As of 10 am CST on New Years Day, the comment form does not seem to accept comments. I will delete this post when it is up again. Thanks.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Certain statements have, famously, the form of being true if false and false if true. ("I always lie," says the Cretan Liar.) But I am more interested, for reasons that will become apparent, in speech acts that work like this: If you tell the truth you are must suffer and recant. That is how you know you finally got the truth out. The authority, embodied in the norms obeyed by so many people, having its truth revealed, and wanting it suppressed, lest others defect, makes sure that your statement miscarries as does your career.
I think we are many of us in this pickle. We are preconscious - Sleepwalkers. We get closer to self-understanding, to waking up, and to understanding the institutions that we collectively maintain, ("The inhuman institution is us; we are Wealth Bondage") but we recognize that the understanding, let alone the utterance of that understanding, is lethal to our own best interests. So we half think and half speak our attenuated truths, out of our half consciousness, our inchoate consciousness, like men and women speaking in our sleep. We would not jeopardize our position in Wealth Bondage, for outside of Wealth Bondage there is nothing.
Imagine a Nobel Prize or Macarthur genius grant whose winners are strangled with a cord then beaten to death with iron rods.The head of the awards committee is appointed by Candidia. Alberto Gonzalez and a secret military tribunal would be responsible for presenting the prize to the unlucky recipients. The goal of the award is to encourage Human Excellence. And it would too. Everyone in WB would be working their ass off the next day to Achieve Excellence. Anyone with a better idea than conformity would quickly make the list of candidates for next year's Prize or for the Special Prizes awarded from time to time, such as ostracism, contempt, silence, abduction, and sequestration beyond the bounds of polite society. Am I right? Hell no! Not even close to being right. I would like to live long enough to lift a toast to the New Year, five or so hours from now. Another great year shaping up for us all in Wealth Bondage. Let us drink to that.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Scruggs on the Wealth Bondage project as a whole. He gets it about right.
I think the Dumpster crowd are people who chafe at institutional constraint, at the deep damage that institutions and collectives generally do to people. They’re the ones who refuse to properly introject the institution’s demanded self-conception.
Let's put it more strongly: The Dumpster is where you end up when you get tossed out, as trash, from academics, from polite society, from boutique services for the affluent, from philanthropy, from whatever elite or inside group you might have some claim to belonging to. The Spectral Dumpster is what drove you in college, or grad school, or from year to year in your job, and may still drive you. The Dumpster is where you have been tossed, fear being tossed, or will be tossed, if you do not internalize and reproduce the norms of Deconstruction, Wealth Planning, Episcoplianism, Journalism, or whatever way of making a living and a life, whatever way of going along to get along, whatever way of fitting in rather than fucking off, sustains you and makes your resume read like a success story, however, sad and dingy. "Reading formations," "Life Worlds," "Language Games," "Epistemes," "Schools of Thought." To inhabit those happily, with a certain smug pride, a sense of belonging, a proprietary interest, is Wealth Bondage broadly considered. To the extent that we on the inside, or on the recent "outs" with key components of Wealth Bondage (finance, economic theory, philanthropy, journalism, politics, lobbying, think tank thinking, critical theory) can be conscious of our "habitus," of the game we play, of the rules of decorum that we observe and enforce, we can render that game visible, by shaking the frame of that discourse, we have done a service to our fellow citizens. Shaking the frame is art, the work of it, as a monkey driven mad by optimization of its behavior in the lab, shakes its iron cage in insane frustration, not because it changes anything, but because he simply cannot push the button again for another food pellet.
Scruggs is right that I been appalled not just at the inability of academics in the liberal arts who have wandered by here to come to terms, fit language, with Wealth Bondage, but also the inability of even close friends in other walks of life, to break a smile, or break stride as they pass the Dumpster. Are they unable to think themselves out of their own disciplinary membrane, the amniotic sac of their professional life world, or are they afraid that if they punctured that sac, they might be forced out into the cold hard world, that of the Dumpster, where we have nothing but our wits, bum wine, and one another to console us?
The Dumpster is a place where when you are left for dead by your own tribe you go to make light of what agonizes you. The Dumpster is the coffin, they let you sleep in, before your hanging. It is where garbage is temporarily stored after being discarded, before it is compacted and burned or buried. The Dumpster is where society puts its human trash, lest it stink up the place. The Dumpster is for failures, broken people, those for whom another chance would just be squandered like all the prior chances and the last chance, delivered as an ultimatum.
