The Heart Darkens Each Day as the White Human’s Flood Quickens Us to Become Warriors Against their Time

Part 5 of 5 Part Series

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

What is the soul of a country, or the collective will of people who look toward flag and nation, or what can a people say about how they came into being in their geological and political space, or how the land was used in this people’s creation and how has it changed through time, or how and if the waters and air are respected, the biosphere, flora, fauna, geology held “sacred”? What of the people, those stuffed into uniforms, pushed into factories, prodded into believing the propaganda of the rulers, “that there is a manifest destiny that is only right for ‘us’ and never for the other (all the rest can be damned!) . . . that there are corps of discovery that are the bright stars of civilization who will put name to things . . . that this must be an exceptional people, us, who have conquered and cleaved open a savage jumble of races into better and more humane people.”?

Call these lands Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Israel, South Africa — the Blood Paradises of the UK, Spain, Belgian, Dutch, Germany, Portugal . . .

The Heart of Darkness is us, and the “other” is the guiding light we extinguish with every advancement of the so-called ages of the white history and globalized destruction: Enlightenment (slavery) and Industrialism (more slavery) and post-Industrialism (massive slavery) and this Digitalization Tsunami (complete enslavement) upon us all and the coming Dark Ages of Financialization plague.

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much, Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, in the preface.

That “taking it away,”could easily read, hmm, pillaging/destroying/
defaming/mortgaging/poisoning/enslaving/ imprisoning. How simple Marlow’s words, yet in our times, the statement is even bifurcated greater today, as I find more and more good people trying to find themselves, find some better person inside, some holy or spiritual thing, even this mumbo-jumbo of reincarnation, this god seed, and alas, this simplistic thinking full of the book of the month “getting closer to one’s inner ray of goodness” is what has mired us even more into the morass of self-betterment encampments and magical thinking brigades about all these banged-up and transitory lives lived and died, channeling this Lord of the Rings story quackery as if this concept somehow allows for the stasis and inertia of our times where we end up picking the flavor of the week and stew and stew about our collective engorged waistlines. The world is burning and rotting, and we can’t stop believing in lies!

How about, “Looking at the stuff on our kitchen table and in the fridge.” Looking at the things we putter around in, looking into the jobs we trudge to, and looking from 35,000 feet at all the greatness (sic) of a Walmart-endless-Disneyland-innumerable-strip malls-drive-thru’s lifestyle (sic), bought and sold on the backs of “those savages,” at the expense of amnesia, the wiping out of all those cultures culled because of the white man – the brutes, I believe portrayed in Mr. Kurtz’s (and Colonel Kurtz’s in Apocalypse Now) words, are those sad wandering Jews and Christians and Dispossessed Puritans looking for salvation on the open wound of entire cultures and hundreds of millions of murdered people, “in our name,” in our holy economy-based boom-or-bust, chauvinistic-militaristic way!

Think hard on what self-loathing white male/female dominant classes contemplate as their duty to carry forth with these chugging, spewing, extinction-generating causes to rearrange the land-sea-people in an endless diaspora and envirogee jitterbug of global proportions.

“Exterminate all the brutes! The horror! The horror!” This is Marlow recounting his trip into the heart of darkness, from the mouth of one man, Kurtz, created by the corporations and the entire enterprise of British Empire, from every foundation holding up the wicked British Isles, every cog and pike and royal throne. Imagine the heart of the narrative – the subject – this Mr. Kurtz, carrying forth in his paranoia and pitched racism – exterminate the brutes – as one forceful catharsis decoupled from the niceties of proper British “culture.” Ragged from spiritual decay, or guilt, or just a son-of-a-bitch confessor of the sad tale of conquering and exploitation, told a thousand times in a thousand histories written by the conquerors! Colonel Kurtz, channeled through the madman Marlon Brando, or the cunning shadows of forests not yet razed by the enterprise of culling everything, stripping mother earth, flogging the hills and denuding mountains and clogging rivers.

This call to exterminate — how many might think Joseph Conrad was asking us, the reader, to see the madness eating at British culture, gnawing at Kurtz, and this African-seeking merchant himself calling for self-destruction, for the inner soul of madness that is the white race, that which he represents in its highest order – the empire’s agent provocateur, set to subjugate the other races for the price of a king’s dispossession of the land original people’s considered part of body and soul. The horror, the horror, is the white race, a plague upon these lands, until a dream turns into nightmare, unimaginable depths of hell to all those brown and yellow and black people who have been in the collective arrow-cannon-bomb-poison sights of so many conquering cultured whites, in this case, the Union Jack. Aotearoa . . . Bandjalang . . . kaná:ta.

