Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Tag Archives: Politics

Ron Paul Burns 2016

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Are We All Out of Touch With Reality?

Looking out from this desert of poor lost capitalists, here’s my attempt at trying to find the way. For too long we’ve all huddled in our cabanas on Jersey shores sipping on oblivious daiquiris. Did we enroll in complacency training and forget we attended the course? My culture believes very pointedly in constant broadcast of uninformed opinion so my talking points about politics and wealth are justified I’d say–and besides, I do know people. People are a subject I know.

Who are these wealth mongers and the class war baiters? Where exactly is the destructive center of our multinational suicide machine? and why am I calling it “ours”? What about this dastardliness is “ours”? This high ticket trash can belongs to the human race, yes, but why am I claiming it for “us”?

If any of this talk sounds pessimistic, that’s because it is–but I’m not mad. I’m not even worried. The higher goal here is for seeing the caviar refined piranhas as belonging to the same genus pool as the rest of us. That’s all. In plainly honest terms it’s because I want their money. I want the backing of their lawyers and I want their guns. Yes, this is a Warren Zevon song. For these philistines I take the blame; I am them, only nicer.

Some would insist that at night their stark green slivered eyes shine out over forked tongues and with matching scales for skin. I don’t know where you stand on these proposals but it’s divisive. Designed divisiveness. David Icke and his ilk would have the masses believe that the Bilderbergs and Rothschilds are secretly an unrecognizable race at odds with our own human race. I’m telling you seriously, if you didn’t already know, people believe this shit and they are what most would label as “rightwing”.

Now Democrat party congregations would have us thinking that evil avarice only belongs to the selfish and immoral Republican set. It’s hard to get along when you make it a point to not understand your enemy. Did anyone notice both camps actually have the same enemy?

In this senseless Zuckerberg fueled nightmare, to the right of me are the wingnuts bent on old world mythological archetypes engaged in endless apocalyptic war. To the left of me are the moralizing nuevo-Socialists calling for overtime in the mass production of “Class War!” picket signs.

It saddens me to see that none of them are realizing it’s just a style war. And all the while the CEOs are decked out in their attorney-lined armani jackets, showing up at congressional hearing after hearing, reaping 74% raises for their devotion.

Where did reality go in all of this?

There is anger and there is disgust running these circuses of emotion, but in the scheme most practical, every member of the oppressed class has got to remember that magic is not at play. The capitalist masters are only human. They have greed like the rest of us–only more so–resultant from their hierarchical breeding. This key point will lead us all back to the difficult task of objective harmony.

Are The Wealthy Out Of Touch With Reality?

“Out of touch with reality” is an interesting turn of phrase. I guess it makes perfect literal sense: reality is what’s real and you can touch real. Simple, right?

We were talking on Effbook the other day about wealth inequality (maybe every day to be more exact). This phrase could be used regarding that subject. People have become so rich that they might become insular and generally ignorant to the concerns of the rest of us. Could they possibly understand what it feels like to not be able to afford the gas to make a trip across town?

But I ask, why SHOULD they care about anyone else? They made that money, we didn’t.

It’s a process to become more insular. With their net worth growing by the minute, this person of the elite becomes more adept at rejecting those who’d want the money that he has. It’s an obvious philosophy to believe that wealthy people should be expected to be charitable and in fact, most of them are, at least to an extent. Everybody and their brother comes to this wealthy man asking for handouts. He gets used to saying no and deflecting their advances, even if sometimes he does say yes.

How could someone in his position ever get close to anyone who, themselves, are not wealthy? It must get really tiring to have to say no to so many people. After a while I suppose a person starts embracing selfishness as a defense system.

We can all understand the problem of the spoiled kid who has been given everything. His training in life has resulted in a kind of passive acceptance. He doesn’t have to work for anything yet he’s still better off than his peers struggling. He doesn’t actively earn anything because his comforts emanate from his natural birth right. This is his reality.

The self made individual tells himself that he owes nobody. He avoids connection with anyone who might want from him. He avoids unpleasantness (as is human nature to do) and consequently starts creating a brick wall made from the grains of his ego. This is war and he will not sustain losses. This is his reality.

