Thoughts on traditionalism

Been thinking about the topic of traditionalism lately, since people keep bringing it up. Made a video last night pertaining to my rejection of misogynistic traditions (and the anti-feminists who accept them), but I couldn’t do the topic justice since it encompasses so much. First off, when we say “traditionalism,” what are we referring to? Oftentimes we Americans are referring to past Christian traditions, seeing as how that’s the religion that’s had the greatest influence on our culture. But that’s not all there is to traditions — traditions existed LONG before (and since) Christianity came on the scene.

Religions have always factored into human history, and they varied wildly from culture to culture and up through time. I think what’s most impressive about Christianity is how pervasive it proved to be. Prior to the rise of Christianity there had never been such a broad-scale, globally-saturating religion, because advances in technologies went hand in hand with its dissemination. And it wasn’t sold to various countries and cultures by sheer influence but rather through conquest and invasion (i.e., imperialism).

I don’t hate Christianity or reject 100% of its teachings, though I am not a religious person and take great issue with plenty of the ways in which it’s interpreted and how attempts are made to literally apply its scriptures in today’s world. It’s a historical record of a collection of narratives intended to guide people who lived long ago. The kernel of Jesus’s teachings and ideas I respect the most, and I’ve always aimed to tease them away from the rest of the theological casing since that kernel all unto itself remains significant and valuable to us moving forward. This I do believe.

And this strikes at the differences between spirituality, religiosity and theology. I haven’t the energy this morning to delve into all of that and would be better off citing authors who do more justice in unpacking the inquiry. But I personally do consider myself spiritual and pretty much always have to whatever extent. I am not an atheist and never will identify as such, and the same goes for being a religionist (past the point of losing my religion in my early teens).

Getting back to the topic of traditions…they all contained and were based on spiritual and religious elements, going as far back as we can examine human existence. Humans are a religious species by our very natures. Always have been and likely always will be, even if the new religions turn out to be coined as secular ideologies. We are always in need of a narrative to guide our lives and our communities and to define the ethics we enculturate into youths. This is an unavoidable necessity apparently, and I do not rail against that fact, only specific narratives that I cannot support.

Families are also a fact of life, or at least always have been. Communities are as well. Our psychological well-being is directly tied to the health of our families and our communities, and there’s no getting around that. This I do not take issue with either, and I am very flexible in accepting different family and community dynamics since there isn’t only one size that fits all. Though, one truth remains ever-present and that is the need to properly care for our young. Different ways of going about that and not all are created equal, but the strategy I take the most issue with is handing over so much care of our youths to Big Government entities and their education systems and fostering programs since that’s proven to be destructive to family and community cohesion and is targeting youths with new ideological narratives that I believe we would benefit from being highly skeptical of. Children remain the responsibility and legacy of their families and their communities and great care needs to be taken to ensure it remains that way (versus relinquishing control and allowing outside entities to do much of the raising and socializing instead). That is my view.

I have no dream for any utopian society because I do not envision just one type of society. I envision several, countless, because diversification is a strength among humans. People capable of living and working together and forming stable, cohesive communities has always been the name of the game, though now we are experiencing their dissolution in the face of major nation-states having come into prominence and now globalization is further undermining small-scale units. On these points, I may be considered a traditionalist of sorts.

But when it comes to how any given community is structured or what social arrangements are deemed tolerable among its members, I am pretty flexible, though I want to see humans branch out of restrictive roles of the past so as to transcend and explore as individuals. And this is where things get tricky admittedly. Social cohesion tends to call for a high level of conformity, but I believe we can conform on matters that are key to a given community while still maintaining our own individuality so long as it isn’t completely antithetical to the point of being too disruptive to a given community. And this is where diversity across communities remains so important, because there is no one-size-fits-all model that will prove compatible with each of our sensibilities and personal ethics.

I do not believe that humans need to be strictly confined in gender roles in a universal sense, not at this point in history and not so long as technologies allow this not to be the case. Nature is our ultimate slave-master, it is true, but the role of humankind has always been to find a way to carve out our own habitat and to expand our potentialities. This is true of men just as much as it is true of women. Not all women wish to be harnessed to child-bearing and home-making, nor should we be. Just as not all men wish to be confined to the role of protector and financial supporter of a nuclear family they’ve helped create. There is also no reason why homosexual relationships need be considered immoral aberrations, not universally at least. There is flexibility here, and that’s a blessing of modern times and is what technologies and higher intellects have afforded us.

In that way, I don’t qualify as a “traditionalist,” not unless the tradition we speak of is very ancient or belonging to indigenous cultures that did not adopt the strict hierarchies that became common under Abrahamic faiths. This is largely why I consider myself ultra-paleo in my conservative standing.

This modern era has ushered in the rise of corporate power and dominance, and with that we the people have lost ground because we no longer live in ways that are self-sustaining. We do not grow the food we need to nourish ourselves, and now we see less often that youths are taught skills to fend for themselves (unless that means earning a paycheck — that being all we’re lucky to be taught anymore). I’ve repeated this many times already and will likely continue doing so since this is my dream for us going forward: that we become more self-sufficient as individuals, families, and communities. Otherwise, the trade-off appears to be that we lose part of our humanity, in turn, by becoming automatons serving corporate and political giants, and that is a very dangerous road to travel down.

An agrarian renaissance can include all sorts of different communities and religious attitudes, and this could be healthy for us. If advocating going back to the land and learning how to provide for our sustenance makes me a traditionalist of sorts, then so be it. Others undoubtedly will frame it however they wish. My main interest is in seeing a new form of sanity restored, at least by-and-large. This cannot come about by pushing one particular religion down the throats of all others and condemning them for not living up to expectations they aren’t willing (or able) to accept. And the same goes for gender roles being ordained from on-high. We have room to navigate probably more than ever before in history, and I think this is an excellent opportunity to think outside of the box and to imagine the possibilities rather than waste our time trying to coerce others into fitting some universally-applied mold we deem as best for all.

[Edited for typos and greater clarity on Nov. 5th, 2014]

Videos from StormCloudsGathering on the American (and global) future

When Will The Economy Collapse?”:

“The Road to World War 3”:

“World War 3 Has Already Begun”:

Revolution: An Instruction Manual”:

So You Want to Topple the U.S. Government?”:

That last one was especially important, because the government is poised and ready for anyone who wants to flip off and get froggy. And this man’s right, most of the public will back the government and will have the impression that you’re a danger to the rest. In fact, violent revolts at this point in time will be spun to further suit the government’s purposes by fear-mongering the public into thinking they’re under siege by radicals and need to be protected by the government. That amounts to offering yourself up to be used and scapegoated by the State to further its own corrupt agenda.

