When inglorious ghosts vote south of the border: storm winds blowing into sunny Canada

Tuesday the 8th – evening.

Roll a nice tight joint and pour out a glass of not-too-inexpensive Canadian rye whiskey, and do whatever it is you to do curl up into a big ball of “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-reality-anymore”. Hold onto your cats or your children and mourn the end of western democracy and fine delicate liberal sensibilities. The Canadian dollar is currently trading (on the Asian markets) at $1.35 US [edit: this appears to have stabilized now, more or less, despite the relative instability of global markets]. Pot may be the only sector of the United States economy still standing by the end of the week, with California and Massachusetts and a handful of other states voting pro-legalization in open-ballot initiatives, and mostly the entire population clamoring for an herbal reedy for the psychotic break their hallowed snake skin republic is currently collectively experiencing. (As it turns out only about 20% of Americans now live in green-free zones, but mass migration is never outside of the question where such crises are concerned).

My shares in this green capitalist venture on the TSX should fare relatively well, at least against the shaking and convulsing global market economy.

This unnaturally hot November evening in Victoria I reigned in what may be the beginning of the end of the long 20th-century with the members of an NDP student club based at a local university, their festivities infiltrated by clandestine pockets of unconscious Maoists, conscious Trotskyists, even a bona fide “black magic” psychoanalyst in the school of Wilhelm Reich (and Peter Carroll, renowned chaos sorcerer of the underground). Already by the time of my arrival at around 7pm early results were pouring in that Trump was leading in Ohio and New Hampshire, that Michigan and Florida were dead heats, that “if Trump has an actual path to the presidency, this is what it looks like” (in the words of one gilded CBC political pundit).

The sentiment in the room resembled that of a so-called “celebration of life” ceremony for that one uncle that nobody really cared for, all the anticipation pointing towards what the old dead bastard might have left behind in his will, having always been a part of the family but never one for open displays of affection or concrete details on his plans. What will President Trump give us? Besides flagrant misogyny, racism and xenophobia, bitterly reactionary nationalism, etc. – all of the rhetorical trappings of the forces of reaction and the “what’s-old-is-new-again” ‘Alt-Right’ populism. Will he tear up NAFTA and TPP and muster up all of the exeunt forces of production drawn out of the American industrial heartland – old boys Oklahoma and North Dakota – under the economic relations of capitalist globalization? It’s doubtful. Almost certainly open hostilities between moderate Republicans and the presumptive presidential elect (providing he doesn’t get assassinated between now and his inauguration) will cool off as the party becomes confident of its sweeping majority, its place atop the twin-heads of political power in the United States, in the White House and Congress, sealed. Trump will dump his enraged white Christian working class supporters faster than Paul Ryan can whisper the names of the Koch brothers into his ears. A political split doesn’t seem likely – only an aggravation of the existing split that made this whole chaos incarnate end-of-days dog and pony show a veritable possibility to begin with: the split between a disenfranchised and disillusioned mass political agency, and an all-powerful elite class in whose feeble hands political and economic power has been concentrating for decades, if not the whole godforsaken long 20th-C.

The count continues to roll in and around the time that that overgrown Oompa Loompa with the dead dog wig posts a nigh 40-point lead on “crooked” Hillary – prior to California’s first poll station readouts – the mood turns from one of uncertainty and slight perturbance to deep disturbance and catastrophism. Some student lefties leave to procure a greater supply of hard liquor for the party, while one who I’m told is an officer of the club can be heard singing to herself, “We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die…” [In the few days following the election, I came to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of these kinds of reactions.] Overall [the night] was a party atmosphere in steep decline, the event of a party that got confused somewhere along the line and took itself in the Dionysian sense, coping with a buzzkill of existential proportions and making a drinking game out of the spectacular reality-TV version of the farce of neoliberalism in its death knell while schizophrenically losing itself in among the game’s tragic cast of actors. So all the boozehounding really was cathartic. For all the doom, gloom and delirium of the millennial student left, you’d think we could get a little credit, instead of slack-jawed talk from political commentators in the US blaming Trumpamania 2016 on the unpredictable millennial vote. Has anybody at USA Today or The Daily Beast stopped to ask what puts millennials in such desperate and despicable conditions that they’d be inclined to vote for such a cantankerous lout? [Exit polls show 52% of millennials that voted actually voted for Hillary – but the 2016 election had the lowest young voter turnout rate of any election since 1972, when Nixon was re-elected.]