He IS special–he’s wealthy. He’s not out of touch with his reality, he’s out of touch with our reality.

And So We Embarked Upon This Project..

Image to stage an art show in motel rooms with everyone/anyone in charge. No one would curate. No one would procure an event permit–no one would need to. Individual artists and creatives would rent rooms–the public would be invited.

“Get a room, Make a Show”. This is the motto and literally the only rule observed. The third weekend of June would always be our event’s weekend. OK, so 2 rules.

That first year it was actually called Dada Motel and the event took place over the fourth weekend of June, 2007. In Reno, we have the month of July reserved for an event called Artown. That city wide establishment festival is run by a non-profit organization with a large budget.

For years Reno’s visual artists have felt shafted by that event’s planners so El Jefe’s new event was to steal some thunder from them. We did it the very weekend before July starts. Ours became the alternative arts event of Reno.

It’s always the issue of insurance. Artown, being a non-profit corporation, has many hoops to jump through and the full gamut of restrictions. This dullness is passed along to the artists. Visual artists do not sell tickets to their events and quite often not one penny is made. Trust me, I know. These points all make for very restrictive parameters in putting together an art exhibition unless the show is held in existing spaces open (and insured) for the public–motels-HellOOooo.

Controversy is always good for publicity. Those first few years you’d hear much harsh talk about Artown. People seemed to eat that shit up… our friends anyway.

Myself, I never wanted to give Artown the satisfaction of thinking their event led to the creation of our event. A city council guy, their leader, actually tried to do just that. In a meeting with state officials, I’m told he actually tried to take credit for NadaDada as an explanation of why Artown needed more tax money. Our event has hosted the creative contributions of 350 artistic souls at no cost to tax payers. Alot of people are very proud of this fact.

The big non-profit corporation that claims so much in the way of tax breaks and public funding now also wants to accept credit for what we’ve done, categorically, WITHOUT the assistance from the trickle down. No sir! Artists created this event not a board room.

We’re not against public funding, I just don’t want to see artists sucking from that teet anymore. (I’d like to credit Jefe with this analogy). Artists are leaders. Creators make the world. We are not paupers and we are not handicapped and we’re not in need of aid. We create culture. Culture is not enslaved by subsidies.

Sure it’s a pride thing. NadaDada is proud to be a positive contributor to the economy since 2007. We pay for motel rooms and event locations are rented, drinks are bought… presented are musical and theatrical shows to an accepting and contributing public. We do not present “starving artists” or something akin to battered wife shelters in need of donations.

There is only so much public money out there and there’s no reason an event like NadaDada should compete with organizations for that funding. No, we can’t accept tax deductible contributions–we’re not a church! We cannot claim grants for the organization itself because there is no organization. There is no trickle down within NadaDada. It’s a self run band of gypsies who know how to party. We have only our selves to thank.

It’s nice to be mobile and it’s effective to be nimble. People have come and gone and many have brought new energetic contributions. If everybody owns it, every one of them is free to assist.

I think when people fear calling it anarchy, they can’t get “chaos” out of their head. Destruction is not part of our game and our movement is not really against anything; we’re simply offering a different model of self-government. We all want the same thing and that is simply to be able to create freely and to exhibit at will. There is such a thing as self policing and friction usually takes care of itself.

Some ancient philosopher once observed the ironic center of man’s desires: to fit in–acceptance, and also to be recognized as exceptional–individualism. There’s collective good but we also want to be able to stand out. As long as we’re all allowed to pursue both aims, we should remain healthy as a culture.

Serving One Master

Cloud Joshuas

Serving one master, as suggested as being necessary in the Bible, is much more simple than we may have thought.

We may think, “Wow, there’s me and what I want/need, and then there’s my family and there’s my parents and my religious peers, and then there’s my job and my boss and the corporation that employs us both. There’s my community and there are my friends.”

“I’m being judged by all of them; how could I possibly serve them all?”

We can adhere to a particular sect of religion/philosophy or gang, or we may call our self an Atheist (Self God?). We may call our self spiritual but not religious. Outside of our own wishes, we may find ourselves labeled “new age”. Maybe Science is actually our God.

