Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zombies VS Pod People: Best. Birthday. Ever.

She's not the Mayor! She's a POD PERSON!

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. - Henry Louis Mencken

Happy Birthday To Me! The Reddit Politics Page, November 15, 2011.

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." - Robert HeinleinLife-Line (1939)

Today is my birthday, a day I have loathed for most of my life.

It has always been associated with disappointed expectations, another year older and a lifetime's dour assurance that there's more of the same to come.

But today I saw the tipping point - the turn away from a baleful future I have been blogging against since the tragedy of  9/11 convinced me to get out of my own head and give a public damn.

I will go on record as saying that today, November 15, 2011 was the day everything changed. The day the future we need became obviously more probable than the future I had been predicting for more than ten years.

I am temperamentally a cynic and while I do know the better side of humankind, and have generally good reason to expect the best of individuals, I have come to have rather low expectations of them in their great masses. My general view of them is well summed up by my choices of intellectual heroes.

I've long considered myself an reflexive conservative; but it is the conservatism of H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein.  It is the conservatism of best practices. It is the conservatism that tells me that if I MUST jump from a perfectly good aircraft, I want to have packed both chutes myself.

As a Reflexive-Conservative, I prefer the company of people who embody the self-discipline required to be trusted with firearms and the wisdom to know why, by whom and to what end they are entrusted with my lack of concern.

Rick Perry - A Texan who reflects well on the intelligence of George Bush and the impulse control of LBJ.
This fool just failed the NRA safety course. See if you can count how many critical failures this picture represents. I'm genuinely surprised he's actually holding it by the right end. 

While I will uphold your natural right as a human being to bear arms in defence of your family and person against any forces you feel might threaten your person, your dignity and your way of life, I point out that every society exists in order to let you hoe a row of potatoes in some expectation of peace and the reasonable hope of not being trampled in your own field, and that no society that failed to do that most basic task lasted much longer than a second missed harvest. 

Now we don't mostly live and die by the whim of the weather - but when we are led by people who do not see widespread unemployment, poverty and homelessness to be a problem, well, that is a group of leaders that need to be replaced by those who understand what the point of a civilized society is - lest there become so many victims of Social Darwinism wandering the streets that civil society simply collapses in the face of being obviously pointless.

And yet we have people arguing in favour of Social Darwinism - as if history proved that people forced to the margins and subjected to increasing oppression and poverty simply and politely accepted their fate.

The right of self-defence is inalienable and of course, wandering hordes of wandering, hungry "zombies" are an obvious reason for having the means to defend yourself. But, when emergency planners speak of "the zombie apocolypse,"  they likely mean starving Black and Hispanic citizens deciding to eat the rich, braaaaains first.

When well educated, reasonable, prudent professionals feel a need to prepare the public for the potential breakdown of civil order of that degree, well, first, you should raise one eyebrow and say "indeed"... and you should do it on your way out the door to get any bits of kit you happen to be missing.

But what should first cross your mind (as you fill your shopping cart, mind you...) is how much better it would be to craft a society that was inherently zombie-proof. Because, well, there have been quite a few examples of what might as well have been  a zombie apcolypse, and the reason we lived through it amounted to a lot of people banding together to make sure that the zombies went away. And at some time, it occured to people that it would be A Good Thing to try and nip zombie infestations in the bud.

We call that development "civilization."

When you think of it that way, it becomes pretty obvious that any civilization that has brought the zombie apocalypse upon itself deserves to suffer such a fate.

 Now every single practical guide to survival will tell you that if you are alone in the face of the zombie apocolypse, the best use of your gun is to blow your own brains out before the zombies get to you. This is what europeans realized about the Huns, and that's part of what brought about the age of the Nation State. Not being flayed alive as part of the evening's entertainment is a significant incentive. With so much history to learn from, it should be obvious to the dullest that the only practical way to ensure personal security is in some co-operative way. You have to sleep sometime. This is why the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution is written the way it is.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
When you think of it that way, you also realize that it is very much to your advantage and my advantage to deal with the immediate concerns that we both share. Such as, say, not being shot by fools, rousted by thugs or eaten by zombies. With those matters dealt with, we can spend time on our divergent, individual concerns.

But within the last decade and a bit, pointing out such clearly obvious things to the typical Republican or Canadian Conservative brings accusations of being a "Socialist" and at the same time "a fascist who wants to take away our guns."

Does this look like a "well regulated militia" to you?

Those are citizen-taxpayers, and the children of citizen-taxpayers. Seems to me these guys are the people the 2nd Amendment was intended to deal with, not the people it was intended to empower.

But then, as I said, I'm a reflexive conservative. I expect the cops to uphold the law and protect citizens, not assault the citizenry and spit on the law.

But clearly they do - and clearly the people telling them to do it haven't the first idea why that's an amazingly, vibrantly, painfully stupid thing to do. Because you see, this is not the sort of thing that makes real conservatives happy. This is the sort of thing that made the Civil Rights Act possible, these are the optics that ended the British Empire. When decent people realized what was being done in their name, with their money, while they were being told there was no reason to pay attention to a few isolated malcontents.

Instead, the video shows that the Zombie apocolypse is upon us, and it's lead by men in riot gear, sent by the mayor of your home town. My, doesn't that just that just resonate with your cinematic memory?

The people entrusted with protecting our society are acting as if they were Pod People. And of course, the tide turns when people start to realize that external appearances and the reality of motivations are very much at odds.

As much as the average social conservative might giggle at the idea of hippies getting punched, the idea of a hippie chick getting punched by a cop for presenting a valid court order to an officer of the law... that is quite another thing.  That's not a cop. That's a POD PERSON! That's a ZOMBIE! The APOCOLYPSE is upon us! Jesse Kornbluth put it in this way, and set the twitterversre on fire.
"Many of us have knee-jerk reactions to cops beating citizens. Mine comes from George Orwell, the subject of my honors thesis. He wrote something like this: When I see a policeman with a club beating a man on the ground, I don't have to ask whose side I'm on. But with the exception of the great Colbert, you will look in vain for an intelligent conversation about any of this on television."
I would dryly ask why anyone would turn to their television to hear an intelligent "discussion" about a policeman beating a man on the ground. Perhaps liberals, pacifists and pansies might consider this a time to dialogue and raise conciousness, but a genuine conservative? What, I dryly ask, would John Wayne Do?
John Bernard Books (The Shootist):"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." 
 There are some assertions and arguments that will be made in favor of such a thing, but there are some assertions for which the most logical and and appropriate response is a punch in the throat. And should that present the spectre of unreasonable paperwork unworthy of the affront - then turn away from the yammering of fools. I have. And if you are reading this - I suspect you haven't watched much television for the last five years, either.

The conversation IS happening between people who have realized they don't need Tom Brokaw's goddamn permission to have a serious fucking conversation about the moral imperatives expressed by a cop beating supine citizens. To the extent that such an idea needs much discussion, I shall refer you to american history for the sort of conversation required.

"Let us hang together, or we shall most assuredly all hang separtely."

and, of course, should it come to that;  "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

That is why I've been smiling all day. It's been my best birthday in literally decades, for today, I have genuine hope that I will see the beginning of something wonderful, instead of hoping I will die before seeing what I most dread.

There will be marching and shouting and yelling and beating and blood and pain for months, possibly years; there might be occasional terrorism and civil wars will continue - though I consider that far, FAR less likely within the US than I did just a week ago. But however it goes down, the only real question for the US Right wing and the Neo Conservative movement worldwide is how long they can postpone surrender, and under what terms they may negotiate a dignified reatreat.

Just in time for 2012, it's the end of the world as we knew it... and it's about time.

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