More on the Cloud

My approach to this blog is not the usual. I am not seeking wide-spread attention. My notion is that everything I write goes together to form one whole entity, a complete work containing stories, novels, essays, blogs, poems, paintings, and math, and naturally connecting all the areas of my interest.

My purpose in this blog is to issue an invitation to that one work, create another door by which it may be visited. The work cannot be summarized or reduced. The point is its richness and color, if you think there is any. The point is to help with the connections. The point is the experience.

Don’t expect this approach to appeal to many. But I have faith there are a few people out there who see things this way, and who will find the whole consistent, enlightening, explanatory, refreshing.

That’s what I mean when I say Welcome to the Cloud. Eventually I plan to build in links to the other stuff. You can find some of them on Google already, but most of what most authors do either vanishes or is considered only in fragments.

The being is indivisible. Have always seen other writers this way. Reading individual works, as I wrote once, is just following tracks by moonlight.

When Will I Ever Learn

Just had an argument with an old dear friend. She kept insisting the problem with things was all the welfare mothers and social security cheats.

I came up with three metaphors to explain my point of view. Although, I said, I hate lazy deadbeats as much as anyone, I don’t think it works to go after them. The major problem is not small cheats. You can’t make workable laws keeping people from being lazy. You CAN make workable laws keeping the rich and powerful from stealing people blind.

I think the meme of the “welfare queen” is a trick pulled by the crooked owners of this country to distract the average citizen from just how crooked and corrupt the whole system is. Get all worked up about the small-timers, and you won’t notice the big crooks stealing all your money and killing people.

My three metaphors: A rich man is so rich he doesn’t use horses to pull his carriage, he uses human slaves. He sits up there with a whip, lashing them to go faster. One of the carriage-pullers is honest and hard-working, but the other is lazy and dogging it. But the rich man whips them both just as cruelly. So what does the hard-working person do? Get mad at the man with the whip? No. That person gets mad at his or her fellow slave.

The situation is like a dike with a bunch of little holes in it, while there has been a great big hole blown in part of it, and the sea is pouring in. Blaming the small-time cheats is like running around shouting at all the people who won’t stick their fingers in the little holes but not even trying to fix the big on.

The situation is like getting mad at the fellow who stole your breakfast while there’s somebody standing there with a gun fixing to blow your brains out.

So what was her response?

She told me to lighten up and claimed that I was in favor of making it easy on cheats. She gets insulted if I don’t agree with her, but doesn’t see any insult in telling me to lighten up or in totally misrepresenting my argument (straw man style).

I should have known better. I really should. No good can come of contending with people who argue that way. Reference my earlier post about the shameless murderers in Mississippi. It’s as obvious as anything in the universe that these are lying despicable bastards, but simply because I point that out, I am suddenly the enemy.

I grew up with this shit. It’s bullshit. That’s all there is to it, and I don’t care how many people are buying it. You can spend your life savings on bullshit thinking it’s gold, but the smell won’t change.

The best I can do is not argue. It doesn’t do any good, and it only makes me despair of the very people I learned to care about growing up.

Read recently a post that argued, based on solid studies that show neocons follow authority, not reason, that there are really two different species here, which only look similar.

Like the farmer in Frost’s Mending Wall. Everybody says the name of the poem with the accent on the first syllable, but that isn’t right. It isn’t a wall where you go to do your mending. It is the activity of mending a wall, and the accent belongs on the third syllable. Similarly, everybody quotes the famous line of the poem, Good fences make good neighbors, as if that were the meaning of the poem.

But it isn’t. The meaning is precisely the opposite. Frost describes the fellow who says it as looking to him like “an Old-Stone savage armed.” The fellow is so proud of the fancy-sounding line, he doesn’t even think about it.

If you think about it, it is obviously false. Good fences do NOT make good neighbors. Good neighbors make good fences, I would say. If you have a bad neighbor, one lousy fence isn’t going to help much.

I have become convinced that, given a choice between a difficult idea which is right, and an easy idea which is wrong, 99.9% of the people in this country will pick the easy idea.

The Murderers

For quite some time now I’ve been telling the story of how I could no longer stand to live in Missississippi after the assassination of JFK, horrified by walking the campus of the Southern Baptist (and therefore supposedly Christian) college I attended, and hearing the shouts of laughter and approval from all the would-be Baptist preachers.

