Our colonies in the New World were always interesting, but what were they ?
My great-grandfather went there, soon after the war (not this one, that one) as a rich and accomplished local peasant. I don't think it can be understood and I don't see myself capable of explaining, what all this means, for a man in his 30s in the 20s to leave behind wife and children, and the valleys and the mountains and cel codru verde and go, over land and over water, la America. A man of a people that to his day still spoke latin and wore the legionnaire's bag.
Let's leave it at that, but say that he liked it very much, that he worked with other men so Pennsylvania could have a rail system and then came home, with gear and money, started a mill, found his wife had diedi, took a young lass (let me undeline that took, shall I) and continued his life, to the eternal rhythms of the Earth, as he understood them. By the time his new wife was delivering her first child at the age of seventeen, his eldest daughter was delivering her first child, at the age of seventeen. Beyond this, what he thought of the place I do not know.
I also went there, not even a century later, as a wealthy and powerful, retiredii gangsteriii, pampered and catered to my anyiv whim. I was there to visit the native lands of a lover, with her, to see places meaningless to me reflected meaningfully in her eyes, to permit her seeing the things that in her life mattered togetherv, side by side. It's an important exercise, in the mature love of the sort of people that are and matter, the sort of people that end up taking lovers from far away as opposed to the localized, need-driven mating habits of the peasantry.
I had a fabulous timevi, and I saw more of America, geographical, social, economico-tecnnological as well as political, more of America as it finds itself in the new millenium than the vast majority of the locals. Even if you only count the aspirational class.
But what did I see ?
The salient points of media coverage attendant to Clinton's military coup in 1991vii are that
The point that isn't salient in the same media coverage of the same military coupx is that these men are also returning heroes. They had won the first victory for the US of all its post-WW2 engagements. Ouch.
Reading last night through their jargon file, the condensed, unintentional distillation of hopes for a better day of the cream of a generationxi, its flavour was directly meaningful to me. In the certain kind and style of flippant attitude, in the peculiar cut of the universe of possible representations chosen to represent I immediately recognized a spirit, the ghost of a world long gone by. I could feel my departed lover as if she stood right next to me. As if she were right there, across the table, reading something else, writing something else, dragging on the Rothmans now and again, ready on a moment's notice, at a grunt's calling to raise her eyes and focus as best she could on me. What ? What was it ?
There is a wall now there, a solid, thick white wall. Never again will her eyes try to meet mine, and the painful truth is that I do believe it's better this way. She was bitterly sad every day of the last years of her life over what her country, you understand me, her country had become and was becoming. She never subscribed to Obamacare (her personal moment of realization, I suspect) and they fined her every year ; I don't think she could have put up with Trumpxii.
So then, when did that country end ? When did the magic cease, when did the VHS player hit tension and proceed to rewind the tape ? Was it when some crazed orcs from the sandy wastes ablated its brain ? Was it before, say in 1991, when ambitious internal wreckers decapitated the Navy and then paraded its lifeless corpse for the rest of the armed forces ? Was it earlier still ? Obviously the process is ongoing still, and obviously birth is merely the first symptom of eventual death, so perhaps the question as asked is not altogether meaningful -- why is a corpse full of maggots less "live" than the organism it was before it became a corpse ?
Life is forever, right, and everything is the same thing. Perhaps not to your eyes, perhaps not to mine, but then again properly speaking these are biases, who is to say that a dozen or two oppressive products of white male patriarchy going "kick the tires, light the fires" around actually functional aircraft are in any sense better than a dozen or so brown products of blind feminity going "ooga booga" around pointless "religious artefacts", which is to say items of no practical function or utility ?xiii
Life is forever... and yet I weep for women dead and can't be arsed to pick up from the dust of the road women alive. She was a trucker, my girl, you know that ? She was a trucker to go to college, and then she risked her neck to defend the rational system -- the system that didn't work for her better than it ever works for anyone. Of course it doesn't fucking work, but you make it work, you make it work or you're no good. There's no option and no optionality on the table, you can't opt out, you can't even opt in. You're in. There's no time to be "confused about your gender", there's no space to hallucinate choices for yourself.
There were mathematicians who happened to be also women, but this before they burned down the colleges to "give women a chance" -- specifically to those women that never should have had any kind of such a thing. There could have been female Green Berets before they burned down the concept to make sure no woman can ever be accomplished on her own, but instead inherit by simple presence a vague and undefined portion of imaginary accomplishment doled out to her by the greatest Tammany Hall boss of all. Hey, it works in "the nation of Africa", why wouldn't it work in America ?
