alternative, independent, literature, music, politics, rock, Uncategorized, writing

Artistic Sin

How do we judge art from the past? Is it correct to judge it by the mores of the current society, or should it be understood in the context of the period it was created? Classical Roman art and legends persisted long after they adopted Christianity, but the pagan temples and anything associated with worshipping the former gods was stripped of its power and the buildings were repurposed. Now we recognize writers like Virgil and Cicero as geniuses but to early Christians they must have seemed like heretics. It took close to a thousand years for those works to be distributed again in the Christian West. Some think the Christians are wrong for burning and destroying so many pagan Roman historical, poetic and religious texts. Christians think the Romans were wrong for practicing idolatry. Is temporal relativism plausible? The dead can’t advocate for their work so our views of the past are inherently biased towards the mores of modern society. Is this ethical? Should we take temporal relativism into account or assume by virtue of passing time a more recent society is more sophisticated?
This is a song by the generally progressive, equal rights supporting feminist punk icon, Patti Smith. Listen and decide for yourself if temporal relativism is real or not and if it matters at all. Is this just racism or punk rock using the metaphor of “outside of society” to describe the black person’s oppression at that time in America? Will this song erase or damage Patti’s legacy in the future? Should it be judged by its lyrics, musical skill and ingenuity, both or none? What do you think?

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from the “Natural Born Killers” soundtrack originally recorded in 1978 on the album Easter
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depression, free verse, independent, politics, Uncategorized, underground, writing

Trump is the Embodiment of the Establishment & Everything Wrong With It

I am getting really sick of Facebook politics. I spent four years studying journalism, especially ethics as well as history, statistics and political science as well as how to detect bias and dissect an article, check sources, check facts and look for bias. I covered political rallies in news stories and interviewed the mayor of Oakville. Myself and my fellow students spent months learning to apply these skills. Fake news and poorly sourced stories are obvious to me. I am not trying to brag but to suggest that possibly if people learned and applied those skills we would not be in the situation we are today.

I just have to make this abundantly clear: Trump does not represent the working people and he is not anti establishment. Antifa is anti establishment. Rich old white men have been running America for centuries. This is just a more senile Ron Raegan. The Black Panthers and Yippies were anti establishment. The US president is the very embodiment of classic American capitalism. I don’t see how you could be more a part of the establishment than Trump. Owns a country club. Owns a Tower full of fake gold. Instead of serving it Vietnam when his draft card was pulled he claimed to have bone spurs, three times. Coward. His family run major capitalist corporations and he is the PRESIDENT of the US.

There is nothing anti establishment in running the establishment and he and his rich family are at the top of the pyramid flying around in private jets on the taxpayer’s dime. His daddy gave him 1 million dollars to start. You’re not rebelling by following him, you’re just falling in line like a good little soldier. I especially don’t understand foreigners who support him. You have no vote and he has no say in your nation. Make your own path, don’t blindly follow anyone, especially foreign politicians who create unnecessary international incidents and mutually detrimental economic warfare. I’m aware that this will probably piss people off. I don’t care about your feelings  and I don’t have to read poorly constructed arguments that barely last a paragraph from people that haven’t even bothered to study how this all works.

Breitbart, Infowars, Drudge report; its propaganda. Make America Great Again was the American Nazi Party slogan in the 1930’s. He could be flying swaztikas at his rallies and people would still argue his freedom of speech, which isn’t even coherent. Its been two years. I don’t see a wall. I see that the US is now isolated from Canada, Britain and the EU. I see them pulling out of treaties on human rights and mutual defence. The New North Korea-America partnership should do wonders for the coal industry. They aren’t stupid enough to do what Saddam and Ghadafi did. Kim will never disarm, he saw what happened to the last guys that did. Which side of history do you want to be on? Do you want to be remembered like the fascists? Confederacy? Apartheid? Then step in line with Trump. If you have friends that are disabled, latino, muslim or black they will start to resent you. Be careful who you speak to about what.

My patience for being insulted to my face has run out. Time will tell.

Jack Blare, 2018

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independent, literature, man, politics, Uncategorized, underground, writing

The Republican Regime

New alt-right propaganda is trying to create a backlash for the recent protests, boos and ejections of Republican Party officials from restaurants. Evidently I’m supposed to feel bad for these well-dressed, well-educated upper class white Americans for getting booed out of a restaurant. One person went as far as to complain that Republicans would soon be forced into the back of busses a la Rosa Parks. I’m supposed to feel bad for these arrogant, racist sycophantic scum while they rip apart families and drug children into silence and shove them into concentration camps where they all wear orange like prisoners. They are prisoners and the crime was that their parents wanted a better life for them.

