~ That’s why you pray, because you know you ARE prey, Part II.
The gulag of the soul
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich after Boris Pasternak was dead, or at least the definitive novel about life in the gulags was first published after Mr. Pasternak was dead. There is a lesson here. Novels about Russian love stories and troikas in the snow had lost their luster by the late 1950’s. Something new was necessary. The Soviet experience (and the Russian experience) had gone from bad to something much worse. A malignancy was in the air along with the growing radiation. The color white just wasn’t what it used to be for those that stopped to notice.
I bought One Day in the Life about the first day that it was available in paperback in the U.S., in the spring of 1963. I was incarcerated in my own gulag then – the San Rafael Military Academy, that great experiment in the mixing of militancy and modernity that would unhinge the Episcopal Church in America from its moorings and unleash a generation of heathens that would eventually undo the entire church. So be it for a leadership that sanctimoniously believed that “Onward Christian Soldiers” meant teaching the best and brightest 12 and 13 year olds to clean and carry an M-1 rifle was the way to the religious reformation of America’s fast decaying soul.
It’s easy (now) to look back and to see that the two great scourges on the planet were in a head to toe competition to see who could first reach oblivion and take their peoples with it. I refer here to the USSA and the CCCP, not the SRMA (really just a two-bit player). It’s not the history that was taught to us, but (now) it is the history that we know, or have learned to know is true.
So what is the lesson now that might get us out of our present gulag? We are in an information warp, where all information, even the theory that information can still do good, is WARPED. The gulags of old destroyed the body, the new gulag was designed to save and elevate the body without one wit of caring for the sanctity of the human soul.
The dark realization is that the internet itself is not the final bastion of freedom, but is only more media as badly used or abused as every other media that has come before. The great hope that came with the advent of motion pictures was quieted by the abuse wrought by the talkies. The telephone brought us AT&T. The RCA Victor Dalmatian (dog) was just the precursor to the sexual excesses and decadence of MTV. Even decadence seems tame in an age of near universal perversion when the term “anything goes” has lost almost all meaning. A real revolutionary would (today) set up a citizens band radio and broadcast heartfelt messages to a few friends and neighbors and not just blog away, deceiving oneself in the belief that one is “making a difference”. Blogs don’t make a difference now. That party is over.
Reality is recorded in front of a live audience, most of whose number are already dead. The point is that that which seems to be the present is in fact the past. To make a difference one must reach beyond themselves, actually find the future and actually move there, actually live in it. “The way things are” means nothing. It is always easy to agree upon the past, to make amends about what is unamendable. It is a conspiracy among survivors. It is how survivors reconcile their “win” when so many others are just dead.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. These times are as desperate as times can get. Don’t get me wrong, there are (and have been) times that are more dramatic. The Great Depression was very dramatic. Soup lines, dust clouds descending on Killeen Texas and even Washington D.C., Oakies in their jalopies working their way west on U.S. Route 66 – the depression was a regular photo opportunity, a full harvest for the media junkies and the information junkies that were served. You’ve heard it all before. You’ve seen it ALL before. It happened yesterday, so why argue?
We live in a time where most people alive can honestly view the entirety of World War II as just one long endless media event. There is nothing unique or special that a long dead uncle can tell you. There is not one sound bite about anything that imparts anything new. The footage served its purpose. The soft serenades of Victory at Sea now lie silent. It was your grandfathers war or great grandfathers war. They fought for something. They lived. They died. Maybe they just wanted to wear a uniform. Some people are like that. Some people just like the way a uniform makes you feel, the nation or the nationality never really mattered. The only thing that mattered was being “in” the war. I forgot. Was Napoleon the good guy or the bad guy in his march / quest for a United Europe (meaning European Union)? Have another glass of brandy, but not if you’re about to drive.
The “teaching times” are over. Every one knows everything. Public opinion can’t be molded when every one already has an opinion on every thing and about everything that can or might or will or maybe even did happen. The talking heads are irrelevant, are not needed, are already in the dust bin of history if the truth be known. What can college teach anyone that is too stupid to know that one should never get a student loan? It is a feat of genius to make someone work as hard as a college student often does and then actually make them PAY to have the job. Wal-Mart workers don’t know how lucky they are that THEY don’t have to PAY the Wal-Mart corporation $10 per hour just to wear the name tag or uniform. Don’t worry. Corporate America will get there, backed by Obama and actual laws of the United States passed by Congress.
The only thing more retro than thinking that one has a right to a job is thinking that one has the right to get paid for actual work. It’s the gulag now isn’t it? You read about the future once before, now you know the reason they publish such novels. Ideas are so easy to implement when there has been a media walkup / talkup that paved the way and opened the door to each new reality. Why care?
So. I guess I may blog when I want to. Google (search) doesn’t have to put me up. I don’t care and Google can’t make me care. By the time that they change their mind and put their apology on the web I will be off the web forever. It sounds so final. “Final” comes when you really mean it. I mean it. I’ve seen the writing on the wall.
