Bloom

On the day I was born, back there in 1956, Mao Tse-Tung said: “let a thousand flowers bloom.”

Many, many, Very Learned, white people, they have tried to divine, what, he, there, meant.

None of them have ever approached even a clue.

I think I was 17; maybe 18. Pretty much too what, me hurryyoung, to yet be captured, by anything. When it was that I, nearly twenty years on, encountered the late ’70s Mao interview, where he repeated those words.

The interview, it was in something like People’s Daily, or the Guardian, or the Atlantic. I don’t any more remember.

The long and lively piece, the one I wrote, based on this late-70s-something Mao interview,  it’s probably somewhere down there. Among all those many boxes. There in the basement. But, I know now, I am never going to go through those boxes. Too old; too enervated; I no longer care. Those boxes: they’ll either be tossed, or combed through by heirs.

Some young Chinese woman, there in the Cultural Revolution, there in the late 1970s, got through to Mao; and Mao, bless his heart, always with a weakness for young women, gave her a piece of his time.

What came through in that late-70s interview, with this young woman, is that, yeah, Mao, he had succeeded in forever banishing the white rat bastards from out of the Middle Kingdom, cut the ties of the foot-binding, scythed baldly boldly brutally through millennially class-crusted Chinese society, and, rightly, levelled it.

But, Mao: he weren’t happy.

For, like any good, real Communist, he yearned for the apotheosis: which, in Marxist theory—and Mao was definitely a Marxist—is anarchism.

Mao, in this interview, made it very clear, that he wanted the authoritarian state, that he had assembled, torn right down to the ground.

“Let a thousand flowers bloom,” he repeated, some twenty years on, to this young woman.

Which, in Americanese, might be translated as “go your own way.”

Mao, here, once he’d had it all: he didn’t want people to be like him. He wanted them to be like themselves.

“Let a thousand flowers bloom”: this presupposes multiple realities.

And, here in the West, we have, in recent weeks, definitely entered an era where the Reality of multiple realities can no longer be denied.

For, we have witnessed John Kerry, today Secretary of State, flap and screech, veritably, across the very globe, foamingly batwinging that the nation of Syria is so Vile and Wrong and Poison-Spreading, that the Great Good Rain of USA bombs must blanket that nation. In order to forestall further Evil.

Though, in an earlier incarnation, John Kerry was the man who heaved the medals he was awarded for serving as a killing machine for the US government, over the White House fence. And then appeared before Congress, to demand they answer the question: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

And we have witnessed Barack Obama, the man who eased ahead of Clinton II in the 2008 Democratic primaries, because he had expressed skepticism, while Clinton II had willingly gulp-gulp swallowed the lies of BushCo’s WMD lies about Saddam Hussein; now, him be Obama, pressing forth dubious unfounded phantasies, in re WMDs, allegedly possessed by Syria.

Once upon a time, there was a Reality where John Kerry rained down j’accuse on America’s involvement in Vietnam. As, once upon a time, there was a Reality where Barack Obama refused to countenance vaporous WMDs in a MIddle Eastern nation.

Today, however, we are in a new Reality. Where both these men, they wish the bomb-rain to fall.

Because, apparently, they are Afraid.

And they want us, too, to be Afraid.

Just like we were also expected to be Afraid. Back there, back then, under BushCo.

Fuck ’em.

Fuck their fear.

As Kenneth Patchen did say:

Don’t you understand?
I have arisen not from the dead but from the living.
I am not a voice crying in the wilderness.
There is no winter here. No dark. No despair.
The lights are going on in my house.
I shall not allow the President of the United States to enter here.
There is no darkness anywhere.
There are only sick little men who have turned away from the light.
I have all my lights on.
And it is my own face I see
In the blazing windows of all the houses on earth.

I, and you, have more in common with some Syrian, even in a mud hovel, waiting for the bomb-rain to fall, than we do with John Kerry, or Barack Obama.

Not to mention the dumb-as-dirt, mad-dog, can-we-kill-em’-now? intentionally-bred psychofucks who today constitute the deep wide majority core of the United States military.

Hell, today, even the alleged brainiacs, of that terrorist organization known as the United States military, are racist murdering foam-at-the-mouth murder-spree-freaks. Like Chris Kyle. The back-shooting coward who assassinated from ambush more than 150 Iraqis. For money. Until he himself was back-shot. An anchors-aweigh Navy Seal laid beneath the ground, by a crazier-and-more-uncontrolled-than-he, semper fi Marine.

That the United States is not only over, but is also so embarrassing that no sane human on the planet even wants to think about it, is evidenced by the fact that Stephen Spielberg, wizard of the American zeitgeist, planned next to direct Kyle’s life story . . . until somebody apparently convinced him he might as well compose a filmic ode to Josef Mengele.

But it’s all okay. Because, word now is, Clint Eastwood, he will bring to the screen, the Kyle story.

Hoo-rah.

Anchors aweigh.

Semper fi.

