The Coming Apocalypse (According to Everyone Else)

I was around when Fundamentalist Christianity embraced the Apocalypse.

Okay, so I’m not THAT old. But I do remember reading “The Late Great Planet Earth” when I was still living on Ridgeway Avenue in Flint. It was about that time when the Christian right began to feel itself out. There was still support for schools (millages passed on a regular basis) and the entertainment industry went on in its own way (boobs were big in the seventies, and porn was breaking out then), but the ideas were fermenting. Then came Reagan, and the economic policies he instituted (and which have grown stronger and wider-ranging in the following years, no matter whom the president was/is) have made people less and less comfortable with living on earth.

Hence the apocalyptic beliefs. If the world sucks, why not believe that someone/something will come along to sweep everything rotten out of the way and leave “the chosen” behind with a cleansed world waiting for them to inhabit?

Every religion has its apocalypse (end-times) for those who believe, so as to keep them believing. The Christians have a mix of end-time beliefs, from “now in them” to “awaiting them in the future.” The Hindu have an end-of-the-world in which life becomes impossible on the earth and Vishnu/Krishna (in the form of Kalki) comes in to sweep the rest of what by that point will pass as humanity from the face of the world so that Brahma can sleep and regenerate the world. And some parts of Islam have an apocalyptic belief that amazingly parallels the Christian apocalypse, only from the other side (side of evil according to the Christians, side of the faithful according to the Muslims).

New to all this belief are the new agers.

Sure, they’re aware of the Hindu version, but that’s so far into the future that they’ve felt safe and secure in the belief that they have time enough to om their way to the Heavens of their desire (personal or impersonal).  And much of their stuff is based on Pagan (western earth-bound beliefs) or American Indian beliefs, so they had no real reason to fear the future or hope for something to create a clean slate.

But something happened. I have a few thoughts on what:

  • Eight years of Bush, twenty-eight years (coming up on twenty-nine) of straight Neocon rule. Add into that the rising right, and things can get “pretty ugly.” (Add into that people WANTING them to get ugly, and you have a problem many of these folks have never had to deal with before in their lives. Ever.)
  • 9/11/2001 shocking people into gleefully giving up their rights (“Heck, we don’t use them anyway so why should they matter?)
  • A belief that you can change reality by thought combined by a strongly persevering belief in objective reality (the world doesn’t end when you die). Combine the two, and you realize that this world is probably the best that can be believed in, considering what everyone else is believing about the universe.
  • Raising one’s self into the Brahma-jyoti is proving harder than these folks have thought.
  • What with global warming (or is it cooling?), cyclones of plastics floating around the oceans, Canada turning into an oil-based third world nation (and the peak oil issues which have led to that), and the desperation of mining activities around the world, there is that possibility that they may not have as much time to escape “this veil of tears and enslavement” and may indeed be stuck in a lower level of Heaven (or in a Hell, for that matter) for their next incarnation.

So now they’ve embraced December 21, 2012 as their Apocalypse. Some, of course, call it the day of renewal (and the Mayan call it just another day), but for many that date is given a greater level of importance that only apocalyptical days are to be given.

And a large number of people are hoping for some major disaster to happen on that day so that the world can be cleansed of the nonspiritual humans on it and they can om shakti om themselves into enlightenment.

That’s the last thing they should hope for. At the very least, they should hope things can be fixed so we can ramp down (instead of violently fall down) our population to a more stable level.

But hey…I’ve seen what happens when The Apocalypse gets into people’s thinking. Active effort becomes unnecessary, passive waiting becomes the norm. And the people who want you weak and in their power take over.

Whether it be from the book of Revelations, or an old calendar with an oddly notable endpoint.