That’s true enough, but the whole truth is darker. Imagine discovering that your father was a mass murderer on the order of Gacy. That’s how I was beginning to feel. I had grown up an innocent lover of my home state, patriotic, proud, eager to bring honor to Mississippi.

I had been increasingly forced to face the facts: These people were killers. Byron de la Beckwith shot Medgar Evers dead in 1963, and bragged about it, and everybody knew he was guilty, but a governor shook his hand, and it was thirty years before he was convicted. Lawrence Rainey murdered Luther Jackson, and was one of the murderers of the Philadelphia four. He never went to jail, and was in fact the sheriff of his county. These bare sketches, factual as they are, cannot communicate the horror of discovering what was going on.

I was a teen-ager when I began to be aware of the killers, and I was terrified. It was like looking directly into the face of Satan. This was pure lying malevolent evil. These people were degenerate, and proud of it.

I was frightened, deeply frightened. Not on a personal basis. I’m not afraid personally of any of these bastards. So they can sneak up behind me and kill me. So? I’m going to die anyway. Any damned fool can kill. It takes real power to help someone live, or to refuse to foster madness or murder or cruelty.

No. I was terrified because I was looking into the face of a blank wickedness I could not comprehend, that my “Christian” upbringing did nothing to prepare me for. These people were members of my own species. That was the guilt that horrified me.

And what was the general language of the tribe like at the time? Exactly like it is now. Vicious, demeaning, threatening, lying, cowardly, stupid, angry. I will no longer tolerate such language and I make no apologies. Howl all you want to about “fairness.” It’s a spurious fairness that you propose, in which all the damage happens to other people. If you spout this vicious nonsense, you are brewing the environment that encourages the hideous side of the human species to come out. You are providing cover for murderers and assassins. I do not accept you and I do not forgive you. You. Are. WRONG.

I urge anyone who cares to read the facts about the many lynchings and murders and tortures of blacks. I urge you to read RFK Junior’s recent piece about the despicable rhetoric and antics of Dallasites and many others in the South in the days before JFK was murdered.

But if you care, you probably already have read such things. The creatures who need to read them will not.

I disagree strongly with the way the The Authority graphic novels glorify killing (supposedly in a good cause), but I feel the way Apollo does in one of the stories in Jenny Sparks: “Sometimes you almost wish there WAS a hell.” I would not want anyone to suffer eternal torment, but it seems unfair that such bestial and criminal beings could be allowed to live normal lives, could be allowed to walk among us as free men.

And for those who would maintain that the fact that people like me don’t “believe in” hell is the CAUSE of the problem, I will point out that de la Beckwith and Rainey would have described themselves as Christians. Most of the murderers went to church, thought of themselves as good soldiers in the Christian army. Get it straight: Christ’s teachings were about behavior, not appearances. They are about what you do, not the image you cultivate. They are about how you treat your fellow humans. Killing is NOT Christian. Venom and lies and incitement are NOT Christian. It’s that simple. If you say it isn’t, you lie.

By their fruits shall ye know them.

And if you say there is no connection between the recent murders of Tiller and the six in Tucson and the permissiveness that allows someone like Huckabee, who called, on national television, for the assassination of Julian Assange, to be considered a genuine Christian and a respectable candidate for president, you lie.

Perhaps you lie because you have been persuaded by liars, but you lie. You aren’t talking to a clueless idiot who wants to believe the impossible. I was there. I saw the evil. I looked into its face. I remember how it operates. I remember in detail. It scarred me for life.

And I wasn’t even black.

I feel the same chill now that I felt then. I look into the faces of the sputterers and the expostulators, and I see the same smirk that Jared Loughner shows in his booking photo, that self-righteous self-congratulary madness that actually thinks nothing is wrong if it is done on behalf of the “right” group, the one you’re a member of.

The people who celebrated Kennedy’s death on that supposedly “Christian” campus didn’t pull the trigger themselves. Oh no. I’m very clear on that fact.

But they were happy about the murder. Yes, there were then, as there are now, a few apologists saying that we should all mourn his death even if we didn’t agree with him. But I saw the faces of the people.

Every one of them should have been locked away for life.

Go on proclaiming your foul ideas, go on twisting rhetoric to pretend your innocence. The fact is, we can see you for what you are. You can maybe “get away with it,” in the sense that you will never be brought to justice, but the fact is you are either scum or the stuff that grows on scum, and you aren’t fooling anybody.

You’re either killers, or encouraging killers. And I see you.

And if I am wrong, and there is a Judgment Day, I will accuse you before the face of God. You. Killers.