Waiting for Godot: Any God-forsaken Sane Sign!

The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased.
— Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

At the rounded tune of $1.0 million each. Times 59 missiles shot from the belly of American beasts of war — that is, as of Saturday April 8. That’s the wonderful thing about parasitic, predatory, military-IT-prison-legal-punishment-media complex America. Stocks go up as missiles kill Syrian civilians. The replacement value of those racist missiles (Calling them Tomahawks? Do white Americans think a 600 mph, computer-guided, white supremacy manned projectile with flesh, brain, innards busting-burning-imploding explosives is akin to a hand-to-hand, look-in-the-eyes-of-your-enemy weapon of real warriors?)… think of a new Tomahawk 2.0, costing us  $1.5 million a piece!

Think about this country’s 20 percent – the ones making it, in their Uber rich and Uber upper middle class bullshit ways. Working as engineers, software designers, paper-pushers, personnel middle men/women for Raytheon, or for one of the other thousands upon thousands of industries and high tech places that put screw and hard drive and turbine and pneumatics and shrouding and decals to these perversions of the modern USA-EU-Star-of-David-Aussie warring coalition of the dead!

The 20 percent, oh, that bullshit meme of “We Are the 99,” gone into the wind of a Republican-Democrat sulfur-infused bellowing that has come to symbolize USA since before 1776. These are the directors of non-profits, the tenured faculty, the industrialists, the managerial-dean-admin society. The planners and doctors, the investor (sic) class, the money managers (thieves), the insurance sellers (rip-off artists), the mid-level hierarchies of   fortune 1000 companies.

All big and little Eichmanns, for sure, and I can say I have met and spoken with so many in so many fields, who are bred from the libertarian, neo-liberal, faux humanitarian, fake intellectual class of white Americans who have always looked down on the OTHER(s).

Yet, those missiles launched by the perverted-thinking/acting/living  president with the superstructure and management teams of the military and generals, they symbolize the death of this culture way beyond a Truman bombing Japan, or leveling Korea, or the chorus of others attempting bombing back to the Stone Age in Vietnam, or the parade of Yale-Harvard misanthropes like Bushes-Clinton-Obama who helped launch dozens of penetrating “wars” in Latin America, Middle East, Eastern Europe. Police actions, Reagan and his sick mind and war games, Trump and his frontal cortex atrophying before our eyes.

The military are the mercenaries, guns for hire, vigilantes, from private up to Colonel, with their supreme commanders and retired triple-dipping generals colluding with the arms dealers, all those graduates of tech programs, colluding with the war inventors, all those chemicals and kill switches and job-stick hero-makers, the American scum rising to the top of the proverbial Capitalist barrel.

Yet your everyday American gets teary eyed thinking about those mercenaries in Navy whites off-shore launching death to people missiles. American might and right and never a naysayer allowed to breathe in any position of power!

So these scions of industry, these propagandists on TV, sketched in movies, scribing in print, gesticulating on airwaves, punishing in the HR departments, in the schools, in the courtrooms, & in the boardrooms, after decades of unfettered access to the hearts and minds of the masses (not all of us, mind you), we have come to a point where people daily just stick chin to sternum and go about their days as number pushers, scribes of structural violence, or call them “intellectual workers,” never lifting a finger or raising a voice in their overly PC-ed worlds of American business, blue-pink-white-camo-black collared, it doesn’t make a difference.

The masses have sucked the high fructose corn syrup of the controllers, the great Doctor Jekyll-Mengele-Moreau-Frankenstein juice of our age: consumerism as gateway drug to insomnia, obesity, unhappiness, prescription abuse, disassociative behavior, ADD, on-the-spectrum birth, allergies, racism, hatred of the other, mis-education, functional illiteracy, exceptionalism, boredom, ennui, madness, insanity, delusion, walking dead-ness!

I tried to fire up something, yesterday (April 7), just in our weekly meeting of so-called social workers. You know, ice breakers for thirty people supposedly in the game to not only assist the homeless, the drug-addled, the psychologically different, but to change the culture of hate toward the poor, criminally defined, homeless, displaced. Oh, so, one social worker, me, plays the ice breaker differently: “What’s your favorite movie, your dream vacation, your favorite band, your favorite hobby, etc.?” they ask us. “My hobby, my movie, my band, my vacation is about politics, and today, I am angry this country – us – have once again bombed another country with the power of yet another mis-elected, perverted LOTFW (sic): leader of the free world (sic).”

No solidarity, no discussion, no support, not even rebuttal or nuancing: just sticking chins to sternums and moving on.