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Two Thing You Need To Know About Tiger Woods Today:

  1. However many floozies, whores, porn stars and local pincushions are found, they won’t matter one bit when Tiger Woods comes back onto the tour and dominates again.
    We didn’t care about anything outside of Tiger’s ability to hit a small ball with an unbalanced club into a small hole better than his peers. All the girls he was unable to say “no” to are but sidebars. No matter that some of them were ugly and only done because they were there in his (literally) hour of need, no matter that the Porn Stars loved him (because Porn Stars are indeed in a position to know a good screw when they experience it.). As long as he can dominate on the golf course, that will pass into the background.
  2. If Steroids/HGH enters into the picture, all bets are off.
    As I’ve said before, we love sports because we believe it is the most meritocratic of all our activities. Any sign of cheating is considered a crime against that trust, even though it’s an attempt to win the game (gambling is worse, for while we can’t guarantee a win we can guarantee a loss by certain actions).
    Tiger is more important because he’s one of few “blacks” who cracked into the elite of Golf, and is probably the only “black” (actually more Asian than Black, but Americans like to judge by skin color…) to dominate the sport. For that dominance to prove to be chemically enhanced would tarnish Tiger, and the last ten years of Pro Golf. Everything from the mid-nineties Masters win (so dominating it made him #1 for three years without Tiger having to win another golf tournament) to that Major where he played 91 holes on one leg (while destroying the other with every shot) would suddenly become suspect.

That’s everything you need to know about Tiger Woods right now. Everything else is simply extraneous detail.

What The Hell Happened To Vampires?

I remember all the old Dracula movies, the snips, the myth, even read the original book. I’ve even seen some of the seventies and eighties (and nineties) revisualizations of Vampires. And while they tended to glamorize vampires in the eighties and nineties, you still saw the same issues: only out at night, had to drink blood (and bite people, to boot) to gain sustenance, couldn’t see themselves in a mirror, and for the most part hiding from the world because of their habits. Also, the stuff that works against them has a Christ-like purity to them: Silver, Wood, light and holy places…Think of the penultimate part of Dracula 2000 (Where Dracula shows himself as Judas, and before Mary Van Helsing attacks and kills him).

In other words, the Vampire stood for the punishments of a depraved life. Unable to view people as anything other than resources, the people come to fear him. Afraid of identification, he hides himself in the night. Unable to embrace God and having made a pact with Satan, the instruments of Salvation become deadly to him. Because of his powers and beauty, he entrances others (and remakes them into HIS image – beautiful and deadly). When he rises and feeds on the blood of the weak and wanty, all honorable men (and those seeking honor) come together to destroy him.

Even when we’re supposed to identify with a Vampire (or the Vampires, as the case may be), the limits are still there. They’re still creatures of the night, they still need blood to feed and are still vulnerable to the instruments of Salvation, amongst other things. Even their adaptations (I Am Legend) tend to fall and falter, with the changes subjected to limits (Vampirism can be held back, not destroyed; Day still frightens the beasts even with limited tolerance to light, etc.)

But it’s changed.

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Now, it seems they can go out in the day. Sometimes they come out and glow, there’s that little something that allows them to stand out in daylight. Not only that, but it’s now the vampires who are in control of themselves and the people who are wanty towards them.

Now I understand the True Blood series, where a technological fix allows Vampires to live amongst humans. Even that, however, has its limits, as they tend to be frightened of sunlight and certain implements. But it seems the Vampires are getting to the point where they’re more enhanced humans than dead being stuck in the world.

Is there more than one person to whom this is disturbing? We’re talking about the ultimate metaphor of a person unable to be human, one who can only live off the life/blood of others and is excluded for this; and we’re ROMANTICIZING THEM? GLORIFYING THEM? Yes I’m aware that they’re supposed to be alluring, but dangerously so. Beautiful, yes…handsome, yes…but deadly, if you’re lucky; and if you survive the fate is worse than death.

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I have a couple of theories, of course.

First theory is economic: Since we’ve gotten used to people living off of others (banks charging interest on everything from homes and cars to that taco you bought a few years ago, rich growing richer as the poor grow poorer, people who don’t add a bit to productive society are raised as stars, the welfare class, etc.), the idea of the vampire (someone who can only live off another person’s blood) has become very much acceptable. Hence the folks in the Twilight series glowing in the light and looking hotter than the regular humans.

The second theory is more spiritually based. Simply put, without a solid belief in the idea of Good being linked with the everyday, unglamorous habits developed for the daytime life, the night with its promise of freedom and hidden pleasures takes over. And with it, the vampire becomes the beacons to the pleasures of the night.

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Anyway, enough about a phenomenon I find disturbing. More about other stuff later on.

More Thoughts On “Health Care Reform”

So now the senate bill has a plan to allow people between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare, but no public option.

