“You Can’t Hear Me Knocking” Sucks

You know that song by the Stones where on the chorus it sounds like Mick is shouting “Gimme nummy-nummies!”  I always forget the majority of that song’s runtime sounds like worse Santana.  Like instrumentally a very generic Santana song, but with half the guitar presence.  Strange call, guys.  I guess sometimes you don’t have an idea for where to go with your song and got an LP to fill.  “You Can’t Hear Me Knocking” sucks.

Lately the first five hours or so of my Fridays are spent drifting in and out of consciousness listening to music and recovering from general sleep deprivation and stress.  Not a bad time but easy to feel guilty about it, heh.  Happy Friday binches!

The Moment Passed

I was perusing an artifact from about thirteen, fourteen years ago?  A strange work of art made in collaboration with another guy while we were working a job that gave us time to do things with our hands.  There’s a kind of intensity to it that boggles my mind – so much work went into this thing, so much creativity.  Makes me wonder – was that it?  The apex of my life, from which all else is downhill?  If so, that was a rather shameful waste of an entire human existence.  It is fundamentally not good.

Well, another year is dawning soon, and with that another opportunity to prove to myself that I can still make good stuff happen.  2022, Hell save us.

If You Hail Satan, Come Correct

Woof.  I wanted to like The Satanic Temple and Lucien Greaves, but I randomly came across the real scoop on what low-down fash-friendly piles of shit they really are.  Representing myself as satanic, I feel the need to address this, and while I’m at it, help fix some of the harm they are doing in the world.

To start with, I need to make clear that I do not believe every member of TST is fascist or a scumbag.  Some just haven’t gotten the facts yet, and some who have feel too invested to acknowledge the truth.  To those of you who are good people, I hope you work things out.

But I also hope you can realize you don’t need TST and can represent Satan in your own ways.  There is absolutely nothing stopping you from walking away from TST en masse and starting your own Satanism.  Maybe it starts small, a facebook group or a twitter account, but it can turn into something just as big and certainly better.

 

Eugenics and Nazi Friendliness

I was ill-informed and had little idea that modern satanists were so cozy with antisemitism and nazism until I fell down this unfortunate rabbit hole.  What in the name of Hell is the point of rejecting Christ only to wallow in the shit ideals of his worst fanboys?

Lucien Greaves has made some half-assed apologies for antisemitic comments made on a radio show in 2003 as that came to light recently, and in the narrow context of that clip one could think of his comments as being more antitheist than antisemitic – he was saying jewish religious belief is his problem and jewish blood is not, in disagreement with the hosts of the radio show he was on.

But broaden that context just a little bit more, and things look much worse.  Why did he not rebuke the whole proceedings when his pals on the show went full sieg heil?  Why didn’t he bail?  Because he knew they were nazis going in, and he was OK with that.

The show itself was the “Might Is Right 24-Hour Radio Special” in honor of a new printing of racist / antisemitic book “Might is Right” – and Greaves (as “Doug Mesner”) was invited because he illustrated the book.  Whatever terms or qualifiers he’s used for it (he had a site called “dysgenics” as late as 2018), Greaves has wholeheartedly endorsed eugenics on many occasions.  As recently as the founding of The Satanic Temple ten years after his appearance on that show, he was willingly associating with and involving the sieg heiling host of that very broadcast.

(Quick aside – the event hosts may or may not have identified as nazis and they didn’t actually say “sieg heil” but I don’t give an earthly shit about distinguishing between flavors of antisemite and the finer points of their ideologies.  Another guest on the show was prominent KKK figure Tom Metzger – in a segment of the show Greaves (Doug Misicko in the transcript) happily participated in.  Y’all are nazis; eat shit and die at your soonest convenience, thanks.)

(Aside Deux – because this is an atheist blog network and the “thought leaders” of modern atheism seem to think some nice guy version of eugenics, as a concept, can be salvaged for good, I should emphasize that ain’t true.  I’m not up to linkspamming support of that point, but feeling tempted to give nazi ideas an inch of your mental bandwidth should give you great pause.)