Police & Military – Time to Choose”:

“The Declaration of Natural Rights”:

The REAL Purpose of the 2nd Amendment – The Ultimate Critique of Gun Control”:

America, Flirting with the Dark Side of History”:

The Death Throes of the United States”:

After America Collapses – Part II – The Constitution in Perspective”:

Those are some of the videos I’ve watched from that channel thus far, and I greatly respect the message he’s putting across there. Haven’t watched all of his videos and so can’t comment on the content in others. But these I particularly found valuable and wanted to share.

Thoughts on why I’m not expressly anti-“socialist” or anti-“collectivist” (as one individualist in the bunch)

That was Larken Rose discussing socialism, communism, and collectivist authoritarian regimes.

Hmmm…honestly, I do get a bit tripped up on this topic. I’m probably 80-90% in agreement with him, but I wouldn’t go so far as to claim to be anti-socialism or anti-collectivist, and here’s why.

As I’ve been studying history, the entire civilization project has resulted in the rise of despotic rulers again and again and again and again. Yet, when we look back to pre-civilized history, humans most definitely did live within tight collectives, and that was the original setting for us as a social species. This notion of individualism, much as I adore it, is a relatively new advent in the ways we understand it to be today. Why? Because people have always relied on one another for our very survival, so interdependence has always been and remains the norm. I don’t see a way around that.

My readings tell me that tribal “primitive” peoples engaged in open exchanges and gift-giving as their means of keeping harmony and promoting bonds, as well as trying to sway the spirits of their ancestors through ritual ceremonies and offerings. Then with the rise of chiefdoms and later kingdoms, a good measure of power wound up being centralized in those figures’ hands so it became their task to collect and redistribute goods among their people. Then came the rise of the city-state, then the nation-state, and there again we see even more power being centralized in the hands of rulers and them being tasked with the job of redistribution among the people. Though plenty of kings kept more for themselves, this was deemed acceptable because common people were attracted to the notion of treating select individuals as gods among man. Why? I don’t think anyone’s really clear on that yet. But we seem to see this whole process ramp up more and more as humans have moved into the future, until we reached fairly modern times where weaponry and technology has allowed governments to claim a monopoly on force and to centralize so much power into its own hands to do with as it wishes, regardless of whether the citizenry is actually on board with the scheme.

It’s a real dilemma, because on one hand the collective interests do indeed matter. A completely individualistic society where no government or ruling body forcefully dictates and enforces laws would leave people to fend entirely for themselves, resulting in a new struggle for “survival of the fittest” where the few who wielded the most power could afford to receive protection and the rest would be left to go without or to turn toward their own brands of vigilante justice. In fact, in this capitalist setup we’re already seeing some of that play out, where the most powerful are at liberty to coerce and exploit the many, backed oftentimes by the power of the State since major corporations have essentially become infused with our government (through campaign financing, massive lobbying efforts, and overlap where key people move between political positions and corporate careers). THAT is fascism, by definition. And though it tends to use the language of collectivism to promote its agendas and to get citizens on board, what it winds up doing is catering to its own special class of rich folks while quashing dissent and creating a very non-competitive environment among the people. Not only is that fascist, but it winds up becoming anti-capitalist in the end as well.

My individual rights don’t matter if your individual rights don’t matter. That’s a collective interest we all hold as freedom-loving individuals. The individual doesn’t truly have much power, not in a country of roughly 300 million or in a world of 7 billion. Hence why we do continue to form collectives, like political parties and activist movements in an effort to come together so as to fight for what we believe is right using our united strength and ingenuity. To be united is indeed to be a collective. So the problem here isn’t with collectivism, per se, nor with individualism, per se. It seems to be with what we do with that or under that guise.

How much power should each individual possess? Limitless? Well, that won’t allow us to have a functioning society. And here again is where I run into trouble with anarchists, because they aim to abolish the State without explaining satisfactorily how these people will remain free if they themselves cannot defend their rights, property and person. Hence why we do have police and militaries — theoretically that is indeed their job to look out for us, most especially those among us who are too weak, too young, or too old to protect themselves sufficiently. While I agree that more power needs to be dispersed back into the hands of the average people, will we use it to defend ourselves and others when wronged? Will we use our power to produce what we need to survive? Or will we abuse power, as our rulers typically do, and aim to exploit others who can’t protect themselves from us? Because that seems to go to the core of all of this: corrupted intentions and drive. And that appears to be quite human and a very dangerous aspect of our natures.

Is it any wonder that destructive human potential shows itself not only in corrupted individuals out here among the masses but also most especially among those who’ve risen in power? To me, it’s more of a question of corruption and how to safeguard against it, because it appears the 20th century has taught us that any kind of government, claiming any kind of ambitions, can and nearly always does wind up proving despotic in the end. How do we change or control for this? I don’t rightly know.

If we as people follow our base desires and wind up corrupted, is it any wonder that our leaders in government do the same, seeing as how we vote for them, arguing that we’re forced to select between the “lesser of two evils”? Evil is evil, that should be plain to us by now. But how do we vote for better candidates when they all lie or wind up corrupted soon after being elected, due in part to the system currently in place that they’re expected to navigate? I don’t know. Seems like we do need a major overhaul here, but in order for that to be an improvement on what we have already we’d all need to be in a better mind-space so as to make more responsible decisions and so as to self-govern to the utmost that we’re able. But that’s not where the majority currently stand. We’ve grown spoiled on the goods and services provided by society, and we’ve lost touch with providing for our own basic needs. So we don’t have much negotiation power at present. A violent revolt will just result in a lot of us dead, injured and imprisoned since the State possesses more firepower. Yet it doesn’t appear we can democratically rectify this situation as it stands today, at a time when it’s anyone’s guess if our votes even count anymore.