Oh no, those poor overpaid & corrupt republican politicians! Its cool for them to rip apart families and give children 18 drug cocktails to keep them quiet but god forbid someone harasses them in public! How do you support a regime that is anti immigrant, anti-Canadian but pro Russia and North Korea? One that constantly lies, goes back on its promises and insults its closest allies and trading partners?  The last president to ask if he could pardon himself was Nixon during Watergate. If he has nothing to hide then why is he asking if he can pardon himself? Why should I as a Canadian care about some republicans getting harassed when they openly support an authoritarian dicktator who believes in tax cuts for the rich while canceling programs that brought food to people too old or disabled to leave their homes, especially since our economy is going to be hit hard by this trade war?

I care about as much for the Republican Party as I do about the people who were hung at Nuremberg. If their policies applied up here my family wouldn’t have a house due to medical expenses alone. Inciting violence & hate? The Trump regime is now in control, and hence responsible for the activities of the army, navy and intelligence sources. They already botched a raid in a country they officially weren’t supposed to be in (Niger) and U.S. troops paid with their lives. They won’t do anything about gun control even though you’re more likely to be shot as an American student than a deployed soldier. You can’t compare political affiliation to race.

They chose to be in that party and they can leave it whenever they want. You can’t resign from being black. Now I’m supposed to have sympathy for politicians who tear families apart like the Nazis did, imprison children and use psychiatry to keep people quiet just like the Soviet Union did. Maybe I’d care if they did, if they were innocent, but they’re not. Even their silence makes them complicit in the  nepotism, multiple conflicts of interest & outright racist ideals that have characterized this regime. Even Fox News called 45 a dictator.

Canada has no place for such people and continuing to support them while they insult our national pride, lie about our trade deficits & surpluses & start trade wars which will just damage both economies. Our policies of freedom of religion, legal marijuana, separation of church & state, abortion clinics & universal healthcare are completely at odds with Republican Party values of NRA Jesus, creationism, misogyny & racism. They are the party the KKK, neo-Nazis and religious extremists vote for. Even the newly elected conservative premier of Ontario has denounced them, despite being one of the most right wing politicians in the nation.

A threat to our economy is a threat to our daily lives. True North Strong and Free. We will defend that freedom and our rights with our lives if need be. I stand with no party but I know I don’t stand with the Republicans. What they’re doing is exactly like the Nazis & Italians did, then the Soviets after them. At this point it is wrong NOT to speak against the republican regime, let alone try and support them. Americans are not our enemies, but this regime oppressing them is. I will not be silenced. I’ll keep writing until they drag me away and execute me if needs be. My grandfather did not fight six years in the blood & mud of Europe just to have it swept away by some neo-fascist right wing autocracy.

-Jack Blare

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alternative, independent, literature, man, mortal, Uncategorized

Temporal Relativism

Similar to the concept of cultural relativism, it means regarding history through the mindset of the majority of the population at a certain time period and trying to understand their actions in the context of the time that they lived, not only through our 20/20 hindsight. The concept is unrelated to the science of temporal relativity. -Jack Blare, 2018

A lot of modern day practices have their roots in slavery & war but in time the meanings have changed and evolved. Now people see it as giving a little extra in return for good service. Now its considered impolite if you don’t offer a tip. Or when people refer to one another as “man” I guarantee that they aren’t thinking about it as a way to assert black rights. Black people called each other “man” in retaliation for being called “boy” by white people. Eventually it evolved into a term that is widely used. Just as we must understand cultural relativism we also need to consider temporal relativism. The fact that tipping originated from racial oppression is an interesting historical fact but no longer relevant in that it has taken on a new meaning separate from its origins. Like the song ‘Summertime, the living is easy’ most famously covered by Janis Joplin and referenced by Sublime refers to the fact that it was easier for slaves to pick cotton because it grew high in the summer and they didn’t have to crouch to pick it. Does this mean I’m going to stop enjoying that song, never tip or refer to people as man? No. Many modern practices had dark beginnings but have developed and changed as society has. At one point every group was an oppressor and in turn was oppressed. The Egyptians oppressed the Jews, the Jews massacred the Philistines, then they were captives in Babylon until the Roman Empire took overJerusalem, Egypt was also conquered, first by Alexander, then Caesar who conquered England, then Rome was conquered by the Goths, Christianity became the state religion and they looted the old temples to build new & lavish churches. Rome withdrew from England which was then conquered by the Saxons followed by the Vikings, followed by the Normans, then in turn England conquered Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We should not forget that these things happened but responsibility is not inherited. White skinned Russian serfs were emancipated only two years before the American emancipation of their slaves. Condemning the acts of the long dead is pointless. We should learn from the past to improve the future & present. History is never black and white and the sins of the father are not passed down to the son. I don’t believe in original sin or that people must atone for the actions of their long-dead ancestors. People have oppressed one another since the dawn of civilization, if we hold on to the prejudices of the past the wounds will never heal.