Anyone who would oppose the hypocrisies and injustices of cultural christianity has to decide for theirself what they will propose in the wake of christianity’s defeat.  Because you’re not going to defeat xtianity at large, of course (only they can do that to themselves lol), but you are going to win some hearts and minds away from the pews and pulpits.  What are you giving them in exchange for what they’ve given up?

For some opposing xtianity is enough, like dictionary atheists who are iconoclasts without a care.  LaVey was in the pitiful thrall of Ayn Rand and his satanic bible owes its soul to her “objectivism.”  His Church of Satan and the satanic movement generally from that point on carried those values of cruelty and greed forward.  This was the movement from which Greaves emerged, only differing in that he was more fully atheistic than his predecessors.  Or maybe just more ableist.  From what I’ve seen, ableism was always his biggest hobbyhorse.

OK, greed as a value does seem to oppose the charity spoken of by Jesus, so satanic, right?  Wrong.  If we were just going to oppose xtianity as described in the bible, maybe.  But I don’t give a fuck about that.  I want to oppose xtianity as it is practiced in my culture, and all the harm it does – most of which is fueled by greed.  If you’re not doing that – fighting for the ability of people to enjoy life, fighting oppression – what’s the fucking point?

In their stances on gay rights and reproductive rights and religious freedom, The Satanic Temple has lured in thousands of progressive people – taken their time and money.  But was this truly deserved?  The organization is rotten at its core for the same reason the gnu atheist movement was: the founders centered ableism, the ability to feel superior to the “stupid” xtians, which is just about the quickest path to eugenics and nazism.

To this day, there are high ups within TST that have a history of consorting with nazi clowns like Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannapolis.  TST have gone on record as being anti-antifa, and you know what you get when those antis zero out.

 

Reproductive Rights People Hate Them

Just because anti-abortion scumbags have had a great deal of success lately does not mean that the defenders of reproductive health have been failing at their jobs, only that fascists have been achieving horrific victories across the board.  But The Satanic Temple has opted to use that messaging to suck up activist dollars – to claim “We must accept the fact that traditional efforts to protect reproductive rights have failed.”

And what are they doing with the pro-abortion activist dollars?  They’re acting like $cientology in the way they veer between saying they’re a religion and denying that depending on what’s most advantageous in a given financial or legal situation, and not being at all transparent about where the money goes.

 

SLAPP Suit

All these issues and more led some Satanists in my part of the country to rebel, to make public critique of the organization.  The law protects criticism of religious organizations, but they’re still suing for business harm – a business when it suits them, a religion when it doesn’t.  The apostates are just regular people facing tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses they can’t afford.  It’s a SLAPP suit working as intended, and you can see why I might find that something worth fighting against.

Support the Queer Satanic Apostasy.  Help defend them against the SLAPP suit.

 

Full Disclosure:

TST and FtB have both employed the same lawyer in free speech cases, a man who is a strong partisan on that issue, but easy to find very negative articles about.  That lawyer is specifically named as one of the reasons for dissenters leaving TST.  Due to our prior relationship with him, I will not be addressing that one specific issue here and prefer it not be discussed in this space, except to say I understand and very much sympathize with those concerns.

Dreams, Superheroes, Trans Biz

Content Warnings – mild internalized transphobia of the subconscious, pop culture-influenced ableism, boring dream stuff.

I remembered a dream when I woke up this morning, which doesn’t always happen.  I suppose I’d been thinking about TV shows I wasn’t current with as I went to bed last night, including The Flash.  The Flash has spent a lot of time with heavy duty villains making everybody lose hope and mope all season long, which is funny for something that was ostensibly more lighthearted than The Arrow.  Anyway, the most recent plot also has super-gaslighting and super-mental illness stuff going on, say about that what you will, and it influenced my dream.

To streamline the language I’m going to write this as if I’m certain of what happened in the dream, where I am not.  My memory of it is not perfect, but “or maybe this” after every line really kills reading comprehension.  Proceeding thus,

I was waiting for somebody to run an errand and to kill time I was told it was OK to bum around the abandoned insane asylum for ghosts.  I was the Reverse Flash, but not in total arch-nemesis mode, just chilling with the heroes awkwardly, but for the moment I was alone.  The asylum was empty and boring – no “environmental storytelling” to thrill – so I bailed.  The people I was waiting for caught up to me and we went for a stroll through a grotty run-down zoo that had nothing but unhealthy-looking birds.

