miércoles, 1 de abril de 2015

Never trust a politician

The subterranean traveller reports

Führer International had been heavily spraying the glorious blue morning sky for over an hour when I entered the roof garden with a brand new orgonite in my hands. I put the shiny cone made of crystals, copper spirals and scrap held in transparent resin in the full sun and started preparing some vegetable beds, adding earth and water, the works. Stretching my back after some time I looked up and noticed how the milky veil above my head was pulling away. There was a hole growing and soon the haze over my part of town had completely gone. Were these truly the workings of my little pyramid? More planes came and their thick, double trails just flew away like they had never been laid. Finally the sun turned behind the apartment building next door, leaving my garden in the shade. Soon enough the thinnest of veils came growing back. Führer International is a mighty adversary, too strong for sure to take on alone.

To extend its power to the furthest corners of the planet, Führer International relies heavily on lies and intimidation. A wide spreading web of propaganda and publicity has been set up to this end. In virtually none of the countries already under its spell even a single independent news outlet can be found. All newspapers, radio and TV stations repeat the same made-up stories, carefully crafted in the most inner circles of power. In fact, so well-hidden are these sources of information that nobody knows where any given day's headlines originate from. They are spread through press releases and spokespersons, but clearly these people, hungry for attention as they are, haven't got a clue what they are talking about. They simply repeat whatever is put under their noses and when a journalist has the nerve to ask for clarification or proof, they shrug off the nuisance and simply start all over again, rephrasing the same line, and again, until the news hunters in front of them give up and duly write down whatever is fed to them. Come to think of it, when there is no alternative voice available to offer even the slightest deviation to the original statement, what is the point of verifying the claims?

And so the people of the world are given the impression that the empire is a benign force bent on spreading prosperity and safety around the globe when in fact Führer International is a murderous monster, killing people, animals, nature and the rules of life alike in its quest for dominance and destruction. It's a clever scheme, no less. The inhabitants of the world are neatly stratified with regards to their income and chances of finding work, making sure that most people have no idea what life is like outside their particular social environment. The poor dream of the lies they know from their televisions, the rich wait for their parents to die. Whereas the poor seem to have a general understanding of how the system is preying on their labour, leaving them unable to improve on their circumstances, the middle and upper classes in the core countries mostly in all honesty believe that poverty is caused by a lack of industrial intent. They also go along with the gotspe that the numerous wars fought all over the planet by Führer Intl are without exception instigated by local adversaries of the golden rule of competition. Even in a time when Führer has grown so powerful and all-encompassing that the opposition feels compelled to resort to desperate rebellion, the lie is perpetually swallowed. Over the course of half a century, Führer International has been fighting communists, anarchists, religious fanatics, nationalists and terrorists and people generally in its way. With every next war, next intervention or show of force, Führer has managed to expand its sphere of influence, not just territorially but in hearts and minds as well. At the time of writing there are hardly any independent countries left. This has steered the empire's insatiable thirst for violence onto its own sacred middle classes.

As the reader may recall, over the second half of the twentieth century the peoples of the core countries enjoyed growing prosperity and liberty (at least a sense thereof), reaching a point where citizens began openly questioning the righteousness of their respective governments once again. So a crisis was invented. An easily solvable financial problem was used to cast austerity on the masses, taking away their incomes, their job security and whatever real influence they still had. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, nome du jour of the frequent and well-orchestrated atrocities the classes have to endure, a military style police force is mounted, to be deployed wherever people take to the streets to demand justice and practical solutions to their predicaments.

After five dark years, some say seven, people seem to be gathering steam for a final wave of protest. Further away the 20 teens have been uproarious all along, still further people are dying, but now at last the western masses are moving. Unfortunately, many of the widely springing grassroots movements are not to be trusted. Invariably such uprisings either lead the populace into a dead end, succumbing to the so-called realities of power, or they are seen as the perfect excuse for military intervention. The colour revolutions of the 21st century have all led to levels of destruction and repression, leaving one to wonder whether the perpetrators were genuine local madmen or rather the worst scum to go around in a well-written psyop. Führer International is everywhere and everything, inventing new realities while people are wondering about the nature of old ones, always a step behind, always trying to protect what little joy and possessions they have left.

