My Photo

INTRODUCTION

  • For about 25 of my 64 years as a writer and photographer, newspaper journalism seemed a promising career. But as my colleagues moved stealthily Rightward, I moved ever-more-openly Leftward, until eventually I was Left...outside. Permanently. Hence "Outside Agitator's Notebook," which evolved into the more closely focused "Dispatches from Dystopia." Under either name it was originally a regularly updated anthology of reports, analyses, commentaries, photographs and other anti-Capitalist testimony from the ecogenocidal dystopia that Neoliberal Capitalism -- our species' newest euphemism for resurrected Nazism -- has made of our world. But the life-threatening shock of a censorship incident (see "Probable Final Dispatches, End of Dispatches," 17 April 2020) has reduced it to far less frequent publication. Meanwhile our species' dystopian epicenter remains the post-humanitarian United States of America with its self-inflicted Moron Nation and its empire of global-conquest malevolence, the de facto Fourth Reich, the true birthdate of which will eventually be recognized – if indeed our species somehow miraculously survives the present era – as 22 November 1963. (¶)-Dispatches will nevertheless continue -- albeit on a far more relaxed schedule -- to chronicle our relentless subjugation by Capitalism as it (inevitably) reverts to its traditional might-makes-right savagery. Just as Capitalism previously transformed itself into Italian Fascism and German Nazism, Capitalism now matures into a Nazism of uniquely USian form and content. By examining the details of what is occurring, DfD shows how ours is a Dystopia characterized as much by the mindlessness of Moron Nation's Zieg-Heil-equivalent chanting of “USA! USA! USA!” as by the brutality such chanting invariably celebrates – the ecogenocidal atrocities the Capitalist Ruling Class perpetrates in the name of “profit,” “growth” and USian “Exceptionalism.” (¶)-Why “USian” rather than "American"? Because to call this exceptionally fascist empire “America” is to slander as fascists or Nazis all humanitarian-minded peoples of North and South America who valiantly and often fatally resist USiaNazi enslavement. And, yes, “humanitarian” versus “anti-humanitarian” are the only terms that adequately differentiate the two now eternally hostile subspecies into which Capitalism has finally divided Homo sapiens sapiens. On one side are those of us who cling to the so-called Golden Rule and its variants, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the ultimate form of which is Marxism's “from each according to ability, too each according to need.” On the other side are the moral imbeciles – Nazis, fascists, Ayn Rand disciples and all the other psychological zombies that are Capitalism's unique and uniquely apocalyptic spawn. (¶)-But what then is Capitalism? Though traditionally defined as economics alone, it is in fact the quintessential patriarchal ethos, the diabolical methodology of building a global empire by conquest and genocide both obvious and clandestine, with post-conquest world governance originally patterned after the despotic management of antebellum slave plantations. Capitalism is thus the forefather of fascism and Nazism, its only possible offspring. Behind its seductive cloak of euphemisms and Big Lies (“manifest destiny,” “easy credit,” “economic freedom,” “self-made man,” “entrepreneur,” “no down payment,” “rugged individualist,” “you too can be rich,” “free will,” etc. ad nauseam), Capitalism is the stench of burning flesh and rotting corpses; the shrieks of napalmed children; the despair of families evicted into the permanent degradation, filth, deadly danger of untreated disease and constant fear of enslavement by arrest or kidnapping that defines USian homelessness; the final agonies of maliciously abandoned patients condemned to death by the deliberately genocidal costs of health care. (¶)-Ultimately Capitalism is the boundless Evil of global dictatorship by the Christian white male One Percent, a tiny, ruthless cabal of Capitalist aristocrats for whom infinite greed is ultimate virtue and for whom the snuff-film sadism of class warfare provides the ultimate entertainment. Under Capitalism's Fukushima-deadly, Ayn Rand credo of serial-killer moral imbecility – absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassals, zero-tolerance oppression and bottomless poverty for all the rest of us – these obscenely wealthy despots now impose on us their increasingly overt paradigm of Nazi governance. Not that We the (formerly exempt) People should be surprised; the merciless regimen that is now ours is how the Capitalists have always tyrannized our sisters and brothers in America's First Nations, in the USian ghettos and in all the Capitalist victim realms abroad. (¶)-Moreover much of our plight is of our own making. We the People long ago surrendered to our Capitalist overlords. We submit to denial of health care that is everywhere else on this planet deemed a human right; we submit to enslavement by debt; to the outsourcing of our jobs; to bankruptcy; to foreclosure; to eviction and homelessness; to imprisonment in numbers hitherto unequaled in human history; and most of all to the biggest Big Lie of all – the suicidal delusion we somehow remain free despite the Capitalists' no-longer-deniable theft of our liberty and their snickering revocation of the few prefaces to economic democracy our now-powerless unions had once managed to win. Our confinement is ensured, not just by our cowardice but by the invisible but inescapable cage of total surveillance: the electronic barbed wire that has reduced our entire planet to a monstrous concentration camp. (¶)-Cast off as “surplus human capital” when we are deemed no longer exploitable for profit, we are then methodically exterminated. We are slaughtered as cannon-fodder in the empire's endless wars of profit and conquest; we are murdered by the bullets and truncheons of the federalized and militarized local police; we are fatally poisoned by Capitalism's malignant toxification of our environment; we are slain by denials of health care and social services that are in fact deliberate, euphemism-cloaked policies of slow-motion genocide.   (¶)-Meanwhile our overlords pornographically multiply their own wealth by knowingly destroying the planetary conditions upon which all sentient life depends. More recently – as if to demonstrate the infinite magnitude of their Evil by provoking unsurvivable thermonuclear apocalypse (and not coincidentally in fulfillment of a malevolent scheme by Adolf Hitler himself) – they have imposed on the Ukraine the anti-Russian war-mongering and anti-Jewish violence of an avowedly Nazi puppet government. And now, in the person of Donald Trump and his appointees, the USian tyrannosaur has come home to gorge on its final and terminally ironic meal, the denizens of Moron Nation itself, the people who by their prideful ignorance and hatefulness loosed this demonically insatiable monster on the entire world. (¶)-But in these times our ability to effectively resist is obstructed not only by the USian regime of inescapable surveillance, but by the dreadful undertow of Moron Nation's intellectual and psychological paralysis: the deliberate deceptions and outright ignorance fostered by the Capitalist “education” system; by Capitalism's “mainstream media” propaganda machine (which is owned by the same smirking plutocrats whose vassal politicians so gleefully oppress us); and by the physical and psychic terrorism of Capitalism's manufactured crises. (¶)-Yet resist we must. As always, art – sometimes even unwittingly – depicts our present circumstances and so foretells our future. And as it says in a breathtakingly apt, wrenchingly poignant anthem grown increasingly popular far beyond its video-game origin, “shadows fall and hope is gone; steel your heart; the dawn will come.”

