I suppose for my few readers I owe them an update. A lot has changed since I last wrote, and Donald Trump has only, ahem, accelerated things for me.

In the beginning I was drawn to philosophy because it can be a guide to living. More than ever, I’m still working on my blend of Marxism, environmentalism, and Buddhist thought but in times like this I’ve become a lot more interested in rageless philosophies. There’s too much to be angry at. The world is still an inhuman machine hurtling towards ecological annihilation, civil war, and even ethnic cleansing, but I don’t find enough reasons to stay inside all day and think about it all day. I think that when I first started this project reading people like Zygumnt Bauman, Giorgio Agamben, and George Ritzer was cathartic to me, but once I understood what I took to be their core arguments I had to live a life that’s trying to address their concerns. And I feel like that’s what I’m doing, though I’m sure that just because I smile at the world Zizek would think I’m undialectical or something.

I feel a great sense of loyalty to people who struggle against oppressors around the world, but I don’t think they would want me to cry over every injustice. If I did I wouldn’t have time to actually change anything. There are just too many abuses of power under capitalism for me to mourn over every piece of still fresh fruit that’s thrown in the trash. Though I’ll brush up on my Gandhi and MLK and see how they felt about that.

And I’m also tired of being angry all the time at my political opponents. If I’m really being honest, the only reason why I became a Marxist is because I was born into a liberal family, and then the political institutions my family supported failed, so becoming a Marxist addressed their concerns but retained their original cultural values. In other words, I was born into it, or thrown into it. Me and the alt-right, and everyone else on this planet, we all come from the same source. We all get squeezed out into this world, and then like water percolating down into the earth, we get divided from each other based off of where we grew up, who we knew and what was around us. The landscape of power divides people into political camps. I’ve been using that phrase a lot lately (the landscape of power) and I hope it makes sense. A person doesn’t really choose to become a Marxist in a completely disembodied way, divorced from their circumstances like a brain in a jar, no, everyone’s reacting to what they find around them, the landscape of power. I feel better thinking like that. It gives me the outlook to forgive all sorts of people who don’t see what they’re doing. Just the other day I met nurses looking to unionize who didn’t think that global warming was a thing. You gotta meet people where they are.

Do I think we’re going to make it through this dark and depressing time period? I’m not sure there’s a point in asking. I can’t predict the future. If I said no, would that make you want to give up? If I said yes, would that make you sink back into your chair and take it easy?

The best I can do is to pour my energies in understanding the needs and motivations of those around me, and then try to re-route them in more productive ways. And I find when I meditate, I better understand my own needs and motivations. When I do that I can adapt what I’ve experienced to other people, and I feel like I can manipulate them better. So that’s what I’m working on, and when I’m not doing that I’m trying to keep myself sane in an insane world.


Antinatalist thoughts

No one asks to be born. Heidegger said it best, we’re thrown into the world. Society then trains us to think in certain ways, and by doing that it limits us. It teaches us what ‘normal’ is, and it’s not long after that we forget that we were children once who only wanted to fit in with norms and codes we couldn’t understand. Society teaches us language too, tethering objects to words and we find it hard to think about objects without our labels for them. After you and I are dead, the English language and its norms will live on through the next generation. I’m not an individual, I’m a vector or a pipe or a node for my society’s norms, customs and language.

This would be depressing enough if everyone had a decent childhood. Coming into this world is a process of becoming limited. You gain more physical freedoms as you lose intellectual ones. It certainly raises questions about how democratic we could be if we’re brought up to believe in only certain things. It’s sad to fully witness all of the ways that people are reactions to their society before anything else, and not the makers of their own destiny.

But it gets worse if you consider what happens to people with rough childhoods. They’re thrown into the world too, but some people land in apple orchards and playpens, some people land in slums and crack houses. There’s a psychology study from Mary Ainsworth on attachment that keeps coming back to me: they brought in many mothers with newborns and paid them to film them, and then checked back with the kids years later. The babies who had parents that weren’t responsive to their kid’s crying grew up scared of life. They became aggressive and hostile. They never felt safe. They became involved in drugs. It became a lot easier to put them in prison. That’s life, that’s existence. Half of that child’s life is written before they are even born, and it’s only after the luck of finding themselves in a good neighborhood that people start to say that they’re self made. So, our environments affect us deeply.

