Friday, September 29, 2006


So, you're worried about bin Laden? Al Qaeda? Scared of them are you? Lying awake nights wondering when they're going to strike next? Listen, compared to Exxon or WalMart or Halliburton, Al Qaeda's a third-rate crime syndicate. Strictly small time. Osama's a penny- ante war lord hold up in a cave. I'd stack the gang of thugs Dick Cheney's gathered around him in the West Wing against bin Laden's tin-pot band of zealots any day. Yes sir, my money's on Shotgun Dick.

The ones who pose the greatest threat to our security and our freedom are not in Afghanistan. By no means are they in Baghdad or Haditha. Our real enemies are right here among us. They're in the White House. They're occupying the seats of Congress. Right now, they're brokering deals to strip us of our most fundamental rights. They're fixing up the law so they can spy on us at will. We're no longer safe in our homes from unreasonable search and seizure. People can be detained indefinitely without due process. They can be tortured. Now, our Congress has colluded with the President to throw out the rule of habeas corpus, the right of the accused to have his day in court, to confront his accusers. This is the very heart and soul of our democracy, the centerpiece of jurisprudence of free countries going back to the Magna Carta.

All bin Laden could do was knock down a couple of our buildings. But no doubt, he is watching events unfold here with keen interest, and perhaps no small amount of amazement, as we do to ourselves what he could only dream of doing; for not even he nor his band of criminals could have accomplished in under eight years the toppling of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Nope. We did that ourselves.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Yes, the lunatics are in charge of the madhouse. Now, it seems, they, along with our Congress, are going to legitimatize the trashing of the rule of law, by basically rewriting the Geneva Conventions and throwing out Habeas Corpus. It is a new day for America; from this point, none will be safe. No doubt, the sheep in Congress, backed by a sheepish Press, will give Bush his war in Iran, which will be a slaughterhouse, on top of the existing one in Iraq. Thus have we dispensed entirely with facts, with reality, in favor of delusions.

Unfortunately, "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. . ." that we have allowed this to happen, that we have handed them the reins of power, either by simply not voting or by looking the other way while our representatives sold themselves to the highest bidder. Anyone who truly cares about this crumbling democracy should be in the streets. But I predict that speaking out against this government will become more and more problematic. One day we will look around, and the price will be too high.

Senate Majority Leader Frist was interviewed yesterday by Stephanopoulos and wouldn't answer a single question about torture. Wouldn't even respond to whether or not he thought waterboarding was wrong. What manner of perversion has crept into our country, how much poison have we allowed to leak into our wells, that a Congressman in America would refuse to answer such fundamental questions of principle and morality? Who are these people?

Perhaps a small clue can be found in this:
When one studies the archetypal personalities and their behaviour with the help of the dreams, fantasies, and delusions of patients, one is profoundly impressed by their manifold and unmistakable connections with mythological ideas completely unknown to the layman. They form a species of singular beings whom one would like to endow with ego-consciousness; indeed, they almost seem capable of it. And yet this idea is not borne out by the facts. There is nothing in their behaviour to suggest that they have an ego-consciousness as we know it. They show, on the contrary, all the marks of fragmentary personalities. They are masklike, wraithlike, without problems, lacking self-reflection, with no conflicts, no doubts, no sufferings; like gods, perhaps, who have no philosophy, such as the Brahma-gods of the Samyutta-nikaya, whose erroneous views needed correction by the Buddha. Unlike other contents, they always remain strangers in the world of consciousness, unwelcome intruders saturating the atmosphere with uncanny forebodings or even with the fear of madness.
--from The Archetypes and the Collective Consciousness, by Carl G. Jung.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Everywhere I go, I see people with their hands up to their ears. Their mouths moving. Everywhere. In the grocery, in the bookstore, driving their cars, walking or jogging. They all seem to be talking into their hands.

And there's others, increasing numbers, with shiny gagets stuck in their ears. Sometimes as they walk along or drive in their cars, they talk to the gadget. And sometimes not. But the gadget is always there, on standby, in case they want to talk to it.

Someday soon, a new thing will come along to replace the gadget in the hand and the one in the ear. The new thing will make the old things seem clunky and out of date, like windup phones. People will laugh to think how they once carried those old things hooked on their belts like oversized jackknives, or that they ever attached those other things to their ears and walked around looking like Martians. The new thing will be smaller and more cunning, about the size of a flea. And it will be surgically implanted in your head, about a quarter-inch from your eardrum.

Never again will you have to carry something in your hand or wear it on your ear. The flea will be on standby 24/7. And how will you answer it if it rings? Just by giving a slight tug on your earlobe. The way Carol Burnett used to do on her TV show back in the sixties. Remember—how she used to come out and talk to the audience, and she'd pull on her earlobe? It was her little trademark. It meant "I love you." Now it will become everyone's trademark. In the future, when you see someone pulling on their earlobe, it won't mean, "I love you." It will just mean they're answering their phone.

How much will it cost? Well, for the phone itself—around ten dollars. To have it implanted, about two grand. Then, forty or fifty bucks a month for the service. Will it be worth it? Of course it will be worth it! It's always worth it! Imagine something that goes with you everywhere, that you can never forget to take with you, anymore than you could forget your fingers or your toes. Can you take your old model swimming? Can you bathe with it? Certainly not. With the flea, you can swim, bathe, sky dive, wrestle, have sex, do whatever you want. Because the flea is safe in your head, like a thought or a dream. And being so near the eardrum means that the voices and sounds that come through it will not be much louder than a whisper. Or about like someone praying at the back of a church.

