No War, No War, No War

Our would-be emperor, the self-inflated heir to all things Caligula, already given the “little boot” of impeachment, deserves a far greater political and legal check to his reckless proclivities and warmongering than he’s had so far. The world does not welcome what he’s foisted on us this month, in a fit of pique. His enablers are no better–mad to think they can manipulate this peevish man-child to their own ends. He’s got a finger that can press a certain button, and the supposed “grown-ups” in the room are not so grown up after all. Cowards all.

Something similar happened in Ancient Rome. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say (and yes, I know that Wikipedia is not the be-all and end-all of reliable historical sources):

“There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the client kingdom of Mauretania as a province.”

And here I note a physical resemblance. That’s Caligula on the left, with restored pigment on the marble. And that’s you know who on the right.

In one way, the Romans were luckier than we are. If the above is accurate, they had six months of reasonable leadership before their emperor went bonkers. But from January 2016 to present, we in the U.S. have never known a secure and untroubled moment. Like a child looking for a tower of blocks to smash and strew, 45 has wrecked, dismantled, and smugly destroyed a wide range of civil liberties, helpful government programs, our reasonable expectation of rational governance under our constitution, and has now embroiled us in a devasting war from the comfort of his golf game.

I am waiting for the day when an economic think tank takes stock of these years and issues a report on how much this man’s petulant reign of domestic and international terror has and will cost U.S. taxpayers–all of us, per citizen–and how much we’ll pay to undo the damage and reconstruct a civil society, over the span of our remaining lifetimes, and that of our children. The economic and human costs are already massive, and his failure to act on climate change is a tragedy of monumental proportions: “the biggest, the greatest” of his tawdry claims to undeserved fame.

I am writing this as a solitary person, an ordinary citizen, a mere blogger and writer of little note and very little influence. But I think it’s important for every single one of us speak out, to add our voices of opposition to a greater movement of resistance–especially on social media, which can amplify the smaller voices–to let the rest of the world know that the majority of people in this country did not vote for this maniac, that we do not agree with his policies of hate, and that we do not approve of his actions, but that we feel somewhat helpless to regain a semblance of democracy, as our votes are hijacked and our elections are rigged by a greedy oligarchy consisting irresponsible corporations, corrupt politicians, and religious extremists. But that even so, we oppose what is happening here: the rise of white supremacy, the jailing and mistreatment of immigrants and refugees, the jailing and mistreatment of children, the fact that many are now unaccounted for, the waste of the “wall” at the border, the lifting of regulations against pollution, rampant discrimination, and so no. And now, this war.

We do not want it. We can only take to the streets or post online to say we want it to stop, now. And we want the rest of the world to no longer dignify this man and his cronies with any credibility, with any recognition of “leadership.” He and his enablers are not worthy. We the people are hijacked. We know that our country’s disruptive actions in other nations did not begin with this administration, but this administration has made and is making our country’s impact a thousand times worse.

S.O.S. Help.

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The Woo Gets Weird

In this second year of the reincarnated reign of the mad Emperor Caligula, I thought I’d heard it all. But a conversation earlier this week proved me wrong.

NAMABG-Caligula_1
A very orange bust of Caligula.

I was in a local cafe minding my own business over a pastrami salad (that’s a sandwich without the bread ’cause I can’t eat wheat) and thinking fond thoughts of my favorite trickster god, when an acquaintance enters. Naturally I invite this person to sit at my table. Now, I am purposefully not giving any details, including gender, because the point of this blog is not the person, but what I made of what was said during our conversation.

Now, I do my best to be patient and attempt understanding, rapport, and postive regard in most of my interactions (always mindful of Caroline Casey’s caution that Scorpios can’t help broadcasting their “inner assessment” of people). This person’s woo is a decidedly different “brand” than my Norse/witchy/polytheist pagan woo and this person is much more emphatic about communicating it as Truth. But because I’m quite grateful that my friends are tolerant of my various esoteric passions, I try to extend the same courtesy to others.

I should also explain that in my life, weird woo stuff has always plopped itself down in front of me. During my formative teen years, my mother let a lunatic cut a cross in her arm because he’d convinced her that the revolution was coming and the scar would be a sign that she wasn’t with “the pigs.” (Needless to say, her children were appalled and somewhat traumatized by this.) She also spent many years partnered with a pompous New Ager who was also appalling, though not sadistic. Some of that New Agey stuff stuck though, even as she returned to the Episcopal Church and a less trendy spirituality.

