Baby Shark Coup

John Steppling

Not a coup, do do dodododo. Not a coup, do do dodododo

I also write from time to time, and if any sweet breath fills my soul, it’s the light of memory … Oh the memory in prison! How it gets here and falls upon the heart, which it oils with melancholy already so decomposed …
In short, I don’t know what these people will do. We soon shall see.”
Cesar Vallejo (Letter to his brother from prison, 1921

Somehow in the shadow of the US-backed coup in Bolivia, several cultural threads seem worth examining in western society right now.

One is infantilism, and all that comes with that, and another is a new theistic or cultic consensus on climate (the new *emergency*). And finally the return and rehabilitation of fascism. Here as a side bar intro to infantilism is this.

One might do well to watch Norwegian children’s programming for a compare and contrast thought experiment.

Here from Norsk Wiki:

“Climbing mice and the other animals in the Hakkebakkeskogen were first dramatized for puppet theater, and were set up at Oslo Nye Teater in 1959 with Egner’s own towels and decorations and in the author’s staging. The play was played with actors in Copenhagen in 1962 and at the National Theater in 1964, with scenography by the author. Gjøvik summer theater has performed the play as an outdoor walking theater at Gjøvik farm since 2006.”

The animated film Hakkebakkeskogen premiered in 2016.

The Bolivian coup is significant for a profound absence of outrage in the West. And in large measure, this is the result of all the above-mentioned trends.

But most importantly, perhaps, is the effectiveness of western propaganda launched against Evo Morales, a campaign that began about four or five years ago, interrupted to some degree by the campaign against Maduro in Venezuela. The return of fascist-style and sensibility goes hand in hand with this new infantilism.

Make it simple. Baby Shark simple.

And the real point of the smearing of Morales was to impugn his green credentials. The theistic consensus reacts with disproportionate indignation at any climate apostate. Evidence and logic defy the Baby Shark formula.

There is another aspect to all this, too.

In ‘United States Penetration of Brazil’, Jan K. Black writes: “It is interesting to note that in 1969, the year when U.S. economic assistance was suspended for a few months in “cosmetic” protest against the dramatic tightening of the dictatorial noose signified by the dissolution of the Congress in December 1968 and the promulgation of the Fifth Institutional Act (AI-5), the number of Brazilian policemen brought to the United States for training almost tripled that of the previous year.

The number of Brazilian military trainees in the United States also increased that year and was, in fact, higher than at any other time in the post-war period.

The marked expansion of the training program also coincided with an increase in documented reports of the systematic torture of political prisoners and of the murders of petty criminals, as well as alleged subversives, carried out by the “Death Squads,” reportedly composed of off-duty policemen.

(New York) Governor Nelson Rockefeller, as President Nixon’s special envoy in Brazil and other Latin American countries in 1969, was uninformed, unconvinced, or unconcerned about these reports.

Rockefeller recommended that “the training program which brings military and police personnel from the other hemispheric nations to the United States and to training centers in Panama be continued and strengthened.”.

The training program to which he referred was that of the notorious School of the Americas, which is now both re-branded and re-tooled as WHINSEC. This agency has been central to the re-configuration of Latin American militaries as glorified police forces, equipped for internal rather than hemispheric defence, since the 1960s.

Despite official US rhetoric against the Brazilian dictatorship’s increasingly egregious human rights abuses, Rockefeller’s tour of Latin America signified an intensification of US support for anti-communist dictatorial regimes who were friendly to US economic investment.

On his tour, under robust military security, Rockefeller had been met with violent anti-imperialist protests in almost every city he visited, which were often subject to a media blackout.

– Daniel Hunt (Brasil Wire, 2019)

Nixon and Rockefeller saw Liberation Theology as a serious threat to their control of Latin America. The antidote to the communistic odour of Liberation Theology was to export a weaponized Pentecostolism.

This was a tweaked version of what Oral Roberts and others had been selling during the rise of televangelism that took hold in the late 60s.

There is also a link to the eugenics branch of the climate or new green movement. The eugenics side expresses itself first with the overpopulation argument (one so debunked at this point that only a sort of rabid refusal to think allows it any traction at all…but traction it still has).

And secondly, the eugenicists (David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Bill Gates, et al) are firmly in line with the protection of western capital. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio) The Rockefeller Foundation created LEAD. And among the leaders for this development scheme was Marina Silva.

Allow me to quote Daniel Hunt again:

The Brazilian branch of LEAD (ABDL) was one of the first, founded in mid-1991 and according to Gazeta Mercantil (06/11/91), “The Rockefeller Foundation intends to invest US $5 million in the next five years in training environmental leaders, with The purpose of preparing opinion-makers capable of having a broad view of environmental problems and their economic implications.”

All Binger, LEAD’s international director, said with surprising frankness: “We hope that in ten years many of the fellows will be acting as ministers of environment and development, university rectors and CEOs.”.

The growing Evangelical power base traded support for policy concessions throughout the 1990s and 2000s, supporting Lula and Dilma Governments but it was not until 2010 that they had a potential Presidential candidate of their own – Marina Silva, her platform a marketable synthesis of evangelical Christianity, environmental campaigning and Wall Street-friendly liberalism. Initially, she accepted the vice-presidential candidacy for the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), a party that is socialist in name only.

Heiress to COA Member Itaú Bank, brother of Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission member Roberto, Neca Setubal, was responsible for 84% of funds to Marina Silva’s institute in 2013.

Former president of Citibank Alvaro de Souza ran the fundraising for Silva’s 2010 election campaign.

Ex-US Chamber of Commerce, Souza had previously served on the boards of such companies as Gol and AmBev, and was chairman of WWF Brazil.

In 2008, the WWF, and its President Emeritus, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, awarded Silva with a medal, championing her work on Amazon conservation.

Already the capitalist class recognized the potential of tying together the desire for new theologies to support and enhance the propaganda and indoctrination of western societies. Evangelicals had grown in power in the U.S., too. Today one has a vice president and secretary of state who are evangelical Dominionists.

