Dark's Corner

Sleeping Giants Of America

It seems as though most people I come in contact with these days are experiencing some sort of post-election funk; an obvious malaise that stems from the thought of 4 MORE YEARS and what Bushian antics may come to light during that period of time. Short of seeing Donald Rumsfeld on C-SPAN wearing a dark blue catsuit while discussing matters of grave international importance, there’s not much that would surprise me at this point. It’s as if the spell that has held so many Americans in thrall is slowly beginning to wear off and a ripple-effect of an awakening is breaking wave upon wave, cascading across the country, spilling out of the minds and mouths of the people.

Of course, the waves have been out there all along, ever since the first government document was “declassified” and laid out for the public to see, if they happened to know, that is, where declassified documents might be plastered for all to see them. And when the information billowed along swiftly on the bitter breeze of discontent, an alarm went off in some intangible place, waking people out of their walking dreams. In today’s Google-as-a-verb electronic web, information is there for the taking, considering the varied sources. But records are records and facts, as they may seem, are facts. By cross-examining various links on the internet, one can attempt some flailing and fledgling detective work in concert with a number of factors including “how bad do you want to know?” and “where do you look first?” So in the vapid vacuum that is most corporate-owned news media, the snare trap is set with its carefully worded propaganda and selectively-chosen “B” roll. Those who are seeking some answers, however, go to the ‘net. And it’s a balls-out proposition, tits to the wall. More like Gump’s box o’ chocolates than anything else in the world.

Does It Matter?

Another ass-fuck of an election, I tell you. But I don’t have to tell you. Before Kerry had conceded and yipped away tail-tucked, there was the very strange scent of Eau de Bullshit drifting across the country as reports of voter intimidation, spaced-out electronic voting machines and plain old lost ballots began to filter in. Bloggers had a field day and even mainstream media couldn’t staunch the flow of stories. (http://www.wsoctv.com/news/3892151/detail.html)

As laden with conspiracy theory as it may seem, the possibility that Republicans rigged the election by using dirty tricks and suspect e-voting machines seems less like a movie plot and more like our ever-expanding reality. It’s like waking up in a room full of people with a big, thick string of drool dangling from out of your open mouth. Seems like we’re the last to know. America is the world’s biggest baby with the world’s biggest gun and our foreign policy of late has pretty much made it so that traveling the world is a little less friendlier. It took an incredible two years. From the immense showing of empathy and support for the States after the planes hit the buildings – to the massing in the streets that accompanied millions of an international community who cried out “NO WAR IN IRAQ!” From hit-list to shit-list in about a hundred weeks, that’s some kind of record.

But it doesn’t matter a cap full of Crisco, because we’ve all bought a ticket for the rollercoaster, and we haven’t even gotten to the really scary parts yet.

In A Nutshell

Our planet’s had just about enough of us sucking up natural resources. Though a noble percentage of the surface populace attempts to replenish, recycle and re-think their eco-viewpoints, this vital demographic still plays minority whipping boy to the majority of energy-thirsty, techno-hungry, imperialists of the world. Those neo-Romans, those architects of society, those policy-makers. They’re the people at the top of the human food chain who have discovered that money equals power and not quite so surprisingly, power equals money. Gold, spoken for with American dollars, spread throughout the world in free trade, sparking an industrial revolution that required more and more energy, became oil and oil became gold. But the miners who hit the San Francisco suburbs and attacked the earth during the great gold rush of 1849 discovered quickly that no free ride lasts forever. They didn’t get every piece of gold, but damned if they didn’t try. And killed each other in the process, staking claims and waving pistols. Sounds like modern times, don’t it?

