Tuesday, December 29, 2015

awaked by the sun i play in the garden for a while with the hound of love until he disappears. i dig two fucking massive holes and plant two beautiful abyssinian banana trees near my elephant ear plant, these two grow so fast you can see them getting taller each day, pretty soon libertaria will look like a fucking sub tropical eden. the fish are leaping out ready for breakfast and i notice i need to work on their pond again, some water anomaly plagues me. weeds invade and my resistance is being worn away. the water dragon is at my feet in expectation of some nibbles and pan is visiting his friend across the street no doubt to return when hungry. the beasts have me well trained.
a lone kookaburra watches me moving, he sits there on that weird gate, king of the bush surveying all. australian mornings are beautiful, especially at the beach where the crystal water meets the shore. i have to resist the pull this morning as i have to focus upon domestic tasks but how i would love to just go surfing.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

she said her name was deadly nightshade, she offered me a cure. she kissed me on my lips softly and i fell into her allure, of dreams where bliss dances on the end of my fingertips and hunger and thirst are defined in longing for the promise of another... most deadly kiss. 
she revealed her body ravaged and haggard with use and wear and the brutal hands of men, who had taken her divinity and turned it against all sacred things, a commodity in the markets, a stock for trade and sale. flesh and blood and bag of bones, a weeping eye that sees, the elementary particle that secret vessel is revealed.
i clung to her like life itself but finally i came to know, the power was in her heart and the knowledge of letting go. i watched her fade away in time, my memory unclear, but some evenings when i see that moon i speculate she is near. 
her spirit form it is a light, that dazzles the spectator, it manifests incandescent glow and dissipates much later. you cannot resist the magnetic lure as she pulls you in to her, the nebulous truth that she is gone and whom is the true deceiver. 
it falls like flames, it burns asunder, it calls forth the yearning of taboo plunder, and when all is lost all that is found, is that ancient sense of wonder.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

the subtle shades of dark falling down tonight, the green fading away, disappearing down the line into night, the fractal patterns of the darkening sky on the other side of the silhouettes of trees, the insect chorus chirping, bleeping away like some sort of divergent technology or secret cosmology.
the evening glides in from behind me, with the beating of wings, the grace of a gazelle and the silent approach of a serpentine albino warlord drawing their sword, drawing down the night, slashing away the tethers of memory and temporal gravity.
soft fading rays, an alien heat looking for pleasure and formless enjoyment. dancing through the trees, stepping over leaves, hopping like a goblin over fairy ring and circle, hiding out in wilderness that creeps and eats the crushed bones that carpet the ground. 
full moon over the ancient earth, civilisations crumbled and long gone, blown away upon the breeze of time, hard matter stone and rock all fall under the spell of chronos and daughter ananke. 
mere mortal i but flesh bone and breath, a weak skeleton that cages a strong beating and true heart lives in the shadow of inevitability and the consorts of fate. i care not for politik of men, i care not for petty arbitration and justice dispensed by man upon his fellow, the psychology of mercy lies within the spirit, only this truly escapes time. 


Monday, December 21, 2015

dawn surf patrol, sun rise over oceanic movements, the water is still cold and treacherous but it must be said it's magnetic pull is powerful as i find myself already waist in, one small dive and i'm committed. 
around me it churns like some vast machine, the rip pulls me across as i swim out and get crushed by a few freak waves. the sound surges around me, white and blue flashes of brilliance, the penetration of everything as my transmutative skin adapts and dissolves, i'm everywhere and nowhere.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

return to terrible beach where the waves are larger than ever, i assess the situation with enhanced vision, many cross currents make treacherous conditions for any water based lifeform. i feel something cruising through my spine, some strange fluidity as my limbs acclimatise and thin webbing appears between fingers and toes. i walk down with my pod strapped to my hand, my technology is beautifully aligned to the surf whatever condition. i step into the cold water, regulate my breathing apparatus with some pranayama exercises as my core temperature adapts for the temperature.
it's difficult, there's some major surf to negotiate, it's wild and reckless, showing no mercy. they crash in from everywhere, sand slipping away under the ferocity and power, nothing holds together. i pass through the chaos out where there is some predictability. vision is obscured by my long hair now, i need to bind it behind me in a pony tail but for now one hand sweeps it back over my head. there's no one out here, a few boats surging up and sown in the rough seas out there. 
my reactions have to be fast, there's no time for land based lethargy in water i'm swifter, my feet kick off and all calculations come together as the wave carries me forwards in speeds that shock the watchers on the shore. not only is it fast but i can feel the wave massage my body, turbulence meets shiatsu. my android muscles pummelled by water. 
'what's that daddy?'
'it looks like a man son.'
'he's going fast'
'yeah he's going very fast. look at him ride that wave.'
'are you sure that's a man.'
'it could be a fish.'
'or an android.'
i turn out of the wave before it breaks, the instinctive knowledge comes through years of practice. but the next wave sneaks up and whacks me over as i can't see due to my hair over my face. it sends me tumbling along, down and up, i grab some air when i can and let my body relax, best not to fight the energy of the ocean. when it's over i right myself and stand upright looking out at the massive waves. drenched in sun, the celestial light of dawn. behold the gods.   

Saturday, December 19, 2015

terrible beach in summer filled with tourists, coffee shops over spilling, parking spaces unavailable unless your a revered local like good old captain mission who knows all the secret spots, who knows all the waitresses, who knows all the waves. the water is ice cold, refreshing against the early morning heat. i splash around, i catch two magnificent waves, i fall out of the ocean back to land. spat out in a great arc, somehow landing upon my feet.
my coffee tastes metallic, the paper is filled with nothingness, the airs smells salty makes my joints ache. i ponder if i am not whom i should be. 
somehow i am no longer human.
perhaps i am an android of captain mission. i look at my body. stretching out limbs and moving my eyes around. i can zoom in on things afar, i can focus my hearing to pick up conversations and if i concentrate i can tap into the internet with some sort of wifi inside my head.
i run up the steps of the crown plaza and make my way to the elegant restrooms where i look at the mirror. deep inside i appear human, my face is the same. i run my hands over my skin, and over my face. then in a strange sliding motion i detach my face, it just slides off. a non reflective bank of black and blue lights embedded in some kind of solid state circuitry. 
the realisation is not so much a shock or surprise but a steady acknowledgement. i am here as a replacement, i must p[ass myself off as an authentic human, as captain mission. i must convince the ocean i am he. if i can convince the ocean then i am free to be captain mission.
but why am i here, i ponder the curious nature of my existence. i must have been created by the real captain. i commit to the endeavour of discovery but first the ocean awaits... 

