Friday, October 28, 2016

A tidbit on the term 'populism'

Recently there has been a paradigm shift with respect to the word 'populism'; retrojectively speaking, at one time in history---relative to the U.S. at least---the term could have encapsulated the philosophy on which the nation was founded, as reiterated in the Gettysburg Address: Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Now the term is a catchall euphemism for mob/herd mentality, isolationism, and majority demands for authoritarian or totalitarian government. And the newfound conceptual leaning of the term is not simply because of the Trump circus, but due to the rise of historical repetition of extreme-right leanings the globe over, e.g., the Philippine president Duterte, Japanese prime minister Abe, Hungarian prime minister Orban, Brexit, stirrings in France and Germany, and so on.

If such is the updated interpretation of 'populism' then so be it, there is no reversing it. But the implication of the shift is alarming.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gandharva City

I came across a video on YouTube of the floating city phenomenon that occurred October 20, 2015 somewhere in China. It was covered by CNN as well, which explained the phenomenon as fata morgana, i.e., as a projection of light rays bent by extremely dense air. 



There are two schools of thought in general with regard to this phenomenon — and the October 20 apparition was nothing new — viz. the “it’s a mirage” school and the Project Blue Beam school.

Project Blue Beam is the idea that the so-called New World Order with the aid of NASA is planning to project a hologram extravaganza of the Rapture and the second coming of Christ for the purpose of initiating totalitarian control of the planet. Okay.

Unfortunately for the Project Blue Beam enthusiasts, the “floating city” phenomenon witnessed here and there around the globe, it is a completely natural trick of the light. Granted it is a fascinating phenomenon and open to philosophical interpretations, but Project Blue Beam it is not.

When I was around six or seven years old in the early 60’s I witnessed a fata morgana at a harbor in Lisbon, Portugal; I remember the event vividly as people gathered from everywhere to gawk at an eerie manifestation of a white ship like the Flying Dutchman floating above the surface of the sea, very close to the port, which slowly ascended and disappeared. Everyone including me was utterly befuddled and spooked by what we had seen; the event lasted a few minutes.

Now I doubt that Project Blue Beam was around in the early 60’s, so the interpretation would not hold water, retrojectively speaking. Ancient Buddhist scriptures mention a phenomenon called the “Gandharva castle” or “Gandharva fortress” or “Gandharva city” which is an illusion or mirage of a city that appears like castles in the sky. So the “floating city” mirage has been around since ancient times.



I have been rereading Tono monogatari ("Tono Stories"), a compendium of strange and haunting stories from the country town of Tono of the Iwate Prefecture in Japan. The book was originally published in 1910, the 43rd year of the Meiji period, the author was the folklorist Yanagita Kunio (1875 - 1962). I came across this passage:

一〇六。海岸の山田にて蜃気楼年々見ゆ。常に外国の景色なりという。見馴れぬ都のさまにして、路上の車馬しげく人の往来眼ざましきばかりなり。年ごとに家の形などいささかも違うことなしといえり。

Translation (by me): 106. A mirage is seen year after year near mountain paddies by the seashore. It is said to be of a foreign landscape of an unfamiliar city with carriages running on its streets, people coming and going, milling about everywhere. It is said this phenomenon occurs year after year, and that every time it does, the shapes of the houses, etc. which are seen are never different [from those seen in previous times].

Since the account was entered sometime circa 1910 of a much older story, the Project Blue Beam interpretation would be out of the question. Indeed the Gandharva castle illusion is a marvelous natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time, and humidity seems to play a key role in facilitating phantom projections of actual places to distant lands.  



Friday, November 27, 2015

Q-straight

Day after day and year after year more awareness is fortunately rising about human sexuality and its spectrum, but one kind I practically never hear about, which falls between the cracks, is what I call Q-straight. Let 'Q' stand for 'quote end quote' or 'queer' or 'questionable' or whatever. Here's how I define this phenomenon: a Q-straight person is L/G/B and yet believes s/he is straight. Here are some other traits of the Q-straight person: The Q-straight person does not question h/er sexuality. The Q-straight person would strongly deny, even make light of or mock, the possibility that they might be L/G/B. The Q-straight person is in a very powerful psychological denial of their natural sexuality as L/G/B. The Q-straight person possesses a strong faculty of being able to repress their authentic/natural sexual desires.

While LGBT are natural modes of human sexuality, it could be said that Q-straight is probably also natural to an extent; however, societal, cultural, ideological-religious, familial influences play a major role in ensconcing  a would-be self-aware L/G/B/T into Q-straightism.