Years ago, when her dear dog died, she phoned one of my brothers with the request to take Puppy’s ashes to Mount Shasta. My brother’s response was, “But Mom, Puppy’s never been to Mount Shasta.” Her response, “Oh.” I think they finally settled on La Jolla as a more suitable location (as Puppy had romped along the beaches there), though last month I found the box of Puppy’s ashes in her former apartment and returned them to her. I tried to tell this story to a friend recently and found myself hysterical with laughter and sadness, to the point of being unintelligble. For me, it sums up so much about my family.

And it wasn’t just my mother. I had an aunt and uncle who disappeared into a really screwed up cult for many years, taking their two young children with them. There was the archetypal warped charismatic leader, admonitions to not talk to family members, probably financial abuse and who knows what else. My uncle eventually left, taking the kids, and his wife got out a year or two later. Thelemites I’ve met since have assured me that they don’t usually operate that way. But this was San Diego in the 70s, and weird woo was wafting from all directions.

As a young teen, I even had a close encounter with the Hare Krishna movement. I used to hitchhike to the Venice Beach temple (again, the 70s) to dance and chant and eat exotic vegetarian food. I was lonely as hell. We’d moved from La Jolla (where I had a close knit group of friends) to the San Fernando Valley, a place where I was often bullied and harassed for my hippie ways and my Black Panther button, which I wore proudly to junior high school. Of course I’d be fascinated by friendly dancing people wearing beautiful fabrics–never mind the signs on the walls disparaging women as alluring impediments to enlightenment… My little brother even got into it too, but balked when the devotees wanted to shave his head in preparation for a visit from their main guru.

I left too. They didn’t want to know about the Black Panthers anyway. I went back to trying to get my LA friends to join the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and ditching school. And though I retained my interest in esoteric topics, including Eastern mysticism, I became leery of group think.

So throughout my life I’ve met and conversed with Buddhists, tantrikas, EST-followers (who remembers that now?!), born again Christians, and more. I even went to sexology school with a pleasant Raelian. However those who share my chosen brand of woo are a bit scarce in these here parts. I’d like to meet a nice kindred and settle down, frankly, but my chances of that seem as likely as getting an actual date via OK Cupid or finding a man interested in a female-led relationship that doesn’t involve foot worship.

So, back to my cafe conversation. I was trying to follow the person’s train of thought involving an ancient “AI” who is programmed to control all our thoughts even if we don’t think we’re controlled, and something about positive attitudes and ascension to the fifth dimension (“the new earth is already here, we just can’t access it yet”).

And then the person said those “magic words” designed to cause instant, stomach-churning discomfort, “Trump is clearing the swamp. He’s bringing back our freedom.”

I am sitting there, in shock, and wondering “What the frack just happened?” The conversation had just gone from ascension to the fifth dimension for the chosen few who somehow choose to vibrate in just the right way (a vision I find appalling in any case) to the mad Emperor himself as the agent of spiritual transformation! “He’s the only one who can do it,” this person insisted, “but I’m not political.”

Then this person told me that “51,000 indictments” were coming and that all the “pedophiles and sex traffickers” would be rounded up. This was supposed to convince me that the mad emperor was doing that spiritual transformation thing for real. All I could think of was if there were really 51,000 indictments, they’d most likely include political foes, activists, immigrants, etc. Everyone that a mad emperor would like to remove. And hey, more fodder for the prison-industrial economy.

I…can’t…even. I first tried asking this person to change the subject, but it didn’t work. I finally had to spew (which I tried to do as nicely as possible but by that time my “inner assessment” was showing).

Anyone who can create a policy that forcibly separates children from parents, and then loses a bunch of the kids so that they can’t even be found to be returned to their parents, is not someone I want to share a “fifth dimension” with. And I could go on and on, but I won’t.

And the idea that those who are destroying our planet (and its inhabitants) feel that they will just ascend away from the mess in some kind of elitist paradise while the rest of us rot in our “negative energy,” well, if that ancient AI is doing its job as this person claims, that would be some kind of programming, wouldn’t it? 

Just saying.

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