Friday, December 18, 2015

travel through static oceans, captain missions assignment for liberteria, the mission should you choose to neglect it would result in the conquering of a virulent meme. it's existing in a string of communities, small sites of like minded conquerers. they were doing fine until the virus's started being launched onto servers, crashing people who didn't think along their lines.
i'm incognito, an stoned agent in the empire of fear. i use my chameleon skin to blend right in, i use my moon powered zap gun to protect me from psychic attack. i use my wit and ingenuity to pierce deep beyond into the heart of their digital domains. 
now the enemy is intelligent but singleminded, focused upon their feared opponents with psychotic precision. they promise peace while they decapitate, they promise submission while they dominate, they offer victory but play the victim, they have no solution but finality.
inside the veiled ones bow down to their god, they pray and chant, they wail and a demented holy man stands and shouts out to his followers, kill, pigs, curse them, satan, and the followers agree. they sway infected with a new kind of hate, a cleansing one. it washes away all their ills, cleans their souls like a bleach detergent, it sweeps through and kills everything, love, hope, reason, rhyme, peace, understanding, union. it's a fiery thing to behold, flames ignite flames and it sweeps through from server to server.
i do a quick reconnaissance, a card game with the enemy. a game of poker, backgammon, chess, hide and seek, i'll play any game they want, until i have won. 
their leaders are denied me but i make many friends, they embrace me and offer me their kindness, unaware i am their enemy. they tell me stories of their dominion, off how they will kill their enemy and liberate the land from me. they smile and pat my back, they drink strong black coffee and spit into tin cups. they repeat their mantras and kiss. their language is serpentine, aggressive and then soft and gentle, it's twisting around, buzzing like a wasps nest. they part and let me leave, the traveller, a welcome guest in their habitat. 
i'm grateful to leave, i don't like their hate, i don't buy their case. i'm a long way gone, travelling down the wire back to mission control but i left part of me behind, a little code embedded in their mind. it will explode in 7 days, a peace bomb in the form of three little words. love your enemy.
it will detonate softly and change everything.    
i've always found brendon o neil's brand of journalism and commentary a cut above the idiots wheeled out on the abc and the sydney morning herald. he has been a truly sensible voice in an age of stupidity and i stumbled across this piece he wrote for spiked. 

Identity politics and the death of the individual.
Brendon O Neil

Nothing speaks more profoundly to the crisis of character than the phrase, ‘I identify as…’. In the past, individuals were. ‘I am a builder.’ ‘I am a mother.’ ‘I am a Jew.’ There was a confidence, a certainty, to their sense of identity, and to their declaration of it. ‘I am.’ Today, individuals identify as something. ‘I identify as working class.’ ‘I identify as non-binary.’ Or, in the notorious case of Rachel Dolezal, the American white woman who effectively blacked-up as she rose up the ranks of the NAACP, ‘I identify as black’. The rise of the i-word in our definition of ourselves, the ascendancy of what is called ‘self-identification’, is one of the most notable developments of the 21st century so far. It speaks to a shift frombeing to passing through; from a clear sense of presence in the world to a feeling of transience; from identities that were rooted to identities that are tentative, insecure, questionable.
Those words ‘I identify as’ – whether they’re being uttered by Caitlyn Jenner as she unveils her newfound womanhood or by an eco-friendly New York Times writer who says ‘I identify as a mammal’ – feel strikingly contingent. They speak to changeability. The undertone is ‘I identify as such-and-such for now’. Indeed, these highly personalised ‘identifications as’ something sometimes come with an acknowledgment that the identification could change in time, and change dramatically. A gender non-binary writer tells us that he/she ‘identifies as both genders’, but then says: ‘I do not know… whom I will identify as in the future.’ The Daily Mail recently reported on the case of a trans activist who identifies as a different thing on a daily basis. One day he/she is Layla, who wears ‘a dress and heels to work’; the next he/she is Layton – ‘a man who dons baggy jeans and workmen boots’. ‘I am’ doesn’t work here, because the very basis of his/her being can change in the space of hours.

What the NYT and many others describe as new era of identity politics is in fact an era in which the historical, traditional underpinnings of identity have been ruptured, or even destroyed, unleashing an often desperate search for new identities, a rush for self-identification, for shallow identity construction. The subjectivity of human identity in the 21st century is striking, and alarming. Today, to feel something is to be something. In many Western nations now, including Britain, a man can become a woman – legally, and on his passport – simply by ‘identifying as’ a woman. People now ‘identify as disabled’, and it often isn’t entirely clear that they are disabled. One academic says that his ‘personal identification as a disabled person fluctuates according to the context’. In short, sometimes he is disabled, sometimes he isn’t. The objective category of disability – as a physical or mental impairment that limits a person’s ability to engage in public life – is done away with, and instead disability becomes something one feels, one ‘identifies with’, in certain situations if not in others.

