Pulp Friction

positano, italy; september 23

it's my birthday, and i'm on my veranda, looking at a pastel hillside that cascades to the tyrrhenean sea ..... it's kind of like sausalito here, with an accent, a sausalito full of "touro-trash," but it's still wonderful to be here ..... what a relief to not be in the states, listening to troglodytes with southern accents and shrunken peckers and blow-dried hair and "intelligentsia" justify one genocidal campaign while clamoring for another or, in fear that they'll be considered "soft on terrrrr," vote for the elimination of habeus corpus while placing the united states in a moral company that includes the spanish inquisition, nazi germany, iran under the shah and his savak, stalinist and post-stalinist russia, and the list goes on and on ......

i don't know about you, but it sure makes me proud to be a merkin .....

sitting here in europe reminds me that they experimented with this shit, not so long ago and, while they might have learned something from it, i guess we're not really apt students of history ....

the parallels between their megalomaniacs and our megalomaniacs are far too numerous to recite, and it bears no further conversation here, with these notable exceptions .... i will now cite "The Principles of German Occupation of Poland, 10 December, 1939," and i quote them from the exemplary alan furst in his "The Polish Officer:"

"1) Calculated devaluation of the currency
2) Replacement of the judiciary
3) Direction of labor
4) Registration

That was all--the real, arid horror of the thing lay in its simplicity. The essential mechanics of slavery, it turned out, weren't all that complicated. With registration you knew who and what and where everyone was--a Jew or a metallurgical engineer, it was all filed for further reference. With the direction of labor they worked where you wanted, and had to meet production norms you set. With your own judiciary, you controlled their behavior and their own police. And with the devaluation of the currency you "bought" everything they owned or produced, and then you starved them to death."

Two large boats, anchovy-packed with tourists, leave the quay, heading perhaps to capri, perhaps to another island, perhaps to naples or sorrento .... mussolini made the trains run on time; both our flights here were delayed a total of 3 1/2 hours, united airlines at its finest, reaping the benefits of endless government bailouts and largesse, beneficiary of judicial rulings that void contracts and scrap pension plans, that legalize the theft of pensions, that penalize strikers, outlaw collective bargaining, and tighten their belts around the necks of their employees .....

we're close, oh so close, to those midterm elections, and the "terror level" is orange, where i'm sure it will stay until after the elections are over, and the republicans have capitalized once more on how well they've fought terror and kept america safe, something democrats appear incapable of doing .....

you know that's sarcasm, don't you?

it's funny how the older planes, smaller planes have so much more room in them: ample leg room in wide, comfortable seats .... these new high-tech cattle cars cripple you; whoreporate ... i mean, corporate .... engineers have figured, to the eighth of an inch, how little space a living organism needs before it can no longer sustain life; toss one of those enemy combatants on one of these new jets and he'll be wiping his ass on the koran in no time at all, just to get out and walk up and down the aisle .....

in our brave new bush world you walk barefoot and cannot carry toothpaste .... a paralyzed, sickened, pain-wracked and dirty population is a demoralized one, offering no resistance to further absurdities and depredations .....

as for the four points i've quoted, well .... they should be self-evident, as they seem to be the status quo .... the judiciary's been pre-empted, although the purging of activist (read: humane; liberal; moderate; don't approve of dunking or witch burning) judges continues; the judiciary's been pretty well preempted, from the supreme court on down, while our attorney general advocates torture and the immunization of war criminals, the legalization of war crimes .... the direction of labor, the castration of unions, the disenfranchising of workers, has always been an american priority, and it now reaches its zenith with government impetus, while no pension is intact or safe in this country, although management's compensation skyrockets .....

devaluation of currency has been the cornerstone of the world bank and the WTO for years, as argentina knows all too well; any country foolish enough to deal with those devils will be bankrupted and plundered in the blink of an eye ..... such was planned for iraq, although they're not compliant, probably because they hate our freedoms, foremost among them our freedom to rob them blind ..... we've done a pretty good job on our own currency, as evidenced by this trip to europe; there aren't any bargains any more, and the dollar is too brittle to stretch .....

as for registration, need i go on? picture id's for voters? identity cards? yada yada yada yada yada? while the monitoring, the surveillance of citizens, increases geometrically ....

one more quote here from mr. furst, who paints a picture of paris after welcoming the germans, in which a character says to his new german occupiers: " ..... we've had too much squabbling ..... we must go forward together .... we'll have one europe now, with strong leadership. And strength is the only thing we Europeans understand ...."

democrats, liberals, progressives, they now depict republicans, conservatives, and neo-cons as "authoritarian personalities ....." whatever floats your boat, guys; if this makes you feel better about being impotent, if this helps you enjoy getting assfucked without lubricant, then i say, just hang on for dear life .....

the lesson is, i guess, that might makes right, and the right rules on might; power is both an end and the means, and it is the means to the end ..... they can never have enough of it and, while they still cling to the pretext of doing it all for "our own good," they don't believe it, and they laugh at anyone who does ....

power in america does not--not that it ever did--reside in its people .... the contempt and disdain with which we are treated by that thing, by its entourage, and by the media, is blatant and stunning .....

and that seems to be the working hypothesis, doesn't it? that americans, unable to make such critical decisions as to whether they want orange juice from concentrate; with pulp; with medium pulp; with low pulp or no pulp; or macerated rat shit with vitamins added, need to be told what to do ....

for their own good .....

the problem with a vacation is that you have to return, and i return to hear that, while we didn't nuke iran, we're voting to shit on habeus corpus, to continue torturing people, to let that thing in the white house imprison anyone he wants, any time he wants, to do anything to them he wants, and there's no one to go "boo" to him ....

one out of five democrats voted with the usual goose step republican crew ......

i'm jet lagged .... i'm going to bed .....

wake me when it's over ......

next: dr. pete in pulp fiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PETER KAUKONEN, San Francisco Bay Area guitarist, has played, toured, and recorded with Black Kangaroo, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Johnny Winter.

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