Evidently, it works in "the nation of America" just as well as it always worked in "the nation of Africa". But when did it start working ?———
- Untreatable, at the time and in the location, urinary retention as a result of one too many urinary tract infections. So she died for the price of a catheter.
"Maybe it was better this way" is the traditional observation at the head of they dead of chronic conditions. Was it better this way, what do you think ? And why do you think it, because even if no one ever told you this before, what you think of the past matters not to the past -- it's a fact and will stay that way even without your permission.
Why do you think the sort of woman that gets UTIs belongs in this world ? Ah, I'm sorry, you don't think there's such a thing as "a sort of woman", you think everything's always and forever interchangeable ? Okay... why do you think that ?
More importantly than why : my great-grandfather wept at the grave of his first wife, and I understand what that means. If you do it, what does it mean ? What does it carry, you think everything's the same as everything else and consequently everyone interchangeable and thereby necessarily everyone a thing. When you weep at the grave of the dead, what exactly do you mean by that ? Do you understand, now, why your tears never seem to come ?
Psychologically normal people don't spend all day blathering about "the importance of empathy" ; that's the standard fare of the replicants, hollow agglutinations of soil without souls, attempting to imitate nature. Like so :
- Leaving alone how many of those there are in general (and no, we won't count pentiti, penitence is not retirement), how many exist that can afford to admit it ? [↩]
- Кто ты по жизни? allows four categorical answers (aside from nonsense) : братва (the brotherhood, ie, mankind, pluriously labelled yet universally the same), мужики (peasantry, ie US citizens, the human cattle -- the word is derived off an ancient socialist unit, the village mir), черти (devils, literally ; sometimes called niggers these days) и петухи (the faggots, failed men). [↩]
- And there's a lot of them. [↩]
- The fundamental attribute of educated folk is that they recount their own experience as part of attempting to understand it. At some point she explained that when I showed up in her life my white shirt (at the time I wasn't wearing the black shirt yet) made her previously white walls suddenly look rather gray. I pick it up not because it flatters, but because it's apt. I doubted how apt it was, at the time, but I also put some power behind making it be the case thenceforth. Because this is the positive function of recounting experience : whether right or wrong as a story of the past, the future's wide open. [↩]
- Notice, by the way, that the original mentions The Letter ? [↩]
- Yes, the retiring of a dozen admirals and a few hundred colonels etc is exactly the same stuff as the recent Turkish purge or, for that matter, the US appointed Saudi princelet's shenanigans. Oh, wait, that was different, you say ? Why, because they lie and you believe ? All purges always have a pretext, what the fuck is wrong with you! [↩]
- The text says "women are property", which is a specific phrase you are trained to be triggered by. Nevertheless, like all phrases uttered in a human language it has multiple possible meanings and it is open to interpretation. It's not so cut and dried as your pantsuit training presents it -- for instance, consider that women want to belong. What do you call that which belongs ?
Perhaps the intent of the author was that women are not people, but if this is the case what do you make of their... failing to say so ? It doesn't read "women aren't people", it reads "women are property", why and wherefore ?
Perhaps the intent of the author was that "women can't be happy unowned". You know immediately this to be so, you don't even have to be me to know it, but let's delve. No further than last night I expelled in the wee hours of the morning a misfortunate soul, a US-born and educated wreck of a woman who dared say "leave sexism at the door" in my presence, as if she and not I controls the conversation and decides what may be said and what may not be said ; and who methodically spoke to my slavegirl and "validated" her speech and presence while deliberately trying to ignore and downplay mine (imagine, daring to not stop speaking when I start, I've not seen such impudence in a good decade).
Yet, inexplicably, my slavegirl was still my slavegirl, with or without her inept ministrations ; and just as inexplicably she drank "beer" because she couldn't afford anything else, even though she loved my imported French wine. Inexplicably the "liberated woman" trying to "remedy historical injustices" and "fight the oppressive patriarchy" had no car to match my slavegirl's. Instead, she bussed everywhere, exactly like the very inept local whores. Oh, capitalism, it's so unfair, right ? Why should I be rich when the worthies of pantsuit are exactly as very incredibly poor as their ideology necessitates and ensures! My slavegirl had shoes, deep red six inch stilettos, and gloriously golden sandals, and dresses made by competent people for competent women yet inexplicably the politically correct anthropologist-accountant that had no idea who Cunegonde was nor could make any factual statement in the line of her chosen (or any!) art or profession (beyond the usual "you don't have to know anything just as long as you know how to find it, which means wikipedia") wore the same pile of indistinct rags they all do. You know exactly what I mean, if you're sexually active, the tramps' clothes make a very specific pile of rags on your floor, don't they. But it's all money, right, all matters exterior, what difference do the vanities of this world make to the pure of heart!