-Jack Blare

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addiction, independent, literature, Uncategorized

Unqualified Cops

In Britain they’re fast tracking university grads to become police detectives in just 12 months. This is an awful idea. It takes years to become a doctor or lawyer because if they screw up it could ruin or end someone’s life. You need a thorough knowledge of medicine or the law. They can be disbarred or have their medical licenses taken away. Police have weapons and arguably the most power over people’s lives and their profession takes less than half the time to qualify for than a law degree. They could use that extra time to study the law, how to deal with the mentally ill, how to properly diffuse a situation. We’d have less police, sure, but they send two cruisers just for suspicion up here. It doesn’t take four armed officers to bust a stoner.

They could spend that extra time learning more about serial killers, rapists, murders and organized crime as well as physical activity. The tuition could help pay for the police budget. Why does it take seven years and an exam to practice law but only a year’s training to enforce it? Instead we have ignorant, lazy and vicious police officers that act more like paramilitary thugs than protectors of the innocent. They should definitely have classes on racism and race relations. The problem with cops is they don’t care if they break the law, they shoot black children and get “suspended with pay.” Its basically a paid vacation and then they’re back. Every time you use violence it gets easier from a moral standpoint. Cops use unnecessary excessive force and become desensitized. They start to see criminals, “the enemy” as less than human, racism plays a huge part of this.

Poverty breeds crime. Eliminate poverty and you eliminate most criminal activities. If a guy can’t find a job, has no house and no chance of economic improvement in the mainstream society then he will turn to break and enters and muggings, if drug addicts could afford their habit and have easier access to treatment facilities they wouldn’t need to steal hand sanitizer and drink it.

Instead of focusing on petty crimes like drug possession or theft under $1000 the police should seek the root causes. Prisons are crowded with mentally ill and otherwise homeless people. It costs the taxpayers $100,000 a year to keep someone in prison, this doesn’t include the huge legal fees the government must pay so they can employ judges and prosecutors. This money could be spent on police reform and tackling serious crimes, like gangs, mass murderers, rapists, abusers, pedophiles and serial killers.

Focusing on the people who sell drugs to pay for their own habits and even the people that buy them, while their supplier just replaces them is a huge waste of time and money. Violent crime and sexual abuse need to take priority over noise complaints and kids in trouble for smoking weed. That criminal record can impact their future employment, leading to poverty which circles back to crime.

We don’t need an militarized police force that protects property over people and has incredibly low hiring standards considering that they are able to use and abuse lethal and non-lethal weapons. The public fear them but don’t respect them. They are corrupt, many break the law consistently and they often take out their anger on whomever is unlucky enough to fall into their hands.

So fire the lowest level of cops. Retain those with ten years experience or specialized training in forensics. Fire the enforcers and raise the requirement to seven years university education. Personal and psychological reviews should be mandatory every six months to a year. Internal affairs must be replaced and they must purge the ranks of excessively violent or racist police. They must be ruthless and independent from mainstream law enforcement.

If their job is so serious that people could die then they need to keep their standards high when selecting officers. As they swear to uphold the law they should be punished more severely than civilians for breaking it. They must sign an agreement allowing for increased penalties to acknowledge that with their privileges come responsibilities. The current system is insular, they protect their own and function just like an organized crime group. They don’t punish their fellow officers even if they empty their guns into mentally ill teens or little black kids.

With seven years of education and a job on the line, as well as increased sentencing for breaking laws they swore to enforce they would be less likely to abuse their positions. The amount of time and effort they put in to become officers will weed out those who are joining for a salary and benefits or because they want to feel more powerful carrying a gun from the ones that are genuinely devoted to protecting and serving the public. It can be paid for with the money saved from our currently overtaxed legal system, and tuition could either fund the police or be free.