For More Information...

Fire Survivors

  • After the Demonstration Failed
    These are some of the very few photographs that survived the 1983 fire that destroyed my life's work, not just most of my pictures but nearly all my writing including three books in progress and all the associated research. Some of these photos shown here escaped the flames because they were with me in my portfolio case; others were produced digitally from negatives dug out of the rubble a year later. The images of obvious print-quality were made on DuPont Varilure paper, which had the highest silver content of all commercial papers and thus produced such intense tonalities, they often seemed illuminated by their own internal light sources. But that sort of photographic quality is now forever beyond our common reach, either gone like Varilure or so prohibitively expensive it is available only to the obscenely pampered dilettantes who produce the aesthetic pabulum favored by the One Percent. Photography as I knew it is dead -- as dead as my career was after the fire and its ensuing clinical depression -- but this body of work provides a glimpse of what was lost and what might have been. All photos copyright Loren Bliss.

Sandwiches for Mind and Spirit

  • Goddess emergent (1), 1968 (blue variant c. 2009)
    In photography, a sandwich is a collage made by printing two or more negatives simultaneously. Collage is a medium that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember -- probably since I was a child experimenting with finger paints, glue and newspapers -- but I never took it seriously until, sometime in my early 20s and still thinking myself a painter-to-be, I discovered the works of Jasper Johns. Now it seems to me making sandwiches is to conventional photography what poetry is to prose: not just an intellectual exercise, but the opening of a doorway to the Mysterious Otherness I know as the Muse, from whom (sometimes in fulfilment of that McLuhanesque notion of art as prophecy) the currents of real creation invariably flow, whether swift and startling as a lightening strike or slow and soft as cottonwood seeds adrift on subtle summer air. (Collage and photographic sandwiches copyright Loren Bliss 2009-2012.)