Ours has been branded an era of identity politics. The New York Times calls 2015 ‘the year we obsessed over identity’. Many have observed, often critically, that Western campuses in particular have become hotbeds of identity politics, or what is sometimes referred to as the ‘identitarian left’, which now defines itself, and engages with others, through the prism of identity rather than on the basis of ideas or shared or conflicting material and political interests. In student life and new-left circles, people are ‘identified as’, or they self-identity as, white, black, men, women, gay, straight, bi, trans, agender, non-binary and so on, and their politics takes place entirely at this level. White privilege is kept in check. Male privilege is policed. Gay culture is chastised for its incursions into black culture. White women are admonished for their attitudes to black women. Politics is no longer the sphere in which interests are expressed and convictions crash, but rather has become an arena for the pitting of personalised identities against one another: a new caste system, in effect. The individual with conviction has given way to the insecure possessor of an identity, whose primary concern is with the protection of his or her identity from ridicule or assault. We enter the public sphere as self-ossified categories rather than as thinking, convinced persons; as ciphers, representing something, rather than characters, containing something.
But the truly notable thing about today is not so much the obsession with identity – it’s the instability of identity. Humans have been hunting for identity for centuries. The instinct to define ourselves, to project ourselves into the world, is strong. And there’s nothing wrong with it. What’s new today is that identity has become an incredibly subjective phenomenon. ‘I identify as…’ Where once an individual’s identity was informed, or shaped, by experience and belief, through an engagement in the public sphere or with a party or association, today identities are self-consciously and often defensively constructed. The NYT, in its description of 2015 as the year of identity, asked: ‘How do you identify? [W]hat trait or aspect of your being is central to your idea of yourself, and your relationship to the world?’ The keyword here is your. The NYT doesn’t ask ‘What are you?’ or ‘Who are you?’, which would speak to a strong sense of being something; it asks what ‘aspect of your being’ is most important to ‘your idea of yourself’. ‘Being’ is treated almost as something external to the individual, a thing to be mined for ‘traits’ we might identify with. Identity is not something we are or we experience; it is a technically cultivated category, built from ‘traits’ and ‘aspects’ to give ‘an idea of yourself’.
The subjectivity of identity construction, the rise of the contingent diktat ‘I identify as’, is throwing public life into disarray. Social norms and institutions we once took for granted are disorganised, sometimes crushed, by the rise of self-declared identities. Even filling in a form has become a minefield. The UK government’s public consultation document on gay marriage didn’t ask those who chose to fill it in if they were men or women; it asked: ‘Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were assigned at birth?’ It was an implicit acknowledgement of the categorical disarray of the 21st century, where it must always be allowed that people might have shunned their objective identities – in this case male or female – for a self-designed one. Facebook now has 71 gender identities to choose from. Forms used to ask us to circle M or F; Facebook offers the option of everything from ‘agender’ to ‘bigender’, ‘neither’ to ‘neutrois’, ‘two spirit’ to, of course, ‘other’, because in a world of narrow self-identification, there must always be space for the other, for the identity that hasn’t invented itself yet. Facebook justifies its many genders as a chance for people ‘to describe themselves as they are now’, again speaking to the changeability, transience, the fundamental flimsiness of modern identity.
Women’s colleges have been propelled into crisis by the cult of self-identification. In an era when a man can become a woman by saying ‘I identity as a woman’, can women’s colleges continue to exist? It seems not. Mount Holyoke College in the US used to describe itself simply as a ‘women-only institution’. Now it grants entry to the following dizzying array of identities: ‘Biologically born female who identifies as a woman; biologically born female who identifies as a man; biologically born female who identifies as other; biologically born female who does not identify as either woman or man; biologically born male who identifies as a woman; biologically born male who identifies as other when the other identity includes woman.’ In short, Mount Holyoke is no longer a women’s college. Men can enter, too, so long as they ‘identify as’ women. Identifying as a woman is now equal to being a woman. Feeling is reality. The entirely subjective sentiment becomes objective, legal fact.