There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors obstructing our view on all of this. But the issue at the core is POWER. This is why I keep bringing up the folly of allowing too much power to centralize in the hands of a few. Because human nature is what it is, and people can quite easily get corrupted, even without them realizing it and even while sincerely meaning well. We’re encouraged to drink the kool-aid beginning at such young ages to where we take so much propaganda for granted, never realizing we’ve been molded (culturally, psychologically, socially) to sell ourselves down the river. The wider culture itself has been selling distorted narratives for decades, generations. We can’t even clearly see outside of this programming, so our own good intentions wind up being turned back and used against us, even without us realizing it.

That’s the conundrum, in a nutshell.

I like this man’s videos, but I do think he treated this matter too simplistically. Anarchists have a tendency to want to frame everything in political terms, when really it seems to me what they’re vying for down deep is a return to primitive and/or agrarian living arrangements. And when that’s the case, I do not begrudge them that. I share a similar vision and refer to my own as being “libertarian-leaning,” since we’re all expected to use political jargon or else be dismissed outright as Luddite fools. BUT, I recognize it as a dream that’s many generations off into the future, if ever it does come to be. We lost our independent agrarian infrastructure due to the changing economic climate pressing people toward cities and corporate employment, and I’m not sure how we’d regain that now as a bunch of city-dwellers and property tax-payers limited by zoning laws and countless other regulations. And if we strip those from the books, we’d be mostly enabling major corporations more than anything else since they already claim a ton of land and have enough money to where they’re poised to acquire more before the rest of us even get our pants on. (Not to mention foreign purchasers of U.S. land…)  So we’re kinda in a catch-22 here.

We need the power of the government to harness the power of major transnational corporations. Yet these corporations are already several decades into dominating our government (and many others across the globe), so they are already playing puppet master at this stage in the game. We cannot negotiate with them directly because we, in a very few decades, have been rendered nearly entirely dependent on them for our sustenance and jobs. We common folks are just the last ones to wake up to this reality.

And how much power do you figure any on of us alone has to reckon with the reality? The answer is virtually none. Even when we as individuals take initiative, it is books and articles written by others that we read, courses taught by others that inform us, documentaries and music and art created by others that draw our attention and expand our imaginations. We call ourselves individuals and take much pride in that, but no human is an island, nor can we be. We are a social species. Period. That will never change. We need each other because we can’t help but rely heavily on one another. We eat the foods grown and harvested and processed by others. Our homes are full of goods designed and assembled by others — including the homes themselves. We live in a society with laws concocted by others, reinterpreted by others, enforced by others. Is that not collectivism? Sure it is, and there’s no getting around that whether we live in a modern society or a tribe off in the desert.

Perhaps part of the disconnect here is that we Americans don’t seem to have a realistic grasp on our individual power. We speak as though it is so grand, when really everything we do, all successes that we have are at least partly determined by others. If we go into business for ourselves, it is others who choose to buy our wares or services. If we’re aiming to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we still depend on others who employ us and work alongside us and who willingly engage in reciprocity with us. No individual stands alone, not really. We wouldn’t even be grown adults today if it weren’t for others who nurtured us as babies and as dependent children, providing the opportunity for us to live to reach an age where we might direct our lives for our own selves. So how individualistic can we really claim to be here? How can one claim to be anti-collectivist and anti-socialism? What the hell is socialism other than a buzzword that can mean damn-near anything depending on who you ask?

We are social beings, and our species developed in communal setups. It seems more of a question of how we direct that, what kind of social systems can we maintain, and how would we bring them into being?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming that individual humans are powerless. I just think that we don’t have a good grip on what power we do possess and realistically grasp how much it is in respect to the whole of power in existence. We can’t seem to put this in proper perspective. We naturally gravitate toward one another and group up because somewhere inside we do sense a lack of power in working at something all unto ourselves. We know we need help from others, yet we like to speak as though this isn’t the case. One reason authoritarian systems are able to rise in power is because we common people are horribly divided. In such massive societies it’s probably unavoidable that people learn to compete more than to cooperate, seeing as how there are so many opposing movements and so many opportunists.

Yet when people do cooperate under a political ideology, very often they check their critical thinking at the door and throw their efforts behind the movement or agenda in question, believing that bringing it into being is what’s most essential. From there follows the push toward their collective’s agenda by whatever means deemed necessary. But the means determine the ends, and people don’t seem to understand that well enough either. We get caught up in abstract concepts and fail to take into account the fallout resulting from where and how we’re pushing. Often enough, what we’re pushing toward is just another unsustainable pipe dream. In fact, I’m very interested to learn of stances that aren’t just that since they appear to be in the definite minority anymore.

That’s why I’m most interested in us growing food again and figuring out ways to do for ourselves and in conjunction with those we willfully create communities with. Back to basics. But at this stage in the game that too may prove to only be a pipe dream as well. We live in a new Economic Era with strange new concrete jungles and more laws than any one person can possibly keep up with. This infrastructure is so expensive to where of course we’re collectively taxed like crazy. All except preferred corporate sweethearts, that is (see: loopholes). We’re being rendered into automatons (i.e., economic slaves) to suit this new way of ordering life and societies. I’m certainly not endorsing it, just stating what I see.

So we’re not going to escape this emerging setup as individuals alone. Yet so few of us apparently can get along well enough to form collectives powerful enough to rival the current status quo. Plus the majority of us are in a poor bargaining position, what with corporations being free to pick up and move elsewhere on the globe, and with other nations working hard toward becoming more economically competitive to where eventually this will allow for the formation of a new consumer base that eclipses America’s. It’s actively underway already. So we either figure out an internal (intranational) solution so as to maintain ourselves or else this will undoubtedly prove to be the twilight hour of our empire.

This is also calling for a major paradigm shift, which can’t help but ultimately be an individual undertaking. And that’s where we individuals do possess a great deal of power. Because we’ve been lied to and misled doesn’t mean we must keep buying into the hype. But the bullshit is acres deep by this point, so no individual alone can analyze and make sense of it all. Concerted efforts do need to be made — yet there we run into trouble as well since nearly all efforts are tied in with seeking profit and/or self-aggrandizement, which can corrupt even the best of intentions eventually.

And around and around we go. THIS is human nature-in-action. THIS is where the search for power has wound us all up at. Not sure how you get around that.

So that’s why I try to sit back and ponder it all, roll it over in my mind since there’s no collective outside of my closest friends and loved ones that I’m comfortable throwing most of my eggs in with, seeing as how most movements are showing themselves as corrupt little microcosms that surely will misbehave (or prove ineffectual) if ever they rose to power. Quite the dilemma. Don’t like watching the world burn and people suffering, but can’t trust most (if any) of the biggest contenders and political parties claiming to be trying to go up against this. So what then? I don’t rightly know.

