Miami Beach Mayor Levine’s Obscene Propaganda Organ

Phil and Bill

MIAMI BEACH MAYOR LEVINE AND HIS PRESS ORGAN

Insults to Intelligence

18 October 2014

By David Arthur Walters MIAMI MIRROR

Miami Beach—Philip Levine, the wealthy public relations man and real estate developer who spent well over a million dollars out of his own pocket to buy himself a mayoral seat and a majority on the commission of the City of Miami Beach, and whose campaign threatened to bring frivolous defamation suits against journalists who dared to criticize him, appears to be depending on the stupidity of the electorate to realize his ambition to become a politician, perhaps even become equal in stature to his friends Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Levine’s next purchase may be the governor’s seat, which will probably come with the $20 fan the current contenders and mainstream media have made their main bone of contention, instead of the welfare of Floridians dumb enough to vote for either candidate instead of pressing to have a NOTA (None Of The Above) option placed on future ballots in hopes of raising the intelligence and integrity of the candidates.

Levine has recently been running a series of insulting advertisements on Facebook walls: a picture of him posing with public figures, especially Bill and Hillary Clinton, along with a motto stating that the City of Miami Beach works for its people.

Many people would disagree with some of that work as well as the lack of work in some areas, but the people are not allowed to comment on the advertisements. Or delete them: his Boy Friday commissioner does allow comments on his self-serving Facebook publicity, but deletes criticism that does not express 100% appreciation of the new regime’s deeds as advertised. Facebook, after all, is for friends; therefore, all one should do is like them.

The very idea that people should like Levine because his friends are the Clintons is an insult to the intelligence of intelligent Floridians. As a matter of fact, Levine was a political nobody until Bill Clinton arrived to throw his arm around him, his wealthy Global Initiative contributor, paving the way for Hillary’s run for the presidency. That and Levine’s wealth decided the mayoral election, proving that the majority of the small minority of the electorate that votes are indeed kind of dumb. And how dumb could they be? His accomplished opponent, former Commissioner Michael Gongora, favored by the Miami Herald is a handsome Latino and flamboyant as well.

The Miami Herald, attacked by the Levine camp, has eaten crow since then, and now the rag has become the usual virtual press organ of the authoritative news sources it needs to sell papers; for example, Philip Levine, whose majority on the usually backbiting commission has made a strong mayor of him instead of the weak mayor specified by the city’s charter, at least until the honeymoon comes to an end when the truths his camp suppresses blows up in their faces.

That is not to say that “King” Levine and his servile court, the members of which have openly expressed awe and humility in the presence of the great man, has not gotten anything done with the help of their unelected super-manager, Jimmy Morales. The tennis court fisaco, which was emblematic of the stupidity of the contracting and legislative process, was finally resolved, amazingly, in favor of the highest bidder.

On the other hand, the grand convention center plan of the previous administration was scrapped in favor of a scaled down version. I do not like changes unless they are radical, so I liked the grand, world class plan, especially after I heard kids raving in the streets that it would be the greatest center in the world.

The dirty secret: we do not really need a new convention center for at least another decade, and the dumbed down version is being advanced in the most costly manner.

Flooding is another issue the Levine court deserves ample credit for, at least temporarily, until an extreme-extreme high water event occurs. Miami Beach, especially its tourist destination jewel, South Beach, floods regularly every year at the highest tides, making that skirt of Nature a damn nuisance that should be gotten rid of, especially since the sea level is rising faster than expected. Since rising sea levels is a global issue, the whole globe is watching what the little city on the sandbar is doing.

As everyone knows, we do not have Global Warming, anymore, because scientists say the globe is cooling down thanks to the (expletive-deleted) liberal’s efforts to curb emissions and the like. But we still have Climate Change. And we still have a Democratic Party. The City of Miami Beach will be saved from the Flood by the Democrats led by the Clintons, Senator Nelson, and Philip Levine.

The previous administration did not want to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into pumps that would rid the surface of a foot of water during rainy-season high tides. Some day there will be a really heavy downpour, high winds, and surges of several feet of water. What then?

Well, former Mayor Matti Bower scoffed at the big one, the Fifty Year Storm, remarking that she would be dead by then. She misunderstood the laws of statistics not to mention mathematics. The next big hurricane could make a joke out of the $400 million King Levine is having spent on installation of big pumps. Still, why be wading knee deep in water every year, suffering untold millions in damages to luxury cars and so on, while waiting for the big one to occur, nobody knows when?

The pumps are not all in, but so far the system is a success. King Tide came and went, and some of the problematic areas were relatively dry. Scientists wondered what effect all that pumped out water would have on environments elsewhere. Levine and his press organ trumpeted a complete success.

“Streets dry during tide’s peak,” declared reporter Joey Flechas (10 October 2014). “This year streets in the lowest areas were repaired and dry,” announced Levine in his editorial advertisement in the only daily paper (17 October 2014).

In other words, we have the usual 100% success stated, and anything less than 100% appreciation will be unappreciated, censored, and costly to anyone that states the fact of the matter, that hundreds of people including myself waded or drove through several blocks of flooded streets around Alton Road and MacArthur Expressway, the mouth of the main artery to the mainland.

The problem with running a city like a business, especially with a businessman instead of a politician at the helm, is that business is not a democratic process; it is more or less a dictatorship, a fascistic or right-wing one at that. City workers including cops complain, secretly, of course, that Levine looks down his nose at them, denigrates, as if they are subservient employees at his business, where he can fire and hire them at will. Some of the cops think they will get something on him.

History teaches us that fascist organizations do not last for long, even when they pretend to democracy and socialism. Mussolini was a pretty good politician, and, like Hitler, had plenty of support from big business. He built some great canals, but he forsook his political skills, would not tolerate opposition, and lost his charisma. Look where he wound up.

Levine is learning on the job. He is an amateur. His propaganda machine does not propagate the whole truth as it should. He and his commissioned sycophants do not deserve the praise they are demanding out of their own, well deserved insecurity.