From now on, anybody who proposes anything that might result in killing somebody—I don’t care who they are—has to appear in public totally naked, with a propeller-beanie on their head. While dancing around them, there shall be, one or more persons clad as medieval jesters, furiously sounding farting noises from pig bladders.

So let it be written.

So let it be done.

I tried this night to go to sleep early, but such was not to be.

Because I was awakened by the smug satisfied laughter of the grave-dripping Josef Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev. As well as Mikhail Gorbachev: alive, and more or less three sheets to the wind, ringing me up on my otherwise deserted ooma-line, to laugh long and contentedly, there in my earhole.

This is because, all of these men, they had succeeded, in their time, in reducing a serving American president to something resembling a special-needs child. And they wished, now, to confer putin:hueyhosannas, upon Vladimir Putin, for accomplishing same.

That Putin, an oozing sea-slug of a human, has maneuvered himself, in re Syria, into the role of avatar of world peace: this is an essential step in kicking the ass of the US completely down the stairs of world affairs.

The thing—by this I mean the US—needs to lie there mewling, at the very bottom, in need of medical attention.

That a veritable Richard Widmark of a Putin must needs be employed to get us all there: well, sometimes, it is, yes, ugly, what it is, that must be done.

Mao. “Let a thousand flowers bloom.”

With this, he did not mean you should stick a hatpin through your frontal lobe, so that you might contentedly fellate Ron and Rand Paul. Occupy—as the Pauls always command—Womb Street. Sip tea with the baggers. Study steel with the twoofers. Fervently bury gold in the backyard . . . and fire wildly with twin six-guns on anyone who approaches near. Ride the open range, roping freelance Negroes, Mexicans, Indians. Commence a St. Vitus Dance about secession, because a boy might go into a bathroom where there is a girl. Ride, with Adam and Eve, a dinosaur to church.

No. He was a revolutionary. Mao. Who, in the course of things, in the passage of time, found himself an authoritarian.

Sorta like some pathetic mouthbreathing Gomer Pyle popcorn-sphincter goobers like ZhenRen or priceman—except he didn’t travel straight from a howling mouth, to avidly emulating the Khmer Rouge. As those yokels inevitably, eagerly, orgasmically, would. Instead, Mao actually accomplished something. Worthy. In between.

Seeing the key, seen by both Arthur Koestler and George Orwell, two men who had actually “fought” for “revolution,” and then, having truly, really, seen, saw that, all, of all of that, was, and forever will be, bollocks. Not, where the change, lies. At all.

Koestler writing, in a long essay called The Yogi and the Commissar:

Neither the saint nor the revolutionary can save us; only the synthesis of the two. Whether we are capable of achieving it, I do not know.

As a commentary on that, and on other portions of Koestler’s essay, Orwell wrote:

That is to say, the “change of heart” must happen, but it is not really happening unless at each step it issues in action. On the other hand, no change in the structure of society can by itself effect a real improvement. Socialism used to be defined as “common ownership of the means of production,” but it is now seen that if common ownership means no more than centralised control, it merely paves the way for a new form of oligarchy. Centralised control is a necessary pre-condition of Socialism, but it no more produces Socialism than my typewriter would of itself produce this article I am writing. Throughout history, one revolution after another—although usually producing a temporary relief, such as a sick man gets by turning over in bed—has simply led to a change of masters, because no serious effort has been made to eliminate the power instinct; or if such an effort has been made, it has been made only by the saint, the Yogi, the man who saves his own soul at the expense of ignoring the community. In the minds of active revolutionaries, at any rate the ones who “got there,” the longing for a just society has always been fatally mixed up with the intention to secure power for themselves.

Koestler says that we must learn once again the technique of contemplation, which “remains the only source of guidance in ethical dilemmas where the rule-of-thumb criteria of social utility fail.” By “contemplation” he means “the will not to will,” the conquest of the desire for power. The practical men have led us to the edge of the abyss, and the intellectuals in whom acceptance of power politics has killed first the moral sense, and then the sense of reality, are urging us to march rapidly forward without changing direction. Koestler maintains that history is not at all moments predetermined, but that there are turning-points at which humanity is free to choose the better or worse road . . . Koestler calls for “a new fraternity in a new spiritual climate, whose leaders are tied by a vow of poverty to share the life of the masses, and debarred by the laws of the fraternity from attaining unchecked power.” He adds: “if this seems Utopian, then Socialism is a Utopia.” It may not even be a Utopia—its very name may in a couple of generations have ceased to be a memory—unless we can escape from the folly of “realism.” But that will not happen without a change in the individual heart.

So. Go. Be a thousand flowers. There in your heart. Change. Love. Lover. Bloom.

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2 Responses to “Bloom”


  1. 1 FishOutofWater September 20, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Mao’s words frequently conflicted with his actions. He was one of many 20th century leaders who’s actions led to thousands, in his case millions, of pointless deaths.

    Let a thousand flowers bloom to put on the graves of those that died because the powerful valued power more than the lives of mere peasants.


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