But not only are we thrown into the world, not only does the previous generation make its mark on us, but life will encourage you to pass it on to the next generation. A guy and a girl meet at a party. They’ve both had rough childhoods, neither of them are in great shape financially, they start to drink a little and share things that maybe they shouldn’t, and they start to have some feelings for each other. It is inevitable that they should express this care and concern for each other physically. But what a nightmare it is, that when two people who have had rough childhoods feel the need to comfort each other, the natural tendency is to have sex, in other words, to create more life. A man and a woman get together to commiserate over being thrown into the world. And what do they do? Throw more people into the world! If a lack of intimacy, safety and security is the itch, and if sex is the scratch, the scratch doesn’t cure the itch, no, it spreads it like poison ivy to the next generation. The newborn baby’s life is both the vessel for the disease and the disease itself.

It’s disturbing because the push toward sex is relentless. Bring to mind every pain you’ve ever had in your life. To the men out here, if you’ve ever had sex with a woman, then you’ve done all you’ve needed to do to make another person be susceptible of experiencing that pain. An itch as common as the enjoyment of taking a cool shower in the summer is what pulls another person into the world. How easily we give into sex as adults and how helpless we feel as kids, but do we ever put 2 and 2 together and realize they’re the same thing? And if you’ve ever masturbated (Hah! Ever.), look at your sperm. Your father looked down at the sperm in his hand and wondered if that was going to be you one day. Into the waste basket it goes! Goodbye, millions of lives! Once you hit the completely immature of 13, you possess the tyrannical ability to create life, create hell, for another person. You can summon a human with your genitals. Your own personal Frankenstein.

When you think about things evolutionarily you realize that is our history. What Mr. Meeseeks says in Rick and Morty “Well he roped me into this!”, that’s what your father and his father and his father and his father have all said! They all cursed their fathers for being born yet still twitched their muscles in warm, wet places and still wound up creating more life. That is our evolutionary history. We are a self-replicating life pattern of thoughtless muscle twitches. Life begetting life, without thought to the consequences. We are all spurts of cum that came to life because our fathers couldn’t help themselves. And if we’re not wise, we’ll replicate the pattern again.

What’s the takeaway? Condoms, birth control and vasectomies are fucking sacred as far as I’m concerned. I’m also really pleased with gay and lesbian relationships too. And there are also ways for men to orgasm with ejaculation. But our evolutionary history is mindless fucking, and therefore our existence is owed to mindless fucking. If you would not like to see the damage done to you by life done to another person, CAREFUL HOW YOU FUCK. And for fuck’s sake, let her orgasm first! Her orgasm doesn’t create life but yours does!

Advertising and Vampiric Gods

I saw an ad lately that struck me for some reason. It’s just a picture of Zac Efron with a good haircut, sunglasses, a good red dress shirt against a red background, and superimposed on it is the word “Cartier”. They aren’t selling anything material, you can barely tell what it is that they’re selling. What they’re really selling is youth. I know that’s no revelation, that’s been said and done before, but it made me think about the relationship between youth and advertising, and how corporations are people that don’t die, but require new generations of young bodies to enthusiastically associate themselves with their products on billboards, bus stops and just about anywhere where there’s eyes. After Zac Efron is old and grey they they will guide the next generation of pretty young things to the altar of the photoset and put their unwrinkled faces in service of the corporation’s “image”. All of the pretty young things die, but Cartier lives forever as a young, hip company as long as there’s a new generation it can attach itself to. Like a lich or a vampire. Like another old, stodgy ideology that leads its adherents to death but it itself does not die. In the bloodstained Middle East, Islam and Christianity outlive Muslims and Christians no matter how many they kill. Like human sacrifice. Apparently it’s quite an honor to be in an ad.

Do we sacrifice virgins? Well, it’s not exactly the Mayan sacrifice, the actors and models don’t die from being photographed to death. But we do sacrifice virgins, or at least youths for our gods. With the stresses of fame, I’d say we wear them out, we kill them in less direct ways. They get burned out and die and Cartier lives. And all of this is definitely true for our day to day labor, where our youth and adulthood is spent giving energy to a company that will outlive us. Cartier lives like an intergenerational virus, as long as there is a new generation to do its paperwork and pose with their products (if that), there is Cartier.

We think that we need commodities to become sexy, bu the truth is that we make commodities sexy, and that people like Zac Efron are needed to turn Cartier,  simply a stack of dusty legal documents signifying incorporation, into a sexy young brand again. It’s always the young & sexy in advertisements, pulling the weight of some old cantankerous, bureaucratic machine. It needs the youth to look young but the youth don’t need it to be young. We don’t need capitalism for good haircuts, sunglasses or good shirts, and we certainly don’t need capitalism for young & sexy bodies when that just comes with being young to being with. FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY GAY SEXY SPACE COMMUNISM FOR ALL.