What happens if there is violence – real, physical violence of the confrontational and oppressive sort – as a result of this hair-brained Houdini great escape from the shackles of democratic liberalism, or liberal democracy? It seems almost inevitable. Violence against women, race riots, semi-autonomous pogroms patrolling poor black or Latino neighbourhoods and mosques like polling stations, emboldened neo-fascist Second Amendment kooks, spooks and Klansmen. Of course it seemed inevitable either way, with those same kooks and Klansmen and President Plastic Surgery Cheesy Puff’s inflammatory anti-democratic pre-election gab, maintaining he’d accept the result of America’s vote “only if he wins,” and practically instructing self-armed militiamen and reactionary goons to suppress all dissenting political agencies – mainly women, Latinos, blacks (though the latter, so far, to less of an extent than most pollsters predicted, with early voting numbers in decline compared with Obama’s 2008 run at the White House). We know by now that such reactionary elements wouldn’t exist without the gutting of the American working class in the 80s and the 90s, that globalization has its winners and losers and the losers are always below the class of financiers, earning their bread through work, and not speculation. The great parched belly-up turtle of a dry American Midwest, sapped of industrial productivity, before briefly wetted by the paranoiac imperialist oil ventures of the late 70s, 90s and early 2000s especially, but finally exacerbated and brought to the brink by the 2008 financial crisis. The violence of the expansion of American empire now exists inside of US borders, staring itself in the face is the project of global capitalist expansion, as if into a Fun House mirror, all bent out of shape and distorted. The contradictions of production contain their own wacky logic. “The wall” is a paranoiac political demand, lashing out from some deeply-seated discomfort and anxiety wreaked in America’s own baseball and apple-pie unconsciousness.

At a dinner party earlier this week a retired engineer friend told that bookies were giving solid odds on a Trump victory – better odds than the pollsters were showing. Of course the bookies speculate against speculation, trying to eke a profit off of profit. So goes the logic of American neoliberalism today, speculating for and against speculation itself. Had I not been working-poor myself and a student and somewhat cowardly with my money I might have placed a bet. We all feel like we’re “living on the edge” of something at the present juncture: the edge of history, perhaps. Michael Moore said Donald Trump could be the “last president” of the United States of America, but it was decidedly a hyperbolic comment and, at any rate (forgiving the ad hominem attack), Michael Moore is a hack.

All of these forces exist in ugly old America, trembling before God, convulsing and prostrate, the “Land of the Free”. Unbridled hatred for women and racial minorities bubbling over – there is still open hostility to women entering the workforce and existing as equal partners in civil society and the world in America; over 600 unarmed black men have been shot this year, and millions of black men from poverty-stricken upbringings work in incarceration in private for-profit prisons in conditions of modern day slave-labour, many serving time for petty possession charges. Good that we’ll all be riding the green wave for some much needed mellowing of counterproductive and racist drug policies, if nothing else. Income inequality is growing rather than shrinking. Average household buying power steadily increased after the postwar period through the early 70s – with similar trends in Canada – but today are lower than they were 40 years ago. Most rural white Trumpeters come from communities that are almost entirely reliant on single factories for their viability and economic stability, making the Clinton era of free trade and the reality of rampant factory closures a living nightmare. Hillary Clinton’s most telling rebuttal to that hardiest of Trumpisms in this year’s presidential debates was, “We’re great because we’re good.” Hillary meant the message in a moral sense, but it can’t help but seem to put her at one (or more) steps removed from the stark realities of the status quo in America. Pollsters and financiers alike speculate on just the kind of status quo Hillary would have provided – so today they are in an only partially predictable panic.