I was with Cecile and some other random characters from the show and we were getting bad vibes from the birds but trying to ignore it, eating our potato chips.  During the conversation somebody mentioned The Flash having a weird relationship with gender, relating somehow to his superpowers.  A spooky old lady passed by us and we were like, ooh spooky.  We noticed the birds were being cruel to each other – not caring for chicks, squabbling over food, and so on.  The Flash met up with us and said he’d do something about the depressing bird park, and took off again.

Everybody went their separate ways and the dream went to some hapless random guy (also me?) walking the park.  He came to a fake looking cemetery with weirdos in bad samurai costumes, and talking to someone on his phone described them as “Rorouni Kenshin cosplayers.”  Turns out they were spooky Japanese ghosts, causing the park’s bad vibes with their “died-in-a-war” attitude.  They pursue and murder the random guy.

Back to me, el Reverse Flash.  I’m in the filthy bird park and I notice it still has alarming vibes.  I see a spoonbill ignoring its chick, and its bill is malformed into weird grubby strips at the end.  I run into the future because that’s something speed boyz can do on The Flash.  The park is looking nicer, I guess Flash made good on his promise.

The place has more people, more food, but there’s still a crusty edge there.  The Flash had traveled back in time and bought the park and devoted years of his life to offsetting the harm the birds were doing to each other, never knowing it was from the samurai ghosts, and he went insane.  He’d also transitioned and become… the spooky old lady from before.

Now I was the Flash, old ladying around the place and feeding colorful popcorn to my pretties.  Caw caw.

 

The Fvckpile

Capitalism as practiced in most of the world – but especially the USA – revolves around one principle: I got mine, Jack, Fuck everyone else.  The future doesn’t exist, consequences don’t exist.  And as we see in fuckos like Biden, when the consequences do come home to roost?  It ain’t as bad as it looks, it wasn’t my individual fault specifically, it’s somebody else’s bad, somebody else’s duty, somebody else’s problem.  If he saw things clearly and accurately, if he wasn’t huffing the statue of liberty’s ass vapors, he’d know that by being rich he has no small amount of personal liability for it, and as president every moment that he doesn’t exercise his massive executive powers to fight AGW, he’s taking on much much more personal fault for the destruction of life as we know it.  He’d be wracked by grief, but spending all his waking effort to make right what has transpired on his watch.

I’m not going to write this story because it’s too bleak to focus on for the length of time required, but take in the short version, if you will.

Upper middle class family.  Dad’s a contractor, mom’s in publishing, they own their own home.  They have  more than a million in assets, but much less available for day to day things.  Nonetheless, a life of comfort.  The only worries they have are ones they brought on themselves by keeping up with the Joneses.  The kids all grow up to be similarly successful, but have fewer assets.  Their mortgages are less generous, housing prices massively higher, but still.  Not shabby.

One of the kids breaks the mold.  He’s a stand-up comedian, turned actor and screenwriter.  He gets a few hot breaks and is pulling royalties off of some kids movies he co-wrote, getting character actor parts with minimal effort, bringing in that cheese.  He is a millionaire with no quibbles – Where his parents had over a million in assets, he has more than a million in the bank.

You can’t expect that to last forever, kid.  You’re gonna be old and wanting the kind of loot that lets you pay for black market organs someday.  So how do you get it?  Pay a money guy, don’t ask questions.  It doesn’t matter what he does to increase your wealth – he just says that he can and has a track record of measurably succeeding.  You have proof it isn’t a ponzi scheme.

Money guy says all the B list celebs are getting theirs from real estate.  Not houses anymore.  It’s all about apartments.  All you have to do, comedian, is give me the money – and I’ll give you a reliable return every day for the rest of your life.  Money guy pools money from various Hollywood types to start a “property management company” that buys up apartment buildings around the country.  Now comedian has a partial stake in apartments from Florida to Oregon.

