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Moment of Truth: December 10 2016


Meet the New Normal, Same as the Old

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

As the fateful moment draws nigh when the man with an orange face and no tan from his brow ridge to his cheeks like a Creamsicle raccoon puts his hand on an ancient book and lies to its god about upholding a Constitution which is itself being eaten away from within the very structures it delineates, the slow-motion farcical death of democracy is playing itself out on the stage of the 24-hour news cycle.

Don't normalize this! Don't normalize this! It's too late, it's been normal for decades. I know, you're hollering about the fascism, the racism, the anti-Semitism of Semites both Jewish and Muslim, the misogyny, the xenophobia and LGBTQ+phobia. But as someone who's been on the receiving end of at least one of those pathologies, and as I've heard other of their targets report for decades, these threads make up the normal fiber of many a US patriot. It's not a surprise at all that a Creamsicle raccoon channeled them in order to serve himself up a heapin' helpin' of presidentially leveraged wealth an power. Leftists of every stripe, from the unrepentant Stalinist to the anarcho-feminist queer, have been predicting the rise of the Creamsicle Raccoon with ever more certainty since the days of Joe Hill.

Nothing could be more normal than sociopathic fascists using government as a festive bazaar for exchanging money and influence with each other. That's what government is: the currency exchange, complete with speculation, on the way to advancement into the Spectacle, but at this currency exchange they serve alcohol.

When was the last time a political figure was jailed for influence peddling? Or was censured for conflict of interest? Or forced to resign for giving a corporation in which they had a stake access to an open tap gushing public money, stealing from working people, the elderly, the unemployed, and school kids to stack up money and favors in the private sector and then wandering over to collect them through the public sector's revolving door? No, you have to send someone a picture of your dick to warrant removal from office. But if you bend a few hundred million people over and screw them, well, that's normal.

There's no one watching the henhouse. It's amazing there are any hens left. The only way we the people have secured the eggs we have has been by banding together and forcing the scum to loosen their miserly grip.

The thing that's new and slightly abnormal is we've got a Creamsicle Raccoon who's so uncouth as to flaunt his crimes before the public. Not that conflicts of interest weren't public knowledge before, it's just they weren't carried out in such a way as to offend the tender sensibilities of anyone powerful enough to matter. Maybe the bald egregiousness of the Creamsicle Raccoon's behavior will bring down the whole house of cards, after so many years of over-privileged scum having built it up, deal by deal, crime by crime, distraction by distraction. Maybe some combination of FDR and Elliot Ness will stroll into town and bring back law and order or some such mixed metaphorical crap.

Every legal flag we've been able to plant is being burned. The Voting Rights Act was one. Roe v Wade isn't even history yet and all but 5 states have laws allowing health care providers to deny abortions. Organized labor is barely a force at all. Poverty and dark skin are criminalized. They're burning all the flags staking out our territories and now they're talking about punishing us for burning flags.

We've relied on a system that rewards anti-social behavior and selfishness, manifesting as financially screwing over communities and even poisoning them, killing indigenous peoples, stealing money meant to educate, house, feed and heal – this is the system we've relied on to guarantee our rights. And the people who succeed under such a system are those whose virtuous impulses, which are ever less in evidence daily, are all that's preventing our complete technocratic enslavement, the utter loss of control over our living conditions and our bodies themselves.

So, what's in it for us? If there's no control over acquisitive, mendacious, Machiavellian impulses at the top – and in fact, if those impulses are encouraged – why should anyone resist any impulse? Why should anyone resist stealing from the cash register at whatever level of society? The big boys are doing it, why shouldn't we? Clearly, rules are for suckers. Voting is for suckers. Laws are for suckers.

Each person is able to take action from within the limits of his or her circumstances. What happens when society gives us the choice either to act as suckers or as criminals? Only the slavishly patriotic will choose the sucker's path.

It would be nice to reject either choice and simply be free. So many of our limits are social constructs, and if there's one thing dissidents of patriarchal white Christian capitalism have honed, it's our belief that almost everything that seems natural is in fact a synthetic lie meant to oppress us, to the advantage of the powerful. So, while opting out of the criminal/sucker existential dichotomy may not be easy, it's most certainly within the scope of our thought and language.

Some people are growing organic food on small farms. My hat is off to them. That to me is a fundamental way of opting out of the criminal/sucker duality. Some are teaching critical thinking to children in public schools despite the pressure to do otherwise, pressure applied ultimately by increasing privatization of everything once held in common by communities. Some are health care workers serving communities where evidence of the virtue of the rulers is nowhere to be seen. If nothing else, these activities sustain a level of opposition to capitalism, albeit mitigated by the way in which they help to some degree to maintain it by merely participating in it.

Some make art, entertainment, journalism and other ostensible "products" regardless of their lack of popularity or viability in the marketplace. Here we're getting closer to my ideal method of combating systemic exploitation. Producing things the system has no use for is an active form of anti-productivity.

I prefer the passive approach. My flag is the hammock. I wrap myself in it. If they want to burn my flag, they'll have to burn me with it. Nothing is less useful to capitalism than sleep. Granted, sleep restores the worker's ability to work. Which is why, to be truly subversive, one must nap to excess. Nap till it hurts. Nap till it hurts the economy. More than that, one must stare into space. Wander aimlessly. Take up space in the pool without doing laps. And nap some more.

Some are talking about a general strike on the day the Creamsicle Raccoon is inaugurated. A number of marches are planned for that day; all protests these days qualify as aimless wandering, and are thus part of the general strike and are generally striking a blow for anti-productivity. Starve the beast, at least for a day.

Be an impediment. Be a traffic hazard. Loiter in a doorway. I don't have a big tent, I have a big hammock. Join me. Dr. King had a dream. I'm gonna have a bunch of them.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Moment of Truth


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