Guy Fawkes Masks

It’s November 5th, So Where’s the Revolution?

Since I can remember, I’ve preferred the fifth of November, a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Day, to Halloween. It was a secret I kept close because it’s a perverse preference; it goes against what everyone else likes, and most Americans have no idea what it is, anyway. It’s also a rather plebian celebration, a cause for British working-class hooligans to misapply the name of anarchy and burn stuff and torture cats… there are always horrible tales of cat torture, usually with firecrackers.

The similarly themed American Independence Day has never held any interest for me. Yes, it celebrates a worthy revolution

Gael Garcia Bernal

REVIEW: Brainstorming a Miracle in ‘No’

I suffer from a disease common to many Americans, with the exception of those who actually enjoy working for large corporations: Tyrannophobia, or the rational fear of dictatorships.  This is probably why I remember so distinctly as a kid in Italy listening to a dowager of one of the noble Roman families tell my parents how much she missed Mussolini

True Lies

THE WEEK FROM MY VIEW

by James Killough

The Occupy Wall Street movement was declared moribund by almost everyone at the beginning of the week, then it surged forward again, only to peter out by today.   It seems the surge is typical of people who are at the last stages before death, as the body fights the inevitable with whatever energy is left.  I’m still hopeful that the focus of OWS, however unfocused it is, will shift and they will take the show on the road, gain some snowball momentum, and then come back to the point of origin with a proper revolution.

I'm not usually into male models, but when our friends Alek and Steph at Ohlalamag.com posted this pic of MMA fighter von Rothfelder, I almost fell off my chair. PFC Official Pledge: Adam, I will shave five years off my life for a no-holds-barred wild weekend with you.

Despite the fact I Photoshopped a great meme for him, which I had hoped would go viral on Reddit.com and then force him into action, Eliot Spitzer never showed up to save the day by parting Wall Street like the Red Sea and leading the Chosen Children of Discontent to a promised land of stricter financial regulation and accountability.  I haven’t seen anyone with true authority in OWS who can engage the authorities on a peer-to-peer level to get something done—Michael Moore is a buffoon and a whale, a talented whale, but a whale nonetheless.  What I am seeing is a lot of 23-year-old “leaders” of the OWS movement organizing demonstrations, which seem well managed and mobilized, but I’m not seeing the manifestos here, no declarations of rights and intents that can be worked into law and real change.  Revolt is an action. Discontent is just a mood.

L’Enfer, C’est Les Autres

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

Well, it appears that I’m stupid.  Or at least not nearly as intelligent as I think I am.

That’s no surprise.  My father once asked me, after telling me my whole life what a genius I was, “Has it ever occurred to you that you’re not as smart as you think you are?”  This might have had something to do with dropping out of college for the second time.  I don’t remember.  I just tucked the statement away in my trophy cabinet of family resentments—it falls to me to keep them shiny and updated—and only vaguely recollect the circumstance, just how his face was red and his jowls were shaking.

We must, of course, lead with a picture of Mama G. shashaying in her favorite nougat muu muu. I never got to comment about how she kept a scrapbook of clippings dedicated to her obsession, Condoleezza Rice. Had the revolution never happened, Rice was going to be her Halloween outfit.

I joined Facebook very late in the game and still remain extremely ambivalent about it.  No, I’m not ambivalent.  I think it’s… Not my thing, to avoid other invectives.  I find it really creepy, for instance, that it seems to know that I have some connection to someone I do have a connection with, but Facebook couldn’t possibly know given my current friends list because there are no mutual friend connections to that other someone.  Facebook just knows.

Eliot Spitzer as Saint George

In Praise of Rage

When it is the fuel for creativity, when it engenders necessary transformation, anger can be a force of good.

I am watching what is going on with the OWS movement with a proud smile.  When I pondered in posts earlier this year if we Americans were ever going to get around to raising our fists and affecting real change, back when the Arab Spring was blooming, I honestly never thought I would see it reach this point.  It’s wonderful to behold, inspiring.

True, OWS still lacks focus, but it is starting to happen.  The internet commercial for the movement shows a coalescing of consensus.  What we should see soon is the emergence of leaders who can articulate the will of the people and negotiate on their behalf.  If not, the movement will die on the vine.  I fervently hope not.

…Is Good For The Gander

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | INDIA FILES

by James Killough

This is a part two of yesterday’s musings, so you’d best read that first if you’re going to try to follow my ramblings here.

My fellow contributor Eric Baker, a man I have tremendous respect for even though we have never met in person or even spoken on the phone, left a very sweet comment to yesterday’s post saying something to the effect of being proud of being associated with someone so “erudite.”  The reason I have so much respect for Eric is not just that he writes superbly, with honesty and a great deal of un-cheap humor, it’s also because he’s like me, utterly dependable and delivers on time.  And people who are, like, real mensches and stuff, are few and far between.

That's right: infrastructure comes from heaven. Says so right there in the Good Book, Mark 6:31-44, when the Lord divided the loaves and the fishes.

Erudite to me means academic, but Eric is probably right in using it in the context of my writing in this blog because it actually means “to show great learning,” which is distinct from academic, or specifically well read.

In honor of the hopeful revolution sweeping this country, let me digress a bit to talk about my own rebellion, which I consider more of a pilgrimage to my Self than a deliberate act of defiance.