A wise politician would say, in respect to the flooding, “We have had a tremendous success in controlling the flooding this year. A great deal of the usually flooded area was not flooded during high tide. We expect the same success in the rest of the area upon completion of the public works project.”

Instead, he lied, and the Miami Herald reporter followed suit. Now “lied” is a strong word, signifying intentional wrongdoing. If they did not know about the flooded area, they should have known, because they could have drove around the whole area in ten minutes, got out of their cars, and waded through the flooded area.

As for criticism and dissent, a polished politician not only tolerates it, he embraces it wholeheartedly, and encourages it by giving credit to critics for any changes made.

Levine obviously does not want to know anything less than 100% success of his programs. Neither do his amateurish sycophants. They are willingly blind, which is the worst sort of blindness. Their city manager is making improvements, yet the forces of maladministration preponderate. They are not ready for the big time. Not yet.

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The Little Hitler in Everyone

Holocaust

THE LITTLE HITLER IN EVERYONE
BY DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

From the Man in the Street to the President in the Oval Office

The individual would persist forever and without opposition to its persistence. Nonetheless, the anarchistic individual could not exist as an individual or even move without governing resistance. Without physical resistance to the will, there simply would not be an individual or entity divided into megalomaniacal subject and resisting object. Differences are maintained by conflicting forces. Life is indeed a struggle. The irrational root of violence, the will to freedom, is essential to individuality, the individual factor of the personal equation; the “person” is the socially conditioned free-willing individual,

Indeed, infants are natural-born revolutionaries. They feel omnipotent at first, and tend to revolt against restraints until they learn that total resistance is futile if not downright dangerous. Yet the omnipotent feeling persists throughout the social development of the little one. To one extent or another, the resulting person lives under a certain delusion of grandeur, secretly believing that the world is at his beck and call, that he is at least in part its savior. The all-important person’s delusion is one of persecution when he feels that the whole world is against him. Thus we have both sides of paranoia.

As we know only too well from history, an insane or unwholesome delusion of grandeur may in certain heroic cases take on a sane or wholesome appearance and become a popular illusion. A hero, a sort of mirage of a social oasis, appears to thirsty or power-hungry travelers. Insecure people project their suppressed native feeling of omnipotence onto the daredevil hence re-cognizing him as a “great man” or “hero,” the very man who can quench their thirst for power. Enamored by the illusion of absolute freedom, they eagerly forsake what remains of their own freedom; their idol absorbs every last drop yet they feel free, liberated from their weakness when standing apart as individuals.

Adolf Hitler, a popular example of this phenomenon, was sincerely perceived by the great majority of Germans as their Teutonic messiah. His ascent to power seemed quite easy for he had been organizing a shadowy state of disgruntled neoconservatives or right-wing authoritarians within the purportedly democratic state all along.

Almost every school child knows about the Beer Hall Putsch, how Hitler got off easy with a short prison sentence, which provided him with the opportunity to write about his personal revolutionary struggle.  And almost everyone knows about the Red Scare the Nazis provoked with the February 27, 1933, Reichstag Fire. Of course the threat of Bolshevist terrorism among other emergencies called for the March 23, 1933, Enabling Act – the “Law for Removing the Distress of People and Reich” – which gave legislative power to the Reich cabinet and legalized, in advance, decrees that “might deviate from the Constitution.”

We remember well the July 14, 1933, decree making the Nazi party the only lawful party in the Fatherland: “The National Socialist German Worker’s Part constitutes the only political party in Germany. Whoever undertakes to maintain the organizational structure of another political party or to form a new political party will be punished with penal servitude up to three years or with imprisonment of from six months to three years, if the deed is no subject to a greater penalty according to other regulations.”

Many of Hitler’s storm troopers were disaffected workers who expected him to fulfill his promise of a social revolution and to militarize the SA. No, thank you: there would be no social revolution or any other revolution for that matter, not after Hitler’s political revolution. Before all, Hitler needed industrialists and big businessmen. Unions had to be dissolved and workers virtually indentured to realize their true virtue. Workers were glad to have jobs and cheap recreation to boot. Hitler clearly stated on July 6, 1933, that revolution would not become a permanent state of affairs. He said “good businessmen” were quite welcome under his regime even if they were not Nazis. Business actually prospered despite the enormous bureaucracy set up to rationalize his political economy and to collect bribes.

After President Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934, Hitler combined the offices of president and chancellor in himself, becoming the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor. On August 19, 1934, 95 percent of registered voters approved of Hitler’s seizure of absolute power. Absolute resignation of individual freedom was sealed by an oath:

“I swear by God this sacred oath, that I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuehrer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.”

A survivor of Hitler’s egomaniacal reign of terror claimed that a little hitler exists in every body. Another wrote a little book declaring, “We were free.”

Kansas City, Missouri Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Neoconservative Catholicism

Darwin Leon
Painting by Darwin Leon

NEOCONSERVATIVE CATHOLICISM
BY
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

Further inquiry into the religious roots of American Neoconservativism

Catholic thinkers were convinced by such protestors as Martin Luther and John Calvin that Protestants were not necessarily heretics choosing a contrary religion but were in effect atheists. For one thing, the most radical among them held that faith alone sufficed to save those who were already selected for salvation, anyway; hence no good works were required. As everyone knows, faith without works is not faith at all but is cowardice and hypocrisy. Furthermore, the most egregious of the reforms would have done away with many if not all of the visible signs of faith, including the rituals, ceremonies, and even the flesh-laden cross itself, not to mention the priests, who alone held the copyright on the gospel and its interpretations. Worse of all, some of the reformers believed that Jesus had not come to fulfill the old law but to abrogate it for free love.

When the Protestant revolution got out of hand and tended to anarchy, Protestant leaders reverted to traditional authoritarian thinking, that law and order might be restored with their blessing, under Protestant princes, of course. Permanent revolution, after all, cannot be tolerated. Luther and Calvin differed in several respects, and they had their “liberal” qualities, but on some issues they were more than conservative. Calvin, for example, sympathized with liberal humanists and with aristocratic republicanism, yet he created a virtually totalitarian theocracy for Geneva.

