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A Friend of the People Opposing Monied and Power Elites; Social and Political Commentary

THE FALLING LEAF REVIEW, WINTER 2018: CURRENTLY POLITICAL: PUBLISHING AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, JAY V. RUVOLO

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Written by jvr

January 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Trump Trumps All Reason [Flash Fiction]

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From March of 2016. Before the election.

The Falling Leaf Review

for the Prophet Jeremiah

A revised republication of a former blog entry by a man who writes a political blog that he publishes alone and with all the madness inherent from doing the likes in this society of vision through the ass and where doubt has become the highest wisdom . . . the anus is our third eye . . . what more is there would there be to say; yes, to soliloquize or not to soliloquize, saying what must be said by weighing what words to use in order to say to convey what needs to be known, to know or not to know being only what happens when we stand under, yes, this infrastructure we need to understand anything, for any idea to accrete in its appropriate way . . . yes, there is appropriateness and inappropriateness . . . how then do we understand what there…

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Written by jvr

January 17, 2018 at 11:44 am

Third World America

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October 25th, 1917 on the Julian Calendar was November 7th 1917 on the Gregorian Calendar. The Bolshevik Revolution began in Russia on October 25th 1917 according to the Julian Calendar; it was November 7th in the rest of Europe and the United States. The October Revolution was the second revolution that year in Russia. One hundred years later, American Capitalists still fear the Bolsheviks. Everything by design or used in effect in our media is meant to keep people separate, fractured, in pieces, difficult to put together. If the People were unified by class, by their mutual repression, by their mutual advantageous antagonism to the Monied Elite, there would be blood. Bread and Circuses and Machiavellian strategies for division are the contemporary American way.

Written by jvr

October 25, 2017 at 11:20 pm

Totalitarianism [short fiction]

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“Totalitarian needs an expanded, more articulate definition in order for us to see how it operates in states that do not fit the conventional models of totalitarian societies,” Ivan Ivanovich said to his companions sitting with him on the train. “Connotations seem to have been limited by a decrease in our historical understanding of the operations of governments, and our habit of supplanting particular examples of totalitarianism for a general and generalizable denotation over all other connotations,” he said. Everyone paused, each of the others sitting with him on the facing seats aboard train number 88, the 3:00 PM, Sunday, Northeast regional to Boston from New York Penn Station. They were on their way. The train left on time. He has not been noticing the stations passing.

“All of us can agree that totalitarianism seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state,” Nikolai Nikolaievich said, remembering perhaps his days as a Political Science student, continued through grad school when getting a Master’s was valued more than it is today, although he stills believes that there were many Master’s candidates then who were better educated, at least more deeply read than a goodly number of PhDs today, as he would say, has said, will say again, as is his habit.

“This has a certain value in our understanding except that this is a highly limiting comprehension of the complexities of totalitarian restructuring of a society;” Andrei Andreyevich added, “and that is, if we do not comprehend what the State is, how the State or how states can function and do function apart from whatever the government,” he was interrupted by Ivan Ivanovich, “And how the government functions subordinately to the State, and how the state operates with, in, by and for Power,” he said.

Always Power, they would have agreed. “One has to understand how Power,” Andrei said, “yes, how Power, Influence and Authority operate, sometimes in unison, at other times, separately, but in what could be called coalition, cooperation–and this co-operation does not have to be grand or conspiratorial for it to achieve larger controlling effects,” he added, “for it to amount to oligarchic power behind governmental authority,” he insisted more emphatically, “carefully managed by a media elite in bed with or allied with Power and other Money,” he said. “Yes,” Nikolai interjected, “the Media elite are part of the Monied Elite.” “Of course,” Ivan interrupted, “America’s darling liberal, Obama, was deeper in the pockets of Money than any other President, controlled, manipulated more dexterously by Money and Power than any other President beside Bill Clinton,” he said.

They all agree with the common analysis, have said this or that about it, one way or another, in one set of words or in another set of them, each time expressing the same or similar sentiments about an America “no longer a Democratic Republic,” Ivan said. “America, a place where the People have been substituted with a more grossly state serving Public,” Andrei said. Nikolai added, “this always the desire of States everywhere every-when, turn the people into a public.”

“Power always in alliance with Money,” Andrei Andreyevich added, “these being the two sets of Elites that matter most here in America, where we have carefully excluded government officials in their authority and influence from controlling that which is usually controlled by the State in Traditional authoritarian totalitarian models,” he said.

“There is Power as an Elite,” Ivan said, “what we might have called an Estate in a much, much older Political Science,” he added. “And there is this energy, this force that is Power in this elite bloc standing monolithically in its desire to perpetuate itself,” Andrei continued, “yes, to accumulate more of what it has and what it perceives it does not have, which is why Monied Elites seek to broker in Power and Power, where it is not as rich as it might want to be even in its advanced greed, seeks to exchange power for money,” he said.  “There can be great monied elites in a Democratic Republic, but where Money exchanges its wealth for Power and Power its power for money,” Nikolai said. “Oligarchic coalition displaces democracy and seeks through the help of its allies in the media to transform the People into a State and Power and Money serving Public,” Ivan said. “Yes, drones in a Capitalist Bee Hive,” Andrei adds. “And they used to call the Soviet Union the Bee Hive State here in the West,” Nikolai added.