Surely, you won't want to be one of those people still walking around with that thing attached to your belt or that other thing still stuck in your ear, while everyone else has evolved and moved on to the flea! Imagine how embarrassed you'd be in a room full of people quietly pulling on their earlobes, and just talking away, free, free, of all encumbrances, when suddenly, your old outdated model starts ringing, ringing, ringing!

Oh, there's one other thing I should mention. There will be something else that will come with your new phone in your head. Just a little something extra for no extra charge. Every flea will come equipped with a little program. A kind of mantra will speak inside your head, barely perceptible, like the whisper of the sea inside a conch. It will sound during the times when your phone's not in use, repeating over and over, all day and all night, waking and sleeping.

Just a word, or maybe two, a different mantra for every day in the week. So, on the first day, perhaps, your mantra will be these simple words, whispered over and over: "Coca Cola, Coca Cola, Coca Cola, Coca Cola. . . .' All day, all night, "Coca Cola, Coca Cola. . . ." If somebody calls, or if you call out, the mantra will stop. But as soon as the call ends, "Coca Cola, Coca Cola, Coca Cola."

At midnight, it will change, and in the morning, you'll wake up hearing this: "Exxon-Mobil, Exxon-Mobil, Exxon-Mobil. . . ." And the day after that, it will be "WalMart, WalMart, WalMart. . . ."

And the ones who plant the phones in our heads will be thinking about this: They will estimate that each mantra could be repeated up to fifty times per minute, or 3,000 times an hour, or 72,000 times in a day. That even if you subtract two hours of talk time, when the mantra is interrupted, that would still leave as many as sixty-six thousand repetitions over a 24-hour period. That if you multiplied that by the number of people with flea phones planted in their heads, the repetitions would be in the trillions, far surpassing anything ever conceived of by the soap sellers on TV.

So, as we continue to invade countries, as more and more human beings in foreign lands are smart bombed and cluster bombed and burned alive by white phosphorous, as they are raped and pillaged and massacred and driven from their homes, for their lands, for their oil, the voice in your head will drone on, repeating and repeating: "Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton. . . ."

Monday, September 11, 2006


The 9/11 wreckage of the Twin Towers, New York's dark yesterday, has now been aired as a made-for-television drama, a frenetic patchwork, partly composed of reality, replete with certain pivotal moments which were invented, to enhance the illusion that we can micro-manage history.

Three months to the day after September 11, J. Hoberman wrote in the Village Voice,
"For everyone who saw the events on TV, movies offered the only possible analogy--blockbusters are what bring us together, all at once, around the world. The moving image and synchronized sound are how information is transmitted"...

"On September 11, the dream became reality. But what did that mean? As the German social critic Siegfried Kracauer was the first to argue, "the films of a nation reflect its mentality." Analyzing the popular movies of the Weimar Republic in the light of the Nazi rise to power, Kracauer wrote that "Germany carried out what had been anticipated by her cinema from its very beginning. It was all as it had been on the screen."
Here we are five years later.

Disney spent $40 million of its own money for a network propaganda event on ABC affiliates-- airing it without commercial interruption--undeterred by a shitstorm of protest. I suspect that not only is Disney beholden to the backers of this partisan project; but that the project itself is intended as a vehicle for the Republican campaign message of this election season.

Forty-five percent of Americans, by a recent poll, believe that there are dark corners of the 9/11 catastrophe which have not yet been brought to light. President Bush and his sponsors are still trying to manage the world "after 9/11" and have mucked it up at every step along the way.

There was too much political intrigue in ABC TV's promotion of The Path to 9/11. The suspicions of Disney's bias were raised at the outset, when advanced, and as yet unedited versions of the drama, went straight to right-wing conservative blogs and pundits. This political faction alone, was afforded a preview of this product. Requests for advanced copies from the other side, from America's progressives and interested democratic pundits, were met with evasion.

Even members of former President Clinton's administration had difficulty finding out if they had been misquoted, or if their performance in office had been distorted in the film. The distorted perspective of the film glossed over negligent acts of the Bush team in the run-up to the al-Qaeda attack on the Trade Center, while devoting disproportionate attention to Clinton's years in office. It was the Bush people who showed so much disdain toward the idea of a terrorist threat, at the moment when the outgoing administration was making a concerted attempt to pass on the warning.

ABC's parent company, Disney, had also negotiated a deal with Scholastic, a company that provides children's educational materials for use in school. Scholastic backed out of the deal, when it got wind of the controversy coming from across the political spectrum. It was sinister that a factually flawed and biased film might be presented, as history, to impressionable children.

This has been a strange and unsettling anniversary of our mournful day of September 11. And The Path To 9/11 was interrupted in the middle of the concluding episode, by President Bush's live address to the nation. Our most divisive president counsels national unity. Iraq is better off, since we have driven it into civil war and possible partition. Saddam Hussein played no part in the Trade Center attack; but still he had to be removed, though thousands have been killed, and more thousands will be killed.

The President's brilliant observation is that we are at war; the blockbuster to end all blockbusters. That we will never exhaust the number of enemies that our leadership creates, is the original premise of the War on Terror. We've seen this movie before,...maybe it starred Bruce Willis.

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...