You Gotta Stand for Something
Forcing people to stand on command is interesting to me. I remember as a little agnostic Christian kid how the preachers in the many churches in which I was forced by parental law to attend could say, "Let us all stand now...," and everybody would stand. I tested it. I sometimes purposely didn't stand. I loved torturing my parents like that. Forcing me to stand in church was a cataclysmic moment in my natural tendency to be a child rebel, though I was a rebel without a cause, readying myself for the real world I was raised in. It took me many developing years, through childhood into my late teenage years, for me to get to the point in time and space when I discovered my SELF ("To thy self be true"). Don't worry, I'm not going into psychobabble here. At this time, as close as I'd gotten to Freudian psychology was Georg Groddeck's Book of the It ["Es" in German]--nor did I at that time know that after Groddeck published his The Ego and the Id in 1923, Freud stole the "Es" (Id) concept from him, though giving him great praise and respect for his work as he did so. All I know is Groddeck's book opened my eyes to the "self" (Id) concept and turned me from an It into an identifiable character. An understandable character. This character's lines were alive in me as thoughts and thoughts turned into speech and then into print. The Way through the real world was in that character's thoughts, dreams, urges, controls, limitations, desire to compete! So a little rebel without a cause suddenly had a cause. His own self. Himself.
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My own definition of the character I call "My Self" is based on the "Ego" definition of "Self"--meaning just waking up one morning and starting to honor the cause your self is designed to use in defense of its time and space. This self begins each day waking up to a new tale--and that is how all of my tales begin, something you would realize had you ever read any of my tales and are a reader of what a writer is saying between the lines. If you are that aware of my self then you already know this about my character, my self--that all my tales, my parables, begin on waking on mornings, familiar or strange. They all begin: "Waking up one morning...." And isn't that how all tales should begin? It's in the blues idiom, too, by the way, an idiom I tried to live by during my self's evolving years--and a lot of blues idiom tales are based on lines like: "Woke up this morning/Blues sittin' on my bed...." "I wake up in the morning/Her face's all full of frowns...." "Early in the mornin'/Afore I rise/She's layin' there/Rollin' her bloodshot eyes...." Yes, just as you wake up every morning, that's the start of another day, and what you find either in or out of your bed on awakening--or maybe you are puzzling over the part of a clearly remembered dream or vision you had while in the hypnogogic state becomes the start of another page in the script you're character has to read from, the continuing-to-be-upgraded script. And that's certainly the start of another act in the multiact plays of life; and that's the start on another page of the next episode in the novel that is actually your self's memoir; a start of another "I woke up this morning, my head groggy but still fraught with flashes of either real or imagined plots, plots that have to be unfolded; or it's at least a sign that your self is still alive and able to begin thinking and acting once again as though everything is different on every arising from sleep. Soon you'll be acting just like a pro actor can do the same play maybe 10 times a week for a year or more--on the same stage. On waking each morning you reach for another step up on the ladder of the your creatively guided direction. The problem, as an aside, is in avoiding the routine. That's when one starts reading the psychobabble for answers to a self-puzzle, you know studying the self in terms of the normal and the abnormal. That's where it all becomes semantics. "Am I an egomaniac?" "Am I an autolarist?"
What I was leading to with this is the fact that once I learned I was a rebel with a cause, I never stood up on orders to stand up again. It became a form of protest with me. In college at sporting events, I stopped standing up for the so-called National Anthem. I didn't see this country as being so deserving of such respect, as being so ethically correct, so straightforward, so humanitarian. So every time I heard over the PA systems of the sporting arenas I found my SELF in in college, "Let's us all rise for the singing of our National Anthem," I rebelled and didn't stand. Rebelled against being a robot for one. Robots rising under orders to stand and to salute a song no one knows the full lyrics to--not even those who sing it at sporting events. Honoring this boring national hymn under orders to rise as one and worship through this hard-to-sing song the divinity of our so-real and misdirected country. And the National Anthem is a long, boring, warmongering, old-style, jiggy song and the flagwaving it stands for is the flagwaving of bloody shirts. No one anyway can understand or explain the words of that boring national hymn. Nor would I, you damn right, stand for the invocations at these sporting events either--something considered "commie" by the routine-bound souls I grew up and developed my SELF around.