This place of Turtle Island, these un-United States, somewhere there is that epistle of religious economics, a credo tied to the interlopers, the diseased that crossed those oceans, these Anglos and Vikings and Saxons, the Holy See and broken others, who already partitioned and walled in their origins, and land, eviscerating the natural wild world that once was the European continent, pock marked, boils of plague, the lingering prions of sex and meat and madness. The flame, the sword, the pulpit, the invasion of husbandry, the plotted and fenced in lands, the waters soaked with the dirt of human kind all penned in and living to generate stock – the surplus of dirty animals and the harvests of the coin of the realm.

These hardy stock came to this land – Viking, Frenchman, English, Spanish, Portuguese –- and the mission was raping, razing, conquering, and the stock of the realm were wastrels, religious fanatics, weak men and women, daft and nothing more than vassals of humanity, chained to demons and devils, the sins of some fathers etched into their faces, evil concocted in their bi-polar chicanery, this sun-bleached fairy tale of goblins, Moses, Jesus, all of them, the work of story conjurers, the first big explosion of propaganda, the big lie told a million times, until the greatest stories – tribes, harmonized survival, kinship and survival – vanished and instead we retreated to the coin and debt laws of this unholy trinity of Moses-Jesus-Allah.

This continent before invasion, plague, white contact, already shaped by languages, arts, fighters, pot makers, hunters, village builders, fishers, governmental leaders, wisdom, layer upon layer of music and magic, and matriarchal and patriarchal sensibilities. Rough and surviving, touched by brother and sister land, berry, bear, eagle, bison, all that was, and then, the invasion. Smeared feces of the invasion, pushed out like the brains of sheep, the real people, chained, shackled, then imported tribes from another continent, and the madness of British, madness of the white invaders, like a rolling thunder upon the land, until today, that madness is in the very breath of daily transaction, the very steps taken by children on their way to the citadels of this sickness.

Hammers and lances and herding mentality, subjugated peoples rowing ashore, fearful, the black night and warpaint like the devils in their old texts. A country based on the nefarious seeding of blankets, chopping off of heads to stuff in “natural museum cabinets and display cases of the rich?” Fleeing the evil of brimstone and Popes and money changers and the strong pikes and swords of the enforcers of feudal lords and princes and queens.

This morass of constitutional mess is where we are today, with a million pontifications, a million dreaded agents of the scam, each person in the 80 percent a mark of a thousand flimflam experts, all vetted by the unholy charter of government for and by the corporation.

We read the great epistles of our time – armchair leftists, media mights, the controlled opposition, those who have always believed in the power of one man’s home is his castle, or the very fabric of Americans, barely educated, but powerfully in tune with “things” believing in the might of the loudest and most profane winning the truth – every opinion equal in weight to anything . . . . A world of believing in angels, exceptionalism, god of war, and, damn it, every person has a right to her opinion.

Mired in the magic of propaganda and double think and talking out of both sides of the mouth, this country and the Western Civilization Project in general is one of forked tongues and many headed monsters languishing in the superficial minds of those who are entertained by the most inane and violent-racist-sexist-misanthropic stuff that is the meth-crack-LSD of modern humanity, all the while texting silliness and the soft-brained Facebook crap of each new generation.

The words, cocooned in Saran Wrap, double-coated in saccharin and lithium, until even the smart ones rail and rail in this political quagmire of dysfunction. Bernie-this, Clinton-that, Israel-this, EU-that, FIRE (finance-insurance-real estate)-this, climate change-that, Middle East-this, China-that, Africa-this, War-that.

All the while the people, symbolized by more and more folk working at call-centers, servicing the shit of our times – Apple, Sprint, Amazon, Comcast, You-Name-It-Junk-USA – on 12-hour shifts, using the facilities to freshen up as they go to their cars, their little vans, home sweet home at age forty or sixty.

I talk with these hiring people, or recruiters, for the growing cancer of staffing agencies, at-will day labor places, havens of temporary work, and this algebra is set by the One Percent and the other Heathens pulling up the rear guard as Administrators-Bureaucracy Mavens-Pit Bosses-HR Teams-Legal/Prison/Marketing Classes.

I work for people with mental strain – homeless, addicted, all in some form of recovery, and the early release parolees, and veterans left as roadside unexploded human devices. These are people not so far from the people one-paycheck-away-from-couch-surfing, or those strangled by this sick Obamacare system of throwing money at administrators, CEOs and incredibly unjust and unethical costs for health care – which is now called the underinsured non-care Obama-Plan; or those like me who can’t afford the out of pocket sickness for medical treatment now being exacted from us, humanity.