The founding Protestants have had a profound influence on our own “new conservatives” or neoconservatives, also hailed as ‘primitives’, ‘regressives’, ‘pseudo-conservatives’, ‘neofascists’, and so on. The ‘neocons,’ reacting to the supreme liberal threat of Kennedy, continued by Johnson after the inglorious defeat of Goldwater, have managed to obtain control over the funds and police power of the United States – few people realize it, but Clinton was the best Republican the United States ever had.

Many neoconservatives are “fundamentalist” and “born again” Christians, usually right-wing political “primitives” of the Republican Party. They are awfully fond of the Old Testament and its ambiguous, cruel/merciful tribal deity. They are monogamous monotheists who tend to fear communal seed-mixing and the mix-ups of sodomy most of all. As “frustrated Jews,” they tend to support the modern state of Israel; indeed, their alliance with Israel is so intimate that orthodox Jews in Israel fell threatened in their religion, for there are two ways to kill a Jew: take his life, or convert him.

The Roman Church of course has its Jewish aspects: for instance, its fondness for the poor and its customary emphasis on charitable works; the Jews were kind to the poor, to slaves and strangers, and unemployment was virtually unknown in their ancient communities. Yet the Church also has its Imperial Roman aspect, which was hated by both Jews and Christians alike. After the rejuvenation of the Roman civilization by barbarians, Christians in the northern regions of the Holy Roman Empire tended to admire the “mystical”, visionary Paul and his original libertarian credo more than Jesus and his conservative followers.

Now Carl Schmitt, a Catholic apologist for the Nazi Blood Purge and Hitler’s seizure of power, is one of the foremost fascist fathers of neoconservativism. He is rarely mentioned by the neocons – the new conservatives of the United States distanced themselves from German right-wing thinkers when the German atrocities became notorious, although they were wont to continue to study their works. Schmitt’s influence can be traced through Leo Strauss to Paul Wolfowitz in the Bush administration. Schmitt like everyone else in Europe felt the influence of the Judeo-Christian culture.

Schmitt is best known for his works on dictatorship and for the development of the concept of ‘total’ or ‘totalitarianism.’ As for politics in general, he argued that the purpose of politics is to find out who your friends and enemies are so that enemies can be eliminated. The enemy of course is liberalism, which threatens the survival of the good or conservative portion of the human race. Liberals are so immoral, decadent, weak, mentally confused and race-mixed that egalitarian communism might ensue if the world is not saved by its best friends, the “new” conservatives.

Arbitrary decisions must be made to that end, by leaders with dictatorial powers, without genuine debate and discussion. The liberal logjams must be broken up. Emergencies should be provoked to deal with perverse liberalism, to defeat perceived enemies, on the basis of one pretext or another, since socialists are unable to think for themselves. Lies must be told to the feared masses, to make them fearful and docile. Better, yet, if the liar convinces himself that his lies are true – Hitler’s great fault. Hence the dictator, by virtue of his innate will to have absolute power, his unconscious drive to be the supreme being, struggles to obtain total power over the state and all spheres of society identified with it; not necessarily in the name of God, the recitation of which is now rendered obsolete in atheistic quarters, but in the name of natural “human rights”, in the name of democracy, freedom, equality, fraternity, and so on, while subverting those despised liberal ideas in actual practice – after all, the liberals are in fact the hated enemy, and all is fair in the hate-based self-love of war.

Imperial Catholicism was naturally the religious context for Carl Schmitt’s main political notions. The Catholic Church was the ancient Roman source of many conservative notions in Germany. As Novalis noted in 1797, “The instinctive universal policy and tendency of the Romans also resides in the German people. This Germanity is true popularity and therefore an ideal.” We recall that Hitler was brought up Catholic; he respected the authoritarian Church, although he despised its priests and loathed the alleged “weakness” and “servility” of the Christian ethic, and, as we have mentioned, he was impressed with Luther, the frustrated Catholic renegade whose violent demagoguery helped plunge Europe into ruinous war – Luther was not very meek and mild, at least not when wielding a pen. Carl Schmitt gleaned the rationale for his dictatorial Decisionism and anti-Discussionism from the great Catholic conservative, Don Juan Donoso-Cortes, Marques de Valdegamas (1809-1853), a prominent neoconservative descendent of the great conquistador who conquered Mexico. Just as Ronald Reagan, the “sons of Reagan,” and Mussolini, Hitler and Schmitt love to denounce liberalism and the socialist ideals of the English and French revolutions, Donoso-Cortes disparaged the political and social solutions of liberalism and socialism. Liberalism, argued Donoso-Cortes, held that society would benefit by a good form of government, while socialism believed that all forms of government are evils which will be inevitably be done away with at the utopian end of history. But, he asserted, good and evil reside in the human being, who is originally evil and who cannot be saved by forms government or the absence of them. This argument rings familiar in our ears, and presently precludes liberal expenditures on changing conditions and institutions which cannot survive without rendering a great mass of the world population impoverished, with inadequate food and shelter and health care.

Lutherans, unlike the Calvinists who were long opposed by princes, had the help of their princes. Lutherans, particularly the Prussians who aspired to revive the Holy Roman Empire as the Second Reich, despite the liberalization and decentralization of the Lutheran church organization, took on the political features of their worst enemy, the Catholics, after they had defaced and stolen the Catholic property. The primitive, violent and arbitrary characteristics of the Hebrew tribe’s Almighty Terrorist were obviously most attractive to the modern anti-Semitic barbarians whose ancestors had allegedly been saved by the communistic love of Jesus the Christ. Not only in their Northern pride did some of their scholars eventually repudiate Christ’s Jewish origins, claiming that he was Greek, they, in the interest of their “superior northern European culture”, repudiated their cultural debt to the Roman Church and Empire.

“If evil neither exists in the state nor in society, why and wherefore require the overthrow of society and the state?” Donoso-Cortes asked.

