Monday, October 30, 2017

To blog or not to blog, that is the question...

A few months ago, I took a pause in blogging. The appearance of Donald Trump as President of the United States took the wind out of my sails, not so much Trump himself, horrid as he is, but Trump as a symptom and a symbol of ruinous decadence. It was like seeing an old friend suddenly getting horribly thin, or finding a loved one suddenly lost in depression, no longer taking care of their appearance, not washing, not changing their clothes. 

One sure thing has come to me from from all of this. I am grateful that I have no children and thus leave no innocent grandchildren to face the world that is coming. I realize that those of us born right after World War Two, in either the USA or Western Europe, have lived to be elderly in a truly Golden Age of peace, prosperity and health that is more than probably going to disappear forever.

In the following weeks and months, I hope to write some sort of coherent analysis of some of the facets of this descent into chaos. For the moment I am collecting articles that my instinct tells me are relevant and that may help me to write something useful in the future. I am posting them to my twitter account. @David_Seaton, if you care to read them and draw your own conclusions.

In the meantime, the only way I can fully express the dread I feel is in poetry.

Today I leave you with this sample:


The old and toothless of our tribe

Tell the tale

That before the beginning of time

Even before the mountains began to glow in the dark

An orange baboon ruled the world

And the legend has it

That our land of tears,

Of ashes,

And of dust


Once upon a time,

A land of hopes and dreams


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Returning to action soon

Dear Readers,
I have been taking a break from blogging while trying to understand how someone as grotesque as Donald Trump got to be POTUS... And finally I'm beginning to get some ideas about what it means and I'll be back soon to share them with you. DS

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fourth of July Meditation

There he sits

In his big, white, house

Fattening toads

And breeding house flies

For Beelzebub

W(h)ither America?

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Night of the Living Trump

Trump’s approval ratings are lower than those of any new U.S. president in the history of polling: Just 36 percent of Americans are pleased with his performance so far. Some 80 percent of British citizens think Trump will make a “bad president,” along with 77 percent of those polled in France and 78 percent in Germany. And that’s just week one.  Tom Malinowski - Foreign Policy
 The USA is just a little over 240 years old and 240 years is time enough for anything to happen.

And so now, after all these years, the White House of Washington is finally occupied by someone who is mentally ill, seriously mentally ill. Bat-shit crazy, in fact.

This takes some getting used to.

I have held off writing about this until now because the situation appears to me much too numbingly, depressingly, chaotic to really analyze... yet.

For me the most significant thing in this Night of the Living Trump, is the world-wide horror, depression and confusion it is producing.

And the most encouraging thing is the galvanization of what appears to be a "new" left in America, (and much of the rest of the world it would appear) that is no longer so concerned about who can use what bathroom, but more tuned into saving the country and perhaps the entire world from an evil maniac.

So in the weeks and months to come, I will leave trying to analyze what this malignant narcissist does and concentrate my modest efforts on recording and examining what America and the world comes up with to wriggle out of his tiny-handed grip. DS

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inaugural Rant

Vultures twitter in the trees

A message carried by the breeze:

The herd, it seems, has bought their butcher

And he's a butcher they must feed

One who eats when they have fallen

Drinking only when they bleed

Bilious, glutton, gorged, lubricious

Puffed and swollen by his feasting

Spilling words

Like Onan's seed 

David Seaton

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Donald Trump: Mr. Voldemort goes to Washington

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?
Now that a white supremacist has just been made the next president’s closest White House adviser, and the president-elect has called conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars to thank him and his followers for their part in his election victory, we have reasonable confirmation that we are indeed in a fever-dream America. Tom Engelhardt

These days I often find myself wishing that Norman Mailer were still alive to turn this fecal moment of America's democratic saga into art. 

Mailer's The Armies of the Night and Miami and the Siege of Chicago both dating from the legendary year of 1968 were an important help in making some sense of a period that had begun with the mysterious assassination of JFK and carried us through the civil rights battles and martyrdom of Martin Luther King, all accompanied by the obscenity of the Vietnam war... a period whose divisions and bitterness have as yet to heal.

It was a great story and Mailer told it well.

Intuition tells me we are about to enter a similar period.

We are faced with the immovable fact that someone so surreally "un-presidential" as Donald Trump has captured the White House, thus becoming the most powerful man in the world overnight ... And that he has achieved all this mostly by evoking the sordid, family demons inhabiting  the septic tank of white America's psyche.

Seeing something so improbable I'm tempted to believe that the Donald must have made a iuuge, wonderful, "deal" with none other than Old Scratch himself.

Living the sickening horror that Trump's mysterious ascension and triumph produces, I wonder if someone so reality grounded as Mailer could have handled anything this weird. Certainly analyzing paranormal phenomena was never part of his skill set.

In fact, analyzing my own shocked and sickened feelings and searching the corners of my subconscious, I discovered to my amused horror, that the only living author that might have the vocabulary to portray Trump's uncanny rise in the face of all common sense and decency, is J.K. Rowling  and she doesn't write about politics, she writes about witchcraft.

A great villain makes for a great story and we are now part of this villain's story

Nobody knows better than Ms. Rowling that the heart of a thrilling yarn is a good villain, at that she's tops. Remember it was  J.K. Rowling that created Lord Voldemort, who is the closest thing to Donald Trump I've ever seen.

See how she analyzed her creation, the "Dark Lord", AKA "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" in a BBC interview:
Rowling described Voldemort as a self-hating bully: "I think it is often the case that the biggest bullies take what they know to be their own defects, as they see it, and they put them right on someone else and then they try and destroy the other and that's what Voldemort does." Wikipedia
Now if that doesn't describe the @realDonaldTrump to a tee...

So the Good News is that Trump is a flawlessly perfect villain; and perfect villains... like perfect heroes, are of enormous value in great stories, and remember, great stories are the philosopher's stone of political action.

Think back on how many people were moved to vote back in 2008 just by reading "Dreams of My Father", but the problem was that after voting people simply expected their "hero" to take care of everything while they went about their business... that way, since the people didn't stay mobilized, "Hope" and "Change" turned out to be little more than words in the wind.

A perfect villain will keep the people mobilized.

The problem is we have our villain, but we haven't got a hero yet... Where is our Harry Potter, the one who can break all Voldemort's spells and incantations and expel He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to the outer darkness?

The answer is one Harry Potter isn't going to get it. To change things there must be an army of "Harry Potters". An army teeming with all those citizens of America and the world who can't face sitting passively by watching President Trump crush one by one all their hopes and dream of freedom and justice. They, all the engaged and committed people must be the Harry Potters of our times, the ones who keep freedom alive.

To paraphrase a musty old slogan from the 60s (irony alert) "Let a million Harry Potters bloom"! DS

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Elections 2016: Good News and Bad News and a Question

First the bad news: Trump won.

Now for the good news: Hillary lost.
(T)he force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake? Naomi Klein - The Guardian
Many of history's great moments are written by such details; as this famous poem illustrates:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a nail.

And it turns out that the good news is truer than the bad news. Look at the graph below:

 Not a Trump landslide, but rather a Hillary collapse       hat @jonathanwebber
Looking at the graph it's obvious that probably any other Republican could have defeated Hillary Clinton and that any other Democrat (certainly Bernie Sanders) could have defeated Trump. 

This means that, thanks to the Clinton machine's insistence on Hillary's entitlement, the absurd face of Donald Trump will someday grace a postage stamp, but more importantly, this also means that the Democratic party is either going to move more to the social-democratic left or disappear... and that is really good news.

And now for a question:

Is globalization dead or does it just smell that way?

Stay tuned. DS