Personal Opinion Making and Political Discussion

Nobody I know really wants to talk about what’s real and what’s impersonal: debt bubbles, how the economy has changed from the 70’s. I listen to people blab back and forth trumpeting their precious opinions like no one’s every been as clever and witty as they are…so naturally any conversation a person could have about politics results in each person trying to drown the other person out. When will they realize that politics has nothing to do with their egos, or what they think is fair or normal. And then they’re have the gall to call socialists idealistic…when it’s them who think that the world runs on the axis of their own opinions. The only thing capitalism does is transform things and they’ve decided to make a stand for some arbitrary distinction in a moving world. God bless their precious little opinions and the people made them feel like they’re the center of the universe. Honestly I imagine that’s how you effectively rule a democracy: encourage everyone to have opinions but keep changing the society as a whole so nothing serious enough or informed enough can really affect its operation.

Daoist Anti-capitalism

Two very important ideas that Taoists think about the universe: 1) Everything is always and already changing into everything else, and 2) Ideas, thoughts and words do not actually exist. Blending ideas 1 and 2 together, because everything is changing, what we consider real is only our version of reality. By the time you’ve wrapped your head around something, it’s already changed into something else. We can look at someone and call them a man or woman, but that’s only temporary. So take with me this idea that because everything is temporary, what you think reality is says much more about what you think it is rather than what it is.

From that idea, let’s go to capitalism. Like everything else, capitalism doesn’t exist. It’s a system of thoughts that people keep in their heads. It’s an idea, and like all other ideas, illustrates what the viewer thinks the world is like but not what the world is like at all. So what does it take to make a turkey sandwich? A turkey, food for the turkey, a butcher, wheat, a baker, a truck to bring them all to you, and let’s not forget, the sun and the existence of a planet that can support life on it. But if you were to ask someone else, they’d say five dollars and someone to make it for you. Money is in it’s own world. It doesn’t care about the forces of creation that bring breakfast to it. It’s very, very possible to walk around capitalist society and not know that your food and that your life by extension is powered by the sun, and you think that you power your own life because you’ve managed to earn these strange green, cottony pieces of cloth called “dollars”. And that’s the reason why we’ve got this environmental crisis, it’s because we’re too busy believing that money is real but don’t know enough about the lives of bees, ants and trees.

so TLDR – Capitalism is barrier to actually understanding the forces of creation. Dollars don’t even exist. We made them up. When people confuse reality for fiction in their love lives, it can be painful. When people confuse reality for fiction and then base the operations of their society upon it, disaster will come.

Problems with Political Correctness

I would also say that the problems with political correctness are as follows:

1) It forces you to speak not from your own experience, but from a “mutually” agreed upon image of races. I think this is repressing freedom. You speak from the outside in, society first, then you, rather than you first, then society. Those images may not even be correct, we may just be choking on simulacra.

2) For fear of saying the wrong thing, it keeps people away from the real struggles of real people. If we were to ask a polite gathering of liberals why ghetto black people stay poor and ghetto and black, if they didn’t actually know, they’d come up with bullshit, rather than admit that they don’t know. It penalizes honesty and encourages speculation.

On self-care

Okay so yes I and many others can see how self-care oozes with neoliberal values, but I certainly don’t want the opposite and then claim that it’s revolutionary in some way or another. A lack of self care doesn’t make you a rebel, this isn’t the Salt March, no one gives a shit if you eat nothing but Doritos for a year. I think what you have to do is to take the bait but not the hook, ie you should take care of yourself by eating kale and running and going outside more and all that good stuff without ever believing that just doing those things solves the health issues where you live. We have to get properly postmodern about health. If things don’t have pure essences, then kale and yoga aren’t inherently “ideological” to use Zizek’s language.

I mean hell, health is a class issue that poor people should definitely get behind. We need to take back health and fitness from personal responsibility. Jesus Christ there is nothing wrong with eating more vegetables and going to the gym. Self-care is only bourgeois because the bourgeois have the time to afford it.

I’m not sure about these claims that “capitalism wants this” or “ideology wants that”. I can see pretty clearly that yoga and meditation and mindfulness teach people to treat themselves before treating the world, and it’s become a bit of an upper class thing to go to yoga and be seen in your activewear, and you want people admiring your gains so I can see how it maintains the functioning of capitalism. But bodegas and food deserts also serve capitalism in an opposite direction. Dependency on your corner store makes you a return customer, and there’s a lot of money to be made in an apathetic people who are letting people swindle them out of their health. Who wins, the capitalists promoting health, or the capitalists promoting ill health? I’m struggling with this language of capitalism “wanting” things. Honestly just sounds like a lefty reification of The Market.