I live here, the other guy, the successful one with his pathetically earnest resume, does not. But he knows, like anyone else in Wealth Bondage, that he lives in comfort on borrowed time, with the proviso that he keeps his mouth shut and nose clean, and that any day, when his affinity for Wealth Bondage is discovered that he too will drink the sorrow share for conduct unbecoming an Officer of Wealth Bondage and thereby calling the institution of Wealth Bondage into disrepute. We are all fungible assets, useful today, useless tomorrow. Producer or consumer, educator or executive, clergyman, beggarman, celebrity, or thief: The Dumpster is our fate. Best not to talk about it. I am sorry I brought it up.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
The advanced capitalist world is in serious trouble, and the resort to increasingly austere measures will themselves produce social problems that it will be the burden of repressive institutions to deal with. If you want to understand why Blair and Bush are rolling back even basic liberal commitments such as habeus corpus, it is because they and the state personnel that they direct, understand the likely impact of the economic programmes they are committed to, and they are equipping the state with the means to deal with it. Social attitudes are less likely to be liberal, and popular political action less likely to take place through traditional venues. Growing numbers of disposable workers creates a popular basis for tumult, not consensus.
The state has a monopoly on (nonconsensual) violence. When Master Bates takes direction from Candidia, whether in secret camps or in the streets with Guard units, in a state of emergency, to quell domestic terror, I suggest we learn from the slaves who have gone before us in history. Keep our heads down, talk among ourselves in dialects and tales impenetrable to power, serve our superiors punctiliously, and teach our children the Trickster/conformity of B'rer Rabbit, or that of Jesus Christ. Render unto those in charge the things that are theirs, and unto God what is God's.
Reposted by Request
On Our Noble Trade
20 Free Aphorisms
Provided as a Public Service
By Wealth Bondage
For a Panel on Genre, Blogging and Brands
University of Chicago
Version 1.0 Unexpurgated Subect to Negotiation with the Sponsors
I am the utterance of my name.
-"Thunder, Perfect Mind"
Which of the following exist?
On the Reality of Brands
Some Christians will not celebrate Halloween, recognizing in it a Pagan Festival. Yet on Christmas the child receives a baseball cap, shirt, shorts, under shorts, and athletic shoes, each emblazoned with a mystic symbol. Fearing demons, we sacrifice our children to brands.
Apollo gave Cassandra a choice: Either a dead language with tens of thousands of words, and a vast unread literature, or a living language with 300 words and television. She chose living language to make herself understood as she railed against the media.
Editors test copy against lists of words in common usage. Altogether there are 3,000 non-elitist words, but 2,000 are brand names and 700 are names of celebrities.
Being (capital B)
Methane from the dump, flickering flames, word magic. (Heidegger, et. al.)
The girl convulsed. From her throat leaped a rabbit, a mouse, a bear, a tuna, a starfish, a sheaf of wheat, a lightning bolt, a twisted cross, a spinning globe, a sailboat, and a thousand other signs and portents of the end. Without demons, she was without volition and wept ceaselessly for their return.
Apparently, he hangs there to advertise his loin cloth.
Adam and Eve, wearing aprons and bow-ties, tend the garden section. Eve (her name is on her name tag) applies a little spritz to keep the cucumbers cool. Adam walks the aisles with a sticker gun, labeling every apple. What do the stickers say? Halcyon Farms Fresh? No, in tiny letters: Eat and be as gods!
The Last Philosopher has come and gone, taking bows long after the theater was empty. God has struck his tent, or so the posters say. What, then, is or was the last sin? Well, there is pedophilia. All else is a consumer preference: The stripper, the transsexual, addict, self-mutilator, fencer of stolen goods, all engage the empathy of the talk show host. Over time, guests and hosts change places. Between stints in politics, prison, or the pulpit, they take turns broadcasting from the madhouse, the bordello, from the hospital during the birth of their own child, or from the sewer in pursuit of lost treasure
"Right, but why this taboo, or alleged taboo, against sex with children?" "Hold the thought, Jeri, We'll be back after this."
You peep timidly from your window. A pedophile is loose in your neighborhood? Worse: He is loose in your home. The pedophile knows your children. They wear his logo on their shirts, their shoes, their caps. They plead for his name on their underwear. They fall asleep hugging his mascot. They croon his name in the shower. They dream his face in their sleep.
Solidarity, isn't that a brand name? Truth? A cigarette? Life, a breakfast cereal? Ecstasy, a drug. Dependable, an adult diaper.
American Heritage, a magazine or is it a think tank? Obsession, a perfume. Caress, a soap. Modesty, a tampon. Trustworthy, a line of lawn mowers. So why shouldn't Poetry be a lie against time that endures?
Air, water, also, language, honor, mutual understanding, literature, temperance, and trust. An ecosystem. "Still, no water is wholly pure," said s/he pissing in the well.