Where I live, people have been encouraged to dream of independence from the repressive and at times outright fascist state apparatus they resort under. For many years they have been crowding the streets of their capital city, demanding the right to take care of themselves, yet their political leaders fail at every opportunity to engage in what they were hopefully chosen for. Slowly the city is losing its faith in the dream. And behold, suddenly there's a new ideal, a nationwide uprising, rendering the wish to go it alone empty, even elitist. Unfortunately, once again, the leader of the new movement is not to be trusted. He hijacked an honest beginning and proclaimed himself sole heir to its principals. Soon the local councils are polled, with later this year the chance to ditch the current president of the state apparatus, a highly corrupted servant of power who promised his voters a cure to their financial woes and ended up instilling a return to the mentality of this country's darkest days. I will be allowed to vote for my council, but not for the country. So I watch. I hope my countrymen will make the right decision for the betterment of all, without fear of how Führer International will react. Because react it will.

With love,

the subterranean traveller

Looking for danger

Earlier we learned how auntie Angela imposes austerity on the boy shelter because the coal merchant can't make it through the snow, when suddenly there is Barack who promises fracking.

Many things were happening in the boy shelter on the plain. It all started with the return of Barack Hussein. He immediately noticed the boys hadn't dug a single hole during his absence.
How can I help if you boys are hanging round?
He quickly put them back to work again. Winter had not waned but the sun was much stronger in late February, so at least during the afternoon they were able to make inroads. There was a new lad in the shelter, Alexis, a poor and unhappy looking type whom Auntie Angela had taken a dislike at right from the start. She put him on extra meagre rations and quietly requested Barack to give the newcomer the dirtiest job. Barack didn't especially mind so he put Alex to digging at the bottom of the pit. Barack never seemed to mind much.

And then one day Vladimir Vladimirovitsj was back.
Who is he, Barack demanded to know.
He's our uncle Vlad, the boys told. Vlad Vladimirovitsj, the coal merchant.
The two men looked each other in the eye and instantly felt mutual distrust.  
I've come to make you a good deal, Angela, offered Vlad with that tiny smile of his. I'm going to send you monthly deliveries from now on. We have more capacity this year, see?
I think that's just hollow talk, intervened Barack Hussein. I mean, monthly deliveries, it's hard to believe. Anyway, there's no one like us, everybody knows that.
And who are you sir, informed Vladimir Vladimirovitsj with as shallow an interest as he could muster.
Barack is the name, fracking my game.
Vladimirovitsj nodded. You're from the other side, right? The speed drill boys. I tell you, we have our own business here, mister. I've come to be helping auntie and the boys over the years and we are currently in a pleasant arrangement. So please, go home.
You tell me what I do?
Hussein's laid back posture was suddenly all gone. You think you can call us, right? He straightened his back and measured up his size to the sturdier Vlad Vla, who seemed equally surprised and disgusted at Barack's behaviour.
Quiet now, uncle Vladimir, came Angela's voice. We don't want to make Barry here angry. It'd be best if you went home and I'll be in touch when the time comes.

After the slightest of hesitation Vladimir Vladimirovitsj accepted her verdict. Who's the little kid, he asked, nodding at the skinny creature down in the pit.
O, that's Alexis, he's new, blurted a boy from Scandinavia.
Vlad Vladimirovitsj bent over the hole in the ground. Come up, my boy. Let me help you. Will you learn to drive for the coal merchant?
Sure will, sir, came a tiny voice.
Not so fast, Barack broke in once again. There's no one going anywhere here. He pointed his long finger on a long arm at Vlad. I don't get your story, mister, and I think you are a liar and a thief, like all you guys out here. If you move as much as a finger to my side of the table, I'm mean Angela's side, I will kill you. Have you got that clear? I'm going to find you and I'm going to bomb your house.
No you don't, because you know I would do the same to you, Vladimir Vladimirovitsj looking better than he was feeling. I'm not bluffing.
Barry shaking his head, shook it long as in a Clint Eastwood movie, and blurting: I don't know what to say to this shit, man. Angela, please help me out here.
Let Vlad take little Lexi home, pleaded auntie. I don't trust the kid anyway.
But Barack Hussein once more was quickly back on his feet again.
I'm afraid it won't happen. You see, where I come from we never lose. We simply don't. So it's not a matter of you making your own choices, it's us calling the shots.
Vlad go now, called out some big boys. We will see us again. For now we must stay with Barack the frackerman.
Vladimir Vlad dropped his shoulders for as much as his well-kept body allowed.
There's no reasoning with you, is there? Well, if you must, I shall leave you to it. He turned his sleigh on the retreating snow, broken and wet. And you, Barack, have a break. We don't need that kind of madness here.