Man can only be voluntarily saved by one institution, he said: by the mother Church, according its doctrinal interpretations of the Holy Spirit. For instance, the compassionate-conservative doctrine that rich and great men should be voluntarily responsible for poor little men, who are, in their proper place, not to rebel in any case, not even against the tyrants who wield God’s iron rod to punish the community for the sins of their remotest ancestors, if not for their current works. What great men and their spiritual advisors are responsible for in particular, what their specific material rights and duties are, must not be subjected to debate and discussion, at least not by the under classes; they must be obedient to their overlords, who, in turn, are of course obedient to God.

He who knows God, said Donoso-Cortes, knows the laws of political and social truth. Government and society constitutes the affirmation of the laws, under Christian princes who are subject to the infallible Catholic Church, which is in the sacred business of saving fallible humankind from liberalism and socialism and from rational discussions about the truth or falsehood of its authoritative decisions.

“There is no truth that she (the Church) has failed to proclaim, nor error that she has not anathematized…. She looks upon error as born and existing without rights, and she has therefore pursued, resisted, and extirpated it in the most hidden recesses of the mind.”

We might add that she methodically coerced the truth from many fleshly bodies as well, especially during the Inquisition. Calvin has been selectively prosecuted by scholars for the murder of Servetus. In fact the Protestants followed Catholic suit and murdered thousands of heretics, beheading one, for example, at about the same time as Servetus was murdered, for suggesting that women should be allowed to preach.

Donoso-Cortez admits that free discussion is asserted because all men are in fact fallible in their judgment, and therefore they can and do err, despite the claim from potentates that their power is beyond the pale of discussion and that any challenge to that power is in itself a mistake. Nonetheless, the proposition that the principle of free discussion is infallible is itself fallible, for, all men or fallible or infallible. If they are infallible, discussions would be absurd, since they are bound to be in agreement hence there would be nothing disagreeable to discuss. If they are fallible, nothing could be agreed upon.

Thus goes the old either/or, static logic. Standing alone, the static logic is bound to ignore the dynamic logic, that Truth is the principle of the “truthing” process, a dialectical discussion. But never mind. Fortunately for humankind, the Church provides the only solution to that dilemma or any other conundrum for that matter, by opposing infallible truth to error.

To wit: Man is from God; man’s errors are from sin; he was delivered from sin by washing himself in the blood of the sacrificed son of God, by drinking the blood and eating the flesh of the sacred scapegoat – hence man is worthy of redemption and is received into the Roman Church, where he will confess his sins one after another and enjoy divine inspiration by virtue of his voluntary submission and obedience, between the commissions of sins, and during crusades to wash the rest of the world in blood that it might be saved too.

“The Church alone has the right of affirmation and negation…. When society forgot the doctrinal decisions of the Church, and consulted either the press or the pulpit, the magazines or the public assemblies, as to what the truth was or error, then all minds confounded truth and error, and society was plunged into a region of shadows and illusions…. The doctrinal intolerance of the Church has saved the world from chaos. It has placed political, domestic, social and religious truths beyond controversy. These primitive and sacred truths are not subject to discussion, because they are the basis for discussion…. Discussion, the universal solvent… has destroyed your adversaries, and will destroy yourself…. I am resolved not to tolerate it…. Death assumes the guise of discussion when it desires to remain concealed and unrecognized. Rome was too wise to be thus deceived, and when it entered her gates under the mask of a sophist, she saw the disguise, and she dismissed it…. Man fell only because he entered into an argument with a woman, and the woman fell because she listened to the devil…. This same demon appeared to Jesus in the desert, and attempted to provoke him to a spiritual contest…. Catholic and rationalist theories are not only utterly compatible, but likewise antagonistic. All subversion, whether it be in the political or social order, is condemned by the Catholic theory as foolish and useless.”

Emphasis has been added to the last sentence, to support the status quo of all institutions including liberal and socialist states. However, we suspect that Donoso-Cortes might not mind subverting a communist state, whether or not the communism is spiritual or material – it can be very difficult to keep the two divided. Although he says human institutions cannot save humankind, he obviously excludes the Catholic Church, sets it aside in brackets, for it is a divine and infallible institution.

“Obedience to God is preferable to obedience to man….” continues Donoso-Cortes. “(Princes), by the very act of governing in the name of God, represented humanity as impotent to constitute a legitimate authority of itself…. (People) who only submitted to their princes in obedience to the divine command became the representatives of the highest and most glorious of human prerogatives, that of submitting to no yoke except divine authority…. A voice of peace, consolation, and mercy had been heard throughout the world…. This voice taught the nations… that the rich and great are born to serve others, because they are rich and great. Catholicism, in deifying authority, sanctified obedience… condemned pride… the spirit of domination and that of rebellion…. Everywhere she (the Church) upheld the rights of God and the inviolability of his holy commandments” – the world was a lot better off than under its former masters, et cetera.

In fine, Donoso-Cortes argued that discussion was worthless because men are fallible. Exalted decisions must be made by Catholic princes, in the name of an arbitrary god whose Church is of course infallible. The Pope Pius IX appreciated Donoso-Cortes’ “subtle” conservative reasoning so much that he adopted it to lay down the doctrine of papal infallibility.

Donoso-Cortes’ argument certainly made good sense to Carl Schmitt during the reactionary, decadent “liberal crisis” of his time, so he called its principle “Decisionism,” and applied it to the neoconservative cause. What was direly needed to save the world form liberalism, thought Schmitt, was a dictatorship over a chain of provoked emergencies, instead of futile resort to the liberal rule of settled law with its civil rights and such – Hitler of course used liberal law to seize power, then he suspended the law indefinitely. After all, Germany was encircled by traitors and terrorists. Red-blooded Germans despised the liberal traitors who allegedly sold Germany out. The apocalyptic visions of flooding and fire and bloody soil prior to the Great War were still fresh in the Aryan mind – the pan-German final solution was at hand to purify the world of its liberal, most likely, Jewish corruption.