This is the culture of the walking wounded, dead people, one paycheck away from hawking it all, one misstated thing in the workplace away from the two-hour-and-you-are-gone firing. My fellow social workers at this place I perform miracles, for the most part, go to college, get MA’s not for the love of inquiry, not for the robust nature of a social work graduate program, not for the heady stuff of revolutionary practice, not for the communicative skills needed to think outside the box or articulate through a wet paper bag. They go to school for a raise above the $18 an hour with paid time off.

And they can’t mourn for the death we heap upon nations, can’t mourn for the bloated, perverted illegal, disgusting budgets of the militarists, and can’t rebel against the perversion of yet another rotten leader with golf blistered hands pushing the button for more ship-to-surface (human flesh and bone) launched madness.

The USA has billions of dollars invested in, AKA, ripped off of the state-municipal-county coffers for those perversions called Tomahawks. And now the chorus of nobodies on TV and in the Press (sic) chant “war-war-war makes the shitty little casino-hotel magnate (bankruptcy queen, AKA, welfare king) look and sound and smell presidential.”

Ahh, the smell of napalm, cordite, nitrogen soaked TNT, black powder, white phosphorus in the morning makes a TV pundit and White House stalker orgasmic. Here, from yet another perversion of American think-talk-discourse, Popular Mechanics, on the Tomahawk:

While the basic design has been around for decades—they were used as far back as the 1991 Gulf War—the Tomahawk has seen numerous upgrades over the years. This new tweak could improve the Tomahawk’s striking power through the power of what you might call extreme mixology. It’s all about fuel-air explosions.

Ordinary high explosives such as TNT do not require any oxygen. The big molecule simply breaks apart, releasing energy. By contrast, a fuel-air explosion is a form of combustion in which the fuel combines with oxygen in the air and burns more rapidly. As any gearhead will tell you, the fuel-air mixture is all-important for efficient combustion.

If one reads on in the article —  that is, one  who is both anti-establishment/revolutionary and critical of this regime and the empire of illusion vis-à-vis the corporate war lens  – it’s an easy rhetorical analysis of how war and bombs and that shit-hole of vaunting military and explosive might (all channeled in youth through violent movies and video games) gets embedded in everything the mass media produces, even Popular Mechanics (or especially PM).

Nary a word about civilians paying the price (their implosions) of USA-EU-Star-of-David perversions of war and war games. My own team would rather find out the favorite movie in an icebreaker than ask, as social workers, how we are taking yet another mass manufactured consent of illegal warring, whereupon every stitch in the safety net is unraveling not just by-because-for Trump, but because of the chin-to-the-sternum PC lobotomized ignorance the so-called educated  class has self-served for decades!

The emotional and spiritual lobotomies occurred decades ago. Each muted mouth in the face of slavery, in rallying around Indian War campaigns, in the obscenity of that theft of lands here and abroad have created the state of the United States of Nothingness. That lingering perpetual stupidity of a collective consciousness in this cheating nation of Capitalists has reached its low water mark with the perversions of this man-sexual assaulter prez spewed from the belly of the beast we all know is unchecked casino capitalism and the narcissism of an eroded culture. There’s no mistaking these people I call fellow Americans—they have all been created through the gun-sights of the insane: generals, captains of industry, money leveragers, the big and small-time Media, cultural perversions and insignificance.

Do we prols worry about anything other than which side the butter on the bread gets spread, about mortgages, about how to self-actualize with this or that perversion of hobby-past-time-distraction? ls this where we are now, an endless pipeline of heads in the sand “liberals,” great social cause followers who speak no evil, but who hear-see-feel all the evil that is the root of the cause – the white race’s perpetual supremacy, the white race’s busy-body brains wanting more land raped, more cultures smashed, more ideas outside the narrow business-techno mind meld quashed? Is this country and the other white countries —  monarchs ablaze on flags, Star of David handkerchiefs used to shine the holy cross of Christianity – destined for collective dementia because of the nanosecond of pain inflicted with both physical and structural assaults?

I try and understand the chin to the sternum complacency and fear and perpetual non-involvement of people on the margins, including one might expect to know better: social workers, those with liberal arts educations, people who once were poor or are still struggling with marginality. I have to give it to Gandhi’s grandson, whereupon his basic premise is peace begins with our children – teaching them the light of what it means to be human outside the world of drug-addled consumerism and Predatory Capitalism:

Once there was a great king and he wanted with all of his heart to know the meaning of peace. He called people from his kingdom from all walks of life, but no one could satisfy him with their explanation.