“What we have in the conflict between most conservative supporters of Trump and liberal supporters of Obama is a contrast in Conservatism,” their friend Pavel Pavlovich added, waking from a brief and all too shallow slumber, the shallowness of which he lamented to himself in words not even under his breath. “American Conservatism’s move toward totalitarian structuring of individual life in these quite dis-United States of America is apparent to anyone who has eyes to see, except too many in America have no eyes for looking at the Truth,” Pavel Pavlovich said. “We’ve undermined the notion of a capital ‘T’ Truth, along with knowledge–knowledge is no longer attainable. It has become something one can never have, like water from the moon. We have only doubt, doubt and more doubt, if you want to revise Mr. Gradgrind,” Pavel Pavlovich said.

[And I inquire of you if you are ready to accept these men at their word, prepared to suspend your disbelief or accept the responsibility of What if, that is, What if I were this man or that one, and not, as too many of us do, ask the most irrelevant of questions, What if Pavl were I, or what if Nikolai were I, for it is not your responsibility, which is your answerability, to wrestle the characters of any story, fictional or non fictional, allegorical or non, wrestle or wrangle or mangle or mold him or her or it into your own self image, but to understand, for example, Hamlet as Hamlet is, thus What if I were Hamlet, how would I order a hamburger at WEDNY’s, or how would I board a bus to Boston? and not to say, Why does Hamlet do what he does that I would never do and so act in a way I find unbeleivable?]

“You do not imagine that we have actual liberals as liberals have stood, acted, said, operated since the Age of Enlightenment–and the latter moniker is used as an historical locator in the greater continuum of time and acts, not anything that pretends to be symbolic or definitive, perhaps as character names sometimes function in fiction; however, that has been the tendency, the convention, if you will, in how the names of ages, of decades, of movements in parts of social history have functioned,” he said. 

Pavel Pavlovich put his copy of The Trial in his shoulder bag at his feet between his legs. He looked left; he looked right; he paused with his eyes trained straight ahead at the face of Andrei Andreyevich.

He thinks to himself, hearing himself say to himself that Donald Trump is the man in the Oval Office “who twitters away his time and mind,” he mumbles over his breath, Pavel Pavlovich pauses.

He looks left to the windows, right to the seat next to his, occupied by Nikolai Nikolayevich. He thinks of the book that was on his lap, spine up, spread opened. He imagines talking to his friends instead of actually talking to them at the moment. He sees them in mind, not as he would if he were looking at them, as he is looking at them, in the world, on this train, but kept in mind the way others have always been kept in his mind, one presence and another and another that he, also a presence, in mind, is among, around in a way he only hears, in mind, the voices voicing concerns there, voicing fears, articulating experiences, as everyone dos everywhere every-when . . . the talking he does do with them condensed as everything is, has been, will be, in dreams and day dreams as well, perchance to live as one does in the mind.

He stands and says to his friends that he is going to walk to the dining car to get something, he does not know what, he makes clear as both friends ask him what he is going to get–“I do not know. I will see what they have,” he says. No one says he will join him. Pavel walks alone to the dining car.

On his way to the dining car, a full three car lengths ahead, he thinks, does not know (neither do I, although it has been said that I should, even if I do not tell). He is talking to one friend, neither Ivan, nor Nikolai, nor Andrei, but another friend he has not seen in many years, maybe a little less than many, a friend none of his travel companions (who are nonetheless good friends) ever knew. Pavel never sees himself in his dreams, nor does not he see other persons anyone speaking in his dreams dreamed at night while sleeping, or in his day dreams, waking dreams, he used to say; no. He hears only voices, disembodied voices? He asks himself as he recalls having remembered he had once considered having said. To dream or not to dream while awake you could ask, the question, no?

He asks a friend I never met, “Does anyone recall what twittering used to mean? No? Ah! The sparrows twittered under the fire-escape, and there began building their nest on top of the cable box; the swallows came to roost twittering.” He has always been able to extend conversations in his head as if he were writing dialogue for a play, and ease at such that stood him well when he worked in theater here in New York, off-off Broadway, he recalls fondly, the times he assisted in directing and stage managing plays in small houses, and seeing his own one-acts and other absurdist skits performed in the same venues. He used to do a bit of theater criticism too at the time.

Pavel Pavlovich pauses again. He does not wonder why he would be talking to this friend from nearly two decades ago, nor does he imagine how he would be in the position to, or if it would happen if he were to try to bridge the years by contacting him. He pauses a moment to consider the friend, whatever it was they had they called then friendship, or whatever it is that two friends think they have when they like being in each other’s company, drinking companions, buddies, friends . . . this was all? No, not so–more than this or any other limiting malignant phrase put upon them by those who did not like them, those who did not understand them, those who never wanted to understand them, those who never will, those too different in temperament, in intelligence, in their level of literacy, commonly higher among them and others like them than you find in general in this here systematically under-educated semi-literate America. He asks himself many questions with mock rhetorical inflection

“To twitter was to speak in a high pitched tone?” He asks himself remembering that that was something some people said in conjunction with the word long before it became what it is now to do on line. “Oh yes, to talk, perhaps rapidly, and at length, and in a trivial way . . . this explains President Trump,” he says. “Does it not?” Who he is speaking to is no longer relevant; that he is speaking at all, and that you are privy to what he is saying is what is important.

He usually imagines an old friend speaking to him in return, but not quite at length–sometimes it is a dialogue in the way Plato set dialogues and not as dialogue in a play would unfold. His friend from how many years ago mute as it would be if Pavel were talking to the trees, which he used to like doing when he was a boy, talking to trees in the forests he’d wander about in, on and off the trails he’d follow, or the stream beds as they flowed in their tributary existence to the Housatonic, itself a tributary of the Connecticut River. Pavel is doing all the talking, rapidly, as if he were before a captive audience, but an audience that was listening in spite of being captive.