Apart from the commercial marketplace or our standings in the materialistic, Capitalist culture that we find our self, we may notice “This is not my beautiful house”…

Maybe these queries lead us to self-label from a Political standpoint: “I’m a Socialist at heart”, or “I’m an Anarcho-Capitalist”, “I believe in the democratic ideal: I’m a bureaucrat”.

From any of these (or other) perspectives then, the master is?.. drum roll please..

I’d like to offer a lil’ tid bit to you, dear reader: I’ve been to A.A. Most of my friends used to/do label themselves liberal, and this means, usually, that they’re more usually inclined to call themselves “Atheists” than “religious”. The usual comment from friends that I would keep is that A.A. focuses too much on God and that the organization is too Christian.

My friends, I still like to drink alcohol. I never intended to quit drinking, but I was required to attend these meetings, and after having said all that, I gotta’ tell ya’ “a higher power” or “arc of the universe” in nothing to reject or act rebellious toward.

To believe in “something bigger than yourself” is fully rational and totally useful. Humility is a virtue in life to strive toward.

Whatever you wanna’ call that, realize that we’re all in this together and the rise of “No God” or Atheism is the very root of this empty and pointless societal gloom that we’re experiencing right now.

What I like to say to Atheists is this: I don’t believe in Atheists. I would almost wager that every single person has perceived SOME kind of bigger system that we, ourselves, are a tiny part of.

If you believe that you are a simple cog in the wheel, then you are not an Atheist (by my own definition), you’re Agnostic.

Just give in, just believe that your actions are part of something worth while and see that your life is not a waste. Someone/something needs you.

To sort of blow your mind, or maybe just to tune you in a bit deeper, I’d like to mention a few things because, quite succinctly, I had, at one time, seen them as counter-intuitive philosophies:

1. There is a documentary movie called “Gay Republicans“; Yes, they exist!

2. The Unitarian Universalist Church accepts adherents of Witchcraft as well as Christians, Jews, “New Agers”, Buddhists, etc.

3. I don’t believe in Atheists (link above) is a book by an author, previously unbeknownst to me,that has another philosophy in common with me: War creates purpose.

4. Anarchy is NOT a synonym of Chaos. Literally, it means “no hierarchy”.

5. Hinduism is known to Westerners as “The Religion of 3,000 Gods”, which is actually a mis-translation of “..Infinite Gods”.

Whether you see God as an “it”, a “Him”, a “they” or an “us”,  however you choose to conceptualize this world and beyond, HAPPY XMAS!

Why I Could LITERALLY Not Care Less About The Outcome Of This Presidential Election

As a long-time member of the “art community” one could surmise, statistically –and quite safely–that I should be a Liberal. Unfortunately, by personal observation, I see that the average person has no idea what this label actually entails, other than a cornucopia of state funded programs and he equates a Conservative with some kind of racist in cahoots with the tyrannical oligarchy. Meanwhile all our jobs have been outsourced to countries full of brown people–by our white CEO’s!

Politics is an up-to-the-minute endeavor as much as art is, but it is more pointedly crucial in its cultural gravity. Standing behind either Barrack Obama, our first black/Arab(?) President ever, or his white capitalistic secular Mormon opponent, Mitt Romney, is only a choice of style. It’s only picking a color or fashion statement. One is spineless and the other is greedy. These are role models?

Don’t think these two (2!?!) choices could even remotely stand in for the variety of thought and belief that this country is made of. Black and white? Really? A polarized populous? How convenient (for them).

To think that choosing one of these candidates will reap, for the average American citizen (or illegal immigrant for that matter), needed change or benefit in some palpable way is simply a farcical dream. You’ve been boondoggled, hogswallowed, nimrodded and downtrodden. You’ve been played. You’ve been hornswallowed; You’re being deceived, you’ve been cheated and lied to and you’re looking south when the action is east.

This is theater.

We need only to look at the achievements of these terribly ordinary men to see that they are deplorably average. They posses attributes nothing close to what a leader should amount to. I know 5 unemployed people, 2 janitors and 3 convicts that would make more just, fair, honorable and worthy presidents than these two men would.

