short, tall
Oh yea, don't call me Black
That's way too tall of an order
In this new world order
Wasn't the Bible written by Blacks anyway
'Where' all the miseducation started anyway
This Nations forefather's knew
The papyrus plants cleaned to hold stories of the first kings
You don't believe, well...
"Just because you know Allah don't make you Mu'min"

Saturday, May 26, 2018

JERKY READS IT FOR YOU ~ SEASON OF THE WITCH


SEASON OF THE WITCH 
HOW THE OCCULT SAVED ROCK AND ROLL 
By Peter Bebergal 

At a slim 228 pages (plus 20 page introduction), presented in fairly large and generously spaced type, Peter Bebergal’s Season of the Witch was never going to live up to its dust jacket marketing hype, which declares: “This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll—from the Beatles to Black Sabbath—and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our world.”

It does, however, serve as a very good introduction and overview, offering a much-needed sober take on subject matter that has heretofore been the domain of evangelical “educational videos” and sub-moronic, anti-Semitic Youtube documentaries by conspiracy hobbyists who have yet to realize that if Lady Gaga and BeyoncĂ© are in the Illuminati, then we truly have nothing to fear from the Illuminati.

I’ve been an admirer of Bebergal’s writing for The New Yorker for a while now—with his extended appreciation of the psychedelic sci-fi maverick Michael Moorcock and his think piece on Thomas Ligotti being particular standouts—so it brings me no pleasure to report that, for such a slim book, Season of the Witch suffers from a touch of undergraduate bloat. It’s almost as though Bebergal was occasionally stretching to meet a mandatory word count. This is particularly true in the early chapters, where he spends far too long leading the reader down already well-trodden paths.

For instance, there is simply no excuse for the amount of space Bebergal devotes to that hoary old blues/rock Ur-myth, the Bargain at the Crossroads, nor to the extended exegeses on the deep anthropological roots of rhythm and blues. This all merits mention, surely, but I can hardly think of anything less “occult” (a synonym for “hidden”) than the fact that rock music is African/African American music. There are literally hundreds of high quality works, for both layman and scholar, exploring these particular subjects. A few pages of summary, directing interested readers to pertinent sources, would have sufficed. Instead, Bebergal’s history lesson drones on for 30 pages; and they’re the first 30 pages of his book, not including the (thankfully, excellent) introduction. It’s a painful, dragging slog that all but dares the reader to continue.

Season of the Witch could also have used at least one more editorial pass, preferably by someone coming in fresh. This would have spared Bebergal the embarrassment of having the phrases “still wading in a bayou of voodoo and Christianity” and “still part of a culture knee-deep in a swamp of superstition” appear in the same paragraph, straddling pages 2 and 3 of his very first chapter.

There are a number of such uncomfortable echoes, all the way to pages 224 and 225, where you find the phrase “this sinister metal, one embracing decay and darkness as an essential part of the human condition” literally rubbing up against the phrase “a new mythology of metal, one that embraced decay and darkness as an essential part of the human condition” on the facing page. Ouch.

Despite these caveats, Season of the Witch serves as an excellent primer on the subject of how multiple strands of the Western Esoteric Tradition have manifested (and continue to manifest) in rock music at every level, from obscure one-hit wonders and niche acts catering to specialist audiences, all the way up to those stadium-straddling demi-gods who have forged the so-called “Classic Rock” legacy that seems destined to be at least as long-lived as those of such immortals as Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Stravinsky, et al. As such, Bebergal’s tome makes a worthy companion to Gary Lachman’s excellent A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult, which is, in actuality, a chronological roll call of significant individuals in the literary, artistic, and (to a lesser extent) political realms, all of whom were deeply influenced by, or were esteemed practitioners of, Western occultism.

And that, dear friends, is why I’ve decided to produce a mini-concordance for Bebergal’s book (with one for Lachman’s coming at some point in the near future). This project will be of a more limited scope compared to what I put together for Eugene Thacker’s In The Dust of This Planet, for which I went way overboard. But I will endeavor to provide a plethora of intriguing multimedia links relating to the acts and artists that Bebergal writes about, as well as to other writings that will help to promote and occasionally flesh out Bebergal’s various theses. These will include links to some intriguing music that I have to assume will be new to you, because I’ve made it one of my life goals to sniff out the most obscure Prog Rock ever created, and Bebergal managed to hip me to some stuff that I’d never even heard of, much less listened to.

