Maria & Lilo / Padre

La Vida de La Dona y El Cuerpo del Cacique

 

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Dando y dando, palomita volando/ remember that you have to die

Don Lilo, long delayed a much needed journey back home to Genoa… “Dando y dando, palomita volando”… he recalled the days of life together with his daughter before the dilemma of wealth and the cold indifferent world that had come between them…”you were a free bird once and yet, you chose jewels of iron to bejewel yourself in tarnished glamour.”

Don Lilo had come into money, after selling off his small but successful shipping concern in Genoa to Baldo and The Church. Moving to Málaga, with his daughter Maria, Don Lilo continued to manage shipping details of the business while he set his daughter free who then turned against him, broke his heart to be an elitist socialite. Don Lilo unhappy with the wealth bestowed upon him sought to give Maria the rich life he felt she deserved…the life that would eventually drive her away from him…and to Baldo.

Don Lilo was openly against Maria’s relationship with Baldo, who was more than fifteen years her senior, too old it seemed, to pique the interest of such a young and innocent girl, but the glimmer of wealth in a big city became the draw and her comfort. Though in doubt, she longed for the hope she imagined upon agreeing to marry Baldo…despite her father…and the awareness that her self-imposed ignorance resulted in Father’s death.

The sound of duende filled the air as he walked alone in the streets of Málaga after drink and celebration then sadness, the cries and sound of anguish and tragedy from an open window came the sound of a gypsy song… death in the guise of familiar faces from the darkness of la cantina. A night of misery that caressed him in fear, the two men came to him as he drank and as festive as they were they wondered who he was, where he came from, why he was here in Malaga… “you sound Genovese, si, why are you here?”

“My daughter…”

“Su hija, si, bella, si….

“Es bella.”

“Let us drink with you, liven your misery, jest with us until then, until your misery is gone.”

And they did, their familiar faces became darkness without jest, death was their friend to introduce to Don Lilo…The men hovered and laughed over Don Lilo’s bloodied body, his eyes and body deflated of its soul, the shell collapsed of structure but longing for Maria…the two men walked away with death having spoken it’s orders and carried out.

Don Lilo dragged his limp and beaten body back to the Last Cantina he visited; by the time The Crowns soldiers noticed and identified the body and his importance, he had died from the assault. An inquest ordered by the court found no suspect… before Maria left for the new world and had lost interest…

duquende

remember that you have to die

To see the darkness…

after the light

haunts the light and remains always there…

Even in the light there is darkness without expectation…

There is never only light…

But when there is no light there is darkness…

Before the light there was always and only darkness…

Light must rest from questions of the darkness…

Darkness by default questions existence itself…

Darkness is why…

It is assumed that only the light consumes energy but darkness is the energy…

It is a side that seems to deceive…

But in truth is honest, almost to a fault…

Its feared because it represents as unknown as the truth really is…

What we perceive as the truth is an assumption and accepted without question while darkness is questioned and preferred but humankind doesn’t ask but more often questions the light assuming the answer and fears the darkness because it’s questions answered…

Darkness has its consequences as all do, always ask a question or be taken a fool…

Alone on the ship Maria travelled and pondered all she left behind and the fear she sailed into, so much of it hers but the fear of others…. They were upon the Lord’s bounty the Lord’s beauty… Have we been offered enough?

Balbo had insisted she bathe herself in a complex skin bath to lighten her complexion… Her skin was too dark her mixed heritage was showing through.. She would have to change to fit by his side, otherwise…

Maria speaks to traveling holy man of the military…The world is finite despite the belief of many throughout… What is left is still to be had… To be taken and will be the claim of the northern European over the black men

 

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Careful What You Say


e·voke
/əˈvōk/Submit
verb


1.
bring or recall to the conscious mind.
“the sight of American asters evokes pleasant memories of childhood”
synonyms: bring to mind, put one in mind of, conjure up, summon (up), invoke, elicit, induce, kindle, stimulate, stir up, awaken, arouse, call forth; More

2.
invoke (a spirit or deity).
synonyms: bring to mind, put one in mind of, conjure up, summon (up), invoke, elicit, induce, kindle, stimulate, stir up, awaken, arouse, call forth…
Words are important…they aren’t just for communication, you can do that with drums…

Words have intent, words can have multiple meanings of intent…

Each word spoken or thought makes a  difference…

Each word, spoken or written has a different intent then each word thought or heard by others and specifically by whom.