And so uncle Vlad Vladimirovistj for the second time left their lives and this time the boys understood there were few last times left.

Aunt Angela stayed on the road until she no longer believed she was seeing the last of him, then she turned and asked: when is the fracking starting?
That's all not quickly going, Barack admitted. But as I was telling you, I think we should take out Vlad first.
Vladimirovitsj? You really want him dead?
Just to make sure he's not going to get back at us. You know, he may be wanting to do us all harm.
I find that highly unlikely, big François unexpectedly entered the arena. Uncle Vlad is not an aggressive person.
Not aggressive? screamed Barack Hussein. That man Vlad of yours used to be a professional killer before he got into the carbon business.
That's all a long time ago, countered Matteo, bolstered by the sudden mood swing.
Yet I don't believe this is the right time for change, sounded high pitched Mariano. We must stick to our beliefs if we want to honour our parents.
Barack smiled at Mariano's words. He was the finest example of a useful idiot the boy shelter had on offer.
Also Wolfgang, auntie Angela's compatriot who had one day shown up at the door, walking badly on his crippled foot but with a strong will to have things go his way, applauded Mariano. We must and we shall hurt the ones who fail to compromise, he spouted.
Yes, we hurt, Barack raised his voice. We're going to give Vlad a bad time and when he exposes himself we'll kill him.
Kill, echoed Wolf.
The other runaway boys, each of them having left home for fame and fortune and all of them ended up here in this dump, this poorest of roofs in the endless plain surrounding, were too afraid not to trust Barack. Young David, who wasn't so young at all, of course was all smiles with everything Barack wanted, as he had originally brought him in on that bitter cold night he had meant to escape from the shelter. Now he was trying to become Barack's favourite helper, the one who was directly under his command and not through auntie, like François. Wolf though was giving him a hard time. Since Hussein's first arrival many boys had started questioning auntie Angela's rule over their minds. They felt they were allowed their own opinions. But in the whirl of the moment most chose to follow Barack's word. No time for change, they echoed Mariano, stay the course till the end.
Yes, we hurt.
The boys applauding in unison.
And so Vlad Vladimirovitsj was gone and the excitement was over and nobody knew what would come next. But they all loved Vlad and felt bad about their weakness.

Will Barack Hussein really hurt Vladimir Vladimirovitsj, or is it in the end all but a game? Find out in our third entry of life in the boy shelter, expected soon.

No time to hate

Paris was nice last summer

The subterranean traveller and Trandi Romantic had a jolly good time in Paris late August last year, where the mood was gentle and people had clever ways of avoiding undesired outcomes. Don't like my face? Just look the other way. This is what multiculturalism is all about, isn't it? Not get worked up about any differences one might sense, rather concentrate on similarities. The ridiculous prohibition on headscarves and veils of course adds to the sense of equalness. How to tell the difference when the obvious signs are lacking? The traveller and Trandi neatly fit in, as is their style, and happily started roaming the streets, being stupid sometimes but cast with luck, as the holiday mood so often has it. Whenever they met the tourist trail they just rushed straight through, get it done with quickly style. There were fewer chemtrails overhead than in their hometown that time of year, with even a clean day in between, so no need to get bogged down by ugly realities. Just have fun while it lasts.

Inside the many museums they visited the subterranean had dozens of beautiful women to admire, women all so gorgeous-looking these days. Trandi would drag him before paintings she had to tell him about and the subterranean listened carefully while leaving another shot at some piece for in between pictures, doing the by and large same route, same room, opposite walls style routine, then returning to art's take on beauty for a while and so forth. They went to more outlandish galleries as well where visitors were scarce and where it was them and the painting, more often the thingy, getting it off on being in flow together. The one thing they didn't particularly like was the food. It was expensive and hastily made, to their taste. They settled for salads and asian snack bars, eating marmalade and cheese in their rent apartment for supper.