So, let us begin at the beginning, with the…


INTRODUCTION – We Are All Initiates Now

I 

After an amusing and relevant epigraph from Euripides’s The Bacchae (“My hair is holy. I grow it long for the God.”), Bebergal regales the reader with a tale that should be familiar to most readers of a certain vintage. It’s the story of how his big brother, upon leaving for college in 1978, gave him access to “the mysteries” of his room. A record collection that was like a lexicon of the Gods (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Arthur Brown, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Yes, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd). A damn fine musical starter kit for a precocious 11-year-old seeker already steeping in the wonders of Tolkien reprints, Dungeons & Dragons, Heavy Metal Magazine, horror comics and the animated films of Ralph Bakshi!

Bebergal was the kind of kid who was obsessed with finding clues as to whether or not Paul was really dead, sought out secret messages like the “Do what thou will” motto etched into the living vinyl of Led Zeppelin III, wondered what exactly David Bowie’s deal was anyway, and lost himself as he gazed into album covers painted by prog rock’s premiere visual fantasist, Roger Dean.
Those days sitting cross-legged on my brother’s floor were an initiation into a mystery cult, where I would become a disciple of rock and roll. Throughout my teenage years, rock was the musical narrative of my inner life. There was always an album that spoke perfectly to whatever inscrutable feelings I was negotiating at the time. Rock’s often sphinxlike truths were the key to not only my own inner life; they could open the door into other mysterious realms. Eventually I stopped searching for esoteric riddles on album covers and in song lyrics, but I never ceased being aware of where the occult imagination was at play. It’s a plot I’ve been following ever since I first opened the gatefold cover to David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album to the grotesquely erotic painting of a caninesque Bowie, half man, half dog. I came to realize that magic cannot exist without a conduit, a means of expression. And even if it can, I am not interested in the metaphysics of the occult. I believe in those horned gods only when I hear them speaking from out of the grooves in the vinyl… And in those moments, they are as real as the music itself. I don’t need the magic to be anywhere else. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

MINUTIA & INCONSEQUENTIA / INNOCENT QUESTIONS

MINUTIA & INCONSEQUENTIA

  • It's been fairly well established in certain circles that the New York office of the FBI was essentially a "Trump for President" campaign center. In fact, there have been some incredibly dark suspicions raised by the behaviors of some very dark actors, indeed, including "Count Rudolph" Giuliani, "Bloody Erik" Prince and other elements within that office who conspired to wreck Hillary's chances and boost Trump's. Seth Abramson has been doing a fantastic job of tying together the flailing strands of this story-yet-to-be-told from the very beginning, even before the election. Read this comprehensive and hair-raising narrative about it -- accurately titled "Bigger than Watergate" -- to get a better idea of why yer old pal Jerky has been so fucking freaked out and frazzled lately. Personally, I think Abramson is right on the money. It's just one more piece of the puzzle when it comes to the New Fascist International installing their boy Trump in the White House.
  • Well, what do you know? It turns out this bullshit neocon anti-Obama hit-piece, which accuses Obama of going easy on Hezbollah not to endanger his Iran nuclear deal negotiations and is being echoed and amplified by the Far Right Fake News propaganda echo chamber is absolute, 100% BULLSHIT! Seems like a popular strategy with The Powers That Be these days, though, doesn't it? Trump does something awful, and then a bunch of twits pop up screaming "OBAMA DID IT TOO!" Trump's racist gestapo deportation efforts, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations... all led to "OBAMA DID IT TOO! OBAMA DID IT TOO!" And then, when you look into it, it invariably turns out that, no... No, he did not. But hey, I'm sure it keeps the base happy. Right?
  • Every day, from increasingly desperate insiders trying to get the word out, we learn more about how Donald Trump seethes, ruminates and deteriorates mentally. Meanwhile, nobody seems to be willing to talk about the fact that hardcore Christo-fascist right-wingers who've been groomed from infancy to be the instruments of God’s wrath on Earth (via the world's largest nuclear arsenal, which they hope to put to use at the first possible moment) and who've been placed strategically throughout various governmental agencies in case an opportunity precisely like this one were ever to present itself, giving them a chance to turn Biblical prophecy into reality, thus justifying their worldview and wrapping up all of reality with a bright red bow, which I guess, in some ways, would make them the “winners”? Jesus Camp. Special universities that cater exclusively to home-schooled members of the Dominionist and Reconstructionist Christian cults, funded by billionaire benefactor True Believers who take the most promising graduates and put them to work in their network of think tanks and policy institutes and almost never in actual, real academia (which they're working tirelessly to denigrate and sideline), because peer review and public scrutiny would soon suss out the fact that they are a danger to themselves and others, and where nihilistic eschatological theology is generally frowned upon, particularly as public policy. Know what I mean?