Each word can also have no intent…

Conversation, whether spoken or written can have a frivolous intent, to communicate perhaps or can evoke meanings of intent that speaks to or from the self or to the heart and soul of others reading or listening…

Careful what you say…

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The Exploding Man – The Christ Conqueror

 

Joshua, made his way to the end of a railcar,

where the other sardines were packed…

His anger rose to emanate the heat coming from his body,

as if the warm cinders within generated,

a rising heat to burn and become a fire…

clothes shed in seconds to reveal

a God

distraught with all about

to wreak havoc upon all sinners…

God has spoken

and there’s more to do.

 

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The Path – December 1892

IMAGINATION AND OCCULT PHENOMENA —

William. Q. Judge


The faculty of imagination has been reduced to a very low-level by modern western theorisers upon mental philosophy. It is “only the making of pictures, day-dreaming, fancy, and the like”: thus they have said about one of the noblest faculties in man. In Occultism it is well known to be of the highest importance that one should have the imagination under such control as to be able to make a picture of anything at any time, and if this power has not been so trained the possession of other sorts of knowledge will not enable one to perform certain classes of occult phenomena.

Those who have read Mr. Sinnett’s
Occult World will have noticed two or three classes of phenomena performed by H. P. Blavatsky and her unseen friends, and those who have investigated spiritualism will know that in the latter have been many cases of similar phenomena done by so-called “controls”. Others who made no such investigations have, however, on their own account seen many things done by forces not mechanical but of a nature which must be called occult or psychical. In spiritualism, and by the Adepts like H. P. Blavatsky and others, one thing has excited great interest, that is the precipitating on to paper or other substances of messages out of the air, as it were, and without any visible contact between the sender of the message and the precipitated letters themselves. This has often occurred in seances with certain good mediums, and the late Stainton Moses wrote in a letter which I saw many years ago that there had come under his hand certain messages precipitated out of the air. But in these cases the medium never knows what is to be precipitated, cannot control it at will, is in fact wholly ignorant of the whole matter and the forces operating and how they operate. The elemental forces make the pictures through which the messages are precipitated, and as the inner nature of the medium is abnormally developed, acting subconsciously to the outer man, the whole process is involved in darkness so far as spiritualism is concerned. But not so with trained minds or wills such as possessed by Madame Blavatsky and all like her in the history of the past, including the still living Adepts.

The Adepts who consciously send messages from a distance or who impress thoughts or sentences on the mind of another at a distance are able to do so because their imagination has been fully trained.

The wonderworker of the East who makes you see a snake where there is none, or who causes you to see a number of things done in your presence which were not done in fact, is able to so impress you with his trained imagination, which, indeed, is also often in his case an inheritance, and when inherited it is all the stronger when trained and the easier to put into training. In the same way but to a much smaller degree the modern western hypnotizer influences his subject by the picture he makes with his imagination in those cases where he causes the patient to see or not to see at will, and if that power were stronger in the West than it is, the experiments of the hypnotizing schools would be more wonderful than they are.

Take the case of precipitation. In the first place, all the minerals, metals, and colored substances any one could wish for use are in the air about us held in suspension. This has long been proved so as to need no argument now. If there be any chemical process known that will act on these substances, they can be taken from the air and thrown down before us into visibility. This visibility only results from the closer packing together of the atoms of matter composing the mass. Modern science has only a few processes for thus precipitating, but while they do not go to the length of precipitating in letters or figures they do show that such precipitation is possible. Occultism has a knowledge of the secret chemistry of nature whereby those carbons and other substances in the air may be drawn out at will either separately or mixed. The next step is to find for these substances so to be packed together a mold or matrix through which they may be poured, as it were, and, being thus closely packed, become
visible. Is there such a mold or matrix?

The matrix is made by means of the trained imagination. It must have been trained either now or in some other life before this, or no picture can be precipitated nor message impressed on the brain to which it is directed. The imagination makes a picture of each word of each letter of every line and part of line in every letter and word, and having made that picture it is held there by the will and the imagination acting together for such a length of time as is needed to permit the carbons or other substances to be strained down through this matrix and appear upon the paper. This is exactly the way in which the Masters of H. P. B. sent those messages which they did not write with their hands, for while they precipitated some they wrote some others and sent them by way of the ordinary mail.

The explanation is the same for the sending of a message by words which the receiver is to hear. The image of the person who is to be the recipient has to be made and held in place; that is, in each of these cases you have to become as it were a magic lantern or a camera obscura, and if the image of the letters or if the image of the person be let go or blurred, all the other forces will shoot wide of the mark and naught be accomplished. If a picture were made of the ineffectual thoughts of the generality of people, it would show little lines of force flying out from their brains and instead of reaching their destination falling to the earth just a few feet away from the person who is thus throwing them out.

