Update On "Operation: Help Arthur"My idea on helping Arthur seems to have hit a snag before it got off the ground:
It's probably very unwise of me to post these brief thoughts, but I honestly don't think I care any longer. I myself think this recent series on torture may be the best writing I've done in the last three years. I don't know of any issues that are of greater ultimate importance: these particular issues underlie many current events, and they explain much of what is now happening in our world.
Perhaps I explained it poorly; perhaps my writing in fact is very bad. I don't know anymore. What I do know is that some bloggers get over 100,000 visitors a day for writing...well. It would definitely be unwise to finish that particular thought. In any case, I'm now receiving several hundred visitors a day, and I don't think many more people have read or will read the final installments of this latest series.
There was much more I had planned to write on many issues I touched on only briefly in the essays on torture, and on a number of other subjects. I see no point in doing that now. I've been in this same place on several occasions over the past couple of years, more times than I care to remember. I've always managed to come back somehow. But in situations like this, there is sometimes that one final episode -- when recovery isn't possible any longer.
I think I've reached that point. As I say, I'm not even sure I care now one way or the other. If I live in a world where people like Charles Krauthammer, who want to officially approve the use of torture and reduce us as a nation to the level of the worst savages in history, have a significant presence in our culture and are viewed as "serious" commentators, while I can't get the attention of more than a few hundred people...it's not a world that holds much interest for me.
So this may be it, at least for the foreseeable future and unless something changes significantly. That seems extremely unlikely. Thanks again to all those who have supported my work here. I'll always be deeply grateful.
Perhaps next year will be better. I certainly hope so -- for all of us. And if anyone who made a donation would like it returned since it seems unlikely I will be doing any further writing in the near future, please let me know. I'll make arrangements to refund your donation as quickly as I can.
My plan on helping Arthur is dead in the water now and not because of what Arthur says here. On the contrary, I don't blame him one single damned bit. Arthur and I have a kindred of sorts -- he as a gay libertarian and I as a straight Socialist. Kindred because our differences alone would've earned us our own respective spots in Hitler's gas chambers long before he came around to exterminating Jews (and, as far as I can tell, we're still kindred spirits of today considering that the Bush Administrations's "Christian" gulags of Abu Ghraib and Club Gitmo would definately show no quarter whatsoever towards us two for exactly those same differences). My being born in 1974 is of no relief whatsoever because Arthur's words over the past few years paint a very painful picture of my beloved United States of America resembling Germany itself circa 1934 -- a nation whose otherwise neat and well-mannered people became swept into a fog of denial that itself translated into one of the most unholiest periods of world history. Hence the reason why I often refer to America as "The United States of Denial" here and elsewhere -- a moniker which probably reads as being snarky to TBT readers when in reality I say it with no snark whatsoever. It's the only ammount of shark I allow and I hope that each time I mention it, it ferociously bites TBT readers in the ass.
My idea of helping Arthur was something I originally developed to help Katrina victims even though I myself endured much of this past Summer without the basic need of running hot water as a result of being laid off without any place else to go for work (even the Monroe County welfare office and "Michigan Works!" program can't place victims of the Corportocracy's outsourcing in a McDonald's). I never got around to it because I didn't know just how much traffic I gathered here -- my installation of SiteMeter being a recent thing -- and didn't thing it would be of much help. As the months rolled by, I noticed Arthur because Billmon had another one of his pity parties and, like always, I considered his plight worse than mine. That's how I live, it's how I vote, it's exactly why I'm a poor 31 year old motherfucker with over 15 years of self-taught computer software/hardware experiance and without a single highschool diploma or college degree to my name (paper certifications on the wall or wallet is of no value in the face of raw hands-on experiance -- those paper certs just tell people you've agreed to be institutionalized while your tuition made someone at Cisco or Microsoft even richer than they need to be).
Anyway, the idea itself consisted of opening an account at CafePress and turning one of my tin-hat wearing activist epiphanies into to a T-Shirt. I'd hawk the sonofabitches here or everywhere I comment on other blogs, see if Mike or Dave at C&L or Ms. Shakes would be kind enough to return some old-fashioned Blogwhoredom to my corner of the 'Sphere and Arthur would gain 100% of my profit. That's right -- 100% of the profit. Fuck my running hot water -- there's always my two sisters or the hotplate to heat water up with. Arthur is an older guy who probably needs his perscriptions filled. That is, was, and always will be my rather selfless mentality and I got it from my father.
See, unlike other blogs, I don't require any charity to tell you the truth because I'd just as soon tell your ass the truth for free. That's why TBT doesn't have a Pay-Pal account. Plus, Aldous Huxley is right when he says, "Ye shall know the truth ... and it shall make you mad" and that alone should keep TBT away from ever becoming a full-fledged card-carrying member of Blogads or the Liberal Blogvertising Network since I like the idea of reserving the right and honor to piss off any advertisers and other blogs with my content than cashing in on it (and that is something I've been withholding from doing for too long -- some blogs on my own Blogroll have been insulting my intelligence lately yet I've withheld my tongue and it's a monotony I look forward to breaking with this very post).
But that snag isn't because of Arthur's words as I stated above. Reading between the lines, I see indications that he's getting a shitload of feedback from selfish bastards from both sides of the aisle who probably complain that his writing is of no more financial worth than the garbage that passes for news and opinion from the bobbleheads of the Corporate Press in the name of "contributing to society".