“Twitter limits speech, does it not?” He asks. “How extended can anything on Twitter be?” He asks. “Trump does twitter away the Presidency on social media–and I do not want to hear any of this shit about the deference I am supposed to have for the being of any man as President–he is not a private citizen, and ceases to be an individual as long as he finctions out of the Oval Office as the most Influential man on earth. “But there he is, the buffoon, twittering along in the old-fashined way, all the while limiting himself in the common meaning today, yes, everyone twittering on Twitter, double entendres intended,” he says.

He adds, “You do know that double entendre is not French, does not exist in French, is an English language pretense of creating meaning out of literally transposed words from one language into meaning something in another.” Words, words and more words spoken in-loud.

Pavel pauses in the imagined time, but not in the actual time of him speaking now in mind, sometimes the words creeping out of their imagined containment to be spoken out loud in his apartment, or among others in public, not as embarrassing for him as it might be for you, as it is sometimes for me..

“More absurdity I could not find?” He asks again in mock rhetorical inflection. “This of course is not to say that all such occurrences are pretentious and erroneous. N.B. still abbreviates Nota Bene which does mean ‘Note Well’ in Latin. But of course this was not an abbreviation used by the Romans,” he says.

He says, “Nonetheless, however, moreover, Donald Trump is exactly what the Power Elite and the Monied Elite need to make you and I believe that the former Status Quo is exactly what we should want again, should have wanted all along, but were too blind? to see.” He is talking to someone in his day dreamed context of giving this talk, these words, how they are formed by him in mind for speaking elsewhere, although, equally truly, now.

He pauses.

“Moreover,” he says, “when it returns, we will certainly be  inclined to embrace it and not question it. This is either designed by, or it becomes the in-effect that is used by, Power and Monied elites to further their hegemony, a shadowy hegemony, that is. Do not forget this–Power needs the darkness, shadows, like many fungi,” he says.

He recalls something that Andrei Andreyevich had said one day last week, that they were to, “remember that Donald had come along just at the time when Americans were fed up with both Democrats and Republicans,” yes, Pavel recalls then that Nikolai Nikolayevich had added that “both parties had just brought Government to a virtual halt,” yes, “both parties had just received their lowest approval ratings in a very, very, very long time,” Ivan Ivanovich had said, saying what he did in addition to what the others had said, all of them then as they are today, as they were for a few years studying together at Harvard, becoming friends there, the four of them meeting through one or another extended separations.

Pavel pauses.

“Yes,” he says to his friends in mind, simultaneously trying to read the cryptic menu chart at the counter everyone waits at to buy the highly overpriced items on sale, “the Donald seized this discontent and turned it into a more grotesque version of Change than that which Obama had stood for, which was the change of Power and Money wearing blackface,” Pavel said. “There had never been any man to occupy the Oval Office ever deeper in the pockets of the banks than Barack, and we thought Minstrel Shows were a thing of the past,” Pavel Pavlovich says. “And of course there are going to be some of you wondering how a black man qualifies as Black Face,” he says in address to anyone he could imagine objecting, as he has a set of fleeting faces passing him in montage.

Pavel Pavlovich says, “When real fascism comes to America–and I do not mean the grotesque parade of reactionary lunatics that American Marketing strategies opportunistically use to scare you into thinking the former Status Quo was alright and perhaps better, which of course it was–no one here is going to say that White Nationalists are not scary because they are. But when we say that the former Status Quo is better than Trump, what do we mean?” He asks.

“A guy being raped in prison once a month is better than him being raped once a week, is it not?” Pavel asks.

Pavel Pavlovich repeats, “So,when real fascism comes to America, it will be the Neo-liberal Globalizing Multicultural hegemony that comes to us with a renewed version of its Totalitarian Structuring as we have seen increasingly for decades now, that is, if anyone had been looking keenly enough to see. I have heard too many African American mediators and moderators on cable and off of Youtube, or on any one of any other podcast, website video or internet politicking network, say too much too many times about how we need to rethink these old laws that do not pertain to Now, of course meaning the First Amendment.”

He pauses.

“I know Charlottesville scared the hell out of us; it was meant to scare us, but even more so to make us long for the Neo-Liberal globalizers that were Ronald Regan, Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, Bush I and Bush II, as well as Obama, Hilary and anyone else from among the singularly minted political coin of American Politics, heads or tails, Democrat or Republican.”

“Yes,” Pavel Pavlovich says, “even the imbecile Trump is in this packaging because doesn’t he make some of us imagine that even Regan was better than him, even preferable, and so if a Ronald Regan wore black face and tweaked his campaign to look a little bit more like what might be liberal, we would vote for that candidate–oh wait! We did,” he says.

“That was Barack Obama,” Pavel Pavlovich adds.

“All of the former mentioned persons of political interest equally and mutually supported an American Neo-Liberal Globalization intent on bringing American Totalitarian Capitalist hegemony to all quarters of the globe. The coin flip at the Fifty Yard Line every Sunday is as much a representation of our National Politics as anything we see on TV,” he says.