But, of course, in the case of sending and precipitating on to paper a message from a distance, a good many other matters have to be well known to the operator. For instance, the inner as well as the outer resistance of all substances have to be known, for if not calculated they will throw the aim out, just as the billiard ball may be deflected if the resistance of the cushion is variable and not known to be so by the player. And again, if a living human being has to be used as the other battery at this end of the line, all the resistances and also all the play of that person’s thought have to be known or a complete failure may result. This will show those who inquire about phenomena, or who at a jump wish to be adepts or to do as the adepts can do, what a task it is they would undertake. But there is still another consideration, and that is that inasmuch as all these phenomena have to do with the very subtle and powerful planes of matter it must follow that each time a phenomenon is done the forces of
those planes are roused to action, and reaction will be equal to action in these things just as on the ordinary plane.

An illustration will go to make clear what has been said of the imagination. One day H. P. Blavatsky said she would show me precipitation in the very act. She looked fixedly at a certain smooth piece of wood and slowly on it came out letters which at last made a long sentence. It formed before my eyes and I could see the matter condense and pack itself on the surface. All the letters were like such as she would make with her hand, just because she was making the image in her brain and of course followed her own peculiarities. But in the middle, one of the letters was blurred and, as it were, all split into a mass of mere color as to part of the letter.

“Now here,” she said, “I purposely wandered in the image, so that you could see the effect. As I let my attention go, the falling substance had no matrix and naturally fell on the wood any way and without shape.”

A friend on whom I could rely told me that he once asked a wonderworker in the East what he did when he made a snake come and go before the audience, and he replied that he had been taught from very early youth to see a snake before him and that it was so strong an image everyone there had to see it.

“But,” said my friend, “how do you tell it from a real snake?”

The man replied that he was able to see through it, so that for him it looked like the shadow of a snake, but that if he had not done it so often he might be frightened by it himself. The process he would not give, as he claimed it was a secret in his family. But anyone who has made the trial knows that it is possible to train the imagination so as to at will bring up before the mind the outlines of any object whatsoever, and that after a time the mind seems to construct the image as if it were a tangible thing.

But there is a wide difference between this and the kind of imagination which is solely connected with some desire or fancy. In the latter case the desire and the image and the mind with all its powers are mixed together, and the result, instead of being a training of the image-making power, is to bring on a decay of that power and only a continual flying to the image of the thing desired. This is the sort of use of the power of the imagination which has lowered it in the eyes of the modern scholar, but even that result would not have come about if the scholars had a knowledge of the real inner nature of man.

Ike Saw It Coming

 

 

February 27, 2006

Op-Ed Columnist

 

By BOB HERBERT

Early in the documentary film “Why We Fight,” Wilton Sekzer, a retired New York City police officer whose son was killed in the World Trade Center attack, describes his personal feelings in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11.

“Somebody had to pay for this,” he says. “Somebody had to pay for 9/11. … I wanna see their bodies stacked up for what they did. For taking my son.”

Lost in the agony of his grief, Mr. Sekzer wanted revenge. He wanted the government to go after the bad guys, and when the government said the bad guys were in Iraq, he didn’t argue.

For most of his life Mr. Sekzer was a patriot straight out of central casting. His view was always “If the bugle calls, you go.” When he was 21 he was a gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam. He didn’t question his country’s motives. He was more than willing to place his trust in the leadership of the nation he loved.

“Why We Fight,” a thoughtful, first-rate movie directed by Eugene Jarecki, is largely about how misplaced that trust has become. The central figure in the film is not Mr. Jarecki, but Dwight Eisenhower, the Republican president who had been the supreme Allied commander in Europe in World War II, and who famously warned us at the end of his second term about the profound danger inherent in the rise of the military-industrial complex.

Ike warned us, but we didn’t listen. That’s the theme the movie explores.

Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to a national television and radio audience in January 1961. “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience,” he said. He recognized that this development was essential to the defense of the nation. But he warned that “we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.”

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist,” he said. “We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.” It was as if this president, who understood war as well or better than any American who ever lived, were somehow able to peer into the future and see the tail of the military-industrial complex wagging the dog of American life, with inevitably disastrous consequences.