What is left out of the calculations of this structural state of affairs, what escapes its algorithms is precisely this untold story, this conjured up narrative, what we might call a haunting “specter of Marx” (to borrow unapologetically from Derrida). It turns out Trump’s camp was more or less right about the “Silent Majority” theory. Whether it was pollsters overlooking crucial points in the formation of their questions, or decent ordinary folk ashamed to admit to anonymous mid-afternoon surveyors (and perhaps, to admit to themselves) their latent sympathies for whatever bat-out-of-hell flashback fever dream Trump gives the appearance of offering, it doesn’t matter much. Inglorious ghosts vote south of the border; in their rage they’ll haunt both the conjurer and his house, the hallowed halls of the world’s oldest democracy.

I had brought a bag of leftover Halloween candies to the NDP event which was mostly devoured except for the pixie sticks, which no sensible person enjoys. Vices for each to drown in, in their own way. Snacking on Caramilks and Sour Patch Kids and various other good tidings of capitalist modernity, we debate its downfall amid the fall of the American Empire. “Debate” – I wish I could use so strong a word. We shoot shit, shout and commiserate, making some progress where we fumble through theory. Maybe millions are doing the same at this very moment.

The violence, the forces of reaction that have now thrust themselves out into the open, weren’t inexistent before. They were all still there, silent, timid or unaccounted for, like pocket lint or old change or a dead rat in the toe of your boot. Part of the conditions of possibility leading up to the Trump crisis appear in a generations long vacuum in political unity and leadership on the left, lending itself to oligopoly and centralization among deeply entrenched political powers towards the center-right. Now the contemporary “progressive” Liberal left has no idea what it stands for or against, alternating between progressive empty talk and actual austerity, while disenfranchised masses – ghosts – are left without political representation. It wouldn’t be much of a mystery to discover high numbers of former Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for Donald Trump – the DNC made a vain and gross miscalculation in sabotaging his campaign, so some leaked emails are saying. The levels of discontent with the political system in America today are astounding. A Trump presidency, at least, has the silver lining of stirring up from quietude all these reactionary elements, foisting them out into the open as a clear target for the left to seize upon. In the case of actual fascism, as with history’s Hitlers and Mussolinis, the phenomenon does not stop with good-hearted Liberals crying out impassioned anti-fascismo. It stops with organizing against and attacking the fascists.

But let us keep our hands and our feet firmly planted inside of the vehicle at all times and not put the time too far “out of joint,” as Hamlet says, drawing conclusions from beyond our own history. I do not think that Trump is a fascist per se, even if the comparisons are inviting.

Curiously, in the short term, Trump could have the effect of pulling Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to the left on free-trade deals, which could bring them further into line with their election promises than with their preferred governing style. Will Justin’s “Sunny Ways” essence-of-selfie-stick fuzzy aura of hugs and hope hold off any latent anti-establishment sentiment or anti-globalizationist reaction in the Great White North? How will the Prime Minister of Canada take part in negotiations regarding the USA’s role, along with Canadian and other NATO military allies’, in monitoring the borders of Eastern Europe to protect against potential Russian threats from KGB Vlad? And will our economy boom or bust from the swell of American immigrants – perhaps we should call them refugees, fleeing a political crisis zone (here I kid; however, the Citizenship and Immigration Services section of the Government of Canada website did crash today, possibly because workers responsible for maintaining this key piece of infrastructure are refusing to work due to nonpayment from the spectacularly failing PHOENIX payroll system that’s hanging over half of Ottawa like a big red wet pocketbook. Possibly, but not likely.)

We can laugh and drink and enjoy the rising value of BC bud and housing prices and raise a glad to our southern neighbours in commiseration and confusion, some of us, with an air of smug superiority. The hangover will only be the realization that we are not immune, that this is the real world and it is hideous and cruel.

But, provided they don’t continue to delude themselves – and with a nod to the accelerationists – this study in history, and its attendant clarification of political aims could serve as a lightning rod for the disillusioned and directionless progressives. Likely only in the event of a storm on domestic soil. Thunder and lightning clouds a-brewin’ for good-old-fashioned prairie socialism! The kind of organization the Canadian left has been lacking for decades.

