Saturday, December 17, 2011

War On Christmas -The Front lines

Visit "The Liberal War On Christmas" on Facebook for more seasonal humor!
Tis the season to arm one's self lob grenades at anyone who might not agree with you or especially those who purposefully insult you by wishing you happy holidays!

Friday, November 25, 2011

American Gothic (Horror)

From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt who had claimed they themselves were gods to the self-regarding inbred thugs of ancient Rome. From the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe to the robber barons of America.  In nearly every urbanized society throughout the entirety of human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy.  They claim for themselves a "god given" right to dominate society. They have used various tactics to do this over the millenia, force being a perennial favorite. But force has been less effective against peaceful resistance in modern times. The self regarding would be aristocrats know that when people are pushed far enough, are robbed enough, stripped of their dignity, and deprived of enough they will eventually fight back. History demonstrates that heads are often lost when this push comes to shove. So newer tactics are employed along with the old violent standbys.
 These tactics vary widely by place and time. But there is a central feature. Deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are "better" than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use "social issues" as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is/was/always will be to establish an aristocracy of some type, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. This notion sounds bizarre to the modern ear, but it is perfectly overt in the writings of leading conservative theorists such as Edmund Burke. For the would-be aristocrat democracy represents a dangerous psychological condition. One in which the carefully crafted masquerade of this manufactured superiority is questioned. One in which the possibility of social equality is raised. History is largely the tale of the struggle between those who claim aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority against those who believe that human beings are of equal social value.
Conservatism, which is in truth the construction of arguments for establishing or strengthening an aristocracy, in every place and time is founded on deception. The deceptions today are especially sophisticated, simply because culture today has become sufficiently democratic enough that the myths of earlier times will no longer suffice in manipulating the,, general public.

The aristocracy have used a wide variety of methods to destroy reason throughout history. Fortunately, many of these methods, such as the suppression of popular literacy, are incompatible with a modern economy. Once the common people started becoming educated, more sophisticated methods of domination were required. What was required was a kind of "rationalized" irrationality.
The great innovation in recent decades has been the systematic reinvention of politics using the techniques developed by the advertising and public relations industry which are exactly the "rationalized" irrationality the aristocracy required. These would-be aristocrats and their sycophantic minions are using these techniques to persuade people to lay down their capacity for rational thought. Why? Because rational thought is the natural predator of aristocracy and conservatism. Hence, attempts are made to destroy rational thought, for example by destroying language, which is the medium of communicating rational thought.

The main idea is the distinction between "messages" and "facts". Messages are the things you want people to believe. A message should be vague enough that it is difficult to refute by rational means. (People in politics refer to messages as "strategies" and people who devise strategies as "strategists". It is useful to think of each message as a kind of pipeline: a steady stream of facts is selected , twisted, or fabricated to fit the message. Contrary facts are of course ignored. The goal is what the professionals call "message repetition". This provides activists with something to do: come up with new facts to fit the conservative authorities' chosen messages. Having become established in this way, messages must also be continually intertwined with one another. This is one job of pundits. To the public relations mind, the public sphere is a game in which the opposition tries to knock you off your message. Many of these "messages" have become institutions. Whole organizations exist to provide a pipeline of "facts" that underwrite the message of "liberal media bias". These "facts" fall into numerous categories and exemplify a wide range of fallacies. Some are simply factually untrue, e.g., claims that the New York Times has failed to cover an event that it actually covered in detail. Other claimed examples of bias are non sequiturs, e.g., quotations from columns that appear on the opinion pages, or quotations from liberals in news articles that also provided balancing quotes from conservatives. Others are illogical, e.g., media that report news events that represent bad news or good news for the sitting leader. The methods of identifying "bias" are thus highly elastic. In practice, everything in the media on political topics that diverges from conservative public relations messages is contended to be an example of "liberal bias". The goal, clearly, is to purge the media of everything except conservatism and aristocracy approved messages. The word "inaccurate" has become a technical term in the political use of public relations. It means "differs from our message".