Pavel Pavlovich says, “Neo-liberal is not a synonym for the Politically Scientific imbecility Americans engage when they say liberal, whether they be from among the conservative boobs or those who effetely and ineffectively say, I’m a liberal. Real multicultural democratic liberty will look nothing like the Totalitarian Capitalist masquerades we enjoy–and we do enjoy them as much as we did Obama’s grotesque minstrel show in the White (emphasis on the White) House, a man in the Oval Office who had deported more people than all other Presidents in US history combined, started more armed conflicts than Bush II, spread the drone assassination campaign to all quarters of the world, violated the sovereignty of more allies and foes than any other President would have dared. Yes, Barack, the Bankers B!$%h spent one TRILLION dollars upgrading and expanding our nuclear arsenal, making fifty years of arms talks irrelevant. He tried to broker hegemony in the Ukraine creating a fiasco he has not taken responsibility for, nor has the Press imposed it on him ‘and you do know that if Russia had tried to get into Mexico the way Obama had tried in the Ukraine, we would already be at war,” I remember Nikolai saying Pavel Pavlovich says.

Pavel Pavlovich pauses.

“But Obama is a Neo-liberal Totalitarian Capitalist Globalizer par-excellent,” Andrei Andreyevich said, Pavel Pavlovich recalls. “Trump is just an idiot–a dangerous one, but an idiot nonetheless; and as the KGB used to say, a useful idiot,” Ivan Ivanovich said, Pavel Pavlovich recalls. . . . “Only now in the cause of Neo-Liberal Totalitarian Capitalism, not Totalitarian Communism, as the KGB’s useful idiots were employed to manage,” Pavel Pavlovich adds to what he remembers.

“Don’t think we did not learn from our former foes the Soviets, all of us increasingly less and less free the further in mind and farther in time we get from the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Andrei Andreyevich said earlier in their conversations on the train begun in the waiting room of Penn Station. “Yes,” Nikolai Nikolayevich added, “With the absence of the Soviet Union in geo-politics, there is less and less incentive to manage freedom in the interests of the People,” he said. “Which is why the United States is looking more and more like a Third World country,” Ivan Ivanovich said. “An irony too many of us fail to see because for a couple of decades now I have been hearing how I should be thankful I live in America instead of Venezuela, Viet Nam, Rwanda, Burundi, or any other place the United States being the United States should never compare itself with in order to appear better,” Pavel remembers having said.

“For shame,” Pavel Pavlovich thinks. “But then more than 90% of all our media is owned by and controlled in their dissemination by only 6 corporations. Of course our media is not designed and meant–in its dissemination and by manipulation and framing of real news–to keep Power and Money in the shadows, you could only believe if you were naive, stupid or systematically under-educated.”

“Donald is too savvy about marketing and media strategies to believe that news is fake,” Pavel Pavlovich said while waiting for the train earlier. “No one savvy in marketing and the dissemination of images and text in the news is ignorant entirely of how propaganda functions,” he added. :”We are ruled by marketing and the strategies inherent from this, even if we do everything to curtail and control and limit markets,” he said.

“How can anyone’s appraisal of media in America not move too close to the press and broadcast media serving a propaganda function,” Ivan Ivanovich says.

“Advertising and Propaganda both serve one master when it comes to what is essential in mass dissemination,” Pavel Pavlovich says to himself he said. “Mass communication, Mass Media,” he concludes. “Mass society is the principle ingredient in totalitarianism,” he says.

Pavel pauses.

Pavel continues, I recall, “I do not care if Mussolini coined the term that gives rise to ours, totalitarian; Italy did not develop a totalitarian restructuring of society in the way that Russia and later the Soviet Union did or in the way Germany under the Nazis did as well. The United States is ripe for this reordering, and not only under Trump, more effectively, and within the Orwellian Prophetic paradigm, but under the Democrats and their Wall Street Hegemony. Bandy about different terms if you will, but we are becoming entirely, as we have been developing more and more greatly into a Totalitarian Capitalist Society,” Pavel Pavlovich says.

“Yes, totalitarian does not have to be authoritarian in exactly the ways Nazis Germany was, or the Soviet Union was, and in all the ways Fascist Italy was not, and in every way America can be,” Pavel Pavlovich says, said, will say as he has been saying and keeps on saying, words, words and more words, “it amazes me how much and how often Americans come out against free speech, hating it as much as it appears to me that they do, resenting it because it does not coincide with their love of determinism over free will, or their obsession with character assassination, as you see so often, the glee that the mob that the Public has become engages, abdicating their individual responsibility to We the People  . . . monstrously grotesque in how much closer they continue in becoming like their former foe, the Soviet Union, further and further from the  core defense of freedom since the collapse of the Soviet Union–Totalitarian Bourgeois Capitalist, for sure,” he said.

 

Written by jvr

October 21, 2017 at 9:01 am

Central Moscow and Party Membership; or Cain is Abel’s Brother [a short story]

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“I know many people from the former Soviet Union,” he said, “and the only people to have  apartments in central Moscow were members of the Communist Party,” he continued. “This was the word then and continues to be the word of Jewish and Non-Jewish former citizens of the Soviet Union who I am and have been friends with for years,” he said, “as well as from former students in a number of ESOL programs here in NYC, in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan; as well as four year and two year colleges in the English Departments of CUNY schools, people I talked with who had no vested interest in lying that I could determine. I mean, it seems more reasonable to assume that former communists who had apartments in central Moscow would lie about that than those who have no position would be lying by saying those who were not Communists, were Communists, unless, as most former Communists like to say, ‘these are people with the sour grapes who have to malign people who have made something of themselves here in America’ . . . but then we do know how the U.S. has used former Soviets in positions of prestige or authority or influence in America, much the way the Soviets used former Nazis in East Germany and in the KGB.” He paused.

