Archive for November, 2017

Two Pees In A Pod

Homo Sovieticus is basically the human being who evolved to survive under conditions of state terror. Any person faced with an ongoing traumatic situation develops certain survival skills, certain coping mechanisms—the personality fragments, and different parts of the person get activated depending on these rapidly shifting circumstances.

The hypothesis that I write about in the book, on the part of the sociologist who invented the term Homo Sovieticus, was that it was generationally bound. And once enough time had passed since state terror ended, since the 1950s, Homo Sovieticus was just going to die out, and then the Soviet Union was going to collapse. And the Soviet Union seemed to collapse right on schedule. But then it turned out that Homo Sovieticus didn’t go anywhere, because there’s such a thing as intergenerational trauma. And those coping skills—those ways of behaving and thinking—are actually passed on from generation to generation in society as a whole.

So society as a whole has cultural institutions that sort of kick into gear as soon as they start getting signals that they interpret as signals from a totalitarian past. And I think that’s what’s happened under Putin. Putin set out to build a mafia state. He didn’t set out to build a totalitarian regime. But he was building his mafia state on the ruins of a totalitarian regime. And so we end up with a mafia state and a totalitarian society.

After Putin is over—and he will be over eventually, everything ends—Russia will not maintain its current borders. I’m pretty sure of that. It’s an empire that is experiencing more and more tension, and it’s holding together as a result of a combination of both fear and greed. So Putin either instills fear in the regions, or buys them off. That system will break down the moment the Kremlin is thrown into disarray, which it will be when Putin is gone. Putin is definitely aware of the challenges to Russian territorial integrity.

He does feel permanently threatened—threatened personally, to the extent that he doesn’t actually perceive a boundary between himself and the state. He has continuously come in—and this is actually another weird parallel between him and Trump—he has continuously campaigned on the threat to the country. His message has consistently been, We’re on the brink of catastrophe and I’m the only person who can hold things together. And if I step away, everything will fall apart. I think that he sincerely believes that. He believes that even more sincerely because he has been watching Putin TV for 17 years. And so he says to the television what it should say, and then it says it, and then he believes it. Which is also not dissimilar from the media bubble that Trump is intent on creating—or has, to a large extent, created for himself.



Mrs. Mongo Vol. III Decorates Whiter House For Christmas

Blind And Dirty

And as we went up into the mountains we met a blind man.
Where are you going, my friends? he asked.
Into the regions of the mysteries, I answered.

—Kennneth Patchen, Sleepers Awake

One Thanksgiving I spent in the jail. I was then in the pharmaceutical trade. There were apparently laws governing this trade. And I had transgressed them.

Who knew?

In the jail I learned to eat everything on my plate. My parents had tried everything up to and including holding me down and forcibly shoving pudding past my lips, to get me to eat everything on my plate. Always I had resisted. But by day three in the jail, I was avidly eating whatever they gave me.

It’s not like I was underfed in there. It was more that I had no control over what or when or how I was fed. It just came to me, the food. On a plate. When the people with the keys decided to feed me. If they decided not to feed me, I would not eat. Because I was in a cage. I could not get out. I was wholly dependent. On the people with the keys. Who brought the daily bread.

Food had never been, and never has been since, quite like that. I can, to this day, thirty-some years on, picture every meal, slid to me through the bars, in that jail. Hard-boiled eggs! Formerly I had run from these like Richard Pryor with his body on fire. But in the jail, I ate them. And they were good! Especially the white parts. The yellow parts, they were kind of creepy, like they were trying to be a baby. But hey: you eat what they give you. When you’re at the mercy of the people with the keys. Who slid the food in to me. When they did so decree.

And on Thanksgiving, they tried to do their best. But they could not. There came turkey and mashed potatoes and yams and rolls and cranberry sauce. I had never before eaten a yam. I had always believed yams were creatures not actually of this earth, and had resolved not to eat extraterrestrial foodstuffs. Yams, eggplant, cauliflower; alien creatures of that sort. But, in the jail, I ate the yam. I ate everything. Whatever was on the plate, I ate it. Maybe if there had been something wholly beyond the pale—something, say, like mayonnaise—I might have eschewed. But I never eschewed. I chewed. They tried to give us Thanksgiving. The keepers of the keys. They were not bad sorts—so long as you are the sort who earns your crust in the business of keeping human beings in cages. But you just can’t have Thanksgiving. Or any other thanks, or giving, or even dirt-dull normal day, so long as you’re in a cage.

The basis of a jail is that you have no control. You are in a cage. And you stay there. People with keys decide if and when you can come out. Mostly you can’t come out unless someone out in what you soon, there in the cage, begin to think of as “the world,” comes up with what is basically a bribe to the court that is called “bail.” If outside people can’t come up with this bribe, you stay in the cage. If you stay in the cage, the key-people then decide when you eat, and what you eat. And then you eat it.


Mongo Proclaims Make America Great Again Thanksgiving

Mongo Gets His Sheet On, Chapter 58,299,237

While LaVar Ball was building his family brand by selling the fantasy of the incredible Ball boys, Donald Trump was implementing a core part of his strategy as president: wherever possible be seen in the position of putting black people in their place, especially in a way that stokes the culture wars. The idea is for Trump to act outraged by something a black person has done, have it be signal-boosted by Fox News and the far-right media, and then Trump can use his bully pulpit to put them in line, thus making him both the victim and the one to clean it up—quickly! Bonus points if putting ’em in line leads to liberals getting upset but the ultimate goal is to be seen standing up to a black person or group of black people on behalf of aggrieved white people. If he’s seen as the protector of white people, he’s winning—as Trump’s then-chief strategist, Steve Bannon, revealed in an August interview with The American Prospect: “The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day.”

