Friday, September 01, 2017

Les Loups

Almost five months since last writing anything for this blog is inexcusable. There have been subjects that needed addressing, but I found myself beset with a lassitude that was too hard to overcome in order to make that happen. It is not something to be proud of, the habit of not writing can be just as easy to fall into (and to break) as any other bad habit, but we should at least give it a try. After all, I (and my layabout co-author, Ladislaw) already possess enough bad habits between us to keep a clinic, a whorehouse, a bar, and a team of psychologists busy for years to come, there is no need to add any more bad habits to the list.

Seventy-eight years ago today, some very, very bad people did something very bad to their next door neighbors and in the doing of that caused a whole lot of other people to get involved. The neighborhood had seen this disaster coming, but they just couldn't be arsed to do anything of substance about it. Every time the bad, bad people did something bad (as bad people are wont to do) the rest of the 'hood just make excuses for them, or believed the bad people's lies when they proclaimed (this lot were great at proclaiming) that they were very sorry, and that it wouldn't happen again. The neighborhood, being the trusting sort, and being distracted by what was happening in their own houses (after all the laundry isn't going to do itself, now is it?) took the bad people at their word.

Of course, "the word" of bad people (and a lot of the times any people) is generally as useless as a white crayon, but I guess "not so bad" people tend to look for the best in everyone no matter how bad those people have shown themselves to be. This is, from what I've been told, a form of optimism, something that I have never been accused of possessing. The very, very bad people got away with a few transgressions before today, seventy-eight years ago, they got just a little bit too greedy and "crossed the Rubicon" that the not so bad people had told them was the last straw. In their defense, even though they are really impossible to defend, the very, very bad people had every reason to expect that the not so bad people would react as they had before, which was to waggle an admonishing finger at them, and ask them "not to do it again."

One of the problems with very, very bad people is their word is shit. They didn't get to be very,very bad people by being honest, open, and straight with other people. They lie, they cheat, and they don't follow the conventional rules of polite society it is what makes them both hard to comprehend, and hard to deal with in any setting. They just quite simple do not care about anything other than themselves and their agenda. If you are in their way, they will steamroll you, if you have something they want, or think they need, they will just simply take it from you (if you persist in trying to keep it), and they don't care if they have to crush you like a bug in the process. They may start out using words as weapons, and you can reply in kind, but they aren't afraid to quickly progress from words to real weapons, and you have to understand that while you may be loathe to respond in kind, it will eventually become necessary to your continued survival as a viable person.

All of that leads us to (what we hope) is the main point of this post. Words as weapons, and how far you can take that particular idea. In the past week two people whom I consider to be "bad people" (they haven't progressed to very, very bad yet) told two other people that I know (they are closer to the "good people" category but are still not without their flaws), that they (the bad people) "always had their (the good people's) back."  A simple enough idea, and if true a wonderful thing to say. Both of these bad people might have even have meant it (I wasn't there to judge the sincerity of their words). This isn't the McCarthy hearing, and I am not being asked to "name names" and I am not going to.

 Hearing of both of these proclamations of undying fealty of friendship, and knowing all of the parties involved, I began to wonder about their veracity. Since neither of them were made to me (me and the proclaim(ers) aren't that close), my thoughts on the subject were merely (for the most part) an academic exercise.  They are beautiful words to say, and to hear, and if true a sign of some sort of enduring friendship that will stand the test(s) and  strains of time. The problem with the declaration is the word "always'. There is a theory that "always" and "never" should not be added to those types of statements, based upon the theory that it is rather predicative of future events that you (the declarant) have little to no control over. External events such as war, famine, plague, or getting a new job in a new city as a wringer of chicken's necks are hard to predict, and even harder to control.

Those external events cannot be accounted for because they don't exist yet, you can try to plan for things that don't exist, but most of us aren't that clever. To come up with a plan to combat a problem or an enemy yet to be determined is the work of genius. Schopenhauer said that "talent hits a target that others can't hit, genius hits a target that others can't see. Pretty fair assessment of this situation. Knowing all the parties involved (both the speakers and the listeners), I can assure you there is no genius in this lot, there is talent sure, but no genius.  If those beautiful words had been spoken in a vacuum then perhaps their lofty goal might be attainable, but they weren't they were spoken in the real world to real people by a couple of people that could be labeled as "lying cunts'.