For the Rockefellers the secular theism of a new ecological movement would mirror the Pentecostal revolution in Latin America (and in the U.S. to a lesser degree and in a slightly adjusted form).

The ruling class saw even by the start of the 1990s the potential for massive land grabs, various raids on social security and whatever else was left of the security net, the final destruction of unionizing, and all with enthusiastic support from the white bourgeoisie in the West, most acutely in North America.

And here is a quote from Spencer Latu (on social media)…

The fake left Greta Thunberg PR campaign, billionaire foundation-funded environmental NGO controlled opposition, and boomer memes coalesce into a brutal ruling class praxis: liquidate what remains of social programs desperately needed by the working class so that the ruling class can continue the unsustainable and omnicidal militarized industrialized US/Canada/NATO empire that wreaks havoc on people and the planet and call it “green.”

The political theatre put on by fake left actorvists, paid through laundered corporate money in tax-exempt foundations to fund environmental NGO campaigns from such eNGOs as Greenpeace, 350.org, Sierra Club and World Wildlife Foundation, and right-wing corporate tool conservatives who claim everything is fine when the biosphere collapses before our eyes as the ruling class loot, plunder and pillages what is left, keeps us the working class divided and distracted.

The only way to rise above the insanity is to openly and honestly investigate the facts.

As I’ve stated in multiple posts with countless citations, the fake left (Liberals and NDP) have non-solutions to climate change that will further aid in exploiting the working class through greenwashing imperialism.

The coup in Bolivia provides set dressing for all the above. The new openly racist and Pentecostal opposition (and the singularly proudly racist new President by simple announcement Jeanine Anez) have direct ties to the same ruling class millionaires that carried out U.S. policy against Chavez and Maduro.

Jorge Camacho, the leader of the Francoist cadre (complete with fascist salutes), that have terrorized supporters of Morales, is a millionaire fanatic with ties to those invisible billionaire backers of global right parties (such as Daniel Thiel, who in turn has direct ties to the CIA).

Everything Camacho does has a strong religious bond: he mentions God in all his appearances, took the Bible to the Government Palace and urges his followers to take the virgin to the mobilizations.”
Telesur, Nov 2019

Of course, the rise of Hitler admiring Jair Bolsanaro in Brazil was the benchmark for the U.S. and its new policy decisions and plans for re-taking Latin America. But western media is governed by the Baby Shark formula firstly, and secondly is openly tied to those obscured billionaires who can be seen behind the sudden appearance of figures such Camacho, or Bolsonaro, or Leopoldo Lopez or Juan Guaido.

And of course, the complicit Western media was inline with the demonizing of Morales and barely ever corrected the egregious lies regarding Bolivia being behind the destruction of the Amazon, or the singularly bad fires this season in Brazil. And for most left or pseudo-left publications in the west, there could be no real support for Morales because he had been tainted with the deadly label of green criminal.

Now the infantilism merges with a kind of new-age therapy culture (with residue of Sixties kitsch mysticism). It’s worth noting that demonizing and ridiculing the sixties is itself an entire propaganda campaign that has set in motion the new anti Boomer propaganda.

Blame it on the old folks, those silly befuddled guys who fought against the Vietnam War. Media forgets the work of artists who protested the war, figures like Robert Bly and Galway Kinnell, Alan Ginsburg and instead looks at head shops and tie-dye and granola. But the migration of sixties mysticism to stuff like aromatherapy and EST, also found its way into the therapy culture overall, and most importantly left itself amenable to the rebranded fascism of the 1930s.

Just as behaviourism was never completely eradicated, so white supremacism (and eugenics) expressed itself under cover of an identitarian banner. And it is worth remembering the Jungian associations with National Socialism, and the popularity of Jung for undergrads still today.

Well. I use that term ‘cult’ to describe the social organisation that Jung gathered around himself after his break with Freud. He was living at the time in Küsnacht, Zurich, in Switzerland. Essentially, at first, he gathered primarily German-speaking Swiss around him, and a few Germans, then people from Britain and the United States. His biggest catch was the daughter of John D. Rockefeller who, in 1916, poured more than a million dollars (in 1997 US dollars) into his enterprises.”
Richard Noll (Interview with Ivan Tyrrell)

It has been argued that the political ideology of the Nazis concerning racial cleansing could only be carried through by appealing to established spiritual belief systems and myths. This theory derives from the many similarities that can “e seen from the old Pagan traditions that experienced a revival with the many oddities and traditions of the Nazi Party. Early in the twentieth century the Ariosophy movement began as the merging of German nationalism with racism based on occult beliefs which are now described as corresponding to the term völkisch.”
Elizabeth Ping (Michigan State, Graduate thesis)

Hollywood of course has been profoundly influential in this regard with turning Philip K Dick on his head (Man in the High Castle) to allow for massive displays of National Socialist symbolism. And the revanchism of the volkisch style codes so popular with the Nazis returns via Greta, but also with feature films and TV. And, again, things bleed into one another.

A quick sampling of the current TV series Treadstone or Jack Ryan give ample evidence of direct CIA influence in the writers’ rooms of Hollywood, and with a growing open anti-communism. And that anti-communism often finds side bar assists from Israeli propaganda in Hollywood (equating Soviets with anti semitism and not Nazis).

The Orientalism at work in Hollywood is glaring and un-apologetic. The endless numbing repetitions of Muslim caricatures and Serbian or Russian gangsters seem bottomless. And I and others have written about this often.

It’s just that by virtue of the sheer volume of these cop and spy franchises (or medical shows or lawyer shows) it seems or feels worse. And maybe it is. But I have noticed something else, too. Moral outrage at consensual sex if the characters are minors. A recent episode of Chicago PD saw a suspect in custody nearly beaten for having sex with a 17 year old (he was mid 20s).

A 17 year old (!!).

The age of consent in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, and Wyoming is, in fact, 17. In a few others it is 18 and in the rest it is 16! So the new morality fits with a growing secular climate theism. One which is highly sex negative (for the good of the planet). I have actually had a man write on social media (attacking me) about the “psychosis of breeding”.

