Please visit our sponsor.
Charlie Manson, America's pop psychologist and resident macabre dancer.
On the cover:
Charles Manson and 26-year-old finance Afton Elaine Burton. Charles Milles Manson, born November 12, 1934, is an American criminal who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in the California desert in the late 1960s. Manson and his followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969. In 1971 he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people — most notably of the actress Sharon Tate — all of which were carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He is currently serving nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California.
America as Babylon
The race war he wished to ignite is here in that most American of ways, say it with me now, consumerist drones: brought to you by..the NRA and the 1% who firmly believe that, hey, life’s a lottery and, well, for them to win, albeit via more than enough financial legerdemain, a whole lot of folks must lose. Nothing personal, unless you’re at the bottom of that Bell curve which just naturally left them there..with a little help from their frenemies at the rigged apex.
Let’s break it down (a fitting phrase for its de facto fate) this so-called civilization we so desperately must protect from ‘them’, wondering all the while in deliberate self-delusion just why the ‘status quo’ has a Latin name and, into that bottom-line monetized bargain, how and why the hate 'us'.
It happens that this 'us/them' dichotomy's the most unnatural part of Nature and her symbiotic 'win/win' formula but for 'us'. Just who are these 'us'?
An all-white ‘Band’ decides to call the tune, not yet a smash Broadway hit musical written and portrayed by mostly non-whites, using sing-song, rather beautiful words like ‘We the People..’, effectively displacing native persons, forcibly imported laborers of darker complexion and, yes, even white women whose task it was to sew the banners beneath which this Band of brothers (only) pursued its aggrandizing.
Now, in support of this 'us'-ness (our very initials, U.S., hmm) other jingoistic shibboleths were needed with which to marshall this Band's hegemony, a sort of greatest hits compilation, so manifest destiny and other figleaf veils were summoned from the rhetoriticians toolbox in such a way that critical mass got reached, and the mass of excluded people grew critical of word and deed, hence, in paraphrase of helter skelter's memorable sound byte before that very political device had its name:
"...you may be a snubber, but you ain't no answer...'
As ironic spokesperson, a young, articulate African American woman--we'll call her Destiny--decides to speak on behalf of 'them':
We Are Here, or, Tribal Warfare Circular #1/WTF69-2016
‘We’ are here; ‘here’ is called Earth; sometimes we capitalize it, like I just did. Other times we don’t, say when we just want to identify dirt, which is very strange and often confusing since books we call holy devote quite a lot of proverbial verses to basically reducing everything to dirt, which is sometimes-- especially in those books-- called ‘dust’, a thing we, they say, come from and go back to, also known as ‘ashes’, something we hope we won’t be reduced to before our time at the hands of….’others’.
We, all of us, would probably agree that it would be useful to carefully define some terms….here goes, this is the best ‘we’ve’ come up with:
It makes us (a number of ‘I’s that agree on things) nervous and somehow uneasy to not be able to use all the categorical words we’ve invented, after much thinking by some really smart-sounding people about the whole business, to describe others, a.k.a., ‘them’, made up of various worlds inhabited by entities which are at odds with us… ‘I’ worlders.
All these worlds, strangely enough, agree on one thing: we, sometimes known as us, have many, many names for ‘us’, and even ‘us’ or ‘we’ isn’t one of them unless it’s a world, sometimes with just two members, which is supposed to be different from another small or large world. This is confusing and sometimes exhausting for any world because it makes it spend a lot of time and energy thinking up things that only it has or does. By the way, the thing called ‘they’ or ‘them’ is never ‘us’ or ‘we’.
Back to Earth, with a capital ‘e’; it is inhabited by separate mini-worlds of entities (let’s call them ‘people’ for user-friendliness) whose ancestors decided, for one reason…(Note: this word can include things that are not at all reasonable, and often really means ‘excuse’, also a verb describing something we should not do when it’s a noun) or another, to call certain areas of earth (here, we use the lower case) countries or nations, where lots of those people get as far away from that earth as possible, ending up in what are called cities where, out of some kind of longing, these same people will do almost anything to have a small patch of it to grow things in, mostly flowers, to remind them of how beautiful and giving the big ‘e’ Earth is. Some of these people often feel sorry for ‘others’--those who live in a world named ‘second’ or ‘third’-- who have no choice and are forced to live close to the earth/dirt, eating whatever it, the dirt, will allow them to grow in it. Still, many people who live in the cities like their food grown only in dirt, without poisoning it with chemicals and things, calling it ‘organic’. Many people of big ‘e’ Earth like to use words like ‘organic’, which is used to both make them feel closer to the earth, little ‘e’-- although, they’d, still, rather not be around too much and let it get their hands ‘dirty’ (one of those few names that really gets to the point without beating around any kind of bush, also rooted in…..well, dirt)--unless it’s close by, with flowers and in a world known as ‘first’-- and to also make them feel smart and well-informed.
This feeling is what people from the world known as ‘first’ literately call irony which often makes them feel both clever and sad; this sadness is, ironically, mostly caused by these names themselves, things we call things so that we won’t get them mixed up with other things, even though, at the risk of being redundant and, well, preachy, our holy books say that in the end this is pretty pointless as they start out and end up the exact same thing (see your local holy man/woman for further details; see, also, any good physics textbook).
And, so, we consider ourselves (though, not necessarily ‘others’, especially ones without really high-tech machines) intelligent beings and pretty much expect other intelligent beings from other worlds… when they encounter us in one of several possible ways, including close ones of the third kind, to call us Earthlings. But, for some reason we can’t explain, except with words like ‘sovereign’ and ‘ancestors’, we never call ourselves that, even in science fiction stories--only the scary, hostile-intentioned aliens would use that word. Curiously enough, when a world or worlds on Earth can’t seem to get along with others, we call this ‘alienation’.
Nevertheless, we, on behalf of the inhabitants of Earth--okay, at least the ones with really advanced machines, wish to be very clear: we would be so very glad to meet other beings from other….worlds; then we could get to know them and they.. ‘us.’
Then, finally, at long last, we would no longer be alone.
J b Pravda, Philosophic Opinion: Born Brooklyn, NY, US Government Attorney during Watergate, when he 'Felt' uneasy about governments, and laws; later, public company CEO, lobbyist, now, multimedia artist, published produced playwright (paid royalties), columnist for leading magazines; his paintings have been published & exhibited as well as included in a national touring exhibition as well as several multimedia exhibitions in NY and other venues. Published diversity author via major university, winning Finalist in Stymie... (more...)