In its recently rewritten mission statement, Smith College, one of America’s best-known women’s universities, says it is ‘absolutely’ still a women’s institution. But it also says that ‘applicants who were assigned male at birth but identify as women are eligible for admission’. How does Smith decide who is a woman? It doesn’t. It says: ‘With regard to admission, Smith relies upon the information provided by each student applicant… Smith’s policy is one of self-identification. To be considered for admission, applicants must select “female” on the Common Application.’ So a man can get into Smith by self-identifying as a woman. Thatmakes him a woman. That Smith can say it is ‘absolutely still a women’s college’ while accepting students with penises shows how utterly subjective even the idea of womanhood has become. Even this identity, infused with biological and social experience, underpinned by historical import, informed by the longstanding cultural identities of sister, daughter, mother, can be adopted by others as if it were an item of clothing, and no doubt discarded just as easily. ‘I don’t know whom I will identify as in the future…’
Language itself, the very tool with which we communicate with one another, is distorted by the rise of narcissistic identity construction. Some individuals now demand that they be referred to neither as ‘he’ nor ‘she’ but as ‘they’. That this warps grammar – requiring such formulations as ‘they are doing well in their exams’ when referring to an individual – is considered unimportant. It is argued by identitarians that the psychic needs of the individual who self-identifies as ‘they’ override the habits of the public or the universalism of spoken discourse. At Scripps College, a women’s university in Southern California, students are now given 10 pronoun options to choose from. They can be he, she, e, per, zi, ze, they, hu, hum or hus. Here we have the construction of an entire new way of speaking, an alien, bizarre, elitist way of speaking, to satisfy the self-identity of small groups. Today, saying ‘I identify as’ doesn’t only mean you can change sex on your passport or masquerade as black when you’re white – it has also led to the reorganisation of university life and the emergence of new words, new grammar. The objective must bow to the subjective. Everything must be bent to the whims of the person who has said: ‘I identify as…’
Even the provision of basic services is disrupted by the spread of self-identity. Abortion providers are under pressure to ditch the word ‘woman’ and to declare that they will also provide abortions to men – that is, people who are actually women, hence they’re pregnant, but who have said ‘I identify as a man’ and thus must be treated as men, are men. The coalition of pro-choice groups currently campaigning for Ireland to ditch the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which bans abortion, recently put out a leaflet with this footnote: ‘While we have used the term women here, [we] recognise that not everyone who may need an abortion is a woman. We support access to abortion for everyone whether they be cis, trans or genderfluid.’ Campaigners want midwives to change how they speak. Midwife associations are being pressured to announce that they ‘serve women and people of all genders’. They are being asked to ditch the term ‘expectant mothers’ in favour of ‘pregnant individuals’. In American schools, and increasingly in European ones, too, sports are under threat: boys who identify as girls are demanding to play on girls’ teams. And on it goes.
This public acquiescence to the person who says ‘I identify as’, the rearrangement of university life, political campaigning, passports, health and numerous institutions around those who declare themselves to be something that by any basic, reasoned, humanistic measurement they are not, highlights one of the least appreciated aspects of what the NYT calls the new ‘obsession with identity’ – and that is the profound and historic crisis of public life; of meaning; of the Enlightenment ideals of reason and objective understanding; of the very idea of what it is to be human.
Too many critics of identity politics depict it as the handiwork of a coven of ‘identitarians’, a new left that usurped the old, universalising ideas of class and progress and replaced them with a narrow definition of people according to traits, gender, race, etc. In truth, the rise of self-identity, the replacement of ‘I am’ with ‘I identify as’, speaks to the hollowing out of the sphere and the ideas through which people once developed living, breathing identities, a real sense of themselves that was tangible, deep, convincing. It’s not that identitarians are foisting identity politics on us. It’s that Western societies, which have fallen into serious moral and existential disarray, have become increasingly incapable of providing people with a strong sense of identity, or of maintaining the mechanisms through which people once gained and built identities, and this has nurtured new hunts for meaning, for a sense of self, for some kind of personality at a time when the human personality is weak.
That everyone from the Passport Office to Smith College now nods dutifully along as a man tells them ‘I am a woman’ confirms that the cult of self-identification cannot be put down to crazy individuals claiming to be things they aren’t, or obsessing over the most narrow, least interesting things that they are: black, gay, whatever. Rather, society itself is complicit in this process, and as such it inflames it. Incapable of reconstituting the old validation of people for what they did, or for who they became through achievement, work, discussion, interaction and other social and political accomplishments, society instead gives the green light to the celebration of people for their ‘traits’, or for their narrow cultural or biological identity, or, increasingly, for who they claim to be, with little in the way of objective reasoning.
But it goes deeper than that. Far deeper. The modern West doesn’t only fail to hold back the tide of reason-defying self-identification, whether it’s Smith College immolating itself and its historic mission at the altar of gender self-identification or medical bodies claiming to provide abortions for men when they know very well that they do not because that’s a physical, objective impossibility. More importantly, it was the moral disorganisation of Western society over the past five decades that nurtured today’s identity politics, and created a climate in which identity has no real, felt, objective foundation but instead has become a fleeting, unsatisfying thing unlikely to fill its adherents with anything like a sense of achievement or true human value.
What we are faced with in the 21st century is the very serious situation where all the objective underpinnings of human identity have frayed or died. All those things individuals once defined themselves through – nation, church, work, family – have corroded in recent decades. We live in a post-national era where shamefacedness about our nations’ pasts is preferred over questionable national pride. A phoney cosmopolitanism that explicitly eschews ideas of national identity is now promoted by our elites. Churches in the West are in constant crisis, reeling from one scandal to another, and seemingly lacking the moral resources to withstand the tidal wave of relativism. In an era when few know (or are willing to say) what is right and wrong, churches have lost their purchase, and shedded worshippers.
Work has been thoroughly disorganised, too. Physically, the Western workplace has changed, with traditional male jobs increasingly giving way to a softer, feminised workplace where short-termism and job-sharing are the order of the day; and morally, too, the idea of work has transformed, and now tends to be seen less as a provider of comradeship and identity than merely a means to make ends meet. Trade-union membership is stagnating; industrial action has all but disappeared. Few would now say, ‘I’m a lathe operator at a factory’, as an expression of identity, of self, as they might have done in the past; rather, it would be merely a description of how they make money.
And the family has become hollowed out, too. Yes, we still live in families, and they provide us with great security and meaning, a sphere in which we can be ourselves, develop ourselves, nurture the future. But relentless external intervention into private life has undermined familial sovereignty, and risks reducing parenting from a lived part of our identity, a key part of who we are, to a skill we must get right. The declaration ‘I am a father’ is now more likely to elicit looks of concern, advice from the government, and some supernanny hectoring, rather than admiration for that once serious identity as provider for and socialiser of the next generation. To be a father now is to require guidance, not to be the architect of guidance.
The foundation stones on which identity was built for decades, the national flags, religious faith, workplace meaning or class feeling through which we constructed a sense of ourselves, through which we discovered or defined ourselves, are gone – or are at least shaky, insecure, withering. And in such circumstances, our sense of self can become weak; we cultivate new identities that feel unfounded, unanchored, changeable rather than convincing.
That the hollowing out of the old capitalist order and its institutions nurtures a crisis of identity has been noted by various thinkers of the postwar period. In the 1950s, the American sociologist David Riesman, observing major shifts in the education system and the workplace, noted the emergence of a new generation that seemed to lack, as he put it, ‘presence’. They seem to have, ‘not a polished personality’, but ‘an affable, casual, adaptable one’, he said. They were ‘present-oriented’ too, unlike their parents’ or grandparents’ generations, and those in ‘the earlier stages of industrialisation’, who were more ‘oriented toward the future, toward distant goals’.
These observations were taken further by the American thinker Christopher Lasch in the 1970s, most notably in his book The Culture of Narcissim. As a result of major quakes in the spheres of work, family and society, a new kind of individual was emerging, argued Lasch: one who ‘needed to establish an identity, not to submerge [his] identity in a larger cause’. Lasch’s observation of a new climate of narcissism in place of the old ideal of the strong-willed individual engaged in the world – John Stuart Mill’s individual with ‘strong susceptibilities that make the personal impulses vivid and powerful’ – was based on a recognition that the disarray of institutional life did not free the individual to discover his ‘real self’, as the hippies claimed it would, but rather gave rise to a new generation with a very weakened sense of self.
Lasch was struck by how the unravelling of social orders and norms gave rise to individuals whose sense of self was ‘weak, ungrounded, defensive, insecure’. He referred to the ‘weak self’, the ‘minimal self’. He noted that ‘apparent freedom from family ties and institutional constraints does not free [us] to stand along or to glory in our individuality’. Instead, it ‘contributes to [our] insecurity’. It leads the individual to ‘depend on others to validate his self-esteem’, until he ‘cannot live without an admiring audience’. Where the strong individual of the past realised himself through engagement with the world around him, the new minimal individual merely wants to be consoled by the world, flattered by it. In Lasch’s words, ‘For the narcissist, the world is a mirror, whereas the rugged individual saw it as an empty wilderness to be shaped to his own design’. Julie Walsh, in her 2014 book Narcissism and Its Discontents, describes the Laschian distinction between the post-Enlightenment idea of the individual and the postwar weakened, narcissistic self as a difference in attitudes to, or more fundamentally relationships with, the external world: the former sees the world as ‘a wilderness to be shaped by the subject’s own design’; the latter seeks only ‘self-consolation’ from his surroundings. The former is a subject, using thought and conviction to engage and become; the latter is an object requiring moral massaging from others for his very survival.
This desire to treat the world as a mirror, as a thing that must validate our self-esteem, is far more pronounced today than it was in the 1970s. The cult of self-identification, the insistence that grammar, education and institutions reorganise themselves around what individuals feel themselves to be, takes to the extreme the reduction of public life to the level of mere validator for insecure individuals. Lasch’s work also helps us to see how phoney is the freedom claimed by those who ‘identify as’. They frequently insist that they’re liberating themselves from outdated structures and social expectations. They pose as harbingers of a new and daring way of life, overturning everything about the old order, from gender to language, family life to social attitudes. This is false for two reasons. First, because what they present as their self-willed rebellion against and undermining of the old social, moral and sexual order is in fact a long drawn-out process of capitalist and institutional decay that has called into question almost everything Western societies once took for granted. And it was authored not by them but by various profound historical events and developments. They are really prettifying social and moral crises, standing on the rubble of the West’s decayed sense of itself and declaring: ‘We did this.’ And secondly, the freedom promised by the new narrow self-cultivation of identity is shallow indeed; in fact, it is not freedom at all.