Maybe not – but Canadians do love talking about the weather. Storm winds are blowing down south of the border and they do look bound for a northerly push. It’s time the stormwatchers don their galoshes and prepare to organize our way out of the coming of the new political reality.

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A Symposium Joke

What began as ill-conceived philosophical humour, ended in manic poetics and some metaphysics of change.  From the author’s journal…

Plato, Marx, Hegel, and Aristotle walk into a bar. Somebody has an idea (after a few drinks)…

Plato sees the beauty of the idea, beyond the illusion, and gives himself over to becoming it, to absolving himself in it, to crafting his being after it, to safe-guarding it (ΑΓΕΩΜΕΤΡΗΤΟΣ ΜΗΔΕΙΣ ΕΙΣΙΤΩ: let no one ignorant of geometry enter here) at the gates of this barfly academy. If only the Platonists are privy to this eternally graceful “idea”, Dionysus bid them drink themselves under the table by it, baffled and bewildered by the shapes thrown by shadows upon the underside of which still holds our drinks, of innumerable forms of geometry and state-craft and mathematics and virtuous personhood for non-barbarous Athenian males.

Aristotle arrived at his idea, after tapped out and dried ran the rambling reverent Platonic diatribe, but then only after being deeply entranced in study of peanuts in a bowl and the form of his glass. Nature imitates craft! – from the tree in the nut to the bottle in the glass. Here is the first true becoming, for with Plato we are always only Being or illusion. Clearly also inebriated, Aristotle was all the while peering through the bottom of his empty glass as a periscope. “Natural laws” etched as the initials of the lenscrafter onto nature, seen through the stamp on his bottle: Bronze Statue Genuine Draft.

Hegel saw in each contender an argument no sooner than the (praise be!) everflowing river of booze run dry would run out of steam, bidding each drink ideas from the well into which flows history, into their own sublimation.

Marx, all drunk on Hegel’s spirits, dragged a one out of the river to take a look at the time. Heraclitus’ “Happy Hour” never ends! – Hegel will continue to shower his most pleasing in drink ‘till the hour they toast to the “end of history,” and sink.

Who drinks to death on Hegel’s dime, and drowns – feeling divine?

Who leaves with Marx, to discuss the art of making it out alive?

THE RIDDLE, PT. II

Plato built his republic under the table, at the side off which first spilled Hegel his wine; co-conspiring with shadow architects, the forms on cave walls did he find.

The Republic against time would stand like a fortress,
bulwarked against the sands of Ozymandias.

Time went by, Hegel’s wine went dry. Nothing gave testament of eternity so truly as the myriad irreducible grains in their beauty; where once under where now glows Heraclitus’ constellation flowed (sweet nectar for Platonists!) a river called “Information.”

History never ends for the slaves. The Republic was never built to house them. We have always enemies at the gate, where our watchmen’s scopes did not see, when outward push we the boundary of empire.

Less filthy things have died, rotted from the inside from too swiftly cementing their outer walls, when that drives them first out in search of Lebensraum, drives them explode and flow outward their bile. No walls, no eternity. With such contempt for the slaves, this so-called “Philosopher King” fallen off his stool in Hegelian hangover calls the reality of their immediate suffering an illusion.

Contemplating in sobering silence, as nature contemplates her sunrises, Aristotle at peace in Gaia’s scope nearly abandons hope. Illusions and invisible hands only ever augment the forces of the stronger. Economists fall under the spells of their false prophets. Marx mid-morning by the hair of the dog polishes off another glass bottle and thrusts it into the hands of Aristotle. Young Aristotle sees, it hath been made by slaves! The Gods must be crazy! Yet he raises it to his eye all the same, spelling metaphysics with das Capital ‘M’.

Taking up arms for a cause,
denying the eternity clause.

If ideology is a weapon, let us all at least behave like craftsmen and women, rather than as raving drunks!