But I do know I stand up for the rights of individuals to do as they see fit with their own bodies, and I support our natural rights to live in peace, unhindered, so long as we’re not seriously transgressing on others. Our political/economic system at present is doing everything it can to undermine our choices and options and to insert itself more and more into our private lives. This is I do see clearly and take grave issue with. I’m just stumped on what can realistically be done about it.

Sharing some of the works of Reverend Billy Talen (view-worthy post)

First off, it is important to watch the documentary “What Would Jesus Buy?”:

That was the full video available for free. Watch it.

Now as we move into fall and the major holidays are approaching it’s especially important viewing. Muy importante film, IMO. Been a big fan of it for a several years now, viewed many times, and love to share it with others and give it as a stocking stuffer.

Helps to keep an open mind when watching Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, recognizing that Reverend Billy is a dramatic performance artist, an actor/activist, and he uses this gift to imitate Christian evangelists as a schtick to spread his critique of consumerism and the destruction of the earth.

For example, Reverend Billy’s Freakstorm: The End Of The World:

Don’t give up on him yet. Here’s him and the choir protesting at Chase Manhattan bank. The man has balls, that’s a given:

His latest reported arrest (September 2014):

Reverend Billy Freakstorm: The Consumers Consumed The Consumer”:

Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Reverend Billy (CBS News)”:

“Reverend Billy Talen’s Black Friday Message: Sharing, Not Shopping”:

“Reverend Billy Talen preaching about NYC neighborhoods”:

Here’s his TEDx talk:

Yes, he’s a bit of a liberal nut. But I don’t rightly care. His views are largely compatible with my own. Not identical, but at least largely not incompatible from what I’ve seen from him thus far. And I’ve watched quite a lot and visited his blog and even donated to his mission before.

On climate changes and sustaining ourselves:

Let it be understood that I am not a fan of the “climate change movement,” as it’s popularly thought of. Actually highly critical and piss off plenty of people. BUT, if it’s true, we’re screwed. But, if there’s time, it’s a question of how to sustain ourselves in ways that cut out or greatly reduce what we’re relying on currently. There are options available, so it’s a question of what human ingenuity manages to do with them. I’ll be very curious to see what new ideas spring up as we continue forward.

Just a big fan so I had to share his stuff, wacky as it is. His heart is in the right place, that I do honestly believe.

Discussion between a college-age feminist, an MRA, and a couple atheists (plus my thoughts)

Feminist (AwesomeRants) vs. MRA (Janet Bloomfield) (DP)”:

Haven’t watched but maybe a couple of Drunken Peasants videos so far, though I am a fan of T.J.’s Amazing Atheist YT channel.

I really liked this discussion, though I’d like to see more including Tori of the AwesomeRants channel fleshing out her ideas in greater detail (maybe having her on as a guest by herself). Because feminism is still rather new to her, so she’s totally learning and taking in this stuff and forming opinions as she goes, just as any of us were back in college. Opinions will necessarily shift and change over time. That’s life. And she’s a particularly smart and thoughtful young woman, having watched several of her videos in the past. I don’t always agree with her, but I respect that she’s actively seeking to learn and possesses a critical mind that appears willing to challenge even her own biases. She’s good people, so far as I can tell.

And so is T.J.

Know less about Scotty and JudgyBitch/Janet Bloomfield. But overall, I gotta say that I agreed in places with everybody in this video, now paused at the 46:26 mark. Many thoughts sprang to mind while watching this…

Ya know, I agree with T.J that there are philosophical differences among people that can be so great that perhaps we’re better off going our separate ways, at least in that respect (in this case, in terms of romantic relationships). Some people desire very intuitive, intimate partnerships where their partner is capable of reading their body language and is sensitive to moods and whatever else. While to an extent I grasp all of that, I’m personally more in line with Janet’s thinking in that I have no issue with asserting myself when something troubles me, at least not anymore. Those who are less direct and expect their partner to take cues can be really confusing to the uninitiated. And I’m here to say that those types aren’t always female despite the feminine association with what might be minimally considered coyness or playing hard to get (some are also the types who need the stars aligned and the wind blowing in just the right sort of way . . . yep, grown men can be that way too, even heterosexuals, truth be told). Plenty of people out here even like it like that on the whole, whichever way they may individually lean.

Me personally, I’m a pursuer who also enjoys being pursued by those I’m attracted to. If I’m not interested, as an adult, I can and will state it. If I’m in a committed relationship with someone I’ve chosen to engage with him because we share certain values in common and aim to respect one another’s boundaries. So yeah, in that sort of setup consent is established, unless it involves some freaky shit that we have the sense to realize ought to be discussed with our partner(s) in advance. But that’s talking about an established relationship. What about in cases where relative strangers are involved? And that’s where I come down more solidly for the need to be assertive and to work hard at avoiding putting yourself in potentially compromising situations where you might be overwhelmed and/or taken advantage of. Goes back to that notion of knowing thyself … but it’s a learning process. And it’s young people primarily the ones wrestling with these sexual questions and problems.

We live in a culture that glamorizes and pedestalizes youth and beauty probably more than ever before, setting young people up to be targeted by adults all the more so. And that’s where these sort of conversations veer off for me, because youths are naive and do struggle to know how to react and can be overwhelmed to where they’re paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. Or they (how often seemingly?) enthusiastically consent to things that aren’t actually good for them, because they can’t see far enough into the future and are too inexperienced to predict the consequences. Living and learning…  Do we as older (ha!) people not bear a greater responsibility to be mindful of not leading young, naive people intro troubled waters? I guess I’m asking if we shouldn’t position ourselves in their lives as friends rather than as predatory foes and/or intellectual combatants. Yet a substantial portion of the population were corrupted by adults in their youth, so this is happening and it’s an inquiry seriously needing to be addressed, and not just by gender ideologues.

People possess a tendency to manipulate and use those whom they’re able to, which is to say humans tend to be opportunistic, and that can and does shake out in myriad ways across the spectrum, ranging from sexual abuse to physical domination to intellectual and emotional trickery to applying strong social pressure. Women are not immune to behaving in these ways, which I’d guess is common sense. But there are gendered differences when it comes to the ways it tends to play out.