This explains the angst-ridden nature of much self-identification, the feeling of being under siege, of being at risk. Whether it’s trans campaigners trawling for evidence of transphobia and insisting that their very ‘right to exist’ is constantly being called into question, or student-union officials erecting safe spaces in which no Islamophobia, transphobia or any other phobia may be expressed, these supposedly free and easy new identities feel anything but free and easy. They’re tetchy, needy, defensive, ugly even. They need validation, and they seek it everywhere. Gay-identity campaigners hunt down the remaining handful of cakeshops that refuse to bake for gay weddings and insist they make them a cake; trans activists myopically peruse the press for any hint of anti-trans criticism and demand retractions or censorship; campaigners demand that schools, colleges, hospitals, everyone change their language and admission forms and behaviours to account for the feelings of infinitesimally small numbers of ‘two spirit’ people or ‘men’ who want abortions. And it’s never enough: for the fragile identity, validation is a constant necessity. The self-identifiers are liberated from the past, yes, but they’re enslaved by the 21st-century validation machine, their esteem locked in a danse macabre with the self-esteem industry.
The new identitarians, or self-identifiers, might technically be liberated from old social pressures, gender norms and moral expectations – though it’s more accurate to say that those things fell apart rather than the identitarians having broken free of them – but they have become locked into new and even more insidious relationships of dependency. Their need for constant validation, for self-consolation, for an ‘admiring audience’, means that while they may be free of past, burdensome social expectations, they have become psychic slaves. They are dependent upon the recognition of others, especially officialdom. The frenetic subjectivity of their identity creation disguises the extent to which they lack any sense of genuine human subjectivity – as actors in and on and through the world – and instead have become objects of the therapeutic industry, maintained and even directed by the approval of institutions and experts.
Where earlier celebrators of the individual emphasised our capacity for autonomy and for governing our own minds and sense of ourselves, today’s self-identifiers cannot exist without the blessing of new forms of therapeutic authority. Mill’s view of the strong individual was a creature who used ‘observation to see, reasoning and judgement to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision’. Contrast that with today’s self-indentifiers who claim words wound, that individuals are vulnerable, that, in the words of one, ‘our mental safety is threatened by those who question our right to exist’.
Indeed, one of the most striking and complex things about the new era of identity is the coexistence of a highly subjectivised search for identity with a tendency to ossify identity, to fix it, to make great claims about its basis in biology or science or fact. This is most notable in the contemporary gay movement, which on one hand presents itself as a liberal strike against the social and moral strictures of the past, but on the other is constantly looking for material evidence that homosexuality is a fixed, biological fact. Gay academics hunt for a ‘gay gene’, or for evidence of ‘gay animals’, speaking, in Peter Tatchell’s words, to a ‘terrible lack of self-confidence and a rather sad, desperate need to justify queer desire’. Among trans activists, too, the claim to be consciously and radically upsetting gender norms sits uneasily with the essentialism of corrective surgery to turn men into ‘women’. Trans-sympathising experts have built up a huge base of alleged scientific authority to demonstrate that transgenderism is a real condition.
Meanwhile, many of the new self-identifiers contradictorily claim that they have no choice but to be what they feel themselves to be. Trans teenagers will kill themselves if we do not allow them to become the gender they were really born as, threaten trans activists. The bigender person profiled by the Daily Mail, who self-identifies on different days as Layla, a woman, and Layton, a man, strikingly said that this ‘isn’t a case of me waking up and choosing to dress a certain way. I’ve gotno control over whether I’m going to be Layton or Layla on a certain day.’ (My italics.)
How do we explain this strange coexistence of highly subjective identity cultivation with an instinct to biologism and essentialism? This coexistence of radical, freely chosen identities with the idea that there is also no choice – that trans people feel like women in their very souls, and gay people may even possess a particular gene? This coexistence of the casual ‘I identify as’, and ‘I might identify differently tomorrow’, with the urge to crush any criticism or questioning of that identity? This, too, speaks to the weakness of identity in the 21st century. These are attempts to anchor the new identities, steady them, make them provable, tangible. But there is nothing of substance to anchor them in or to. No social movements, no democratic institutions. And so they become reliant for their existence on the validation of others, and on the craven acquiescence of a society that cannot, or at least will not, uphold any kind of objective measurements or encourage the cultivation of identity on the basis of engagement, belief and achievement.
There’s a further problem, an even more profound one. Today, we’re faced not only with a corrosion of the external world of institutions and movements through which we once gained our identity, but also a weakening of the internal world of the individual, of conscience itself. The sensitivity of the new identities to criticism or slight speaks to the demise of the Enlightenment individual who gains his sense of self not only through objective institutions but also through the development of inner convictions. In the era of conviction, public debate, public criticism, was welcomed; in fact it was encouraged. ‘The energy of the human intellect does from opposition grow’, said Cardinal John Henry Newman. In the era of self-identity, of weak personalities reliant on endless validation and personal identities lacking any meaningful foundation, public discussion is restricted, policed, lest it ‘harm’ or threaten the ‘right to exist’ of the weakly cultivated new individuals. The more they bind up their entire existence in their new, unconvincing personal identity, the more they experience criticism of that identity, not as opinion, but as threat, a mortal, existential threat. Far from liberation, the new generation’s daily experience is existential vulnerability.
What is today referred to as the rise of identity politics is in truth the hollowing out of the institutions, beliefs and freedoms around which life and identity were shaped and cohered for centuries. It is a crisis not merely of politics, or class, or the left; it is a crisis of character, a questioning of what it means to be human, an uncertainty as to how we become fully human. Addressing the emergence of new, weak identities, and the corresponding creation of a therapeutic industry and new forms of moral censure to prop up these identities, will require more than ridiculing the new left or the so-called ‘identitarian movement’. It demands nothing less than the reconstruction of public life, and the rediscovery of our faith in the strong individual who both makes and is made by the world, rather than simply needing to be consoled by it. It requires that we refuse to acquiesce to alienated, subjective identity-making, and instead recreate the conditions in which people can develop their identity through the exercise of moral autonomy, and through creating and engaging in new institutions, new ideas and new societies.
Brendan O’Neill 