Donoso-Cortes hated the French declaration of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Mind you that he had started out as a moderate – he was a member of the Spanish Parliament, then an ambassador to Paris – but experience with the revolutions of his own time had turned him sharply to the right and back into the embrace of the Mother Church. He reasoned that, if the socialists who adhered to their French notions managed to achieve a stateless society without the Church, then such a utopia would, may Heaven forbid, amount to nothing more than the chaotic anarchism of Paris in Terror.

Now that we have we quoted from Donoso-Cortes’ Essay on Catholicism, Liberalism and Socialism, we are inclined to turn to the pages of the most prominent enemy of his way of thinking, someone inspired perhaps by the Devil himself, if there is such a person.

 –To be continued–

Metaphysical Revolts Against The Absurd

Postman Bass Museum
Christy Gast, ‘Self Portrait as the Barefoot Mailman’ (2013)

METAPHYSICAL REVOLTS by David Arthur Walters

Metaphysical revolts attempt to overthrow the Absurd with rational systems. The relationships between people are absurd. Individuals are inherently aliens to one another. Although as social persons they communicate, they may not perfectly commune. They may never exist as they truly desire, for they would endure forever without resistance if only they could, yet they may not so persist, for individuality depends on resistance. The external world is surd or deaf to the individual’s will to immortality.

The relationship between man and world is absurd. The original sin is individuality, and praying to gods for absolution is as absurd as praying to stones at the gross mechanical level. Sisyphus was sentenced by the gods to roll the Stone or Sun to the peak, from whence it would inevitably roll back down again. He could not successfully will the Stone to the top of the hill at a distance. He laughed at the gods as he ran to the bottom of the hill to set his legs against the earth and his shoulder against the stone to heave it with all his might once again. He laughed at the absurdity of his Task in terms of his will. Everything shall end in the final analysis, and nothing can be done about it. We live to die hence life is absurd—that is not to say life may not be lived in good humor.

Every seemingly logical justification of the incongruous relationship between man and world, the Absurd, is necessarily ambiguous hence logically defeasible or absurd in itself. Metaphysical revolts are inherently irrational attempts to rationally deny every rational system except one’s own rationalizations, in order to set oneself up as Arche and Archon, the Origin and Ruler of the universe. The self-styled Monarch or singular Arche of the Absurd is not really the Head of the Universe. He is a clownish messenger who stands on his head, in the sand. His every argument, no matter how extended his legal briefs might be, exposes his genitive foolishness.

In other words, any attempt to fully reconcile man and world is theoretically absurd, for theoretical reconciliation is partial hence denies the whole. Sophisticated theoretical arguments are ambiguous hence defeasible by counter-argument. Nonetheless, intellectual calisthenics may be harmless and even useful providing that the dynamic dialectic is always ongoing beyond the propositional pauses for reflection. Yet an attempt to impose a particular ideology or logical system of ideas on the world, in an attempt to remake that world, is destructive in practice, especially where the social world is involved, for the thorough reconciliation of the irreconcilable, of the generally absurd relation between man and world, would annihilate the individual, in self murder, or, parts of the race or the race itself, in mass murder. A metaphysical revolt, then, is the rebellion of a part against the whole, or, if you will, a demonic or partial rebellion of an individual or group against the whole person, or society projected as the Supreme Being or God.

When applied to the natural world, the metaphysical revolt is destructive; when applied to the social world, it is revolutionary. Since the individual, despite its socialization into a person, is categorically an anarchist that would persist forever unimpeded if only it could, persons are naturally bound to disagree over into just what image the world should be remade. The whole, or Good, or God, really is their innate, unmitigated freedom, the portion of the Power each individual naturally worships for its own good.

Only unconditional terror and rampant organized violence can enslave people for very long in a particular static order. The objective of such a Totalitaria is the death of life: total annihilation. Although metaphysical revolts often proceed with an ethical profession of the Whole, or Man or Love, or Go, ultimately there is no contrasting evil that might not in practice be done to obtain the supposed Ideal. Obedient subjects are wanted but their submission can never be absolute. Since individuals are not really predisposed to total obedience, they must be terminated if they threaten the wanted order. Then the pretext, say, of loving unity, is soon exposed for what it is: a hateful unity or hate-others-based love; a screen for self-hatred; an indication of the “death instinct,” if you please; the will to destroy the human race and thus prematurely achieve the reconciliation of alienated man with “his” world in nothingness.

Kansas City, Missouri May 2004

Paul’s Suicide Essay May Be His Best

Painting by Sebastian Ferreira

 Sebastian Face

PAUL’S LAST STAND
BY
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

Paul Bowman, the greatest author the world will ever or never know, takes pride in the enormous inventory of unpublished essays he has written since he quit his perfect job and moved to Paradise to devote himself to his writing career. His rose soon grew thorns. He thought his savings would be sufficient for him to ramp up to fame and fortune; alas, he has now fallen pathetically short of his imagined fame and fortune: he has sold only two of his brilliant essays over the last five years, both to a Catholic journal. It is not that Paul’s work is worthless; he is just not cut out to be in any sales department, let alone be his own marketing staff of one.

Needless to say, Paul is a rather bookish man. Albeit he lives in Paradise, he is often in the library, his Heaven on Earth. He calls his library “the Ark of Civilization”, and claims that it is a shame that only two or three people besides vagrant wayfarers are on board on any given day. But never mind, for who has time to rub shoulders with the locals when one has the intimate company of the greatest minds that ever thought?

Mind you that Paul, despite being a bookworm when not writing, is not really standoffish: he is in fact gregarious when not engaged in literary pursuits; but his gregariousness has little social support. You see, Paul is a member of a race even more despised over the centuries than the Jewish and the black race; to wit: he belongs to the intellectual race, which can be Jewish or black. He is fond of ‘vulgar’ people as people, as well as the intellectual elite as people, but the feeling is far from mutual. Many people get a college degree not for the liberty of a liberal education but to get a better paying office job. Paul takes his liberty too literally. Arrogant anti-intellectuals have no interest in his merely ‘academic’ liberty, thus his discourse sails over their heads. He cares little for sports. Although he enjoys sex, he doesn’t care to discuss the most popular topic, ‘pussy.’ To make hanging out with the guys even worse, he does not get racist jokes, hence they think he is a stupid intellectual.