See, Trump’s base wants to “Make America Great Again”—a return to prominence for good old-fashioned whiteness, which they saw as in decline until Trump. They want white victories in a world where they’ve been forced to suffer through Affirmative Action and a black president and black people agitating for justice right before their precious football games. When Trump is seen as standing up to unruly blacks, he’s giving them those cultural victories they crave.

It’s absolutely Trump’s job to advocate for American citizens abroad—that’s not going above and beyond. But then he pulled out his phone and made it all about himself, demanding the boys thank him for getting them out, that they kiss his ring. It was so classless, so patronizing, so belittling, and so much about him. And it was so insulting. There he was once again talking down to black citizens, outraged at their behavior, and vowing to put them in their place. He tried this with Obama, the Central Park 5, the cast of Hamilton, Colin Kaepernick and the NFL kneelers, Jemele Hill, and so on and so forth. Black people are the neck that Trump stands on to seem taller to white people. 


Big Darkness, Soon Come

So I guess Charles Manson will not be living in the condo after all. Because he is dead now. And generally the condo associations, they prohibit dead people, from living in the condos.

Mongo, he took the news hard. This morning he ordered the nation’s forks lowered to half-mast, in Manson’s honor.

I lived once, for a while, next door to the Manson family. I wrote about the experience a year or so ago, in another tube. Today, as the forks slide gently into that good night, I thought I might reprint the thing here. It goes on forever. So, be prepared.

So for a while I lived next door to the Manson family. This was after Chuckles, Tex, and the wimmins, they went into the prison. These Mansonoids—the neighbors—they were the remnants. Those left behind. True believers. Bitter clingers. Dead-enders.

The family’s pathetic patriarchy, it was still in place. With a little Manson mini-me, occupying the Chuckles position. In charge of the bloviating, and ordering the women to and fro. The women, they did all the work, both in and around the house, and out in the World, where they gathered in the coin mostly through waitressing. Before they went on shift, they would heavily apply the makeup, to obscure the X carved into their foreheads. Carved in honor, and imitation, of Chuckles.

I listened to the Manson mini-me’s spiel a couple times. It was the usual revised standard version: Chuckles, he was innocent, he had killed no one, ordered no one killed, he was misunderstood, a prophet, without honor, in his own country—he was all about Love. Yes, it was true, soon would commence a race war—Big Darkness, Soon Come—but Chuckles, he didn’t try to spark it or anything, he was just trying to get his people Clear.

Like Chuckles, like the MongoRoids, the Manson mini-me—well, brown people, they gave him the vapors. A black man lived across the street, and the Manson mini-me, he really didn’t like that. He especially didn’t like that the black man, he had a white wife. And that, together, they had produced several lovely children, in various fine shades of brown. Sometimes, when these children would come out to play in the street (nobody really drove on this street), the Manson mini-me, he would get weak, and have to go inside, and lie down.

More interesting to me than the Manson mini-me, were the various Manson family children. I especially vividly remember this one boy, who basically just wore these little shorts, all the time, rain or shine. He had a poochy little brown boy belly, and a big beaming smile. He had great memories of living out in the desert; he made it sound like a kids’ paradise. And, to him, it no doubt was. He found Sonoma County—which is where we then were—considerably less wild. Which it was. But he was okay with that. He seemed okay with pretty much everything. He never evinced any desire to, say, hang a pregnant woman, or stick a fork in a grocer’s stomach. He was just a kid. And, when the Manson mini-me was inside, lying down, having the vapors, this boy would play with the brown children from across the street.


Let Him Have His Friend

I suppose condominium associations must serve some useful purpose. Maybe. All I know, is that whenever I hear about them, it is because they are bonering.

Take these nutgongs in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on jihad because a human is cohabiting in his condo with a squirrel.

Ryan Boylan, a human, and Brutis, a squirrel, were blown around together during Hurricane Matthew, and have since become good friends. “Ever since then, I mean, oh my God, I can’t imagine not being around her,” Boylan says.

In April, Brutis was chased up a tree by some dog. Instead of responding to this Outrage by wondering “why are there dogs?”, an officious snitch ratted out Boylan to the condo association, damning him as a wanton scofflaw harboring an “exotic animal.” Now the condo hitlers seek to evict both Boylan and Brutis, forcing them to live like winos in a leaky cardboard box under the freeway.

Boylan could marry Charles Manson, or even Mongo, and bring him into the unit, no questions asked. But a squirrel in the house causes these condo bozos to besiege Boylan’s abode like it’s the Bastille.

“If it was a gerbil or something that your grandkid had hiding under the bed, I’m sure that would be fine, but a squirrel is a wild animal,” said one condo hitler.

So what, that a squirrel is a wild animal. Mongo is a wild animal, and he is the president!

Manson would stick forks in the neighbors, and Mongo grab them by their gonads and make them insane with his twitlers, yet they could live in the condos. Brutis presents no such Menace, but “is just like an inside cat,” Boylan says. “She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts, which are her two favorites.”

“I am not sure how any animal that weighs less than two pounds can harm anyone,” says Boylan.

Mongo weighs more than four countries, and hourly harms every creature on the planet, and yet he can be in the condos, especially the ones he rents to Rooskis. Manson likes to draw on the walls with human blood, and he could be in a condo.


When I Worked

November 2017
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