I went to Wal-Mart today. I needed a new pair of thongs, the shoeless shoes. Regular shoes have failed me because they don’t make my size (narrow) in the factories of Asia. Wal-Mart started it. Now everybody, every corporation, is in lock-step uniformity. I can fight back. I can care as little as they care. I can litter. I can leave shopping carts in car lanes. I can walk in ways that demand to be observed. There is no law against having a bad attitude. They won’t arrest you for it. If they ask you to leave you can easily sue them. ALL Americans have their rights, not just corporations. Private property is so much fun because most laws don’t apply because the streets and sidewalks are PRIVATE, not public.
Every new piece of litter creates a job opportunity for an unemployed college graduate. Every lawsuit creates a job for a lawyer. Every unattended shopping cart creates insurance jobs, security jobs, and demand for new and better cameras. “Unshopping” is where you leave a store with more expense than when you went in, taking into account what you may have bought. Hey, the “idea” is out there. The new mantra is, “It’s the customers that are killing us.” Rock & Roll! Let’s just have some fun. When one has nothing to lose there is NOTHING to lose but life in the gulag, which has become something of a living hell.
I’ve written before about how the government is no longer a protector or a provider (except for the very rich). I’ve talked about the war by most large corporations against America and Americans. “Occupy what?”, it is THEY who have occupied us, our land and our legacy, our family hopes and (through the media) even our homes. The home invasions are so numerous they aren’t even news. The NEWS is the most threatening and damaging and destructive invasion of YOUR home that there can ever be and guns didn’t stop it now, did they? The MEDIA stole and corrupted your daughter, your wife, your husband and your son and all you did was sit there flat-footed and you even PAID the man (the men) that did it. Get a life? You lost yours a long time ago and now it’s over. You don’t care and nobody cares about you (probably). The gulag got your soul.
Stomach acid is the price of living in the belly of the beast. It rots. It burns. Tums won’t help you and neither will Tumwater, Washington or the products thereof. Whether it is a belly or a gulag that you’re stuck in, the only real answer, unpleasant as it is, is to resign yourself to the inevitable or just cut your way out. There is no Rambo or Steve McQueen coming in to rescue you. This you know. The only answer to stop “over eating” is to make the over eater think twice about what they eat. Patriots (now) just aren’t the easily digestible junk food that they used to be. Everyone is getting older and some gas just won’t pass, or pass muster. Pass the mustard, maybe.
There are very few still alive that can sit down and talk intelligibly about the Great War or the Good Depression who actually were of an age to have actually lived it. The rest of us are left with media images pieced together without any meaningful human attribution and hearsay (evidence). Without the name of at least the cameraman and film editor the media images would be worthless in a court of law. The hearsay evidence would fare much worse.
Perhaps the most frightening thing about the Denver Airport Murals is that they don’t depict the future, but are just a record of the past, and that nobody seems to have noticed this, or are in too much denial to recognize the human fate. The “monument” is to document that the “new world order” did this (did that). Now we can just put it all in the past where it belongs and move forward, move on, move to a place that’s better.
The evolution of the individual human soul is (in the end) the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that you CAN take with you. It is the only thing that can ever make you free. Greenpeace has got it wrong. Worlds are (in a sense) the proverbial “dime a dozen”. It is the God Knowing individual that is truly rare, that should be protected and preserved; conserved.
Such an individual cares about the planet of course; this planet and all the others. Such an individual cares about animals and “all creation”. Such caring favors truth, honesty and has contempt for acts that don’t. There is no mystery here, nor there.
The only real mystery is why the powers that be let the misery go on for as long as it has gone on. As long as there is hope that the undecided might change the adjudication of misery is held in abeyance. The issue of hope resides in ones fellow “man” (woman). All misery can be terminated instantly when the pendulum swings and the decisions of the self-damned are acknowledged by the more righteous whole. It’s very simple. Inequity cannot live for ever, nor should it ever be allowed to.
To decide is everything. Decisions are the building blocks of the human soul. The decision to make lemonade is as valid as the decision to buy the goose that laid a golden egg. It’s what one decides to do with the lemonade or the golden egg that matters more than either of the previous choices. For the pure of heart everything is perfect in the end.
A great disservice is offered by materialism. The sale of “things” invokes the application of weights and measures. Most things that are important in life cannot be weighed or measured. How tall is love? How pure is a prophet? What is the true source of water? Materialism makes us measure in metaphors. We envision (wrongly) a “storehouse” of spiritual riches, we divide the indivisible, we group the infinitely diverse. By doing so we dull our senses.
So, ARE we really prey? When does the river reverse its course? When do the mountains fall faster than they rise? When does the night become the day? We are pushed to progress. When progress becomes impossible the impossible becomes inevitable. A great transformation hangs by the slenderest of threads.
I know, because I saw the smallest of leaves upon the lawn.
2013.06.05 – 07:45 UTC.