Thursday, July 21, 2011
Meet Pete:The Boot and Face
REMINDS ME OF ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG. The title kind of sounds like it was a twisted version of some British ex-pat pub -- think leather, spikes, mohawks and chains, all present for Sunday Roast. You can imagine it maybe on South Street near Broad in Philly, thirty years ago. In reality, it's just the actual state of affairs that each and every one of us submits to on a daily basis.
Go ahead and conceptualize "lawlessness."
The first thing that comes to mind is maybe the "Wild West," black and white shoot-em-up scenes from your childhood. Maybe it's that time you got lost in the projects and felt both comforted and disturbed that "Police Interceptors" made up a significant minority of the cars passing through. Maybe it's Chicago amid Prohibition and Al Capone and tommy guns. Maybe it's Somalia. Ghengis Khan. 9/11.
I would wager that the last thing on your mind is that dickhead cop who just ran a red light, who seven blocks later pulled over some teenager for turning without flicking on his blinker. Or the bus driver who just pulls back onto the road without signalling, well, because he can. Surely you're not thinking of the city councilman who, in his campaign, tells his older constituents that they're finally getting sidewalks because he'll get their neighbors to sacrifice at least a little of their driveways and front yards. Or your Attorney General who wants to protect children by adding more burning hoops to all attempts at purchasing sinus meds. What about your congressman who says the only way he'd agree to foist more debt on your future grandkids is if it comes with some gibberish about some spending cuts and caps at some time that balance out at some point? Certainly, you wouldn't be thinking of that judge who sent a stupid (or maybe not so stupid) black football player to jail for having a gun in the wrong place.
What about those presidential candidates? You know, those people with such love for their country (read: narcissism and lust for power and domination over others) that only they can rule the world, wage war against every lowly people who defies our collective might, protect each and every one of us from ourselves and others and make "stable" once again that great ritual of buying and selling, owning and getting rid of. Some of these would-be gods would define, for all of us, exactly what amorous contracts are permissible, exactly what may or may not be ingested, and all the ways it's not permitted to divest of the fruits of your labor. That, and they'll get to decide whether or not multitudes of other, we'll refer to them as humans for lack of a better term, get to live or die. And all will be good and just, in accordance with the great laws.
No these are the people that get a pass because they are the laws. They create them, enforce them and decide which diktats advance the will of the state or don't. Your government, right or wrong. Warts and all, they are us. You know, something about the "will of the people." The Great Sacrificers in service to the masses keep us safe, and without their cockamamie schemes and grandstanding, our world would spin off into a violent state of anarchy which would endanger us all and unleash that demon inside each and every one of us causing us to kill our parents, eat our children and dismember every person we can get our unchained hands on.
Or maybe not. Maybe that's just the line you bought that allows you to sleep at night during the first part of the year, instead of losing sleep during early summer nights as you realize you won't start working for yourself until mid-June. Instead, you're just generating payola for the politicians so their thugs with guns don't come kidnap you at gunpoint and hold you in a government cage for ransom. Ahem, I mean, arrest you for criminally not paying your fair share of taxes and evading the laws which all good, upstanding citizens adhere to.
Go ahead, sit at that red light at 3 am when no one's coming the other way. Don't start building that new deck or addition until that until the permit comes in the mail. When your kid gets a ticket for speeding, make sure he pays it to teach him a lesson. And good for you for not hiring that Guatemalan guy that did an awesome job on the drywall in your neighbor's living room; he wouldn't provide a Social Security number, so he mustn't have come here by the appropriate channels. Better that a white guy who speaks English, pays his taxes and votes Republican gets the work, anyway.
Meanwhile, the joke's on you.
Lawlessness is the organizing principle of those who dominate the current order. It persists because it is accepted by everyone of us to varying degrees, and by those who aren't readers here all but completely. Any abuse against any one of us can be justified by our overlords as long as they arranged at some point to sanction the crime. Yet, they're so sloppy! The political class wields the power to dominate you or me so greatly and make it all legal, yet virtually none of what the US, state and local governments do is within their own rules. Nearly all law is "unconstitutional." This especially includes the Orwellian-named PATRIOT Act. This includes every one of the at least five wars our government currently wages against foreign peoples. This includes every red cent of debt the politicians incur in our name. Virtually every tax dollar confiscated from you or me. Every restriction on any behavior that hurts no one else, including especially every regulation restricting the earning or spending of money. Oh, and take a minute to check out the newest oppression, MORIS. How familiar and endearing!