One day, a man from another kingdom came to the king and told him that if he wanted to know what peace was, he would have to ask a very old sage who was no longer able to travel long distances, so the king would need to leave his kingdom and visit the sage in his own home. The king agreed and off he went on his journey. When he met the old sage, the king asked him to please, finally, give him the meaning of peace. The sage put something into the king’s hand. It was a grain of wheat.

He took the grain back to his kingdom and put it in a box. He then called upon the man who told him to visit this sage in the first place.

He gave me a grain of wheat. Now I need you to tell me what this has to do with the meaning of peace?

The visiting king replied, Peace is like this grain of wheat. If you plant wheat, one day you will have a great field of it. If you keep it in a box, for yourself, it benefits no one. If you keep your peace locked up in yourself, it does not fulfill its purpose, it does no good, for you or for others. But when you nurture it, it grows and spreads, nourishing all who come by it.

The folly of our age is ignorance – planned, coopted, codified. This self-glorified ignorance is manifested at the so-called top, from Trump to Tillerson, from  the pundits to the think tanks, from the managers to the CEOs, and from the controllers to the prols who have no time for smarts but are fully throttled for  just doing, scraping by and razing earth and systems of humaneness, bent on building, pushing brooms and pushing papers. This is a country with no time for thought, for discourse, for energized education, outside the parameters of work or doing something that makes the engines of capitalism and earth destruction hum and synchronize.

So I am schooled everyday, aged 60, once more steeled to think of how corrupt and corrosive this society is, more ready to engage the acts of stopping physical violence and structural and systems assault by using the Molotov, the very thing Doctor King spoke of 50 years ago: how we are the most murderous nation on earth, and maybe King saw the deeper structural homicidal pathways of Capitalism as more deeply death-incurring than the blasting of lung cavities of the children of Vietnam with civilian-manufactured munitions and university-invented chemical weapons and corporate-sold biological arms. Here, his anti-America-the-military-punishment-psychopath speech:

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years–especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action; for they ask and write me, “So what about Vietnam?” They ask if our nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.

Ahh, in the future, ever-approaching future, when I have time in between my hard-assed social work job, and the job of looking to move on from this agency to another, from the Seasonal Affective Disorder of living in Portland, Oregon, which is experiencing more rain and overcast days in 100 years, I plan a decent interview of John Steppling – playwright, ex-pat, intellectual of the uncommon kind – and posting it here at DV, but for now, I end this diatribe with his words just posted in his piece yesterday,

The average white American, that educated thirty percent who cling, ever more tenuously, to what passes for middle class life, is seemingly motivated most by hatred. Propaganda works because it grants permission to hate. Now, Trump provides the perfect figure to hate right here at home. His appointments are horrible, no question. But as I’ve written before, Obama’s were horrible, too. Only just a bit less horrible. Tim Geithner? Rahm Emanuel? Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? Scott O’Malia or William Lynn? I mean Hillary Clinton’s under secretary Victoria Nuland is married to arch neo con Robert Kagen. How can one hate Bush and the neo cons but heap praise on Hillary Clinton? But as much as Trump is hated, the figure of the Muslim terrorist is even more hated. And even more than Muslims, Vladimir Putin is hated. But where does this sense of entitlement to meddle in the affairs of other countries come from? It is remarkable how little questioned is the practice of involving the U.S. state in the matters of other countries. Russia elected Putin. Syria elected Assad. And even if, EVEN IF, the elections were fraudulent (they weren’t, but this is a thought experiment) what concern is that of the United States? (Not to mention U.S. elections were not exactly models of probity of late).

The U.S. has 800 plus military bases around the world. There is no corner of the globe where you will not find the U.S. military. Do Americans think other countries WANT the U.S. military on their soil? I suppose some do, the fascistic current regime in Poland probably does. And even here in Norway, a nation of inestimable achievements and daily sanity, the general feeling is that having U.S. and NATO around serves as protection. But protection from what? This is really the question, or rather two questions. Who can possibly be thinking of invading Poland or Norway or Japan? The U.S. has bases in Italy, South Korea, Djibouti, Spain, Bahrain, Kuwait, Greece, it has 38 bases in Germany, and bases in the Bahamas, and in Brazil and Honduras and Singapore and Belgium. The list just goes on and on and on. Why does the U.S. have a base in Bulgaria? The answer is, global hegemony. Total and absolute control of the world. That is the goal. And yet this topic is never ever raised in electoral debates or in mainstream media. Never ever.

Why did the U.S. go into Haiti to remove Aristide? Why was there a coup in Honduras? Why was Gadaffi murdered again? Does anyone care?

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.