Lovely. Mandatory insurance without the Public Option to make the health insurance companies behave, according to the Senate. And it looks like the house (Pelosi, et al) is ready to blink.

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Now I got a couple of friends who are hoping that they pass some sort of bill. They’ve got enough health problems to keep them from getting any sort of coverage from the health insurance companies at present, and they’d love to be able to get insurance no matter what. They’d get cheaper prices at the doctors, and if anything major were to happen they wouldn’t have to worry about being in hock forever…or having to suffer with some physical problem or sickness, knowing that they wouldn’t be bankrupted or have treatment stopped mid-stream because the doctors needed payment.

There’s just one problem I keep running into on this: I hate feudalism.

I hate seeing my government privatized, handed off to businesses and people whose aim is to profit off of the need for certain services seen as necessary for society to operate. Services such as transport (roads…we had a set of private systems known as Railroads, but we so hated them that we made the government responsible for everything but the actual building of automobile-bearing roads), justice, protection (yeah; we hate the police, but we also expect them to take care of the crap people of society), and other things without which we would suffer the government to provide. Not only that, but I can imagine travel when private companies control the roads – piss off some low-level employee at the company who owns the roads going out of your town (or for that matter, the roads going through said town) and good luck going to visit your family the next county down.

And privatize the police? Forget it. Once the police become profit-making, they’ll learn to worship the rich and oppress the poor. As it is now, things are bad enough for the poor because the police have to deal with the parts of society that we don’t WANT to deal with; imagine now the additional burden of the “good parts of society” owning the means of controlling the population. You think the poor hate the police now…

I’ve gone into whether America was becoming Feudal before. I had assumed, of course, that citizenship would remain a government-decided, profit-independent process. Once everyone’s forced to get health insurance through private insurance companies (and I’m sure the punishment won’t remain just “5% of income”), we’re going to see something I hadn’t seen before: privatized citizenship.

In other words, whether we have rights in the United States will be determined by private companies.

They won’t have to privatize the air, just our right to be connected to the ground through our feet (/shoes/hands/wheels/other ways). And since few other countries are willing to take on excess Americans (they have enough troubles of their own), most of us will be stuck with having to satisfy people who’ve suddenly been given the right over our lives by dint of owning shares of companies. Privatized citizenship.

Feudalism.

What Kindle’s 1984 Problem REALLY Showed

I know it’s been a while since everyone went apeshit about what happened with a few illegally-produced copies of “1984” on everyone’s newly favorite punching bag, so my commentary may fall on deaf ears. But consider this:

Amazon reached into thousands of Kindles and zapped a copy of a book these people ordered in good faith. Now it’s true that the “publisher” wasn’t legally able to publish the book, but the removal of the book without consideration of the reader should disturb thinking people. And Amazon’s replacing of the copies with an “official” copy shouldn’t make you any more comfortable.

Why? Simple: The fact that Amazon was able to figure out whether you had the illegal copy of that book in the first place. And if they didn’t know, they could send a simple computer program to each Kindle along the lines of:

  • Check to see if a copy of X’s 1984 exists.
  • If X exists, erase X; notify Amazon; erase self.
  • In no X, erase self.

Quite simple, and most people need not know that Amazon sent a program to their Kindle. Just those with the wrong version of 1984.

Now…if a dumb terminal with a fixed purpose can do that, what about your PC with 250 Gigabytes of memory and 40+ Gigabytes of music on it…most of it pilfered off of P2P programs? Don’t think that a bunch of people with the power to do stuff don’t know what you have listened to for the past twelve years? And what you’ve read on the World Wide Web?

And I don’t mean hackers (although I’m sure they and their evil counterparts all over the world know as well). I mean the RIAA and their member Corporations, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, the US Governement (and some of the States as well), a few Muslim organizations planning for Jihad, China, the CIA, the Business Software Alliance and a few shadow organizations invested with a few Order 66s that have yet to be invoked (remember, Emperor Palpatine said “Execute Order 66.” It was already given, just held back until needed).

