February, 2016

Feb 16

The Subconscious Mind is the Real Power of Politics

A worrying trend arising among young folk getting drawn to the Trump campaign–is not so unexpected. Essentially what’s going on is a psychological parallel to so-called *prosperity Christianity*: The superstitious idea that a magical mediator will somehow transmit money to you, and will protect you from harm. And…there are deeper drives taking over, here…

Some candidates will appeal to reason; but some, *especially Trump*, have the instinctive ability to appeal to the unconscious mind. For awhile, Romney had a similar appeal, for some. Trump chants, over and over: “Me–billions!” Both Trump and Romney symbolize gold, money, wealth, which is, in the minds of the entranced, the magic key to being liked, to being gainfully employed or simply free from financial worry. And it equates with power, which provides safety. I do not use the word *magic* lightly. *Magical thinking* (it’s an expression–no real thinking is involved) leads worried young people, anxious about their future in a highly competitive world, to fixate on a Trump or a Romney. Trump has more appeal to youth than Romney–he’s not a cold snob, like Romney; Trump is ejaculating energy, and adolescent brashness.

Romney doesn’t know the full magical chant. Magic only works in the psychological sense–but the subconscious mind is where real political power is.  Decrypted, Trump’s magic words are always the same:

“Danger is here but I am strength, winning strength! Enemies, outsiders, defeat them! We allies, insiders! Me–billions! I am Money! I am Gold! I am Power! Taking more power! More money! Gold! Sex! Gold! Sex! Rise, rise! Us! Them! Us! Them! Money protects! Gold! Freedom! Power! Money! Danger–stop danger! Strength, the strength to take! Gold! Trust! Trust Gold! Trust power! I have power! Gold! Me, billions! Behold…GOLD!” This is not satire–*I mean this literally*. This really truly is what he’s doing–without consciously thinking it through. He learned the chant long ago…

Us, them–yes that’s an appeal to unconscious racism. Threatened people, worried about their future, look for scapegoats; xenophobic instinct arises. They are afraid of the future–of poverty, of competition for money. “Us! Them! Me, Gold, Me, Behold, billions–behold, Gold!” These magic words protect against threats…the threats of not finding a job, even the threat of terrorism–which are real threats, real problems. But he doesn’t need real solutions. All he needs is to repeat the chant, over and over, convincingly. And the subconscious responds. The words shift a little but the import, the meaning, is always the same; the same litany couched in other terms:

“I am Money! I am Gold! I am Power! Taking more power! More money! Gold! Sex! Gold! Sex! Rise, rise! Us!  I have power, I have Gold! Gold protects! Me, billions! Behold…GOLD!”

Many people, those who have no real self knowledge, never question, when certain parts of their back-brains are stimulated. They simply follow the loudly bleating golden calf.

Follow the bleater.

Feb 16

A Giant Steel Claw; My Muslim Friends; A Sapsucker and a Salamander

Was startled last week when a giant mechanical claw reached out with an angry snatching motion, close by me, to clamp over a container of greenery and dumped its contents into its maw and crunched it up there. All true.

Of course, it was the robotic grabber of a big sanitation truck that picks up green waste; others come by for garbage and recyclables. Each one has a giant mechanical pincer– I’ve set cans out for them for years but never before had I seen the steel claw harvesting up close, ten feet away, nor seen how fiercely it grabbed the can. Maybe the operator did it that way to startle me for his own amusement. “Shoulda seen that one jump, Mort.”

I went to work in the sun on my steep hill of a back yard–a little shaken by the computerized mechanical fury of that grabbing arm. Painting a deck railing calmed me some and I heard the sound of our Afghani Muslim neighbors, going about their lives. The patriarch, a good-natured fellow, was working with his toddler grandchild nearby, singing to the pudgy little guy in Pashto, interposing English phrases now and then as the boy brought him things. “Oh, you bring me a pie, you are cook now! Yum, you are good cook!” The child’s Grandma was close by, on the phone to someone, speaking cheerily in Pashto. The language has a pleasant bubbling sound; I couldn’t understand her in any defined way, but I could tell by her rhythm and tone she was reassuring someone, telling a funny anecdote. After awhile it was time for Granddad’s prayers, and he never misses them, I hear him like clockwork, mid day, mid afternoon, sunset, later at night…a soothing sound, mysterious droning words resonating with respect, an even-tempered reverence…I feel good, hearing them; their talk, their prayers. The sounds of a kindly family, an inner life projected onto the outer world…

As I worked, I paused to watch a red-headed sapsucker tapping at a tree, working his way upward; some taps tentative probes, others more regular as he hit pay dirt, consuming sap and bugs along with them.

Yesterday I went to Orchard Supply where I chanced on an arboreal salamander hiding between two sacks of bark mulch. He was rusty-brown with white spots and bulgy black eyes. I was afraid for him there, so fished him out and cupped him in my hands and carried him through the store and out the front; I was uncomfortably aware that people were watching me walking out with something hidden cupped in my hands…I took him behind the store and released him through a bottom chain-link in the hurricane fence. Slippery little dude darted into the large weed filled vacant lot. Some salamanders can be toxic to the touch and he was a trifle slimy so I hurried to wash my hands but I felt absurdly good about this insignificant rescue…

Feb 16

Honest Reality Show Titles

Swamp Scum: Backwoods Crypto-Racist A-Holes Dying to Get Enough Reality Show Money to Get out of this Fucking Swamp

Logging Rednecks: Pretending to Have Fights They’re Not Really Having According to Scripts They Pretend They Don’t Have

Beverly Hills Dimwitted Greedy Narcissistic Wives: Pretending to Have Fights They’re Not Really Having According to Scripts They Pretend They Don’t Have

Bigfoot: The No Real Evidence

Ghost Scroungers: Several Cynical People Pretending Stuff is There That Isn’t

Duck Slaughter: Inbred Dynasty of Bigotry and Proud Ignorance

Humiliated Women: Gleeful Misogynist Producers Force Young Women to Abase Themselves for Wealthy Bachelors

Feb 16

Maiming a Player? That’s “just football”.

Watched a few minutes of NBC sports commentators talking about the coming Superbowl…what caught my attention as I was about to click past them was first one of them calmly acknowledging that it’s a common practice for players to target certain opposing players in a way that will seriously injure them, shatter their knees; that if you take them out of the game you instantly get paid extra for it, off the books, and everyone winks at you. That the drive to do this is stronger at the Superbowl. (Made me think of that very good science-fiction movie, Rollerball)…The other commentator said, Yes, every player knows that, and he added–”that’s just football.”

So maiming someone–quite possibly crippling them for life–is *just football*. And “that’s just football” excuses crippling a man. And of course it excuses causing concussive brain damage to a larger number of players…These were mainstream NBC commentators.

This procedure, this brutal, quite possibly crippling tacit tactic, has been discussed before. The New Orleans players engaged in it, in a precious Superbowl; there was a fleeting scandal. But now it’s casually talked about as a legitimate tactic. Because…”it’s just football”. Meanwhile this society is spending many, many millions on the Superbowl–to enrich a relative few–and indeed our government is spending millions protecting it. We should be so proud.