The endless billions to be reaped from the horrors of war are a perennial incentive to invest in the war machine and to keep those wars a-coming. “His words have unfortunately come true,” says Senator John McCain in the film. “He was worried that priorities are set by what benefits corporations as opposed to what benefits the country.”

The way you keep the wars coming is to keep the populace in a state of perpetual fear. That allows you to continue the insane feeding of the military-industrial complex at the expense of the rest of the nation’s needs. “Before long,” said Mr. Jarecki in an interview, “the military ends up so overempowered that the rest of your national life has been allowed to atrophy.”

In one of the great deceptive maneuvers in U.S. history, the military-industrial complex (with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as chairman and C.E.O., respectively) took its eye off the real enemy in Afghanistan and launched the pointless but far more remunerative war in Iraq.

If you want to get a chill, just consider the tragic chaos in present-day Iraq (seven G.I.’s were killed on the day I went to see “Why We Fight”) and then listen to Susan Eisenhower in the film recalling a quotation attributed to her grandfather: “God help this country when somebody sits at this desk who doesn’t know as much about the military as I do.”

The military-industrial complex has become so pervasive that it is now, as one of the figures in the movie notes, all but invisible. Its missions and priorities are poorly understood by most Americans, and frequently counter to their interests.

Near the end of the movie, Mr. Sekzer, the New York cop who lost his son on Sept. 11, describes his reaction to President Bush’s belated acknowledgment that “we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved” in the Sept.11 attacks.

“What the hell did we go in there for?” Mr. Sekzer asks.

Unable to hide his bitterness, he says: “The government exploited my feelings of patriotism, of a deep desire for revenge for what happened to my son. But I was so insane with wanting to get even, I was willing to believe anything.”

 

Harper’s Magazine: We Now Live in a Fascist State

 

Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 13:34:38 -0700

The article below appears in the current issue of Harpers and was written

by Lewis H. Lapham

 

Knowing the source of this piece makes it all the more disturbing. It is not every day that the editor of a respected national magazine publishes an essay claiming that America is not on the road to becoming, but ALREADY IS, a fascist state…. or words to that effect.

To help prepare you for what follows, here are the final sentence from this piece…. [I think we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police.]

On message By Lewis H. Lapham Harper’s Magazine, October 2005, pps. 7-9 “But I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided, unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength in our land.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt, November 4, 1938

In 1938 the word “fascism” hadn’t yet been transferred into an abridged metaphor for all the world’s unspeakable evil and monstrous crime, and on coming across President Roosevelt’s prescient remark in one of Umberto Eco’s essays, I could read it as prose instead of poetry — a reference not to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or the pit of Hell but to the political theories that regard individual citizens as the property of the government, happy villagers glad to wave the flags and wage the wars, grateful for the good fortune that placed them in the care of a sublime leader. Or, more emphatically, as Benito Mussolini liked to say, “Everything in the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state.”

The theories were popular in Europe in the 1930s (cheering crowds, rousing band music, splendid military uniforms), and in the United States they numbered among their admirers a good many important people who believed that a somewhat modified form of fascism (power vested in the banks and business corporations instead of with the army) would lead the country out of the wilderness of the Great Depression — put an end to the Pennsylvania labor troubles, silence the voices of socialist heresy and democratic dissent. Roosevelt appreciated the extent of fascism’s popularity at the political box office; so does Eco, who takes pains in the essay “Ur-Fascism,” published in The New York Review of Books in 1995, to suggest that it’s a mistake to translate fascism into a figure of literary speech. By retrieving from our historical memory only the vivid and familiar images of fascist tyranny (Gestapo firing squads, Soviet labor camps, the chimneys at Treblinka), we lose sight of the faith-based initiatives that sustained the tyrant’s rise to glory. The several experiments with fascist government, in Russia and Spain as well as in Italy and Germany, didn’t depend on a single portfolio of dogma, and so Eco, in search of their common ground, doesn’t look for a unifying principle or a standard text. He attempts to describe a way of thinking and a habit of mind, and on sifting through the assortment of fantastic and often contradictory notions — Nazi paganism, Franco’s National Catholicism, Mussolini’s corporatism, etc. — he finds a set of axioms on which all the fascisms agree. Among the most notable:

The truth is revealed once and only once.

Parliamentary democracy is by definition rotten because it doesn’t represent the voice of the people, which is that of the sublime leader.

Doctrine outpoints reason, and science is always suspect.

Critical thought is the province of degenerate intellectuals, who betray the culture and subvert traditional values.

The national identity is provided by the nation’s enemies.

Argument is tantamount to treason.

