Along the Western Front

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Christmas Eve, 103 years ago tonight,
the world burns burns burns like
the furnace it is, but a hard freeze
sets in after an agonizing week
of wind & rain 
along the Western Front.

Tired and ragged soldiers on both sides
of a senseless, brutal war
emerge, with hands up,
from the trenches
harmonizing Silent Night
in unison
as the snow begins to fall.

For just a few hours, these war-torn
adversaries come together
as allies, as friends, as brothers.

They defy the rules of war,
ignore commands from generals
and politicians, and chisel out
their own peace. A peace not granted
by their masters. Two enemies, together,
under a bleak sky in fields of blood and bones,
laugh and sip whiskey and smoke cigars,
while sharing gifts as the grey dawn
gives way to the bloodshed again.

But for one night, just one night, these
young soldiers escaped the cage of honor,
the hell of their undoing, and lowered
their guns, and their goddamn flags
and found brotherhood through truce.

Let every night be Christmas Eve night,
1914, along the Western Front.

 

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23 Brilliant Mark Twain Quotes on his Birthday

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William Faulkner christened Mark Twain, “The Father of American Literature.”

The great Hemingway claimed that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

America’s finest writer was born on this day 182 years ago. So it’s fitting to bring to light 23 of Mark Twain’s many brilliant quotes that show us his unrivaled witticism and piercing insights on human nature. Continue reading

Tragedy of Man

The most dangerous thing
to any society is a man
brimming with emptiness.
And it’s rampant, man,
you see it everywhere.
Empty men, too comfortable,
too stagnant, drive gone.
Unable to create, unable to
grow, these men lose the guts
to command their own lives.

They become resentful
and fall deeply into a
vicious type of despair.

I think we’ve all been there
a time or two but this particular
man gets stuck in it. He gives up
wanting and feeling, thinks it’s
all futile. His boredom eventually
yields to a fetish to destroy all
life around him, including his own.

Mass shootings, murder-suicides,
and snuggling up to warped ideologies
divulge
the sad finale
to all these men’s
sick stories.

Sainthood & Outlaws

 

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Socrates was sentenced to drink the hemlock
for corrupting the youth. Jesus was crucified
for rebelling against the Roman Empire. Joan of
Arc was burned at the stake for heresy. It’s pretty
clear to see that sainthood is often born of rebellion.
It’s usually the outlaws of a society, those most hated
while alive, who live forever in the hearts of mankind.

you’re not gonna change it, darlin’

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the world is in disarray, darlin’,
and that’s the way it always has been
and always will be. this is its normal state,
it’s tragic and fascinating at the same time.

the vast fields of gold & honey
are encircled by raging rivers
of blood and tears.

you’re not going to change it, darlin’.

I know your college professors have
plagued your mind with subversive ideas
of change; change at a cost of yielding
your essence to the false idol of “equality”,
but’s it’s a lie, darlin’, I promise you…
the unintended consequences will be far worse
than the evils you’re trying to eradicate.

you have animosity & rage
building up within you,
you’re becoming corrupted by your beliefs,
this sometimes happens
when a belief system is in doubt,
can’t you see it, darlin’?

can’t you see what you’re becoming?

instead of listening and pondering the rationale
of opposing voices, you want them silenced.
you routinely inject a dose of ad hominem
as a scapegoat to divert attention away
from the debate, you erect a strawman, lumping
your opponents into detestable groups
to muddy up their character instead of
dealing face to face with the argument.

this is what you’ve become.

they’ve molded you into an instrument
in someone else’s symphony. a pawn in
someone else’s game. refuse, darlin’
don’t lose yourself to some odious ideology
that breeds resentment towards the
hierarchical structure you find yourself in,
it’s a no-win situation.