June somethingth.

The following is an excerpt from the author’s journal.  One section has been removed.

June somethingth

    (camping weekend).

Sometimes all it takes to make a man sentimental is seeing a well beat-up half empty packet of dirty matches sitting on the ground waiting for him.

Maybe it’s the distinct branding of his in-town tobacconist on the outer package; the moisture on the striking strip that makes it hell to get a clean light without breaking a head; the fact that he has only now relocated his pipe after lifetimes searching in the woods and everything on his path towards breathing it in glows at him like hot Cavendish embers, and the fact that these meekly firesticks have helped feed me (and free me). Forever caught ablaze in Promethean camp stupor, with Dionysus’ own dreams rafting us up and down the still glassy lake in consumer-grade funtime inflatables, and cheap canoes…

Maybe it’s just for the man who needs his pipe to finish his sentences. Cigarettes aren’t built for long-burning thoughts.

(memory).

Sitting with [removed] on a small half-sinking dock, getting our feet wet. Feeling the water and the wind in the trees; breathing in tiny yellow dust like particles of sunshine smoke.

Tripping on astral spirits: molecular unwinding within the walls of my brainbox. I collapse onto my back, splashing slightly, steadily breathing.

All is sun, warm and glowing. I can feel it radiating in my skin, attacking me. Behind my eyelids, through them, all I see is fire. The pure Promethean glow. The magnificence that melted Icarus’ wings.

I am peeled open. All that I feel is my breathing, which sits at the very back of my throat as if anchoring my rhythmic soul into some central nerve. Descartes claimed the pineal gland, but pneuma sinks us lower, closer to the fire. The curious and chaotic flame manifests into patterns, all manic and incomprehensible, yet somehow recognizable.

I am, perhaps, simply endeavouring to recognize them.

This panoply of patterns, scales, schemas and sets, chords and categories, began to assemble itself before me into higher orders of complexity. A raving mad homunculus carving out the expressions of his symphony from within the walls of his emotional memory, built up for psychonaut touristic selves bent on primitive caves for their wall paintings.

Hermeneutic psych-archaeology: my cave paintings depicted women and children, women and children, women and children, endlessly. The cave was a forest all along; perhaps I am confused by my whelming sensation of depth. A woman, turning away endlessly in warm reassurance to tend to the child, half hidden behind her. Or perhaps created in her turning…

I feel emblazoned, golden archon emboldened. I feel secure. I am moving deeper, venturing further, swept beyond my impetus, onward.

Shattered again into the myriad modular molecular shards. Exhaled like cosmic dust over the kingdom of Heaven, rediscovered by Ovid and Museaeus in the Eleusinian temples at altars to Demeter. There was a frenzied rhythm.

Implosive crystalline static ocular junk food, everything lashing out like an animal, angry or scared. Bonds mostly refused to hold in this erratically rippling soup – those that did had the appearance of an unforgiven soul suffering an acute psychotic break, trying manically to tear itself apart.

This was a jungle storm, a living-breathing jazz fusion orchestra, beating on my breath, whipping me up into a whirlwind – and we danced! – like wildfire.

Everything I was, moving like the echo of a drum, raving madly through the trees like a heartbeat. Everything moved like music, symphonic and sanguine, bleeding audioblood and breathing high-octance forest fuel.

I taste my tongue – wet. I smack my lips, slowly opening my eyes. Blue sky, blue lake. A forest breathing across it. Forever longing the golden sun. [Removed] is smiling at me. I lift my hand and feel my face, all but groaning in what I can only call ecstasy.

Breathing in deeply, I sit up. I sit up, I scoot forward, and drop my legs into the water.

May the Force Die Through Us

Hot off the press, a fresh new piece of pure gonzo journalism, brought to you louder than ever in the style of the immortal Hunter S.   Watch out! – here comes Dionysus, derailing the chariot of Apollo. Five friends stoned on death find justice at the end of a violent – but colourful! – and noisy intergalactic civil war. A ship’s captain confronts his ownmost end and avows to surrender himself to the Goddess. Five friends smoking cigarettes like AK47s (chronically palatable) plunged into a world of real science fiction, inviting the interruption in as time’s uninvited guest, serving earth magic in their mugs. The day was May the 4th; we are met with our cultural inheritance, ‘artifactuality’ as brought to you by the one and only George Lucas, incorporated.