What if they decided that it was time to…say, declare the .mp3 format illegal? Everything had to be DRM’s or controlled by some corporation, and with the .mp3 format having become the standard for reduced digital music, it’s now outside of normal ownership concerns…so the order is put out to remove everything with a .mp3 (and .ogg to get the few who HATE ownership) at the end of the file name. iPods have this program placed in them, and music players are set up to break their .mp3 playing capabilities. When the time has come, the computer command is sent out and…no more music for 98% of the computers out there. Sure, some of the people out there will have their songs intact, but those people will be rare, and don’t be surprised if the people who’ve lost their music will suddenly find that they’ll be unable to collect most of it (and the rest that can be gotten will have suddenly gotten more expensive). And that’s whether you bought that .mp3 legally or found it by searching The Pirate Bay.

And those freeware programs that people put out? When they want their wares paid for, all they need to do is send out an order to break the freeware versions of said programs. You MIGHT get to restart the program at a “deal” rate (smaller programmers will likely give a deal just to keep the person halfway in their camp). And if the OS is reconfigured to run only programs that have been proven to have been paid for, good luck hiding in some non-internet section – especially now, that the programs are programmed to reach out and update themselves.

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Consider what has happened in the twenty-five-plus years since that Apple commercial ran during the Super Bowl XVIII:

  • Typewriters have been traded in for Word Processors on Computers
  • LPs were traded in for CDs, which were then traded in for .mp3s
  • Paint and Air Brushes were traded in for Photoshop, and Blueprint for CAD.
  • Air Transmission TV was traded in for Cable, which was then traded in for YouTube.
  • Books have been traded in for the World Wide Web, then for Facebook and Twitter.
  • All those record stores and book stores and computer stores and other sort of stores have been (and/or will be) replaced by “cyber storefronts.”
  • Accounting is now done purely on computers.
  • Telephones have been traded in for cell phones (which can pinpoint where you and and when you were there).

In short, what was once a reasonably private society has been opened up to the powers that be (and powers that want to be) to a degree which even your local village couldn’t handle. They know your tastes to the point that they can even predict what you might want next, and they know when you break that law nobody seems to consider important…except the people who collect your information so that when the time comes they can gobsmack you with your multiple felonies.

And here’s the kicker: we now post our crimes to the world. Titty pictures, married men and women seeking each other to cheat with, even collegiate underaged drinkers – open to cops, future bosses, mullahs looking for people to stone and even your neighbors; and everything put up willingly by the people doing these acts. Heck, email is so open nowadays. (no, not the weather leaks, something more important)

That’s the true import of the Kindle/1984 issue. Not that it was done, but it can be done anytime, anywhere, and by anyone who wants to…and more.

What’s Up With The Change?

(Don’t worry, the post that was here will be back.)

I decided that my blog needed another change, in part to fit in with a shift in my thoughts:

  • Obama just met up with a couple of folks who were evidently uninvited, but were in some way welcomed to the party. What’s up?
  • The Club For Growth has been slowly clearing out Republicans who don’t fully follow the economic side of the Republican line. What do they know that we don’t?
  • I’ve seen nuts around since the early eighties, and they’ve always acted up whenever the left has been ascendant. So why does it now appear that they’re running things?
  • The US Government’s running up trillions in debt with nothing to show. Indeed, it appears that debt has suddenly gotten to the point where its growth does NOTHING but add to its bottom line…AND THIS HAS HAPPENED WORLDWIDE. When did this happen?
  • The new-agers have suddenly embraced apocalyptic thinking. ????
  • There’s a few other things that are happening that I haven’t yet thought about, but will enter my mind in due time.

Just as the new title of the blog says:

“Something’s going on,
and I don’t like it.”

Mind you, I’ve always felt a bit threatened by my situation. The first title of this blog (“An Outsider in Saul Alinsky’s World”) meant to evoke how I felt as an avowed moderate (mind you, one on the leftist side of moderate, but moderate in viewpoint and personal claim) in a world of extremists. My next title (“What I See Staring At Me From The Abyss”) meant to convey the concept of looking at stuff no matter what you saw, and reporting it (Nietzsche said you’d be staring back at your fears.).

This time, it’s more direct. No time to evoke past masters and explain why I did so (nobody mentioned), no time for indirectness (intended or not) (hence no reference to roadkill), and too much going on that needs to be looked at.

And no pussyfooting. Because SOMETHING’S going on, and I don’t like it.