I’ve got people on my caseload who never ever hit the radar of legislators, the public in general, the messed up media, or those charlatans of crazy Hollywood and Publishing, Inc., LLC. The reality is we have 52 million uninsured, and 100 million working their fingers to the bone, and then, all those former felons, and what about the traffic and possession charges that turn into mountains of debt, arrest warrants, and then felonies. I have people in their fifties, 35 years hooked on heroin, meth, booze, all thanks to dysfunctional parents and a criminal system of social workers-case managers-educational bosses-counselors-cops-parole officers-judges-lawyers.

Men and women in their 40’s looking or feeling like they’re in their 70’s. People whose original PTSD, now co-occurring with a dozen other “things,” was the step-dad sexually assaulting them, mothers shooting up horse in the kitchen, fathers using pipes to scold diaper-wearing children as they sunk into bottles and meth pipes.

A book is judged by its cover is the American axiom, and I have friends who know what I do, know I am a Marxist a la anarchist a la revolutionary and anti-establishment/anti-authority practitioner who come up with the final solution to get rid of “society’s worse and unworthy ones —  population control — how much are we spending on them?”

This monster that started this five-part series is really the gangrene in us now, deluded and diluted, fearful Americans, so afraid that tackling the real street and neighborhood super predators – Walton, Sorros, Koch, Allen, Gates, Goldman and Sachs, Fast-Food USA – is out of the question, because the narratives have been written by the white upper classes, these MFA and UCLA film school little Eichmanns, driveling and droning along with the most fantastic of pap that is sold as “fact/non-fiction/history” to the consuming Coke and Red Bull Doritos Generations.

As Marlow narrates Heart of Darkenss, as we know from so many smart and tidy philosophers and a legion of “writers” and “prognosticators,” as we see morphed over a short period, just who is the enemy?

We have met the enemy, and they are us.

This is a twist on Oliver Hazard Perry’s words after a naval battle: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Modern Version is from the comic strip, Pogo, by Walt Kelly, when in the 1960s, Pogo states as his reaction to the Vietnam War: We have met the enemy, and they are us!

We have forgotten so much, we movers of words on paper and smelting titans with earth movers, metal fabricators, river drainers, air seeders, driven by the stories of the depraved, inside their air conditioned glass chambers with the smell of caviar-cologne-death on their fingertips.

The sign of the cross is etched with the horrors of each financial chessboard move by the underserving, those suited fools in press boxes and jet-setting to all ends of the earth to own Mother Earth’s people, tribes of sacred flora and fauna, as no stone is left upturned for the last nugget of gold and seed of insanity.

The insanity is constant, as our sagging but dangerous Western Culture bubbles up in fits and panics, cloistered by a feat more powerful than the pages of Armageddon written by emaciated heartless men inscribing litanies of religions of the misanthropes. Love is tendered as sentimental crap, wholly tied to the psychological context of countries raised on the sick and silly stories of war and conquest, malehood and a kingdom full of the things that are painted by slaves and shellacked with toxins.

The very breadth of our inability to see beyond these superficial paragraphs written by the sheltered, the marionettes, the muscle-behind-war, and our collective delusion that somehow slow time into the sunset will solve the unsolvable, tethers us to their hearts of darkness. The anti-tribal force of the push to plow everything, to hoard, and maim every human and other animal on earth is the defining madness of this gangrene eating at the soul, the daily munching monster we are inside and out.

Some of us make the day significant putting fingers in the big global leaking dike, but in that movement, our hearts grow bigger and our minds see a light that is penetrating, even as we sit under the elements, patching tattered shelters, the collective heartbeat flagged by the overwhelming sepsis of capitalism and every man, woman, child for himself terror quickening our collective demise.

The insignificance of it all – each absurdity in the kabuki drama of politics and power machinations brings us closer to the black birds of war hovering above and waiting for the collective mind to wither away into a dark place, or just there, in the now, a giant ceramic whiteness that has for now entombed the world and futures.

Chief Seattle, oh yes, oh yes, as we know, the white man is valiant in attempting to understand words, and we have so many versions of what Seattle did or did not say, and if the speech that is often quoted was his or some frontiersman doctor:

Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

Oh, the ironies of the white man, and this controversy, supposed ones, tied to what the Indigenous People Really Said, or maybe, just maybe, the heart and soul of magic embedded in the white man to say what has always been believed by the Indigenous.

Read parts 1, 2, 3, 4!

Paul Kirk Haeder has covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/ community journalism in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, and PK12 distrcits. He organized part-time faulty. His book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. He blogs from Waldport, Oregon. Read his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.