|Posted: 05 July 2006 at 7:16pm | IP Logged
Reply to The Pond Post: Obstacles. See Colin's Posts for access to the Pond:
Cogitations from a Cock-Eyed Optimist to our Political Pessimist and Brick Wall Manager, Duende (Mis Saludos Sinceros!):
It took me a week to get to it, but I finally got around to turning my full attentions to Duende's posting. I would like to respond to it here, and I'll post it also on Islamicity under- I don't know, I'll think about it: you'll know) - for reasons I'll explain later. I've underlined it first in pencil, then in RED.
First of all, I would like to thank Duende (who I see is a fellow Spain-dweller, like myself and Whisper) for his very concise and important doubts on Angela's Plan. There is no doubt that we do need a reality check. Were all idealists here, and idealism doesn't fit into the current so-called New World Order which has been in place since the aftermath of Desert Storm. It is true that we need a New and Improved New World Order (Colin/Angela: How about the "Starfish Initiative", it carries a certain punch - not to take anything away from Angela? cf Islamicity: The Angela Plan for those of you who missed my little story) , and that can only take place with the undermining of the existing one. Note: I didn't say "destruction". We may need the bricks.
You are all aware of my love for Friedrich Nietzsche, that most misunderstood of "existential" philosophers? Well, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, old Fred outlined the world order of his day. If I might:
From Of the Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit (I'll edit - but please read the entirety. The capitalizations are mine, but I like Capitalizations! The German in me, I guess. The italics are Nietzsche's; the inevitable comments are mine.)
I name you the three Metamorphoses of the Spirit: how the Spirit became a Camel, the Camel a Lion, and the Lion at last, a Child.
........What is heavy? thus asks the weight-bearing spirit, and thus kneels down like the Camel, and wants to be well laden (Colin: Bite your tongue!).....is it this: to debase yourself in order to injure your pride?....or is it this: to feed upon the acorns and grass of knowledge and for the truth to suffer hunger for the soul?.....to wade into dirty water when it is the water of truth, and not to disdain cold frogs and hot toads? (Patty - you might like this bit.)
And so..........the weight bearing Spirit takes upon itself all these heavy things, like a Camel hurrying laden into the desert.
The Camel, that beast of burden, accepts not only the "Status Quo": - that burden laid upon it by its masters, but alternatives, though it knows not how to throw off the yoke of its servitude. Hence it hurries into the desert on its own, but doesn't know what to do once there.
But in the loneliest desert, a second metamorphosis (Mine) takes place. The spirit becomes a Lion. It wants to capture freedom, and be sole lord in its own desert. (This is you, Whisper, but read on, for love, for you are indeed a Lion.)
Here it struggles for supremacy with the Great Dragon.
What is the Great Dragon which the Spirit no longer wants to call lord and God? The great dragon is called "Thou Shalt". These words are written on every golden scale. But the spirit of the Lion says: "I will!"
The mightiest of Dragons laughs and says: All the values of things glitter on me!
My brothers, says Zarathustra, why is the Lion needed in the Spirit? Why does the beast of burden, that renounces, and is irreverent not suffice?
To create new values......even the Lion is not capable of that: but to create itself freedom for new creation, that the Lion can do......to create freedom for itself and a sacred "No!" even to duty, the Lion is needed for that, my brothers.
To seize the right (my emphasis) to new values - that is the most terrible proceeding for a weight bearing and reverential spirit............Once it loved this "Thou Shalt" as its holiest thing.
But tell me, brothers, what can a child do that a Lion cannot? Why must the preying Lion still become a Child?
(Read carefully and injest:) The Child is innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a sport, a self-propelling wheel, a first motion, a sacred: "Yes!"
...a sacred Yes is needed for the sport of Creation; the Spirit now wields its own will, the spirit now sundered from the world now wins its own world. (Nietzsche's empahsis, not mine.)
Sleep is contagious, even through its own thick wall.