What more could he say? He could say plenty? He knows a guy Sergey who talks about his family suffering Anti-Semitism in all the conventionally American received ideas about Communists complete with the accepted stereotypes about the Soviet Union that he knows Americans love to hear, but that former citizens of the Soviet Union, both Jews and Non-Jews, tell you is bullshit. The speaker herein quoted will not say everything he knows–or he thinks he knows. The speaker quoted by me will, would, could, what? Who else knows more firmly what he knows about what he has been told by people from the Soviet Union . . . he will not say all? All of what? No one ever reveals all. A truth to be undenied? He certainly would reveal everything to me, is not something I should believe, but then, what could he be keeping from me that would countermand anything he has said about how former Communists are adept at manipulation of images, showing great dexterity at blending truth and lies in a confusing or confounding cocktail they love to serve to Americans in contexts they have choreographed well. No one sells the experience of Anti-Semitism better than former Communists who were also Jews, and that is a truth Americans cannot accept or believe, whether it is from denial or by cover from Ashkenazi Americans in the press . . . and former Communists who also happened to be Jews knew this, know this, milk this for every drop they can use to their own advantage, as humans everywhere will step on others to advance.

We were not friends at the time. We have not become friends in the time since.

“It’s interesting how many refugees to the United States I have heard say: I had to be a member of the Communist Party. Another carefully orchestrated delivery when the facts of their party membership cannot be hidden and have not hindered their entry to the U.S. There have been former Party members who were refused entry to the US and had to emigrate to Israel, but let’s not forget the numbers who emigrated to Israel and then used the alleged good behavior of Israeli citizenship to emigrate to the U.S. afterwards.” He wanted to say that they were monstrously full of shit, but he thought again of it. You question my omniscience? Of course you do. Omniscience is suspect, is it not? He understood what his friends from the Soviet Union were trying to tell him, and that is that no former Communist stays put, is content to be just anybody andlive out his life in quiet desperation or quiet resolve that he has fianlly purged himself of his former affiliation with the Soviet Communist Party. They seek positions, worm their way into positions of influence, authority, maybe sometimes even power when their experience and knowledge is geared toward their assuming such a role.

“Anyone working, let’s say, in Soviet Space Agency positions, or in Russian Academia with a PhD., and had apartments in central Moscow, were members of the Communist Party. This is a fact; it is prima facia. There were academics and people in positions of research in the Soviet Union who did not become members out of integrity; others who did because it meant making more money. So, the prostitution argument of only being a member for more money is equal to a young poor Sicilian kid saying I only joined the MAFIA to make more money, so please do not consider me a criminal. Of course, there is gross even grotesque victimization in prostitution that is aligned with the power dynamics of contemporary and historical misogyny, but not so in a person choosing to become a member of the Party,” he said in a mouthful. These are true irrespective of your questioning them, their possible veracity, how in conflict with one or another received ideas as dogma or not. I know how many people will call this Anti-Semitism, another trick the former Communist uses because he knows how survivalist American and Israeli Ashkenazi feel and act, ad how the specter of former Anti-Semitism(s) is used to silence anything or anyone who may only remotely be seen as a maybe possible future threat. It is one of the foremost ways the American Press serves a propaganda function for Power and Monied Elites because most Power Elites and virtually all Monied elites, if they were to have a common geo-poltics, it would be Zionist. Zionists being Jewish, Christian, Muslim, European, North American, Turkish, Israeli, Arab, et cetera.

“I know too many Jews from the former Republics who could tell you clearly that it was a choice,” he said. “I cannot tell you how full of shit too many of these claims are by former Party members,” he added, “and I got this from many, many Russian Ashkenazim,” he insisted, as if this in itself made it a point beyond question, something self-evident. I think it is and that it does, but then narrators, you say, have their prejudices, and no amount of omniscience takes away from the subjectivity of the narrator in the frame of his narration; thus, it coould be assumed, the unreliableness.

“Perhaps there were sour grapes for not being to rise high enough in the Party to meet their economic aspirations,” he said. This is plausible; Jewish members of the Communist Party were blocked from higher positions because they were Jewish. There was certainly Anti-Semitism; just not from everyone you hear the claims, nor in one to one correspondence with the stereotypical images drawn by American received ideas, prejudices and ignorance.

“The Ashkenaz from Russia who cries the loudest about Anti-Semitism, I have been told by more than one Russian Jewish man and woman, was a former member of the Communist Party,” he said. “I had Russian Jewish friends point out the members of the Communist Party who were on a portrait photo wall of fame and honor at a Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst; each of them laughing at how gullible Americans are and how much guile the old Communists still had.” He paused.

I paused, thinking about what he had said. I do not know what kind of thinking was required to get what he was saying. It was not very difficult.

“Do not think that there were no Jews in the Communist Party because there were and had been for decades,” he said he had ben told. “The Party was far, far more multicultural than we are lead to believe, as multicultural, if historical analyses should help us, as any of the Czars ministries were when Russia became a multi-ethnic empire before it solidified as a nation, Rossiya,” he said. But the only people American print media seem to want to listen to are the former members who have learned how to garner spotlight for their own camouflaged apologetics? I ask, not necessarily you, and not by necessity me.