For those with eyes to see, the faces on television are daily more and more transparent. The speaker's face shows through, as if through a latex mask. The lies are ever more perfunctory. Newscasters pitch soap in their spare time. Spin doctors rate one another on technique. A Government spokesperson writes a book exposing his own duplicity, for which he is awarded an advance of $2.3 million and the anchor chair at a major network. His predecessor drags his lizard face before the cameras to endorse a corporation whose executives are in jail. An addict hosts a show on Business Ethics. Hungry men carry sacks of lies in wheelbarrows, hoping to trade them for a crust of bread.
Advertising, like poetry, is the daughter of memory. For every brand created an English word dies. The Eskimo is said to have 40 words for snow. We have 40 brands of coffee, automobiles, perfume; 40 ways to say: celebrity.
Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." Then and now, the children have always been his best audience. Before they can read and write, the Gospels and the Parables have entered their hearts for a lifetime, simply by hearing them spoken, like bedtime stories. The only modern equivalent would be the Disney Channel, though the business plan may be different.
Where God was, there Brands shall be!
He would slay his own son, but awaits the sign on the tele-prompter.
Truth is a word without a friend. To Pilate's question, "What is truth?" we make the gesture of the open palms. Truth could be coherence of an ideology - a lie in accordance with a fixed convention serving power (Nietzsche). Truth could be correspondence to fact - but what is a fact? asked Pilate, dipping his hands in the silver bowl. Truth can also be bearing witness.
When weeds choke the wheat, and spread from field to field, the Brand Builder's work is complete.
FOX, CNN, Time
The martyr bears witness in silence. Zeno recites paradoxes. Why seek truth when we cannot bear the little we have?
The Romans had a slave stand behind the conquering general as he rode in his chariot through the streets in triumph. "Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal." Today only an inmate from Death Row would take a comparable job with a CEO – or a President.
They hang one another upon command.
Outside the studio Quakers hold midnight vigils as the moderator is skinned alive.
Why, since the price had been paid, and the check had cleared, and someone else would have done it if he hadn't, and since it all would work out for the best in any case, and the victim was practically asking for it, why, I wonder, did Judas hang himself in a horse collar? (If this were a joke, the answer would be, "Because he couldn't find a rope.")
The world came home drunk last night. Tattooed on her posteriors were Self and Esteem. To these, as they clench and flinch, the Satirist applies the corrective lash.
The Healer's Tools
The knife, cauterizing iron, leeches, emetics, a sponge, and a wooden table. Why is the state of the art still so primitive? Because the infection is resistant to modern antibiotics. A poultice of maggots, the Roman remedy, is still the best.
The Great Festival
The wineskin holds wine at dawn, blood by nightfall.
The Laughing Animal
Darwin shows us pictures of the dog, smiling and snarling. The facial gesture is the same.
To delight and instruct. To punish, to purge, to heal. So many evasions, for all of recorded history. Yet always the dance, the knife, and the goat.
Some day The Happy Tutor will be brought to justice by those in business suits, clerical garb, academic regalia, black judicial robes, or the battle fatigues of Homeland Security. But they must catch him first.
To bring fiction to justice, you must first do justice to fiction.
About the Author
The Happy Tutor
The Happy Tutor is founder of the Dallas-based Wealth Bondage, dedicated to delighting and instructing persons of wealth.
Orphaned at an early age. The Happy Tutor was raised by Jesuits who taught him to achieve spiritual enlightenment through the mortification of the flesh. Running away at age 11, The Tutor is entirely self-educated, having mastered literature and philosophy by scavenging text books left in the dumpster behind the local High School. Quotation "When I was a kid roaming the streets, I didn't have any money to go to the movies like the rich kids. So I used to go down to the city dump on Saturday nights and shoot rats with a .22. That was the beginning of my interest in giving back to Society."
"When I was a kid roaming the streets, I didn't have any money to go to the movies like the rich kids. So I used to go down to the city dump on Saturday nights and shoot rats with a .22. That was the beginning of my interest in giving back to Society."
Posted by Master Bates Live from Guantanamo Bay
Sorry, No Blood for Hubris, this is war, stuff happens. My mistake was not killing him when I had him in custody, with no rights, and no appeal. Now the traitor squeals to the press and makes us all look bad. Plus look at how much time his friends wasted calling Congress. Do you think Senators, much less the President has time enough to rule by exception? They have to lay down broad orders, delegate, and let the chips fall where they may. Yes, innocent people get rounded up, tortured and sometimes killed, that may bother you, but that is the law. I am just doing my job. If you don't like the rules, move to Canada.
Posted by The Happy Tutor