And today there are still some like the preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable. But their time is up! And they shall not stand for much longer: already they are lying down.
Blessed are those drowsy men, for they shall soon drop off.*
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
These words were written between 1883 and 1885. Poor old Fred was dying of syphillis, but his mind still saw what the world was becoming. Caught up in the throws of Thou Shalt. Only 20 years later, his sister, Elizabeth Förster Nietzsche, a vehement anti-Semite, took his notebooks and TWISTED his words, so that the Nietzsche we read today has to be carefully sifted through Nazi interpretations. But he was so, so right!!!
OK, having made you sit through a favourite passage of mine, I'll address what I can of Duende's wonderful post:
This is no longer a conventional world, he says. "It is a world running on empty and we are all gasping our last breaths before plunging into a great unknown." Whisper has said the same thing to me: "The U.S. is a Sunset Power*," he says, with uncanny echoes of Nietzsche. So how do we hasten this sun's going down? How do we say Sayonara to what, if it is allowed to continue, will bring about all of our demises, if not the Earth itself?
America is not engaged in a conventional war, says Duende. No indeed. America is telling all of us that we need this war: against "terrorism". Who are the true terrorists today? is my question. I am not, by nature, a political person. I am certainly a sceptic with several marches and political campaigns to my credit. But, no. I prefer the Status Quo. I am a Camel., as we all have learned to be. But my heart is that of a Lion and my soul is a Child's. So where do we go from here?
Let's look some more at Duende's points:
"America intends to stay in Iraq, through hell and high water, in order to secure the vast reserves of oil underground. (What WMD's? My favourite cartoon: "We know they have them. We have the receipts!") In the meantime we are witnessing: "...a slow bleeding to death of American soldiers." (Not so slow, Duende, alas: all their minds are poisoned, and that is death to human dignity itself.) The price for this is continuing "life as you know it for a reasonable time in the future."
Actually, I need to put my own agenda into the forefront here, just for a second, if you will permit me: In the future, and the not too distant future either, wars will be fought over WATER. But maybe that's another post! (However, just to give you all a new threat to worry about, please access www.nybooks.com/articles/19131) Flannery, Kolbert and Gore. Also read The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg, for a perspective on Oil Domination. We've gotta stop somewhere! I drive a 1200 cc Opel Corsa, and I still feel guilty!
Duende says: We are quietly becoming accustomed to seeing bodies torn apart....this is also part of the plan." Eventually we: "...become so numbed by these images that it ceases to impact us. Imagine what it does to children in the streets?" I have to agree wholeheartedly with this. After the Tsunami, I felt less for the earthquake victims in Pakistan, still less for those more recently in Indonesia. The human psyche can only take SO MUCH! And these were not man made disasters! What is God saying to us, and why there....? I wish I knew.
Anyway, I would counter Duende here, by saying that the world began to be numbed during the television images of the Vietnam War. We are well beyond immunity at this point. Schwartzeneggar and Rambo have put us there. We even think we can take on Aliens! Whatever happened to those sweet extraterrestrials from ET and Close Encounters??? Another conspiracy story....?
Anyway, again.....America will: ".....stop at nothing. Since this is an unconventional age, the answers must be unconventional," writes Duende. (For those of you who don't know, in Flamenco, the Duende is the Spirit which arises unbidden in the dance and the song. I have witnessed it on occasion. It is SHEER MAGIC!)
Yet, Duende warns us: I believe that no matter how unbearable things appear to us in Iraq, they will only get worse. I have written in Red Ink in the Margin: WE CAN'T HAVE THIS!!
"I don't know what the answer is to this unconventional war; the world institutions and organizations seem to have tried everything".
Duende, I am a philosopher. May God have pity on me. We don't believe much in answers. But we do believe IN QUESTIONS!