“These opinions again came to me from Russian Jews who were victims of Anti-Semitism, often at the hands of Jews in the Communist Party,” he said. And I know you do not want to hear that. I know you want to malign him, disbelieve him, condemn him, accuse him, no? These are just my omniscient opinions about you who read this? Could this Institutional Jew heap upon Individual Jews his own self-fashioned Anti-Semitism? Of course he could he had been told in one way or another, words shifting, but meaning remaining steadfast. Could this be another example of the “cruel joke” totalitarian authority has historically been so fond of? Now you have another question to consider that might fly in the face of what you have been trained to think, formed by IN-formation to believe.

He said he had been told by someone who knew the fore mentioned Sergey, that “no one proves the horrible, terrible, grotesque racist motto that nits make lice better than Sergey.” 

What then must we do?

Written by jvr

October 8, 2017 at 11:19 am

The Not-Post Colonial World

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Please do not confuse Wall Street delivering cabinet selections to Presidents as representative of the best we can do with democratic government, and please do not delude yourself into thinking that corporate CEOs delivering lists of choices for Cabinet members to Presidents is remotely good for anyone but the Corporate elite, in other words, the Monied and Power Elites of these Oligarchic States of America. As our latest former President had his Cabinet Selection list delivered, not offered, to him by the CEO of Citicorp, let us say that whenever we speak the name Obama, we are also saying O! Bankers.

How American Democracy became contingent with, by necessity, the needs and mandates of International Corporate Capitalism is a tortuous essay. Please do not think, (imagine? believe? play hop-scotch with truths, notions, received ideas . . . et cetera in the perpetual game of ping pong we play in one or another media arenas with all the sound-bites and slogans that form under the peculiarly American connotations for conservative and liberal.  The current level of corporate greed, perpetuating former colonialisms under the pretext that Capitalism and Democracy are mutually contingent by Necessity (capital ‘N’ needed philosophically) for how our liberty can become liberty for the world, has surpassed any former conception of grotesque.

We do become less free the more we oppress economically others in the world–and how much further into servitude or revised images of bondage through economic warfare waged by the elites on everyone else. This decrease in freedom for the many is right in line with how the greed of oil companies chooses to ignore Global Warming, pausing to let our current resident in the Oval Office expose his ignorance? his fundamental stupidity? his arrogance, his hubris, never has what should be shameful carried itself with such swagger.

A rise in the average global temperature has been recorded. Global warming is not to be mocked; it is not an indication of how this temperature today here in this place is steadily rising. Climate and weather are not one and the same thing, and the fluctuations in weather no more indicate climate, than daily temperatures and air moisture and barometric levels in their fluctuations are direct indicators of seasonal averages over long periods of time. Global warming has been steadily on the rise (and exponentially so?) since World War 2, the last war to end all wars, thus the conundrum of increasing the need for, or breeding the crops of, wars around the world since.themselves fostering ever greater demands for oil. How anyone imagined the same Donald Trump I new was an idiot forty years ago here in New York City–how anyone imagined this same man-child boasting the same inane rhetoric as he had forty or thirty or twenty-five years ago, was ever going to be a solution for anything except how the rich can get richer–something he was hell bent on achieving because what he craves most is acceptance from who he perceives as his peers, and was something he never really had, always being an orphan of the Elite in the manner and matters of his being accepted by them . . .

Instead of the US being a shining example of liberty for the world, Democrats and Republicans have joined in perpetuating British and French Imperialism/Colonialism as we have been working hard at for the last several or more decades since the close of Work War 2. Please do not imagine, though, that the contemporary Democratic Party is an answer for the Republican Party except in the way that anyone who is not one of the Republicans would be preferable, but then that’s like saying Franco would be preferable to Hitler? I will allow you to believe that that is an exaggeration.

Written by jvr

October 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

Not So Much Unlike Other Men [a short story]

with one comment

 

I

Any man is not so unlike other men, is he? Other men are not so much different from another man, again this any man, you might say, you might imagine, might have met one time or another, anywhere. Any man you choose to observe is at variance with others you might assume should be like him. Is this any man a variation on everyman? Should that be with a capital ‘E?’ I ask here only as a concession to another rhetoric. At the conclusion of saying what i have herein said, at the opening of what you will read, what I have written, what?

How do we explore this nature, human, we have come to disbelieve–and we do, disbelieve in human nature, at least the universality of one. How do we do what we need to do in order to say what we need to say in the appropriate ways concerning our freedom, our democracy, our individual responsibility to what remains the core of our Democracy, We the People, but not this “we” as a sum-total, but as a collective of individuals, each macrocosmic to the whole –and there are appropriate ways  to speak about freedom, about democracy, about a universal human nature in response to or coercion from historical nurture (the latter become a substitute nature), to say, to write, to present, to argue for what needs our defense, or against what would subsume us in a controlling or controlled way. This be our constant vigilance.

What then am I saying about this man who is like and yet unlike every other man I have ever known, spoken with, spoken about, researched,  when especially speaking about politics and politicians, the latter a profession co-opted by businessmen and lawyers–and we wonder why we have had the politics and politicians and governments we have had–and governments should be plural. Every administration is a different government, even if the foundation in our Constitution remains steadfast? Does it though? Are we able to defend the Constitution with what parades around as literate enough among our supposedly educated, more surely, systematically undereducated, semi-literate at best. The education Madison asserted was the foundation of our Civil Liberty is not what our inept literacy today can support, handle, maintain.

