Friday, May 25, 2007


"Jacques: All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages." --William Shakespeare, from the play"As You Like It," 2.7.

wArSHINtUHn--Was it Freudian or Jungian? I'd say Jungian. As he stated, "I think Gonzales is doin' a good job," a sparrow crapped on the president's sleeve. Perhaps the universe is alive and intelligent, just not in that dumb way those intelligent design (ID--OK, maybe Freud) folks thought. The ID folks (evangelicals barely in-disguise--transformers) would have us believe that because there is some logic in the design of matter, organisms, etc., that there is some "higher order" that created things, or some higher intelligence.

That's strange, because I've never noticed any real order or logic to the world almost at all. I once tried to explain this concept to some fellow-demonstrators, and they just wouldn't meet me half-way on it, they wouldn't even try. It always ended with: "That's a human perception," but I disagree. While I agree that our faculties are flawed, they've served us well overall. What we see and hear, feel, touch--it's all relevant, because it's all we have.

Frankly, I think they were scared shitless at the idea that we're alone in the universe and that there is no fundamental logic in the design of anything. They fear there really is nobody in-charge of things, but who wants to believe they're on a runaway train with no controls? I think this is part of why we have so many conspiracy theories out there. People would rather believe someone--anyone--is out there and in-charge than nobody. I hate to say it, but in the global picture, it's true. This isn't to say we cannot limit the power and destruction of scoundrels, but they're not ever going-away.

There will be no moment where these is total equilibrium in human society, it will always be a struggle. So: what's scarier? A bunch of scoundrels running literally everything, or that they do have power, but that it's limited and that we're all vulnerable to this temporal reality we inhabit? When I put to someone I used to protest with, they got very-very angry. All the ideas you have about Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon--all the scoundrels of history--are wrong. They're human tragedies and failures, not truly powerful individuals. They never were.

The tired American myth has been of that rugged individualist who struggles against the repression and constraints of society, but George W. Bush has upended all of that. Is he a success? Is he truly in-control? Is he in-control of Iraq? Afghanistan? America? Sometimes, you don't really want people to win against the natural repression that comes with living in a civilization. You cannot have people doing whatever they want, it doesn't work (sorry kids). That's part of the reason for sexual-repression, it's a natural outgrowth of our genes, our environment--it is anthropology itself. Wanting total freedom from civilization's constructive constraints is part of a death instinct, and a denial that the tension between human aspiration and society is eternal.

Yes, we should strive to be better, but that's mostly an inward-experience. Certainly, individuals should have their basic-necessities guaranteed, but it isn't a licence to do whatever we want either. This is probably why I don't have any time for Libertarianism, it's too romantic. I think if it ever had its way in the United States, it would end as most romantic movements do: in tragedy, and possibly totalitarianism. The neocons fit-the-bill, you could almost call them "uber-Libertarians." They didn't come from Russia, they didn't come from Turkey, or even Nazi Germany. They came from the United States. They came from us.

If the bird crapping on George W. Bush's arm reminds us of anything, it's that nature doesn't stop for anyone or anything, it continues without us. It impassively watches the extinction of millions-of-species, while new ones are generated, and the universe doesn't care in-the-backdrop. Our deaths mean absolutely nothing, and guilt is likely part of our survival-mechanism. This is it, our only universe. Right, the bird crapping on him doesn't objectively mean anything, yet we are attached to all of the universe temporally. What we see and hear, and even conclude, is as correct as we're going to get.

I personally think that the universe flows-through us in ways we don't yet understand, and there could easily be "living-information" throughout the known universe. There is so much we don't know, that we have no choice but to trust scientific empiricism and our senses. We can speculate too, there's nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, I really think there is some kind of collective consciousness, I just don't think of it as some "higher order." It's more like the wind, or water, almost like another level of matter and energy. That still leaves us with no one in-control, but it's comforting to think that all living-things are conserved in some way. As above, so below.