Since there is little love lost among the violently clashing wits of his own kind, the library is actually the ideal place for Paul – his vision of a stately throne is a private author’s desk at New York Public Library. The library in Paradise is a cool and empty place to be on muggy days. The books love to be read and to have notes taken from their pages. Once in awhile a new security guard, seeing Paul around so often and wondering if he should be discriminated against, asks him if he is homeless, to which he replies, with a smile, “So what if I am?” He gets no answer, except, “Never mind.” The librarians are quite nice; the only thing he likes about the current U.S. president is that he had the good taste to marry a librarian.

No, Paul is not homeless, at least not yet. But homelessness is looming ever more near as the days pass. Again, Paul’s sales are not ramping up to his production schedule. He is the greatest author the world will ever or never know, but he is not a salesman. Therefore he has been seeking work lately, as a keeper of books, of course. He has fine credentials, including glowing letters of recommendation concerning his proven abilities as a controller, accountant, and bookkeeper.

Paul applied for part-time or temporary work at first so that he could keep up his furious research and writing pace. Since no such engagements were forthcoming, he applied for 412 full-time jobs. He managed to get five interviews and one job offer, for $10 an hour, which he declined because he thought he could do better than twenty-percent of his last pay rate. He has had occasion to regret turning down that job, for now he is on the verge of eviction and is willing to take up anything for any income. Times are especially bad for unemployed liberal writers since the Republicans took over; for instance, car thefts in Paradise are up forty-five percent this year. Nonetheless, with his excellent references, what is Paul’s problem? He doesn’t know for a fact. On the one hand, he thinks he is having a bad run of luck. On the other hand, he supposes the hypothesis of cause and effect might provide a commonsensical explanation, hence he has speculated on the possible causes of his help being so unwanted. For one thing, that he is an off-color stranger in Paradise, and there is not much Paradise to be shared with those who are far from flush. And that he is over fifty but not eligible for Social Security; thus he falls into a sort of limbo pending his warehousing for death. His age-bracket, a bracket that in traditional cultures is associated with experience and wisdom, is a bracket young managers and executives have small interest in. After all, after leaving home and getting a job with the corporation, who wants to hire someone who reminds them of their dads? Anyway, he has had his chance and he is not a top executive or retired to Palm Springs already, so there must be something terribly wrong with him.

Fast-paced companies today are looking for career-minded people who have three to five years of experience and who must have pushed the latest sequence of buttons many times. These detail-oriented, highly motivated people must be able to independently follow instructions in order to meet deadlines under pressure while making sacrifices. During his second interview, Paul was asked what sacrifices he would be willing to make if he were asked to work overtime. He said, “I would be willing to sacrifice at least one chicken. I would sacrifice a wife, but I don’t have one at present.” The interviewer, one of the many thousands of under-paid women in Human Resources, grimaced; end of interview: a sense of humor was definitely not wanted by that firm, a rather large one whose operating attitude reminds one of the United States Army.

But Paul is not giving up. This very morning he is sending out more resumes, and he will make calls until he is blue in the face and his ears are sore – he does not have a speaker-phone. Then he will write late into the night until he is exhausted. Then he will go to bed for a couple of hours. He can barely sleep at night because he is tormented by the looming prospect of houselessness. Just before he went to bed last evening, he witnessed an absurd scene on his 13″ television:

A woman of thirty or so had found her husband sleeping with another woman; there are no kids; she got the house and alimony. Now she enters her abode. She misses her husband, looks at his photo, and is obviously depressed. Maybe she made a bad mistake, and now she is all alone. Tears stream down her face as she walks through the luxuriously furnished rooms of her home, and finally throws herself onto her huge bed. She takes up the fetal position and moans. Fade out.

Woe is me, thought Paul. What numbskulls these people are!

In the good old days, homelessness was not a curse but was a virtue to wise men. In those days, Confucius himself would sleep in the dirt with the crook of his arm as a pillow rather than work for the wrong prince. Some of the Greek wise men would not work for any prince or price, for they in Truth were already wealthy, powerful and free citizens of the Cosmos. As far as they were concerned, poverty consists in desiring things, in wanting fools’ gold instead of wisdom. And if poverty is a lack of temporal things, then, at least for Franciscans, Poverty is a Lady to be loved. Indeed, how can someone who is busy chasing after the things of the world become wise? Worldly people did not despise such wise men very much providing they did not get in the way. People even felt obligated to give them alms in India. But never mind: nowadays homelessness, or rather houselessness, is considered the worst of all curses, and homeless people are despised and feared as if they were Dr. Frankenstein’s monsters.

In any event, Paul Bowman is no young man today; and this is not the Sixties where bohemians took some pride in vagrancy; nor is it the Great Depression where hoboes had the comfort of numbers even though the bulls beat some of them to death for loitering. There is plenty of food and shelter to go around, but this is the day when everyone has the duty to work, even at the production of junk, trash and garbage, just to get something to eat and shelter from the elements and the spite of people who fear homeless people.

Paul once wondered why people in This Great Nation of Ours, Leader of World Civilization, have a duty to work but no right to work. He asked the president, “Why?” But of course, since Paul is still a nobody, not yet the greatest author in the world, he got no reply. He thought, If the almighty president himself cannot provide me even with a meaningless, wage-slavery job, why should I care about the president and his damaged Pentagon? Or, for that matter, the commercial system it protects? After all, it is a system that intentionally makes things scarce in order for the few to make enormous profits. But never mind that, Paul told himself, for I am willing to cooperate, even though the culo with the great job on television says six-percent unemployment is just right.