Arthur's essays on Torture is something you'll never see come out the collective grocery holes of Anderson Cooper or Keith Olbermann anytime soon regardless of the ammount of smoke John Aravosis blows up their asses (that is, whenever he himself isn't hawking a T-Shirt). That's no disrespect towards Olbermann or Cooper but their contributions can't simply forgive the Corporate press for their 9-year orgy of fellating themselves at the feet of the Balaam of Capitalism and it shouldn't until Clinton's deregulation act of 1996 gets repealed and "The Fairness Doctrine" gets re-instated. I also see indications of people who probably gave Arthur an eyeball full of, "If I drop you a few bucks, what's in it for me?!?" as if his essays aren't enough and that's the mindset that gives me great pause on enacting my "Help Arthur" T-shirt plan: do I really live in a country whose people actually require something tangible in order to feel better about helping someone else?!?!?
My conscience and compassion towards Arthur alone is enough for me to enact it right now even without his foreknowledge of what my T-Shirt would actually say and if it's something he'd be receptive of (but I get the feeling Arthur would be moved to tears once he did know) but not necessarily if it means certain people absolutely must have this tangible object in order to feel better about helping a fellow American that's less fortunate. I hate to come off as sanctimonious as O'Reilly but the last person I'd want buying and wearing the T-Shirt I intended to create and market in exchange for giving Arthur some well deserved cash flow is a materialistic, selfish, American fool to go along with the idealogical American fools of Krauthammer's ilk and if these are some of the folks that Arthur has had to endure to the point where he must issue refunds to them because he's said or wrote something they didn't like, well ... I guess I don't blame Arthur for going dark and, unlike Arthur's natually soft-spoken demeanor, I won't pull my punches -- shame on you people. Seriously, shame on every single one of you. Take your refund from Arthur and buy yourselves the clue that will elude you and your $120 a month cable/DirecTV service for many moons to come.
Without the essays from Arthur or Dr. Gerry Lower, and the occassional Global Eye in my HaloScan from Disco (the "Norm!" of TBT if I may say so) I myself would never realize the world I thought I knew, the world I often lambasted along with the status-quo because of my own ignorance (brought on deliberately by a money-grubbing Corporate press), and the world I find myself living in much to my own horror and dismay. These fine gentlemen alone, IMO, have contributed much more to society than the entire Blogosphere combined. Much more than I or anyone could do by simply working the typical 40-80 hour work week and signing away/cashing the check every April 15th (if I even had a 40-80 hour work week to begin with) or hammering on our own blogs. With their words, I can finally understand not just the who, what, where, when, how, and why of my surroundings but also place a finger on why some people do the things they do or did the things they did in their reactions to those very same surroundings.
Unlike Arthur and some other bloggers that I won't mention (yet), I don't have to blog for a living -- I'm young and smart enough to make my own way if it were not for so many damned barriers that Dr. Lower hammers home:
American capitalism and its supporters have literally thrown away the gifts from God brought to the people by men like Jefferson and Franklin and Paine ... in the name of what again? Do we squander American wisdom for no reason but to sustain those encumbered with too much wealth and power? Do we let it all go down so that two investment bankers can blow $30,000 during one evening on booze for a party of eight people? Do we let it all die for those who have no common sense at all, no grasp of when enough is enough, and no concept of who they are?
In America, the most popular deities are Jehovah/Yahweh - the God of the Bible and Mammon, the God of the U.S dollar. Both of these "Gods" often claim that they created it all, done it all, made it all, and are therefore entitled to it all. Our forefathers were very suspicious and critical of "God"s and their followers. On the subject of Christianity's pastors and clergy, Thomas Paine said:
Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins ... and you will have sins in abundance.
He's right -- take one look at Christianity and you'll see sins in abundance with their shell game with pedophilac priests and bishops, covering up for the most un-Christian corrupt fools like Abramoff, DeLay, etc. The list goes on and on. I'm convinced that if Thomas Paine were alive today, he'd take one look at Capitalism - the official religion of the worshippers of Mammon whom has had this country in such a "have/have-not", "right/left" stranglehold for 40 years or so, and say:
Accustom a people to believe that their God's dogma is entitled to exist ... and you'll have an "entitlement culture" in abundance.
That is the revelation that has escaped our minds and our consideration for many, many years while lunatics such as Limbaugh and Krauthammer continue to paint the "entitlement class" as something other than the direct cause of Capitalism's dominion: themselves. And upon consideration, it's perhaps no wonder why it's tough for the victims of Katrina, people like me who refuse to accomodate or crucify my own values and principals in order to further Capitalism's dominion in America in exchange for "a living", and for Arthur to gain anyone's attention out of merely hundreds of people. But those wonders won't erase the shame regardless of all the wetdreams of greater Left Blogistan. They never do. Of that you can be certain, especially if you feel up to asking a few German immigrants over the age of 70 (those still alive) or if you'd like to wait just a few more years. Why? America is on a "end-of-times" crash course of bankruptcy and irrelevancy that despite any victories of the Democrats in 2006-2008, their plans to help people like Arthur or the Katrina victims will indeed be a case of "too-little - too late" much like my "capitalistic" T-shirt plan to help Arthur and as much as I agree with Dr. Lower's major points in both the essays of his I link to, he has much more optimism than I do for he feels America is indeed going to turn away from Captialism and bring on a human rights-based Democracy that'll do the work of everyone's "God". I may hope and pray that his optimism becomes reality but I must respectable say to Dr. Lower that after being suckered by both the God of rightwing Christianity and the God of Mammon on that whole "faith-alone" basis, I'll believe in Jefferson's God (i.e. the American people) when I see it manifested in the acts of much more than Arthur's "few hundred people" ...
There was a time before life was taken for granted
'Will never come again
Our flower is dead, the seed is unplanted
They put it all to flame
Burning down, burning down ...
Burning down, burning down ...
Livin' for the right to be, livin' for the right
Livin' for the right to be, livin' for the right
Livin' for the right to be free ...