what brendon is getting at is our decent into neurosis where what we are feeling is no different from reality. there is no difference, i'd term this the 'new romanticism period' of human culture, feelings are of course chemical responses to environmental triggers and from a subjective point of view real, but then delusions about reality are not. identity is tricky here because there is no such thing, it's a constantly shifting process so i'm sympathetic with the changeability of peoples identity, however there are fundamental impacts upon society that brendon quite rightly points out. and in an age where one shifts identity as quickly as their shirt can people really say anything about it other than identity is not real. 
one moment we are all charlie, the next we are not. one moment we are all 'yes we can,' the next we are 'no we cannot.'
one group will ride with you the other will refuse. one group will get stoned with you another stone you. what i think is happening is we are all finding our tribe. burroughs once wrote before the internet in the future nations will not be defined by physical geography but by ideology, and therefore now we have a transgendered socialist in canada identifying with the lesbian saudi muslim woman. what occurs is indeed a dissolution of geography as we know it and a union of cyber communities. a natural extension of the new romantics would be to link up the same way the europian or pan american countries do, but this time they would be based upon sympathetic ideologies. the marxist movement would link with the socialist communist and although each would retain it's independence it's sympathies would unite it. and thus begins the new romantic geography of the net, it's already there in theory and meme sharing, it just requires an official type of statehood like recognition and one can be typing away in sydney identifying as a psychedelic anarchist, anti science pro gaia eco-friendly sexually ambiguous type whom is part of a community of like minded thinkers. these may differ in some areas but generally they share many attributes apart from inhabiting the same countries. 
issues will split and divide as before, but these can be worked out by discussion and conversation rather than war and conflict. for example if there are two similar divided by one having a pro american stance the difference of ideology is recognised as a personal difference and engaged by discussion and dialogue. however at the moment twitter is filled with abusive boneheads who won't even let anyone post a difference of opinion without crucifying them first. so the internet is still a frontier country where identities war and clash with words until the opinion that is outnumbered is bullied out. 
this says a lot about identity.
is identity so insecure that it has to resort to such tactics. 
is identity tied to being right.
is identity nothing than an ego state.
this is why the identity war is sleight of hand, it's a trick. you cannot be defined externally. only you have the power to define what you are. if you want to be a woman and were born male call yourself female but don't expect anyone else to. 
if you are a socialist who wants free speech banned then ban your own free speech but let others speak as they wish.
if your a libertarian like moi, don't expect anyone else to sanction your freedom.
if your a new romantic and confuse what you feel with what is, i don't care as long as you don't expect me to change my image of self so that you can feel better about yourself. 

naked lunch

this is a great analysis of croninbergs 'naked lunch' one of my fave films.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

old captain mission enjoys the radio as much as a good book and for the last 30 years i have listened to one broadcaster in particular. his soft spoken ego-less personality moves through the insomniac night times of the post midnight people tuning in, he has a bunch of followers from around the world, some families pass him on to their children like some treasured heirloom, me i just listen in. 
on my arrival to australia 30 years ago, jet lagged and dazed and confused i lay awake in the early morning 3am zone and tuned in the radio trying not to disturb a sleeping wife and first heard the voice of brian wilshire as he spoke of the secret machinations of global governments, agenda 21 and the codex, about the manipulation of information, the tweaking of media, the left wing morphing into the right, it was as if the curtain had been unveiled and i was seeing that the wizards that run the world were nothing more than puppets on strings. brian exposed banking, the mass surveillance of populations, he was the first man to talk openly about echelon and the five eyes, he even had people working on the project phoning in autonomously, guests with blueprints of the st. lenoards structure which looked like a telstra building but was as equally deep underground as it was towering over the north sydney skylines, many times his broadcasts were pulled, dead air. he often knew this would happen especially when he revealed how the banks worked, the nature of debt and i vividly recall one night he interviewed a farmer from victoria whom had written a book on how to beat the banks through the courts when they come to take the farm away. now it's common knowledge that the money never existed in the first place but back in the pre internet day brian was the internet. they took him off air but his followers demanded him back, the abc hated him, the mainstream feared him, the government didn't know what to do with him, especially when he self published his book, 'the fine print'  it was a best seller beating bryce courtney's power of one in book sales. yeah brian was a champion, and still is. i learnt more from his shows than i ever did from any newspaper. 
so it was sad, very sad to hear his last show last night and all the hundreds of people ringing him up to pay tribute. i sent him an e mail but listened in anyway. he's a legend and irreplaceable and i'm going to miss him and his wisdom.

