Human Side Podcast 10: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Technical problems destroyed nearly all of a 3.5 hour podcast on cultural Marxism, leaving only these 3 minutes about Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.


"Red Lily of the Valley" by Varlam Shalamov

a translation of "РОЗОВЫЙШ ЛАНДЫШ" from Колымские тетради

Upon a saint's tomb laid
Placed above a headstone
A wreath of flowers in braid,
In the purest blood soaked.

With glossy, sagging petals,
Heavy with dew.
Displaying delicate tendrils,
in all its beauty on view.

And shy and clearly scared,
blossoms to the earth bowed,
like a child's trembling hands
hanging from its boughs.

But these pinkish clusters
Among rags of pale-green
Will tomorrow flower in bluster,
Into a blazing, fiery scene.

And, like a bloody tear,
Like Macbeth's ghost,
It will draw our eyes here,
in its tumult engrossed.

From these eyes blood flows,
And turning to the setting sun
We are before it froze,
by some shame unknown.

As if we could live another way,
and read from other books.
And not from a graveyard bouquet
was it the truth we took.

And we kiss the petals,
And to something make our prayer.
They tell us: Its all nothing special
Of our smile they are unaware.

I hear it, like grass growing,
These new flowers breaking through.
I feel it, into words transposing,
and compose this poem for you.


Aphorisms on the Individual

1. The individual is man the citizen, taxpayer, consumer and economic unit. 

2. The individual is the human animal brought to legibility by the State and the Corporation.

4. Men are expected, through coercion or enticement, to identify with the numbers they have been assigned (Social Security, bank accounts, etc); to use the acceptable platforms of expression (elections; Facebook; etc); and to speak of themselves in officially registered categories (Democrat/Republican, Male/Female/Fluid, Black/White etc). The State protects and demands observance of these categories of individual for its own measures of population oversight, taxation and control, but as well to improve access to a human population by the sales and marketing forces of the corporate class.

11. The feeling of oneself as an individual is a symptom, not a truth. 

19. The task of the State and Corporation is to make legible or undermine the hidden transcripts that maintain the local community, small group and family: to release man the individual from the bondage of hidden transcripts.

29. Agriculture combines with advances in the technologies of transportation and communication to challenge the small group, the local community and the family (see James C. Scott). Guided by these technologies small groups generate surpluses (caloric and later fiat) and, by their own internal growth in numbers, threaten themselves from within; while simultaneously they are stretched apart through outside trade. They now speak beyond the global and of Martian travel the spreading of human units of economy beyond the earth. 

34. The global community/economy is a crowd formation (see Canetti). As a crowd formation it must be always on the increase or risk its dissipation.

35. The global community/economy is a crowd made up of individuals, not local communities, small groups or families. The local community, small group or family slows global crowd growth as keepers of hidden transcripts they exist outside State and Corporate purview.

49. The interest rate is used to stoke or slow global crowd growth over time to maintain its functioning and satisfy the crowd's debt holders. 

53. The velocity of money is a measure of the global crowd's unity and sustainability as a crowd.

57. Money moves with a faster velocity between individuals than between families and small groups.


"The Blue Notebook" by Varlam Shalamov

a translation of "cиняя тетрадь" from Колымские тетради


Cave dust, blue mold
stains my verse.
Born of so many Sundays —
Peaceful and terse.

These poems, as animals, quickly grew
by the snow's cold baptized
in the frigid dark, in the marshy damp.
And after all they survived.

Of ancestors they do not boast,
For heirs not a care.
Theirs is only the granite cell
Through the years unaware.

Now, by a birdsong aroused
Not a nightingale in call alone,
But a scream, always of dreams
From the comfort of forest and stone.

Forgive me these analogies
Anyone, who knows this life of mine,
knows from zoology it is derived
with sanity always on the line.

            *  *  *

Frail, lonely and naked,
without firelight blind.
In a lilac, polar gloom
I am confined.

To the pale darkness I entrust
my poems all.
No longer on my mind
sins large and small.

With lungs torn by cold
with a mouth sealed tight.
With teardrops like stones
with sweat frozen white.

I speak these poems,
I cry them out unbade.
Trees and pebbles, the deaf,
little by little more afraid.

From far mountains the tiny echo
I listen for,
and hearing it my chest fills easily
I breathe once more.

                   *  *  *

Do not judge us too severely.
Better to be merciful.
Our way we will find,
A path narrow but defined.

Along the cliffs go musk deer
Let's go above those clouds,
Hand in hand up to where it is clear,
Poetry we need, a bridge made aloud.

These verses we build
now solid and true.
Though they sway in the wind,
once they were flimsy all through.

Stepping out onto the wobbly bridge,
Pledging only this book we make,
Whatever the envy or anger,
Will not us to Heaven take.

                *  *  *

A timid imagination,
Come up here to me.
Cope with the dizziness,
After all, it's not easy.

Awaiting you unfamiliar words
But at the mountain's base,
That land — it's only foundation,
We've long known that place.

From here one can further see,
With widest sight ...
How the plains offend me,
This — the mountain's birthright.


Human Side Podcast 08: Madmen at the Wall

Discussion of the nature of truth for localized hunter-gatherers vs. truth for sedentary, agricultural peoples. Also mountain lions, big rig trucking, the divinities past and present, and the emergence of the "individual" in Western thought. With reference to James C Scott, Hugh Brody, Edmund Carpenter, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marshall McLuhan, etc.


Human Side Podcast 07: Cured Meats & Cheeses

Retirement to a leisurely life of pleasure vs. a lifelong struggle in cheerful, joyous rage.
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