Breaking the law is synonymous to crime. Yet, while the Casey Anthonys and OJ Simpsons of the world cause public outrage when the legal system fails to hold them accountable for their criminal violence, the American people simply look the other way when the Public Criminals loot and pillage, rape and murder, on a daily basis. Their violence is systemic, and that's whey they can pilfer, destroy and kill on such grand scales.
So what do we have to look forward to? George Orwell said it this way: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." (I was delighted to see the book this quote is lifted from, 1984, among IP's most important of the 20th Century.) We've discussed the boot; what about the face?
You and I are the face. Our face grimaces and winces a bit with all the abuse, but mostly we wear an expression of dull complacence when it comes to the violence of our masters. Instapunk suggests we adopt the look of "Izzie the Bengal." What I know about the face the boot is stomping on is that it is worn by a people whose extreme generosity is constantly strained. A people that has kept a mostly jolly manner despite being robbed and battered. First blood has been drawn by the DC Crime Syndicate and other public criminals, yet we have restrained ourselves from rolling out a single guillotine.
Which is surprising, at least when you think about what we're told about ourselves. The state propaganda machine would like to have us believe we're a rootin' tootin', gun-totin', ignorant, violent and selfish people that needs to be more generous and sensible -- more European. But really, we are attacked and abused and no quarter is offered to us unless we physically, financially and psychologically submit to our masters. We have no moral obligation any longer not to retaliate in kind. But it is peace we want. Maybe Mencken was right about our peace, but nonetheless we carry the belief, however insane, that the ship will right itself, that the good guys will win in the end, and we can solve our differences without anyone getting hurt. It may be a fantasy, but it gives us at least one major instruction: violence will not be tolerated. It will turn your allies against you and destroy the legitimacy of your arguments, leaving no one persuaded and all of us losing.
So really, in the end, we who won't provide a steady stream of apologia for the public criminals are left with only a few choices:
1) Do nothing. Better yet, ignore, deny and even become oblivious to the crimes that are taking place. Anyone reading this has obviously rejected this option.
2) Complain. Quietly or loudly, simply explain to "the people" what's wrong and what needs to be done, and eventually they'll wake up, righting all wrongs and meting out justice to those who deserve it. This is a solution in only a fictional sense.
3) Fight back, but do it within the system. There is a process - so learn the rules, make a sacrifice and "get involved." Really, this is the logical next step from simply being a "truth-teller." But it's largely nonsense. Nearly everyone playing this game doesn't understand the nature of politics, economics or the reality of the state. They believe that the state has some moral authority to do something about everything. If you're the only one who doesn't, you'll eventually be shunned for being "ineffective" and not "getting things done." You can't change the system from within. Forget that. It will eat you alive, if it doesn't transform you into one of the criminals, and you'll be left longing for all those hours with your family that you missed and you'll never get back. You'll be wishing that you never "woke up." that you held fast to your denial or oblivion long ago, but could at least say you still had your life - and your soul.
4) Resist. Everywhere and in every way you can. While the boot is stomping on your face, you're tying its laces to those on the other boot. Fuck the permit and the red light. The building inspector is corrupt, so figure out a way to make that work for you instead of against you. Go the speed that you feel safe driving, not the one you're told to or which the people who fear the road feel safe. Hide every dollar you can. Tell everyone about the government crimes in a targeted way that makes them lose any respect for the state. Our government has become a banana republic. We need to start treating it like one. Its laws are arbitrary, abusive and typically based on no logic or morality. I've long said the only tolerable government is one which can be ignored. The sooner we start ignoring their claims of legitimacy and power over us, the sooner we start mocking and undermining their "authority" and resisting their demands, the sooner the paper tiger that bullies us will will crumple.
Here endeth the lesson. [ED. Whoo. I have a vested interest in this one. I remember when Pete was a hippie slacker and I thought I could awaken his latent talents. But I can't and won't take credit for the fact that he's this much of a tiger. Life is not what we think. Ecen Instapunk is humbled by pure roiling fire.]
It's called passion, folks. Catch it.