May the force be with us. The time forces the occasion, the event of celebration. May the 4th – Star Wars Day: an invitation. None among us, none among our generation, remembers the first time that they saw a Star Wars film. We were too young to witness the rising tide, the crest of A New Hope carrying waves of a cosmos at war – good versus evil, light versus dark, sagacity versus sin – through the desolation and despair of Empire, and on at last to the figure of the fallen son: Luke the redeemer, resurrected for but ever after the fall, corruption consuming the ghost of the hand that dares strike the father. Two times the sacrificial son, the resurrected and the damned, the Northern and the Morning Star, Christ and Lucifer tortured and entangled in the cold light of the day.

There is a calmness, a stillness in the balance of the opposition, the counterposition of the light and the dark sides of the force. Frozen in time, the freedom fighters are few and far between, rebel X-Wings lonely as a painted ships upon a painted ocean. But even a painted ship makes waves. We are connected by the force, waving through time and space as a tide anchored between two moons. The stillness of the tide is an illusion, speaking the presence – the speed – of celestial bodies. We are beings in time, defined by the speed at which we burn towards our own end. The son engulfs the moon in its last eventual breath: pneuma and aither, the logos and the order, ordered through the force of the great conflagration. We are beings of light, driven from darkness, drawn to wherever we can see.

Icarus, the truest of angels, falling from the sky. Escape the maze of the body, else the idea will die. The Skywalker melts his wings playing with fire.

This is our inheritance. This is a backdrop to our being. This is our time, this time – our historicity! But it wasn’t quite our gift. New movies for the new generation. We are drowned in the grandiose, speed and noise, action and impact, always in greater-than-living colour. Dangerous lightsaber acrobatics, clanking battledroid antics: a galaxy suffused with comedy over the cathartic, echoing through an empty hall – the hollowness of its tragedy. New wave Star Wars Ambush: a ‘young’ Yoda destroys a Toydarian coral reef and forces the other aliens into submission. The Othering aliens, and the alien Other. The galaxy far far away no longer captivates us, enchants us thereby drawing us towards it – no! The galaxy is younger, less sagely but all the more spritely: a cosmos in its adolescence, perhaps. We submit ourselves – are brought to submission – under duress, by force and coercion, by the attacking constancy of sheer everywhereness. By force!

The time arrives for us to acknowledge the presence of this different force; media meets us in the marketplace with a bombardment of midi-chlorians, cultural saturation and consumer goods so that we can sense its presence. Propagandisms: the constancy and necessity of war, the necessity of special powers to be invested in an intellectual and political elite, the self-justifying and always receding secrecy of the actual (the elusive Jedi Council struggles to strike the Supreme Chancellor’s strings, a hidden and puppeteering realpolitik.)

Before we can arrive, we must depart – even if our arrival is a return. Five friends stoned on death make earth magic noise like mushaboom bombs (with one lucid lad to our company.) We take off towards our end, driven but by telos through time: our only purpose. We are painted on the beach. The tides move in us in our stillness. Infinite azure expanse, an image greater than outer space before our eyes. The perfection of the image breaks all geometries. Lose the sunglasses, folks, and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times. Forget the vehicle. We drink it all in and are still left starving after the aesthetic (salt water dehydrates.) A structure interrupts; driftwood deckhouses punctuating soft silt in several places. One castle (no taller than a man) holds the lot of us, pulls us in once or twice at a time. I am frozen, entranced, burning up upon the infinite at the edge of a front-row seat. A rainbow lives in thunderclouds. I am Being beyond language (the most insidious structure of all): the structure is a trap! How to escape it? Confound it? Confuse it? Stretch its boundaries? Make its letters bleed off all its pages!