Such is the new eco-Puritan. And I don’t think this is a ‘MeToo’ effect, I think, rather it is tied to the influence of a this new religiosity. I will return to this below.

The volkisch nostalgia (which is active now, not just a period curiosity) is wed to the therapeutic new age Green moralism (that makes heretics of climate deniers) and the seamless meshing with de facto but resurrgent anti-communism. Now I am speaking of the privileged white bourgeoisie here.

That thirty some percent who are educated and visible. They are the courtiers to the ruling class. And like ‘the Squad’, they’re reflexively reactionary. They don’t like the poor, but won’t admit it, they don’t like muslims or Muslim countries, or Indians or Chinese. None of this admitted.

They go on vacation to these countries, but they do not like the people. They do not like Evo Morales. In a sense they are far closer in temperament to Jeanine Azez then they are to Maduro or Chavez or Morales. They are certainly closer to a Joe Biden than they are to Subcomandante Marcos.

When pundits wonder why Biden still clings to a poll lead, the answer is because Joe is one of them, if not literally (he has wealth, they do not) he is in spirit. And he represents something of an aspirational class dream. And Joe feels as if he stepped out of a TV show, he is a purely TV character, shallow, banal, and completely forgettable.

The liberals in the U.S. are more in tune with a George Will or Joe Biden than they are with any Marxist critique. They are comfortable in the presence of George Will. And this is why Trump angers them so much. Why Ocasio Cortez drools in admiration for William F. Buckley. Trump does not make anyone, save for his son in law maybe, feel comfortable.

George Bush Sr and Jr are the WASP wealth dream, they’re values are actually exactly the values of the liberal bourgeoisie today. And this suggests that the *issues* that separate them, the issues that are made much of in media, issues that launch a thousand op-eds are perhaps not the important issues.

Anything today that gets to the supreme court has already been decided.

Identity issues …gay rights or the various academic scandals and trigger warnings or the so-called culture wars, or even important stuff like abortion rights are somehow trivialized when forced to go through the apparatuses of government. Official state bureaucracy kills stuff. It is the soul killer for people and ideas.

Even when you win, you lose.

Now the climate crisis (or emergency etc) is being trivialized, too. If a woman’s right to her body can ruled on by a John Roberts then the climate equivalent is listening to David Attenborough or Bill McKibben or Al Gore.

The Extinction Rebellion and the Green New Deal and whatever else is in the pipeline are investment projects. They are not charity and nobody is donating money. Not even Bill Gates. These are investments in control, in furthering the goal of creating a world in their own image.

In each case that is a whiter world, a world where the transference of wealth to the top 3% of the populace is complete. And it nearly is already.

The goal is a world of free trade zones (slave states) surrounded by national parks and environmental research projects where only those vetted, those with good paper, those with good genes in fact, can enter or use.

It is useful to go back and read or re-read Mike Davis’ the “Homegrown Revolution” chapter in City of Quartz.

Growth control politics in the Bay Area have been incubated in a specific regional tradition of patrician conservationism represented by the Sierra Club, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and California Tomorrow.

‘Responsible environmentalism’ constitutes a hegemonic discourse in which all sides, developers and their community opponents, must formulate their arguments.

The tap-root of slow growth in the South, however, is an exceptionalistic local history of middle-class interest formation around home ownership. Environmentalism is a congenial discourse to the extent that it is congruent with a vision of eternally rising property values in secure bastions of white privilege.

The master discourse here – exemplified by the West Hills secessionists – is homestead exclusivism, whether the immediate issue is apartment construction, commercial encroachment, school busing, crime, taxes or simply community designation.”

It is a profoundly prescient chapter, in a brilliant book overall. And maybe because I’m from LA, I especially appreciate it (I am also a footnote in it, I’m proud to say). But the seeds of this new white privileged eco-consciousness can be traced back, at least, to the mid-80s that Davis describes.

In one sense the Bay Area (of Northern California) is ground zero for the Arcadian vision of a de-populated and managed landscape of white post card perfect nature.

If the slow-growth movement, in other words, has been explicitly a protest against the urbanization of suburbia, it is implicitly – in the long tradition of Los Angeles homeowner politics – a reassertion of social privilege.”
Mike Davis (ibid)

Social privilege is embedded in the climate discourse and curiously it is rarely a topic of debate. But then debate is pretty much absent from the climate discussion altogether. And this raises again the strange contradictions of the entire climate discourse.

The alarmist end of this (expressed best by The Guardian) predicts endless apocalypses (plural) and yet none of the people I have debated with, those who believe in overpopulation and human extinction in the near future are doing anything about it. Not on a personal level.

I mean none that I am aware of are hoarding supplies or water, moving to places with more protection from storms or flooding, nothing.

This suggests that either extinction is viewed with some degree of appeal, a fantasy version of Hollywood end of time films, or that actually nobody quite knows what to believe. Or maybe its compartmentalized denial. I don’t know. But the sex negative theism — apparent when middle aged white guys come to the defense of Greta’s honor. In reality, most of the educated white bourgeoisie don’t want anything to interrupt their vaguely pleasing lives…even if miserable, they want nothing to interrupt this endless daydream.

The new cult of climate provides a purpose, and meaning for lives lived on autopilot for decades.

It also bears repeating that such manufactured PR narratives take energy and focus away from the real environmental issues, which begin with militarism, mining, and the idea of progress.

Now, the lack of outrage at the right wing fascist coup in Bolivia suggests with clarity that American racism is as deep and indelible as it has ever been. It means there is a belief that only white westerners deserve to to make important decisions. The first call of congratulation that Jeanine Azez received was from Mike Pompeo.

So this is the meeting point, the convergence, of radical extremist Pentecostal fundamentalism and the new green theism. Behind both is military muscle.

Before going further let me link to a piece by Luke Osborne on the relationship between pollution and climate and the military.