Friday, December 11, 2015

hot hit, the wind carries with it, a knockout punch of 'hairdryer set for high' heat as i open up the doors and walk into the world. it's a melting clocks day, slightly surreal as my late night catches up with my early morning.
the papers are filled with talk of innovation funding and new technology and suddenly i am reminded malcolm is running the show now, yes the narcissistic technocrat is planting his jackboot upon our faces. innovative technology, sounds great, should buy a few million stupid peoples votes but in the meantime what about the homeless people who can't find a roof, the city is overspilling with them now. never mind them we have to plunge australia into as much debt as possible because fearless goldman sachs man is preparing us for the new economy, the end of money. 
i read about the war, some poor fuckers in syria getting bombed by the war machine of mad arabians, some russian opportunist and a  absolutely ridiculous american president who seduced the world with three little words and his allies, the europeans. oh the great military industrial complex, how it runs our economy. we are all guilty just by being beneficiaries, the best thing a govt. can do is just fess up, be honest. 
'look citizens i don't like it but if we stop you would have no jobs, no money, the society we have created would just no longer work. so our solution is to keep the great war machine going, yeah it's driven me to alcohol and heroin but hey, whatever gets you through the night. it's wheels within wheels but i'm just being straight wit ya now.'
i don't like john lennon much but for fucks sake, 'gimmie some truth.'  
i read about the troubles of old bill short pants who has led the labour party into oblivion due to a stupid tactical error. i like the letters page, the australia readers are intelligent, diverse and drill down into complex issues without the sanctimonious ideology of the sydney morning lifestyle paper and the daily travesty.
i flick through a colour magazine about israel's start up culture and how successful it is, apparently this is where the govt's of the uk and australia are looking to get their ideas from, so lookout australian boycott movement, you may have to boycott your future.
i sip a fine coffee and wander back to the cool sanctuary of mission control where my chilled coconut drink sits next to a beautiful slice of marijuana.    

Thursday, December 10, 2015

cold hit, the surf silently grey and mysteriously deep, a band of seaweed stirs a murky zone i negotiate swiftly and with nimble agility. the water is remarkably cold against my hot flesh. the sensation is not unpleasant and as i swim out under the surface i am free from it's tensions. out here in the back, free from the seaweed, the sensation of discomfort my meditation hits through into zones of awareness. 
the ocean has a thickness to it this morning, a density far heavier than usual, maybe the mass has changed with the moons influence, i cannot say for certain. the waves are smaller and arrive between seven minites in sets of three, the third being the best. 
my body acts automatically, it knows what to do now, while my mind is gone deep into something murky, deep water, deep thoughts. when i surface the black skies overcasting match the ocean in tone, a flash of lightening on the horizon and the shudder of earthquake sized thunder. i catch that wave back to land, back to mission control, batten down for the storm.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

i travel into china town. the currents of some airborne energy have stolen me away from the ocean and propels me along on a beautiful sydney summer day. the place pulses with amazing faces, asia is alive here bombarding the prime sensory instruments but i am driven by instinct as i weave in and out of the side streets following my nose into the depths. 
a small sign outside a tiny red for danger doorway with a red buzzer camouflaged by someone who doesn't want to be noticed. i press it. 
mr. lee sent me an letter by snail mail, it appears he he doesn't use technology not even a mobile. i pulled out a brown envelope amongst the junk mail and noticed it was addressed in some sort of floral script. it was elaborate, almost calligraphic.  i opened it carefully, and unfolded a parchment which was folded in triangles not square or rectangular.

captain mission.
i have read some of your adventures and found it most interesting from many perspectives. some of your stories are fun to read with great silliness and others have profound truth within them. i particularly enjoyed the ones where you travel into other dimensions and therefore invite you to my office for some thing i know you would value greatly. i cannot offer an address suffice to say, it's a red door in what you call the china town area.
dr. lee.

so i pressed the buzzer. 
i waited for some response but nothing happened. with my left hand i pushed the door just slightly, and it swung open. i was presented with a narrow staircase which i begun to ascend. the stairs were wooden and stained in a rusty red paint, but as i climbed the paint was replaced with a rich deep red velvet carpet. i seemed to climb for ever, upwards and upwards, around corners and turns until i faced another red door. i was about to knock but the door swung open and there stood a small chinese man, aged around 80 he sucked a pipe and was wearing some sort of traditional dress, black and embroided with symbols and patters, hieroglyphic, no they were chinese characters, pictograms, ideograms. i recognised a symbol from the i- ching but kept quiet. 
looking around the room i couldn't help but feel overwhelmed at it's size, much bigger than i would have imagined but scarcely furnished, in fact just an old desk in the distance. the smell of incense hit me as i walked in, invited by mr. lee.
he was certainly curious, and as we walked towards the desk he mumbled his gratitude that i had responded to his letter. he told me how much he had enjoyed my book and all the strange stories. by the time we reached the desk i was quite embarrassed by his praise. 
the room appears vast but badly lit, in fact a single candle on the desktop casts a large circle of flickering light, enough to see a papers and quills, some old books and a jade sculpture. 
the doctor beckons towards a chair, 'sit, sit, make yourself comfortable.'
i sit down opposite him, the desk between us.
'it is good you came here, i have something in my possession i wanted to show you, share with you. in my culture we have many traditions, many mythology but progression government means our old ways are abandoned, forgotten by many. young people like computer now.'
dr. lee opened a drawer and pulled out a wooden case, he carefully opened it up and took out an elaborate pipe instument. it was an old oriental long wooden pipe. he packed some dry leaves in it and with a thin long stick lit passed the flame of the candle to the pipe. his tight lips sucked subtly inhaling and a soft glow radiated from the pipe. 
'i like the taste, good for mind. good for travelling.' he offered me the pipe, 'smoke, you must smoke a little, it help you understand, it help me explain.'
i sucked on the strange tobacco, sour tasting and yet fresh unlike tobacco more like a salvia divinorum but with no immediate effects. we shared the pipe which when finished was placed back carefully in it's box.
'it's good to share the lotus.' dr. lee smiled. 'in my culture we have ancient ideas about life, animals and astrology's. ancient culture, much time to investigate, many teachings. confucius hey?'
'i'm more familiar with the tao te ching than confucius wisdom, i must confess i know a little not a lot.'
'yes, yes much in tradition, but i have something to share with you older than both repeated elders dreamed of. my family come from guanling, lived there from beginning of time. forefathers honour to be dragon keeper mr. mission, you understand?'
i nodded, the substance we had smoked was taking effect, a sort of clarity unveiled in my mind and as doctor lee revealed his history i saw it being played out in an immersive cinematic experience. i could almost smell the atmosphere as he told his story.
his family had held the prestigious title for hundreds of years until china fell to the xia dynasty and the warring began. territories battled and feuds played out over time, the poor were always trapped in-between conflicts and the lee family although remote were none the less effected. they possessed two eggs, one passed through the female line, the other the male line. no one knew the origin of the dragon keepers but a handful of people knew the lee family were guardians and devoted their lives to protect them, thus when conditions became dangerous the lee family were split, one egg sent eastwards and the other west fortunately escaping before the opium war.
the keepers of the eastern egg lost contact with their brothers and generations later it was thought both were lost. 
dr. lee's grandfather had arrived in australia after the first fleet, he had been a doctor as well and chose to follow flinders on a voyage to australia's north where he stayed with an aboriginal community for many years until returning to the city of sydney where lee was born and at age 13 the egg was passed on.
i listened to the story, the talking was in fluid english with elements of his culture slipping in. i guess living amongst the chinese population his english skills would be capped, but i was impressed with his command. he told a good tale.
i remained seated thinking perhaps the story would make a good addition to my work, i could shift a few details, change some elements to make it fit my own style. mr lee could be ms lee a sexy opium mistress....
i was lost within my own imagination when i noticed dr. lee had placed a large box upon the desktop. he opened it up and placed his hands inside pulling out an egg. it was the size of an ostrich egg but i could see immediately it was not an ostrich egg at all, for starters it was a soft blue surface with a purple shimmer where light reflected seemed to shift and move in a liquid motion.  
'this is the egg, i am it's guardian mr. mission.'
i stood up and looked at the dragons egg, it was indeed unlike anything i had ever seen.
dr. lee packed it away and we took our places.
'it's a beautiful looking egg and big will it ever hatch?'
'yes, one day it will. maybe in our lifetime.'
'i'd like to see that. i'd like to see a real life dragon.'
mr. lee smiles and laughs a little chuckle to himself.
'what's so funny?'
'i know you would understand it. appreciate it's beauty.'
'i do, it's magnificent to look but what makes it very special is to know there are dragons in the world.'
he laughed a little more, 'yes, there were dragons in the world, one day there may be another.'
i stood up to leave and mr. lee walked me into the darkness to the exit, we said our goodbyes and i shook his hand. as i left i asked him one last question.
'what came first mr. lee the dragon or the egg?'
'ah, good question, good question. i will tell you when i have answer.'
and with that the door closed.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