Much like the very, very bad people of seventy-eight years ago our speakers have some massive flaws. We all do, and that is not what the major problem with this story is, if they were perfect (which one of them is pretty sure he is), then we wouldn't be able to stand to be around them.  Flaws are not fatal until they begin to poison the bloodstream of the friendship with diseases just as jealousy, betrayal, and greed. Those types of issues crop up in a lot of our relationships and they are very rarely signs that things are going swimmingly.  In two of the three proclamations of "always having your back" those beautiful words are not beautiful that are, in fact, weapons.

It is probably expecting too much of the speakers of those words (they both said it to the same person) to have them even realize they are using those words as anything other than what they seem to be on their face. Beautiful words of undying loyalty to another human being they purport to deeply care for. But again, that tricky little word "always" comes into play. Though now we are talking about internal problems. Not that your garbage can has been stolen by the very, very bad neighbors, but issues that are internal to the relationship between the speaker and the listener. The kinds of things you (both speakers) can control. Things like how you treat the other person, both in a crowd, and when you are alone with them.  They may be different for a various number of reasons, but you should both understand and agree to that set of rules.

The weapon those words picked from the selection of injury dealing items in every one's relationship armory is guilt. A dangerous one to be sure, and one wielded far too often, and with the usual brutal results. The knout of guilt is something that can flay more than the skin off a relationship it can cut through to the bone, and leave more than external scars.  Guilt can deceive, it can make the listener start to doubt their own judgement, make them believe a fable that the speaker is spinning in order to distract attention from their own lack of character. Keep the listener guessing, keep them doubting their own judgement, and the next thing you know you are controlling their emotions. Which is the major goal of guilt in the first place. Keep them terrified, Keep them from trusting themselves make them trust you, and get a concession from that first concession of doubt you can start to change the narrative to you being the injured party not the lying, grasping cunt you really are.

After pounding away with the knout of guilt, our speakers both decided to reach for the battle axe of jealousy. As if the knout wasn't enough to break some one's spirit. The battle axe of guilt was especially appropriate in both of these cases for reasons that are easily sussed out, but best not written down. Both used it with abandon, both meant it with malice, but one of them had a decided advantage over the other. Again details are not important, it is the fact that the axe was added to the knout in order to control the listener's feelings, to make the listener doubt. Doubt, like fear, is the mind killer, and once you have them doubting, you can, like the very, very bad people mentioned above start to get away with more and more egregious actions.

Finally, at least for our purposes today, the speaker can't really "always" have the listeners back. There will come a time when a "me" or "them" decision has to be made. The wolves will be at the door, and no matter how much they may have actually meant that declaration of loyalty, they will leave the other person to the wolves. It is just basic survival technique, we aren't talking about the self sacrifice that a mother will undertake to keep her child alive, we are talking about non-lethal situations where the speaker will throw the listener to the wolves because it becomes apparent that the speaker will benefit from it more than "having the back" of the other person. The realization that the speaker will leave the listener to the wolves will eventually dawn upon the listener, and like the "good" people above they will have to, in order to survive, stand up to the both the wolves and the person "always having their back" the pity of the situation is that more often than not they are actually one and the same person.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thor's Hammer

In the legend, the comic and the movie(s), Thor the God of Thunder has a hammer that only he can lift. He even says that anyone that can lift it can rule Asgard in his place. All of his fellow super-heroes try and fail to lift it, as he knew they would. There is only one Thor, and it is his hammer made for him alone. It is his right and duty to wield it. We all have our own version of Thor's Hammer, something that only we can "wield" or do, or something that is ours alone. It might be be a burden, it might be a privilege, it might be a duty, or it might be a right. More than likely it is, if you keep it long enough, all of the above at some point in your life. The point is that it is yours, and you don't have to share it if you don't want to, and even if you do share it, you can really divest yourself of being its sole proprietor.

This blog, which I have been shamefully neglecting, is, for today's purpose, my own small version of Thor's Hammer. Clearly, sometime near the beginning of the year I "downed tools" and stopped writing.  It was an act of pure, unadulterated laziness for which I am duly ashamed. It is also an act which I am going to try to remedy. I still suffer from a lack of actual writing talent, but that deficiency never stopped me before, and I should not allow it to stop me now. A lack of material is not to blame, there exists enough of that in my day to day life to keep me at this keyboard for years to come. Be it the rumors swirling like autumn leaves around my workplace (some of which I am the subject of, some of which I gleefully start or embellish, and some of which I am the keeper of), or the continued failure of my relationships and sports teams (to which there seems no end), or the pure insanity of the group of people that I chose to call my friends. All of those sources are fields of gold for material to write about, and with the proper name changing, and the occasional artistic license could be worked into something that could be considered entertaining.