And allow me another quote from the invaluable Cory Morningstar…

Many Westerners have bought into the “war propaganda” of this global push for a “green” tech fueled, militarily enforced capitalism. As both the economic and environmental situations deteriorate, perhaps the push for widespread adoption will indeed reach the kind of fevered pitch Bill McKibben advocates.

This could very well come at a time when the militaries which avoided substantive critique and were instead elevated as potential allies in the “climate fight” come on full display.

In this future where comforting narratives like McKibben’s steer the populace away from the much darker truth, manufactured humanitarian disasters provide the palatable cover for the dirty work of securing access to raw materials needed for battery production and wind turbines by armies whose bases are hardened for sea-level rise, yet whose tactical vehicles are still necessarily dependent upon dense fossil fuel power.

At this time of great uncertainty, a genuine dissent which had languished under the spell of false promises of “green” technology and ignored the mass violence that underpins modern industrial society, emerges out of necessity from the growing direness of global crop failures and economic breakdown.

This growing dissent, which threatens the illegitimate power held by the global elites, is met with heavy repression that draws upon decades of unimpeded surveillance tech implementation, the militarization of global police forces, and the use of private security.


Climate change at its core is about conflict. It is a conflict between how humans live with each other and with the planet, and this conflict builds on centuries of violence and exploitation that are enmeshed, often unseen by the privileged, within the economic, social, and political systems to this day.

We can either face our own discomfort and confront the structures of violence that have brought us to this turning point in human history, or we can soothe ourselves with comfortable narratives and allow the internal conflicts inherent in the system to catapult us far beyond the breaking point.

– Wrong Kind of Green (Cory Morningstar)

By the by, Naomi Klein and Greta both have thrown Morales under the bus. In both cases under cover of green concern (Klein by tweets suggesting it was not really, you know, a *coup*) and Greta by retweeting the now rather notorious Minh Ngo tweet that blamed the Amazonian fires on Bolivia and Morales.

Now, yes, Greta is just being used. But I’m not sure that matters at this point. For the reality is that white privilege and their disingenuous feigning of concern is in clear agreement with the US and it’s clients at the AOS.

Western culture, baby shark culture, contains under its new umbrella the institutionalising of art in general. MFA programs and academia has all but killed completely theatre in the U.S. And what they didn’t destroy the extermination of an alternative media has.

Not so long ago the alternative press fought heroically against the Vietnam war, while providing a critical dialogue on art and culture.

Those days are long gone. I remember when major newspapers changed their arts section to *Entertainment* and started providing figures for what a new film grossed in its opening weekend (formally the province of the business section).

So, infantilism, a trend toward sub-literacy overall and resurgent anti-communism (of course for the underclass there is a clear uptick in interest about communism, but you will never hear that on mainstream media) — is wed to the giant colossus of corporate media and a propaganda regarding the climate and pollution of the planet, and the new theistic psychological life raft of the climate consensus and the offspring of this infernal union is a screen habituated near-comatose man child with compulsions for porn, a jaded but numbed attraction to violence, and a 6th graders grasp of spirituality. And near-total historical amnesia.

A consensus now brought to you by a billionaire class of vampiric white speculators looking to de-populate the poor and take control of literally the entirety of earth. That’s where we are. Worry about rising sea levels may or may not be rational, but before one discusses that it makes sense to consider the death merchants and fanatics who are destroying entire nations and stealing remaining resources.

See: Lithium and Bolivia. Yes, Bolivia has enormous lithium resources. It does not, however, have reserves of it, as I understand it, and in truth, Lithium is not all that rare. Argentina has a huge lithium resource, too. As does Chile. Still, it might be a factor in the timing of this coup, though I somehow doubt it.

This coup was to push back the Pink Tide, to discipline Latin America and make clear the continent still belongs to the US ruling elite. Lithium is the resource to be stolen. All colonies are stripped of their resources).

Also, at some point there is a question in all this that has to do with science, or rather scientists…and experts in general.

Scientists in the capitalist west are tools of the ruling class, and by extension, they are tools of corporate power and they instinctively know how to gravitate toward power. They are instruments for “proving” what governments want them to prove. Even if they often just instinctively know what is expected.

The climate debate, or non debate, is inextricably bound up with science. The totality of it is science. And some of the challenge is to separate real science from junk science or compromised science. Is all of bourgeois science compromised? Bought? Yes, though that does not mean it’s not true. It only means often it is not.

The trajectory of this tradition, from positivism to the current variety of postpositivist philosophies of science, has reflected the pressure of a complex reality upon conceptions too restricted to give an adequate account of it.”
Helena Sheehan (Marxism and the Philosophy of Science)

Science is part of the ideological super-structure of society.

It is not difficult to follow the historical course of his thought in the works collected in the ‘Holy Family’ and in the ‘German Ideology’. Here Marx already advances and solves quite differently from the philosophers who had preceded him the two chief questions, what is nature-the object of natural science, and what is natural science-the science of nature.

Marx criticises Hegel’s formal, abstract, mystical conception of nature. If real nature is a natural-philosophical form of logical foundation, the reflection of the idea, then it is something lower than the idea, nature is “an imperfect being”.

The natural sciences from this point of view are directly bound up with theology and teleology, and can have no real importance, since they study the expression of the real creator of reality-the idea. Marx showed that the basis of this mysticism was the divorcing of nature from the practical activity of man.

According to Hegel philosophical thinking must combine the practical attitude to nature with the theoretical. But with Hegel the determining basis remains the course of thought, the idea, and not practical activity, So with Hegel the picture of nature is distorted and fixed in its separation from man.

As distinct from Hegel, Marx looked at nature in its development, in its unity with man. Man is himself a part of nature. Man is historical nature and nature is natural history. It might appear at first glance as though Marx in not yet using the category of man as a totality of social relations, completely shares the outlook of Feuerbach.

In reality Marx here also, in the works collected in the Holy Family, had already grasped the specific link, industry, which made the foundation for new views both on nature and on its relationship to man, as well as on the specific environment which man makes for himself in the general limits of nature.