We’d have less officers, and we’d have to increase their salary to one fit for people who put their lives on the line in defence of the state. In my opinion one excellently trained and intelligent officer is worth more than five cops that don’t even understand the laws they arbitrarily enforce just to get off on beating some homeless hippy kid. Right now we have a surplus of officers that cause more death, more crime, more pain and more suffering than most petty criminals do. Most addicts and muggers haven’t even fired a gun, but they are treated with contempt by a state sanctioned organization that murders and oppresses the poor and the vulnerable.

No one trusts the police anymore. They don’t have neighbourhood cops anymore and rotate out of an area every two years which is not enough time for them to know the community. Reports of police brutality occur almost daily now, often supported by video evidence. The current organization is not effective and its hands are stained with blood. We need police reform worldwide, though this mainly describes the U.S. and Canada.

It should take just as much time to gain the ability to take a life as it does to save them. With such short training they often panic and more people are killed by police bullets than terrorists each year in North America. Who is the real enemy? The one over the sea or the cop who empties his clip, killing or paralyzing bystanders, even children. They might be trained in how to use a weapon, but what they don’t learn is when to use them. We both literally and figuratively pay the price. More police won’t help the situation but better trained and educated cops will.

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addiction, free verse, independent, literature, Uncategorized

Dystopia 2018

Jack London warned us, then Huxley & Orwell, Ginsberg, Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Burgess, Phillip K. Dick, Hunter S. Thompson, Lydia Lunch and Warren Ellis to name just a few. Even I warned about it, for the past eleven years. Born into the last generation that will remember what things were like before everything changed, before the world went digital, before cellphones were popular, right before the internet, years before social media and just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite all the warnings progress for profit pushed on & now we’re all hooked up like IV lines to our phones & internet. Most people don’t notice, some don’t care & some see it, hate it but can’t pull the plug. We are living in A Brave New world, its 13 o’clock, year of Our Ford 1984, computers & phones can listen to us, pretend to be off while recording. We have pain rays and devices that can map out the interior of a house from the street. Facial recognition, biometric data. Our internet history is logged, locations pinpointed, advertisements targeted. Cameras film nearly every street, bystanders film everything else. Cars can be hacked into and controlled remotely. There are reports of technology that can transfer thought into sound. I wish these were just conspiracy theories but it looks as though true privacy is going to become a relic of the past unless you choose to entirely disconnect yourself from society. If you want to see a dystopian society most of us just need to walk out our doors. Designer drugs, fluorescent fashion, widespread addiction to drugs, porn and technology, constant surveillance, wilfully provided private information shared with multiple parties, increasing violent attacks by disaffected youths. A police service that protects their own interests at society’s expensive & serve as a kind of corporate paramilitary. They protect windows from being smashed and pepper spray unarmed protesters. Property uber alles. We’re in the shadow of the Iron Heel, spiralling into ignorance & indifference. The iron fist is closing around the Western world, though we can still escape its grasp now, each day the grip gets stronger.

Jack Blare, 2018

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independent, literature, Uncategorized

Its Complicated

People like to distill social and political issues such as race, class and gender down to simple black and white good or evil, which in both cases tends to entirely misrepresent and distort issues. Absolutes like all or never are much simpler to grasp than the truth: that there are multiple angles for everything, no one or thing can be judged at a glance and small details are more important than we give them credit. This simplification is a useful tool when pushing politics or propaganda but the truth is rarely simple and our world grows more complex by the day. Nearly every rule has exceptions, a statement which is itself an oversimplification. It is for the reasons that we should question everything through as objective a viewpoint as we can get in this relative universe before drawing conclusions. This means that first hand experience is most important, followed by second and third hand sources. In a three dimensional world we must learn to think in three dimensions, to examine ideas and assertions from every angle with a critical gaze.

Ideally this method should be applied to all the information you receive. Senses can be tricked and memories fail so our minds fill in the blanks. That is why single eye-witness testimony is no longer enough to convict someone of a crime. Practicing the above is absolutely necessary if you want to know the real truth of things and not fall victim to the scam of political propaganda and extremism that will call on you to sacrifice your life or your beliefs, or to take someone else’s away based on lies, half-truths and manipulations. Don’t let yourself be a pawn or a puppet to advance the agendas of politicians or extremists on the left or right. That divide is an illusion too.

Jack Blare, 2018

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