Like when a stupid judge comes into a courtroom, why should everyone stand on some stupid court cop ordering, "All rise." And if you don't rise, what? Are you subject to a contempt of court charge? You see, not obeying an order to stand up can get your ass in jail-time trouble, especially during these days of having to prove your patriotism with proper papers to Secret Cop types--and always carry with you your proper IDs.
Naomi Klein, what a woman , has a new book out--she writes at least two a year--on a Fascism she's concerned about that is parading around posing as progressive when it's still the same old National Socialism of those good old days of Nazi fun and games. It's still this New World Order that even Obama seems to be standing up in obedience to--this Global One-World concept of righteousness and that the World is the territory the US Police Force has been divinely determined to control. One day, Naomi says, if we disobey these guys's orders to stand up or stand at attention could mean our deaths. And Naomi says she's concerned about our leaning toward private armies to do the dirty work or municipal cops suddenly appearing carrying military weapons cocked and ready to fire. She's concerned about the US Army how having an official combat division with their battlefield the USA--therefore, the US Army can now act as a cop and arrest US citizens as enemy combatants. Naomi says be prepared to obey orders given out by new-age Brown Shirts and SS (the acronym already of our own Secret Service). We are going to be subject to extraordinary rendition flights--and Obama finds nothing ethically wrong with these flights and is condoning them and is continuing them in his vision of his chance to takeover this New World Order as he turns his warring needs to Afghanistan--Obama's own war!--like his heroes Lincoln and FDR and JFK had their own wars. Now Obama wants his war. (It's all about money, but that's so easily told a tale. Obama can now play soldier and Commander and Chief--and already he is saluting the Marine Special forces that ceremoniously guard the White House and the President--and what a truer Progressive and man of peace he'd be were he to do away with saluting and the stupid Marine guard. I babble--psychotically so--but I'm so pissed as these phony profiteers who led us into this sudden having to deal with the Great God Chaos, the only god that makes sense to me. And Naomi Klein's concerned about military types that are gaining positions in the Power Elite that rule us. In this Fascist respect of the military and private and secret and undercover cops, I notice how Obama is relying heavily on his Secret Service, putting that one Secret Service guy in his administration as an overseer of the honesty of these bailout deals. Isn't that interesting? It is to my self. And I know this is Obama's self guiding him--a cautious self; a self trained to watch its back; a self trained to say to itself, "Fuck the past and what was, I'm only interested in what can be done now to get ready for what's coming." Humans are determined to KNOW what's coming. That's why science fiction fascinates so many literate souls. It's prediction. Soothsaying. And my character has always said soothsaying is easy as pie--anyone can predict futures and out of tons of predictions you can rattle off at will, maybe one of them will prove sort of accurate--you catch my agnostic drift? It was only a few months ago that I as a soothsayer let you all know that we were now in a world ruled over by the anarchist god, the great Lord Chaos. I mean I've been preaching this Great Lawd's coming for years now--"Chaos is'a comin'/It's sails are in sight/Chaos is'acomin'/It's comin' tonight." So now my self is learning (autodidactically or biosophically) how to step lively in defiance to the numbskull orders to stand that will be flung our ways in the not-too-distant future. "Halt! Stand at attention while we search you for shoe bombs and secret messages to our enemies. Like this tattoo you have on your shoulder! What is that an Iranian anti-US/Christ/Israel/Chosen Ones message of hate? Bend over, we are going to an anal cavity search on you and then we are going to arrest you and turn you over to the Moroccans. Those heathen bastards'll get the truth out of you." Remember, Obama has said extraordinary rendition flights are fine with him. So far over 100 innocent civilians have died from Obama's standing-ordered drone flights into Pakistan; the latest US-based-controlled flight killing over 40 men, women, and children, folks that Obama's military advisers (all of them old Bush Baby's ignorant generals) assured him were Taliban terrorists. That same week, Taliban terrorists were just outside Kabul blowing Afghanians up--way far from Pakistan. Hell, the Taliban are almost back in control of Afghanistan. Another unrighteous war (an invasion and occupation gone bad) that the Russians when they were Soviets warned us that if we got involved in the mess we'd be ruined. Since we don't listen to those we consider beneath us (like we consider the Russians still even though Russian whites are whiter than US whites--and just as ruthless and uncaring and inhumane as US whites) and feel we are divinely always right, we don't take advice from anybody but our own God-damn imagined God, a God who is white, male, a Gentile, by the bye, not a Jew. Yes, how stupid we Americans are. Are the stupidest of us WHITES?