Now, the Bush Administration has to contend with the shrinking of oil and gas resources while watching the Euro beat crap out of the dollar on the international stock exchange. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1503&e=2&u=/afp/us\_forex\_dollar). The phenomenon known as “Peak Oil” has been a hot topic for years among a well-respected who’s who of physicists, geologists, investment bankers and oil tycoons. Back in 1956, Shell geologist Dr. Marion King Hubbert predicted that America’s domestic oil production would peak in 1970. International oil production has likewise peaked, delivering 82.5 million barrels a day with all pumps primed and perpetually pushing. Can you believe that the U.S. slurps up over 20 million of those barrels in a 24-hour period? And 11 million barrels have to be imported from other countries. This disturbing development has made oil vampires like George W. Bush panting and all excited, especially in 1999 when Iraq, feeling saucy and just a little masochistic, decided to start accepting Euros instead of dollars as the exchange currency of choice and made a huge stinking profit. (http://www.rferl.org/features/2000/11/01112000160846.asp)

Many believe that’s why we’re in Iraq now. To put in a puppet government, keep control of the oil pipelines and maintain the hegemony of the dollar. And to kick a little ass, of course. Otherwise, the Euro strengthens, the dollar implodes like a middle-aged heavyweight and America is stuck with a trillion dollars in debt that it can’t pay with its own neo-confederate currency. And by this time, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Great Britain could very well decide that they’ve got it all sorted out amongst themselves and they’d like to buy-out America, being it’s a nice place to visit and all. At least for a little while, perhaps. In May of 2001, The National Energy Report, co-authored by vice-president Dick Cheney, set forth a plan to drill untapped reserves in protected wilderness areas within the United States. The proposal went down in flames on Capitol Hill. Mysteriously, since Bush’s apparent re-election, house and senate republicans have announced that they’re pushing for legislation to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, where scientists say some 11 billion barrels of oil are located. (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041110/ap\_on\_go\_pr\_wh/second\_term\_energy\_7)

Got Right To Work

Bush didn’t waste any time, did he? As soon as the dust had cleared, there were attacks on Fallujah, much talk of “mandates” and “political capital,” a renewed effort to begin plundering the protected American wilderness and perhaps an obstacle for the “Road Map To Peace” removed, some would say by Israel. Ali Kazak, who heads the Palestinian delegation to Australia, commented to the Melbourne-based Herald Sun newspaper last week about Yasser Arafat that “the doctors until now could not diagnose precisely what is wrong with him, but it is believed there is a poison.” Arafat’s bureau chief of staff Tayeb Abdel Rahim spoke to reporters in Ramallah saying “the possibilities that Arafat has been poisoned are one of the existing possibilities.” Another Palestinian diplomat said, on condition of anonymity of course, because he’s not stupid, “Israel wanted to get rid of Arafat through a slow death.” To which an Israeli government source strongly countered, “it’s absolute nonsense; it’s completely ridiculous.” Especially when you consider that previous Israeli attempts to smear Arafat involved armored tanks and helicopters, why take the wimp’s route? When told a greatly exaggerated report of Arafat’s demise, Bush said “God bless his soul” and hoped that everyone could get on great with one another out there in that middle east place. Though the European Union likes to paint pictures of itself and America as the world’s two superpowers, it seems clear after some exhaustive study and research of foreign policy that the United States and Israel are the coziest countries, though it’s getting increasingly harder to tell which one is the bitch.

Wake Up And Decide

This morning, a Yahoo newslink touting The Reverend Jerry Falwell’s new “resurrection of the Moral Majority” instead took surfers to a page with the byline “Secret German Cult in Chile Breaks 43-Year Spell”. It was worth a chuckle. Falwell’s new organization, The Faith And Values Coalition, will lobby for conservative change in Washington, spurred on by Bush’s claiming “victory!” Meanwhile, operating in a far more subversive manner is the Project For The New American Century (http://www.newamericancentury.org), a frightening Washingtonian think tank whose mission statement reads like a primer for fascism. Consider these scintillating bits: “we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity and our principles”, “we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future.” Goes down like a cherry cola, doesn’t it? With names like Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Frank Gaffney and I. Lewis Libby attached to this “project”, it seems like a good idea to at least consider the possibilities of living within an actual project. Or at least passing the thought along to your kids. Aren’t a good number of Americans already living in projects? Like the ghettoes of Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy or the infamous “Jungle” in South Central L.A., featured prominently in Training Day, projects don’t start off looking shitty. The rabble just tear them up the way that rabble often do. Those planned communities with houses stacked neatly in Spielbergian patterns, we’re already snapping them up as happy homeowners. They’ve already stamped us with numbers, entered us into the system and trained us in the ways of tradition, projected dreams upon the ceiling and dangled carrots in front of our existence, but there’s a ghost in the machine, a spirit in the body and it’s doing the little shimmery-shiny E.T. thing, glowing in our chests and causing a Doppler effect of chest-lights, little alarms buzzing in our brains, causing us to stop and check ourselves, saying, “there’s something very strange going on here.”