Graffiti: a Sampler

  • Gun Graffiti
    When I returned to New York City in 1965 I was immediately impressed by the contrast between the graffiti I had encountered "out in America" -- the South and Middle West -- and what I saw in Manhattan. While the form and content of graffiti is sociologically important – possibly a semiotic indicator without peer -- I found the graffiti of Manhattan singularly appealing, the intellectual and aesthetic equivalents of a long-overdue breath of fresh air, and within a few days I had begun documenting it with 35mm and 120 film. (The opening photograph of this series was obviously made far from Manhattan, but I included it to establish an essential contrast.) Many more details about this particular body of work, which I briefly resumed when I went back to the City again in 1983, then abandoned after that year's career-terminating fire, are in my post of January 7, 2010. Yes I regard the best urban graffiti as genuine art, but too much of it, alas, is nothing more than a human variant on the mammalian practice of marking territory with spurts of urine: "I wuz here." All photos by Loren Bliss, copyright dates as noted.

Faces of the Fight

  • Health Care For All!
    Supporters of health care reform and a much smaller number of health care reform's opponents -- each faction identified by its picket-signs -- gathered for the "town hall" meeting called by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) in Lakewood on August 25, 2009. Originally set for Lakewood City Hall, the event was rescheduled and moved to Lang Stadium to accommodate an unprecedented mobilization of pro-reform people. Cops estimated the crowd at about 2500. Photos by Loren Bliss copyright 2009.

RELEVANT WEBSITES

  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    A vital website that is often our only source of accurate information about the terrifying effort to impose zero-tolerance Christian theocracy on the United States.
  • Best Site for Suppressed Assassination Facts
    The late Mae Brussell was our most relentless researcher into the murder of President John Kennedy and many other such outrages. Her legacy is a damning list of the USian Empire's darkest secrets.
  • Best, Most Thorough Documentation on the CIA's Destruction of the 1960s Counterculture
    Ms. Brussel outdid herself in her nobody-dares-publish-it investigative report exposing how the CIA's Operation Chaos destroyed the 1960s Counterculture. (My assumption is the Agency, with its Ivy-League analysts and their knowledge of pagan mythology, recognized the Counterculture's anti-patriarchal, resurrection-of-the-Goddess direction, understood it as a far greater threat to Capitalism than Marxism and responded with the murderous efficiency inherited from Gestapo predecessors.)
  • Communist Labor Party
    Communism as it is evolving in the United States after the murder of the American Dream and the slaying of the U.S. experiment in representative democracy.
  • Communist Labor Party's Harry Bridges Club (Facebook)
    Communism as it is evolving in Tacoma, Washington.
  • Consortium News
    Superb reporting and analysis. Founder/Editor Robert Parry exposed Reagan's Iran-Contra scheming and has been persecuted by the capitalists ever since.
  • der Spiegel
    Mainstream German newspaper that is often a valuable source of news about Western European politics.
  • Global Research
    A genuinely independent news site -- neither definitively Left nor Right -- that often covers stories suppressed by U.S. Mainstream Media, which (let us never forget), is owned by the same One Percenters who own the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties and thereby control all U.S. governance at every level.
  • Gun Owners of America
    Fanatically hard-Right (and often ChristoFascist as well), it is nevertheless the best source for information about the One Percent's efforts to forcibly disarm the U.S. 99 Percent.
  • International Marxist Archive
    All of Marxism's defining texts defiantly uploaded to the Internet by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as its final contribution to humanity's eternal struggle for economic democracy -- without which there is no democracy at all.
  • Popular Resistance
    A daily newsletter featuring essential tactical and strategic analysis plus vitally informative reports of news suppressed by the "mainstream media" propaganda machine.
  • Rewire
    Probably the most in-depth coverage of women's issues, LGBTQ issues and general human rights issues available on the U.S. Internet today, bolstered by decidedly professional reportage and editing.
  • RT
    Formerly "Russia Today," it accurately covers U.S. news the "mainstream media" propaganda machine routinely suppresses. Its notable work includes the nation's best coverage of the Occupy Movement (2011-2012), and the ongoing struggles of Black Lives Matter, Water Protectors and other such groups against the Empire's now-openly-fascist policies of homeland governance.
  • Second Amendment Foundation
    Unmistakably conservative, it is also the best source on legal action in defense of our right to keep and bear arms.
  • Socialist Worker
    An informative Marxist website in the United States, with news reporting and analysis that is usually far superior to anything fed us by capitalism's "mainstream media" propaganda machine.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    Best source of information on the burgeoning plague of Nazi, ChristoFascist and KuKluxKlan-type hate groups in the USian imperial homeland.
  • TASS, the Russian Wire Service
    Vital reading, especially now that the USian Empire's plans for global conquest have rekindled the so-called Cold War.
  • Theocracy Watch
    Cornell University's in-depth source on the escalating campaign to impose zero-tolerance Christian theocracy on the USian Homeland. It is flawed only by its refusal to recognize the Democratic (sic) Party's mostly clandestine collaboration with the openly theocratic Republicans -- a collaboration revealed in frightening detail by Jeff Sharlet's "The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" (Harper: 2008).
  • TruthOut
    Generally reliable crowd-funded news site sometimes featuring cogent sociological analysis by Henry Giroux. Discussion thread's potential limited by Discus, which discourages posting of comments written off-site.
  • Ultra Violet
    Perhaps the most powerful racially integrated gender-equality organization in the United States.
  • World Socialist Web Site
    The day's news, typically with the most in-depth Marxist analysis available on the U.S. Internet -- this despite constant interference by the Empire's privatized, for-profit censorship apparatus.
Blog powered by Typepad

