Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interesting women

I got caught in my car by an actually interesting story on NPR this morning. The topic was Muslim women in Britain and their new empowerment. Granted that any woman who thinks that becoming more patriarchal is the way to more political power is smoking some powerful shit, but the conundrum of being faced with Britain's stupid and racist obeisance to all things anti-terror and American has apparently led a certain group of Muslim women to both argue for sharia law and and takeover of their tired ass man-based culture. One woman, her eyes but a slit in the fabric of empowering self-denial, argued compellingly that she'd never vote in a British election unless it was to bring on the atavistic hell of dogmatic religious law by the ballot. Ah, the joyful power of getting to play the victim! Fuck the Enlightenment! I want certainly and perhaps the comfort of getting to play with other girls without the boys getting to watch. Purdah or something like that. She was pissed too that Jack Straw, the PM, had the temerity to what to talk to her face to face and not behind her veil. Its enough to make somebody weak think that laser-guided bombs are not an over-reaction. Even though they are.

Chicken or egg, why try to play nice when the "other side" is so full of shit? Well, sure, we in the West, if you believe in such a monolith, have done a hell of a job killing Muslims. They have been victimized. Except that I don't think we have actually bombed any M-folks in Manchester or Chelsea. Probably this is too small a point to parse given, yadda, yadda, prejudice, yadda, salad bowl etc. However let me go on a limb here. If you hold your religion more dear than your country, do us all the good favor of keeping that shit to yourself. Your fucking mosque, synagogue, chapel, goat pen did not build as much of this life you are now leading as you think it did. My dad, and thousands like him, white, educated, ethical, socially ignorant, scientific, objective, progressive, and now both loved and vilified built the lion's share of the world we all live in. And for that they can be cursed and thanked. If your here waiting for Armageddon, please don't feel like you need to delay departure for me. The spacecraft is hiding behind the next comet. Drink the juice and go see your leader.

As you can see, work has been a little pissy today. I'm not really that against the believers, true, deluded or simply traditional as long as they aren't too arrogant about pushing their unquestionable knowledge down my throat. I simply don't believe in unquestionable knowledge. I did my fucking homework and I got an A. Getting an A in a madrasa is like being a really good drug dealer. There's some honor in it but its still insanity. I may end up in hell but it would seem to be one of my own choosing and most assuredly won't be the one designed by either Pentecostals or Osama Bin Ladin. They may kill me. That bugs me a bit and it bugs me more that they may kill my kids or grand kids with their stupidity and need for certainty. And everyone who gets offended by someone else who has spit at their god, get over yourself. This woman over at ESPN named Jacobson got in trouble for saying, at a celebrity roast, "fuck Notre Dame." I won't say what I want out of respect for mystery. But really, do we have to play nice when the people who want respect only want to bury us?
I sound like a tired old white guy who tried for years to be understanding but found out that if you show weakness people will just climb up your ass. I will continue to take my lumps with the good humor of someone who has been treated fairly in this unfair world. But I'll hold the line at voting for Hillary. That bitch is wearing a veil. And she's really not that interesting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A New Species

A new year demands new thinking. That and I'm just tired of the old junk. My brain, which I was beginning to think would never turn out anything interesting for my soul to contemplate, seems to have recovered. Weird shit is happening daily. My stress levels are down. I am back to fantasizing about various impossibilities, ones that have just enough reality attached to keep them from drifting into the void. My kids are cracking me up daily. In fact they should probably get the credit for getting me out of my most recent philosophical cul-de-sac. Them and Joe Strummer. In his new biographical documentary "The Future is Unwritten" Joe goes into a pretty good funk post-Clash and then after a while snaps out of it. He became something of a hippie toward the end of his life, which while not recommended, is OK if you've never been a hippie. Basically one day he woke up and said to himself, "I'm still alive." That's about all it takes if you say it to yourself in the right tone of voice.

An old employee just happened by today and it didn't surprise me that he was here given that I had thought about him a few weeks or days ago. What the fuck happened to him? Well, besides alcoholism, nothing in his previous straight life seemed to do it for him and after his folks died he just went nuts. Literally. Dealing drugs, smuggling illegals over the border, stuff like that. But he didn't seem unhappy. In fact he seemed to have embraced his demons in a way that calmed his own fears down, for the fear of the unknown can provide one with many a visit to Hades, sans the actual placement of the foot in hell. I am of a similar species of neurotic. Not so willing to delink from reality but with some aspirations. I'll report back after a lunch or two with this most interesting bloke.

I read a book, The Elementary Particles, by Michel Houellebecq. This would be the first book I've managed to finish without a gun to my head in a fairly great while. And what a book. In the end he suggests that the problem with humanity (I'm going to elide a great deal here) is that we are sorely in need of a new paradigm. Religion was supplanted by Rationalism which left us with soul killing Materialism. Which means the guy with the biggest dick wins. Back to a Hobbsian hell is hardly an upgrade. What to do? Become a new species, who no longer needs reproduction to define it. Sort of a moral eugenics I guess. Without the killing of inferiors. Just the raising of superiors. Like I said I elided a lot. Read the book if have the time, for just in the way he handles many thorny intellectual problems it is worth it. Translated from the French, of course. The irony about the book is that it attacks hippie idealism, something that sorta saved Strummer. But what is the same about both is that both get the bigger point: you have to live for something outside yourself. And that should be my mantra, because that's what I do better than the living only for moi.