Perpetually at war, the state must govern with the instruments of fear. Citizens do not act; they play the supporting role of “the people” in the grand opera that is the state.

Eco published his essay ten years ago, when it wasn’t as easy as it has since become to see the hallmarks of fascist sentiment in the character of an American government. Roosevelt probably wouldn’t have been surprised.

He’d encountered enough opposition to both the New Deal and to his belief in such a thing as a United Nations to judge the force of America’s racist passions and the ferocity of its anti-intellectual prejudice. As he may have guessed, so it happened. The American democracy won the battles for Normandy and Iwo Jima, but the victories abroad didn’t stem the retreat of democracy at home, after 1968 no longer moving “forward as a living force, seeking day and night to better the lot” of its own citizens, and now that sixty years have passed since the bomb fell on Hiroshima, it doesn’t take much talent for reading a cashier’s scale at Wal-Mart to know that it is fascism, not democracy, that won the heart and mind of America’s “Greatest Generation,” added to its weight and strength on America’s shining seas and fruited plains.

A few sorehead liberal intellectuals continue to bemoan the fact, write books about the good old days when everybody was in charge of reading his or her own mail. I hear their message and feel their pain, share their feelings of regret, also wish that Cole Porter was still writing songs, that Jean Harlow and Robert Mitchum hadn’t quit making movies. But what’s gone is gone, and it serves nobody’s purpose to deplore the fact that we’re not still riding in a coach to Philadelphia with Thomas Jefferson. The attitude is cowardly and French, symptomatic of effete aesthetes who refuse to change with the times.

As set forth in Eco’s list, the fascist terms of political endearment are refreshingly straightforward and mercifully simple, many of them already accepted and understood by a gratifyingly large number of our most forward-thinking fellow citizens, multitasking and safe with Jesus. It does no good to ask the weakling’s pointless question, “Is America a fascist state?” We must ask instead, in a major rather than a minor key, “Can we make America the best damned fascist state the world has ever seen,” an authoritarian paradise deserving the admiration of the international capital markets, worthy of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”? I wish to be the first to say we can. We’re Americans; we have the money and the know-how to succeed where Hitler failed, and history has favored us with advantages not given to the early pioneers.

We don’t have to burn any books.

The Nazis in the 1930s were forced to waste precious time and money on the inoculation of the German citizenry, too well-educated for its own good, against the infections of impermissible thought. We can count it as a blessing that we don’t bear the burden of an educated citizenry. The systematic destruction of the public-school and library systems over the last thirty years, a program wisely carried out under administrations both Republican and Democratic, protects the market for the sale and distribution of the government’s propaganda posters. The publishing companies can print as many books as will guarantee their profit (books on any and all subjects, some of them even truthful), but to people who don’t know how to read or think, they do as little harm as snowflakes falling on a frozen pond.

We don’t have to disturb, terrorize, or plunder the bourgeoisie.

In Communist Russia as well as in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the codes of social hygiene occasionally put the regime to the trouble of smashing department-store windows, beating bank managers to death, inviting opinionated merchants on complimentary tours (all expenses paid, breathtaking scenery) of Siberia. The resorts to violence served as study guides for free, thinking businessmen reluctant to give up on the democratic notion that the individual citizen is entitled to an owner’s interest in his or her own mind.

The difficulty doesn’t arise among people accustomed to regarding themselves as functions of a corporation. Thanks to the diligence of out news media and the structure of our tax laws, our affluent and suburban classes have taken to heart the lesson taught to the aspiring serial killers rising through the ranks at West Point and the Harvard Business School — think what you’re told to think, and not only do you get to keep the house in Florida or command of the Pentagon press office but on some sunny prize day not far over the horizon, the compensation committee will hand you a check for $40 million, or President George W. Bush will bestow on you the favor of a nickname as witty as the ones that on good days elevate Karl Rove to the honorific “Boy Genius,” on bad days to the disappointed but no less affectionate “Turd Blossom.” Who doesn’t now know that the corporation is immortal, that it is the corporation that grants the privilege of an identity, confers meaning on one’s life, gives the pension, a decent credit rating, and the priority standing in the community? Of course the corporation reserves the right to open one’s email, test one’s blood, listen to the phone calls, examine one’s urine, hold the patent on the copyright to any idea generated on its premises. Why ever should it not? As surely as the loyal fascist knew that it was his duty to serve the state, the true American knows that it is his duty to protect the brand.