« Censorship: Lessons from Nader and a Knoxville Atrocity | Main | Betrayal, Genocide and the Quest for a New Political Vocabulary »

16 September 2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sioux Rose

Numerous powerful and necessary points are made in this excellent essay. However, there is one glaring omission and it begins with this quote:

Political insiders assure me SB 3090 has no chance of passage during the 2013-2014 legislative session. But the mere fact of its introduction proves again the relentless intent of the Christian fanatics, who have traded their denominational antagonisms for the solidarity of a formidable political-action cult. Instead of battling one another, its members whether Protestant or Catholic now wage war against human sexuality.

So long as men can buy condoms, visit prostitutes and have ready access to Viagra and its chemical cousins, this is not a war on human sexuality. It is a war on women's sovereignty which begins with control over one's body and by extension, its reproductive destiny.

I fully agree with you about all the insidious (and often covert) ways and means by which the old Patriarchs are working hard to institute a 21st century Christian Theocracy cum homeland-empire.

However, since the roots of these bastions of power lie in their misogyny and absolute restrictions upon women's equal participation in society, law-making, policy-setting, income-producing, AND even basic sexual expressions... turning the matter into one of "human sexuality" is like saying that slavery impacted all races.

I think you are a brilliant writer and beautiful soul... and maybe you were afraid you'd scare off those Leftists who have bought into the narrative that Feminism is itself divisive, so you blanketed over the truth. That truth goes back to societal roots that have not given women equal access to all the things that shape civilization. And the all-male power structure, recently allowing women into its ranks primarily accept those women who reinforce the male-centered status quo.

Nothing can stand on one leg. No boat can progress up stream if only one oar is allowed to navigate it. It is time for equal input from women, and hopefully enough women will find the courage and insight to lift the yoke of patriarchal religion from their necks.

Church fathers abhor, fear, or wish to degrade women. It probably goes back to a Birth Envy... After all, the Goddess, the source of Life, has been purloined for centuries (with the treatment of the Great Earth Mother everywhere echoing this dis-eased mindset) and replaced with god the father whose love must be earned either through "brave feats of warfare" or stock portfolios. And it is time that the male and female archetypes to act as partners... either the two fish opposing one another (as symbol for this closing phase of the Piscean Age) find reconciliation, or they will literally tear the living world asunder and send all sentient life back to Creation's proverbial drawing board.


Loren Bliss

Actually, Sioux, it IS a war on human sexuality, not just on female sexuality. For example, the same pharmacists who refuse to sell birth control pills to women also refuse to sell condoms to men. But it goes much further than that. Christian fanatics inflict ruinous trauma on their children as soon as puberty forces forces sexuality to the forefront of consciousness. No doubt the same trauma is inflicted by Jewish and Islamic fanatics. Female children in fanatical families suffer horribly when they begin menstruating. And though masturbation is a normal activity for both genders, parents who are Abrahamic fanatics savagely punish their children for it, traumatizing these kids for life.

