Note: languagehat is up and blogging again. Welcome back, l hat.
He's a shaggy hippy type. He and another New Yorker started Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream--a supposedly superior quality wholesome ice cream notorious for weird flavors, like Cherry Garcia, since, yes, Ben & Jerry were admittedly Deadheads. They moved their moo cow business to Vermont and then sold it to a conglomerate and made millions and millions of dollars--maybe even as much as Jerry Garcia made off his Grateful Dead hits.
Ben, like a good hippy, feels guilty having sold his ideal ice cream company to the additive freaks and made millions--giving qualifications to my theory that all Capitalist pigs who start companies that convince the public they are on its side and not in it for the capital gains are in it for the capital gains and end up selling their all-natural businesses to the highest corporate bidder and then out the window goes the whole meaning of their progressive business venture and in the window come flying the dirty corporate bucks. [Another great example of this is Snapple. Started by a couple of New York City boys the product's uniqueness was in their advertising they were producing cold drinks that were made from natural fruit juices and high quality triple filtered spring waters and no artificial additives or fructose or corn syrup; my favorite being their clear root beer. Snapple's original owners sold out to Quaker Oats. Quaker Oats proceeded to ruin Snapple and turn it into an ordinary old soft drink full of artificial colorings, tons of fructose, and gallons of corn syrup, the horrible sweetness used by COKE'a Cola and PEPsi (for pepsin) Cola to hook the billions they need to be constantly drinking their puerile products than something healthy for you, like fresh squeezed juices from right off the natural vines in your back yards or orchards--but, oh know, Coca Cola owns all of that production in your country, the orange, lemon or lime production or your cola nut production. "Hay, senor, we get to keep the coca leaves, gracias, il Papa, Coca Cola. Viva Coke!"
So in trying to justify his filthy richness, Ben Cohen is going about the country promoting his "Sensible Priorities" demonstration on how wildy stupid and defeating our kowtowing to the Military Industrial Complex and the demands of the Pentagon and the costs of our warring is when compared with the military spending of the rest of the world, especially what Georgie Porgie, our "president," and his fearmongers call "the Axis of Evil."
Ben explains defense spending by using oreo cookies as units of defense spending. The US of A leads the world with like 40 oreo cookies compared to like 6 cookies for the evil Russkies and 6 cookies for the evil Capitalist Now Commie Chinese--and only 1 lowly cookie for all of the Axis of Evil countries combined (who evens remembers the countries in the Axis of Evil? The leading terrorist funders in the world? Then the US of A would be at the head of the Axis of Evil if it were based on that).
Then, going on into his "sensible priorities," Ben Cohen has a demonstration for showing nuclear warhead production using BBs dropped into an stainless steel pan--2 BBs go in demonstrating how many nukes it took to wipe out two Japanese cities in WWII; another 6 BBs go in representing the number of nukes it would take to pretty much decimate the world as we know it today; then Ben puts in another 10 BBs for the number of nukes held by nations other than the US--THEN, Ben dumps in 10,000 BBs representing the US of A's nuclear arsenal. That's right, each BB represents 15 nukes; the US of A has over 150,000 nukes in its arsenal. Ben shouts, "Do we have enough nukes for the protection of this nation? Couldn't we do away with all but say 1,000 nukes, saving billions of dollars a year, and still be the largest possessor of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the world!" Son of a bitch. Based on this demonstration, who possesses the most Weapons of Mass Destruction? You already know the answer. By 1000 to 1 this country leads in the possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Yet, in spite of all of this defense spending, our army can't even hold its own against a bunch of raggedity suicide bombers with nothing to live for but religious glory and 10,000 virgins and all the booze they can guzzle in one night of final fame before they blow themselves and say 100 other folk to kingdom come. Georgie Porgie, however, has plans that include a nuclear weapon demonstration--how about decimating Tehran?--we owe them for their holding our precious Amurican hostages back in those Democratic-caused dog days when we started hating the towel-headed Iranians--one of the main reasons Ronnie Raygun Reagan, the third-rate actor, got to be president--coming in first as president but second to a chimpanzee in his most famous movie, Bedtime for Bongo.