Clear and obvious example: When was the last time you heard of a female prowling a neighborhood, sneaking into a random house and accosting a stranger sleeping at knife- or gun-point, demanding sex? When we do hear of these select cases, males overwhelmingly are the perpetrators. Most of us chock that up to common sense. Deceptively manipulating someone into marrying you so you can get your hands on their money? More commonly associated with female behavior. Different ways that abuses of power can and typically do shake out between the sexes, quite obviously.

Part of the issue is this expanded definition of what legally constitutes rape. That’s a problem since all offenses, from extreme violation and mistreatment on over to miscommunications between mutually drunken idiots, wind up falling under the same banner, undifferentiated. IMO, this is the major question confronting us as a society in this respect: determining what’s worthy of legal prosecution and what’s best handled interpersonally and socially. Not all offenses are created equal, as we know. Someone breaking into my car when I’m not around and stealing my stereo isn’t perceived by me to be as great of a violation as experiencing a home invasion where I am present, tied up, and tortured. Different degrees of trauma will arise there. Crude as these comparisons are, the same holds true for sexual violations. [Nothing I say is intended to be taken strictly literally unless I expressly state that to be my intention. Understand here that I am NOT implying that raping a person who’s passed out cold is in any way comparable to jacking my car when I’m not in it. No. That does not qualify as a lesser form of “date rape,” which I’d define as involving mostly coercion and manipulation rather than physical force and/or the lack or absence of the ability to affirmatively consent, which admittedly in some cases gets pretty hazy as well. Big reason why we have to be cognizant of the situations we’re putting ourselves and others in when we’re out drinking or doing whatever and playing in the hook-up culture. I could say a lot more on this and related subjects, but it can wait for a future blog post.]

What makes it so terribly complicated here are the untold number of nuances involved in our sexual and social interactions. This is no cut-and-dried matter that can be effectively reduced down to positive affirmations granted each and every step along the way, not if we’re to actually enjoy spontaneity with our sexual partners. That’s not what most of us want either, whether male or female. What we do want is to be shown more respect, and that’s a two-way street. Obviously though, some people override concern for others in pursuit of their own jollies. Not uncommon, especially among the horniest demographic.

But here’s the thing: in my quite adequate number of sexual partners and experiences, I’d say that the vast majority of men aren’t interested in raping someone. If you state it plain and let them understand what they’re doing is pushing in that direction, they’ll back off. Don’t even have to go that far even with most men — an emphatic “NO! I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU!” backed up by unyielding body language turns them completely off. And I didn’t even have to go that far much of the time.

I can understand how we might at times send mixed signals to males, so it does help to state our intentions upfront and either stick with them and act accordingly, or abandon them and decide what risks we are willing to take. But admittedly, part of the problem with the hook-up scene is that you’re often dealing with strangers, people you really can’t say with certainty are going to treat you with respect behind closed doors. It’s a risk, and it’s one I think more young people would be better off trying to avoid, from the sounds of it. But then they’re being bombarded with so much sexuality in our popular media and mixed messages encouraging them to behave in these ways.

(If I were a parent, I’d follow my stepdad’s lead and not subscribe to cable television. Even without kids I haven’t subscribed to cable this time around since at least 2008. But now most households have the internet, so who knows how to protect young people from being swayed by so much poor advice and sexual over-stimulation? Not to mention their exposure through their peers at school. Crazy times…)

More than feeling on a side in these gender-bent debates, I just mostly feel sorry for young people having to learn so much the hard way. It can be really rough out there. Sometimes you think you have the situation under control, but then later learn otherwise. Alcohol consumption certainly complicates matters there. And, like I said before, there’s no shortage of older people willing to take advantage of youthful naivety wherever they find it. Sad, but true. Apparently a fact of life.

I don’t know what to tell young people today. Part of me wants to say don’t follow in my footsteps since it contains some hard lessons that could really mess up the tender-hearted. But then again, how else does one learn but through trial and error? Some potentially expensive consequences up in there though, like becoming pregnant or contracting an STD or getting seriously traumatized by a scary individual. These are the risks we take with sex, especially with relative strangers. Leads me back to what Tori was saying about being sensitive to our partner’s needs and wants — yes, that’s a fabulous idea, and it’s best carried out by waiting to get to know people for a while before engaging in sexual activity, that way you can better gauge how they are and what their intentions may be. It’s this promiscuous, drunken hook-up culture where strangers come together that’s causing a lot of confusion and problems.

While I understand many of us don’t desire a return to past gender roles or social pressure for us to be monogamous to one partner throughout all our life, that doesn’t mean there’s greater value in swaying to the opposite extreme of rampant reckless sex among strangers and seeing people as nothing but instruments to be used to satisfy our own selfish sexual pleasures. It’s that mentality, in a nutshell, that appears to be fucking us up. Nothing necessarily wrong with hooking up for sex, but it’s risky behavior and the odds are, I’d say, that 1-5 out of 100 (if you play your cards right) will be so selfish that they disregard your boundaries and perhaps even safety in striving to gratify themselves. And then there’s always that stray “free radical” to worry about who may seriously prove sadistic and dangerous (think: Looking For Mr. Goodbar). While it’s true that a person can be sexually accosted while minding our own business, the risks dramatically go up when we retreat into private spaces with people we don’t know well under the implicit assumption that sex very well may occur. Especially when boozed up. That’s not meant judgmentally, just pointing to the potential hazards here.

These are hard truths for young people to come up against, yes. Add it to the mountain of other things we grew up lied to or in the dark about. The truth is that the hook-up culture is potentially dangerous, and you have to go into it with your eyes open rather than being too trusting of strangers. Naivety extracts a cost eventually. We like to imagine some perfect world where this no longer occurs, but how could that ever be when humans are so complex and varied? Threats will always exist, and no amount of education can fully eliminate them. Because some people don’t care that they’re breaking the law or seriously upsetting or harming someone else. Some people can be very cruel and unconcerned. Or just selfish and willfully oblivious. I don’t know how we protect younger people from reckoning with this fact of life, aside from aiming to not contribute to it and sharing our own stories in case they’re open to learning lessons vicariously through others. Some lessons one indeed would be better off not having to learn in the harshest fashion, and I’m glad I gleaned as much as I did from others I was fortunate enough to read or hear directly from back in the day.