The feeling is sort of like Douglas Adams’ hilarious description of a S.E.P. from the “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” books. “Somebody Else’s Problem.” You could never see them by looking right at them, these things. They always sort of came into view at the far side of your peripheral vision, and if you turned to look, it was gone, whatever it was. Only through looking at it by not looking directly at it could you see what it really was. Sort of. I google “constructive chaos” and “Hegellian dialectic”, follow threads and probe my mind peripherally, hands-on keyboards, touch-typing, exploring, free-falling through the internet, slouched over, face gravitating towards the 17” Apple flatscreen monitor, dazzling the dance, creating bookmark files and jotting down other phrases to enter into the search engines. “Destabilization”, “Imperialism”, “martial law”, “voter fraud.” (http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=943&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC was apparently the first talking head on a major news frequency to begin making noise about what is turning into a sort of voting fraud pandemic. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/). While a good many folks are awake to the idea that television, for the most part, is mind-control, a way of sedating the gears of industry while giving them some stimulation as positive reinforcement, a formidable majority of the populace just love the boob tube, and believe whatever they’re told to believe through it. Thankfully, Olbermann broke the strange silence on these reports of bizarre irregularities that have been burbling up from the depths of the internet. The information superhighway is the breeze that began to move the curtain, the breeze that then became a wind and threatened to reveal the man behind the curtain. It will be difficult to still the storm as technology continues to connect us all, whether we like it or not. That’s if we don’t run out of natural resources and have to resort to chasing our food once again, or finally deciding to go vegan and trying to figure out how to plant okra.

“In 1776, a Bavarian Jesuit by the name of Adam Weishaupt was commissioned by the House of Rothschild to centralize the power base of the Mystery Religions into what is commonly known as the Illuminati, meaning “Enlightened Ones.” This was an amalgamation of powerful occultic bloodlines, elite secret societies and influential Masonic fraternities, with the desire to construct the framework for a “New World Order.” The outward goal of this Utopia was to bring forth universal happiness to the human race. However, their underlying intention was to gradually increase control over the masses, thus becoming masters of the planet.” –Ron Patton on “Project Monarch”

The recorded history is out there, ergo “the truth.” I google “Bush Family”, “Mason”, “Skull and Bones”, “The Lavon Affair”, “MK ULTRA” and “Project Paperclip.” I read from the left and from the right, considering the middle-of-the road observations of academia and feeling a great deal of it swerving around in my proverbial gut. And there’s propaganda in them woods, intellectual booby traps, social programming, historians who don’t know their ass from an ASVAB, term papers based on inbred, outdated info floating on dead servers and null units dotting the planet’s surface. What you know is only part of who you are, but it’s a pretty large chunk all the same. Experience and spiritual energy are the other main sources of your identity. For if you haven’t actually seen it, heard it, tasted it, smelled it or touched it, you’re relying on the word of somebody else, their testimony if you will, that something or someone actually exists. That’s a lot of trust that we take for granted.

To tell you the truth, I don’t think it would have mattered if Kerry won the election or not. We don’t live in a democracy anymore. America is an empire, governed by individuals whose idea for a world utopia is to make sure that the only people who can have weapons of mass destruction are ourselves. However, nobody’s perfect, not even blue-blooded Americans like Bush, Cheney, Kerry, Rumsfeld and every single Kennedy in the book. Mistakes are made, and prices are paid.

