Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monsters, Madmen & Couch Potatoes

A picture of Brie babysitting one of the rabbits. She seems to be the sanest one in the family.

by freeacre

Monsters, Madmen, and Couch Potatoes


Universe, it seems, is putting enough examples of what I would I would lump together as “delusion” to prompt me to write a post about it. I mentioned in a comment recently how we attended a public debate between candidates for county commissioner. When asked to give himself a numerical placement, with “One being Barack Obama and Ten being Ronald Reagan (an inherently stupid question), one of the candidates gave himself a Ten. Then, he became overcome with emotion, thinking of Reagan's vision of American being a “shining city on a hill,” and teared up, explaining that “I just love this country so much...” Of course, the Murphinator's dropped jaw and steely gaze was an exception to the general reaction of sympathy in the room. Given that Ronald Reagan's accomplishments included closing the mental hospitals in California and throwing patients into the streets, thereby starting the “homeless” phenomena in this country; putting an end to the programs to conserve oil begun by President Carter when it became clear that domestic oil production had peaked; cutting taxes on the rich that has led to the outrageous disparity of wealth in this country between the rich and the poor; the systematic destruction of unions; the deregulation of the financial industry which is now destroying the wealth of the planet, well, I hope it is clear why we would consider his idealization of Reagan “delusional.”

To enlarge upon this theme, a movie that had been in our Netflix queue for awhile showed up. It was entitled “Shutter Island.” Directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo DeCaprio. I would rate it as one of Scorcese's best. It's a tight-knit psychological thriller set in the 1940's period just after the war. DeCaprio is a U.S. Marshal sent to the island to investigate possible wrong-doing at the creepy mental hospital. A female patient has apparently disappeared from the “escape-proof” island, similar to Alcatraz. Upon further investigation, it seems that the psychiatrists who run the hospital have ties to secret government programs, one of the shrinks in charge was a former Nazi, and lobotomies are performed in a part of the grounds that have been declared off limits.

I don't want to give away the whole story, but the movie has been haunting us for days and has prompted many discussions between murph and myself as to the nature and function of paranoia and delusion. Lets harken back to that roomful of confused Reaganites. Despite the facts that the U.S.A. Is woefully behind almost all the “developed” nations in life expectancy, birthrate mortality, math and science education, literacy, disparity between the rich and poor; the deterioration of our environment and lifestyles; and the horrendous health and dental care in this country, these people tell themselves and each other that “We're Number One.” We are the Best, the Bravest, the Luckiest, the Most Free, the Envy of the World. Sorta reminds one of the pitiful North Koreans making tearful homage to their “Dear Leader,” doesn't it?

Shutter Island ends with the question, “Given the choice between living as a monster or a madman, which would you choose?” Good question. We've been chewing on it for days. Negative interpretations of reality are labeled paranoia. Rosier-than-real perceptions can be labeled delusional. Can they both be coping mechanisms that shelter us from a reality that is worse than we can accept and live with?

The human mind is capable of incredible feats to protect itself against hideous abuse. The most extreme is “splitting the personality,” or dissociative disorder. The original innocent personality contrives alternate personalities that are more able to deal with circumstances that are beyond their control, and then “inhabits” them separately as a way to cope with an unacceptable reality that they are powerless to change. Insanity. We say that they have been driven mad.

Paranoid personalities create elaborate, imaginative, and oftentimes brilliant alternative explanations for what is going on. Dad is not simply an arrogant, self-centered, malicious prick, for instance. He's really a spy for the empire of Orgon, a planet in the Sirius star-system who is posing as a plumber and being mean to his kids while serving his nefarious off-planet overlords....

Where am I going with this? I'm wondering if insanity can drift from individuals to the greater culture. Hearkening back to that roomful of true believers, I recall other dramatic examples of ill-conceived, intense, some would say, “crazy” misadventures in history. The Crusades, the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition, the Stalinist and Maoist excesses, as well as lynchings, burning women at the stake, and the Holocaust come to mind. What brought on these atrocities? What were people telling themselves and others to justify such cruel actions? Were they crazy?

I can't help but wonder about these things as, more and more, I note that the population seems to have lost their senses. I read that an alarming number of us are taking psychotropic medication, and that much of it is proving to be permanently damaging to the brain. This, in addition to the manipulative brain-washing perpetrated by the mass media in their advertising, news, and social dramas meant to keep us compliant and BUYING THINGS. Or, am I just being paranoid?

Are the Wall Street investment bankers and their associates just flawed human beings much like the rest of us, who have succumbed to the temptations of greed and avarice in the face of enormously lucrative inducements? Or, are they minions of the Illuminati, spawn of the reptilian Annanaki, who are here to create suffering and servitude?

Monsters or madmen? The third choice in the movie, Shutter Island, was lobotomy. Go in through the eye socket, scoop out the painful memories, and leave one desensitized, diminished, but comfortable.

Go back to the television, Citizen. Nothing to see or think about here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Stampede?