INNOCENT QUESTIONS

Innocent Question #257837 ~ In all seriousness, have the Trump regime and the GOP hired veteran Scientology propagandists to run their ongoing multiple smear campaigns against those they deem to be a threat to their lucrative criminal pursuits? Because their recent efforts reek of 90's era Scientology tactics. Take a look at this disgusting and ludicrous website that they slapped together to smear James Comey as a case in point.

Innocent Question #257838 ~ Have you ever wondered why it is that the Alt Right so often sympathizes with insane mass murderers? Personally, I think it's because they're all just one sub-optimal encounter with a minimum wage service industry drone away from shooting up and/or crashing their mom's car into the nearest crowd of innocent bystanders, themselves. ALL OF THEM.

Innocent Question #257839 ~ Don't believe Stormy Daniels about being threatened by a Trump thug? Then how about these people? Please note that not only did these people describe their encounters with Trump-hired goons contemporaneous to the events in question, but some of them even contacted the authorities at the time, which once caused Trump to behave in highly suspicious behavior afterwards, in an obvious, desperate, and failed attempt to make himself look blameless.

ERIC GARLAND'S GAME THEORY 5
(AUDIO VERSION)


If you'd rather read it, or want to clip and save it (which I recommend), then check out the post on Eric's blog, instead.

LIGHT READING FOR HEAVY TIMES


MORE FORMER TRUMP-RUSSIA "SKEPTICS" ARE ACCEPTING THE OBVIOUS

The latest to come around? Renowned investigative journalist James Risen. And he's done so in the pages of infamously and unreasonably Russo-skeptic online journal The Intercept, no less, in an ongoing series entitled Trump and Russia, in which "James Risen weighs the evidence for accusations of Russian election interference, collusion, and obstruction of justice."

So far, two parts have been released. First came "Is Donald Trump A Traitor?" The second part is "The Absent Professor"

I can recommend this series both to those who already have a good handle on why the rest of us see red when ostensibly intelligent people try to claim "there's no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia" and also to those who are laboring under the idiotic, propaganda-implanted assumption that there's no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia.

***

WE'RE DOOMED:
THE CLIMATE REALITY NOBODY IS ADDRESSING.

Are you in a good mood? Then maybe DON'T read this Guardian interview with social scientist Mayer Hillman, in which you'll encounter such cheery and enlightening paragraphs as:
Although Hillman has not flown for more than 20 years as part of a personal commitment to reducing carbon emissions, he is now scornful of individual action which he describes as “as good as futile”. By the same logic, says Hillman, national action is also irrelevant “because Britain’s contribution is minute. Even if the government were to go to zero carbon it would make almost no difference.” 
Instead, says Hillman, the world’s population must globally move to zero emissions across agriculture, air travel, shipping, heating homes – every aspect of our economy – and reduce our human population too. Can it be done without a collapse of civilisation? “I don’t think so,” says Hillman. “Can you see everyone in a democracy volunteering to give up flying? Can you see the majority of the population becoming vegan? Can you see the majority agreeing to restrict the size of their families?” 
Hillman doubts that human ingenuity can find a fix and says there is no evidence that greenhouse gases can be safely buried. But if we adapt to a future with less – focusing on Hillman’s love and music – it might be good for us. “And who is ‘we’?” asks Hillman with a typically impish smile. “Wealthy people will be better able to adapt but the world’s population will head to regions of the planet such as northern Europe which will be temporarily spared the extreme effects of climate change. How are these regions going to respond? We see it now. Migrants will be prevented from arriving. We will let them drown.”
But don't worry... the news isn't ALL bad! Here's Hillman trying to accentuate the positive:
...optimism about the future is wishful thinking, says Hillman. He believes that accepting that our civilisation is doomed could make humanity rather like an individual who recognises he is terminally ill. Such people rarely go on a disastrous binge; instead, they do all they can to prolong their lives.
Um... Hooray?
***