The aristocracy aims to break down reason and replace it with mental associations. One tries to associate "us" with good things and "them" with bad things. For example, the memo from Newt Gingrich's former organization GOPAC entitled "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control". It advised candidates promoting aristocracy to associate themselves with words like "building", "dream", "freedom", "learn", "light", "preserve", "success", and "truth" while associating their opponents with words like "bizarre", "decay", "ideological", "lie", "machine", "pathetic", and "traitors". The issue here is not whether these words are used at all; of course there do exist individuals that could be described using any of these words. The issue, rather, is a kind of cognitive surgery: systematically creating and destroying mental associations with little regard for truth. Note, in fact, that "truth" is one of the words that Mr.Gingrich advised appropriating in this fashion. Someone who thinks in this manner cannot even conceptualize truth.This is an example of the destruction of language and the reasoning that it might convey. The strategists construct their messages in stereotyped ways. One of the most important patterns of conservative message-making is projection. Projection is a psychological notion; it roughly means attacking someone by falsely claiming that they are attacking you. Conservative strategists engage in projection constantly. A commonplace example would be taking something from someone by claiming that they are in fact taking it from you. Or, having heard a careful and detailed refutation of something he has said, the projector might snap, "you should not dismiss what I have said so quickly!". It is a false claim -- what he said was not dismissed -- that is an example of itself -- he is dismissing what his opponent has said.

Projection was an important part of the Florida election controversy in the United States, for example when Republicans tried to get illegal ballots counted and prevent legal ballots from being counted, while claiming that Democrats were trying to steal the election. Since around 1990, conservative rhetors have been systematically turning language into a weapon against those who would question aristocracy. Words are used in twisted and exaggerated ways, or with the opposite of their customary meanings. This affects the whole of  language. The goal of this distorted language is not simply to defeat an enemy but also to destroy the minds of the people who believe themselves to be conservatives constantly challenging themselves to ever greater extremity in using it.
More importantly, conservative rhetors have been systematically mapping the language that has historically been used to describe the aristocracy and the traditional authorities that serve it, and have twisted those words into terms for liberals. This tactic has the dual advantage of both attacking the aristocracies' opponents and depriving them of the words that they have used to attack aristocracy.

A simple example is the term "race-baiting". In the Nexis database, uses of "race-baiting" undergo a sudden switch in the early 1990's. Before then, "race-baiting" referred to racists. Afterward, it referred in twisted way to people who oppose racism. What happened is simple: the aristocracy and their conservative rhetors, tired of the political advantage that their opposition had been getting from their use of that word, so they took it away from them. A more complicated case is the word "racist". The rhetors in this case have tried to take this word away as well by constantly coming up with new ways to stick the word onto their opposition and their policies. For example they have referred to affirmative action as "racist". This is false; it is an attempt to destroy language. Racism is the notion that one race is intrinsically better than another. Affirmative action, one could argue may be discriminatory, as a means of partially offsetting discrimination in other places and times, but it is not racist. The aristocrats and their rhetors have even stuck the word "racist" on people because they oppose racism. The notion seems to be that these people addressed themselves to the topic and the word "racist" is sort of an adjective relating somehow to race. In any event this is an attack on language. Another example is the destruction of the word "government". The agents of aristocracy have been using the word "government" in a way that makes no distinction between legitimate democracy and totalitarianism. This was largely how the Koch brothers, aristocrats; were able to snooker common people to take up their causes in the tea party. They simply bombarded the public with messages that destroy language, reason & logic. By repetition, susceptible people lose the ability to discern between legitimate government that functions by and for the public interest and totalitarianism. We are barraged with these attacks today. When language is assaulted, so to is the information it carries. Reason itself. The aristocrats are winning most of the battles folks. And of course when these techniques are not providing the proper effect the older techniques they employed...force and violence are employed. Yes mace is a vegetable, just like pizza. See what I mean?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The True Meaning Of Christmas

By Without Shoes Staff Writer, Sarah Tonin
What is the True Meaning of Christmas?

"The true meaning of Christmas is going on shopping sprees and watching the effluence of washed up pointless celebrities singing cluelessly on T.V.", says Gus Comzadia; an expert on the holiday. "But some don't see that. I, and many other Christians, am greatly concerned by the increasing tendency to honor the birth of some Jewish guy on this day. Don't you people know what Christmas is all about? It's all about wrapping paper, gift bags, parking lots, and discount prices!!! (And pretending to have spent lots of money on shitty gifts)".
Aside from conspicuous consumption, Christmas is a time for falling down drunkenness
In reality, too many people around the world view Christmas as a time of  togetherness and good will.  People waste time with family and friends when they should be massively consuming  cheap shoddy goods manufactured in Santa's Vietnamese sweat shops, guzzling booze and  learning to hate each other.

