RELIGIONS: There is indisputably among us humans an impulse that might only be described as religious — an awe inspired by the fact of existence — an oceanic feeling that there is that about existence to be reverenced, and it has to have been an impulse there from the time of the earliest human. As that impulse finds its way into language, however, and is, inevitably, used more and more promiscuously and put to institutional service, what began as wordless worship turns into an example of the fallacy called the argumentum ad baculum — the appeal to the club — believe on Jesus or, variously, Allah, or be lit up at the stake as a candle for a singularly odd God, or, variously, lose your literal head to the sword by way of conversion. The legendary southwest painter Paul Milosevich gets it spot-on to say that there is that about existence that makes us hold it to be holy, and there is the rest of it that is just bullshit.
RACE: As we are Caucasian in a country called the United States of America we are racist. I never noticed as a boy reading Penrod that Tarkington was racist any more than Richard Dawkins as a boy did reading the Bulldog Drummond stories. But we Americans kept slaves and practiced genocide. Africans didn’t come into this country on their own as immigrants and a population north of the Rio Grande of 12 to 15 million natives was by 1800 reduced to 200,000 and we, we Caucasians I am saying — we never really noticed one thing or the other. We played at cowboys and Indians and the cowboys were the good guys — nobody wanted to be on the Indian “side,” not even the Indians as often as not; and whites blackened their faces with burnt cork when they wanted to be funny. There is an “N” word, and more than one little African-American girl has cried through tears, “Why do they hate us so much?” And what is the only good Leonard Peltier? There is no “W” word, notice. James Baldwin got it right: We the people made up the Blacks, made up those Indians — we all had a hand making up those blacks and browns and… yellow-tinted (uh) Americans: there are things in that melting-pot, boys ad girls, there are things in there don’t belong to the recipe — like throwing in a duck, feathers and all: won’t end up tasty.
TO OCCAMIZE a few things: The Kochs are not your friend, no Bush was ever anything but your worst enemy; no Cheney ever gave a flying fuck about you, and do not get me going about a Bain, a Cargill, an IMF. Had enough? I sound like a socialist? Really? I’m flattered. You must have read things said by Victor Debs. You say what? You do not agree that this is madness. If only you had studied the classics!