So, ya see, Bush was right when he crowed "Mission Accomplished" way back three years ago now; his mission of screwing up the whole damn world was accomplished and is still going on and on and on. We are failing perfectly, according to the world's greatest failure, our "president." Our only ever Supreme Court-appointed president. "Sensible priorities" to Bush is based on failure; if it fails, we do it; if it don't fail on the first attempt, we try it again. You try something enough, it's bound to fail. Failure takes time; especially when you start off with such a large pool of excess money in the U.S. treasury--I mean, to put us into total debt--hell, that may take a nuclear war to accomplish that. FAILURE is PERFECTION to this crowd.
Refinement to Bush means "corrupted until it runs with excellent constant failure." Total mission being accomplished.
Where's Brutus when you need him?
If you like to learn about Refinement Calculus, take a look:
War is inevitable because of REFINEMENT.
This business of "Refinement" is hanging me up these days. I'm not rational because of it. Like, why is refining raw things so important to us? Like the atomic bomb. That took refined things to make it more refined and therefore more powerful. Like sugar cane. It's pretty damn sweet in its raw state. Why refine it? Because it turns it snow white instead of sweet and brown like it is raw? Is it a natural tendency on the part of mankind monkeys to strive for perfection, which science can easily prove can never exist. The PERFECT is always and can only be an ideal, never a reality. If things could be perfect they would not have evolved into such a imperfect state. All is accomplished by accident. I hope the next accident isn't due to an attempt at the refinement of some imaginary terrorists, terrorists who in actuality are ourselves.
By refining and rerefining things, we make them "cultivated." We take the raw and wild aspects out of the natural and leave only the white-winged pure angelic form of it.
I have been refined! Refinement becomes redemption! The refinement of a wolf is turning him into a common old ordinary faithful dog.
I am writing like a loner; like Nietzsche the loner; like Shopenhauer the loner. Alone I see so clearly now.
Go here and find out about Ben Cohen's movement--they've been around since the nineties; what big changes have they made? Check it out:
REFORM-perhaps that's what we really need. Reformation; F refinement. And I'm supposed to be an artist type. Artists are always refining their creations. I say, no they're not, they are reforming their creations. Primitive art is beautiful, but why not turn it into a refined art, as exampled by the biggest art refiner of all times, Handy Andy Warhol, a graphic designer who came to the big city and saw how easy it was to trick bag his commercial art talents into a movement--Pop for Popular or for Poppa, or for Big Daddy--or for "Love me, Daddy." I understood Warhol; I was thick in advertising at the time. The corporate world loved Andy. Who else could make a Brillo box art? Apollonaire learned from Blaise Cendrars that all advertising is a basic form of art--Primitive art? Refined by parody or poking fun at its silly notions of art deco and its wild-giggling claims. "Pump up those gonads with Doctor Mild Manners's Wild 'Nanner Snake Oil. Whew, you'll feel like the Bull of the Woods before you're through performing and get to go out to a contented pasture rather than the ever-active glue factory."
We refine things so they will be CLEAN. There's the definition I've been looking for: "refinement cleans filthy things up." Like the word FUCK painted on a canvas. Yep, that refines the word and gives it a clean meaning rather than its normal rude meaning. If the artist stands in front of his FUCK painting and just says, "FUCK" over and over again, he's using his expression to give the vulgar word a cleaness that allows the word to be used creatively in public. Fucked up, ain't I? [Speaking a little Bugs Bunny there--"I'm a mean widdle wabbit, ain't I?" Bugs was created as a smartass from Brooklyn. He was refined and ruined by Chuck Jones in the family-oriented fifties when cartoons went from pungent picks at puerile reality to soppish pieces of spiced lunchmeat-funnies whose characters no longer vilified and picked at the sores of society but tripped along merrily animated, being silly to the point of nonobjective blandness, the cuteness of humans given anthropomorphic cleanness. The refined are mostly bland.
for The Daily Growler