Corporate cartels rely on your gross consumption of their cheap goods to stay on top.

"What Christmas is all about" is a common theme in literature and arts. In the animated holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, the main character, Charlie Brown, is depressed because he believes Christmas is too religious, and wants to know what Christmas is really all about. He learns, when his friend makes a touching speech, quoting from a Mal-Mart catalog: "'50% off on all holiday items!!!! Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!!!!!!!!!!'. That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!" Charlie Brown and his friends then go to a fast food chain restaurant together, to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Though others claim the true meaning of Christmas was the birth of Santa Claus. Of course, all the preachers and clergymen like to bullshit people with all this biblical crap about mangers and wise men being related to Christmas. but they are obviously just assholes... What do they know?  Nothing.

The Birth Of Santa and honoring him by decorating your toilet in his likeness
Is The "TRUE" Meaning of Christmas.

The War On Holiday
Many people are growing concerned that the true meaning of Christmas, the buying of things at a big box  discount store, owned by evil multinational corporate cartels and then eating and drinking until you throw up, is being forgotten in today's world. "I am greatly concerned by the amount of giving, caring, and honoring of cosmic muffins that took place this past Holiday season," says Mal Mart chairperson Rex DeEconomy, "All this talk about Gods  and loving those around you, and a season of joy? Have you people forgotten the meaning of  Holiday? I have very serious concerns that Holiday is being infiltrated by religion. This must stop if we are to save mom, apple pie, capitalism and the two party system! Christ, the next thing you know women and minorities will be demanding equal rights...we can't have that you know. Damn it!"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Historically Conservatives Have Never Been Right About Anything

Benjamin New

First let us examine what the concepts of conservative and liberal actually mean.
Conservatives are defined as being disposed to preserving existing conditions, institutions. Seeking to maintain established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, and dogmas, opposing change.
While liberal is defined as favoring progress, reform, and tolerance. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas.
(This definition is from the Princeton Collegiate Dictionary, others are very similar.)

Conservatives rely on everyone ignoring or completely forgetting their past positions because those positions have been consistently amiss, awry and erroneous.
Over time, the fallaciousness of conservative positions becomes incontrovertibly and painfully obvious. We find this happening in every culture, every generation, and in every century. Whatever the issue, a new consensus on it eventually develops around some view that conservatives once opposed, and the old ideas are so discredited that even conservatives themselves no longer attempt to defend them. The ideas of liberal thinkers from a century or two earlier, opposed at the time, are then adapted as the new conservative view.
Conservative error in the past was so outlandish that it has now passed into a legendary status. For instance, conservatives of the day clung to old beliefs that the sun and everything else in the universe revolved around the earth. They even imprisoned or banished people who tried to explain that this was an erroneous notion. Galileo and his colleagues were liberal thinkers, they sought to solve problems in new ways and kept an open mind about possibilities; their goal was not to protect the orthodoxies of the past. The conservatives in this dispute had the power to stage a heresy trial and force Galileo to recant, yet today we know who really won the argument. As Galileo said, "eppure si muove" (And yet it moves). For their efforts, the conservatives of Galileo's time have gone down in history as vicious and idiotic ideologues.

virtually all development that has increased knowledge, improved society, or benefited people’s lives was met in its day with furious conservative resistance.

Flat Earth Believers Leave the Planet Laterally When They Die

The conservatives of the 16th century insisted that disease was caused by Satan’s influence, epidemics by collective sin, and mental illness by demonic possession. They fought hard to limit efforts by liberal thinkers to study the true nature of human physiology. As the new area of "medicine" began to take shape, and scientific facts were becoming known, conservatives kept up the fight against further new developments, like vaccines and anesthetics – which, they said, violated “nature” and usurped God’s right to decide who should suffer and die.

In the 17th century, while Galileo was fighting his battles, other debates were underway regarding the source of government power – whether it lay within families or wealth and was rightly conferred by birth, or whether it rose from the people giving government consent to rule. Conservative opinion came down firmly on the side of aristocratic privilege and the divine right of kings.