The American Dream is fading like a once-hot novel in the window of a dollar store. Sabotaged by assassins from the inside, it’s been bleeding to death ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared America bankrupt in 1933. Regardless of the idea that people from all walks of life, cultures and ideals, races and religions could live together in the perfect Pangaea, it’s ever-increasingly turned out to be all about those who have and those who don’t as the gap grows ever wider. You can’t blame a brother for wanting to have, and then perhaps maybe wanting to have more when more arrives, but the megalomaniacal instincts of some over-achievers makes moustache-twirling seem positively en vogue. With the media serving as the “mass mind of society”, we’re constantly spewing American propaganda with the fervor of a fascist machine. Dramatic music and computer generated graphics open coverage of the Iraq war or election programs, echoing the Nazi newsreels of the thirties, before anyone really knew that the earnest Aryan chaps were quite that sick. Bush has uttered candid bits about “dictatorship” with cameras rolling, a twinkle in his eye. Heil to the chief, indeed.

I think the game is on and the first part of the game is all about setting the stage. And now the second part, just before the curtain rises, is to wake up those poor bastards and start the counter-offensive, incite the revolution, prepare for the charging of the gates. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, do not mourn for the fallen, for they are free, and they have died so that we may pursue life, now let’s go kick some ass! After a round of golf. And maybe a Manhattan.

Forecast For Fun

So yeah, it’s kind of sort of like The Matrix. Most people don’t extend a lot of effort into expanding the brain once they’ve settled into the routine of life. Those that push forward and acquire knowledge end up on the other side of the intellectual spectrum and, proving Freud right, would always be more aggressive. The other side of the spectrum would be your easily influenced, zombie-mentality, lemming-type, average American robot-waiting-for-the-upload. Future sleepers, killers, spooks, “the guy next door” who was “always so quiet.”

If you’re not afraid to buck conventions, then there’s one hell of a thrill ride waiting on the other side of the queue. Red pill or blue pill? The rabbit-hole goes deep.

We’re a country that’s actually a big corporation and we’ve been selling stock in dollars, but the dollars have little or no real value and all of the stockholders are like “what the fuck? Over.” They want to get paid in gold, but the U.S. has been writing $1 trillion worth of checks that its red, white and blue butt can’t cash, essentially. This is driving prices up, which makes it hard on everyone but the rich. Ordinary folks have been struggling to get by anyway because of a cost-of-living that comes nowhere close to matching the wages of living. Our society has been carefully constructed and designed, everything comes to us siphoned through government-approved channels. Unless, of course, you’re one of those immune to the brainwashing, a unique individual who likes to order tapes from overseas and occasionally likes to walk into a restaurant without ever having heard of it before.

You’re the kind of person who probably knows how to plant a row of vegetables in the dirt and when to harvest them. How to till the soil and rotate crops. Can make candles and homemade eggnog, goes into the woods with a gun, comes out with dinner. These are the people who will do the best when shit starts to go down. When they have to declare martial law because the growing populations and shrinking resources have created a pot-about-to-boil-over atmosphere, road rage becomes more common. Street vigilante gangs and organized crime spring up and attempt to bridge the gap between what’s right and what’s wrong, what you want and what you need. Going out in the hurricanes of Florida’s summer and attempting to find gas or supplies in our area, I witnessed such shocking little explosions of restlessness and rage, everyone turned up to “11”, and it registered in my soul and spirit like the time we saw Peter Gabriel at Oakland Coliseum in 1988 on his “So” tour. General seating. Thousands of people on the field. We’re smack dab in the middle when the crowd starts surging and there was this feeling of “mygodwe’regonnadie” as our bodies, flesh and bone began compacting into one another. Sharp angles stung, breathy exhalations of “fuck!”, gasps and a sickening crunch of joints and jawlines and stomping feet. And then it would surge back. Stronger. Eyes closed, elbows out, trying to protect my short little girlfriend, throwing elbows as the wave of flesh choked around us. Danger. I would’ve chewed through a guy’s chest to get at fresh air. Hardcore fans say that the love of life is most detectable when crowd-surfing or trying to eke out survival in a vicious mosh pit. The sparks of passion that preserve life, they arced at a gas station while I sought some ice cream and thought ‘things could get hideous here.’ It wouldn’t take much for the populace to begin snapping like Michael Douglas in Falling Down if the very core of our culture began to meltdown. Somewhere in the middle of this march towards chaos could come another 9/11. Which, after some time, will blur into a collage of 8/23’s and 4/19’s, the terrible 5/05 and 7/4. The way the rest of the world is, the world that we’re largely sheltered from. The halls of revolution and vicious coup de etat, the daily grindings of Ivory Coast unrest and Dutch intolerance. Christians being macheted out in the streets, all the while keeping in mind that America, as a whole, prides itself on being a Christian nation.