Having met many fine people who come up to the corporate mark — on golf courses and commuter trains, tending to their gardens in Fairfield County while cutting back the payrolls in Michigan and Mexico — I’m proud to say (and I think I speak for all of us here this evening with Senator Clinton and her lovely husband) that we’re blessed with a bourgeoisie that will welcome fascism as gladly as it welcomes the rain in April and the sun in June. No need to send for the Gestapo or the NKVD; it will not be necessary to set examples.

We don’t have to gag the press or seize the radio stations.

People trained to the corporate style of thought and movement have no further use for free speech, which is corrupting, overly emotional, reckless, and ill-informed, not calibrated to the time available for television talk or to the performance standards of a Super Bowl halftime show. It is to our advantage that free speech doesn’t meet the criteria of the free market. We don’t require the inspirational genius of a Joseph Goebbels; we can rely instead on the dictates of the Nielsen ratings and the camera angles, secure in the knowledge that the major media syndicates run the business on strictly corporatist principles — afraid of anything disruptive or inappropriate, committed to the promulgation of what is responsible, rational, and approved by experts. Their willingness to stay on message is a credit to their professionalism.

The early twentieth-century fascists had to contend with individuals who regarded their freedom of expression as a necessity — the bone and marrow of their existence, how they recognized themselves as human beings. Which was why, if sometimes they refused appointments to the state-run radio stations, they sometimes were found dead on the Italian autostrada or drowned in the Kiel Canal. The authorities looked upon their deaths as forms of self-indulgence. The same attitude governs the agreement reached between labor and management at our leading news organizations. No question that the freedom of speech is extended to every American — it says so in the Constitution — but the privilege is one that mustn’t be abused. Understood in a proper and financially rewarding light, freedom of speech is more trouble than it’s worth — a luxury comparable to owning a racehorse and likely to bring with it little else except the risk of being made to look ridiculous. People who learn to conduct themselves in a manner respectful of the telephone tap and the surveillance camera have no reason to fear the fist of censorship. By removing the chore of having to think for oneself, one frees up more leisure time to enjoy the convenience of the Internet services that know exactly what one likes to hear and see and wear and eat. We don’t have to murder the intelligentsia.

Here again, we find ourselves in luck. The society is so glutted with easy entertainment that no writer or company of writers is troublesome enough to warrant the complement of an arrest, or even the courtesy of a sharp blow to the head. What passes for the American school of dissent talks exclusively to itself in the pages of obscure journals, across the coffee cups in Berkeley and Park Slope, in half-deserted lecture halls in small Midwestern colleges. The author on the platform or the beach towel can be relied upon to direct his angriest invective at the other members of the academy who failed to drape around the title of his latest book the garland of a rave review.

The blessings bestowed by Providence place America in the front rank of nations addressing the problems of a twenty-first century, certain to require bold geopolitical initiatives and strong ideological solutions. How can it be otherwise? More pressing demands for always scarce resources; ever larger numbers of people who cannot be controlled except with an increasingly heavy hand of authoritarian guidance. Who better than the Americans to lead the fascist renaissance, set the paradigm, order the preemptive strikes? The existence of mankind hangs in the balance; failure is not an option. Where else but in America can the world find the visionary intelligence to lead it bravely into the future — Donald Rumsfeld our Dante, Turd Blossom our Michelangelo?

I don’t say that over the last thirty years we haven’t made brave strides forward. By matching Eco’s list of fascist commandments against our record of achievement, we can see how well we’ve begun the new project for the next millennium — the notion of absolute and eternal truth embraced by the evangelical Christians and embodied in the strict constructions of the Constitution; our national identity provided by anonymous Arabs; Darwin’s theory of evolution rescinded by the fiat of “intelligent design”; a state of perpetual war and a government administering, in generous and daily doses, the drug of fear; two presidential elections stolen with little or no objection on the part of a complacent populace; the nation’s congressional districts gerrymandered to defend the White House for the next fifty years against the intrusion of a liberal-minded president; the news media devoted to the arts of iconography, busily minting images of corporate executives like those of the emperor heroes on the coins of ancient Rome.

An impressive beginning, in line with what the world has come to expect from the innovative Americans, but we can do better. The early twentieth-century fascisms didn’t enter their golden age until the proletariat in the countries that gave them birth had been reduced to abject poverty. The music and the marching songs rose with the cry of eagles from the wreckage of the domestic economy. On the evidence of the wonderful work currently being done by the Bush Administration with respect to the trade deficit and the national debt — to say nothing of expanding the markets for global terrorism — I think we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police.