Paul is not lazy. As a matter of fact, he works up to 70 hours per week without pay. He wants to belong to society, even if that means holding down a meaningless job so he can do his meaningful work in his spare hours. Just as Ssu-ma suffered castration to complete his history, Paul is willing to kowtow to become the greatest author the world will ever know. Alas that he gave up his job for the American dream. Now alas that nobody presently wants his mind or body in any form, either at the drill press or adding machine, or at his writing desk. Yet again, he has not given up. He rejects homelessness as an alternative. He understands why another man in similar circumstances is planning suicide on Thanksgiving Day. And why not suicide instead of a slow death on the streets? where the false Christianity causing the problem wants to deprive people of their real opium? As Seneca said, “Do you like to be wretched? Live. Do you like it or not? It is in your power to return from whence you come.”

A man’s individual life is his last private refuge, Paul thought, and the state that makes suicide a crime commits the ultimate invasion of the liberty of privacy. How absurd it is that those who would kill each other in war would not allow a man to kill himself! Paul does not blame others or himself for his bad luck; he is not disposed to go on a killing spree at a useless employment office. But he loves his freedom and he does not want to be a despised houseless man without means even to continue with his beloved work. Therefore Paul, a true libertarian, has a marketing plan for his Last Day, the day the marshals are to evict him, if it comes to that.

Paul lives on a high floor from which he plans to take his last stand, and to jump to his death if push comes to shove. He has mounted a camera in order to broadcast his leap, live over the Internet, and also to record it elsewhere for posterity. He has composed another one of his brilliant essays to memorialize the tragic loss of the greatest author the world will ever or never know. The essay encourages talented artists to risk everything, even their lives, to live an artistic life. As has been noted, Paul detests marketing, perhaps because he unconsciously fears failure, yet now he is so convinced of the value of his work that he believes the filming of his death-defying leap, together with his last brilliant essay and his accumulated inventory, will be the very promotional scheme that will make him the greatest author the world has ever known to date.

— To Be Continued Maybe —

Paul Is No Critic – “I despise critics!”

Valery Panov

Excerpt from No Hard Feelings by David Arthur Walters

Photo of Valery Panov

PAUL IS NO CRITIC

BY

DAVID ATTHUR WALTERS

Paul Bowman, the greatest author the world will ever or never know, awoke at ten o’clock Saturday morning in Flatbush thinking he might be the greatest author the world will NEVER know.

Paul had been able to sleep late because Billy O’Malley, his roommate, was still in the hospital. The bathroom ceiling had collapsed on him while he was sitting on the toilet late Thursday evening. Alarmed by the extraordinary rumbling and groaning, Paul rushed into the bathroom, found him bleeding in the rubble, and called an ambulance.

Billy, eyes glazed but still conscious, did not know what had hit him; he still had his usual “I Love New York No Matter What Happens” attitude; he did his best under the circumstances to calm Paul down with a barely audible “No problem, Paul, I’m fine, just call 911. A mere concussion was not going to depress Billy O’Malley—when was 12, the doctors had told him he would not live to see 20, so he had been living it up every since, drinking like a fish on weekends after dropping a hit of LSD.

Sleeping in was hardly a luxury for Paul on this particular Saturday morning, for his sleep had been exceedingly anxious. It was not that he was worried about his roommate’s injuries. Billy was being well taken care of as Carla Williams, his true love for over twenty years, a working girl from the Harlem, had taken time off to watch over him at the hospital while her apprentice, Black Jasmine, covered her bookings. No, what had turned Paul’s rest into silent turmoil were John Wilson Senior’s repeated references to Paul’s dance reviews as “shit”, and to dancers as “a bunch of pansies prancing around in tights, peons nobody is really interested in.”

Senior’s initial offer to sponsor Paul if he liked his writing had thus turned into a nightmare. Paul had decided he must be his own man, so to hell with Senior, he told himself; no matter how filthy rich the Pittsburgh industrialist might be, a jerk is a jerk. Still, Paul had a sneaking suspicion that Senior might be right, so Paul had tossed and turned all night long, Senior’s parting remarks at the Peculier Pub rolling around and around in his groggy head. Senior had poked him in the ribs at the bar, and confided:

“Look here, buddy, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I said to my son, after reading your shit, Junior, don’t talk to that guy again. He’s crazy, wasting his talent on dance like that. That’s what I told him, but look here—Senior demanded Paul’s undivided attention, staring bleary-eyed into Paul’s eyes, which were moistened by his hurt feelings—so you like to dance. But you’re a talented writer. I could see that when you mentioned the hamburgers and hotdogs in one of your articles, and when you got mad at something a critic said…”

“I’m no damned critic. I despise critics, they disgust me!” Paul interjected.

“Now you’re talking, kid! But you write like a critic.”

“I’m no critic!”

“Hey, relax, let me tell you something,” Senior commanded with his face six inches from Paul’s, “You can put shit together, and I could see some style coming through.” Paul leaned away from Senior, disgusted by the smell of garlic combined with the scent of Sambuca and beer, mentally noting how drunks repeatedly push points. “But that stuff you sent me was shit! I’m telling you here and now, forget dance! Write! Don’t mix dancing and writing!”

With that memory churning in his mind, Paul wrenched himself out of his Brooklyn bed of discontent, took a leak, staggered into the kitchen, and gazed into the icebox. There was nothing within but a stick of butter, and four and one-half liters of Diet Coke that Billy liked to mix with the three or four fifths of rum he drank on weekends.

Funny, Paul thought, nobody would know of Billy’s love of intoxicants during the week, for he arose unfailingly at six o’clock on Monday mornings, apparently without a hangover, and did not touch another drop until the next Thursday evening at McGowan’s Pub. And even after that abstinence, it took eight rum and Cokes to prime his pump for another fun weekend in the Big Apple. Sometimes another kind of coke kept him running in high gear, not to mention the usual acid in his batteries. He would meet his fate years later, when he retired to Las Vegas to drink himself to death.