This rooted in the Constitution is slipping fast from our grip, one generation after another finding itself placed with democracy on a slippery slope of perpetually questioning freedom as if there were no Knowledge and as if Knowledge were impossible and Doubt were the highest wisdom. As systematically under educated as we are, semi-literate at best, the boobs we have become have abandoned the First Amendment; and we remain unable to defend it, even those in Publishing and Print Media, who you would imagine stood for free speech and free press, except our Press mirrors the old Soviet PRAVDA more than anything that has ever been in print; yes, all of us squandering the First Amendment with one brand of contempo-centrism or a-historicism, questioning the Framers because they were White, because they were men, or because they lived long ago and made these old laws that do not pertain to now as I heard one African American woman supporter of Black Lives Matter say in response to someone wearing a Swastika on his arm on a bus in Minneapolis not long after Charlottesville; she did just that. Now I understood the emotion, but that’s it, we prefer what feel to what we think, confusing one for the other. They are not mutual except in our new epistemological dogmas. Does anyone imagine that emotion and passion are the same thing; they are not. Emotion, motion, commotion; passion, compassion. What are the differences? Can you even articulate them for yourself.

So, the First Amendment is being abandoned; and how many African-Americans who have been seeking justice have I heard saying things like We have to question these old laws that do not pertain to now . . .  one variation or another; yes, of course, the First Amendment is our problem–but that’s exactly what Power and Money want you to think, want you to do, yes, let’s rewrite our Freedoms, introducing precedents that will only curtail them at first, then eliminate them ultimately. We have been so grossly systematically under-educated . . . a two-tier society, anyone? Yes, it has arrived–America, a third world country for most of us. I would not put it past the Power Elite to orchestrate Charlottesville in order to prompt us to question the foundations of our freedom. But Black Lives Matter is a First Amendment cause. I cannot be against it because I cannot be against freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to protest Power even in limited ways, or highly mistakenly curtailed ways. Revise the First Amendment and Black Lives Matter will eventually disappear. Unless what is envisooned is a power play for authoritarian hegemony?

 

II

This man who will be presented herein expresses some of his opinions about the President in a manner he does not feel completely comfortable expressing, yet not so much that he avoids saying what he thus will herein say. What will be said for you who are reading is a was said, or had been said, for those of us presenting his words . . . words, words and more words, all of them too confusing and confounding for too many of us to understand, comprehend, unravel in their cacophony. Bombarded we are, media dissemination often resembling an assault on our senses as well as on our good sense; an assault on our psyche as well as our psychology, thus the collective mentality. It’s intended to be confusing or be confounding under the pretext of being true to democracy by providing us with the most information in the shortest possible time–none of which helps foster thinking, which of course, the Power and Monied Elites do not want the People doing if the People are to be transformed into a State serving Public, displacing their People-ness and their responsibility to themselves and their Liberty. In-formation is just that, to be in a formation of one kind or another. All informing is putting in form, form as in formations as in military columns, ranks and file–form as order, the only thing a state ever sponsored sponsors. Order.

In response to the President’s latest effort to eat his foot–and he has put his foot in his mouth before, and continues to do so from time to time because he is in-love with being un-Presidential, thinking that this is not only what has made him popular, which it has, but that it is what makes him credible. My contrariwise position against the President does not make me one of the imbecile Americans who has become enamored with the former East German Communist, fluent in Russian, current Chancellor of Germany because I think she is equally full of shit in a completely other way than the President. There has been no one in Germany since World War II better at maneuvering herself into positions of political opportunism than former East German Communists (and do not forget she has tried without very much success inside Germany at washing off the former stains of her Communist activism in east Germany, but no one loves European brands of Totalitarianism better than a German, unless you are talking Russians, especially Russian Ashkenazim, as ironic as that might seem . . . and it is as interesting as it is appalling and frightening that so many Eastern European Jews from the Soviet Union here in America are as disposed to supporting authoritarian policies in government, almost like how men out of prison really do miss the routine of prison, and why so many of them become repeat offenders to wind up back in jail).

In response to the President commenting on matters he has already proven to us he is too ignorant to think about sensitively, he said that “the President has mocked soldiers who suffer tress disorders,” adding to that something he considered weighing words to action and action to words, their effect another kind of action, “the fucking idiot!”

Yes, this man not so unlike other men his age, his temperament, his level of education, his level of literacy (which is actually high, and a lot higher than almost anyone he has worked with or for over the last thirty years) . . . this man exclaimed that the President of the United States is a fucking idiot, but not in the way Dostoevsky meant when he titled the novel he wrote centered on his character Myshkin, The Idiot. To understand what Dostoevsky meant, you might need to look at Pasternak’s Zhivago who is right in line with Distoevsky’s Myshkin.

This man unlike others you might assume is like this man not so unlike even those who are nothing like him in many of the ways so many people grow fond of him for then said that the President “has shown himself to be, even if not clinically mentally insufficient at saying anything about a person, humanely; or even if not in the colloquial way we mean to say someone is stupid . . . the President is an idiot in exactly the way Aristotle meant when he said that an idiot is someone without social or general concerns, thus, from the Greek prefix, idio, meaning self, as in ‘idiosyncratic,’ we have what the President has proven himself to be, a solipsist,” he said, I say. Dostoevsky’s Myshkin is also like this in that he cannot conform or adapt to a world of corruption and decadence and inhumanity to fellow humans; much as Zhivago finds himself unable and at times un willing to go along to get along.

He paused.

 

III

I pause.

