How Baboon got his Butt.

Back in the Before Time, Zebra was pure white. He was also the meanest, most ornery crittur in the bush. He liked to set the other animals against each other because it made him feel good. He liked to order them about and tell them in what parts of the forest they could and could not travel.

White as white he was..

Whenever he felt bored or insecure he would dream up some new piece of persecution to divert himself for a moment. This meant that the animals avoided him and so he became even more bored and insecure.

“There has to be a way to pick up a quarrel with the animals… I have to find a place where they all go to and then find a way to annoy them,” he muttered to himself as he stood all alone on the grassy plains.” Kalas Ambasivan.

So he went down to the waterhole where all the animals had to drink and lay in wait for them. When they arrived he leapt out with unrestrained glee, ” Ho, you stupid creatures, dont you dare go near the water. Its Mine.”

“May we drink from your water?” asked one of the animals timidly.

“No, Never!” replied the haughty Zebra. “All forest resources are for Zebra first and only…

” But you dont need to own everything,” continued the foolish creature.

“Silence,” commanded Zebra. “that is fake news.”

Then Baboon stepped forward..

” What if I refuse? ”

“Ha!” yelled Zebra, delighting at the prospect of a fight. “You cannot attack me,” And he built a boma of wooden branches around himself as a protective wall which he then set alight to intimidate everyone.

But Baboon was unafraid. He sailed over the burning branches onto Zebras back. It was the last thing Zebra expected. His own cowardice could not countenance the prospect that Baboon could act in such a spontaneous and unselfconscious way.

And even though Baboon was burned and pummeled and kicked till his arse turned blue he managed to unseat Zebra and bring him crashing down into the burning branches where the singe marks have remained to this day.

Baboon does something spontaneous and authentic.

He is wounded in the process.

But he is victorious.

Being burned from behind is a metaphor of betrayal. It means acknowledging not only the reality of the impact of Zebras actions on the lives of the forest animals, but also of their own collusion. Avoiding him on the forest trails, failing to speak out, turning a blind eye to intimaidation, are all the passive acceptance of pretending things arent so bad and that threats to freedom will just go away.

And yet betrayal is something that appears to be fundamental to life.  The idyll of primal innocence has to be lost and the shadows in everything faced. Zebra has no shadow as yet. He is pure white. Which is why he is so dangerous. He doesnt believe himself capable of dark stripes, so he has no watch on his own wickedness. Wisdom is not knowledge of stuff, its consciousness of ones own darkness, enough to make you alert and wary in an empty room.

“When alone, behave as if in company. When in company, behave as if alone.” Zen  Proverb.

Betrayal is a kind of necessary evil, and perhaps the bullying white Zebras of this world too. They help us to find what we are made of, the testing of ones spirit being also the fuel that makes it grow.

Adversity somehow drags authentic response from the soul and though Baboon gets burned for the priviledge, he does more than cast a ballot. He defies the firey wall.

His blue bum is an expression of authentic life. You cant fake a massive blue arse or its meaning. What you see is what you get. As indicators of sexual receptivity and tribal seniority they continuously advertise what is actually going on. No fake news in baboon culture.

So Baboon manages to bring Zebra down not by the co-ordinated effort of collective might but by his own spontaneous and individual action.

Its  easy to feel overwhelmed by your own insignificance. Its something Zebra counts on. You imagine you have no power because you are just one person. Yet every act of courage begins with one person refusing to buy into the con that this is a limitation.

Being just-one-person is a great thing, more than you can hope for, because it is from the refusal to be dictated to and the insistence on having your own say whether there is anyone there to listen or not, that change comes.

Folk may denigrate you saying thats just your blue arsed opinion, but actually that is all any of us ever have, can ever aspire to. and so really all they are saying is, ” I havent yet learned to speak my own mind.”

Baboon risks the flames because his suffering blue arse means something to him. It symbolises something. He is free of the eat-work-sleep merry-go-round by which he had formerly been seduced. So he cannot be steered, cowed, or have the wool pulled over his eyes.

Despite his superior size Zebra is defeated and given a mark that represents his babyish need to have everything be black and white, for the solution to everything to be obvious and to have everybody else be stupid. His fate is poetic because he lives in a world in which there can not be reconciliation between opposites without first being torn apart by  his own contradictions and complexities. Baboon on the other hand has been initiated by fire, happy with the contradiction that he is just-one-creature.