Not everybody lives quite as nicely as the nicely living. They occupy a large swath around the tourist trail and carefully shielded streets of extreme wealth where the sheer amount of money breathes might, plus all the tiers in between. In this better world, the world we know from television and have been told to admire, the city's various cultures are not evenly represented. It's the young and handsome who are invited into the realms of power and it's always on an individual base. If you've got what it takes to make money from, you're in. And you're even allowed to pretend you are you, to gimmick the rebel inside. So you will see people of all colours and stripes join the party, but children and pensioners are still mostly white.

Outside this inner ring life quickly became ordinary, though it never seemed anywhere worse than scrappy yet not hopeless, pretty much what Trandi and the traveller were used to at home. Of course from their point of view signs of stress were filtered out, not to be discovered in merely a week's time that is. They stayed behind Nation in an early mix-up zone just inside Paris Férique and often passed République into town, checking out on fashion and style, more of the latter they found, then split up to go separate ways and meet again later. They did everything their budget allowed for that week, spending on people in a city that seemed very much at ease with itself, a city which had lost a lot of previously felt rudeness (now even with pedestrian zones), before taking the train home to a thriftier lifestyle.

Now they hear there's a mass shooting at an editor's in Paris, television talking about the area they had come to scramble, lots of bodies, very professional, then they lose an ID, how convenient, where have we heard that one before? Of course, all suspected perpetrators are killed before they can speak. Opposing minds conveniently commit suicide. One photo by the way was apparently enough to identify two brothers. Modern life is full of such miracles, have you noticed? Many dark fairy tales are spun around us, like the mad stories people see in the movies. Better not notice as much, seems healthier you'd say, but that's the 24 7 experience for you.

When people fall for the meme and politicians take up the front row of mourning and protest, the ones we loath and despise for selling our souls to the war machine, then it's time to set the alarm bells ringing. When apparent coincidences are fruitful and new laws curbing our rights and liberties are passed swiftly, then you know everything was well-planned. How did they pull it off this time, eh? And who pulled what? Wanting to know the answer is where you go wrong, because nobody will provide you, yet the question needs being asked all the time. The powers that be really seem hell-bent for havoc (not a metal band) and every next round more of our strength is required, more of our desire to maintain the society we believed we had built. Most people want to live together peacefully, make friendship where it feels good and keep a respectful distance where it doesn't. Some are trying to break the peace, but some are always breaking the peace, whatever the source. We have learned to bear their burden, you know the type, the managers, the bankers, the common assholes. Recently though, our governments have entered the fight. Through their own secret agencies and those of friendly nations they are willing to kill us to further an agenda. We thought this only happened in America. Now it's coming here. Our governments are going rogue on us. Think back to 3.11, 7.7, 3.11, MH17, now 7.1. Think of the Ukraine in general and the vast world behind it that we are now going to say goodbye to because some hotshot decided so. The people of Europe really need to confront this threat. We have many serious problems, environmental problems foremost, and this is no time to hate. If we give in to this shit, we know we are not going to save the world. Instead we will be joining the worldwide civil war, spreading soon to a country near you, the third world war which will completely destroy our societies, destroy the world we grew up in. I always thought we could easily live it out a good other century, find some cure in the meantime, but that was before the mad killer machine went into overdrive. If we don't stop this, if we don't resist to partake any longer in this suicidal ritual, then we will see it all slip away from under us. I wrote a poem about this a long time ago, in dutch, De Aarde scheurt onder je voeten, a nightmarish dream about ultimate survival in climate chaos, put on a nervous rhyme. I quite liked it myself, I read it sometimes before public. I hadn't thought it would come true so quickly, though.

Thinking that the not quite there yet meme is wearing thin, it's time to go green on a massive scale. If worldwide we start taking care of ourselves and our neighbours, grow as much food as we can and save as much on feeding the beast, saving not just money but economic input as well, slowly minimizing its impact through the force of our common will, then we might have something interesting going, something worth living for.

Now that would be nice.