As is commonly said, why reinvent the wheel?

Anyway, moving along in their talk above about the rights women possess in the West compared to men… The genital mutilation argument continues to garner my sympathy and support (as does selective service requirements). As for choice when it comes to creating and supporting a child, with the technologies available to us today, I can understand there needing to be some sort of way for both males and females to sign on to the pregnancy being taken to full-term and both agreeing to share in providing financial/household, emotional, psychological and otherwise nurturing support toward any offspring we’re bringing into existence. I agree with this for enhancing equality between the sexes, but also because I think this would help create checks and balances both legally and socially that are sorely needed. Using kids to take advantage of each other through the courts is a messed-up way to behave. Shouldn’t be a parent if you’re going to act like that. It’s not fair. Kids don’t deserve to be used as pawns between adults. So my concern is with the upbringing of future generations being brought into this mess more so than between the sexes battling it out today, seeing as how I don’t and won’t have kids of my own (thanks to technologies).

I love my right to choose, so I want to see others enjoy it as well. No reason to be exclusive — we can work it out somehow. Can’t we? If I become pregnant and the man expressly states he doesn’t want to share in parenting, am I not agreeing to single motherhood? Of course I am. But I may require of him to help finance it and partake in at least some aspects of parenting regardless of his will. That’s not a fair arrangement. Gonna have to upgrade that. So many children being born to disinterested, unhappy parents has been a problem for a long time — why continue it if we don’t have to anymore?

Social checks and balances to discourage certain behaviors have always existed among social beings, playing out in varied ways across cultures—and while acknowledging abuses of unfortunate circumstances did occur and could be unduly harsh (here thinking about the treatment of single/widowed mothers in past times, as well as those with legitimate brain abnormalities who wound up vilified, though, interestingly enough, shamans of old are often compared with those labeled as schizophrenics today and are claimed to belong to the same lineage — goes to further demonstrate the power of perception at any given point in history)—but we now live in the time of plenty in great grids where agricultural innovations make it possible to support massive populations, many of whom if thrown back on our own (primitive) devices at this point could not survive; this continues because our government stepped in and plays the role of Big Poppa. And this all costs tax-paying citizens a fortune (though not as much as corporate welfare, it deserves to be declared, to put it in sharper perspective). We’re getting hosed by our governments and would benefit from nearly anything that extracts its involvement from our lives and personal business. We can and likely should figure this shit out among ourselves and figure out ways to get the Government to back the fuck off and let us do so. But that requires cooperation, coming on the heels of decades where competition became all the rage. The cooperative spirit has been effectively undermined, and these are some of the consequences. Better ways are called for.

Interesting talk. Glad to see it didn’t devolve into some shaming match.

The night’s gotten away from me.

Loose thoughts on the anti-feminist sentiment

I have mixed feelings over the anti-feminist sentiment expressed by plenty in the online “manosphere.” Me personally, I do not consider myself anti-feminist so much as non-feminist. Feminism, taken as a whole, has had its positive contributions, legally and philosophically, but it has also overstepped in many places and increasingly appears to have gone haywire. The more I continue to learn about how feminism has developed in American society, the more aware I am that it’s turned into bubblegum lunacy on the surface and serious political dysfunction underneath. But whatever. Cultures are influx — just the way of modern times. We see where we’ve been, so now it’s a question of where to go from here.

As stated many times already, this whole system as it stands today appears unsustainable on innumerable levels. Might keep it running on for many years to come, but eventually it’s going down. That’s what I personally see. And inside this super-society we have all these bureaucracies and special interest groups and incestuous relations between Big Business and the government. Feminism is asserting itself today as a definitive part of that scheme. It bolsters a Big Government setup, full-on. Because what is feminism without the power of a State to back it up? It relies on Big Government to legally impose an increasingly restrictive way of life on the citizenry. Dogma + the power of the government = tyranny. Feminism has developed into one arm among many in this modern beast of a society that’s been constructed over the last century.

Human aspirations gone wild. Politically. Economically. Scientifically (and pseudo-scientifically too). Socially. Romantically. Professionally. A whole new world. Unprecedented in scope and complexity.

We live in the era of rapid game-changing. Not entirely brand new, been going on a long time, just sped up as time moved on, and now here we stand.

Leaves me not knowing most days whether to laugh or cry. Crazy times we live in.

Because of this realization I try to exercise greater patience with my fellow humans and myself. We were all born into this and can fall into traps without realizing it for years, if ever. Humans have an ingrained need for a sense of belonging — it’s just natural. But now we live in a time when it’s out with the old and in with the new, which includes bringing more and more people the option to identify with an assortment of mass movements. Takes shit to a whole other level.

How few stop to question if everything’s gotten too big and too complex to where it’s become a machine operating on its own after having gathered enough momentum? And is this even the right road to be traveling on? I don’t personally think so, which leaves me out here in outfield observing what’s unfolding.

Dismiss that as the backwardness of some freakish paleo-paleo-paleo conservative (or uneducated, unenlightened ape) if one must, but that’s pretty much the vantage point I’m operating with nowadays. So all this feminist vs. anti-feminist, Republican vs. Democrat, leftist vs. rightist, Big Government vs. ambitions for Bigger Government, religiosity vs. atheism, widespread educational indoctrination, corporatism run amok, etc., etc., etc. bullshit does nothing really for me. Though I can’t help but take note since this is the present reality we’re contending with, it’s so off-the-hook to where I do what I can to take a step back from it all. Crazy times being an understatement.

So what is anti-feminism to me? Just another “ism” in a sea of plenty. People want to fight and feud, then fine. We’re prone to do that. Though I hate to see us lose sight of the question of what it’s all for. Where are we trying to go to from here? Are we becoming little more than a bunch of nihilists pursuing entertainment, and if not, what are we as individuals and groups striving for? What end goals are people envisioning out here? And do they really think expanding State power is the best way to achieve these ambitions? I, for one, do not.

It comes down to all being a big question.

________________________________________________

Recorded the post above on August 3, 2014:

Videos by Millennial Woes

A few videos I’ve appreciated from Millennial Woes’ youtube channel:

“A Job’s Worth”:

“Red Pill Hubris”:

“The Smugness of Nihilistic Liberals”:

“Grading People”:

Men: How Do You Feel About Women?”:

“Paleocon Despair, Reactosphere Solutions”:

Those are the ones I got the most out of so far. The whole “reactosphere” idea is totally new to me — I know nothing really of it other than this guy and Aurini considering themselves affiliated. This vlogger said he arrived after first considering himself a paleocon.