On Wanting to be Great Again.

When you think about inspiring words of leadership, great speeches that stir the heart, they all have something in common. They evoke values which connect people to themselves and to their neighbour.

Their words touch on some universal recognition that the quality of life is more important than its width. There is a sense of lyrical poetry or a sudden cadence of imagination that invites the listener into some greater awareness of themselves and their purpose.

And sometimes its just the opposite…

The invitation to regress, to have permission to suspend the hard work and moral demands of critical thinking, to indulge Poor Me, can be mightily seductive.

“Thinking is difficult, which is why most people judge.” CG Jung

Judging ahead of time, pre-judice, is an attractive ticket because it invites us to sit back and bask in our own glory… provided of course that we can then find a scapegoat to carry the group shadow. None of which should be too difficult since judging ahead of time is precisely that we know what is going to happen next, a big plus in an age of anxiety.

So speeches reduced to sound bites and slogans appeal to a far older part of the hind brain than the lofty ideals of the neo-cortex.

” We ask little except that ye abstain from red meat and fornication”. Acts 15;29

Mr Trump has taken considerable critisism for both the content and the style of his speeches. Some say that his incoherence indicates the onset of senilty. They cite and compare a variety of speeches from his earlier years in which he seems to manage grammer and syntax perfectly well.

Of course this would be no great surprise for a man of 71, but there is a further consideration that has ramifications greater than the precise nature of his medical diagnosis….

…people speaking in tounges has been part of Bible Belt culture for some time. When folk get inflated they regress. This impacts coherence, but scarier than diminished diplomatic finesse, is the mind set that goes with it, which is that if you want to understand me you will just have to keep pace and figure it out. Listen better. Follow me as I flit from flower to flower.

The concept of Symbiotic Omnipotence, coined by psycho-analyst Masud Kahn, is useful for understanding the significance of incoherent narcissistic rhetoric. One of the key features of Symbiotic Omnipotence is that it is a double act, a folie a deux, a between, in which the psyche of both parties, starting with mother and child, stay in a partly fused state built on mutual superiority. In adult life this dynamic often plays itself out in co-dependent relationships where the glue is delusional shared specialness.

“Isnt it wonderful that we both hate the same things.” Seymour Skinner from the Simpsons.

The contribution of third parties is denigrated as insignificant or fake, eroding….

”…the perception of others as valuable or nourishing, through subtle collusion and indulgences”.  M. Khan

There is no real point in making oneself understood in any case since the world is reduced to Them and Us, fools who cannot comprehend and allies who already get it.

Under such circumstances correct grammer and lofty syntax come a poor second to the attitude which says ” I dont have to make sense and nor do you.”

People love this. You can get to be a very particular kind of baby all over again. Its an invitation to act out all the petty grievances and violent tendencies that had to be repressed the first time around, all of which then led to the sorry pass whereby identity has to be shored up with knowing what happens next and forging the kind of relationship with the world that….

”enables a person to both perceive and deny [reality]”. M. Kahn

useful, say, if you had some command codes and a red telephone.

Wanting to be great again is the secret wish to be the omnipotent baby in the room, without any constraint, seeped in specialness, but one which urgently needs the Symbiotic Other to define it, to manifest its hopes and dreams.

A classic instance of symbiotic omnipotence in the news concerns one Kevin Gugliotta, a Pennsylvanian priest who has recently been sentanced for peddling child pornography. He says he did this to punish God for not letting him win at poker.

“According to pre-trial records, Gugliotta told probation officers that he was an avid poker player, and he felt God was attacking him when he lost games.” RT Question More.

What is so scary about this is not just that friend Gugliotta assumes  Gods involvement in his loss, but that his own response to such divine wickedness doesnt have to make sense in the process, unless he perhaps had some personal wish to be the nasty thing that happens to nice people.

Permission to be above the law, both those of the land and those of linguistic coherence, is a dicey prospect for anyone, especially a leader. To succeed, he needs Others who will bite, in their millions, at the tempting invitation to be similarly unconstrained, having been seduced into the conviction of their own specialness, but still needing the Opioid Epidemic from Hell to manage the gap between the American Dream and the Nightmare of Hate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executions: a Psychology.