That's a problem I recently had to confront with my self's persona. It happened in a white-black relationship. The black half of this relationship called me a racist and continued by saying she didn't give a damn how liberal and humanitarily WHITE I was, I was still to her a racist. She said I was a racist and didn't realize it, but she being black heard it in nearly everything I said, no matter the subject. That I displayed a white-privileged attitude that black people are so aware of when they are around whites. Then I listened to a Malcolm X speech--one of his last speeches--and Malcolm addressed that same problem, mentioning that no black in their right mind wanted to "integrate" with the white man--UNLESS--aha, by this time Malcolm had changed his purpose from religious to political--it was on EQUAL terms--and he didn't think the white man's ego would let him consider himself equal to any black man--or a white woman could consider herself equal to a black woman. I had this extreme black anger thrown against me after I spouted out that I kept an eye on the clowns that are ruining the world because they were such shiftless skunks and I knew this whole economy thing was about WAGES, about LABOR, about a return to slave labor (or "near-slave" labor)--and I blurted out, "Do you want to be put out in the fields choppin' cotton again!" And she went off on me way out there this time--and it was all prefaced with "You white people~-you're all so fucking racist, and you're such bullshit artists. Black people aren't afraid of you white people. Black people know how to deal with white people now. White people are so stupid and blacks are so much smarter and intellectual than whites--whites are deaf and dumb compared to blacks who are born majestic!" I stood up and applauded her. What a speech. That got me rebuke, too.
What a lesson my SELF learned though.
From an Interview Malcolm X Had With Louis Lomax Back in 1963:
MALCOLM X: Sir, how can a Negro say America is his nation? He was brought here in chains; he was put in slavery an worked like a mule for three hundred years; he was separated from his land, his culture, his God, his language!
The Negro was taught to speak the white man�s tongue, worship the white God, and accept the white man as his superior.
This is a white man�s country. And the Negro is nothing but an ex-slave who is now trying to get himself integrated into the slave master�s house.
And the slave master doesn�t want you! You fought and bled and died in every war the white man waged, and he still won�t give you justice. You nursed his baby and cleaned behind his wife, and he still won�t give you freedom; you turned the other cheek while he lynched you and raped your women, but he still won�t give you equality. Now, you integration-minded Negroes are trying to force yourselves on your former slave master, trying to make him accept you in his drawing room; you want to hang out with his women rather than the women of your own kind.
LOMAX: Are you suggesting that all of us who fight for integration are after a white woman?
MALCOLM X: I wouldn�t say all of you, but let the evidence speak for itself. Check up on these integration leaders, and you will find that most of them are either married to or hooked up with some white woman. Take that meeting between James Baldwin and Robert Kennedy; practically everybody there was interracially married. Harry Belafonte is married to a white woman; Lorraine Hansberry is married to a white man; Lena Horne is married to a white man.
Now how can any Negro, man or woman, who sleeps with a white person speak for me? No black person married to a white person can speak for me!
MALCOLM X: Why? Because only a man who is ashamed of what he is will marry out of his race. There has to be something wrong when a man or a woman leaves his own people and marries somebody of another kind. Men who are proud of being black marry black women; women who are proud of being black marry black men.
This is particularly true when you realize that these Negroes who go for integration and intermarriage are linking up with the very people who lynched their fathers, raped their mothers, and put their kid sisters in the kitchen to scrub floors. Why would any black man in his right mind want to marry a lyncher, a murderer, a rapist, a dope peddler, a gambler, a hog eater… Why would any black man want to marry a devil… for that�s just what the white man is.
LOMAX: I have heard you say that a thousand times, but it always jolts me. Why do you call the white man a devil?
MALCOLM X: Because that�s what he is. What do you want me to call him, a saint? Anybody who rapes, and plunders, and enslaves, and steals, and drops hell bombs on people… anybody who does these things is nothing but a devil.
Look, Lomax, history rewards all research. And history fails to record one single instance in which the white man �as a people�did good. They have always been devils; they always will be devils, and they are about to be destroyed. The final proof that they are devils lies in the fact that they are about to destroy themselves. Only a devil�and a stupid devil at that�would destroy himself!
Now why would I want to integrate with somebody marked for destruction?
The above comes from www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=539
for The Daily Growler