In the 18th century, liberal thinkers wanted to reform criminal justice. They argued for speedy and public trials and rejected the “cruel and unusual” in favor of penalties that fit the crimes, and supported modest efforts to see that even prisoners were treated humanely. Why did these arguments need to be made? Because at a time when dozens of minor offenses carried the death sentence, when political and religious dissent was criminalized and when legal penalties included literally cutting people to bits, burning them at stakes, etc. conservatives however thought the laws were too soft and fought reforms.

In the 19th century, women were unable to vote, own property or practice professions. When reformers called for giving them these rights, conservatives invoked both nature and the Bible to prove that women were created subservient to men, belonged in the home, and didn’t need to participate in public decision-making because men knew their interests better than women themselves did. The Sufferegettes did not have an easy road. Once again conservatives were demonstrably and completely wrong.

In the 20th century, another movement argued that people should be treated equally regardless of race. Progressive reformers like Martin Luther King Jr. called on America to live up to its founding promise by guaranteeing civil rights for all. Conservatives – including many still alive today – replied that King was distorting both the Constitution, which left it up to each state to decide how racist to be, and the Bible, which licensed white supremacy based on some tale of an ancient curse. Defiantly standing in the schoolhouse door (literally and figuratively), conservatives darkly warned that “unnatural” mixing of the races would lead to all manner of social evils. Even the venerable and intelligent William F. Buckley who understood classical logic quite well, at the time argued for preserving blatantly racist local and state practices. (To his credit, in later years he apologized and confessed he was quite wrong).

In Todays world, it’s no longer controversial that the earth orbits the sun, and prosecuting scientists for heresy is no longer practiced. Today it's agreed that people should be able to elect and un-elect their leaders, that women should be able to vote, and that a person’s skin color shouldn’t determine where she can sit on a bus. But the reason these matters aren’t controversial is that in each case, the conservative side lost.

Precisely because they lose, however, it’s forgotten that conservatives have repeatedly taken positions that no one but a crank would try to defend today. Conservatism perversely benefits from its own failures: Because its past arguments were beaten back and its fierce resistance overcome, we don’t hear those arguments anymore. They’ve faded into the pages of history, and we have to study history to even find they were once made.

This is crucial to the conservatism of today. If the public recognized the conservative movement as the latest growth of the same overgrown tangled weeds that had tried to choke off science, democracy and civil rights, today’s conservatives would have a much tougher time finding any adherents. Suppose you had a friend you had known for many years, he's very opinionated, he always acts as if he's absolutely certain about everything, but he is always turning out to be wrong. He got you to buy stock in Enron and swore it would just keep on rising. He bet on the Yankees to sweep the Red Sox in ’04. He said mobile phones were just a fad, and before long people would give them up and go back to sending telegrams.

Would you trust this person’s powers of analysis?
Would you put any faith in his predictions?

“Conservatives,” or those who call themselves this nowadays, have an equally good and much longer record of erroneous analysis and wrong prediction. In order to exist as a viable movement, they depend on everyone forgetting that they’re basically always wrong.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Decade's Faith In Decade's End -Best Music Of 2010

By DulyConsider Music Editor ,Benjamin New

"Best of" lists are a bit like the fabric that holds the universe together. (At least to the earnest music columnist). They are both in demand, composed of strings, and imply a sequence of some kind - an order within chaos itself. It is a comfort to perceive the grand parade of time marked by signposts like numbered measures in the score of a great opus.
Just as surely as Erebus is the son of Chaos, here is this years list:

Ô Paon, 'Courses'

If Dirges are your bag, and your waiting for the end of the world, the Mayan calender, or the end of this article; have no doubts that 'Courses" from Quebec mantra makers Ô Paon will fill the meaningless void until the apocalypse. Geneviéve Castrée sings in her native tongue, Quebecois-French, with English translations found in the liner notes. Literally this CD features haunting repeating phrases as prayers and meditations on alienation, violence, greed and pollution. The arrangements by Thierry Amar, will console listeners while they mourn and contemplate their termination. Tongue removed from cheek, it's a really lovely sounding and interesting collection of vocal pieces. Very unusual.

Arcade Fire, 'The Suburbs'

The compositions are engaging, well thought out, and fresh. It's something of an Avant Indie Pop Rock concept album that deals with the Suburbs as an object of both great affection and loathsome hatred. Though not exactly new territory, this collection gets it right. It's a palette with shades of noxious nostalgia and splendid contempt. The band retains it's cynicism while extolling the virtues of the post Vietnam era, backhanded as it may be.