I have attempted to share this blog (my hammer) with Ladislaw, but that ne'er do well is off living a life that would make Caligula proud, and has, it seems, also downed tools. I can't blame Ladislaw for the work stoppage. Keeping the tarts happy, holding down a semi-full time job, and managing to be a constant source of irritation to so many people must be exhausting. I shouldn't expect regular contributions to this blog to be particularly high on the list of things Ladislaw is concerned with doing. That isn't anyone fault exactly, Ladislaw has a hammer of considerable weight to drag around that takes up a considerable amount of time and effort. Fair play to him. She has, in the past, graciously allowed me to help with his hammer, but it remains her burden alone. That is a story for another day, and if Ladislaw can be arsed to do it, maybe he can tell it. Those details need not detain us here.

During the Viking Age, the age that we associate most with our buddy Thor, His hammer, forged with a slightly too short handle by dwarfs tricked into the making of it by Loki, became a symbol of the old gods, a rebellion against the Christianity that was becoming more prevalent in Scandinavia. The hammer became a sort of "anti-cross" to people who resisted that change and clung to the old ways (we fear change, so we can understand this entirely).  Without trying to sound like too much of a pretentious prick, this blog is my own (poor) version of an anti-cross. It wasn't exactly started as an act of rebellion, but it has developed into one over the years. It is my own small rebellion against the everydayness that Sarte and Camus explained, lamented, and eventually rebelled against. I do it poorly, and I understand that in many ways it is futile, but sometimes it is the act itself that is important regardless of the chances of success or the certainty of failure. It must needs doing, and I am the one that needs to be doing it.

Unlike Mjolnir (the name of Thor's hammer), this blog isn't capable of leveling mountains, and it certainly does miss more than it hits. It is not going to create thunderstorms which will make my many devious enemies cower in terror in the dirty, smelly hovel in which they live. It is not designed for that purpose, though it would be bloody nice if it could make thunderstorms happen, I love me some thunderstorms. But no, the more mundane, and more un-godlike task of this blog is not to be a burden, not to be something that I have put down, and now can't pick up again. Its task, its purpose, and its goals are to entertain. Mostly it is to entertain me, if it happens to provide other people with some sort of entertainment that is grand as well. I waver between hoping that it does, and not give a shit if it doesn't.

Either way, the point of this (if there is one) is that the work stoppage must come to an end, and if my loyal readership of four, maybe five people are still out there, I hope they will rejoice (though that might be asking just a bit too much) at the news.  If, by some small chance, the subsequent blog posts (of which I hope to write soon) entertain them, then that is a bonus. And if by some further miracle, Ladislaw manages to crawl out of whatever tart's bed they are warming, and crawls back to the keyboard to contribute, well their assistance in picking up this hammer will not be unappreciated.  Here's hoping.

 P.S. this post was written on a Thursday for a reason, it is Thor's day, now go forth and bring the thunder down upon your enemies.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Cinq Ans

Report on Comrade GI's Five Year Plan, recently uncovered after a forensic examination of his papers, and during extensive questioning of GI.

Prepared for the Central Committee for their perusal, and for the informative purpose of instructing others who deviate from party discipline.


As you are no doubt well aware Comrade GI has been seen by members of the Security Squad, and has revealed, after several days of questioning, the details of what he referred to as "his own personal Five Year Plan." Some of you may also be aware of the anti-authority streak present in GI, and many of you well remember his previous run ins with this Committee. It would seem that previous attempts to correct GI have failed, and we are forced to admit to this being a failure on our part. Perhaps if we had been less overbearing, and yet somehow more firm, we feel that GI could have been saved from himself, and would not be in the situation in which he finds himself.

Nevertheless, it is not this office's  remit to comment on the obstinate nature of GI, it would fall to the office of Moral Reticence to correct, if possible, GI's wayward, dangerously individualistic thoughts. However, in passing, this office would note that it is our considered opinion that such correction is doomed to failure. We believe that GI is too far gone down the path of moral degeneration to be saved, and a long prison term, or being put up against a wall and shot are the only suitable means to deal with him. It is also our opinion that the only purpose that GI can be to the party and to the State is to serve as a warning to others, and his ultimate fate to be used for the education of others that are prone to deviate along the path he took.