Y.M. Uranovsky (Marxism and Natural Sciences)

There is a profound need for a discussion and dialogue on science, on what it is, what it does, and how it functions under capitalism. This is the Enlightenment discussion again and reminds me just how important is Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment.

The coup has also stimulated an outpouring of violent racist hatred directed against Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples. Right-wing opponents of Morales celebrated his resignation by burning the Wiphala flag, which is a symbol of resistance of the Indigenous peoples and Bolivia’s second official flag.

The pro-coup Bolivian police, meanwhile, have been filmed cutting the indigenous flag off their uniforms. In his televised resignation speech, Morales said “my sin was being indigenous, leftist and anti-imperialist.”
Fiona Edwards (The Canary, Nov 2019

With the hostile takeover of all mainstream media by private equity investors early in the 21st Century, investigative journalism died in mainstream newsrooms. This void in mass communication has since been supplanted with propaganda created by public relations (PR) firms hired by transnational corporations.”
Jay Taber (Global Netwar 2019)

I leave you with the opening to Lorca’s New York, Office and Attack. A poem from Poet in New York. Translated by Robert Bly.

Beneath all the statistics
there is a drop of duck’s blood.
Beneath all the columns
there is a drop of sailor’s blood.
Beneath all the totals, a river of warm blood;
a river that goes singing
past the bedrooms of the suburbs,
and the river is silver, cement, or wind
in the lying daybreak of New York.

…and Bly’s own great anti-war poem, The Teeth Mother Naked At Last.


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Sean Mulligan
Sean Mulligan
Dec 12, 2019 4:36 AM

This article gives a lot to be absorbed and I don’t agree with everything in it. Their is still plenty of good theater. I just saw a nice play in LA with my aunt and their is a good play Finks playing in LA that I want to see some time.

Dec 9, 2019 3:30 AM

ohhhhh. Jesus Christ that is so apt! Baby shark coup should be used for Trotskyists and anarkids!

Nov 23, 2019 2:08 PM

Wow… This made me want to cry for all that is broken. But at the same time fills me with hope for all that may yet mend. An article such as this shines light into the shadows and also manages to transcend the Frey. Thank you. .

Nov 23, 2019 9:07 AM

Anyone attempting to belittle the overpopulation argument at this time with such horrifying effects so clearly going on in the world reveal themselves as those early climate change denying scientists did, as those who would not look through Galileo’s telescope, as ignorant of the plain facts as those who got us into the climate mess in the first place. Please crawl under a rock and let humanity evolve with our new and realistic sense of the world and how it really is and what we can do to improve it. Even the lowliest creature has the good sense to die off or be killed off once the population exceeds available resources. Humans? Not so much.

Nov 23, 2019 9:28 AM
Reply to  Saptarship

John Steppling even has the gall to claim to know more about the impact of human overpopulation on the natural than world-renowned, in-the-field, naturalists and scientists. Really, what are YOUR credentials for doing so John Steppling? The only one trying to infantalise the masses is you with your irrelevant, self-hating, illogical, conflicting, tripe. Please don’t write ever again. We don’t need it.

Nov 23, 2019 8:56 PM
Reply to  Saptarship

Go Home Saptar !

Nov 23, 2019 7:46 AM

One of the difficulties encountered when eating grapes for the purposes of inebriation is separating out the seeds with your tongue (necessary to prevent the seeds germinating in your stomach and the vines travelling up your spine to strangle your mind completely), all the while holding the juice in your mouth long enough for fermentaion to transform the resultant mush-mash into ecstasy. Better to go for a goblet or four of good, ready-made wine.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Nov 23, 2019 12:59 AM

I’ve already read a piece about how the coup in Bolivia has ‘energized’ the opposition in Venezuela.

The thing I find amazing about Bolivia is how brazen the coup leaders are — you depose a legal government, indulge in a bit of authoritarian suppression of people complaining about it and then accuse its leadership and supporters of ‘sedition’ as an excuse to harass them and ban them from participating in any elections (“just in case”). Not a peep from the “freedom and democracy” crew, of course — they’re too fixated on Hong Kong.

Nov 22, 2019 8:42 PM

Since two days ago, I have had to reload OffG pages “without content blockers” in order to log in and see a “Post Comment” button. What caused this change?

Sophie - Admin1
Sophie - Admin1
Nov 22, 2019 11:58 PM
Reply to  wardropper

I have no idea. It’s not a result of any policy change of ours. The comments are open to all – you shouldn’t have to log in to make a comment. It could be an issue with your browser or plugins etc

Nov 24, 2019 5:09 AM

Since two days ago, I have had to reload OffG pages “without content blockers” in order to log in and see a “Post Comment” button.

I have no idea. […] The comments are open to all – you shouldn’t have to log in to make a comment.

“Log in” may mean “connect to”/”go to”/”surf to” rather than supply login credentials. If so, then the requirement to reload probably comes from your DDoS protection, as it does here when the “checking browser” OK result has expired for some reason.

I don’t know why I’m taking the time to post this.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 22, 2019 6:21 PM

I tried to post a comment and was met with an “awaiting moderation” message. What does this portend? And how long do I have to wait?

Sophie - Admin1
Sophie - Admin1
Nov 22, 2019 8:20 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Your post had 3 hyperlinks and was automatically held back for moderation. We do warn people about this in our comment policy. We try to check the pending folder regularly and get comments approved inside an hour, but inevitably there are delays sometimes.

Nov 24, 2019 5:18 AM

I tried to post a comment and was met with an “awaiting moderation” message.

Your post had 3 hyperlinks and was automatically held back for moderation.

A one-sentence post of mine at about the same time as GeorgeMc’s had no hyperlinks and got the same response. Explain that, ha!