We take to the structure. It is to our liking, for a time. A pocket knife among paraphernalia, but none of us could carve. Escape is soon on order. Anthony, you’re blocking the exit – ‘but everything is an exit! – isn’t that the point?’ We bleed out of the walls, humors rejecting the body, like lonely ghosts without a trace left in the soft white sand. Slowly we race for familiar land: grass is always greener where it is. Who can remember what time it is – what day it is? We found a new school in the yard by the beach, under the tree which puzzles monkeys like us (they will call us the Araucarians.) First teaching: time is the fire in which we all burn. We are like moths towards brilliant lights, illuminated by our ends, driven towards our ends of time like booby traps: false lights, everywhere.

The light is turned on inside. Pure Appollonian glow. We are overwhelmed by the darkness of the outside. We built Apollo. He is our God. Dionysus is there, too (never in mere parentheses.) I am frozen again, ponderous and heavy, anchored like a grounded mind and growing roots, writing furiously my furious thoughts. Indoors, they build shrines to young Yodas (not quite wise.) The force is seen for what it is: violent and oppressive, always in the everywhere, insinuated into our being as an element of cultural consciousness. The lightsaber sound is always an exclamation, a noisy shout attracting attention. We pay hardly any mind to the television shrine until the familiar sharp flash-crash-and-hum makes maps for the blind. Two leave, including our lucid lad. Four friends remain, dead and held in the Gorgon gaze to varying degrees. Earth magic bulwarks our home at the coastline. We make friends with philosophy. A discourse is distilled from the static of the stars, like stories of eternity read off of background radiation. The uninvited guest is dismissed. We are beings in time, but hospitality is our own. The day is dismissed. Time is dismissed. George Lucas, incorporated, exits through stage left.

Four friends remain to find justice at the end of intergalactic civil war. We trade Wars for the Trek. Star Trek: The Next Generation: “Justice,” season one, episode eight. Boldly we venture into the realm of the human, where no man wants to go anymore. Gonzo inner galaxies for intrepid psychonauts.

Captain’s log, Stardate 41255.6. The crew of the Enterprise faces the arbitrariness of the divine, of law and order and ordering principles. Conflict of the absolutes: the prime directive versus the unquestioning execution of guilty (but quite innocent) alien others. A young Wesley Crusher breaks Edo law, an alien custom unjust by the idealized human standard (unbridled post-techno-Capitalist socialism: or, Roddenberryism.) Crusher crushes nascent flowers – an affront to the aesthetic. The timing was all wrong. Crusher crushed flowers in the punishment zone, under the mediators’ purview; the punishment zone is randomly selected each day to the knowledge of no one (in God’s great wisdom.) The structure of an old game tries to play outside of the rules, which is always to submit to the rules of some other. The Edo play at free love, seemingly at all ages (of course Edo is etymologically rooted in hedone, the Ancient Greek for ‘hedonism.’) Young Wesley introduces the foreign game of violence to the alien culture. I know a game we can play, but we’ll need a bat… you know, a bat? – the introduction of the phallic, patriarchal oppressive violence, disruption and domination. All beauty crushed underfoot by the reckless playing of games. The perpetrator freely admits his crime. The punishment – the only punishment for all crimes – is death.

Hedonism, a starving after the aesthetic: xeno-ethics, altogether unfamiliar. The face of the other occasions the question of justice. Derrida would tell us, Marcel Mauss would tell us that it is the face which says, do not kill me. Humanity has excommunicated its every last Thrasymachus. The Edo seem unapologetically post-Platonic; the aesthetic is an idea, the ethics a living-towards truth or beauty. A trial ensues. A discourse of values and the apologia (a defense.) Meanwhile, a God is learning to speak. A ship’s captain opens communications with the divine. The captain unable to state his purpose, God interfaces with Data: the Holy Ghost becomes robotic body. Data the cyborg, the pinnacle of craft and all of our techno-romanticism. The telos of the human uncovered by the divine in pure techne. All of our purpose, the laws we have created and imposed to build it, exchanged for cheap upon visiting a new world.