Well, it's October and officially Fall. I love the Fall. Colorful trees and shrubbery, brisk nights, the harvest coming in, looking forward to Thanksgiving, etc. But, there is one aspect of this Fall that is a little different this year.

Dire Predictions. Well, hell, dire predictions are nothing new at this campfire. Damn! We've been preparing for financial, political, natural and un-natural disasters, resource depletion, and every possible way we can think of for things to go to hell for years. So, No Big Deal, eh?

My son keeps telling me not to be fearful and to quit imagining the shit hitting the fan. He says it's bad for me. I agree that fear can be bad for the body and soul, but that denial is stupid and planning ahead makes me feel safer, not more fearful. He says I should have more fun. I agree. I just accepted an invitation from a friend and neighbor to come and sit in her hot tub under the stars with her tonight. I can hardly wait! Also, the Bean and I am planning a trip to the coast on my birthday with a visit to the aquarium in Newportin February. So there!

Being out of debt eases my stress. It took a long time to earn my impeccable credit status, after suffering a catastrophic medical bill related bankruptcy years ago, the death of my husband, etc. etc. But, it got done, and murph and I have remained debt-free for years and have perfect credit as far as I know. It feels good. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just telling ya...
But, I have just made the decision to put a few necessities on the card that may not get paid off right away. I'll tell you why.

Cliff High's Alta Reports of the Shape of Things to Come have been anticipating for YEARS now that in November of this year, some huge “tipping point” is going to be reached that will be extraordinary. I mean, like the History Channel's Mega-Disaster-Series-Huge. Read them for yourself. Go to Half Past Human, spring for the ten bucks, and read the last one. Or, read George Ure's Urban Survival posts regularly and he will relate the major points for free, or subscribe to his Peoplnomics reports, and he'll go into more detail.

Cliff and George are not the only ones. Since we are now approaching the Galactic Center on our solar system's regular trek through space, assorted “lumps” in normally clear space are becoming more frequent. It's like following a gravel truck down a highway. You can't be real surprised if your windshield gets cracked by a flying stone. A quick check of the chart of near earth asteroids on will demonstrate just how frequent these near earth encounters are - and those are only the ones that are being tracked.

Then there is the recent news of foreclosures being halted in 23 states. Why 23 states? Because those are the states that require a judge to okay foreclosures. Well, heck, that doesn't sound so scary! I mean, no foreclosures is a good thing, right? Well, yeah. It means that people could continue to live in a dwelling instead of under an overpass for a year or two. But, it also means that the paperwork involved – the titles to the properties are so hopelessly screwed up, lost, or full of fraud that not only foreclosures, but sales will come to a standstill as well. Think of it. All those millions and millions of dollars and all the billions and trillions of derivatives that banks have created from those original loans... all the pension funds and city and county governments who bought those derivatives... on and on around the world. When it dawns on people just the magnitude of what is behind this quagmire, look for a stampede out of the stock market and into commodities like gold, guns, food and arable land. Dmitri Orlov has written a hard-hitting essay on the cascading effect of peak oil that can be applied to the real estate meltdown in many ways as well. It's called “Peak Oil is History” and is available at Denninger on wrote an incisive analysis of the potential real estate foreclosure debacle probably before anyone else. It's called “MERS/MBS/Foreclosure Goes RICO”; as well as Howard Kunstler, Gerald Celente, Mike Ruppert, and many others. They aren't just talking about “sometime.” They are talking about five weeks.

So, I am breaking my own rule and putting more on my cards than I will pay off in one month. If all hell breaks loose, a bill in the mail will be the least of our worries. Paying an interest charge to the frigging criminal banksters will be annoying, but I can live with it if nothing terminal happens. But, on the other hand, in case there is some life-altering event, say between November 8-12 or so, you may want to make a list of things you really couldn't do without if the trucks stopped running – and maybe the lights went out.

We decided on three things right off the top: I use a teng electrical stimulator devise to reduce the pain in my back. The electrodes don't last very long. I ordered several more. I also need some medication for my eyes that I would be in a world of hurt without. I just placed an international call and ordered a year's worth from Canada. And, in the event of the electricity going out, we just ordered the propane to fill up the tank with backup gas for a year.

Note that these things are necessities that we will use anyway, even if everything is smooth sailing and nothing bad happens. And, it's not so much money that I'd have to become a fugitive from justice if I could not pay the bill right away. I'm not planning a cruise around the world, only to have to dive overboard on the way back home to avoid the creditors – although if I am still alive after 2012, I may decide to re-visit that

My point is, that only you can assess what is the most necessary for you right now just in case November is a BOP – a Bitch of Outlandish Proportions. Let's hope that we will all enjoy a great Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. Let's envision all gathering after the feast sharing good wishes for each other at the Campfire – truly grateful for our lives, families, friends, and this beautiful planet that we share.

I am all for living in the moment, enjoying life as it comes, and all that. But, I don't want to be in the middle of a stampede for the exits, either. So, right now would be a good time to do whatever it is that you have been putting off in terms of gathering together the things you can't live without.

“I see you.” I see the beauty in you. I don't want you to be miserable. If that's so bad, well, I guess I'm bad.