PVT, Church With No Magic

Moody synth-rock. Drawing from Brian Eno and Talking Heads as references. This Austraian trio fearlessly indulge their artistic ambitions. It's hypnotic but begs your full attention. One of the better efforts this year.

Elton John/Leon Russell, The Union

Two of rock's legends, one nearly forgotten, make music that ranks among their best. But producer T Bone Burnett delivers the goods in a spectacular package filled with steel guitars, brazen brass bursts and uplifting gospel choirs. Russell's voice steals the show with a croon that knows all there is to know about Americana.

Thomas Adès, 'Tevot'

A beautiful sensation emanates as this massive orchestral score washes over one's psyche. One can easily argue that Thomas Ades of London town is the finest composer walking the earth today. Fans of Gershwin's orchestrations, Pink Floyd's 'Atom Heart Mother', Wagnerian brass flights, and lush unapologetic orchestral timbres will all find solace here.
Notable too, is the flawless efforts of conductor Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. In my view, Ades is emerging as the emissary of post 20th century music. There have been some attempts to escape the gravity of the previous century...but Ade is first to provide the thrust to achieve the escape velocity. A marvel to behold. This is my pick for best album of the year and there is no other competition.

The Chocolate Drops, 'Genuine Negro Jigs'
Nothing short of breathtaking, The Carolina Chocolate Drops evoke ghosts with their 2010 release "Genuine Negro Jig", a true celebration of historical music. "Snowden's Jig" for instance, draws attention to the Snowden Family, an early black string band. Every tune, (most having been obscured by the clouds of time) is played with respectful but bubbling energy and reverence for history. The enthusiasm is so infectious, I defy anyone not to be truly drawn in. It's not all ancient music though, as the excellent Tom Waits composition 'Trampled Rose' receives the Chocolate Drop treatment here as well. Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson began playing old-time music at farmers' markets and town squares in North Carolina but today you'll find them in the most revered performance spaces and festivals in America...and rightfully so!

Mary Halvorson Quartet, 'Saturn Sings'

Until this release, Mary Halvorson has been primarily known for her excellent guitar playing, but with this release she joins the ranks of the greatest jazz composers of the last several generations. This is the real deal folks, every aspect of this outing is superb. It's everything Jazz should be - inventive, challenging, funky, transporting, and magically irresistible. Stunning ensemble work and brave improvisation here make for one delightful piece of work !

Trampled By Turtles, 'Wait So Long'

Newgrass? Bluegrass revival? Jam Band? All of the above! Exciting music regardless of how we perceive it. The musicianship in Trampled By Turtles is astounding by any standard. Why not enjoy a video?

Brian Eno, Small Craft On A Milk Sea

In Brian Eno's words-
''The work in this collection is a result of an occasional collaboration between myself, Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The two of them are gifted young player/composers whose work, like mine, is intimately connected to the possibilities and freedoms of electronic music. Over the last few years we've worked together several times, enjoying exploring the huge new sonic territories now available to musicians. Mostly the pieces on this album resulted not from 'composition' in the classical sense, but from improvisation. The improvisations are not attempts to end up with a song, but rather with a landscape, a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event. In a sense they deliberately lack 'personality': there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling. If these pieces had been used in films, the film would complete the picture. As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies - sound-only movies.'' Eno's work is without peer, on a conceptual level there is nothing quite like it despite myraids of electronic music composers influenced by him.

Ben New, Collapsed Light

A veritable feast of selections sure to entertain and delight. The songs cycle through eclectic mixes with subject matter that deals with Captain Beefheart, Les Paul, Quantum Physics, Ancient Egypt, Dancing Zombies, Tequila, Romance, Death, Deep Space Spaghetti Westerns, and Nuclear Mayhem. It does so in a detached way allowing the listener to form their own experience of the music without being specifically led to conclusions by the compositions themselves.
I wrestled with including this, my own work, in a 'best of' list for pretty obvious reasons. But when I went to compile the 10 best I honestly found that most other candidates even though I may see them as among the best releases of the year, simply weren't on par with the Collapsed Light CD. So at the risk of being a self promoting hack, I decided despite my personal involvement, this release shouldn't be eliminated as a candidate either. I hope you'll agree. Have a listen here and if you like the music, enjoy a free download of some of the songs. Happy New Year all. Hope your 2011 is filled with conderable sounds!