Where does humanity fall on the question of justice in this utopian science fiction future? – in our very real present, the presence of visual distortions and navigation of the depths of inner space, of chattering teeth and living breathing shadows and hands trailing behind our hands (gonzo: gone into the future.) Wesley Crusher, the young son, is not to be sacrificed. Captain Picard makes a promise to the mother Doctor Beverly, to save his life at all costs. Two trinities: humanity’s defense is weighed up by the man, the mother, and the machine (Jean-Luc, the Doctor and Data discuss); the God of the Edo is introduced by the captain to His makeshift Mary Magdalene, and His people are competing for their right to the sacrificial son. But God is dead, and Nietzsche is dead. Justice for the human is justice for the mother. At all costs, save the son, for the love of the mother. We profess love of beauty beyond the aesthetic – it is the love of an idea, the ideal of justice. And we are vindicated by it.

Submission to the Goddess: the words to an old math metal song of protest booms through the chambers of my ears (our Goddess gave birth to your God.) Vindicated by submission to the mother, the Goddess, the very form of truth and beauty. Submission without sacrifice: a mother never gives death to her children, as the father has often done. Living for, from, and towards the idea (another trinity.)

12:50am May 5th – CATHARSIS

Here I am, pen trembling in my hand, preparing to confront an idea… I do not know how I know this… and I do not know why. But I will die before the rest. I feel every part of my being unwinding into its ideas. An idea which I am always at the edge of, forever drinking it in at top speed frantically trying to hand out sips to weary passengers along the way. An idea I am as yet building, as yet constructing… but still always shouting, raw and uncut the message is still strong enough. Let the others fill in the gaps I leave behind, while I burn out of existence.

Pneuma and aither: fire, breath and life. I put myself out at the end of a cigarette, always smoldering like hot ideas, sometimes meandering but always directed, if only by time: the fire in which we all burn. How to burn? How to die? Is there any choice in the matter, any longer?

Every sinew of my soul is torn between being a humble, loving, dedicated man, and a man who burns out into the idea. I am forever drawn to light (and a faithful pen or pencil) torn from my love, my life and every comfort, my every council, the lips I’ve ever searched for, the woman who shapes me in my entirety into an honest man. Here I am tortured and bereaved for the sense of looming loss…

It is my own. She will lose me. She will lose me. Who knows how. And I will lose everything thereby. The man, and the idea. Apollo was a god, that man will never be. Nietzsche is dead. My goddess is my woman. And my eternal pain is the sense that I will be her sacrificed son. She is stronger than I will ever be. And if and when I go I must know that I will live forever in her.

Open into the shamanistic. Death is a deeply introspective drug. It frightens us to our core, and I am no exception.  This is how I awaken in the morning, having confronted my death at night. I awaken into the idea. I awaken in order to write.

Five friends interrupt the all-encompassing everywhereness of the force, withholding their hospitality from the uninvited but always eventual guest. We seize the time to disengage with what arrives when upon it. Our inheritance is not our necessity. May the force free us from its shitty chatterbox comedy droids and the entire swelling opera of oppressive ideas, of mind-numbing cacophonious choruses, of crashes and clashes and enough action to blow your lungs out when you’re screaming down a highway in the desert in a top-down bright cherry red lipstick steel shark at a hundred miles an hour alternating between mescaline and ether cloths, chasing the ever elusive ‘American Dream’ (brought to you today by the one and only George Lucas, incorporated: “slap a sticker on that shit!”) – gonzo pop culture journalism mixed with philosophy and an anxiety over the existential. Sure the book was great, but you really should have been there, to unwind through an episode in time.

Let us cease to be a people at war. We are on a collective voyage: a journey; a trek. A discourse on justice stokes the embers of a new society – a society of the ideal. This idea is as old as the Socrates of Plato’s Republic, and has echoed through our history ever since. But it has become untraceable static, a silent hiss amidst the noise, its influence flattened as all is taken as its average by the background. Distill the static; better yet, change the channel. It is time for the next generation.