Except my slavegirl also had a waistline, a very accentuated, a very feminine waistline. Capitalism is one thing, oppressive patriarchy is another thing, but who gave the well meaning visitor, as tall in my slavegirl's heels as the slavegirl stood naked, her tubbly shape ? I don't mean she was overweight -- she definitely wasn't (nor was she that kind of feminist, I even complimented her on her very neatly shaved armpits, nor was she subjectively happy or even that persuaded, as far as she believed she could tell, by US culture), I just mean she was unlucky, in a very specific way : her great-grandmother didn't die for the price of a catheter and for the sin of having a less iron-made cunt than she should have.
There they stood, two women, in the same Earthly paradise. One of them for the first time in many years re-tasted the flavour of her youth in my shell-shaped chocolate pralines ; one of them to be cast out with the dawn. I didn't ask her "what her safewords" were ; she told me anyway, and I told her it made no difference. She took us through the branded identities of the subculture, "are you sane, safe and consensual ?" nope. "are you..." whatever the hell, half a dozen things, I don't remember what they all were, nor could I possibly care. There she stood, a woman naked that's not property trying to negotiate on-the-wire packet-switched protocols and receiving in exchange the same dull analogic tone. I do not speak your packets, what!
Then, later, cuddled up on my slavegirl's large bed (you don't sleep together ?!) I asked her how was her first experience without "safewords" and she said she believed that had she used any I'd have honored them anyway. Perhaps I would have. Maybe. How do you know ? I told her as much, "you'll never know". She made no retort, and what could she have said ? Indeed, the many things one will never know are all the things one will never know.
Now tell me again that woman can be happy unowned, and as you tell me I won't be paying any attention to you. Instead, I'll follow in my mind the path of a very sad, very unhappy, thoroughly beaten up by "fate" girl, riding in a cab from my place to the exact asshole of this city, early enough to beat the worse-than-LA traffic, and from there on to Vietnam in a year, and then from there on. She's seen what the rational order system has to offer, she said, and she'd rather see something else. I understand exactly what she meant ; and while I proffered immediately that "well, maybe you've seen it with idiots", her wounded look upon finally understanding what I mean stands meaningful. "Yes, maybe I saw it with idiots. What do you want me to do about it ?"
There's nothing she can do about it, of course. The kids you run around with are the kids you run around with, at that age you don't pick, at that age you hope without even knowing you're hoping. The girl that's there when you wake up to the world is the girl that's there, and so on. What can you do to make your first love taller, your mother less stupid, your childhood less sad ? Yes, unfair, yes priviledge, yes, you name it.
Now tell me, what do you call it when there's nothing she can do about it ? [↩]
- You know, exactly like I do. [↩]
- Why not ? Was it perhaps overlooked ? Is it perhaps coincidence ? Was it simply not interesting enough to merit mention ? [↩]
- Think what you will ; but if the stick-throttle interconnect doesn't show up on your elite list for the 20th century you've serious problems.
- But from the other direction, you understand me ? "Republicans" (she was a libertarian and a conservative) "support" Trump except they don't, especially the older ones, not because of the reasons ascribed by pantsuit but because this day-late-dollar-short flying toupet monster is insufficient. To their eyes he's just as insufficient today as he was in the 60s and 70s, half a century ago. What changed so that kids today think him remarkable is that the rest of them died. In a field vacated by time, he appears almost a credible representative, especially by comparison to what else is available. In his youth, he was principally a laughingstock. [↩]
- Violence, of course. The functional plane will burn the dysfunctional artefact into the ground and then take the failed brownies back home in chains to be used as things rather than considered as persons.
But then again, a democratic process increasingly dominated by powerful groups with economic interests antithetical to competitors... Why is it, exactly, that the pilots didn't come home with a bunch of Iraqi slaves ?
Much more importantly than that : had the pilots brought home a few slavegirls of their choice each, what'd have been the impact of this population of a thousand or so enslaved Iraqi nubiles ? Would another Iraq war have been just as necessary, one that was more expensive, and lost, and then expanded, and the expansion also lost, and on and on forever ?
The whole point of the pantsuit socialist state is that to perpetuate itself it relies on no earnest examination ever being made. Just as long as you don't look, just as long as you don't weigh anything, just as long as you don't think they can continue to parade around as if important, as if they mattered. [↩]