Saturday, April 10, 2010

The System

Bike rides, long spring walks, red wine and a quiet house, add a little Walt Whitman and a touch Robert M. Pirsig, and yes, I have been thinking. I am in a poetic, but philosophically political mood. What else is new? I know, I know, but damn it, bare with me, I am on to something, I have words I need to spit.

First some humour. For those that dislike randy, nsfw comedy, or for those that are in position of power, or control, you all might wanna surf elsewhere. It's gonna get loud and rude, LIKE A BOSS!

But I promised Whitman and Pirsig, not Rogen and Samburg. Patience, I am taking a stab at understanding the 'system' I am hunting down 'the MAN'. To do this I might need to appeal to its most base instincts, Rogen and Samburg are great bait for that trap.

See, a big ballsy video, and I have your attention now, don't I? Don't I?

It works every time, we are all so easily distracted, we are as bad as a moths to light. Bonk, bonk, drool...where's the remote?

A bit like how a sloppy health care bill, one significant more because of its promoters than its content, is still a victory for the 'good guys', er well the Democrats, or the Left, or anyway somewhere in there progressive thinking won versus conservative thinking. The nerd finally stood up and punched the rich basterdly bully in the face. Big beautiful distraction, David finally wins!

But Joe, how can Obama be the nerd and bully at the same time? How can he be the good guy and the bad guy all at once?

Drill baby, drill! Yes, that was what the Obama Administration did as an encore. A switch so rapidly from left to right, that many of us that were paying attention were flung across the room ...SMACK!

So maybe Obama is 'the MAN'...??? Bought and paid for, the perfect spokesman for the corporation, or secret society, or gay ass all boys club, or whatever the cool kids call it nowadays. He certainly has a high profile gig. As romantic as some of us were in the early days, the days when he was a candidate, in the days before he joined the club, we all knew, deep down, that he would become one of them if he won. It's was unavoidable. He just got the biggest promotion of them all... he is no longer middle management, he now has the keys to the corporate bathroom, hell he has the keys to the whole damned House.

Forget it, Obama isn't 'the MAN', similarly the Pope is not the human representative of 'God'. Figure heads, mouthpieces, leaders of large organizations, sure, but still very human, and therefore as flawed as the rest of us. No matter their intellect, their wisdom or the perceived piety of the offices they hold, they are one of us, they are our representatives, they work for us. Funny how easy it is to turn it all on its head. They work for votes, donations and prayers. Sucks to be them, I hear that gold is where the money is.

Now I am not American, hell I am not even a Catholic (wait, I was Baptized, does that count? Never know, I might feel the need to recant it all in the end), and yes, I am well aware of the fact that 'the MAN' is not necessarily an American, or shock of shocks a Catholic (I am betting on a French Muslim, you know for the irony in it).I will go so far as to say that there isn't a 'MAN' or (for my sisters) a 'WOMAN', the 'system' is too large, such a mess, that it is inconceivable that there could be one person behind the wheel.

But surely it isn't all chaos?

Well of course not, there is a 'system', there is a messy power structure, there are borders, and cultures, and races and religions. The 'system' is merely a putrid stew, whose ingredients include: half-assed ideas, mixed with failed, failing, or ill-conceived mini-systems, all nicely seasoned with pinches of cultural indifference, religious strife, sexism, racism, hate, barbarism, violence and garlic, always add garlic.

Now some Pirsig (I promised you I would):

But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There is so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
~ Robert M. Pirsig

Neither Obama, corporate head office, nor even the pope can be blamed for the 'system'. The 'system' is the battered and frayed play toy of the rich and powerful. It is there to distract the ambitious, there to add meaning to the vile lives of the greedy, the power hungry, the sociopathic. But control? There is no controlling the 'system'. There are tricks, winning streaks, lots of cash and prizes, but the 'system' will eat its own without notice. There is a certain nobility, a mad bravery in blindly jumping into the vortex, the black hole that is the 'system', the promise of fame, fortune and power are hard to resist. All one needs to do is forfeit their soul, and who needs a soul nowadays? So go ahead climb that extra rung if you dare. We will all be there at the bottom of the ladder, waiting to catch you if you fall.

But if the 'system' is so corrupt, and so wrong, how do we change it? Can it be changed? Is the whole blessed thing too big, too ingrained, to fix? Yes, of course, in the grand scale of things, Goliath always wins. Goliath has all the power, and all the resources. He controls the message. The trick is to win the little battles. The victories at home. The battle for your heart and your mind, can still be fought, and won, one tiny victory at a time. The fight will never end, the 'system' will bring the battle to you everyday, every waking hour. And remember the 'system' will win most of the time. But don't view this as personal failure, nope, remember, the game is rigged, like a video lottery machine, you are going to lose 9 times out of 10. The best we can do is put a band-aid on our wounded egos and jump back in the ring. The trick is to get back on the horse, dust oneself off. Always maintain dignity and pride, learn, constantly expand personal wisdom, be prepared for constant fight.

Finally some Whitman,

Piety and conformity to them that like,
Peace, obesity, allegiance, to them that like,
I am he who tauntingly compels men, women, nations,
Crying, Leap from your seats and contend for your lives!
~ Walt Whitman

Thank you. That is all for now.

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