Nov 22, 2019 1:41 PM

Wow! Such breadth and depth of thought provocation is rare among the post-truth canons of antirealism. Steppling takes a Zizekian broad swipe at the unconsciousness of our consumer/polluter/destroyer Capitalist Realist culture. And takes a Lacanian view that the nations arts/entertainment industrial complex reflects the contents of the depths of dislocation of that cognitive unconsciousness. Whilst this is hugely justified and broadly accurate: I feel ‘baby shark culture’ borders on the verge of trivialisation. A minor point. We are dealing with a deeply dark ‘green’ psychosis – a Wetiko materialism and wholly false ecological idealism – that is completely blind and does not know what it is doing …such is its consumption and commodification of even itself. And I cannot agree with Spencer Latu: though it is exactly his preferred mode I employ. “The only way to rise above the insanity is to openly and honestly investigate the facts” …and share… Read more »

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 23, 2019 10:47 AM
Reply to  BigB

Was in a multi level shopping centre today on way home. About the most depressing and soul less spectacle you could witness B. Couldn’t help thinking of John’s brilliant peice, and parts of your comment – particularly in regards… “share facts with who? The baby shark culture? They are so self obsessed they wouldn’t even notice”… Correct. Couldn’t agree more. I saw that in massive bucket loads earlier. This is the result of nearly 40 years of Neoliberalism and its attendant relentless propaganda, and the unleashing of greed is good – as literally a virtue, everywhere, incl obviously down here in, um, Oceania. Imagine being a 30 Yr old (or less) and this dogma is all you’ve ever known. Scary stuff. SO – do we just sit behind our screens, posting angry, despairing comments on here or elsewhere, or do we TRY and do something tangible; even KNOWING that the… Read more »

Nov 23, 2019 12:31 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah: got to at least try? I totally agree: and I’m willing to dedicate the rest of my life to the cause. But it is subject to diminishing returns. In his essay: the one thing I did disagree with was that you have to be a sick psycho to have psychosexual fantasies about collapse …a neo-Ballardian ‘Crash’ porn. NO ONE wants collapse. I’ve done everything in my limited power – including in the realm of knowledge – to avoid collapse. As I know you have too. If I had it ‘my way’: we would have voluntarily embraced the Great Simplification forty years ago. We would be most the way through a transition to pure socialism and actual community: based on mutual aid and harmonised with nature. Of course that did not happen: and now the correction of human behaviour to voluntary simplification and ‘progress without growth’ will be challenging and… Read more »

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 23, 2019 7:45 PM
Reply to  BigB

Briefly B…. Black Friday in Australia is Nov 29th…”to fulfill desires they did not have to fulfill an emptiness that is still empty, …. to give meaning to their meaningless existence… ”
Hungry Ghosts.
I wonder how much of that will be ‘ethical green consumption’? A la, The Body Shop and similar outfits, whose customer base comes mainly from the liberal bourgeoisie and identity politics crowd.
I’m in The Body Shop nearly every day as its a depot for us to buy mags for the following day.
Always observing, as you know. Um, its late November in the UK. Of course the weather is going to be shitty! Cheers B.

Nov 24, 2019 6:08 AM
Reply to  BigB

If I had it ‘my way’: we would have voluntarily embraced the Great Simplification forty years ago. We would be most the way through a transition to pure socialism and actual community: based on mutual aid and harmonised with nature. Your forty and up twenty. It’s now just over sixty years since I first spoke publicly to a hallful of dumbshits (let’s call a spade a spade) saying that “we” then (late 1950s)–right then–had to make a start on abandoning the course of destroying the environment that we were on if it was to be possible at all let alone manageable without devastating disruption. I used the analogy of a large ship taking an enormous amount of time to avoid a devastating collision with an iceberg, compared to, say, a kayaker, who needn’t stop paddling until the last moment. Dumbshit snores everywhere. All we can do is hope that there… Read more »

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 2, 2019 10:30 AM
Reply to  BigB

Greetings BigB.
Just briefly… There’s a site I go on fairly often called Leftcom. New article they’ve just posted is: ‘Every Vote For Labour Is A Vote for Capitalism’ which takes a realistic look at voting for a social democratic party in the age of Neoliberalism.
They cover lots of topics including Brexit, China, Gig Economy, Financial Crisis, Imperialism, Parliamentarism, etc.
They also recognise that Neoliberalism is global, and not just confined to the West.
You may find their site interesting (or not) just letting you know if you hadn’t heard of them before. This particular group is based in the UK. Have a good day…

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Nov 22, 2019 11:49 AM

John…. just a profound peice of work packed with so much important information. Thank you. My head is spinning trying to take it all in. I especially agree with the quotes from both Spencer Latu and Cory Morningstar; and in fact quite regularly visit her Wrong Kind Of Green site. ‘As the ruling class loot, plunder and pillages what is left, and keeps us the working class divided and distracted’… Hello identity politics and vacuous celebrity culture, along with the repetitive exhortations to go shopping and buy a new…. Lifestyle. Baby Shark. Hmmm. I too have noticed an increasing sense of conformity and groupthink in recent years. I’ve especially noticed that when pointing out to friends the realities of Empire and imperialism. But the slap in the face for me – when it hit home, was the lead up to the 2016 United States election. The vast amount of kneejerk… Read more »

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Nov 22, 2019 11:44 AM

Anyone who states flatly that the current human population overshoot has been ‘debunked’ and that those who speak about it realistically must all be ‘eugenicists’ clearly has loose several of the screws that normally bind us to reality. Yes, and if you really believe that the whole idea of human population overshoot has been ‘debunked’ completely, then I have shares to sell you in this hugely profitable bridge in Manhattan – if you’d care to indulge… 🙂 With such an utterly brainless statement at the beginning, I wondered whether it was worth persevering with the rest of the piece? I did anyway, and I find the whole thing confused and confusing. I THINK (the argument isn’t exactly crystal clear) I get as the overall statement here that there is indeed a global climatic/ecological/pollution/peak-everything (especially energy) crisis – to which I’d add a self-evidently obvious runaway population-overshoot episode in our species… Read more »

John Thatcher
John Thatcher
Nov 22, 2019 1:09 PM

Well done for ploughing through to the end,you are a better man than I etc.