RED ICE CREATIONS AND THE FASCIST TAKEOVER
OF THE CONSPIRACY WEB

One of yer old pal Jerky's long-standing projects has been to explore and uncover the facts surrounding the New Fascist International's very deliberate takeover of the conspiracy web, so when I see an article like Anti-Fascist News' Red Ice Creations and the New Fascist Media, I experience a strange combination of gratitude that they've done the work, and shame that I didn't get to it first. In any case, this article is a must-read, even if it doesn't go as far as I would like it to in exposing the NFI's strategy of taking over an entire new media ecosystem for their propagandistic purposes. It begins...
The world of the pseudo-intellectual far right used to be relatively isolated. There was a small network of blogs and then a few that peaked above the others, namely Alternative Right, American Renaissance, Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents Publishing, and a few others. Alternative Right morphed over to the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, where they continued their use of meta-politics to introduce white nationalism and used podcasts as a primary means of media communication. In only the last five years this network of online “Alt Right” spaces has expanded exponentially, starting largely with Human Biological Diversity blogs that continued “race and IQ” arguments. They began creating a generalized subculture of trolls, social media warriors, and those who have taken the jargon and influences of the more academic Alt Right and brought them down to the level of the average racist. 
Today, podcasts and videos are commonplace for Alt Right commentators who are trying to jump into the fast Internet media cycle, and attempting to create a fascist version of what we see on the left. Through this, the Daily Shoah and the Right Stuff radio network have become incredibly popular for their crass racist audio tracks, and places like Radix have continued to pump out their interview focused episodes with fascist “celebrities of the week.” While all of these have maintained an increasing popularity as Donald Trump mainstreams white nationalism, all of their work combined still pales when compared to a relative newcomer in the fascist Internet scene. 
Red Ice Creations, which jumps between Sweden and the U.S., has created a media infrastructure that is more formal and has more socio-political crossover points than you see in other racist media. They have taken up the mantle started by people like Richard Spencer, now doing a regular feed of audio and video programs.
What follows is an excellent breakdown of Red Ice's modus operendi, as well as their evolution since launching operations, and their increasingly obvious, not-so-hidden agendas. In a world where, in the short term, it's becoming more and more important to "know thy enemy", you could do a lot worse than this article. Read it. Share it. Clip and save it for future reference.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WHO IS TO BLAME?

This short film by the brilliant VIZ cartoonist Barney Farmer, creator of the Beckett-level strip Drunken Bakers, also scripted a brilliant short film based on another one of his strips, The Male Online, really flew under the radar. But here it is, for your delectation!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

ALEXANDRE BISSONNETTE'S TWITTER HISTORY RELEASED

The authorities who have been conducting the investigation into Alexandre Bissonnette--the terrorist who opened fire in a Quebec mosque, killing six and wounding more--have made public some of their findings, including a chart detailing his social media activity, and it's pretty much exactly what you would expect.

Here it is:  

Gee! Who knew a steady diet of non-stop honking cant from a pack of lying, reactionary, racist propagandists like Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, "Baked Alaska", Richard Spencer, Infowars' Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Mike Cernovich, David Duke, Laura Ingraham, Gavin McInnes, Stefan Molyneux could be so bad for your mental health, not to mention the world at large?

That is, of course, a rhetorical question. I'm pretty sure every single one of you reading this already knew that reading or watching any of the above idiots (and a tragic number more billionaire-bankrolled brain-whores and Patreon Panhandlers) would have dire civilizational consequences. We're all reaping what they've sown.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

CULTURAL ARTIFACTS WORTH UNEARTHING

Citizen Shane is a DIY documentary about Shane Ballard, and the less you know about him going in, the more you'll get out of this incredible, obscure cinema verite golden nugget.


HUGE thanks go out to our old pal Don Alex of Subterranean Cinema infamy for keeping this obscure relic alive and circulating. The man is a national treasure who deserves much better than he's gotten.