chemical technology, artificially intelligent nano machines spread through supermarket food, soft drinks and dumb drugs are already working inside us, forcing cocoon warm fuzzy thinking, hive mentality, union through slavery, we are the dead. the zombie mass exists on fuzzy engineering, tweet compassion, feel good politics and mass brainwashing, thanks yuri bezmenov, whistle blower supreme.
follow it down the path of loop history, repeated ad nausea, mankind fools itself every time, 'didn't see that coming!' how can we when we can't see wood for trees.
cast amongst the herd is the black sheep, usually some dope smoking freak, voodoo medicine drinking shaman preaching implicit forms of love or peace, usually warned into silence, branded as kooky or murdered by the exposed. but before they proclaim the message where do they go?
into the wilderness.
think of a wilderness for a moment. some majestic terrain, some lush green forest, rainforest or desert. an expanse of nature, ice fields, mountains and tundra's these disenchanted individuals   wander in seeking solitude and oblivion. 
not everyone is up for the job, very few in fact. firstly one must reach the point where the wilderness becomes more attractive a proposition than the metropolis. secondly the sole inhabitant must journey inwards as well as out and then as boundaries shatter a crystallised truth revealed the wilderness is the metropolis and no journey is necessary for the laws of the wilderness are just as savage and brutal as those of man made environs but they contain the seeds of reality whereas the cities institutions are illusionary in nature. 
i went into the surf, my wilderness of water and then i return to the day. my message is simple. find yourself and go beyond. beyond the basic program, beyond the factory setting. who know's what is there, it is unique for everyone, but for everyone who takes that journey they are connected through space and time. 
the green haired ice climber who takes mescaline at a tokyo street party and then decides to apply his skills to the corporate world.
the surfer / writer who cracks open his own head with some magickal formula and creates portals in his wake.
the artist who tunes in to ancient intelligences turning on the planet to their gifts of higher understanding and majestic beauty.
the bank clerk whom suddenly comprehends tantric sex may just liberate her from mundane existence and open up a new realm of perception where she can change everything she touches.
the political advocate who suddenly understands whatever side they take it's a prism within a prison and suddenly sees the killing joke. the one that sets you free.
the porn actress who fucks her way through life until she finds unconditional love in a yoga retreat.
the beggar who knew it all but no one believed him so he just looks at people walking passed his cardboard box bed telepathically beaming his message into them, chipping away at their defences.
the gardner who creates incredible flower beds and colour dynamics, who prunes trees and shrubs in perfect symmetry and then considers eden and leaves his life's work to grow wild and free.
the robot assembling cars and transistor radio's who suddenly gains some self awareness and starts writing haiku's. 
the gods of things that occasionally visit us and leave faint traces in dreams and subconscious memory.
the god who looks upon his creation with love and wonder hoping one day it can see its self within us all. 
i consider these things and wonder if there will be a peace on earth.
consider the idea of a global harmony. 
i think we have been fed false promises, the world is always at war, in conflict, biology is in conflict, bacteria and virus's have evolved chemical warfare to a degree we have never surpassed although we are better at psychological warfare. but this is a reductionist / scientific method and science should admit it but it can't because if it did it would become weak if not useless.
only the dreamers and visionaries can hope for harmony but until they change their own relationship to the universe it always remains a dream or vision. it's no good being an agent for change unless you can. 
science won't save us but it can help, bio hacking ourselves on a physical level is a good start. i have a good friend, a brilliant inspirational individual whose love of extreme sports and extreme environments gave me an insight into how one can hack the body, but also the mind needs hacking to and this is where science fails to meet magick, the method of science, the aim of religion was crowley's truth, he figured he could use science to liberate and to some extent he did especially as he explored the eastern method of science which has always been of a quantum nature.
therefore one could claim, the first principle of any 'change' tension towards peace is acknowledging the war within. using breathing visualisations and deep meditative techniques the various treaties and ceasefires can be managed to produce some sort of initiative towards internal peace. so to people at war or in conflict take my advice. breath, conscious breathing please. then still the mind. that may take a few years hard discipline but it's the beginning of peace on earth so take the step and change yourself. you are a foot solider in the army of love. hup two, three four!