Paleocon is a weird term considering it—like pretty much every other political term in existence today—has a double-meaning depending on who’s being asked. I (at least in theory) appreciate a paleo-paleo-paleo approach to living that involves an agrarian renaissance, brought to life in a new way in these unprecedented times we live in. Will it ever happen? Who knows? Shit can’t remain the way it is forever, so we might as well dream of the possibilities. Providing food for ourselves and learning to become more self-sustaining seems a lesson we inevitably will someday be forced to contend with. It’s all about sustainability at the end of the day, and we know what worked for humans all throughout history on up to very recent modern times and the advent of sophisticated commercial farming. We today live in such a tiny blip in time — to bet on this current setup surviving would tax every drop of human ingenuity, at a time when there’s increasing social and political dissatisfaction and disillusionment. Something’s gotta give eventually, and what alternative would there be if that were the case?

My aim is to be practical here, not whimsical or nostalgic for bygone eras. Initially struck me as a bummer coming to terms with all of this over the years, but here we are. Gotta take it as it is and think about where to possibly go from here. In my ponderings on the subject, I aim to start with the basics and work from the ground up. Gotta have food, first and foremost.

What if we could no longer support this grid (for any and all sorts of reasons)? We in the U.S. built an entire infrastructure over the last 70 years based on a dream and a prayer, losing sight of caring about future potential consequences. But how much could we really have predicted? Whole new world.

I do believe we humans have gotten in over our heads. Just a personal opinion. Life will unfold and prove the outcome in its own time. Seriously doubt the bottom will fall out completely in my lifetime since it looks like we’re headed toward nuclear power generation to bolster and make possible what’s shaping up to be mega-totalitarian States. Fun, fun. Gotta love being born in time to witness the 21st century. smoking

“American Psychosis (written by Chris Hedges)”

Devchelle2 read a portion of Chris Hedges’ book Empire of Illusions: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle that I just have to store here and share elsewhere with others:

I’ve been a big fan of Chris Hedges’ work for several years now and own (and have completely read) the book mentioned above, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (can’t recommend that one highly enough), I Don’t Believe in Atheists, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (very important read), and Losing Moses on the Freeway. I also have his book Collateral Damage in my collection but haven’t completed it thus far. VERY good author whose experience as a war correspondent provides such amazing insight, not to mention the clarity he brings to making sense of America’s social and political predicament.

And the man who made that video above deserves recognition for his awesomeness in helping get the word out. Very inspiring.

Talking about secession

Thought just went through my mind that I probably should share to help better clarify my position on secession in the United States. I’ve come to the point where I think we’d be better dissolving the Union into however many factions it takes to get most of us off of each other’s necks. We need some breathing room. And there I’m mostly thinking about physical space, our present environment and those we interact with daily. When it comes to locality, we need to be able to agree on at least a few things. We need some sense of unity and belonging within groups we can navigate in effectively, unlike how we have it today with a national population stretching toward 300 million. Even in our states we have, what, a couple million at least? In our cities and towns we’re up against thousands if not a million or more people, and this creates the situation we have now where we have lost political control.

Can’t hold onto the reins anymore. Not under these conditions. At present, we’re screwed. I’ve thought about all of this for a long time and can’t figure out how to get the majority of Americans to embrace truly life-affirming principles that we can practically all agree on, not when these contradict and threaten the current political setup and its financiers. Most people are too invested in this Game — they’re not willing to turn tail and try something radically different. BUT, I personally think the risk could pay off if we can start laying the groundwork for producing the basics we need to survive. If we can’t break free from our dependence on major corporations and government aid and subsidized goods, we’re in no real position to bargain with the powers-that-be because we have no alternative to retreat to. We’re growing increasingly dependent on this system, plain and simple.

So there I see physical and legal secession as useful to break apart from the stranglehold of federal power. I also see it useful for separating ideologically opposed groups so they can cease fighting incessantly and just go live how they think is best. This is real diversity — tolerating people going their own ways. Some folks will never reconcile their differences and preferences, so I say let’s see what happens when ideologies and social theories hit the pavement. I want to know how various groups will fair if left to do so. Trade relations and cooperation across groups is fine and dandy, but maybe we don’t all need to live right next door to one another. Maybe this violation of our sensibilities can never be fully cured because some people will remain bigoted or otherwise opposed to others no matter what. How else can we ends these useless political feuds? They’re turning out to be competitions to nowhere.

With all that said, I think the internet is fantastic for allowing various people to observe, listen to, or read the works of people we are curious about. This is where we can really come together on some level because we’re each at a safe distance from one another and can take time with one another’s inquiries and arguments. This is a wonderful medium for allowing people who otherwise wouldn’t come into contact in a candid setting to be able to consider and express ideas. This is where we shouldn’t all divide off into separate tribes but instead come at it with our own questions, concerns and thoughts. In a sense, the internet is a good place to get real. Anonymity aids in that as well. Unfortunate that we so often waste this opportunity by spending our time provoking and jabbing one another, because we are provided a safe distance. This medium can allow for so much more than that, and I see so many smart people reaching out to interact. Would be nice if we could turn our attention to more important matters than popularity contests of opinions and cutting others down to make ourselves feel better.

There appears to be a yin and a yang to human needs. On one hand, we need physical space and separation. On the other, we need community support and identification. We require both respect of privacy and freedom of expression in order to be fulfilled. We need a place to rest our weary souls and be loved, and we need a place for intellectual stimulation and interaction with a wide assortment of people and ideas. Maybe if we could get the fuck up off each other’s necks, we’d be in a better space to community more openly and honestly. But as it stands now, we’re all turning neurotic, all jammed up under one big umbrella together, trying to drag one another in the direction we think the whole society should go in. There is no one-size-fits-all that people will be satisfied with, so we’re guaranteed to feud forever. What’s the point in that? We get to where we can’t discuss anything since we’re so much in opposition and projecting onto—to where we wind up mirroring—competing groups. These aren’t all matters we can compromise on. People’s principles are involved and idealized visions vary. Just a fact of life.