Nov 24, 2019 7:07 AM

Important to note that I’m not pushing some sort of apocalypse porn here. Such a denotation of anthropogenic ecogeddon, of which climate change (a.k.a. the On-Guardian*’s “climate crisis”) is only one vector in the delivery of a much larger ecocatastrophe–the first to be undeniably apparent, thus the first to be financialized–amongst tens of such scientifically forseeable crises, in a ‘crisis of crises‘ that, along with the almost total unavailablity of research into the broader field (i.e. almost totally unavailable publicly although the subject is extremely unlikely to have escaped the serious attention of organizations like the Rand Corporation and other futurists of the unthinkable who see exclusivity as an essential component of the wellbeing of their current, self-fancied, ubermen$chen clientele as well as their own), is largely driven by an eminently manipulable psychological mechanism known as “denial”. * so prefixed because who in their right mind would not be diligently… Read more »

Nov 22, 2019 11:41 AM

Just a quick heads up. xxxxxxxxxx

I am currently being targeted by hasbara central/ Brigade 77, one and the same thing.
Quite flattered in a way that they would bother.

Have to keep off the radar for a bit.

But they may start targeting individuals, like Catte or Kit, rather than the site itself.

Just something to be aware of.
Anyone commenting as mark from now on is not me.

Keep up the good work.
All the best

Mark xxxxxxxxxx

Nov 24, 2019 9:06 AM
Reply to  mark

Anyone commenting as mark from now on is not me.

It’s not me, either.

Nov 22, 2019 10:53 AM

The ‘nice’ thing of making things simple and stupid is that to rebut that simplicity and stupidity is (almost) as stupid. The writer of the article above the line did a good job of not falling into this trap, but it is a trap one can easily fall into.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Nov 23, 2019 9:39 AM
Reply to  Willem

If a thing can’t be stated simply, in plain, short language, that any average Jo/Joe can grasp at least in it’s basic outline, then there’s probably nothing but empty intelligentsia-waffle there in the first place. (Bookmark that as an extension of Occam’s Razor!)

Mr. and Mrs. Average have quite enough savvy – both intellectual and intuitive – to be able to judge any proposition with a fair degree of common sense – if it’s stated briefly, en claire. That’s a basic – solid – foundation for the idea of democracy. Never succumb to the aristo/technocrats’ self-inflating mantra: ‘We know this stuff better than you mere plebs, so step aside and leave it to the ‘experts’!’

Nov 24, 2019 8:22 AM

If a thing can’t be stated simply, in plain, short language, that any average Jo/Joe can grasp at least in it’s basic outline, then there’s probably nothing but empty intelligentsia-waffle there in the first place. (Bookmark that as an extension of Occam’s Razor!) It might be “safer” to “bookmark” it as a close but sadly lacking paraphrase of an observation by Einstein: It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience. “On the Method of Theoretical Physics”, The Herbert Spencer Lecture, Oxford, 10 June 1933; as published in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 1934, p. 165. , which is often alternatively paraphrased as “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler” (sometimes known as… Read more »

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Nov 24, 2019 9:00 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Thanks for the demonstration of exactly what I mean Robo! 🙂 BTW, you should get that foot seen to in A&E, pronto! (Note how this brief, perfectly clear bit of irony of mine exemplifies what I’m speaking of too; easier for Jo and Joe Public to grasp than intelligentsia-waffle, innit…?) Please do go on waffling about Occam’s Razor, if you please, but this’ll do for my final input to this pointless squabble. ‘Byeeee!

Nov 24, 2019 9:38 AM

…easier for Jo and Joe Public to grasp than intelligentsia-waffle, innit…?)

Ah, but you know I wasn’t addressing Mr & Mrs Public, Mr BigStage, I was addressing you. Had you wanted to address Mr & Mrs Public then you wouldn’t have referred to Occam’s Razor at all because you you know that 99.9% of them don’t have a clue what it is (and they, for the most part don’t read here anyway). You just wanted to imprint your anti-expert post with pseudo-expert authority. Stop weaseling.

Nov 22, 2019 10:28 AM

Jesus Christ that is so apt! Baby shark coup should be used for Trotskyists and anarkids

Nov 22, 2019 9:22 AM

New book worth a read: ‘How to hide an empire’ by Daniel Immerwahr.

The section on Cornelius Rhoads’ actions in Puerto Rico plug straight in to themes of US intervention in Latin America and eugenicism.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 22, 2019 8:04 AM

I haven’t time to read it all yet but this seems a brilliant article. From the first time I heard about Edward Bernays, I fully understood the most basic mechanism of capitalism i.e. to figure out what people want and to adopt the appearance of it while selling them something completely different. The 60s “counter culture” was ripe for manipulation (and much of it may have already been a deliberate fabrication cf. Dave McGowan’s “Weird Dreams Inside The Canyon”) So now we have stylised rebels supposedly trashing the system while in fact maintaining it. And the fact that there is a lot of blather attacking the 60s also works out well for the vested interests. Such blather helps set up another phoney talking shop while, through reverse psychology, promoting the very thing supposedly attacked.

Nov 22, 2019 8:17 AM
Reply to  George Mc

The 60s “counter culture” was ripe for manipulation (and much of it may have already been a deliberate fabrication cf. Dave McGowan’s “Weird Dreams Inside The Canyon”)

Dave McGowan — The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 22, 2019 5:01 PM
Reply to  milosevic

McGowan was always interesting and – rare for a “conspiracy writer – very funny. His humour was certainly more sophisticated than the “I’m just a regular guy ‘avin’ a chat over a pint” swagger and primary colour “witticisms” of David Icke. McGowan actually wrote an article about Icke which unfortunately gets derailed by facetiousness: http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/newsletter-25/ The McGowan Laurel Canyon book is good but I think it was a mistake to constantly refer to significant dates in the occult calendar. After a while I started to suspect that every day in the year must be or be near such a date. Admittedly this might be significant if we are talking about individuals and groups who think such things are important. Another McGowan book “Programmed To Kill” is starts off promisingly but, as it goes on and you expect some tying up of threads, it just keeps on pumping out more and… Read more »

Nov 22, 2019 5:46 AM

“This coup was to push back the Pink Tide, to discipline Latin America and make clear the continent still belongs to the US ruling [kleptocrats]. Lithium is the resource to be stolen.”