Floridas execution industry has suffered a recent set back with controversy about the use of a new type of lethal injection, Etomidate.

It doesnt work?

Oh no, it kills people really well..

The problem is that it causes the condemned recipient ten seconds of *mild to moderate discomfiture*, before suffering the worlds worst heart attack.

First off, if its untested, how does anyone know that…? But more importantly, what kind of a split reality do we live in where you might be happy to kill someone whilst moping their chin after a hearty last meal, making sure their death suit is freshly back from the cleaners or losing sleep over the *moderate discomfiture* of the person currently having his heart stopped.

Somehow the discomfiture…..

don*t make the noose to tight on him, its unconstitutional!

…and the unpleasant feelings associated with having your heart ripped out in tune to the lapping oarstrokes of Charons ferry, seems somewhat disconnected from the big picture..

All this split politeness about judicial killing has quite some history. Its a tradition that the condemned are allowed last requests, even if you hate them. You might have to send out for pizza, give them a choice of blindfold, or a final fag, perhaps the book clutching comfort of a man in a black dress muttering words to break the arkward silence of those last few moments..

Perhaps thats why the executioners get to be hooded, to hide the shifty look that knows there is covert agenda..

or could it be for politeness sake, so that the poor condemned need not be offended by the coldness of a face with all the mercy of a stone cliff on a stormy night…

or perhaps its to discourage unnecessary chit chat. Rapid dispatch will serve to  reduce the unpleasant chances of wetting of oneself, so thats jolly decent of them.

Oh and in fact you dont have to worry about having your head chopped off, which is a barbaric,… but we might dangle you by it and let you twist and kick for a bit. Way more humane.

The choreography of the pageant is preceeded by the death watch, a macabre ritual of intruding on the prisoner every couple of minutes to make sure he doesnt somehow manage to cheat his fate and make an earlier appointment with death, magically producing the means to kill himself from an empty cell, as though the maximum penalty also made you into a witch if you werent one to begin with.

Prisoners are often given a physical before their execution, in order to ensure that they are fit enough to die..

which is very considerate..

So, if you hurt your nob having a final desperate wank, you might be let off?

No, I dont think it works like that. Though it does beg the bizzare question of what constitutes health grounds for a stay of execution..

you cant kill me, I have a life limiting condition…

yes, its called the green mile.

The physical, the meal, the solemnity of final requests, the intricate rules, observances, training procedures to make sure the restraints dont chaf, all these are structures of denial about what is actually happening which have to be set in place to live with the contradiction of believing how evolved we are whilst clinging to the practices of tooth and claw. And so before delivering 300,000 volts to your exquisite jelly we will moisten the sponge, just so.

We dont want to kill people but we have a whole host of juicy ways of doing it which you can experiment with…of course, once due process has been tended to and we have made sure that the prisoner is not bruised before he is fried. We are humane.

Or maybe the execution industry is all part of a policy of bread and circuses designed to keep people amused whilst the State picks their pockets and slips shackles on their imagination. When times are hard the rate of judicial killing rises. The people must be diverted.

Of course, we are way too gentile to have such circuses publically anymore, that would be distasteful..

and crowd control is soo expensive.

But the court room dramas leading up to them, and the reliably endless media coverage makes up for all it. Shucks, its like having a front seat at the arena complete with corn chips and beer without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

how did life get this good?

But there is a problem..

For more than the amusement of a culture couch bound and weary from its own greatness, and for greater purpose than deterrence, there lies a dark and hidden motive that strikes further than the prisoners heart… and that is to convey to one and all that life is cheap, his, yours, mine. And since it is cheap it is not worth fighting for.

As soon as you argue for the relative worth of a particular persons life, irrespective of whether they *deserve* to die, then you are on the slippery slope of an arguement for the relative worth of any and all lives.

Andrew Anglin, founder of neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer wrote this about the Charlottesville attack…

*the real tragedy is what happened to the car. It was a very nice car, worth much more than the life of anyone who died.*

The ultimate effect of having a federal industry that puts people to death is not less crime, the deterrent effect, or justice for victims, but the ennervating message, embraced wholeheartedly by the collective insecurity of Supremacy, that the value of life can be measured like stock. And you wonder why your infinite, boundless soul is depressed.