Paul took the butter out of the icebox, made himself four slices of buttered toast, and downed some coffee. The coffee, along with Senior’s command to write something to please him into sponsoring him, motivated him to put pen to paper, but Paul was a slow learner: despite Senior’s good advice not to mix dancing and writing, he started writing about dance. Nevertheless, he did strive to put some meat and anger into his effort. He scrawled out a heading on his college-ruled notebook paper:

“I’m No Critic”

Thereunder, Paul Bowman, the greatest writer the world will ever or never know, wrote furiously:

“The stupidity of professional dance critics is nauseating. Take that ravenous bird-brain, Tubby Bias of ‘Dance World’, for example. She was the first one to belly up to the buffet table at the reception following the Oakland Ballet presentation of Kurt Jooss’ ‘The Green Table,’ an anti-war danse macabre about the universal death and destruction provoked by greedy gentlemen who cannot agree. The Nazis did not take too kindly to his anti-war choreography and his refusal to kick Jews out of his danse theatre company: he and his company escaped 18 hours before they were to be sent to a concentration camp.

“Tubby was gorging herself on baloney. I approached her, thinking I should get to know a few professional critics who would, because of my love of dance, I supposed, welcome me into their inner circle as their natural ally. To start a conversation, I thought I would ask her if she believed dance criticism served to improve the quality of choreography and dancing.

“She was chewing on her sandwich, and before I could ask my question, she stated with a full mouth, ‘Bad ballet makes me awfully hungry.’

“I was shocked at her bad taste expressed in front of a complete stranger as she cursed the hand feeding her after being treated by the same host to a free ballet, but I said nothing about that. Instead, I replied calmly that, in my opinion, ‘The Green Table’ was primarily modern dance theatre, although the logic and discipline of ballet was apparent in the choreography. As we know, I said, Jooss was a pioneer of the synthesis of ballet and modern dance. He radically reformed ballet’s dogmatic posturing and rid it the supernatural illusion that gravity does not exist, bringing dance down to Earth where man actually exists in his essential human predicament, his dance unto death.

“Jooss sought economy of expression,” I went on pedantically as Tubby Bias piled three cheeses on her paper plate, “to rid ballet of its archaic ornaments and to invigorate it with the dynamic principles of modern dance. “

Modern? Eeh gad!” Tubby Bias exclaimed incredulously, ‘That’s not modern dance!”

“What a lard-ass she is,” I thought. “Here I was trying to impress her with my knowledge of her subject so she would accept me, and she wants to pick bones with me. Good grief! Jooss is known in Germany as the father of modern dance! Modernity is not a complete divorce from the past, the ancient ballet, for crying out loud, but she won’t admit the modern. She’s not somebody I want to know. She’s been gorging herself on passe’s too long. She doesn’t want to dance! She wants to do technique! Maybe she’d better learn to chew with her mouth closed…”

Paul was winding up into a rant, but he paused from his writing to take a drink of coffee, and then thought he had better change the subject for the time being, come back later, polish up and conclude his criticism of Tubby Bias. That being decided, he put down his coffee mugged and scrawled:

“And take that frilly-mouthed Banana Kissoff of ‘The Monotonous Times.’ She had the gall to call the artistic devices used by Valery Panov in his interpretation of Chekov’s ‘Three Sisters’ corny. Yes, she said ‘corny.’ There is nothing more outrageous to her ill-humored critical ilk than a ballet performance exalting the audience instead of putting it to sleep. So they call that ‘a can of corn’ because everyone else likes it. No, ma’am, there is nothing cornier to a cynical New York critic than romance!

“Kissoff really thinks she knows something about dance. Perhaps she did a few pirouettes herself before falling flat on her derriere. Then she took up imitating the critical magpies because of her own technical shortcomings. Therefore, what could she love more than technique? Yet the hypocrisy is revealed in her flowery style. Corny indeed! To top it off, she is a card-carrying member of the Balanchine cult. Well, Balanchine was great but he is gone. We love his museum, but not the cult’s maudlin mausoleum presided over by technique, the skeleton of dance. We have Panov now, from the same school as Balanchine, and Panov is alive! Yet Ms. Kissoff wants a legend.

“And how about Hack Neanderthal of ‘The Monotonous Times?” Paul wrote on. “He called Panov’s macho manner of manhandling willing women, in his pas de deux during ‘War and Peace’, ‘vulgar’ and ‘hammy.’ Hack has obviously never felt the brutally desperate will human beings have to perpetuate the species in the face of death, an urge tempered of course by the conventional niceties of peaceful love. Then only thing Hack has the nerve to appreciate are the conventions, the hackneyed dance phrases like tombee pas de bourree glissade jete. And when Panov with violent passion renders the ballet vocabulary invisible, Hack is arrogant and supercilious. He does not like Panov, the passionate refusnik who would not comply with Soviet reasoning, who got out of Russia with his glorious wife Galina, whose partner on the Brooklyn stage she now trusts to swing her head within an inch of bashing it in on the stage. To compound his absurd hypocrisy, Hack Neanderthal says he likes narrative ballets with a story line, but when he sees an excellent romantic ballet he bad-mouths it, like his fellow-critic Banana Kissoff, because the audience loved it.

“Where the hell do these critics get off?”

Paul penned the question, winding himself up to launch a most bitter and venomous tirade against the critical race at large; but suddenly his conscience halted his writing hand.

This is no way to behave, he observed as he eyed his article. Maybe Senior was right about critics, he reconsidered, and maybe the greatest writer the world will ever know, namely me, wants to be a critic, and is now venting his jealous rage over the competition.

A good man does not harbor resentment against the competition, Paul mused, and he further observed that vulgar people who do resent competition have the good sense to keep it to themselves. Therefore he picked up the several pages of his rough draft, tore them into shreds, and tossed the morning’s production into the waste can. Having unburdened himself and cleared his conscience, he felt quite relieved. Then he remembered how the bathroom ceiling had collapsed on Billy while Billy was taking a dump, and decided to visit him in the hospital after all.

—XYX—