I think that is the heart of this high class, free wheeling academic essay on the Dumbing Down of Western popular culture. I have post elsewhere (BTL Ramin Mazaheri’s latest piece in the Saker) that Les Gilets Jaunes might restore French popular culture after 5 wasted decades of emulating Le Defi Americain — “the years that the locust hath eaten”.

Nov 22, 2019 8:03 AM
Reply to  Vexarb

PS coincidentally the Saker today makes similar comments on the corrupting effect of Dumbing Down. (Russians take Culture seriously; the first Russian word I learned was Nyeh-Culturny, UnCultured): “This being said, there is one channel through which the worst of the western consumer-society propaganda still permeates Russia: commercials. Russian commercials are mostly absolutely disgusting; they basically vehiculate one crude and simple message “Russians must become US Americans [U$$ies]”. That propaganda via commercials is, I think the single most toxic and insidious form of de-Russification I can think of and it is far more dangerous than any other means of “defacing” Russia. Finally, and to my great regret, media outlets like RT and Sputnik have decided to “go native” I suppose and they now cater to Western tastes much more than to Russian ones. The quasi constant “reporting” about MMA fights, minimally clad ladies, sex in all its shapes and forms… Read more »

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 22, 2019 8:50 AM
Reply to  Vexarb

I have had it with ‘Crosstalk’ in the main because of Peter Lavelle’s intensely infuriating habit of interrupting his guests and talking across everyone as if he is a contributor rather than a chairman. It would be of inestimable value if someone would put a button on his lip. I have recommended Walter Citrine’s book ‘The ABC of Chairmanship’ motormouth would do well to read it.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher
Nov 22, 2019 1:22 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

He has got worse with his interruptions lately,but personally I find that he increasingly packs his programme with fellow right wing opinion and loses all sense of detachment,respect for evidence,and balance.I still don’t know why Mark Sleboda,who always made useful contributions to the debate was given the “Bum’s Rush”,perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Nov 22, 2019 10:32 AM
Reply to  Vexarb

Very true that Russians take culture especially their own seriously and contrary to liberal belief most aren’t chauvinists about it unlike Britain and America

Nov 22, 2019 8:43 PM
Reply to  Vexarb

Perhaps there is another angle. How many people would join the read? What if only rational thinkers would be there? If you can scoop in those who are unaware, lure them in, and expose them to critical thinking, may be, just may be, result will be increase of a number of people who see the reality more accurately? Sometimes it does not take much for the ape to evolve and see beyond the basic instincts. Just a nudge. It is a hard call. How strongly connected are people with capacity to think rationally? There are several sites on net, where people come, see, comment, agree…. but it stops there. Resemblance of the groups for sharing and caring. No action. No creation of a body which would grow strong enough to effect the change. On this valuable site, you can see a few thinkers, more of the ones almost there, and… Read more »

Nov 23, 2019 5:43 AM
Reply to  Starac

@Starac: “Unless we create an action group and start making moves,……” This is the nub of the problem: Communism would have made no headway without the Cells and the Leaders; Christianity would have made no headway without the Church and the Apostles. Probably even before the death of Christ, and certainly very soon after the Resurrection, there was an organized Church with James (rabbi Yeshuah’s brother) as Head, a treasury and already a couple of secretaries punished for embezzlement from the Common Store. Among the 4 Great Philosophers in Karl Jaspers’ little book (vol.1 The Founders) Jesus and Buddha founded Churches and sent out Evangelists, and Plato meddled (unsuccesfully) in practical politics; Socrates alone insisted on philosophical purity, “To find the True not in counting how many agree with one of us or the other, but in establishing how we two can agree with each other”. The modern scientific revolution… Read more »

Nov 23, 2019 6:00 AM
Reply to  Vexarb

PS: Confucius is an interesting case; he did not found a movement but worked on society from the inside by stressing the importance of respect; respect for stability, respect for one’s ancestors, respect for knowledge and respect for the Sky.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Nov 22, 2019 4:58 AM

It had been many years since I had first read the poem about the Vietnam war by Robert Bly that Steppling links at the very end of this essay – “The Teeth Mother Naked At Last.” I encourage you to take a few moments to read it and to feel it. You won’t regret it. “Feeling” our own emotional response to the madness is quite different than simply “thinking” it and “analyzing” it filtered neatly and cleanly through our rational mind. The Bly poem transports and transcends – there are no words


Nov 22, 2019 2:38 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

Gary Weglarz, please let me jump in here to also recommend all writing by Mike Davis linked in the article. ESP. ‘city Of Quartz”…

Nov 22, 2019 4:58 AM

Morales went for a 4th presidency: asking for trouble. Why couldn’t his own vice president run, ego trouble?

Nov 22, 2019 10:37 AM
Reply to  Antonym

FDR went to the Supreme Court to overturn turn limits. FDR won! No one batted an eyelid. Evo does EXACTLY THE SAME THING, and you get your CIA live out!

edited by Admin to remove content-fee as him

Nov 24, 2019 12:11 PM
Reply to  John

Little detail: FDR’s 3rd and 4th terms were during WW II…

Nov 22, 2019 10:55 AM
Reply to  Antonym

“Morales went for a 4th presidency: asking for trouble.”

Why? As the saying goes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Nov 22, 2019 2:54 AM

Greatly disturbing, enlightening and though provoking. I shall reread it and ponder, and send it to friends even more complacent than me.

Nov 22, 2019 1:58 AM

I see a problem in who the USA sends as its envoy.
A Rockefeller.
Sending a cat in to check on the birds.