It might not be an exaggeration to say that most ideological and religious bigotry against LGBT people originate with Q-straight people, even as they have virtually no faculty of self-reflection they project their frustrations and denial outward. Sometimes the overwhelmingly powerful sex drives being suppressed for so long leads to physical violence. Q-straight people create problems for others (not just for themselves), e.g., getting married to a person of the opposite sex (of course); outspoken bigotry against LGBT and condemnation of the "lifestyle choice"; psychological problems based on self-denial and sexual repression. And so on.  If a person "doth protest too much" about their "normal" sexuality one way or another, it could be a sign they are Q-straight.

Don Drake has a new novel No Gay Out on the sexual phenomenon explained above.







Friday, October 2, 2015

Guns in a profoundly sick society

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people," as the pro-gun rhetoric goes. It's big business, make no mistake, and when the inviolable sanctity of gun-ownership got ensconced in the political ideology of American freedom, the twain would never divorce. John Dewey said that politics is the shadow cast over society by big business. The gun issue is no exception.

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Let's analyze the propaganda rhetoric of "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." While it is a trite fact that guns don't autonomously shoot people, the first part of the statement is absolutely false. Guns do kill people, i.e., they are weapons that kill. Guns can kill people at short, medium, and long ranges. They are dangerous objects.

The pro-gun propaganda takes the argument further in stating that knives and automobiles, for example, should also be outlawed if guns were to be outlawed because after all, people can kill with knives and people get killed by and in automobiles. But take that idea a step further. It could be said, then, that "hand gernades don't kill people, people kill people." Take it another step further: "bombs don't kill people, people kill people." "Chemical weapons don't kill people, people kill people." "Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people." And so on.

 Well, how do we equate kitchen knives and automobiles --- objects of everyday utility --- to guns, i.e., weapons designed for "shooting", which have no other utility or function? Human beings have a dark side, true, and when the darkness overwhelms sick minds, anything, i.e., anything (a baseball bat, a shovel, a fork, a hammer, etc.) could be used as instrument of murder.

 But the gun is an object that blasts projectiles. Sometimes they go off when children play with them. Accidents have happened and will happen. They are dangerous objects that can kill with great efficiency. They are dangerous objects designed for "shooting", just as bombs are designed for "exploding"; and those things --- weapons --- have no other function or utility.

 Try this thought experiment. Would the world be a safer, better, more peaceful place if all guns were eradicated somehow, miraculously? Most likely. A world without guns would be safer than a world with guns.

Anybody could turn anything into a weapon --- even a bare fist --- but a weapon is just that, a weapon. And guns are dangerous weapons. And no person can be labeled crazy or unreasonable to expect some serious regulations get set in place; they'd be crazy or unreasonable to object, and worse, to clamor for less gun laws, to arm the entire nation, students and all. Wing-nuts of that ilk ignorantly holler political and religious claptrap --- peppered with the buzzword 'freedom' --- on behalf of big business, unaware that it is they who are getting the short end of the thunder-stick.

Friday, August 21, 2015

No Gay Out


no gay out ebook cover 

No Gay Out, the prequel to Don Drake's Main Camp and second book of the American Zealot series, is a tale of alienation, denial, and survival. Young Jacob finds himself relocated to the Mars-like landscape of Dry Wells, where the quest for social acceptance is a matter of life or death. No Gay Out is a horror story of Biblical proportions.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

. . .

Our hearts are broken over the SC tragedy. No words suffice to express our feelings of sadness for the victims and their families and everybody who are suffering from of the event. U.S. president on SC tragedy: "“...we as a country will have to reckon ... this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries." The 'advanced' part almost sounds dissonant as we hear of more extremism all around, there is a tendency toward regression and "devolution" even as guns are made more freely available to carry with less strictures. If there is some kind of collective unconscious at work here, the divide of the future-moving people and backward-regressing, devolving people is getting wider. The concern is also not primarily about the "other" so-called advanced countries, but what's going on here in the U.S. But I do believe the president's concern is also about the NRA spreading global wings.

Gun related tragedy after tragedy happens but the insane right to bear arms (the early American patriarchs were referring to the right to bear muskets, not the advanced weapons of death available today) is touted highly, one of the top of the list of right wing values. Why?

The heinous act of murder in SC was nothing short of terrorism. It is high time people begin to understand the meaning of the word 'terrorism,' that it does not refer solely to Islamic extremist plots and actions. Extreme ideological entrenchment of the "true believer" is the infernal poison, especially when it entails the "us-against-them" mentality.

Do be wary that ideological extremism and violence go hand in hand.

May human beings evolve into awakened neosapiens, kind, intelligent, informed, peaceful, and fit for the future and all its hitherto unprecedented challenges.