Every one of the (very few) non-orgasmic woman I have known, whether Jewish or gentile, came from exactly that sort of background, with associated trauma and residual fear so intense, orgasm was impossible with or without a partner and regardless of the partner's gender. Though the mental health business is loathe to admit it, some wounds never heal.

As to which gender is more traumatized by the fanatical penchant for anti-sexual brutality, I cannot say. Given the chronic male inability to admit to victimization, I suspect the suffering of such males enters public consciousness only when the authorities are involved, as they were in a case I remember from almost 50 years ago in Tennessee: Christian fanatic parents caught their son masturbating and deliberately scalded his penis and testicles with boiling water, reducing him to a eunuch. The working psychologists I've known tell me such cases usually end badly, that young men who are thus forever robbed of their sexuality or sensuality and so condemned to an utterly loveless life almost invariably kill themselves. Hence I would guess the circumstances are similar to what happens when males are raped – the victim typically remains silent, never mind his psyche is shredded by the trauma, with suicide again a likely outcome. As a rape-relief worker once told me, "most men won't admit what was done to them, which is why they don't ever heal."

I don't know whether pharmacists who are Christian fanatics refuse to sell Viagra and its kindred – the focus of the relevant reportage has always been on female contraception – but I do know it would make a damn fine story either way. (Alas, the only way to cover it would be to send out a legion of secret shoppers, something I might have done back when I was a news editor and commanded a staff of six other editors, two photographers and 39 reporters, but that sort of project is far beyond my capabilities today.) I also know the Christian fanatical view of sex, whether Catholic or Protestant, is that its only purpose is procreation. Sexual or sensual pleasure is therefore deemed evil, “of the Devil” even in marriage.

Remember too the ultimate purpose of theocracy is economic subjugation. The capitalist support for theocracy originates from the fact that when management rules by divine right, any disobedience by workers is sin. The economic importance of the theocratic sexual taboos is found in the way suppressed sexual energies are sublimated into obsessive productivity and frenzies of impulse buying, which of course bolster profits. That's why, from the perspective of the One Percent, theocracy means not just good business but the best business of all.

None of which is to deny the specific targeting of women by all the Abrahamic religions. This has three sources. Two are ancient: the first is the hostility to females and Nature implicit in the overthrow of the Goddess and matriarchy; the second is the patriarchal fear evoked by the fact Liberty is always personified as female – no doubt because so many revolutions, as in Paris in 1789 and Petrograd in 1917, have been started by women. The third is modern, the liberation of female sexuality by scientific contraception, which enables woman to re-assert her own unique personhood in ways that not only reveal the multiple falsehoods of Abrahamic dogma but potentially resurrect within every woman a sensually affirmed vision of the Goddess. From the perspective of the fanatics, woman is therefore the personification of revolution, its natural leader whether males acknowledge her or not – and as in any war, it is the leaders who become prime targets.

That said, as a journalist I believe we need to be very thoughtful in our descriptions of the struggle. We should be especially careful we don't give the false impression – as too many feminist writers do – that men have no stake in the outcome. Exactly as you say, male and female must learn to “act as partners.” But I most assuredly did not “blanket over the truth” – an accusation which, coming as it does from a friend, has the same sting as a slap in the face. Verily, the fanatics truly are waging a war on human sexuality – though it is equally true women are its most obvious victims, a fact I have written about seemingly innumerable times. And we should not forget the fanatics are also waging a war on end-of-life choices, an issue that transcends gender. Of course the fanatics' ultimate target is liberty itself. But I have enough confidence in the intelligence of my readers, I doubt it's necessary to stipulate to all these matters every time I write about some specific aspect of the theocratic threat. Indeed the point of this most recent piece is the extent to which we are all – male, female, young, old, Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asiatics, First Nations – endangered by Abrahamic fanatics: hence “You May Be Their Next Target.”

Thank you for the response, Sioux. As you know, I always appreciate thought-provoking discussion.

Loren Bliss
Outside Agitator's Notebook
16 September 2013

The comments to this entry are closed.