I too am not enamored with the current Chancellor of Germany, herself too assuming and . . . there is too much about her that is a lot like how former East German Communists have acted and have presented themselves, as I recall from childhood and young adulthood, too much of Germany being what it was in the ways it is . . . Center-Right? So that’s supposed to make me believe she is a great liberal leader because she is not a fascist or a Nazis, and there are differences I know most Americans don’t want to understand when they can, but that most couldn’t because they have been so systematically undereducated and kept semi-literate, mostly a-historicized in their understanding and their thinking, if what they do in their mental operations can still be called thinking. But as I have said elsewhere, and most pertinently with an application for and to writing about freedom, how we do write or dis-write, and what we read, and what literacy has become in direct opposition to what it should be, we have been calling shit a rose for so long that we have contempt for roses because they do not smell like shit.

There are too many who cannot think this through,saying what they say because others have said it, so much of our political discussion being something other than discussion, other than debate, only an exchange of slogans, a horrid parroting of received ideas managed by marketing more than it has ever been in our recent history by the market place.

He continued. “This is going back some for me, but the diction of old strikes at the heart of the matter,” he said. Yes, he continued, “In any Brooklyn working class Catholic bar I ever drank in when I was young, anyone like President P. Murt would eventually have the shit smacked out of him because he is too much the kind of guy who talks shit all the time and pretends to be tough but is really a punk.”

But bullshitting is our favorite past time; just listen to an alleged play-by-play announcer and his color commentator side-kick during any sporting event and you will hear the most useless bantering bullshit ever heard anywhere.

He paused.

“I hate having to talk like this, but it really pisses me off–at least I imagine that I should be pissed off, that a man like me–what exactly is it about a man like me–I should be pissed off at what President Murt has said,” he said to me, I recall having then said to others, where, I now do not remember.

“Whenever anything would go down, a guy like him would disappear and never get involved, always with some convenient other bullshit as to why he was not around whenever fists flared,” he said. “I hate talking like this,” he added,  “but it is to call out our President for being painfully ignorant,” he said.

He wanted to add–what did he want to add?

He said to me later, so much so that it becomes even painful to call him out in this matter because one might suspect that he is seriously mentally challenged.

However, he went on to say, “Forty years ago New Yorkers knew P. Murt was a jack ass.”

He paused, mumbling a little, then thinking out loud. I witnessed this at the bar we were standing at, me ordering another two pints as he mumbled, “what happened to the rest of the country, including all the people who left New York for Jersey–my God! Jersey?”

He paused.

Our pints arrived. We sipped our pints. We stopped talking about the President and our contemporaneity in politics, it having come to be subsumed by the idea that package over product is not only a better strategy, but the best strategy, and not only the best strategy, but certainly now the only strategy because there are no longer any truths because we have certainly attacked the idea that there could be a Truth anywhere at any time that should exist as a compass heading; knowledge is impossible and Doubt, doubt and more doubt has become the highest wisdom . . . you do know this, no?

“I suspected that too many I grew up with were quietly like President P. Murt,” he said.

“He really is not–I’m not going to say that he is not a man. I’ll leave that for some women who have developed a horrible resentment for men to say to their boyfriends they love to taunt, some towards boyfriends they know will hit them after a while of the taunting; some of these women would rather be right than happy, some of them, right in how all men are from the example of their boyfriend, right in how all women are treated by the example of how they are treated, right in what they think they deserve, or some might say, thinking that the taunting is a bit disturbing and indicative of the kind of self-loathing that seeks abuse; yes, disturbing but not for what it imposes on the man, which it does not, impose anything, that is, it does not make men out to be what they are sometimes and should take responsibility for; but for what it says about the woman in this situation, and only some of those who are recipients of what she is the recipient of, this woman who taunts insecure men about not being a man, do, if you follow me, what I am saying, that is, at least trying to say, I don’t know now. Again, I hate talking like this,” he said, saying so many things, on one or another tangent to the circle of discussion, how he imagines that there are layers of perversity and grotesqueness in human behavior that does not eliminate responsibilities in actions and no responsibility for any action reduces the responsibility for any reciprocal action, he believed, did not say, tried to, ineffectively, intent on making another point, so why then bring up this tangent?

He apologized for raising the specter of former New York City residents mocking the Garden state, “but too many of our fathers remembered when you could smell the pig shit from the pig farms whenever the wind blew right for it. Only in Jersey can the former working classes afford their debt buried examples of conspicuous consumption?”

He also apologized for what some might misinterpret about what he has said about some women and the fucked up men in their lives, not rationalizing or justifying or excusing the fucked behavior.

Of course, “I am not maligning pig farmers,” he said. “I am also not maligning women or some women who find themselves or choose to remain in abusive fucked up relationships.”

He paused.

 

IV

 

He added, “Jersey is the place in the world with the most toxic waste sites per square mile.”

He paused.

He said that sadly Jersey also has the highest rate of autism in America.

He paused.

“When I imagine places to flee to from New York, it is not New Jersey that comes to mind,” he said.

He paused.

“The fact that there are so many former New Yorkers who wound up supporting Trump who live there,” he said, “I can do without neighbors taking behavioral cues from watching re-runs of the Sopranos. I do not know if that’s the case. This is a stereotype as much as the Sopranos is

He paused.

“More stereotypes to live up to, communication has become a new synthetic ecstasy”

They finished their pints and decided to sit at a table and have lunch.

We had heard that the fish and chips were good. That’s what we ate.

Written by jvr

October 5, 2017 at 10:06 am

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