He (she?) continues: We need an entirely new world order, and we have yet to find the person or persons who can suggest a new way forward. I am convinced they are not politicians since the political traditions and patterns are what got us here in the first place............I don't like this feeling of impotence...but we must think in radically different ways and infect others with our thoughts (again my emphasis) if we are to get anything changed."
We need, he says: "A people's alliance" He suggests enlisting Cindy Sheehan. In the last few days I have been researching organizations with the same anger that we have, the same shame, the same determination for change....what we need to do is GALVANISE all of them into a workable whole. And we need FIGUREHEADS: "Figures such as Carter, even Clinton and Gore can only add an acceptable or recognisable face to any such movement. They are politicians after all. (So, Duende, we don't throw all the political babies out with the proverbial bathwater! Good for you.) (Incidentally , one of my favourite lines from the movies: "Of course I voted for Clinton. All the best Presidents sleep around.")
"People are just crying out for it, not just for Iraq and Palestine, but for just about everywhere you can think of, for political, environmental, and humanistic reasons. Politically, because the existing political model is exhausted, and so is the world economic model. (Aside from Cassie: A good friend of mine, published environmentalist, University of Toronto professor Peter Timmerman once said to me: "The new world religion is Econotheism.") Environmentally, everybody knows why (so why do I still bring my shopping home in plastic bags - Cass?), and humanistically, because we have reached a serious spiritual degradation that has left us all bewildered. (Emphasis mine once again.)
Here in Spain, 96% of the population were against Spanish troops in Iraq. Right from the beginning. The Spanish find killing unacceptable. Y ya está. Following our own "9/11", and the election of Zapatero, those troops were withdrawn. Thank God. BUT, it does not follow logically, that, as Whisper has said elsewhere, that percentage was anti-American. They were anti- a war which had nothing to do with them. Anti - a war which would have put Spanish casualties on the pages of El Pais and El Mundo. Anti- something which has been anathema to the Spanish soul since 1938, and especially since Franco's death. This county wants NOTHING to do with war. Uncle Zapatero, MIS SALUDOS in plenty!!!
Duende continues that Palestine and Afghanistan (a neighbour's husband, currently in the "Security Forces" in Iraq tells me that Afghanistan is "the next hot-spot": they won't allow the depletion of the Opium Trade. Who "they" are he wouldn't elaborate.) must be included on the agenda for Angela's plan. I agree wholeheartedly. But are they so easy to separate from Iraq? The whole area is an "Oyster" (as Whisper pointed out to me one day - Man, you have made me think, irritating creature that you are!) and Iraq is the strategic Pearl. I don't think any of us can argue against that.
Finally (and my fingers are sore from pounding on this archaic machine I call a computer - actually his name is Alfonzo III and I am fond of him - he helped me write my book!), Duende says: "No great oaks have yet grown from grass roots movements." OB-JEC-TION , your Honour: The Mahatma is turning in his grave. If ever there was a Childish response to occupation and violence, Gandhi's was it. As I have said elsewhere, I think, Satyagraha was Feminine/yin in its Modus Opperendum, yet it brought down the Raj. The greatest Empire of the day.
Lets contact ALL of the grass roots organizations. Let them know we exist. And, despite our removal from Islamicity I believe that we MUST maintain a visible presence on that site. Yes, I know Colin, these are well-educated Muslims, with computers and Internet, and they most likely don't represent the general view (Whisper says 95% of Muslims agree with Muslima - may God forgive me for mentioning her name after my vow ! - , but I don't agree with him. Or at least if he is right, sign me up for Kortinas Mark III as soon as possible). Muslims are angry and they have a right to be angry. I would be angry too. HELL! I AM angry. But I am a child-converted Lion, and as such I move forward, in play and hope, and if necessary with the sword of a pen I know I can wield.
We don't give up, we move forward, until we bring that bloody lower-case dragon down to our knees! Who needs his gold, anyway?
Yours in childish Optimism,
Cassandra and her Candle of Hope.