The apartments are any cheap pile of moldy lumber, with more effort put into faking a good look for the exteriors than any structural or maintenance issues.  They look alright from a distance but once you get in the door you realize it’s all falling apart.  PropertyCo still jacks the price up every year until people are forced to move into still cheaper places – owned by companies like PropertyCo.

Since these apartments are businesses designed not to deliver an essential service but instead to rob poor people blind, moneymaking schemes are added to moneymaking schemes.  Require pet rent, renters insurance, parking rent, etc.  Cut deals with shady insurance companies that will give you a slice if you coerce your customers into using them, or better yet toss together your own insurance company based out of a server in a Connecticut basement.  Have the price for units so high that people can only afford them by having more adults in a single unit than they were designed for, meaning more cars necessary for commuting than the parking lots were designed for, so that in desperation people who work late park in fire lanes and get their cars towed – by tow companies you have other shady deals with.

Inevitably a certain amount of people can’t afford to stay or pay timely due to losing work (possibly by having their only ride to work held hostage for thousands of dollars) or other bad luck, and they get evicted.  You have debt you can sell to a collection company.   It’s basically impossible to lose money as a property management company.

Some sixty year old lady with poor health is among the evicted and she manages to beg her way into the household of one of her children.  At her new residence she starts receiving harassment from a collection agency.  Story cuts to Hyderabad India where a call center full of crash course English speakers follow their scripts to hound people to desperation and suicide, while their company compounds interest on the debt every time somebody sneezes.

How do you convince a decent human to be a collections agent?  It probably helps to hire as many violently twisted people as possible, but no way there are enough people like that in a given community to comprise the entire staff of a given call center.  I imagine there’s some indoctrination session, like, “These are scum, criminals who don’t pay their dues.  They deserve all the scorn you can muster.”

Story follows a guy who took the job.  It paid better than anything else he could find and he needs it because rent is going through the roof, but he senses something wrong, messed up.  Still, he powers through it.  One day that he has inflicted exceptional cruelty upon the “clients,” he snaps out of it, like coming out of a dream.  He has become a horrible person and blames the business.  He burns the place down.

The debt collection agency gathers its insurance and ponders options.  Hey, the corrupt government has made it very easy to do organized crime against targets overseas, you have experience running a call center, just start over with an explicitly criminal call center.  Now the indoctrination is a little different.  “Americans are all greedy fat cats ruining the world for fun and profit, their old folks and disabled people have money but are too stupid to hold it.  Tell them you’re calling from a government agency and they’ll be in big trouble unless they give you their social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, bank account info…”

The new call center cuts deals with US telecoms to acquire thousands of US local phone numbers, makes it look like their calls are coming from within the US, and hits the phone book.  They dial everyone, but whenever they have a hint somebody might be old or disabled?  They hit them ten times as hard, calling round the clock, trying to scare someone into slipping up.

They call the comedian’s mom and pop, get enough info to run massive fraud on them.  Because of their assets they have higher credit limits than most of the call center’s victims and the scale of loss is immense.  Well, you know, even modestly rich USians get enough deference from financial institutions they could probably get out from under the damage, but it’s scary to get scammed like that.  Mom and pop spend the rest of their lives not answering phones, paranoid and scared.

It’s the circle of life under capitalism.  And notice I didn’t even invoke the evil of billionaires, easily the most destructive class in human history, with more resources than god emperors.  I kept the story down to millionaires at the worst.  Money chases money chases money, until the people who have the least are hounded into the grave.  And even people with resources know on some level that vultures are nipping at their heels.  They’ll blame taxes and the government, but it’s the whole sick-ass world.

This property company thing is real.  Mid-tier celebs from Fox News talking heads to liberal Hollywood types are all making their loot from stuff like this now.  I’d say, might be cool if somebody created a property company whose selling point was doing business ethically – minimizing the travail of tenants, not doing business with collection agencies, etc.  But if somebody did come up with that as a sales pitch for the millionaire investors?  It would be nothing but a snowjob and the apartments would still be horrid slums.

Anyway, smash the system, down with everything.  I’m gonna go back to sleep for a while.