Look for balls. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to repeat it: These two presidential candidates are petty and ineffective puppets, they have no balls. There’s no uniqueness there and no desire to go against the grain. These two men are happy to play ball. They’re servants, not leaders, but they’re not even serving you!

I’m ashamed of my cable TV worshipping countrymen for allowing people like this to hold such high office in our country. The Presidential Election is just another televised show–entertainment. Fodder for your Yahoo home page.

Nationalized medicine? Immigration restriction? Gay rights? Abortion? Gun control? Give me a fuckin’ break: these are facades–smokescreens to make you think you are making a choice. These are issues that are safely divided, in other words, these things are not what really matters. Half of us like it this way, the other half, the other way, so don’t worry about it.

To understand how I could make such bold statements, I have three words for you to look up: Israeli Aid, Neo-Conservative, Globalization.

You care about the environmental collapse? You wonder what ever happened to the electric car? You believe that there’s something more to life than lowered taxes? And still, you’re going to choose one of these two Vaudeville figures? 

Go ahead, vote for whomever you like, it’s almost as important as Coke or Pepsi.

The movement needs to be focused on 3rd party election rights, the opaque actions of the Federal Reserve and massive governmental bureaucracy, public transporation/alternative fuel and power, states rights over federal domination, end of globalized imperialism–THESE are localized functions of this economy and this society. Action toward these aims will rid us of the insidious hold that the untouchable international corporate amalgamations hold over the working class and our feckless elected officials.

There will always be the 1%. It’s how ballsy the 99% are that matters. We must be willing to sacrifice. We must be willing to break it all apart into manageable pieces because the controllers of all this don’t even see us any more.

The Democrat/Republican Divide for the Layman

In ultimately simplistic terms, the 2 parties are to differ in this way: Big Government vs. Small Government. Democratic Party aims for the first concept; Republican Party’s aim is the second.

Taken to their furthest extremes, the Democratic ideal leads to Socialism and the Republican ideal leads to a kind of Anarchy.

I’d like to broadly generalize it this way: The Republican class is the working class, while the Democratic class is the intellectual class. This is such a widely sweeping statement that it’s quite often a wrong assessment, but it’s a philosophy that we can observe in the daily operating world. Those that work to build wealth for themselves and their family end up being Republican, crying “stay away from my pot of gold, it’s mine!” while the more reflective and philosophical personalities believe in Democratic standards of helping the weak and running society as a collective. Democratic focus is less centered on ownership.

The first position exemplifies Anarchy, the second, Socialism.

How large should a nation be? In the U.S., we have four levels of hierarchical Government: Federal, State, County and City, each with its own evolving sets of jurisdiction. All the current Republican candidates for President believe in lowering the amount of power the Federal Government has, leaving many decisions in the hands of state legislatures.

Racially, minority groups traditionally lean toward Democrat because money and assistance comes from social aid programs and racial minorities are typically on the low end of the fiscally endowed spectrum in America.

Gays often lump themselves in with Democratic views because that party professes a more accepting social liberalism in contrast to the traditionally American views believed to come from fundamentalist Christian philosophy which is not accepting of homosexual lifestyles.

The Republican Party aligned itself, many years ago, with the Christian majority in a bold and decisive political move. They can now brag themselves up as the party offering classic family values. The exception to this generalization is the stance of minority groups, who do have a large number of Christian and religious adherents, but still side with the Democrats based on the party’s alignment with humanitarian aid programs for the materially oppressed.

Economically, the wealthy are Republican, desiring less restriction in material attainment.

The Urban/Rural divide sees Republicans in the country, Democrats in the city. This is largely race, finance and religion based.

One final issue to look at is War. The Republican Party is known more as the gun toting group less aligned with empathetic programs. They edge out as the group more supportive of Warlike policies of international engagement.

It is interesting to note that the term ‘Isolationist’ is currently in wide use against any politician wanting to pull out of wars across the world. It is as if military force is the only way to interact with the rest of the world.

Is war the only medium we can use for international communication?

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