“Our men followed [the city’s defenders], killing and beheading them all the way to the Temple of Solomon. There was such slaughter there that our men waded in blood up to their ankles….Soon our men were running all around the city, seizing gold and silver, horses and mules, and houses filled with all kinds of goods. Rejoicing and weeping for joy, our people came to the sepulcher of Jesus our Savior to worship and pay our debt….Our men then took counsel and decided that everyone should pray and give alms so that God might choose for them whomever the pleased to rule over the others and govern the city….The living Saracens dragged the dead outside the gates and made heaps of them as large as houses. No one ever saw or heard of such a slaughter of pagan peoples, for funeral pyres were formed of them like pyramids and no one knows their number save God alone.” –a Christian witness to the massacre July 15, 1099 in Jerusalem.

“The massacre impressed the world. Many even among the Christians who participated were sickened and shamed by the brutality. When more humane and sane counsels did prevail in Christian circles, the Muslims remained justifiably distrustful and suspicious. Having destroyed Muslim power, the Crusaders had to set up a state. They took counsel as to who should be chosen to rule in the Holy Land.” –Professor Gerhard Rempel, Western New England College

We’re shielded from it and force-fed a lot of distraction, all the while, the architecture of what we think is ‘America’ is actually cardboard facades held up by wires and string that you can’t see. The programmers would have you believe that folks who speak this way are simply conspiracy theorists.

I’m a little obsessed, sure. But I took the red pill.

And if I’m painting things a little black, my apologies, for ever the eternal optimist I believe that there is still a fighting chance to avert the neo-conservative agenda and let the people find their voices. For all of our current history, it seems that not many in America can fathom living in a time of pure revolution, such as the Civil War, or the initial fight that won our freedom from imperious British rule. It seems that such wars are old-school, that we’re all so much more advanced now and far-removed from the gregarious charging down hills with bayonets brandished. But as increasing talk of secession leaks out of California and expatriate flight sees former Americans willing to leave this country (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=235904&page=1) in search of something more real and less fabricated, it becomes clear that enough is enough already, and quite a few million people are ready to exercise their rights as citizens to oppose a treacherous government. What’s been said for years is true – “times are getting tougher”, and that’s just not the case for some countries, where life has remained tantalizingly the same for decades. As America continues to lose its way, so the people are more and more relegated to horrified observers (if they’re awake) and clueless pawns (if they remain asleep.) Will the powder keg blow? Might the militia form and take up arms against the evil government? Could a second civil war be far away?

My own world view has changed so dramatically, I can’t imagine ever going back to feeling like everything’s simply going to come out alright. It will take work, dedication, courage, strength, activism and passion to stir the sleepers and awaken the army of believers in a real democracy. Get angry, get vocal, get involved.

Or go back to sleep and pray that you never wake up.


Recently on Ink 19...

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer


With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.

Mostly True

Mostly True

Print Reviews

Carl F. Gauze reviews the fascinating Mostly True: The West’s Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine, a chronicle of forgotten outsider subculture.

The Tin Star

The Tin Star

Screen Reviews

Anthony Mann’s gorgeous monochrome western, The Tin Star, may have been shot in black and white, but its themes are never that easily defined.



Screen Reviews

Charles DJ Deppner finds Flipside to be a vital treatise on mortality, creativity, and purpose, disguised as a quirky documentary about a struggling record store.