GI is a clever man, and a clever man is sometimes a dangerous man, both to himself, and to the State which he claims to serve. However, he is not as clever as he thinks, nor is he as clever as he seems. His perceived cleverness was part of the reason that he managed to elude discovery for so long, his over-estimation of his own cleverness is what allowed us to eventually catch him in his own net of lies. His original responses to our question showed a certain misguided belief that his system was foolproof. He continually replied that "it is MY Five Year Plan, not yours, and you would never understand either it, or the need for it." This comments is reflective of the time GI spent in the decadent  cities of our ideological enemies. It was an assignment for which he was deemed suited, but for which, as it turned out, was more than he could bear.

The main thrust of GI's Five Year Plan was it's design to be his and his alone. A dangerous individualism has crept into his thinking, for which he repeatedly refused to apologize or accept his error in doctrine. We must admit to a certain admiration for the plan, as it is fairly well-reasoned, duly follows the rigorous methods laid down by the Party for such plans (on the larger scale of course), and had goals that were attainable. In fact, we believe that if he had not been betrayed by his own hubris, GI's Five Year Plan's goals would have been met.  His plan would have been ultimately successful, and we would have never been much the wiser.

It was that hubris, and that desire to be an individual that led to his downfall. GI is, in his mind at least, a lone wolf, however he lacks the capacity for the true loneliness that such a position entails.  We readily accept that his true loyalty is to himself, but we also were able (after some persuasion) to ascertain that he had formed attachments to others that he was wont to break. It was these attachments which led him to abandon his Five Year Plan, and to break with the Party, and which have placed him in his current situation.

The main criticism of his Plan is that it entails a certain amount of "economic adventurism" that is unduly Western in its approach, and risky in its application. It is this risk, this adventurism that sets GI apart from the Party. His almost absolute belief in his own way of thinking, while in some ways admirable, is also very,very dangerous. No man is bigger than the Party, this lesson we have learned to our cost before, and refuse to allow the mistakes of the past to creep into the present, and to eventually cloud the future. GI has not taken that lesson to heart, or just chooses to ignore it. Questioning him along these lines revealed several, logically inconsistent answers that we were unable to resolve to our satisfaction.

Despite the adventurism contained in his economic plan, it is economics that formed the basis, and were the most detailed part of his Five Year Plan. A closer examination showed that his plan was flawed, but was still going to serve the purpose that he desired it to serve. Which was mostly his own self-interest. The independent/contrary streak that GI displayed throughout his training did make him a perfect candidate for his position, but it also made him a bit of a wild card. It was to be hoped that the proper amount of freedom coupled with the slightest amount of structure would keep him on the right path. We were quite wrong about the amount of deviance in his thought. He did a wonderful job of keeping his thoughts masked from even the most observant of his instructors.

It is the opinion of this office, and myself personally that GI's plan was ultimately doomed to fail. He is clever enough, but subject to human frailty just like the rest of his. His plan completely forgot to account for his own humanity. He is not by any stretch of the imagination, a people person, but he has a certain weakness for his fellow man that he has been unable to expunge from his character. It helps give him a certain amount of charm, but it made it wholly unable to carry out his plan as he envisioned it. His plan was Spock-like in many ways, but GI has a little too much Kirk in him, it made him constitutionally incapable of seeing his plan through to the end.  The failure inherent in GI's plan would, in this office's opinion, lead him to the same sad fate's of men such as Fredrich List, and Vladimir Sukhomlinov. One found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot would in some cheap hotel in Bremen, and the other poverty-stricken, and found frozen to death on a park bench in Berlin.

We have yet to ascertain exactly what led GI to abandon his Five Year Plan, but we feel certain that in a few days the last remnants of his resistance will crumble, and we will be able to piece together the remaining details of his failure. For the nonce, we recommend keeping him isolated, and awake as much as possible. We understand that he knows our methods, and is trained to combat them, but these methods have been proven effective time and time again, they will eventually work on him. It is just a matter of time, and time is something he has just as much as we will let him have.

It is the recommendation of this Office, and we think the Party will agree, that despite his being a good comrade, GI needs to be placed against a wall and shot.

Respectfully submitted

Aleksander  G_____v
Captain, Security Squad, Party number 22143