This experimental melting pot has been useful in showing us new ways of relating and exposing us to people we otherwise might not have bonded with. This has allowed people to expand beyond old tribal thinking where racial homogeneity was typical. We now have the power and insight to redefine how we shape tribes, if that is to be desired. But we have to keep in mind that humans have evolved the entire time up until fairly recent history to be tribal peoples. Our psychologies are adapted to handling clans and tribes. Confederations proved valuable as well over time. But where we’re headed now with our civilizations is proving destruction and unsustainable — ecologically, socially, and psychologically. In short, our current path is fucking us up. And we know this. And I’m not convinced we can navigate effectively in this massive of a system as we have today. That’s my own opinion.

But we can faction off, theoretically anyway. We possess that power as both citizens and human beings. But we must create sustainable alternatives in order for this to be feasible.

We’re not all going to get along, no matter how small the group we associate with, but when it comes to shared values, we do need a community on board with us. That’s social empowerment, and it helps us stay in line with our key moral beliefs when others we interact with share them enough in common that we can coincide in relative harmony (as compared against the chaos of today in our neighborhoods and cities). We want different thing in life,  and we can’t coerce all others into accepting our way of looking at things.

This is just my dream. I don’t expect it to occur, but this is where my imagination keeps taking me. I wish there were a way, because I think we’d be happier and more tolerant of differences if exposure in some cases could be more limited. We’re currently locked in moral/legal competitions that getting us nowhere other than in hotter water. While we stay distracted with that shit, those who do possess great amounts of power continue sealing a deal that most humans won’t be better off with. Because that’s the nature of power. This is how it can and usually does roll if left unchecked. And we’re way past the point of controlling the reigns through the legal “proper” channels.

Care to hear a song that captures my attitude about those who wish to live 180° differently than some other group? Here ya go:

You can move
You can move to the moon
If I don’t see you again for 20 years
It’ll be too soon

That was “Time To Let It Go” by Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm. Pretty much sums up my sentiments at this juncture.

Clans are what we make of them. We’re always going to face disagreements, but as it stands today we can’t avoid them bombarding us. At what point do we let it go and turn in another direction?

“Awaken from the Culture Time For Change (Terence Mckenna, Joe Rogan)”

YTer Carpo719 linked the following video so I’m watching tonight:

Food for thought…

I’m actually rethinking my past dismissal of Joe Rogan. Didn’t give him enough of a chance and haven’t listened to his podcasts beyond a few minutes. Will have to look deeper into what he’s put out into the world, out of curiosity. Because I completely agree with his trouble accepting the official story of building 7 on 9/11/01 — it’s bothered me since the first time I watched the footage. I’ve listened to countless arguments attempting to support how a building could fall like that without controlled demolition, but I remain unconvinced by all of these arguments.

We’re being lied to, that much I do know. What actually happened on 9/11? I don’t know, but I know enough to clearly see that the official story put out by the government is bullshit. Felt this way for a looong time now and looked far and wide for explanations, but all I keep coming up with are desperate attempts to deny the reality presented in the visual footage that originally aired. I can’t even bring myself to debate these lies anymore. It’s just a bunch of wishful thinking on the part of people who can’t cope with the idea of how thoroughly we’ve been duped. But it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. This is the way governments function once they get massive. History on up to the present continues teaching us this. It’s too big to where it’s guaranteed to fail. This has so far always been the fate of empires.

So many lies and cover-ups. I don’t like to call it “conspiracy theory” since that term’s been used to death. I personally refer to it as an “inquiry into collusion” because collusion is absolutely known to us to be going on. Those with the most power aim to keep it and grab more, so they collude with one another to do so. That factors into this situation, whether we want to accept it or not. It’s a fact. For one prominent example, look into the meeting on Jeckyll Island that concocted the formation of the Federal Reserve. This information is confirmed, right from the mouths of the men present at the meeting, documented in news reports years after it was a done deal. No one can deny the humongous impact that one decision has had on American life ever since. And it was born out of collusion. No theory needed.

Just the last 150 years alone have brought us into a whole new world. And it’s asking of us to come up with a unique way of navigating in it.

Though, I should state, I’m not a psychedelic substance user. Always felt I’d need to do stuff like that with a knowledgeable guide and in a comfortable setting where I felt safe and free to explore. And that opportunity didn’t present itself. Instead I was surrounded by wannabe-hippies, apathetics, rebellious young people seeking any kind of escape from reality, and loons (at least when it came to drug users I’ve met). I’ve never dropped acid before. Had a handful of microdots given to me randomly at a rave down at the State Palace Theater in New Orleans once upon a time, and I handed them back. Just not my deal, not so far. Tried a little bit of shrooms a couple times, once as a teen in shroom-aid though I barely drank any, and then a couple years ago with a gal I met at the bar and her boyfriend in a shady hotel room. Needless to say, I didn’t take much and immediately returned home a short ways away to lie beside my partner where I did feel safe. Laid in the dark and observed colorful designs pretty much reminiscent of tie-dyes and fractals. Then fell asleep. Can’t say I regret the experience, but also can’t claim to have gotten much out it. So I’m left listening to what others have to say about psychedelics and observing those I know who’ve had a lot of experiences with them. One thing I’m sure of is that acid can be overdone. Met several people a few hits over the line. Messed them up.

Always been skittish toward that kind of shit. Context and environment really seem to matter when partaking in those sorts of experiences. The dreaded “bad trip” sounded like something to seriously avoid at all costs.

Anyway, just not my cup of tea. And I think many of us are overdoing mary jane too. Overuse isn’t consequence-free, I don’t believe. Or maybe not all people’s brain cells are created equal. Pretty sure mine would benefit from no more than low exposure. Some folks I know who are into the ganja make it the center of their lifestyle. Smoke it morning, noon, and night. That’s one way to totally tune out, if you can function like that. Observation demonstrates most of those don’t fair terribly well past age 50. Get loopy, really lazy, dampened ambitions, less able to clearly track complex conversations and inquiries and then articulate meaningful insight in response. That winds up hindering them.

Things worth thinking about.

I took to beer and cigarettes and am obviously not claiming to be operating at an optimal level. LOL  I tune out/chill out in my own ways more than I probably ought too. Because it dulls us down, robs us of ambition, allows us to care a little less. Has it’s definite upside too, at least in the beginning. Consequences there tend to be cumulative.

Just sharing things that go through my mind…

Interesting video nevertheless.