I promise you, darlin’
you’re not going to smash the system
you’re not going to alter it
you’re not going to level it out.
your time & energy are too precious
to waste on such a futile endeavor.

because in truth, we’re all just thrown
into this chaotic catastrophe as lost
transients who take on a few
decades of its infinite expansion.

endless suffering, prejudices,
and inequity are part of the game
darlin’, they’re inescapable
in a world of duplicitous hearts,
where that fine line rifts between
good and evil.

so go ahead, clamor for more laws,
shun your neighbors and cling tighter
to your predictable politics, give up
a little more in exchange for the illusion
of security, write your congressman,
join the trendy campaign, hashtag
your way straight to utopia, darlin’

sermonize to us all on social media
like you do so well

keep it up

tell us the way of the world,
tell us what the philosophers
neglected to inform us
tell us our proper role
on this unforgiving planet
tell us your bland ideas
tell us your irrational fears
tell us your cunning pleas

however, darlin’, you’re not going
to change it, your groupthink,
herd-minded viewpoints are voiced
loud and clear, but it means nothing.

your resentment of the flourishing
makes you a victim of a deep-seated
nihilistic despair, and instead of trying
to rise through the muck, you yearn to bring
everyone down to your pathetic level.

you were taught this to be virtuous, noble,
you’ve come to despise the individual,
you’ve come to hate him, which is
why you mimic the masses and castoff
responsibility for your own miserable life.

you’ve been caught up in the cobwebs
of your culture, darlin’. you’re too weak
to push through. they’ve got you.

this is why you’re bitter and saturated
with an anti-realist belief system.
the way you perceive outer reality
is just a reflection of your inner world.

the only REAL thing you can do
is change who you are.

behave in little ways
to make yourself a
healthier, wiser
more creative
person.

you have to go at it alone, though.
the majority, the crowd, is never right.

think bigger, reflect deeper, speak truthfully,
take on a bigger load, put some skin
in the game. find out who you are,
fix your unlived, broken self
first, before you attempt
in some vain way
to save the
world.

it’s the only way.

So, You Think You’re A Patriot, Huh?

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You think you’re a patriot, do you?

You think being viciously angry over an individual taking a knee during the national anthem makes you a patriot?

You think being an armchair warrior venting your disgust over trivial matters on social media makes you a patriot?

You think slinging around “patriotic” memes all over the internet makes you a patriot?

You think that waving a flag around and loudly singing ‘God Bless America’ makes you a patriot?

You think being an obedient citizen makes you a patriot?

You think blind and unwavering support of the military, the police, and the national security state makes you a patriot? And do you really think you’re pro-military when you sit back silently while corrupt politicians send them overseas to fight illegal wars based on lies?

My friends, this everything against what a patriot is. Continue reading

Carl Jung on the State

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Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. He had one of the most brilliant and imaginative minds of the 20th century.

Jung, during the mid part of the century, started to observe that societies were moving in a direction of mass-mindedness and state worship.

He saw that men were becoming “subordinated to ideological considerations [that] must serve the State, and not truth and justice in men’s dealings with one another.”

He goes on to write that the “mass State has no intention of promoting mutual understanding and the relationship of man to man; it strives, rather, for atomization, for the psychic isolation of the individual. The more unrelated individuals are, the more consolidated the State becomes, and vice versa.”

Here’s an insightful description of what one of the most beautiful minds of the last century thought about the state:

Quoted from Wikipedia entry on Carl Jung:

“Jung stressed the importance of individual rights in a person’s relation to the state and society. He saw that the state was treated as ‘a quasi-animate personality from whom everything is expected’ but that this personality was ‘only camouflage for those individuals who know how to manipulate it’, and referred to the state as a form of slavery. He also thought that the state ‘swallowed up [people’s] religious forces’,and therefore that the state had ‘taken the place of God’—making it comparable to a religion in which ‘state slavery is a form of worship’. Jung observed that ‘stage acts of [the] state’ are comparable to religious displays: ‘Brass bands, flags, banners, parades and monster demonstrations are no different in principle from ecclesiastical processions, cannonades and fire to scare off demons’. From Jung’s perspective, this replacement of God with the state in a mass society led to the dislocation of the religious drive and resulted in the same fanaticism of the church-states of the Dark Ages—wherein the more the state is ‘worshipped’, the more freedom and morality are suppressed; this ultimately leaves the individual psychically undeveloped with extreme feelings of marginalization.“

To add to that, in his profound little book called “The Undiscovered Self,” Jung writes:

“Only, the suggestive parade of State power engenders a collective feeling of security which, unlike religious demonstrations, give the individual no protection against his inner demonism. Hence he will cling all the more to the power of the State, i.e., to the mass, thus delivering himself up to it psychically as well as morally and putting the finishing touch to his social depotentiation. The State, like the Church, demands enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, and love, and if religion requires or presupposes the “fear of God,” then the dictator State takes good care to provide the necessary terror.”